Limited Edition Shell V-Power LEGO Collection 2015

Shell LEGO 2015

LEGOs! I just love them. I started out with the classic LEGO bricks when I was growing up and I’ve always enjoyed building stuff with LEGO bricks. I never lost my passion for miniature toys, when the Star Wars prequels came out in 2005, I bought the Darth Vader sets. It sat on my office desk as a proud testament to my love for LEGOs.

Building LEGOs

My better half and the kids adore LEGOs as well.


I always make it a point to buy the kids LEGOs during their birthdays (and even when it’s not) so we can all play together as a family since it’s something we all enjoy. It’s one of the few things the kids like to do besides playing with iPads and such so it’s always a good thing when we can spend quality time together.

Build LEGOs

I feel that it’s better than pacifying kids with electronic devices. Playing with LEGOs is a fun and positive family experience and I can’t stress enough on how much it has helped us keep the kids occupied.

Ferrari LEGO

Thus, it is with great delight when I found out that Shell is doing another LEGO collectible run with Ferrari as their partner. I hungrily lusted for them and managed to get the entire set of 7, which we built together as a family during the weekend.

LEGO Ferrari

The Shell V-Power LEGO Collection comes out every Sunday from 1st November 2015 to 13th December 2015 and features:

LEGO Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ferrari F12berlinetta
This is Ferrari’s fastest ever road car, which debuted in 2012. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 730 BHP output. This LEGO model is built with 44 bricks.

LEGO Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138
The F138 is the 59th Formula One car built by Scuderia Ferrari for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. It’s the last year they used the V8 engine before switching to the V6 and this car was driven to two Grand Prix victories by Fernando Alonso. The name comes from the production year and the 8th and final year they used the V8 engine in F1. This model is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO
This is one of Ferrari’s most legendary GT (Grand Touring) cars. There are only 39 ever produced and it debuted in 1962. The 250 GTO is one of the rarest and most sought after vintage Ferrari models in the world. This Ferrari 250 GTO is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 512 S

Ferrari 512 S
This 5 litre V12 GT racer was produced in 1970 and debuted that year at the 24 Hours of Daytona before going on to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring 4 overall wins and 2 category wins. There are only 25 Ferrari 512 S ever produced. This LEGO model has 49 bricks.

LEGO Finish Line and Podium

Finish Line and Podium
This playset includes a Start/Finish line, winner’s podium, Scuderia Ferrari Engineer LEGO minifigure, pit board and chequered flag. I love this minifigure – it comes in a Ferrari uniform and is a precious addition to our collection. The set has 63 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Station

Shell Station
This playset is modelled after the Shell station at Scuderia Ferrari’s Fiorano track in Maranello and comes with a Shell Fuels Scientist LEGO minifigure. I highly recommend this one if you collect minifigures too. The set has 79 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Tanker

Shell Tanker
Shell Tankers transport fuel to more than 40,000 service stations worldwide each day. You’ve probably seen one on the roads or in a Shell station. This model is a limited release model and it’s the only vehicle in the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection that doesn’t have the pullback motor. This is built with 93 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Race Track

Yup, we built every single model during the weekend. It was a lot of fun, everyone made at least one and we played with them in various scenarios. I even had a cardboard cutout race track with 3D pop-up elements and we tried racing on it. Haha.

Shell VPower LEGOs

This is a great way to build awesome moments with Shell. Get your hands on the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection by popping in to your nearest Shell station. They range from RM 9.90 to RM 13.90 and you can get it with a minimum RM 40 purchase of Shell V-Power or Shell FuelSave or a 4 litre purchase of Shell Helix motor oil.

Shell V-Power LEGOs

What better way to spend the school holidays than building a LEGO race track and Ferrari model cars with your kids?


You can also share them on social media with #ReadySetBuild – our photos of the building moments and finished LEGO models are there too!

Shell LEGOs

My dear and I have even started up a blog and Instagram account dedicated to LEGO minifigures called – you can read about our Track Days project featuring the limited edition Shell V-Power LEGO 2015 collection by clicking the link! :)

Road trips made fun!


I’ve always liked to go on road trips. It’s just the idea of heading out to someplace different and spending the night (or three) there, all the while enjoying the local quirks, culture and people that appeals to me. I’ve been doing this for a very long time, ever since I graduated from university and came back to Kuching to start-up a tech company.

Makeshift Bridge

The best thing about road trips is that a group of like-minded people can get together during the weekend and just go somewhere, anywhere. Part of the appeal is to explore and discover. I remember one of the early road trips where it took us two weeks (!!!) to find the place in question.

Annah Rais Hot Springs

The first time we set out, we totally missed our destination – the signage was close to non-existent and we got stuck on an unpaved muddy logging road, but still made the best of the experience. It’s the journey that matters right? We managed to reach Annah Rais Hot Springs the second time.


