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To safer, more efficient mass movers

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The days of the old jeepneys are numbered. And a future beaming with safer, efficient and more organized mass transport system now awaits. With this, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is ever upbeat in its initiative to promote the more effective and beneficial mover. Recently, the steadfast government firm organized the Modern PUV Caravan 2019, which started in Manila and concluded in Clark, Pampanga with the aim to promote the nationwide adoption of modernized public utility vehicles (PUV)
One of its eager participants was Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), the country’s leading assembler and distributor of brand-new Isuzu trucks.

The caravan started with a 5 a.m. motorcade beginning at the Quezon Memorial Circle. The slow-running convoy traversed the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic–Clark–Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) before arriving at the main office of the Department of Transportation (DoTr) at the Clark Economic Zone in Pampanga by 9 a.m. for the launch program.

The motorcade, composed of modernized PUV from Isuzu and other manufacturers, carried onboard representatives from participating sectors of government and various industries, such as: the DoTr, LTFRB, Land Transportation Office, Development Bank of the Philippines, Landbank, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc., Truck Manufacturers Association, Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors, Automotive Body Manufacturers Association of the Philippines, Electric Vehicles Association of the Philippines and Philippine Parts Maker Association. This was followed by presentations from different participating groups. With the unveiling of the Modern PUV Showcase, displaying the various new PUV also sharing in the limelight. LTFRB also announced the new nationwide routes of modern PUV during the launch program.

MODERN PUV showcase displays Isuzu vehicles.

Ever-eager modern player

IPC, for its part, showcased the brand-new Isuzu QKR77 and NLR77 light-duty trucks configured as modernized PUV (BPS PNS compliant) with body developed by the country’s leading body builders: Almazora Motors Corporation, Centro Manufacturing Corporation and Santa Rosa Motor Works Inc.

Modernized PUV from Isuzu can now be seen plying various routes in Metro Manila and across the country. These vehicles have already passed local and international vehicle manufacturing standards. They have also satisfied public utility vehicle modernization program (PUVMP) requirements, such as the automatic fare collection system (AFCS), a GPS tracking system, CCTV cameras and dashcams and WiFi router.

Apart from the Isuzu modern PUV offering more legroom, headroom and seat space for its passengers, the QKR and NLR platform assembled in the Philippines is equipped with the Euro IV-compliant 3.0-liter 4JH1-TC CRDI diesel engine that delivers better fuel economy and cleaner emissions.

IPC was also instrumental in helping the government kick-off the PUVMP program in June 2018 when the Japanese truck manufacturer supplied the modern PUV for the program’s pilot operator the Senate Employees Transport Service Cooperative (SETSCO).

According to IPC president Hajime Koso, the caravan provided a great opportunity for more Filipino commuters to be more aware of the numerous benefits of riding in modern PUVs in their localities and for transport cooperatives to gain easier access in acquiring such vehicles.

SHOW of unity for better mass movers.

The grand caravan

The Grand Caravan 2019, with the theme “Modern PUV: Arangkada ng Pagbabago Tungo sa Kaunlaran,” has been planned as a series of events starting from the kick-off in Clark, extending all the way to Northern Luzon and Mindanao.

The caravan will be held in four phases, with Phase 1 covering North Luzon area from 4 July to 2 August, and will visit the cities of Clark and San Fernando, Pampanga (4 and 5 July), Tarlac (8 July), Urdaneta and Dagupan in Pangasinan (10 July), Baguio, Benguet (12 July), San Fernando, La Union (15 July), Vigan, Ilocos Sur (17 July), Laoag, Ilocos Norte (19 July), Tuguegarao, Cagayan Valley (24 July), Cauayan, Isabela (26 July), Solano, Nueva Vizcaya (29 July), Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija (31 July) and Marilao, Bulacan (2 August).

Phase 2 will be held in September, and will cover the South Luzon area: the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (2 September), Antipolo, Rizal (4 September), Bacoor, Cavite (6 September), Santa Rosa, Laguna (9 September), Lipa, Batangas (11 September), Calapan, Mindoro (13 September), Lucena, Quezon (16 September), Boac, Marinduque (18 September), Naga, Camarines Sur (20 September), Legaspi, Albay (23 September) and Puerto Princesa, Palawan (TBD).

