Saturday, October 20, 2012

Forza Motorsport 4: 2011 Radical SR8 RX

A lightweight racer that makes you feel like a Grand Prix driver

The SR8 is Radical's ultimate racer for the ultimate driving experience. A lightweight racer capable for trackday and racing use, it has the grip, acceleration, and braking unlike any other and for the 2011 model year, the SR8 RX was made to comply with the latest FIA CN class regulations, incorporating a higher rollhoop and scuttle, homologating for international competition well into the future. 

Although it has a similar design from the SR3 RS, the SR8 RX comes with the RPE 2.7 litre RPX V8 engine that generates 430bhp of power, 0-60mph time of 2.7 seconds, and top speed of 178mph. The SR8 RX's paddle shift gearbox was described by former F1 driver Alex Yoong, as having “the best gearchange I've driven outside of F1."

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: Euro V diesels and GDi engines don't work in the Philippines. You get me?

YD25DDTi engine for the NV350 Caravan

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell, where I, Leopaul del Rosario, made some columns about the wrongdoings and some right stuff in today's ever changing society. It will be a little oasis of stress, anger, and rage pooled over while writing a column.

Today, I'm dealing about those...highly-advanced diesels and gasoline direct injection cars. If there's a Filipino complaining about this, is he or she bovvered? Well, he/she should be because this column is all about bovvering what's wrong about them.

Now, when South Korean carmakers like Hyundai and Kia launched models that come with either a diesel that is truly a Euro V compliant or a petrol car that has a Gasoline Direct Injection such as the Avante, Veloster, or the K9, why would Filipinos are getting interested to those? Let's not forget that the Philippine-market carmakers and distributors stated--both officially and unofficially--that our local fuels are "too dirty," which is why some vehicle models that utilize fuel-sensitive technology like gasoline direct-injection supposedly can't be offered here.

Yes, gasoline direct-injection cars can't be offered in the Philippines but what's a GDi-powered Veloster doing in the Metro Manila anyway? Ahem...Hello? Gasoline Direct Injection? Philippine fuels too dirty for this! Sorry to say that I'm afraid that there is some a**hole smuggled a car that is unfit for our local fuels. Also, there's some another GAGO who smuggled a Hyundai i40. Let's remember that the i40 do comes with a Euro V diesel and a GDi engine so HARI can't bring it here because...Euro V diesels are not compatible for our local diesels because we're a Euro 2 compliant country and second, gasoline direct injection cars are not compatible for Philippine petrol because they're too dirty. So why would he smuggled one?

Ah! Those idiots do prefer Korean cars because of their GDi or diesels! Well not much because let's remember that a few years ago, HARI brought in the new Elantra last year but the 1.6L GDi engine was been swapped into a less powerful 1.8L Nu MPi engine because of the Philippine fuel not compatible with the Gamma 1.6L GDi engine.

2013 Kia K9

EURO V DIESELS AND GDi ENGINES ARE NOT COMPATIBLE ON PHILIPPINE ROADS BECAUSE AS THEY TOLD THAT OUR LOCAL FUELS ARE TOO DIRTY SO SOME VEHICLES WITH FUEL-SENSITIVE TECHNOLOGIES CAN'T BE OFFERED! You get me? You get me? You do get me? You do get me? Good but how come that there some idiots in the Philippines never pay attention to the fact and do what they're good at, which is smuggling a car with the engine not suitable for this country? Chevrolet Orlando, for example, has a Euro V diesel because it's made in Korea but the reason why it's not offered is because it's not capable on a Euro II compliant country.

As I said, ugh, I think I'm going to get a heart attack for this column I'm writing at, if a car comes with gasoline direct injection or a Euro V diesel, then it's not compatible on Philippine roads but how come they aren't BOVVERED? I said bovvered because I'm kinda like that Catherine Tate actress for saying that word. AM I BOVVERED? He he he he...

Hyundai Veloster

There was this article about Peugeot coming back in the Philippines with some of their models all powered by Euro V diesels and I said, wait a minute....are Euro V diesels not suitable on Philippine roads? That kinda puzzled me. I read to that article and that idiot just said...

"What's important to determine with diesel fuel is the amount of its sulfur content. Our engineers have studied and analyzed the quality of your diesel fuels, and they've determined that the sulfur content of your fuels is low enough to be used by our engines."

I'm afraid he's lying. Experts in the motoring industry of the Philippines do believe that these don't work in the Philippines. Huh, don't even think about it because if you fill a Euro V car with a Euro II fuel, risks of damage or breakdown will occur. He he he....

What really irritates me at all is this today's topic from my head. How come there are lots and lots of idiots from the Philippines are getting interested over the recently launched, third-generation Santa Fe DM? I mean come on, it's a Euro V car because it's powered by diesel engines. Yep, diesel-only Korean SUV that is so Euro V, it can't be sold in the Philippines because well you get that idea but how come they want to have one of these? How very dare you. There are some idiots want to smuggle one and this goes on and on until HARi officially brought in the new model and when they observed that the Santa Fe DM that HARI offered have less features than the smuggled one, it seems that they want to smuggle a Santa Fe because it's more well-equipped and fully loaded than the local one. ARGH....

I had enough of this. You know what Filipinos? Shame on you because as told by a million times, the Philippine fuel doesn't work on Euro V diesels and gasoline direct injection cars. Enough said.

If you have comments and violent reactions to this, feel free to comment or e-mail me at That's all, thank you and have a great life.

Second generation Ford Fusion

Now, as you may know, I am trying to figure out what is the best midsize sedan from the 20th century and for me, I think, is the Ford Taurus because it's still the best family saloon car through the ages and undergo several changes to keep it fresh. However, there is no such Ford, I think, that captures the same essence as the classic Taurus from the past until now...