I’ve had a love of road trips since I was a kid – my dad used to bring me around and I think the earliest documented road trip on my blog was to The Grampians in Victoria while I was studying in Melbourne. Yup, that was in 2002 and I still haven’t lost my passion for it.

I recently got a complete engine rejuvenation from Shell. My engine oil was switched to Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology – it’s a fully synthetic motor oil and the only motor oil in the market that has a base oil made from natural gas instead of the usual crude oil. It’s so pure that it cleanses your car from the inside out!

Shell Engine Rejuvenation

I have noticed a huge improvement in my mileage since the Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology. I hadn’t realized the two were connected! I always keep an eye on my odometer to see how I’m doing in the fuel department and was quite surprised to see an increase in my gas mileage. That translates to quite a lot of fuel savings!

I was quite curious as to how this works so I did a bit of Googling. It turns out that synthetic low viscosity motor oil have oil molecules of a small uniform size as compared to those of regular non-synthetic oils. This decreases friction and improves fuel economy. You can save up to 1-7% just by switching your stock motor oil to a fully synthetic brand.

Shell VPower Racing

Speaking of gas, I also got a full tank of Shell V-Power Racing with Friction Modification Technology. This isn’t the Shell V-Power 97 you see at Shell stations but a higher grade of fuel which allows the engine to turn more freely. I’ve missed this since I’ve used up my tank of Shell V-Power Racing and the gas station I usually go to doesn’t have it.

Raya Jam

The performance boost that I got while using it was quite remarkable – the engine really delivers more power to the wheels, in a measurable way. You can actually feel the car engine turning more freely and going faster, with more power whenever you step on the accelerator.

Stuck Car

My car is also less noisy now and I can feel a boost in power when I go up hills. I’ve actually gotten stuck on trucking roads before while going to Sekeping Serendah. It’s coz my car didn’t have the torque to power through certain areas and I’m sure if I try it again with my tank of Shell V-Power Racing, I’ll breeze through it with no problems.

Car Wash

It feels good to be able to drive with more power and at the same time reduce my gas mileage. Regardless of whether I’m making my way to a business meeting or going on a road trip, you just can’t beat better fuel economy and faster response while driving.

Durian Road Trip

I’ll be going to Penang this weekend to get some durians before the end of the season – and I’m sure I’ll have a great time with my newly rejuvenated engine. :)

Shell #LoveMyRide Festival

Sexy KL Promoters

This has gotta be the most interesting festival I’ve been to. A lot of events are (to be brutally honest) a little dull and I go coz I have to, not coz I want to. This is the total opposite – I was up bright and early on Saturday morning coz I wanted to be at the Shell #LoveMyRide Festival.


There were more than 50 food trucks and stalls, racing simulators, 3D art fixtures, music performances and I got a free engine oil change and a tank of fuel to boot.

Shell LoveMyRide

#LoveMyRide Festival was an outreach to all car enthusiasts (attendance is free) but it appeals to practically everyone. I was particularly intrigued by the gathering of KL’s best food trucks and the ultimate engine rejuvenation experience provided by Shell.


I was allotted the 9:30 am slot and got assigned a number and a car bay to change my engine oil. The kind people of Shell gave this to 500 lucky winners who registered at their website.

Free Oil Change

My car (a Toyota VIOS) was due to have the next engine oil change anyway, so this was great timing. Shell provided the correct oil filter and changed my engine oil to Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology.

Shell Helix Ultra PurePlus

This is Shell’s most advanced motor oil and the first one ever to be designed from natural gas with PurePlus Technology. It’s the best motor oil in the market which also contains Active Cleansing Technology additives to clean my car from inside out!

You can find out more about Shell Helix Ultra with PurePlus Technology here. This is the engine oil that was provided gratis to the winners.

Shell Helix Lounge

I could chill out at the Shell Helix Lounge while my car was getting its ultimate engine rejuvenation and I took the time to enjoy the cars, music and food they had on offer.

Shell LoveMyRide Festival

Each visitor was given a limited edition map that can be used to complete fun activities and get stuff like free ice cream and Coke upon completion. You’ll also get a loaded goodie bag if you finish visiting all the attractions and activities.

3D Art

First up was a photo at one of their 3D art installations.

3D Art Me

I chose this one coz it looked really cool. That’s a real automatic screwdriver BTW.

deli2go Memory Game

There was also a deli2go where you can get discount vouchers from a memory game. The people there were kind enough to give me a complimentary iced Americano when they saw my half-asleep countenance. Haha.

Mixology Masterclass

I also participated in the Shell Helix PurePlus Mixology Masterclass. It’s was a live mocktail mixing session to demonstrate Shell Helix Ultra’s patented GTL (gas to liquid) process where you get to play around with various fruit (to represent base oil) and vegetable juices (to represent additives). I sampled my own creation and pronounced it good. smirk

Free Ice Cream

Free ice cream was provided to members of the public, which was awesome coz it was a very hot day.

