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Volkswagen fires first salvo of the year!

Happy new year to all readers of MyCarForum! Year 2009 saw a shift in the buying pattern of motorists in Singapore. Continentals and Koreans are gaining market share at the expense of the offerings from the land of the rising sun. The major reasons being the closing up of the price difference between the continental and japanese cars, and the major improvement in the build quality of the Korean vehicles while maintaining their price competitiveness.   VW is determined to continue the momentum that it has started in 2009. When I woke up on the first day of the new year, I saw a major advertisement by Volkswagen Centre Singapore (VCS) which promotes its TSI and DSG technologies. VCS also offered a special promotion period for their Jetta, valid till 20 Jan 2010.   I became a proud owner of a Jetta Sports about 2 weeks ago and would like to share my personal opinions on the car. The exterior styling of the car is nothing to shout about. It projects an executive image and basically that's about it. The rear LED lightings is a nice touch. Going on to the interior, the dials on the instrument cluster are large and easy to read. The touchscreen RCD 510 entertainment system adds additional class to the well-built interior of the Jetta. The sound system is fine to me as I am not really an ICE person. The Jetta is very well put together with no rattlings from any part of the cabin. This is a testimonial to the quality control at VW's South Africa plant.   Next, I come to the highly acclaimed 7 Speed DSG gearbox. Gear changes are lightning quick and imperceptible. My only complaint is that it upshifts too quickly and the car is already in 7th gear when I am travelling at around 65km/h. Being at the final gear at such low speed makes the car feel a bit lethargic some times. Perhaps in its application to the Jetta, the DSG system is more tuned towards efficiency.   The Jetta Sports is fitted with the 2009 'International Engine of the Year' award winner - the 1.4 Twincharger engine. The engine is smooth even if I rev it up to 4000-5000rpm range. It's refinement can be compared to the creamy K20Z lump in my previous Honda Civic 2.0. When the traffic light turns green, the car feels a slight relunctance in moving off but it picks up speed readily once the car upshifts to 2nd gear. Fuel consumption wise, I am should be getting around 12 to 13km/l on my current 2nd full tank. The car has only clocked 800km so far and I would expect the consumption figure to improve over the next few weeks.   Overall, I am quite pleased with the Jetta Sports and I wish VCS all the best in the coming year.

SYF77

SYF77

 

Undisguised interior shots of next generation Elantra

This is a further update to my earlier post on the all new Hyundai Elantra. Now, we have the first clear images of the completed interior of the brand's popular compact offering. Hyundai has ditched the conservative design of the current Elantra in favor of a rather radical and polarizing one, not unlike the cabin designs seen in the new Sonata and Tuscon. It takes the instrument cluster layout from the Tucson crossover and the steering-wheel design from the new Sonata, while centre console is a mixture of both.   Although it is not an all-new design, I find it quite refreshing especially when compared to the more conservative cockpit of the Toyota Corolla. I also like the design of the interior door handle, which looks classy and stylish. However, I find the gearbox console a bit of an eye sore. It's oversized in my opinion and looked rather squarish.   Here's another image of the interior, taken from the driver's door angle. The contour of the dashboard at the passenger side reminds me of the current Civic, which projects an airy sensation.   The sales date has not been confirmed for the 2011 Elantra. However, sources report that the launch date is tentatively scheduled for July of 2010.

SYF77

SYF77

 

Tyre sidewalls...

Like all drivers, I do nick my tyre sidewalls now and then when I take a turn too fast. Whether on a multi-storey carpark ramp or mounting a kerb elsewhere. Well the last time I nicked my rear tyre, it caused a cut in the tyre sidewall. I didn't think much of it cause it looked superficial and most importantly the tyre still works fine without any deflation.   From what I learnt recently, that's not the half of it. Having a cut on the sidewall can be a serious hazard. When I brought my car in for servicing at a workshop that specialises in (of all things) Lambos, Ferraris and Porsches, the mechanic told me to get my tyre changed asap. Reason being that the layer of rubber on the sidewall is thinnest there. The main purpose of it is to keep the tyre upright while it has air in it and also to keep it from coming out. Having a cut in the sidewall compromises the tyre's integrity and might cause a sudden deflation if you have a particularly hard bump.   That doesn't help me at all because now I feel as if I'm driving around on a timebomb till I get my new tyres. *shudder*

911fan

911fan

 

'Downsized' Fiat 500 on the way!

