Hyundai Motor America, the Korean carmaker's US subsidiary based in California, started the week by announcing that it is once again collaborating with a tuner named John Pangilinan to create the Genesis Coupe JP Edition (see bottom photo). Painted in Atlantis Blue, the car will be displayed at the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas on November 5 to 8.
"John Pangilinan is really a creative genius in color development, especially in his ability to blend color with specific vehicle concepts like the JP Edition Genesis Coupe," Hyundai Motor America product planning director Scott Margason said. "We're excited to see the final concept turning heads in our booth at the SEMA show."
Among the stuff Pangilinan added to the Genesis Coupe are an AEM cold air intake, an ARK Performance exhaust and strut bar, a turbo downpipe, KW Variant 3 coil-overs, Whiteline sway bars, 19-inch MORR VS52 concave mono-forged wheels, Toyo Proxes T1R 275/30 ZR19 front and 315/25 ZR19 rear tires, Muteki SR35 lug nuts, and a Brembo Gran Turismo brake kit with oversized 15-inch calipers.
Impressive list, but it was not the aftermarket products that really got our attention. It was the name of the tuner that piqued our curiosity. Is John Pangilinan Filipino?
We googled the guy and found several pieces about him--none of which made any mention of his ethnicity. Fortunately, we found him on Facebook and sent him a message: "Are you of Filipino descent?"
After a couple of hours, he replied: "Yes, I am Filipino. I was born in Manila but moved to the States when I was very young. I have lived in California for most of my life."
According to his official website, John is "a jack of all trades based in Downtown Long Beach, CA. Specializing in public relations, photography, marketing and brand development, John has been able to connect various sub-cultures to reach the elusive youth market. John's photography has been printed in various publications and media outlets including Import Tuner, DUB and Antenna magazines. He continues to capture stunning imagery of moments and people that he encounters."
How did he get into the automotive tuning business?
"I've been into cars and modifying them since I had a license and a car at the age of 16," John shared with TopGear.com.ph. "I began as a fan attending local car shows such as Import Showoff and Hot Import Nights. I then started entering car shows with my BMW and began working at a shop, DTM Autohaus. From there, I made a lot of great friends within the industry and eventually left the shop to work at a driving shoe company. Next I worked at an advertising agency. As of a year and a half ago, I went freelance and have been able to work on both client and personal project vehicles, along with my main work, which is marketing and public relations together with photography."
What does he drive now, and what other cars has he owned?
"I currently drive a Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but I'm also building a Genesis Coupe Turbo and a Santa Fe Sport, both of which I now technically own. Hyundai has been a great company to work with, and their vehicles are solid. I have owned a Scion xB, a Volkswagen Eurovan, and a BMW E46, my show vehicle. My first car was a Geo Prizm."
And his dream car?
"This is a tough question as there are so many cars that I want and many cars that I love--but wouldn't be too functional for my needs. If I had to select, it could be the Audi RS6 Avant or the Porsche GT3 RS. The BMW M4 looks interesting as well."
Has he visited the Philippines since migrating to the US when he was a kid?
"I've been back twice, but haven't returned for over 10 years. I would love to come back soon to visit."
Maybe Hyundai Asia Resources can invite him over to create a special-edition Elantra or Sonata?