VW Das Auto Show – Part 2

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With the VW Das Auto Show happening over the weekend, the Bukit Jalil Stadium has been transformed, well not the actual stadium itself but if you happened to drive by it you would definitely notice a huge white dome right in the parking lot. I was quite lucky to get invited together with a bunch of Nuffnang bloggers to attend the media opening of the VW Das Auto Show.

Upon entering the car park, because I was driving a Golf, the guards were nice to lead me towards the Volkswagen Vehicles only parking. At the end of the event I did find out that the sign actually meant that it was for Volkswagen Group Malaysia’s staff but of course my ignorance did get the better of me and I just proceeded to park amongst the other VW marques. There was plenty of parking space available and over the weekend, parking will be free.

I arrived a little earlier and was greeted with the registration counter amidst a huge room.

While waiting for the other bloggers to arrive, I managed to catch up with Nicholas and also meet Tian Chad and Huai Bin. After registering at the counter and receiving our own personal goody packs, we were ushered into a hall right next to the registration counter where light refreshments were served.

After a couple of orange juices, catching with some of my sales advisors from the Wearnes VW branch and also talking to some of the other bloggers, I went about checking out several booths which were selling VW merchandises such as key chains, caps, polo shirts and more.

If you get bored waiting about or are feeling a little bit restless, there are a number of racing simulators available to try out.

This is definitely how Gran Turismo 5 is meant to be played and not using the usual PS3 joystick. I wonder how much would a set up like this cost if I were to get it right in my living room.

After munching through several tidbits which were rather tasty, the group were then ushered into the main dome. I reckon there were about 200+ participants this morning.

We were then seated at the center of the dome while surrounded by large screens.

Elaine Daly took to the center stage as the emcee for the show.

The first speaker, Petra Schreiber, Marketing Director at Volkswagen Group Malaysia,   then presented about the Volkswagen brand and what Das Auto meant. Volkswagen is committed to create high-end cars for every segment hence the true meaning of Das Auto which translate to the The Car.

Then as the speeches continued, the first 3 cars were showcased in a very unique manner, words can hardly describe the event as you really need to be there to fully experience it, the dome, the music, the projections and the cars themselves. 3 guesses on which were the first 3 cars.

The Volkswagen Golf has been around and it truly is an iconic model which truly represents what a hot hatchback should be. Frankly, I think I am in love with the 3-door version of the Golf R. Seriously, a nice sun-roof, 260 horses under that hood, the beautiful Talladega rims and that wicked AWD system, this is the car for me. Now I wonder how long it would take for me to even save up for the down-payment for this car.

After the Golf came the showcase of the Cross Touran and the Sharan. Both of these are MPV’s and as explained, try driving one and you wouldn’t feel as if you were driving an MPV but rather a sporty vehicle.

The moment the MPV’s were driven off, then came the VW Passat. Now this car has been on the radar of the Malaysian public ever since the announcement that this is one of the models which will be assembled here in Malaysia.

And as the Passat arrived at the front, Daniel Tan, the director for Volkswagen Group Malaysia alighted from the car to give the next speech.

The Passat shouldn’t be a real surprise for you all here as I did post previously about the Superbowl advertisement which I thought was extremely hilarious and creative! See the advertisement here.

Petra then returned with an electric scooter which was completely silent and wowed the crowd. There was a huge applause as she then continued to talk about how Volkswagen Blue is the next green. In case you aren’t too familiar with the Blue Motion versions of the VW vehicles, you can check it out here.

Then as she continued with her speech, the main show began as the Volkswagen models started rolling in.

The awesome Scirocco R!

The two Polos, the Polo Sedan will also be assembled here in Malaysia.

The VW Amarok! Definitely very rare in our country.

The new VW EOS with the top down, this car is definitely a babe magnet. Trust me and I can prove it later.

The VW Jetta, the last of the 3 models which will be assembled here in Malaysia

In total there will be 13 VW models that will be rolling in the dome and the finale was a surprise. It was the new VW Beetle!