Meanwhile, phase 3 will cover the Visayas region and will be held in November. The cities set to be visited are Catbalogan, Samar (4 November), Tacloban and Ormoc, Leyte (6 November), Tagbilaran, Bohol (8 November), Cebu City (11 November), Iloilo, Panay (15 November), Bacolod, Negros Occidental (18 November) and Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (20 November).

Phase 4 will traverse the Mindanao region and will be held in January and February 2020.

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Chery opens Alabang dealership

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A DYNAMIC manpower ready to deliver an extraordinary customer experience to all existing and future clients by selling a lifestyle and not just a car. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF CHERY PHILIPPINES

United Asia Automotive Group Inc. (UAAGI) has another reason to share positive vibes during this pandemic as the company leads its customers to a new path down south with the opening of its new dealership, Chery Alabang.

Recently unveiled via Facebook Live, Chery Alabang — managed by Frontier Automotive Marilao, Corp. (FAMC) — serves as the brand’s 15th dealership in the country.

The 600-sqm dealership is strategically located along the automotive stretch of the Alabang-Zapote Road in Muntinlupa City. It has a four-car display showroom that can house each crossover model: the Tiggo 2, Tiggo 5x, Tiggo 7 and Tiggo 8. The facility also boasts of an aftersales facility with six bays and a fully-equipped Chery EC Mobile van to provide convenient and instant service to its customers.

 

BOASTS of an aftersales six-bay facility.

“This dealership is committed to deliver only the best sales and service experience to each and every customer — consistent with all of Chery dealerships nationwide,” UAAGI president Rommel Sytin said.

“We are very thankful to Frontier Automotive Marilao Corp. for believing and trusting Chery Auto Philippines.”

Aside from Chery Alabang, FAMC also handles Chery’s dealership in Marilao, Bulacan. Chery Alabang dealer principal Mark Chiongbian, for his part, exclaimed: “We thank you UAAGI for giving us the opportunity to be part of your dynamic dealers and your leadership. As we strengthen this partnership and see the brand rise to the top, we intend to deliver an extraordinary customer experience to all existing and future clients by selling a lifestyle and not just a car. Thank you for the trust and confidence.”

 

FULLY-EQUIPPED Chery EC Mobile van provides convenient and instant service to its customers.

“Chery has well-evolved into a world-class product in terms of design, specifications, workmanship and performance, and proud to be compliant with Euro 5 and even Euro 6 emissions standards yet still competitively priced and offers the best warranty coverage among the other car brands in the country — pertaining to the first-in-the-industry three-year PMS, five-year general vehicle warranty and 10-year or one million-km engine warranty for free,” he added.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, meanwhile, also threw his support to the carmaker’s new venture.

“We welcome you as you navigate the current reality with optimism and move towards a better new normal during and beyond the pandemic as you help us address one of the challenges that we confront today which is mobility and transportation.”

CHERY Alabang serves as the brand’s 15th dealership in the country.

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Nissan Leaf debunks electric vehicle myths

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With the local automotive industry’s gradual transition to electric vehicles (EV), Nissan — for its part — is bringing in the much-awaited Leaf this year.

However; with the many misconceptions surrounding EV these past years, the Japanese carmaker musters the gall to demystify them all before the iconic intelligent mobility arrives in our shores. So far, here are the top four.

Myth one: EV are slow
A recent experiment raced the Nissan Leaf against the fastest elements of nature – fire and wind—with the famous EV winning with its celebrated acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds. With lesser moving parts and a powerful electric motor, an EV accelerates faster than a regular engine-powered car. With over 70 years of EV expertise, Nissan has designed the e-Powertrain that puts electric power straight to the wheels for instant acceleration, making the Nissan Leaf quicker on the get-go, for a smooth and very responsive drive.

Myth two: An EV’s range capacity is limited
On a fully-charged battery, the Nissan Leaf can cover 311 kilometers. If you consider that the average daily drive around Metro Manila is 13.2 kilometers, you can drive around the metro in a fully-charged Leaf for up to three weeks without having to worry about an empty battery. For out-of-town trips, the Nissan Leaf can take adventurers up to Baguio (246.6 km from Metro Manila) before recharging.

