Meet the Mercedes-AMG 43 family

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in community, automative, Social News

A LINEUP OF SUPERSTARS. A FAMILY OF THOROUGHBREDS.

 

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Happening today
 

From the creators of the 45, 63 and 65 model lines comes MercedesAMG 43, eight high performance vehicles with AMG pedigree were introduced at Mercedes-Benz Autohaus, Beribi, yesterday. Fitted with numerous AMG enhancements, every vehicle screams “Drive me,” because in the AMG family, performance is king. From coupes and sedans to SUVs and roadsters, the power and handling of the 43 lineup beckon to the world’s most passionate drivers. All that’s left to do is grip the wheel and press the accelerator.

The 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine provides impressive performance with its 270 kW (367 hp) maximum power and peak torque of 520 newton metres: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, its speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The newly developed front axle, the taut elastokinematics and the highly precise steering make a substantial contribution to the agile driving experience.

The highlights
• 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine with modified engine control unit, increased boost pressure and far higher dynamics and high-revving
• 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with double-declutching function when shifting down and exhilaratingly short response times in “Sport Plus” mode
• AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 31 to 69 percent (front axle to rear axle)
• AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive variable damping in three stages, mode can be selected via button, adopted from MercedesAMG 63 series
• AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch for dynamic, individually selectable driving experience with five drive modes and AMG-specific parameterisation
• Three-stage Electronic Stability Program ESP®
• Front axle with newly developed steering knuckles and load-bearing joints on the spring link. Elastokinematic adjustments to the links have been adopted from the Mercedes-AMG 63 series
• Rear axle with elastokinematics tailored to higher driving dynamics
Large braking system with internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated at the front with a diameter of 360 mm, and with a diameter of 320 mm at the rear

AMG-specific: the 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine
The new 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine is part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz. Technical advances including a modified boost pressure allowed the AMG engineers to increase the engine’s power output and torque as well as its dynamism and flexibility to typical AMG levels. With 270 kW (367 hp) and 520 Nm, the V6 engine sets new standards in its segment. The NANOSLIDE® coating of the cylinder liners is also used in the Formula One engines of MERCEDES-AMG PETRONAS. Especially tough and, therefore, wear-resistant, this coating also reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover.

Short shift times, high efficiency: 9G-TRONIC
The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is especially matched to the demands of the Mercedes-AMG 43. Thanks to the model-specific software application, the AMG developers managed to reduce substantially the shift times of the 9-speed transmission. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the “Sport” and “Sport Plus” transmission modes makes for an even more emotive driving experience. Defined ignition adjustments also provide faster gearshifts in the “Eco” and “Comfort” modes.

“Manual” mode can be enabled by pressing a button on the centre console. The gear changes are based on the selected transmission mode, and the driver can now change gear using the paddles on the steering wheel. Moreover, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.

Rear-biased and agile: AMG Performance 4MATIC
The standard-fit AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel drive combines optimum traction, hallmark AMG vehicle dynamics and maximum driving pleasure. The system features a rear-biased torque distribution of 31 percent to the front axle and 69 percent to the rear axle. This arrangement ensures greater vehicle dynamics and higher lateral acceleration on the road as well as improved traction as it uses the dynamic shift in the axle load toward the rear axle that occurs during acceleration to deliver more drive torque to the rear. A multi-disc clutch with a locking effect of 50 Nm guarantees that the frictional connection potential of all four wheels is exploited to the full. On road surfaces with different levels of grip, the all-wheel drive responds with targeted brake application on one wheel in order to also guarantee optimum traction in such instances.

 

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The new Mercedes-Benz Autohas at Beribi
 

Audi Q2 weekend showroom test-drive

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in audi, automative, lifestyle

 


Audi has recently extended its Q family with a compact SUV. The Audi Q2 is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, bundling a progressive design and great driving pleasure with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems are on the level of the full-size category
 

Looking for something exciting to do this weekend? Meet the car that won gold in Germany’s Biggest Ladies’ Choice and was awarded the Red Dot: Best of the Best Award for its superior design quality and trendsetting design. Happening this weekend, Audi Brunei will be hosting a test drive event that is open to the public for everyone to experience the all new #untaggable Audi Q2!