Decked out in red, this baby really does look like a mini Porsche 911.

And as the event started to close off, we were greeted with a choir of children singing together with a guest appearance by Ella!

At the end of the event, me being the ever curious person decided to go and capture a couple more photos of the Beetle because my earlier shot were blocked by the folks in front.

A full frontal of the Beetle!

The interior really did look sexy, covered in the same red as the car, the styling is really awesome.

A flat bottom steering wheel with red finishing.

Looks very much like the RNS510 to me.

Manual shifters for a bit of fun!

Beautiful looking rims

Ample space in the boot, surprisingly!

Sound system by the guys who brought the world, the Stratocaster, yes, Fender, baybeh!

As we were ushered out of the dome, the display isn’t over yet! We were then brought into a huge area where all of the existing models currently sold at the dealers were on display. At the same time the sales advisors were also there to explain about each model and give you a personal tour of the cars.

Of course I took the opportunity to molest the latest model which was launched a couple of weeks ago, the Polo GTI.

Earlier I mentioned that the EOS was a babe magnet and believe me, it really was.

Non-stop, ladies were climbing into the car, checking it out, having their photos taken! Believe me, I couldn’t even get a photo of the car without anyone in it. I guess the colour of this particular one did help as well.

At the end of the tour, I managed to quickly grabbed a quick photo of some of us who were just around the area. A big thanks to Volkswagen for inviting me to be one of the participants for this fantastic event.

As I walked out to the exit, I noticed a strange and rare sight indeed, a tiger driving through the streets of the Sepang Track.

The Volkswagen Das Auto Show will be going on throughout the weekend, so do swing by
and check it out at:

Bukit Jalil National Stadium
September 10 – 11 (10am – 10pm)
http://www.dasautoshow.com.my

VW Das Auto Show Sneak Preview – Part 1

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Ever since I moved out of my parent’s house, one of the pleasures of life that I have been missing is television, Astro in particular. So thanks to this situation, whenever I am outside, whether it may be at a pub or at the local mamak store, I tend to watch the television that is displayed on there. Most of the time it’s the usual advertisements but one particular advertisement did catch my eye. It was the Volkwagen’s Das Auto Show advertisement. Being a VW owner myself, I was excited about the event and thanks to a good friend of mine, I managed to catch a sneak preview of the event, live at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.


The main dome overseeing the rest of the structures under the moonlight

So instead of having the event at the usual convention center or a large open air space, Volkswagen instead have decided to build up a huge dome in the middle of the stadium car park area and have it surrounded by more domes. What you have here instead is an area completely dedicated to a full weekend of fun for the family.

At night these domes are lit up ever so beautifully.


A view of the smaller domes at night while workers complete the final touch ups

Upon entering the compound, I am greeted by Daniel who gave us the tour of the built up area. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Volkswagen signs that are located around the parking area.

At the main door we are greeted with a large entrance which leads everyone into the registration room.

After when guests register, they are then ushered into a reception area where there are merchandise stores set up as well as a simulator for you to try out your driving skills.

Upon entering the main dome where the main show is going to be held, the first thing that caught my eye was the incredibly large space. I really thought that the dome looked large from the outside but it is humongous on the inside.


The large VW logo is actually the top of the dome.

Guests will be ushered into the dome and seated down where they will be presented with a special show (I can’t reveal too much otherwise I might just spoil the surprise) for 30 minutes. During this time, there will be 13 Volkswagen models, which will be showcased. Yes, that’s right! 13 models, man, I can only think of the few models we have here such as the Golf, Golf GTI, Scirocco, Polo, Tiguan, Touareg, and the Passat CC. So it’s not going to be a surprise that the local CKD models will be showcased here as well such as the Jetta, Polo Sedan and the Passat. What are the remaining models that are going to be shown? Well, check them out this coming weekend.

