V-Power : Real Performer or Over-priced Unleaded Petrol?

Fellow enthusiast Eric had questioned my choice of fuel for my spanking new Satria R3. Since some time ago, I’ve religiously fed my Persona with Shell V-Power and now my SR3.

To be totally honest, I neither have substantiated evidence nor literature that V-Power actually works and warrants the premium RM1.57/litre price it enjoys over the rest of local motor fuels. After some reading of mostly layman and marketing information, no actual scientific explanation is found besides the vague “purer, highly refined petrol with a unique base fuel reformulation that helps unleash extra energy for power and responsiveness…” I had always assumed that V-Power was more expensive due to a higher RON rating (in the vicinity of RON98). However none of this is supported by any literature in black and white although the Shell website does mention that V-Power at least conforms to RON97, at minimum.

However, through experience using V-Power and testing with other fuels like Caltex, Vortex Gold, Mobil + Esso Synergy F-1, I can attest that cars, especially of lower capacity engines, seem to perform better with obvious increase in power and response.

Shell.com says,
“Shell V-Power is a unique formulation that was developed based on Shell’s extensive experience as a Formula 1 technical partner to Ferrari. Utilising technology previously only available to Formula 1 racing teams, Shell V-power brings track-inspired performance to the road. It is a purer, highly refined petrol with a unique base fuel reformulation that helps unleash extra energy for power and responsiveness as quick as your reflexes. Shell V-Power is a totally redesigned petrol; not just one that’s been enhanced with additives. “

Somewhat typical marketing talk and almost hard-to-believe claims,
“With the help of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, Shell went on to prove Shell-V-Power’s supreme performance on the race-track. After a couple of hot laps, the racing petrol in Schumacher’s Formula 1 Ferrari was substituted with Shell V-Power. The results were stunning.

Shell V-Power performed almost as well as the racing petrol. So well in fact, that even Michael Schumacher was surprised at the marginal difference in performance!”

Despite the lack of facts, I will continue to use V-Power for my car simply due to reason that there is a notable increase in power delivery and response. On track days and special occasions, I pop in a can of Aerotech Afterburn, an octane booster, which unleashes a few more horses. Very addictive too 🙂

So, what’s your choice of motor fuel, and why?

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Satria R3 – 850kms and counting

It’s been exactly a week and 850kms have passed. I have 150kms before the much-anticipated 1,000kms mark. I can’t wait for the first service to get all the metal gunk out from the engine block with a fresh supply of engine oil.

Fuel consumption seemed to have improved a tad since the first refuelling. Numbers are below:

Fuel Consumption
1st Refuel
V-Power : 38 litres @ RM1.57/l – RM60
Mileage : 380km
Approx consumption : 10litres/100km

2nd refuel
V-Power : 38litres @ RM1.57/l – RM60
Mileage : 420km
Approx consumption : 9.04litres/100km

Quoted fuel consumption figures are 12.74litres/100km for urban driving and 6.72litres/100km.

I’ve done mostly urban driving, without revving over 3,000rpm which translates to speeds of less than 110km/h. So far so good.

On with more driving!

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Mac OS X 10.3.7 Update

Apple quietly releases a much-needed update to Mac OS X, after the rather buggy and slow 10.3.6 release. Been experiencing application slowdown, Finder freezes, quirky networking in the previous release.

The 26MB 10.3.7 update installed without problems. Everything seems slightly snappier. No problems or known problems as yet.

According to Apple’s technotes, the update resolves the ‘flash of lines’ display issue which also affected my G5 immediately after installation of 10.3.6. The update also addresses issues with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft as well as some Firewire and networking problems.

Full details below:
About the Mac OS X 10.3.7 Update (Delta)

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Flash iPod in the works?
There are heavy rumours that Apple is secretly developing a Flash-memory based iPod. The original iPod, with the Mini iPod and latest iPod U2 SE + iPod Photo have already taken the world by storm, shortages already reported moving towards the Christmas holidays.

A Flash-iPod would address another chunk of the MP3 player market, one which Apple already dominates. Booming sales of the iPod is complemented by 200 million downloads from the iTunes Music Store reiterates the strength of the Apple music device. There seems to be no stopping Apple’s surge in sales and market share at present time.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Mini iPod!

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Satria R3 – Links

For curious and interested enthusiasts, here are some links for the Satria R3.

