Tuesday, 29 December 2009

From Porsche Boxster to Cayman in 3 months!

This is a little hobby project I had taken up since I got my first Porsche this year. It consumed all-in-all about 3 months (and quite a sum as well!) before this end product: a hardtop coupe i.e. Cayman 2.7 look-alike. Hence the new badge! :)

Well, a little nip & tuck plus facelift did do wonders to hide better a vehicle's age, much like a person...no?
By the way, the coupe you see above may be for sale if the price is right. Hmmm...a larger displacement 911 (997 series) would be nice, in the 'evolution' of things!

Email me at forwheels@gmail.com if you're interested. (Sorry, for sale in Malaysia only)

Related post:
2001 Porsche Boxster vs Mazda MX5

Friday, 25 December 2009

Michael Schumacher confirmed for MERCEDES GP PETRONAS

The MERCEDES GP PETRONAS Formula One Team has confirmed that seven-times Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher will make his racing return in 2010 with the Silver Arrows team.

With seven Drivers' World Championships, 248 Grand Prix starts, 91 victories, 154 podium finishes and 68 pole positions, the 40-year old German needs no introduction following an illustrious and record-breaking Formula One career from 1991 to 2006 at the Jordan, Benetton and Ferrari teams.

Michael's return to racing with MERCEDES GP PETRONAS sees his return to Mercedes-Benz Motorsport where he began his racing apprenticeship as part of the Junior Programme in 1990, racing in Group C sports cars and DTM, and sees Michael renew his partnership with Ross Brawn with whom he won all seven of his World Championships.

Meanwhile the MERCEDES GP PETRONAS line-up for the 2010 season will also see another German, 24 year old Nico Rosberg, piloting the other Silver Arrows car.

Here are the comments of members of the newly restructured team, previously known as Brawn GP:
Michael Schumacher: "MERCEDES GP PETRONAS represents a new challenge for me both in a sporting and a personal context. It is a new chapter in my racing career and I am really looking forward to working with my old friend Ross Brawn and my companions from my days with the Mercedes Junior Programme. I am convinced that together we will be involved in the fight for the Formula 1 World Championship next year and I am already looking forward to getting back onto the race track. For me, this partnership closes the circle. Mercedes supported me for so many years when I began my Formula 1 career and now I can hopefully give something back to the brand with the star."

Nico Rosberg: "It is fantastic that Michael is returning to Formula One and will be my team-mate at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS. It's a great challenge for me to be up against one of the best drivers of all time. I'm sure that we will form a very strong partnership as he will have lost none of his speed! It is also great news for our sport and the fans."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS: "I am delighted that we can confirm today that Michael will make his much-anticipated return to Formula One next year and drive for our MERCEDES GP PETRONAS team. As seven-time World Champion, Michael's outstanding record in Formula One speaks for itself and I am looking forward to working with him again. With the completion of our driver line-up, I believe that we now have the most exciting partnership in Formula One with Michael and Nico, who provide the perfect mix of talent, experience, speed and youth. We can now turn our full attention to the preparations for the new season and everyone at MERCEDES GP PETRONAS is extremely excited about the challenge ahead. With the investment and support in our team provided by Daimler, Aabar and our new title partner Petronas, and with two such exciting drivers, we have all of the building blocks in place to have another successful season in 2010."

Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports: "In April 1991, when I had been in charge of the Mercedes-Benz Motorsport programme for just six months, Michael was standing beside me on the balcony one evening. Without the slightest doubt, he said in a low voice: "It's about time that I got into Formula 1". Michael had just turned 22 years of age and four months later, he made his debut at Spa in a Jordan. Mercedes-Benz helped him to this point and the rest is history: seven World Championship titles, more than any racing driver, 91 Grand Prix wins, more than any racing driver. Michael has more of everything than every other driver. As part of the Mercedes Junior Programme, Michael had raced in Group C sports cars and competed in a few DTM races. Ross Brawn, then our opponent at Jaguar, quickly realised Michael's talent and they went on to win all seven of his Drivers' World Championship titles together at Benetton and Ferrari. Our sporting ambition has always been that Michael should drive again where his professional career had started and Michael knew that. We often joked about it after the races and discussed the prospect seriously several times during the last 14 years in Formula 1.

It didn't happen in 1995, it didn't happen in 1998 and it didn't happen in 2005. I am delighted that it will now happen in 2010. I am very much looking forward to working with Michael and everybody at Mercedes-Benz and Daimler extends a very warm welcome to our "apprentice" of 19 years ago. That apprentice is now the most successful racing driver of all time."

Thursday, 17 December 2009

All-New Hyundai Tucson

Click on all images to enlarge

Hyundai Motor Co is on a roll for the new decade: their daringly suave and stylish revamped all-new Sonata barely settled into our visual cortex of our grey matter, their superb Theta II GDI engines and in-house new 6-speed auto 'box have been revealed for very-near future applications. Now, here comes another 'wow-factor': their mid-size SUV, new Tucson replacement model for year 2010.

The all-new Tucson will only be offered initially with a 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol, capable of 176 hp and 228Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual or an all-new 6-speed automatic. A 2.0-liter Theta II engine will be available later in 2010, perhaps that will be the likelihood variant seeing the light of day in Malaysia. In Right Hand Drive (RHD) configuration of course!
Keep bringing em on Hyundai!!!!

