The title of this write up can in no way be more literal, as several thousand Honda enthusiasts gathered at the home of Malaysian Motorsports, Sepang International Circuit. This event was a congregation of owners and car enthusiasts in celebration of one of the most iconic automotive JDM brands in the world and also one of the most famous power units in the world, with 14 million VTEC units built every year, I mean, who doesn’t know the Honda brand and there were Hondas for as far as the eye can see. Read more
As previously mentioned in our feature of Summernats Malaysia, There was a lucky draw held for visitors there and we got the invitation to cover the prize and awards ceremony. Walking through the gates into the JP Museo, where some of JP Motorsport’s founder Mr. JP Chin stores some of his absolutely gorgeous cars and also large collection of the rare American imports that were on display at Sepang over the Summernats weekend. This had to be one of the coolest awards ceremonies I have ever attended, doing away with all formalities and just being surrounded by the absolutely stunning machinery is an extraordinary experience.
Sepang and the Summernats event played host to an extraordinary amount of people, an estimated 45,000 patrons over the 3 day period and only a select few had won something from the lucky draw. Some other events that you probably wouldn’t see in Summernats Australia were where runners and cyclists made their way there to have a go at cycling or running on Sepang’s 5.5 kilometres of tarmac. Runners participated in the 11.8km Merdeka run, in conjunction with the celebration of Malaysia’s 57th independence day. Cyclists unite in attempts of setting an interesting record; The biggest Merdeka Bicycle gathering. This was an exciting event as Sepang plays host to major scale international events such as Formula 1, and people were given a magical opportunity to be on that same track doing what they loved.
Some of the prize winners were already present when I got there and they were pretty much pre-occupied ogling at the cars there, some of which they (even I!) have never seen before.
Dinner was served and shortly after the time to hand out the prizes came! everyone made their way downstairs to the main foyer area and the excitement was building up as everyone hustled into position.
A short welcome and introduction from the Emcee was followed by a speech given by Mr. JP Chin himself, to signify a succesful closing to the first Summernats event of Malaysia.
Prizes for the consolation prizes, which included Ipads, Polar heart rate monitor watches and digital cameras were handed out.
The next segment of prizes were hercules bicycles and a sub segment of the bicycle category had the grand prize of an Avanti bicycle, which was a pure bred carbon frame race bike, its lightness demonstrated by the winner picking it up and thrusting it in the air!
Other cool prizes were some cool LED TVs.
There was also a surprise award for the fastest person that was on Sepang during the car clubs parade, and the awards went to Tan Sri Azman Yahya, which was described light heartedly by Mr. Chin as “the fastest Tan Sri in Malaysia”.
The award of Best car club went to Lamborghini Malaysia which was recieved by C.E.O of Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, Mr. Marcus Chye.
And finally the grand prize of the lucky draw; a brand new Impul tuned Nissan Sylphy was won by Ms. Chong Min Shih of whom is an avid runner who also participated in the Merdeka run. The event slowly drew to a close and participants lingered for a short moment to catch a few last glimpses of the exotic machines there, and whilst having a conversation with Summernats Project Manager Anthony, we somehow brought up the topic of the cars downstairs, and one particular car we talked about was one of the most famous Mustangs in the world, Eleanor from “Gone in 60 seonds”. Anthony then granted us a rare privilege of getting up close and personal with a legendary Hollywood super star car, and it was an exceptional sensation.
That’s all for this year’s coverage on the first exciting Summernats held here in Malaysia! Without a doubt, next year will be a blast.
Words – Eugene Chan
Photos – Eugene Chan
Summernats is one of the biggest car festivals in the world from down under and is famed for some of the most insane burnout showcases in existence, and this massive event has made its way on to Malaysian soil which is the new inaugural event hosted here by JP Performance motor sports of whom has hosted the Super GT Malaysian leg for the past few years. Read more
Toyota Techno Craft, a subsidiary of Toyota Japan and developers of performance parts under the TRD brand, have created and released what is, without doubt, the most hardcore factory version of the 86 yet. Based on the Griffon concept that was shown early this year, The “14R60″ is Techno Craft going out to create a road registrable race 86 that compromised on absolutely nothing in the pursuit of performance and balance and did it by throwing an absolute shopping trolley of TRD parts at it… Read more
You have to admit, anyone with a properly functioning brain, eyes and genitalia would agree that Mazda’s KODO design language brings out spectacularly beautiful cars.
Given the chance, the designers could most likely make a plastic surgery “NOPE-tastrophe” like Jocelyn Wildenstein look good.
Mazda has recently unveiled the lovingly crafted 2015 MX-5 which brought about the first 2 door in their new design theme. Shortly after, I’m refreshed with the sight of the new Mazda 3 which cooked up this thought like a batch of meth;
I wonder what it would look like with 3 doors?
History has shown us that Mazda has had a compact 3 door in its regular line up, and the more exclusive GT-X, GT-Ae and GT-R for the performance orientated driver in the mid-80′s to early 90′s; the latter two being limited rally homologation models.
While new WRC regulations only allow sub-compacts (looking at you, Mazda2), there is still room for Mazda to promote a 3 door compact. Whether it be a more affordable entry compared to the other body styles, or be positioned as a performance competitor for other 3 door hot hatches like the Renault Megane RS, Hyundai Veloster Turbo and Seat Leon Cupra R.
With the Mazda3 being very competitive in the market, this release may very well pressure other Japanese brands to bring out 3 door hot hatches. It would be a similar scenario to how the 86 pressured brands into releasing a cheap performance vehicle (then proved how stubborn and/or slow they are at picking up on a sale), only difference being that it would be done in a Front Wheel Drive based platform; something that most automotive brands have access to.