Shell V-Power F1 Challenge

Next, I went to the Shell V-Power F1 Challenge where I tried to win a Sony PS4 console.

Pumping Gas

This is very interesting and as authentic as you can get without climbing into a multi-billion dollar F1 machine as you have to factor in the gas (fuel) aspect of racing as well. You’re allowed a certain amount of petrol which you have to pump yourself – more means you get to drive longer but your time is penalized.

F1 Simulator

I just made it to the cut-off point and climbed into the F1 cockpit. I tried my best but only came up to #9 at the end of the day. I didn’t get the PS4 but at least it was fun.

Fashion Bazaar

There was a fashion bazaar there was well. Like I said, this caters to everyone, not just car enthusiasts.

BMW 428i Gran Coupe

BMW was also there and featured some of their cars like the BMW 428i Gran Coupe.

BMW 328i Gran Turismo

The 328i Gran Turismo made an appearance too…


…as well as the new Mazda 6 SKYACTIV 2.5L.


iamNEETA got on stage at 12 pm to perform. I’ve seen their videos online before and I thought they were great. Diandra and Reza Salleh also did sessions on the stage.

Malaysian Book of Records

You can also go on test drives by Mazda and BMW if you want. I registered but unfortunately the nice people at Shell called to tell me my car was ready so I told the people at the test drive center to give it to the waiting list (there was a long one).

Shell Oil Change

I collected my car after the Shell Ultimate Engine Rejuvenation session and found out that I was part of a Malaysian Book of Records for the most number of cars to do an oil change under 12 hours. In total, 500 cars underwent the oil change during the two days #LoveMyRide was on. Pretty neat, huh?

Free Gas

I was given a voucher for a full tank of Shell V-Power Racing, the top-of-the-line fuel from Shell. I didn’t know I was going to have this so I actually filled my tank just the day before – nevertheless, they managed to get 4.45 liters inside.


The people attending the pump were nice enough to squeeze in all that they could. I was quite impressed they could get that much inside.

Shell V-Power Racing

I’ll fill it up with more Shell V-Power Racing soon so I can do a proper review about the fuel. It comes with Friction Modification Technology which allows the engine to turn more freely.

Food Truck KL

I went back to the festival and checked out all the food trucks there. The Pisang Cheese, Little Fat Duck, La Churreria, Sangkaya and more were there. My better half couldn’t attend due to a prior commitment so I bought a lot of food back for her.


I think I spent more than RM 90 on food and drinks alone!

BMW Z4 sDrive20i

Shell #LoveMyRide was so awesome that we actually turned up the next day again. They had a “Kiddies Den” section where you can draw and do sand art activities. I have to say that this is one of the best festivals I’ve ever attended and will definitely look forward to the next similar event by Shell!

How far is 100,000 km?


I travel a great deal and during my travels I have become quite good at gauging distances. I was in Dresden a couple of years ago and we drove down the famed German autobahn (where there are no speed limits) to Berlin, which took about 2 hours. The distance between the two points are about 200 km.


I have also climbed Mt. Kinabalu when I was in my 20’s. I went with a bunch of friends to Kota Kinabalu and we did the whole beach and islands thing, but also scaled the highest mountain in South East Asia. I was the only one among my friends to make it to the summit.

Mt Kinabalu

That was 4,095 meters. It’s only 4 kilometers but it felt like it was a lot longer than that!

Mt Kinabalu Summit

I also lived in Melbourne for over 5 years and at the beginning I didn’t have a car. That meant walking. 20 minute walks were not uncommon, to catch the inter-campus bus from Clayton to Caulfield as I was studying in two different campuses.

Melbourne Driving

Even after I got a car, it didn’t make sense to drive all the way to the city. Melbournians seldom do due to the high CBD parking charges, tolls and congestion charge/levy. I would park in Huntingdale and take the train to the city.

Melbourne Tram

Melbourne has a really good public transport system, with buses, trains and trams linking everything so I’ll rather spend 30 minutes in the train where I can read, update my blog (yes, I started when I was in university) and talk to people.


The reason I’m talking about distance is that it’s very hard to imagine just how far 100,000 km really is. I saw a billboard for Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus, saying that it’ll go for up to 100,000 km and I was trying to figure out how far that is in my head.

Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus

The circumference of the Earth is 40,075km, so you can drive around the world about 2 and a half times!

The Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus also comes reinforced with DuPontTM Kevlar for added protection, and together with its internal TredLife TechnologyTM this delivers tremendous value through being a longer lasting and durable tire. It also uses an advanced carbon based tread compound with higher carbon content for higher resistance to road wear. This set of tires is also optimal for precision driving with an Asymmetric Tread Design placing more rubber on the outside shoulder for increased grip.