2013 Ford Fusion

Now...I know what you're thinking. This car here is not a Taurus. If you think this is just a baby Aston sedan in the making but no. The face does have an Aston-like grille, which Ford says that this is their new signature face for now. What it is is a family saloon car from Ford, the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion.

2013 Ford Fusion

Now on its second incarnation, the all new Ford Focus is now the brand's first global midsize sedan that will provide customers from Americas, Asia, Europe, Australia and the rest of the world, much like the Chevrolet Malibu, which is now heralded as the bowtie's first global midsize sedan. Unlike the Chevrolet Malibu, the Ford Fusion is much more better looking in terms of design view and yes, the war between the bowties and blue ovals are getting through the..."exceeding the Magat dam height limit" point.

2013 Ford Fusion interior

Sadly, it's all typical Ford interior to the new model and huh? Where's the hand brake? Oh wait! The new model ditched the traditional hand brake in favor to this highly complicating Electronic Parking Brake that doesn't make any sense at all. Anyway, am I BOVVERED? I ain't bovvered. I mean, look at the new doesn't have a hand brake because it was replaced by some...different kind of parking brake that was placed in an unknown position so why waste time finding the e-brake while I can use this Electronic Parking Brake on the Fusion? DING! Simple as that. Am I BOVVERED?

Sadly though, the available SYNC on the new Fusion is nowhere near as good as the Malibu's MyLink. Sure, most critics disagree about Ford's SYNC because...well I was gonna say as complicating as an Android phone, which for me that Androids are rubbish and hard to use. Despite technology overload problems, I do find one bit of the inside that is somewhat very amusing. While the Malibu has speedos that look like the Camaro's, the new Fusion still has the same speedo from the previous model that was straight from the pages of science-fiction. This is somewhat Star Trek meets Starship Troopers meets Halo meets Doctor Who meets whatever sci-fi you can fit in. Also, the front legroom's better than the Malibu's because while the Malibu's front legroom is 42.1 in., which is bad, the new Fusion's front legroom is 44.3 in., a best-in-class for this new model here.

So, what do we got in the new Fusion? Well, we'd expect three engine types for the normal, petrol-powered Fusion starting with the 2.5L Duratec 16V I-4 Engine, 1.6L Ti-VCT GTDI I-4 EcoBoost, and the 2.0L Ti-VCT GTDI I-4 EcoBoost. Sadly, there's a chink behind the 2.0L turbo engine on the new Fusion and when you compare it to a turbocharged Malibu with the 2.0L turbo DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), this is a total disaster because while the Fusion 2.0L EcoBoost is 240HP (when you fill her up with Premium fuel), the Malibu with the 2.0L Turbo is about 259HP. That sounds a bit lousy but in terms of suspension get this...

Both the Malibu and the new Fusion do have Euro-tuned suspension because both of them are made to tackle various corners of the world. However, the Malibu doesn't have an available 4WD because GM forgot that memo. The new Fusion does and with the 4WD, traction is getting better even when its wet out there. This Intelligent All Wheel Drive system balances torque between the front and rear wheels to enhance handling and maximize traction, typically before wheel slip can even occur. That is very simple and very clever.

Oh wait hang on...I've heard that the Fusion does have idling stop system available on the 1.6L EcoBoost equipped with automatic transmission. Does the Malibu have that feature? Ha ha ha ha....No. This gets it and you already know how it works but for some noobs around here reading and asking how it works, this feature shuts the engine off when you stopped and then start again when you set off, saving petrol. Oh, for something eco, there's a hybrid variant.

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid
Same exterior looks of the new Fusion but because it is a hybrid, it comes with the 2.0L Atkinson-Cycle I-4 Hybrid Engine mated with the Electronic Continuously Variable (e-CVT). System total power output is 188HP and fuel economy is a record-breaking 47MPG, the highest of its class. Enough said.

And there we are. That sums it up most about the new Ford Fusion, which like the the Chevrolet Malibu, is the first global midsize sedan that will be offered not just the Americas but also in Europe, Asia, and Australia as well. This car may look better than the worthless Chevrolet Malibu because as we know, Ford wins and Chevy fails, but sadly though, this new model never captured the same essence of a classic Taurus and absolutely, doesn't win my heart.

Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Bubble Gang Dis Is Siete - the 17th anniversary special!

In the beginning, there was Michael V and Ogie Alcasid, the founding fathers of Bubble Gang. Then on the second day, there was Boy 2 Quizon and they made it even better. Then, there was Antonio Aquitania and my God, they made it even better than before. Later on, there are Bubblets named Sam Pinto, Jackie Rice, Gwen Zamora, and Ellen Adarna. On the fifth day, there's Diego and sheesh...ugliness reigns supreme. On the sixth day, Maureen Larrazabal and Ruffa Mae Quinto heralded the whole show. And now it's this! Bubble Gang Dis Is Siete. The show's 17th anniversary celebration and this anniversary special is bigger because it has five short flicks made by five indie film directors!


Deadspot is one of the five short flicks in this special. It was written by Henry Maceda and directed by Topel Lee (Amorosa). Michael V. and Gwen Zamora stars in this short flick where they want to make themselves an affair at the dark when suddenly, something scary occurs between them. Is it a dream or is it REAL?!


Written by Chito Francisco and directed by Soxie Topacio, Sampal tells the tale of Janessa (played by their residential ugly horse, Diego Llorico) who has a dark past because of...well, as the title suggests, sampal! Janessa once met a wealthy man and then she married him but sadly, her husband dies but happily, she now has the wealth of her husband's so she can seek revenge on her family...or is she? Also starring Antonio Aquitania, Maureen Larrazabal, Moymoy, Jackie Rice, Ellen Adarna and special guests Odette Khan, Roldan Aquino, and Victor Aliwalas. It's all slaps galore in your face!

