I have always wanted to drive a Honda Civic Type R, FD2. It was the model year between 2007 and 2010. They say it was the first ever Civic Type R to come in four doors, while also the last generation of Civic Type R with the High-revving, normally aspirated engine.
The 2.0L, K20A engine produces 222hp at 8,000rpm and 215Nm of torque, delivering power through a 6-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels. It would carry a body curb weight of 1260kg plus passengers of four, happily. Great recipe isn’t? But I don’t know how many more years later, a 12-year-old kid would read this again and say, ‘…only 200 odds horsepower and a manual gearbox? A gearbox that doesn’t know how to shift itself?’
The other day I was having lunch with a friend talking about the future of the automotive industry. With the progressive development of shared transportation, apps, autonomous vehicle and fully electric cars, we can see the consumer behaviour to the automotive industry is changing. We think there will be sectors in the automotive industry cutting down manpower jobs and we suggest the market will swift to a new form of car ownership, subscribing, like you would pay monthly to stream movies online without owning them. Then we would go back to the age when, for those who would fully own a car are people with even higher living standards in the market.
See how interesting the cycle went and will be proceeding? First there were only the wealthier group could own the luxury of private mobility, then as the development of more affordable cars, a wider span of people would own a car for everyday motoring. Only then this group of people realize the costly liability of maintenance, they would seek another way of motoring. Perhaps it is already happening, some automotive dealers have been performing some sort of ‘Agility’ plans to spark newer way of private motoring. Monthly instalments for a 3-year plan then switch to another new model later and keep on ‘subscribing’. Pay a higher premium the subscription would even cover any maintenance and repair cost during the period.
Back to the cabin of the FD2, it was a place for passionate drivers to live in. A sporty steering wheel with a rev counter in the middle, digital number speedometer at the further to the windscreen. A manual gearshift positioned ergonomically right for the intuitive shifting experience. All these suggest that the owners would have a higher priority in driving to the fullest while also just about practical to do weekly shopping and occasionally car lifts for 3 extra passengers.
We are going through the revolution of motoring, almost quicker than ever before. I am excited to see how the automotive ecosystem will go on for the next 20-30 years, when autonomous driving and fully electrical vehicles would be just anywhere around the corner. Eventually, perhaps, I would not be surprised to see motorist passing by with no hands on the steering wheel, checking new social messages on the windscreen with hand gestures like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible movies. Then with a spur of the moment, that motorist would be surprised to see me driving. Driving with hands on the wheel of some similar driver’s car like the Type R I have driven above.
Thanks for reading
The other day I have spent some time with a black facelift Tesla Model S for private photo shooting. As a motor enthusiast I couldn’t help not to share a few thoughts with you.
1. The Looks.
I would happily say it looks handsome. Thanks to Franz von Holzhausen, who now work for Tesla (obviously) on styling the Model S and Model X. I think the Model S styling sits well in the class with other smart looking executive examples in the market. Tesla didn’t try to put unconventional shapes and lines to make a point. It just blends in with the norm and I bet in early years before it gets too popular, a petrol station assistant would welcome you with “Super or normal unleaded sir?” Good mark here for Tesla styling the Model S for the mass.
2. The Interior.
It has A BIG FLAT SCREEN! Yes, I would say it draws the most attention for the interior. You can control almost everything from central locking to ride height adjustment for the air suspension. It also relays a lot of other information such as energy consumption, Sat-Nav and audio system. I would compliment the inside door handle as it has an artistic sense of design, but the rest are just pretty standard. It has leather seats, cup holders and 3 points seatbelts. Almost too dull but I would understand it as Tesla is not selling their interior but the drivetrain technology. Being inside feels spacious and easy enough, since all Model S have no mechanical linkage between the front and rear axle, the rear legroom can be flat making it convenient to take on three adults for a long commute.
3. The Ride
I haven’t yet driven one with my own hands but I can tell you my feels as a passenger. It rides fine with no harshness even on bumpy roads of Hong Kong, and I think the air suspension did what it should for the car. Then I asked the owner for his comment if he would have a bit of sprinted driving. He said there isn’t much special on how engaging with the steering feels on the road, as though all are filtered and refined beforehand. And I think that would be fair for the Model S because Tesla did make it to set lap records initially.