That’s one durable tyre! I can’t imagine driving up to 100,000 km on a set of tyres. To my experience I would normally need to change my tyres around once every 2 years due to my heavy duty driving (I drive a lot to other states like Penang, Johor, Ipoh and Melaka to hunt for good food and travel). I just can’t believe how awesome it would be to save up the money on tyre maintenance and reinvest it back to my travel and food fund when I am on the hunt! smirk

Check out this video. It’s a very inspirational one and it’ll give you a sense of just how far 100,000 km really is!

I’m seriously considering purchasing a set of Goodyear Assurance DuraPlus – the mileage is second-to-none. I’m also interested in the Goodyear Worry Free Assurance which protects tyres against road hazards. First, let me explain what Goodyear Worry Free Assurance is!

Worry Free Assurance

Worry Free Assurance allows you to bring your damaged tire back to the dealer where you purchased it to claim a new one with your original receipt and the Goodyear Worry Free Assurance card. This is valid up to 6 months from the date of purchase, so think of it as additional insurance against road hazards, especially with the various debris at MRT construction sites. I personally think this is a very good initiative from Goodyear (they are the only tyre provider that offers this program), especially for us who stays in the suburban areas where construction works seems to have no end. I live in Kota Damansara and with the ongoing MRT construction, the condition of the road is not really in good form. Not that I am complaining – I am happy that the country is investing in infrastructure, but the road condition is really not friendly to my tyres. Now, these worries can be eliminated with Worry Free Assurance! Of course, there are some terms and conditions but they’re very standard. I believe as long as I don’t damage my tyres deliberately, I’ll be well protected.

Adolf Wagner

I love seeing the world and I’ll love to do that someday. Drive around the world that is. It is technically possible, if you hop on cruise ships for the oceanic parts. :)

Blog giveaway: Get a weBoost Drive 3G-S (worth RM 389) just by commenting!

Check out the animation video above!

sand animation

I took this video during the weBoost launch at Connexion@Nexus Bangsar South on 29th October 2014. It’s a very apt visual description on what weBoost is all about and how it works. weBoost is made by Wilson Electronics, the Utah based global leader in cellular signal boosters and they’re bringing two of their award-winning lines to Malaysia.

weBoost launch

The weBoost line of products works by boosting both voice and data signals for 2G and 3G and best of all, it works with *all* cellular carriers. It’s carrier-independent so it doesn’t matter which telco you signed up with. It also works seamlessly when you’re moving from outside to inside the enhanced area so there’s no need to end your call and reconnect when you’re walking outside into your office or your car.

weBoost me

The signal is automatically boosted when you’re within the weBoost coverage area.

weBoost Connect3G

The Connect 3G is meant for homes and offices for those who depend on reliable connectivity indoors. It captures the outside, usable signal and amplifies it before redistributing the boosted and usable signal throughout the entire home/office and will be launched soon, so stay tuned!

weBoost Drive3G

The Drive 3G-S is an all-in-one phone cradle and signal booster and the best thing about this in-car device is that it can extend your phone battery life by as much as 3 hours of talktime (average 20% better battery life) when you’re using it. It also boosts both voice and data.


I got a unit of the Drive 3G-S to test out and I must say that I’m very impressed. I can already think of the variety of uses for this unit – as someone who uses Google Maps/Waze a lot, I need a cradle for my car anyway. This does away with 3rd party car cradles and also extends the range where a call can be made, virtually eliminating areas of poor coverage.

weBoost 3GS install

It’s very easy to install too!

weBoost 3GS review

Step 1: Clean the area you want to install the cradle with the provided alcohol wipe

weBoost 3GS mount

Step 2: Peel back the adhesive from the backing of the mount (allow 24 hours to cure before attaching Drive 3G-S)

weBoost 3GS unboxing

Step 3: Hook up the antenna into the Drive 3G-S

weBoost antenna

Step 4: Put the magnetic antenna on top of your car

weBoost test

Step 5: Plug in the power source and hook up the mini-USB to the port on the Drive 3G-S

weBoost LED

That’s all there is to it! You can see the Drive 3G-S light up via a small LED light to the side to show that it’s powered up.

weBoost 3GS adhesive

You’ll also realize that there’s no need for DIY skills on your part – the cable that leads to the antenna can be just strung directly out and your door closed over it. It won’t damage the cable – it’s very strong – as you can see there’s a soft polymer at the car door seam which allows the cable to securely go outside and to the antenna at the roof of your car.

weBoost antenna placement

I experimented with antenna placement and found that it works best when it’s directly upright and at the center of the vehicle roof at least 16 cm away from windows. It’s a very strong magnet – you won’t have to worry about it flying off even if you’re quite the speed demon.

weBoost 3GS arms

The cradle can fit any sized phone too – there are attachments called “arms” provided that can be secured to existing latches on the cradle. You can just slip them in and out until you find a snug fit for your phone.

weBoost 3GS cradle

My smartphone has a very unusual on/off button – it’s to the side instead of to the top but that doesn’t present a problem. There are different shapes and sized arms which allows you to fit the slimmest basic phone to the largest smartphone.

