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Audi Q8: Crossover Qandy

CAN an SUV be both large and fun? This seems to be the question that German carmaker Audi sought out to answer when its designers worked on the Q8. The first-ever in its lineage, the full-size luxury crossover SUV debuted in the market last year — with a regional unveiling in October by way of the Audi Brand Experience (ABE) Singapore.

This 4×4 is also a daily driver:Jeep wrangles a ladies’ man

GENERALLY, vehicles built for off-road driving are hardly known for subtlety, or even creature comforts. The ability to take on the most difficult of terrains often overrides the interest in providing finesse and refinement because, well, it just doesn’t look the part.

The conquering Cullinan:First Rolls-Royce sport-ute rolls into PHL

PURISTS may have screamed “Sacrilege!” at the mere idea of uber-luxury brand Rolls-Royce deigning to put out an SUV, but the fuss all surely looks like much ado about nothing now. It was a logical next step, anyway.

New BMW X5 arrives:Boss man cometh again

HOW appropriate it was for SMC Asia Car Distributors Corporation (SMCACDC), official importer and distributor of BMW in the Philippines, to mark the March 11 arrival of the popular Sports Activity Vehicle -- that’s BMW parlance for SUV -- BMW X5 with San Miguel Corporation president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang in attendance.

Jimny Eat World:Suzuki Philippines brings in all-new version of iconic ‘cute...

THERE were a few bright spots in last year’s automotive scene, what with the onset of the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) Law, which effectively stymied a multi-year run of growth for the domestic industry owing to higher vehicle price tags, with a few exceptions.

Music and MG:Free concerts headline brand’s summer push

MG PHILIPPINES on March 9 kicked off the first in a series of live, free musical concerts dubbed “MG Live!” at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Autohub turns 20:Aims for bigger footprint

LET’S face it: The automobile sector is among the world’s cutthroat industries where competition at whatever price point is equally intense. The passion to succeed is expressed in the commensurate urgency to generate sales numbers.

Notte and nice

SEVENTY-five-year-old scooter brand Vespa has long reached iconic status around the world for its distinctive design and performance. One of seven mobility companies owned by Piaggio & Co. SpA, the brand has never shied away from evolving.

Audi Q5 2.0 TDI: Executive chic in award-winning mid-size package

MUCH fanfare has surrounded the enthroning of the Q8 as Audi’s preeminent SUV. Supplanting the Q7, the mid-size Q8 is imagined by the Ingolstadt-based premium car maker as “[uniting] the elegance of a four-door luxury coupe with the practical versatility of a large SUV than can be used for both business and leisure.”

Toyota holds new Hiace’s world premiere in PHL

CONFIRMING the veracity of the buzz leading to the much-awaited launch of its new vehicle, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) presented the all-new iteration of its popular van nameplate. Unveiled on Feb. 18 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Taguig City was the sixth-generation Toyota Hiace.

Comebacking old guard:All-new Toyota RAV4 to target ‘niche’ market

TOYOTA Motor Philippines (TMP) continues to beef up its portfolio of sport-utility vehicles with the introduction of the all-new Toyota RAV4. Unveiled at the Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater in Taguig City on Feb. 8, the fifth generation of the compact SUV first seen in 1994 comes at a time when the global appetite for the ute continues to drive sales (one in every three vehicles sold worldwide is an SUV).

New subcompact sedan Soluto unveiled: Ayala presents revitalized Kia PHL

IT’S official: Ayala Corporation takes control of Kia Philippines. The rejuvenated brand was re-launched on Jan. 20 through a major event attended by Ayala officials, dealer-partners and other guests.

New Suzuki Ertiga serves up more MPV goodness

IT appears there are three value propositions Suzuki Philippines unanimously convey about the latest iteration of the Suzuki Ertiga MPV: “strong,” “elegant” and “stylish.”

Lexus marks 10 years in the Philippines

IT SEEMS that the tale of Lexus in the country is underscored by a defiance of odds. On Jan. 2009, during a period of global uncertainty brought about by widespread economic turmoil, Lexus Philippines pulled the trigger on its first showroom in the country.

Honda HR-V RS Navi CVT:‘Unboxed’ crossover goodness

INVARIABLY, consumers undeniably luck out with the escalation of competition -- regardless of industry. The SUV/crossover market is one such domain that has seen a spike in players, what with a world so enamored with the format -- to the tune of one vehicle in every three sold globally.

Of EVs and evolving energy

“THE prospect is extremely bright for EVs [electric vehicles] in the Philippines in 2019,” confidently declared Rommel T Juan, president of the Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP), in an interview with BusinessWorld.

