Wednesday, January 31, 2007


drift, originally uploaded by jacobtk.

dukes of hazzard car mod out

dukes of hazzard car mod out, originally uploaded by elflameboy.

Rolex 24hours of Daytona

IMG_6434, originally uploaded by B Photographic.

Hummer H2

Hummer H2, originally uploaded by circletelevision.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The new F1 car of Alonso

The new F1 car of Alonso, originally uploaded by jarapet.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Route 66 Festival

Route 66 Festival, originally uploaded by zeitraster.

Car dof

Car dof (III), originally uploaded by Andrew.

wheel rim

Essen 2006 054, originally uploaded by tha_mars026.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

800 km of E90 325i

N52B25 Engine Bay

Engine performance graph

Last weekend, had some spare time on hand and decided, what the heck let�s take a short trip up north. I have always wanted to see how far I could stretch the 325i�s legs. Woke up at 6am, got ready and headed out. The air was still cool so off we went for a quick bite and headed for the highway.

Before I start with my experience allow me to qualify an important point. I am against speeding and reckless driving. Safe driving is of utmost importance. What I am writing here is something I hardly ever do and was just trying out to see how the car behaved and handled at high speeds.

Took the car up to our highway speed limits (110 km/h) and it felt way too slow. I guess cars coming from the autobahn country have always been designed and engineered for high speed cruising.

After driving for about 10 minutes I decided to push it a little and here is my first observation. The cruising speed of the 325i seems to be about 140 km/h. It was very quiet and the in-line 6 engine was just humming away. The average fuel consumption hovered around 10km/liter on average. Not bad I must say, I guess the 6 speed auto did help out.

However the gearing ratio still seemed a little on the high side as compared to say the Honda Accord 3.0. At 110 km/h, the Accord will be doing 2000 rpm while the 325i was spinning at 2300 � 2400 rpms. Hmmm and the Accord was only a 5 speeder.

After about half an hour or so, there were 2 E60 that came speeding along the fast lane and I just decided, ok I�ll just follow them, it was a 523i and a 520i. I wasn�t tail gating them but the 523 just kept piling on more and more speed until we were about 180kmh/h. At that point the 520 decided to back off, so it was just the 523i and me heading towards 200 km/h. Yeah I know our speedometers are not accurate but here is my second key observation of the 325i�s characteristic. These autobahn stormers (I know, I know, a bit dramatic here calling the E60/E90 stormers but just couldn�t resist) I am very sure can cruise at these speed all day long if we had the road to do it. At speeds above 170 they were in their elements. The stiff ride on the run flat tires of the 325 just felt right. The body control and the brakes were just spot on. Braking at high speeds was very reassuring. These anchors just hauled the car each time you stepped on them. Dips, ruts and what ever imperfection were just soaked up. The car just felt like an iron fist in a velvet glove. All control and comfortable at the same time. In fact the car didn�t feel fast at speeds up to 200 km/h. In comparison, I was in a GS300 going at 160 and it just felt fast.

The 325i had just enough torque and power to play around from 120 � 180 km/h. It�s no force induction engine but you can feel the pull. Anyway the high speed run didn�t last that long and I guess we topped up at 230km/h before we had to back off, too many cars ahead. I then settled back driving at 110 km/h just to cool off a little. (Not the car but I needed it as my adrenalin was off the scale)

After the much needed recovery I then decided to test the kick down feature of the accelerator pedal. The kick down is engaged once you step past a certain point and you will feel a distinct click on the pedal. That�s when the fun starts. The drive by wire just instructs the engine and the gears to rev right up to redline before shifting up and repeating that until you have no more gears to up shift. For a naturally aspirated 2.5 liter engine, this drive train is a gem! It is so smooth, so willing to spin and the best part, it emits a very sporty note all the way to redline, very subtle but you definitely can hear it. 120 � 180 took about 3 to 4 seconds. (Based upon a best guess here, didn�t really clock it) It�s no Porsche turbo but the feeling is just hanging onto the steering while she just rips forward. (I just can�t wait to do this on the E92 335i)

After all this I was only about half way through my journey and I was like woah! Now I know why the 3 series has always been the benchmark for a sports sedan. You just feel it�s in total control and the best part is the car just felt comfortable. How did I judge that? My passenger was a sleep most of the way.

