Koenigsegg’s Agera One:1 could be the world’s first MEGACAR

It was 20 years ago when a young Christian von Koenigsegg dreamt of building his own lightweight mid-engined supercar. Thus, the CC8S was born. But 2 decades and 8 supercars later, what began as a dream is now coughing up nightmares; 1,341 hp and 440 km/h nightmares.

This is the latest Agera One:1, which Koenigsegg reckons to be the world’s first ‘megacar’. ‘Mega’ because it’s the first production car to pack 1 megawatt of power or roughly 1,341 hp.

Koenigsegg Agera One

The insane 1,341 hp is sourced from a twin-turbo 5.0L V8 that produces an equally-mental 1,371 Nm of torque. These gurus even went as far as manufacturing their own variable turbo housing and titanium exhaust end piece with a 3D-printer just to get the performance they want. It then sends all that power through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox and an electronically-controlled differential. Hopefully, the 13.5-inch wide Michelin Cup 2 rear tires have what it takes to put it all to the ground and reach the Agera One:1’s estimated top speed of 440 km/h. If that should happen, it’ll become the world’s fastest production car; quicker than the Bugatti Veyron and Hennessey Venom GT.

Koenigsegg, however, explains that top speed is not the Agera One:1’s priority and is instead designed as a track-focused devil.

Koenigsegg Agera One

But to make a bullet go around bends, you’ll need lots and lots of grip. So the Swedes equipped it with a fully-active aero with movable front flaps and a hydraulically actuated rear wing, which produces 610 kg of downforce. And when it works in unison with the active ride height and shock absorbers, as well as variable stiffness spring ratios, the Agera One:1 can pull up to 2 Gs in corners on road legal tires.

If that wasn’t enough, the 1,341 kg curb weight gives it a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio (hence the name), which puts it up there in Formula 1 territory. And to think that the Agera One:1 comes with climate control, GPS, and a proper interior.

Koenigsegg Agera One

Undoubtedly, the Agera One:1 is Koenigsegg’s expression of the ultimate performance car – one which aims to blow the likes of the Porsche 918, Ferrari LaFerrari, and McLaren P1 right out of the water. Best of all, it’s not a hybrid. The only sad part of this dream, or rather nightmare, come true is that Koenigsegg will only build 6 examples and they’ve all been spoken for.

Koenigsegg Agera One

What it’s like to drive around in a Volkswagen Polo Notch?


At P950,000, the Polo Notch is currently the cheapest Volkswagen, wait, make that the cheapest European car you can buy in the country. Plus, it’s a diesel, which is ALWAYS good. So, that got us wondering if this subcompact sedan is really worth every penny.

The best way to find out is to take the Polo Notch out for a weekend. Thankfully, the guys from Volkswagen Philippines were kind enough to lend us one of their precious babies with a full tank of gas. And without skipping a beat, we took it up to Tagaytay, because we wanted to know how fast it can climb up hills.

VW Polo Test Drive

Clean Cut On the surface, the Polo Notch isn’t really what we’d consider a ‘head turner’, but its lines are clean and timeless. The big shiny VW badge also never fails to get people’s attention.

What’s amazing though was how VW’s WRC program managed to rub off some ‘race car status’ to its road-going brethren even if this one had a trunk. Seriously. There were times when I’d pretend as if I was Sebastien Ogier, with matching fake blow off sounds, while going up and down the twisties. And no, my passenger did not think it was ‘cool’.

Now if only the side mirrors and door handles came painted in body color.

VW Polo Test Drive

German Tank As a subcompact, the Polo Notch is roughly the size of a City or Vios. There’s ample leg and headroom front and back, plus the driver’s seat can be adjusted really really low, which I really really like. But don’t be too surprised to see that the interior is mostly black.

Black fabric seats, black dashboard, black buttons, black EVERYTHING. There are some chrome accents here and there, but everything else is BLACK. That’s because this is how the Germans like it. Simple and straight-up. Believe me, after a long day, a minimalistic dark interior does help calm the nerves.

