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Car reviews, Singapore style

Discussion in 'Asia' started by SFchallenge, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
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    Jon Wijaya
    Well, over a light hearted meeting yesterday. Our resident Tiong suggested that we could perhaps put in some of our personal reviews of cars that we owned or driven. We did write about them but it's thrown all over the 800+ pages of our that thread so maybe we can put some effort by writing them here. No "rubbish" chat as that's for that thread.

    So if you Sg or even other Asian guys have some to share, please do give us some of your opinions on the cars you've driven so as to save us some money by not buying or buying it! :)
     
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  3. Spaing77

    Spaing77 F1 Rookie

    Jan 22, 2004
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    #2 Spaing77, Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    after a week or so ...

    The Good
    I am very very impressed by the power delivery of this motor. The way it revs seamlessly from 3000rpm to redline with no lag in power is utter motoring nirvana. The gearshift is absolute positive in a typical Audi manner. Its positive clicks without being too harsh or tough to shift is a testament to Audi's engineering and attention to detail in more ways than one.
    The complete drivetrain package is very nice and complete. The gear ratios are far superior to that of the B6 S4 as they seem to match engine revs much better this time.

    The Bad
    Space space space....or the lack of it
    Batman seats are alittle tight for my fat arse. I am quite used to tight fitting buckets on my other cars but this one really takes the cake in terms of "fit"
    The wide arches are a bad thing as the side skirts stick out to the extent some people would step on them if they are not careful.
    I dont think its fair if I have to remind my passengers to be careful. Cars are designed to serve the human master, not the other way around. If the car flaws in a way to cause inconvience to the human, it has errored.

    I am running non sports plus. I thinik I will order a set of Stasis suspension. I watched Paul Lambert start Stasis grow from his Santa Cruz barn to grow into what he is today, pretty amazing outfit.

    I doubt I will ever change to miltek as I am very happy with the sound and the "S" button is pretty awesome. My black optik pack has the exhuast tips blacken out, thus another reason not to miltek.

    I spent monday and yesterday driving up and NorthSouth and Sepang, sadly it wasnt in the RS4. We were hit by some crazy rain storms coming back and it really highlighted to me the fact that the RS4 could potentially be the best high way cruiser for me

    The RS4 has sat at home for the last week, I think I will fire her up today.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alittle more seat time

    As I put more time in the RS4 and try to reflect on the comparative differences between my S4 and this, I realized that the RS4 has significant handling differences. Although the steering feedback is similar, the high speed cornering ability of the RS model highlights that lack of nose heavy tenancies that were very pronounced in the S4. In the past, 90-110mph turns would select heavy understeer where the V8 hurried away from the apex. The RS4 turns and spins into the apex like a baseball. Ride quality is still top notch as the comfort level is rated highly by my copilot. She used to love the B6S4 with its plush recaros. Although these batman seats are alittle harder and tighter, ride comfort is still there. No more Napa Valley runs but I am sure N-S will showcase the RS4's ability.
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  4. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
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    Jon Wijaya
    Well, I am fortunate to have this for the Chinese New Year period. :)

    It's an 06 coupe, Rosso Scuderia, challenge CarbonKevlar seats with black & red stitchings, 19" Challenge wheels on Pzero Rosso. Stock brakes. Tubi GTC exhaust. Yellow tacho ($ option?) Lowered.

    First impression is that it's very light footed! The power-weight ratio is very nice & I almost only used Race mode. There's still some buttons that I haven't gotten familiar yet as I've clocked only halftank over few days now. All round visibility is pretty good but I haven't tried 90 degree turns as most exotics goes blind doing such tight city street drivings. I only realised the thick red stitchings can be a nuisance during sunnyday driving as the reflection shows up on the windscreen, giving you dotted red lines crisscrossed across the windscreen. Cabin build quality is very good with some carbon bits around as well & my car came with those large folding LCD screen (Alpine) with reverse camera (which I still find it distracting).

    The GTC exhaust with those turbine tips are nice & has a very deep throaty sound, quite unlike pre360s with high pitch whines.

    Oh yes, it goes into my office's tight underground carpark, otherwise known as a killer to some drivers.

    TO be conti.
     
  5. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
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    OK, I'm getting a little more comfortable with this ride. Had them briefly before & never on a daily basis.