Hyundai Azera/Grandeur gets updated for 2010

Hyundai Motor Co. began receiving orders today for Grandeur (Azera) facelift that offers more luxurious exterior than the preceding model and a variety of upgraded features to attain more safety and convenience.


With its design focus on a progressive concept, Grandeur Facelift is reborn with more prestigious exterior. The facelift possesses overall dynamic and luxurious image with the differentiated designs of bumper, lamp, radiator grill, muffler and etc.

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Securing the best stability in its class, all models of Grandeur Facelift are basically equipped with Vehicle Dynamic Control(VDC), dual front and side curtain airbags for the event that a crash is unavoidable.


The price ranges from 27.1 million won to 28.9 million won for models with 2.4 Theta(θ) II VVT engine, from 29.8 million won to 34.0 million won for models with 2.7 Mu(μ) V6 DOHC engine and from 35.9 million won to 39.8 million won for models with 3.3 Lambda(λ) V6 DOHC engine (approximately US$23,214 to US$34,038, based on today’s currency exchange rates).

Peugeot 308 Turbo is NST-Maybank Car of The Year 2009

Giant automotive group Naza's (Nasim) Peugeot 308 Turbo got stamping approval of the New Straits Times/Maybank COTY panel by clinching the prestigious “Overall Car of the Year 2009” Award. Incidentally, the 308 Turbo was also the winner of the Family Car COTY 2009 Award.
The winners for the New Straits Times/Maybank 2009 Awards were announced at a gala dinner at The Saujana Kuala Lumpur, hosted by the New Straits Times and title sponsor Maybank Berhad.

A panel of 10 judges, comprising motoring editors, an automotive blogger and other distinguished personalities unanimously voted for the Peugeot 308 Turbo as winner of the coveted “Overall Car of The Year” based on its impressive handling, powerful performance, comfort, safety and value-for-money.

Judges were impressed by the car’s fuel efficiency, and the performance of the 1.6-litre direct injection turbo petrol engine, already an award winner internationally - but it was the 308 Turbo’s competitive price point and build quality that was the key factor in its win. The car also has a full-length panoramic glass roof, the only car in its class to offer such a feature.

The 308 Turbo is completely knocked down (CKD) and consists of imported parts from France. It is distributed by the official franchise holder of Peugeot Automobiles in Malaysia, Nasim Sdn Bhd (NSB), a member of the Naza Group of Companies.

The winner of the Good Design Award is the Toyota Prius. Already the number one selling hybrid car in the world, The Prius was selected not just for its beautifully sculpted shape, but also how much of its styling have been made to help its aerodynamic efficiency. Judges were also won over by the flowing lines of the car’s interior, the overall “cockpit” feel of the cabin, right down to the innovative use of storage space in the car.

The Volvo XC60, winner of the Luxury SUV award, added another feather to its cap by winning the Safety Award for its impressive list of safety features, which include the laser-based City Safety feature, Lane Departure Warning System and Collision Warning with Auto Brake, which uses radar technology for vehicle tracking.

The winners were selected from 68 new models introduced between December 2008 and October 2009, and judges took into account criteria such as exterior and interior design, comfort and ergonomics, performance, safety, emotional appeal, and after sales service including the comprehensiveness of its warranty. Points were awarded to the cars, and the vehicle with the most points wins the category. The overall Car of The Year winner was then selected from the list of 15 winners.

The night also saw history in the making when two distinguished names in motoring were selected as the “Automotive Men of The Year 2009” Award, Dato’ Dr Ang Bon Beng and Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar.

Dato’ Dr Ang is the Executive Director of Edaran Tan Chong Motor, Nissan distributor and franchise holder in Malaysia. He was selected for his efforts in keeping the Tan Chong business thriving and making it the icon it is today, all this in spite of internal turmoil and pressure from its Japanese principal.

Datuk Syed Abdull Hafiz is the outgoing Managing Director of Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua). He was recognised for presenting a product loved by Malaysians for its quality, reliability and styling, notably the Perodua Myvi.

The Car of the Year Awards is the country’s first motoring award, and was launched in 2002 by Cars, Bikes and Trucks, the motoring section of the New Sunday Times, as a means to acknowledge achievements within the motoring industry.

The guest-of-honour for the night was Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Deputy Prime Minister. Also gracing the occassion was Datuk Aishah Ahmad, President of the Malaysian Automotive Association.

The event is endorsed by the Malaysian Automotive Association.

A pictorial history of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class by the top-guns of M-B Malaysia (MBM)

Though not truly a big fan of the top-brass guys (and gals) at Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM) and especially the way they mistreat customers and potential customers alike (some Merc dealers too, as rumoured), I must admit the 3-D holographic-esque presentation at the launch of the new W212 E-Class was really something to be savoured as unique and classy among the many car launches we get annually in Malaysia. The free-flowing wine, champagne, cognac and beers were not too bad either! :)

Click on all pictures to get a bigger image of the W110 (Tailfin) right through to the W211 predecessors! I guessed my shutter would have missed one or two circa 2nd World War models, but what the heck...I reckon the Tailfin is what most will remember as one of the most iconic great great grandfather of the E-class!

Here's looking forward to perhaps owning a E200 GGI or E250 CGI - both turbocharged -sometime in 2010 or 2011?