Saturday, December 21, 2013

"Asahan Mo" #bubblegang

On the December 20, 2013 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Noche buena gags

- Mr. Assimo hosts a Christmas party.

- IKAW AT ANG INA acknowledges...your status updates about your donations!

- Santa Claus gets a makeover!

- Bubble Gang does Skyflakes by spoofing this commercial as SPYFLAKES. Asahan mo.

- Istambay, Istambay sa Looban, mga carolling uso na naman, lahat natutuwa sa kantahan, pwera ang matandang mayabang...

- Antonietta meets her match against special guest Chanda Romero!

- Junior reveals his parents' dirty secret.

- Hitting up the right note with the carollers.

- Santa Bully bullies the department store Santa Claus.

Gran Turismo 6: The Shelby GT500 story

Ever since the Mustang's inception in the 1960's it became well known as the king of muscle cars and with fierce competition from the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Charger, the Ford Mustang still stacks up the competition. The Mustang has been widely known to be starred in different movies and shows. It was once famously appeared in Bullitt starring Steve McQueen, Gone in 60 Seconds, Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift, Drive, Getaway, next year's NFS movie, the unsuccessful TV reboot of Knight Rider, and oh, it was once appeared in an episode of Alcatraz.

If someone complains about a Mustang, then it's got to be Europeans and Asians doing the complaining over the Mustang because even though Mustangs love to prefer the straight line enjoyment, having one in countries outside the USA makes you feel like you're a spokening dollar wearing a stetson, some cowboy boots, drinking too much fizzy pops, wasting some cash on a holiday in Disneyland, eating too much fast foods like McDonald's, Burger King, or Subway, and you're the sort of person occasionally living the fancy life. That's how a Mustang guy best describes himself.

If you're in the land of anime, K-Pop, baguettes, kebabs, tom yum, or Right Honorable Gentlemen, you might think that the Mustang is nothing but a pet peeve. A cog piece for the shorter chap. An equivalent of The Rich Texan from The Simpsons.

This particular Mustang, however, is not like that. This is the Shelby GT500, the pinnacle of the Mustang range. The king of Mustangs. In the US, this car costs $54,995 so it's cheaper than any other supercars five times the price. What surprises me is the engine that powers it, a 5.8L DOHC 32-valve supercharged V8 engine, produces 662HP. That's about a hundred more than a Ferrari 458 or a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Ford says it's the most powerful production V8 ever made. Yummy.

It maybe heralded as America's most powerful car but there are some downfalls to the GT500. Like all Mustangs, the GT500 is not good on the corners because unlike most modern cars that comes with multi-link, dual-rate dampers, and independent rear suspensions, this Mustang still comes with a live-axle, which is a bit old-school in the handling stakes but still, it's enjoyable as a drifting machine if you got some time to pass.

Reason why the Mustang GT500 didn't come with some modern suspension is because it would have added some pricing to each car. It maybe a ridiculous decision but you can't have a powerful car stuck with some suspension made of wood or a lamppost. What remains is a car that looks great and still performs on a straight line. That's it.

You can't add that much power on a car that still comes with an old suspension system, right? Most modern sports cars are not like the Mustang because even with the added power, they took some time beefing up the suspension to make it more handling-friendly. In the past, power is the top priority but with times changed, sports car makers rely on the handling as the top priority. The Mustang is...well always sticking to the power struggle.

Back in 2011, when Chevrolet launched the ultimate Camaro, the ZL1, Ford got alarmed that the ultimate Camaro got more power than their GT500 so they've responded and in the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford takes a stab on the Camaro ZL1 with their 2013 GT500, which produces more power than the rival Chevy. The Mustang loves playing catch-up since the advent of the fifth-generation Camaro in 2009 and while the Camaro has been America's best seller, Ford wanted to keep up by giving the 2013 Mustang range a 100-horsepower increase. The previous GT500 has about 550-ish horsepower, don't know but I keep forgetting maths but since it was rated at around 662HP, the 2013 GT500 is once again king of American muscle cars. Not only it outwit the ZL1 but also the Corvette ZR1 in the horsepower stakes. It's kinda shame that even with the 100HP increase, nothing can match the technology and sophistication of its Chevy rivals.


Unlike most any traditional American V8 engines, this 5.8L DOHC 32-valve supercharged V8 engine is quite sophisticated. The block is German-made, perhaps they all know what they're doing, the crank shaft is made of carbon fiber and hopefully it won't blow in the hands of whatever Brainiacs introduce it to SPEED. 0-60 takes 3.7 seconds and top speed is over 202mph.

What shocks us the most is the 2013 GT500's fuel tank because of its 50L capacity. A 50-litre fuel tank takes about 14MPG, which means at 140 miles, this car has to stop for fuel. Ouch. Well that's a theory worth proving but your actual mileage, both GT6 and reality, may vary.