More to share, until the next time watch this space when I write about the DS (sports mode) and the attention to detail these Germans put into their craft.

Written by Dan �

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yummm... Mini

Yummm..., originally uploaded by wajakemek.

Ferrari F40

Sweet Ferrari F430

Sweet Ferrari F430, originally uploaded by mrgarage.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mini Challenge

Mini Challenge, originally uploaded by cappuzzani.

cool car

cool car, originally uploaded by elflameboy.


my car, originally uploaded by khalilo.


slr2, originally uploaded by _TiTO_.

Lexus GS300: An Alternate Review

By Dr Long

Handsome, albeit a little late to arrive in Malaysia, the GS300 might be one of the best luxury mid-size execs available. This rear-drive Lexus model may have an overall silhouette � and size - like the newly-launched Camry (or is it the other way around?), but it certainly didn�t drive like one. Aesthetically, the rear is definitely more athletic and muscular even, to a certain extent. It also wears a sportier face with sharper looking headlamps. The comparison may be unfair; but there was a fair share of opiniated Toyota owners who drove to Lexus Centre in their �bootlegged� �Lexus�.

Well equipped for a sedan of such up-market stature, the GS300 is a cozy place to be in with all the bells and whistles of a higher priced automobile.

What�s missing, though, is the engaging drive. Not wanting to be misunderstood, it must be said that the 3.0 V6 engine is smooth and willing, while the 6-speed �box is plain superb. The GS is a little light on its feet though � not floaty but a tad less-weighty at the rear. Tracking stability at high speed sweeping corners is still good (especially in manual gears) but you can feel that there is just maybe a little more buoyancy of its suspension. Not wallowy but just that tinge of extra firmness missing. Therefore, if you do a miniature slalom in it, the rebound pliancy seemed a little busy (slow to regain composure) for taut body control. High speed comfort for passengers � especially at the rear � is therefore compromised. More often than not, our ears� vestibular apparatus was unnecessary ruffled, more so during spirited drives.

The test car was surprisingly eager in telling of higher speeds than the speedometer indicated. Your wife or mother-in-law would definitely protest more often on outstation trips! Perhaps the Japanese engineers have packaged a softer suspension set-up for our market and these Lexus Japan guys have over-reacted to our poor Malaysian road surfaces. This is where the GS300 pales in comparison with the likes of the E-Class and 5-series. Maybe the European market GS dampers set-up would make a difference.

On the highway though, ride comfort is top-notch but Lexus Malaysia has got to do something about those rumbling and droning Yokohamas. Braking power, pedal feel and modulation are spot-on in its class.

The steering could use a little more weight and feel but nothing that a wider section tyre can�t usually fix. In fact, 18" alloys would be nicely fitting for this 3.0L saloon. Rear seats could be comfier with a little more thigh support � at the fore. Also, the spare wheel cover in the boot has got to shed its paper-cardboard thin �quality�. It isn�t meant to be space or weight-saving, is it?

Teutonic sedan owners who are looking to switch over to Lexus� Japanese efficiency, reliability and durability will love the GS300 for its gadgets, detailing and quality. Likely industry-leading sales and after-sales service too. But for those who enjoy a more involving drive, they may have to wait a little longer�well, maybe not that much longer.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Peugeot 4002 concept car

Peugeot 4002 concept car, originally uploaded by bolti22.

NEU 086

Spartan aus Californien, originally uploaded by dolce gerhard.

Mercedes logo

Mercedes logo, originally uploaded by Quan Nguyen.

Detroit Autoshow 2007

Detroit Autoshow 2007 - 34, originally uploaded by Jorge (Stevie).

