Saturday, March 24, 2012

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet (991)

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

The same goodness you would get from the new Porsche 911 Carrera (Type 991), is now carried over to the new Cabriolet version.

Forever being the king of European sports cars, the legendary Porsche 911 is became sacred to the brand since the first one came out in 1963. Now, 48 years has passed and after undergoing several model changes, this is it. The much awaited full model change for the king of European sports cars is made to be more stunning, sleek and stylish.

At first glance, the 991 looks the same as the outgoing 997 but take a second look and you'll see all the body panels are new as are the Porsche design DNA carried from the Panamera saloon. In fact, you can see the Porsche label spelled it out at the back. This design really more like an attractive swimming instructor in her racing swimsuit. That looks nice.

Now at the interior, it is well-sculpted and well-refined to meet up with its Porsche design DNA and this exactly looked like the Panamera and the second-generation Cayenne. What's amazing is the new high resolution multi-function screen for the best user-friendly experience. It can be somewhat very essential when it comes to navigation and this is the one that works, well kind of. This looks a lot nicer than the 997's interior that is somewhat "it's cool if you're an 11 year old boy" but it's certainly cool.

Seems that this one is perfect for the road and track because the Porsche 991 remains the same RR (Rear-engine, Rear-wheel-drive) layout that became the epitome of the 911 history for 48 years. At the normal 911 Carrera, it is powered by a 3.4L boxer engine that produces 350PS of power and 390NM of torque. The hardcore 911 Carrera S is powered by 3.8L boxer engine that produces 400PS of power and 440Nm of torque. With the 7-speed PDK is considered to be available, get ready for this because the new Porsche 991 comes with the world's first 7-speed manual transmission! That's right folks, a 7-speed manual transmission. Seven gear stickshift! This is definitely the first of its kind because over the years the maximum gear of a manual transmission is six, which of course we love it, but is there such thing in a world is a 7-speed manual transmission? Here in Porsche, it exists and its exclusive to the 991, providing combined fuel economy of 9,2 Liter/100 km at the standard 911 Carrera Cabriolet and 9,7 Liter/100 km at the flagship 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. We are very jealous to see this legend equipped with the world's first 7-speed manual.

Available in 14 colors: Schwarz, Indischrot, Carraraweiss, Racinggelb, Basaltschwarz, Aquablau, Platinsilber, Dunkelblau, Anthrazitbraun, Achatgrau, Rubinrot, GT-silber, Cognac, and Limegold.

My Comment:

So, this soft-top version of the 991 has the same feeling you would get from the original hardtop version. There's still more to come to the 991...

Photo: Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The Ultima(te) Story

Discovered from Forza Motorsport 4's March Pirelli Pack is a car I am not utterly familiar of. This car is known as the Ultima GTR, the quickest accelerating and decelerating supercar of all time and multiple world speed record holder.

The Ultima GTR vs. the Noble Works!
Unless I was on the MPH05 show in the NEC, Birmingham, or in Earl's Court in London, I wouldn't have the chance to encounter one. Oh, Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond and Fifth Gear's Tiff Needell were on that MPH05 show a couple of years ago and Clarkson wants to prove just how world proven the Ultima GTR is by challenging Tiff Needell to figure out the Ultima GTR's indoor speed record. Ultima Sports Ltd. Director, Richard Marlow, was impressed to see the presenters from Top Gear and Fifth Gear getting to know more about the Ultima GTR in front of a hundred thousand visitors.

Although it is a supercar, the Ultima GTR is a Do-It-Yourself car. By the time you ordered one as a "kit car" you can build it yourself and for an advantage, it is less expensive than the factory-assembled Ultima GTR. This is somewhat similar from the DIY Caterham I saw on Top Gear. Inside the box, what you'll get is the chassis, alloy panel set, pedals, master cylinder, suspension wishbones, suspension uprights, suspension toe link, front hubs,  brakes, brake lines, steering rack, cooling system, gear linkage, fuel tanks, dampers, drive shafts, wiring loom, glass and laminates, rear wing, exhaust, seats, wheels, and an instructional manual on how to assemble the Ultima GTR. If you take your time to assemble and if you're not fiddling with anything, you have assembled a supercar that comes with a Chevrolet 6.3L V8 engine that produces 534HP of power and 528ft-lb of torque. The standard gearbox was a Porsche G50 five speed transaxle.

"I really wish I were here" The Ultima GTR says

Now, there are numerous statements how the Ultima GTR is a world-proven speed demon. First up, they used a model that comes with a 640BHP American Speed engine, known as the Ultima GTR640, and there was a powerful model with a 720BHP engine, known as the Ultima GTR720. Later on, they have established their verified performance figures with the use of road tires and exhaust;

0-60mph: 2.7secs
0-100mph: 5.5secs
0-150mph: 11.8secs
30-70mph: 2.0secs
0-100mph-0: 10.3secs
100mph-0 Braking:  3.9secs
Speed Achieved: 204mph on the Bruntingthorpe straight
Top Speed : 231mph est. (gearing limited)

If that wasn't enough, Ultima sent one of their test drivers to lap the GTR720 round the Top Gear Test Track independently and it did it in 1:12.8 seconds, faster than every other cars The Stig tested on Top Gear, even the Ariel Atom V8, which is currently Top Gear's fastest car on the test track. Later on, it used the configuration that is not road-legal, which includes putting on racing tires, and it lapped round the track in 1:09.9, faster than the Ferrari FXX as seen on Top Gear. So the question is, how could Top Gear didn't feature this car that is much powerful than the Ariel Atom V8? Ask the producers why.

Ultima GTR in Japan?

The shadowy speed machine, the Ultima GTR, may not have a spotlight on Top Gear but on our books, we consider this as the greatest masterpiece ever to be assembled by hand. Although, I still don't know more about the Ultima GTR, I am started to like it more as a pure driving machine. It maybe a track-minded vehicle but it's road legal. There was one fact that I haven't remembered about the Ultima GTR and this was designed by Lee Noble with Ted Marlow alongside and it was designed and engineered by some blokes I haven't met in an industrial shed in Leicester. It may not be a supercar that you can park it on the Monte Carlo casino stand but this will surely give the elite supercars a run on their money...


