Saturday, January 28, 2012

BMW 1er M Coupe auf Forza 4

Back for some Nurburgring sessions!

That BMW 1 Series M Coupe was just one of the most agile sports coupe ever made by BMW. It's just one of the cars I've been dreamt of because I kept on reading numerous reports from various automotive websites about the arrival of the "junior" member of the BMW M Power. This was just my dream ruined because when people pre-ordered Forza 4 at Best Buy, they get this. Sadly, I didn't get one because I've pre-ordered mine at Gamestop. Guess this would be just an illusion until now. With the Launch Bonus DLC Pack made available worldwide, I finally got the chance to take the first bite out of the BMW 1M Coupe, the junior member of the BMW M Power consisting of the M5, M3, X5 M, and the X6 M. Although this is the lightest of BMW M Power range, I find the cornering very difficult to master even though this turbocharged pocket rocket comes with an RWD layout and a 6-speed manual gearbox. When I tried to recreate the BMW 1M Coupe Top Gear Power Lap Time, the 1M Coupe is somewhat very struggling but I find no signs of problems at the Follow-Through section. However, the 1:25 Top Gear Power Lap Time that Stig set it on the show, I didn't make it.

But still, this is a great sports coupe. Despite the handling issues, and the difficulty faced even when I used the Wireless Speed Wheel, I'm glad I experienced the car I've dreamt of. What it feels to me now was a complete nightmare....

Mazda Biante Granz NOW ON SALE!!

2013 Mazda Biante GRANZ

You've already seen the Mazda Biante GRANZ at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show right? Guess what? Mazda starts selling the Mazda Biante Granz for just 2,500,000 Japanese Yen (or in Top Gear math is 33,000 Dollars) in GRANZ-C variant and 2,570,000 Japanese Yen (34,000 Dollars) for the GRANZ variant. Colors available are Brilliant Black, Aluminum Metallic, and Crystal White Pearl Mica. So what do you get on the special edition model? There's a special grille that lives it up to Mazda's Kodo -Soul of Motion- design, silver linings at the rear lamps, bright molding on the side view, 17-inch rims, LED rear combination lamp bezel, muffler cutter, scuff plate, and a unique black paneling on the inside.

About the Biante:
Launched in Japan in the Summer 2008 as a 2009 model, the Mazda Biante is a Japan-only minivan that competes to the likes of the Toyota Voxy, Noah, Honda StepWGN, StepWGN Spada, and the Nissan Serena. Later on for the 2010 model year, it received a 2.0 liter DISI i-stop engine (LF-VDS) that promises 12.4km/L of fuel economy based on Japan's JC08 Mode test cycle thanks to the innovative idling stop function. 

Tights and Stockings with Seatbelts

Song played in my personal BGM: A Question of Honour by Sarah Brightman
From the Album: Diva - The Singles Collection

As seen on Top Gear Series 17 Episode 3!

Forgive me for this title because in one episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson said during the MP4-12C test drive that the McLaren MP4-12C is like a pair of tights while the Ferrari 458 Italia is like a pair stockings. Remember that tights and stockings are not made to do the same thing but enough of the hosiery jokes and ask about those two.

Ferrari 458 Italia in Rome

The Ferrari 458 Italia continues the Modena-based carmaker's MR tradition and it served as the replacement to the F430. It was launched at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and this V8 midship grand tourer is the evolution since the 348 in 1989, F355 in 1994, 360 Modena in 1999, and the F430 in 2004. Trust us, this one's faster than James May's actual F430 where Jeremy Clarkson's littering it with a chocolate bar wrapper and a bag of Doritos. In the hands of The Stig, it lapped the Top Gear Test Track at 1:19.1, and it was proven to be faster than the Ferrari 430 Scuderia. Even though the assembly of the direct injection V8 engine is done by hand, computerized equipment made sure that each step of the process is done accurately. To be precise, the 458 Italia's crankshaft is one of the few parts that's balanced to within one gram for each level of balance. What we also learned that while painting the 458 Italia's body, Ferrari uses a powder base coat process that produces zero emission and it uses "emu feathers" as the only kind of feather that can clean in an electrostatically charged environment.

If that wasn't enough, some say that Pound-for-Pound Boxing Champ and Saranggani Congressman Manny Pacquiao added the Ferrari 458 Italia to his personal car collection, costing 309,000 US Dollars.

McLaren MP4-12C in London

This here is the McLaren MP4-12C. Hmmm... MP4-12C... That name sounds more like a fax machine but some say it's faster than the 458 Italia. Why? At the Top Gear Test Track, this is the fastest McLaren ever made because of the 1:16.2 lap time. Can we consider that the MP4-12C is faster than the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4? Never mind, well the story of the MP4-12C began when McLaren's development team began testing prototype versions since 2007 and their final "sign-off" 1,000 mile drive was complete. The MP4-12C features a carbon MonoCell chassis that weighs only 75kg, making it a great contribution for the car's weight loss. It promises 0-100kph in 3.3 seconds but with racing tires, it can do 3.1 seconds and flatout, it will do over 330kph or in the church of England; 205mph. The high-performance 3.8L V8 twin turbo engine produces 592HP of power and 600Nm of torque, while the CO2 emissions are 279g/km and it delivers 8.5km/L (11.7L/100km) of fuel economy. It has a braking distance of 30.5 meters from 60mph-0. Now you know....

