Will this harvest of foreign exotics soon make its way into the country?

THE PREVIOUS months may have reflected a significant decrease in overall car sales due to the pandemic, but most car manufacturers have not slowed down in churning out new models to tease the appetite of hopeful motorists. So, what new, innovative cars are we looking forward to, and do we wish to be offered in the Philippines this 2021? Allow me to run through a few.


If you remember, a while back I wrote about Peugeot’s global announcement that it was coming out with a very special and new Sport Engineered line. Well, the time has finally come for Peugeot to showcase the beginning of its latest aesthetics, led by efficiency, via its Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered model. Offered both in the form of a saloon and as an estate car, the 508 PSE will become the fastest car in the Peugeot range so far. It’s expected to show off some great sport tuning thanks to input from Peugeot’s specialized Sport tuning division. With a 200hp petrol engine further strengthened by two 110hp electric motors, the new Peugeot 508 Sport Engineered vehicle will definitely become the apple of many an enthusiast’s eye!


Have you seen the Porsche 911’s hot-looking and track-focused GT3? It’s an awesome, 510hp sportscar that, unlike the rest of the 911 range, is powered by a four-liter, naturally aspirated engine. We hear it’s going to be solid fun to drive this thing around the track; and even more so in its manual transmission variant. The 911 has always been one of my all-time favorites of the Porsche models, and I can’t wait to see this one on our roads!


The BMW iX is truly exciting because it will be BMW’s first, fully electric compact SUV. The anticipated drive range of this vehicle is set at approximately 300 miles per full charge; and it will be powered by two electric motors that also enable the compact SUV to run on full-time all-wheel drive (AWD). The vehicle is based on BMW’s Vision iNext concept that was showcased back in 2018. And the production model is expected to look just as futuristic, while incorporating a spacious cabin decorated with carbon-fiber reinforced, plastic body panels.


The Volvo XC40 Recharge is the Scandinavian brand’s fully electric SUV, and the company says it can take you as far as 418 km on a single, full battery charge. It uses a one-pedal drive system and is powered by twin electric motors that can be fast-charged to 80% capacity in just 40 minutes. That makes this vehicle realistically viable for driving within the city, and with zero tailpipe emissions at that. Doesn’t this make it the absolute ideal model for a city car? Imagine: safety at the forefront, combined with cleaner city air. This is my perfect automobile combo for highly populated areas!


The seventh-generation Mercedes Benz S-Class is an amazingly future-proof car that takes connectivity, digitization, electrification and the quest for driving autonomy all to the next level. Although it still relies on an internal combustion engine as its main source of power — in the form of a three-liter, inline six that spits out 429hp — it is also boosted by a mild hybrid system that adds an additional 22hp to the mix. Furthermore, there is rumor that a 580e plug-in hybrid variant will be released later in the year.


It was at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show (TMS 2019) that Nissan HQ unveiled its impressive electric crossover — the Nissan Ariya. It is one of the company’s icons of the latest design direction which it likes to call “Timeless Japanese Futurism.” And at the time, their Senior Vice-President for Global Design Alfonso Albaisa described it as “a concept which we will soon be able to drive.” True enough, the Ariya soon became Nissan’s first-ever, all-electric crossover SUV available as a production vehicle.

The Ariya offers the most spacious cabin in its class — with a flat, open floor and slim-profile Zero Gravity seats, that result in enormous legroom. It is almost as if its interior is no longer simply a car cabin, but rather transformed into a pleasant living space for the driver and passengers to enjoy.


After stating for years that it was not yet time to penetrate the electric realm, Mazda fascinated TMS 2019 guests with the revelation of its very first mass production EV — the Mazda MX-30 electric hatchback crossover. Carrying its proprietary e-SkyActiv powertrain that draws power from a lithium-ion battery with a total battery capacity of 35.5kWh, the MX-30 puts forward the company’s new “Human Modern” concept for EVs, while still maintaining the same human-centric philosophy and jinba ittai (“horse and rider as one”) driving dynamics that the company has long been known to value.

The MX-30 presents an open-feeling cabin that wishes to set the mind free — designed with rear-hinged suicide doors, which they like to call “freestyle doors,” and is made from sustainable materials (including airy fibers made from recycled plastic bottles, and Heritage Cork trim, laid out in the center console). It’s already available as a production car in Europe, and I truly wish it would find its way to the Philippines.


A new Range Rover is due to be launched soon, and it’s expected to showcase an ultra-high-technology cabin and a plethora of innovative, driver-assistance technology. Both petrol and diesel variants will be assisted by electric motors, qualifying them as mild hybrids. A fully-electric variant is also expected to emerge, making use of technology co-developed with BMW.


The new Rolls-Royce Ghost has already been hailed as many a governing body’s 2021 luxury car of the year. It has been completely redesigned, and is lighter, stronger, and more refined than ever. It has an additional 200 pounds of sound-insulating material and, of course, lives up to its legendary “magic carpet ride.” What’s best is that this model — using its powerful 6.75-liter, twin-turbocharged V12 engine — is able to combine ultra-luxury and exhilarating performance into a single vehicle — a combination long thought to be too difficult to achieve.