As the Mustang GT500 continues to chew off the miles, I was wondering how come this immensely powerful car feels

Well, it's not what you called luxurious for a car that some people would call it a luxury car because of its outrageous pricing and it's not quite as refined as sportscars from Europe and Japan.

Despite all this, it's still worth addicting. When you put your foot on the pedal hard, your life gets drunk with speed. Once you're in the GT500, you'll never ever get away with it, it enslaves you for the fun of it. It's a likeable car, a good looking car, and no wonder why I got hooked on this car probably because it's so powerful enough to take on the sophisticated supercars five times the price.

And then, apart from being a likable, you can also expect one thing that stands out: HERITAGE.

This car owes its existence to a legend named Carroll Shelby. He was born in 1923 with a heart condition, meaning that he has to spend the rest of his life fighting for a living so one day, he decided to become a racer. While his racing career never cut the mustard, he heard that somewhere in England, a small company called AC was struggling to find a Ford-sourced engine for its sportscar. Carroll Shelby brokered a deal with Ford Motor Company to supply big V8s and the Cobra was born.

The Sunday Times reported that the coupe version of the Cobra, the Daytona Coupe, reached 190mph on the M1 highway and that sparked an enormous outrage over the safety of motorworks. Because of that, the 70mph speed limit was introduced.

In the USA, the Cobra christened a collaboration between Shelby and Ford, which spawned numerous creations until in 2012, Carroll Shelby died at the age of 89.

Just before his passing, he had to see this and apparently, he liked it. I also like the fact that this Mustang bears some menacing Cobra badges and his name on the back as a tribute to the motoring legend himself. I was going to say this but Mr. Shelby, no matter where you are, even if you are in the Great Racetrack in the Sky, my tribute goes to you but because I am so busy playing Gran Turismo 6 with the 2013 Shelby GT500, I just can't bring myself to say it.

Even though the Mustang GT500 has some ups and downs in terms on how does this car behaves, this car is definitely one of my favorites in the game. Not good on cornering, good on the straights, 50-litre fuel tank, heritage, these traits what best describe this car.

It looks great, tons of character, and goes like a train...well, almost. However, there is a problem regarding this car because the biggest advance on cars in the last century is refinement. You could drive an old banger at around 70mph but it feels like you've been shaken, rattled, and rolled. A present-day Ford Focus makes you feel like sitting in a bathtub while your hands and feet get lubed into something oily when you reach 70 mph.

The GT500 feels like an old banger to us because of the noise, vibration, and the harshness. Perhaps no wonder why American cars are so cheap. They're so cheap, they couldn't pay attention to the details and they simply aren't as sophisticated as the European rivals.

Don't get me wrong. Even though this is no Mustang, this is the exact Mustang that Jeremy Clarkson drove in the Series 19 episode from Top Gear in a Pan-European race from Wembley to San Siro and he lost just after Hammond and May arrived at the bar near the stadium.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Let's Do The News! (December 20, 2013)

The big scoop today...

Meccano motorcycle on James May's Toy Stories next month

In case you missed it, James May's Toy Stories returns on BBC Two and BBC Two HD on Friday, January 3, 2014, at 21:00 GMT and for this season, James May will be riding a motorcycle made out of Meccano. Meccano is a French-made construction game in plastic or in metal for children from 5 years old. It's been loved by kids in Britain but with the advent of Lego blocks, Meccano's popularity is slowly fading. With Meccano still around us, James May is up to the challenge to travel with a motorcycle made out of Meccano but by how far? Find out on an all new James May's Toy Stories returning on January 3, 2014, on BBC Two and BBC Two HD.

NAIA shootout killed Zambo mayor and others

A Zamboanga del Sur town mayor and three others, including a baby, were killed and four more people were hurt in a shootout at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City before noon earlier. Labangan town Mayor Ukol Talumpa, his wife, and two others; including a one-year-old baby, were killed outside NAIA Terminal 3's arrival area at around 11:15AM Philippine Standard Time. They were arrived on board a Cebu Pacific flight from Zamboanga by somewhat two hours before the attack.


Netizens complaining about NAIA's poor security after an ambush

Moments after Labangan mayor Talumpa, his wife, and two others including a baby got killed in a middle of an ambush, it seems that netizens exploded some comments regarding NAIA's poor security. Well, so much to say about one of the world's worst airports but for this case, it's on the security concerns. Ouch... NAIA and No CCTV were among the trending topics in Twitter and the netizens are enraged by this latest incident.


