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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lexus Unveils 2013 LS

With its dynamic handling, bold new design and superior craftsmanship, the 2013 LS flagship models hail the future of the Lexus brand as it embarks on its third decade in the premium luxury category. While retaining many of the qualities that have defined Lexus for more than 20 years, the LS reaches new heights with an exciting blend of beautiful design, modern refinement and advanced technology.

The 2013 LS line-up includes the LS 460, LS 460L, LS 600hL hybrid, and the first-ever LS 460 F SPORT. LS 460 and LS 460L are available in RWD and AWD. The LS Hybrid is available with a full-time AWD system.

AVT Navigation and Multi-Media Devices Showcased in 2012 PIMS

AVT, a Filipino company pioneering in vehicle navigation and multi-media devices, will once again be showcasing a new range of products at the upcoming 4th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), to be held from August 16-19, 2012, at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

The latest model of the AVT personal navigation range, the AVT PN-504, will be launched at the event. Featuring a new high-resolution 5-inch LCD touchscreen, the AVT PN-504 is powered by the latest Atlas IV 533MHz CPU with a built-in high sensitivity GPS receiver that is quickly able to acquire a GPS fix in 3-minutes. In terms of functionality, the AVT PN-504 also serves as a multi-media player (MP3/MP4/WMA/WMV/AVI/3GP), a photo viewer, and offers extras such as a calculator, calendar and unit conversion.

Round 1 of 2012 Lateral Drift Championship Series

Photo by Lazlo Trinidad
It was a guaranteed successful kick-off event for automotive drifting fans as they witnessed sideways action of the Lateral Drift Championship Series held last weekend at Quirino Grandstand. Last year, only a portion of the grandstand was occupied, specifically the curved road going to the entrance of Ocean Park because it was partnered up with another event. But this year the entire Parade Grounds was solely occupied only for drift action for spectators to enjoy.

Volvo C30 Electric Awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China

Photo Courtesy of Volvo Press
While the Shanghai International Automotive City Group (SIAC) marked its first anniversary of the electric vehicle (EV) campaign on July 20, 2012, Volvo Car Corporation delivered 15 Volvo C30 Electric cars to the City for pioneering open road test-drive project - EV100 Days. Meanwhile, Volvo C30 Electric was also awarded "Green Car of the Year" in China at the 4th China New Energy Mobility Summit in recognition of its world-leading safety and superb performance on the same day.

Merging Driver Gets Revenge on Another Driver

Next time you try to merge, please be more considerate. As the Russian in the Toyota sedan found out, not giving way to a Land Cruiser Prado will end in a muddy consequence.

Happy start of the week, everyone!

Review: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C 200 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY Avantgarde

Photos by Ulysses Ang

Mercedes-Benz has always been regarded as the choice of the privileged and the upper class. The mere sight of the three-pointed star atop the radiator grille is enough to cause a sea of traffic to part, the security guards to salute and the valet to give up the VIP parking slot. Lately though, Mercedes-Benz has embarked on a diversification campaign, creating almost every conceivable permutation it can make from four-door coupes, to SUVs of varying sizes to even premium hatchbacks. Nowadays, every Tom, Dick, and Harry can get a Mercedes-Benz that feels tailor-made to his budget, taste, and lifestyle. Thankfully, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t lost sight on the cars that made them successful in the first place.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tuason Races in the Belgian F1 Track

After posting the best time in his division in Germany, Multi-Awarded Racecar driver JP Tuason has continued on to the Porsche Sports Cup in Circuit de Spa, the Formula 1 track in Belgium.

Tuason, who went to race in Germany to explore the different opportunities for Filipino Racers in Europe, posted the fastest time around the famed Nurburgring track, and was invited once again to race in the next level of Competition.

Lateral Drift 2012 Starts Saturday, July 28

Drifting is the fastest growing motorsport in the world, and now starts its season once again here in the Philippines dubbed as the 7th Season of the Philippine Lateral Drift Championship Series 2012. This season will have a full calendar of six rounds which will start this July until the month of November. The 4 rounds will be held in Manila and the other 2 rounds at Clark Pampanga. A total 40+ Amateurs and Pro drivers from all over the region have been counted and ready to start this year action.