Tres Y Locos

If its musical you like, how's this? Tres Y Locos is written by Roel Raval and directed by Uro Dela Cruz. It stars Ogie Alcasid, Antonio Aquitania and the amazing Betong Sumaya are the Tres Y Locos, a famed boy band where their popularity gained their inspiration for their every performance from the famous Ilocano delicacy called "tupig." If you don't know what tupig is, it is a delicious delicacy from Ilocos and I bet they're delicious. Ruffa Mae Quinto also stars and oh...subtitles included because it's all Ilocano in this short flick, as well as their songs...


Another dramatic short flick on that special and this one's called Kabiyak, written by Cesar Cosme and directed by Marlon Rivera. Maureen Larrazabal's the legal wife and Jackie Rice is the kabit, rivaling over the custody over the remains of a dead man they both loved. The funeral parlor manager (Michael V) decided to give each of them a piece of their man. The legal wife takes the upper half while the kabit gets the lower and more sinful half. Would that work?

Bakit Tinawag na Neneng Baket si Neneng B?

If you think watching the origin of Boy Pick Up in the big screen can be more interesting, wait 'till you see the origins of Neneng B in the small screen. Bakit Tinawag na Neneng Baket si Neneng B? is written by Mon Roco and directed by Dante Garcia. In here, we are able to see why Neneng B. kept on saying Baket? all the time. Your favorite Bubble Gang Pick Up Lines characters such as Ogie Alcasid as Boy Pick Up, Michael V. as McBits, Ruffa Mae Quinto as Ninang B, Eri Neeman as Boy Back Up, Antonio Aquitania as Dahon, Boy2 Quizon as Push Back, Moymoy Palaboy and Roadfill as Sukli and Bagoong, are here as well as Sam Pinto as Neneng B.

These five short flicks really are the stuff of what made this show great during its 17-year tenure and I have to say, this show rocks! So then, happy 17th year, Bubble Gang! Woo-hoo!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Let's Do The News! (October 19, 2012)

Right! Some news!

What news?

It's the Porsche Panamera. They've launched a luxurious version called the Platinum Edition, which applies on the basic V6 and V6 AWD versions of the Panamera. Also, it comes with platinum silver metallic touches on the side-view mirrors, on the specially designed grill, trimming on the trunk lid and the rear diffuser.

Porsche Panamera Platinum Edition

Ugh...again. Don't like the Panamera. It looks ugly and complicated...

(audience laughing)

Never mind then. Let's move on to Opel or Vauxhall because they've have launched a convertible spin-off of the Astra and it's called the Cascada. Opel's answer to the Volkswagen Eos.

2013 Opel Cascada


What to expect on the all new Cascada is a cloth convertible top that retracts in 17 seconds and at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph). The Cascada features a 1.4-liter turbo gas engine, 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 165 horsepower and a range-topping 1.6-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine that puts out 170 horsepower and 280 Nm (207 lb-ft). Power is sent through either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Also, it should be on sale next year, which is perfect for the coming Spring...

Wow, that is a good looking Opel convertible. Much better than the Eos or the Lancia Flavia but this is somewhat an Opel Astra with the roof off I'm afraid.

What? What's so bad about it?

I tell you what. If you were a supermodel, this is the kind of car that she'll drive because they both share one common interest: SEXY. Much like you call her SEXY. Run Sexy!

(audience laughing)

Seriously, WTF?

Of course, I want a girl that I want to call her Sexy...

...Unless if that girl is the TARDIS from a Doctor Who episode...Idris...TARDIS...calling her Sexy...

(audience laughing hysterically)

Shhhh....Enough now. Listen up. The Corvette's going to be regenerated next year and the seventh incarnation will be shown at 2013 Detroit Motor Show. Not much info about the regenerated model now but we do know that the seventh Corvette will gain a new logo. Here it is...

Seventh Corvette logo

This is the new logo...Are you ready?

You'll find out soon as long as you're done listening to the song ♫Looks Like We Made It...♫

(audience laughing)

♫Left each other on the way to another 
Looks like we made it
Or I thought so till today
Until you were there everywhere
And all I could taste was love the way we made it♫

Hey! What happened to Dave? Dave didn't make it. Dave drove a Ford...

(audience laughing)

Hah? Anyway, while we're diddling about that now, let's move on to the Mitsubishi RVR because as I'm sure you know that every Japanese motoring geeks are waiting if the 2013 model RVR, the one we saw at New York a couple of months earlier, is coming to Japan and here it is...

2013 Mitsubishi RVR
Ladies and gentlemen, or should I say minna-san! 2013 Mitsubishi RVR is here!

Yeah, really. This is the 2013 RVR (known in other markets as the ASX or Outlander Sport). The front grille and the front bumper's changed, Mitsubishi Multi Communication System as optional even though the optional sat-nav's changed, Drive Mode Selector is now a push button, 1.8L MIVEC engine, INVECS-III 6-speed Sport Mode CVT, and JC08 fuel economy stat of 15.8km/L. You get me? You get me? You do get me? You get me now? Good...

(audience laughing)

Of course, Jezza. They do got you.

Yeah. Speaking of week's going to be busy for you...

That's right because on Monday, 9/8C on BBC America, it's Richard Hammond's Crash Course Season 2 where on this season, Richard Hammond takes on America's dirtiest jobs...

Like what?

Cattle rancher, taxi driver, stuntman, barber, every other job in America that Hammo faces and Season 2 promises to be more dirtier than the first season of Crash Course. You get me? You get me? You do get me? Good.

(audience laughing)

Great news!


No wait. Some news. Peugeot is back in Manila courtesy of the same guy behind Kia.

Which is...Columbian Autocar Corporation...Felix Mabilog Jr.