Zerotohundred.com Forums -> NEW SATRIA R3 Topic

Team Matrix Motorsport R3 mods

R3-Satria (GTi)

Race Rally Research

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Satria R3: Addicted to Drive

My apologies for the silence. Been too busy driving. Would love to have said “too busy driving fast”, but that would be lying. Not that I’m not tempted. Since getting my car precisely 3 days ago, I’ve done 400kms. I’m attempting to run-in the car as quickly as I can. Getting a little impatient running it in gently, self-limiting maximum revs to 3,000rpm per gear. That translates to around 105km/h top speed. Continue Reading

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The Limited Edition M24 Satria R3 : First Impressions

My Satria R3. It’s here. Finally. After more than a month’s wait. Was it worth the wait?

Here it is guys. Collected my car with much butterflies in the stomach and excitement a 3-year old would demonstrate when given an ice-cream. Really cannot explain how a car can have such an effect on the full grown men. But then again, many at ZTH would probably react the same way 🙂 Faisal, of R3 Marketing, was there to ensure everything went to plan (that’s customer service for ya, folks!) and of course my SA – Affandy was present to assist me with checking before official handing-over. No major issues except that the carbon fibre spoiler has been temporarily replaced with a PU GTi version. Faisal explained that there was a quality issue and a new, better vendor has been assigned to develop the replacements. An official letter from R3 was issued to inform buyers of the situation. A replacement would be available sometime in January. And oh, nice R3 cap Faisal, thanks!

First impressions? It’s quite preliminary, since I’ve only deflowered it for 100km. Actually I don’t think I’ve officially deflowered it yet. Here goes nothing:
Continue Reading

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Us Against The Numbers –> -3.7% interest, 50 sen on ATM, RM1.00 per month

-3.7% on interest per year. 50 sen on every 5th ATM transaction. RM1.00 per month subscription fee.

What’s going on? To accept the fact that it is YOUR bank who gives you 0.3% in interest per year on your savings balance is catastrophic enough. I wonder why they call it a ‘Savings’ account when your hard-earned money is actually eroding gradually due to inflation each year, which in case you weren’t aware – a number that hovers around 4%. Each year. Bloody hell. And if you could cough out RM1,000 for a fixed deposit, you’d reduce the damage of capital erossion due to inflation to about 1%. But still its 1% against you. Not in favour of.

Swell.

Not only do they throw in a paltry 0.3% interest in your savings, they also (bloody hell) charge your for ATM withdrawals. 50 sen for every 5 transactions. Why is that? Imagine this, your home bank, nothing to do with MEPS or withdrawal through a common interbank network.

To top it all off, they will be introducing a ‘subscription fee’ effective 20 December 2004. A subscription fee? For what?

“Since the launch of Maybank2u.com in June 2000, we have provided a wide range of services to enable you to enjoy security and convenience in online banking. Our goal is that you, as a valued customer, will always receive quality products and services. This access to Maybank2u.com has been made available to you on a complimentary basis. “

In this day and age, I would assume that online banking IS part and parcel of banking service, complementing existing conventional banking. Not an ‘optional’ feature. And definitely not an extra. Especially not a paid, subscription-based one. That’s dispicable. Shameful almost. Is this how you repay your so-called ‘valued customer’? The billions you make each year from your customers still warrants charging them for ‘infrastructure’?

“Should you choose not to subscribe to Maybank2u.com, you can alternatively use our other delivery channels, such as our Kawanku ATMs, Kawanku Phone Banking or visit our branches for your banking and bill payment transactions. However, we trust that you would continue to use Maybank2u.com for a nominal fee to enjoy the many services and time-saving conveniences available.”

Wow, thanks for the choice, buddy. And also thanks for telling your customers. There was no official announcement to your customers via mail, email, phone, or whatever channel left to not be chargeable, about the subscription fee except through Maybank2U.com. Was fortunate that a friend had highlighted it to me, for I would have missed it otherwise.

Talking about banks – I was at Citibank to help a friend pay for his credit card bill. When he dropped me off at the Citibank branch on Jalan Ampang I was shocked to see the amount of people queueing to make payment at the Cash Deposit machines. So this is how ‘convenient’ modern day banking is huh? How about giving customers you so aggresively give credit cards to better service? More machines? More branches? It took me 30 minutes before it was my turn. Plus no air-conditioning. Great. 100 inpatient, annoyed and sweaty people, in very long lines. Really nice. And some slow-pokes who either don’t read very well or are virgin ATM users. I am so glad I am not a Citibank customer. Really. I am.

So my dear friends, how is YOUR bank treating ya?

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