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SGCM_editorial

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  1. SGCM_editorial

    Malaysia halts enforcement of VEP

    Malaysia has halted the enforcement of its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) at the two Johor checkpoints, the Ministry of Transport said on 1 October, following several teething problems last week. The ministry did not say if, or when, the VEP enforcement would be started. Malaysia's VEP enforcement was scheduled to begin on 1 October, with the scheme conducted only during non-peak hours. Read our full coverage here, or learn more about how to obtain your VEP here.
  2. SGCM_editorial

    BMW M135i xDrive: Sheer driving pleasure?

    With the new 1 Series now being built atop a front-wheel drive platform, does it still deliver that sheer driving pleasure internet purists are so keen on? Hot on the tail of the Mercedes-AMG A35, the M135i now has a transversely mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder lump up front, putting down 297bhp and 450Nm of torque through BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system. That's also 43bhp and 50Nm less than the last outgoing M140i, but it doesn't feel any less quick or responsive than before. In fact, in most areas, it feels quicker with more usable power. Despite being a front- based all-wheel drive system, the M135i dives into corners with a high level of precision. No amount of silly heavy-footedness can trick it either. The M135i just offers more grip instead, thanks to the car's torsen front axle lock system that pulls you into the corner. It also communicates well in any damping mode, without crashing and diving at the slightest hint of throttle or steering corrections. We found the Aisin-derived eight-speed automatic tends to be dramatic with heavier, more aggressive shifting in Sport - perhaps engineered for more drama. Unlike true blue M cars, you can't change how burly you want the shifts to be, and perhaps a little less of that would be good. Check out our full review here! Here is more eye-candy of the 1 Series in various specifications courtesy of BMW. Your car's actual specifications may vary. Share with us what you think in the comments below!
  3. SGCM_editorial