Exactly. Peugeot's back in the Philippines thanks to its new distributor, Eurobrands Distributor Inc. And their offerings will be diesel-powered Pugs such as the 5008 MPV, 3008 crossover, and the 508 sedan. The only petrol-powered Pug in their lineup was the RCZ sport coupe.

A couple of years ago, Peugeot landed in the Philippines in the 2000's by some distributor called AutoFrance Philippines which was run by the Richard Lee-owned Universal Motors Corporation and Viking Cars Inc. but sadly, Peugeot closed its doors to the Philippines because of poor sales but now, with the new distributor, they want this brand to be a fighting stance to the Philippine market. That puzzles me...What about the owners of old Peugeots sold during the AutoFrance era? I mean since AutoFrance's defunct, Pinoy Peugeot owners are left without manufacturer-supported means of after-sales service.

Don't worry though. Once new Peugeot dealerships are opened by the year end, they'll be servicing old Peugeots as well...even the smuggled ones...

(audience laughing)

That's brilliant! Fantastic! Molto Bene!

Yeah and on that bombshell, that's the news and oh, be sure to catch Bubble Gang's 17th anniversary special episode because this special has five short films made by five indie film directors. Sampal, Deadspot, Tres Y Locos, Kabiyak, and Bakit Tinawag na Neneng Baket si Neneng B? These five blockbuster short films will be the most exciting Bubble Gang experience ever.

Bubble Gang 17th Anniversary Special

Thursday, October 18, 2012


For the fourth installment of THE IDOLM@STER ANIM@TION MASTER Namassuka Special series, it was the turn of Haruka Amami, Makoto Kikuchi, and Mami Futami to take on series of challenges.

Not only that, these three featured on this installment will perform their versions of some of Japan's greatest hit songs and for a real giggle, the M@STER VERSION of the DLC song from THE IDOLM@STER 2 video game titled Honey Heartbeat.

This series is almost at its climax and while we're waiting for it, we have to enjoy this latest feast and let's listen all the fun and games Haruka, Makoto, and Mami has to offer...

02 Honey Heartbeat(M@STER VERSION)
03 春香チャレンジのコーナー
04 天使のゆびきり
05 Groovin’ Magic
06 可能性ガール
07 真美チャレンジのコーナー
08 未来の地図
10 未来予想図II
11 真チャレンジのコーナー
12 初恋 〜四章 運命のイヴ〜
13 閑話休題
14 Honey Heartbeat(M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ

For English-speaking customers:

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fun with 60's Japanese Cars

Now, if you're from Japan and if you're aged from 50 and up, then you might remember a memorable classic Japanese TV commercial for Asahi Pentax camera but more importantly is this...

Yes, it maybe a classic oldies Japanese commercial for some oldies camera but with some 60's Japanese cars got featured in the ad like the Toyota 2000GT, Nissan S30 Fairlady, and the Mazda Cosmo, we kinda wondering that what if we can do that part from that ad...

To recreate that part from the classic Asahi Pentax ad, we decided to find a place to stage it and we think we found it...

We have chosen this venue to stage a reenactment. Yes, this is the Eiger Nordwand from the Gran Turismo 5 game. It maybe short, but thanks to its green scenery, recreating this part from the classic Japanese commercial from the 60's would be easy but in order to do this, we have to find the cars seen from that ad and it must be from the 1960's...

This fits right through its qualifications. This is a Japanese car from the 1960's and it's a kei car. It's called the Honda N360 and this set a benchmark for Honda kei cars. Produced from 1967 to 1972, the N360 is the brand's first kei car; small in size but big on fun. The N in the N360 name stands for norimono, which is Japanese for vehicle.

What surprised me that the N360 is a bit more of a Japanese clone of the classic Mini and we really do mean the Austin Morris Rover kind of Mini, not the BMW kind of Mini because we're talking nostalgia fun here but I think it looks broadly similar to the car that the Asahi Pentax commercial girl's driving. Hey! It does look like that one and that's about it. Anyway...

Kei cars in the past are powered by the 2-stroke air-cooled engines but for the N360, it comes with the air-cooled 4-stroke engine. This 2-cylinder SOHC engine produces about 31HP of power but at the end of its production life, it had increased to 36HP. For the first two years of the N360, about 400,000 units have been sold, and amazingly, outselling the legendary kei car, the Subaru 360. This car really helped Honda became a full-fledged carmaker even though the fact that Honda makes motorcycles for a living.

Mated on the N360 was the 4-speed manual gearbox with dog-clutch engagement, capable of reaching a top speed of about 115kph.

Enough analogy for now and since we're on the subject of 60's Japanese cars from the Asahi Pentax ad, look what we brought to complete the process...

This is the Toyota 2000GT. Dubbed as Japan's first supercar, the design of the 2000GT really resembles more of a Ferrari of that time but surprisingly, this car was made to crush opponents at Fuji and Suzuka and then set a top speed of 220kph when this car was tested at the Yatabe test course. Little known fact that they made a one-off convertible version for the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. It maybe a Bond car but it was driven by a Bond girl on that film named Akiko Wakabayashi or Aki, who was a Japanese special agent aiding James Bond's mission. Originally they would put a coupe version but because of the height of the interior that cannot accommodate Sean Connery's head, they decided to chop the 2000GT's roof away and made it open-top for the film.

Rarity aside, the Toyota 2000GT is a very rare classic car because they only made 300 of them, about 200 less than today's Lexus LFA's 500 units. When it was launched in the 1960's, they can't afford the pricing of 2,380,000 Yen, which in today's money, I think, is about 15 or 16 million yen. I think it could be more than my guessing but anyway, let's move on to the next one...

The Mazda Cosmo, when it was launched in 1967, is the first ever car to come with the world's first mass-produced two-rotor Wankel rotary engine. The rotary wankel engine was the brainchild of Sir Felix Wankel who sold the rights to Mazda from that time. This car is another instant rarity because when it stopped making these at 1972, about 1,176 cars were sold. Oh and for the fun of it, because of its futuristic styling, it did landed a role on the Ultraman TV show.

