Saturday, April 22, 2017

60 Years of Nissan Skyline

The story of the Nissan Skyline began since the 24th of April, 1957, when the first-generation Skyline, dubbed the ALS1, came out. The year marks the 60th anniversary of the Nissan Skyline and for thirteen generations, the most iconic nameplate in Nissan history has been through numerous phases from being a family midsize saloon nothing to write home about, to the birthstones of the legendary GT-R performance variants, the iconic Godzilla that dates back from the R32 to the R34 Skyline GT-R, all the way to becoming Japan's 3-Series fighter from V35 to today's V37.

Like every other Nissan execs advising people to stop altering the Skyline Timeline, such in the case of putting the R35 GT-R to this history like you, the speedo boys, now's the time to tell the "real" SKYLINE TIMELINE in honor of the Skyline's 60th anniversary, from ALS1 to V37, but let's keep it quick but understandable to speedo boys elsewhere so they can get to know the real Skyline history.

First Generation (ALS1) - The first Skyline, known as the Prince Skyline at that moment in time, was launched on the 24th of April, 1957 and it was available as either a four-door saloon, two-door coupe, two-door cabrio, and a five-door estate. It was powered by either a 1.5L or a 1.9L petrol engine and its striking feature to the first Skyline is its de Dion tube rear suspension, which makes it handle like a sportscar.

First-generation Skyline

Second-generation (S50) - Following the 1954 merger after Fuji Precision Industries changed its name to Prince Motor Company, the second-generation Skyline was launched in September 1963 and like the first one, it's offered with either a saloon and an estate while being powered by either a 1.5L or a 2.0L petrol engine. Three years later, after Nissan-Prince merger, the car is now known as the Nissan Skyline. It once competed at the second Japanese Grand Prix against the likes of the mighty Porsche 904 GTS.

Second-generation Skyline

Third-generation (C10) - The third-generation Nissan Skyline was launched in July 1968. A year later, the performance variant we know as the Skyline GT-R was introduced. With the chassis code of KPGC10 and known by most as the Hakosuka due to its box-shaped design, the GT-R is powered by a 2.0L S20 six-cylinder DOHC engine producing 160HP of power and 180Nm and it was derived from the Prince R380 race car. It was offered as either a saloon or a coupe and believe it or not, a HakoSuka saloon scored 33 victories in less than two years while the coupe scored 17 more through 1972.

Third-generation Skyline

Fourth-generation (C110) - Launched in September 1972, the fourth-generation Skyline was nicknamed the Kenmeri Skyline because of the TV commercial that has the couple named Ken and Mary on it. The Kenmeri Skyline GT-R, meanwhile, uses the same engine as the previous one and it was the first Japanese car to have disc brakes front and rear. Although popular, it was short-lived with 197 units made after stricter exhaust regulations were introduced following the oil crisis.

Fourth-generation Skyline

Fifth-generation (C210) - The fifth-generation Nissan Skyline was launched in August 1977 and known by the advertising as "SKYLINE JAPAN" due to its Japanese engineering tinkered to this car. The biggest trump card of this generation was the L20ET petrol engine introduced in 1980. Although less than what the previous model's GT-R had, it is the most powerful engine in its range. It was sold in Europe as the Datsun 240K-GT with the 2.4L petrol engine producing 142PS of power, three less than the Japan version's L20ET engine.

Fifth-generation Skyline

Sixth-generation (R30) - Launched in August 1981, the R30 Skyline features a much striking design compared to the previous model and it saw the introduction of the 2000RS variant with some of the concessions to comfort stripped out, turning it into a potent track weapon with 1,130kg of weight while being powered by a FJ20E petrol engine producing 150PS of power and 181Nm of torque. It was later joined by a turbocharged RS variant with power up to 190PS of power, hence labeled as the most powerful Japanese production engine of its time. Paul Newman endorsed this car and it even comes with a special variant named after him.

Sixth-generation Skyline

Seventh-generation (R31) - The 7th Skyline was launched in August 1985 and they are the first Skylines to use the RB engines. It was the first car in the world to introduce the 4-wheel steering system called HICAS (High Capacity Active Steering). The most potent version of the R31 is the GTS-R variant, which was homologated for Group A Touring Car racing. It was powered by a more potent RB20DET producing 210PS of power for road use, while racing-spec versions can produce up to 430HP in Group A trim.

