Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'other blogs'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Cars
    • General Car Discussion
    • Tips and Resources
  • Aftermarket
    • Accessories
    • Performance and Tuning
    • Cosmetics
    • Maintenance & Repairs
    • Detailing
    • Tyres and Rims
    • In-Car-Entertainment
  • Car Brands
    • Japanese Talk
    • Conti Talk
    • Korean Talk
    • American Talk
    • Malaysian Talk
    • China Talk
  • General
    • Motorsports
    • Meetups
    • Complaints
  • Sponsors
    • Products & Services
  • Non-Car Related
    • Lite & EZ
    • Makan Corner
    • Travel & Road Trips
    • Football Channel
    • Hobbies
    • Healthcare & Wellness
    • Property Buzz
    • Investment & Financial Matters
  • MCF Forum Related
    • Official Announcements
    • Feedback & Suggestions
    • FAQ & Help
    • Testing

Blogs

  • MyAutoBlog

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Found 139 results

  1. We all know about the Nissan GT-R and its need for speed. Now the 'Godzilla' is all set to get wickedly faster with Nismo - the performance arm of Nissan - unveiling the GT-R Nismo. There have been no spy shots whatsoever, so the closest we could get are pictures of the GT-R Track Edition. The future Nismo version will be based on the 2014 GT-R and will feature a series of updates that will transform the 'Godzilla' into a real track machine, while keeping it perfectly suitable for the road. On the exterior, Nismo will work on improving the car's aerodynamics, so lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, plus a huge wing at the rear is to be expected. Inside the car, the GT-R Nismo will most likely get special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching, plus a redesigned steering wheel, pedals, gauges and gear knob. Under the hood, the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine delivers at least 20 horses more than the standard 550bhp. There have been rumours that the GT-R Nismo will hit 100km/h in two seconds. Wait a second. The current GT-R already does the century sprint in three. Wouldn't that mean that the GT-R Nismo will be able to outsprint a 1,200bhp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport over short distances? Well, as exciting as the GT-R Nismo is going to be, we're having a hard time accepting that it will be able to hit 100km/h in two seconds flat, at least on street tyres. What do you think?
  2. BMW presents its third generation range of bike collection. Like their premium production vehicles, the bicycle collection also meet top standards in quality and design. The 2014 collection possesses more than just visual enhancements - as it provides a range of new technical features with components by top manufacturers like Shimano and Suntour. The design of the new hydroformed frame gives the bicycle's functional geometric shape a stylish and dramatic look.The frame is robust and light, guaranteeing maximum power transfer with minimum effort. The frame is reminiscent of a motorbike, tracing the outline of the tank. Another enhancement is the bike's seamless design. The welding lines are smooth and all cables run inside the frame. The bold colour contrasts and subtle branding further complement the clear-cut design by DesignworksUSA - a wholly owned subsidiary of the BMW Group. The new bike collection includes the BMW Cruise Bike, a new sporty version of the M Bike, the Cruise e-bike (available here in 2015) and the BMW Trekking Bike. BMW has been building innovative high-quality bikes for the past 60 years. In the 1950s BMW produced its first bicycle made of aluminium, a material that would only become popular in the industry around three decades later. The 2014 bike collection 2014 and accessories will be available online and from selected BMW dealers from March.
  3. ST_Opinion