For something in its price point, however, we would have at least expected power side mirrors, climate control, and maybe reverse sensors. The built-in 2-DIN radio, while equipped with 4-speakers and USB connectivity, could also have better sound quality.

If there’s something the Polo Notch really excels in, it has to be build quality. This particular model might be assembled in India, but it’s built like a German tank. No loose pieces, no rattles, no flimsy parts.

VW Polo Test Drive

Torque, Torque, and even more Torque We just want to clarify that Polo Notch isn’t simply a ‘diesel’. It’s a 1.6L 4-cylinder Turbo Direct Injection (TDI) diesel with 105 hp and 250 Nm of torque, which is almost twice amount of twist than a gasoline. Sure, the power band goes flat after 4,000 rpm, but there’s endless amounts of torque below that.

Just to give you an idea, you know that newly-built Starbucks in Tagaytay with the über steep ramp? Yeah, this can go up that ramp in first gear with almost no throttle input.

The Polo Notch is also a joy going up and down Talisay, especially with its 5-speed manual transmission. It never seems to run out of torque no matter which gear you’re in. The brakes and suspension are quite spot on as well.

As for fuel economy, we really can’t say much except that we drove 250 km and only consumed 1/8 of the tank according to the gauge. Do note that this has a huge 55L tank and there’s no on board fuel eco display.

VW Polo Test Drive

Worth Every Penny? P950,000 is a lot of money to ask for what is essentially a ‘subcompact’ – one which doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as you’d expect. So, why buy a Polo Notch? Because it’s a Volkswagen. And because it’s a Volkswagen, it’s built with German engineering, German technology, and German pride.

Yes it’s a nice car and drives beautifully, but the main point of owning one is how it makes you feel in the driver’s seat. Think of it as an investment, because it’ll make other people jealous of you for a very long time.

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Lotus’ C-01 motorcycle is high tech exotica born out of Tron


When Lotus first announced last summer that they were going to make motorcycles, it kindled the curiosity for enthusiasts of cars and motorcycles alike. Now their production bike has been unveiled and it’s only a matter of time until we see it on the road, come August.

Here is what’s known about the new Lotus C-01. Its vanguard looks were by former Bugatti designer Daniel Simon, also known for his concept work for movies like Tron: Legacy, Captain America, and Oblivion. Engineering, development, manufacturing, and assembly is being handled in collaboration with Germany’s Kodewa racing team and Holzer group. This limited edition motorcycle is coming from the efforts of people who have come from a background of working with exotica, performance tuning, Formula cars, and Le Mans prototypes.

Lotus C01 Lotus C01 Lotus C01

The C-01 is ultra lightweight at 182 kg and powered by an engine out of a KTM RC8 R, specially tuned to a boastful 200 hp… A water-cooled 1,195cc 75 V-twin mated to a 6-speed jaw-type transmission and hydraulic anti-hopping clutch. The monocoque frame is of aero tech steel, titanium, and carbon fibre. Front forks are upside down with twin suspension at the rear. Braking is done with 320 mm dual discs up front and a single 220 mm disc out back. Its specialized materials and ultra-exotic craftsmanship bump the limited edition retail value up to a steep $137,000.

The livery range pays tribute to Lotus’ motorsports heritage—your choice is between black-and-flat-gold, British racing green, and Martini colors.

Lotus C01

It’s unquestionably futuristic looking, but the men behind Lotus, Kodewa, and Holzer all claim that it isn’t just a piece about style-over-substance, but also attempts to balances raw go-juice with superb handling. The aggressive stance, raked out forks, and meaty rear tire hint that it was made to serve as a powerful cruiser—built to seamlessly and lovingly teleport you from point A to B on an open interstate highway.