In the world of modern technology, downsizing is the word. I could recall that twenty years ago, the size of a handphone could make it double up as a self defense tool. Fast forward to the 21st century, a handphone could fit into your right pocket with ease and could perform functions beyond your imagination.   Back to the automobile industry, the word 'downsizing' does not refer to the physical size of the car, but points to the capacity of the engine. The founder of this trend is none other than Volkswagen, whose renowned 1.4L twincharged direct injection engine has won the 'International Engine of the Year' award for 2009.   Volkswagen is not alone these days. Fiat takes a further step and in my opinion, embraces the concept of miniaturization with its upcoming 900cc two-cylinder engine. The new powerplant is Euro5 compliant and makes use of Fiat's Multiair and turbocharing technologies. It will make its debut in the Fiat 500 come 2010, and other A and B segment vehicles in the firm's stable. Two variants of the engine will be launched, generating 80 bhp and 105 bhp respectively. They will be followed by a 65 bhp naturally aspirated unit and a version propelled by compressed natural gas, CNG.   The two potter is lighter and more compact in design as compared to a 4 cylinder engine with similar power. The C02 emission and fuel consumption figures would probably bring a smile to the faces of the folks at Greenpeace. More importantly, such an engine would give the Singapore driver a reason to smile when it comes to road tax payment.

SYF77

SYF77

 

Ferrari F70 revealed

New images have been revealed for the new Ferrari F70 which is set to leave rivals, the Bugatti Veyron and the Lamborghini Reventon, biting the dust. I don't feel like it looks more radical or special than the Reventon, neither does it have the presence or power of the Veyron, but this Stallion is going to be seriously quick.     Its more serious and more focused than the Enzo, smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. There are even rumours that a twin-turbo V8 is going to be at the heart of this Ferrari, which will be the first use of turbos since the Ferrari F40. The use of turbos may be due to Ferrari's efforts to become Greener, they have kick-started efforts to reduce CO2, having slashed output by 10 per cent in 2009. It promises further cuts from its current 387g/km average by 2012. But don't think for one moment that Green = slower. Ferrari are thinking of using hybrid chargers which utilize a small electric motor to spool up the turbos to prevent turbo lag. If their idea works, the F70 will have virtually no turbo lag at all, and that car will become legendary. The F70's output is likely to be 660bhp, but with a lightened load, that should bring this car's performance to another level. Expect a three-second 0-60mph time and top speed in excess of 370km/h.   Just like the Enzo, not everyone can buy one of these, you need to be specially invited by Ferrari to buy one. So hopefully, Mr Tommy Goh gets an invitation and we will be able to see the F70 on Singapore roads one day.. maybe in 2012.   We'll look out for it.

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

2011 BMW M5 in the making

Having introduced the next generation 5-Series sedan, BMW's M division is now concentrating on the development of the flagship version of the series, the M5. The hotly anticipated M5 will make its first public appearance at the 2010 Geneva Show in March next year.   The Bavarian automaker has decided to power the new M5 using the new 4.4L bi-turbo V8 that debuted in the X5M and X6M, ditching the current model's exotic V10 powerplant. In the X5M and X6M, the bi-turbocharged unit produces an output of 555 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 680Nm of peak torque, available between 1,500 and 5,650 rpm. In comparison, the current M5's naturally aspirated V10 makes 507HP and 520Nm of peak torque. Details on the new M5's engine specs remain scarce, though it has been suggested that the direct-injection V8 may be further honed, boosting output closer to the 600HP mark. The new V8 will not only be more powerful than the V10, but also more compact in size, lighter in weight and more fuel efficient with lower CO2 emissions.   Along with the new powerplant, the 2011 M5 will get a re-engineered version of the BWM M3's seven-speed twin-clutch transmission (DCT). The new M5 will benefit from suspension, brake and steering system upgrades to further improve handling and driver's feedback.   Recently, it has been announced in the news that Singapore will be getting a dedicated dealership specializing in BMW's M division automobiles. This new M5 will probably be the most hotly anticipated model in the Lion City's very own M division showroom. For all you M5 fans out there, probably it's time to start saving up!

