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Over last weekend, I managed to get an opportunity to shoot this beautiful car during an automotive workshop organized by Live Life Drive magazine. The entire workshop was held at the new Renault showroom over at Section 13. There were about 13 participants in total (I think) and most of the time, we never really had our alone time with the car.
Hence the lack of interior shots as well as the white Megane RS which was in the showroom itself. The instructor was Sherman who guided us through from shooting cars in an outdoor location, what are some of the tips that we needed to be aware of.
After that, we moved into the showroom where Sherman then explained to us about the things to watch out and what to be aware off especially when shooting cars in the showroom itself as well as in an indoor location.
In between shoots, I managed to have a chat with Sherman about shooting cars and what I thought about it. He did give me some insight about shooting cars and I learned that cars alone are as much as shooting a portrait session. Instead of looking at the couples as just another human being, we tend to learn more about them, find out their history, what their likes and dislikes are in order to capture “them”. The same goes for cars, the history behind the car, what car is it, what does the car represent.
At the beginning of the workshop, the participants were also informed that there will be a winning shot competition where each participant would submit their best photo. I took this time as a challenge and made a complete fool of myself because I shot it RAW and forgot to change it to JPEG. Another surprise was that the image was going to be straight from camera so there was no Photoshop manipulation.
After shooting in the showroom, we moved on towards the back of the showroom where a Renault Koleos was waiting for us to photograph as well as the yellow Megane RS.
Although the image I posted up here was a slightly touched up version as the original image had a bit of a yellow hose which was left on the ground where I cloned it out.
Photo credit: Live Life Drive Magazine
Here was a photo of my shot being displayed on the projector during the end of the workshop and when the judges were giving their comments.
A little bit of technical stuff here, I shot mainly with a Canon 5D Mk2 in full RAW. I used mostly the 17-40mm F4 lens throughout the shoot with the occasional change to the 50mm. I wanted to use the 70-200mm lens but couldn’t get the right angle and shot that I wanted. All of the photos were shot in natural light, placement of the cars was done by the showroom guy so even if I wanted the car at a different angle, I couldn’t.
At the end, I was glad as my photo was selected as one of the top 5, woohoo!
Photo credit: Live Life Drive Magazine
Thanks to that win, I received a small goody bag and of course a big boost in terms of confidence. I did recall that one of my projects last year was to start shooting more automotive themed shoots so this was one of my initiatives. Can’t wait to shoot even more cars especially if the opportunity arises!
Do check out some of my shots below.
More photos and information about the workshop is available here.
One of the benefits of joining other Volkswagen enthusiasts especially during a teh tarik session is that I get chances to test drive other member’s cars. One of them, which I managed to sneakily test drive a number of times was the Scirocco 1.4. Now I have always been curious to see a car with the same engine as the Golf 1.4 TSI, but priced at RM188,888 has to offer.
The Scirocco was also featured in the recent Karate Kid movie but of course, it’s an extremely old version. Also called the Roc for short, here is a quick and brief history of the Scirocco.
So let’s see what are some of the differences here.
Right off the bat, the moment anyone looks at a Scirocco, I am sure there has to be a reaction. Whether it may be a good one or a bad one but still a reaction. Perhaps you might be like James May where he might have a fizzy little thing between his legs when he sees a car which gives him the fancy, yeah, something like that but irregardless, it definitely turns heads. The first time I actually saw a Scirocco was when Top Gear featured an episode on it where they had to come up with an advertisement for the 3-cylinder diesel version of the Roc (you can view their silly results here and here).
Interior and Boot Space
From other Roc owners, you can still set up a baby chair in the Roc and it comfortably fits 4 people in total due to its 50/50 split folding rear seat design (you can squeeze in 5 for short trips but it wouldn’t be legal as there are only two rear seat belts available). One thing that stands out between the Roc 1.4 and the Golf is that the Roc comes with a flattened steering wheel, the same one which is given for GTI and R owners. The Golf 1.4 comes with the standard round steering wheel which also is available with the Passat CC sold here.
