Monday, June 14, 2010

Another day in history

Yup, my fortunes just keeps getting better and better ^^ eventhough i keep digging deeper and deeper into poverty X-p haha...

a senior colleague of mine have been prowling the market for an Evo... he wants the latest evo he can find that is within his budget, 120k... and that'd be an evo 7...

He finally got it over the weekend, and brought it over to the office today :-) and i must say, it's quite a find ^^

The awe-inspiring Evo...

Pingu making a model fit to turn eyes sore... X-p

Everyone's all over the beast... :-p (the vinyl on the evo says: "Spirit of competition" ^^ lovely words indeed... what is evolution without competition? :-p)

The car is pretty completely modded, any further would probably require internal modifications that would be both extreme and costly... it's got aftermarket parts all over the place, hks intercooler, apexi fc commander ecu, rsm, brembo brakes, single-plate racing clutch, exhaust-God-knows-what and etc X-p

I jumped at the opportunity of taking the car out for a ride X-p and what a ride it was... the speedometer was still the stock 180kph, but with a car like that, that narrow band of speed limitation is just another number... X-p

My much respected senior colleague drove us into the Duke highway (our usual proving grounds :-p) and stopped by the roadside...

I was so eager to get started, that i didn't really adjust my seat properly :-p the clutch, being a single-plated clutch, is heavy and quick to grab the flywheel... the evo started off slow, and with a tap of the throttle, launches itself forward...

There's no dramatic sudden kick-in-the-butt turbo boost or anything like that, the ride's pretty smooth, and the rev just keeps on pulling until its 7k redline... and with pretty closed gear-ratios, and a really nice short shift, shifting through the gears up till top gear is a real breeze, and before you know it, your speedometer is already knocking the wall... :-p

the glare of the sun blocks the view of the RSM, so i never knew how fast i was going, but on a highway with decent sparsity of traffic, one can make an intelligent guess that over 200 kph is not unreasonable.. :-p

We had probably hit 250kph, and the car just seems to keep on going O.o but unlike Hanz's former superb neo (cruising at 200++ kph was a real breeze, and comfortable and quite enough to enjoy his In-car entertainment system) the evo just abused us with its wonderfully blaring exhaust note... X-p not that i'm complaining... :-p

The clutch being a racing clutch, catches the flywheel without any slip... so for noobs such as myself, it requires a certain finesse (that i have not attained :-p) to change gears without the car lurching...

The powerband of the evo is so wide, that the torque just keeps on coming from even quite a low rpm... perhaps as low as 3000 rpm, and it just keeps on going until the redline... :-p having a very wide powerband, it makes rev-matching quite difficult... X-(

Say for example i was running in 3rd at say 3000 rpm, and down-shifted into 2nd, I would need to rev-match the revs up to close to the redline to make sure the shifting is smooth... any lower than that, then the revs would be too low and the car would lurch forward, trying to force match the engine speed and the wheel speed...

Such a car would make machine-gun downshifting (as i would call it X-p) possible only under very hard braking, where speed is scrubbed off at a blistering speed, faster than the eyes could bulge out X-p

The brakes on that Evo is phenomenal O.O it employs aftermarket racing brembo brakes (noticeable from the screech of the pads when the car is stopping, bcoz the exhaust wouldn't bother in the background X-p) thus one can expect nothing less in stopping power...

The car is quite balanced :-) I could scrape off excess speed as fast as i could pile them on the speedometer X-p such characteristics would be pretty handy on the touge ('~,)

The only qualm i have on the car is the power-steering... if there is a weak link, that would be it... and what a weak link it is :-( with all the entry and exit speed that car is capable of, it's rendered useless by the disappointing steering...

The power-steering is not speed sensitive (i don't know whether stocks are like that or that was purposely made by the previous owner) thus it remains light and detached even when running at excess of 200++ kph O.O now that's a thought to really scare the bejeepers out of me.. X-p sadly i noticed that only when i was taking a turn while running in excess of 200++ kph X-p

While going straight, i noticed there's hardly any feedback from the steering, which i attributed to perhaps the stability of the car and the smoothness of the highway surface... but that trait rears its ugly head in a turn, and really caught me wetting my pants... X-p

It completely takes out the fun in the car.. :-( you don't know whether you're running at the limit of the car and its tyres or not... and before you know it, the tyres are squealing, and THERE'S NOTHING FROM THE STEERING TELLING ME THAT!!! O.O

