Saturday, December 25, 2010

Remembering Time Part 2



Welcome back, this time we’ll review the automotive in this last decade. The technology advancement introduces many breakthroughs in designs and car productions. The processing power of computers have been faster and faster ever since, carbon-fibre and lightweight materials are widely used, and new segments are created.

Hypercars is born, the fighting between mighty car manufacturer and the small or private-backyard team never been so this close, man like Horacio Pagani created the Zonda in the late 99’ rocketed the company to became a major player in hypercar stratosphere joined established names such as Porsche and Ferrari. The supercar segments however is a vital segments for every sports cars manufacturer, success in the road and racing could bring millions to their bank accounts. The peak of supercars battles could be seen in fierce GT3 class in FIA GT or LeMans, with machines like Ferrari 430, Jaguar XKR, Porsche 911 GT3, Ascari KZ1R, Lamborghini Gallardo GT3, Aston Martin V8, Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper, and also tuners like Alpina challenge each other for superiority because with every wins their road car sells. With the increasing popularity in the segments, many road equivalent machines are prepared by factory backed teams such as BMW with their Z4 GT3, Audi R8 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Newer machines are introduces each seasons to stay on top of their game, introducing technology that can be brag and became major sales points, even though publics aren’t aware of it.

Somehow supercars segments are join with car with no intentions to join the racing scene but packed with punches that can even severed the big car makers ego. Car like Spyker C8, Morgan Aero, TVR Sagaris, Bentley Continental GT, Noble M600 and etc. The cars in this segments always want to top each other in terms of performance, build quality and radical designs. Later in the decades, we’ll see the introductions of McLaren new toys the MP4-12C pitch against Ferrari new track weapon the 458 Italia, and yes we will see them racing too. The builds of the machines in this segments are constantly mindblowing, the excessive use of carbon-fibre, the perfectly calculated electronics, lightweight materials are showing in places where it’s not supposed to appeared, and not to mention the countless times the R&D team spends in wind tunnel, all in the names of performances! Then the pilgrimage of the developed concepts to the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, to perfectly set-up the machines for the road use and track day, because the circuit similarity in terms of road surfaces they use it as a test bed in calibrating suspensions set-up and transmission ratios.




Meanwhile the races to the horizon isn’t over yet, I assume the only limitation for the car to going any faster is the one behind the steering wheel, the human being. The decade saw cars with extreme innovations unveiled, the very extent of car makers prides and the masterpiece with all the resources that the world can offer. The hypercar itself is the reincarnation of man absurd chase of madness revolutions in the 90’s that we can see in those years supercars. This decade (2000-2011) introduced us The Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari Enzo, the absurd Lamborghini Reventon, Ford GT, Pagani Zonda F, Aston Martin One-77, Mercedes-Benz SLR AMG, the Zenvo ST1, the mindboggling Hennessey Venom GT, the ambitious SSC Ultimate Aero, Maserati MC12, the monumental Bugatti Veyron, Saleen S7, the epic Koenigsegg CCX (soon will be replaced with Agera), Gumpert Apollo, Mosler GTR, and soon to be unveiled the mad TranStar Dagger GT.

The craftsmanship and the build of the hypercars is performance oriented, whether the purpose is to achieve highest top speed or to be the king of the street. To be road legal is the challenge for the makers, because some hypercars are made from a defunct race projects, and some needed to appear it can accommodate normal people, some only includes an air-conditioner and some airbags and some top of the bin luxuries. But the price tag and the rarity is the obvious thing that can put the car status to hypercars, as it can only be owned with people who have deep pockets and have to be “someone”. Some Hypercar can’t make into full scale production such as Cadillac CIEN, Chrysler ME 4-12, GM EcoJet, and few merely a concept. The economic meltdown in 2001 put every major manufacturer on guard, many potential sketches and concept just sitting in the dust.




These were the times when public really cared for environment, the huge power hungers and thirst for petrols apperently contribute to the global warming. Some car makers are moving toward greener approaches and performances of their machines aren’t measure in BHP or km/h instead Co/g and mpg. Will this be the end of the wars for supreme hypercars? No, I don’t think so… people strive to better themselves and of course we will see in future fast cars with no internal combustions engines and with renewable energy, will it be exciting? It depends, some of us like the sound of the engines and exhausts, selecting speed through gears, and the smell of unburned fuel. It’s a life cycle, old things were replace with better one no doubt about it, it just the way it is. When we look back and remembering times, we’ll saw the world were fascinated with these beautiful or hardcore machines, an artifacts of the past power wars, speed wars, and stuff that made them legends. It will never be the same…..


prepared by: ALIen

Santa Cruize 25 disember 2010



2 minggu sebelum tibanya perayaan Krismas, salah seorang ahli Touge-G telah menjemput kami untuk menyertai aktiviti touge mereka yang dinamakan Santa Cruize pada malam 24 disember. Pada mulanya 2 orang ahli Konmei telah bersetuju untuk menyertai dengan membawa kereta masing-masing. Setelah betul2 memastikan jadual saya tidak menghalang untuk menyertai mereka, saya akhirnya berjaya menghadirkan diri.

