Saturday, June 29, 2013

Phineas and Ferb's Musical Cliptastic Countdown Hosted By Kelly Osbourne

Now, over the weeks, the whole world's engaging to find out which is the best Phineas and Ferb song of all time (at this moment of time) and that night's Phineas and Ferb's Musical Cliptastic Countdown Hosted By Kelly Osbourne special gave us the shortlist of the final 10 P&F songs and THE RESULTS ARE IN, which it was announced in reverse order.

In 10th place - Candace Party from "Candace Gets Busted". It's a house party's favorite for big sisters who are making a mess from turning a small get-together into a big house party.

In 9th place - "Come Home Perry" from "Oh, There You Are, Perry" which is a very touching song indeed.

In 8th place - The oh-so hardcore "I'm Me" from "Vanessassary Roughness"

In 7th place - "Aglet" from "Tip of the Day" for those who want to know about the plastic things on the end of the shoelace.

In 6th place - "City of Love" from the "Summer Belongs To You" TV special, which is ideal for those who are...(giggling) together at the city of love.

In 5th place - "Summer (Where Do We Begin?)" from "Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension", which is great to explain what is summer.

In 4th place - "Brand New Best Friend" which is also from "Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension". Ideal for bad guys who want to thank that their new best friends is themselves, even a bit more evil.

In 3rd place - Mercifully, the society-favorite "There's a Platypus Controlling Me" from "Brain Drain", who believes that platypus is a metaphor for what keeping you down.

Which means it's down to the wire between "Summer Belongs To You" from that TV special and "Everything's Better With Perry" from Phineas and Ferb The Movie.

The winner as voted by you, me, and all the other Phineas and Ferb fans...the greatest Phineas and Ferb song (at this moment in time) is EVERYTHING'S BETTER WITH PERRY!

All the hugs!

Everything's Better with Perry on Disney Video


Let's Do The News! (June 29, 2013)

JM: And now the news and we're getting a bit crazy about NISMO right now because aside from reports saying that a more powerful NISMO GT-R is in the works right now, I just heard that Williams, the F1 engineering blokes, are going for some collaboration to create even more faster versions of Nissan road-going models...


JC: Oh! Williams? You mean the British F1 engineering firm which were also involved in numerous machines such as the Clio Williams of the 90's and the cancelled C-X75 hybrid supercar? Can't believe that they're collaborating with NISMO for some more cool models. Ever since we were getting buzzed about they upcoming project about a more powerful GT-R which some say that it will be the fastest Nissan ever made, we're getting more of a puzzled right now and that reminds me. I wonder what would that be?

RH: Hmmm...I wonder if some mighty Datsun you've mentioned is going to be about as annoying as taking Gugak sessions, huh?

(audience laughing)

RH: Or how about when you going to die in the desert for thirst, you saw a Dr. Pepper vending machine and as it turns out it's a mirage and just an RC Cola Machine?

(audience laughing)

JC: Hammond, it's about as crazy as the vending machine which turned out the be an RC Cola Vending Machine, which is the kind of soda we all hate.

(audience laughing)

RH: Well, I'm a soda guy because I like Coca-Colas and Pepsis but RC Cola? Oh, please...

(audience laughing)

JC: Anyway, new version of the F-150 pickup truck coming up. It's called the Ford F-150 Tremor. Here it is...

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

JC: What Ford says that this is the first ever sport truck that addresses the needs of street truck enthusiasts looking for high-performance V8 power with V6 fuel economy. Tell you what, this is the first ever sport truck ever made since the SVT Lightning years ago.

RH: Yeah, even though it can be a potent Lightning successor, the EcoBoost V6 engine produces 365HP of power and 420lb-ft of torque so I was guessing to be less powerful than the SVT Lightning truck, which uses the same engine that was used on the Ford GT supercar. It's also less than the SVT Raptor but unlike the Tremor, the Raptor was designed to be an offroader while the Tremor's more of a "boy racer" kind of truck.

JC: Yeah right, the Raptor was made to be down and dirty while the Tremor is made to be more for street cruising in the streets of um...let's just say Los Angeles. Anyway, more truck news but this time, it's for RAM trucks. They now have a diesel version of the Ram 1500. Here it is...

2014 Ram 1500

JC: They said that the new Ram will come with a new 3.0L EcoDiesel engine mated with an 8-speed gearbox. It's going to be $2,850 greater than a similarly equipped Ram 1500 with a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, and it says here that it will come with a truckload of pioneering, fuel-saving systems including: eight-speed automatic transmission, stop-start system, thermal management system, pulse-width modulation and active aerodynamics. I have to say that this is the kind of truck for you to have, Hammond.

RH: What do you mean?

JM: Because you are mistakenly American...

(audience laughing)

RH: Why?

JM: Because...this is an American truck. All American trucks had to be this way. They had to be bulkier, chunkier, and muscular for cowboys to drive. I think you're fit for this truck.

(audience laughing)

RH: Oh, come on!!!

(audience laughing)

JC: Anyway, there's an unknown report circulating in the net right now and it says that “the Peugeot family has now accepted that they’ll lose control, so this is no longer an issue.” In other words, there's a possibility that Peugeot will surrender themselves to General Motors.


RH: What?

JC: I know, Peugeots made the worst cars made for the worst drivers but as I heard the report about PSA joining forces with General Motors for something something, I heard that the situation in PSA Peugeot Citroen's getting worser and worser but still, it's the worst brand in existence.

(audience laughing)

JM: Oh, yeah. We kept mentioning that Peugeots are for worst drivers only who don't know how to drive and when you said about something something, you said that when your daughter learns how to drive, you said that when she sees a Peugeot, you tell her to stop. Get it?

(audience laughing)

JC: Yeah but still, it's just an unknown report came from an unknown source, there are no sources from the two automakers agreed to comment on the matter, neither confirming or denying it. Anyway, that is the end of the news.

Toni Gonzaga, IHAW NA!

TV presenter, Toni Gonzaga, wass the guest of the day on the June 28, 2013's Banana Nite's IHAW NA segment and while they're busy chattering, we're starting getting to know more about Toni Gonzaga, a lot.

Gran Turismo 5: The Renault Avantime

One time, at some Season 12 episode of BBC Top Gear, the producers bought the hosts a Renault Avantime at the cost of about 6 grand and see if they can max out the car to be as fast as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. The starting budget's about 15,000 Pounds and since the used Avantime costs about 6,000, only 9000 Pounds were left in their allowance and see if they can find the necessary modifications needed on that budget.

So, what's it all about the Renault Avantime anyway and why this is the car chosen for a task to modify it into an Evo-beater?

First launched in 2001, the Avantime is what they believed to be an three-door MPV that was designed and manufactured by Matra and it was made with B-pillars. Renault says that the Avantime was made to combine MPV conveniences with coupe looks and sadly, it became a recipe of failure. In the UK, it sold about 435 units before it was dropped from its price list 18 months later. Of course, even with the launch of the utterly redundant Vel Satis, which is their flagship back then, the Avantime didn't help, and Matra decided to pull out of the automotive production business in 2003.