We want to see it in action, we want to hear it scream, and we want to know what it rides like. What happens when top-of-the-line automotive specialists decide to come out with a motorcycle? If the ride handles as enjoyably as the drive of Lotus’ sports cars then that’d be quite the achievement.

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Heidi Klum dolls up with Maserati for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue


Only good things can happen when you put Heidi Klum and Sports Illustrated together. But in the 2014 Swimsuit Issue, Heidi’s not sporting a new bikini or body paint, and is instead, rocking it out with Maserati.

Sorry boys. No skin here.

The 7-page pictorial piece entitled “Beyond the Swimsuit” strikes against the ‘modeling stereotype’, which typically portrays scantily clad women in string bikinis so small you could already floss with them. Not that we’re complaining. So what they’re trying to show is that these women can be more than just a pretty face on paper, and become successful, powerful, and driven – characteristics best personified by Heidi herself.

In case you didn’t know, Heidi Klum is not only one of the world’s top-earning models, but is also a fashion and makeup designer, painter, and host, judge, and executive producer of the reality show Project Runway.

Shot by Italian photographer, Francesco Carrozzini, check out these spreads of a dolled-up Heidi as the Hollywood star with the glamorous Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition, the business woman with the Ghibli S Q4, and the thrill-seeker with the GranTurismo MC Trofeo Race Car.

[Photos courtesy of Maserati S.p.A.]

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The Toyota Wigo could now the best sub-P500,000 car to buy


In this day and age, don’t expect to get much out a car that costs less than P500,000 brand new. Consider yourself lucky to get power windows and door locks for that kind of money. As they say, ‘you get what you pay for’. Toyota, on the other hand, thinks otherwise.

This is the Wigo, Toyota’s newest mini hatchback that’s “Easy to own. Easy to drive. Easy to enjoy.”

At P448,000 for the basic 1.0E MT, P499,000 for the 1.0G MT, and P534,000 for the top-of-the-line 1.0G AT, it’s cheaper than a similarly-equipped Chevrolet Spark, Kia Picanto, Hyundai Grand i10, or Mitsubishi Mirage. Plus, it actually looks quite good inside and out.

It is, however, a tad smaller than the Spark, Grand i10, and Mirage, but does have similar dimensions to current Picanto. Rear legroom and cargo space are also reported to be quite spacious. We’re just a bit doubtful if you could really fit 3 people in the back seat comfortably, which is normal for cars of this size.

But do consider this. The G variant already comes with 14-inch alloy rims, a 2-DIN radio with navigation, front are rear power winders, immobilizer, driver and passenger airbags, and ABS – luxuries you could only dream about in a sub-P500,000 car.

Power is then sourced from a 1.0L 3-cylinder engine with 65 hp and 85 Nm of torque, with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed auto option.

And what about the Hyundai EON? While it’s fractionally cheaper than the Wigo, it’s also smaller, has a less powerful engine, and doesn’t come with an automatic transmission.

Right now, the Wigo seems to be the best sub-P500,000 car you can buy, or at least on paper. It might not be the biggest, but it’s packed with all the bells and whistles for a price that’s hard to beat. But don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying that the other cars we’ve mentioned are bad or that the Wigo is the best of the bunch. It’s just that, you can’t go wrong it. Plus, it’s a Toyota, which means it’ll last forever.

Chris Harris wrestles a McLaren P1 in Abu Dhabi


If you’ve ever wanted to know what its like to drive a McLaren P1, I’m sorry to say, but all the 375 examples have already been sold. And thats IF you can afford the $1.2 million price tag. Chris Harris, on the other hand, never had to worry about those details whenever he’s hooning a new supercar.

All @harrismonkey had to do this time was fly to Abu Dhabi where he was handed the keys to McLaren’s very own P1. Oh, and did we tell you that he had the entire Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit all for himself? Lucky bastard.

McLaren Automotive’s Chief Test Driver Chris Goodwin was also present on-track as an “insurance policy” for the multi-million dollar supercar.