SYF77

SYF77

 

The best Iphone apps for your car

The Iphone Invasion cannot be ignored any longer. Even if you don't own an Iphone, chances are you may own an Ipod Touch. And both these devices have revolutionized the way we see phones or MP3 players. They're not essential devices anymore, they have become an integral part of our lives, using them to surf the Internet or to get directions using GPS. But with the Iphone, the number of applications or Apps as we now call it, that we can download are close to 100,000! The best part is, most of these Apps are free! Though some may cost an affordable $0.99 or slightly more, I think its worth it if you really use them on a day to day basis. The biggest problem is they may become so addictive you'd pay more attention to your Iphone rather than the road, so beware.     TrafficAlert & Trafficam SG - FREE   Well I guess you can probably tell by the names, these are Apps which tell you how congested the roads are in Singapore. If you hate waiting for the traffic updates on the radio by Djs who don't really mention all the traffic hold ups on the road, these are the Apps for you. However, the coolest thing about one of these Apps, (TrafficAlert) is that users can alert each other about traffic police activity! These alerts come via Push notification so it can be a bit distracting at times especially if you're driving in an unaffected area and your Iphone starts to vibrate for no reason, but other than that I think these Apps are fantastic.   Click here to download TrafficAlert Click here to download TraffiCam     Carpark@SG - FREE   You'll be able to find the nearest car park together with the parking rates before entering the car park. Especially useful if you're rushing in town and parking spaces are few and far between. With Carpark@SG, you'll never get frustrated for going into a car park and finding out that its uber expensive per hour...   Click here to download Carpark@SG     Speedbox - $2.99   If you've been getting speeding tickets on a regular basis because your right shoe tends to floor the pedal, this is the App for you. It uses the iphone 3GS's built in GPS receiver to calculate your current speed and distance covered. It even gets the direction in which you are heading! The best part about this App is that it has a Head's Up Display option where it displays a mirror image so you can place it on your dash in front of you and the image is projected onto your windscreen for a super cool HUD..   Click here to download Speedbox     VehiCal - Car Expense Management - FREE   This is incredibly useful if you're the type who loves to talk about your car in terms of km/litre. Enter the key details needed and fuel prices, this baby will automatically calculate your car's average fuel consumption and running costs. It can even input more than one car. However, if you already have a trip computer in your car, I don't really see how this can really help. Nonetheless, its still great for those without one.   Click here to download VehiCal     F1 Timing App - $29.99   For the F1 fans, this has to be an essential App whether its on your iphone or ipod touch. I guess it is rather expensive but for the hardcore F1 fan, it is the only official F1 live timing and track positioning application available and features sensational detail and 3D views on your screens. I can't see much better use for this than when Michael Schumacher is here, you'd be able to see his car just annihilate the rest of the field on your iphone and I think that's incredible. Its the best way to follow the Grand Prix weekend since timing and track positioning is available for Practice sessions, Qualifying and the Race. If you don't want to spend your money on this App, you can try to download the free F1 Insider Lite which basically gives you the details about the race and leaderboards and other stuff, just without the 3D views and track positioning.   Click here to download the Official F1 timing App Click here to download F1 Insider Lite     Dynolicious - $12.99   The most expensive App here, but also the most mind boggling. The Nissan GTR may already have tons of gizmos in its dash, but since not everyone has one, this is your alternative. It can measure the car's lateral Gs, 0-100kmh acceleration time and other geeky stuff that people who add turbos and huge exhausts to their cars will love. This is the ultimate petrol-head's dream! It uses the Iphone's built in accelerometer to provide the readouts which can be stored or even shared on Facebook or Twitter. However, if you're looking for a Free alternative, there's Pocket Dyno which does about the same stuff, but less.   Click here to download Dynolicious Click here to download Pocket Dyno   There you have it. Just a few Apps which can enhance your driving pleasure. Anyone else with more suggestions please comment!

