From Wolfsburg to Stuttgart – k3v’s travel logs part 6

Took a break from updating the blog. There are so many photos that I took and it came out a bit under my expectations and I end up doing much of editing and eventually the jet lag got the better of me; running low of sleep was not helping either.

That aside, I found out today about certain individual doing funny things (in short back-stabbing) when you actually wanted to help them.

Imagine, who in marketing mind  would miss out congratulating the first person who bought a 300k car right? Premium priced car, top of the range and no body bats an eye, not even your own medias!

Pffuufffff, buy an AMG better – at least get a “welcome to AMG lounge” or an Audi RS3 would be nice, no welcome but with 400hp I can zoom my way out of these two-face politicking BS. it really dampens the enthusiasts mood but the show goes on I guess.

Here is a summary of the museum visits;

  1. The drive from Wolfsburg to Nurburgring via Ingolstadt / Munich / Stuttgart is 1,105km;
  2. Been one and you been them all – unless of course you love history and reading them makes you want to buy a Golf R than a FK8R;
  3. The name that came out in all 4 museum that we went to is Ferdinand Porsche, no wonder he is awarded the engineer of the century (if I recall correctly) – salute!;
  4. As far experience is concerned, I like the Mercedes museum the best, BMW not a fan, Audi was not as I expected and Porsche was the smallest among them;
  5. All factory tour has to be pre-booked or you get nothing;
  6. We saw James May and Richard Hammond at Porsche Museum restaurant though. not star struck but I took a picture from far while waiting for my Panamera Pasta – YES, its on the menu;
  7. Spotted a GT2RS in flesh at the Porsche Museum, to be honest, that’s something we can relate rather than a Porsche 365 – well, like i said, unless you are into history and classics, it may bore you;
  8. Of all the cities / town, the one that I like the most is Stuttgart, its not too quiet like Ingolstadt and Wolfsburg and less busy than Munich and Frankfurt;
  9. Frankly, too many places on the itinerary, I would rather we spend 2 nights in Nurburgring, I truly enjoy the ambient; in midst of the action and yet everything is so calm. Anyway, that’s the next post.

Enjoy the pictures, I had more but the editing is tiring and work beckons.

Ingolstadt

Munich

Stuttgart / Mercedes Museum

Stuttgart / Porsche Museum

Wolfsburg plant tour and Autostadt – k3v’s travel logs part 5

Trying to keep things simple and easy. I don’t think anyone wants to read grandmother stories so I will keep it brief and upload more photos instead but its difficult to cramp everything into one post.

Wolfsburg, the home of Volkswagen where you will find Autostadt (Auto City) and a 6.5km2 is the largest production plant is Germany and even the world (if I heard correctly).  The plant is even bigger Monaco (which is around 2.02km2) houses approximately 70,000 employees working on 3 shifts to produce up to 3,800 vehicles daily.

Wolfsburg population is around 120,000 so your neighbour will likely be your colleague – the joke someone made, the other 50,000 are actually the staff’s family members.

The plant produces Tiguan, Touran, SportVan, Golf variant (included Golf R) and each vehicles takes 16 hours to complete. Standing in front of the majestic factory, the landmark of Wolfsburg ,you can’t help but to be in awe, this, since 1938? Insane awesome.

The factory tour is a must! Autostadt on the hand, contains information on all the brands under Volkswagen group, new and old and also activities. To be honest, i would have spend a day chilling here, the ambient here is awesome, tranquility in the midst of all the technological advancement.

You must not miss the Autostadt Tower tour.

Autostadt tower at night

Brings me back to the Mission Impossible scene of Tom Cruise falling from the carrier. I have a live video uploaded in the group and you can check it out here.

At Autostadt, you can also sign up for the safety driving, tiguan, touareg experience, please bear in mind you will need to book everything in advance, its not expensive but you can expect to spend something like 70-80 euros but since you are there, what’s 80 euro right?