On the March 23, 2012 episode of Bubble Gang;

- Graduation gags for the happy graduates!

- Mr. Assimo meets the school registrar...

- Bonding time with friends...

- Cheche's TV viewing was been messed up by Bureche!

- Hey! Lighten up! May mga moments na hindi mo na maibabalik pero ang Flipton Ice Tea Sparkling, nasa abot kayang returnable glass bottle na! Bubble Gang does Lipton Iced Tea Sparkling by spoofing this commercial as Flipton Ice Tea Sparkling! The lighter side of soda, now in a returnable glass bottle!

Bubble Gang does Lipton Iced Tea Sparkling

- Some say, Dahon (Antonio Aquitania) faces off against Bisugo (Betong) again. All we know is, it's PICKUP LINES!!!!

1) Library ka ba? Kasi pag nandyan ka, gusto ko nang lumagay sa tahimik!

2) Alam mo bang sobrang amazing ka? Kasi, parang magic ang ganda mo! AMAZING!

3) Kung driver ako, traffic aide ka. Kasi kapag wala ka, hindi ako makakapag-move on.

4) Bungang araw ka ba? Kasi pag nandyan ka, nangangati ako! Ang kati! AMAZING!

5) Sana HOLY WEEK na. Para kung busted na ako, sabay penintensya na ako!

6) Ikaw ang laging nasa isip ko! Kasi, ang taas ng sugar ng Ma'am Bestre!

7) Alam mo, para kang isang taong mahilig mang-utang! Kasi pag nakikita kita, kinakabahan ako!

8) Neneng, mahawakan ko lang ang kamay mo! Nasa langit na ako! Kasi, ang taas ng palit ng Australian dollar!

- A man in the men's restroom is making negotiations

- Imagine if your parents can't keep in touch with you clearly because they have something in their mouths...

- So, a troublemaker became a graduate? Really?

- IyoTube in Stevie Wonder's Knocks Me Off My Feet

Friday, March 23, 2012

Remembering the S2000

Just like in one episode of Top Gear, when Jeremy Clarkson caught you driving with a luxury roadsters, especially German, in the Isle of Mann, he would probably yelling "YOU GOT THE WRONG CAR! YOU GOT THE WRONG CAR! I GOT THE RIGHT CAR OVER THERE!" and chances are that you've encountered the Honda S2000.

S2000 in London

Looking for the world's greatest roads

Remembered as Honda's first and last rear-wheel drive two seater roadster, the S2000 is probably an all-time favorite among JDM fans because this the only Honda that can drift well because of its FR layout. Too bad they don't make one of these anymore, which is sad...

How did the Honda S2000 began? First of all, back in the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show, the Honda Sport Study Model was a concept car serving as a template for the production of the S2000. As years pass by, the Sport Study Model concept remain unchanged when appeared in most motor shows until Honda decided to produce the S2000 in the spring of 1999, serving as a spiritual successor of the classic S800.

Most enthusiasts nicknamed this as "S2" or "S2K" but that doesn't make any sense. Anyway, when it came out in 1999, it costs 3,380,000 Japanese Yen and for that, it comes with a 2.0L DOHC VTEC (F20C) engine that produces 250PS of power and 218Nm of torque. It was mated with a 6-speed manual transmission and limited slip differential. Other stuff includes a double wishbone suspension, electronically assisted steering, and integrated roll hoops. This S2000, designated as AP1, was produced in Honda's Takanezawa plant in Tochigi prefecture, Japan until 2003 and in the following year, production moved to Suzuka, Mie prefecture, Japan.

The AP1 S2000 is somewhat extraordinary for me because this is one of the easiest Hondas you can drive. The way you handle is somewhat very soft, very comfortable, and this is more of a spongecake but with added hot sauce on it. Don't know how to eat one but still, it's a skull-breaking sensation, something that you want to be completely bonkers on the open road.

When I first drive one in the past Gran Turismo video games, it felt like that the S2000 is somewhat very unique and I think its a rare opportunity for a car that is part of my childhood memories. Little known fact that the S2000 was featured on the Caltex Vortex commercial, remember that?

The Stig meets God Hand's S2000

That's how God Hand can do in the corners!

As production moved to Suzuka, Mie prefecture, Japan, the S2000 received some minor changes and the AP1 designation has now changed to AP2. The F20C engine was been replaced by a 2.2L DOHC 4-cylinder VTEC (F22C) engine. This engine produces about 242PS of power and 221Nm of torque. This comes with a drive by wire throttle, an electronic stability control system, new wheels, and one new exterior color, Laguna Blue Pearl. Interior changes included revised seats and additional stereo speakers integrated into the headrests. I should told that this AP2 S2000 went on sale in Japan since late 2005 and by the 2008MY, it comes with a new variant called the S2000 Type S, which comes with sportier exterior look. As the Lehman Shock affected the world market since the end of 2008, production of the S2000 was ended in the summer of 2009 with no direct successor whatsoever. You know that during its existence, it's still a fun to drive Honda and now, it's just a worthless litter due to the economy, the environment, tensions in the Middle East (especially Iran and Syria), and the relentless war on speed.

I have no regrets to this AP2 S2000. Even though it handles like the AP1, the 2.2L VTEC engine really copes it up with more power than the old 2.0L VTEC engine I found on the AP1.

No wonder the S2000 was served as a primary weapon for Initial D 4th Stage's "God Hand" Joushima...

God Foot vs. God Hand
at the Top Gear Test Track!

Even when the Honda S2000 was gone since the summer of 2009, it's hard to remember why did Honda want to get rid of the only FR sportscar in existence but for some enthusiasts, it's still considered to be a national treasure, a treasure that only made them laughed because it was made for one purpose; FUN.