    Think big and bold to boost bus services

    The Government has been stepping up efforts to improve bus service standards. It started with the announcement in 2012 of a $1.1 billion Bus Service Enhancement Programme, under which the state finances the purchase and operation of 550 additional public buses. By the end of this year, all of the new buses will be on the road. That was followed recently by a carrot-and-stick scheme to incentivise operators to keep "excess waiting time" to a minimum. The plan, the first of its kind here, will start with a two-year trial involving 22 services. And next year, a sophisticated satellite-tracked system that will forecast to the minute when a particular bus will arrive at any given stop. These are good moves, to be sure. But are they enough? More to the point, do they make a difference where it matters most: to commuters' bus journeys? Consider for example that the carrot-and-stick scheme - called the Bus Service Reliability Framework - will involve only 8 per cent of services here. And it is only a trial. Secondly, a satellite-tracked bus arrival forecasting system may be a technological marvel, but nothing beats having buses stick to a dependable bus timetable - whether the timetable is printed on plain paper or is available as a sophisticated app. Mr Bruno Wildermuth, a respected industry consultant, says a published bus timetable is a must. That way, commuters can plan their day effectively. And regulators can gauge the service of operators. Mr Wildermuth points out that bus timetables are common in many developed countries, including Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland. "Not everyone has a computer or a smartphone," Mr Wildermuth says, referring to bus arrival information systems that smartphone users can tap on. "Secondly, how do I plan for a meeting in town? How do I plan my transfers if there isn't a timetable?" He says that in Zurich a commuter can plan his journey down to the minute because buses there are required to run to a strict timetable. In Tokyo, buses are so reliable that commuters can set their watches to a service. National University of Singapore transport economist Anthony Chin agrees that a fixed timetable is preferred. "What you need is certainty in arrival times according to a published schedule," he says. The Land Transport Authority, however, seems to think that timetables are needed only for services that are less frequent. An LTA spokesman says that when the new arrival system is ready next year, it will be able to provide updates on bus arrival information "so that commuters have more predictability on the arrival of their bus service". The LTA will then consider the merit of providing timetables "for low-frequency bus services". This is puzzling. Why not a timetable for all services? After all, the planners have access to a wealth of commuting information through the ez-link card. With some planning, it would be possible to come up with a bus timetable that will benefit the commuter and is feasible for the operator. So while a satellite-tracked arrival system sounds sophisticated, it is of limited use to commuters who cannot plan journeys in advance. In fact, LTA and bus planners should go beyond buying buses and tracking journey times. For a move that would have a more significant impact on the daily bus commute, they should revisit the plan to redraw Singapore's bus routes. Mr Raymond Lim made the LTA the central bus route planner when he was transport minister. The idea was for it to come up with a hub-and-spoke network that is optimal, efficient and not necessarily profit-motivated. But the changes have been slow in coming. And many bus routes that are extraordinarily long remain. Take Service 196 for instance. It plies between Bedok in the east and Clementi in the west. But most commuters on it actually travel between the city and the two towns. Why not split it into two shorter routes? Dr Park Byung Joon, head of the Master of Science programme in urban transport management at UniSIM's School of Business, observes that long bus routes are not desirable. "It has been empirically proven that the longer the bus route, the poorer the bus reliability," he notes. "The Seoul bus reform implemented in 2003 divided Seoul into eight zones and most of the bus routes ran only within a zone. "Since bus routes became relatively short, the reliability naturally improved." The Seoul bus reform has been hailed as a success story by transport experts, where decisive government intervention turned around a messy industry. Then there is the question of whether Singapore's fleet of 4,000-plus public buses is well utilised. Mr Wildermuth observes large numbers of buses at interchanges - even during peak hours. "Drivers should take tea breaks, not buses," he asserts. He believes, with better manpower planning, operators could do a lot more with their fleets. Dr Park agrees. "It is well established that simply adding more buses to the fleet is not an effective way of improving bus reliability," he says. "It must come with other measures." Truth be told, the bus commuter's lot has generally improved. This is especially so for those who use services such as 72, 106 and 922, which got more buses under the Bus Service Enhancement Programme. Many also benefit from new City Direct express services. But some services are below par. Service 147 has waiting times of as long as 30 minutes; Service 7's departure times from Clementi interchange are patchy; and the infamous 190 made headlines last October when a commuter complained that she could not get on it for 13 times. To fix the industry conclusively, perhaps bigger, bolder steps need to be taken. -- ST ILLUSTRATION : Manny Francisco by Christopher Tan
  4. We came across a video recently, showing how Emilia Palmer, an eight-year old from Kimbolton, Herefordshire in England's West Midlands, got her wish to get a ride in a pink Lamborghini fulfilled. Emilia suffers from a rare lung illness, requiring her to constantly be on oxygen. She made a request through Rays of Sunshine, which is like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and within days of receiving Emilia's wish, they found someone willing to donate a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. The owner also allowed the charity to get super car resprayed in an eye-searing, matte pink. The hot pink bull was piloted none other than Top Gear's very own Richard Hammond, who dropped by at Emilia's home for a surprise. Now, if you'll excuse us, we need to get all this 'dust' out of our eyes. Watch the video below. http://vimeo.com/76676900 Photo Credits: The Supercar Kids
  5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydtGew7bWuw Avid car collector and self-confessed automotive gear head, Jay Leno, recently had the opportunity to test drive a really unique and bespoke vehicle - which most could only dream of. Anyone who wasn't born a minute ago would be familiar with a vehicle that has made several appearances in various films - the Batmobile. The 'Keaton' Batmobile from the hit film, Batman and Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton was what got me into cars. To me it is still the most iconic vehicle of Hollywood, even ahead of the Austin Mini’s from The Italian Job, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader or the DeLorean from Back to The Future, among others. I was four and I still have a faint memory of watching it at the Capitol Theatre and till date, it is still my favourite. It was unlike anything I have seen before. It was futuristic, sleek and to be honest I find it sexier than Michelle Pfeiffer in latex. It barely had lights, had a fictional aircraft engine, an afterburner and that tail which pretty much look like angle wings but in a more gothic fashion a symbolism for silent guardian angel maybe? Thankfully I had an opportunity to see it in its entirety when I visited Warner Bros theme park in Brisbane. When Joel Schumacher took over, there were two different Batmobiles for Batman Returns and Batman & Robin. While the 'Kilmer' Batmobile was still bearable the fins looked ridiculous it had a stupid face and it had a skeleton like design. It looks like a piranha on wheels. The Batmobile from Batman & Robin's looks so bad, I don’t even want to talk about it. After an absence of eight years in the silver screen, Batman was rebooted in the hands of Christopher Nolan - and among things we got a new Batmobile, and even a backstory. I have to admit, my initial reaction to first teaser picture of The Tumbler was not very positive. It looked funny, had no front axle, didn't look as sleek as anything as the previous ones and wasn't really flashy or attractive. Then I thought why it would work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJB3hqUsHDE Batman is not about a fashion statement, he is a vigilante, a guy in an outfit fighting crime. He needs the muscle, firepower and speed to get things done quickly and it doesn't have to look pretty. And it does have to look a little provoking – to announce his arrival – and to pancake cop cars in the evening news. Function over fashion.
  6. Regan_ong