How soon is now?Consumer Electronics Show an automotive event, too

THE doors to the 2019 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) open on Jan. 8 across 11 venues in Las Vegas, Nevada. The annual event owned and staged by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is fancied as the “world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies… [serving] as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies… [a] global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace.”

Divining the 2019 local automotive scene:Cloudy, with a chance of hybrids

2018 is about to be done and dusted and, truth to tell, many in the local motoring industry are heaving a sigh of relief.

UX crossover new Lexus entry point

APPARENTLY, Japan-headquartered luxury car maker Lexus doesn’t shirk from making bold predictions about the newest vehicle in its portfolio. There’s clear confidence in the UX, which the company debuted at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show.

Refreshed, re-imagined:Bentley Manila showroom opens in BGC

A CAR showroom isn’t, and shouldn’t be, solely about selling cars, and premium luxury marque Bentley Motors subscribes to this way of thinking.

‘A-Class’ of its own:New-generation Mercedes-Benz hatch launched in PHL

FIRST revealed globally at this year’s edition of the Geneva Motor Show, the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class has now made its way into the Philippines. Auto Nation Group, official distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the country, last week unveiled the newest addition to its pantheon of vehicles while effectively serving as the entry point into its portfolio.

Ford Mustang 5.0L V8 GT A/T Convertible: Brainy beefcake

TRUTHFULLY, the Mustang is one of the few vehicle nameplates which register familiarity (without contempt) even if you neglect mentioning the brand behind it. A quintessential “macho” car since its golden era in the 1960s and 1970s, the Mustang is also a pop-culture icon which has had its Hollywood flirtations. An appearance in the 1964 James Bond adventure Goldfinger (starring the legendary Sean Connery) was timed to coincide with its US launch. And who doesn’t know the song “Mustang Sally”?

Vantage points:New Aston Martin coupe arrives in Manila

Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila EARLIER this month, Aston Martin was named Luxury Brand of the Year at the Luxury Briefing Awards in...

Honda: Future Brio teased via the Small RS, BR-V now PHL-made

TRUTH to tell, it seemed that the more popular displays at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) were smaller vehicles. One of them was the all-new Suzuki Jimny 4x4. The other was Honda’s Small RS Concept Car.

Toyota: TJ Cruiser leads brand’s new mobility concepts

THE centerpiece of Toyota Motor Philippines’ booth at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show was the Toyota TJ Cruiser concept model. Embracing the event’s theme of “Future Mobility,” the TJ Cruiser is a hybrid-powered vehicle that combines the luggage capacity of a cargo van with the imposing design of an off-road SUV, making it ideal for people whose lifestyles mix work and play.

Mazda: Defying convention through SkyActiv lineup

MAZDA at the 7th Philippine International Motor Show brought out its 2019 lineup featuring the latest evolution of its Kodo design language and SkyActiv technology.

Volkswagen: New Lamando, latest variants of Santana headline brand’s Filipino-theme display

Text and photos by Kap Maceda Aguila VOLKSWAGEN’s latest products made their public debut at PIMS, The new cars are the Lamando TSI DSG four-door...

Suzuki: Preview of all-new Jimny mini off-roader steals show

WITH the tantalizing unveiling of multiple units of a much-awaited mini 4x4 SUV badge, one could say that Suzuki Philippines (SPH) arguably annexed the 7th Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS) crown of popularity. Its scheduled opening program at the PIMS last week was an unmitigated hit -- packed with people who attended the revelation that eventually climaxed with a rousing musical number of a popular rock star.

Audi Brand Experience Singapore 2018: Present and future daze

THE biggest spectacle of the “four-ring” marque in this part of the world, called the Audi Brand Experience Singapore 2018 (ABE), took up over 8,100 square meters of the Sands Expo and Convention Center of the landmark Marina Bay Sands.

All-new Rolls-Royce Phantom launched in Manila

A GARGANTUAN vehicle that stretches nearly six meters, weighs three tons, and boasts a monstrous 6.7-liter V12 under an extended bonnet is the last you’d expect to be refined and silent. But over 800 engineers and designers in Goodwood, United Kingdom, beg to disagree because that’s how they, well, roll.

Morris Garages reopens in PHL

BRITISH brand and now Shanghai-headquartered Morris Garages, or MG, is officially back in business in the Philippines -- this time under the fold of a big and experienced distributor.

Captivating Stockholm: Small, old city packs a wallop

OUR beeline to Sweden takes us to Dubai in the Middle East, then another six-hour-plus flight to the Nordic country. A cogently woven tapestry of green and glistening swirls of water comes into view as the plane descends and breaks through a cloud bank. Arlanda International Airport goes up to meet us; a gateway into Sweden within the Stockholm County, but still some 40 kilometers south of the city that bears the name.

