By Manny N. de los Reyes
I WAS in the Motor Image head office in Singapore earlier this year to interview the world-renowned dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, (who happens to be a Subaru ambassador and was taping his TV episodes there) when I came across a very well-dressed Subaru XV.
Our Motor Image host, CEO Glenn Tan, explained to us that what we were seeing was an almost-production-level special edition XV model. We learned further that it would be called the XV GT Edition and the big boss only smiled when we asked him if it stands for his initials (his staff refers to him as “GT”).
Of course, many car brands name their sportier models with the GT suffix or a variation thereof (i.e. GT-R, GTO, etc.). And this Subaru XV GT was no exception. Under the hood, it has the same engine as the standard XV, but outwardly (and inwardly), the GT Edition is dressed to impress.
And now, Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc. (MIP), the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, has announced the much-awaited availability of the XV GT Edition. Previewed earlier this year in the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS), the special variant of the Subaru XV is now ready to roll out from Subaru showroom floors nationwide.
The sportier version of Subaru’s best-selling crossover is a collaboration between renowned engineering company Giken Co. Ltd. and Masahiko “Jack” Kobayashi, whom we got to meet and have an informal chat with right beside his gleaming handiwork. Kobayashi-san was the former Chief Designer (Head of Global Advanced Design Studio) at Subaru Corporation and the person behind the design language of at least 12 Subaru production models including the Levorg sports tourer and the iconic WRX STI.
This iteration, made especially for Asia, is equipped with dynamic and bold features such as front and rear bumper lip extensions, side skirts, 18-inch bespoke alloy wheels, and a roof spoiler. Inside, you’ll find special leather upholstery inspired by high-performance grand tourers from Europe.
Aside from steering-responsive headlights, where the light beams move in the direction the steering wheel is turned to ensure better visibility, other improvements in safety have also been made. A dual side-view monitor system comes standard to allow easier parking and maneuvering, especially in tight corners or blind spots. The XV GT Edition is also equipped with the X-Mode function, which lets you overcome any challenging weather or roads for added peace of mind.
The Subaru XV GT Edition is priced at P1,768,000. However, MIP is also offering a special price for the first batch of releases of the XV GT at a cool P1,718,000.