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The New Golf GTi Clubsport Is the Most Powerful GTi Ever, But Why Would You Buy It?
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The New Golf GTi Clubsport Is the Most Powerful GTi Ever, But Why Would You Buy It?

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The new Golf GTi Clubsport is more powerful than the Golf R - the old one that is.


There it is, the new Golf GTi Clubsport, the most potent factory-made Golf GTi ever, but to be honest, the world premiere of this car only makes us excited about the 2022 Golf R because if the Clubsport is this good, the yet to be unveiled Golf R will surely blow our socks off!

2021 Golf GTI Clubsport

Before we get into that, let's check out what the Golf GTi Clubsport has on offer. With the world premiere of the new Golf GTi Clubsport, Volkswagen says it is writing the next chapter of the successful Golf story. 

The Clubsport which is powered by an even more agile turbocharged engine (EA888 evo4) has a power output of 300 PS and 400Nm of torque and according to VW, comes with "Outstanding driving dynamics".

2021 Golf GTI Clubsport rear

Designed for the legendary Nordschleife track in Germany, the Golf GTi Clubsport marks a new milestone for driving dynamics among front-wheel-drive sports cars, as it comes with a tweaked seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and locking differential found on the Golf GTi.

A medium between street and race track the Clubsport model has a specific driving profile called Nürburgring, where it alters a number of parameters to make the hatchback as quick as possible around the Green Hell. From the specs, it does seem fast, but to prove itself it has to take the throne from the track's front-wheel-drive king, which is currently the Renault Megane RS.

2021 Golf GTI Clubsport rear closeup front2021 Golf GTI Clubsport rear closeup

If it doesn't, it'll at least look the part as its custom front end is very striking. The bumper looks almost open at the bottom – only the radiator grille trim with the honeycomb design typical for GTi models and the larger aerodynamic wings offer resistance to the headwind. At the rear, the two-part roof spoiler catches the eye, which is a unique hallmark feature reserved exclusively for the Golf GTi Clubsport. The front spoiler and rear wing are much more than just design features – they significantly increase the downforce on the sports car says VW.

The Golf GTi Clubsport rolls off the production line in Wolfsburg with 18-inch alloy wheels fitted as standard. A unique diffuser, lowered stance, and wider side sills add to its menacing looks. Another new feature: oval tailpipes replace the round version in the sports exhaust system, with one tailpipe placed at the opposite end of the bumper.

Seems all impressive, but this is more of a car that needs a precision driver in order for it to be the best it can be. The Clubsport has always been like that, which is why it is more of a toy than anything, which is why we can think of three reasons why a normal GTi and a Golf R would be better cars for the everyday driver. 

Golf Engine

1. The platform and engine

It's well known that people buy Golf GTi's for its engine and platform. They are highly tune-able which have seen immense figures of power being extracted from its versatile powerplant. With a few simple modifications, GTi's all the way back to the Mk5 could achieve 300Ps and 400Nm of torque. Yes, the locking differential is something new, but a well-tuned chassis doesn't need fancy bits for it to be great and many have perfected the chassis through smart modifications.

2022 Golf R

2. The 2022 Golf R

The 2022 Golf R would probably be a much better car for all types of drivers. Not mentioning the obvious advantage of All-Wheel-Drive, the 2022 Golf R which is rumoured to come with 333PS can possibly reach 400PS with minimal tuning.  400PS to all four wheels will always be better than sending them solely to the front wheels. Any car with a Nurburgring association will always be a crap road car so why not just stick with a Golf R which has been made for real-world driving and take it from there.

2021 Golf Clubsport

3. Neither here nor there

Being labelled as a car that sits between the Golf GTi and Golf R will always make the Clubsport a neither here nor there car. It's not an AWD vehicle nor is it a car that is immensely more powerful than a 2021 GTi. Except for the bodykit and lowered body, we can't really see any real advantage of it - in Malaysia anyways. Most GTi owners here would instantly Stage 1 their cars which will make it nearly as powerful as the Clubsport. They would also upgrade the suspension and voila, a homemade Clubsport. 

