Monday, December 03, 2012

An Apology, A Fleet of Cars and A New Addition

I have to apologize to you readers out there. I have been extremely busy with life these days. Over the past month or so I have been occupied with traveling and a whole bunch of stuff. I was in Penang early last month. I was also in Raub, Pahang thrice. I was in Fraser's Hill twice. I was in Ipoh once. I was basically everywhere except in front of a computer typing out stuff.

In between all of that traveling. I had to work. I had cars to service. I also had to chill out with friends to talk about man/boy stuff. In short, writing has taken the last seat on a very long bus filled with countless of other activities that requires my time. I sometimes wish time does not fly as fast as it does these days. It my be age catching up and suddenly overtaking yours truly as I find my self trying to do so many things in a week.

Now back to the topic of cars. I seem to have acquired a fleet of cars over the past couple of months. Those that are aware would know that I have to maintain a 2005 Subaru Impreza 1.6 TS, a 1998 Proton Wira 1.6XLi which I had inherited from my late-father, a new 2011 Suzuki Alto which was bought for my mum to use and a 2010 Perodua Myvi 1.3 SE which the Missus uses.

The Subaru has been a very reliable workhorse and recently had its cracked front windscreen changed. I have no issues with the car and it has only left me stranded once due to a leaking water pump hose. But throughout the seven and a half years of ownership it has performed admirably and at times punches above its weight.

The Proton Wira is like any 1.6 automatic Proton Wira out there. Very cheap to maintain and very dependable. After sorting out its overheating issues it has been a decent, albeit a slightly boring ride. But if you just want a dependable Klang Valley roundabout which is light, economical and practical with some decent tech - multi-link suspension, a 4 speed autobox with enough punch to cruise at highway speeds at a relaxed gait, an old Proton Wira is totally acceptable. Don't expect it to be anything else though.

The Suzuki Alto 1.0-It has been to the Suzuki service center twice in the last 6 months. This is because somehow, the service booklet suggests that you service it every 3 to 4 months or 5,000km. In order to keep its warranty intact I am doing just that although it hasn't crossed 4,000km to date. The reason this car was chosen over a Perodua Viva or another Myvi is that  it drives better than both and my mum likes the way it looks. I like the way it looks. My mum takes it to be shops in front of her house and to a few places in and around her neighbourhood. I have a warranty claim to make from Suzuki thought, the key cylinder at the steering column is a little sticky and according to Suzuki, a replacement cylinder is in order. A rare occurrence according to Suzuki. So rare that it has to be ordered from India, the place where the Alto is made. Sometimes, you get issues with cars that aren't made by Proton (this little statement is for those that think you can't get issues with cars other than Proton). Now aside from that, everything has been peachy with the tiny Suzy.

The Perodua Myvi is trusty and dependable. The Missus isn't complaining about having to drive a car that has consistently headed the Malaysian car sales list over the past few years. It may have a trashy ride and a slightly hollow feel to it but it serves its purpose and competently does what its supposed to do. Its looks do not offend me (unlike the Proton Saga BLM) and it is nippy around town (which is very important when traffic is bad these days). Coupled with the mods I've done on it. It's actually quite good to drive.

And then comes the surprise.....I've added another one to the list. A brand spanking new Mercedes Benz C180 CGI BlueEfficiency. Yes folks, I've basically decided to satisfy my lust for the three pointed star. Expect some sort of write-up on it soon. If my hectic life allows me to do so.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The New Aston Martin Vanquish visits Kuala Lumpur


Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur recently previewed their latest V12 Grand Tourer, the Aston Martin Vanquish at their showroom recently. It was in Singapore prior to this, and was in town for a few days before making its way upwards towards Japan if I heard correctly. The Vanquish, a pre-production car was shown to prospective customers, current Aston Martin owners and members of the media.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

This is a FordsubishiLexus Laser GSL ART TypeR

No. It isn't. What we actually have here folks is a 1989-1995 Ford Laser KF series. But according to all the badges that are plastered on its tailgate it is a concoction of a Lexus Mitsubishi TypeR GSL ART (whatever that means).