Also, the vehicle’s ePedal combines both ease, excitement and innovation in EV technology. The innovative feature also enables you to drive using one foot pedal, allowing you to accelerate and brake depending on the foot pressure. Even more impressive, Nissan’s ePedal is part of an advanced regenerative braking system, meaning the car will even recover a little bit of charge every time you brake.

Myth three: Charging is a pain for EV
There’s a common misconception that EV can only be charged using quick charging stations. Although the Philippines currently has around 14 charging stations that are ready for the Nissan Leaf, most electric vehicle owners prefer to charge at home — since it is the most convenient option. Similar to charging one’s mobile phone after a long day’s usage, the Nissan Leaf can be plugged into a regular electrical socket to charge it overnight. Charging with the universal cable usually takes about 12 to 15 hours to fully charge it.

For faster charging, users have the option to install a special wall box to speed up the charging time up to five to seven hours.

Myth four: Electric cars are not exciting
With the Nissan Leaf as the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the possibilities of a safe, fun and exciting driving experience are endless. What’s more exciting than an EV producing zero emissions and virtually no sound while drifting? In this exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping demonstration, the car showed how easily the mass-produced EV can churn out both maximum torque and force, while delivering virtually silent donuts and burnouts. The Nissan LEAF — with its rapid acceleration of 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds — is quick on the start with a smooth and very responsive drive.

“Nissan is a world leader in electric mobility. We are constantly challenging mobility conventions including now — taking the top four myths about EV and busting them with our award-winning Nissan Leaf,” Nissan Philippines president and managing director, Atsushi Najima said.

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Mitsubishi L300 owners and their reliable workhorses

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THE Mitsubishi L300 is built by the Filipino for the Filipino. The company has recently celebrated its 200th production-unit milestone after over 30 years in the local market. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MMPC

The simple-looking yet tough Mitsubishi L300 may seem bland at first sight but it has its way to sneak to one’s heart. Having been in the market for more than 30 years, the L300 is often utilized by small and medium entrepreneurs because of its reliability and low cost maintenance.

Commonly used as a delivery van or people hauler for companies or schools, the L300 has become that dependable partner that grows on you over the years. Picture it as that loyal sidekick that will stick with you through thick and thin and will never fall short — especially at the most trying times.

It is not just a family van, it is a van that is family
The family of Mr. William Yu owned a hardware store back in the 90’s. They bought a Mitsubishi L300 specifically to support the delivery side of the business but they realized that it can also serve other purposes as well. To maximize the van, they used it as a school service and personal van for the family. Through the years, the L300 experienced many challenging tasks from heavy hauling of hardware goods to traversing flooded streets. Despite being the daily workhorse, the L300 powered through and never broke down on the Yu’s.

When a financial burden struck the family and the need to sell the loyal steed came, the Yu family felt truly saddened as the experience resembled to a parting with a family member. Ernest, Yu’s youngest son was the most affected as he had the strongest connection with the vehicle. As an engineering student, he appreciated the craftsmanship of the L300 and its capabilities.

After several years, the Yu family was able to overcome the financial ordeal. Ernest, contacted his uncle who bought the L300 from their family and bought it back. Some repairs were required but with his knowledge in fixing cars, he was able to revive the trusty van which he then named “Legend.” Currently, Ernest is the president of the Mitsubishi L300 Enthusiast club. Apart from organizing group activities that strengthen the camaraderie among members, they also facilitate outreach programs to help the community.

During the initial enhance community quarantine (ECQ) implementation, Ernest volunteered as a manpower and vehicle support for street disinfection. He also offered free shuttling for front liners. He and “Legend” tirelessly worked day and night to contribute to the goal of flattening the curve.

“I feel a different kind of connection with our L300. It has been tested time and again — and it never failed us. That’s why when I saw the opportunity to buy it back, I didn’t think twice. It is not just a family van for me but a van that is part of our family,” he said.

JESSIE Cabral is a proud Mitsubishi L300 owner.