Bright Stars for Subaru in the Philippines

Photos courtesy of Subaru Press
Subaru is on a hot streak in the Philippines. After launching their all-new XV compact crossover at the 8th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) last April, orders have steadily come in. In fact, thanks largely to the overwhelming success of the XV as well as the Forester, the brand is heading towards another record year in terms of sales. And they haven’t stopped to take a breather just yet.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Lexus Manila Launches 2012 ES 350

Photos courtesy of Lexus Press
The introduction of the all-new 2012 ES350 marks the sixth generation of Lexus’ popular luxury sedan since its introduction over 20 years ago. Featuring the signature Lexus spindle grille, a progressive new design and enhanced handling, the ES brings new levels of refinement and quality to the entry luxury segment. The ES is sure to impress new and loyal consumers. “Since its introduction in 1989, the ES has been the benchmark luxury sedan for quality, reliability, ride comfort and value,” said Mark Templin, Lexus group vice president and general manager. “The new ES350 raises the bar once again.” 

Lexus Manila Now Offers Certified Pre Owned Cars

Photo courtesy of Lexus Press
Last April, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) launched the Toyota Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles (TCPOV) program with the aim of providing a one-stop shop convenient service to its customers. This July, TMP is introducing the same program to its luxury brand Lexus. With the launch of the Lexus Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles (LCPOV) program, Lexus brings its world renowned service another level higher.   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Petron Offers "Blaze Your Way to the Grand Prix" Promo

Gassing up with Petron and paying with your MasterCard could win you a free trip to the Formula One Grand Prix! The "Blaze Your Way to the Grand Prix" promo is an e-raffle running from July 15 to September 15, 2012.

Volvo Upgrades City-Safety Technology

Volvo introduces a pioneering preventive safety technology in 2008 called City Safety. This Volvo world-first technology was introduced as standard with the Volvo XC60 which helped reduced risk of rear-end collisions between a car and a Volvo.

Ford Trains Focus Specialists as Part of All-New Ford Focus Launch in the Philippines

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
Ford Philippines prepares for the launch of the class-defining all-new Ford Focus by conducting a Focus Specialist Certification Program to select sales teams and consultants.

Powered by Ford Academy, a regional training program aimed to enhance dealership competence and capability, the Focus Specialist Certification Program is an intensive three-day training program designed to equip the Ford sales team with comprehensive product knowledge of the all-new Ford Focus including its segment-first smart technologies.

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Drive: 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage

Photos by Ulysses Ang
BANGKOK, THAILAND—Small is big nowadays. With the price of crude oil continuing to skyrocket worldwide, carmakers are scrambling to produce a global small car: one that caters to both the sophisticated, eco-conscious taste of the first-world markets and the price-sensitive, practical needs of the emerging markets. Mitsubishi is the latest automaker to enter the B-segment (sub-compact car) fray, and their answer: the all-new Mirage.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Bullish for 2nd Half

In spite of the supply constraints experienced during the start of this year, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) registered total sales of 16,956 units in the first half of 2012 representing modest sales growth of 0.5% compared to the same period last year.  With these numbers, Mitsubishi remains to be the second best selling brand in the country as it cornered 23.3% market share based on consolidated reports of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) and Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA). 

BMW Breaks New Ground at Auto Allee BMW in Eton Centrries, North EDSA

Photo courtesy of BMW Press
Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, held the ground breaking ceremony of its newest BMW dealership, the Auto Allee BMW in Eton Centries, North EDSA. The dealership will be BMW's 4th dealer in Metro Manila, bringing the tally of BMW Dealerships to seven nationwide.

Lexus Manila to Launch All-New ES Sedan

Photo courtesy of Lexus Press
Lexus Manila is set to launch their all-new ES sedan on Wednesday, July 25. Follow us on Twitter as we give you a blow-by-blow launch coverage of Lexus's best-selling sedan (both in the Philippines as well as North America). Our coverage starts at 7 PM.

Friday, July 20, 2012

BMW Dominates PHL Premium Luxury Segment; Posts Highest Sales Record

Asian Carmakers Corporation (ACC), the official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, continues to reign as the country’s leading premium automotive brand, posting its highest sales of 106 units sold last June 2012, and dominating the market with its 41% market share for the month. This mirrors the global trend that has seen the BMW Group, posting an 8.1% increase year-on-year growth, its highest record sales ever.