Johnnie Walker House pops up

THE WORLD’S leading Scotch whisky is also known for its so-called Johnnie Walker Houses “designed to immerse (patrons) in the history, provenance, and pioneering spirit of the... brand,” as a “lifestyle space and part museum (which brings together) luxury whisky innovation with art, design, fine-dining, and culture.”

Making the (up)grade: Vespa unveils new Primavera and Sprint

AMID skyrocketing fuel prices and monstrous traffic, now’s a good a time as any to consider traveling on two wheels instead of four. That’s according to MotoItalia Philippines head Willy Q. Tee Ten. He has a point. “We never expected Vespa to grow this big... Today, we have 17 dealerships and we’re not going anywhere but up,” he said on Oct. 3 during the launch program for the updated versions of the Vespa Primavera and Sprint.

Prized Points: BAIC unveils two hopefuls for SUV, MPV categories

THE sports utility vehicle (SUV) and multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) segments are two of the fastest-growing and selling formats in the automobile industry. On Sept. 28, BAIC Philippines unveiled two new models in the aforementioned categories in a bid to stake a claim in the niches. The car brand (which opened shop here in 2014) is the fourth-largest auto group in China, where it is based in Beijing. The BAIC Group is ranked 124th on the Fortune Global 500 list, with an operating income of $69.6 billion, according to a company statement. Its design center is located in Turin, Italy.

New running shoes tackle old pain points

AS RUNNING and fitness in general have earned their rightful place in the routines and schedules of urbanites previously confined to a sedentary, unhealthy life, equipment and apparel makers are heeding more specific calls. The pain points of the runner, for instance, include most literal ones in the feet and the knees because of repeated impact -- particularly for those more advanced in age.

New Lexus UX driven in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden. The worldwide predilection for crossovers has undoubtedly reached epic proportions, and there’s no sign of it abating. Even the most of rarefied of brands and those known primarily for heightened performance (i.e., sports cars) have seen the wisdom in developing corresponding entries in the genre. Indeed, studies show that one in every vehicle purchased is a crossover/SUV, and marques which shun the format do so at their peril.

Familiar forms, new takes

JUST AS ONE might match a pair of jeans with a blazer in a defiant interpretation of formal chic, Ethan Allen is proving that formal can be a relaxed proposition. The 85-year-old company known for its handcrafted furniture pieces is reimagining classic furniture forms swathed in “more modern fabric” or fashionable surfaces.

Rethinking tires: Michelin Primacy 4 challenges ‘new vs worn’ notions

PATTAYA, Thailand — Did you know that as much as one in every five full tanks of fuel can be, in effect, consumed by tires? So choose well when shopping for the only things making contact with the road. Of course, safety remains the utmost concern. However, we are mostly pushed into tire shops when confronted with the realization that our tires, well, no longer make tracks.

Mini SUV gets big changes

A TOTAL of five vehicle launches are rolling out for Ford Philippines this year, with three now in the books via the recent reveal of the EcoSport. Following the unveiling of the all-new Mustang convertible and all-new Expedition in April at the Manila International Auto Show, Ford last week presented the refreshed version of its compact utility vehicle, the EcoSport.

The crossover fever continues: Honda refreshes HR-V, releases sporty RS variant

HONDA recently reminded people that it has considerable skin in the crossover/SUV game. Amid an undeniable surfeit of car-based sport-utes releases across practically all auto brands, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) unveiled a refreshed version of the HR-V subcompact crossover.

Owner-friendly: New ES shows Lexus has been listening to its customers

LEXUS Philippines last week took the wraps off the new-generation ES, which successfully debuted on the world stage at the Beijing Motor Show in April. Since its first appearance in 1989 as a compact luxury sedan, the ES has cycled through seven generations while growing into the midsize automobile that it is today.

Big changes for Mini Models

IT’S not yet quite an all-new generation, but the new iterations of Mini’s hatches and convertible might as well be. Boasting sweeping changes in and out, the Mini 3 Door, 5 Door, and Cabrio have benefited in “visual appearance and extensive technological advancements,” according to a statement by the Oxford-headquartered car maker. In summary, the changes are reflected in “new engine-transmission combinations, an extended range of standard features, newly designed headlights and rear lights, additional body finishes and cutting-edge connectivity technology for convenience and infotainment.”

Maxxis grows PHL footprint, treads into car, SUV segments

TAIWAN-BASED tire maker Maxxis, distributed in over 170 countries, has been making a mark here in the Philippines through its products for light commercial vehicles, trucks and buses.

Leading the charge to an Electric future

ELECTRIC vehicles (EVs) have long crossed the divide of the conceptual to mass-production reality, but there remains a number of challenges to their adoption -- from high cost to lack of charging stations. It thus has been a constant and loud refrain in markets like ours that a multi-sectoral push is needed to realize a more conducive environment for EVs.