A 2002 article from Automobile Magazine said that Patrick Le Quement, the man who designed this car, knows how to think clearly and the Avantime's design he penned was an nice attempt but such utilitarian expectations don't jibe with the tastes of a grand tourer. Yep, this car can be somewhat very weird but hey, when the years pass by, the Renault Avantime is definitely a future classic and because of such less units made, it's hard finding this car when the times go by. So, what's so special about it? Aside from being one of the cars the Top Gear boys like, the Avantime definitely has more headroom than any other car and when you open the windows, now that is a party piece! Plus, getting to the back of the Avantime is as clever as you can imagine thanks to its long doors and clever double hinges.

It maybe more of a head turner and more of a convenient classic, it finds handling to be somewhat sluggish and even with its 3.0L V6 engine equipped on the top-spec model, it's nowhere near as good as the Evo X and as demonstrated by The Stig, it lapped round the Top Gear Track in 1:42.5, 14 seconds slower than the Evo X, thus initiating the challenge.

Anyway, while this is taking too long to explain about how the boys did to the Avantime, let's explain about how it did well and you might think that all their hard work pays off...but it didn't. It lapped round the track in 1.35.4, which is still slower than the Evo X's lap time.

You see, the aftermarket tuning industry is a $257 billion market in the US alone and it employs over four million people at manufacturers, distributors, retailers and repair shops according to the AAIA. We were wondering that even though we spent 257 billion dollars on modifying cars, where does the cash go? Down the drain, that's the answer, but in the world where tricking out cars is a possibility for speedo boys, it's a trial and error process. Try and try until they succeed. That's the lesson in the world of modification, especially for this car who says "I wish I was faster than the Evo".

If you have the budget to find an Avantime, would you consider spending your leftovers for modifications? Well, the jury's still out...

"so good"

On the June 28, 2013 episode of Bubble Gang...

- School service gags

-Hey dude! You're stealing one of my jokes!

-  One suicidal man's going to fall off the building...gets joined by others...

- A love triangle between the husband, the wife, and her lover...

- Bubble Gang does KFC Streetwise Chicken Burger Steak Meal by spoofing this ad as KSP Streetwise Chicken Burger Steak Meal! So good!

Bubble Gang does KFC

- Tata Lino's here again to help you...

1) Kung sasaktan mo lang ang babaeng nililigawan, ngayon pa lang, unahin mo siya sa suntukan

2) Ligawan mo na siya habang maaga pa dahil pag gabi na, baka hindi na makatulog pa

3) Ang mabait na kapitbahay, walang password ang wi-fi

4) Aanhin mo pa ang pagibig na wagas kung wala na ang bigas?

- Brod Pete and the gang are answering life's toughest questions in ANG BAGONG DATING DOON

- IyoTube in Umbrella

Threats from North Korea - A Week in Review (June 29, 2013)

And now, the week in review of what's what at the Korean peninsula...

June 24, 2013

- According to a transcript released today, the late South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun called for changing the disputed Yellow Sea border with North Korea into a "peace-economy zone" during a 2007 summit then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

June 25, 2013

- South Korea's National Intelligence Service released the transcript of the 2007 inter-Korean summit talks, amid controversy over remarks made by the late President Roh Moo-hyun regarding the Northern Limit Line, a disputed maritime boundary in the West Sea.

- President Park Geun-hye has vowed to further strengthen South Korea-China ties during her state visit to Beijing this week.

- Websites of South Korea's presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae and the Office for Government Policy Coordination were hacked and set its cyber crisis alert level to "caution". Some experts believed that North Korea's behind this and they believed that they have launched a cyber attack in response to Anonymous' plans to infiltrate North Korean websites.

- North Korean analysts say that the released transcript might further worsen the inter-Korean relations. Some say, the North Koreans might take actions about the released transcript or for worse, Pyongyang might reject holding future talks with Seoul.

June 26, 2013

- In preparation for her first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye scheduled no public events for the day.

- On her first trip to China, president Park Geun-hye will meet with China's top three political leaders: President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chariman of the National People's Congress Standing Committee Zhang Dejiang.

June 27, 2013

- President Park's first scheduled event upon her arrival in China will be summit talks with her Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

June 28, 2013

- U.S. House of Representatives has proposed a bill to extend the South Korea-U.S. Civilian Nuclear Energy Agreement for two more years.

- Presidents Park and Xi spent 7 hours and 30 minutes together over the past two days, giving them ample time to talk about almost all of the pending issues between Seoul and Beijing.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Patrick Garcia, IHAW NA!

Our long-forgotten actor, Patrick Garcia, is the guest of the day on the June 27, 2013's Banana Nite's IHAW NA segment and as the interview progresses, we're dissecting more and more about Patrick's career up to his recent role in Annaliza.

Meanwhile, Mr. Bang became a janitor and while he's cleaning up the mess, the mess keeps on coming back!

Ambitious / The Children


There's still more to come for The Children, a trio of crime-fighting girls as seen on the Zettai Karen Children anime series because they're back with their second mini-album titled Ambitious. The mini-album brings Aya Hirano, Haruka Tomatsu, and Ryoko Shiraishi back together as The Children, performing three new songs, then the character song Triple Message last heard in THE UNLIMITED character CDs, and of course, a brand new version of the song as heard from the Zettai Karen Children OVA titled ☆Seventh★Heaven☆.

Oh yeah, for limited quantities, there's a special DVD which contains the music video of the EDIT version of Triple Message.


1. Triple Message/ザ・チルドレン  
2. CRESCENT MOON/野上葵 starring 白石涼子  
3. 星のPULSE/三宮紫穂 starring 戸松遥  
4. RAY OF THE SUN/明石薫 starring 平野綾  
5. ☆Seventh★Heaven☆ (ver.2)/ザ・チルドレン

Ford Fiesta minor change

Ford's entry level compact car, the Fiesta, has been given a minor change after having this car around since it's American debut in 2010 and it's been three years since the Fiesta is now considered part of the One Ford approach. Not only Americans got the Ford Fiesta but also ASEAN markets as well, including Thailand. So, what's up for this minor change?

2014 Ford Fiesta Sedan

2014 Ford Fiesta

For its minor change, what you'll not going to like about it is the front view because while Ford is super busy stealing the Aston Martin face to plaster it on future models, especially the current-generation Ford Fusion, customers are getting mixed reactions about Ford's move to incorporate the signature look that looks like it came from Aston Martin. Of course, Aston Martin used to be part of the Ford until the British sportscar maker got owned by the Kuwaiti so if designers from Ford said that if they want to steal something, steal from the best and the best that Ford consider was Aston Martin.

I'm not sure about what would they think about the new Fiesta's look but I believe that most people are going to alienate away from its new look and go back to its pre-facelifted look instead or for worse, meet up with its rivals such as the Chevrolet Sonic because well, Sonics are better than Fiestas and I'm sorry, that's not worth it.

2014 Ford Fiesta interior

Okay, if the new exterior's not worth it, how about the interior? You might think it would be more user friendly than the Sonic isn't. It isn't even that close because even though it has a plush interior that feels like you're sipping a warm sherry on a monsoon, there's this utterly complicated SYNC with MyFord Touch which Consumer Reports said it still...wait for it...wait for it...wait for it...STINKS!

