Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Get ready to drift – Jason’s S15 Silvia

Last March, Jason's S13 drift machine was given an honorary tribute on Gordini's Pit Stop before it had to be taken off the roads for a well earned retirement.
With Formula Drift coming up, Jason's back, this time at the wheel of an S15 Silvia, provided by his partner, Perfect Power Performance Garage. This workshop, located at Kaki Bukit, is specialized in building and maintaining racing cars. With a current specialty in making drift machines out of ordinary RWD cars, Perfect Power Performance Garage's high quality and affordable services are also gearing up to handle track cars with the coming of Singapore's Changi racetrack.

This Silvia has been painstakingly hand-built over the years by Vic, the owner of Perfect Power Performance Garage for his own drifting needs. This car's story to become a drifting machine worth the name became three years ago, when Vic bought it after deciding to give drifting a go. As his skills improved, the car's drifting potential was also honed by her loving driver's hands, adding, of course, and LSD, but also bucket seats with five point harnesses, a roll cage, a sports exhaust, an array of gauges to keep everything under control, and all the nitty gritty that turns a common car into a drift machine.
With his driver out of wheels for Formula Drift 2011, Vic decided to let Jason take the wheel and the Nissan is now being tuned to this drifter's preferences.
Two weeks away from the only official asphalt-tearing event in Singapore, the Silvia will undergo a heart transplant in the form of a new, bigger turbo to propel her heavy chassis sideways the way Jason needs it to.
GT Radial, Jason's main sponsor on his S13, is back again on the S15, providing him with a lifeline of racing rubber that gives him the chance to stand up to the competition in two weeks. Liquimoly Asia and Asia Apparels are also standing by Jason's side to power his drifts.

The only sad part is that this Silvia is, just like her predecessor, reaching the end of her life on Singapore roads, and the country's laws will, sadly, once again be claiming the life of a respectable drifting machine.
Jason's story as a drifter is far from being over, and Perfect Power Performance Garage has already received his next machine, which will be built over the coming months...
Get ready to see this candy pink S15 in sideways action for Formula Drift, representing Singapore under the colours of team GT Radial. Gathered under the tyre brand will be a total of five drivers coming from all corners of Asia, so keep an eye out for them as they mean serious business.


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Munich Automobiles BMW Service Centre Open House

Last weekend, Munich Automobiles, the world's first exclusive BMW M dealership, was holding an open doors event for its service centre.
For this occasion, the preparation bays at the rear of the dealership were taken over to feature some official sports bodykits that can be purchased and fitted on your BMW here at Munich Automobiles' service centre.

In addition to this, some very interesting attractions gave the guests better knowledge about how servicing diagnosis is done, showed off the benefits of polishing on a car's paint job, and explained the benefits of run-flat tyres.

This was my first time seeing a run-flat tyre in action (on a video) and these really are life savers! Puncturing a normal tyre at speeds around 90kph will send you on a spin that, unless you have finer driving skills, will probably send you hitting things left and right. The same situation with a run-flat tyre will only cause the car to swerve and most casual drivers will be able to take back control of the car before anything bad happens. To further show the difference between a normal and a run-flat tyre, two tyre sections were displayed for guests to stand on. The normal tyre, as expected, will crumble under a person's weight, whereas the run-flat will only slightly bend. All this thanks to a cunningly reinforced tyre wall!

Of course, the open doors being for the whole family, attractions and games were provided, such as slot cars racing and cone-dodging at the wheel of a radio controlled mini X5. For those with a sweet tooth, Munich Automobiles had a treat in the form of freshly-made Oreo ice-cream, which was very welcome as the sun was hitting hard outside.

This being a BMW M dealership, track junkies were also naturally provided for, and a Gran Turismo 5 lap challenge around the Nurburgring was set up, with the immersion in the driver's seat ensured by a bucket seat rig and force feedback steering wheel controller. The fastest racers were rewarded with BMW M clothes wear.

For the bigger kids, all the BMW M models were displayed, including the outstanding M3 GTS and its fiery orange gown.

Test drives were also offered, and it's with a big smile on my face that I signed up to drive the new 1 Series M Coupé.
After attending the 1 Series M Coupé launch in January, I had been itching to get behind the wheel of this beauty, and now that it is available in its right hand drive version, I just couldn't resist its call. With Kugan V., Marketing Director at Munich Automobiles gladly volunteering to be my co-pilot, I made my way to the white rocket waiting in front of the dealership.
Sitting in the semi-bucket seats, the car instantly makes you feel welcome, with a nice gripping alcantara steering wheel and daring speedometer and tachometer peering at you from behind the wheel. The six-speed manual shifter fits in your hand very naturally and it feels like this car is an extension of your body. There's no need to look left and right for the buttons to adjust the seating and rear view mirror settings as everything falls instinctively under your hands.
Press the start/stop button and its twin turbo 3.0 litre in-line 6 heart will snarl to life, the deep exhaust tune meaning business.