    MCF Hangout with Motul x Subaru

    Over 30 MCF members with their loved ones arrived at the Subaru showroom in Leng Kee last Saturday, in the latest edition of MCF Hangout in partnership with Motul and Subaru. The hangout with French lubricant brand Motul and Subaru isn’t a random occurrence. Motul and Motor Image, exclusive distributor of Subaru cars in Singapore, has held a partnership for many years. In 2008, Motul, along with Motor Image Rally Team (MIRT) developed the Asia Pacific Rally Championship (APRC) Team Racing Oil. 100% fully synthetic, the APRC Team Racing Oil is specially made for MIRT’s cars racing in hot Asian climates. Just earlier this year, Motul and Motor Image announced that it will supply an exclusive line of lubricant products to its customers. Developed in Japan, the new Subaru engine oils by Motul are specially tailored for the brand’s boxer engines. MCF members also got a chance to learn more about Subaru’s range of cars on offer, as well as Subaru’s EyeSight safety assistance systems at the event, too. Member of the Editorial team at sgCarMart, Idris Talib, shared his experience using Motul’s 5W-30 engine oil for his Subaru Forester XT after a service at Motor Image. Idris mentioned that he was previously running 5W-40 oil, based on recommendations from friends and workshop owners. “Many have told me to use 5W-40, as turbocharged engines run hotter and require thicker oil. But upon using Motul and Subaru’s 5W-30 offering, I was getting better performance, improved fuel consumption and never had issues with engine oil temperatures” At the event, Senior Manager - Regional Product Planning at Motor Image Enterprises Pte Ltd, David Ting, shared more on the benefits and abilities of EyeSight Technology. He also answered questions on the technology from MCF members. EyeSight’s Driver Assist Technology includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Throttle Management, as well as Lane Departure Warning. According to David, these systems can function to alert and mitigate collisions from speeds as slow as 1km/h, up to a top speed of 200km/h. After the sharing session, MCF members also had a chance to experience the safety assistance systems at work with a live demonstration, using a Subaru Forester equipped with EyeSight. Later in the day, MCF members were also treated to a lucky draw session, where three members walked away with limited edition Subaru WRX STI collectible models worth $50.
  4. Malaysia's transport ministry has issued a press release stating that it will defer enforcement of its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) 'during peak-hour traffic operation' until further notice. The decision was made after several issues related to the VEP implementation were made known to the ministry, including difficulties in getting an appointment for the VEP-RFID Tag installation. The ministry added that this affects all outbound traffic at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, or at the Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints respectively, until further notice. Read more about the VEP enforcement deferment here, or refer to our handy guide on how to obtain your VEP here!
  5. Cars and cycling seldom go well together. But in the case of Skoda, cycling and bicycles are rooted deep in its heritage. In fact, Skoda first produced bicycles before cars. It is still deeply passionate about it - Skoda even has a website all about cycling, called We Love Cycling. Plus, Skoda has supported other cycling races around the world, such as the Tour de France, and the Titan Challenge - a six-day mountain bike stage set in the desert. Deserts are certainly tough for vehicles, not just cyclists. But Skoda has in fact completed the Dakar Rally with a Kodiaq support car, too. Skoda pushes on with two wheels closer to home. This time, it is for the Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade, a cycling event with a charitable cause. Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade started out in 2005 from a group of passionate cyclists. The 12th edition this year will benefit The Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Nursing Home. This is Skoda’s second partnership with the Charity Bike ‘n’ Blade as Official Safety Car. The six support cars for the ride included the Karoq, the Kodiaq, the Superb, two Octavias and of course, the hot-blooded Octavia RS245. Setting off on Friday morning, we headed to Ipoh for a night's rest, as we will be heading up to Cameron Highlands in the wee hours of Saturday. Some 50 cyclists will be taking part in this leg up, Cameron, with a distance of about 61km. Now, 61km might not seem like a challenge (we're not cyclists), but with over 1,000m of upward elevation to the top, and Malaysia's tropical climate, it is a pretty daunting task. The six support cars will be tasked with different duties. The Kodiaq would be at the back of the cycling pack, working as the sweeper. The Octavia RS, on the other hand, was the lead car, which included running up and down the hill in search of cyclists who needed help, or water and bananas. The lead car would raise signals to the nearest available support Skodas and appropriate team to leap forward and assist. Therefore, the performance of the RS really came in handy. The Karoq, Octavia and the Superb would then carry out duties ranging from medical and technical assistance to distributing food and drinks along the route. Our chariot of choice was the Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI Ambition. From what we saw, Skodas were perfect for the tasks on hand. The Kodiaq, with its higher ride height, allowed the volunteers to have a better view of the road and cyclists ahead of them. Volunteers driving the Kodiaq also told us that the height also gave him the added advantage of being at eye level with the cyclists, whenever he needed to pull up to their side and convey a message to them. Plus, with more than an adequate performance from the turbocharged engines, all Skodas were able to make the climb up and down Cameron quickly to attend to the cyclists' needs. The Superb was perfect for us, too, as its performance and comfort-oriented suspension meant that we could quickly get to where the action was. The practicality of Skodas across the range played a big part. While roof and bicycle racks can be fitted to all cars, Skodas excel in interior space, too. So all the cars could fit big ice coolers for drinks, including spare bicycle wheels, cycling gear, tools and first aid supplies if there was a need for it. By 11:00 am, some riders had in fact reached the endpoint, and most of the cyclists made it to the lunch stop by noon. With the help of Skoda’s support vehicles and volunteers, all of the cyclists made it up. From our short experience covering a cycling event up close and in action, the Skodas proved to be versatile, reliable and always ready to go. It thus also makes sense that Skoda has been the official vehicle for one of the biggest cycling events in the world, the Tour de France, for the 16th year running.
  6. SGCM_editorial

    Mercedes-Benz A-Class Saloon: Shrunken Sedan

    With the launch of the new Mercedes-Benz's A-Class Saloon here in Singapore, fans of the classic sedan bodyshape now have one more option to consider when buying into the premium segment. With selling mass market front-wheel drive cars looking more like an attractive business case for the German manufacturers in these astute times, we were naturally curious to see if the new Baby Mercedes still possessed that polish associated with its badge, and so eagerly took one out for a review! If you are a fan of connected technology, there is much here that will impress. The cabin of the saloon is comfortable, premium and high-tech. You get the new generation infotainment system, complete with the twin 10.25-inch displays and the MBUX voice assistant. There's 64-colour ambient lighting, built-in navigation and smartphone integration as well, so all your day-to-day needs will be covered. While on the road, the car is comfortable and light on its feet. we did find however, that while power comes easily from the 1.4-litre engine, the drivetrain still lacks refinement and makes a fairly unsavoury sound when worked hard. Should that one flaw deter you from making a purchase? We don't think so. With the saloon priced just $2,000 more than the equivalent A-Class Hatchback, there's no denying that the car sports an increased practical appeal. Plus, its a saloon, which is classy, and fitting for a Mercedes. Share with us what you think in the comments below, or read our full review here! The A-Class Saloon also packs a 420-litre boot, 50 litres more than the hatchback. As usual, here are some photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz. Your actual specifications may vary.
  7. SGCM_editorial