The Audi Q2 is a small crossover compact SUV that comes with loads of exciting features such as the LED lighting inlays which are changeable up to 10 color choices creating a more personal feel. Also another highlight feature of the Audi Q2 is the progressive steering which makes the Audi Q2 to have a greater direct steering response. This provides a greater precision with less effort for easier maneuvers into parking spots and around corners. You may also want to experience the Audi drive select which is available in the Audi Q2. The Audi drive select allows you to alter the character and handling of the Audi Q2. Available modes is the Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Efficiency – each adjusting the steering weight and throttle response to suit your driving style and road conditions.

The weekend showroom test-drive event will be held on the 5th and 6th of August 2017 from 9am until 4pm at the Audi showroom in Kiarong. Members of the public are welcome to test-drive not only the Audi Q2 but other available Audi models as well. Personally I’ve driven the Audi Q2 and so much to love about it.

 

 


Standard in the Q2 is a 5.8-inch MMI screen that is positioned high up on the instrument panel. The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel
 


The Audi Q2 is a powerful SUV that exhibits a very distinct character. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grill in octagonal design that is positioned up high as well as by the large air inlets
 


Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. This contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2
 

Audi driver Lucas Di Grassi Formula E Champion

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in audi, Audi Sport, automative

 


Audi driver Lucas di Grassi is the new champion of the worldwide Formula E electric racing series. After taking the lead of the standings with a lights-to-flag victory in the first of the two final races in Montreal (Canada), the Brazilian from Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport wrapped up the title on taking seventh place on Sunday.
 

Di Grassi had arrived in Canada for the final weekend with a ten-point deficit to Renault driver Sébastian Buemi. While the Swiss was ostensibly tense and, following an accident in free practice, had a horrible day on Saturday, di Grassi made no mistakes and converted his deficit with his pole position and lights-to-flag victory in an 18-point advantage.

On Sunday, di Grassi and his teammate Daniel Abt started from the third row while Buemi only took position 14 in qualifying. Following a turbulent starting phase, di Grassi and Abt dropped to positions nine and ten some of the time but, also thanks to clever energy management, were able to fight back to positions six and seven. As a result, Team ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport secured the vice-championship in the teams’ classification as well.

“Today is the best day in my career,” the new Formula E Champion enthused after the race. “I’ve believed in Formula E from day one because the world, including motorsport, is changing. Three years ago, we won the first Formula E race in Beijing and now finally the title as well. ABT Sportsline, Schaeffler and Audi Sport have done a perfect job – not least after the races in New York where we weren’t so strong. Here in Montreal, on the best race track Formula E has ever seen, we were fast from the beginning.”

Following third place in Formula E’s inaugural year and the vice-championship last year, Lucas di Grassi is the third champion in the world’s first all-electric racing series and, with a total of six victories and 20 podium results in 33 races, one of the most successful Formula E campaigners. In the 2016/2017 season, the Audi driver won two races, clinched three pole positions and seven podium places in twelve races. Only in Paris, di Grassi scored no points. In the end, this consistency was decisive in the title race, although his comebacks at the season opener in Hong Kong and on clinching victory in Mexico will remain equally unforgotten.

 

 

 

“For me, Lucas di Grassi is currently the most complete driver in Formula E,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dieter Gass. “What he showed in Montreal on Saturday was simply fantastic. After New York, there probably weren’t a lot of people expecting him to be able to turn the tables in the title race anymore. But Lucas never gave up for even a second and continually motivated the whole squad to deliver top performances. The entire team around Hans-Jürgen Abt and Thomas Biermaier did an outstanding job and Daniel Abt, who was beaten a little below his potential this year, drove strong races in Montreal too. This has been a tremendous finale and a good week on the whole for Formula E. That, after BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are going to follow us into this forward-thinking racing series underlines the growing importance of fully electric motorsport. I’m already looking forward to the opener of the new Formula E season in Hong Kong in December when our factory-backed commitment opens up a new chapter in Audi’s motorsport history. With ABT and Schaeffler as our partners we’re in a very good position in the increasingly tougher competition.”