And here it is. Our last ingredient to finish it up, this is the first generation Nissan Fairlady and this was launched in 1969. I know, this is the first Fairlady Z car. 'Nuff said.

Now that we got all of the main ingredients, the stage of recreating a scene from the Asahi Pentax commercial is finally ready. Let's not forget that in that scene, the 2000GT was first then followed by the Cosmo, and the S30 Fairlady so the sequences has to be in that order...

...and that does it. The reenactment's done and those 60's Classic Japanese Cars finally got's not say 60 seconds of fame, let's call it THE X FACTOR because the may be old but they still have their X FACTOR shining through their golden days of Japanese motoring.

This goes to show...60's Japanese Classic Cars are COOL. CLASSICS ARE COOL...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2013 Nissan Latio N17 gets the IMPUL treatment?! Ahem...

2013 Nissan Latio with IMPUL aero kit

The 2013 Nissan Latio (known in other countries as the Almera or Sunny) compact sedan was recently launched a few weeks ago in Japan with the starting price of 1,388,100 Japanese Yen.

In Malaysia, Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) decided to spice up the Almera a little bit with the help of Nissan tuning firm, IMPUL (URL:

The N17 Latio tuned by IMPUL comes with an IMPUL Blast 2 Exhaust Muffler and 16-inch HS-06 alloy wheels in silver and black with a matte finish. The rims equpped by IMPUL helped reduced its weight by 20 to 30%. Also, it has been lowered by 30mm thanks to its IMPUL-made suspension.

Malaysia is the first to get this spiced-up Latio/Almera/Sunny N17. We still don't know when this will be offered in Japan...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anime Saimoe Tournament 2012 update (October 15, 2012)

Another day, another results from the 2012 Saimoe Tournament! And oh my gosh, it's been highly dominated by characters from Saki Achiga-hen. How did that happened? Oh well, let's see who made it...

(Group A) 10/7:
* Saki Miyanagi - Saki Episode of Side A - 321 (Winner)
Kobato Hasegawa - Haganai - 245

(Group B) 10/7:
* Akari Akaza - Yuruyuri - 385 (Winner)
Mei Misaki - Another - 217

(Group C) 10/9:
* Hisa Takei - Saki Episode of Side A - 224 (Winner)
Cthugha - Haiyore! Nyaruko-san - 272

(Group D) 10/9:
* Louise de la Valliere - Familiar of Zero F - 306 (Winner)
Nagi Sanzenin - Hayate the Combat Butler! Heaven Is a Place on Earth - 269

(Group E) 10/11:
* Sanya V. Litvyak - Strike Witches (movie) - 285 (Winner)
Sakuno Uryuu - Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 219

(Group F) 10/11:
*Kuro Matsumi - Saki Episode of Side A - 361 (Winner)
Ririchiyo Shirakiin - Inu X Boku Secret Service - 232

(Group G) 10/13:
* Nodoka Haramura - Saki Episode of Side A - 305 (Winner)
Hitagi Senjougahara - Nisemonogatari - 185

(Group H) 10/13:
Sena Kashiwazaki - Haganai - 286 (Winner)
Mio Akiyama - K-ON! (movie) - 158

(Group A) 10/8:
* Koromo Amae - Saki Episode of Side A - 287 (Winner)
Yuuki Kataoka - Saki Episode of Side A - 207

(Group B) 10/8:
*Toki Onjouji - Saki Episode of Side A - 361 (Winner)
Iori Minase - The IDOLM@STER - 195

(Group C) 10/10:
* Yayoi Kise - Smile Pretty Cure! - 267 (Winner)
Astarotte Ygvar - Astarotte's Toy - 171

(Group D) 10/10:
* Hinata Hakamada - Ro-Kyu-Bu! - 246 (Winner)
Chihaya Kisaragi - The IDOLM@STER - 199

(Group E) 10/12:
* Yuu Matsumi - Saki Episode of Side A - 350 (Winner)
Charlotte Dunois - Infinite Stratos Encore: Koi ni Kogareru Rokujūsō - 197

(Group F) 10/12:
* Kirame Hanada - Saki Episode of Side A - 299 (Winner)
Yui Funami - Yuruyuri - 271

(Group G) 10/14:
*Ako Atarashi - Saki Episode of Side A - 383 (Winner)
Tsukihi Araragi - Nisemonogatari - 211

(Group H) 10/14:
* Shana - Shakugan no Shana III (Final) - 291 (Winner)
Airi Kashii - Ro-Kyu-Bu! - 287


So the question is, who's going to take over blocks A to H? If these blocks were filled up, looks like we got ourselves our final 8 and they'll be going down to 4 and then 2 and there could only be one...Stay tuned!

Group A: Saki Miyanagi vs. Koromo Amae

Group B: Akari Akaza vs. Toki Onjouji

Group C: Hisa Takei vs. Yayoi Kise

Group D: Louise de la Valliere vs. Hinata Hakamada

Group E: Sanya V. Litvyak vs. Yuu Matsumi

Group F: Kuro Matsumi vs. Kirame Hanada

Group G: Nodoka Haramura vs. Ako Atarashi

Group H: Sena Kashiwazaki vs. Shana

The other Aston Vantage

An Aston Martin made for grand touring

Following Ford Motor Company's acquisition of Aston Martin in 1987, Aston Martin unveiled the V8 Vantage at the 1992 Birmingham Motor Show and it is essentially a high performance version of the Virage.

The base model comes with the 5.3L V8 engine that produces 344HP of power while the Vantage added two superchargers at the 5.3L V8 so it generates over 550HP of power and 549.7 ft-lb of torque. It's mated in either a 6-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. Despite its 2-ton weight, it can go 0-100kph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 300kph.