Any fans of the Clubsport out there? We want to hear why you would buy the Clubsport over the standard GTi or Golf R.
 

CMCO Roadblock and Road Closure Updates: Kota Damansara Road Closures Opened Up
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CMCO Roadblock and Road Closure Updates: Kota Damansara Road Closures Opened Up

Auto News

We're into the third day of this CMCO (conditional control movement order) now, and for those of you who are still moving around going to work and back, these updates of road closures and roadblocks might be of some interest to you.


Unsurprisingly, the Petaling Jaya district police have decided to reopen road closures at Persiaran Mahogani (Section 9), Persiaran Jati (Section 8) and Persiaran Sungai Buloh which has caused significant congestions around the surrounding areas.

In a statement that was issued late two nights ago (14 October), OCPD ACP Nik Ezanee Mohd Faisal said that the purpose of reopening these roads was to redeploy personnel for duties elsewhere but more importantly, to ease traffic congestion in the area. 

To close roads under a partial movement control order seemed a bit extreme and we're glad that they have ended it at these locations. This is especially so when the government has decided to allow workers to continue going to their workplace, so it felt just a bit unplanned and not well thought out.

The decision to reopen those roads will surely be welcoming news to those who need to use it to get to work and back and we're glad actions are being taken to rectify problems caused by these road closures.

Although these road closures near Kota Damansara have been lifted, do not expect any less police presence as 93 police roadblocks have been put in place around the Klang Valley. These include 66 in Selangor and 28 in Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said "We will check and improve on certain areas if the need arises." according to a report made by The Star.

Considering that the Deputy General and company are working hard to make things more efficient is good news. We also suspect that they had no time to prepare for the CMCO as it was suddenly announced and was not properly planned.

*Cover image credit Jude Ignatius Lazaroo 

List of road closure and roadblocks

Road Closure (Klang)

  • Jalan Meru to Jalan Kempas
  • Bukit Raja
  • Jalan Tengku Kelana
  • Jambatan Raja Muda Nala
  • Jambatan Musaeddin

Roadblocks

Kuala Lumpur

  • Jalan Sultan Ismail (in front of Sungai Wang Plaza)
  • Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
  • Jalan Ampang
  • Jalan Duta & Sg Besi toll plaza
  • Jalan Syed Putra
  • Jalan Genting Klang
  • Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2)

Putrajaya

  • Persiaran Utara second exit leading to Kajang
  • Persiaran Utara third exit to Puchong
  • Lebuh Sentosa near the National Cancer Institute heading towards the Maju Expressway (MEX)
  • Persiaran Selatan heading towards Dengkil

Subang Jaya

  • Puchong Batu 14 toll plaza
  • LDP – PJS 7 toll plaza
  • ELITE toll plaza
  • NPE (near to SS12)
  • Seafield toll plaza

Kajang

  • Jalan Bangi – Nilai
  • Road heading towards Plaza Tol Badar Seri Putra
  • In front of Balai Polis Beranang
  • Jalan Broga

Hulu Selangor

  • Tanjung Malim toll plaza
  • Lembah Beringin toll plaza
  • Sungai Buaya toll plaza
  • Bukit Beruntung toll plaza
  • KM79 Jalan Ipoh – KL city
  • KM60 Kuala Kubu Bharu – Fraser’s Hill
  • Gohtong Jaya heading towards Batang Kali checkpoint
  • KM 3 Sungai Duyong – Jalan Ulu Yam
  • KM33 Tanjung Malim – Sungai Besar

Klang

  • Petron Station in front of Bukit Raja Aeon
  • Batu 8, Jalan Meru Tambahan
  • Kapar Batu 10
  • Persiaran Kota
  • Batu 2, Jalan Langat
  • Jalan Dato’ Mohd Sidin

We will update the page as we get more information regarding the roadblock locations.