Seventh-generation Skyline

Eighth-generation (R32) - Launched in May 1989, the eighth-generation Skyline was the first Skyline to come with multilink suspension. Later on, the GT-R was returned with the more powerful 2.6L 6-cylinder turbo engine and full-time four-wheel drive system. When it became a Group A racer, it smashed 29 races, hence earned the nickname Godzilla.

Eighth-generation Skyline

Ninth-generation (R33) - Introduced in August 1993, the ninth-generation Skyline is slightly heavier than the previous model while retaining some of the sporty characteristics from its predecessor. It comes with the brand new Super HICAS four-wheel steering system which uses electric actuators to steer the rear, unlike the hydraulic HICAS. It even comes with an available active limited slip differential which can lock the rear differential if it senses lack of traction by one of its wheels. The GT-R was returned to the lineup in 1995, adopting the slogan "Minus 21 second roman" because of the Nurburgring lap time of 7:59:000 meaning that's 21 seconds faster than the R32's lap time of 8:20:000. With the same RB26DETT engine, the R33 got an improved ATTESSA E-TS that was called ATTESA E-TS Pro all wheel drive system, which contains LSD.

Ninth-generation Skyline

Tenth-generation (R34) - The tenth-generation Skyline was introduced in May 1998, featuring a totally new bodywork that was labeled by the advertising as "DRIVING BODY."Apart from its improvements to the chassis, suspension, and dynamics that can match through the best of Europe, the R34 Skyline comes with their most powerful brakes ever made with the stopping time from 100kph to a dead stop in three seconds. A year later, the GT-R was introduced and it was known to be the best GT-R ever made before the end of the century, with the same ATTESSA-ETS Pro and the RB26DETT engine from the R33. The Nur variants, named after the Nurburgring, of the R34 Skyline GT-R are the special final variants just before the R34 and the Skyline GT-R's demise in 2002.

Tenth-generation Skyline

Eleventh-generation (V35) - In June 2001, the eleventh-generation Nissan Skyline was launched and it's now a luxury-focused saloon that competes against the likes of BMW's 3-Series, Benz's C-Class, and Audi's A4. Using the new FM platform that would underpin its station wagon equivalent, the Stagea, and its bigger brother, the Fuga, the eleventh-generation Skyline was powered with a choice of either a 2.5L, 3.0L, and 3.5L V6 engine. It was first sold in America as the new Infiniti G35, in saloon and coupe guise.

Eleventh-generation Skyline

Twelfth-generation (V36) - The twelfth-generation Nissan Skyline was launched in Japan in November 2006. It was joined with the coupe version a year later and a crossover variant in 2009 (which was sold globally as the Infiniti EX or QX50). It features 4-way Active Steer that behaves like the predecessors' HICAS. At first, it was powered by a 3.5L V6 engine but later, it was replaced by the same 3.7L VVEL engine from the Z34 Fairlady Z while being powered by a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The coupe variant has the same Z-derived setup as well.

Twelfth-generation Skyline

Thirteenth-generation (V37) - And now, here we are, the latest-generation Skyline that went on sale to the Japanese market since February 2014. This generation has a major twist because while this car was sold globally as the brand new Infiniti Q50, this Skyline bears Infiniti badges on the front grille and the interior while the rear view bears the SKYLINE letterings on it. It has a new Direct Adaptive Steering which delivers precise handling and quickly communicates road surface feedback to the driver. There's also the Active Lane Control which uses a camera to detect direction of the vehicle based on the lane markers to help fine-tune the tire angle and steering reaction force. Also, it comes with the world's first Predictive Forward Collision Warning that detects possible collisions ahead and triggers and alert to the driver with a visual warning and audible buzzer. For now, the V37 Skyline features 3.5L V6 engine connected to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery as well as a Mercedes-Benz-derived 2.0L 4-cylinder petrol engine. There are no plans to launch the coupe version, which was sold globally as the Q60, along with its new VR30DTT petrol engine with up to 400HP of power output.