In a local market that’s seemingly only occupied by the Suzuki Swift Sport, a successful launch could bring about the return of other hot hatches such as the Nissan Pulsar GTi-R, Mistubishi Mirage Cyborg ZR and the Toyota Corolla GTi. The new MPS is also stated to have AWD implemented. All the more reason to take the road to nostalgia.
Of course, Mazda already has the MPS as its compact performance model. The competition could always re-introduce a performance trim on their current 5 and 4 door vehicles. This leaves a 3 door as a purely aesthetic choice. Putting an investment towards a less practical product that is only a small amount cheaper than the more spacious option.
However, 3 doors still hold an appeal of being more attractive and can also be marketed towards a specified audience. Such ventures have been taken by companies such as Volkswagen with their Scirocco and Hyundai with their Veloster. Both were marketed for their sportiness, yet provide base models for those who are as enthusiastic about their car’s performance as they are about their refrigerators.
I certainly believe there is space in the market for another Japanese 3 door hot hatch, but everything I say only lies as hopes and dreams. The only way something like this is to come to fruition is if there is enough demand, which brings me to this:
What do you think of a 3 door Mazda 3?
Would you ever buy one (in standard, MPS or other trim)?
What sort of impact would it have on the Japanese and International market?
Leave your comments below on the page or on our Facebook post.
Words: Shahid Mohamed Islam
Photos: AutoEvolution, PureTrend, RanWhenParked, Seinfield, AutoBlog
The loss of WRC legend Colin McRae to a tragic set of events that occurred on the 15th of September 2007 when his helicopter, a Eurocopter AS350, crashed 1 mile north of the McRae home in Lanark, Scotland, was felt ( and is still felt ) deeply by motor sport fans all over the world. The fact that 2 of his friends and his own 5 year old son Johnny perished along with him, was nothing short of devastating… Read more
**Click images for hi-res 1280px goodness!**
Atsushi Ito is one of those Japanese tuners that flips the bird at conformity and the status quo. His brand, Weld Techniques Factory, has been around for a long time now and Ito has carved out a nice little slice of tuning stardom not only through his exploits in D1 with pro driver Koichi Yamashita and their fire breathing MkII Toyota but also through custom tuning circles with cars like the FR-S you are seeing in this special feature, exclusively to 7Tune… Read more
I found myself relaxing in an onsen up in the hills just outside Nagoya after a long few hours of shinkansen and bus travel, allowing myself a little luxury to soak and think about what was about to unfold on race day; Rossiter and Nakajima on pole with the title coming down to the wire, ever tightening… Read more
Both Tomohiro and I are excited for the day ahead as we barrel down the highway towards Fuji Speedway at 7am, Top Gear (subtitled in Japanese) playing on the mini screen in the VW. I knew the typhoon heading our way was an issue but was hoping it would blow over before it reached us. I couldn’t have been more mistaken if I tried… Read more
During the three plus hour journey from deepest Tokyo to the most northern track in Japan I had plenty of time to reflect upon what might go down in Round 4 of the 2014 Super GT championship… it turned out to be a cracking, chaotic and unpredictable race with a number of surprising results… Read on to find out how the race unfolded… Read more
Call my jimmies’ rustled. Since the release of the 2015 WRX and WRX STI, the Subaru has been copping some slack for bearing too much of a resemblance to its arch rival, the Mitsubishi Evolution X… Read more
June 13, 2014 by Eugene Chan Chun Hong
Filed under 7tune Classics, Articles, Car Shows, Classic JDM Cars, Culture, Events, Everything Happening, Honda, Japanese Nostalgic Car, JDM Feature Cars, Latest Articles, Mazda, Nissan, Odd Spot, Toyota, WTF
Following up from the teaser I posted up a few days back for AOS Asia, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the full coverage of the Art of Speed Asia 2014. From cars to bikes, USDM to JDM, one can really see the diversity that makes Art of Speed what it is. AOS, as it is more affectionately known, has become one of the premier events in the region that truly celebrates Custom Culture. Avid enthusiasts and passionate tuners from all over congregate at Art of Speed to supply a visual treat and there was definitely something for everyone at the event. Read more
June 8, 2014 by Eugene Chan Chun Hong
Filed under 7tune Classics, Articles, Car Shows, Cars, Classic JDM Cars, Culture, Daihatsu, Events, Everything Happening, Honda, Latest Articles, Mazda, Meets, Nissan, Odd Spot, Suzuki, Toyota, Tuner Cars
Appreciation and respect for one another in the world of motor sports and automotive culture are goals that many people aspire to achieve and Art of Speed has certainly fulfilled those goals with absolute flying colours. From retro to contemporary rides, all types of two wheeled beauties ranging from old, new, custom and downright crazy, they are all welcome to be showcased for everyone to appreciate. Read more
Kiyonori Imai is a really interesting guy. Known in professional drift circles as not only the boss of Bee-R in Machida and team manager for Tezuka san in D1 but also for the mind blowing creations he comes up with year in, year out. The craziest machine of them all might well be the one you’re looking at in this 7Tune exclusive… Read more
It’s time to take you back to Retro-land boys and girls. Back to an event that blew everybody away with its diversity and quality of machinery. Many people don’t expect Malaysia to have such a strong presence in tuning circles but the Malaysians are serious about their cars and one look around Retro Havoc and even the most jaded or cynical of enthusiasts would admit that what they see before them is nothing short of spectacular. And you’re about to see the best of it, right here on 7Tune. Read on… Read more