    A little bit more graciousness

    I returned to Singapore from an overseas trip recently, realising that our public transport system still lacked that little something - courtesy. Although the Public Transport Council and Singapore Kindness Movement have launched countless campaigns, the message still fails to get across to most of us. While our trains may be slightly more efficient in terms of trip frequencies and arrival timings (assuming no track faults or other issues), there is a culture in the trains over there that many of us can learn from. The 'reserved' seat/seats on the trains there are so sacred, the non-needy do not place their bums on them at all, not even when the train is packed full like sardines during peak hours. More impressively, these seats were left vacant for the needy even on trips that may take twice the journey time from Pasir Ris to Joo Koon. Even on public buses there, 'reserved' seats were barely taken by the non-prioritised. On the other hand, the 'reserved' seat/seats on our trains here are seldom left untouched. And even when the more needy appear, there are bound to be some qualms about giving up the seat. Is it really our culture? Do we lack discipline? Or do people just don't care? Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Singa the Lion resigned in May 2013, and it also leaves me wondering if it is really possible to take the meaning of 'reserved' to the next level.
  7. Regan_ong

    Infiniti explains name change of lineup

    Infiniti caused quite a bit of hullabaloo late last year when it announced it would be changing its vehicle names so that all of its cars start with Q and all of its crossovers and SUVs start with QX (not the ones on the number plates seen locally). Now, the luxury division of Nissan has posted a video that explains the historically relevant reason for the new Q badge. Well, Infiniti is returning to the Q name to pay homage to its very first model, the Q45, and it's starting with the all new Q50 sedan. Now, however, while most of Infiniti's 2014 models will get the new Q badge, the G37 Sedan will keep its nameplate through model year 2015 (despite the fact that Infiniti already changed the G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible models to the name Q60). Are you getting confused? Watch the video below to understand better.
  8. With a long standing tradition of building compact, open top sports cars that started with the S600 and ending with the S2000, Honda seems intent to get back into the game. After seeing the success Toyota/Subaru has had with the 86/BRZ, Honda is primed to one-up its rivals. According to a source within Honda, a new affordable sports car is being seriously considered, but don't expect something as high-end as the S2000 - think small, quick and light. The car would be small, probably even smaller than the Mazda MX-5, and come equipped with either a 1.3-litre or 1.5-litre in-line four with i-VTEC. Keep your expectations low on its power output, but thanks to its light weight which is rumored to sit around 900kg, the car should have adequate acceleration along with good handling and an overall agile driving experience. There's even talk that the "S1500" may come with a mid-engine layout, in the style of the Honda Beat. As for the car's design direction, Honda would either use the Japan-only N-ONE or make it look more like the current Civic. We reckon the N-ONE's styling would do justice because it pays homage to the iconic S600. Rumours of a new Honda roadster have appeared and disappeared with tide-like regularity since the moment the S2000 died, and none of them have come to pass. The NSX revival was followed by nearly a decade of will-they, won't-they rumours and telephone-game whispers before Honda actually buckled down and built something. It seems like the same thing could be happening here. Either way, let's wait for Honda to come up with this answer to the Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 in 2015 or 2016.
  9. Regan_ong

    Inconsideration knows no boundaries

    After a long day at work, you head towards your car (those that can afford one) and all you really need, is a relaxing drive back home. Unfortunately, more often than not, that isn't the case. Aside from the dreadful traffic we have on our little island, inconsiderate driving is a major reason for an unsettled drive home. There are certain rampant cases, for example, at a junction when the car in front can either go straight or make a right turn but there's no signal from the joker. Or when you intend to make a right turn out of a secondary lane, and the oncoming car from the right who wants to turn left doesn't signal his intention, leaving you stranded for safety reasons and missing the opportunity to turn. And then there are times when you want to change lanes, but the clown tries to be funny and closes up the gap, not allowing you to pass. That's not all, how about those jerks that tailgate as though they are going to miss their flight? And just when you think things are looking up, you turn into the carpark, only to find drivers who park like crap. The usual suspects are those who love to cross the allocated boundary (thankfully for one), those who have parallax errors of a good 20 to 30 degrees, the huge ass truck driver who should jolly well park in the heavy vehicle carpark as well as those who park horizontally in a vertical lot (rarely, but believe me, they exist). Perhaps this is one of the pet peeves I have besides our infamous COE system and what nots. Then again, who doesn't have one?
  10. Regan_ong

    Fuel prices across the border increase

    Malaysia has raised the retail price of diesel and RON95 petrol by RM0.20 a litre (S$0.08) each. But what has that got to do with Singaporeans since they are only entitled to pump RON97 petrol and above? The price hike, effective from 3rd September 2013, is in line with the government's initiative to cut costly subsidies. "Currently, the government bears an RM0.83 (S$0.32) subsidy for a litre of RON95 petrol and RM1.00 (S$0.38) for a litre of diesel. The RM0.20 subsidy reduction means the government still provides a RM0.63 (S$0.24) subsidy for a litre of RON95 and RM0.80 (S$0.31) for a litre of diesel," said Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the Finance Minister. "The subsidy cut will save the government an estimated RM1.1 billion (S$422,682,700) this year and another RM3.3 billion (S$1,268,048,100) in 2014," he added. RON95 petrol is now priced at RM2.10 (S$0.81) per litre and diesel at RM2.00 (S$0.77) after the hike, up from RM1.90 (S$0.73) and RM1.80 (S$0.69) respectively. Well, for Singaporeans who travel frequently up North to fill up, here's the not-so-good news. The price per litre of RON97 petrol has also been increased by RM0.15 starting 4th September 2013, bringing its price to RM2.85 (S$1.10), up from RM2.70 (S$1.04) previously. On the other hand, the good news is that the increase in Malaysian fuel prices is still incomparable to the skyrocketing prices at local pumps - diesel retailing at $1.71 per litre, RON92 at $2.20 per litre, RON95 at $2.24 per litre and RON98 at $2.38 per litre.
  11. Regan_ong