We went for the safety experience, had a chance to drive the E-Golf. It feels like a Golf 1.4tsi to be honest, good low end torque but lacking a bit of “soul” to the engine – sorry I am not an electric car guy, but the digital display is welcoming 🙂

We have to thank you Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia for the special privilege that we received during our visit, needless to say our entry passes were taken care off too and we highly appreciates it.

The city itself, I would say there’s nothing much to do in the evening. We drove around in the evening and its quiet which brings us to the conclusion that everyone is either home sleeping or at the factory doing their shifts.

OK, enough of words, here are the pictures (in no particular order)

Germany / Austria 2018 budget – k3v’s travel logs part 4

We earlier did announced that the trip will cost RM 15,000.00 without flights in the prior announcement of the trip which I acknowledged that may have scared many away. 🙂

Frankly, it was a ballpark figure that we estimated based on a few assumptions;

  1. Nurburgring is a mandatory package for everyone;
  2. Travelling by plane to Wolfsburg and etc vs driving;
  3. Staying at Ritz Carlton Wolfsburg which cost around 500-800 per pax per night;
  4. Meals and packages.

Anyway its done and dusted now but since some of you asked me how much we paid for everything, here is breakdown of cost;

Please note

  1. Costing fluctuates based on exchange rate;
  2. Round up to nearest figures;
  3. Cash expenditure is subjective, depending what you eat/drink;
  4. Hotels are 2-3 stars and no luxury;
  5. Nurburgring package is also subjective to change according to the car selection;
  6. There are other cost like “vignette” which is Austrian toll stickers are not here but its only 10 euros, I lazy to print screen again 😛
  7. Parking cost also not included;
  8. VIP passes to events and etc not included but thanks VPCM for getting us the passes;
  9. Museum passes also not included but they are only 10 euro or less.

Next up, more pictures on Autostadt / Ingolstadt / Munich (blahh… probably skip this one) / Stuttgart and Nurburging plus some post-mortem thoughts on the trip.

Worthersee 2018 finally! – k3v’s travel log part 3

Having planned this trip for more than 6 months, flew more than 10,000km, drove 4 hours from Munich and we are finally here!! Exhausted from the flight but the atmosphere here is uplifting. Volkswagen fans all around Europe and some say the world (that includes us) are in this small little space of Reifnitz; so much passion, I regret immediately that we are to leave on the 12th whereas the finale of the event is on the 13th.

You can see everything from Polo / Golf / Passat / Beetle / Jetta / Kombi / Karmann Ghia / Audis / Porsches, you name it! Its all here.

30 Euros is what you need to drive into Reifnitz

I don’t want to go too much into texts, I took many pictures so I am going to just post them here for your viewing pleasure. Will go back to the “experience” later on with a post trip summary- still fighting the jet lag and upset cause my luggage is missing.

The Polo GTI R5

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The Golf GTI TCR concept

The TCR

Random Walkabout

Worthersee 2018 – k3v’s travel log part 2

First leg of the journey is Munich to Worthersee! Don’t you just love Google? I remember those days that my dad drove to Phuket from Ipoh with my mom relying on a piece of map and half of the time, trying to figure out if you should turn left or right.

Now you can turn on the GPS even to the market – to avoid jam and “other” information that is. Well, it works to our advantage, driving in foreign country made easy.

Don’t ask me who’s that dude. I don’t even recognise him anymore

First of all, before you embark on a trip when you will be driving, please get yourself an international driving license. You do not need to take any examination, all you need is to go to the JPJ with the required documentation and your photograph, pay RM 150 for a year and its done.

For more information, please refer to JPJ website here

Since GPS is going to be the primary assistance while travelling, I would recommend getting a global roaming simcard . Actually this is my first time using this service, I reckon you can obtain a better deal of simcard in destination countries but I couldn’t find any SIM service information on the web for Europe, so its better be safe than sorry.

While I was travelling around in Taiwan, I bought an unlimited data simcard, it was insane value deal. I can’t remember exact but it should be RM60 or RM 70 for 5 days. I used the card for my GPS and spotify all trip long.