Thirteenth-generation Skyline
...and there we have it. 60 years, 13 generations, various bodystyles, one Skyline. Need to say more? Anyway, here's for another 60 years of Nissan Skyline and no matter which direction one of the most iconic nameplates is heading at, rest assured that the Skyline will long be remembered as either an average saloon from the distant past, the Godzilla that won the hearts of speedo boys, or the luxury car that battles the best of European imports.


Forza Horizon 3: The legendary NISMO R33 LM

Continuing on the Nissan Skyline's 60th anniversary celebration, let's take a look at one of the rarest Godzillas of all time and this Godzilla is a corker when it participated Le Mans in 1995 with satisfactory results. Meet the legendary R33 NISMO GT-R LM.

Specifically, the Road Going Version of the said car, the one you can get from Forza Horizon 3's Duracell Car Pack. Anyway, I got a chance to try out with the rarest road-legal Godzilla of all time and while this one is basically a living legend in the eyes of racing game fanatics, this rare beast is impossible to ignore due to its legendary status in the world of motorsports.

So, how did they do it? Nissan became a major player in the competitive world of endurance racing with their R87E, R88C, and R89CK, which set a pole position at the 1990 Le Mans 24 Hours. However, regulation changes prompted Nissan, pretty much like every carmaker in the world, to end its Group C racing campaigns and instead, making production-based GT cars starting with the R32 Skyline GT-R, which dominated Group A racing for 29 races, hence earned the nickname Godzilla. With the success of the Group A R32, they've developed their worthy successor to this vehicle, the R33 NISMO GT-R LM. First of all, it was stripped out to almost nothing as well as converting it from four-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive, resulting to 1150kg of weight. Apart from that, the RB26DETT engine was tuned to Group N regulations, producing over 400HP of power output.

Before taking the R33 LM to Le Mans, they have to homologated it for road use and for this "Road Going Version", however, the said engine dropped a hundred horses of power output while putting road-legal stuff to make this race-worthy Godzilla suitable for road use. Anyway, back to Le Mans, only two race cars have participated in 1995. Whereas the #23 car, the pink one, retired with gearbox failure after 157 laps, the #22 finished in 10th place overall, fifth in class. Although average, it shows what Nissan is capable of in the world of endurance racing.

Being inside the R33 GT-R NISMO LM is a great honor to get behind the wheel of this mythical demon from the Skyline timeline, if you are looking for another great way to celebrate 60 years of Nissan Skyline, but by getting to know about the rarest Godzilla of all, first impression wasn't always grateful because while this is basically an R33 Skyline GT-R underneath, it doesn't feel like the GT-R at all because it's a rear-wheel drive car but despite being rear-wheel drive racer, it still has that Skyline magic to it and then there's the noise, which is very ear-deafening during fourth gear max speed runs. So deafening, it feels like your head's going to blow off any minute, and that's downright scary.

The NISMO R33 GT-R LM can be downright mind-blowing for a road-legal version but because this is the rarest GT-R of all, it's downright legendary and I think I have a brilliant idea to do with it,,,

It took me a lot of time to find the perfect replica of the #22 design as seen from the 1995 Le Mans endurance race where it place 10th overall and 5th in class and here it is. Gotta give credit to the one who made this exact replica but anyway, I did some improvements to make sure it is as race-ready as the real thing and believe me, this GT-R's not afraid to be pushed too hard.

To test this, I sent this one to a little invitation from the best of 90's Japanese sportscars and looks like this one's up to a challenge against one of the most iconic street racers from Japan since the late 20th century. Ready?

Man, that was a good game and driving the R33 NISMO GT-R LM is a real blast for me and did you see the part where the inevitable photo finish occurred at the end of the second round? It's impossible but it happened anyway.

So, with that taken care of, the celebration of 60 years of Nissan Skyline continues...

Bubble Gang - April 21, 2017 #BGBeautyAndTheBeast

In the April 21, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Beauty and the Beast gags

- Everything in this house are props...

- Another Buhay ng Bakla session...

- The murder case too hard to solve...

- The Manyikas' word of the day is...Tulong.

- Bubble Gang does Advil Liquigel by spoofing this commercial as ADLIV LIQUIGEL. For many kinds of pain.

- The Jungle Belles encountered a...zombie?