I felt i could push on, but the tyres are telling me otherwise, while the car's computers were making algorithms that would shame even Einstein in trying to keep me from getting into a mess X-p and in all that, the steering tells me only nothing... it's so detached, the car suddenly feels like a luxurious beemer O.o (not that i've ever driven one before X-p) it feels sedated, it feels detached, it feels unnatural, it feels.... luxurious... X-p

That really took the wind out of the whole excitement of driving that wonderful piece of tuning history... :-( and a pity that is... i've pointed it out to my senpai, hopefully he'll see to it soon ^^

That kind of feedback with that kind of speed would definitely kill someone eventually... hopefully my thoughts are untrue, and the truth is far from it... God-forbid... apart from that, i can't wait to have the old lady back and join the crew X-)

the cast is ready, time for the show to begin X-) arr...
shiver me timbers... X-D

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The beast is alive!!!

The engine swap is finally done ^^ so i went to our mechanic today to have a look at the old lady with a monstrous heart :-p here's the vid of her coming alive ^^

All that's left is to tune her up :-) we'll got a new exhaust system installed, with piping 3.8' O.O the injectors are 850cc for the 2 top injectors... the bottom 2 injectors are 550cc a piece... (whatever all that means X-p)

Our mechanic will take it for dyno testing next week, hopefully i can make it ^^

here's the pics of the new engine :-)

And here's the new side skirt for ryo's consideration :-p

It's basically a lot bigger than the original side skirt, and it fits in with the bumper...

Monday, June 7, 2010

A day marked in History

This day, the 7th of June, the year 2010, shall forever be marked in the pages of my life's history.... :-)

I came to work this morning for the sole purpose of focusing on getting a job done, i have a deadline coming up soon and i'm not sure i could make it... Come what may, i have to make it... :-p but today, it is not to be...

One of my bosses came in today, with a car much desired by many, a car that took the world by storm which TopGear had succinctly summarized as a car that creates a whole new yardstick... It is the world famous, porsche killer, NISSAN GTR X-D

The boss knows that i like cars :-) i love fast cars X-) and i definitely adore the GTR X-p the Skyline has always been my first love in the world of motorsports (thanks to Shuto Kousoku Trial max and its cool R33 for that :-p) and though i may never own a GTR (it's too expensive for the touge X-p) I simply simply drool over it X-p'

i've been telling him stories of my adventures, of how i trailed an M3 beemer through the touge, how i was beaten by a Neo twice on a downhill X-p (there's no two ways about that :-p), how i've often take fancies up the hills of Genting and etc ^^ and i've always told him that once the circus comes out of the woodwork, I'd take him on all our adventures, and how we're going to have a great time X-) bcoz my boss also like cars, loves fast cars, and fell in love at first sight to the GTR :-p

It was totally unexpected when he came in the office with the GTR... i spent a good 10 minutes just admiring it :-p then came the afternoon lunch time, he came looking for me and asked whether i'd join him for lunch and meet up a client... He asked me whether i'd want to drive the GTR, an offer i cannot refuse X-p I dropped everything, and went straight out X-p

At first i drove slowly through the streets of KL, not wanting to scrape this phenomenal piece of technical human engineering :-p whilst the gear in Auto mood, i cruise down the street, wary of the GTR's bulky size, dreading every motorcyclist that whizzed by, and couldn't help notice the sheer weight of the car... driving it in such a way really makes it feel like any other ordinary expensive luxury sedan, more towards a hi-tech beemer than a mechanical Merc though... :-p a true everyday supercar...

Once we had our lunch and meeting, i suggested to take a drive through the touge of Ampang Hill X-p just for a quick review of its cornering characteristics... i couldn't imagine how a 285 tyre on a 20' rim feels like... X-p

Along the way, the ride feels a bit rough, the suspension, being a sportscar, couldn't help but be on a bit firmer side of stuffs... even when it's not in racing mode... but it's something anyone can live with :-) it's a GTR for God's sake, not a plush rolls royce X-p

we filled up the gas, and headed for the touge X-) once we got there, i let her rip... The GTR tears through the touge like a hot knife through melting swiss chess X-p bcoz i was so eager, i forgot to turn the gears into manual mode (where those cool shifter paddles would definitely come in handy ^^) and literally ripped through the first leg of the uphill course in Auto X-p the torque was mind boggling O.O with a tap of the gas, the car just launches itself into space and, dare i say, time itself X-p suddenly you don't feel like you're driving a bulky, expensive, luxurious sedan, but a lightweight, super-torquey performance machine X-p the engine power was SO GREAT...