24 disember 2010

11.30pm - Saya tiba di Shell Batu Caves, mengisi petrol ron97 Khas untuk aktiviti malam ini. Dijangka 6 biji kereta akan tiba untuk menjayakan aktiviti ini.

11.45 - Saya tiba di bistro berdekatan dengan shell, masih menunggu kehadiran Taka yang menjemput saya untuk malam ini, maka tak lama kemudian Taka muncul hanya jenteranya, Honda EX5! katanya kunci keretanya hilang, jadi malam tu dia takkan memandu. Setelah menghubungi beberapa peserta lain, rupanya ade 2 peserta telah pun tiba di bistro lebih awal, cuma kami belum kenal kerana ini kali pertama mereka berdua menyertai kami.


12.15 - Hampir semua peserta telah tiba, dengan berborak kosong , jalan telah di set untuk mengharungi jalan gombak lama atau dikenali dengan nama 'Lintang' hingga ke genting sempah dan akan terus mendaki jalan genting ke Awana dan turun kembali mengharungi Lintang. Kami bertolak pada 12.30 seperti dijanjikan dalam jadual. Destinasi berikutnya adalah Jambatan Kg. Sungai Rumput.


12.40 - Asalnya di bistro batu caves, hanya 6 biji jentera bersedia, tetapi kehadiran beberapa jentera lain menjadikan jumlah 11 biji pada malam itu. Kami kemudian bertolak dengan membahagikan kumpulan yang akan bergerak laju dan yang akan cruise.

12.55 - Perjalanan bermula, saya telah memberi isyarat untuk beberapa kereta memotong saya kerana tidak yakin untuk memandu laju pada malam itu atas sebab kereta saya dalam keadaan tidak berapa sedia memandangkan piston ring telah mula nipis menyebabkan kehilangan minyak enjin, begitu juga cermin yang berkabus yang sangat menyilaukan. Di suku perjalanan, beberapa jentera lagi telah memotong saya meninggalkan hanya 3 buah jentera yang berada dalam Cruise mode iaitu saya dengan jentera wira, Wak dengan Satria Neo, dan Taka dalam Kelisa. Keadaan agak sukar bagi saya yang sangat silau pada ketika itu.

1.20 - Kami semua tiba di genting sempah. Semua jentera telah pun tiba. Tapi tiba-tiba Taka datang kepada kami dengan mengatakan dia mendapat panggilan salah seorang dari kami telah terjun kedalam gaung. Setelah mengenal pasti kami kehilangan satu jentera, semua yang mendapat berita meluru masuk ke dalam jentera masing-masing untuk mendapatkan kembali peserta kami yang tidak bernasib baik itu. Destinasi, Hairpin 16!

Kesan brek sepanjang 10 meter dapat dilihat


1.40 - Kami tiba di tempat yang dikatakan hairpin 16. 2 orang peserta, pemandu dan penumpang jentera berkenaan menunjukkan kereta mereka yang telah terjerumus ke dalam gaung yang tinggi lebih kurang 3 meter kebawah. Mereka berdua melaporkan yang meraka tiada sebarang kecederaan.

2.00 - Beberapa ahli segera mendapatkan bantuan. Oleh kerana jalan terlalu kecil dan beberapa lori besar menggunakan jalan tersebut, kami menyusun jentera kami dengan berhati-hati dan kadang kala terpaksa mengawal lalu lintas.




2.20 - Siren polis berbunyi, Sebuah kereta wira yang lansung tidak kelihatan seperti kereta polis telah tiba. Beliau melaporkan untuk melihat keadaan dan memberi bantuan. Beliau kemudian memanggil 'tow truck' untuk menarik jentera berkenaan keatas.





2.50 - setelah bosan kami menunggu sehingga tercetus idea untuk membuat unggun api di malam krismas ini, akhirnya tow truck yang berupa sebuah jentera bomba pun tiba, dengan lampu merah di sekeliling, mereka kemudian berbincang cara untuk menaikkan jentera berkenaan keatas.





3.15 - Jentera berjaya ditarik naik, kelihatan kerosakan besar di bahagian belakang tanpa sebarang kecacatan pada bahagian kokpit. Jentera berkenaan kemudian ditunda ke bengkel berdekatan. Kami yang tidak berkenaan terus bergerak kembali ke bistro tempat kami mula. Projek Santa Cruize kami dibatalkan kerana malam sudah terlalu tua untuk tujuan itu.



3.30 - kami tiba di bistro di batu caves dengan beberapa orang antara kami yang sudah terlalu lapar. Ada antara kami terus bersurai.

4.15 - bersurai



Dikenalpasti bahawa pemandu terlebih laju pada kawasan berkenaan, dan brek telah dikunci dan pemandu mungkin terlupa untuk menekan pedal pecut kerana panik. Bagaimanapun Taka agak kecewa kerana aktiviti kali ini sepatutnya dilakukan dengan keadaan tenang dan kurang laju untuk videonya.

Pandu cermat! Attitude kills

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remembering Times Part 1





Assalamualaikum, salam sejahtera and greetings!