I like it and I think Tesla makes great first impression to the market. It is practical with both front and rear luggage compartments, powerful drivetrain with absolutely zero emission and comes with high tech gadgets. It is almost a dream-come-true, almost.
As much as I appreciate the philosophy behind the Model S, my biggest concern is the limited charging points in Hong Kong. As from the official website, no more than 20 charging points, and even with the supercharging facilities it will take 40 minutes to charge to 80%. And I haven’t talked about the long queue yet. Basically my priority in motoring is the usability of it. I cannot quite take it on if I have to ‘waste’ 1-2 hours at the supercharging points even just once a week. I know there are motorists finding it liveable but unless Tesla can figure out even quicker charging methods, I would happily stick to my beloved diesel sedan for a bit.
Happy New Year viewers!
I would like to talk about The Fish Theory today with you.
Before I start, I should tell you I am not talking about fish tho. Not literally fish that from the water, but the metaphor behind it.
Okay, here I start with a question. 'What do you think you are?'
Some of you would answer(in your mind), about your job role, your name, your nationality or even, for some...what you have been wishing to be.
The reason of this post is to call up your inner self. "What do you think you are?" I asked again.
I was just looking through some old pictures in my hard-drive and I have found this picture. A picture I took from Dartmoor, Plymouth, UK. The Sun was setting and it was quiet. I took my camera out and stood up on a random place. Did some settings on my camera, this shot happened.
The simple message I wanted to reflect on this picture is 'The place where you are standing matters'. If I didn't happen to be in that right space in time this moment would not be captured and stored in my hard-drive.
Okay, I think I am a Fish! metaphorically of course... my talent is swimming and possibly a good treat on the dinner table. Wait no, before that I am supposed to be living happily in the water right?
There you go, "living happily". Have your ever felt what you do should be what your talent is? I know there are things you need to trade off and not everyone has a job tailored to them. But when there is an opportunity, my friend, please take it!
Because nothing is better for a fish to be "living happily" in the water. That fish might have had experience living on land and doing a monkey's job (metaphorically again) but even that fish tried its best, a fish will never match a talented monkey, say climbing up a tree.
'Try Your Best To Be Who You Are' is what I wanted to tell you from my Fish Theory.
Last but not least, one more tips for you viewers. The ultimate enemy is yourself and doubt is the poison that kills a lot of fish climbing up a tree.
Thanks for Reading and Happy New Year!
Harry Chi Li
Last Sunday I was supposed to attend a Sports Event held by my company. I have even signed up for two separate competitions months ago. My manager told me I should go to create more exposure for myself.
I didn't go.
"Aren't you going to your company's sports event?" Dad asked me as he opened the door of my room.
"er...ermm" I wasn't fully awake. It was like ten past seven on a Sunday morning.
To be honest, I've just had an 11-hour shift on Saturday and I never see myself as a sports person. Perhaps I'd just want some more sleep.
"I'm driving the M5...bye.." said dad as he closed the door.
"dad...Dad! wait DAD!" I shouted! "wait for me I'm coming!"
'I will be warming it up. wait by the car.'
An annual company sports event doesn't get me out of bed but a Morning Drive with Dad, DOES!
I guess we all have hidden priorities as we make decisions along our lives. And I guess you can never get the ultimate best or the worst ever after-effect from every decision you have made/will be making.
Be true to yourself. If I feel a precious Sunday morning with my Dad is more important to 'anything else', then it probably does.
I am not saying you should bail events like I did and not feel guilty about it. Please don't! Be respectful and honour to your commitments no doubt.
Anyway, "Life is simple. Make Choices and Never Look Back" --- Han.
There is no substitute. – Porsche
Today, I would like to talk about why I am always Fond of Porsche.
Quoted from the Porsche official website 'From day one, we have strived to translate performance into speed – and success – in the most intelligent way possible. It's no longer all about horsepower, but more ideas per horsepower.' From the quote, the word "intelligent" and "ideas" are what makes me fond of the Porsche Brand like nothing else in the automotive industry.