For stopping power, the V8 Vantage comes with the large-diameter AP brake discs; the 362mm diameter front rotors were among the largest ever in a road car.

The V600 model boosted the supercharged 5.3L V8 engine to 600HP of power.

Production of the Vantage V8 commenced in 1993 and continued up until 1999. In 2000, Aston Martin's "Works Service" unit built nine bespoke Vantage Volantes (convertibles), one of which was built to long wheelbase specifications.

The Vantage and the R33

Unlike any other past model Astons, the V8 Vantage from the 1990's is not exactly more of a show-off but with the fighting stance of a street fighter, this car's always on the offensive rather than the defensive side. The outside though, I find it very confusing that if these came from the Nissan Skyline R32 or the R33 perhaps. If you put them on the same place, you'll know that they're highly identical in design terms.

The supercar of the old-school

What surprised me is the sound of its supercharged 5.3L V8 engine. It sounds like a combination between Pavarotti and the roaring noise of the fictitious Assoluto Squaldon from Rage Racer. What I'm saying is that the engine sounds like Pavarotti while the supercharger whine sounds like Rage Racer's Squaldon. Let's not forget that when it was launched in that decade, this is Aston Martin's most powerful production model they've ever made.

As you may remember, in a classic Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the V8 Vantage but only the engineering prototype because Aston Martin can't lend him the finished production model for some unknown reasons. Unlike the finished product, the prototype that Jeremy tested has its rear lamps wrong (looks like it came from the Virage), the rims are wrong, and there are no rear seats but Jeremy doesn't really matter because he enjoys it. He called this V8 Vantage "it's a Rolls-Royce with attitude".

To see all this poetic violence the V8 Vantage does, I devised a little test...

It came from the Satan Pit

The devil's bottom

This is the Lamborghini Diablo SV, one of the most well-known sportscars of the 1990's, V12 engine at the middle, no traction control, no anti-lock brakes, and a Stig to handle the beast below...

This is what happens when you pit against a Diablo

...and he's facing against the V600 V8 Vantage, which is driven by a fat bloke in slacks. Stand by, ladies and gents, for a quarter-mile race at the Top Gear Track...

Diablo PWNed the V8 Vantage!

So, the V8 Vantage lost the drag race but now let's see how good they really are by putting them at the Top Gear Test Track for one full lap at the circuit. This should be interesting.

The Diablo SV done it in 1:23.023 while the V600 V8 Vantage did it in 1:26.319, meaning that the V600 lost the bout despite the V8 Vantage V600 has more power than the Diablo SV's. Sure, the V8 Vantage V600 may have lost the fight against the Diablo but in every intangible way, the V8 Vantage is a better alternative to the Diablo because unlike the Lambo, the Aston V8 Vantage V600 has room at the back and it has proper doors unlike the Lambo's scissor doors that others find it a bit of a show-off.

No matter what, the V8 Vantage has the pecks of the chippendale and the stance of the street fighter...

The Vantage evolution

A new front splitter on the Huayra?

Pagani Huayra Gets New Front Splitter?!

Those who followed Jason Plato's twitter site may have noticed that the Pagani Huayra that Jason Plato's testing for next episode of Fifth Gear is wearing a front splitter. Huh?

Yes, with the addition of front splitter provides more downforce but it is unclear if Pagani's going to fit the front splitter on their new Huayra hypercar. We'll have to wait until Jason Plato's Huayra review on Fifth Gear...

Top Gear James Bond special on October 29?

Aston Martin DB5

Sure, next season of Top Gear won't be here until next year but the show's planning a special episode paying tribute to James Bond's 50th anniversary. Sources say that Richard Hammond's hosting this TV special showcasing the best of the Bond cars from the Aston Martin DB5 on Goldfinger, BMW Z3 on Goldeneye, BMW 750i on Tomorrow Never Dies (a car can be operated by remote control), BMW Z8 on The World is Not Enough, Lotus Esprit submarine car from The Spy who Loved Me, Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day, Aston Martin DBS from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and so on.

Also, Richard Hammond tries to build a Bond Car on a budget and we don't really mean the Rover 800 or the Range Rover from last year's Top Gear at the Movies DVD. It's going to be a different DIY experience as Hammo's making a Bond car in today's economy.

Formula One 2012 Korean GP Update

F1: 2012
F1 2012

Well, it appears that Red Bull's very own Sebastian Vettel does know how to do Gangnam Style, well not the kind of dance we all enjoy but at Yeongam despite the tyre-wear problems. Such win pushed S. Vettel ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by a 6 point gap at the driver's ranking but can Vettel hang on to the very end?


Race - Vettel storms into title lead with Korean win 14 Oct 2012
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel may have had some tyre-wear problems towards the end of Sunday’s Yeongam race, but from outside the cockpit it looked like yet another walk in the park for the defending champion as his third victory in a row moved him into the lead of the world championship fight by six points from Fernando Alonso.

On a damage limitation day, the Spaniard brought his Ferrari home third behind Vettel and his team mate Mark Webber. It was the first time that any team have finished one-two this season.

The Australian’s pole counted for nothing as Vettel sped down the inside into the first corner, just as Alonso was likewise depriving Lewis Hamilton of third place. Further back, Sergio Perez hit Jenson Button’s McLaren before his Sauber team mate Kamui Kobayashi did the job properly, walloping it twice and sending it into immediate retirement with right-front suspension damage.

Nico Rosberg also sustained a cut left-rear tyre in the incident which accounted for his Mercedes a lap later. As he parked on the run down to Turn Three, the DRS zone was effectively negated for several laps until the silver car could be removed. Later Kobayashi was given a drive-through penalty for causing a collision, and retired as a result of damage his C31 incurred.