Do note that the example Harris got to drive is chassis XP7, which happens to be a pre-production P1 prototype. It may not have a full interior and have clocked more than 64,000 km around the world, but still has the full 903 hp from the 3.8L twin-turbo V8 hybrid under his right foot.

Enough of the chit chat. Check out Chris Harris do what he does best with the McLaren P1 in the video below.

The 650S is McLaren’s newest 650 HP gift to the world


McLaren is as good at building supercars as they are at winning Formula 1 races. One fine example is the legendary F1, of which only 106 versions were ever produced. But the world wanted more from Woking, Surrey, so they build the MP4-12C and the P1. Apparently, that wasn’t enough either.

With a bunch of spare parts, McLaren engineers ‘developed’ this, the new 650S, which they claim as the “fastest, most engaging, best equipped and most beautiful series-production supercar yet.”

Umm… Okay.

McLaren 650S

As the name suggests, the 650S packs 650PS (or about 641 hp) from the same M838T 3.8L twin-turbo V8 found in the 12C and P1. We also won’t be too surprised if it sits on the same carbon fiber tub. But the parts sharing doesn’t end there. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the 650S’ front end came from the P1 but with a better integrated splitter, while the rear takes its cues from the 12C GT3.

Extra wind tunnel work, however, allowed McLaren engineers to find an extra 24% downforce at speeds of 240 km/h, yet maintain the same drag coefficient as a 12C. The active Airbrake received some redevelopment as well, which now deploys whenever extra downforce is needed instead of just under braking.

McLaren 650S

Other noteworthy upgrades include the ProActive Chassis Control (PCC) suspension system that has been further enhanced for the 650S and a new 5-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires.

We’d like to think of the 650S as McLaren’s take on the 458 Speciale, which is a more potent version of the supercar it’s based from. But what baffles us is why they’d go through the lengths of designing a whole new model from scratch… sort of… when they could have simply modified the 12C and called it um… the 12C-S? You get the idea.

McLaren 650S

Whatever McLaren’s reason may be, the 650S is a very potent supercar and we can’t wait ’til it goes on sale later this year in both Coupé and Spider versions. And when it does, you can get the option of a fixed-back carbon racing seats, carbon fiber interior, and rear parking camera.

[Photos courtesy of McLaren Automotive Limited]

McLaren 650S

BMW still the No. 1 luxury car brand in the Philippines


2003 was the year when Magdalo staged the Oakwood mutiny, Fernando Poe Jr. announced his presidential candidacy, and Kris Aquino broke-up with Joey Marquez on national TV. But more importantly, it was also when BMW began its 11-year reign as the top luxury car brand in the Philippines.

As for 2013, the German brand sold a total of 653 units, which accounts for 34% of the market – beating Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Lexus. *woot woot* That roughly means 1 out of 3 luxury cars sold last year was a BMW, securing their position at the top of the food chain.

To everyone’s surprise, the 5 Series was the best-selling model of 2013, dethroning the usual favorite, the 3 Series. These guys sold a total of 213 units, which makes up for 32.57% of BMW’s overall sales in the country. What’s more amazing is how BMW was able to sell more units of the 5 Series as the model aged, with 140 units sold in 2011 and another 194 in 2012.

Either word got around how good the 5 Series was or everyone in the neighborhood wanted to be in the ‘in’ crowd and got one themselves.

2013 was also the year BMW launched FlexiLease where individuals can own a BMW without having to worry about services and maintenance costs. Convenient. This saw 98 units fly out of the showroom and made up 15% of their total sales of the year.

Other notable milestones in 2013 were the launch of the updated X1 and the all-new 3 Series Grand Turismo.

BMW is hoping to maintain their top dog status by expanding its dealership network in 2014. The first of which is AutoAllee BMW in Eton Centris, North EDSA, followed by the 23-storey BMW Bonifacio Global City that will also house Asian Carmakers Corporation’s (ACC) corporate HQ. Then, we’ll see 2 new models this year: the all-new 4 Series Coupe and all-new X5.