It will be useful also bring along car charger and a car phone holder and for this trip, I am bringing my Iphone 6 for navigation and Iphone X for photo / video. You can rent GPS from the car rental company but I prefer to use my Google maps for updated information.

In a summary, these are the items that you should have with you when travelling abroad

  1. international driver license;
  2. Simcard or if you are don’t mind paying for roaming data, can skip this one;
  3. Phone or GPS
  4. Car phone holder and charger

Till next update.

 

Worthersee 2018 – k3v’s travel log part 1

Its T-3 days and we will be heading to Worthersee, Austria for the biggest and most celebrated Veedub event in Europe, some say the world. Despite the excitement, I can’t help but to feel a little disappointed with drop out of headcounts.

We received high interest for the trip initially which lead us to kick-start the plan but eventually, met a stumbling block when we found out that Nurburgring was not available during our travelling dates because of Nurburgring 24 hours which is a mega annual event at the ring.

So, we moved the travelling dates earlier so we can do a “one-stone kill two birds” Worthersee and Nurburgring together and then PRU14 election announcement came and wreck the entire itinerary – if we leave for Nurburgring on the 4th (we will be at the RING on the 5th, which is the only day available for public so we were told). That means we will not make it back for PRU14 because Worthersee starts 9th of May.

I guess it was the sequence of events that is inevitable and eventually, our only option is to fly on the 9th after we have done our voting and even that, we will only arrive on the 10th. That means we will miss the opening program.

Nevertheless, the show must go on and like they say, better be late than never. However, my prayers will be with Malaysia! and be blessed with the best outcome during this PRU14.

For this trip, I will be travelling this time with only 2 other mates to Worthersee and I am glad we managed to secure an introductory program on the 18th to the ring. Much to learn from this trip and hopefully we can make this an annual event for the club.

For the benefit of those new to Volkswagen, here’s a good video by Format 67 to get a sense of what all this is about and why many people travel across Europe to Worthersee. The passion of GTI comes to life every year at Worthersee!

I am super excited that we are going to spend 10 days in Germnay covering places like Worthersee, Wolfsburg. Autostadt, Ingolstadt, Stuttgart, Nurburgring and finally Frankfurt before we depart for KL.

There are a lot of things going on my mind, especially the driving part which is a total of 2600km distance to complete the entire trip. The thing that bugs me is that 9 hours drive from Worthersee to Wolfsburg which should take a toll – no pun intended and hopefully the autobahn will be nice to us.

If anything, I reckoned that the route should have been Munich – Worthersee – Ingolstadt and then Wolfsburg -> Dortmund and then Nurburgring as opposed to the current route, which we are back tracking to Ingolstadt after Wolfsburg.

Well, like I said, a lot of trial and errors and next year will definitely be a better one – so those of you keen of joining me next year, time to start saving.

Those would like to follow our adventures, watch this space! Follow our instagram @vwclubmalaysia or my personal instagram @k3v_7r and also VWClubMalaysia Facebook Group.

VWClubMalaysia Track Day 3 August 2018 Night Session

This will be our first night session track day!! As informed by Sepang, there will be flood lights installed in the next couple of months and night track days will possibly be the best option for cars suffering from extreme heat.

Date : 03 August 2018, Friday
Venue : Sepang International Circuit (SIC)
Time : 2000-0000hrs (night session)
Maximum limit: 70 cars (60 VW / 10 Others) Priority given to Volkswagen Owners

Entry Price :

Volkswagen Cars RM 650 / Other Makes RM700 with or without transponder
Transponders are available up to 66 participants only , you can opt for “no” transponder in the registration form, please select accordingly;

Normal Rate / Walk-in Rate (if slots are still available) at RM850 – with transponder depends on availability . Additional driver RM 200, please sign up on event day;

RM 100 will be collected as a refundable deposit for transponders on the actual day.