Huracan unleashed

2015 Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4

The successor of the Gallardo has finally revealed under the pseudonym of Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4. Huracan is Spanish for hurricane, named after a Mayan God of fire and part of continuing the Lamborghini tradition of naming cars after bulls, it's all Earth, Wind, and Fire for the newest baby Lambo that was heavily inspired by the flagship Aventador. The newly developed 5.2L V10 engine develops 610PS of power, scaling that up, that's 5PS more than the hardcore Ferrari 458 Speciale. 0-100kph in 3.2 seconds and top speed of over 325kph, as similar to the 458 Speciale.

The Huracan will be making a world premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show but next month, the Huracan will be featured in 130 private preview events in more than 60 cities globally.


Celebs taking public transport

With heavy traffic in Metro Manila, there are some Philippine celebs opted to travel via public transportation. Cristine Reyes, for example, will be riding a bus going to a taping for an episode of Honesto. Gerald Anderson, meanwhile, will be riding the MRT because he was rushing for an appointment.



Gran Turismo 6: Mario Andretti's First Love

This is not just any other Hudson Hornet you know, this is the particular Hudson Hornet where racing legend Mario Andretti began his career. This is Mario Andretti's "first love", and with the help from the Gran Turismo community, the "First Love" of the legendary driver has been restored to its former glory and we now had the chance to try it out in Gran Turismo 6.

Back in 1957, when Andretti was just 17 years old, he, his twin brother Aldo, and his pals began building his first race car based on a 1948 Hudson Hornet. The reason why he picked the Hudson because of its legendary reputation of being...well, legendary in the world of NASCAR.

Just what is a Hudson Hornet? Simple really, this legendary machine raked 40 out of 48 wins because of its straight-six Twin-H power engine, making it truly an innovator and race champion. If you're under 12, then to you, this car is Doc Hudson from the Disney Pixar movie, Cars.

Anyway, back to the story. They got the parts, a new engine, and rebuilt the car from scratch and then, two years later, the #7 Hudson stock car was born and the Andretti brothers won their first two races.

This engine was bought from Whitney & Company, a company specializes in race-spec engines for Hudson stock cars and it was engineered with a single carbureted straight-six design. With the combination of this engine as well as its sleek aerodynamics of the Hudson stock car, it became the foreground to Mario Andretti's legendary career that blessed him several motorsports such as F1, Indycar, NASCAR, and the World Sportscar Championship. Because of his longevity and success, the Associated Press and RACER Magazine named him "Driver of the Century". Today, Mario Andretti's living at the age of 73.

Sony Computer Entertainment America started Gran Turismo 6's FIRST LOVE campaign where the producers and the help of the GT community restore Mario Andretti's 1948 Hudson stock car to its former glory. Oh yeah, if you want to relive the "First Love" story, go to and look back at the story of Mario Andretti and the car that started it all.

From restoration, recreation, 3D scanning, sound recording, the producers spend most of the day doing their best to resurrect the legendary Hudson stock car to its former glory and a week after its complete restoration, Andretti and his "First Love", the car that started his career, have finally been reunited at last and as a reward for all the hard work we've done, his car is ours in GT6 via an update. We even had a chance to try out a Special Event where we can drive Mario Andretti's 1948 Hudson round the "Streets of Willow" segment of Willow Springs International Raceway. This legend served as a courtesy car and if whoever reaches the Bronze trophy target or better will be rewarded with Mario Andretti's 1948 Hudson as a prize.

It's been quite an honor to drive a legendary car which served as the maiden voyage for the living legend. Although it maybe a stock car, it's still the fabulous Hudson Hornet. It's first love never dies especially when petrolheads showing their love for cars and for this car, it feels like I'm rekindling to my past selves. When racers driving legendary vintage racers like this, their instincts are reconnecting to their predecessors and in theory, that makes them motivated to the road ahead. Sadly for me, my past isn't quite perfect for me so...I'm not really more of a man I am but ever since I spent the last 15 years playing the Gran Turismo series, here I am now, continuing the legacy in a new era. Wow, looks like the irony is not lost from me but still worth entertaining.

This 1948 Hudson stock car that Mario Andretti started his racing career back then really does asked us a question that we all have answers. As a petrolhead, what car served us as our "first love"? A car isn't just more than just a piece of transportation or racing machines. It's made for storing up memories no matter how good or bad memories are. Recollection, that's what that is and when you look around people asking about what's their first car they drove when they got their driver's license, the good times, the bad times, they'll always response in a touching kind of way.

Just remember, when you're busy taking the wheel of Andretti's Hudson in GT6, you are worth remembering about how "First Love" never dies in a true spirit of car enthusiasm.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let's Do The News! (December 19, 2013)

The big scoop today...

Dacia is one of EU’s fastest-growing car maker

2014 Dacia Duster

It maybe a Romanian low-cost car maker part of the Renault Nissan Alliance but Dacia is well recognized as one of the fastest growing European carmakers in history. Why? Reports from Top Gear told that Dacia is shifting 21.1% more cars in Europe in the first 11 months of 2013 than they did last year. They have also increased its share of the market from 1.9 % in 2012 to 2.4%. Thanks to Dacia, the Renault Nissan Alliance inspired them to revive the Datsun brand as, like the Dacia, a low-cost brand for the masses.


FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil will pollute as much as 560K cars a year?!

Study shows that over the course of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, 2.72 million tons of CO2 emissions will be emitted from around 560,000 Cars in a year, unless your mode for transportation to the big stadium would be bikes or electric cars which sadly not one has ever been in the Brazilian market.


Mazda Atenza is Top Gear Philippines COTY 2013

2013 Mazda Atenza

Having outwin against the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Jaguar F-Type in the World Car Design of the Year, once won the RJC Car of the Year, and now another accomplishment for the new third-generation Mazda Atenza or Mazda6 for the world market. The new model won Top Gear PH Car of the Year 2013 scoring a massive 103 points out of 150, defeating the Honda CR-Z and the new Lexus IS350.

Binay's Dasma gate clash gets a stab by netizens

Ever since the video of Dasmarinas Village security blocking the access from Makati Mayor Junjun Binay's convoy and caused 20 minutes of standoff, the netizens start asking...Ganito kami sa Makati? Most netizens hit Binay's abuse of power in Dasma gate clash.

Willie Revillame willing to reconcile with ABS-CBN

Despite the controversy through the years, entertainer and businessman Willie Revillame said that he's more than welcome for possibility of reconciling and working again with his former home network ABS-CBN. Three years ago, there has been a feud between him and the network. He left ABS-CBN and moved to TV5. Two months ago, Willie's variety show in TV5, Wowowillie, went off air. So far, he still has no ongoing negotiations with any network but he believes that any negotiations may happen next year but right now, he's still managing other businesses such as the expansion of the Wil Tower mall in Mother Ignacia street, Quezon City, as well as the construction of his five-star hotel in Tagaytay.

Honda Vezel

2014 Honda Vezel

Honda, once a car that makes the enthusiast-focused cars now a carmaker that makes cars that disappoint us...sort of. Once, they were cool, but now, they have lost their luster. The Integra is long gone and its name was used for their motorcycle, the Civic is long dead now three years ago, the Type R is dead and never come back in the JDM empire, and we have to wait until the next two years for their new NSX as well as their revival of the Beat kei roadster. Now, they've been focused on making too much eco-boxes but ever since the implementation of Honda's SPORT HYBRID powertrain, Honda tries to turn the tables around in the fast ever-changing world around us.

The Accord Hybrid was proven to be more efficient than the Insight, the latest Honda Fit Hybrid had a double clutch that is more responsive to drive than the CVT gearbox most hybrids had, they're really are a game changer in its own right...well, as a theory.

Question now come Honda came up with their own answer against Nissan's Juke? It all started back at the 2013 NAIAS in Detroit when Honda previews their answer to the Nissan Juke. It was the Urban SUV concept that spirals the critics into questioning about what would it be when this crossover was based on the new generation Honda Fit. Now that there's a new Honda Fit, it only took moments before Honda pulled out the wraps for their production version of the Urban SUV Concept and gave it the name...VEZEL.

What's in the name VEZEL? It's a portmanteau for the words "Vehicle" and "Bezel" and Honda says that this crossover's worth a charm and multi-faceted like a jewel that changes its looks depending on the angle. That's seems a bit dry to me but judging by the looks of doesn't quite as bad as a Nissan Juke but if you managed to turn up in one of these, it won't win you friends.

2014 Honda Vezel

But still, even though it's not quite a head-turner, the Vezel's design does inherited from the concept model. Almost 90% of the looks were retained and from every angle, this city crossover should sure use some eau de pomme here should this crossover is ready to go wandering to the streets of Tokyo.

The Vezel offers two types of powertrain available such as a 1.5L L15B petrol engine which generates 132PS of power and 155Nm of torque while mated with a CVT gearbox and the main feature for this car is this...the same 1.5L petrol engine but this time connected to a 22kW electric motor and a Lithium-ion Battery, the same as what you expect from today's Fit Hybrid, which in my opinion, is the better hybrid car ever offered because of a certain gearbox I find it worth noticing...a 7-speed double clutch gearbox. Yummy.

Even though I find the 7-speed DCT to be quite too shabby, it's still more responsive than the CVT gearbox and because this 7-speed gearbox implemented on a hybrid car as part of the SPORT HYBRID powertrain, I can expect this to be a bit more fuel efficient than the competition...and it does. 27.0kmpl as calculated in Japan's JC08 Mode standards, scaling that up, that's almost 5kmpl more than the Toyota Harrier Hybrid. Quite surprising but not expecting for the most fuel-efficient hybrid SUV in the market.

