Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Random Shots: All the way from Japan!

 photo PhotoGrid_1380035511379.jpgThe successfully delivered loot! All the way from Oochanomizu Tokyo. With fantastic Japanese-style packing too! All from Club Japan. Looks like i'll be doing more online shopping from now on.

Monday, September 23, 2013

♥ Ciao Bella!!!

Move over Lotus Elise. I'm sorry, but here's my new dream machine. Bellissima!!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Random Shot: Gif'ed

 photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif  photo 140k.gif
Threw together this gif of my car last night. With a little anime flavor.
Whaddaya think?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Military i

 photo icar_m_500.jpgDoes this military-inspired Mitsubishi i photoshop work better than the yellow so-cal style?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Modern Heritage

 photo Toyota_Generation.jpg I know this post should be about the recently concluded Heritage Motoring event which showcases a nice selection of fine automotive history from our small little island state, but truth be told, the weather wasn't playing nice and the dampened grounds and darkened skies made it quite hard to get much shots in.  photo DSC08601_500.jpg So instead, i hung around with some friend at the carpark and again spotted my favourite cars in the visitor's lots instead of inside the show.

Perhaps it's because i grew up with cars of a different vintage, i much prefer cars from a slightly younger generation. Those from the 80s, 90s (and maybe 00s) are my personal heros.  photo DSC08571_500.jpg Cars like this Mercedes 190E Cossie which looked like it had it's 3-pointed star mangled by some cheeky fella.  photo DSC08569_500.jpg Even though most people simply walked past it, i still find it desirable.  photo DSC08581_500.jpg My favourite though would have to be this S1 Lotus Elise which i managed to park next to.  photo DSC08587_500.jpg The E36 is by no means a big car by today's standards, but the little Lotus looks positively tiny next to the Bimmer!  photo DSC08576_500.jpg One day i will have my very own Elise!  photo DSC08578_500.jpg Some earlier cars do get an exeption on the 80s/90s rule though, like each and every Alfa. It was good to see them still be used on the roads. Spot Takumi's ride behind?  photo DSC08608_500.jpg Hopefully next year, the weather will be alot better.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Random Shots: Nostalgic Bengs!

 photo Nostalgic_bengs_500.png Took a couple of photos after an early morning breakfast run with some friends and decided to do up a "Nostalgic Heroes" parody.  photo lau_Heroes_500.jpg 4 cars from 2 different counties.  photo Freulins_500.jpg Best combo of cars ever? I should think so!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BMW's i8 is an electrifying masterpiece.

In a nutshell, a 1.5-liter TwinPower Turbo engine + Electric motor pushing out a combined output of 362 HP / 570 Nm of Torques, with consumption of 2.5 liters for 100 km. (1litre = 40km)
And it's stunning.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

i Go With Moon!

Because i've always wondered what a Mitsubishi i would look like decked out in full Mooneyes regalia.  photo GOWITHMOON_500.jpg Not bad at all. Maybe one day we can make one in real life. A trip to Yokohama will be in order...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Liberty Walk goes to Italy!

Liberty Walk shipped their amazing Murcielago all the way to Italy for Lamborghini's 50th anniversary celebrations. Here's a short film on the trip. You really have to love Kato-san's character and his crazy enthusiasm for the marque. Viva Nagoya, Viva Lamborghini!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Drop Top Special: Driving the BMW Z4 sDrive35is

 photo P1160746_1280.jpg Before we start, a little history on the little used and sadly overlooked "iS" cars. Much more prevalent in the past generation of cars than today, the "iS" badges (and switched around once to "Si") used to signify cars that had that little bit extra of an edge. How deep that edge was, it wasn't clearly defined. What the "S" meant was also a mystery, some say it meant "Sport", but i prefer to think it meant "Special". After all, in BMW's history, there were less "iS" cars than "M" cars.

It all began with the E30 318is, a 4 cylinder 2 door coupe version of the beloved E30s. It was at the time, the most modern engine available in the E30 range. With it's excellent weight distribution and zingy M42 4 pot, it led to frequent comparisons with the famous E30 M3 and it's much lower price point earned it nicknames like "mini M3" or the "poor man's M3." Not bad company to be in.  photo DSC08061.jpg While the E30 318is might have been given the nickname the "poor man's M3", the rightful owner of the "mini M3" moniker should belong to the E30 320is. Sold only in Italy and Portugal in order to take advantage of the reduced taxes. It is powered by a 2-litre version of the M3's 4 cylinder S14 engine developed by BMW Motorsport. The 320is is one very unique car indeed, and they are now extremely rare and rising in value.  photo DSC08060.jpg Moving on, the 318is' M42 continued life into the E36 generation of 3's, spawning coupe and sedan version of the 318is. Though often criticized for being not as lively as the E30s due to additional weight of the later cars, the E36 "iS" cars found success on the racetracks as many were raced. In Japan, the strong 4 cylinder-ed cars were often looked at as the "German AE86" and many were brought to the track. Plenty of E36 318is' are still serving track duty in Japan.