It can be a catch phrase or slogans that really influence market choices and how we, consumers, perceive the Brand. To me, the catch is to draw something that is simply understandable, on point yet strives to achieve unlimited possibilities, then back to a full stop that NO more explanations/arguments needed.
Using two other Automotive Manufacturers from the same country of the origin, BMW and Mercedes-Benz as examples. They both have their own famous slogans that tell us about their products and services. 'The Ultimate Driving Machines' from BMW and 'The Best or Nothing' from Mercedes-Benz. They are straightforward slogans and needless to say, both brands really are making their products fit what they have claimed.
Here, I would like to invite you into my mind how I see these slogans. BMW, excited to build cars that gives the customers sheer driving pleasure. Good! But shall I ask What kind of 'pleasure'? How pleasurable it is? In my opinion, the problem is that we can't specifically define the word 'pleasure' as the meaning can be ambiguous.
With Mercedes-Benz, 'The Best or Nothing'. The word 'Best' defines the highest quality and the most suitable and effective type of things. However, again, the meaning of 'Best' can be ambiguous. Can I have a car that can swim underwater, has as much space as a Tardis and runs forever?etc? Can this be my definition of the 'Best' car? In my thoughts, the problem is, again, not specific enough.
But then with Porsche, 'There is no substitute'. In my mind, this slogan is on top of the previous two. It is the 'ideas' and the 'intelligence' behind the slogan that impress me. Like Porsche is saying that she is the only example of anything you would be asking. Some imagined examples...
'Are we not the ultimate driving machine? But it drives like a Porsche, nothing drives like a Porsche.'
'Oh sorry we may not make the best cars, we just make Porsches. Nothing can be compared with what we make.'
Really... how cool is that! I think to find another slogan that has the closest level of intelligence would be from Nespresso 'What else'. I have to admire how intelligent those who figured out these slogans. How great it is when someone is criticising your products and services, asking numbers of negatives questions but you can still say ' well sorry for the inconvenience with the draw backs but there is nothing else like the Porsche you have...and here...take this coffee...what else?' The humor really gets me impressed.
Hahaa... I am not intended to criticise BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Above are just my personal thoughts simply comparing the famous slogans. I just like looking into ideas and thoughts... I could be wrong so I welcome any discussion. Thank you.
Thanks for Reading
Harry Chi Li
I’ve spent 5 minutes behind the wheel of this Mercedes A250 Sport. Certainly a capable little hatch! Read on the find out more!
I had a quick run on a very quiet road. My route starts from one roundabout to another roundabout at the other end. Through the route, I have tested how the car handles, accelerates and the change of speeds.
Accelerate off the roundabout and I can feel the engine has plenty of power. The gear change is also blistering fast like there was no pause for acceleration. Just a ‘pofft’ sound from the back of the exhaust, hinting me the 2nd gear has already been shifted. Soon later, the 3rd too! No surprise for this modern Dual-Clutch gearbox doing its job.
The car handles smooth and progressively. Steering wasn’t too sensitive or disconnected. This little hatch takes on the corners with a stable manner. Ride is firm and secure but not harsh at all for me. My Fiesta ST would rides more stiff.
Brakes are good here too! Thanks to the upgraded front brake system using the A45 AMG brakes set. Therefore more confidents decelerating at speed in short distances.
My little verdict to the A250 Sport
After the test drive I see the A250 Sport is quick but safe hatchback to drive. The ‘F’ word came straight out of my head after the drive. No not that, and not the word ‘FUN’ either. It was ‘Filtered’
The steering, the accelerator and the brakes are good but ‘safety filtered’ good. I couldn’t smell any danger behind the wheel. Which can be the right car for some but not for those who want a bite of hot chilli from your driving. I reckon after all it is still a Mercedes. Still priorities safety and smooth ride quality before FUN and excitements.
Get one of these if you want a handsome looking hatch that can be driven quickly whilst being safe and reliable on a daily basis, or just stick with other spicier rivals otherwise.