Hey James May! You said that the MP4-12C wasn't developed at the Nurburgring, right? Well you're wrong because the MP4-12C lapped the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 28 seconds. Guess this fact made James "Captain Slow" May so angry, that he went home.

I guess this 458-12C rivalry is the hottest thing we get and even in Gran Turismo 5, it's still getting hotter than a super spicy extra hot steak I'm ordering at a nearby restaurant.

"Uy! MomeMentsos"

What just happened at the January 27, 2012 episode of Bubble Gang

- Bubble Gags interviewing politicians after the trial.

- Experience the Super Spicy Extra Hot Steak at Red Hot Restaurant that is EXTRA HOT! HOT! HOT! NOT!

Red Hot Restaurant

- Bureche encounters a Teddy Bear held by Cheche.

- A sleep all you can promotion is valid for someone with 8 hours of sleeping. White Lady not intended...

- "Uy! MomeMentsos!" Bubble Gang does Mentos "Uy Momentos" TVC by spoofing this ad as Mentsos! Breakdance!

Bubble Gang does Mentos

- Uh Oh! Bonggang Bongbong is here again in Sumbong Sumbong kay Bonggang Bonggang Bongbong! He's tackling the most annoying cases such as women wearing knee-high boots in warm weather, gays wearing sleeveless blouse and bras, and people getting all the foods in one plate at the "eat-all-you-can".

- A press conference got a bit ugly with the mineral water they're sponsoring...


- Some say, this is the portion we all like to see. And then, Sukli and Bagoong tag-teamed to challenge Boy Chicha. All we know's called PICKUP LINES!

Boy Chicha

1) Watusi ka ba? Kasi, para ang sarap mong i-kiss-kiss!

2) Birthday ka ba? Dahil, habang papalapit ka, na-e-excite ako.

3) Si Enrile ka ba? Kasi gusto ko, happy ka.

4) Parang wala ako sa sarili ko. Kasi, nasasaya na ako.

5) Abs ka ba? Dahil nagpapakahirap ako para makuha kita.

6) Fruitcake ka ba? Kasi, 2012 ay leap year!

7) Matalino ka ba talaga? Kasi kung matalino ka, sige nga, sagutin mo lang ako.

8) Tingin ko, may gusto ka na sa akin. Kasi, masarap kumain ng champorado pag umuulan.

- Learn how to cook Kare-Kare...badly.


- IyoTube in So Young by The Corrs

The miraculous ending of Ikaw ang Pag-ibig

The drama titled Ikaw ang Pag-ibig is what happens when Zaijan Jaranilla as Nonoy, Xyriel Manabat as Angelica, Mutya Orquia as Tinay, and Louise Abuel as Edison come together on this unique story to save Christmas in San Gabriel. When the three orphans; Nonoy, Tinay, and Edison, found a missing baby, whereas they called it Rafa, they are on their Tokyo Godfathers-style adventure to find the baby's missing parents and with an encounter with Angelica, an little girl who was later revealed as an angel sent from the heaven who was confessed for the death of Edison's father, Tinay's father, and Nonoy's foster parents in a car accident. As the adventure progresses and with Rafa was believed to be the missing "baby Jesus" statue because it caused miracles, the kids are doing whatever they can to protect it against people who are taking profit for the baby Jesus statue, especially Congressman Leandro Alvarez (Mark Gil), whom Nonoy believed that he's responsible for stealing the "baby Jesus" statue for his candidacy.

With the "baby Jesus" statue returned to the church of San Gabriel, Nonoy faces risks when he was in the hands of Congressman Leandro Alvarez but Nonoy escaped and later got hit by a van with Agnes (Dimples Romana) on it. While Nonoy was in heaven, he encounters a kid that he wants Nonoy to go back because Nonoy's friends need him especially Agnes, whom to believe that she's the real mother of Nonoy after years of separation. Before Nonoy gets back, he had to play a game with a mysterious kid.

It is revealed that Leandro Alvarez was suffered with liver cancer, giving him a few days to live. That's what Robert said to Michelle. In fact, Michelle approaches to her dad, and he finally learned the truth. Therefore, Leandro apologized to Agnes for causing the separation between her and her child, Nonoy, but Agnes is unhappy.

Moments later, Congressman Leandro Alvarez was confessed for all the sins he committed to the public, especially to Robert and Mario (Alfred Vargas). While Nonoy was still in heaven, he's still undecided when will he come back but a mysterious kid told to Nonoy that miracles happen everyday, just like the everyday people Nonoy and friends met. After a little talk, they went through the hospital because Nonoy's friends are needed and the mysterious kid that Nonoy met was actually Rafa. After a fateful encounter, Nonoy was miraculously alive.