    Zouk's anti-drink driving campaign

    A night of partying may be all in good fun, until it's time to go home that it. All too often, late night revelers get behind the wheel after a one drink too many. Accidents caused by drunk driving is a major problem all around the world, and the city state of Singapore is no exception. But one nightclub is taking an unconventional approach to prevent drunk driving. The solution - a 'Pee Analyser'. Working with marketing agency DDB Group Singapore, popular nightspot Zouk came up with the charmingly named Pee Analyser, a urinal-based system that detects the amount of alcohol in a punter's pee before issuing a warning if they're over the legal limit. And here's how it works. When a driver arrives at the club, they hand over their keys in exchange for an RFID parking card. Once activated, the card is capable of identifying a driver and recording information regarding the driver's alcohol level. It does this by way of a urine testing device fitted in the urinal, a device that its maker says will instantly reset to accommodate consecutive readings, thereby avoiding any mix-ups with the pee of previous urinal visitors. The urinal-based testing device is paired with an RFID reader that detects, tags and reads information from the cards, so if a patron's pee contains too much alcohol, a message will flash up on a screen directly in front saying - "Maybe you've had one too many to drive. Call a cab or use our drive home service." Of course, there's a chance the person peeing may be too drunk to focus on the words in front of them, or simply too wasted to compute the information, so when they hand in their card at the end of the night in exchange for their keys, an RFID reader at the exit will convey the information from the tagged card to the valet, who'll once again suggest the car-owning clubber to make alternative arrangements for getting home. The pee analyser may be the most technologically advanced approach, but some experts have called urine testing an unreliable method for determining alcohol impairment. And although the system is only installed in male toilets, we reckon it still does some magic in curbing the numbers of drink drivers. Good work there, Zouk. Check out the below video from DDB Group Singapore to learn more about the system.
  12. ST_Opinion

    Driving towards a driverless commute

    It is the 15th of June 2030, and for Sam and Sue of Ann Arbor, Michigan, it is going to be a busy day. Their daughter Sophia has a 9:00am karate match. At noon, her older sister Sally's high school graduation will begin. And, by 3:00pm, the house must be ready for Sally's graduation party. At 8:40am, Sam uses a smartphone app to order a ride from Maghicle, Ann Arbor's mobility service, which uses self-driving robotic vehicles. Within minutes, Sam, Sue, and Sophia are headed for the karate club. En route, Sophia studies videos of her opponent's past matches, while Sue catches up on e-mail and Sam orders appetisers and flowers for the party. They arrive at the club on time, and the robot proceeds to pick up someone else nearby. Sally, who must arrive at school by 10:30am, has already ordered a Maghicle ride. When she boards at 10:15am, she receives a text message from her best friend Amanda, who wants to ride with her. Sally enters Amanda's address in the Maghicle app, and the robot chooses the best route. At 11:30am, as a victorious Sophia trades her karate uniform for something better suited for her sister's graduation, Sam receives a text message confirming that a small temperature-controlled pod has delivered the appetisers for Sally's party in the secure, refrigerated drop-box at the house. When Sophia is ready, the family orders another Maghicle ride, this time to Sally's school. They take their seats and, as Sam waves to Sally sitting with her classmates, he is struck by how quickly 17 years have passed. In 2013, Sam's day would have been far more difficult, stressful, and expensive. He would have wasted far too much time in his petrol guzzling Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), stuck in traffic jams or searching for parking. Now, because he does not need to own a car, he spends far less on transportation and has more time to do as he pleases. With services like Maghicle enabling people to get around safely, affordably, conveniently and sustainably, Sam does not have to worry about his family getting into car accidents, as his parents worried about him. By contrast, today's road transportation system is inconvenient, unsustainable and dangerous. Of the nearly one billion motor vehicles worldwide - enough to circle the planet 100 times if parked end to end - some 95 percent depend on oil for energy, making car travel subject to resource geopolitics and price volatility. Furthermore, combustion engines account for more than one-fifth of the world's carbon emissions, contributing significantly to climate change. And, with more than 1.2 million people dying on the road each year, car travel remains a proven killer. Sam's world of 2030 is not mere fantasy. But achieving it will require a thorough overhaul of the existing road transportation system - and that means overcoming the complex combination of public and private elements, vested interests, ingrained business models and massive inertia that has so far impeded its development. Indeed, with certain institutions and industries benefiting when all of the system's components - vehicles, roads, fuel stations, traffic laws, regulations, vehicle standards and licensed drivers - work together, no transformational development has occurred in road transportation since Karl Benz invented the car and Henry Ford popularised it. A narrow focus on, say, developing better batteries, improving fuel efficiency or making car production more sustainable is inadequate to catalyse the needed transformation. A genuinely transformational solution is needed - one that meets the needs of consumers, businesses, and governments. An integrated network of driverless, electric vehicles that are connected, coordinated and shared should form the core of that solution. Such vehicles would be programmed to avoid crashes, leading to fewer deaths and injuries and less property damage. In order to minimise the excessive resource consumption associated with driving, the vehicles would be tailored to trip characteristics, such as the number of passengers. For example, lightweight, two passenger vehicles can be up to 10 times more energy efficient than a typical car. In the United States, where 90 percent of cars carry one or two people, reliance on such vehicles would result in a dramatic decline in carbon emissions, which would fall even further as a result of less road congestion and smoother traffic flows. Moreover, the land and infrastructure needed for parking would be significantly reduced. Under such a system, personal mobility could cost up to 80 percent less than owning and operating a car, with time efficiencies augmenting those savings further. For Americans earning a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (S$9.25), time spent driving at a speed of 30 miles (48km) an hour costs $0.24 cents a mile (S$0.31 per 1.61km). At the U.S. median hourly wage of US$25 (S$31.89), each mile costs $0.83 (S$1.06). Given that Americans drive roughly three trillion miles annually, saving just one US cent a mile implies $30 billion (S$38 billion) in annual savings. The technology needed to advance such a scheme exists. The task now is to introduce prototype systems in representative communities, in order to prove what is possible, discover consumers' preferences, determine the most attractive business models and identify and avert unexpected consequences. Once the prototypes have proved effective and practical, they should scale quickly without public incentives. As with other innovations - such as mobile phones, e-books, digital photography and music, and flat-screen televisions - large-scale deployment will occur when the new technologies reach the market tipping point, when their value to consumers exceeds the costs to businesses of supplying them. Policy makers would be responsible only for guaranteeing the expanding system's safety. A cleaner, safer, more convenient road transportation system is possible - and closer to being realised than many believe. It needs only the chance to prove itself. Picture credit: Agence France-Presse
  13. Regan_ong