Lucas di Grassi was born in São Paulo on August 11, 1984 and lives in Monaco together with his wife, Bianca. The Brazilian won the prestigious Formula 3 Grand Prix in Monaco in 2005 and was active in Formula 1 as a test and race driver before joining Audi in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2012 and mounting the podium in the Le Mans 24 Hours three times. As a test driver from day one, he helped make Formula E reality. Now, he is its new champion.

 

Who will fly to Korea?

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 


Group photo with the Kia management and representatives from Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd and LUB Enterprise
 

Customer loyalty is an important factor in building a brand. Kia understands the importance of customer’s needs and the value of creating good rapport with them. In order to show appreciation for Kia’s loyal customers, Grand Motors Sdn Bhd, the exclusive distributor of Kia vehicles in Brunei Darussalam launched the 2017 Kia Customer Loyalty Program last 19 June 2017.

BSB and KB customers who serviced their car at least 3 times from the authorised workshop and spent at least B$100 for service maintenance or repairs are entitled to participate in the draw. The promotion period was from 19 June to 25 July 2017. 20 out of the 300 customers were shortlisted last 26 July 2017 at the Kia Service Centre in Lambak Kanan. The names were drawn by Haji Zainie bin Suhaili, Commercial Executive of Brunei Shell Marketing Company Sdn Bhd and Mr. Hendry Ang, General Manager of LUB Enterprise. The shortlisted customers will be published in Thursday’s issue of Borneo Bulletin.

Grand draw will be on the 28th of July 2017, 10:00 AM at the Kia Service Centre in Lambak. Shortlisted customers will be informed through the contact numbers given. They must present their Brunei I/C on the day of the draw. Two lucky winners will stand a chance to win a 5-day tour in Korea which includes airfare, hotel accommodations and a cultural experience tour in the Korean Folk Village, Royal Palace & Insadong. Tour at the Hwaseong Plant and Hyundai Steel Plant are also arranged for them to get a complete feel and experience of Kia’s hospitality in its home country, Korea.

 

 


Mr. Hendry Ang, General Manager of LUB Enterprise drawing 10 names for the shortlisted customer
 


Around 300 customers entered the lucky draw competition
 


One of the authorized workshop for Kia at Lambak at Bandar
 

The Porsche Experience

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 


Izam Said and I had fun during the Media Driving Academy (MDA) hosted by Porsche earlier this month. Thank you QAF Eurokars for inviting us
 


Journalists from Asia Pacific had a good experience on the track

Porsche Asia Pacific announced recently the start of the highly anticipated Media Driving Academy (MDA) in Sepang, Malaysia, now in its third iteration. This year’s event, took place from 4th to 6th July 2017, gave Asia Pacific journalists the very first opportunity to drive the new Panamera Turbo and Panamera 4S on the racetrack, among a fleet of other Porsche cars. The Cayman GT4 Clubsport, a 283 kW (385 hp) mid-engined racer for motorsport newcomers, were also available for hot laps for the first time at the MDA. Well, hot laps meaning you get be driven by the driving instructors/professionals on full speed on the Sepang Circuit. The lucky ones also had the opportunity to be driven by Earl Bamber, a Le Mans champion driver for Porsche in 2017. Awesome!!!

First launched in 2015 at Bira Circuit, Pattaya, Thailand, the MDA allows media to experience the maximum performance of Porsche cars through consecutive courses designed to sharpen driving skills in a safe environment with world-class Porsche instructors. Journalists from 10 countries across the Asia Pacific region will participate in one of three courses – Individual, Professional or Elite. In addition to activities on the track, participants will experience theory workshops, including a motorsports conditioning session, driving physics workshop and a Q&A with Porsche certified instructors. My Brunei entourage were Yursin Junaidi (Media Permata), Izam Said (Motoring BN) and I who attended the Individual category (entry level) while Aziz Idris of Borneo Bulletin had the privilege to be in the “Professional” category.

Following his win driving the Porsche 919 Hybrid at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s longest-running endurance race, Earl Bamber will work with Elite and Individual course participants, and provide a taste of a day in the life of a Porsche LMP1 driver. Plus he is an awesome lad and down to earth.