Once we reached the look out point, i got held up by some traffic... and took time to take stock of the car... i've placed the suspension into racing mood (i didn't turn off the traction control bcoz i wouldn't want to trash another car which costs half a million moolahs X-p) before tearing the touge apart, and though the car's ride is firm, it's still comfortable... The stiffness of the chassis is phenomenal... There is virtually no body roll... well, perhaps bcoz i was never even close to the limit of the monster yet :-p

This time, it's time to test the famous self-rev matching twin-clutch gearbox :-p i put the gears into manual, and open the throttle... The rev wasn't so aggressive at low revs, but i think once it enters into 3000 (or perhaps 4000) rpm range, the torque kicks in, and the car just launch like a giant rocket O.O Suddenly the corner comes in so fast, that i just kick the brakes in in sheer terror X-p

and the brakes, my God... the brakes on the GTR is SO sensitive, that every slight modulation of pressure or jaggedness of touch reverberates through the brakes... It made me notice how rough my left foot braking is, that i had to switch to braking with my usual right foot to smoothen the braking process... X-p such is a noob that i am...

And it's so powerful, that i've never actually pressed hard on the brake... a slight touch could shave off the speeds so fast, that i often ended up braking too early and going in the turn too slow X-p a noob at the wheel... i could just go fast on the straights, and cower through the turns.. X-p

The touge ends so fast when you have such a ultimate car to tear it apart with X-p i couldn't help but to say to my boss, with this kind of car, he can keep up with anybody on the touge :-p by just the sheer brute power of that beast called the GTR...

I turned the car, and make another run for it X-) i just love how the torque kicks in, launching the car as if somebody had just booted you at the back X-p it feels like being strapped into a rocket pack :-p

The body rigidity is so stiff, that there's hardly any weight shifting around, even when going downhill O.O the car feels very neutral through the turns and it's really a point-and-shoot affair :-p The only difference you feel going through the uphill and downhill is the brakes.. it takes a tad bit longer for the brakes to shave off those excess speeds going downhill, owing to the fact that the car is really a heavy car for the touge... i guess nothing beats simple physics :-p

But that was just a simple first impression, i actually hardly pushed the car, and was no where near the limit... i cannot imagine the speed i would have to go through if i were to test the car at its limits at the touge... it'd definitely be the scariest thing i'll ever experience i suppose X-p

One thing that disappoints me a bit is the auto rev-matching gearbox... the downshifting was not as smooth as i had hoped, as i could still feel the car jerk whenever i downshift at high RPMs... i was expecting a silky smooth downshift with the sweet accompanying roar of the engine to match the revs, but the jerk through the tranny is really heart sinking... I guess nothing matches the good old skills of a perfect heel-toe downshifting :-p (of course i never get that right either X-p)

But apart from that, the speed of the gear change is PHENOMENAL.. it feels as if you're playing those arcade games rather than driving an actual car X-p

The steering was perfect, it is weighted really nicely, that you can feel the firmness of the tyres on the road, but light enough to make turning the wheel a breeze rather than a chore, yet not too light as to make it feel disconnected from the wheels...

You can sense every bit of rock on the road, yet feel the information sent to you very gently and subtly, rather than giving a punch at the back of your kidneys :-p Those seats hugged me just nicely, while being comfortable to boot...

I can never run out of praises for the car :-p (and can never stop smiling silly the whole evening as well X-p) and words can never give justice to my wonderful experience with the GTR today... Truly i felt i am blessed to be given the opportunity to drive such a wonderful piece of human achievement ^^

As for my boss's first experience through the touge, he kept quite when i blasted up and down the touge (and just listen to my pathetic oohs and aahs admiring the car's tourque, brakes, handling etc X-p), so i thought he was fine... when we got to the office though, he said he was saying his prayers when i was lost in the frenzy X-p Well, even though i didn't really stepped on it (literally) but still the speed was really excessive X-p even first time at the wheels of a GTR, i felt as though i've gone faster than i ever will be in the FC :-p such is the vast difference of heaven and earth.. X-p

As for that, i cannot wait for the FC to come out of the woodwork, and then we'll be really having fun with a GTR in our midst X-)

As for the FC, here's a little update :-)

We've recently purchased (under sever influence X-p) another half-cut X-p haha... this one comes equipped with full aftermarket parts, and a HUGE turbo O.O one that scares the living daylights out of me by just looking at it X-p it comes with a Power FC Ecu unit and Cusco 2-way adjustable suspensions as well... If my ears were still working, i heard that the injectors are 850cc a piece O.O now that's going to be a real gas guzzler X-p the pictures ain't pretty though :-p