    What is the best car I've driven so far?

    "What is the best car you've driven so far?" I always get asked this question whenever I am engaged in a conversation with my relatives or friends. Well, as a rookie in the industry, I haven't had the chance to try as many as other seniors have. My age notwithstanding. But what I can say for sure is that I don't have an absolute answer to the question but if you're interested, here is my two cents' worth. Firstly, every single car out there has its pros and cons, and in my dictionary, there is only near perfect. Same goes for us humans. And then it boils down to the personal preference about a car. You may love a Toyota 86 to bits, however, your other half may not like it because of the frequent 'get out to let others in' courtesy. Last but not least, on this hot and sunny island of ours, every single thing is helluva expensive. No, hold a second. Buying a car here is helluva expensive - if it ain't for the price, I may have gotten a wee bit nearer to having answered the question. Cars aside, one vehicle that I actually enjoy driving is a Suzuki Every. It is such an honest vehicle; it is just what it is - a van. Yes, the driveability may be like crap and powering it is only a mere 659cc engine but, seriously, who cares about the performance when all you need is a vehicle that allows you to get from point A to point B in a fuss-free manner? Heading to IKEA? No problem too, this 'kei' car can haul your furniture as easy as 1, 2, 3. Best of all, its compact size allows you to access cramped places easily, which is really common on this tiny red dot we call home. So what's the best car I've driven thus far again?
  14. Regan_ong

    Toyota 86 could get a new engine

    Fans of the 86 listen up. Rumour has it that Toyota is preparing a power boost for its popular 86 sports coupe. The Japanese brand has teased numerous concepts of its two-door cult car with upgraded engines, including a supercharged TRD version (above) built in the U.S.A and a twin-charged version (below) created by its in-house skunkworks Gazoo Racing. But those were designed to showcase the ability for aftermarket tuners and were not really suitable for mainstream production. Now, the Chief Engineer of the 86, Tetsuya Tada, has finally admitted that his team is developing a number of ways to increase performance of the showroom version - one of which will definitely make it to production when the 86 receives its mid-life upgrade in 2015. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We have already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and the other is a special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada did not divulge any further details, but inside sources claimed that the most likely option is an increase in displacement, bumping the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed engine up to a 2.5-litre and increasing power from 200bhp to around 260bhp. It is understood that this option would be the most cost-effective solution, which not only maintains the integrity of the lightweight concept but prevents placing additional stress on the drivetrain that a turbo charger would, or the complexity and weight penalty of a hybrid system. However, both alternatives are not being tested in vain, as they are likely to be introduced on the next generation 86. Either way, it is almost certain that the hybrid system Toyota is currently working on will make its way into the next generation 86. However, it is unlikely to be a conventional and heavy battery pack but rather a road-going development of the super capacitor system employed in its Le Mans sportscar racers, which are not only smaller and lighter but can store and deliver energy quicker for rapid bursts of acceleration. Come on Toyota! We certainly hope to see a more powerful 86.
  15. Regan_ong