After the reunion between Agnes and Nonoy, Nonoy told a little story to Edison, Angelica, and Tinay about a fateful encounter with Rafa and when a pigeon named Sam came, it was time to say goodbye for Angelica because she had her wings back and it was time for her to go back to heaven.

Well, Ikaw ang Pag-ibig is a unique short drama about four kids saving Christmas. What's going to be like? It is fantastic. It's wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful. What it makes me feel though is sad. Goodnight...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another year, another CR-Z special edition...

2013 Honda CR-Z  α  Dressed Label

Last year, Honda launched a special edition CR-Z Black Label that features a special yellow color and a black interior dark enough to be cool. Now, this year, there's another special edition for the Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid and this time, this is labeled "Dressed Label".

Limited to 850 units available, the CR-Z Dressed Label uses the "α" variant as it's base and it features a special color "Premium Deep Mocha Pearl" while the interior is nested in chocolate-colored seats. Looks yummy but it's available only in Japan for 2,390,477 Japanese Yen (or in Top Gear math; 1,500,000 Philippine Pesos).

Panamera modified by Project Kahn

Project Kahn Panamera

Another Panamera modification and this time it's from Project Kahn! This British styling house really give this Porsche 4-door coupe some modifications it deserves such as a roof spoiler, rear wing, tinted windows, billet aluminum side vents, optional tinted tail lamps, red brake calipers, new tail pipes, and 22-inch rims that customers can choose whatever color they want. There's tuning abound so the Project Kahn Panamera do get a sports exhaust and suspension module for lowering.

The inauguration of BMW's M Performance Automobiles

2013 BMW M550d xDrive
2013 BMW M550d xDrive Touring
2013 BMW X5 M50d
2013 BMW X6 M50d

A diesel M? For real? Equipped with the world's first tri-turbo diesel engine? You have got to be kidding me. BMW launched the new "M Performance Automobiles" range by any means of the 5-Series F10 sedan and touring, X5, and the facelifted X6. That was staggering but these are a Europe-only gathering. Too bad we can't get it. Guess diesel has bee ch-ch-ch-changed!


AKB48's Atsuko Maeda in latest Toyota Doraemon ReBORN Advert

AKB48's Atsuko Maeda
in latest Toyota Doraemon ReBORN Advert
In the 4th installment of the Toyota Doraemon ReBORN advert, we saw AKB48's Atsuko Maeda as the 28-year-old Jaiko, Nobita's former childhood friend who might have been his wife. Wow, now there's a twist going on this ad. This ad also featured Toyota's most fuel efficient hybrid compact, the Aqua (known worldwide as the Prius C), which is proven to be more fuel efficient than the normal Prius because of 35.4km/L fuel economy based on Japan's JC08 test cycle. I have no idea about this Jaiko character but I'm sorry. That could have been a trending topic in the mouths of Japanese car enthusiasts...

2013 Lexus GS makes its TV Commercial debut

2013 Lexus GS

With the 2013 Lexus GS released yesterday, Toyota Motor Corporation streams its 30-second advert of the new 2013 Lexus GS. Check it out!

Lexus starts orders for the GS350, GS250, GS350 F-Sport, and GS250 F-Sport now as well as its 4WD counterparts while the GS450h will be on sale this March 2012. Don't forget that, for those who are living in Japan.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nissan releases NV100 Clipper and NT100 Clipper

2013 Nissan NV100 Clipper

2013 Nissan NT100 Clipper

Remember last year when Toyota launched the Pixis Truck and Van that was based on the Daihatsu Hijet Van and Hijet Truck? Watch out because Nissan is not alone because they've launched the NV100 Clipper van and the NT100 Clipper truck, all based on the Mitsubishi Minicab Truck and Minicab Van. It's their debutants and served as a replacement to the "Clipper Van" and "Clipper Truck" although they were facelifted versions of those I've mentioned.

Lexus New GS (GRL10/GRL11/GRL15) and New GS Hybrid (GWL10)