- Facemasks have some weird ways to different kinds of people

- Mr. Beng in the restaurant

- Basa-basa pik!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Can't help falling in love

Can't help falling in love

After the success of last year's romantic movie, Barcelona: A Love Untold, the breakout couple of this generation, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, returns for this month's offering from ABS-CBN Star Cinema, titled Can't help falling in love.

In this film, Kathryn plays the role of a woman named Gab, who got engaged to her longtime boyfriend until a cruel twist of fate thrown her to the curve when she revealed that she was married to someone she never met before. Following a sudden string of events, the odd couple are trying to take the fact that they are married while sorting out all the loose ends between the two.

This is just another one of those "odd couple" romance flicks you've been witnessed so far.. This time, this is about two total strangers who couldn't bear the fact that they are married for unknown reasons and as if they didn't have enough problems, the storyline has so much issues to dealt with, just like the characters in this story.

While this is probably just a messed-up romantic flick, it still bears the right chemistry of joy, sadness, anger, disgust, and fear, making this film taste like any other Kathniel films you are familiar with since She's Dating A Gangster all the way up to last year's Barcelona flick. It can make you laugh and cry but overall, it's somewhat above average for a romantic-drama movie that brings back one of the most popular love teams in the country.

My rating: 2.8 out of 5.

Driving Music Vol. 75

Since a long long time ago, due to the rise of search queries regarding songs heard from car commercials, I've started this segment called Driving Music to jot down some of the songs as heard from car commercials from around the globe. The last time I did is segment is when I covered up the songs as heard from Big Game car commercials. Missed the American football fever, huh?

You might think that I have forgotten about this segment but I'm glad to tell you that I DIDN'T, so let's get started then...

1) Thunderstruck by TMC Rockstarz - from a Holden VY Ute commercial

2) Hush by Deep Purple - from a certain Jaguar XF commercial

3) Out of Control by Dash & Will - from a certain Volvo S60/V60 commercial

4) Shut Up and Let Me Go by The Ting Tings - from an Aussie Hyundai i20 commercial

5) You're The Voice by John Farnham - from a certain Ford Australia commercial

6) Red Hot by Vanessa Mae - from an Asian Mitsubishi Lancer commercial

7) In Our Wonderland by Dick Walter - from a Ford BA Falcon XR8 Ute commercial

8) De Buen Humor by Miller's Band - from a Mitsubishi Motors Thailand Galant Ultima commercial

9) Michi by GReeeeN - from the Subaru New XV commercial

10) Keep Yourself Alive by Queen - from the Toyota C-HR commercial

Driving Music from Leopaul's Blog is the segment where solves every car enthusiasts' questions about the title of the song of car commercials...with the risk of MATCHED THIRD PARTY CONTENT on their status. It's your jam. Drive to the Music You Love.

Let's Do The News! (April 21, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima were listed in TIME Magazine's top 100 most influential leader. Duterte was one of the 24 individuals in the list of leaders while De Lima's listed in the "Icons of the World".

- The Department of Defense Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, personally went and inspect the disputed Pagasa Island alongside other military officials inspect the government facilities in the mentioned island that needed repair.

- The military warns that the tourist destination Palawan could become the next target for the Abu Sayyaf terrorists,

- Members of the activist group Common Cause are joining the Tax Marches from coast to coast on Saturday to demand the release of US President Donald Trump's tax returns.

- Fashion label Christian Dior launched its new Tokyo store with a fashion show in the rooftop gardens of a luxury mall, where models sported new looks from its creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri.

- Lotus unveiled an even more hardcore Exige Cup 380, which improves the previous Sport 380 with track-focused aerodynamics and handling improvements. It will be limited to 60 units and it is priced at 83,000 GBP.

- The Grandland X from Opel/Vauxhall has been unveiled, serving as the top-of-the-line crossover SUV of the Opel/Vauxhall lineup. It will make its world premiere at the 2017 IAA (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Forza Horizon 3: The car that would be the new Skyline Coupe

Last time, I drove the one-off, GT-R-powered, Skyline saloon called the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept while moaning about how Nissan execs complaining to other people to stop including the R35 GT-R to the Skyline timeline in the same way that today's WRX is part of the Impreza bloodline even though two cars are now separate models. As true experts know, the "real" Skyline timeline started out as a midsize family saloon and continues all the way to the current Skyline known to many as the Infiniti Q50.