AVID Wraps Up First Semister with 28% Growth

The Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) ends the first semester with a 28% growth to 15,799 units from 12,324 units sold in the same period last year. This compares with the overall industry growth of 7%. 

The Passenger Car (PC) segment rose by 59% in the same period to 9,530 units from 6,007 units sold last year. Robust sales of AVID members, British United Automobiles, Inc., The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI), and Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) boosted overall sales for the said period.

June 2012 alone saw a year-on-year growth of 9% in total sales to 2,912 units from 2,666 units sold in the same month last year.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Honda Cars Philippines Issues Voluntary Recall for 2012 CR-V

Photo courtesy of Honda Press
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) announces a voluntary recall of some 834 vehicles of Honda CR-V 2012 year model sold in the Philippines for the period of April to July 2012, to replace the inner door handle and/or door latch assembly with countermeasure parts. 

Petron Opens Up Business Opportunities to Pinoy Entreprenuers

Photo courtesy of Petron Press
Petron Corporation, the country's leading oil company, is opening up investment opportunities for Filipino entrepreneurs by offering them a chance to own and operate a Petron service station. With Petron's expertise, track record, and market leadership, enterprising Filipinos from all walks of life will have the opportunity to start a great business and grow with a company they can trust.

All you need is a plot of land of the right size located along a well-travelled thoroughfare. Depending on the feasibility study, a Petron dealer may choose the appropriate station configuration to match the market potential with his investment capacity.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ford Philippines Launches Iconic Mustang; Prices Start at P 2.499M

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
The new Ford Mustang today made its much anticipated debut in the Philippines at a festive launch event in Manila, with Ford announcing official market pricing for the company’s iconic sports car.

At the event, Ford also announced pricing for the Mustang, which will be available in in the Philippines in two variants. The 3.7L Mustang V6 Premium is priced at PhP 2,499,000, and the 5.0L Mustang V8 GT Premium for PhP 2,899,000.

Customer deliveries will start in September.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Win A Ford Focus with "Start It. Share It. Win It."

Ford Philippines today announced an exciting, interactive and unprecedented launch campaign -- ‘All-New Ford Focus…Start it. Share it. Win it’ -- designed to engage Filipino consumers with real-life ‘smart-demos’ of two of the all-new Ford Focus’ first-in-segment, smart technologies. The smart demo road show will officially start on Friday, August 3 at SM Marikina.

‘Start it. Share it. Win it’ provides a unique opportunity for customers to become part of the local market launch of the all-new Focus by participating both online and on-the-ground over a twelve-week period that will include seven event locations across Metro Manila.

Ford Mustang Launching July 18

Finally, after years of speculation and waiting, the Ford Mustang is ready to prowl the streets of Manila. Mark your calendars as Wednesday, July 18 is the day that Ford Group Philippines is set to unveil the iconic muscle car.

Speculations point towards two available variants of the Ford Mustang, and some media outlets have reported that the range-topping 5.0-liter V8 version will bow in at P 2.6-million. This easily makes the Mustang the most powerful car for the buck.

Will this hold true? Follow us on Twitter as we give you a blow-by-blow coverage of the launch of this icon, and set if it's got the specs (and the price) to battle the likes of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and the Toyota 86.

UPDATE: Our Twitter coverage starts at 5PM.

Review: 2012 Mazda CX-5 M/T and A/T

Mazda engineers have been burning the midnight oil finding ways to make their cars fun to drive. Suffice to say, they’re trying to make each and every vehicle in their line-up as fun on the road as the MX-5 (aka Miata). This may sound blasphemous, but it’s wholly true: from the 2, 3, and even the 6--Mazdas are fun behind the wheel even if they don’t tend to be the most powerful in their respective classes. But how can their philosophy, the now infamous “zoom-zoom” translate into a compact crossover? Remember, this is an extremely competitive segment, where function largely dominates over fun.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Honda Cars Philippines Launches Civic Variants

Photos courtesy of Honda Press
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI), today launched the full variant line-up of the all-new Honda Civic.

Since its introduction in February 2012, the all-new Civic has been well received. The availability of the full variant line-up will further strengthen our position in the market by providing buyers with wider range of price and feature options.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Never Celebrate Too Early

Here's a lesson for all aspiring to enter motorsports: never celebrate too early. As this guy, Riccardo Russo found out as he celebrated his "victory" a lap too early in the 2012 Italian CIV championship race in Mugello.