The all new Lexus GS begins the chapter of the evolution of L-Finesse thanks to the all new corporate look called "Spindle Grille". Although it may look similar from last year's CT 200h, the new GS achieves a much sportier design it deserves. This is Japan's BMW 5-Series, reloaded.
2013 Lexus GS
2013 Lexus GS Hybrid
Three variants available for the new GS; the new entry-level GS250, the GS350, and the GS450h (to be on sale this March). Gone is the V8 variant which just like what happened to the Nissan Fuga three years ago. This is a whole new twist because they want to make the new GS in the same level as the Fuga. The New GS is truly inspired from the LF-Gh Concept car, making this a concept car into reality, and this is the first to carry the new corporate look that marks a new chapter in Lexus' L-Finesse philosophy. This is known as the Spindle Grille and what based on Katsuhiko Inatomi, chief designer of the New GS, said that this new look is closely related to the "Time in Design" concept, which is part of the L-Finesse philosophy. That hourglass-shaped grille really made it a timeless masterpiece.
2013 Lexus GS interior
The interior of the New GS is now heavily refined, recharged, and reloaded. Gone is the touch screen and it was replaced by the Lexus Remote Touch first applied on the Lexus RX (scheduled for facelift this year). The new 12.3-inch wide display features a split-screen that allows the driver to check maps while listening to music, watch TV while adjusting the aircon, and various multi-tasking features at the touch of the Remote Touch. To complete the New GS interior experience, the available Mark Levinsion Premium Surround Sound System brings out the best sound quality you won't hear it anywhere else.
2013 Lexus GS F-Sport
Time now for the performance side. On the entry-level GS250, it is powered by a 4GR-FSE engine, producing 215PS of power and 260Nm of torque. With a 6-speed paddle-shift transmission, the GS250 gets a fuel economy of 10.8km/L based on Japan's JC08 mode test cycle. On the GS350, it is equipped with a 2GR-FSE engine that produces 318PS of power and 380Nm of torque. For RWD variants, the GS350 will get about 9.9km/L while 4WD variants get about 9.4km/L, all based on Japan's JC08 mode test cycle. Now, on the GS450h, the 2GR-FXE engine produces 295PS of power and 356Nm of torque. When set to EV Mode, the 1KM electric motor kicks in, producing 200PS of power and 275Nm of torque. Bear that in mind that the GS450h still uses the traditional Nickel Metal Hydride Battery that recharges when stationary or via Regenerative Braking. With the CVT equipped, the GS450h promises about 18.2km/L of fuel economy, based on Japan's JC08 Mode test cycle. A new Drive Mode Selector is added to take advantage of its economy, balance, and agility within four modes; ECO, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+.

There's an available F-Sport for the first time on the new GS. The F-Sport variant features Lexus Dynamic Handling System with Dynamic Rear Steering for better cornering while taking advantage of Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management and Variable Gear Ratio Steering. 

The New GS comes with numerous safety systems such as Pre-Crash Safety System, Night View, Intelligent AFS, Automatic High Beam and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management. 

Available in 11 colors; White Pearl Crystal Shine, Mercury Grey Mica, Sonic Silver, Black, Black Opal Mica, Starlight Black Glass Flake, Crimson Crystal Shine Glass Flake, Sleek Ecru Metallic, Fire Agate Mica Metallic, Lapis Lazuli Mica, and Meteor Blue Metallic. 
My comment: The all new Lexus GS marks the beginning of the new design direction of Lexus' L-Finesse philosophy. Although it may look similar to the Lexus CT, the new GS is made be more sportier, more classier, more glamorous, and in the real world, attractive. There's no word from Lexus Manila when will the new Lexus GS be available in the Philippines yet but we do know is that the new GS will come, very very soon.

Welcome to the new direction of Lexus. 
 Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

2013 Ford Fusion looks good in Stock Car Racing

2013 Ford Fusion NASCAR

When the 2013 Ford Fusion premiered at the 2012 NAIAS and it will go on sale at the end of the year, we were wondering what if the 2013 Ford Fusion will be if it participates NASCAR in the near future. This 2013 Ford Fusion Race Car looks perfect in the Daytona 500 race or at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. We can hardly imagine if this new racer is best fitted with Best Buy and Aflac livery like the ones AJ Allmendinger and Carl Edwards have.

This Ford Fusion stock car will join NASCAR this 2013.

RVR production in Indonesia is underway this year...

2011 Mitsubishi RVR

Mitsubishi Motors announces that it will start production of the RVR (ASX/Outlander Sport) crossover in Indonesia this year. This idea is all part of Mitsubishi Motors' plan to concentrate on emerging markets, part of the JUMP 2013 business plan announced last year. Guess the strong Yen currency really made Mitsubishi produce this crossover from another Asian country. Question is, will that work?

Honda Green Machine 003 in FM4

ECON Mode or Sport Mode? You guess...

As I'm sure you know, this is the Honda CR-Z, the world's first hybrid sports car created by Honda. When it came out in Japan since February 2010, this car changed the way hybrids meant to be. Unlike the dreary Toyota Prius, the CR-Z is more fun. Infusing the agility of a sportscar and the fuel economy of a hybrid, the CR-Z is proven to be the best of both worlds, or is it? When owners set it to ECON mode, the CR-Z is made to be fuel efficient and when they set it into Sport Mode, the CR-Z's handling response gets even more sharper, more than enough to make a bit more...uncomfortable. If I was driving the CR-Z on the mountain paths, I would had a slightly bad back.

