Wednesday, February 28, 2007


cls, originally uploaded by sashmedia.

Speed race

p1010058.jpg, originally uploaded by antiundersteer.

SLK55 AMG - A Merc to die for

I couldn�t believe my eyes. What luck, standing in front of me, a roadster and not just any roadster. It was a Mercedes SLK. You may still say, so what, seen loads of them around. (Well loads maybe exaggerating a little here) I took a closer look at the badge and I immediately ask the owner, can I have a spin in it.

You�re right, your eyes are not deceiving you and the badge has the engine in the bonnet to back it up.

Here is my quick take/experience of piloting a Mercedes SLK55 AMG!

I was holidaying down under and was visiting a friend when I chanced upon his spanking new SLK55. Ok where do I start, right let�s get to the specs first. What makes this so special is the gem of the V8. It has 5439 cubic capacity delivering 360 Hp and wait for this, 510 Nm of torque. Just imagine that amount of torque in a 2 seater roadster. 0-100km/h arrives at a shade below 5 seconds. I didn�t have a GTech with me but the manufacturer�s claim is believable. To top it all off, it came with the ultra smooth shifting 7-Gtronic automatic with AMG speedshift.

Now time for the drive. I got into the driver�s seat, did the necessary adjustments all this while my heart was pounding. The biggest engine I have ever driven is a 4 liter car in US, so I was really anxious and was very careful with the throttle. So I started off really slow. (My friend was frowning wondering if I knew how to drive) The throttle pedal felt very Merc like i.e. C, E class. Once I got a little use to the steering, I looked at my friend and grin. He read me grin spot on, he gave me the thumbs up and said floor it. (We took the car onto the M4 motorway) Words can�t express the feeling. Now I know what they meant by being shot out of a cannon. Being pinned to your seats and just feeling the G force. The throbbing and blurbs from the V8�and�the�four�large�pipes�at�the�rear was too intoxicating. You could just die for, each time you planted your foot on the go-pedal.

In comparison, I had recently driven a SLK320 (older model) which to me didn�t really handle that well for a �sports� car but this newer model is another beast all together. Steering feel of the old model felt vague and too light for my taste. The newer model has rectified this bane and played the genre of a sports roadster smack on. The car tracked perfectly and you knew where and what the front wheels were doing each time you twirled the steering. We easily hit 100 km/h without even trying and since speed limits are strictly adhered I was very weary all the while. The car felt like a rottweiler tugging at its leash raring to go.

The interior is really sporty. I just love the AMG aluminum trims. It really livens up the cabin and puts a touch of classiness. The size and feel of the AMG steering wheel was just right, in terms of size, grip and looks. Bravo! The car did feel a little tight, space wise. Maybe I am just not use to it as some may call it a snug fit.

To sum it all up, during my brief drive, I just love this car, from the way the hard top retracts into the boot to the way it screams down the road each time you command it. To some extend, I felt the engine was too powerful for such a small car. Last but not least, the best part of it all, the base price for this car is about AUS$ 160,000. (I kept asking my friend how much he paid for it, but he was just too modest and didn�t want to share). Yup you read correctly, base price of only 160K. When you convert that to MYR, it is around 448K. With that you can�t even buy a SLK 200! (base price of MYR 468K)

Now how can I apply to work down under?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Toniq R Sports Cars

Toniq R, originally uploaded by Purbs.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Saleen S7 Front

S7Front, originally uploaded by Dev-Inspire Studios.

NASCAR Fontana

NASCAR Fontana Feb '07, originally uploaded by good.fella1 (Kevin)

guess the car

guess the car, originally uploaded by essichgurgn.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Jaguar XKR

1070126.001.mini21L, originally uploaded by xkjagz.

Mad Car

Mad Car, originally uploaded by sharkeye89.

Tesla Motors Electric Supercar

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Spied: Mercedes-Benz W212 E-Class

By Dr Long

The successor to the current W211 E-Class isn't expected to make its official public appearance until the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. Codenamed unsurprisingly - in an ascending numerical tag - as W212, right hand drive units are predicted to roll off production line only by early 2010. Yet, DaimlerChrysler AG has been caught busy with its development work of late.

In trend with current developments seen in the new C-Class (W204) and the facelifted E-Class (W211), Mercedes is expected to standard-fit a more conventional braking system (Adaptive Brake), as the electro-hydraulic SBC set-up has proved expensive to make and maintain (costly recalls and upgrade). Electronic driver aids - ala the W221 S-Class � like advanced stability control, night vision assist and lane departure warnings will be standard in the higher end line up.

Styling is expected to take leads from the latest S-Class plus the just-premiered C-Class, with more sculpted bumpers, bulging wheel arches and more sharp-edge lines. Design cues like decked-on bonnet (as seen in the B, C and R-Class), chromed window frames and distinct rising flank lines are probably omnipresent too.

Engine range is expected to be topped by the same V8 found in the E63 AMG, being normally aspirated. However, it is still too early to predict whether the supercharged M271 all-aluminium engine will soldier on for the �entry-level� models come 2010. Predictions are abound that Mercedes-Benz will likely introduce direct injection - for its petrol engines � with turbocharging as well for the smaller capacity blocks. For the European market mainly, diesel CDI variants will carry over Merc�s greener BLUETEC technology.

Pictures from

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Tuning, originally uploaded by jarapet.


Drifting, originally uploaded by jarapet.