The 6-cylindered cars were also recipients of the "iS" badge, with slight bumps in performance and equipment levels, but until recently had surprisingly never had the same cult appeal as their smaller engined siblings probably due to their initial higher price points which put them out of reach to most "hooners".  photo P1160771.jpg The "iS" badge then skipped a generation and only resurfaced recently albeit with a flip from "iS" to "Si" with the E90 320Si, a limited (2600 units) edition of 3 Series saloon built to qualify the homologation requirement for the FIA World Touring Car Championship. The 320Si came only in sedan form and only manual drivers need apply. Some have called the 320Si a "hidden pearl" and one of the great modern driver's cars from BMW. Some say, 1 or 2 units made their way over to our local shores.

And now, the "iS" badge has finally returned but it's no longer on a 3 Series. This time, it's on the Z4 flagship. The sDriver35iS. So does the Z4 have what it takes to be a future classic "iS"? Here's our impressions.  photo P1160745.jpg It's hard to believe, but the current Z4 has been around for almost half a decade. A true testament of the car's good design that only minimal revisions were made when it was time to give the Z4 range a "freshening up". Small nip and tucks to the front bumpers, revised headlights (incorporating LED technology), and redesigned side vents sum up most of the aesthetic changes.  photo P1160752.jpg  photo P1160756.jpg I'm guessing BMW felt the same, so they decided to splash on the very attractive shade of Valencia Orange and fitted a gorgeous set of 19s on our test car. Other new paint finishes include, Mineral Grey metallic and Glacier Silver metallic.  photo DSC07755.jpg  photo P1160784.jpg  photo P1160763.jpg Inside, the "Design Pure Traction Package" option gives the interior quite a different atmosphere. Swathes of alcantara line various parts of the trim and all the stiches are finished in a matching shade of orange. The center console receives a textured aluminium finish gives the roadster an interesting retro touch. Divided on opinion is the stripe of orange running down each of the seats. I thought it looked a little "baseball cap"ish but others seemed to really like it. One thing that hasn't changed though is the sitting position, low and set deep into the cabin, the long bonnet might initially catch new drivers off guard and takes a while to get accustomed to.  photo P1160778.jpg What that long bonnet conceals underneath though needs no introduction. BMW's famed 3-litre boosted straight-6 engine. Pushing out 340 horses and 450Nm of torque (add another 50Nm with the overboost feature), it rockets the roadster up to 100km/h in a Boxster S beating 4.8 seconds. The numbers might be impressive but what they don't tell you is how lovely the engine sounds, with a melodic howl crescendo towards the redline. Easing off the throttle was even more addictive as the unburnt fuel gets shot out the exhaust and explodes with little thunderous pops and crackles. The noise on the overrun was enough to put a big smile on my face.

Heading out onto the roads, on the default "normal" setup, it soaks up the odd bumps well and remains composed throughout most of the time i had with it while giving a almost cushy ride. But, i'd wish BMW had tinkered a little more with the damping characteristics and gave it a sportier nature.

Being an "iS", this is supposed to be the slightly "sportier" version of the Z4. I don't want it to be cushy, i want it to be slightly harder than the "normal" Z4s. Sure there is the sport setting but as good as it is, i wished sport mode had been the default "normal" setting and BMW created another level up for "sport" to make it that little bit edgier.  photo DSC07745.jpg Personal preferences aside, the car drives and rides well even after selecting "sport" mode. The suspension does some magic, the steering stiffens up and most importantly, the throttle sharpens up and allows for much better modulation when pottering around town. Outside of town when the roads open up, the car cruises up to license busting speeds with ease and long meandering turns can be taken with ease. That might be a slight numbness between the front wheels and your fingertips but it always goes where you point it, although the steering could do with more feedback for confidence on more challenging roads. Pushing hard into corners result in the front scrubbing away into understeer and a quick stab of the throttle results a microscopic bit of a rear squirrel before the electronics cut in and prevent you from running off the road.

Throwing the car wildly into corners does seem to be at odds with the overall "feel" of the car though and bringing it back onto less twisty bits of road does allow you to enjoy the car alot more. Roof down and music up, with the sun setting in the horizon reflecting off the brilliant orange paintwork. That's what this car was made for and it just feels much better when taking the pace down a notch.  photo P1160717.jpg So, what do we think about the sDrive35is? Well, to conclude, we would have to look at 2 other cars. The Porsche Boxster S and the newly launched Jaguar F-Type. Jaguar might have you believe the F-Type is a 911 Fighter, which might be true of the biggest engined cats but the base model, the Supercharged 3.0, sits well within targeting range of the BMW roadster. They both have the same torque figures but, the BMW has a few more horses and hits 100km/h just that little bit quicker. The BMW also costs less, much less, almost 60 thousand dollars less. The same goes for the Boxster S, less power, less torque, with a higher price tag. Sure the Boxster S might have the edge in handling (and badge snobbery) but as a value proposition, the sDrive35is does seem to be the more sensible and matured choice.

Future "iS" classic? Only time will tell, but i wouldn't bet against it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Chopped i3

 photo i3_500.jpg The latest car to receive the photochop treatment? BMW's i3. Going with a different take on photoshopping and introducing some track-oriented Idlers flair to the eco-car. What do you think?

Shooting A BMW Print Campaign Filled With Drifty M-Sport Cars

Doesn't need any more description.

Mighty Godzilla conquers all!