Payment details
CIMB Account No : 8008505821
Account Holder Name : Kelab Volkswagen Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor
Payment Notification by email : info@vwclubmalaysia.com
Contact Person : Treasurer Bernard Lim Whatsapp Only +60 17-375 2588

Please email the payment receipt along with your full name to the email address above to confirm your slot by 01 July 2018, otherwise your slot will be released.

Please click on this link to register

Please note:

  1. That by submitting this form, it is deemed that you have agreed to the Sepang International Circuit’s and the organizer’s terms and conditions.

  2. Payment for the event must be made by 01 July 2018, failing which your slot will be released without prior notice.

  3. The organizer(s) reserve the right to amend the Rules and Regulations without prior notice.

  4. If you wish to transfer your slots, please notify us at info@vwclubmalaysia.com in advance. Transfer request on event day will not be entertained.

  5. The Track Day is conducted with official sponsors participation, along with the sponsors logo, insignia and peripherals. As such, participants are prohibited from affixing logos, insignia , peripherals etc of companies/teams not associated with the Track Day sponsors/organisers. The Track Day organisers reserve the right to instruct participants to remove prohibited logos, insignias , peripherals or to remove the participant from participating in the Track Day with immediate effect

More sponsors to come and if you are keen to sponsor the track day or have further inquires, you can contact us at info@vwclubmalaysia.com.

VWClubMalaysia Annual Trip – Road to Wörthersee / Wolfsburg

For Volkswagen fans around the world, the name Wörthersee is no stranger. It is one the biggest Volkswagen gathering in Europe and to many Volkswagen die-hard fans in Europe, its a pilgrimage journey to the “holy” grounds.

Image result for Dark Shine Worthersee

Credit Google Image

Coming May 2018, VWClubMalaysia will be making its way to the largest Volkswagen gathering at Wörthersee for 3 nights, 1000km drive to the Wolfsburg plant for the ultimate Volkswagen experience.

Costing and Itinerary for the trip is as follows:

Public Release Itinerary and Cost V2

If you are interested to join us, please email us at info@vwclubmalaysia.com for participation form. We have limited space available and we will do our best to fit everyone in.

However, if you are one of the lucky winners of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia’s WIN A TRIP TO WORTHERSEE GTI FEST 2018, we will see you there!! Interested in participating in the contest? Read on!

For the first time ever, and in conjunction with the upcoming launch of the new Golf family, Volkswagen Passenger Cars Malaysia (VPCM) is offering fans in Malaysia the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to the annual Wörthersee GTI Festival in Austria.

The contest is divided into two rounds. In Round One, participants are required to answer 10 Golf-related questions in the fastest time, and the top three fastest participant will advance to the Grand Finale. The Grand Finale promises to be a nail-biting experience, as the three finalists will be battling it out in a Live Quiz finale at the Volkswagen Tour happening in 1 Utama Shopping Centre on the 31st of March 2018.

The grand prize? An all-expense paid trip for two to join the thousands of GTI fans around the world in Austria!

So rev up, and take on the ultimate Golf challenge!

Additional details are as below:

ROUND 1:

  • Participants are required to register and complete their personal details on Volkswagen Malaysia’s website (https://www.volkswagen.com.my/GTIWorthersee)
  • The contest will run from 20th March till 27th March, at 11:59pm
  • Participants may take part in a practice round to familiarize themselves with the mechanics as many times, before they begin the Quiz.
  • Participants are required to answer a set of 10 multiple choice questions in the fastest amount of time.
  • Each participant may submit multiple entries during the contest period.
  •  Three (3) finalists will be selected to compete in the Grand Finale.

ROUND 2 (GRAND FINALE):
(Live Quiz Round, 1Utama Shopping Centre)

  • Three finalists will compete head-to-head in a live quiz hosted at the Volkswagen Tour in 1Utama Shopping Centre on the 31st March 2018.
  • The Winner will be selected based on the fastest time, the most number of correct answers, subject to the decision by the panel of judges and announced at the event.