    Skoda Superb: Affordable yet Capable

    Hi Carbon, Good spot! We have adjusted the article accordingly
  8. Construction works for five stations on the new Jurong Region Line (JRL) are expected to start next year and slated for completion in 2026. The five stations are Choa Chu Kang, Choa Chu Kang West, Tengah, Hong Kah and Corporation, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday. The authority has awarded two contracts worth $739.5 million to construct the five MRT stations. The stations will form part of JRL, Singapore's seventh MRT line, which is set to open in three stages from 2026. Comprising 24 stations, the line was announced last year to improve connectivity in the Jurong area, with the aim of boosting the area's transformation into a second Central Business District.
  9. SGCM_editorial

    Skoda Superb: Affordable yet Capable

    Skoda adds yet more incentive to opt for its excellent Superb with its 1.8 TSI variant, so naturally we take one up North into the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia to test it out. Despite being a more affordable alternative, the Superb Ambition didn't disappoint at all. From the inside at least, the 8.0-inch infotainment system was still intuitive to use, with two physical knobs to control the volume and scroll through menus, while the car remained very compliant and comfortable on the road throughout the 1,400km drive. For sure, features such as ventilated seats, ambient lighting, and a sunroof have been omitted in this variant, but at a good $29,000 discount off the 2.0-litre Laurin & Klement variant (as of 10 September 2019), we think these are features you can live without. The 1.8-litre turbocharged lump is good for 177bhp and 250Nm of torque, meaning there is no stark difference in performance against the 2.0-litre powerplant as well. And that, in our eyes, is good enough reason to consider shopping for the more affordable option. Read our full review here! The following pictures show the car in other specifications. Or perhaps you might be more keen on the facelifted 2020 model?
  10. SGCM_editorial

    BMW Alpina B5: Comfortable Cruiser

    Who says performance cars need to come with a sporty ride? Last week we tested the BMW Alpina B5 to see if Alpina's take on the performance saloon is a viable alternative to the BMW M5. So what sets this Alpina apart? Firstly, the interior has received a host of luxurious touches to set it apart from the regular 5 Series: The digital dashboard in the B5 has its own Alpina-specific design and colour scheme, for example, while the handcrafted Alpina steering wheel is made of Lavalina leather (the same leather used in Rolls-Royce cars), and features blue/green stitching. But what truly sets this car apart from the rest of the performance saloon pack is what is underneath you: With a suspension designed to deliver comfort and refinement in spades, the Alpina is not just comfortable, but sublimely comfortable. Adding to the comfortable cruise is the fact that the B5 is joyously easy-going to drive, with the lightest of pressure on the accelerator sending the car wafting rapidly down the road. With the abundance of humps and rumble strips on our local roads, would Alpina's take on the performance saloon, with its effortless and classy character, be a better suit for your everyday commute? Read our full review here!
  11. Transport giant ComfortDelGro has rolled out an on-demand bus service. The listed bus and rail operator said that its trial ComfortConnect service has been available to residents in Tanjong Rhu and Meyer Road since 15 August. The service operates from Mondays to Fridays between 10:00am and 4:00pm, and serves 16 stops, including most of the condominiums in the Tanjong Rhu / Meyer Road area, Parkway Parade, the Singapore Swimming Club and Dunman High School. No fares are being collected during the three-month trial.
  12. SGCM_editorial

    Volvo V60: Stylish Stationwagon

    Stationwagons are not exactly the de facto car of choice for Asian buyers, but the cutting-edge styling of this V60 had our team curious, so we tested one to see if it is still the perfect family hauler. Initial impressions are good, with the car delivering sleek, Swedish design inside and out. Standout features include the 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system flanked by rectangular air vents as well as the larger-than-life panoramic sunroof. Children and in-laws will have scant to complain of in the rear, with ample space all around for all rear occupants, thanks to Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform, the current generation not only sports a 100mm longer wheelbase than before, which translates into greater rear legroom, but boot capacity has also been increased to a now class-leading 529 litres. Fold the rear benches down and a generous 1,441 litres of hauling space will be available to you. Meanwhile, the family man will also be pleased to know that the T5 R-Design we tested is capable of finishing the century sprint in just 6.5 seconds, and comes with a driving mode selector, allowing you to toggle between four different driving modes to extract different driving characteristics from the car - Eco, Normal, Dynamic and Individual, perfect for those rare occasions where you get the car all to yourself. Read our full review of the V60 here!
  13. SGCM_editorial

