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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP), local distributor of Geely automobiles, showed a sneak preview of the all-new Geely Azkarra crossover to the media via video streaming yesterday. The compact SUV, which falls in the size class of the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, and Toyota RAV 4, aims to redefine its segment in terms of technology, design, and engineering.

The Azkarra’s official launch will be streamed live to the public via Geely Philippines’ website, Facebook, and YouTube accounts tomorrow, May 30 at 6 p.m.

The new Azkarra is completely redesigned from the first-generation model that was launched in 2016. Geely Design China’s vice president and general manager Guy Burgoyne said that they have worked doubly hard to bring luxury brand level technology into the Azkarra. Burgoyne adds, “after listening to consumer feedback, we wanted the user to have easier access to Azkarra’s technology and storage spaces by further refining our interior design.” According to Burgoyne, “the previous generations of Azkarra were already praised by its users for its performance and technology. When it was first launched, it was given the nickname ‘the most beautiful SUV’ in China. With such high praise, we knew we had to work harder on the second and third generations.”

The integration of the mild hybrid technology to its next vehicle brand is a bold step for Geely as a new challenger in the Philippine automotive industry. SGAP president and CEO Mikihisa Takayama said, “Right now we see that the auto industry is gearing towards hybrid and electric vehicle technology as it becomes increasingly popular.” Geely’s next-generation compact SUV is a 48V Electric Motor Synergy (EMS) model, powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine complemented by a 48V belt-starter generator (BSG), a 48V-12DCDC converter, 48V lithium-ion battery module, and battery management system (BMS).

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, SGAP has recently announced that all Geely vehicles — the subcompact Coolray and the new Azkarra — that are being sold in the Philippines are already equipped with CN95 filters. These cabin filters are designed to effectively filter out dust, harmful gases, particulate matter (PM) 2.5 particles, droplets with diameters larger than .74 microns which are often attached to coronaviruses.

Setting a competitive price range among compact SUVs, the Geely Azkarra starts at P1,438,000 for its front-wheel drive Premium variant and P1,598,000 for the all-wheel drive 48V EMS Luxury mild hybrid variant. Geely Auto Group CEO An Conghui said, “The Geely Azkarra, is an affordable luxury SUV. With its technological power, refined interior, healthy space, and safety features, the Geely Azkarra will bring a more enjoyable experience to your high-quality life.”

Upgraded and upmarket in all aspects, the designers and engineers of Geely said they are confident that the Azkarra will redefine the segment for a lifestyle-inspired premium SUV.

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