    I was caught off guard yesterday right after cold start. My place has a sharp U-turn along a drive way before hitting the main road & when I tap on the accelerator, the car didn't quite move so I tapped a little harder but Oh move, it did....it built up some pressure & about a sec later, a massive blow-off torque sent the rears spinning & the tail wagged a little while I was on one hand on the steeing wheel! Thank goodness, the electronics probably kept the car straight or I'd end up on the crowded bus stop, most embarassing moment! People must have thought that I was showing off. Anyway, it happened again later. I suspect the GTC exhaust box was building up some pressure before releasing it? Sort of a turbo lag thing. Or because of the race mode as another fella owner said he had the same experience. I didn't get this nasty feel on the first few drives as I was barefooted then. But when it's properly warmed up, I don't get this problem.

    Looks like I still prefer manual cars that you can control properly....never had such 'knocks', jerks, or having F1box leakage. ( Saw a 430 & another Gallardo with hi-pressured F1box hoses that came off & sprayed nasty trans-fluid all over the hot engine compartment & smoking out, car gets stalled & you can't even change gears or push it aside if you're in the middle of the lane! It's rare but does happen )

    Anyway, I now use either the "snow" or "wet road" functions on the Magnettino? steering wheel to overcome slow & tight corners like negotiating tight carparks. In case I end up on the wrong side of the wall :) but it did surprisingly became pretty tame & the show mode changes gears automatically @ very low revs of probably about 2.5k rpm.

    Speaking of gearchanges. This 430 does it much smoother than the Gallardo but it does pull you back slightly when changing gears @ hi-revs & I mastered it smoothly by releasing pressure on the accelerator while changing gears, just like driving a manual car & it does become very very smooth. But most of the time I just step onto the accelerator while it changes gears.

    It takes corners pretty well & it didn't feel twitchy or roll about. I tried it on one of the hairpins along ECP & I managed to hit 120 before changing down to 3rd and then 2nd to overtake two obstacles @ 90 but I was very impressed by a mini Renault van who was trying to keep me off & he must be taking it @ 80! Anyway, 90 is about the fastest I've done so far on even my 4wd Murcie as I don't want to push it too far as this ain't a track.

    I can't wait to sample it on a proper track & I suspect this F430 F1 would be a gem with occasional tail-happy :) The F1 paddles with the functional steering wheel is quite involving & that red "Start" button is such a joy to put some childhood into you everytime you step into the F430. On the 2nd night, I parked it on the opp petrol kiosk so I could admire it from far & above, the svelte red body which is pretty wide is really very attractive with some sharp contrasting lines like the headlamp & larger air-intakes & radiator vents over the F360. The light RWD feel is quite nice but do require some skills if you're heavy footed. Quite different from the strong angular lines & planted feel of the Lamborghini's stable. This is a very accomplished car from Maranello indeed. I would like a yellow one with the same specs & yellow stitching, maybe even a spider!
     
  6. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

    Jan 13, 2002
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    Rupert 9.0
    The exhaust does add more torque at the lower end. I would imagine that if you had the OE exhuast you many not have experienced what u did.

    Use the snow mode when u warm up the car too. Its a good way not to stress out the engine during cold starts.
     
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  8. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

    Jan 13, 2002
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    My comments in point form:
    1. I don't think Lambos are any more reliable than a modern day Ferrari.
    2. My F430, CS, testa, 355 were all everyday cars ...but so was my lambo. Both marques are as practical as you want it to be.
    3. Looks are subjective... so its a matter of taste. i enjoy the looks of both marque's current models.
    4. I prefer the drive of the ferrari as it doesn't feel heavy, its definitely more nimble and you can throw the car around alot more. Just point and squirt.
    5. It doesn't mean that the Gallardo is no good. Its very sure footed at speed on the dry and on the wet. It grips very well around corners. The car is heavy though. The interior furnishing is very well put together. However some people say its not original coz its straight out of an Audi but I don't mind it.
    6. I like the sound of the Ferrari better... more aggressive, very racy ...ready to pounce. But again this is my personal preference in sound.
    7. Some people like the gear shifting of the Gallardo more than the F430... I am of the other view... I find the shifting of the Ferrari smoother and more accurately timed (don't know how to explain)... yes the ferrari is less aggressive on the down shift but that saves on clutch wear.
    8. Honestly I like both cars...but when I say I am off Lambo its coz I've just done the Gallardo thing nothing more than that. I find the Mucie a little too big for my taste and the SL not convincing enough as a track/light weight car.
    8.5. Brakes... definitely Ferrari... It has better feel. The Gallardo brakes may come across as spongy and not as direct i.e. you squeeze the brakes and nothing happens...then suddenly it bites. Not progress in my opinion.
    9. Dealership experience: HSM vs Eurosports...thats a tough one. My view is this: ES treats everyone the same... meaning they treat everyone very well. Whether you buy a new or used Lambo you get a similar experience. HSM has a different philosophy... you are treated according to whether u buy new, used, returning buyer, Maserati or Ferrari buyer, history with HSM, etc. Its like Singapore Airlines... you have Solitaire, PPS, 1st class, Business, or economy. So to say which one is better depends on who you speak to. If you speak to a Ferrari owner who has bought 5 cars from HSM...he will say he always gets the best service from HSM. Both ES and HSM have always been good to me...so no complaints from me.