Volvo C30

L1040286.JPG, originally uploaded by sweatervest_lk.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lexus at Chicago AutoShow

Chicago2007AutoShow-65, originally uploaded by fiberangel.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Storm - Flamed Calais HDR

Storm - Flamed Calais HDR, originally uploaded by vzsorted.


MERC A320-W142 CAR WITH STAR, originally uploaded by SQUIZZY.

petter solberg

petter solberg, originally uploaded by ronnyengene.

Nice Race car - Lexus

Nice Race car, originally uploaded by elflameboy.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Saab 9-3 SportCombi 2.0 LPT Sport+

By Dr Long

SportCombi is Saab�s lingo for stationwagon or estate version. Launched in 2006 by Auto Eurokars in Malaysia, the 9-3 SportCombi is an athletic and sporty looking wagon.

Somehow, this bootless version appeared sleeker than its sedan brethren, looking much like an extended hatchback, rather than a utilitarian estate.
Notable features include an all aluminium hatch, passive rear-wheel steering and frosted rear lamps cover. Another creative innovation is the flat cargo bed which can be folded to form a partition. Great for packing stuffs in the rear and not have them flung about! At the centre of this same floor board, an aeroplane-shaped handle - made of brushed aluminium alloy - really catches the eye. Lift this and pull up the hard board completely, a space saving subwoofer is mounted just underneath. In IKEA fashion, this 10� speaker with its housing fits nicely into the spare wheel. Overall audio performance is however just adequate.

Suprisingly too, this estate drove nicer than the sedan, despite sharing the same floorpan (wheelbase et al), engine and transmission. It was very pleasant to go around corners albeit with that little FWD tendency to understeer. Interestingly, this 9-3 variant felt well put together with that stronger �cocoon� bodyshell. As such, it is reckoned that suspension damping - and thus ride comfort - is improved too, as a result of a stiffer body structure. There is just that appreciable bit more of ride pliancy than the 9-3 sedan. Or could it be that the dampers or suspension load ratings is different for this wagon (seeing that it is heavier than the saloon)?

The turbo spools pretty quickly to give a maximum output of 195bhp @ 5,620rpm. Hardly any lag and you could feel an addictive �charged� power band stretching from 2500rpm onwards. Nicely responsive and torquey in response to a heavier right foot. Torque peaks at 310Nm from a low 2000rpm, and stays constant all the way 5000rpm! Braking performance cannot be faulted, for this is a car capable of 230km/h and a century sprint figures of 8.8 seconds. Despite all these petrol-head�s indulgence, in-cabin serenity, comfort and general NVH refinements are not an issue. Saab�s 5-speed Sentronic auto tranny is fuss-free. Well, the gearbox maybe just a little slow in engaging (manual mode) upshifts during hard acceleration but still no jerks or drama here.

High speed stability though is a little lacking. Doing upper-range triple digits on a deserted expressway, the test car felt �floaty� and even a little jittery at the rear axle. Conversely though, tackling bends with Saab's ReAxs passive rear-wheel steering, this 2.0T Sport+ wagon is quite well behaved, provided throttle input is metered nice and smooth.

In conclusion, the 9-3 SportsCombi is a viable alternative to mainstream uber-wagons from the other famed Swedish automaker and even that few Teutonic Touring models. A pleasant all-round family wagon, this Saab truly deserves a second look for those looking for practicality, space, comfort and perhaps, a different kind of exclusivity.

TVR - Blackpool

TVR - Blackpool, originally uploaded by E300 DSLR.


Masserati, originally uploaded by wacko_kat.

Audi R8

L1040194.JPG, originally uploaded by sweatervest_lk.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Nissan Livina Geniss in Malaysia

By Dr Long

Tan Chong Motor Holdings Bhd. has briefed business/market analysts recently that it will introduce an MPV called Livina Geniss (apart from the Tiida hatch/sedan and the long overdue Cefiro-replacement) in 2007. Based on the first variant of its global platform, this mass-market people carrier has debuted at the Guangzhou International Motor Show in July 2006.

The Livina Geniss is a seven-passenger MPV with a frontal visage like Nissan Note/Tone while the rear end somewhat reminisce the VW Polo! Interior pictures are not available at this moment but it should be well designed judging by Nissan�s clinical, functional and ergonomic interior designs in the � now very much ageing - Sentra, Serena and Cefiro.

Developed at the Nissan's Atsugi Technical Centre in Japan, the Livina Geniss will be built on a Nissan-Renault Alliance common platform. Based on the concept of a luxurious, yet practical vehicle, the model seats up to seven people and will likely cater to a wide spectrum of motorists� needs. The exterior features a bold, modern design and is complemented by a highly flexible interior that provides multiple seating arrangements. It is powered by a 1.8-litre engine codenamed MR18DE. This up-to-date powerplant has C-VTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) for improved power and torque. Output figures are 127bhp @ 5,200rpm while maximum torque is 174Nm @ 4,800rpm. This all-aluminium engine is also 10% more fuel efficient than its older generation equivalent.

Manufacturing base for the Livina Geniss in ASEAN will be at Nissan�s Indonesian plant in Kota Bukit Indah, located away and south-east of Jakarta. CKD packs will be exported from here and assembly will begin at Tan Chong Motor's new RM191 million automotive plant at Serendah, Selangor, possibly as early as Q2 2007. Tan Chong Motor was reported to be planning to position this all new model higher than the Toyota Avanza, and likely head-on with the Innova. No pricing indications are available, as usual a well kept secret with Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) right up to the final moments just before launch, which is expected sometime Q3 2007. Could this be the answer to reviving Nissan�s declining sales and brand desirability in Malaysia?

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