    MCF Hangout with INFINITI

    Over 40 MyCarForum (MCF) members gathered at the INFINITI showroom on Leng Kee Road last Saturday, to get up close and personal with the new INFINITI All-New QX50. Particularly unique about the All-New QX50 is that it offers INFINITI’s VC-Turbo engine, the world’s first variable compression engine in a mass production car. To get MCF members to know more, Isaac Tan, Product Specialist of INFINITI, was on hand to chat a little bit more on how it all works, including sharing about its other advanced features such as its Active Torque Rod vibration cancelling engine mounts, and the All-New QX50’s safety assistance features. Idris Talib, from sgCarMart’s Editorial Team, also shared his experience driving the INFINITI QX50, and how it fares against other mid-sized SUVs in the market. Aside from checking out the QX50 and the rest of the range INFINITI has to offer, MCF members at the event also stood a chance to win attractive lucky draw prizes. MCF members also checked out the QX80, a large SUV with a lot of road presence. Isaac shared how the All-New QX50's Active Torque Rod works to cancel out vibrations from transmitting into the cabin, with a strategically placed active engine mount. Idris also shared his experience driving the All-New QX50, and how the car offers a spirited drive despite having a CVT transmission. That wasn't all the activities at the showroom. Participants also played a round of Bingo! One lucky MCF member walked away with the grand lucky draw prize, a weekend driveaway with the INFINITI All-New QX50, worth $1,000.
  14. "In autumn, it's easier to pay attention to the little things." - Emily Bronte Autumn is my favourite season. I mean, who doesn't appreciate watching the tree and plant leaves turning into multi-coloured works of art before lastly falling away? There are many reasons why I enjoy fall and why I believe this is the best season to travel to Ishikawa. For those who have been following us closely, we recently partnered with Follow Me Japan for another exciting MCF HangOut last July. And for those who missed the event, I am here to share with you what I have learned. Ishikawa is very accessible. Japan is a country where one visit is not enough to satisfy you. I have backpacked and travelled from Tokyo to Okayama and I must say, I will go back again and again. And Ishikawa is highly recommended if you do not like to stay put in one city only. If your travel plans already include Tokyo, Osaka or Nagoya, you should spare yourself some time and head over to Ishikawa! What is the best way to explore Ishikawa? Taking a Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo Station will only take you 2hrs 30mins, and driving from Nagoya will only take you 3 hrs 30 min. And definitely, I will highly recommend driving as it will be more cost-saving and there are tons of scenic roads that you will chance upon in Ishikawa. Follow Me Japan has a long-standing relationship with Toyota Rent-a-Car in Japan, and now you can easily rent a car in Japan at a great price using this link! The user interface is something you are familiar with, and the best part is it is in English! So no more guessing game for the time being. FMJ car hakusan white road by Jack Lee, on Flickr And Follow Me Japan is giving away a Free IDP with any car rental of 2 days or more. Check out this page to find out more! Where should I stay? That will depend on your budget. If you have a higher SES, then definitely you do not want to cheap out when you are travelling. However, Ishikawa is suitable for everyone and anyone! So here is my list of recommendations. From onsen to Zen, I am sure there is one right one for you! 1) MATSUNOMIDORI Better known as Kagaya Bettei Matsunomidori, this peninsula faces the Sea of Japan on both the east and west side. There are plenty of scenic spots where you can take in the traditional culture and superb views stretching back to the olden times. A hot spring with 1200 years long of history. A wounded white heron at this underwater hot spring is said to have recovered its injuries and regained its strength. The whole inn has the impression of a museum with an arrangement of local, traditional handicrafts that convey Japanese refinement. This inn promises a time of comfort and relaxation that gives mature couples an authentic Japan experience. The idea of this ryokan is an all-inclusive scheme. You can enjoy Junmai Daiginjo, Japanese premium sake during dinner time. It is a quaint onsen ryokan that brings the best of Nanao to your doorstep. So if you would like to have a "staycation" and still want the best of Ishikawa, this is it. And pro-tips for you, you can request to have your room to face Nanao Bay. So you can wake up with a majestic sea-view. 2) TADAYA Since its inception in 1855, Tadaya has been run by the same family for five generations. Unlike the other ryokan that occupies large, modern-style houses in the area, Tadaya features a classic one-story hiraya design that extends towards Nanao Bay and sits on a tiny mountain known for its beautiful sunsets. And when you stay in Tadaya, the best part will be the meals. You can have it served inside your dining room within your room and a selection of cuisine can be chosen from fresh seafood to Noto beef. All the delicacies that you can ask for in Ishikawa! And if you are adventurous, you can book Rikyu (a