 

Once the show is done, visitors are then brought into a showcase room where all the current cars available at the local VW dealers are showcased.

At the end of the tour, I was presented with a very very special preview. At first I thought that I had seen all of the models that were showcased until this baby arrived.

Specially transported on a flatbed truck, the secret is still safe until this weekend of course :) The only preview you can get is a small glimpse of the rims and the bodywork there.

Stay tuned as I reveal more sneak previews very soon!

For more information about the event, check out http://www.dasautoshow.com.my/ 

The event will be held at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on the 10th and 11th of September 2011.

Review – Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI

Note: I would recommend reading my review on the Golf 1.4 TSI before reading this as most of this is based on a comparison between the Roc and the Golf

One of the benefits of joining other Volkswagen enthusiasts especially during a teh tarik session is that I get chances to test drive other member’s cars. One of them, which I managed to sneakily test drive a number of times was the Scirocco 1.4. Now I have always been curious to see a car with the same engine as the Golf 1.4 TSI, but priced at RM188,888 has to offer.

The Scirocco was also featured in the recent Karate Kid movie but of course, it’s an extremely old version. Also called the Roc for short, here is a quick and brief history of the Scirocco.

So let’s see what are some of the differences here.

First Impressions

Right off the bat, the moment anyone looks at a Scirocco, I am sure there has to be a reaction. Whether it may be a good one or a bad one but still a reaction. Perhaps you might be like James May where he might have a fizzy little thing between his legs when he sees a car which gives him the fancy, yeah, something like that but irregardless, it definitely turns heads. The first time I actually saw a Scirocco was when Top Gear featured an episode on it where they had to come up with an advertisement for the 3-cylinder diesel version of the Roc (you can view their silly results here and here).

Interior and Boot Space

From other Roc owners, you can still set up a baby chair in the Roc and it comfortably fits 4 people in total due to its 50/50 split folding rear seat design (you can squeeze in 5 for short trips but it wouldn’t be legal as there are only two rear seat belts available). One thing that stands out between the Roc 1.4 and the Golf is that the Roc comes with a flattened steering wheel, the same one which is given for GTI and R owners. The Golf 1.4 comes with the standard round steering wheel which also is available with the Passat CC sold here.

Shown above is the flat bottom steering wheel designed for the R-line cars. The GTI ones look exactly the same except that it has red stitching on it. Another thing to note that Scirocco’s that were manufactured in 2009 have a completely different interior than the current ones mainly because it takes the same styling from the older Golf MkV. The ones sold here by Volkswagen Group Malaysia are based off the newer interior but I have seen 2009 Rocs for sale on Mudah brought in by the local dealers.

The rest of the interior is standard and there isn’t much differences between this and the Golf. In my opinion, the steering wheel itself provides a nice sporty look and feel and to optionally get this steering wheel itself can cost around USD$500 (searching through eBay).

The boot however, is surprisingly deep and you definitely can store a lot of stuff in there. I haven’t had the chance to test it out with my full-sized golf bag but it definitely does look like it has a lot of space.

Another benefit you get with the Roc 1.4 is that it comes with 17″ rims as it’s standard compared to the Golf’s 16″ rims.

So far there hasn’t been any complaints as well for the Roc owners especially when it comes to the “rattling” noise experienced by Golf owners especially when taking the corner. This issue actually comes from the fact that the rubber lining along the doors tend to dry up in our weather, hence the noise. Because the Roc has only two doors, I guess you can hardly hear the sound.

The Drive

After taking off in the standard fashion and the moment I enter the first corner, or basically, leaving the mamak stall and turning the first corner; the Roc shines here. Due to it’s lower profile, this car handles way better than the Golf 1.4 which I think is a little soft around the suspension areas. You get the planted feel when tackling corners and I could hardly feel the side G’s pushing me. Of course it does help that it’s only a 2-door car hence you get less body roll due to a more rigid and firmer chassis.

