EDSA Busway or Bust

There appears to be no stopping the Department of Transportation (DoTr), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) from implementing the EDSA Busway system.

They gave members of the motoring media a first-hand experience of how the EDSA Busway would work when it begins full operation.

Media members were given a ride on one of the buses that will be used on the EDSA Busway. They were also given a run-through of what the public should expect when taking the Busway. Passengers undergo temperature checks, sanitizing of hands. Some buses would have an automatic fare collection system. Those without the system will use a fare collection booth.

Despite limiting buses to a speed limit of 40 to 45 km/h, DoTr officials said the whole trip from Monumento in Caloocan to the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange would take around 45 minutes instead of the present 3 hours.

Meanwhile, EDSA Busway proponents have to deal with complaints and criticism from private motorists and motoring groups following the spate of road accidents involving the concrete barriers used to segregate the bus lane.

LTO extends deadline

Good news for those who fear missing the deadlines for renewing vehicle registration papers. The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has extended the deadline for registration of motor vehicles with license plate numbers ending in 6, 7 or 8 to September 30, 2020.

For vehicles without plate numbers, the last number of the conduction sticker will be used as basis. This is to avoid congestion at all LTO offices, ensure orderly processing of transactions and to allow for the consistent observance of social distancing under community quarantine protocols.

Learning Japanese

A lot of people took the time to learn a new language while locked down in homes with the Covid-19 pandemic still resurgent. The launch of the all-electric crossover Nissan Ariya provides a perfect opportunity to study Japanese the language and Japanese automotive design philosophy.

Nissan Motor of Japan SVP of Global Design Alfonso Albaisa, Executive Design Director Satoru Tai and Senior Design Director Giovanny Arroba say they worked to give a distinctive Japanese identity to the Ariya and tapped into Japanese design philosophies.

“We wanted to ensure that the soul of the vehicle reflect our distinctive Japanese DNA, conveyed in a simple, yet powerfully modern manner,” Albaisa said. 

This design philosophy is defined by many Japanese words. The following are some of Japanese design philosophies incorporated by Nissan in the Ariya:  

—Omotenashi (Japanese script: “おもてなし”) Traditional meaning: Offering more than what’s expected at this time, in this place, and only for you (an unexpected level of hospitality and service).

Albaisa said: “With Ariya, we considered the meaning of omotenashi in the modern digital context. To be considerate is a key aspect of this tradition. For example, when a driver enters the Ariya, all icons are blacked out, only the start button is pulsating waiting for the driver to engage.”

—Iki (Japanese script: “粋”) Cutting-edge, with a simplistic, fresh feeling.

Said Tai: “Iki may very well be one of the best ways to describe the Ariya, as it refers to the vehicle’s advanced design language and technology. Iki describes a reinvention of how we interface with a vehicle with breakthroughs in connectivity technology.”

—Kabuku (Japanese script: “傾く”) A bold, diverse expression that goes against common approach.

“You can see hints of kabuku in the approach to the Ariya itself. As an EV, it takes advantage of opportunities to repurpose and redesign. For example, the front grille has been reimagined as a ‘shield,’ taking on a new purpose of protecting technology while enabling higher levels of driver assistance,” said Tai.

—Ma (Japanese script: “間”) A mastery of empty space by respecting its construction.

“Both Exterior and interior reflect this concept. The exterior at a glance has a single dynamic line from front to rear, in actuality the forms that create this line are very sculptural and give the line a more artistic essence.  The interior is tech minimal reflecting the daily life of our customers,” said Albaisa.

—Utsuroi (Japanese script: “移ろい”)  Fluidity and asymmetry, created by nature. 

Nissan’s design team said Utsuroi is “the essence of their inspiration, implementing the flowing expressions of nature to create new forms with a feeling of purpose and balance.” 

Said Tai: “Examples of utsuroi are present throughout the Ariya. The tension and flowing forms of the exterior, specifically the rear quarter panels and the single crease line that runs around the body, express the design as unrestrained and encompass the entire vehicle. Inside, the long, unbroken instrument panel echoes the free-flowing exterior.”

Virtual racing

With many grassroots motorsports events sidelined by the pandemic, many are looking to e-racing to sate the thirst for racing.