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

VW Polo - Now made in India

The Volkswagen Polo has made its presence known in India.   Eagerly awaited by the Indian market, the Polo will now be available in showrooms by March 2010. Volkswagen is not the only car-maker to venture into the Indian market, Nissan, Ford and General Motors have also taken the plunge and started manufacturing their cars in India.     The Chakan factory has an annual capacity of around 110,000 cars and Volkswagen claims it to be the most state of the art amongst the Volkswagen group worldwide. The plant was set up with an initial investment of 580 million Euros and is also one of the largest investments done by a German company in India. It is also the only car manufacturing factory that is operated by the Germans that includes the entire range of the production process from the press shop, body and paint shop to the assembly.     Large automakers like Volkswagen, General Motors, Ford and Nissan have now awoken to the fact that Indian consumers prefer small affordable cars rather than the huge luxury models that sell well elsewhere. I think that Volkswagen have taken a huge step to cater to the Indian market, but I'm starting to wonder whether the Polo's in Singapore will come from the same factory in India. If that does happen, it is possible that the price may go down due to the lower cost of production.     However, we all know that whenever a car company outsources their production process to other countries like Thailand for instance in the case of Honda and Toyota, the quality has never really been the same as when they were originally produced in Japan. The standard set by the Polo from South Africa is the benchmark and I do hope that the Polo will be equally good wherever its made.

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

2010 Opel Astra

Here's the all new Opel Astra. It projects a more elegant and classy image than the outgoing model and has grown alot is all dimensions, being 170 mm longer, 160 mm wider and 50 mm taller. With such dimensions, it engulfs the Mark VI Golf. Not only that, I feel that the Astra managed to look more sophisticated than the Golf.   A bigger car inevitably weighs more. Opel said the new Astra carries an average 40 kg more than the equivalent old car.   On the positive side, torsional rigidity of its chassis increased by a massive 43 percent, and NVH level is improved significantly with upgraded insulation. As expected, the new Astra is much more refined than its predecessor. Its wind and road noise level is among the lowest in the C-segment.   A new series of turbocharged power-plants makes its debut on the new Astra. The 1.4L turbo churns out 140hp while the larger 1.6L unit delivers an impressive 180 hp. The Astra comes with an optional 6 speed automatic gearbox that is found on the Chevrolet Cruze. However, it's no DSG.   The Astra does come with the ingredients of a successful hatchback. It shares the same underpinnings as the recently launched Chevrolet Cruze, which has received commendable feedback from local car magazines with regards to its body control and handling characteristics. I can't wait to see it when it arrives at our local shore.  

Blogger

Blogger

 

2012 VW Passat set to raise the bar

[extract] The all new Volkswagen Passat will bow in 2012, and here is what to expect from the next-generation sedan when it debuts early next decade.  The 2012 will retain its transversely mounted engine, although it will ride on an all-new platform. Dubbed MQB, the architecture will prevent VW from putting obscure engines

SYF77

SYF77

 

Be prepared to pay more for your rubber

Ok guys, be prepared to pay more for your rubber - I meant rubber that is worn on your car   Yokohama Rubber Co. recently announced that it would increase the export price of tire products effective January 2010. The price increase applies to all exported tire products for passenger cars, light trucks, trucks, buses, and vehicles for construction and industry. The domestic market is spared from the price hike. The maximum markup is around 15 percent, with even larger markup applied to specific regions and products. Reason given for the price hike is that Yokohama is unable to absorb the increase in prices of natural rubber and crude oil products anymore.   I did some research on the internet and found that Goodyear, the world's largest tire maker, has raised the prices of it's products in North America by 6 percent in November 2009 to offset higher raw material costs. Hence, it seems like all tire makers will soon follow the footstep of Yokohama.     The chart above shows the movement of the crude oil price over the past one year. Indeed, it is showing an upward trend and I would expect the trend to continue as the economy picks up further in the coming year.   It looks like drivers have to be prepared to fork out more for their tires in the coming year. For those who are intending to replace the footwear for their ride, do make your way to your nearest tire shop real quick.