2014 Honda Vezel

Because this is just a crossover that looks like a hatchback, the Vezel still handles like a hatchback rather than being an SUV. It feels fine on the city streets but when you show it to the corner, the Vezel's not quite in a mood for the handling department and oh, if you push the SPORT button, the dials have gone red and the suspension's gone harder but still you can expect a fair bit of understeer. No matter how hard you're cornering this, it won't cut a mustard. The theory is that when the suspension's getting harder, the more cornering cars would be but for the Vezel, even with the SPORT Mode on, it's just another theory bites the rust. You got to be more careful than that but if you give the Vezel the optional 4WD system, it's a little bit more promising than the FF model. Promising but still comes the understeer so you may want to watch out for that.

2014 Honda Vezel interior

2014 Honda Vezel interior

Well, even though the handling is just one of the complaints for the new Vezel, I still find the interior to be a bit more comfortable. It can seat up to five people, has 393-liters of max cargo if you're interested for space, and for some circumstances, I can have a sat-nav with smartphone integration. What makes me bizarre on the Vezel is the available Electronic Parking Brake which eliminates the handbrake for some reason, making driving tests a bit more confusing, and then the City Brake Active System which uses a radar to detect incoming vehicles at about 30kph or less and in some cases...brakes automatically but not at all. There's even an EMERGENCY STOP SIGNAL, which is now a norm for all Hondas, which triggers hazard lights when drivers behind you are approaching and in the case of sudden braking when the vehicle is moving.

Question is...would you go for this rather than the Nissan Juke? But first, the starting price for the Vezel is 1,870,000 Japanese Yen for the entry level 1.5 G model, a 180,550 Yen more than the entry-level Nissan Juke 1.5RS Type V. However, the normal petrol Vezel has a fuel economy of 20.6kmpl, so it's 2.6kmpl more than the Juke even though both of them come with an engine stop-start system.

Available Colors: White Orchid Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Tinted Silver Metallic, Rousset Black Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Morpho Blue Pearl. Premium Deep Rosso Pearl, and Misty Green Pearl.

Photo: Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

Gran Turismo 6: VERSION 1.02

In time for the holidays, Gran Turismo 6 gets a minor update with their Version 1.02 and here are some of the most interesting bits if you have an itch to progress further;

First, they've returned the Consecutive Login Bonus from GT5 to GT6. If you remember, when you logged in for several days, the payout will be increased and on the 5th day, your winnings will be multiplied up to 200% so keep playing everyday if you wanna rack up the cash. In Career Mode, the winning Credits will be increased. Then, players will now only require a National B licence to access Seasonal Events and over the course of the game, there will be events that will reward cars as prizes so beware and keep playing.

Also on Update 1.02, the first two new Red Bull cars are offered and the RED BULL X CHALLENGE is up and running. Players will have their first taste of the first two Red Bull cars such as the RED BULL Racing Kart 100 and the first of the Red Bull X2014 series, the Junior model.

The X2014 Junior may be more of a baby racer but don't let the size fool you because this is still a quick car but not at all when your facing this against the bigger ones. This racer served as a practice for when you're racing with Formula Cars and it takes a little bit of mastery to master the little monster racer.

They're available now via update while the more basic X2014 Standard Car and the ultimate X2014 Fan Car will be implemented on a future update.

So, have you tried the latest update?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Let's Do The News! (December 18, 2013)

The big scoop today...

1) New Mini JCW Concept

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept
Come at the 2014 NAIAS in Detroit, Mini will be showcasing a concept model of what we believed to be the next generation Mini John Cooper Works hot hatch. It maybe a concept model but it sure does served as a preview of a hotter Mini based on an all new Mini.


2) Papa Dom of Tropical Depression band passed away

Papa Dom, known by his real name Dominic Gamboa, of a local reggae band Tropical Depression passed away today in which some say caused by a fatal kidney disease. Singer Cookie Chua posted on her Facebook "Hanggang sa muli Papadom Gamboa, mahal na mahal kita ang aking guro nung nagsisimula pa lamang ako sa eksena,"


3) Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 announced

To celebrate the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune arcade series' 10th anniversary, the folks at Namco Bandai Games announced the fifth installment of the hit racing arcade. So, what's new on Maximum Tune 5? Well, there's a new harder EXTREME mode if you're a bit of a hardcore racer, then, there are three new machines such as the TOYOTA 86, Subaru BRZ, and the legendary Nissan Skyline RS-X S30, and this game offers MaxiG currency where your winnings can be spent for dress-up kits for your car such as rear wing, vinyls, bumpers, wheels, and more.

It will be commenced this March 2014.