Differences

Other differences between the Roc and the Golf are rather miniature in nature. For example, the Roc doesn’t have sensors at the front but only sensors at the back as compared to the Golf which has sensors all around. The Roc however has two reverse lights versus the rest of the other VW cars mainly because I think the rear window is so small and the C pillars are so fat, that it is extremely difficult to reverse out.

Interesting Mods

Of course with every VW car, comes plenty of modifications. Here are some of the mods you can do for the Scirocco to stand out from the rest of the other Rocs.

  • Bodykit (Rieger, Caractere, etc, etc) – This of course changes the look of your car!
  • Scirocco R rear lights – This isn’t as fancy as the Golf R rear LED lights. It’s just a darkened rear Roc lights
  • Aluminium pedals for the Roc 1.4 as well as the OSIR footrest or you can opt for the full R-line pedal sets.
  • Unibrace for the Roc to improve its handling further. I am not too sure if they have the Crossbrace for the Roc as well.
  • Head unit upgrade to either the RCD510 (the Roc 2.0 comes with this) or the RNS510 which offers satellite navigation and DVD playback.
  • Custom downpipe for the Roc
  • Engine remap
  • Cold air intake
  • Quad exhausts
  • H&R or Eibach lowering springs

So far there hasn’t been any announcement by VW to provide daytime running lights for the Scirocco.

Conclusion

To conclude up this review, would I say that the Scirocco is worth the extra RM30,000? Well it all depends on your taste. If you like a 2-door car, then yes, I would say it would be worth the RM30,000 extra. But if you are considering the 2.0litre version, I still have some doubts mainly because a 2-door Renault Megane RS is priced currently at RM236k which is RM15k cheaper than the 2.0 Roc and it has a lot more features to the car. Overall, the Scirocco fits into a different segment compared to the Golf hence I guess it’s a nice compliment in their line up.

The Roc which I tested was a very unique Roc, because the owner, decided to bring it in for a dyno run and the results were astonishing. The Scirocco 1.4 TSI is stated to provide an output of 160ps running on Ron98 but his Roc managed to generate 170horses at the wheel, yes, 170whp! That is insane!

By the way, there is currently a Scirocco R in Malaysia already. Apparently someone managed to bring it in via a local AP and it made an appearance at the Volkswagen Club Malaysia’s TT session two weeks ago. So far no concrete rumours about Volkswagen Malaysia launching the Scirocco R but there has been changes in terms of the prices for the Golf R. What I have heard is that the prices have been raised from the rumoured RM270k+ to RM300k+.

Calling all VW Owners!

Calling all VW Owners, do join us at the VW Club Malaysia. It’s an informal club and gathering of all VW enthusiasts around here. We have on-going TT or “teh tarik” sessions which goes on every Friday night and we usually choose various locations around Klang Valley to suit the needs of the members :)

There is a huge diversity in the group in both the members as well as the cars they own. From the very old classic Beetle, to Golfs, Polos, Passats, Tiguans and of course brothers from the VAG group such as Audis, Skodas and Porsches. I used to be quite shy when it comes to these sort of gatherings especially when you don’t know anyone but after joining them in a couple of “teh tarik” sessions, I managed to get to know some of those fellas who have even helped me out quite a fair bit in giving me information about cars and the technical aspects of it.

Recently last week, we had a buka puasa event where about 30 of us met up in Ampang to have dinner at Istana Bambu which was a unique place where the entire restaurant was made out of bamboo. I had great fun there and I think everyone had a lot of fun eating and enjoying each other’s company.

So if you are passionate about VW cars and just want to hang out with car nuts as well (they promise they won’t poison you so much), you can also start joining the forum in the link below.

http://www.vwclubmalaysia.net 

Or you can also join the Volkswagen Club Malaysia Facebook Group over here.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/209276962443790/

It’s a great place to chat as well as learn a couple of technical stuff about your cars and new tricks which you didn’t know that your car had in them.