Continuing the Skyline's 60th anniversary celebration, I was in a middle of a quick thinking that the Q50 (which is a V37 Skyline to the Japanese market) did have a coupe version called the Q60. Since no production-spec Q60 on sight, because the Forza producers are too coward to feature it, I'm only stuck with this 2015 concept car as seen from the 2015 NAIAS but don't worry, it's almost as close to the real one.

While this is basically the concept version of the car that would be the V37 Skyline Coupe, it's been powered by its next-generation 3.0L V6 twin-turbo engine generating 400HP of power and same amount for torques. This kind of engine powers not just the production version Q60 but also the Q50 as well, although Nissan has no plans to offer the turbocharged V6 model to the Japanese model as of now. A turbocharged V6 engine with 400HP of power is what you called, in Infiniti terms, the 400 Red Sport, and it has some bits and bobs sourced from, you guessed it, the Nissan GT-R. No wonder they christened the engine code VR30DTT and it comes with two kinds of configurations with the lesser one produces 300HP of power. Need I say more?

A turbocharged V6 engine may sound like the future is happening now but when revving, this engine sounds like the it came from the RB era of Nissan sportscars. It maybe feels modern for a turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine but it sounds very old school and that's a good thing. It's a shame that the Japanese will be missing out on this engine at this moment in time but no time to rest, let's drive it to the place "where Skylines belong". You get the point but let's do it in honor of the Skyline's 60th anniversary!

The job is over but the celebration continues. I may wish that Nissan should bring the new Skyline Coupe (now based on the Infiniti Q60) to the Japanese market along with the 400HP turbo V6 engine, which makes a nice addition to the four-door saloon model, but like all good historians, the story continues because there are still a handful of Skylines that needs to be driven in the Land Down Under while honoring the Skyline's 60th birthday with a little storytelling.

Let's Do The News! (April 20, 2017)

- Former Senator Bongbong Marcos is asking the Supreme Court to disregard the counter-protest from Vice President Leni Robredo. Based on the Omnibus motion of Marcos’ camp to the Supreme Court, the former Senator said that the highest court should junk Robredo’s protest because the Vice President was not able to pay the protest fee on the given date.

- President Rodrigo Duterte is offering a million peso bounty to each of the seven remaining Abu Sayyaf members who are wanted in Bohol. After a security briefing at Tagbilaran City, the President made the proposition in order to immediately corner the members of the bandit group. He wants them either dead or alive.

- Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano wants the Philippines to file another protest against China after the latest bullying of alleged Chinese coast guards against some Filipino fishermen. The Chinese coast guard allegedly fired warning shots against the Filipino fishermen at the Union bank in the Spratlys, which is covered by the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone.

- A US-Russian space crew blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday for a six-hour ride to the International Space Station. A Soyuz capsule carrying NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, 43, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, 58, lifted off at 1:13 p.m. local time with a rare empty third seat. Russia is scaling back space station staffing until its long-delayed science laboratory is flown to the orbiting outpost next year.

- Numerous attacks in Southern Thailand that killed two people reflects tension over peace talks aimed at ending violence there, according to a monitoring group, warning against similar attacks in the future.

- Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant were killed during protests against President Nicolas Maduro, increasing turmoil in the volatile nation amid a devastating economic crisis.
- Billy Monger, a 17-year-old Formula 4 Driver, has lost both of his lower legs following an incident during a BTCC support race last weekend at Donington Park. Monger suffered fatal injuries after colliding with the rear of the stationary car of Patrik Pasma during the 6th round of the 2017 Formula 4 championship.

- Actress Rosamund Pike will play the role of war reporter Marie Colvin in an upcoming biopic.



STARLIGHT MASTER 10 Jet to the Future

The tenth installment of THE IDOLM@STER CINDERELLA GIRLS STARLIGHT MASTER range, inspired by the Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app game, is going to be a rocking good time because the cover song of the latest installment is just one way why you can't stop rock and roll, even in idol girl terms.