4) Suspect Arrested in Kuroko's Basketball Poison Threat Case

A 36-year-old man, who believed to be the mastermind behind the KuroBas Poison Threat Cases that involves sending threat letters to convenience store chains and establishments linked to Tadatoshi Fujimaki's KuroBas manga, was arrested by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department in Higashinari ward in Osaka on Sunday. The suspect goes by the name of Hirofumi Watanabe and he was formally investigated for the charge of "obstruction of business".

5) Filipina Bea Rose Santiago is Miss International 2013

Another Filipina won an international beauty pageant this 2013 and this time it's the turn of Bea Rose Santiago who was hailed as Miss International 2013. The pageant happened at Tokyo, Japan since December 17th.

Looks like this year is proven to be a brighter sport as the Philippines snagged three beauty pageant wins; one for Megan Young as Miss World 2013 and another one for Mutya Johanna Datul as Miss Supranational 2013.


6) Nan is back in her new show!

The foul-mouth old lady, Nan, from The Catherine Tate Show returns in her very own show coming on BBC One this January 4, 2014 under the title "Catherine Tate's Nan". It's a new show but anyway, on the newest comedy series of 2014, while her grandson Jamie is away in Africa for voluntary work, a young girl called Alice has been allocated to Nan by the Young and Old Buddy-Up Foundation to keep her company and cheer her up. Don't mind her but Nan's foul language is all but total annihilation on the unsuspecting public.

Catherine Tate's Nan airs on BBC One Saturday, January 4, 2013 at 21:30.



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Miles Ocampo, IHAW NA!

On the December 16, 2013's Banana Nite's IHAW NA segment, the guest of the day is none other than former child star now turned teen star Miles Ocampo. Miles has been quite a favorite ever since her big break in Goin Bulilit. Life after Goin Bulilit, Miles appeared in several dramas and later, she gets another big break as schoolgirl Camille Sarmiento in the first season of Luv U, a comedy show.

In case you missed it: #BrianGriffinLives

In case you missed last night's Family Guy episode, titled Christmas Guy, great news! Brian's back for good!

Near the end of the episode, when Stewie encountered a kid that really is Stewie along with the gizmo that involves time-travel on it, he enlisted temporary pooch pal Vinnie (played by Tony Sirico) to distract him. While the other Stewie gets distracted, the real Stewie gets the portal.

Before Stewie uses this time-travelling portal to save Brian, Stewie bids farewell to Vinnie. After bidding them farewell, Stewie's off to the scene of Brian's death and when Stewie saw a car approaching to Brian, STEWIE SAVED BRIAN! Hooray!

Guess this plot twist will be a memorable one, but still, it's good to see our favorite pooch back for good!

Kia K5 Hybrid 500h

The Kia K5 Hybrid (known globally as the Optima Hybrid) gets the facelift it deserve and not only the minor change occurred for Kia's answer to the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord Hybrid but also it gets a whole new name under the banner of K5 Hybrid 500h.

Kia K5 Hybrid 500h

Again, Kia adopted a new naming for their new "ECO hybrid" lineup that goes (number goes here)-0-0-h. For the hybrid version of the K5, it's going to bear the 500h subname, same thing for the K7 Hybrid 700h I've tackled earlier.

For the newest version of the K5 Hybrid, you can see that it inherits the same minor change as its petrol equivalent that was launched earlier this year but it incorporates some signature looks for the hybrid model such as HID headlamps, LED foglamps, a choice of 16 or 17-inch alloys, revised rear lamps, and of course being a hybrid, it bears the "ECO hybrid" badge.

Kia K5 Hybrid 500h interior

Kia K5 Hybrid 500h interior

The same case of inheritance goes for the interior because not only it came from its normal petrol equivalent but it even comes with an updated software in the form of UVO 2.0. In case you're asking, UVO 2.0 is the second-generation of Kia's infotainment system which smartphone app provides a completely new level of car telematics, parked vehicle locator, and advanced vehicle relationship management free of charge. Who needs car keys when you can have a smartphone integrated to this car? A bit clever but a bit serious.

Kia K5 Hybrid 500h

You still have the same Nu 2.0 MPi engine which produces 150PS of power and 18.3kg-m of torque but the electric motor that connects it is now enhanced from the former's 30kW to the latter's 35kW. The engine connected to the electric motor and the Li-ion battery, it's up to the driver to choose whichever driving modes to see fit, whether if its running on EV only, running on normal petrol engine, or running on both. It's like having two hearts except this isn't wibbly wobbly timey wimey. This is automotive science.

And having learned their lesson from the whole Hyundai-Kia fuel economy fiasco regarding that their fuel economy figures are overstated and caused them lawsuits, the K5 Hybrid 500h has a fuel economy of 16.8km/L combined. It maybe just a major drop from its former glory but hey, sacrifices have to be made for the greater good, right? But still, it's not as fuel efficient as the Toyota Camry or the Honda Accord Hybrid.