type of room category), and you can fish from your room! 3) The Share Hotels Kumu Opened in August 2017 after renovating an old office building of 44 years in the centre of Kanazawa city. KUMU is a community-based hotel aiming for a "cultural salon" where acclaimed creators active in Kanazawa gather and connect the traditional culture of Kanazawa to the future. You can enjoy the space that makes you feel Zen's aesthetic such as "imperfections and simplicity". As a place where tourists and local people gather, KUMU has shared spaces where events and workshops are held. 4) Hotel Nikko Kanazawa The reason why this might be a popular choice when visiting Kanazawa is it provides an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience. It offers a romantic setting with an array of amenities designed for travellers like you. And what’s more about this hotel is that there is a TOYOTA Rent a Car in Kanazawa Station East Exit inside the building. Now you can just pick up a car whenever you want and start driving! If you have already rented a car with Follow Me Japan and are looking out for accommodation, here's a promotion for you! Book your hotel through this link, and you will receive a $20 shopping voucher per night for every room booked! And it is valid for up to four nights! If you travel with a family of six, assuming 2 per room, and stay four nights in Ishikawa, you will receive a whopping $240 of rebates! Don’t forget to book the hotels using the same name as the car rental to be entitled to the promotion. What to do in Ishikawa in 2 days? So if you are already convinced to go to Ishikawa and are asking, what can I do there? I shall not bore you with my recommendation as each to his own. But. Every Singaporean is Kiasu. And when you rent a car in Ishikawa and pick up from certain outlets, the tourism board of Ishikawa will provide everyone with "present coupons"! All you need to do is to travel to the respective coupon venue and collect the gift inside — no need to pay. If you were to ask, everything inside is up for grabs! And I have spoken to a local, the stuff they give are worth JPY15,000 in total. Unleash the Ash Ketchum inside you. "Gonna catch them all!" Ten must-do things in and around Ishikawa 1) Drive along Hakusan Shirakawago White Road 2) Eat Noto Beef 3) Try at least one Ruby Roman 4) Try Malga Gelato, the gelato which is better than the Italian ones 5) Buy some Wajima lacquerware 6) Visit Kakusenki Gorge 7) Visit Omicho Market and savour a bowl of Kaisen don 8)Taste the gold leave ice cream 9) Take a photo of Tojinbo Cliffs 10) Walk down the memory lanes of Takayama And lastly, Ishikawa is a beautiful place where it has long scenic roads, beautiful views of mount Hakusan and the Sea of Japan. I wish I am there while I am sharing this with you. Maybe the next Autumn I will be there cruising along the Chirihama Nagisa Driveway.
  15. The most modern technology used in internal combustion engines currently is Variable compression ratio engine ( VCR ). As the name suggests, the motor may alter the compression ratio under operating circumstances. The technology had existed as a prototype for the previous few years. Currently, Infiniti (the luxury brand of Nissan) is prepared to display its VCR engine, the first ready-to-produce VCR engine, to be exhibited in the 2016 Paris Motor Show. 2016 Paris Motor Show by Maxime Joly, on Flickr Why need a VCR engine? Generally, a traditional petrol engine makes more power from a specified engine size using a turbocharger. In a Diesel engine, Turbocharging's approach looks excellent, as they operate heterogeneously injecting more fuel into denser air. On the other hand, petrol engines do not have the flexibility like diesel engines; a petrol engine's mixing power impacts engine efficiency. Detonation and knocking prevail when the turbocharger boosts over specific concentrations as the general compression ratio rises (piston compress + turbo-added pressure).The first solution to the issue may be to use a reduced engine compression ratio so that more dense air can deliver to the turbo. However, the downside is that lowering the percentage of compression can affect the economy of petrol. Hence the designer must trade-off some Compression ratio for power and rest for the economy. A variable compression ratio engine The main characteristic of the engine is to use a compression ratio of 14 at the lower throttle and low speeds while cruising. So you can achieve the highest fuel economy. The compression ratio of the cylinder falls to about 8:1 during acceleration or high-velocity acceleration, this is also the case when the turbo kicks in. Turbo, therefore, rams more air into the engine, making it more powerful. Infiniti patented such systems at the end of 2001. It is also possible to operate the VC-T (Variable Compression Turbo) motor on Atkinson cycles. Currently, the VC-Turbo engine is paired in INFINITI QX50, a luxury compact SUV that can rival the likes of Lexus NX, Volvo XC40 and Mercedes Benz GLC. "It's currently one of the most affordable premium mid-sized SUV in the market right now" - Julian Kho, Editor of sgCarMart. Join MCF HangOut with Infiniti and Stand a chance to win attractive prizes total worth $1,300! Join MCF HangOut and enjoy attractive savings and discount! Saturday 24th August, 10 am – 1 pm.
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