Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ford Focus 2011

I almost forgot to mention that my Focus Mk II has been replaced by the new Focus Mk III 2011 as of June 2011. I wasn't really looking for another car, but since I'm doing less km a year (around 18K-20K), my Focus II with a 2.0 L TDCi dieselengine was, due to the tax systems in The Netherlands, becoming too expensive to hold on. And after all, I'm a 'petrolhead'.....
The Mk III was presented on the Detroit Motor Show way back in January 2010. At that time I wasn't very impressed
and even disappointed. Knowing that the car was not too photo-genius, I waited to see the car in real. In April of this year the car arrived in the Netherlands and in real life the car has much more looks than on pics.

After a testrun with a friend and collegue of mine, I was convinced. The car has inherited the short and extreme cornering technique's of Mk I and the long interchange cornerings (especially cloverleafs) of the Mk II. A perfect combination with a lot of comfort and silence aboard.
In the US consum
ers are very happy with the global project of the Focus, especially to replace the previous NA model which is in fact the first European Focus (1998-2004). Since the higher driving standards of European cars, it's no suprise that the design and development has taken place in Germany.
In Europe we are very fortunate to get the car with the
Ecoboost engines. This means a 1.6 Litre 4-Cylinder direct injected inline engine with a midrange turbocharger added. The performances are fair enough. Max output will be around 150 hp (there is another type 1.6 with 182 hp) and a torque of 240 Nm and an additional 30 Nm to 270 Nm in overboost modus. Powertrain is combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The Ecoboosts are standard fitted with city start/stop system.

The US customers unfortunately will have to do it with an very ancient 2.0 Litre 4-cylinder natural aspired engine wich gives 160 hp and a torque of 198 Nm, all combined with an also ancient 5-speed gearbox. The fuel consumption performances will be less good than it's European Ecoboost counterpart.
The car
comes with a good equipment like half-leather interior; heated seats; heated windshield; dual zone climate control; LED rear lighting; Interior ambi-lighting; Hill start assist; tyre-pressure control and ESP.

The car features new (green) technologies like: active grill shutters, parkist assist, lane departure warning & correcting system, active city stop, traffic signs recognition, light control, Blind Spot recognition and for exceptional cornering performances: Torque Vectoring Control.

My car is personalized with metallic paint: Midnight Sky, Large rearspoiler, 18 inch alloy wheels official Ford-design (225/40/R18). The car is wearing Michelin Pilot Sport 3 shoes.
For the winterseasons I'll use Vredestein Sportrac 2 (205/55/R16).

Here after some more pics. Hope you like it.

Active grill shutter & en profil

Ambi lighting & Ecoboost engine

Original Spoiler & Lar
ge Spoiler

My previous cars: Focus Mk I - 2001 (& Alfa Romeo 146) & Focus Mk II - 2006

Ford Focus Mk III - 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rest well Nick Ashford!

On August 22nd Nick Ashford has passed away of complications of throat cancer.
A great Soul; R&B and disco performer, with his greatest years in the 80's with Motown.
Such artists are very hard to find these days.....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A week in Singapore (Part 1)

It has been a long time ago I updated the blog, so after a very busy period I guess it's time for a some news. So I start with a city-trip I made last May.
Destination: Singapore. My interests are the greater
metropolis in East- and SouthEast Asia. Last year I've been in Japan (Osaka/Tokyo) and of course Hong Kong. Another city among the Four Asian Tigers I haven't been yet is Singapore.

A republic at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula which has been repelled from the Malay Federation in 1965 after racial riots and other problems. Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister of the newborn Singapore and was governing the state for 3 decades. Singapore became one of the wealthiest nations in the world and is with Hong Kong SAR the most powerful economy in the asian region. It's after New York, London and Hong Kong the 4th leading International Financial Centre in the World.
Back to my trip. On Dutch Queensday I flew with Singapore's flagcarrier Singapore Airlines. As many travellers may know SIA is one of world's leading airlines, so the flight wasn't a punishment at all. Great services onboard, a 35-inch pit, Personal AVOD, Diner menu cards, flight amenities, real metal cutlery and drinking glass for diner.

Once arrived in Singapore I took a cab to the hotel in the district 'Little India'.

By coincidence the cabdriver was a Singaporean habitant with Cantonese roots, so the conversation went smooth and felt like a warm welcome.
As I dropped my luggage at the hotel, I went into the Central Business District by subway which is familiar and of course super-efficient like in HK.
Like Victoria and Nathan were important persons for HK, the British Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles has been the founder and indirectly responsible for the Singapore of nowadays. Today, there a many legacies of Raffles, like several places in the CBD, streets and SIA's First class is named Raffles Class.
A short while ago, the brandnew Marina Bay Sands has been opened. This megastructure is a 3 column Hotel which towers more than 200 m above sea level with a 350 m curved, boatlike skypark across the 3 towers. Very impressive since it stands on reclamated land
In the CBD there are a lot of heritages from the colonial era under Britisch Straits Settlements. The Fullerton Hotel is settled on the corner of Singapore Bay and is a former Post Headoffice.
Today, many luxury sportscars are crowding the parking lane.
At Singapore River are many ancient tradehouses which are nowadays restaurants and cafe's. On the background you'll notice the business district.
Singapore maintains 4 official languages: English, Chinese Mandarin, Malay & Tamil.
Later that day I went to the Esplanades, a twin Dome p
erforming arts centre which has a shape of two Durians, the king of fruits.

Next part: Sentosa Island; Science center and Orchard Ion Sky.

Are you going on vacation during this summer?

Durian shaped Esplanades & 4 languages

Udon noodle soup & Aqueen Lavender Hotel