The cover song of this installment is titled "Jet to the Future" and it's performed by our favorite rockers from Cinderella Girls, Riina Tada (CV: Ruriko Aoki and Natsuki Kimura (CV: Kiyono Yasuno). Not only this rocking new song is featured in this CD but also two new songs such as たくさん! by Anastasia (CV: Sumire Uesaka) and Flip Flop by Akane Hino (CV: Chinatsu Akasaki), Aiko Takamori (CV: Yuki Kaneko), Shizuku Oikawa (CV: Yuri Noguchi), Tamami Wakiyama (CV: Misa Kayama), and Karin Domyoji (CV: Hiyori Nitta). Talk about new and familiar Cinderella Girls faces, huh?

Be sure to keep playing Starlight Stage and watch out for more on this range!

01 Jet to the Future (M@STER VERSION)
02 たくさん!
03 Flip Flop
04 Jet to the Future (M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ
05 たくさん! オリジナル・カラオケ
06 Flip Flop オリジナル・カラオケ
07 Jet to the Future (GAME VERSION)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Forza Horizon 3: Which one is real?

2017 marks 60 years of Nissan Skyline and it's also 10 years of the R35 GT-R and while JDM fanatics are honoring the Skyline's 60th birthday this year, some Nissan experts are annoyed that most car enthusiasts are always putting the R35 GT-R in the history of Nissan Skyline rather than the V35 Skyline, which was known to some as the Infiniti G35, the V36 Skyline known by some as the new Infiniti G37, and the latest V37 Skyline known as the Q50 in saloon and Q60 in coupe. So, have you ever seen the Nissan Skyline timeline that has the R35 GT-R on it that annoys most Nissan execs?

To find out why, I'm driving this one-off Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, which is basically a V37 Skyline with bits and bobs from the Nissan R35 GT-R on it. So, you might be thinking why the folks from Nissan want people to stop calling the R35 GT-R a Skyline and instead focus on the "real" history of the Nissan Skyline? Well, some people don't understand Japanese cars to the fullest or that's because to them, the Skyline is the epitome of the JDM car empire and when the GT-R emerged at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, most folks still call it a Skyline in the same way today's WRX STi is still called an Impreza by car enthusiasts, not Subaru.

Both the Skyline and Impreza started out in life as normal everyday cars so it's understandable that some people still call these latest hi-po JDM cars the names that no longer bear from its predecessors. Anyway, when the folks from Nissan's Infiniti brand developed this one-off Skyline, they believed that this kind of trend will stop. Although this one-off never saw the light of day, it's proof that they made a car that can break many barriers for the Skyline nameplate and show world what the Skyline is capable of rather than being Nissan's 3-Series killer.

Nissan noticed people calling the R35 GT-R a Skyline rather than focusing on modern-day Nissan Skylines and used it as motivation to build this one-off powered by a 560HP VR38DETT engine sourced from the R35 GT-R while mated to a 7-speed DCT as well as Intelligent AWD and the Skyline's trademark Direct Adaptive Steering. With the Eau Rouge, Nissan wanted to change people's perception of the Skyline name by all means necessary.

Weird. What I have here is a battle between the car that is meant to be called the Skyline and the other that doesn't really bear the Skyline name from its predecessors and the venue for this place is, you guessed it, the Skyline View Circuit segment of the Surfers' Paradise. Get it? This is like a matchup between Yo-Kai Watch's Walkappa and Faux Kappa, with a tasty twist on it. With the V37 Skyline modified to have R35 GT-R bits on it and the "real" GT-R in place, let's find out which one is real.

And now the results...

2014 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge (560HP/442ft-lb/3,836lb/57%/3,800cc/A 798) - 1:14.741
2017 Nissan GT-R (565HP/467ft-lb/3,933lb/54%/3,799cc/S1 861) - 1:10.070

So, despite everything I've witnessed between these two, it's a clear reminded that the GT-R did separated from the Skyline range in the same way what happened between Subaru's Impreza and WRX STi. It's proof that these guys know how to separate the men from the boys and because this R35 GT-R is quicker than the Skyline with the same engine from it, it's a point that will have Nissan execs want people stop putting the R35 GT-R in the Nissan Skyline timeline. A point that they will have it mentioned during the Skyline's 60th anniversary celebration.