2020 Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback - Both Beauty and Beast
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2020 Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback - Both Beauty and Beast

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The 2020 Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback High Plus - yes Mazda could definitely name their variants better but in the Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback they have in their arsenal their own 'Jinx', an absolute stunner on the outside but a beast inside! 


Reminiscent of how Halle Berry sashays out of the water all glistening under the sun, the Mazda 3 Liftback has that same 'Damn son' factor going for it. Everywhere I parked her, there were admiring glances shot her way and the 'nod' my way. 

I'm seriously thinking of getting one, and here's why: 

1. It's for ugly people to feel beautiful

Mazda 3 Liftback Side View

Regardless of how physically unattractive you may look, drive up in a Mazda 3 Liftback (pick the Soul Red or Snowflake White Pearl), you'll immediately jump a notch or two up the ladder of good looks. The Liftback is sooo good looking that some of its DNA can't help but rub off on you. Every time I got out of the car, I felt a little more handsome. 

2. It wails like a banshee - especially in Sports mode!

On the way back from Penang, passing through the Menora Tunnel, I turned down the volume from the radio, lowered the window, put the car in Sports mode, and floored the throttle. It was ear-gasmic, it was bassy, it was eager, it was stupid-smile-on-my-face-time!

3. It's handling makes you feel alive

So what I mean above is that the Mazda 3 Liftback isn't as surely planted as the Mazda 6 2.5. I was a lot more assured in the 6 due to its longer wheelbase and relative weight. The 3 had a bit of a twitchy backside (at speeds of about 150 km/h) but therein also lies the exhilaration of it. It's a smaller car, its responses are more heightened, its steering response is tighter. It needs you involved, it wants your focus, it wants you to pick your line correctly with minimal adjustment through that sweeping corner. It wants you turned on and alive to make the most of the drive. 

4. It's sound system is BOSS

The Mazda Harmonic Acoustics sound system in the Mazda 3 gives you a rich and immersive experience cocooned in its cockpit. I don't know about you but I at times like sitting in my car, turning up the volume, and just jiving to the beats. As I sat in the Mazda 3 one night playing tribute to Eddie Van Halen with Jump, Panama, and Runnin' with the Devil I was immersed with the sound coming out of the 8 speakers all around the car, even played obscenely loud. There was no distortion, no crackle, just plain unadulterated Van Halen. Rest in Power, Eddie. 

The acoustics also come into play at high speeds, the tyre roar is definitely noticeable but I like my music loud so this is not a bother to me. 

5. It wants to go and go fast

The Mazda 3 2.0 Liftback will pick-up from anywhere on the rev-range. That Skyactiv-G 2.0 High Plus should win an award for most rev-happy engine. It doesn't like dawdling, it wants to run free and I was more than happy to oblige! 162hp and 213Nm of torque is plenty fun if you know how to use it. The 6-speed transmission was smooth and precise. I didn't feel the need to try the paddle shifters. I did however briefly but I'm not sure paddle shifters are for me. 

6. It's Sports Mode is mental! 

Put the car in Sports mode, step on the paddle and wait for that s***-eating grin to be plastered on your face. 

You see what Sports Mode does is that it holds a particular gear longer giving you better acceleration plus it sharpens the throttle response all of which you feel in this Mazda 3. It's a proper Sports Mode!

It shouldn't feel this powerful, especially given its top-line numbers, but it does. It's just so bloody addictive. You're burning more fuel in Sports Mode sure but I didn't care! You can't put a monetary value on fun like this! 

But...

Now if you've made it all the way here and if you think the Mazda 3 Liftback is god's gift to the automotive world, it's not!