Thanks for Reading
So today I had an hour of doing 'nothing' in the middle of Central. It was around 4-5pm, on a Monday.
Weren't I supposed to be at work? Ha... yea... but I was scheduled attending to a 6-hour CPR+AED course with the Hong Kong St. John Ambulance group. Therefore, I was sort of at 'work', just out of office.
Back to the topic, what makes me bother to write this little blog about doing 'nothing' in the middle of Central around 4-5pm?
It was the little out of work freedom. I forgot when was the last time I can just be set FREE in the middle of town wondering about, when everyone else are still buried under their work?
Yes. It was when I was still a Student. A student during Summer Break. I'm now onto the 7th month of actual Adult life after the graduation. Got a full-time job, 5 days a week, 10 hours a day, 11hours if I'd be working on the Saturday Shift. After the honey-moon of 'Oh this is all so cool and exciting to be an Adult' time, the ruthless reality has been calling on me.
The reality can be ruthless and tiring. You would rather wish to live in your dream. But what is stopping you from living in your dream? My answer is 'Yourself'.
Those people who have been living too long and too deep into the reality would disagree others who are still 'wasting' their time 'dreaming'. However, I strongly believe those people who are living their dreams now, were all started, way back from dreaming their own dreams.
But dreaming doesn't make your dreams come true. Chase it! Chase it till you are eventually living your dream in this ruthless reality, realistically.
Thanks for Reading!
Harry Chi Li
Congratulating the first day of 2016, I wonder what have I become from year 2015. So I have hand selected a few highlights below and hopefully...what I have experienced will help me and you for the coming year!
I didn't really start on the right foot. On January I have to hand in the Self-Initiated project for my Degree course. I made an exhibition but it didn't catches much eyes, and I don't want to talk about the grades I've got from it either.
I have made quite a lot of effort into the project. But with the results, I have learnt that sometimes on an opinionated driven course(world), not everyone share the same view, and you have to find the right audience.
On the other hand tho, I'm building my reputation with my photography among the Theatre Performance group in the University.
My first little taste of achievement having my work shown on the BIG SCREEN in Uni. Really...It did felt good. I was the Photographer for the Scratch Night Committee in Uni. The picture was taken during one of the events.
Back to my Degree course, I have to hand-in my 8000 words long Dissertation. It was the longest piece of writing I have ever done in my life. And it was in my second language too! I have to Thanks my friends and the Professors for their kind help. But the hand-in was a test of stress management. Imagine just one hour before the deadline, you've realised the referencing system was made wrong and you have to re-print the whole piece again. Yet you realise a big queue for printing, the binding machine was broken.....
Yes, it all happened and I handed-in my dissertation 69seconds before the deadline. Phew! The result and the feedback was good tho. haha
Out of uni I have done some driving. Driving has always been my greatest passion. I have driven the McLaren MP4-12C and the Aston Martin DBS and written a review and the link here if you are interested.
Oh allow me to be a little showing off here. I have another picture up on the BIG SCREEN again. But this time, it meant something nice to the person in the picture too. The good feeling of making others happy is priceless.
Boom it's the time to 'finish' up my 3-year-degree course with a proper final exhibition. I've made my most with the years in Uni and here I am I've made my point, my own style of photography and what I pursuit to photograph. Got myself a good result and people assuring my achievement in photography
With the Uni part finished I can finally free myself for a bit. Started my 'holiday' to myself.
I had a Day working experience with one of my most favourite British Photographer Simon Roberts from the beautiful Brighton! A little taste of a day's of work as a photographer's assistant.
Then I had a few weeks of time doing some road trips in UK. Went to Blackpool, Lake District and some National Trust places. Those were some eye-opening scenics. More pictures please visit my Facebook album.
Yeahhhh My Graduation Ceremony!!! What a special day.
After the Graduation, I'm pretty much 'waiting to go back to Hong Kong to start my new job.
but before I go, I had another day out with 2 nice little convertible sport cars for a test drive and some photo-shoot!
Then I've also been to Millbrook Proving Ground for 2 and a half day training on some advance driving!