Why? Consumer Reports believed that most interiors of Fords of today are in question of a full touch screen system that replaces conventional knobs and buttons. Are touch screens better than those with those conventional knobs and buttons? Well, the jury's still out there and even when the new 2014 Ford Fiesta comes with voice controls, it's still what Consumer Reports said as “maddeningly fussy and can be hard to distinguish.” Oh my glob...

Consumer Reports' frustration with MyFord touch is beginning to worry Ford themselves and pretty soon, they are going to resolve it by replacing touch screens with conventional knobs or buttons in future models. It's for the good but annoyingly, tad old-fashioned.

Anyway, while the MyFord touch fiasco now applies on the Fiesta, how about how it drives? Well, you'll still have the 1.6L Ti-CVT 4-cylinder engine which develops a measly 120HP of power and 112lb-ft of torque and it can be mated with either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed Powershift. Because the front has some MacPherson struts, it feels a bit more European but it's about more of an...well, macadamia nut that you can't crack it alone. 

But don't be fooled about the cheap ergonomics and the cheap pricing of under 14 grand and the sizing because even though it doesn't look quite as good as the pre-facelift, there's more misadventures waiting for the new Fiesta and since it's summer, consider this car to be on the list. If you had friends, then it's more fun to enjoy your summer days going out to the mall or to the arcade or to the laser tag or anything that's on your list. Well, since there's a whole lot to do because school starts this fall, consider it a must have if you just ignored the pathetic MyFord touch and the pathetic Aston Martin copycat front.

Available Colors: Blue Candy, Tuxedo Black, Race Red, Performance Blue, Green Envy, Ruby Red, Ingot Silver, Oxford White, and Storm Gray.

Photo: Ford Motor Company

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Let's Do The News! (June 27, 2013)

River's Diary

Well, if someone's playing the song "My Nemesis" coming straight from the Phineas and Ferb album, then this is fun because I already now had someone who opposed me a lot and that was the 2014 Corvette Stingray, coming at the end of summer this year, because the fight between man vs machine is on but not quite literally because it's still to far from schedule. Still, I was very saddened from the announcement from NBGi that DLC Catalog 18 for the PS3 version of THE iDOLM@STER 2 will be the last one and sadly, the Punkish Gothic outfit, as seen on the XBOX 360 version, is out of favor, which means, it's not coming...forever. That saddens most PS3 fans and that's how my rage against the C7 Corvette kicks in, yo.

Anyway, what's up now?

- The CBCP or Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines ordered the MTRCB to stop airing "My Husband's Lover" from GMA. Why the sudden cancellation of the show? Well, because My Husband's Lover has a theme of homosexuality, the CBCP isn't very pleased because according to CBCP-ECY executive secretary Fr. Kunegundo Garganta, "TV producers and writers must study themes presented in their shows and make sure they are based on moral standards." So now, because of the order of CBCP, GMA will replace it with "My Father's Lover", which is known to be "the first church-themed series in Philippine television,” said Katherine Galvez, the show’s executive producer, during its announcement.

Of course, you'll still expect Carla Abellana (as Lally), Tom Rodriguez (as Vincent) and Dennis Trillo as the main characters but the biggest change is that Trillo will be playing the role of Father Eric Del Gundo who was Vincent’s first romance when the latter was an altar boy during his elementary years. For this new program, MTRCB gave it rated PG, which stands for “Parochial Guidance”. That sounds new but still worth it than the once-cancelled show for gays that has an SPG rating.

- Mazda Motor Corporation teamed up with XBOX and Metric for a reveal unlike any other and the result, the unveiling of the all new 2014 Mazda Axela or Mazda 3 for the world market.

Now a full-fledged SKYACTIV Mazda complete with the signature Kodo -Soul in Motion- design philosophy, it's now sleeker, sportier, and surprisingly economical because of its host of SKYACTIV-G and SKYACTIV-D engines. For the first time, there's going to be a hybrid model too but we're not going to spill the beans just yet. We'll have to wait until its Japanese on-sale schedule for more...perhaps the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show would tell...

2014 Mazda Axela

- Citroen revealed the 7-seater version of the second-generation Citroen C4 Picasso, called the Grand C4 Picasso, and while it has the same awkward exterior design, premium interior, and the host of technologies, except now it has room for seven people and it's longer than the normal C4 Picasso.

2014 Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

- Jenna Coleman (minus the Louise moniker because from now on, she will be credited as Jenna Coleman. Just Jenna Coleman) got even more opportunity for her as a celeb because she will be playing the role of Lydia Wickham in Death Comes To Pemberley, a major new 3x60-minute serial that will be made for BBC One and directed by the BAFTA award-winning Daniel Percival.

- Brian's Evo VII from 2 Fast 2 Furious is up for grabs for $39,995 since it's listed at the ebay site. Now, what's next? Roman's Eclipse? Hmmm....

- Indonesian Otakus, take note! AFA Indonesia is coming this September 6 to 8 at the Jakarta Convention Center (Indonesia Mantap)!

- Sad news to bear that former comedian Sammy Lagmay passed away at the age of 55 on Wednesday after his three year fight against his illness. He died at his home in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan at around 3PM. Sammy Lagmay was well known to be a comedian in sitcoms like "Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata", "Da Pilya En Da Pilot", "Oki Doki Dok", and "Aalog-alog".

You may recalled that he was interviewed on Showbiz Inside Report a year ago that all of his funds were drained by his treatments, prompting him to call for financial aid in July last year through appearances on different forms of media.

Leopaul's Heaven and Hell: WHY I HATE THE 2014 CORVETTE STINGRAY...

This is exactly why I hate the C7 Corvette

Sure, in the world of American sports cars, both the Corvette and the Viper are fierce rivals and the majority of car enthusiasts believed that Corvettes are better than Vipers. Since the Corvette's regeneration into its seventh incarnation, with everything back to basics as well as the newly developed V8 engine and the first ever 7-speed manual gearbox, it attracted a massive attention from the motoring public worldwide and yes, it's a Gran Turismo-exclusive machine since it became a free DLC on Gran Turismo 5 days after its NAIAS reveal and now the C7 Corvette's reprising on the upcoming Gran Turismo 6, coming at the end of the year exclusively on the PS3 console.

Of course, even though this is a Gran Turismo car, there are so many morons out there begging to see the 2014 Corvette Stingray on other games outside Gran Turismo. Well, Forza Motorsport 5 is a common candidate but since it's available exclusive on the all-new XBOX ONE, everyone's going to dislike it probably because of the whole privacy issues despite Microsoft backed down its X1 policies such as playing offline for 24 hours and trade-in games. Oh geez, even with the reversed policy, there has been some mixed reactions, some would really buy it while some disagree and buy a PS4 instead because it's cheaper than the X1 but what do you get? Multiplayer requires a PS Plus subscription which is costly and the upcoming PS4 games can bore you easily, especially DriveClub. Well, with the exception of the upcoming MGSV because I love it and I really going to have one someday.