Farewell to the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini

2012 Mitsubishi Pajero Mini Premium Selection Final Anniversary

So it's official. Mitsubishi Motors announced that they would stop production of the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini this June 2012 and to bid farewell to this tiny off-roader, they launched a final edition model called the "Premium Selection Final Anniversary".

This features;

1) Body color, the following four different colors including a three-way two-tone color. 
"Cool Silver Metallic / Raspberry Red Pearl / Cool Silver Metallic", "Cool Silver Metallic / Dark Blue Mica / Cool Silver Metallic", "black mica", "White Pearl"
2) Glass front door, played the water droplets, maintain good visibility days of rain "water-repellent glass door."
3) The door mirror, water droplets spread in the shape of the membrane, prevent the worsening visibility due to rain "hydrophilic side mirrors (plating)."
4) Standard fog lights to ensure visibility for example, during heavy fog.
5) Standard case of full spare tire cover type that matched the body color.
6) Standard (painted silver) roof rail when convenient to use in the outdoors.

1) A combination of brown leather and calm, nice and soft suede fabric, seat fabric employs elegant.
2) Standard fit comfortably in one's hand to a tee, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with high texture.

1) Standard with a built-in 3.3 in. color LCD monitor "Room with a Rear View Mirror Monitor." Reflects the state of the rear of the vehicle body and to put "R" the selector lever, support the secure parking. In addition, the standard auto-dimming feature senses the light of the headlights of cars behind, to adjust the brightness.
2) Cold area specification (Heated door mirrors, Heated seats, such as driver's seat) as standard equipment.

About the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini;
The Pajero Mini is somewhat a kei car spinoff of the successful Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero/Shogun SUV but it was not essentially a Pajero because it was based on the platform used on the Mitsubishi Minica. It was launched in Japan since December 1994. In 2008, a Nissan version of the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini was launched as the Kix.

Let's Do The News (March 23, 2012)

And now the news and before that, let me just say that I first encounter this mobile app that turns out to be the hit app of the year 2012. Nope, it's not Angry Birds because it's so last year. It's DRAW SOMETHING!


Think of it as Banana Split's Just Draw It but it has no time limit on it. It's just you and your friends guessing the drawings you made and take turns. It's somewhat boring but it kicks the heck out of Angry Birds, which made me a point that this would be 2012's most popular app. If 2010 is the year of Plants vs. Zombies, 2011 is the year of the Angry Birds, this is the year of the Draw Something!

Once you start playing Draw Something, there's no turning back...

Ahem, heard the news? It seems that Zynga, the creators of Farmville and Mafia Wars, has just bought OMGPOP, which is the maker of the hit Draw Something app.

Heh, didn't see that thing before....

Anyway, now moving on to something shocking...

Mitsubishi Zinger

Mitsubishi's Zinger (known in the Philippines as the Fuzion) was been recalled.


Yep, it was recalled because of the bad welding on the vehicles' central steering poles and that may affect driving and cause steering wheels to be ineffective, according to the statement. Also, Mitsubishi will publish the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of the affection Fuzion units via its website,

For inquiries and additional concerns, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines encourages its clients to call the MMPC Customer Care Center at (+632) 658-0673. The hotline is available from Monday to Friday, 7am to 4pm.

Now, moving on...

Remember the Trailblazer concept as seen at the Dubai Motor Show? Seems that the production version of the not-for-USA TrailBlazer showed up in Thailand ahead on its Bangkok International Motor Show premiere.

2013 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

Don't get messy because this was based on the new generation Chevrolet Colorado. Anyway, this Thai-spec TrailBlazer has;

  • Electronic-stability control
  • Anti-lock braking system
  • Hydraulic brake assist
  • Traction control
  • Dynamic rear brake proportioning (first use of rear-drive brake in the market)
  • Electronic brake-force distribution
  • Panic-brake assist
  • Engine drag control
  • Hill-descent control
  • Driver and occupant airbag protection
  • Second-row 60/40 split seats with fold-flat capability
  • Third-row 50/50 split seats with center console storage and fold-flat capability
  • Flat floor storage from the front row rearward when all seats are folded
  • Auxiliary power plug with USB and Bluetooth connectivity

Ugh, I don't really like this TrailBlazer. I REALLY REALLY DON'T LIKE THIS. I still prefer the Captiva instead because it was better to ride at, better to look at, and in the real world, made in Korea. Surely, Chevrolet plans to bring the REAL SUV Captiva on the 2nd quarter of 2012 to the Philippines.

So if those two collide; which do you think will prevail? The Korean-made Captiva or the Thai-made TrailBlazer? Not sure but be patient...

Anyway, Namco Bandai Games, the blokes behind the TEKKEN HYBRID Blu-Ray-PS3 game, seems that they'll be making another Blu-Ray hybrid game and this time, it's a combo between a new .hack// video game and .hack//The Movie all in one. My sister, Cecille, was a big fan of the .hack// video games and the anime series ranging from Legend of the Twilight, Sign, Roots, and Quantum. Anyway, this is the first time a .hack// game made it on the PS3. For the first time!

Anyway, this new game, .hack//Versus, is set after .hack//The Movie. It was set in the future when children have lived their entire lives since birth in a world connected by networks.

Sounds great but I'll pass...

Hey! Great news! What? The Hunger Games! It's a good movie! Great!

(You know it was already showing in Philippine cinemas yesterday. How was it? Is the film adaptation of the best selling novel great? What do you want to expect for the next chapter of The Hunger Games saga titled Catching Fire?)

Anyway, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the 2013 GLK-Class minor change ahead of the 2012 New York Auto Show.

2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class minor change
2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK Class

O ho ho ho! Seems that this latest facelift has the headlamps of the new M-Class and it's a bit more kooky! Ha ha ha!

Hey, how come you haven't touch your PSVita yet? You have that since last week and you still haven't decide which good game you want to play it on the PSVita? How hard can it be?