    Ram's 1500 Rumble Bee Concept

    Following a teaser released earlier, Ram has introduced the 1500 Rumble Bee Concept. The concept marks the 10th anniversary of the Rumble Bee, a popular model inspired by the Super Bee muscle car of the late 1960s. This muscle truck is based on a 2013 Ram 1500 Road/Track (R/T) and has a two-door, two-wheel drive setup with a matte 'Drone Yellow' paint. Both sides of the truck feature a new 'Speed Bee' design within a glossy black stripe which fades into the honeycomb. It sits on glossy 24-inch Vellano VRH alloys and has a two-inch lowered suspension courtesy of King Suspension. The dual-exhaust tailpipes, fuel door, badging, hood vents and front grille are in glossy black, adding on to the car's aggression. Traditional Rumble/Super Bee colours and graphics spread throughout the vehicle, including the Ram R/T-based interior that features black and 'Drone Yellow' leather sport mesh seats with two-tone yellow/light-grey stitching. 'Rumble Bee' lettering and Ram logos adorn chairs, floor mats and door bolsters. Now if you look closer - there is a real amber-encased bee mounted into the rotary gear knob, which will light up to expose a honeycomb pattern background. Is that weird or cool? There are also two buttons positioned below, which make the cat-back Mopar dual-exhaust system go from loud to louder. The unique honeycomb pattern is shared with the door trim and the dash, where a milled aluminum '10th Anniversary' commemorative badge serves as the truck's ID. Powering the 2013 Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept is a HEMI 5.7-litre engine mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission delivering 395bhp and a peak torque of 551Nm. Talk about a huge-ass rumbling bee ramming your way..
  16. Regan_ong

    What a good deal this Miata is, BUT..

    The Mazda MX-5 Miata was regarded as one of the best-driving, most influential sports cars of the past two decades. And believe it or not, one of these iconic sports cars from Mazda has been lying around in the garage, never driven for 23 years. Recently, on auction site eBay, an owner, from Kingman, Arizona, has listed his 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata for sale. In the description, the seller said the car, which was never registered, didn't come with a set of keys, so he had to have a set made. Though the paint is clean and shiny, the Miata didn't escape minor cosmetic damage over the years, with scratches on the hood, the trunk and the factory hardtop that is included with the car. The front, right fender has a small dent as well. The seller also added that the car was stored in a building with windows, so the paint is faded in some places. It's antenna and battery is missing, and the only non-original parts on the car are the windshield wipers. The clear-title car comes with all paperwork, according to the seller, but, besides the owners' manual, he didn't specify what other documentation would be included. But more impressively, the car has only clocked 44km on its odometer! According to the seller, he bought the car with 32km on it, and explained that 11km were added when the car was towed home. Frankly speaking, it's getting hard to find ones that haven't been beaten to hell. If this is accurate, it is about the cleanest and nicest Miata we have ever seen, and it looks like it just came off the showroom floor more than 20 years ago. Though its story is a bit strange, this barn find appears to be in excellent shape and looks like a really good deal not to be missed. As of this writing, the auction has one day to go, and the current bid is just USD$10,500 (S$13,335). Unfortunately, it's a left-hand drive and if someone were to ship it over to Singapore, it would most probably lay around in the garage too, till its next owner ships it back overseas. Note: Photos shown are not of actual vehicle.
  17. Point a kid or teenager to the Chevrolet Camaro and they will probably just scream "Bumblebee!" Thanks to GM's association with the billion dollar Transformers trilogy (S$3.38 Billion in box office receipts to be exact), the retro Beetle was replaced with the fifth generation Camaro concept, and modified versions of it appeared in the sequels - much to the hatred of hardcore Transformers fans. But hey at least the sfx was awesome. The Camaro was envisioned as a competitor to the legendary Ford Mustang. But compared to the American stallion, the bowtie did not fare well in sales or recognition as a muscle car in its first year. Production commenced in September 1966, and the Camaro survived four generations until the model went out of production in 2002. After eight years of hibernation, the Camaro name was revived with the fifth generation (or post Transformers generation) armed with a new design and platform. I have to admit after years of viewing the mustangs, corvettes and challengers - it was refreshing to see the sharp and striking looking Camaro. Not to mention the larger than life heroic portrayal in the live-action Transformers trilogy aided the nameplate, especially with the younger audience. I am no expert in muscle cars, but if there is anyone out there who knows his muscle cars more than anyone else - it could be is none other than the self-confessed auto nut, Jay Leno. Frequent visitors of the blog might be familiar with his web series
  18. Regan_ong