Pliant like a bamboo
Jessie Cabral is a proud Mitsubishi L300 owner. Though initially it was not his first choice, he eventually became a passionate enthusiast of the product and is now the vice president of the L300 Club of the Philippines. He sees the L300 as a versatile vehicle that can serve many purposes. Six years ago, he bought the unit for his for delivery service business which then he also eventually used for various outreach activities. He shares fond memories of traveling as far as Dingalan Aurora to bring support to an Aeta tribe. Cabral also commended the outstanding performance of the L300 as he would recall crossing rivers and powering through steep zigzag roads without encountering any problems.

When the metro was placed under ECQ, his delivery business was badly affected. But rather than letting the situation put him down — like the L300’s flexible characteristics — he pivoted his business to a shuttle service for companies. The move helped him get through his predicament.

“In life, you have to be ingenious and quickly adjust. You can’t let yourself just lose. For every challenge, you have to open your eyes to every opportunity that you can maximize. And most of all, we need to be grateful for the blessings that we receive and develop the habit to share so that blessings will continue to pour in,” Cabral shared.

 

ERNEST Yu feels a different connection with his Mitsubishi L300 which he named: “Legend” — a trusty workhorse that never failed his family.

Built by the Filipino for the Filipino
The Mitsubishi L300 is proudly Filipino-made as it is built in the carmaker’s Sta. Rosa plant in Laguna. Since its introduction 30 years ago, the reliable workhorse has sold more than 190,000 units and recently celebrated its 200,000th production milestone.

Equipped with a Euro4 2.2L turbo charged intercooler diesel engine, the L300 produces 97hp and 200N-m of torque at 3,500 rpm. It has a fuel consumption rating of 15.43km/L based on the 2019 fuel test conducted by the Automobile Association of the Philippines.

Strong, durable and easy to maintain are the key traits that makes the Mitsubishi L300 the reliable vehicle partner for the Filipinos. For the month of September Mitsubishi Motors Philippine Corporation is providing a special price offer of P698,000 — a P106,000 discount from its original tag.

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Perfect adventure vehicle for the Filipino family

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THE Mitsubishi Xpander Cross can be had with an all-in downpayment of P99,000. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MMPC

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) puts the all-new Xpander Cross at the forefront of providing mobility to the Filipino family. Taking from the esteemed versatility and dependability of its predecessor, the Mitsubishi Adventure, this seven-seater takes that to another level, making it the best multipurpose vehicle (MPV) for Filipino families.

Flexible seating for seven
Family members come in various shapes and sizes, that’s why space is important in a family car. The Mitsubishi Xpander Cross comes standard with seven, leather-upholstered seats with various adjustments to ensure coziness for all occupants.

The second row slides into place to give enough knee room for the third-row occupants. Even better, the second-row seats fold and stumble to allow easy ingress and egress at the back.

Smart and high-tech features
Long drives can be a doozy. But with the Xpander Cross’ cruise control, highway drives would be effortless. With buttons mounted on the steering wheel, the cruise control is easy to use — just set your desired speed and watch the car do the work.

The Xpander Cross also comes with a massive seven-inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system with tuner and MP3 in a bright Amber display. It can connect in numerous ways like Bluetooth, USB, auxiliary input and iPod. Even better, it has a Mirror Link function to pair up with your Android-powered smartphone.

Multiple storage spaces
This MPV has several cubbyholes and storage spaces all over the cabin. Rear seat pockets are found behind the first row, while the center console compartment features a sliding cover and a 12V accessory charger. The second row has compartments under the seat — as well — while power outlets populate all three rows of the SUV.

The cargo area offers ample default space for seven people while also offering extended stowage with its underfloor luggage compartment. For maximum hauling needs, all seats fold flat to the floor, presenting over 1,600 liters of usable cargo space.

Comfortable and safe journey anywhere
With MacPherson strut with coil spring at the front and durable torsion beam at the back, the Xpander Cross ensures pliant drive regardless of road impurities. It also has 225mm of space from the ground, making ferrying safe even on paths that haven’t been created yet so family off-road adventures would be possible with a cinch.