After deciding to cancel this year’s Vios Racing Festival, Toyota Motor Philippines decided to replace the popular event with the 2020 GT Supra GT Cup Asia — Philippines.

The three round e-racing series using the Playstation Gran Turismo Sport platform drew over a hundred competitors seeking to represent the Philippines in the event’s regional finals.

The first round of Toyota’s e-racing event saw many local racing stars competing against local e-racing pros and semi-pros which featured a qualifying leaderboard challenge to determine the start grids for sem-final heats leading up to finals in the two major classes and the Junior Class.

Ending up on the virtual podium of the promotional class was first placer Gab Señires, second placer Lance Padilla, and third placer Lance Guballa.

The Sporting Class had first placer Luis Moreno, second placer Mark Voltaire Elman, and third placer Corban Guerrero.

The winners in the Junior Class are Russell Cabrera on first place, Inigo Anton on second place, and Sebastien Soto on third place.

Said seasoned e-racer Luis Moreno: “I started e-racing competitively in 2013 after I stumbled on a sim-racing competition at a gaming event in a mall. I gave it a try in that event and placed 2nd in the tournament and it was there when I realized I had potential in e-racing.”

“Since then I became active in competitions on various racing games, gaining experience on local and international events when the opportunity arises.”

Commenting on the difference between e-racing and on-track racing, Gab Senires said: “Racing on the track is fun as it is online, only you don’t get to feel adrenaline as the real thing but the intensity and pressure is definitely there.”

“It’s fun to practice online with friends in the comfort of one’s home anytime,” Senires added.

Points earned from each round will determine the champions and who will compete in the regional  competition.

Only those competing in the Sporting and Promotional classes can represent the country in the 2020 GR Supra GT Cup Asia.

All participants must undergo qualifying for each round.  Registration for the second round has began. The round 2 leaderboard challenge will be held on August 20.

Those interested should visit www.toyota.com.ph/gtcup.

Mitsubishi milestone

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) deserves congratulations for rolling out the 200,000th L300 from its plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

This milestone is made more significant by being achieved under difficult conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This achievement is a reflection of the resiliency of MMPC. Despite the current challenges that we are facing due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are still geared to provide the market with quality vehicles and support Filipino livelihood through serving transportation and business needs. Also, aligned with the Philippines government’s effort to battle the spreading virus, MMPC has lent out several Mitsubishi L300 units to both local and national government for various outreach activities,” said Mutsuhiro Oshikiri, MMPC president and CEO in press release.

More congratulations should come once MMPC begins to export the L300 to Southeast Asian neighbors.

“We are committed to further grow and expand the business of Mitsubishi Motors in the Philippines. We are in the process of finalizing our plans to export L300 to other ASEAN countries, which makes us the only automotive manufacture in the Philippine to export vehicles. We will work even harder to enhance MMPC plant’s competitiveness and quality, so that we can make L300 a trusted model in ASEAN,” said Takao Kato, Mitsubishi Motors Corporation chief executive officer in the same press release.

Lexus crossing over

It certainly is the sign of the times. Another luxury marque has rolled a crossover with hybrid variant in the local market. In adding a new crossover to its lineup of vehicles, Lexus included a hybrid variant.

The arrival of the new Lexus NX was announced in a press statement which said there will be three variants: The NX 300H Hybrid priced at P3,678,000, the NX 300 F Sport at P3,708,000, and NX 300 at P3,208,000.

Lexus said the NX crossover shares the same design cues as the LC and comes with triple-projector headlamps and the iconic L-shaped DRLs that make easily identifiable as a Lexus, satin and smoked chrome trim pieces on the grille, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels in a dark premium metallic finish mounted with 225/60 R18 tires.

The rear features elongated taillights and black garnish revised to better emphasize the “L”-shaped lenses.

The NX 300 and NX 300 F Sport is powered by a turbocharged direct-injection 2- liter inline-4 generating 235 horsepower and 350 Newton-meters of torque.

The NX 300h hybrid comes with a  2.5-liter inline-4 combined with a pair of electric motors.

Happy Motoring!!!

For comments & inquiries email [email protected] or visit www.motoringtoday.ph.

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