SYF77

SYF77

 

China's Geekly set to add Volvo under its stable

Ford Motor Company announced that it has settled all the substantive commercial terms with China's Geely Holding Group Company Limited on the prospected sale of its Volvo unit.   Ford commented that some works such as final documentation, financing and government approvals need to be done before the deal is sealed. However, the company anticipates that a definitive sale agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2010, with closing of the sale likely to occur in the second quarter of the same year.   The Detroit automaker added that it would continue to cooperate with Volvo Cars in several areas after the sale, but it does not plan to retain any shares in the business.It is believed that Geely is offering the U.S. automaker around $2 billion dollars for the Swedish brand, which is less than a third of what Ford paid for the it a decade ago. With the prospected sale of Volvo, Ford will offload the last brand in the Premier Automotive Group that also included Jaguar, Land Rover and Aston Martin.   Personally, I feel that such a move will not do any good to the image of Volvo. Geely's brand image is that of a basic budget vehicle while Volvo has a strong continental image with an emphasis on safety. In an image conscious society like Singapore, I am not sure how many buyers would be willing to fork out a premium amount for a car whose parent company is associated with budget products.   Volvo has some interesting lineups in the coming year, such as the S60. It would be sad that the sales of these wonderful vehicles be jeopardized by the potential Geely takeover. I hope that the sale of Volvo to Geely would not take place eventually.

SYF77

SYF77

 

Ohayou Kizashi-san!

The 2010 Kizashi is Suzuki's first shot at the D-Segment market after enjoying many years of success in the small car market. In Japanese, "Kizashi" means "a sign of great things to come".   Styling-wise, I can't help to feel that the frontal view of the car looks like an upsized SX4 sedan with a hint of VW Jetta. It should look non-offensive to most people but doesn't seem to stand out among the sea of Teanas, Camrys and Accords.     The rear view of the Kizashi is more distinct than the front. I like the treatment of the twin exhaust pipes. They have a nice "D" shape and looked quite sport. The tip of the boot is tilted upwards. Its unique but gives me the impression of a chicken's bottom. What do you think ? Having said that, the boot of the Kizashi gives an overall sporty feel that is lacking in say an Accord or Camry. Not a bad job by Suzuki.     Next, we come to the interior. The layout of the cockpit looks logical and a new driver will feel at home almost immediately. On the other hand, it looks rather plain but most new offerings on the market (such as the Subaru Legacy) goes for a layout that is more functional rather than inspirational. Perhaps, this is the new trend.     Finally, we come to the most important aspect of an automobile - The engine and gearbox combination. The engine is basically a reworked version of the existing 2.4-liter four-cylinder 16V found in the Grand Vitara. It has aluminum head and block, twin-balancer shafts, forged pistons and an intake variable valve timing., generating 185 horsepower at 6500 rpm. Not too bad but it pales in comparison to say Volkswagen Passat's 2.0 TFSI engine, which generates 200hp at a low rpm. The engine is mated to a CVT transmission to enhance fuel efficiency.   Will the Kizashi be successful in Singapore? I believe it will be an uphill task. A 2.4L engine would mean high road tax. In addition, it does not have an outstanding attribute to make it standout against the more established Japanese sedans such as the Camry and Teana. Nonetheless, it's Suzuki's first attempt at manufacturing a large sized 4 door sedan and I would say it's quite a decent job, though not outstanding.

SYF77

SYF77

 

Tomyam Ford Fiesta soon!

The Ford Fiesta made its ASEAN debut at the recent Thailand International Motor Expo, and will go into production next year at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant. The USD 500 million facility is a joint venture between Mazda and Ford.   The Thai factory will supply Fiestas to the ASEAN region, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa , which are all the major right-hand drive markets. A sedan version of the Fiesta will be made available at a later date.   Over the past 10 years, more car manufacturers are moving their production to Asean cities to lower their production and probably distribution cost. However, consumers do not really benefit much from this. For example, a 2.0L Thailand made Toyota Camry is going at SGD 98,488 whereas a Japan sourced 2.0L Nissan Teana is priced at SGD 89,500 (source: www.sgcarmart.com, data updated as of 10 Dec 09).

Blogger

Blogger

 

Time to reconsider the speed limit?