    Hope this helps ur decision making...
     
  9. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

    Jan 13, 2002
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    CS very good car. The faster u go...the more stable it gets.. coz of the aerodynamics. At lower speeds i.e. under 80 the car feels twitchy. But abover 100 it sticks like glue.
    The gear shifts are slow.. around 300msec.. but still acceptable. The low end torque needs to be improved. I will probably chip the car and change the exhaust to improve the low end.
    The exhaust is really obnoxious above 5000rpm in race and 7000 in normal mode. I am in talks with Larini to see what the improvements will be if we changed the exhaust.

    Very easy to drive. Not as height friendly as a Gallardo, but better than a GT3. Can drive with finger tips coz its superlight.
    I also love the 4 point seatbelt...it doesn't crease my office shirts..hahaha.
    My wife hates the white stripe down the middle. But I tell her it makes the car go faster. :)
     
  10. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

    Jun 28, 2004
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  11. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

    Jan 13, 2002
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    I have driven the GT3. I love it! It is very a balanced car when you take it around corners. Its very poised at speed. Steering is direct as you would expect...just point and squirt. The car really comes alive when you put it to sports mode - the valves are open... rev it to 8000 rpm and the aural drama begins... the earth moved... angels wept.
    Blip the throttle and you can sense the urgency of the exhust note. Power it in progression and suddenly time slows momentarily..Slam it and the car warps to another dimension. This is a very quick car.

    Gear changes are very easy.. toe heeling is a synch...get the timing rite and you are Shumacher. Personally, I would change the fly wheel to the RS version.. faster and lighter.

    The interior furnishings are well appointed...very well built, no rattle, no noise...very German.. very Lamborghini :)

    No rear seat .. .perfect to throw a set of golf clubs or tennis gear in the rear. You can choose all Alcantara (Ah_ kan_ta_lah as Francis of Hup Li would say) or choose half and half like RO1.

    The GT3 comes w Pirelli Corsa tires... "gripping stuff!" but be careful in the wet.

    Black is nice. White? - Nicer IMO. Rumour is that the while ones go faster :)

    I enjoy driving the GT3 alot... it makes you feel "one" with the road.
     
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  13. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

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    #10 SFchallenge, Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    You can say that again. I had it briefly on Sunday. What do you guys think if it has Martini stripes :)
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  14. Spaing77

    Spaing77 F1 Rookie

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    #11 Spaing77, Feb 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  15. ferrariKP

    ferrariKP F1 Rookie

    Jul 29, 2004
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    My wife hates the white stripe down the middle. But I tell her it makes the car go faster. :)[/QUOTE]

    LOL
     
  16. khips

    khips Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2007
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    can you help me take pics of mine as well?? i took 2 pics and basically they became more like evidence of the lack of any photography skills on my part then real pics of cars.
     
  17. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

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    LOL[/QUOTE]
    Khun Kenny... don't laugh.. .its true... even at stationary it looks fast :D
     
  18. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

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    Ahhh, I would be honoured to have the key for a one-fuel-tank-test-drive :D How?

    Anyway, with regards to the boot or bonnet space in the F430 which is quite good. It probably has twice the space over the Gallardo so you can fit some nice luggages for a weekend trip for two not to mention some extra space behind the seats. And there are also some useful door pockets to put parking coupons, wallet extra. Oh the centre console also has an extra space for cupholder :) but I don't like the door closer hinge. The door either opens too wide or too little so you must be very careful not to score the neighbour's car. I definitely don't have such problem from the Murcielago :D
     
  19. Dipsomaniac

    Dipsomaniac F1 Veteran

    Mar 23, 2006
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    Jon, I'm amazed that you could get that (and your Murcie) into the carpark. I hit something every time I go into an underground carpark so I wouldn't even try at that place for fear of beaching it. Ok I know mine has been lowered but I still think you're still a brave man!
     