There, it's easier to said than done but there's one Skyline I want to show you later on but for now, this will serve as a motivation that for 60 years of Nissan Skyline, the trend of putting the R35 GT-R on the Skyline history has to stop and understand the real history of the Nissan Skyline; from the Prince Skyline saloon of 1957, all the way to the Infiniti Q50 saloon that was called the Nissan Skyline V37.

Happy 60th birthday, Skyline!

Stars of 2017 NYAIS

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon

Running until the 23rd of April, 2017, the 2017 New York International Auto Show features some of the finest cars from all parts of the world. From debutantes, full model changes, minor changes, concept cars, this car show's got everything for the guests to see what's new and what's hot in the American car culture.

So, it's time to jot down the stars of this year's show...

2018 Acura TLX minor change
2018 Audi R8 Audi Sport Edition
2017 Audi R8 LMS
2018 Buick Enclave
2018 Buick Regal Sportback
2018 Buick Regal TourX
2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition
2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
2018 Lincoln Navigator
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63
2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC63 Coupe
2017 Ford Police Responder Hybrid
2017 Genesis GV80 Concept
2017 Infiniti QX80 Monograph Concept
2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept
2017 Toyota FT-4X Concept

...and more.

Let's Do The News! (April 19, 2017)

- The Department of Justice charged Superintendent Rafael Dumlao III as the mastermind behind the kidnap-slay of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo last year. Also included in the case are Jerry Omlang, who used to work for the National Bureau of Investigation, and Gerardo Santiago, owner of the funeral home in Caloocan City where the body of Jee was cremated and flushed at the toilet to avoid getting incriminated.

- The Supreme Court declares as final the acquittal of former president and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with her plunder case. With a vote of 11-4, the Court affirmed the ruling made on the 19th of July, last year, recognizing the Demurer to Evidence presented by the former president regarding the case filed against her at the Sandiganbayan.

- Former senator Jinggoy Estrada and President Rodrigo Duterte are invited to attend the birthday party of former president and now Manila city mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada today at the Manila Hotel.

- Senator Grace Poe seeks the creation of the National Transport Safety board following the tragic bus accident in Nueva Ecija that killed over 30 people onboard.

- A gunman named Kori Ali Muhammad killed three white men in downtown Fresno, California, until he was arrested by authorities while shouting "Allahu Akhbar", according to police. Known by the nickname "Black Jesus", the suspect was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting last week of an unarmed security guard at a Motel 6 in Fresno, according to reports.

- Indonesians lined up on Wednesday to vote in an election to choose between a Muslim and a Christian candidate to govern the capital city Jakarta, after a bruising campaign marred by religious tensions in the capital of the world's third-largest democracy. This could be a close race between Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, the first Christian and ethnic Chinese leader, and former Anies Baswedan, a Muslim just like 85% of the city's population.

- The Mercedes-Benz S-Class range has been given a minor change for the 2018 model year with new tech, new features, and new engine ranges.

- Renault predicts what would a Formula One race be like in the next decade with this RS 2027 Vision Concept.

- Lexus's NX crossover has been given a minor change for the 2018 model year. The base NX200t model has now been renamed as the NX300 for this minor change.


Ssangyong G4 Rexton

After 15 years, the Ssangyong Rexton has been given a much-needed full-model change to keep this medium-sized crossover competitive in today's trends. Now called the G4 Rexton, the newest model promises to be the most technologically-advanced and the most capable Rexton to date. Let's check out the newest incarnation of South Korea's unsung crossover.

2018 Ssangyong G4 Rexton
2018 Ssangyong G4 Rexton

As you might be saying, is this new model going to be another blatant minor change just like what happened to other iterations like the Chairman-faced Rexton II of 2006 and the start-over-again Rexton W of 2012? The answer is a hopeful NO because unlike all the past Rextons in its 15-year decay, this is an entirely new model inside and out. This is no longer your dad's Rexton anymore and as you can see from its questionable hexagonal-shaped grille, new headlamps, Tivoli-styled sides, and the headlamps conspicuously similar to the Lexus RX, you know that this is an all new Rexton and not another minor change or so they said.