Anyway, the 2012 Geneva Motor Show may be over but we have something amiss...

RUF, the German automaker that specializes on souped-up Porsches, revealed their latest masterpieces and for the first, those two RUF creations were based on the Porsche 911 (991).

RUF at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show

RUF at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show 

The one that look like a tuned Porsche 991 911 in dark green was the Ruf Rt 35 Anniversary and the other one that look like a tuned Porsche 991 911 in yellow was the all new RGT-8.

Description from RUF:

RUF Rt 35 Anniversary

The Rt 35 Anniversary is based on the Porsche 991. Its Turbo power-train is offered only in rear wheel drive. The engine produces 630 hp and is available with the PDK transmission ensuring outstanding performance and driver comfort. The name is derived from RUF’s 35 year history and expertise with turbo-charged engines.

Displayed beside the Rt 35 Anniversary is the 1977 RUF Turbo 3.3. The 3.3 litre engine produced 303 hp and was mated to RUF’s own 5‑speed transmission. This specific car was the original one tested by the German car magazine, Auto Motor and Sport. This car was bought back and restored by RUF Automobile.

Technical Data Rt 35 Anniversary

Power at

630ps/464kW @ 6500

Torque at

825 Nm @ 3000 1/min


3800 cm³


Double clutch gearbox

Top Speed

330 km/h

Fuel consumption


16,7 l/100 km


8,2 l/100 km


11,5 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

268 g/km


The RGT 8, first introduced here at Geneva in 2010, is now available based on the new Porsche 991 platform. The RGT 8 features the “all RUF”, naturally aspirated V8 that produces 550 hp. The flexibility of the V8 engine delivers extraordinary performance and a sound track that only a high‑revving, flat‑crank V8 can produce. 

The V8 engine was inspired by racing technology and features hemispherically arranged valves, 180 degree “flat” crankshaft, dry sump lubrication and direct drive ancillaries eliminating all drive belts. The RGT 8 is available with only a six-speed manual transmission powering the rear wheels.

Technical Data RGT 8

Power at

550ps/405kW @ 8500

Torque at

500 Nm @ 4000 1/min


4499 cm³


6-speed manual

Top Speed

318 km/h

Fuel consumption


19,7 l/100 km


9,8 l/100 km


12,9 l/100 km

CO2 emissions

298 g/km

Congratulations RUF, for a job well done creating new machines based on the new Porsche 911 (991). Oh and by the way, they did launched a new version of the CTR 3 known as the Clubsport variant, and if that wasn't enough, there was a European premiere of the Panamera-based Ruf RXL.

Anyway, about the death of Whitney Houston, I think authorities found the cause of her death last February. Some say, she was accidentally drowned with cocaine in blood. A final report will be released to the public on the next two weeks.

Now you know...

Anyway, that's the news!

Welcome Back: 2009 Lexus IS F

Jeremy Clarkson, meet Houki Shinonono.
Houki Shinonono, meet Jeremy Clarkson.

So, even in Forza Motorsport 4, THE BATTLE OF IS goes on and I don't mean that whole Infinite Stratos anime thing or that IS[アイエス]~男でも女でもない性~ drama thing. I'm referring to the Lexus IS featured on Forza Motorsport 4. There was the 2003 Lexus IS300, the 2006 Lexus IS350, and the 2009 Lexus IS F. This here is one of my favorite Lexus cars on this game, and still, this is a two-way tie between my favorite Lexus, which is the LFA. I'll talk about that later on but anyway, the Lexus IS F, some say it was made to be an M3 killer but it isn't. This is not as quicker as the BMW M3 Saloon and that's the point.

Most of these Japanese-y video game stuff is hidden under a wall of brute force and noise and yes. The 2UR-GSE engine packs a mighty punch and more power than the BMW M3. However, the Lexus IS F is somewhat heavier than the BMW M3 and while the M3 has a 6-speed SMG, the Lexus IS F comes with an 8-speed paddle shift transmission, which doesn't make any sense at all.

This is the kind of a sports saloon that always attacking you with scissors, not soothing your eyebrows. The M3 rides easily and comfortable but the Lexus IS F wasn't because it was too hard to handle and too risky to have your neck broken.

Even so, the Lexus IS F has a lap time of 1:26.8 at the Top Gear Test Track, slower than the BMW M3 Saloon, and that's it. End of discussion.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spotlight: 2010 Ferrari 599XX (Community Bounty Hunter -ID TimberWolf-)

2010 Ferrari 599XX by ID TimberWolf

Hey there! Looks like I claimed another reward and this time it's rewarded for those, especially me, for defeating ID TimberWolf's The Regatta Community Monthly Rivals lap time. This here is the Ferrari 599XX modified by ID TimberWolf himself and I finally got my hands on this track-only version of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano that spiced up even further.

How did I managed to beat him? Secret weapon was the car commonly used by those who've taken The Regatta Community Monthly Rivals event for March 2012 is the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 but for mine, I bought some tuning setups courtesy of PAC Performance (credit goes for them). Back then, I used their setup to trounce a selection of rivals all the way to the time that I wasn't able to beat it anymore. I made it in 00:16.067, which is quicker than ID TimberWolf's 00:16.583!

I would like to thank Turn 10 for the prize. I would like to thank PAC Performance for the tuning setup made possible for the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28, and big thanks to ID TimberWolf. Seems that I'm getting addicted to the weekly Community Bounty Hunter event. Who's next?

In the meantime, time to celebrate by placing his handmade 599XX round the Top Gear Test Track!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let's Do The News (March 21, 2012)

And now the news and just before that, I was getting a bit bothered since the launch of the 2012 Toyota Yaris in the Philippines. It seems that why this 2012 Toyota Yaris is still the NCP90 one rather than the new NSP130 Yaris.