Good job BMW.

Chevrolet Ph donates 17,000 One World Futbols to help youth


Anyone who loves to play sports know how well the game’s excitement brings people together. And this is Chevrolet’s strategy to help and rebuild communities impacted by war, disasters, or poverty through the One World Futbol Project, which has now made its way into the Philippines.

Sure, a football may not be able to feed a family, but according to Chevrolet Philippines’ President and Managing Director Atty. Alberto Arcillia, “The One World Futbol is an invention that addresses the needs of children to play and discover.”

He further explains that they are “bringing the joy of football and play to children and youth in disadvantaged communities and schools so that children can learn, grow, and interact no matter their circumstance and hopefully will build their confidence, provide direction and purpose to better their future.”

Point taken.

Football, otherwise known as soccer, may not be as popular as basketball here in the country, but are local groups who use the game to heal the disadvantaged youth. This is why Chevrolet Philippines donated more than 17,000 virtually-indestructible One World Futbols to local schools and communities in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

These will then be distributed by the One World Futbol Project’s partner organizations, which include World Vision Philippines, SOS Children’s Village Philippines, Fairplay for All, Young Men’s Christian Association of the Philippines, Salesian Society of St. John Bosco Philippines, LBC Foundation and the Philippine Marine Corps, and Rappler.com’s “Footballs for Peace” Project.

Since the One World Futbol Project was established in 2010, nearly 600,000 One World Futbols has been shipped across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Americas, reaching more than 160 countries and impacting nearly 18 million youth. Chevrolet happens to be the founding sponsor of this project and has pledged to donate 1.5 million balls around the world.

For more info about the One World Futbol Project, visit www.oneworldfutbol.com.

Floirendo 5th in Shanghai for 2014 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific

Vincent Floirendo is the Philippines’ lone representative in the 2014 Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific. He’s had 2 races so far this season, with 1 podium finish. And last June, he raced at the Shanghai International Circuit, China for Round 3.

This was Vincent’s first time to race around the 5.45 km Formula 1 circuit. He admits that getting used to the layout proved to be a bit difficult, especially in turns 1 and 2. Turn 13, which is a big loop that leads to the back straight, was also a challenge as it required a good exit, shifting from 4th to 5th gear before reaching a top speed of 280 km/h in 7th gear. Then, drivers had to brake hard to make it through the 2nd gear hairpin turn.

“I’m sure you can imagine,” said Vincent. “The straights are even faster compared to Sepang.”


Despite having only a day of practice, Vincent was able to match the time set by Coppa Shell championship leader David Tjiptobiantoro in Free Practice 1. He clocked in a best lap of 2:12.180 after putting on a new set of Pirelli P Zero Slicks. Unfortunately, he could only manage a 2:13.366 in qualifying, which put him 4th in class and 11th on the grid overall.

In Race 1, Vincent explains that he was bottled up behind some cars for the first 6 laps.

“We were like a train,” he recalled. “Everyone was bumper-to-bumper with around 7 to 8 cars dicing against each other. I was driving cautiously not be involved in a another racing incident. I just wanted to finish the race and accumulate points.”


After 13 laps, Vincent and his No. 145 Ferrari 458 Challenge EVO crossed the line in 5th in class and 12th overall.

He would then qualify 14th on the grid for Race 2 on Sunday.

“I was conditioning myself not to think about race 2 and felt more relaxed. For me, the more I think about the race, the more I get stressed, and the more mistakes I make. Just focus on driving and be consistent,” he said in an interview with Time Attack Manila.

True enough, Vincent was able to pass several drivers in front of him who made mistakes during the race. He would eventually finish in 5th place in the Coppa Shell class and 13th overall.


The 46-year-old driver had a great weekend racing in Shanghai and was happy to have completed the race weekend with no incidents. Although he’s still learning how to get the most out of the 458 Challenge EVO, Vincent is determined to earn points throughout the season.