My name is Mohammad Ali Ahsyar, as a part of Konmei Institution team i would like to share my point of view about the world of automotive, as the world going towards a greener and more environmentally concerned I’d like to refresh our memories to remembering the greatness and histories. The automotive trend as we know now will drastically change, there will be less and less power hungry machine but abundant in efficiently environment friendly machine, yes they will be fast too but ………..soulless………….

Don’t get me wrong, I have no intentions to despise the ne

w breed of machine. As the mankind progress we need to embrace new technologies or create one. It’s a pinnacle of each era to have a breakthrough in advancement of technologies, so as a traditionalist as I can be technologies is a must.

In fact, it’s what makes the world of automotive exciting.

For years my interest in cars, bikes, planes and anything that an engines could be attach to it has been profoundly observed by me. But that aside, let’s talk about car because it’s the main focus of Konmei Institution. The car designs of nowadays are a marriage between past and present or even future, it seems the designer and the manufacturer are aware the importance of continuation of heritage and legacy, it’s what make who they are and who we are. Everyone of us must have a childhood dream car that we lusted and dream of dri

ving one when we grown up, so some car company produce a new car for present generations with added past DNA in their design languages or just reincarnate a new one, it’s a déjà vu on wheels. Most notable is the return of Mini Cooper, Volkswagen New Beetle, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and etc. But car like Ferrari 458 Italia incorporates a new and past together in the designs such as the reemerged central triplet exhaust.



The past greatness always been carried forward, because it contains illusive and mystical value of the generations it roams. The car likes Lamborghini Countach, Porsche 959, and Ferrari F40 is like a dragon in medieval times, burning villages and obliterate everything on its path equal to those car, trying to push the envelope until nothing to be pushed left, to become the best in the history, and rewrites the rules. As from those times, the trends never stop and the worlds are familiar with the terms Supercars. Each generations has their own supercar batch, car created to top one another and bringing wizardry to summon new technologies, some makes a bold moves by legalized race car for road use. From early 90’s to year 2000 many have failed to live up to their hype, some have short famed and some are merely a concepts.



To name a few successful car in the 90’s is 1993 Ferrari F50, 1992 Jaguar XJ200(even though it’s not what costumer hope for), 1990 Lamborghini Diablo(Countach replacement), Bugatti EB110 and the most brilliant of all 1993 McLaren F1…… a true legend. The McLaren F1 it’s a showcase of a man given a freedom and team to design and engineered from ground up without interference of marketing department to build a car set to be the fastest and most technologically advance of its times, with a top speed of 391 km/h set in 1997 without limiter, 1140kg of kerb weight , powered by BMW 6 litre V12 with 627 bhp at 7400rpm, and with power to weight ratio of 559 bhp-per-tonne the car is a landmark. It wasn’t intended to race, but race it has. The McLaren F1 GTR have taken an overall win in 1995 24 Hours Le Mans in GT1 class.





In the year 1997, LeMans and FIA GT saw some new type of race machines… The field is filled with McLaren F1 longtail, Lotus Elise GT1, Porsche 911 GT1 Evo, Panoz Esperante GT1, and my personal favourite Mercedes CLK-GTR. To race these car manufacturer must at least have an equivalent of 2 cars homologated for road use, some has been bought by Sultan of Brunei to added to his collections…. Until 1999 the Japanese are also want a piece of the action too, Toyota enters with TS020 Gt-one, Nissan with their R390 GT1 and also SARD enters the MC8-R. There are also machines worth mentioning such as TVR speed 12 and Lister Storm competing in FIA GT. Supercars wardrobe just getting crampier, for each of the race machine the road homologated machines joins the rank of “not racing supercar” such as Isdera Commendatore 112i, some small numbers of productions car makers and tuners machines.

Some Japanese car makers doesn’t bother about the supercars existents instead they create their own trends. The performance car segments are famous with the rising suns products, to name a few Nissan Skyline, Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi 3000GT, Mazda RX-7 and the brilliant Honda NSX, they also have their own races like JGTC to honed their technologies, the Japanese dominates WRC in 90’s with Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO and Toyota Corolla and Celica. Some of the cars even outgunned European counterpart upsetting big names such as Ferrari and Porsche, they’ve earn their respects. The Americans meanwhile playing with themselves in their own backyards, synonymous with muscle car image the brutepowerfuel thirstybadassinthestraightline machines from mid 70’s, they created beast throughout 90’s but precisions and tech are not they strongest points, only Americans appreciate and like to tame the machines. Giants in form of Ford Motor Company is the only one set to best everything in the world, still the GT-90 wasn’t able to be produce for the masses. The big fight is always been between Germans, Italians, and British.

There were the 90’s, the times which Cobain found dead, Operation desert storm initiated, princess Diana dies in Paris Car crash, and Forrest Gump. Car makers spends billions in R&D to produce better products, to win races, to be the most technologically advance, to be desired, safest, and most efficient. The next part, I’ll review year 2000 onwards the decades which supercars genre raising it stakes, car makers power war, and creation of new segments. Until next time….

prepared by: ALIen


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