Snap the first gear into place and the rocket that is the 1 M Coupé will reward you with a firm kick in the bottom, sending you urgently shifting up as the red line approaches faster than expected on the rev-meter. Unleash the monster's fury with the second gear as excitement bypasses your brain and plays directly with your vocal chords to let out a call of triumph. Third gear makes you feel what an astronaut experiences when the shuttle leaves Earth, and you can clearly feel the kick of first turbo at 3,000rpm followed by another around 6,000rpm, when the second turbo spools up and powers you on. The fourth gear will make the German rocket break the speed of sound, leaving all the cars you overtake hear your speed-induced giggles a few minutes after seeing the 1M Coupé's tail lights disappear on the horizon. After shifting up to light speed in fifth gear, I suddenly realized that I was going at speed I dare not mention, and had to cool off the gas pedal, leaving the final sixth gear at rest. Ludicrous speed is not meant for local roads. Besides, I was already nearing the end of the island and had to turn around. As much as reaching high speeds as fast as a jet fighter might bring up an amazing feeling of joy and satisfaction, being able to keep the speed in check and come to a stop quickly is even more important, as you never know when a slow-moving object might show up in front of you. The 1M Coupé does an admirable job in this field, giving a trustful and powerful braking delivered with a good feel through the right pedal.
Last but definitely not least, driving this car might give you the feeling of being strapped on a rocket engine, it so happens that this rocket sticks to the road and follows your every thoughts as if on rails, making the 1M Coupé the perfect toy for the track where, I am sure, it delivers ample satisfaction flawlessly, every single time.
As for its use on normal, open roads? I personally think that the driver will need an awesome mind-job to refrain from breaking the law-imposed speed limits. I know I would hardly be able to resist the 1M Coupé's need for speed. Then again, even considering this, if I had had the money, I would have signed for one on the spot. Yes, that car is that amazing!
Singapore will soon see all 20 of the very limited stock of 1M Coupés on the road, but if you really want one, head down to Munich Automobiles right away, I heard rumors they might have been able to obtain a handful more from the headquarters in Germany...
After parking back the 1M Coupé in front of the BMW M dealership, I realized I had a very hard time returning the keys of this car, but sadly, the staff wouldn't let me go home with the white rocket...

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The Grace of Flowing Water: BMW 6 Series Convertible Unveiling

 It's in an atmosphere of bliss and luxury at Keppel's Reflections Show Gallery that BMW Asia and Performance Motors Limited unveiled the new 6 Series Convertible, on the 20th May.
By the sea, with the magnificent Star Virgo cruise ship parked outside, the water-themed venue welcomed its guests with a long catwalk, leading to a smoke-curtain backdrop on which a simple projected "6" set the mood for the night.
As the room filled up with guests, Champagne and other indulging cocktails started flowing to the rhythm of Jeremy and Claressa Monteiro's live band with their melodious jazz and blues tunes.
As relaxed and cozy the atmosphere was, the anticipation of the unveiling could still be felt and heard on the lips of both the guests and the hosts, as impatient car lovers try to glean exclusive information about the car even before the unveiling. As always, the BMW hosts had a fun time teasing the guests, giving clues about the 6 Series Convertible, yet not revealing enough.

When the time was right, the emcee gathered everyone's attention and let Mr. Neil Fiorentinos, Managing Director of BMW Asia and Mr. Say Kwee Neng, Managing Director of Performance Motors Limited introduce the newest addition to the BMW family.
At their mark, the music started and everybody's attention was turned to the smoke curtain at the start of the catwalk. 
In tune with the music, BMW's signature angel eyes appeared from behind the smoke-screen before the two magnificent Champagne and Tansanite blue convertibles slowly rolled in front of the guests' gazes.
To say that the new 6 Series Convertible is a beautiful car is an understatement; as suggested by the night's theme, this car's lines are inspired by flowing water and many water-related cues interlace together on the lines of the convertible to give birth to this outstanding design. From the long, shark-like nose of the car to the yacht-style design of the rear and of the roof line on the boot, everything works together to draw stares and create dreams.

The two masterpieces featured on that night were an "inverted" duo: the first being Champagne color with black rims and brown leather interior while the second was dressed in BMW's new Tansanite blue metallic paint with aluminum rims and with white leather upholstery. The other notable difference between those two models was featured under the hood, with the slightly lowered Champagne 650 Ci showing off the BMW's TwinPower Turbo V8 and the Tansanite blue 640 Ci featuring the TwinPower Turbo in-line 6 BMW power plant.

With the 6 Series Convertible, BMW once again amazed the audience and won their hearts, and if it handles on the move as good as it looks still (and knowing BMW, it will for sure), this car is going to take over the convertible market in a heartbeat.

The 6 Series Convertible is now available for pre-order and is scheduled to swim the street in a few months. Stay tuned for a test drive!

A picture being worth a thousand words, enjoy the gallery!