Vincent ‘Enteng’ Floirendo is now preparing for the fourth leg of the 2014 Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli happening on July 18 to 20 at the Inje Autopia Circuit, South Korea. We’re wishing him the best.

[Photos by Igor Maminta courtesy of Autostrada Motore, Inc.]


Michelin explains the black art of the Shell Eco-marathon Asia


The main idea behind the Shell Eco-marathon is to see who can go the farthest on 1 liter of fuel. So what these student teams do is build these funny-looking cars that maximize aerodynamics, engine efficiency, and electronic doodads to get the most out of every drop.

Michelin, however, believes that up to 70% of the energy is lost through the tires alone, which something they want students in Asia to look more into.

As the event’s official tire supplier, Michelin specially developed low rolling resistance tires just for this application. These tires are so good that Michelin reckons they’re about 6x more efficient than the best energy tires they have on the market, and about 7x better than a regular bicycle tire. So much so that, the Prototype Radial tire they developed has less rolling resistance than a train wheel, while maintaining enough grip to get the cars around corners safely.

Seriously. They’re that good. The only problem is, with the amount of R&D Michelin invested into these black round things, they don’t come cheap.

The ’44-406 Prototype’, which is already the least-expensive of the bunch, is listed at $140 EACH. The ‘Urban Concept 95/80 R16’ and ‘Prototype Radial 45/75 R16’ tires, on the other hand, are $335 a pop. And would you believe, that price is already heavily-subsidized by Michelin, because each one costs them about $675 to produce, which is about the size of a kid’s bicycle tire.

By our rough estimate, each team needs to cough up about P14,740 per tire, or around P44,220 for a 3-wheeler, plus spares. Although the teams are not required to use Michelin tires, the advantage it offers outweigh the cost, that’s IF your school can afford it.

Michelin’s Technical Group Communication Chief, Damien Hallez-Gozard explained to us that about 90% of the teams in Europe and America already use Michelin tires. However, he noted that only the top teams in Shell Eco-marathon Asia had them back in 2012, citing the expense and lack of experience as main reasons that hold other teams back.

Hopefully, these students figure out that bicycle tires simply can’t keep up with Michelin runners and make the switch at the 2014 Shell Eco-marathon Asia happening this weekend.

Go off-roading with this 1/10 scale Toyota FJ Cruiser RC from Tamiya


Toyota built the FJ Cruiser as a homage to the 40 Series Land Cruiser, which was considered as the best alternative to a Land Rover in its heyday. Sadly, no matter how capable the new FJ may be, people who buy them are no longer interested in using them on the rough stuff.

We, however, are hoping that this RC from Tamiya will let them experience the joys that comes with off-roading even in 1/10 scale.

The renowned Japanese toymaker faithfully reproduced the FJ Cruiser on a polycarbonate shell, complete with headlights, side mirrors, and windscreen wipers. It even has a spare tire at the back just like the real thing, plus you can paint the body to whatever color you want or match the real FJ Cruiser that sits inside your garage. Also do notice the pretty 6-spoke bead lock style rims and mud terrain tires.

It rides on the CC-01 Cross Country chassis that features 4WD, independent front suspension, solid 4-link suspension at the back, and oil-filled dampers. The rear differential is also lockable, which should help it crawl over rocks, sidewalks, pillows, pets… You get the idea.

Tamiya FJ Cruiser

To complete the 1/10 scale RC kit, you’ll need a (1) 2-channel radio; (2) 7.2v battery and charger; (3) polycarbonate paint; (4) tools; and (5) basic building skills.

If you’re prefer the original 40 Series Land Cruiser more, Tamiya also offers the CC-01 chassis with that body.

Want one? Philippine residents can visit Tamiya’s official distributor Lil’s Hobby Center or dealers Hobbes & Landes and Blade Auto Center.

[Photos courtesy of Tamiya, Inc.]

Tamiya FJ Cruiser