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Alfa Romeo 8C

85th Motorshow Brussels, originally uploaded by Ride Industries.

62 Impala

62 Impala, originally uploaded by brian_brandy_rascal.


PICT0189, originally uploaded by Minolta_dimage7.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Lexus Center Experience

Ok most of the time when it comes to review, we tend to focus only on the car itself, well this time I would like to rant a little about the showroom experience itself. So who am I going to talk about, it�s no other than the spanking new Lexus Center at Mutiara Damansara in Malaysia.

So what is there to talk about, well we Malaysians have always been given the standard treatment (read as: we only sell expensive cars to people who can afford it) when it comes to being greeted and then attended to at the showrooms. Let me put my hand to my heart and state a personal claim, I have not been received/treated this well, at a car showroom in Malaysia, period. When I compare to the other luxury marques, they don�t come close. (I am sure you know who I am referring to, right?)

The minute you walk in you notice the appearance, layout, finishing, the way the staff is dressed, even the toilets are on par (or even above) with some 5 star hotels here.

Part of the Lexus philosophy is giving the Lexus experience to its owners (and potential owners) and from what I have seen; they are living up to it. (compared to the Lexus experience I once had when I was visiting US sometime back) Apart from just buying a car, buying a Lexus is also buying into the service that they provide.

Please allow me to walk you through what we encountered. We made an appointment to test the GS300, so upon our arrival we asked for the product consultant. (that�s what they call their sales personnel and by right they should, I'll tell you why later on) The Customer Relations Manager and Product Consultant greeted us and asked us to have a seat at their cozy and comfortable lounge while waiting to prep the car. While waiting we were offered drinks of our choice and snacks which was good, then off we went for our test drive, which lasted about an hour.

The product consultant was very knowledgeable about the car. One thing which I think Lexus has done differently and to some extent correct from my perspective is that they have gone out to recruit people who were not from the car industry. WHAT!? You might be asking, have I gone nuts claiming that�s a good thing? For one they are hiring people who are car enthusiasts which say a lot more than just getting people who used to sell cars but may not have any passion about cars. The Lexus guy was good in explaining not just about their cars but also gave a pretty unbiased view of their competitors. He was ready to admit the cars strengths and weaknesses when comparing. Thumbs up! Frankly speaking hats off to Lexus for taking this approach.

When we got back, we sat, had more drinks and food (Perrier water, cappuccinos and carrot cakes) and talk more about cars. What more can I say, Malaysians and food is always the right way to go. They really knew how to make us feel very comfortable and at home, to the extent I felt the urge to want to deal more with these folks.

Yes, you may say that they are new and all that, but it�s this type of service and approach which will slowly but surely chip away the sales of the other luxury brands. To date they have sold 12 LS460L and 16 GS300 since their opening in early January 2007. Dare I add that these are not your �cheap� luxury alternatives. They are priced at RM 777,448 and RM 403,000 respectively sans insurance. Right smack into the 7 series/S class and 5 series/E class territory. All I can say is if these established brands don�t buck up their showroom, service and training their personnel better, they might just be in trouble.

Now if only Lexus GS300 drove, handled and rode as well as their competitors (they are not far off the mark though) the Germans had better be worried. Only time will tell, but don�t hold your breath.

Written by: Dan
19 Jan 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007


((H3)) and i, originally uploaded by u a e.

2008 challenger at san jose car show

Le Mans Bentley

Get up and drink to the days, originally uploaded by ManScared.

Opel GT

Opel GT, originally uploaded by Noshferatu.

Lexus GS300: An Uncle's Review.

Last week, I had the opportunity to test drive the Lexus GS300, courtesy of Tariq of Lexus Malaysia.

Before I continue to relate my experience of driving this mid-size luxury sedan, I must clarify a few principles I believe in when writing my personal comments on a car.
Firstly, I will answer the question: "Is this a good car to drive?"
Comments will include engine performance, comfort, handling and confidence in driving fast.
Then I will try to answer the most important question: "Is this a good car to own?"