weBoost signal

My experience driving around with the Drive 3G-S was very positive. I know certain areas are prone to weak (but not non-existent) signals e.g. tunnels and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I can now make calls from previously blocked areas.

weBoost 3G data

There is also a notorious stretch of poor coverage area when you drive to Ipoh where the signal is weak from the surrounding hills and I’m here to report that you can use the Drive 3G-S to even watch YouTube videos at the usually denied area. Not that I recommend you do that, this was just a test, you see. *cough*

weBoost 3G data test

The Drive 3G-S also provided me with strong signal strength even at my in-laws place, which is notorious for having a weak signal. Did you know that your phone actually uses up battery life when you’re in a weak reception area coz it’s constantly jumping between cell towers and trying to get a better signal?

weBoost 3G voice

The weBoost Drive 3G-S resolves that problem by providing you with longer battery life and better voice and data signal with the all-in-one cradle so it’s really useful to people like me. If you drive around a lot in the city where there are weak coverage areas or want to have constant connectivity during road trips, the Drive 3G-S will be a useful investment indeed.

weBoost data test

I have had my car break down once on the KL-Ipoh route and it was at a weak coverage zone and I actually had to walk to find a usable signal and that’s an emergency where I wish I had the Drive 3G-S. I drove through that area again and managed to get both voice and data signal from the weak coverage area due to the hilly terrain.

weBoost 3G

This product will soon hit the shelves in Malaysia and if you want to be one of the first few Malaysians to own it, good news:

I have one (1) brand new weBoost Drive 3G-S Cellular Signal Booster (worth RM 389) to giveaway on! You just need to answer the following two questions in the comments section:

1. Name the two weBoost products that were recently launched in Malaysia
2. Why do you need a mobile booster in your daily life?

Participants must be based in Malaysia and the contest will end on 30th January 2015. Just comment with the answers and your email address and I’ll choose one lucky winner from the comments.

Can you kick a football faster than 100 km/h?

fuleco kia

I tried!

whats your speed

I didn’t do so well. Haha! I was at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow @ Suria KLCC. The interesting bit is how I got there…

World Cup ROCKS with KIA

I first went to Menara Naza and checked out the all-new KIA Picanto. I’m too late for the free entry with a test drive promo (where you can win a trip to Brazil to watch the world cup) but I could still enjoy the roadshow, and of course, the drive there.

kia picanto

The first thing I did was to hook my smartphone up to the car. I was surprised that a car priced at this range has this feature, and it was easy to use too! I just needed to go to the dashboard and pair my smartphone…

car pair phone

…and vice versa.

smartphone kia

That’s all you need to do! I can now drive safer by using the Answer or Decline buttons on the steering wheel. There’s a toggle to browse through the call list though, which I thought was a nice feature – it’s better to have that as a toggle instead of a button since you can navigate faster and get tactile feedback.

steering toggle

There’s also volume control and music features on the steering wheel. I like the decision to make the volume control as a toggle instead of a button too! Mute as a button is fine since you only need to press that once. For things you need to press multiple times (volume and call list browsing comes to mind), having a toggle is much more comfortable.

suria klcc

I drove the KIA Picanto to Suria KLCC and back to Menara Naza after the event. I also took the chance to drive around town to get a feel for the car’s features. I like the compact size of the all-new KIA Picanto as I was navigating the carpark. It makes the turns and ramps all the easier to tackle with it’s small footprint and turning radius.

picanto me

I can see why cars like this size is so popular in the market nowadays. It’s very easy to park in cramped parking lots too and you can squeeze through traffic better. I didn’t feel dangerously close to other cars during peak hour city driving, unlike my current full-sized sedan.

driving picanto

It’s a very nice change to be able to cruise through tight spots and park in small spaces.

picanto parking

Anyway, back to the roadshow, they had all models of KIA vehicles out for display as well as World Cup merchandise.

KIA Fuleco

You can also pose with Fuleco the Armadillo!

speed kicker

Fuleco is the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot, if you didn’t know already. It’s a species of armadillo which is native to Brazil.


Interesting fact: The name is a concatenation of the worlds Futebol (football) and Ecologia (ecology).

fuleco me

There’s a life-sized Fuleco at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshows going around so if you’re a football fan, go and take a picture with him! Strike a pose and share the photo via Instagram.


There’s also Experience booths at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow where you can sit down and talk to the various sales representatives about the cars there. It’s aptly shaped like a football with chairs around, I thought that was cute!

kia world cup merchandise

There’s also various 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil official merchandise for sale! There’s shirts, mugs, keychains, and even the Fuleco plush toy!


Or, you can try and win some merchandise by in the Speed Kicker game! :)

2014 world cup balls

I couldn’t kick fast enough but maybe YOU can so check out the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow when it comes to a place near you! For more info, please log on to KIA Malaysia website at or go to their FB page at

BISON Savanna Launch – Drive Beyond Borders

lion dance

Every good launch needs a lion dance.