Anyway, ever since I tried it on Gran Turismo 5, I was going to say yes, I love this car. It may not have more oomph than its rivals from Europe as well as the outgoing Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1 but it's more track-focused, more dynamic, more bewildering, and more fun to drive. It sure loves to leave the whole world in a cloud of tire smoke and overall, the best handling Corvette in ages. Yes, it may seem like a love affair but like couples divorcing each other because of their issues, it seems that I'm starting to hate the 2014 Corvette Stingray so much. No's not the rear lamps that breaks away from its tradition but took away my dignity.

Sorry but it seems that THE DOOF IS ON so please bear with me, okay? Ahem...The backstory, every bad guys' move before explaining their evil plot to heroes they've caught. I just once read numerous comments about the upcoming FM5 on the X1 console and what I'm always noticing that most of the car nuts condemn against both the game and the console due to numerous issues. Some say, "I would rather go for GT6 on the PS3 rather than buying X1 and the FM5" and that's just...too much! As I know, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond will be making their in-game narrations on the upcoming Forza Motorsport 5 as well as numerous Top Gear content on this game and because of such Top Gear goodness and since I'm a huge fan of Top Gear, I'd say I'm in but because of the morons condemn and go "meh meh meh meh meh", I'm starting to irritate myself. Why would you go for a game that has a 1200 car lineup of utter nonsense instead of a game that has everything Top Gear and lots of the hot cars you've ever dream of. I mean imagine what would the Gran Turismo 6 lineup will won't be expecting cool cars that FM5's going to feature such as the Cadillac CTS-V, the latest SRT models, the Vanquish (the one James May drove in America since Series 19), the F12berlinetta (Clarkson's going to drive it on Series 20), the Range Rover, the Koenigsegg, GENESIS COUPE, Forte Koup, the reasonably priced cars from Top Gear, the Supersport Veyron, Continental GT, anything. That's right. The whole GT6 1200-car-lineup will be a total boredom and feature to upload replays, no livery creating, no engine swapping, just plain boredom and oh...endurance races can be a total waste of time unless you're on the B-Spec racing with a 1000HP racecar and let it do the rest. He he he...

Well, in the essence of Gran Turismo, there were night racing and change of weather, making it a little more complicated and who would rather want to race in either evenings or in wet laps? Grrr.... It's a good thing Forza Motorsport series don't do that kind of stuff...Well, save the night racing and the offroad stuff from the Horizon spinoff of last year. It was so amazing that no weather change and night racing going to be involved in the upcoming FM5 and that makes me happy. Ahhh.... But wait! What was that? No night racing? No weather change? They're booing? Grrrr....

Why can't Gran Turismo feature the good cars that Forza had? Well, you don't need some reasons but because the lineup's going to be boring as well as the mechanics. No way and no deal. I would reserve the Xbox One and Forza 5 no matter the negative comments are throwing and in a terribly irrelevant way, I don't want any mistakes happened when Bandai Namco refused to put the Punkish Gothic outfit on the PS3 version of THE iDOLM@STER 2.

Wait...what? What did I say? Oh yeah! The part about not putting Punkish Gothic on PS3 iM@S 2 was a big mistake? Oh! That just rings a bell! This whole thing fueled my hatred against the 2014 Corvette Stingray, the same thing I showed my hatred against the MINI Countryman crossover! Oh! So angry, I would rather break Eleventh Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver toy into pieces!!! Seems that I have developed my absolute rage against the new Corvette because what that car took away from me? The hopes and dreams to make the unexpected expected and one day...well, you know the rest. The R-word. Blah blah blah...Meh meh meh meh meh...

Anyway, if I had an encounter against the new Corvette one-on-one, what should I do? Either the Clarkson way or the Brainiac way? No matter which way I'm approaching, my hatred against the new generation keeps on boiling and hey, note to self, don't buy the 2014 Corvette unless it denounces its Gran Turismo exclusivity. That's all...

Top stories from the June 26, 2013's Banana Nite's Kandila!

Top stories from the June 26, 2013's Banana Nite's Kandila!

- One drunk driver was reported to the cops as part of this mewly established law...but we're forgetting the memo about a drunk policeman.

- School bullying is strictly prohibited in all schools and those who didn't follow were suspended...unless when a certain school principal is a bully.

- Aiza Seguerra and Charice join together for a concert...and what just happened to the two of them?

Meanwhile in Laugh Three, here are some three tips on what to do when your boss caught you nappin on the job, as told by Alex Gonzaga...

1) Pretend you're praying!

2) Be alert and prepare to make-up a dream!

3) If you're sleeping, be sure that you have cash on your desk!

What's in our Car Town garage today? (June 27, 2013)

What's in our Car Town garage today?

1936 Alfa Romeo 12C

In the past decade, Alfa Romeo is one of the greatest racing team ever existed. Right before Ferrari was founded, Enzo Ferrari started his racing career back there. Anyway no time for history lesson but moving on to the legendary racecar that scored eight different wins during its tenure. Designed by Vittorio Jano before he left the company because of its flaws, the 12C or Tipo C is a Grand Prix car that uses either a Roots supercharged 4.1L V12 on the 12C-36 or a Roots supercharged 4.5L V12 engine in the updated 12C-37. The 12C-36 version racked eight victories from the 1936 Penya Rhin Grand Prix up to the 1937 Genova Grand Prix.

1936 Alfa Romeo 12C

2013 Navistar Hobbs' MXT

Federal agent Luke Hobbs is always preferring to some tough and rugged offroaders. In Fast Five, he drove a Gurkha while on the pursuit against Brian and Dom in Brazil. Now, in Fast and Furious 6, this agile, rugged, and tough military vehicle based on the MXT truck was Hobb's choice while assisting Brian, Dom, and the crew in pursuing against Shaw. Navistar Defense's MXT was made with a rugged, light frame rail system for off-road capability on rough terrain and its 4WD performance and MRAP-like protection from explosions really give Hobbs a very tough offroader that suits him very well.

2013 Navistar Hobbs' MXT

1990 RWB Pandora One 964

Akira Nakai was heavily involved in the Japanese tuning scene when his wide-body-conversion Porsches were spreading like wildfire and that's how RWB (RAUH-Welt Begriff, which can be translated into "Rough World Perception") was born. RWB is a Japan-based Porsche tuner that provides wicked wide body kits only for classic incarnations of the 911. One of them is the RWB-tuned Porsche 964 and for over 20,000 US Dollars, the wide body kit conversion for the 964 involves on the bumpers, side rockers, wide fenders, GT2 or 3.8-type rear spoiler, and other small parts included. For 5,500 US dollars, customers are offered with RWB Suspension Packages courtesy of Aragosta.

1990 RWB Pandora One 964

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kris Aquino, IHAW NA!

Kris Aquino returns in a very special IHAW NA segment in the June 25, 2013's Banana Nite! For the second part, we hear about her commercial endorsements, which TV role suits her best, life for Bimby and something else just for her.

Meanwhile, a sketch that goes "if he's still in his pants, he will never ever do any favors". Yeah right. See if she'll take off his pants just so he can do the favors she asked...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kris Aquino, IHAW NA!