Mazda needs to sort out the centre armrest, especially for men with gangly arms like me, I could never find a comfortable spot for my left hand to rest on. The sloping roof of the rear means that it's hard to fit taller passengers in the back. Its recessed front seat means that you have to drop back a fair bit before hitting cushion but are they dealbreakers? No, not to me. I've become quite enamored by the Mazda 3 Liftback that I'm checking Carlist.my for options. 

Go try the Mazda 3 in Liftback form. If nothing else, it will at least leave you feeling more beautiful. 

PS: I turned off the Lane Keep Assist System and the Lane Departure Warning System after Tapah on the way up to Penang. I decided to give it a try but found it distracting instead of helpful.   

 

 

Honda City RS e:HEV VS Proton X50 1.5 TGDi Flagship – Which Is The Biggest Bang For Your Buck?
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Honda City RS e:HEV VS Proton X50 1.5 TGDi Flagship – Which Is The Biggest Bang For Your Buck?

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Perhaps, you’re thinking, not another article regarding the Proton X50, and you’d be half right, with all the hype surrounding its design, new powertrain, to its active safety ADAS functions – there’s much to talk about. However, while we do know that the X50 is a powerhouse of technology – and at what could be a very attractive pricetag - the recent launch of the all-new Honda City, left us with a burning question – which of these two cars gives you the best bang for your buck?


But one’s an SUV and the other a sedan

Yes, we know this, but, for an apple-to-apple comparison, we’d have to negate the fact that one is an SUV and the other a sedan. While the ultimate purchase decision will come down to whether you want a high-riding SUV or a sleek sedan, it’s worthy to note which of the two is actually giving you the most “mamak bragging” rights – well, once the CMCO is over and we’re allowed to sit with friends at a mamak anyway.

On the one hand, the X50 is the new hotshot on the block – a B-Segment SUV with luxury trappings of some cars costing twice as much – on the other hand, the all-new Honda City is the fifth iteration in a long lineage of Hondas known for their reliability and practicality. In addition, for the first time, the City will offer a world-first application of a new hybrid powertrain, which a big deal to say the least.

How much would they cost anyway?

In short, we don’t know the exact prices of any of these two models.

Honda, having priced their City Grade S, E, and V variants between RM74k and RM87k respectively (with the SST reductions) have said they’re currently working with relevant government agencies to offer a price tag of under RM100k for the City RS e:HEV, and we’re optimistic they will do it given the levels of localised production of the City RS. Our educated guess: RM98,800.

The X50, on the other hand, is anyone’s guess. While its well-publicised that entry levels of the X50 will be priced around the RM80k mark, Proton has been careful to tell us that the 1.5 TGDi Flagship variant, with its full suite of ADAS functions, may just cross the RM100k mark, and we think it will too. For this discussion, our best guess is the Flagship variant will tuck in around RM105k.

Therefore, it is entirely possible for a prospective buyer to cross-shop between these two models since they’re just a few thousands apart.

What are the highlights of these two models?

Conclusion

With their respective spec sheets next to each other, one realises how close they are in terms of equipment and features - heck, they even have the exact same wheelbase length. 

Drivetrain and performance 

There's little doubt that both the X50 and City's powertrain are cutting edge in their own respect. The X50 downsized turbo unit is small in size but big on power, whereas the City is tuned for fuel efficiency, with just the right amount of 'go' when you need it. 

The X50 has the higher top-speed but we think a drag race between the two might be closer than what the figures tell us because of the electrified torque in the City. 

In terms of fuel economy, the City will take it by a large margin in our opinion. Given the superb efficiency of its older i-DCD Hybrid system (in the previous City Hybrid), we have little doubt the i-MMD system will be even more efficient.

Space and practicality

This is a closer toss-up than you think. Yes, we all would like to think SUVs are the final word in practicality because of their high-ceiling, but the City is the absolute benchmark in practicality and packaging for a sedan - rivalling that of D-Segment sedans such as the Accord. The City RS has the bigger boot space of the two (the non-RS City variants are even bigger at 519 litres), and will probably take longer items more easily than the X50. The X50 however, will accept relatively taller items in the boot as you might surmise.