Spoon CR-Z rattles through Suzuka

This car was a Pre-Order bonus for those who've pre-ordered Forza Motorsport 4 at Target. Again, I didn't pre-order there because I pre-ordered mine in GameStop. In fact, I was going to say that I don't need it because I am utterly familiar with the CR-Z from a rival video game but because there are rarely a few FM4 players decorating their CR-Z into something cool, something that replicates the Spoon CR-Z, Mugen CR-Z Concept, or even the CR-Z racecar from the 2011 Legend Cup, I am wasted with a blown opportunity. Not so because when they made the Launch Bonus DLC available worldwide, I had the chance to drive the world's first hybrid sports car in Forza Motorsport 4. It was great and there are Mugen parts available to give the CR-Z a complete makeover.

The annoying Stig in his annoying
orange-colored Honda CR-Z Mugen Concept!!

As some that found out when the Launch Bonus DLC made available to the public, the CR-Z wasn't on the same planet as the Toyota Prius. Even when they're both hybrids, they're highly different in any way. The Prius was a bit more rubbish while the CR-Z is more ambitious. I would gladly go bonkers when I drive the CR-Z because this is what happens when the engineers from Honda decided to give a modern twist to the classic CR-X. I thought the CR-Z would be a modern-day version of the fire-breathing Honda CR-X but it isn't. In fact, I'm back to where I'm started. If you want a better Honda hatchback, buy a standard FN2 Civic Type R Euro.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Murano Z51 Mode Bianco

2012 Nissan Murano 350XV Four Mode-Bianco

Meet the whiter side of the Nissan Murano Z51. Created by Autech Japan, the special edition "Mode-Bianco" puts the color "Bianco" on the Nissan Murano Z51. What's that you ask? White lights, white interior, Bose Sound System, and a choice of 20-inch or 18-inch rims all colored white. This special model is available only in Japan this February 9.

This is how Toyota returns to 2012 Le Mans in style...

Toyota TS030 Hybrid

Moments after Peugeot's withdrawal at the Le Mans, Toyota Motor Corporation unveiled its competitor at the 2012 Le Mans. This is the Toyota TS030 Hybrid. This Hybrid Le Mans Prototype is packed with a 3.4L V8 engine mated with one of two electric motors; one from Aisin and another one from Denso.



Toyota Racing today announced more details of its forthcoming FIA World Endurance Championship participation, including an intention to race two cars in specific races.

The new team, which is based at Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) in Cologne, Germany, will make its race debut on 5 May in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Toyota Racing intends to enter two TS030 HYBRID cars in the subsequent Le Mans 24 Hours (16-17 June. Participation in further rounds is yet to be confirmed.

A driver line-up of Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima has already been confirmed for one car while discussions are still ongoing to finalise the driver line-up for the other. Additionally, Andrea Caldarelli, from Pescara, Italy, has joined Toyota Racing as a junior driver.

The TS030 HYBRID is Toyota's successor to the iconic TS010 and TS020 cars which participated at Le Mans with podium success during the 1990s, with TS an acronym for ToyotaSport.

Toyota is the first manufacturer to confirm its participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship using a hybrid system, emphasising the pioneering approach to this technology which has seen more than 3.5 million Toyota hybrid vehicles sold worldwide.

The THS-R (Toyota Hybrid System – Racing) powertrain is designed to deliver maximum performance and features an all-new V8 3.4litre normally-aspirated petrol engine and hybrid system with capacitor storage developed by official team partner Nisshinbo.

The team will use the TS030 HYBRID's first test to evaluate the merits, within the current regulations, of a front motor system produced by Aisin AW and a rear motor system developed by official team partner DENSO. Those regulations limit hybrid systems to recovering a maximum of 500kJ between braking zones whilst restricting deployment to only two wheels.

A brand new carbon fibre LMP1 chassis has been developed and produced at TMG, where the complete car was assembled for the first time in preparation for a roll-out on 11-13 January at Paul Ricard.

During an exclusive test session at the French track, which included running in darkness, the TS030 HYBRID completed several hundred kilometres, showing an impressive level of reliability and performance for this very early stage in the car's testing programme.

Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre both put the TS030 HYBRID through its paces at Paul Ricard, joined by 30-year-old Japanese driver Hiroaki Ishiura, who is a candidate to join the driver line-up at races where Toyota Racing participates with two cars.

Official partners to the Toyota Racing programme include ZENT, Aisin, Nippon Steel, Takata, Toyoda Gosei and Michelin.

Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "Of course we would love to win Le Mans; that is the dream for all competitors in this race. But we are realistic and we know we need to develop and to learn in order to compete with some very strong competition. Our target this year is to show the performance level of our car and particularly the THS-R powertrain. Hybrid is a core technology of Toyota so it is important to demonstrate this in a motorsport arena and we want to prove it can bring a performance advantage, both in terms of lap time and fuel efficiency. Everyone involved in designing, developing and preparing the car – both at TMG and at Motor Sport Division in Japan – has worked incredibly hard to reach this point and we are all very excited to be back on the race track again."