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2012 SUBARU PALM CHALLENGE 2012 – MALAYSIAN LEG

The morning on September 8, 2012 was filled with excitement at the Piazza, The Curve in Petaling Jaya as  62 people (who must have taken leave from work, college or from counting the tiles) with an aim to win a car took part in the highly anticipated Subaru Palm Challenge 2012 – Malaysia leg recently.

Throughout the nine and a half hour endurance challenge which kick-started at 10am; participants were required to place their right palm firmly on the lot drawn while completing all seven elimination rounds (notably holding water bottles whilst keeping a hand on the car and balancing a ping pong ball on a spoon whilst biting the spoon for 20 minutes) . One by one, the participants died of exhaustion. 

Haah. That caught you folks off guard didn't it?

But truthfully after nine and a half grueling hours standing under the hot sun and rain, the last 10  people who didn't get eliminated had much to celebrate as this would be their ticket to Asian Face Off over in Singapore. The 10 Malaysian champions will compete against the 310 Singapore local contestants and 80 other challengers from across the region to win a brand new Subaru car. Note that the event in Singapore isn't a half day thingy like this one. It is actually a proper endurance event and there is no time limit or elimination rounds for the participants to go through. Last year's event was won by a Singaporean after palming a Subaru for 75 hours 36 minutes. He got a Subaru WRX out of it.

The 10 Malaysian leg winners received an all-expense paid trip to the Lion City from the 26th – 31st of October for the finals, a watch worth up to RM1,600 sponsored by Orient and Subaru merchandise which included a t-shirt, cap and toiletries bag, amongst other premium items.

Honestly I'd rather pay for a Subaru rather than suffer. Which was what I did 7 years ago (Motor Image. Take note.)








Meanwhile Over In Wolfsburg, VW Offers the Beetle R-Line

Volkswagen announces tuning parts for the all-new New Beetle and they've only launched the darn car over in Malaysia......

Volkswagen now offers two R-Line packages for the Beetle that are based on the top “Sport” version: an exterior package and an interior package. The exterior package may be ordered separately, while the interior package is always offered as an extension of the R-Line exterior details.

Volkswagen R GmbH has created the independent and sporty R-Line options which can be combined with any of the twelve Beetle colours. Parts of the exterior package are: 
- Front bumpers with independent black grained air inlets and chrome surrounds for the directional indicators
- diffuser at the rear
- special body side panels and door mirror housings in body colour
- R-Line logos on the front body beneath the A-pillars
- 18-inch “Twister” alloy wheels
- Machine-polished 19-inch “Tornado” alloy wheels may be selected as an option in black or white with 235/40 tyres

The R-Line interior package includes:
- sport seat system with seats upholstered with an active-breathing fabric in “Kyalami” design
- front head restraints with R-Line badge
- leather-trimmed sport steering wheel, the gear shift lever boot and the handbrake grip with decorative seams in “Art Grey”
- decorative inlays in “Dark Vanadium”

As an option, the seats may be ordered in black leather (“Vienna”) with
R-Line badges on the head restraints as well as on the door sill plates and the leather-trimmed sport steering wheel. The Beetle Sport is available with a 1.4 TSI (118 kW/160 PS), 2.0 TSI (147 kW/200 PS) or 2.0 TDI (103 kW/140 PS). The additional price for the R-Line exterior package is available at € 1,290, and when the interior package is included the price starts at € 1,675. 


BUT, in all honesty you'd still look like a poof if you drive one. Unless you're already a poof, or a girl that is.




Monday, September 10, 2012

Volkswagen's 'The Icon Is Back' Event - Showcasing the launch of the All-new New VW Beetle

VW Malaysia is really investing in Malaysia. I say this because they've launched the all-new New Volkswagen Beetle with a whole lot of fanfare and hoohaa. The reason I say this is that the launch isn't just limited to members of the media but to the general public too.