2012 Toyota Yaris (the wrong one)

Why this? Seems that Thailand forgot about the NSP130 Yaris and still want to give it some minor change to the NCP90 Yaris. Yaris 2012 Minor Change? Hello! There was the new Yaris out in Japan since December 2010 and the rest of the world has that! What just happened Toyota Thailand?! We just sourced your cars but why would you still remain the old NCP90 Yaris rather than bringing the new NSP130 Yaris for keeps?

2012 Toyota Yaris (the right one)

Why would they want a minor change for the old NCP90 Yaris rather than bringing the new NSP130 Yaris? This is a disgrace. Thailand should be making the NSP130 Yaris rather than minor change the NCP90 Yaris! 

2012 Toyota Yaris RS (the wrong one)

Those people from Chachoengsao, Thailand should be ashamed to themselves! They should better be....


Hope those people from Chachoengsao should build the new, third-generation, NSP130 Yaris/Vitz rather than "minor change" the old second-generation NCP90 Yaris.

Anyway, for the news. It seems that NBA sensation, Jeremy Lin, is officially officially became the brand ambassador for Volvo and this effects not just China but for the United States as well! One point for the Linsanity! Yay!

So, having Linsanity selling Volvo may be such a big plan for the Scandinavian automaker but anyway, what's new on TOP GEAR USA?

It seems that this week's episode of TOP GEAR USA would be the USA version of a Top Gear classic; BUILD YOUR OWN LIMOUSINES!

Okay, this is somewhat weird that the US version of Top Gear does the same thing as the UK counterpart. Imagine if Clarkson, Hammond, and May face off against Tanner, Adam, and Rut in some kind of a car-based Ashes challenge, this would be a gamble. Remember that Clarkson, Hammond, and May defeated their Aussie counterparts, resulting the cancellation of TG Australia. Imagine if this would happen...

Never mind, anyway, moving on to Nissan. It seems that the Japanese automaker revived the Datsun (ダットサン) brand and this revival is all about low cost eco cars. It was announced by Nissan's CEO, Carlos Ghosn, during his trip to Indonesia. This would be the third brand since Infiniti and the Datsun brand will be effective in India, Indonesia, and Russia beginning 2014. Because this Datsun brand is focused only on emerging markets, would the Philippines be next?

Now, let's check out the all new SL65 AMG

2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

Looks the same as the SL63 AMG but it comes with a new 6.0L V12 engine, designated as M279, mated with a (gasp) AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT! This is the first time a V12-powered AMG model fitted with a 7-speed gearbox! This is going to be the most powerful AMG model ever made and it will be premiered in New York next month.

Perhaps this is how every AMG model should have rather than those bearing the 63 AMG designation and what I sure hope that AMG should be an all V12 lineup, well almost...

Anyway, I just wanna say congratulations to my cousin, Yssa, for graduating high school. See this pic?

That's Yssa's big brother, EJ, to the left, and at the right, that's Yssa, graduating from High School. Just wanna say congratulations and good luck on your college life, Yssa. Take care!

Yep, it's graduation in the Philippines you know. It always happened at the end of March, which is the end of the school year for our Filipinos. Just wanna say congratulations for the job well done.

Sadly though, I still have a speech tomorrow and I'm spending days memorizing it for my final exam.

And that's the news!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Encountered the R172 SLK-Klasse

Hey there! Leopaul here!

Earlier before I went to Seattle Central Community College to take the final exam of my ITC 140 class, I just encountered a Mercedes-Benz SLK crossing the street.

What I saw there was its latest generation of the SLK-Klasse designated as R172. It looks cool though.

Gosh, I sure wish I want one of these...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Toyota Philippines launched the 2013MY LC200 but they launched the wrong Yaris...

Okay, it seems that Toyota Motor Philippines launched the facelifted 2013 Land Cruiser 200 which is right, but apparently, Toyota launched the wrong Toyota Yaris for the 2012 model year...

2013 Toyota Land Cruiser

2012 Toyota Yaris? No that can't be right

Now if you would probably why did we get the old 2nd Generation Yaris, which got some minor change for the Thai market earlier, rather than the 3rd Generation Yaris which done a full model change in Japan since December 2010 is because my friend told me about Thailand's Eco Car program and only Honda and Nissan got that memo. Mitsubishi's next for their new Mirage and it seems Thailand's waiting for Toyota to approve eco car production. No wonder Thailand still remain production of the 2nd generation Yaris.

"Personalan" with the Veyron Super Sport

Everybody knows that the Bugatti Veyron is the pinnacle of the supercar world because of its orgy and mind numbing numbers. It may cost over a million dollars, producing almost a thousand horsepower, and a top speed that exceeds 200mph. Just that everybody think that the Veyron's the world's fastest but now it isn't. While the Veyron can do 253mph, the SSC Ultimate Aero can do 256mph, making it the fastest car ever made, not the Veyron. The Germans aren't very pleased...

For Bugatti's act of revenge against the American-made SSC Ultimate Aero, they created a monster that it proves to be the ultimate Bugatti in history, something that is wickedly powerful than the Veyron.

Hello, what's this? A Veyron in carbon fiber body?

Surely it's carbon fiber but it's more annoying
than The Annoying Orange!

Hmmm....It could be a Bugatti Veyron but this is a bit more than that. It doesn't look like a Veyron and it doesn't sound like one. This could only be one thing...

So, are we opening the Guinness Book of World Records with the words
"Fastest Man on Earth: James May"? Not exactly...

Behold! The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport! The fastest production car in the world! Really? But how? To be sure, the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport has the same 0 to 60 time as the original Veyron, which is 2 and a half seconds, but now the 0 to 100 time has improved. It would do that in 4.5 seconds, which is the same as the Porsche 911 GT3 and this will go to an electronically-limited top speed of 258mph. The standard Veyron has 987HP of power but the Super Sport has 1183HP of power. Also, the new Veyron Super Sport has a new bodywork which proves to be lighter than the standard Veyron and some aerodynamic tweaks are done as well. This ultimate Veyron showed up at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours D'elegance and it costs 1.7 million British Pounds Sterling and Bugatti said that only 30 will be produced.