Check out the awesome lion dance video above! I filmed that at the flagship showroom opening and official launch of BISON Savanna. I arrived quite early and caught sight of the lion dance troupe preparing to do their thing so I followed them into the garage.

bison lion dance

This is the new flagship showroom of BISON and the lion dance troupe was at the back – doing a private ceremonial dance before the event started.

ribbon cutting

BISON Savanna was officially launched at the Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd flagship showroom at Jalan 225, Petaling Jaya on the 11th September 2013. The showroom itself is the first dedicated BISON showroom in Malaysia and has a layout of 12,000 square feet.

bison showroom

The BISON Savanna is quite an interesting pickup – it’s manufactured by the Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. – which is one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in China (which usually means the world as well). The China market for commercial vehicles is huge!

bison atm gift exchange

The collaboration between Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. and ATM brings the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer to Malaysia (ATM is a subsidiary of Warisan TC Holdings Berhad) and Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd will be the sole distributor of their vehicles.

bison savanna launch

Official BISON Savanna unveiling in Malaysia!

drive beyond borders

The BISON Savanna in particular is a highly anticipated vehicle in the powerful pickup truck segment. It’s packed with well-known and proven components so don’t let the Made in China label fool you.


There’s a robust ISF 2.8 diesel engine designed by Cummins Engine Co. Ltd (US) and manufactured by Foton Cummins, 5-speed manual GETRAG transmission, DANA USA rear axles and BorgWarner USA 4WD transfer case with a BOSCH common rail system fuel system inside the BISON Savanna.

foton bison engine

That’s an impressive list of proven and reliable systems.

bison savanna interior

I took a look under the hood and inside the car and there’s also anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), dual air bags, and electronic tire pressure monitoring system – the last of which is usually only available in premium brands.


The pickup truck has changed a lot since the last several decades and has a lot of features you’ll expect in a car like air bags and EBD/ABS. I see a lot of people from Sarawak (where I come from) using pickups as a primary vehicle instead of a car. This is from the evolution of the pickup from bare bones practicality to luxury and comfort sedan-like interiors.

lion dance orange

There’s on-board audio entertainment systems with USB, AUX, CD player and 4 speakers, power windows, overhead lighting and storage and a sporty and adjustable three-spoke steering wheel like you’ll see in a car.

Bonus video: Watch the lion dance troupe pass an orange during the BISON Savanna launch!

bison savanna dual cab

I can see why a lot of people from my hometown uses pickups like this as a primary family vehicle. I would too, considering it has sedan features in a 4WD and double cab format with 210 mm of ground clearance!

bison savanna

Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd is less known here but they’re actually one of the most successful commercial vehicle brands in the largest market right now – China. They also got into an international joint venture last year that created Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd.

bison showroom opening

I really liked the BISON Savanna. The ISF 2.8 diesel engine is turbocharged and it’s very competitively priced at RM 71,888 for the 4×2 Double Cab and RM 79,888 for the 4×4 Double Cab variant (prices are OTR). The best news for people in East Malaysia is that since this is from ATM, there will be 27 designated locations nationwide under the Tan Chong Express Auto Service (TCEAS) network so you’ll have 24-hour break-down service.

Get more details!

5 myths and facts about diesel

1. Diesels cars are sluggish


No one can be right all the time – not even the inventor of the diesel engine.

This is one of the most common preconceptions and I must admit, I had the same thoughts myself not too long ago. You see, all the vehicles you associate with diesel – commercial trucks, lorries and such typically comes with an image of a loud automobile spewing lots of smoke and getting in your way.

I was enlightened when I saw diesel cars in Australia, Singapore and Europe performing much better than their gasoline counterparts. In fact, during my trip to Germany, I realized that a lot of people actually preferred diesel cars!

mega tower carpark

The torque generated from a modern diesel engine is quite impressive, due to the intrinsic nature of diesel. It accelerates faster than petrol cars – you can feel this when you start from a red light or step on the accelerator to overtake. The power is greater than normal petrol (gasoline) cars, as I found to my delight during a BMW diesel car drive. A diesel engine generates about 50% more torque than a comparable gasoline engine

2. Diesels vehicles are expensive to run

This is not really true, especially when you take in all the factors. It’s especially not true in Malaysia! :)

Diesel: RM 1.80 / liter
RON 95 gasoline: RM 1.90 / liter

The government subsidizes diesel here so it actually costs lower when you compare it to RON 95 gasoline. That’s even truer when you acknowledge the fact that diesel engines are much more efficient than gasoline engines.

A diesel engine requires 30% less fuel than a comparable gasoline engine!

Combined with the savings per litre, this will translate to *truly amazing mileage* when you drive a diesel car – just ask anyone driving one! You’ll get better fuel economy by a more efficient engine.