Nobody can answer this question reliably unless he is the owner of the car for more than a year. Any cursory drive in a test car will unlikely give you complete answers.
Somewhat like when you were dating your girlfriend, you thought of her as the most special girl in the world...that is until you marry her...then all the weaknesses and temperaments starts to show.
It is the same for a car, a short test drive and you come home ready to sign the cheque for its down payment. After you have had the opportunity to drive for a year or more then the truth is revealed.

OK! Let�s start with the question "Is the GS300 a good drive?"

In isolation, the answer is yes. The V6 is creamy smooth. Build quality is excellent.
Handling and ride comfort were decent. Acceleration is �moving� enough.
However, there are some serious irritations that needs ironing out - to me at least .
Why in the world did Lexus Malaysia�s GS300 come with �skimpy� 225/50 R17 tyres?
Mind you, this is a powerful car with 300Nm of torque.
Because of these rather thin tyres, traction on corners was just not up to mark compared with the competition. Furthermore, I just did not have the confidence to drive fast as I was afraid I would have compromised stopping power� and that�s not that the brakes were poor.

Worst still, road noise or tyre rumble was quite annoying and intrusive. This seemed to be the same problem I had on my last Harrier 2.4. Yes, you could blame it on the tyres but when you spend $400k on a car, it would be crazy to have to change tyres immediately after you take it brand new from the showroom.

I am a keen user of tiptronic - manual shift or whatever you call it. In a Mercedes-Benz or BMW, when you are in 'tiptronic' mode and you hit 6,000rpm, the computer will automatically upshift for you. In the Lexus you have to swap it yourself....there is no buzzer or light telling you that you are going to hit 6000rpm soon. You know you have to upshift when you find the engine jerking due to engine power cut off. This is very dangerous as I found out unnervingly when I was trying to do a high speed lane change. I had suddenly lost power during this maneuver!

Lastly I had my close friend of 20 years, Max, sitting at the rear�monitoring ride comfort during my drive. He commented that he felt ruffled and a little nauseated �likely caused by a little too much lurching and choppy movement from the rear suspension. This he did not feel in the Brabus CLS B7 or even my Brabus K4 (even during highly-engaging drives).

So is this a good car to own?
Lexus is still too �young� in Malaysia�s market for me to make any valid comments. Factors like reliability, ease of service, costs of service, resale value, fuel consumption, and the snob factor are yet to be determined.

In summary, Lexus has to work harder in order to compete with the Germans.

Written by: Peter Lee aka Uncle.
18th Jan 2007

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Coming soon: Mazda CX-7

Hot on the heels of Mazda3 and facelift Mazda6 launches by Cycle & Carriage Bintang Bhd (CCB) would be the introduction of the CX-7. Last showcased at the KL International Motor Show in 2006, this new SUV is expected sometime in July/August 2007, to be fully imported from Japan.

Sporting Mazda�s Zoom Zoom design philosophy, the frontal visage reminisce the sporty RX-8 especially at the headlights and flanks. Hints of the Mazda5 can be seen at the grille section but all of course, presented in a higher stance. Bold shoulder lines lend solidity to its shape while a neat rump nicely sums up the whole package. The rear lights may split opinions though with Mazda�s signature �bleached� colourless covers. From the display left-hand drive unit at CCB Mazda showroom in PJ, the interior looks equally inviting, spacious and comfy. Dashboard and switches layout are clean and uncluttered.

However, the steering looked a little anaemic and el-cheapo for a sporty crossover of such upmarket stature. In contrast, its elder sibling, a stretched version called the CX-9, carries a steering that�s chunkier and more convincing. Boot is capacious as with most full-size SUV.