Earl Bamber added: “Coming fresh off the 24 Hours of Le Mans and into the Media Driving Academy at Sepang, I am thrilled that I can share with journalists what an incredible experience it was. It is my second win at the legendary race and what can I say, I am still letting it sink in! I also had immense fun giving hot laps in the Cayman GT4 Clubsport and the road cars – Porsche truly has motorsports in its blood, and it shows in every one of its cars, including the new Panamera!”

So what’s my favourite Porsche after this experience? The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S if I’m not mistaken.

Members of the public interested in experiencing Porsche cars on the track can sign up to the Porsche Driving Experience at Sepang. For further information visit: http://www.porsche.com/driving-experience-asia-pacific


It feels like an award but it isn’t. Just love the plaque *lol*
 


The briefing before the driving experience at Sepang International Circuit
 


Yusrin was my driving partner for the day
 

 


I love this ride too
 


Earl Bamber checking on us before driving
 

 

 

The Slalom experience. I only clocked 28 seconds. The driving instructor clocked at 22 seconds. I’m getting there 😀 
 

 

The Braking experience. This exercise shows how awesome the Anti-Braking System (ABS) embedded in Porsche. We were accelerating so fast that my heart was left at the starting point. I love the adrenalin rush. 
 

 


The modified Porsche GTS meant for racing
 


Our evening dinner before the event
 


Great hospitality 😀 Thank you
 


Claire Jedrek the host interviewing Earl Bamber during dinner
 

Good luck, apprentices

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 


The newly selected apprentices with Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport, Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices during the signing ceremony
 


Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab
 

Yesterday Jati Transport Sdn Bhd signed an apprenticeship contract with two attachment students form the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (ITBE) and one trainee from Jati Transport under the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Modern Apprenticeship (AMA) Programme. Jati Transport Sdn Bhd will be sponsoring all costs including training fees and monthly allowances.

The signing ceremony took place at Jati Transport Beribi Showroom yesterday. Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia), Mr. Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd, Mr. Jackson, Workshop Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and the parents of the three apprentices witnessed the signing ceremony.

The AMA programme is a 3-year interactive training that aims to foster the best automative talent for Mercedes-Benz. The apprentices, Abdul Wafiy bin Hj Rudzi, Muhd Noor Najib bin Awang Abdullah and Muhamad Azmin bin Abdul Wahab will work with a team of professional trainers and ambitious young stars, alongside a chance to earn while learning.

Upon successful completion of the programme, the apprentices will gain – City & Guild VTQ Level 3 (Vocational Related Qualification), QMT (Qualified Maintenance Technician), QST (Qualified System Technician) and AMA from Mercedes-Benz. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain professional qualifications and real practical experience for the apprentices to embark on an exciting and rewarding career with Jati Transport Sdn Bhd.

 

 

 


Signing on the dotted line
 


With Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport Sdn Bhd and Dominic Wells, Senior Manager of Training from Mercedes-Benz (Malaysia)

Rano thoughts: It was great to know of this program made available to Bruneians and a big thank you to Jati Transport Sdn Bhd for making it possible. Initially there were six being shortlisted during the interview conducted by Mr. Stephen Reid, Service Manager of Jati Transport, and in the end, three were chosen. Stephen shared that the company values work ethics very high and the chosen ones have demonstrated good work ethics during their short attachment at Jati Transport.

Abdul Wafiy, Muhd Noor Najib and Muhamad Azmin felt very excited yet nervous on the opportunities given. Their parents who were present during the signing ceremony were proud of their sons achievement and being selected. There were given opportunities to ask questions with regards to the training program in Kuala Lumpur and Alfred So, General Manager of Jati Transport reassured the parents that everything will be taken care of and hope the parents will be in communication with Stephen on their sons’ progress.

The newly selected apprentices will be flying end of June (at least they can spend their Hari Raya with their families before flying) and their Mercedes-Benz Advance Modern Apprenticeship Programme will be at located at Mercedes-Benz Training Academy a the company’s Head Office site in Pouching, Kinrara, Selangor, Malaysia.

I just visited a blog of Paultan.org and he has some nice photos of the head office and training centre. It must be a real privilege for our young local apprentices to be part of AMA programme. I’m quite excited to know they will be posted there for three years to learn the latest technology and training made available by Mercedes-Benz.