See you at Wörthersee!

The all new Civic FK8 Type R

The new FK8-R has been the talked of the town with its 310,000 price tag and I really don’t understand why people wants to make so much noise; its a free market, if you want to buy it, by all means otherwise, just go find another car to buy, right? Anyway, as I said it earlier, I quote my friend “if you can afford it, its not expensive!”

Coming back to topic proper, a buddy of mine owns a FK8R and we spoke about each others experience and decided to do a swap for a few days. I was actually hesitant to pen this down, knowing that if I said anything negative, it would spark an infinite debate between Volkswagen and Honda fans.

As usual, my opinions are solely mine and not representative of anyone or the club’s view and I mean no offense to anyone, if you believe my opinion is bias, please do not continue reading….. then again, I have a lot of good things to say about the FK8R.

Long before I had the MK5 GTI, my brother did loan me his Honda Integra DC2 Type R for daily use, for about 2 weeks. For that period, I braved KL traffic – my office is at KLCC area and I drove to work everyday and often waited till 10pm before I go home so I can let loose the VTEC. I loved the B18C, heck, everyone loves it; I even get stopped by patrol cars because they wanted to know if its an original B18C.

Since then, I wanted to placed a deposit for the Honda DC5 Type R but after test drive, it was no B18C. In fact, the K20A engine is much more refine – not that I have any issue for it, but the “VTEC kick-in yo” was missing. I chance upon a pre-reg Volkswagen MK5 GTI and I never looked back despite both my brothers are huge fans of BMW and Honda. Anyway, here are my thoughts on the FK8R.

Exterior of the FK8R
I don’t really fancy the design initially but its growing on me. I am not sure why they put a 20″ size as a standard set of wheels. The offset is a bit “high” hence the wheels sits further into the fender; its like skipping leg days for gym but I reckon a 10mm spacer will make the car look better. Well, to each its own, its just my personal preference. Having 20″ wheels in Malaysia can be a pain in the butt though but surprising the ride wasn’t that harsh.

I like the spoiler and the whole works, really gives me the boy racer feel.

Interior
Not much comment here, but if you are coming from a continental car, you probably wouldn’t be too enthusiastic about the interior, otherwise, its a big difference from the older type R. An interior that doesn’t creaks – ok fine, its a new car and it shouldn’t have crickets.

I personally think its much more refine than earlier version and it somehow gives me a premium feel honestly, but I find it difficult to remove that mindset that I am in a Type R, the legend of Honda that prowls in local racing circuit ready to rip apart the wannabe continental racer boys and while all that is taking place, you are listening a relaxing jazz on the stereo. A very mixed feeling in short but I loved the bucket seat though.

Performance
This FK8R is no match on a straight line to any properly tuned Golf GTI/R – I must stress “properly” but of course on a stock to stock comparison, an FK8R will have the advantage given that its already boosting 1.4-1.6 bar which should put close to 300hp on our local dyno.

I have measured the 1/4 mile time using Performance (Pbox) and the FK8R will nick a 14ish time whereas my Golf 7R will clock under 12s. I have also point out that, I sucked at launching the FK8R, not to mention that my rusty manual gear shifting didn’t help much either and my Golf R  has 100hp more than the FK8R so its not really a good benchmark.

I felt that the delivery power from the FK8R is surprisingly late, as opposed to the usual 2800rpm full boost on example, the MK6/MK7 GTI. However, the power is very linear, not abrupt which makes the ride smoother, less wheel spin, more power to the higher rpm but its missing the “VTEC Kick-In Yo”. I did try the R plus mode  which does make a huge difference compared to the default Sport Mode but to be honest,

I am not thrilled with the power. it could be better at 1.4-1.6 bar boost but maybe because its RON 95 compliant and thus, its potential is limited.

Handling Performance and Brakes

This is where I feel the FK8R shines, even my Golf R is no match, not even Quattro on the TT-S MK3 feels this good in corners. The feedback from the steering is good, very responsive and eager to go faster.