Vettel owned the race, controlling Webber easily. Further back, Alonso kept them honest but no more than that, and was lucky that it was team mate Felipe Massa who rode shotgun all the way to the flag after another good race for the Brazilian in which he had greater pace than the Spaniard. Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen was a lonely fifth, while a great drive by Nico Hulkenberg realised sixth place for Force India after a gritty battle with Romain Grosjean in the other Lotus.

McLaren’s disastrous day saw Hamilton troubled early on with tyre wear and he was the first pit stopper on the 13th lap as he switched from Pirelli’s super-soft rubber to the softs. He had superb battles with Raikkonen and then Hulkenberg and Grosjean, but that set lasted only until Lap 26. The third set was worn out by Lap 42, which dropped him from contention for sixth place to a fight for eighth with the Toro Rossos.

He pushed Jean-Eric Vergne as hard as he could, but after the Frenchman had reacted by catching and passing team mate Daniel Ricciardo to take an excellent eighth, Hamilton picked up a chunk of astro-turf on his right-hand sidepod. As that affected his MP4-27’s aerodynamics he dropped away and was lucky to resist Perez at the flag by a scant 0.3s.

The result puts Ferrari ahead of McLaren in the constructors’ stakes, 290 points to 284, as Red Bull’s great day brought their score to 367.

Force India’s Paul di Resta battled all afternoon with Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, but Hulkenberg’s performance put him ahead of the Scot in the points table after Di Resta took 12th ahead of Schumacher. Behind them, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado and Bruno Senna ran wheel-to-wheel for much of the way. The Venezuelan led his team mate home by 1.9s after the Brazilian’s attempt to pass in Turn Three on the 54th lap was repelled.

The Caterham drivers also had a close race, swapping position on more than one occasion before Vitaly Petrov made it stick as Heikki Kovalainen fell back. They finished 16th and 17th as Timo Glock led Marussia partner Charles Pic in their wake. At one stage the German kept the green and yellow cars honest before falling back.

Narain Karthikeyan was the final finisher in 21st for HRT, as team mate Pedro de la Rosa joined Button, Rosberg and Kobayashi on the list of retirements.


With Vettel overtaken Alonso at the standings, can he still hang on against the rest or will Ferrari's Alonso catching up? You'll find out soon in India this October 28...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Let's Do The News! (October 14, 2012)

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible

(cheers and applause)

What do you mean they both lose?

THEY REALLY BOTH LOSE. The hardtop versions of the ZL1 and GT500 are like puto (some kind of steamed rice cake in Philippine cuisine). If you make sawsawan to some dinuguan (pork and blood stew), you're going to ruin it. If you make sawsawan to a cup of coffee, you're going to make it better.

You really quite serious though?

It makes sense!

So, it was like that according to Top Gear, if you take a roof off a normal car like Peugeot or a BMW 1-Series, no harm done. They look dramatic. But with serious performance cars, that's a different story...

Yeah, for those convertible muscle cars, they were going to taste worse than dinuguan...

(audience laughing)

Okay, the news and word from Porsche is that they've launched a brand new variant of the Cayenne SUV called the Turbo S...

2013 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S's known to be the fastest, most outlandish Cayenne ever built. It has the same engine from the standard Turbo but now, it has a 50HP increase, meaning it can go 0-100kph in 4 1/2 seconds and has a top speed of 283 km/h.

(sigh) I really don't like the Cayenne...too ugly...looks like a larva of the fly...

(audience laughing)

I disagree...Sure, Porsches maybe looking ugly with very complicating interiors but they are exciting to drive and with this Turbo S, I believe that this is the only SUV that focuses on speed. I want this one!

No way man. I'm not betting on those...

(audience laughing)

Well fine. But this Cayenne's on me.

Go for it, Porsche boy...

(audience laughing, then cheers and applause)

Now, as some may recall last month that Koenigsegg made a special one-off Agera R for a Chinese client, it's called the BLT, here it is, look...

Koenigsegg Agera R BLT It's not that BLT sandwich, it has a different meaning in China. BLT represents the pinnacle of the Koenigsegg customization program and truly show how bespoke a Koenigsegg can become.

Looks nice though, how was it?

In China, he's fine but moments later...the cops banged him...

(audience laughing)


The Chinese cops impounded the one-off Agera R BLT because he allegedly didn't declare the vehicle and failed to pay income tax.

So, this customized Agera R was...

Smuggled. His one-off Agera R BLT was a smuggled one...

Agera R BLT impounded by Chinese Customs


Why that happened?

Tell you what. For tax evasion, his Agera R BLT made a stopover at Vietnam and then heading to China. Some articles said that but I felt pity for that wealthy Chinese man responsible for the Agera R BLT.

Well, lesson learned that if you have enough money for your one-off supercar, be sure to have enough money for the income tax.

(audience laughing)

Hey now, those who are returning or new visitors to the Doctor Who Experience (opened since Summer 2012) at Porth Teigr, Cardiff, Wales, we just heard that there's some new stuff exhibited at the DWE.


Yeah! Rather than the life size Dalek made from Character Building Blocks, or even Matt Smith and Steven Moffat's handprints, there's some new stuff exhibited at the Doctor Who Experience and those came from the first half of Doctor Who Series 7.

Like what?

Let's see...Oswin Oswald's costume from Asylum of the Daleks, a chained Weeping Angel from The Angels Take Manhattan, Solomon's and Queen Nefertiti's costume from Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, oh and those robots from that episode as well.

Oh! Looks like we got Mr. Manners! We are very crossed with you.

(audience laughing)

I wonder what's next? The cubes from The Power of Three? the gravestone of Amy and Rory? Melody Malone book? Shakri's costume? The Gunslinger?

There's more props coming at the Doctor Who Experience and because of this year's Christmas special and the second half of Series 7 next year, there's more and more props to be exhibited right until the program's 50th anniversary celebration. Don't worry though, like the TARDIS, this exhibition is bigger on the inside!