As for the weight, the K5 Hybrid 500h weighs at around 1570kg, meaning that's just a few kilos heavier than the Toyota Camry but about a hundred less than the Honda Accord Hybrid, theoretically.

Because the suspension has some McPherson struts in the front and multilink at the back, the K5 Hybrid 500h feels more clever and serious as any other cars using this kind of suspension setup. Yes, there are some multilink cleverness going on around here making it a good effort all round, well that's a theory.

The K5 Hybrid 500h starts at 30,360,000 Korean Won for the base Luxury model up to 33,530,000 Korean Won for the top-of-the-line Noblesse model. Available colors are Snow White Pearl, Bright Silver, Aluminum Silver, and Aurora Black Pearl.

Photo: Kia Motors

Kia K7 Hybrid 700h

Back in Autumn 2009, the Kia K7 spearheaded the K-Series line of saloons and in case they forgot about it, the "K" letter stands for Kia Motors, the automaker's birthplace: Korea, the English word: kinetic, the Greek word: Kratos, and so on, relating to the letter K. With last year's facelift took place, it only takes a matter of time before Kia Motors introduced a new twist to the K7 premium saloon.

2014 Kia K7 Hybrid 700h

They now introduced the hybrid version of the K7/Cadenza under the banner "K7 Hybrid 700h" and it seems that they're going to outdo with the numbers because starting with this and alongside the K5 Hybrid 500h, which I'll be tackling on later after this, Kia adopted a new naming for their hybrid lineup that goes (number goes here)-0-0-h. This is a K7, right? So for the hybrid version, it's going to bear the 700h subname.

2014 Kia K7 Hybrid 700h
Kia Eco hybrid badge

To make sure deaf people don't mistake the K7 Hybrid 700h for an ordinary K7, the exterior looks nearly identical to the normal model except that now it has blue highlightings on the signature Tiger Nose grille, blue highlights on the projection headlamps and Daytime Running Lamps, 17-inch alloys, and an "ECO hybrid" badge; two on the side view and one at the rear view.

2014 Kia K7 Hybrid 700h

On the inside, it's pretty much identical to the normal K7 because on the hybrid model, you can see the "ECO hybrid" logo on the seats, a very different dashboard with the one of the left that looks suspiciously familiar to other hybrids except this doesn't have the words Eco, Power, and Charge on it but instead it says ECO GUIDE on it. You still get the same premium amenities as the normal K7 as well as this analog clock on the dashboard which looks quintessentially classy for a show-offer.

The K7 Hybrid 700h comes with the Theta II 2.4 MPI engine, which generates in a normal 159PS of power output, is connected to a 35kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. Put them together and you'll get 204PS of power while mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. As for the fuel economy, the K7 Hybrid 700h gets a moderate 16.0kmpl combined and CO2 emission of 106g/km. I know, it looks somewhat familiar to what you get from the newer Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid but be warned; the K7 Hybrid 700h weighs at around 1690kg, 10kg more than the Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid.

The K7 Hybrid 700h starts at 35,830,000KRW and available colors are Snow White Pearl, Aluminum Silver, Bright Silver, Aurora Black Pearl, Platinum Graphite, and Satin Metal.

Photo: Kia Motors

Hyundai Grandeur/Azera Hybrid

2014 Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid

2014 Hyundai Grandeur Hybrid

Since its launch in January 2011, the 5G Grandeur is a step further for Hyundai's luxury premium FWD saloon car that sometimes doesn't fare well against the competition. Now, Hyundai wants to make the Grandeur or Azera even more economical and more...silent by unveiling the first ever Grandeur Hybrid.

You get the same premium amenities as the normal petrol version but for the hybrid, the Theta II 2.4 MPI engine, which generates in a normal 159PS of power output, is connected to a 35kW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. Put these together and the total output is a healthy 204PS of power, making it a bit less of a city-car class, more of a high-performance car class. Unlike most hybrids that do come with the dull CVT gearbox like for instance, the Toyota Crown or the Lexus IS or the Toyota Camry, this hybrid version of the Grandeur/Azera is mated with a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Not quite as sporty as it seems but still it's worth responsive than a CVT-mated hybrid however, in terms of fuel economy, the Grandeur Hybrid gets a moderate 16.0km/L. That's about less than its rivals from Toyota but still, it's more fuel efficient than its petrol equivalents.

The new Grandeur Hybrid starts at 34,600,000 KRW and it's available at four different colors; White Crystal, Sleek Silver, Black Diamond, and Aquamarine.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

Gran Turismo 6: The Jaguar XKR-S and the Nissan GT-R

For several years, Jaguar had a long reputation of making comfortable, good-looking saloons only the posh would salivate for but for this Jaguar I tried on Gran Turismo 6, speed is the focus of the game.