Pascal Vasselon, Technical Director: "The two main performance drivers of our TS030 HYBRID car are the aerodynamics and the hybrid system. The regulations for hybrid powertrains allow us to recover energy under braking and release this to improve acceleration out of a corner, delivering lap-time benefit. For any given performance level, a hybrid powertrain will achieve this with less fuel so it is an extremely relevant technology and one we are excited to be bringing to endurance racing. Another key point in our development phase has been delivering aerodynamic efficiency. The development team at TMG has worked very hard to achieve an optimum aero concept using our state-of-the-art aero development processes based on combined wind tunnel testing and CFD. Judging by the positive feedback we received during the roll-out we have a very good base on which to build in the coming weeks."

Hisatake Murata, Hybrid Project Leader: "Toyota has been working on hybrid systems for motorsport for several years, during which time we have made huge progress. Now we feel ready to bring our technology to the ultimate motorsport test: the Le Mans 24 Hours. Integrating a hybrid powertrain is, of course, a different challenge compared to a 'standard' powertrain. But we have worked together with partners such as DENSO, Aisin AW and Nisshinbo to develop the THS-R technology so it is part of the overall concept of the TS030 HYBRID. This technology will be used to recover up to 500kJ between braking events, energy which can be released via either front or rear motors to deliver a performance advantage. Toyota's hybrid technology has already won a 24-hour race – the Tokachi 24 Hours in 2007 – so now we are bringing the latest THS-R development to global motorsport; we know this is a technically-demanding exercise but we are well prepared for the challenge."

Alex Wurz: "It was cool to drive the TS030 HYBRID car for the first time. Just leaving the garage on the electric power is very futuristic, then when you let the clutch go and the internal combustion engine kicks in it is like an old friend has returned! When we put on the slick tyre I could feel the car generates a very good amount of grip so I think we have a good base and I think we can turn this into a really fast car. I am definitely very happy but my nature is to also be analytical and therefore I know there is still a lot of work to be done. It's really good to work with all the mechanics and engineers; the Toyota Racing team is very international and this works well. I am very comfortable in this team because they are all extremely professional, that is really clear."

Nicolas Lapierre: "My first impression from the roll-out was positive; the chassis is really advanced and the hybrid system works very well. The TS030 HYBRID car has good reaction to the steering with quick and efficient response combined with an impressive base level of downforce which is a nice feeling for a driver. It is totally different from anything I have known before because the philosophy is different. So our roll-out was promising and we saw the car's potential on several levels; we still have plenty of work to do but I think that we will have a strong package. We are starting from a blank page so the challenge is exciting."

Kazuki Nakajima: "I cannot wait to drive the TS030 HYBRID for the first time. I spoke a lot with Alex and Nicolas about the car during the roll-out and it obviously has great potential. I have been doing a lot of time in the TMG driving simulator so I have got to know the car in a virtual world, as well as the Le Mans track; now it's time to drive it for real. It is a great opportunity for me and I am thoroughly looking forward to the experience of racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Toyota Racing. To return to Le Mans with hybrid technology is a big challenge for Toyota but it is also a real opportunity for all the drivers and I hope my recent Super GT experience will be a benefit. It's a great feeling to be involved in this project and I am really motivated for this season."

Panamera-M35h Drag Race proved me wrong....

2012 Infiniti M35h

2012 Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

Last year, I compare the Panamera S Hybrid to the Infiniti M Hybrid. I thought the Panamera S Hybrid would be faster than the Infiniti M Hybrid because of the 380PS supercharged V6 engine would outrun the Infiniti M Hybrid's VQ35HR engine that produces 306PS engine but I am wrong. By my calculations, with the Infiniti M Hybrid's VQ35HR engine and HM34 electric motor combined, the Infiniti Direct Response System kicks in, producing an overall 374PS power, it will do 0-100kph in 5.5 seconds while the Panamera S Hybrid will do 6 seconds. With that, the Infiniti M Hybrid is hailed as the world's fastest hybrid car ever made.

Here's the clip featuring a drag race between the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid and the Infiniti M Hybrid. Guess which hybrid saloon won?

Some File-Sharing sites are removing file-sharing services in the wake of the MegaUpload takedown


Time now for the news. Okay, in the wake of the Megaupload takedown last week and the arrest of MegaUpload creator, Kim Dotcom, it seems that most file-sharing sites you know are taking actions. For instance, file-sharing site FileSonic said that "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally." and then, a file locker site "" restrict North America access respectively. Seems that most of the file-sharing sites like Filejungle, 4shared, and Uploadstation, are removing "Premium Account" services entirely.

Yes I know, it's bad I'm sorry...

Forza 4 meets WRX STi 4-door

Chakkari-san's not going to like this
car passing by her March.

I'm fairly confident that you've seen one of these before. It's the 2011 Subaru WRX STi 4-door. Of course most of you know all this. You've pre-ordered Forza 4 at to get this car, which unfortunately I didn't because I bought it at Gamestop. That gave me a long waiting list until now, the Launch Bonus Car Pack is now made available worldwide for us to try the 2011 Subaru WRX STi 4-door. The WRX STi 4-door maybe a familiar car for me but it's absolutely bonkers in the corners.