Last weekend VW did hourly presentations to media as well as members of the public who had bothered to register their attendance for the event titled 'The Icon is back'. It was a big thing as VW started with a video presentation showing the original Bug and then interviewed local celebrities as well as VW Beetle owners. The curtains was then raised to reveal the all-new New Beetle together with some dancers and some lady singer belting out some number stating that 'the icon is back'.

After that little show and dance number which also featured Beetles driving to and from the stage the audience was led to an area where the new Beetle was displayed together with VW's other models which included the first showing of the Volkswagen Amarok 4x4 pickup truck and some people carriers that I have absolutely no interest in whatsoever. The Amarok (pictured below) is a pretty good looking truck though and VW was gauging its response by inviting people to give their opinions on it via a handheld device. I did my best to answer it anyway, stating that "I'd like one in yellow please".

And what do I think about the new Bug then? It's a Volkswagen. It has the same high quality build that we're used to and it looks like a Beetle although I still think they haven't nailed it like how Fiat has done so with the 500 or how BMW has done it with the Mini. It is still a feminine looking car and if you were a straight guy who intends to buy this as his only car, you may be defined as, errr, not so straight after buying one. It still has that slightly girly image to it. Even if you opt for the 2.0liter TSI version that packs a decent wallop at slightly under RM200,000 (without insurance) over the poofy 1.2liter version you will look like you have more in common with the chaps from Queer Eye For The Straight Guy. Not there's anything wrong with that. Unless you're trying to be known as Jason Statham or Donnie Yen that is.

- The Beetle does seat four blokes (the two in the seat are my friends and schoolmates, who happened to bump into the two in the front who are their friends, and therefore schoolmates too - what coincidence that all attended the same session) , but not that comfortably at the rear

The only other issue is that the painted dashboard and door trim which matches the exterior would mean that if you bought a pink Beetle, you will also have to stare at a pink interior. Aside from that one should remember that the Beetle is still a niche car, and not a bread and butter model like the Polo.

And for that I have to give a pat on the back to VW for spending a ton of cash on its launching. I suppose brand awareness is what they're really after. The launch was just an excuse for getting the VW brand totally embedded in the Malaysian public's psyche. Good job to them then. I believe they've accomplished what they set out to do with the launch.
 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The All-New Ninth Generation Honda Civic - What the heck are you trying to sell to us, Honda?


When I was a younger man than I am today I used to run around Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings in a second-generation Honda Civic hatchback. The car, a 1981 vintage had a 1335cc single cam engine and generated something like 60bhp. But in those days, it only had to move 800kg of car or so and it was a nippy little bastard, putting it bluntly.  I was happy with it, especially in its final, modified according to my tastes, form. Actually I was extremely happy with it but that is something which I shall write about at a later date.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Car Mods: 1st Gen Perodua Myvi Tuning Part III - The Brake Upgrade

This article has taken its sweet time hasn't it? One reason why this has taken so long is that I decided to thoroughly sort the braking issue completely before I come to any conclusion. And the little Perodua Myvi 1.3 that the Missus uses now has really, really, really good brakes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What To Do With Your Worthless 1st Generation Volvo S40

It's that time of the year where things move at a slower pace in Malaysia. This is the month of Ramadan and most muslims (being the majority in this country) are too busy saving energy by not moving too much or thinking too hard during the day. At night, most are busy eating and going to the mosques to gain more 'pahala' in this holy month.

But in the world of motoring, things are moving as usual. It is only because Yours Truly over here has become a hibernating bear as usual and not do much stuff. Do not move and you do not burn any calories. Even typing can be a chore especially if you feel a little tired due to lack of sleep and lack of food & water. Typing can also be a chore after stuffing oneself silly during the breaking of fast. And I refuse to use the word 'iftar' as I am a Malay, not an Arab. We Malaysians have been using the words 'BUKA PUASA' for the last fifty or so years and why do we need to become more Arab? Being a Muslim does not mean I have to be an Arab. If you think about it being Arab if you're some other race is quite pointless. I could ramble on and on about this fasting month but it would be better if we discussed about the first generation Volvo S40.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Some Rumours on the New Suzuki Swift for Malaysia and another Suzy

It seems that Suzuki will launch the already old new Suzuki Swift early next year. What this means is that we Malaysians will be getting the new Swift just in time for its mid-life facelift. The reason is that the 3rd generation Suzuki Swift was officially launched late 2010 with production going on full swing sometime January/February 2011. It is mid-2012 right now and the new Swift has been in production for a good one and a half years at the very least. By 2013, it'll be two and a half years and just ripe for a facelift - the last Swift had a 6 year production lifespan, so by mid-2013, the new one should be nearing its mid-life and due for a facelift or something like a facelift.