Lift up the hood you�d likely find the absence of gas-struts support disappointing. Likewise, the engine cover doesn�t look impressive too. But as the saying goes �Looks can be deceiving�. More so when what lurks beneath this flat and boring piece of glossy black plastic is Mazda6 MPS� turbocharged 4-pot lump capable of churning out 235bhp at 5,000rpm. More importantly - in order haul this 1.8tonne SUV convincingly - we have 350Nm of torque available at a low 2,500rpm!

Therefore, the claimed figures of 8.6secs to the century mark seemed believable.

350 Nm from a 2.3 litre, now thats something

The CX-7 is expected to be priced in the region of RM280k come Q3 2007. Pricey no doubt but considering that its performance would easily beat the likes of Toyota Harrier 2.4 and Nissan Murano 2.5, I�d say it�s a very credible option for those who are shopping for a luxury SUV. Apart from CX-7�s superior power output figures, the standard 6-speed automatic would ace the competition in the drivetrain department.

On another note, a reliable source at CCB have hinted to autocarsp that a CCB used car division would be up and running by Q2 2007. Somewhat like TopMark by UMWT, its establishment should make it easier for would-be new car buyers to do trade-ins and likely get more realistic resale values too.

Written by: Dr S.P. Long
18th Jan 2007.�

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


BMW M6, originally uploaded by neuroticjose.

McLaren MP4

McLaren MP4-22, originally uploaded by PressPix Photography.

Super Eight

Super Eight, originally uploaded by Carl Mandson.


Lexus (3), originally uploaded by Mercykill14.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Gday mate

Gday mate, originally uploaded by beeater.

First Drive Impression: Flagship Lexus LS460L

The spanking new Lexus showroom is indeed a 5-star hotel parading as a car showroom.

Customer service is impeccable with fine mannerism, courtesy and attentive service ruling the day.

Here is my brief impression with the LS460L because there was a long wait-list for the GS300 tester.

This luxury limousine is full of sheer presence, measuring at 5.15m in length, with an extended 3,090mm wheelbase. Powering it is a 32V DOHC V8 with Dual-VVTi displacing 4,608 cc. Power output is rated at 380bhp @ 6,400rpm and torque is a bolt-wrenching 493Nm at 4,100rpm! All this glory is neatly nestled under super-clean engine covers. I dare challenge anyone to find a single wire dangling upon popping up the hood.

Check out the engine bay!

Before we drove off, our sales consultant, Tareq demonstrated the 16-speakers Mark Levinson DVD-CD-Radio system. It was mind-blowing for an in-car entertainment system to reproduce such clean, uncluttered and balanced sound! Capable of dts and Dolby-Digital 5.1 in all its glory!

Most striking impression of this flagship Lexus must be its baffling silence. The LS460L is so refined you don�t even hear its engine idle. Outside noises are practically filtered out while rolling tyre noises are almost absent. The V8 is simply marvelous with a linearity of power that attests to the clich� saying: �No replacement for displacement.�

Prod the throttle and you get creamy smooth acceleration and pick-up capable of hauling this 2 tonne beast in 5.7 secs to the century sprint.

Tackling those rough speed strips on the highway was as if they were non-existent. In similar fashion, all lumps and bumps plus nasty road irregularities are effectively dampened. Steering felt light and lifeless at high speed but what the heck�I guess such a limo was meant more for the chauffeur! Ride comfort is carpet-like even though air suspension was not part of the deal here.

Pushing the car into high three digits speed was a breeze. Due credit to Lexus for the superb 8-speed auto �box which is very smooth, with truly imperceptible upshifts and downshifts - even in manual mode. However, care must be taken for a LWB car like this because it oversteers easily and the rear end felt floaty and twitchy at times. Tracking stability in those fast sweeping corners is a little lacking � a dark blot marring its otherwise pleasant chassis dynamics. Braking power is excellent and pedal feel is good.

So how does this super-limousine bred from �The Pursuit of Perfection� rate in the company of the new W221 S-Class and the current 7-series?

Towards this, I can only say: �The backseat is the best place to be in�.

Written by: Dr S.P. Long
15th January 2007.�
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