Is it time for LTA to revise the speed limits on our expressways?   The only conceivable purpose (to me at least) for imposing laws regulating the maximum speed we can drive at is safety. It keeps us safe; it keeps the people/objects around us safe. But is our current speed limit on the expressway an over-enthusiastic curb (i.e. is LTA being too kiasu)? My answer is YES.   The reason? It is no longer reasonable to restrict our expressway speed at 90km/h or less (for passenger cars) in most circumstances. To begin with, most passenger vehicles in Singapore are safer and more capable of traveling safely at speeds above 90km/h per day. Most of our passenger cars are not manufactured exclusively for the Singapore market and would reasonably be in use in areas such as Europe where speed limits tend to be higher. Thus far, we have yet to hear of accidents in Europe occurring because their speed limit has been set too high, have we?   Furthermore, considering the ever efficient LTA and the immense amount of road planning and road maintenance, we have really wonderful expressways with very few stretches which are dangerous at speeds slightly above 90km/h. Of course, a few expressways have to be specially excluded such as the KPE (due to it being a long tunnel), but I am sure most stretches of expressway in Singapore are safe for travel at a slightly higher speed. When these factors are considered, it does seem that our current speed limit may be overly cautious.   Now, do not mistake me for the speed demon. I am all for some restriction; it just seems that the current speed limit can do with a slight upward tweak. It will surely go a long way to making those late night journeys home that little bit faster.   What do you think?...

Blogger

Blogger

 

Schumacher is back!

The legendary man is back! Michael Schumacher will join Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on the starting grid in next season's Formula One World Championship. The only difference this time is that he won't be piloting for Ferarri, but for Mercedes GP instead, what used to be Brawn GP.     And that is the big question. Why did he go to Mercedes after so many years with the Stallion from Maranello? He was one of their chief advisors and placed in such a position with high regard and now he's jumped ship to Mercedes, where his old mate Ross Brawn resides. Could it be his loyalties remain with Ross Brawn for engineering such an amazing car for him season after season that he was willing to make the switch?   The next thing that most people will want to see is if Schumi can actually still win. For starters, at least 70% of his compatriots expect him to win the Formula One World Championship next year. And who can argue with them? He has won 7 titles so far and is an all time great. But he will be facing stiff competition from the younger generation such as Lewis Hamilton who have often talked about wanting to challenge the champion, "Well, now they have a chance, so they'd better use it" says Michael.   The 40-year-old German will be paid

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

The most handsome Ford Focus yet

[extract]   Say hello to the new Ford Focus.   This stunning new model is set to make heads turn.. It has all the hot-hatch ingredients with massive driver appeal, a handsome look to it, and technology that is up to date. Set to go on sale in 2010, the third generation of the family car will showcase a dramatic new look that

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

Sexy S60!

Here's the official photo of the new 2010 Volvo S60. It's new found curvy contours is a far cry from the boxy shape of the early Volvos. Some might say that such a design philosophy from Volvo has made it lost its uniqueness but I quite like it personally. The all new S60 will most likely share its underpinnings with the next generation Ford Focus. This would guarantee above average handling capabilities to take on the king of luxury compact sedans - The BMW 3 series.   The new S60 will be powered by the new 1.6L Ecoboost engine from Ford. Most likely to be mated to the Powershift dual clutch transmission.  

SYF77

SYF77

 

A new VW Golf is on the way

Volkswagen may have just released the 'new' Golf, but look! This version is set to be the replacement for the current version by 2012, two years sooner than anticipated. And not surprisingly, the styling for the new Golf is evolutionary.   There are hints of the Polo's rear lights, just extended and the front looks sharper and a tinge more aggressive. But under that skin is where the new Golf is set to make milestones, a leap that reports have suggested, will equal that of Ford; from the Escort to the Focus in 1998.     No more bigger is better. The new Golf will be based on a smaller platform to reduce its kerb weight, and many components have been borrowed from the Polo. Lightweight body panels will be used and small capacity forced induction engines to further reduce fuel consumption. The Golf will combine a already fuel efficient 1.5-litre diesel unit with three compact electric motors, and the plug-in drivetrain can operate on battery power alone below 50km/h for around 48 km. Above that speed, it works in tandem with the oil-burner, and takes over entirely at motorway speeds. The result is a startling 48km/litre

CheeJun

CheeJun

 