The journey would be safe, too. Dual airbags, seven three-point seatbelts, active stability control, traction control and hill-start assist — these come standard with the Xpander Cross. And with air-conditioning at the front and at the back, the vehicle ensures a snug and cozy ride for all seven family members no matter where the roads lead them.

Efficient power when you need it
This family mover is powered by a 1.5-liter inline-four DOHC gasoline engine with MIVEC technology. This tried and tested power plant produces 103hp and 141 N-m of torque, enough to take you wherever you wanted to.

The small displacement and MIVEC technology ensure efficiency with every step at the accelerator, minimizing fuel consumption so you could get more out of every drop of fuel. Of note, this engine is also used in other Xpander variants that come with a lesser price tag.

Easy on the family budget
The Mitsubishi Xpander Cross can be had with an all-in downpayment of P99,000, with a monthly amortization of P25,393 for a 60-month term. Even better, it’s part of Mitsubishi’s Head Start promo that offers free amortization for two months, which gives over P50,000 of savings. It is tagged at P1,255,000.

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Industry players zero in on EV

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CHARGING statiions in public places are strongly being pushed. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF EVAP

The imposed global lockdowns and quarantine restrictions to curb the spread of the virus at the onset of the pandemic may have decimated economies worldwide. But like any predicament, there’s always that silver lining lying around in one corner. Proof of this were the evidently bluer skies we experienced then due to the large absence of vehicle emissions.

Now — aside from capturing the public’s interest — this has inspired various global industry players to further zero in on fast-tracking the mass production of “greener” vehicles.

Locally, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) even vowed to push for the use of electric vehicles (EV) as the local industry already has about 50 dedicated players that can already produce a capacity of 150,000 units per year.

This — in turn — will boost local electronics manufacturing as well as develop more vehicle components.

 

THERE are already about 50 local electric vehicle players that are capable to produce 150,000 units per year.

Eighth PEVVS
In fact, this has been a hot topic during the recent 8th Philippine Electric Vehicle Virtual Summit (PEVVS) with its theme: “Moving Forward to an Electrified Mobility in the New Normal.”

The virtual event even likewise gathered the biggest number of government leaders. It included DTI secretary Ramon Lopez, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. Not to mention Energy Committee chairperson Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. EV association leaders from Europe, United States and Asia, such as: China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were also in attendance.

“This event is made possible through the support of our key partners Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation and Nissan Philippines Inc. as well as PMFTC Unsmoke, United Nations Development Program and eSakay. EVAP (Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines) is also celebrating a decade of partnership with Manila Electric Company (Meralco) since the staging of the first Philippine EV Summit inside the Meralco compound in 2010,” EVAP president Edmund Araga said.

Among those highlighted during the virtual summit included: Long-Term Electric Vehicle Outlook; Developing Public Charging Infrastructure in Response to the New Normal; Challenges to EV Charging in Southeast Asia; Recovery, Reopening and Role of EV under the New Normal; Policy Measures to See More EV on the Ground Post Pandemic, Promotion of Low Carbon Urban Transport in the Philippines and many others.

Moving forward
“EV prospects continue to be bright despite the pandemic. According to International Energy Agency forecast, global sales will rise six percent this year to 2.3 million vehicles before exploding to 45 million by 2030,” Araga continued.

“How the current crisis affects the pace of the electromobility shift in the longer term will hinge critically on the public policy response,” he added.

Moving forward — according to him — the EV industry is looking forward to the immediate approval of the Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act as this would further fast-track electrification in the country. This means both private and public buildings — even establishments — are required to have dedicated parking slots with charging stations.

This would entail gasoline stations to have a dedicated space for charging stations as well. Even large industrial and commercial companies, public transport operators and government agencies are mandated to adopt a five percent minimum share of EV within their respective fleets.

For its part, Meralco meanwhile said: “As we recover safely from this pandemic and reopen our businesses, along the way, the crisis is shedding light on questions and concerns about mobility, road infrastructure and urban transport. Our collective over-dependence on fossil fuels has been a major challenge to carving out more public policy space for transportation options and ultimately to improving and cleaning up our urban air.”