In one episode of Top Gear, James May returns to Ehra-Lessien, Volkswagen's top secret testing base, to max out the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport. Everybody knows that the top speed is limited to 415.07 km/h (257.91 mph) to prevent the wheels to blow off, right? What happens if it exceed? The team at Bugatti provided the Veyron Super Sport some extra durable tires that cost 20,000 Pounds per set and then James May is off to the max. He managed to max out in 417 km/h (259 mph) but after his run, Bugatti sent one of their test drivers to max it out and the record? Well, its 431.072 km/h (267.856 mph)!

When the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was handed to The Stig, it set an astonishing 1:16.8 lap time at the Top Gear Test Track, faster than the Gumpert Apollo S.

Stig makes a lap with the Bugatti Veyron SS!

That car will simply make you go bananas when you push this car to the max, especially when you make drag races with this one. Seeking this as an enemy would be somewhat fierce but seeking this as an ally would be somewhat trustworthy. Even though it has a very challenging handling, the speed is simply monstrous. Your brain might be easily take off when you push it too hard.

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is applicable for those who owned the Forza Motorsport 4 Limited Collector's Edition. Those who are lucky enough would be wise to push the Bugatti Super Sport to the max.

Welcome Back: 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4

The Concorde of the Road

This car you're familiar with, the Bugatti Veyron. The meeting point for the most collection of numbers; one million Pounds, one thousand horsepower, and a top speed of over 200mph. Sorry because I often watched too much Top Gear but the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 has a special place in Top Gear history, despite that the British government permitted the show that they Veyron has to be featured once per season.

It raced against a Cessna 182...

James May maxed out the Veyron in Ehra-Lessien...

It made a fight against a Euro Fighter Typhoon (and the Veyron lost that fight)

And finally, it won a drag race against the McLaren F1 in Abu Dhabi.

If that wasn't enough, The Stig set a lap time of 1:18.3 round the Top Gear Test Track. Just as we thought that the world's fastest car should be the fastest at the Top Gear Test Track but we are wrong because the weight of the Veyron surely can't keep up. It's cornering ability might be challenging but at the straights, it's unstoppable.

Surely, this is wickedly fast but as of now, the SSC Ultimate Aero kicked the Veyron's butt, which later the SSC got its butt kicked by the ultimate Veyron ever built which is the Veyron Super Sport, which I will talk about that later.

It doesn't matter because the Veyron is back on Forza Motorsport 4 and it is one of the many vehicles to explore in the game's Autovista feature.

Driving Music (What is the name of the song on car commercial?) Vol. 31

The United States of America is leading country of car-commercial-song-loving petrolheads. Why? Because if they hear a music on a new car commercial, they would start asking what's the song. It always happen all the time. This time, I've encountered something and it's attacking me with the words "Song featured in March, 2012 Chevrolet TV commercial with four adults in a red car". Can't those car-commercial-song-loving petrolheads in America had enough? When will they stop this habit?

If they watched a new car commercial, they would hear a music. If they hear that music, they would start asking what's that song. If they start asking what's that song, they'll wait for answers. If they found what is the title of a car song, they'll find it and download it. If they did download it, they'll listen to this over and over. If they listen to this over and over, they'll plan to use this for their Forza 4 Top Gear Power Lap Time videos on YouTube. If they upload it, they'll encounter some e-mail that they have videos that may contain content that is owned by someone else. If they encounter it, they would dispute it. After disputing it and waiting for several days, they'll check that there's a message saying "Dispute rejected, claim has been reinstated." The whole "matched third party content" on YouTube is all too common because of (clears throat) your idea of using a car commercial song for such purposes...

Anyway, here comes another set of five Driving Musics to listen;

5) We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) by fun. - from the Chevrolet Sonic Stunt Anthem commercial. Get one now at Amazon MP3.

4) Wild World by Jose Feliciano - from the 2004 Nissan Stagea Japanese commercial. Find this song at SHIFT IV NISSAN CM TRACKS, available now.

3) できっこないを やらなくちゃ by Sambomaster - from the 2010 Nissan Serena C25 Japanese Commercial

2) 風と未来 by Ikimonogakari - from the 2010 Nissan Serena C26 Japanese Commercial

1) It's time to find out that song featured in March, 2012 Chevrolet TV commercial with four adults in a red car. To be specific, it's a commercial for the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO with eAssist. Anyway, for the song, it's titled "True" by Spandau Ballet.

And these are the car commercial songs for you to find. If you used those for YouTube purposes, those copyright holders, I'm afraid, will have to notify you and if you dispute those, it will always end with the words "Dispute rejected, claim has been reinstated." And on that bombshell, good bye!

F1 2012's opening salvo is McLaren's win

F1 2012 has already begun in Melbourne's Albert Park and McLaren-Mercedes' Jenson Button really kicked off his first win, pushing the famed Sebastian Vettel form Red Bull Racing to 2nd place and Lewis Hamilton from McLaren-Mercedes in 3rd.

Race - Button proves untouchable in Melbourne

McLaren’s Jenson Button drove a pluperfect race to take the lead of the world championship at Melbourne's Albert Park on Sunday, keeping his head and his lead even when a safety car intervention appeared to throw a beaten Sebastian Vettel a lifeline.

The 2009 world champion scored his third Australian Grand Prix victory in four years by taking the lead at the start from team mate Lewis Hamilton, who held a distant second until Vitaly Petrov stopped on the pit straight with power steering problems in his Caterham on the 36th lap and triggered the safety car deployment. McLaren had just pitted both of their cars that lap, but Vettel decided to stay out one longer and that, allied to benefit from the safety car, was enough to move his Red Bull into second.

When the racing resumed on Lap 42 Button simply checked out and left Vettel to fend off Hamilton and team mate Mark Webber, who’d been condemned to an afternoon of fighting back after a first-corner clash involving his Red Bull, Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India. 