3. Diesel cars are slow

The winners of the oldest and most well known sports car endurance racing event will beg to differ. Clean Diesel cars (equipped with Bosch diesel injection technology) have been the winners of 24 Hours of Le Mans for several consecutive years. Another diesel car won the 2008 Dakar Rally for the first time. Clean Diesel excels under the high demands of motor sports.

autobahn germany

Most German manufacturers have to voluntarily limit vehicles to 250 km/h though, which makes a lot of sense. You don’t want anyone to get carried away and drive in speeds in excess of that while feeling the powerful torque of a diesel engine.

4. Diesel cars are loud and smelly

This used to be true in old lorries and tug boats, which are a familiar scene in Malaysia. However, that has not been true for a long time. A modern diesel engines actually emit very little smoke. I was surprised to see how little when I drove a diesel BMW 3 series a couple of years ago.


It produces less smoke than a regular gasoline car!

In fact, the wind noise of the Audi R15 TDI is often louder than the diesel engine so it’s almost impossible to hear the change of gear by ear, like they used to.

The new environmental standards of Euro 4 and higher diesel has some surprising figures – a two-liter diesel engine would have to idle for 100 minutes before it generates as much fine particulates as one cigarette!

5. Diesel damages the environment

The new Euro 4 and even higher rated Euro 5 standards in diesel make this statement totally untrue. Of course, combustion engines of both the gasoline and diesel variety isn’t exactly compatible with the environment.

Bosch Clean Diesels emit about 25% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than a comparable gasoline engine.

Compared with a typical diesel engine from the 1990’s – Clean Diesel’s emissions are more than 96% lower! It can meet the most stringent emission legislation worldwide, including in European countries like Germany!

clean diesel

Bosch Clean Diesel has a really good chart that shows the total carbon footprint for a diesel car is actually on the same carbon footprint level as an electric vehicle. This is coz there’s a lot of factors to consider when calculating carbon footprint e.g. the production of electricity.

ecological footprint

A lot of people have understandable misconceptions about the diesel engine due to the lorries and trucks still operating from 20 years ago. However, a lot has changed since then. Malaysia is planning to switch to Euro 4 diesel (it is currently Euro 2) and with the free trade agreement kicking into place in 2015, it would be to Malaysia’s best interest to do it before then.

Singapore will have Euro 5 by then and Thailand will have already adopted Euro 4 and with Malaysia sandwiched in the middle, changing to the more environmentally friendly Euro 4 for compliance by then would seem very likely.

dresden serene

Interesting fact: More than 50% of new cars sold in Europe are diesel cars!

berlin germany

For the end consumer, like you and me, getting a diesel vehicle is actually a pretty good choice due to the advantages it has over the gasoline engine. With electric vehicles realistically several decades away for all the infrastructure to make it possible to operate, the diesel engine is a pretty good bet. Find out more and get fun & interesting facts about Clean Diesel at the Bosch Malaysia Facebook page!

What is Project C? The Kia Cerato Malaysian launch!


There was a lot of videos a while back where people guessed at what Project C is. I was thinking coffee or cilantro (the herb known as coriander). It’s quite an interesting shrub as all parts of the plant is edible. That’s innovation in nature!

project c

Interesting fact: 61,000 people visited the “What is Project C” website! 1 person won and walked away with a brand new Kia Cerato.

cerato launch malaysia

The Kia Cerato was just recently launched in Malaysia. It also shares some of the features – everything is innovative (was surprised at some of the nifty features of the car myself) except you can’t eat it. That’s what Project C is about. It’s the launch of the latest and greatest new car from Naza Kia Malaysia! A new benchmark for a sedan in Malaysia.

The Cerato was unveiled to the public with two variants – a 1.6 and 2.0 model (the latter comes with a sunroof and a 4.2-inch full-color TFT-LCD, amongst other features). Motor-driven power steering comes as standard with three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport with audio and hands-free functionality.

kia cerato

On the aesthetics side, the Kia Cerato looks really awesome – there’s a “Tiger Nose” radiator grill that makes the front looks very aggressive. The projection-type lenses and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) makes for optimal visibility and also adds to the “cool factor”. The Smart Welcoming Light feature senses when you’re near the car (from the Smart Key) and automatically lights it up with puddle lamps and pocket lights on the door handle!

There’s also Push Start ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.3” touch screen TFT-LCD with rear camera display and a smooth 10-way power driver seat with memory functionality so you can adjust the seat to exactly the comfort settings that you want! :)

kia cerato features

Dual-zone auto air-conditioning with built in cluster ionizer, rear air vent, glove box cooling (so you can keep drinks and chocolate bars cool inside), front and rear parking assist system and an auto-defog capability that is automatically initiated when sensors detect misty conditions rounds up the standard package. That’s an awesome default package!

On the engineering side, the Kia Gamma 1.6 MPI D-CVVT engine produces 130 PS and 157 Nm of torque while the Kia 2.0 NuD-CVVT engine produces 161 PS and 194 Nm of torque, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a sporty A/T knob. The fuel consumption of the Cerato on a combined cycle is just 14.7 km per liter with an environmentally friendly CO2 emission of 160g per kilometer!