“But now, as we have all been forced to change our behaviors so radically, we have a distinctive opportunity to adopt new behaviors as we slowly get back to what will hopefully be a better normal.”

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Ferrari unveils the Portofino M

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PORTOFINO M guarantees an unprecedented combination of authentic GT performance, driving pleasure, agility and exceptional versatility in everyday driving contexts.

The Prancing Horse’s 2+ GT Spider has evolved throughout the years. And it took high-level of expertise in style and engineering — not to mention — years of hard work to perfect this masterpiece. Now, all these hard work have come into fruition with the unveiling of the new Ferrari Portofino M.

Thru an unprecedented online launch in its 70-year history, the new Portofino M becomes the first Ferrari to be unveiled in the midst of the company’s temporary closure due to the COVID-19 crisis — making it a symbol of hope amid all the darkness and uncertainty. It serves as the “restarting” point for Ferrari’s pursuit for innovation whilst fully respecting its heritage, passion and constant search for perfection.

All of these values are reflected in the new Portofino M. In fact, the “M” in its moniker stands for “Modificata,” which in Ferrari nomenclature refers to cars that have undergone an evolution that has significantly boosted their performance.

There is no shortage of technical innovation in the stunning new evolution of the Ferrari Portofino, the most notable being its redesigned powertrain, a brand-new eight-speed gearbox and the five-position Manettino that includes a Race mode, an absolute first for a Maranello GT spider.

 

SPORTIER character than its predecessor.

As a result of these and many other new features, the Portofino M guarantees an unprecedented combination of authentic GT performance, driving pleasure, agility and exceptional versatility in everyday driving contexts.

The Ferrari Portofino M’s 3855cc engine belongs to the V8 turbo family — which was voted “International Engine of the Year” on four consecutive occasions (2016-2019). The power unit can punch out 611hp at 7,500 rpm, 20hp more than the usual Ferrari Portofino.

It also boasts completely new redesigned eight-speed gearbox that replaces the previous seven-speed version. This is in fact the first eight-speed to be installed on the open top Ferrari and is based on a dual-clutch oil bath architecture with 20 percent smaller clutch and 35 percent higher torque delivery.

From a vehicle dynamic perspective, the most significant innovation is most certainly the introduction of the five-position Manettino, an absolute first for a Prancing Horse GT Spider. This aspires to further enhance the Ferrari Portofino’s already superb handling and traction through the addition of the Race mode. Backed by the Ferrari Dynamic Enhancer, this Race mode position focuses on maximizing driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel.

 

NO shortage of technical innovation in this stunning new evolution.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FERRARI

The significant technological evolution the model has undergone is visually underscored by the new front fascia design and bumpers — in particular — which are sportier and more aggressive. Both inside and out, there is a sense of harmony of expression and intent in forms that are sharper yet smooth flowing.

Radiating a rather sportier character than its predecessor, it also delivers superior handling whilst not only maintaining but enhancing on-board creature comforts, such as its advanced driver assistance system — which includes ventilated seats.

The Ferrari Portofino M retains its predecessor’s twin soul and is the only vehicle in the market that can rightfully be described as an authentic coupé with its top on whilst instantly transforming to a genuine spider when its top comes off. Thanks to its retractable hard top — the signature feature of the Ferrari’s convertibles.

Despite these challenging times, Ferrari has never ceased to impress and has given us a chance to again rediscover another prized prodigy.

 

THE most significant innovation is most certainly the introduction of the five-position Manettino, an absolute first for a Prancing Horse GT Spider.

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Stoked Stonic ready for the young

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EUROPEAN Design Language is manifested in the compact features, elegant design, sharp lines and smooth surfaces — which harmonizes with the signature Tiger Nose grille and the stylish and heavy-duty roof rails. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF KIA PHILIPPINES

As early as July, Kia Philippines has sparked excitement after announcing the “unboxing” of a new model designed to provide quality mobility for Filipinos. They further stirred euphoria after consumers experienced anew the company’s ‘Power to Surprise’ with the announcement that the 2021 Kia Stonic will soon hit Philippine roads starting this October.