As for occupant space, they're pretty much squared up at the front, however, despite an exactly similar wheelbase, the City takes it for rear legroom, based on our experience of being in both cars. 

Note, however, entry and egress (especially for older occupants) is made easier in an SUV. 

Equipment and Infotainment 

Both these vehicles offer equipment and features that are traditionally not found in their respective segments. There was a time when paddle shifters and rear A/C vents were considered optional equipment. Now the City RS offers all these as standard. 

Overall, we think the X50 just pips the City RS for its inclusion of a 360-degree camera and sunroof, also it has the larger infotainment touchscreen of the two at 10.25-inches (versus 8.0-inches in the City RS).

However, a point of contention is the X50's Operating Software (OS) which uses Geely's proprietary GKUI 19 - it's excellently designed from a hardware and UI/UX standpoint, but lacks Android Auto and Apple Carplay, which is the common connectivity platform most users want, and the City RS offers. In the X50, owners will have to make do with Smartphone Mirroring. 

Active Safety and Driving Convenience

Honda has brought the City RS bang up to date with the inclusion of the Sensing suite of active safety functions. We have said this before, Honda Sensing is better than a lot of other active safety systems because of its intuitiveness and understanding of Malaysian driving conditions - it is something that needs to be experienced to be understood. 

The X50, on the other hand, offers all the functions of the City but tops it slightly because of its Blindspot monitoring system, which covers both sides of the car (Honda LaneWatch covers just the passenger side), and the inclusion of the auto parking feature, which as we recently experienced, works as advertised.

Looks and charm

Well, this is a question only customers can answer. 

Yes, we love how the X50 looks but we're also smitten by the sleek lines of the new City RS. Not to mention, the City's Passion Red Pearl colour looks drop-dead gorgeous. P.S. The Ocean Blue colour for the X50 is my personal favourite. 

This report hopes to inform prospective customers that both these cars are charming in their own respect - despite the common SUV/Sedan argument - one should properly experience both cars before choosing which suits their lifestyle and travel needs better. 

Clean Car Seats: The Stubborn, The Ugly & The Impossible
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Clean Car Seats: The Stubborn, The Ugly & The Impossible

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Besides the engine, transmission, and tyres, the seats in your car are probably where the most visible wear will occur. If you’re not careful about keeping things clean, it can quickly make your otherwise new car look tired, old, dirty, even unsanitary.


Other passengers, especially younger ones, are also very prone to getting your pristine seats caked in all sorts of crud - from soda/milk/Vitagen spills to crayons etchings, to sticky food and crumbs. In the world of DIY driveway detailing, staying on top of a clean set of seats are probably the most difficult thing to do.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

Even if you car is a garage queen that doesn’t see the level of abuse found in some MPVs and family runabouts, it doesn’t convey positive things about you if all the sweat, grime and dye transfer is just sitting there for the world to see.

Over the years, automakers have used a wide variety of materials to fashion seats, but modern day cars have learned from mistakes of the past. Nowadays, the most common options are just between ‘fabric’ and ‘leather’.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

Rule of Two

Fabric is pretty self explanatory, though from there we have a whole universe of different types of fabric. Because it’s the most absorbent and most porous material type you could use on seats, they are also the most difficult to maintain and properly clean should some something happen.

Leather kind of finds itself in the opposite situation, being much less porous even on its own. However, leather used for automotive purposes are treated with a clear protective vinyl-like layer, making it even more difficult to cause any lasting damage.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

Apart from feeling and smelling more luxurious, this is the main reason why leather (or its synthetic substitues) is more sought after for in-car seat upholstery. Most accidental spills or crumbs or stains or smears of dirt don’t really impact it since that sits on the top layer of ‘clear coat’.