As Vettel tried to claw back the deficit to Button, Webber closed in on Hamilton, whose McLaren never seemed as well balanced as his team mate’s. By the flag, Button was a comfortable 2.1s ahead of Vettel, with Hamilton 1.9s further down and Webber within 0.4s of him.

Further back, Fernando Alonso scored an excellent fifth for Ferrari after making a fantastic start to end the opening lap in eighth place from 12th on the grid. As the fast-starting Mercedes of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg faded - the former went off in Turn One on the 11th lap and damaged his car sufficiently to have to retire, and the latter simply lacked competitive pace - he moved into contention for his finishing position. It was a typically tough and professional race from the Spaniard.

In the latter stages he had to defend hard from Pastor Maldonado, who had pressured Lotus’s Romain Grosjean into early retirement on the second lap, the Frenchman breaking his front suspension against the rear of the passing Williams. The FW34 was showing excellent pace and the Venezuelan was dogging Alonso’s wheel tracks until he came to grief in Turn Six, where earlier he’d lost ground with a moment. 

This time he lost control and smacked the wall hard on the 57th lap, throwing away sixth place and setting up a fierce battle between the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, Raikkonen’s Lotus, the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, and Paul di Resta’s Force India. 

As Rosberg’s Mercedes ahead of them suddenly slowed on the last lap after a collision with Perez had deflated the left-rear tyre, Kobayashi made it home sixth from Raikkonen. Perez clung on for eighth, with Ricciardo separated from him by 0.0s, Di Resta 0.1s further back, and Vergne another 0.1s down and just outside the points after a promising debut. It was breath-taking stuff.

Rosberg was classified 12th on a deeply disappointing day for Mercedes, who lacked the pace in the race that they’d shown in qualifying. Williams were similarly distressed. Maldonado was classified 13th, while Bruno Senna was involved in the first corner melee, lost time then, and later had a silly collision with fellow countryman Felipe Massa which cost them both dear. He was a non-finisher in 16th. The incident is still being investigated by the stewards.

Between the Williams duo came the Marussias of Timo Glock and Charles Pic, which ran reliably in what amounted to their first serious test session.

Joining Hulkenberg, whose car was too badly damaged after the first-corner collision, Grosjean, Schumacher, Petrov and Massa on the retirement list was Heikki Kovalainen, whose Caterham dropped out with a left-hand front suspension problem. The Finn also picked up a five-place grid penalty for the next round in Malaysia for overtaking under the safety car.

The result leaves Button in the lead of the world championship with 25 points, to Vettel’s 18, Hamilton’s 15, Webber’s 12 and Alonso’s 10, while McLaren head the constructors’ points with 40 to Red Bull’s 30, Sauber’s 12 and Ferrari’s 10.

So, McLaren made a good start but the F1 2012 season has just getting started. More action will be happened on Sepang, Malaysia, this March 25!

Some dwende are making tuso at Lokomoko

On the March 18, 2012 episode of Lokomoko (on its Rated PG state)....

- Dwarf gags

- Tanong ko lang, kulang...pwede bang magtinda ng kotse sa garage sale?

- Another shooting gags on Lokomoko...

- Tanong ko lang, kulang...meron bang itlog ang eggplant?

- Lokomersyal in Instant Housing Authority!

- Tanong ko lang, kulang...kung gulay ang kinakain ng vegetarian, ano ang kinakain ng humanitarian?

- Tirsong Tuso tries to win the heart of the general's daughter but the general does a favor to Tirsong Tuso; make him walk again! This involves hurting the general and almost anyone...

- Tanong ko lang, kulang...kung may highway, meron bang low way?

- Tanong ko lang, kulang...may apple ba ang pineapple?

- Who's Line Is It Anyhow?!

1) Hindi lahat ng thirteen ay malas! - 13th Month Pay

2) Ramdam na ramdam ko ang init mo lalung lalo na kapag iniipit mo na ako. - Thermometer

3) Hindi naman ako hinete pero palagi na lang ako nasa ibabaw ng kabayo - Plantsa

Ay Mali!!!

4) Maluwag naman ang dinadaanan ko pero bakit patagilid pa rin ang lakad ko? - Alimango

5) Hindi lahat ng party ay masaya! - 3rd party

6) Huwag mo na akong gugulatin, mawawala ako. - Sinok

7) Masaya pa kayo tuwing nagstrike kayo!!! - Bowling

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FLASHBACK: About The Namesake

The Namesake (film)

And now, it's time to revisit some of my memories in the past, this is the kind of movie I just watched while I was in Seattle Central Community College during my ESL 098 days...

I watched the movie adaptation of the book titled, The Namesake and it turned out to be great. As for me, watching film adaptations of the book makes them easy to understand and easy to learn what is in store for them. I strongly agree that watching the movie version of The Namesake is much more preferable than reading the entire Namesake book and I am glad that I saw this book come to life as a major motion picture from FOX Searchlight.

Although I find that this Namesake movie is more interesting to watch than reading the Namesake book, I find that there are differences from both the movie and the book and it would be preferable for me to list in my top three differences.

First, there was a scene that Gogol’s younger sister, Sonia, has an annaprasan, or rice ceremony. Like I said, annaprasan is a rice ceremony and it is a formal ceremony involves on the consumption of solid food. It also helps to predict their child’s future. I did not see Gogol’s annaprasan in the movie, only Sonia is.

Second, where is Ruth? In the movie, it only features two of Gogol Ganguli’s love interest; first is Maxine, and the last is Moushumi. This movie supposed to feature Gogol’s love interest, Ruth, in order to make it more interesting. Since the producers did not put the Ruth chapter on the film, I guess that it is best to read the book and see for myself. At least, I truly understand how the relationship between Gogol and Ruth feels like; they were lovers, then, they argue when Ruth returned to the United States, and avoiding each other from now on. Positively, I understand the Maxine chapter and the Moushumi chapter of the Namesake movie.