On the June 24, 2013's Banana Nite's IHAW NA segment, the queen of all media Ms. Kris Aquino was the guest of the day in a totally unexpected kind of way. She's busy talking about her hiatus in her showbiz career so she can focus on her family time with her Bimby... Of course, this was part one, there's more from Kris Aquino on Part Two the next day...

Meanwhile, we examined what would a Sosyal and Di Sosyal do such as buying a cellphone, drinking water, sipping soup, and putting a deodorant.

2014 Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO

Yes, the March NISMO was made to be a beginner's car suitable for a track day weekends but for the upperclassmen of the track day scene, there's also another NISMO out there and it seems that the newly reborn NISMO brand is becoming what AMG does to Mercedes-Benz, M Power does to BMW, and SRT does to Chrysler brands.

2014 Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO

Part of the ever-expanding NISMO brand is the 2014 Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO, which is now more of an ultimate version of the speedo boy favorite Nissan FR sportscar with some added genes of Nissan's involvement in the world of motorsports. For the 2014 model, the Z NISMO now sticks with the new Nismo design theme with distinctive new exterior and interior accents which was applied in the Juke and March models.

First off all, it looks like the Version NISMO model that was launched in 2009 and based on the Z34 model but because of the rename from "Version NISMO" into just "NISMO", the main difference for the new Z NISMO is the upgraded aerodynamics, sharper handling, sports tires, rigid body, increased stopping power, and the upgraded version of the VQ37VHR engine.

Wait a minute, the Version NISMO didn't notice it but for the Fairlady Z NISMO (remove the "Version" stuff), NISMO provided a special dual exhaust system with equal-length exhaust manifolds and a new ECM (tuning computer) so the VQ37VHR's power output is now up from 336PS to 355PS of power while being mated with either a 7-speed auto or a 6-speed manual gearbox with SynchroRev match system in which the revs matches the gearbox.

2014 Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO interior
There's more to this because while most NISMO models are driver-focused cars complete with driver-focused interiors, the Z NISMO is no exception and on the inside, the Z NISMO receives the similar NISMO treatment to make it more driver focused while keeping it luxurious for the fancy businessmen who wanted to be more flashy. There's the special combinations seats made with genuine leather and suede-like fabric, the steering wheel's wrapped in Alcantara, special genuine leather shift knob, some red stitching, a special number plate, and a special NISMO instrument cluster in which we can find a speedo that reads up to 280kph! Smart move but this was all in the name of being a high-performance version of a high performance sportscar.

2014 Nissan Fairlady Z NISMO

With all of these special equipment, the pricing is now up to 5,218,500 Japanese Yen, which is kinda expensive for a hot version of the Z but judging from its combat gear that makes it a proper track weapon, it's like munching every menu from the 5-star restaurant while adding the most daring flavoring that no normal person can survive against. It takes a Merc with the Mouth to describe this in an insane kind of way that you'll never ever understand but still it's worth the fun. I know, it's worth the fun during track days but as an everyday car, it's kinda harsh and if you were taking a date with someone to a 5-star restaurant, pretty soon, your date might just steal it. Oh well...

Available colors: Brilliant White Pearl, Brilliant Silver, Diamond Black and Vibrant Red

Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Nissan March NISMO (K13)

The major problem about having a Nissan March K13 is that it's a bit tad boring, it's too vanilla-ish, and it's only for someone who lives by eating a galunggong. There's also one big problem about the Nissan March K13 and that is...why this car hadn't been featured in the world of Gran Turismo? Sure, ranging from GT4 to GT5, only the K11 March and the K12 March were featured and sadly, no K13 March on sight. Seems that the Gran Turismo staff kinda forgot the memo that there was a K13 March out there but its too late. The Nissan March K13 got showed up in Forza Motorsport 4 as one of the starter cars so what went wrong for a Japanese eco car not featured in the world of Gran Turismo? Now though, there is a hot version that will tempt the Gran Turismo committee to feature it just for you to drive it.

2014 Nissan March NISMO
Yep, it's the Nissan March NISMO and this is just another one of the everyday Nissan cars getting the NISMO treatment since the Juke Nismo a few months ago and I had my fingers crossed that this could be the one thing the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 will going to feature it if they had the manpower to feature it. So, what do you think for this potential GT6 candidate?

For starters, it was based on the recently facelifted Nissan March K13 which was built by the Thais but now, it's added some NISMO genes on it, employing every single bit of motorsports DNA in this nippy little car, serving as the target to the Toyota Vitz RS and the Suzuki Swift Sport.

Starting on the outside view, the once bland Nissan March K13 look is starting to look even meaner and sportier thanks to some NISMO-prepped modifications including a special body kit, special front grille, daytime running lamps, and the red side mirrors which seems to be idiotic like a clown at a birthday party, except he was not here to give a birthday boy some laughs but instead traumatizing the birthday boy. Ouch...

2014 Nissan March NISMO interior
Also new for the NISMO-fied version of the Nissan March K13 was the interior and because NISMO has the genes of motorsports, the interior needs to be more of a track day-ish and built for the clubmen who are starting their track days in let's just say Tsukuba, Fuji Speedway, Twin Ring Motegi, or in Suzuka. So, the NISMO March's interior is themed in the name of track days in mind and you can expect some sports seats, leather/Alcantara wrapped steering wheel that looks like it came from the Juke but with a red center mark on it and joy of joys...the speedo now reads up to 220kph, although it is not necessary to take a video of your speedo while driving the Nismo March because five seconds later, you'll end up crashing and when cops trying to find the source of the crash, the main evidence is your smartphone set in Camera mode, serving this a lesson.

For the first time, there are two kinds of NISMO March models to choose from ranging from different tastes and demographics suitable for each model. First is the entry-level model which comes with the HR12DE engine mated with the XTRONIC CVT, which is a bit of a nonsense for performance-oriented enthusiasts but good enough to be flashy in the streets of Shibuya and get this, the driver-focused March NISMO S model which comes with a HR15DE engine specially tuned for this model, producing 116PS of power and 156Nm of torque, while mated with a (!) 5-speed manual gearbox.

So what we have here are two different March NISMO models which suits your desires. The base March NISMO model is made to be a flashy fashion item to the crowd while the March NISMO S model which comes with unique stuff, the 1.5L engine, and the manual gearbox, is suitable for the clubmen who are trying to enjoy their track day duties for the first time. Although it may not quite to be called a hot hatch, this March NISMO is definitely a beginner car for the track-day boys who want to start honing their skills on the track.

Well, when I said honing their skills, perhaps some of the beginner cars can do better than that because even though the NISMO tuned suspension for the March NISMO was made to be somewhat smooth enough to eat a corner or two, but on normal roads, it feels a bit too fidgety, which goes the same for those common hot hatchbacks tuned enough to be track-focused instead for everyday uses. Maybe.

For pricing, the CVT-rigged March NISMO costs 1,540,350 Yen while the March NISMO S with the 5-speed gearbox and the 1.5L engine costs 1,770,300 Yen. Whoa hang on...a March NISMO with the 5-speed gearbox costs more than the Toyota Vitz RS and the Suzuki Swift Sport? Oh well, if this is a price worth paying, it's the price worth paying for the hot March model but still, I really want the committee to consider the new March NISMO to be part of the GT6 lineup. I had my fingers crossed!