GVF in Tsukuba

I said bonkers because why? The WRX STi 4-door has much greater G's than the regular 5-door variant and not only that, it's lighter as well because while the 5-door weighs 3,395 lbs, the WRX STi 4-door weighs about 3,384lbs, which sounds slightly good but there's a bit of a problem. While both come with the same 2.5L boxer turbo engine, the WRX STi 4-door has less torque than the regular 5-door because while the WRX STi 5-door comes with 335lb-ft of torque, the WRX STi 4-door comes about  290lb-ft of torque. Also, it's 7,000 CR more expensive than the 2008 Subaru WRX STi. Still, it's a good value that you want to sacrifice for a better cornering Subaru that once lapped the Nurburgring in 7:55:000.

Sorry, wrong set! Your WRX STi
has a "Top Gear Korea" plate on it!

General fact that a WRX STi 4-door with a wing is labeled "GVB" while the WRX STi 4-door without a wing is labeled "GVF". Well, this is considered GVB, so when I take out the wing at the "Aero and Appearance" section, it resembles the look of the GVF. Not just that, there are available bumper parts courtesy of Chargespeed available to personalize your WRX STi 4-door just the way you like it.

Just a trivia though; at the 2011 Nurburgring 24 Hour race, Subaru achieved an SP3T Class victory with their #155 Subaru WRX STi tS, eclipsing the likes of Team Raeder Mortorsport’s Audi TT S, Kissling Motorsport’s Opel Astra GTC and Michael Kraus’ Mitsubishi Lancer CTO.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Welcome Back: 2010 Mazdaspeed3

Mazdaspeed3 in motion

If you were a Filipino who loves the Mazda3 but you're getting irritated why FGP-Mazda is taking too long to bring the second-generation Mazda3 to the Philippines but forced to buy an XBOX 360 and a copy of Forza Motorsport 4 at your nearby shopping mall, chances are that you're obsessed with it, in 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 form. You're getting happy and cooling down your stresses while playing Forza 4 with the 2010 Mazdaspeed 3. As we, Filipinos, are itching for FGP-Mazda to bring the new model to the Philippines soon, we can only resort by playing Forza 4 with this car. Seems that we're getting a brighter future on this game.

With the Mazdaspeed3 returned, customers can now fit in with aero parts courtesy of AutoExe and Garage Vary. Good luck with that...

Missed the Launch Bonus Car Pack? Here's your chance!

2011 Tesla Roadster Sport

Effective tomorrow, the Launch Bonus Car Pack will be available to everyone! In case you bought either Forza Motorsport 4 or Forza Motorsport 4 Limited Collector's Edition but there's no code for the Launch Bonus Car Pack because it's served for pre-order purposes, don't worry because you now have a chance to purchase the Launch Bonus Car Pack for 560 MS Points. Take note that this DLC won't be covered on your Season Pass.

You'll now have access to these 10 Pre-Order cars that you've failed to obtain such as:

1) Mini John Cooper Works Clubman
2) Alfa Romeo Giulietta Quadrifoglio Verde
3) Honda CR-Z
4) Subaru WRX STi 4-door (GVB)
5) BMW 1M Coupe
6) 1965 Ford Mustang GT
7) Lexusw SC300
8) Tesla Roadster Sport
9) RUF RGT-8
10) Koenigsegg Agera

Monday, January 23, 2012

Top Gear USA's Small Car for Big Stars

That's the SX4 we saw on the Japanese TV Ad
starring Masaharu Fukuyama.

Suzuki's SX4 Sportback served as the "Small Car" for Big Stars who guested on Top Gear USA. Because of the collaboration between Forza Motorsport 4 and Top Gear, there's no question why the Suzuki SX4 was added on this game because it has a place in Top Gear history. We've seen personalities who've guested on Top Gear USA such as Buzz Aldrin, Dominic Monagham, Ty Brrell, Kid Rock, Michelle Rodriguez, and Tony Hawk driving the Suzuki SX4 round the TGUSA Test Track to find out who's the fastest "Big Star in a Small Car". Seems the whole BIG STAR, SMALL CAR is the USA equivalent to "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" and yes, the Suzuki SX4 is yours to lap, but instead, at the ORIGINAL Top Gear Test Track in Dunsfold Aerodrome, Dunsfold, Surrey, England.

SX4 WRC challenges through the Alps

There are aero parts available at the Suzuki SX4. If you could fit them all from top to bottom, who knows, you could recreate the image of the Suzuki SX4 Rally Car. Now all it needs is some SX4 WRC livery that requires time and effort to recreate the Suzuki SX4 WRC Rally Car in your own hands. However, you should better not to overcook the SX4's tuning because it will ruin the handling. Try to keep it down if you want a tuned SX4 to remain its smooth handling. This Small Car as seen on Top Gear USA will stop at nothing to be more "reasonable" on Forza Motorsport 4.