(audience laughing)

Right. As on the topic of DW, they streamed an online exclusive feature about what happened to Rory's dad, Brian. This is the epilogue that was never shot but thanks to these storyboards, we might be able to see. It's called P.S.

Dear Dad, 

This is the difficult bit. If I got this right, you’re reading this letter a week after we left in the TARDIS. The thing is: we’re not coming back. We’re alive and well and stuck in New York, 50 years before I was born. We can’t come home again, I won’t ever see you again and that breaks my heart.

I’m so sorry, Dad. I thought about this for years and I realised there was one thing that I could do, I could write you, tell you everything about how we lived, about how, despite it all, we were happy. But before I do, I need you to know…

you are the best dad any son could have had.

And for all the times I drove you mad and you drove me mad, all the times I snapped at you… I’m sorry. I miss everything about you, especially our awkward hugs.

I bought a trough, we have a small yard, a garden. But one more important bit of business, the man who delivered the letter, Anthony. Be nice to him…

because he’s your grandson.

We finally adopted in 1946: Anthony Brian Williams. He can tell you everything, he’ll have the family albums and I realise having a grandson who’s older than you is so far beyond weird.

But I’m sorry. I love you, Dad. I miss you.

Wow. That really made me cry!

Uh-huh! That really made me cry and on that perfectly harmonious bombshell, that's the news and oh, massive congratulations to the Filipino Flash Nonito Donaire for winning the fight against Toshiaki Nishioka!

(cheers and applause)

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible vs. 2013 Shelby GT500 Convertible

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

This is the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible, which on this spec costs 59,545 US Dollars...

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible

...and this is the new Mustang GT500 Convertible, which in all intentional purposes cost 59,200 US Dollars.

For those who love some speed, power, and a lot of grunt, the GT500 is a better bet because this is now hailed as America's Most Powerful Production Car or better yet, the world's most powerful V8 car, beating out the former V8 king, the Corvette ZR1. On this Convertible version, you'll get the same experiences from the coupe version but with the roof down to enjoy the open air. The GT500 is America's new speed king, meaning that on the straights, the GT500 rules but unlike the GT500 because it relies on such prehistoric suspension even though it was tweaked by SVT, the Camaro ZL1 is much more track-focused thanks to its standard Magnetic Ride Control, standard Performance Traction Management, and standard track-capable equipment such as a rear-differential cooler, brake cooling ducts, and an engine and transmission cooler.

If they were softdrinks, they'll be Coke or Pepsi. If they were girls, they'll be Medaka or Rias....

There's more with these two cars; they're both Americans, they're both muscles, and they're both have roofs made of cloth rather than metal. If you put these two on a drag race, rest assured that thanks to its supercharged 5.8-liter V8 aluminum-block engine produces 662 horsepower and 631 lb.-ft. of torque, the GT500 trounces the ZL1 and its all-aluminum 580HP 6.2L supercharged engine. Even if you switch drivers and do the race again, the results remain the same. It's like Bumblebee being fragged by Eleanor.

Truth be told, the GT500 Convertible is quicker than the ZL1 convertible on a straight line but when placed on racetracks, the results are highly different. Thanks to its SVT-tuned suspension and an additional Track Package that costs them more, the handling feels much more dynamic than the old model. So dynamic, you may found out that this muscle's highly challenging if you're not paying attention. It takes a lot of skill and time to master the GT500's dynamic handling and if you do, you'll find it even more rewarding.

On the ZL1 though, it's still a "Dynamic and Dangerous" muscle car but because of its sophisticated computer wizardry or probably thanks to its standard Magnetic Ride Control or Performance Traction Management, the ZL1 tries to tame its dynamism a little bit further. Despite the ZL1's power output less than the GT500's, I can brake later than the GT500, I can turn harder than the GT500, and that's it. The ZL1's a track-focused muscle car with some added dynamism on it. Let's remember, the coupe version of the ZL1 lapped the Nurburgring at 7:41.27, quicker than the Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SV or even the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

On the subject of muscle car convertibles though, thanks to some strengthening needs, both of these cars are heavier than their hardtop coupe equivalents. A trivia though that with no roof, it all ends up with the engine on the front connected to its steering and suspension goodies by just a floor, just like two volumes of encyclopedias and a piece of paper. It's too wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff if you know what I mean.

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Convertible

The 2013 GT500 Convertible though, I believe that this is much better than the old GT500 Convertible. I'm just saying because there are so many stuff to do better than this includes...late night television, working at a fast-food restaurant, or go on a strike with your officemates. Stuff like that. Even though with major improvements, the convertible GT500 is a lot heavier than the hardtop equivalents and it spoils a lot.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

The hardtop ZL1 is one of the best Chevrolets I've experienced a few months ago but with the convertible ZL1, this is even better. With no roof, you can clearly hear the sound of the 6.2L supercharged engine even better. It sounds like there was a dirty brawl between Nina Williams and Miki Hoshii. That sounds better than this but with such noise, it's hard to notice it and you can't even feel the ZL1 convertible's extra weight. On the race track, both are good but for everyday use, I think the ZL1 is the better bet because on bumpy roads, the ZL1's suspension counterattacks the vibration more than the GT500's.

For a real treat on those convertible muscle cars, get a girl who spend her money on hair rebonding and do some experimenting. Unless your girl had used Rejoice shampoo, your muscle car convertible may end up turning her into a mohawk. Worse, you'll arrive in a black eye...

And that concludes my impressions to the ZL1 and GT500 cabrios. Naming a winner on these two is not that all fun and games because sadly though...well, sorry Mr. JCR Clarkson Esq. for saying your lines...THEY BOTH LOSE.

Photo: General Motors, Ford Motor Company
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