Tuning in to a decade of memories.
Car tuning specialist Ken Hooi has been tuning Japanese performance cars for many years. But there’s only one brand he’s trusted with his daily transport needs and the safety of his family for the past ten years – Volkswagen.
Hi Ken, how did your love affair with Volkswagen start?
Ken Hooi: I was in Germany with some friends and we rented a Passat 2.0 TDI with a manual transmission for three weeks. It managed to hold all our luggage, was so nice to drive and even performed very well on the legendary Nürburgring track (yes, we were crazy enough to drive it on the racing track).
Wow! So you just had to get yourself one when you got back to Singapore?
KH: Yes, but not immediately. In one of my trips up to Malaysia, my car (a Japanese-make) got nudged in the rear at the customs checkpoint. The minor impact had misaligned the bumper and jammed the boot mechanism, resulting in repairs that came up to a few thousand dollars – and the boot still couldn’t close properly after that (laughs). So we went out shopping for a more robust car and discovered the 2.0-litre Passat.
“With my family growing and needing more space, the Sharan I have now was the natural choice for me!”
What made you choose another Volkswagen for your second car?
KH: The Passat was awesome and I had it for eight long years. In fact, I am still servicing it for its current owner and it runs perfectly. But with my family growing and needing more space, the Sharan I have now was the natural choice for me!
What are your favourite things about the Sharan?
KH: It’s the most powerful MPV out there and it handles and drives like a sedan. It also has the most usable space with full-sized seats in the third row, unlike many MPVs out there that can’t really accommodate adults at the last row. I drive up to Malaysia often and nothing beats having a German MPV cruising down the highway.
“My daily drive has been and will continue to be for a long time, a Volkswagen!”
Do you have any unforgettable experiences with any of your Volkswagen cars?
KH: I do, actually. I took the Passat to the racing track up in Sepang and in Pasir Gudang a few times. At Sepang, my car did 30 laps without overheating or posing any problems – in fact, I had to stop more often than the car because I was dehydrated (laughs).
As a workshop owner, do you still bring your car back to VGS for servicing?
KH: As a matter of fact I do! But due to some tinkering I’ve done, some parts are no longer under warranty and I fully understand that. Considering that I tune high performance cars for a living, I think it says a lot that my daily drive has been and will continue to be for a long time, a Volkswagen!