So before I continue babbling and whining about how ridiculously late the Swift has been in reaching our shores, I would like to inform you readers out there that Suzuki Malaysia should be bringing out the new Swift by early 2013 (January/February? I have no actual idea). It will come in 1.4liter form as there is no longer a 1.5liter option made by Suzuki. There is a 1.2liter and a 1.4liter as well as the Swift Sport's 1.6liter engine. The new 1.4liter  engine is allegedly slightly down on power and torque compared to the earlier 1.5liter engine but it is supposedly 12% more efficient overall coupled with a slightly lighter chassis. So it still shouldn't be a bad drive as handling and ride as as good as the previous generation or better. 

Anyway, the Malaysian specced Suzuki Swfit 1.4 will come with the same 4 speed automatic transmission with the new CVT option only for the Swift Sport. It may be launched right from the start in CKD (Completely Knocked Down) form with kits most probably coming from Suzuki's Rayong plant in Thailand since Suzuki has recently started assembly of the Swift over there. Then again, Suzuki could take advantage of AFTA and just bring in the Swift from Thailand. Who knows.

Next, the new Suzuki Swift Sport with its 1.6liter engine and options for a 6 speed manual and CVT automatic should arrive in CBU form mid-2013. Better late than never? 

So why has it been so late? I suppose Suzuki wanted to finish off its stocks for the current Malaysian assembled Suzuki Swift and wanted to jump straight into local assembly instead of importing the Swift in prior to that. Sometimes, local assembly makes us get cars a little late. I suppose this is the price to pay for a Swift that would cost approximately RM70K instead of RM80K.

Anyway, where did I come up with such information and is the information to be trusted? I have no idea how true all of the above is but it does come from a seemingly reliable source. Usually such sources are quite reliable when you actually plonk a wad of cash in front of them. In this case, a new Suzuki Alto. A nice bronze/brown one. Stay tuned folks.

Alright folks...If your browser has taken you to this article, you should now head over here for the latest update! 

Update - Photos and Initial Opinion - HERE

Monday, July 16, 2012

Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur Opens Its Doors...And It's About Time!

We now can tell the rest of the world that we now have Aston Martin in our backyard. Aston Martin has finally landed officially in Malaysia with the opening of its new showroom in Petaling Jaya earlier today. 

Aston Martin Kuala Lumpur is run by the Berjaya Group via Jelita Seleksi Sdn Bhd and a collaboration with Aston Martin Singapore who basically owns the rights to distributorship in Singapore and Malaysia. Nothing out of the ordinary as they've had this arrangement worked out years before anyone thought about it. So kudos to those involved.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mazda Launches Its New 130,000 Square Feet Showroom cum Malaysian HQ in Glenmarie.


Mazda's local partners Bermaz Motor Sdn Bhd seems pretty committed towards the brand here in Malaysia as they've recently unveiled their largest showroom in this region (Southeast Asia). Four stories tall with two display areas, a workshop and office totalling 130,000 square feet is pretty large for a brand that is only starting its revival locally.

Those that are old enough would remember that Mazda sold in decent numbers in the 1980s with the Mazda 323, 626 and after Proton came along, things got quieter and quieter and quieter for the brand. Only AP or grey imports (RX-7s usually), the Bongo vans and the 4x4 kept Mazda afloat until Bermaz took over a few years ago.