Friday, July 13, 2012

First Drive: 2012 Ford Focus

Photos by Ulysses Ang and Ford Press
KRABI, THAILAND – A sweeping right-band bend appears on the horizon. You settle yourself into the bucket seat, brace your right foot against the dead pedal, and tighten your grip on the steering wheel. Do you slow down or speed up? A split-second later, you mash the throttle and take the bend. Your car remains planted. Secure. Without a tire squeal from the front Michelin tires. You crack a satisfied smile, and continue on with the rest of your journey. This is your new family car. This is the all-new Ford Focus.

Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Unveils Lancer EX 1.6

Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Press
Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) gives more reason to love the Lancer EX with the introduction of the 1.6 liter variants and an upgraded 2-liter GT-A model.  The Lancer EX 1.6 liter will come in 3 variants: the base GLX with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic and the top of the line MX with 4-speed automatic transmission.  The new Lancer EX with the all new 1.6 liter MIVEC engine will definitely appeal to buyers of both sub-compact and compact sedans who are looking for a good balance of power and fuel economy.  

Meanwhile, MMPC has also refreshed 2-liter GT-A as it is poised to offer still the best value for money in the compact sedan segment given its top of its class features.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

HCPI Launching Expanded Civic Line-Up on Monday

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is finally launching a much needed expanded Civic line-up on Monday, July 16. Though pricing and availability will be formally announced on Monday, from what we gather (and this was presented in the Civic launch early in the year), it will mark the return of a base variant of the Civic as well as the 2.0-liter model.

Snooping around the net reveals some interesting specs: the 1.8-liter S (as how neighbor Thailand dubs the base variant) will have a 5-speed manual transmission mated to the same 1.8-liter engine as before: 141 horsepower and 174 Nm of torque. It will also continue to be equipped with 15-inch alloys with 195/65 tires.

Meanwhile, the 2.0 EL model will likely serve as the Civic's flagship model. Like before, it will have 155 horsepower and 190 Nm of torque and it will be solely available with a 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Key features will likely include: a push button engine start/stop, cruise control, HID headlamps, 17-inch alloys with 214/45 tires among others.

Follow us on Twitter as we follow the unveiling of several new Civic on Monday, July 16. Our coverage starts at 11:00 AM.

Goodyear Launches Quietest Tire Ever

The new Eagle EfficientGrip is Goodyear’s quietest, most comfortable tire ever. The leading tire company’s latest innovation is engineered with advanced “Quiet Tred” technology to minimize road noise and help deliver a silky smooth ride, without compromising safety which is the hallmark of all Goodyear tires.

Designed for luxury car drivers in the country who are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the urban environment when they step into their cars, the new Goodyear Eagle EfficientGrip can help make the journey more quiet and smooth.

Hyundai Posts 36% Growth in June

In June, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) posts 36% growth in total sales to 2,356 units from 1,737 units in the prior month. The Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) segment made an impressive comeback with 101% surge, or 1,108 units sold in June versus the 550 sold a month ago. The arrival of stocks of the Tucson model contributed to the overall boost of Compact SUVs with 600 units sold.

This led to a 23% growth in sales for the first six months of the year with 12,751 units sold compared to the 10,355 units sold in the same period last year. For the said period, models in the PC segment, namely the Accent and the recently-launched EON, upped by 66%.

Photo Break #3: Sweeping Bend

Photo by Ulysses Ang
Here's Part 3 of our Photo Break. This one takes us to Krabi, in the southern part of Thailand. This one shows a convoy of Ford Focus taking a sweeping bend.

Like all other Photo Break, this one's in high-resolution format (1280 x 800). Free free to download them as your wallpaper.

Philippine Car Price Guide: July 2012

We bring to you the July 2012 installment of the monthly car price guide. In this update, there are some notable changes including:
  • Audi A1
  • Chevrolet Colorado
  • Ford Explorer 3.5 V6
  • Ford Focus
  • Ford Mustang
  • Honda Jazz 1.5 V, SE, and Mugen (!)
  • Isuzu Alterra Urban Cruiser X
  • Isuzu D-MAX variants
  • Kia Sorento variants
  • Kia Sportage 2.4 DLX
  • Mitsubishi Lancer EX 1.6
  • Mitsubishi Montero Sport 3.0 V6
  • Suzuki Alto K10
On onward to the Philippine Car Price Guide!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: BMW 118d Urban