Oh yeah, this hot model will be available in Japan this December 2013, in time for the holidays.

Available colors: Pure Black, Brilliant Silver, and Brilliant White Pearl

Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd

Nissan March K13 minor change

2014 Nissan March
Wow, that is quite an unpredictable scale that this opportunity might come and it seems that having been on the roads since its debut in July 2010, just three years had passed, the Nissan March K13 gained its minor change since its premiere at Bangkok Auto Show a few months ago. Of course, this is still made in Thailand but even with the new look, it's still the same eco-car March we know. It's still the car that you can afford if you were in a world where you live to eat galunggong and pancit canton for the rest of your life.

What's for this minor change? Well, obviously not well because what they did is revising the bonnet, the front wings, the headlamps, and the front bumper with a new grille. Also, the rear bumper and the LED rear lights had changed.

2014 Nissan March interior
Inside, the 2014 Nissan March is offered in available suede-like cloth and door sheets complete with silver stitching which gives it a touch of class. Also, the dashboard gained a gloss piano black finish to make it even more classier. Bonus but this isn't all about the "sugar crush" as expected.

2014 Nissan March
Despite the added changes for the 2014 model, the performance and ecology remains the same. You still have the HR12DE engine complete with XTRONIC CVT and idling stop function, giving you the JC08 Mode fuel economy of 23kmpl whatsoever. So, that's not quite as efficient as the Mitsubishi Mirage but think of the Mitsubishi Mirage as a pancit canton while the Nissan March K13 as a galunggong because the pricing is just affordable. It's like in the days when pancit canton is more affordable than a kilo of galunggong and such pricing is related to those because the 2014 March now starts at 1,042,650 Japanese Yen, that's a 44,650 Yen more than the new Mitsubishi Mirage but like the galunggong that priced more than a pack of pancit canton, it's still a bit quite tasty to have one.

Available colors: Nadeshiko Pink, Olive Gold, Crystal Lilac, Sunlight Orange, Night Bell Purple, Radiant Red, White Pearl, Brilliant Silver, and Pure Black.

Photo: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

Monday, June 24, 2013

DLC Catalog 18 for the PS3 iM@S 2

This just in because Bandai Namco Games announced DLC Catalog 18 for the PS3 version of THE iDOLM@STER 2 and I know what you're thinking that do you think there's going to be the Punkish Gothic outfit, which the XBOX 360 version had? The answer...a big loud NO!

Well, so much for my open letter. Turns out the PS3 version won't be getting the Punkish Gothic outfit at the moment because they're so focused on featuring PS3-exclusive DLC outfits, meaning they don't have time to feature the fan-favorite outfit. Anyway, what's new for this catalog is the addition of three new outfits available exclusively on the PS3 version such as POP Raindrop, Grand Prix Queen, and the outfit first seen on the Million Live mobile game, called Million Dreams. The first two I mentioned costs 1500 Japanese Yen while the third one costs 750 Yen at the PlayStation Store.

They've also added a song called  ポジティブ!, which was first heard in iM@S L4U and this song will boost the Visual Image of your idols. Yours for 1,200 Yen at the PlayStation Store. They'll be out this Friday.

Sad news folks. Catalog 18 will serve as the FINAL DLC Catalog in the PS3 version, which means, by utter disappointment for the PS3 fans many, that the Punkish Gothic from the XBOX 360 version won't be coming to the PS3 version as expected. Bummer and that makes me...sad.



Let's Do The News! (June 24, 2013)

River's Diary

Right, what's the news today you spoiler-laden TARDIS journal?

The fall of Paula Deen

People who love cooking after spending hours of watching the Food Network had been quite worried about Southern celebrity chef, Paula Deen, got sacked by the Food Network last week following her racial slur scandal. Despite apologies from this celebrity chef, her contract with QVC, which markets and sells her cookware products, may be ending soon. A representative tells US Weekly that "QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation. We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC."


Nissan electrifies next year's Le Mans

Nissan ZEOD RC
This is Nissan's Le Mans racer for next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans race and what's shocking that this is an all-electric LMP known as the ZEOD RC. ZEOD stans for Zero Emissions On Demand and this is the testbed for various combinations of batteries and small turbo engines according to Nissan Global Motorsport Director Darren Cox. He said "In the future, we want to build road cars that let you choose between electric power and petrol power yourself - Zero Emissions On Demand - and in motorsport development is so much faster."

What do you guys think about Nissan's contender for next year's Le Mans?


Happy 110th birthday, Buick!

In 1903, the first Buick ever made was the Model B. The first unit was sold to Dr. Herbert H. Hills of Flint, Michigan, decades before the brand developed its reputation as a "doctor's car". 2013 marks the 110th anniversary of Buick and for over 11 decades, Buick made some of the finest cars in America from the "doctor's car", D-45 Touring which became Buick's best seller of 1916, 1936 Century which is the first to hit 100mph, 1949 Roadmaster that was featured in Rain Main, 1953 Skylark had Italian wire wheels and the owner's name engraved on the steering wheel, 1963 Riviera, the V6-powered 1975 Regal, and in 1987, the legendary GNX, up to the 2008 Enclave where it introduced Buick's signature design language and brand focus to the market.


The Disrupted Neptunia Event

It was Saturday afternoon and somewhere in Cinema Sunshine Ikebukuro, Tokyo, held an advance screening of the upcoming anime adaptation of the Hyperdimension Neptunia video game franchise when suddenly, it ended abruptly after a man wielding a knife allegedly disrupted the event. The police arrested the man who disrupted the Saturday screening of the Neptunia anime, which was set to be aired on TV this July after some of the staff dialed 110 at around 1:40PM Japan Time, saying "There's a man acting violently on stage."

After the incident, a statement was posted on the official website, saying that the anime's production committee apologized to the audience members and asked them to save their ticket stubs and notify of any updates regarding the event on the website while the president of MAGES. (5pb.) and the man behind numerous game/anime franchises such as Steins;Gate, Chiyomaru Shikura, said that he and his staff need to rethink how evens will be held.



Voice actress Rie Tanaka, who will be playing the role of Neptune/Purple Heart in the series, suffered a bruised knee and other minor injuries at Saturday's disrupted screening. That was reported by her agency. Although while her injuries were minor, the staff said that she is suffering from emotional distress after a man wielding a knife at the event. Despite they're declined for comments, her staff members were deeply concerned about the incident and asking her fans for continuous support as the voice actress will recover back to her normal self.


New name of Volkswagen PH distributor

The name says it all...VOLKSWAGEN RETURNS TO PHILIPPINES. Automobile Central Enterprise, Inc. or ACEI, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, served as the new distributor of Volkswagen in the Philippines. The deal was inked a month ago in Hong Kong where Weiming Soh, President for Commercial Operations in Greater China and ASEAN, signed the Importeur Agreement with Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ayala Corporation, and John Philip S. Orbeta, Chairman and President of Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation (Ayala Auto) and Managing Director of Ayala Corporation.