I suppose this is also due to the strength of the Mazda cars – the Mazda 3, Mazda 6 look and drive great and now they're pushing their holistic car concept called SkyActiv, things are bound to be better. SkyActiv is Mazda's total concept for car engineering. They intend to concentrate on building conventional (non hybrid or fuel cell cars) utilizing their know-how and technology to the fullest making the most efficient engines, transmissions, body and chassis. Every efficient part translates to total fuel savings and vehicle efficiency. I personally believe this is quite true as a leaner, meaner car usually gives the best performance.

Anyway, Mazda also believes that hybrid technology means batteries that have toxic chemicals in them (or in their manufacturing processes) and are therefore not as environmentally friendly as they may seem. I see this is actually true especially in Malaysia where we don't even know how our used batteries are disposed. Do we even care?

Mazda also believes that fuel cell technology or other forms of alternative fuel would need lots of investment, and Mazda being Mazda, one of the smaller producers of cars in Japan does not have the financial strength to simply pour money down strange technology at the moment.

Anyway, Mazda's SkyActiv seems like a good bet for this company and one which we will be seeing more in cars like the Mazda CX-5 which was displayed together with the new Mazda BT-50 pickup (no SkyActiv tech here as yet but eventually Mazda will ensure that such technology will trickle down to its diesel cars – very important in European markets where diesel is popular).

So aside from the food, pretty usherttes, an equally gorgeous emcee, string quartet and a kendo display we had the President and CEO of Mazda Mr Takashi Yamanouchi attending the launch together with the Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Mr Shigeru Nakamura (who incidently arrived in a Lexus – can't blame the chap) as well as chaps from three different Mazda clubs in Malaysia – the Mazda Club, Mazda 3 club and the RX-8 club. The Mazda 3 club president must have spent the whole afternoon doing up his hair and must have used a ton of styling gel in the process. Well dress chap he was anyway, here seen receiving a momento from Mr Yamanouchi .

Anyway, Mazda via Bermaz intends to ensure that its customers get the best Mazda experience they can find outside of Japan. They are currently offering Mazda customers 3 years free maintenance (inclusive of spare parts) and 3 years warranty. Tyres and brake pads aren't covered though. This little gesture enhances their “peaceful ownership experience” promise and actually is pretty good. I somehow think 3 years is good enough as most Malaysians end up changing so many things to their cars after the first few years voiding their supposed 5 year warranty given by some manufacturers here.

So things are fine and dandy on the Malaysian front. Customers get a nice Mazda experience and Mazda hopes to increase their sales to at least 9,000 units per year. They had sold 6,000 units in 2011 and this was a good increase from the tiny 800 or so units sold three years prior, when Bermaz first took over Mazda in Malaysia.

At the press conference which I attended whilst other non-media guest were already busy having dinner, those of us were given the opportunity to ask some questions. We found out that Mazda will launch 8 new models over the next 5 years. All will be SkyActiv based cars which I presume would include the new Mazda MX-5 Miata. No sign of a rotary engined RX-7 or RX-8 replacement soon as when asked, the CEO of Mazda wasn't letting any information leak. He only mentioned that there will be a coupe launched as part of the 8 new models planned.

I personally asked whether Mazda will build budget cars like the Toyota Vios or Honda City. He answered that Mazda will not go the regional specific car route and will focus on quality and build on its current line-up. No sacrifice in quality for more sales. A good thing as I really dont' really like cars like the Vios, City and especially the made specifically for China but sold here Peugeot 207 sedan. We don't need more third world sort of junk.

Go further below to read the official press release and more photos.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sometimes, we do get to see them American muscle cars here in Bolehland

Of course this totally depends on sheer luck or the original importer of the vehicle who must have been slightly mad at the time wanting a huge 2 door left hand drive car in Right hand drive Malaysia. What we have here is a 1st Generation late sixties Chevrolet Camaro SS with the largest reverse scoop that has ever set foot on a bonnet of a car. Note that it is actually longer than the the classic BMW CS and even the Kia parked to its left. Spotted in front of a classic car workshop in Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

More Perodua Myvi 1.3 Tuning On The Way....

Those that follow this blog via Facebook would have seen the picture above two weeks ago. So technically one should click on the 'Like' button if one wants to see new stuff slightly ahead of time.