Lastly, who is Pierre? In the Moushumi chapter of the Namesake movie, they did not mention the names Graham and Dmitri. In the book, Gogol realized that Moushumi cheated him because of someone named Dmitri, but in the movie, Gogol was cheated by Moushumi because of the book she received from someone named Pierre. Who is Pierre anyway? What just happened? Well, despite different naming, it all goes according to the book.

Despite some of the differences happened, I think the Namesake movie followed the same path as the original Namesake book. I find it very understanding and helpful watching the Namesake movie and differentiate both the movie and the book itself.

Let's Do The News (March 18, 2012)

And now the news! Let me just say that I'm glad that I'm finally got my hands on the all new PSVita yesterday.

This is my PSVita

Pretty neat huh? And to be sure, I also bought a 16GB memory card that is bespoke for the PSVita. To total it up, this costs over $300. Sorry, not very good with Top Gear math.

However, something's a miss because my sister, Elise, had bought herself the new iPad, which I reviewed earlier...

Our Ate Elise got herself the new iPad!

See? She finally got the brand new iPad! Shoot! It was close though. But anyway, what she got was the one with the 16GB model, which is the entry-level of the new iPad range. See if how far can her iPad go...

So, I have the PSVita, my Ate Elise got the new iPad, how hard can it be?

Anyway, now it's 71 years old for Philippine Airlines.  Seems that the Philippine-registered airline prepping up their new marketing strategy aimed at encouraging tourists to fly with Asia's oldest carrier. The new campaign "Love, Your PAL" is made for both inbound and outbound travelers to regain the glory of Philippine Airlines.

So, this whole "Love, Your PAL" seems to be a marketing ploy, but can it work? Love your PAL? I just don't get it. This is just like you'll love your friends. It was like HEY LOOK AT ME! I LOVE MY PAL! (chuckling)

Looks like Richard Hammond's getting himself a new show that is made for Americans, by Americans, to Americans because the new show, Richard Hammond's Crash Course is coming to BBC America this April 16, 2012, right after the North American premiere of Top Gear series 18. Can't wait to watch that!

Anyway, with the popularity of Jeremy "Linsanity" Lin at the NBA , it seems that the Scandinavian automaker, Volvo, is on the hunt for Linsanity as the endorser for Volvo in the Chinese market.

If that worked out, we could be seeing Linsanity selling Volvos in China but the question is, can this become a reality to boost sales?

Ugh...I think that's far enough. That's the news. Thank you very much...

Driving Music (What is the name of the song on car commercial?) Vol. 30

So this is it. 30th volume of our never-ending Driving Music (What is the name of the song on car commercial?) segment. Those car-commercial-song-loving petrolheads never get off my butt heh? Most car-commercial-song-loving petrolheads are from USA and they always never stop searching. They always never stop terrorizing the search engine with search queries trying to find what is the name of the song on a new car commercial.

Come on someone who searched "skyactiv technology tv commercial song", you know it's an original composition and that's enough. And looks like we got ourselves a terrorist attacked me with the words "2013 gs lexus commercial song".

Look, this is the commercial for the 2013 Lexus GS as we know it...

Do you see it now, idiot from San Diego, California? THIS IS THE COMMERCIAL OF THE 2013 LEXUS GS! The song heard is an original composition. Please refrain from searching it you car-commercial-song-loving (or should I say car-commercial-song-hunting) petrolhead. Instead of hurting the search engine you just better start learning how to post a comment on my site or email me for questions!

Okay, now I think it's time for the moment I always do on this segment, list down another set of five Driving Musics (Car Commercial Songs) for you to find and discover.

5) Twilight by Electric Light Orchesta (Densha Otoko OST) - as heard from a Japanese Toyota Celica XX commercial.

4) Swing-Swing by Nicolas Repac - from the latest Citroen promotion TV commercial.

3) Yeke Yeke by Mory Kante - from the 1989 Toyota Carina ED Japanese TV Commercial.

2) High by James Blunt - from the GM Daewoo Winstorm 2009MY Korean TV Commercial.

1) Theme from Enter the Dragon by Lalo Schifrin - from the 1995 Toyota Curren Japanese TV Commercial

...and that's it. We're done on this. There's plenty of these driving songs to list in case someone attacked me again...

Welcome Back: 2008 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged

Range Rover does look perfect on the jungle

Looks like Jeremy Clarkson's on a road trip to the Kilners

Let's play dashboard spot the difference!

Modified Range Rover by WALD seems to be okay...

The Range Rover...this one is much heavier than the Audi Q7 V12 TDi and BMW X5 M, and slower, and thirstier. But unlike those Germans, it does look a bit more majestic. This one comes with a supercharged V8 engine that powered a Jaguar, so I think this would be somewhat awkward to drive in places like Houston or Abu Dhabi, or places where petrol isn't cheap. In Forza Motorsport 4 though....I maybe a world's biggest Range Rover fan but this engine makes no sense. I saw that on Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Range Rover, the Audi Q7 V12 TDi, and the BMW X5 M.

To make this one more convincing, Jeremy Clarkson has one of these. We saw him driving his Range Rover on a trip to search for his roots that can be traced back to Jeremy Clarkson's great-great-great grandfather, John Kilner, inventor of the original Kilner jar. It was in one episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?"

Also, this Range Rover is featured on Top Gear's original video launched in 2010 titled "Top Gear Apocalypse" for a game of "Dashboard Spot the Difference" with Richard Hammond and James May. It's funny and that's enough.

Imagine if the back of the Range Rover looks perfect to put a drinks cabinet just like the modified Range Rover by Overfinch in collaboration with Holland & Holland, the gun maker.

That looks good! Remember that we don't do "Drinking while Driving" but we do keep the drinks for emergency purposes. The Range Rover, still on its 3rd generation, maybe a bit staunch and a bit old but it is catching up...

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