Closing the time leaving UK and back to Hong Kong for my new job. I made a little speech in front of 100+ audience. It was the first night of the Scratch Night 2015-16 but also the last night I can attend to one. It was such a pleasure working with such a talented team and people. Believe me or not, I didn't really prepare for the speech, I had an idea that, maybe I should do something before I leave these lovely people. So after all the performance I was invited to the stage then I started talking the second I picked up the microphone. I didn't expect laughs and applause during and after the speech. But I must say, it was a life time experience. It has also given me a chance to test myself and know what I can actually manage to do!
Then of course, I've started my first ever full time permanent job, working as an Assistant Service Advisor. The first few weeks were packed with huge amount of challenges and new things to get into my mind. New people to meet, new office culture to blend in and just the new way of living for myself. I'm not a student anymore! Yet I see myself learning everyday.
Then this is pretty much my last highlight of the year in 2015. I attended to the GALA Dinner 2015 and spent a wonderful night meeting new people and enjoyed the performances very much. And my bonus was a handshake with Pinky Lai at the near end of the dinner. I just walked up to him and thanks him for his inspiring speech and the message I will always remember. You should not fear for failures, but you should fear for standing still. Just in case you have never heard of him, he designed the Porsche 911(996).
So Year 2015, what a year I have been through. Did a lot of 'first ever' things in my life and some life changing experiences. They all have given me clearer and clearer vision for my future.
There were failures I have overcome, as little as a spilled drink to any kinds of huge matters. I've learned to stay calm and cure the problem efficiently. If it is a problem I cannot yet to solve, no point to keep worrying. If it is a problem that I can solve, why worry?
My instinct tells me it is going to be a tough year to come but I believe I will get through just fine. I will let you guys know again the end of year 2016.
Here I would like to wish you all a Healthy, Safe, and smooth new year to come. And if you have been reading this blog post from the start till this end. Thanks for appreciating my humble sharing.
Harry Chi LI
"Waking up early in the morning...better not sleep too late tonight..."
These are the words I'd whisper to myself almost every night in a week. Since I got a permanent job working from half 8am till half 6pm, I try very hard not sleep less than 7 hours a day. Nodding off during work is probably not a good idea, especially when I have to deal with customers.
What about weekends? I would get up the same time I would have to go to work. Drive to somewhere far from the city and enjoy the peaceful morning without work and unwanted noise.
I'd stop by a cafe, order a simple breakfast and hot drink. Looking at my bowl of hot food...a little warm feeling filled in my head. When was the last time I'd just slow down and realise the beauty of the steam vaporising above the bowl? I probably stopped for a minute or two just watching the little film of "The Steam Awakens".
There are two types of mornings. The morning I have to get up for work and the morning I'd choose to get up for a breakfast out of city. And it is those morning I have plenty of time to slow down, to think and to remind myself the goals in my life. With that, the steam awakes myself too loll
Thanks for reading
Harry Chi Li
It's been a while not updating my blog about my job. Perhaps when the days of work are getting more and more repetitive, there isn't much different I can really share...
Well, I got my first pay cheque yesterday! I know a lot of us get their pay cheque on a regular basis but hey! if you would just allow me to say it again..."I finally got my first month's salary paid!"
So what did I do with it? I first took a quarter of the salary out and give them to my parents. Then I'd just leave the rest sitting in my bank account and take it out when I need it for food and transportations. BUT hummm, it was my first paid salary, I got to buy something memorable.
So I bought a watch! To be honest, the watch has taken quit a good share of my total salary. But I believe it's worth it! It is because it tells me time.(Really!) Time is one of the most precious thing in the wold. And by buying this watch(the most expensive watch I've ever owned so far), it marked a start of an era to me. To prove and remind myself that my time could be more valuable now.
Hahaa I didn't know it wasn't a easy job to pick watches when you don't have one in mind! I knew what sort of watch I wanted, but which one to take it home??? Haha it took me an hour to finally picked one. It was marvellous wearing it out the store.
Now the watch is my close partner at work and other occasions. I love it really!
Thanks for reading
Harry Chi Li