Dominic Wells, Senior Manager Training & Technical Market Support Mercedes-Benz Malaysia & Region SEA2 Mercedes-Benz Malaysia, will be conducting parts of the training and shared that the three Bruneians will join 60 other apprentices from Malaysia. I’m pretty sure they will be under the good care of Dominic.

Good luck to all the apprentices and make us proud 🙂

 

 


The head office and training centre of Mercedes-Benz in Selangor, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
 


How the office looks like. Cool 😀
 


The workshop training area. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
 


This looks pretty cool. Image courtesy of Paul Tan.
 

NBT’s donation to single mothers

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in charity, automative, Social News

 


NBT Management and Staff in a commemorative group photo with the single mothers and the event coordinators. Click image to enlarge.
 

This is a continuation of the ‘NBT Donation (Sedekah) To Single Mothers Project’ which is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that has been ongoing for a few years.

The aim is to bring some Ramadan cheer to assist identified single mothers and their families in the Brunei-Muara District who are in need of assistance.

So what were given were daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, sugar, instant noodles, biscuits, milk powder, Milo, etc.

NBT believes in giving back to our community and so do NBT Staff and their families who also enthusiastically chipped in with their own contributions for this very worthwhile cause.

NBT Management, Marketing and Sales Staff headed by Hj Ahmad Omar bin Hj Husin, NBT Deputy Managing Director handed over the NBT donations to 47 single mothers. Six single mothers have received their donations during the house visits on 1st June – making a grand total of 53 donations by NBT. Images and article courtesy of NBT.

 

 


Awg Abdul Ghani Haji Abdul Hamid, NBT Sales Manager (Bunut) presenting an NBT donation to one of the recipient single mothers
 

 


Sharifah Marianah, NBT Senior Customer Relations Manager (event organiser), Dyg Huri Binti Mahal (recipient), Dyg Shamsiniah Hj Kepli (event coordinator) and Dyg Jasniah Binti Jaludin (Dyg Huri’s daughter)
 

The All New Suzuki Swift

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 


The all new Suzuki Swift 1.2L GL
 


The interior of Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL
 

The all new Suzuki Swift is here in Brunei. Three words to sum up – Fun Compact Hatchback!!

The Suzuki Swift 1.2 L is now available in Boustead Showroom at Beribi and it was good to see Suzuki Swift club members during the launch. As you know, the Suzuki Swift model has been a popular choice here in Brunei so if you are thinking of an upgrade, this is the perfect choice indeed.

Now it also available in dual tone colour – Super Black (Body), Premium Silver (Roof) or Mineral Gray (Body), Super Black (roof), Speedy Blue Metaliic (Body), Premium Silver (roof) or Premium Silver (Body), Super Black (roof). They also have the basic colours for your preference.

Boustead brought in two variants – Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL and the Suzuki Swift 1.2 GLX. There are some differences in the two versions.

The safety features are as follows – 2 airbags (GL version) or 6 airbags (GLX version). Both have Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist and Anti-Lock Braking System.

Here are some of the advanced functions: Meter Cluster, Automatic Air Conditioner Controls and USB Port Accessory Socket.

As compared to the previous model, there is a better headroom at the rear seats, responsive steering, improved luggage space and of course, fuel efficiency.

The price is pretty, pretty affordable and it comes in manual and automatic transmission. Boustead Sdn Bhd is having a great deal with two FREE instalments for the all new Suzuki Swift.

Do drop by their showroom in Beribi or visit their Suzuki Facebook Page or instagram @suzuki_brunei. You can call their hotline number 245 3162 / 245 3163 (BSB) or 333 4284 (KB).

 

 


With the Suzuki Swift Brunei club members
 

 


The interior of the Suzuki Swift GLX
 

 


More spacious than previous model
 

 

Born on the track. Built for the road.

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in Audi Sport, automative, lifestyle

 


His Excellency Mr. Roland Grafe, German ambassador to Brunei Darussalam and Mr. Teng Chee Khiong , managing director of TCY Motors during the launch of Audi Sport line at Audi Showroom at Kiarong
 


John Tan, marketing manager of TCY Motors, being the emcee for the launch
Born on the track. Built for the road.

TCY Motors this evening hosted exclusively invited customers and guests to the brand launch for Audi Sport Brunei and subsequent unveiling of two performance models- the S3 Sedan and S6 Sedan V8 at its showroom/headquarters in Kiarong recently.