  20. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

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    Derek, if I can do it. Anybody can do it. My Murcie has been lowered 10mm & so has this F430 while the Murc has a lifter which helps tremendously & doesn't get nicked @ the lip so far. Even when they don't have the lifter, I normally slow to almost a stop before letting the car roll up or down very very slowly then speed off. It's easier by entering the rams by an angle as you let the front left/right wheels go up the ram.

    The tricky part is always the width so you'll need to move few inches to your left or right before making a full lock to get pass the rams. @ worst, make a 3 point turn. I always put blindspot mirrors to look after the rear wheels @ the bottom. $3.75 a pair from petrol kiosks to save your 4/5 figure rims....
     
  21. coupe1

    coupe1 Formula 3

    Jan 15, 2007
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    Jon, the 430 looks lowered in your pix. Do u know if it was just wound down using the original springs set up?
     
  22. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

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    It should be. I think the owner did it in a shop in KL with corner weighing etc. The stock car has too much space between wheels & arch.

    Lung, I thought the gearchanges in "Race" mode feels slower than the "Sport" in the Gallardo. Anyone?

    Lambo doesn't release details in their settings. But if you guys follow, the Gallardo GT3 has done very well in the races.
     
  23. KevinMartin88

    KevinMartin88 Karting

    Sep 24, 2004
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    wow did you jus buy a f430.....so how is it...? is it better than a gallardo.?
     
  24. lung7707

    lung7707 F1 World Champ

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    Race mode on the f430 is definitely faster and smoother. The Gallardo's change is more dramatic and therefore gives the impression that its faster. Just my opinion.
     
  25. Tifosi66

    Tifosi66 Formula 3

    Nov 30, 2004
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    Great reviews guys...:)

    Jon ,as usual great piccies from you but there's but one pic of the 430 with the doors open whereby you trespassed into 'car photography cardinal sin' which is....you fergot to straighten the steering wheel...! No angry ya..:D

    Any review of your Raging Bull? Living with it etc....:)
     
  26. SFchallenge

    SFchallenge F1 World Champ

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    OK, should be my final review after a week. The F430 do feel light.

    Last night, my mum commented that "This feels lighter & more agile, also seems quicker"

    Took me at least a tank to get used to the feel as I've been on 4WD for a year now. Steering is quick & gear changes much better than the Gallardo's Egear & like Lung said less drama. Especially on the downshifts, the Egear wails furiously everytime you downshift it (which I like) on "sports" mode while the F430 simply "meow" if you know what I mean.

    Anyway, much as do I like about the throaty Tubi's GTC sound, it's giving a lot of back fire "blak" "blak" "blurp" "blurp" everytime I ease off or downshifts. Not too sure if it's running rich or needs a good drive up NS to clear some carbon. I hate the "turbo lag" everytime on cold start. Even on "snow" mode, it doesn't help. I was leaving home earlier, it refuses to move much & with a little throttle pressure, it suddenly builds up power & surges forward then gear changes automatically @ 3Krpm with a pull back again. So I was like doing a rocking horse right in front of a crowded Siglap bus-stop, most embarrassing P-plater look. I must say it's absolutely fine once it's warmed up.

    I did pass the 100 mark threshold without knowing it earlier on the usual ECP curve & the car feels planted. Overall, this car is very easy to drive daily & I left it on Auto mode in a massive traffic jam along ECP last evening. The gearbox upshifts & downs pretty smoothly. Overall visibility from the driver's seat is pretty good & the glass engine cover is a joy to behold everytime you walk pass it. The stock Brakes (4 pot?) has served me well & it does look small in the 19" Challenge wheels but not sure how it serves up on the track as it's notorious for not keeping up on the 360s (they do share the same spec).

    Oh btw, I think the front shock's mounting points need to be greased or so. Everytime I roll over a speedbump in the carpark, I hear "creaking" sound coming from the tips of the two front wings. Took me a few days before I realised it's from those as I thought it was some loose stuff in the dash/bonnet area. Do you 430 owners hear this?
     
  27. khips

    khips Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2007
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    Kevin T
    yes....you need to warm up circa 5 mins before driving off. my old 360 or the maser also need similar procedure....not sure just perculiar to F cars. one time was in hurry, drove off my maser after only one min after cold start, car stalled 20 secs later. ok after rstart and warming up. HSM mechanics always tel me to warm up engine and get the fluids running before driving off.

    i tried several lambo gallardos before, despite not having owned one. must say F1 gearbox is smoother the E-gear,whether 04 or 07 cars, IMHO.

    havent heard any creaking sound before when going over speedbumps.
     

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