Stay tuned people. More 1st Generation Myvi tuning coming up. Anyway, part 1 is here. Part 2 is here for those who are lazy to search through the whole blog.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Why I Never Warmed Up To The Scirocco

It is actually an EG Honda Civic in drag. Those who played with Japanese cars in the 1990s in Kuala Lumpur would recognise the Civic with the Obermaier bodykit or whatever it was called in those days. They even had a wide arched E30 BMW 3series too. Local rock star Awie had one of those.

And because the Civic had wide arches and actually looked like the father to today's VW Scirocco. So I don't think I'll ever warm up to its still hatchback looks. I want a coupe that is a proper coupe.

Click on the link here. Posted on Myautoblog.org.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

W209 Mercedes Benz CLK280 - Usable Rear Seats


I have been following my ol' pal Adlis K on a hunt for another car to replace his tiny (but very nice to drive) Mazda MX-5 Roadster. For the past few weeks we have been scouring Motor Trader and other on-line sites for a coupe with rear seats. The reason for Adlis K wanting a change is the need for rear seats. But I honestly think that he is just itchy for a new ride as he has owned a total of six cars since 2005.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Toyota Prius C

The Lack of Articles........is caused by lots and lots of travelling throughout the last month or so. 

Things should get back to normal soon. But do not ask me when as I am unpredictable. Now isn't that a good excuse to use.

Anyway, I do have something to say about one car I recently sat inside, the Toyota Prius C. The 'C' does not stand for 'Compact'. It stands for something else. I have never sat in a car from the year 2012 that felt like it came from a Datsun 120y from the 1970s.

Yes it's a Toyota but a Toyota that's meant to save the world isn't meant to have the cheapest plastics ever to grace a modern car. There is nothing nice to touch in the car. Maybe the signal and light stalks are decent but the rest is pure crap. The steering wheel plastic. The dashboard and door panels are the same. In fact the fabric used for the seats are uninspired to look at. It does have the close fit of any Toyota but the materials used are from a Toyota of the 1970s.

I know that hybrids or eco-friendly cars must be shown to be utilizing recyclable materials and somehow must also be shown as a 'vegan'. How can a car be a vegetarian you may ask? It's simple. The Prius C is sold at RM100,000 or thereabouts. At RM100K most cars in Malaysia come with a nice leather wrapped (or faux leather) steering wheel that is nice to hold. This Prius C does not have one. It must be a vegetarian. It does not have any cow or any sort of animal anywhere in it and even its plastics look like brittle bits. A lack of 'bone density' caused by a lack of calcium. Anyway I am babbling over here. The plastics are just rubbish to the touch.

I also have to add that the car's uninspiring interior is match by its exterior. At least the full-fat Prius looks like something different. This one looks like a Perodua Alza that has been slightly shortened and added arches from the Perodua/Daihatsu Myvi/Sirion. In fact I have to add that the Myvi looks better. In fact the Myvi also has a better interior that the Prius C. This car should not be sold on the pretext that it can save the world. All that it seems to be doing is saving some production costs for Toyota.

It's rubbish. If anyone wants to save the world may I suggest the Honda CRV? It looks and feels so much better. When you sit in one you'd also want to try save the world.  It's decent for a hybrid. I should know. A few of my acquaintances have plonked their hard earned cash for it.

And oh yes, the 'C' in the Toyota Prius C stands for Cheap-as-hell-and-I-wouldn't-buy-it-even-if-the-Hounds-of-hell-are-biting-at-my-feet.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Proton Preve 1.6 CFE Premium Driven - And what I'd like Proton to make


Now that Proton has launched its latest 4 door sedan the question that begs to be asked is whether the Malaysian public can accept the fact that the darn thing (in its top-of-the-line 1.6 CFE spec) costs seventy two thousand of their Malaysian Ringgit. I think that this fact even outweighs all other factors including the fact that Proton has stuffed all the goodies into it and whether or not the car drives fantastically well or otherwise.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First (Non Driving) Impressions of the Proton Prevé 1.6 CFE

So, what do I think about the Proton Prevé ? Preve is another word that means 'proof'. But 'Preve' is not spelt with a 'é' and actually sounds 'preef' instead of 'pree-vay'. Is it a way to spice things up? Make a plastic crystal into a diamond? Make a loaf of bread into black forrest cake? It could actually be Proton trying a little too hard as the Prevé, let's just call it the Preve as it means the same thing and I don't have to type that 'é' over and over again, is actually a car that they have put their hopes and dreams into.

