Just before we bade 2015 goodbye, a couple of new automobile models were launched posthaste to the local market. If it’s any indication, we are most probably facing another year of feverish activities in the local automotive industry. Another year of new model launches happening one after another together with test drive events and fuel eco runs supporting each model’s individual claim to outstanding fuel performance.
We have some of those launches, which we failed to write about due to the myriad of events that happened during the holiday season, many of which were on the same day and some even on the same time.
Mercedes-Benz’s new SUV line up
No less than H.E. Ambassador Thomas Ossowski of the German Embassy was part of the impressive guest list during the launch of the revamped Mercedes-Benz SUV line up recently held at the Rockwell Tent.
Auto Nation Group, Inc. (ANG, Inc.), the exclusive importers and distributors of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the Philippines unveiled for the first time in the country the GLE, GLE Coupe and the GLC. Also on the spotlight that evening was the iconic G-Class, where the ‘G’ stands for ‘Geländewagen’, which is German for “off road vehicle”.
ANG, Inc. chairman, Greg Yu and president Felix Ang were both on hand to welcome guests who came to the well-attended launch, which were mostly composed of Mercedes-Benz owners, clients, dealers and members of the motoring media.
The four cars, together with the GLA, complete Mercedes-Benz‘s new SUV line up. Each of these vehicles is bannered to be optimally armed for all challenges on tarmac surfaces and off surfaced terrain, very apt with the Mercedes-Benz new worldwide campaign, “Make the best of every terrain”.
“Recreational Active Vehicle” is what the RAV4 is all about and its 2016 iteration was unveiled by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) together with its traditional Christmas lunch with the motoring media, which also had the sad official announcement of its president’s (Mr. Michinobu Sugata) twice extended tour of duty’s end.
First introduced in the Philippines in 1997, the 2016 RAV4 is presented with a new grade lineup, which includes the 4×2 Active, 4×2 Active+, 4×2 Premium and 4×4 Premium.
Although it still comes with the same 2.5 liter engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the new RAV4 is now shoed with 17” aluminum wheels and tires with added safety features like a knee airbag complementing its standard front, side and curtain airbags and advanced safety features like VSC (Vehicle Stability Control), HAC (Hill-climb Assist Control) and DAC (Down-hill Assist Control).
Price range of the new RAV4 starts at P1,263,000 for the 4×2 Active to P2,066,000 for the 4×4 Premium.
Incredible reduction in weight
Audi’s full-size premier SUV, the 2nd generation Q7 was launched last month with an impressive power to weight ratio advantage as part of its advance technology highlight.
Audi engineers capitalized on more than two decades of experience in manufacturing aluminum chassis and suspension components to shave off substantial weight from the Q7, all of 325 kilograms, which is said to promise a whole slew of benefits like reduced fuel consumption, more dynamic handling response, increased cornering ease, improved braking and quicker acceleration. There are still a mouthful to say about other high tech features but we reserve that for you to explore during your trip to the Audi Philippines showrooms located in Greenhills, Global City and Alabang.
Aside from valued clients, guests and members of the motoring media, the launch, which was held at the Audi showroom located along EDSA was attended by German Embassy Chargè d’affaires Michael Hasper, who aside from praising Audi for winning the Le Mans 24-hour endurance race 12 times in the last 15 years also cited the carmaker’s tagline “Vorsprung Durch Technik” (Advancement Through Technology) and assented: “There is no Audi without top technology”.
Welcoming the guests during the launch were the father and son tandem of business tycoon Robert Coyiuto, Jr. and Audi Philippines head Benedicto Coyiuto with the young Coyiuto describing the Q7 as “the great quattro” and the cornerstone of the brand’s SUV lineup.
Honda’s New CR-Z tours before its launch
Before its official launch in a few week’s time, Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) is giving the public the opportunity to see their newest offering, the New CR-Z during a special exclusive dealer tour, which ends in January 14.
The new Honda CR-Z boasts of a combination of the power of a 1.5 liter, i-VTEC engine and the technology of a hybrid.
Today, January 6, the new sports hybrid can be seen at Honda Cars Shaw, tomorrow at Honda Cars Makati and on Friday, January 8 at Honda Cars Rizal. You may contact HCPI for a complete schedule.
Hyundai unveils 2016 Elantra
Simultaneous with their Christmas party for dealers, clients, the motoring media and friends Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. or HARI, the exclusive distributor of Hyundai cars in the Philippines recently launched the all-new Elantra at the Harbor Tent of Sofitel Hotel Manila.
This 6th generation model comes in three variants namely; top-of-the-line L variant uses a Nu 2.0 MPi engine, which is touted to deliver maximum drivability. With maximum horsepower of 152 ps and torque of 19.6 kg-m, the All-new Elantra is comparable to that of the midsize sedan segment. The entry-level E variant houses a Gamma 1.6 MPi engine with 6-speed manual transmission. The mid-tier S variant carries the same Gamma 1.6 MPi engine and is equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Online viewing for auto enthusiasts
The TV show Motoring Today, which airs every Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock on Solar Sports can be watched online anytime of the day together with all its past episodes on www.motoringtoday.ph
While Auto Focus, which airs Thursday evening at 10 o’clock also on Solar Sports can be watched online also with all its archived past episodes on www.autofocus.com.ph
Solar Sports can be viewed on Channel 70 on Sky Cable, Channel 35 on Destiny and Channel 55 on Cignal TV.