I’ll show you two of the features that impressed me the most: A highly feature-packed sedan!

Air-ventilated driver’s seat

air con seats

Yup, I’m not kidding! The driver’s seat is actually ventilated so you won’t have your shirt sticking to your back on hot, sunny days. I find this a nice, innovative touch. It’s all about the little things that adds to comfort. Air-conditioned seats!

I figured the driver ought to have this since he/she is doing the hard work. ;)

Smart Welcoming Light

puddle lights

The Puddle Lamp is part of the Smart Welcoming Light feature. It automatically detects when you’re near the car via the Smart Key and activates the light. It’s not only a security feature but a practical one as well. Having the floor near your car well light and the door handle illuminated makes for a feature that’s not just innovative, but cool!

The Cerato has five-star ratings in safety for NHTSA safety tests in the United States and it was chosen as the Top Safety Picks of 2013 by IIHS.

kia cerato launch

This is truly an innovative car. The Kia Cerato 1.6 is priced (OTR) at RM 99,888 while the Cerato 2.0 goes for RM 118,888. That’s not only auspiciously priced, but very reasonable considering the features that it has. It also comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty!

This is innovation!

The first headphones-only event in Malaysia

french house kl

I was at Maison Francaise a couple of days ago for a launch. The restaurant, literally translated, means “French House”. It’s located on Embassy Row and serves pretty decent Black Angus Carpaccio – thin slices of marbled beef topped with slivers of cheese and finely diced tomatoes.

black angus carpaccio

Oh, and they had really good organic pumpkin juice too but that was not the reason I was there.


The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST Media Launch in Malaysia was the first to incorporate the use of headphones for the entire event. I was quite puzzled when I walked into the dark room and was handed a pair of noise-cancelling headsets with blinking LEDs.

headphones only

I was given a short primer on how to turn it on and adjust the volume and set down for the presentation.

michelin primacy media launch

The headphones are meant to illustrate the “ST” bit of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST – the Silence Tuned part. These new types has a unique tread pattern that makes it run much more silently than all its competitors and the headphones used for the entire duration of the launch is a great idea to showcase this.

headphones wearing crowd

It was such a great idea that when I recorded a video of the interviews done with limo drivers who had gotten an advance set of these tyres, I didn’t realize that I could hear it coz I was on headphones but the rest of the room is silent.

I present to you this video I took. Haha! Apart from the occasional coughs and clearing of throats, the entire room was silent – coz everyone was on headphones. I was on them too and though it was recording as usual, not realizing that there isn’t any sound from the room at all. No worries though, it has subtitles coz the people were speaking dialects like Hokkien. ;)

headphones only event

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres have several advanced features that provides you with silence, comfort and safety:

EvenPeak Technology
Gives you a ride 8% quieter than average of competitors with a greater variation in the size and position of the tread blocks, the noise power is spread across a wider frequency range, making no peaks of noise power.

CushionGuard Technology
Keeps the ride smooth, steady and comfortable. Cushion vibrations when the tread blocks contact the road surface using supple FlexMax compounds and absorbs bumps in the road using shock absorbent sidewalls.

michelin media launch

FlexMax Technology
With FlexMax technology, the tread adapts to the irregularities of the road surface for better connection and grip. FlexMax chamfer prevents the tread block from distorting and losing contact pressure under the centre of tread blocks, ensuring maximum rubber contact with the road when needed most.

StabiliGrip Technology
StabiliGrip technology uses self-locking bands inside the small grooves to minimise tread block deformation, improving handling and cut through water in the wet.

michelin primacy3 launch

MICHELIN Total Performance
At MICHELIN, we don’t just improve tyre performance one aspect at a time, but deliver all performance factors together. This means that you’ll experience the silence, comfort and safety of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres, whilst also enjoying 25% better longevity.

Yup, all the new performance enhancements comes with no degradation of longevity – in fact, it provides 25% longer lasting tyres when compared to the previous iterations. These are not tests done somewhere in Europe, which can cast doubts on their functionality here, but actually done on drives inside Malaysia!

michelin primacy 3 st

The Stabiligrip and FlexMax technology combines to achieve a 1.6 meter shorter braking distance in wet conditions compared to its predecessor and a staggering 2.9 meters compared to the average of leading competitors!

As drivers, I’m sure you all can fully understand the significance of even a single meter – it is a very practical and useful feature which you might thank the heavens for someday.

michelin primacy 3

On to less morbid topics, the new MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST is available in 16” to 19” sizes in Malaysia and distributed at all TYREPLUS and Michelin authorized dealers nationwide. It’s priced from RM 480 onwards.

maison francaise

Surf on over to the MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST site for more videos on how their technology works or Like the MICHELIN Facebook page and see photos from the unique launch event! :)

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