Monday, April 02, 2012

First Drive Of The 2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.8

Yes. I managed to cop a drive in one at the Hyundai Elantra pre-launch (scheduled for the 4th of April) roadshow over at the Citta Mall in Ara Damansara recently. I was there for brunch so this was a nice surprise. So brunch was postponed for this instead.

I have posted an initial write-up on it over at MyAutoBlog.org. Do click here to read what I think about the new 150ps Hyundai Elantra 1.8. Oh yes. I didn't bother to test drive the 1.6 simply because it was a 1.6. I am pretty picky yes?

Friday, March 16, 2012

At Proton's Power of 1 Event - On the P3-21A, R3, the Satria GTI & Lots of Satria Neo R3 stuff!

Before I get started I have to say this. The Proton P321A, (shown here leaving the picture because this article isn't about it) is not based on any Mitsubishi, Honda, Volkswagen, Kia or whatever brand you can think of. It is Proton's own design based on an evolution of the Proton Persona/Gen2. I have decided to state this because someone used Google and typed “what car is p3-21a based on?”. This must be one of those individuals who thinks wants it to be a Mitsubishi so that they can put the Mitsubishi badge or one of those Ralliart stickers on the car if and when he or she buys the P321A. I believe this is the only reason why someone would conduct such a search. Trust me. I think I am quite in tune with the Malaysian motoring psyche.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Proton P321A (Persona Replacement?) at Proton's Power of 1

Proton brought out the Proton P321A prototype to its Power of 1 event over at Bukit Jalil yesterday (and for the next few days). The car was in typical test car livery - i.e full of swirly stickers camouflaging the looks of the car. But one can basically tell that it is a 4 door saloon in the same mould of its supposed predecessor the Proton Persona. It looks slightly taller and slightly more contemporary.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lamborghini Aventador J pictures - Hot from Lamborghini's press people

The ultimate toy and new wall poster for 12 year old kids everywhere. This is my opinion of the new Lamborghini Aventador J concept car. It has no roof, no windscreen. If you want to hit 300km/h in this 1,575kg 700hp roofless supercar you will need a helmet or spectacles that will not lift off that those speeds. While road legal,  it cannot be drive to the office (if you don't own the office building), or the market or any place that anyone can basically steal it. It is so single minded in its pursuit of ultimate performance that it is  basically a toy and nothing more. Lots of Arabs and Russian gangsters are going to love it if and when Lamborghini makes it.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Volkswagen Polo BlueGT - Economy and Power equals to some fascination on my part


Hello chaps. I am just too lazy to type this out in my own words so let's just let VW say it for me.

"The new Polo BlueGT stands out in its ability to combine superior dynamic performance with extreme fuel-efficiency. The technical highlight of the progressive compact car is the cylinder deactivation system, which is being introduced for the first time in a Volkswagen – also known as active cylinder management or ACT. The system was realised with the new 1.4-litre TSI of the Polo BlueGT. The torque-strong TSI develops a power output of 103 kW / 140 PS, yet has a combined fuel consumption of just 4.7 l/100 km* (equivalent to 108 g/km* CO2). If the Polo BlueGT is ordered with the optional 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG), fuel consumption drops further to 4.5 l/100 km* – and, bear in mind, this is a petrol, not a diesel (105 g/km* CO2). Nonetheless, this car, with a top speed of 210 km/h, accelerates to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. This uncommon coexistence of efficiency and dynamic performance is enabled by the systematic interplay of ACT, downsizing (reduced engine displacement plus direct injection and charging) and BlueMotion Technology (Stop/Start system, battery regeneration). As such, the Polo BlueGT closes the gap between the Polo 1.2 TSI (77 kW / 105 PS) and the Polo GTI (132 kW / 180 PS). The new car will already on the market in July."