    Stream your video on a MINI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1xsfFT3K_Q An illuminating new project from MINI has been unleashed onto the streets of London: MINI Art Beat. Driven by your Style. Always the innovator, MINI showcases interactive and digital design with a truly one-of-a-kind MINI Countryman custom-fitted in a stunning 48,000 LEDs. The result is the most vibrant and customisable 'NOT NORMAL' ride you'll ever lay eyes on. But MINI Art Beat isn't just brightly coloured eye candy. It's your vehicle to bright fame. Stream your own live animation directly onto its glowing LED surface as the compact crossover takes nightly cruises through London. City passers-by and the entire World Wide Web will see your personalised style light up the mobile canvas. Stream your own short video direct to the MINI Art Beat car using the Facebook app, or by tweeting your Vine videos with #MINIartbeat. Then add a customised design and beat to get your face in lights. Not sure how to go about doing it? Follow the instructions in the video below. Now, if MINI picks your submission, you'll get a custom clip as a takeaway - a real piece of MINI, just for you. So grab your shades as the lights are on. If you want your style and beat on the streets of London, get on MINI Art Beat here. See the video below for a sample. As much as this funky idea looks uber cool, we reckon it wouldn't really work locally as the car would probably be stuck in the traffic jam.
  19. One of the greatest challenges with integrating car audio products into your car in the quest to replicate a true concert experience is the placement of speakers, interior trim materials, cabin acoustics and road noise. While installation and sound deadening will eliminate some of these issues, it is necessary to use dedicated processors and digital interfaces to correct the fundamental issues. For those who want the most out of their car audio system, a digital signal processor can help. After some slight adjustments, your system will sound like it has been professionally tuned and optimised. There have been rumours that if your speakers are good enough, you won't require a processor. Unfortunately, this isn't the case because it's the environment that creates the need for a processor, not the speakers. Digital signal processors (DSP) Most Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) factory fitted stereo systems are underwhelming in terms of quality sound. Well, they may have convenience features like iPod inputs, Bluetooth hands-free and steering wheel controls but they lack the ability to fine tune audio performance as well as add extra amplification. Most OEM stereos are also designed to compensate for low quality speakers, which is accomplished by artificially manipulating the frequency profile. When inferior original equipment speakers are replaced with high quality aftermarket units, this manipulation is often very easy to pick up on and if an amp is also installed, the problem will only get worse. That's where a DSP can come to the rescue. There are a number of uses for DSPs, but one of the most remarkable is to fix problems that have been noticed with OEM stereos. The DSP sits between the head unit and the amp, and it can literally undo the factory unit's problems. Some DSPs even have custom profiles that can be downloaded from the Internet, which will automatically fix the pre-processing issue and improve the overall listening experience by finetuning the head unit to suit the interior of the specific vehicle. Audison has released a number of digital components that make it not only easy to get great sound from factory sound systems, but also allow for a complete digital connection from processors to amplifiers. One of them is the Audison bit Ten - a DSP that will be equally at home in a modest system or a full-blown competition car audio system. Audison bit Ten The bit Ten is a multi-function DSP featuring analogue input, capable of transforming an OEM or aftermarket system into a high performance system. This processor comes with a 32 bit, 147 MHz clock speed Cirrus Logic DSP. It is a special DSP, ensuring high integration, where the main processing functions are implemented in optimised and pre-configured blocks, providing the ability to reduce the processing resources, thus ensuring top level performance. The architecture is completed with 24 bit analogue to digital (A/D) and digital to analogue (D/A) converters, as well as a powerful microcontroller to manage, supervise and connect the system to a computer. During the installation phase, where conversion of the analogue signal into a digital one is done, the bit Ten automatically reconstructs a digital full-bandwidth stereo signal and de-equalises the frequency response and, if necessary, reconstructs the central and subwoofer channels. Users can also configure the output mode of each channel relative to the installed system. bit Ten and its advantages Audison truly sets the level when it comes to getting great sound quality in your vehicle, and with the bit Ten, they have designed a product that allows anybody to upgrade their system, no matter what vehicle they have. All of the operations on the bit Ten, from setting the parameters of each input single channel, setting the delays according to the listening position to adjusting crossovers and equalisers for each of the five output channels can be managed with or without a computer. The other great advantage of the bit Ten is that you can retain your factory fitted head unit, which is often heavily integrated with other climate and vehicle controls. The bit Ten uses advanced processors to digitally correct factory speaker placement and frequency response, providing a great one-stop solution with minimal component replacement. The bit Ten boasts a modern and flexible platform, making it possible to stay current with technological evolution.The firmware, based upon Flash memory, can be updated at any time without having to disassemble the device from the system. And to make things even better, the bit Ten has a built in AUX input, allowing you to plug in an MP3 player, or any other audio device, so if your car doesn't have an input, the bit Ten will take care of it. The bit Ten also allows for a hands-free kit and offers an audio mute as standard as well. Having amazing sound really has just got easy, thanks to this little box of tricks. Why Audison? With 34 years of experience in the audio industry, Audison is a renowned name in the audio industry. Since 1979, the founders of Audison have fuelled a long lasting passion for high quality sound, continuing to design and build tools which can produce the perfect sound. In addition, they design and select the materials, experiment and listen to the results time and time again, allowing only their emotions to let them recognise when the product was complete. Since its inception, Audison presents its products to the market only after they have fully met the requirements of their creators to ensure that the highest quality is delivered. More impressively, Audison has many awards and accolades to its name such as the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA) Award, the Innovations Design and Engineering Award and many others. In Singapore, In-phone Marketing (Asia) Pte Ltd is the official distributor for the Audison bit Ten. They are located at 130 Joo Seng Road #05-05 Olivine Building Singapore 368357. For more information, please call 63822262.
  20. Regan_ong