I never did get to drive it inside the circuit, but the owner clocked 2.38s in Sepang with its current setup, stock tyres, stock everything which is super impressive. Sure, its not as fast as the veedubs on the straight, but its making up time in the corners.

I have never seen a veedub capable of clocking under 2.40s in stock mode, Golf R/GTI, whatever. Of course I stand to be corrected, and if anything, MK7 GTI Club Sport or Club Sport S which is the nearest Nurburgring challenger to the FK8R should be the best mark.

The brakes are solid performer, you wouldn’t expect anything less from brembo but I have to say, it squeals but don’t wet your panties yet, all performance brake kits squeals, sooner or later. I like the braking bias, unlike those upgrade ones and most importantly, the car is not nose diving.

If I were to buy the FK8R, i will never tune this car, because the chassis setup is just perfect for its power, no understeering like the GTI and its very comfortable as well; I almost forgot that its Type R. The balance is achieved and tuning the car may disrupt the entire setup, not to mention more issues to crop up.

Heat and Other issues
Heat is always an issue with turbo charged vehicles; in fact, Honda enthusiasts (at least my friends) poked Veedubs for their poor performance in circuit due to high oil temperature. Well, we would like to welcome FK8R to join the club. LOL

Yes, the FK8R has heating issues but I didn’t had that problem, because I didn’t drive it like I stole it for simple reason, that the car doesn’t belong to me. The owner himself has confessed that he has experienced rising water temp up to 124 degrees after one hot lap in Sepang, sounds familiar? LOL, yes veedubs owner now can rejoice that we are no longer the community of track goers that can’t do more than 2 hot laps – no offense Honda fan boys.

What is more surprising is, the car hitting 124 degrees on a hard drive up to Genting via Ulu Yam. I am totally shocked! On a stock form, overheating? So the question is, what is the oil temperature? We don’t know. The FK8R does not have oil temperature reading – the FK2R does though but on the Golf R/GTI, if your water temp hits 124 degrees, your oil temp is no less than 130 degrees and at the limit of 138 degrees (before you hit limp mode), you will noticed the water temp gauge rising above the 100 degrees mark.

I have read online some issues with the transmission on the FK8R, I never noticed any problem with the clutch. In fact, I love the transmission. The clutch is so light, driving is so pleasurable. Gone are those days, driving manual in the city is dreadful and I actually don’t mind going into the city.

Overall experience
I love the FK8R for the weekend, never mind that it overheats or slower than all the tuned veedubs that I had, the handling just supersedes them all. If you are looking for a fast straight line car, you will be disappointed but if you love driving b-roads, this car will light you up.

I had a lot of fun driving it up to Genting and I didn’t have any overheating issues. Maybe its an isolated issue, maybe only happen to certain driver (LOL) and it didn’t happen to me.

I get a lot of questions about whether I would pick this over the Golf R for my daily. Frankly, its hard to part with 310,000 for this car with so many options available. If you are a Honda fans, sure why not, the FK8R gives you entry to the new premium world and still maintain the “real men drives three pedals”, so much feedback from the steering compared to a “muted” veedub steering and how this car is like “this is how they should make car like they used to”. Its really an all rounder even with the manual transmission.

I can’t afford 310,000 but given that I could, I would get a FK8R. I am saying this because I have a Golf R which fulfills my need for speed on the straight line. Its definitely has the exclusiveness in its own segment and it has all the space for a family and the ride has improved so much from is previous generation. You don’t get any reverse sensors and cameras but who cares.

To be honest, the comparison thus far is based on all the tuned cars that I have had the opportunity to own/experience but I personally felt that this is a benchmark error. In fact, the correct benchmark should be Clubsport GTI which we are unlikely to see in Malaysia. What I am looking forward though, is the launch of MK7.5R which is rumoured to be around 300k mark as well and how it pans out against the FK8R.

I have a feeling the new Golf R may disappoint me, given that I am already Golf R owner and I love my ride.