2018 Ssangyong G4 Rexton interior
2018 Ssangyong G4 Rexton interior

Not only the exterior of the G4 Rexton is all-new to us but also the interior as well and would you look at that, a major overhaul compared to the stale look of the previous model's interior. Because it's longer and wider compared to the previous model, the new Rexton is now more roomier compared to Hyundai's Santa Fe/Maxcruz and the Kia Sorento, so that's a big plus for the newly rejuvenated crossover that promises real change for the customers. This is the only crossover in the class that can carry rear seat passengers and four golf bags in the boot and that sounds like a great thing for a crossover fit enough to take it on the weekends or even the holidays.

Because this is the most technologically-advanced Rexton to date, it's been given smartphone mirroring with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as well as Auto Closing, Easy Access, high-performing, dual-zone fully automated air-conditioning, a smart tailgate feature, and many more, all the more reasons to like about the new and improved Rexton.

2018 Ssangyong G4 Rexton

One thing to like about this brand new G4 Rexton is the performance it delivers, which is not bad for a family car fit for the weekend road trips, and in this new model, it's been powered by a 2.2 litre turbo diesel engine and Mercedes-Benz 7-speed automatic transmission at launch. It produces 181HP of power and 42.8kg-m of torque and that's pretty much about it for now. Oh and this car has a very clever 4MATIC system, which is just like it came from Mercedes-Benz too. At default, it behaves like a rear-wheel drive saloon under normal conditions but it can engage all four wheels in the ever-changing road conditions, and couple that with the double wishbone suspension at the front and multi-link independent suspension at the rear, it can be a solid all-rounder for everyday use.

Back to the technologically-advanced stuff, the new G4 Rexton promises to be the safest of its class. Apart from having nine airbags as well as having a more rigid body structure, it features driver aids such ads Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Detection, Front Vehicle Start Alarm, and the first-ever 3D Around View Monitoring system for a Korean car, which monitors all sides around the car for better observance.

Ssangyong's new G4 Rexton starts at 33,350,000 Korean Won, which makes it more competitively priced in its class and with all of the major improvements implemented on this new model, it's good to have Ssangyong, run by Mahindra, gone on the right track with the new Rexton after 15 years of having stuck with the same old thing. The aged Korean crossover has been reborn for the new era and this can get very promising for South Korea's SUV specialist.

Photo: Ssangyong Motor Company

Forza Horizon 3: The Holy Trinity

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the Porsche 918 Spyder which I got it from a one-day only Forzathon event while continuing the month-long celebration of Porsche's return to the world of Forza only here on Forza Horizon 3. With the 918 here, looks like the Hybrid Hypercar Holy Trinity consisting of this, the P1, and the LaFerrari are all here to settle the scores...once again. This time, underneath the Southern Star full of football, meat pies, and kangaroos.

We are already familiar about the Porsche 918 Spyder but for those who aren't, hear this; the Porsche 918 features a combination of a 4.6L V8 engine which produces 612HP of power by itself, two electric motors bolted on the axles, and a 6.8kWh Li-ion battery. The electric motors deliver around 500lb-ft of torque at 8000rpm. Top speed is 211mph and 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds courtesy of its 4WD drivetrain and its incredible torque.  It comes with regenerative braking which can retrieve energy generated by braking and feed it back into the batteries. Couple that with space-age lightweight materials and the result is a hybrid hypercar that lapped round the Nurburgring faster than every other car in the world.

Now that the 918's taken care of, let's invite the P1 and LaFerrari to settle the scores once again in the Land Down Under, specifically the Grand Tour Sprint, and prove that the 918 is still the king of the Holy Trinity or face the worst bet of human history.

And now the results...

2013 McLaren P1 (903hp/663ft-lb/3,296lb/42%/3,799cc/S2 981) - 2:13.534
2013 Ferrari LaFerrari (963HP/663ft-lb/3,031lb/41%/6,262cc/S2 981) - 2:12.733
2014 Porsche 918 Spyder (887HP/829ft-lb/3,692lb/43%/4,593cc/S2 969) - 2:09.329

The 918 is still king and if I were on the P1's side, I would become homeless just like what happened to Jeremy Clarkson when he placed a bet that if the P1 is slower than the rest, he would have his home blown off...and it happened. End of discussion.
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