Farewell my Civic

After 3.5 years of ownership, I bid farewell to my Civic 2.0 today with mixed emotions. It has served me well and I wish to share my ownership experience with fellow car enthusiasts here in Mycarforum.   Even today, the design of the Civic looks attractive to me despite it being launched some 4 years ago. The futuristic dashboard will still continue to be a talking point for the Civic many years down the road. Build quality of the Civic is beyond reproach. The car is well put together with no hint of rattling during the past 3.5 years. Knobs are still solidly in place.   The Civic is fun to drive, responding to the slightest input from the right foot. The K20Z engine is mated to the 5 speed automatic transmission perfectly to deliver creamy smooth performance. Perhaps, the only complaint about the drive is the slightly heavy steering wheel. Road noise insulation could do better as well.   Like most cars, the Civic does have its share of mechanical glitches. The electric motor in the power steering needs to be replaced after one year of ownership as it kept making a loud

SYF77

SYF77

 

Cost of car ownership In Singapore (for my case)

Blog post by sgbluechip: I drive a humble Japanese car which I bought brand new 3 years ago. I paid the full amount in cash and hence no expense on loan interest was incurred. I would like to see if it is worth keeping my car or change to taking taxis on a daily basis.   Cost of car: $46,000   Yearly costs:-   Road tax and radio: $769   Insurance: $700 (50% NCD+5% police white card for good driving record)   Petrol: $1200 ($100 per month. My workplace is near my home but extremely inaccessible, though parking is free)   ERP: $20 (I rarely go to town area)   Yearly servicing: $150 (I do it only once a year, since I drive an average of 10,000 km per year)   Other wear and tear: $200   Parking at home: $765 (No way to avoid this unless you are living in private property)   Parking outside home and office: $120   Car wash: $144 (twice a month@ $6 each time)   Depreciation: $4,000 (minimum)     If I were to drive my car for the full 10 years, it will cost me $40,000. As the scrap value at the end of 10th year is $6,000.   Hence the total cost of my car ownership is $8168 per year. If I were to take a taxi everyday to work, it will cost me about $20 daily. That alone will cost me $4,800 a year. Though there are days I am on MC and leave, let

Blogger

Blogger

 

How many Italian Stallions are we gonna lose before year's end?

No...not again. Honestly my heart can't take much more of this. It's barely been two months since a Blu Chairo Ferrari F430 was turned into a submarine in a basement carpark somewhere in Bukit Timah.   My heart sank when I saw a picture of the smashed and splintered remains of a Rosso Corsa Ferrari F430 on the front page of a local Chinese newspaper. Being effectively illiterate in Mandarin, I got the girlfriend to read it out for me. But looking at the pic, it couldn't have been good news anyway. I honestly can't tell what model it used to be. Not from the picture anyway. As far as I can tell, it has on those 360 Challenge Stradale rims but it could've been a 430 owner that opted for those. Since then, it's been confirmed (from the above pic) that it used to be an F430.   The report reads that this poor baby got a little too intimate with a guardrail along Nicoll Highway early on Saturday morning. By early I mean like 7am in the frigging morning. No points for guessing what the owner was probably doing when he crashed. Definitely not taking a leisurely early morning drive that's for sure.   Ahhh...how wonderful it is to be laid in the cradle of affluence. Instead of relating the usual weekend activities of shopping, movies or hanging out with friends, on Monday morning to your mates, you get to say, "Oh...nothing much...just crashed a Ferrari 430"   This is how it probably used to look when it left the Maranello stables...

911fan

911fan

 

No news on new OPC scheme despite it being just 1 month away

Alright...I think this is one of the dumbest things ever. In less than a month, LTA will be implementing the new OPC scheme on cars that've opted into the new scheme. But apparently there's no information or details on when the car will be under the new scheme. I actually called them up and even the LTA Customer Service Officer has no clue.   That's hilarious isn't it? The government body that's in charge of the new scheme has no idea too. Excellent! With less than a month before the new scheme kicks in, OPC owners are still in the dark about when they're supposed to pay the $100 admin charge(which is another government money-making scam if you ask me...) or where.   But one thing's for sure though, there's no chance I'll be using my car on X'mas eve. Guess I was gullible to have expected the government (of all people) to be generous about it. Like that's ever gonna happen! Ha!

911fan

911fan

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