This is also why many owners of high end cars opt to have an additional protective layer of ceramic, developed and sold by the same companies that make ceramic coatings for exterior paint, which bonds and cures onto that vinyl-like layer. It's protection over protection, making it less susceptible to damage, easier to clean, and will make the condition of the underlying leather far more long lasting.  

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

For most of us, having a ceramic coating applied onto our leather seats is beyond overkill. Thankfully, most leather seats will only need to be minimally maintained with a light soap or all-purpose cleaner, only occasionally requiring scrubbing or agitation of any kind.

The same gentle soaps you already use around the house can also be used for cleaning leather car seats, which probably account for about 90% of the maintenance/upkeep process. Be wary of these miracle leather conditioners/tonics you see being sold for high prices, promising restorative or rejuvenating effects. Spoiler alert, they're just a fancy cleaner you just overpaid for.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

Most of them consist mostly of very light detergents that might even be less effective than your existing household products. Often they are also formulated to give off a rich leathery scent just to make you feel good about using it, but at least some also leave some kind of protection behind much like a layer of wax would for your paint.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

Fabric Of Misery

Fabric seats are often much harder to clean since dirt and foreign liquids can so easily seep (and dry/harden) into the fibres themselves, which is why you’ll need to act fast if something does happen to dirty it up.

Depending on the situation, most fabric seats can still be cleaned to a near-new state relatively easily (though not as easily as leather seats). The bulk of a liquid spill (from soda, for example) can be swiftly pushed off the seat before it has had a chance to be absorbed by the porous fibres.  

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

After that, it’s a matter of the products and technique you bring into battle that will determine whether the stain will be removed or remain (semi) permanent. Here’s what you’ll need, generally:

  • No matter the stain or contamination source, it’s very important to not let anything seep in too deeply into those fibres since cleaning agents can only remedy the situation if it’s shallow enough. For the do-it-yourselfer, a firm bristle brush, such as one used for shoe polishing, is an essential tool.
  • Common sense says the firmer the better since you want something to effectively dislodge the contaminant, but only up to a certain point as something too harsh could damage the seats - use your best judgement to decide based on your car and situation.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

  • Most prominent car care brands do have dedicated fabric cleaners that are bundled with a brush, so feel free to pick any of these up to remove some of the guesswork. Alternatively, a household all-purpose cleaner will do just fine as long as it’s relatively gentle. If you can find it, a foaming-type cleaner works best as it will make the ‘extraction’ process much easier. Products made for cleaning carpets will also work well for fabric car seats.
  • Secondarily, prepare a few microfibre towels as you’ll definitely need them later. You’ll want to get the surface of the seat slightly damp before applying the cleaner, so soak one of those microfibres in clean water to lightly wipe down the area being treated.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

  • After applying some cleaner (foam or liquid), let the product dwell for a few seconds to let it break down the contaminant before lightly agitating it with the firm bristle brush. This agitation will churn the cleaner and lift the dirt/stain out from the embedded fibres and onto the seat surface, usually causing the resulting foam or liquid lather to change colour.
  • From there, it’s just a process of using those extra microfibre towels to absorb (extract) the dirty liquid/ foam off. You’ll most likely not get everything out after one pass, so you’d need to repeat the process to completely finish the job and get that seat area back to a like-new state, so you can enjoy your lovely cars interior design.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

When To Call For Help

Of course, the steps outlined above apply to rather ideal situations where the stain/ dirt/ contamination was not too serious and attended to quickly, which isn’t always the case in the real world.

If your car’s fabric seats are the victim of deep stains that have been left to harden and set, you might need to seek the services of a professional who will employ more industrial-level methods such as steam cleaning, strong active cleaning agents, and powerful vacuum extractors to get the job done.

Cleaning Car Seats - 2020

The same thing goes for leather seats where scratches or stains are more severe or have permanently scarred the seat or penetrated past the protective vinyl-like top coat to damage the underlying hide. In this case, seek the help of a professional upholsterer or leather seat restoration expert.