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Normally, you'll be cursing to yourself when you've got a BMW stuck in midday EDSA traffic. Normally, you'll be wishing for a wide, open road with a billiard-smooth surface to sample the BMW's impeccable balance and spirited engine. Normally, you'd wish everyday was a Sunday. Sadly, Sunday happens just once a week and in the six other days, you have to be content crawling through traffic in your P 2-million hatchback. Yet, for all the traffic and unpredictable weather Manila offers, this is the sort of environment that tests the all-new BMW 118d. Rarely does a car prove itself while stuck in traffic, but that's exactly what this premium car did. For a minute, you can forget that BMW's were designed to tackle the autobahn, and relish a fuel economy that's close to 20 km/l (and that's not a typo).

Monday, July 9, 2012

All-New Ford Ranger is Here (Finally)!

Photo courtesy of Ford Press
The all-new global Ranger has arrived on Philippine shores and will be offered in Ford showrooms nationwide.

Revealed in April at the Manila International Auto Show, the all-new Ford Ranger comes to market in the Philippines, combining the toughness and capability of a pickup truck with smart technology, outstanding safety, excellent fuel economy and high standards of quality and comfort.

“We are thrilled to start deliveries of our class-defining all-new Ranger and invite our customers to test drive the Ranger at their nearest Ford dealership,” said Dino Obias, AVP for Marketing.

The all-new Ranger is available in three variants - the 2.2L 4x2 XLT in both 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions and the 2.2L 4x4 XL in manual transmission – at the suggested retail price of PhP1,179,000 for the 2.2L Ranger 4x4 XL, PhP1,069,000 for the 2.2L Ranger XLT 4x2 MT and PhP1,119,000 for the 2.2L Ranger XLT 4x2 AT.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Chevrolet Colorado Now Available in PHL

The Covenant Car Company Incorporated (TCCCI) gives pick-up enthusiast something to be excited about as it introduces the all-new Chevrolet Colorado in the Philippines. The New Chevrolet Colorado is built on nearly a century of Chevrolet trucking heritage and engineered with the best combination of power, durability, comfort and economy in its class. It has been subjected to a tough development and validation process, and has been tested in the toughest conditions around the world. The result is a midsize pick-up truck that is best-in-class in terms of power, torque and acceleration over all terrains, and under all operating conditions.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

All-New Ford Focus Debuts in PHL; Sales Start in September

The all-new Ford Focus makes its Philippine debut, setting a new standard in its segment with its unmatched combination of smart technologies, outstanding fuel economy, expressive design, responsive performance, responsive performance and high levels of craftsmanship and occupant safety.

The dynamic Ford Focus will go on sale in the Philippines in September and will be produced at Ford’s new USD 450-million, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand, which will supply the entire ASEAN region as well as other export markets.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

PGA Cars Launches A1

PGA Cars, Inc., the official distributor of Audi vehicles in the Philippines has announced that the A1 is now available at their Greenhills, Alabang, and Global City Showrooms.

Audi's most compact model comes with the S-Line body kit and is being offered in several colors. It's powered by a 1.4-liter engine that features both a supercharger AND a turbocharger. It's also equipped with the 7-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. Thanks to the small engine as well as advanced transmission and start/stop system, the A1 returns an impressive 18.86 km/L.

For more information about the Audi A1, you may contact PGA Cars at (+63-2) 727-0381 to 85.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: 2012 Mazda3 2.0 R

Photos by Ulysses Ang
Admittedly, when the curtains were pulled off the all-new Mazda3, the reception was a bit lackluster. Given the first-generation 3 collected numerous accolades and was for a time, the Philippines’s best-selling compact car, expectations for the new model was stratospherically high. Plus, since its arrival was a full two years (and a facelift) behind schedule, everyone was expecting to be blown away. Rumors circulated about the possibility of having a 2.0-liter hatchback, a manual transmission option, and even the arrival of the mythical Mazdaspeed3.

Monday, July 2, 2012

CAMPI Announces Motor Show Schedule

Optimism hasn’t been any higher for the 13 members and affiliates of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. or CAMPI as they have officially announced the dates of the fourth Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS). Slated from Thursday, 16 August to Sunday, 20 August 2012 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, this year’s show carries the theme of: “Drive the Fun”.