This must be the new Jaguar XKR-S, the most powerful production sports car Jaguar has ever made. First of all, the aluminum quad-cam 5.0L AJ-V8 supercharged engine has been recalibrated to produce 542HP of power and 501.2ft-lb of torque. Yummy...

It can do 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and a top speed of over 300kph, making this the only Jaguar that has been permitted to the elite club of 300kph sportscar. As a matter of fact, that's almost as near as what most Ferraris do, meaning that's on the edge of Ferrari territory.

Then, there's the exhaust note and because of its supercharged V8 engine, it sounds like an American muscle car. So lairy, so crazy, and overall...Oh dear! I like a European V8 sportscar!

Despite sounding like a muscle car, the XKR-S still behaves like a sportscar because of its hard suspension, adaptive dynamics, and the active differential which is programmed to alter slip ratios, differential torque distribution, and intervention levels, letting drivers push this car to the absolute limits. It's all science and maths but still the Jaguar XKR-S is no GCSE or some physics lessons. It feels like it puts the fizz into physics and this car that Jaguar does what nitro does for glycerin.

No wonder some Brainiacs could recite the promo video of the car. Ahem..."This isn't about image. This design is driven by geometry and physics". Oh Benedict Cumberbatch....

To make sure people don't mistake the S for the ordinary XKR, it comes with a carbon rear spoiler, 20-inch alloy wheels, leather that looks like carbon fiber, sports seats, blue ambient lighting, and some added aerodynamics. What annoys me is the red brake calipers because it looks inappropriate for a Jag like this. Aside from the added aerodynamics, the XKR-S looks a bit of a show-off to me. It can be a sportscar but it feels so overrated to me.

I know, I love driving this Jaguar just a bit longer but when it gets too much for me, the XKR-S seems a bit more of an overrated rather than an underrated when it comes to being a show-off car. You can enjoy it a little longer but not at all because there are times you're going to fed up with this car unless if its necessary. Even though it's still overrated, I'm still liking to the XKR-S grit because this is still the Jag I love to drive on Gran Turismo 6.

With the XKR-S, it seems that Jaguar has sacrificed most of its subtlety and good looks in the pursuit of speed but if it's speed, I wonder, how come you're not interested over...the Nissan GT-R?

For years, the flagship of Nissan, the GT-R, had gone through several revisions to make it into the completed piece you see now. Legend has it that this Japanese supercar can outrun numerous sportscars even those that are five times the price such as the Lexus LFA, the Mercedes SLS, or the Ferrari 458. With the GT-R scored numerous awards and the recognition of being the perfect machine, its success prompted Nissan to begin development on the next generation platform but its high hopes can't be contained in the middle of a race.

Sure, I might tell you about how it's made on the hermetically-sealed factory and all of the components are heated to the same temperature before assembly so they're in the same state of thermal expansion and how the tires are filled with nitrogen because it's more stable than air and how it went round the Nurburgring in 7 minutes and 20 seconds but I'm not gonna do that even though I just did.

What I'm gonna do here is doing drag race at a quarter mile straight of the Ascari Race Resort. Anyone familiar with what I just did to these two should better sit comfortably because what I did is simple. Even though the XKR-S has a few more power than the GT-R, the GT-R not only leave the XKR-S to dust, it demolished it.

There is this weird theory about how did the GT-R managed to get off the line quickly and probably because of the Launch Control feature, a feature in a form of a computer that sorts everything out for you so when you plant your foot out, it sets off in a perfect line. Clever but unintelligentable for a Brainiac who wishes to use it. Some say, a Brainiac would have a launch control by himself.

But still, it's a great car. I'm still loving this Japanese supercar a lot. The double-clutch gearbox works seamlessly, the VR38DETT engine is not an engine, it's just like putting ammonal in a gas cooker and then explodes when introduced to a toy robot holding a blow torch, the turning's not so bad, and overall, when you want to let loose in this car, the grip is mind-boggling.

It really is the perfect blend of technological and mechanical engineering. It truly is the best of both worlds and for Brainiacs playing GT6, it's still worth a white-knuckle ride if they're looking for thrills out of this car that always defy the laws of physics.

Despite everything, the GT-R still behaves like a proper saloon. Quiet and comfortable but not at all because it makes the noise that most racing machines produce but they're subdued in the background.

It's hard to fault this car because while the XKR-S was just a brogue that was converted into a training shoe, the GT-R was designed to be a training shoe in the first place for a much less. The GT-R is the ultimate instrument of speed while the XKR-S left me question why would Jaguar want to mimic the hardcore progress that Aston Martin has not to mention they have their own testing facility at the Nurburgring.

Still, with the GT-R, you'll get the impression that this car is very clever but a bit serious. If you have one of these, go out and see if NISSAN's ultimate masterpiece still has the potential to rack up the points!
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