Although, ACEI (now VW Philippines) didn't provide any details about which models will be arriving soon, they will take some time before selling VW cars in the Philippines because of the supply issues. As promised, the new distributor will provide user-friendly pricing, something that matches between Japanese and Korean cars.


Subaru XV Hybrid (GPE)

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. If you had the time to read Jalopnik's top 10 most boring carmakers (at this moment in time), you'll be surprised that Subaru's was on the list. The brand that was once famed for its rally-born 4WD machines has now been ruined because not only their cars got succumbed into getting themselves CVT-ed, especially turbocharged versions of Legacy and Forester, it's because of this...

2014 Subaru XV Hybrid
This is just another one of the reasons the JDM industry got themselves the ritalin treatment. It's Subaru's first ever hybrid model and it's based on the Subaru XV crossover that was launched last year and it is essentially a crossover version of the fourth generation Impreza.

Manufacturers claimed that the new XV Hybrid provides the same capability and versatility of the gasoline XV with the added hybrid benefits such as the fuel economy of 20km/L based on Japan's JC08 Mode standards. So what's the difference, anyway? First of all, while in the process of developing Subaru's first ever hybrid crossover, Subaru re-worked the XV's fundamentals to handle an extra hundred kilos of weight via the battery system, reworked its handling, steering and ride. It even comes with an extra sound insulation, a start/stop feature, revised HVAC, new gauge cluster, keyless start and numerous other changes to make the XV Hybrid distinguishable from its petrol brother. Oh, and to make it easy for you, the HYBRID badging was on the side view. Don't forget that when you're out there.

2014 Subaru XV Hybrid interior
Here's one thing about the XV Hybrid. When accelerated gently, the newly developed MA1 electric motor kicks in and only 10kW of power is developed but let's just say when you're driving in a freeway or at the open road, that's when the FB20 boxer engine kicks in, producing 150PS of power output on engine alone. The Subaru-developed MA1 electric motor provides motor assist for acceleration in parallel with the gasoline engine, and an EV mode will operate the vehicle in certain low-speed situations. Oh yeah, like any other hybrids, regenerative braking is stationary for the XV Hybrid.

Ask yourself, adventurers. Since summer is already in Japan (amidst the monsoon season), do you know any good stuff to during during the long vacation? Most of you said that you want to travel through different provinces throughout Japan rather than doing some big stuff that kills your boredom. Well, I'd suggest you want to do some P&F stuff at your background (if you had one) because with all of those DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME stuff, who cares about it? It's summer! Summer's short, you got to make it count. Reason why because driving the XV Hybrid on your summer trips would rather feel like your parents will sing some oldies during the road trip, which is boring. Which would be better? Road trip with your friends or with your family? If you choose friends, then you finally found the reason why the XV HYBRID was made because it's made for 104 days of summer vacation with school just along to end it. But...if you choose driving with your family, then your whole 104 days of summer vacation...became a BUMMER VACATION. Your choice, pal. Your choice...

2014 Subaru XV Hybrid
Anyway, whether it was made to be a crossover for the road trips ahead or for the boring family trips thanks to your parents listening to oldies music, the XV HYBRID is also a responsive one. The suspension's reworked to make it sharper, the inclusion of thicker floor sections, under-floor covers and additional sound insulation makes it quieter, the Lineartronic CVT is smoother on the road, the trademark SYMMETRICAL AWD keeps this car altogether even while it was made to be a softroader, everything you need to know about XV HYBRID is here...sort of.

Positive thoughts about the XV includes about the 20km/L of fuel economy, the not so shabby handling, and it's good for the long weekends. Negative thoughts about being heavier than the hybrid, not quite sporty, interior's too bland, and doesn't have Scooby genes as expected from the past Imprezas. While this isn't quite an enjoyable feat for a Subaru, it's still a good choice for the summer and if you are willing to drive to the beach or to a ski resort or to the mall, the XV HYBRID's not that bad but as a concept, it's a bit bland and as for the pricing, it starts at 2,499,000 Japanese yen, over 300,000 more than the petrol-powered XV.

Available colors: Satin White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Gray Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Venetian Red Pearl, Tangerine Orange Pearl, Desert Khaki, Plasma Green Pearl, and Deep Sea Blue Pearl.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries

Mazda Flair Wagon Custom Style

2014 Mazda Flair Wagon Custom Style

The Spacia Custom from Suzuki attracted so much attention for those who want a Spacia but the normal design's too vanilla-ish. So attention-grabbing, it seems that Mazda decided to sell their own version of the Suzuki Spacia Custom as the 2014 Mazda Flair Wagon Custom Style. This is the first time they're doing this because last year, the old Palette-based Flair Wagon doesn't have a Custom Style version in a form of a now-extinct Palette SW because it's too late to do so.

With the current Flair Wagon is the Mazda version of the Spacia, then the new Custom Style variant of the Flair Wagon really sums it up as the Mazda version of the Spacia Custom. You still have the SPARKLING LED EYES, the black interior which matches the Custom Style's personality, the optional smartphone-integrated navigation system, and the concessions for convenience that this kei tall wagon can offer.

2014 Mazda Flair Wagon Custom Style interior
Also, you can still expect the Ene-Charge, the Idling Stop, and the Eco-Cool and with this kind of green technology and the CVT as standard, fuel economy is about 27.8kmpl for the naturally aspirated model while the turbocharged model has a fuel economy of 26kmpl.

Prices start at 1,512,000 Japanese Yen.

24 heures du Mans 2013

Le Mans 2013

This year's 24 heures du Mans endurance race has come to an epic conclusion after the remaining drivers survived 24 hours of complete torture at the Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe while some didn't make it or there's some few fatalities on it.

Anyway, Audi done it again with its 4th consecutive and 12th overall win thanks to drivers Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval, who crossed the line one lap ahead of the #8 Toyota TS030 Hybrid race car where Sebastien Buemi and the others were behind the wheel. This win serves as the 9th career win for Kristensen while Buemi finished 2nd overall and 3rd place goes to the No. 3 Audi driven by Lucas Di Grassi, Marc Gene and Oliver Jarvis.

The LMP2 class sees a win for Oak Racing's Nissan-powered Morgan racers where they did a 1-2 finish while at the LMGTE class sees a win for the #92 911 RSR followed by the No. 91 Porsche and No. 97 Aston Martin Vantage V8. The #73 C6 ZR1 racer by Corvette Racing placed fourth while the new SRT Viper GTS-R race car finished 8th and 9th.

Anyway, about the whole fatality stuff at this year's Le Mans 24 hour race, Allan Simonsen, who drove a #95 Vantage race car, died in a tragic accident 10 minutes after the start of the race. Here's Aston Martin's press release which sums everything up...


ASTON MARTIN TAKES THIRD IN THE 24 HOURS OF LE MANS  Aston Martin Racing finished third in the highly competitive GTE Pro class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its #97 Vantage GTE, a result dedicated by the team to its driver Allan Simonsen (DN), who was involved in a tragic accident in the #95 car shortly after the start of the race.