If you took the trouble in reading the above, it basically means that this 'Green' Polo BlueGT has more power than the basic Polo 1.2TSI and less power than the Polo GTI. It however is more economical than the 1.2TSI which only makes a combined 5.3l/100km against the BlueGT's 4.5l/100km.

Imagine if you decide to boost the turbocharged engine with one of those aftermarket tuning options (ABT, REVO, Superchips) when such an option is available the BlueGT may even get you the same horsepower as the Polo GTI. And it should still be pretty economical too.

The only problem with the Polo is that ...it is a Polo. That slightly too narrow a chassis would basically mean a  slightly twitchy car and very high speeds. But then again, as if most of you VW Polo 1.2TSI owners out there actually get out of town and hit the B-roads anyways.

Another question would be whether I really care about saving so much fuel in the first place until I would end up buying one over say, a Ford Focus TDCi or a 140bhp Mazda 3 hatchback or that sort. If the VW Polo 1.2TSI costs about RM113K and the Polo GTI costs RM145K, it would mean that the BlueGT may cost RM130K or thereabouts IF VW Malaysia decides to bring it over here. Such a small car for so much money - As is the Polo GTI, which in my opinion would struggle for sales as it VW sells the same engine in the larger, albeit much softer Golf TSI.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

1858kg Volkswagen Cross Coupé Concept consumes just 1.8 l/100 km - Imagine if it were lighter





I usually ignore VW Media emails as it comes in very, very, very, very, very frequently. But this is actually good news - a hybrid that weighs nearly two tons yet still makes 156.93mpg (Imperial Gallons) and can hit 220km/h. This is absolutely the case of eating cake and still losing weight. Hmm, better make that ...and not gaining much weight since it weighs 1,858kg which is pretty heavy.


This is what VW says;
"The Cross Coupé Concept is powered by an alliance of a turbodiesel direct-injection engine (TDI) and two electric motors. Its combined fuel consumption in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) is a sensationally low of 1.8 l/100 km. This is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 46 g/km. Noteworthy here is the fact that the Cross Coupé is a powerful SUV with a top speed of 220 km/h, 225 kW / 306 PS of power (system power) and a kerb weight of 1,858 kg. "


But I do wish that VW would use a proper coupe body instead of one of these Crossover SUVs which I dislike. It could even go on and make 180mpg and go even faster. Furthermore that body doesn't look so interesting doesn't it? It looks slab-sided and a little dull if not for the slightly polished front end. Typical VW. Not stunning enough I must say. How about the drivetrain in a Scirocco?

Has Peter Schreyer's team at Kia run out of ideas with the new Kia k9?

Run out of ideas Kia? In both car design and in naming the car? K9 sounds so much like 'Canine' doesn't it?. It looks a little disappointing because the car looks so much like a BMW.

Click here to read more about it. Posted on myautoblog.org.

Bertone and Pininfarina Geneva concept cars aren't that fanciful

The Pininfarina Cambiano - A idea for a 612  Scaglietti rejected by Ferrari?
The Bertone Nuccio - Not a very balanced looking car


Both Pininfarina and Bertone are two companies responsible for coming out with the design of classics like the Ferrari 365GTB Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura respectively as well as a plethora of supercars, family cars and unique, one of a kind cars for individual customers. These companies also brighten up car shows with the amazing concept cars. But this time I have to say that both have come up with duds this time around. 


Click here to read the rest of the article. Posted over at Myautoblog.org

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The New 2012 BMW M6 coupe & cabriolet

I am not very keen on another M powered BMW even though I know they are fast, handle brilliantly and would be more than sufficient to put a Porsche or a Ferrari to shame. This is simply because they have decided not to make one of these super cars into a real SUPERCAR like the late, great BMW M1. The M6 isn't enough if you get what I mean.

Anyway, you can read more about it here. Posted over at MyAutoblog.org.

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