The Stonic is positioned to meet the demands of the young and active who turn their dreams into reality day-by-day — yet know how to have fun in the process. The said market belongs to the wide spectrum of adventurous Filipino buyers who do not compromise design and function.

With the catchphrase “Style that is Iconic,” this chic crossover is suitable for first-time buyers and trendy car owners who want to showcase their exquisite taste in their vehicle. As pegged by Kia’s chief designer Peter Schreyer, the European Design Language is manifested in the compact features, elegant design, sharp lines and smooth surfaces — which harmonizes with the signature Tiger Nose grille and the stylish and heavy-duty roof rails.

Onlookers will likewise enjoy the two-tone color option on the top-of-the-line variant.

The well-positioned projector headlamps and LED daytime running lights (exclusive to the EX variant) in the front fascia give proper illumination to one’s peripherals — without distracting incoming drivers. The perfectly-sized Stonic is 4,100 mm long, 1,735 mm wide and 1,532 mm high with a 2,570 wheelbase to make sure that comfort can be stylish.

The dimensions house a multifunctional storage space with 60:40 full-fold flat rear seats. Even if the seats are still upright, it provides 325 liters of ample room for huge hauls on grocery runs or baggage for that quick trip to the beach.

Entertainment-wise, concerts with peers and family while hitting the road are as lively as it should be with its eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system — compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — that blasts clear music to the six audio speakers packaged as standard on the Stonic.

This crossover is powered by a 1.4 dual CVVT engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The said power mill is set to deliver a maximum of 93hp for the manual option and 98hp for the automatic. The result of this engine-transmission pairing yields to a higher fuel-efficiency rating.

Safety-wise, it packs rear parking sensor, rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, electronic stability control and hill-start assist (all exclusive for the EX variant). Also, its 185-mm ground clearance provides that sense of security while traversing floodwaters.

The Stonic is being offered at introductory price of P675,000 for the entry-level variant (LX MT), P785,000 for the mid-variant (LX AT) and P875,000 for its top-spec. For this, Kia is offering a special pre-launch price for those who get to reserve a unit before its official launch on 15 October.

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Crucial third round yields double-point winners

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SOCIAL media influencer Reph Bangsil reigned in his class. Behind him are second and third placers, Gino Quillamor and Erika Rabara. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF TMP

The first season of Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) virtual racing competition has come down the wire with the exciting third and last round of races in the sporting, promotional and media classes.

“The third round is crucial as racers will earn double points this time,” TMP vice president for marketing services, Elijah Marcial said before the race started.

“Although we’ve seen some consistent racers leading in the first two rounds, it’s still anybody’s game at this point. We cannot wait to find out who will be showing the world that Filipinos can excel in the international e-motorsports arena.”
Here, e-motorsports enthusiasts were able to follow and cheer for their favorite racers since the beginning of the rounds.

 

As added excitement, celebrities and social media personalities were also added in the mix, such as: Gino Quillamor, Apple David, Reph Bangsil, John Manalo, Krissha Viaje, Nico Salva, Erika Rabara and Angelique Manto. Even TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto was likewise included in the grid.

Racers who accumulated the most points after the three rounds will be declared the national GR Supra GT Cup Asia Philippines champions. One champion from the sporting class and one from promotional class will advance to the Asian championship this October. The third member of team Philippines will come from the media and celebrity class.
Asian qualifiers will be announced soon. But before that, the following are the results of the third round of e-races.

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Tesla maps road to cheaper battery-operated cars

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SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Tesla on Tuesday said it is slashing battery costs to speed a global shift to renewable energy and could have a $25,000 (P1,212,000) model available in three years or so.

Chief executive Elon Musk and the head of Tesla’s power team laid out battery design, material and production innovations that combine to cut the cost per kilowatt hours by 56 percent.

New approaches to making lithium-ion batteries for vehicles are desperately needed, given the limited supply and cost, Musk said during a “Battery Day” presentation.

Tesla is refining a new way to manufacture batteries at its facility in Silicon Valley, with the process potentially enabling the company to field a $25,000 model in “three years-ish,” according to Musk. Despite a long-stated goal of making electric cars for the masses, Tesla models currently start at a bit more than $35,000 and quickly leap in price.

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