David Richards, Chairman of Aston Martin comments: “Following the wishes of Allan’s family, the team continued its participation in the race which was obviously very emotional and difficult for everyone. Both the #97 and #99 cars led for long periods of time but, ultimately, it was the changing weather conditions in the last hours that cost us the victory we all longed for. I’d like to thank everyone who has shown us such support over the weekend and sent the messages of condolence to Allan’s family.”

The #97 Vantage GTE, liveried with the design chosen in Gulf’s online competition, started from second on the grid – sharing the front row with the mechanically identical #99 car which qualified on pole. Darren Turner (GB) was quick off the start line taking the lead from Rob Bell (GB) and the pair continued together through the night, leading the race while trying to keep the #92 Porsche at bay.

As the sun rose over the Circuit de la Sarthe, the #99 car was leading the way with the #97 in third. However a wet track caused driver Frédéric Makowiecki (FR) to spin and collide with the barrier. The #97, now in second place, continued the team’s charge. In the lead up to the final two hours, the #97 took the lead from the #92 Porsche but heavy rain showers and unfortunate safety car timings hampered its campaign and, thus, the team crossed the finish line in third place.

Meanwhile the third Pro car, #98, having run strongly through the night succumbed to a technical issue and retired from the race. In the GTE Am class, the team’s #96 car finished eighth in a competitive class after 24-hours of consistent racing.
#97 driver Darren Turner: “It’s been an emotional weekend. No one could have ever thought it would start as it did. Our thoughts are with Allan, his family and all the mates he made around the world during his racing career.”

Team Principal of Aston Martin Racing John Gaw comments: “Le Mans 2013 will be remembered by the team for the tragic circumstances that surrounded the team’s participation, but everyone performed their tasks with the dignity that the circumstances demanded. Ultimately, the outcome did not achieve our objectives but we look forward to taking the lessons learned to the remaining rounds of the WEC this year.”
The ambitious five-car campaign marked the centenary year of Aston Martin and, to celebrate the anniversary, a parade of almost 100 Aston Martins took part in the Centenary Parade, a lap of the Circuit de la Sarthe. Aston Martin CEO, Dr Bez, led the lap in the company’s latest concept car, the CC100.

Dr Bez commented: “The tragedy in the opening hours of the race overshadowed the great performance of the Aston Martin Racing team. I am proud of everybody for demonstrating great speed, professionalism and competitiveness right up to the end of 24th hour. This achievement is a truly fitting tribute to Allan Simonsen.”

Danish-born racer Allan Simonsen started his Le Mans career in 2007 and what he was hoping for is to become one of the most successful part of an all-Danish team racing an Aston Martin Vantage in the GTE-Am category. Thoughts go for his family and friends and so sorry for his loss...

What's in our Car Town garage today? (June 24, 2013)

What's in our Car Town garage today?

1970 Dodge Coronet HEMI Super Bee

The Super Bee variant of the Dodge Cornet is proven to be one of the most popular muscle cars of that decade and it was made to be a big car with a big performance thanks to its 383-cubic inch V8 engine that develops 335HP of power while mated with a 3-speed gearbox. A more powerful 426 HEMI engine was offered and it delivers 425HP of power while mated with a 3-speed TorqueFlite auto gearbox. If all goes well, think of the Coronet Super Bee as a musclecar that feels like an Italian supercar with the buyer-friendly pricing.

1970 Dodge Coronet HEMI Super Bee

1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)

In 1989, the GT-R name was returned after its 16 year absence and it was based on the eight-generation Skyline, the name that pushed Nissan ahead to the world of sports cars thanks to its unbiased performance and the thrills delivered for the earnest of car enthusiasts many. The RB26DETT engine that powers it develops 280PS of power output, the federalized maximum limit for Japanese sports cars at that time, while torque output is 260.3ft-lb of torque. Power was distributed to all fours thanks to its ATTESA E-TS that provided unbeatable traction and handling.

1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)

1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

Known by its slogan of "Sport Civic", the fifth-generation Honda Civic was known to be one of the most notable sport compact cars ever made and thus making Honda recognized as one of the foremost FWD makers in the world. The SiR model was the enthusiasts' choice because not only it was tuned for nimble performance, the 1.6L DOHC VTEC 4-cylinder produces more power than any previous generation SiR model.

1995 Honda Civic Hatchback

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Gran Turismo 5: The Dual Note

Well, I'll be honest that the Honda Motor Co., Ltd of today is not quite as good as the Honda Motor Co., Ltd. of the past that we all loved to. The Civic is dead when it pulled out from its lineup in the summer of 2010, their hybrid 3-door CR-Z is not quite as cheesy as its CR-X predecessor, and since there is no more Type R at the moment, the Honda of today can now be easily mocked because the one that was famed for making cars for "speedo boys"...gone and took too much ritalin to make their lineup free from their ADHD...and that makes them sad.

I once drove a futuristic Honda saloon car in the world of Gran Turismo 5, called the Honda Dual Note concept, and after much science abuse with this car, this concept car did raised a question on which direction did this Japanese carmaker went. In fact, this concept hybrid saloon doesn't feel like it's been taking too much ritalin nor is the 3.5L V6 hybrid powertrain suffered from autism that most Hondas of the past had.

Premiered at the 2001 Tokyo Auto Show and then in 2002 New York International Auto Show as the Acura DN-X Concept, the Honda Dual Note is a concept sports saloon that, true to its name, uses Honda's IMA system consisting with an electric motor paired with a 3.5L V6 engine mounted in the middle, an uncanny attempt for this 4-door saloon car built for the opulent green. It might seem obvious for a sedan to be mid-engined but let's not forget that this is a concept car so it's impossible to see it coming into reality. Anyway, the Dual Note's 3.5L V6 engine transmits its power to the back while two separate motors are powering the front. With the electric motor and the V6 engine combined forces, it develops under 400HP of power and an impressive fuel consumption of about 18kmpl.

Now, what seems to be uncanny for the Dual Note is they way it performs and because this is a 4WD saloon car, it's not quite as related as the Scooby Leggy B4 but it's nearly close. What's also uncanny was its powerplant because when I'm trying to unleash all 400HP to the Dual Note on the high-speed straights, the battery is depleting easily, and when I hit on the brakes, thanks to its regenerative braking feature that you get on most hybrids, it restores its batteries to its full self. This is like good news and bad news as going full speed ahead is bad news while braking is good news for the battery. Touche...

This is one of the most notable Honda concepts I have ever tried in the world of Gran Turismo and the blue window tint adds a nice touch to the Dual Note's fluidic styling, though. While this concept saloon proves that even the most uncanny tricks can be added on hybrid saloons, the Dual Note sure knows that it's refusing to take too much ritalin from the doctors and wants to go Braniac on the run. What this is, is a Braniac with two hearts and an unstoppable autism far beyond compare to the Type R Hondas of the yesteryear and in fact, this is the kind of car that Honda should have made a few years ago but thanks to the economic downturn, their hopes and dreams had been flourished and because of that, Honda lost their autism and their present lineup's been taking too much ritalin to keep themselves acting like a bunch of boring businessmen.

Pity and if there's such thing as an alternate universe, this hybrid sports saloon would have been a hit instead of a CR-Z...
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