Part of a global strategy by Audi, the new sub brand serves as a platform to showcase Audi’s performance models which inherit innovations & traits from their motorsport equivalents. Audi Sport’s foundation is also the brand’s successful dominance in motorsports such as Formula E, World RX, the European DTM and GT3 customer racing. Audi also left a huge legacy in the 23 Hours of Le Mans championship with 13 title wins.

For Brunei, the refreshed Audi S3 Sedan (290hp/380Nm) with B&O sound system and 19” ‘star’ design sports wheel will be the entry level model followed by the powerhouse Audi S6 Sedan V8 (450hp/550Nm) which features Cylinder on Demand technology where half of the 8 cylinders can be switched off during normal drive for fuel efficiency. BOSE sound system, Valcona leather, air suspension Sport and massive 21” 5-spoke ‘blade’ sports wheels are just some of the equipment that comes standard. All S models also come with quattro permanent all wheel drive as standard. Future performance models to be introduced under Audi Sports Brunei will be the Audi S7 Sportback and the Audi S5 Coupe.

Mr. Teng Chee Khiong the managing director of TCY Motors was on hand to present a memento to the German ambassador to Brunei HE Mr. Roland Grafe who attended as guest of honour. Other corporate guests from BIBD Perdana, Baiduri Bank berhad and BETTER also attended.

A prize presentation for winners of a weeklong Facebook quiz was also held.

For more interest and upcoming model introductions under Audi Sport Brunei, go to AudiSportBrunei/facebook.com

 

 


The Audi S3
 


The Audi S3
 


They were going live on social media
 

 

 

 


The interior
 

 

 

 


The Audi S3
 

Mini Countryman Cooper S test drive

Written by Rano Iskandar on . Posted in automative

 

 

This model has only been two months old in Brunei. The Mini Countryman model. It was launched early April at Mini Showroom at Mabohai Shopping Complex and I had the privilege to test drive it around to see what the Mini Countryman Cooper S has to offer to potential owners.

I have driven a Mini before but not the Countryman. Let me share the specs first on the Mini Countryman Cooper S has.

Key features and highlights.

Exterior.
• The new MINI Countryman is 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor.
• Electrical tailgate control as well as touchless opening and closing of the tailgate.

Interior.
• Five fully-fledged seats, clear increase in space and versatility.
• MINI Picnic Bench: fold-out load loading sill cushion as a comfortable seat on the luggage compartment lid and for general outdoor use.

Assistance (Optional).
• Central instrument with touchscreen function for the first time.
• MINI Country Timer measures driving fun over demanding terrain.

The new MINI Cooper S Countryman Specifications.
Four-cylinder petrol engine with MINI Twin Power Turbo Technology (turbocharging, direct injection, VALVETRONIC).
Capacity: 1,998 cc.
Max output: 192 hp at 5,000 rpm.
Max torque: 280 Nm from 1,350–4,600 rpm.
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 7.4 seconds.
Top speed: 222 km/h.
Average fuel consumption to the EU standard: 6.0 l/100 km.
Combined CO2 emissions to the EU standard: 141 g/km.

 

 


The Mini Connect. Love this 😀
 


Love the handling
 


How it looks at night
 


The Mini Countryman Cooper S is such a beauty
 

Five seats in the interior, two on the Picnic Bench.
An electric tailgate control is available as an option. This makes touchless opening and closing of the tailgate possible in conjunction with Comfort Access. The optional storage package comprises not only a variable load floor, lashing eyes and tension straps but also a stainless steel insert on the loading sill. One unique option is the Picnic Bench – a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people.

Powerful proportions, matured character.
The latest generation of the MINI Countryman goes even further in terms of the model’s versatility, agility and premium character. Thanks to its powerful proportions, the new MINI Countryman has a particularly distinctive presence. Its unmistakable aura is defined by an extended ground clearance and raised seating position, further emphasised by the MINI ALL4 exterior look (for Cooper S variant only) and high roof rails. The new MINI Countryman features design elements that are typical of the brand, including the clear three-way structure of the side view – broken down into roof, glass section and main corpus – as well as the short overhangs, large wheel arches and downward increase in width.