There will be a “teh-tarik” session going on this Friday at Kota Kemuning. Do check out more about that session here. Hope to see you there!

Ron95 versus Ron97

Now ever since our wonderful government has decided to remove any sort of subsidies for our petrol, I have resorted to using Ron95 but as most other people, I get the question (sometimes) on what is the difference between the two fuels.

Personally on my car, I can definitely feel the difference in terms of power after swapping from Ron97 to Ron95. This is for the VW Golf but when I was driving my old FD1 Civic, I really couldn’t tell any difference.

Perhaps this video could help us all understand the difference a little bit more.

Even with the lack of power, I still choose Ron95 mainly because of the cost of fuel now. Heck, the 10sen reduction still proves that Ron97 is rather expensive especially for people who drive far distances on a daily basis.

But heck, I am definitely tempted to try out a couple of tanks of Ron97 and bring the car for a dyno test to see the difference.

Since we are also checking out some YouTube videos, check this out. Happened during the Sepang GT last weekend :)

Unibrace UB Underbody Brace Review

Unibrace installed!
Update: Had an issue with my theme earlier. Apparently the permission settings for the stylesheets were screwed up (no idea how that happened). I hope everyone can see the blog now :)

So what is a Unibrace? I am sure you might have heard of the brand Ultra Racing especially since locally they have been advertising extremely agressive. Anyway, just like Ultra Racing which sells anti-roll bars as well as many type of other bars (except for chocolate bars), Unibrace is another manufacturer which provides braces for Volkswagen cars.

Bruce Levin, an architect, product designer, and principal of Studiolevin in San Francisco, California, USA, is the designer of UNIbrace products. A long time Volkwagen enthusiast, Bruce has owned two MkII GTI’s, a MkIV GTI 337, and currently drives a MkIV .:R32. UNIbrace was started as an effort to combine the highest quality product design and fabrication, the love of the grassroots VW community, and on and off track spirited driving.

At the moment, there are two braces available for the Volkswagen Golf MkVI, Scirocco and the Golf MkV, the XB rear brace and the UB underbody brace. The XB rear brace is fitted at the boot of the Golf, right behind the back seats while the UB underbody brace, replaces the two stock metal plates as shown below.


Above – XB Rear Brace

See more images of the XB Rear Brace being fitted here.


(Above) The car originally comes with the two metal pieces. Looks rather flimsy and after removing them, they are actually flimsy.

Why I say that these metals look flimsy (I know they are!), look at some of the issues you might encounter with these stock braces.


(Image above obtained from Ryou’s Modshop)

The bars above have already rusted! And this was on a less than a year old VW Scirocco. Imagine the horror especially if you take a corner and these braces break out.

This is where the UB underbody brace comes in. It replaces the stock two metal braces with a single large piece of brace (comes in two colours, red or black). Having a single piece to brace your car is a lot better than having two because you get the forces from the front and the rear to be distributed evenly across through the brace.

Also, red is a totally awesome colour! Didn’t you know that red parts add additional horsepower to the car? Installation is fairly easy, all you need is to jack your car up and then remove the stock bars and then replace it back again with the Unibrace. I understand that for the Scirocco models, you might need a different set of screws for the Unibrace.

The brace comes in at a total weight of around 3kg and what it does do is to help stiffen up your drive especially when taking corners. So for those of you who are looking for braces to replace your Volkswagen’s stock braces, these Unibraces are the right solution for you.

Personally, the Golf Mk6 1.4 TSI cars do come on the softer side compared to its older brother (the GTI) hence having these braces would definitely help improve the handling of your car. Of course the best option would be to use both the cross brace (XB) and the underbody brace (UB) together. Overall, I would recommend this product to those of you who like to take corners at quite fast speeds or if you regularly go for track days.

Also, they are rather rare here in Malaysia but head over to Ryou’s Modshop here (or search for Ryou’s Modshop in Facebook) to order one. The Unibrace FAQ is also available here about ordering and shipping as well as costs.

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