Kenstyle Aero Parts for Prius α

Kenstyle Prius Alpha

Kenstyle now offers some sporty aero parts to modify your 2012 Toyota Prius α (Prius v in North America and Prius+ in Europe). Customers can choose two full kits. The first "Full Kit" that features a Front Half Spoiler, Side Skirts, and a Rear Half Spoiler. These will cost about 129,150 to 171,150 Japanese Yen. Meanwhile, a second "Full Kit" features the ones mentioned but it includes a bonnet spoiler and rear roof spoiler, totaling from about 194,250 to 256,200 Japanese Yen.

GT5 EV Day Trip with Nissan Leaf

Song played in my Personal BGM: Eyes as Candles by Passion Pit
From the album: Manners

Let's see how far this electric car survive on this condition....

Leaf of Green Gables
When the Nissan Leaf came out at the market since December 2010, this electric car is proven to be a competitor to the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. The Leaf maybe a bit more expensive than the i-MiEV but it has proven to be energy-efficient because while the i-MiEV has a range of 110km in one charge, a fully-charged Leaf can go up to 124km. Last year, the Nissan Leaf became the first EV to award the 2011-2012 Japan Car of the Year, making this a big achievement for Nissan.

You'll be glad if there's another EV driver passing by...
To commemorate this, Gran Turismo 5 added the Nissan Leaf as part of the Car Pack 3 DLC, available now, and geez, can this EV Day Trip get even more interesting if the Nissan Leaf is picking a fight against the Mitsubishi i-MiEV in a greener place? Truth is, the Nissan Leaf is much faster than the i-MiEV on a straight line and it will stay on to the end. Still, this is not a good car to race against the entry-levels but this is a good way to demonstrate the art of mobility on Gran Turismo 5 because this game is not all about racing, it's mobility.

The Stig encounters the Nissan Leaf
in Kyoto...

...but the Stig is interested in other vehicles
rather than the Leaf

I can rarely see a Nissan Leaf crossing by the road when it came out in 2010, but for now, there are a plentiful of Leaves roaming around the road and this electric car is an icon. Don't worry, I saw this one on Top Gear where Jeremy Clarkson and James May are traveling through England using electric cars. Seems that Jeremy Clarkson's freaked out at the Leaf's navigation system. That's more weirder when Jeremy's freaked out at the Nissan GT-R's sat-nav during the "Race Across Japan" challenge.

That accomplishment of being the 2011-2012 Japan Car of the Year winner really made a recognition to the Nissan Leaf and with that added on GT5, I finally witnessed that this car really is the future. It's sorta like BLUE SKIES FOR OUR CHILDREN....

Hitachi to stop making TVs in Japan, but source it from other countries

Hitachi Wooo

I watched that report on NHK Newsline. It said that Japanese high-tech giant, Hitachi, will stop making televisions at the end of September 2012 because of the Yen's uncontrollably strength. Well, that was said from Hitachi spokeswoman, Sayori Nishino, but Hitachi outsourced overseas TV manufacturing to foreign firms three years ago.

Source: AFP

TOKYO — Japanese high-tech giant Hitachi said it will stop making televisions by the end of September as intense price competition hurts TV earnings at many electronics manufacturers worldwide.

Hitachi will "terminate television production by the end of September" in Japan, said Sayori Nishino, a company spokeswoman, having already outsourced overseas TV manufacturing to foreign firms in 2009.

But it will still sell televisions branded with its "Wooo" logo made by contractors.

For Japanese manufacturers in various sectors the surging yen has weighed on sales in foreign markets by making Japan-made products more expensive, as well as reducing the value of repatriated earnings.

Ratings agency Moody's last week downgraded both Sony and Panasonic, citing losses in the two firms' TV divisions, among other factors.
Television manufacturers around the world have been badly hit by rampant competition and minuscule margins, making profits difficult to squeeze out with consumers increasingly unwilling to shell out sky-high prices for sets. 

World's Largest Claw Game by (NO, NOT TOYOTA) Chevrolet!!!

World's Largest Claw Game from
Chevrolet Sonic

Remember last year in Japan where Toyota made the world's biggest claw game at the Roppongi Hills as a PR Stunt for the Toyota Ractis Verso? Yes, we know. The largest claw game most Japanese are playing while the Ohashi Trio are singing the commercial song for the Ractis Verso.

Guess what? Ractis Verso, someone's whoop your rear bumper because the Chevrolet Sonic's Let's Do This campaign takes the center stage for the world's most biggest claw game, something that Chevrolet snags the Guinness World Record. Check it out!

Yes, this is how you Sonic.

Peel P50's back for production!

Peel P50

Everybody around the world already gaining knowledge about the world's smallest car, the Peel P50, thanks to Top Gear. No wonder this small car car can fit indoors, just like what Jeremy Clarkson does!

Guess what? The Peel P50 is back as well as its Trident cousin thanks to some small firm and they're accepting orders for these two cars that has a size of those Little Tikes cars. Both are equipped with a 49cc engine, generating 3.35hp of power but they can be interested having a choice of two electric motors available.

Whoever owns it would be as annoying as Clarkson...

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