Precise contours on the generous surfaces create an attractive play of light and shade that underscores the car‘s athletic shaping and the vertical orientation of the body. The selection of body finishes includes the variants Island Blue metallic and Chestnut, which are now available for a MINI for the first time. Numerous model-specific design elements such as the striking helmet roof, the upright rear lights, the hexagonal radiator grille and the large headlamps have undergone evolutionary development. The side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles exhibit a new arrow-like shape. The roof rails in satin-finished aluminium are combined with silver-coloured side sill tops, thereby lending greater visual emphasis to the car’s height. Horizontal lines dominate at the rear, with the vertically arranged light units providing an appealing contrast.

LED headlamps with peripheral daytime driving light ring for the first time.
The striking profile of the headlamp units deviates from the circular shape that is otherwise typical of the brand. Their distinctive, slightly asymmetrically rounded contour goes together with the radiator grille to produce an unmistakable front view. The parking lights integrated in the air inlets are used for the daytime driving light as standard. In conjunction with the optional LED headlamps, the latter is generated for the first time by a band of light running entirely around each headlamp.

Distinctive cockpit design.
With a clear horizontal structure, stretched lines and generously sized surfaces, the distinctively designed cockpit emphasises the solid character of the new MINI Countryman. The profile of the air vents echoes the vertical orientation of the exterior design elements. In addition to the high-quality materials and precise finish, the modern, ergonomically optimised controls contribute to the car’s exclusive ambience. The hallmark central instrument is integrated in the instrument panel and is surrounded by an LED ring that provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of control feedback. This forms part of the MINI Excitement Package, which also comprises the LED ambient lighting and a projection of the MINI logo from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when opening and closing the car.

 

 


I drove it for a few days and I love it.
 


Ok, maybe I’m too “sakai” over this. This happens whenever I unlock the car.
 


Do visit the Mini Showroom to see other models or my highly recommended car – Countryman Cooper S
 

My thoughts after test driving: I am sold (If I only have enough resources). There is so much to love about the Mini Countryman Cooper S. It feels quirky, high quality or should I say a premium feel. The cockpit design does win my heart and loving how the colours are portrayed within the surroundings, making my driving experience a little more cheerful and colourful. It definitely lifts up my mood subconsciously.

Practically wise, this ranks quite high. Why? It’s pretty spacious for a Mini. The side bin compartment (by the door) are spacious even and I’m a person that brings many small things along with me. You should have seen my actual car (Just too many things but little places to put). Even the back is quite spacious. I can safely put my bag pack and my tennis bag and still have more room to play with. Ah, ideal when you are heading for a family picnic.

Now the driving experience. This could be the buying factor for potential Mini owners. It has power, speed, stability and most of all, comfort. Sometimes I have to remind myself to drive within the speed limit because once you’re in the “comfort” zone, you can’t even feel that you are driving that fast. I played around with different driving mode from Green (economical) to Sport and you can feel the difference on how the Countryman responds when you press on the accelerator. The Countryman handles cornering pretty good too (better than other continental cars I tell you) and it must be the progressive steering mechanism.

One thing I that annoys me is that the ergonomic seating and spacing make it tougher for me to place my phone. I know it’s a bad habit to even touch with your phone while driving but in the Mini, my phone has a mind of its own to fall into the gaps *lol* Most of the time, the driver (me) will have a tough time even reaching my phone through the gap. So I will give up instead and keep driving to my destination.

The price tag might also make you think twice about the Mini Countryman Cooper S. However, once you test drive the Countryman, you will understand why one person will be investing in this unique model. I will definitely be a proud owner if I have the resources and would be my priority. It’s so much fun and inspires me simply drive out for no reason.

You want to check out more, do visit their showroom at Mabohai Shopping Complex or visit their website www.mini.com.bn or their IG @mini_brunei for updates.

 

Contact RA

ranoadidas (a) gmail.com
Instagram & Snapchat @ranoadidas
Contact: +6738677773

About RA

A blogger since 2002, using platforms from blogspot, joomla and now currently wordpress. A readership that stands on average of 20,000 visits per month. Also on active on social media platform on IG, Facebook and Snapchat (@ranoadidas)

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