Shown above is the flat bottom steering wheel designed for the R-line cars. The GTI ones look exactly the same except that it has red stitching on it. Another thing to note that Scirocco’s that were manufactured in 2009 have a completely different interior than the current ones mainly because it takes the same styling from the older Golf MkV. The ones sold here by Volkswagen Group Malaysia are based off the newer interior but I have seen 2009 Rocs for sale on Mudah brought in by the local dealers.
The rest of the interior is standard and there isn’t much differences between this and the Golf. In my opinion, the steering wheel itself provides a nice sporty look and feel and to optionally get this steering wheel itself can cost around USD$500 (searching through eBay).
The boot however, is surprisingly deep and you definitely can store a lot of stuff in there. I haven’t had the chance to test it out with my full-sized golf bag but it definitely does look like it has a lot of space.
Another benefit you get with the Roc 1.4 is that it comes with 17″ rims as it’s standard compared to the Golf’s 16″ rims.
So far there hasn’t been any complaints as well for the Roc owners especially when it comes to the “rattling” noise experienced by Golf owners especially when taking the corner. This issue actually comes from the fact that the rubber lining along the doors tend to dry up in our weather, hence the noise. Because the Roc has only two doors, I guess you can hardly hear the sound.
After taking off in the standard fashion and the moment I enter the first corner, or basically, leaving the mamak stall and turning the first corner; the Roc shines here. Due to it’s lower profile, this car handles way better than the Golf 1.4 which I think is a little soft around the suspension areas. You get the planted feel when tackling corners and I could hardly feel the side G’s pushing me. Of course it does help that it’s only a 2-door car hence you get less body roll due to a more rigid and firmer chassis.
Other differences between the Roc and the Golf are rather miniature in nature. For example, the Roc doesn’t have sensors at the front but only sensors at the back as compared to the Golf which has sensors all around. The Roc however has two reverse lights versus the rest of the other VW cars mainly because I think the rear window is so small and the C pillars are so fat, that it is extremely difficult to reverse out.
Of course with every VW car, comes plenty of modifications. Here are some of the mods you can do for the Scirocco to stand out from the rest of the other Rocs.
- Bodykit (Rieger, Caractere, etc, etc) – This of course changes the look of your car!
- Scirocco R rear lights – This isn’t as fancy as the Golf R rear LED lights. It’s just a darkened rear Roc lights
- Aluminium pedals for the Roc 1.4 as well as the OSIR footrest or you can opt for the full R-line pedal sets.
- Unibrace for the Roc to improve its handling further. I am not too sure if they have the Crossbrace for the Roc as well.
- Head unit upgrade to either the RCD510 (the Roc 2.0 comes with this) or the RNS510 which offers satellite navigation and DVD playback.
- Custom downpipe for the Roc
- Engine remap
- Cold air intake
- Quad exhausts
- H&R or Eibach lowering springs
So far there hasn’t been any announcement by VW to provide daytime running lights for the Scirocco.
To conclude up this review, would I say that the Scirocco is worth the extra RM30,000? Well it all depends on your taste. If you like a 2-door car, then yes, I would say it would be worth the RM30,000 extra. But if you are considering the 2.0litre version, I still have some doubts mainly because a 2-door Renault Megane RS is priced currently at RM236k which is RM15k cheaper than the 2.0 Roc and it has a lot more features to the car. Overall, the Scirocco fits into a different segment compared to the Golf hence I guess it’s a nice compliment in their line up.
The Roc which I tested was a very unique Roc, because the owner, decided to bring it in for a dyno run and the results were astonishing. The Scirocco 1.4 TSI is stated to provide an output of 160ps running on Ron98 but his Roc managed to generate 170horses at the wheel, yes, 170whp! That is insane!
By the way, there is currently a Scirocco R in Malaysia already. Apparently someone managed to bring it in via a local AP and it made an appearance at the Volkswagen Club Malaysia’s TT session two weeks ago. So far no concrete rumours about Volkswagen Malaysia launching the Scirocco R but there has been changes in terms of the prices for the Golf R. What I have heard is that the prices have been raised from the rumoured RM270k+ to RM300k+.