    The legendary Toyota Supra

    The Toyota Supra is a sports car/grand tourer produced from 1978 to 2002. As an iconic sports car, the Supra has appeared in numerous video games and movies. Some of the most notable appearances include Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, and Need for Speed series of video games as well as The Fast and the Furious film series. Let's take a look back at the history of the Toyota legend. The first generation Supra was born in 1978 and was based largely upon the Toyota Celica liftback, but was longer by about 130mm. Toyota's original plan for the Supra at this time was to market it as a competitor to the very popular Datsun Z-car. In late 1981, Toyota completely redesigned the Supra for its 1982 production year. Still based around the Celica platform, there were several key differences seen in the Mark II, most notably the design of the front end and fully retractable pop-up headlights. Starting in mid-1986, the Supra became a separate model from the Celica. In turn, Toyota also stopped using the prefix Celica and began just calling the car Supra. The Mark III Supra launched in February 1986 with an all new coupe body fractionally shorter than the outgoing model. We see some similarities with the Nissan 180SX and 240SX here... did Nissan lift some design off Toyota? The fourth generation and last Supra was first unveiled at the 1993 Chicago Motor Show after a four-year developmental gestation. Unlike the previous three generations, the car's proportions and flowing design owed more to the 2000GT. Thanks to a long, low bonnet line and high-rise optional rear spoiler, it was nevertheless aerodynamically efficient and clearly aimed at delivering a much higher top speed. The Mark IV Supra was by far the most successful in motorsport and also the one that we fondly remembered. The model won its class in the Swiss Mountain Races and competed in two years of Le Mans. More impressively, it charged up Pikes Peak, was competitive in American SCCA racing, and became a dominant force in the All-Japan GT Championships (JGTC) from 1995 all the way through to 2003. Despite these successes, however, times were changing and worldwide vehicle purchasing trends were slowly moving away from sports cars like the Supra. The Supra was discontinued in the U.K. in late 1996 and by the end of 1998, the Supra's four-generation run in North America had also come to an end. Production continued in Japan until August 2002, ceasing owing to restrictive emission standards. There has been plenty of speculation as to the return of the Supra nameplate in recent years and the good news is that the legend may well make a comeback. No clues as to how it may look, but there have been words that it may look like the above rendered image or the FT-HS hybrid sports car concept (below). Toyota Motor Corp's Chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, has also said that he wants the sports car the company is co-developing with BMW to be a mid-sized vehicle comparable to the discontinued Supra. Uchiyamada also added on that Toyota's next sports car should be like the Supra so that it doesn't overlap with the 86 coupe (above). Should Uchiyamada, who's leading the negotiations with BMW, get his wish, Toyota would be reviving a model that was last produced in 1999 after a 20-year run. We do hope that the rumours comes true, as well as seeing the Supra land on our shores.
  21. Akram_saheed

    My thoughts on the BMW 3 Series GT

    BMW Asia together with the local distributors of the German marque - Performance Motors Limited (PML) - locally launched the all new 3 Series Gran Turismo (GT) last week. The car is a looker, it has typical BMW dimensions and trademark design characteristics that does not fall from the existing 3 Series family. BMW claims, the 3 Series GT combines the Sedan's dynamic, sporting genes with the practicality and versatility of the Touring body style. Personally, I think the car suffers from severe personality disorder(s). I have nothing against the car or the potential buyers or even the brand. With a guy who possesses mild traits of OCD, I am just confused with is the sole purpose of the 3 Series GT and not to mention I do understand the whole trend of 'hybrid' multitasking products. Let me put it this way, you belong to one of the affluent classes (or getting there), you have a successful job, a small family and a decent pay that allows you to buy the above mentioned car despite the stringent loan restrictions and rules. On a simple night out with friends or extended family members you display your new metallic and leather possession
  22. Nickelodeon and Toyota have collaborated together for the first SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired vehicle. The SpongeBob 2014 Toyota Highlander will feature a custom SpongeBob-themed exterior and an interior design that captures the character's high-octane energy and his eye-blinding yellow colour. While I used to be a fan of the show in my younger days, I would not go to the extent of wrapping my vehicle with his square jawed face. Especially the headrests. They look freaky and I have no idea what kind of a kid would enjoy a ride in a yellow car with a face on the headrest. The one-of-a-kind (thankfully) concept is based on the new highlander and was unveiled on July 13th, during Nickelodeon's SpongeBob Day at the Padres vs. Giants game in California. The car will embark on a tour for a "Happy Driving!" promotional tour throughout the U.S.A, bringing SpongeBob's special brand of fun to seven locations across the country. As part of the "Happy Driving!" campaign, the SpongeBob Toyota Highlander will visit seven locations, from July 19th to December 9th. These events will feature character meet-and-greets and photo opportunities and a prize wheel where kids and families can win exclusive prizes. Fans can go to the Nickelodeon, SpongeBob and Patrick Facebook pages to see photos of the SpongeBob Highlander's road trip and the intricate design details of the vehicle. The redesigned 2014 Highlander made its global debut on late March at the New York Auto Show this year. Toyota claims the 2014 Highlander has plenty of cargo room, enhanced safety features and a sophisticated interior
  23. [extract] Although the 20th Anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is over, Ferrari fans had many memories on which to reflect until next year's event. The Italian marque was represented by a diverse array of classic and modern road and race cars from the Prancing Horse
  24. [extract] Two examples of British engineering, the new Range Rover Sport and the legendary Supermarine Spitfire, have engaged in a unique duel to measure their off-road mastery. The Range Rover Sport, the fastest production Land Rover to date, representing the latest advances in all-terrain performance has been pitted against Britain
×