This week in cars: Toyota Raize recall, Geely’s new sedan, Suzuki Vitara Hybrid

It was a busy week
by TopGear.com.ph | Mar 20, 2022

Toyota PH not affected by Raize recall in Indonesia

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“Less than a year after launching the new Raize in Indonesia, Toyota is now recalling the subcompact crossover in that market.

“According to Toyota Indonesia’s Special Service Campaign website, the carmaker discovered welding issues involving the Raize’s front fender. When the vehicle is driven over bumpy roads at high speeds, a welded portion could become detached and potentially result in serious accidents.

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“The carmaker says ‘abnormal sounds’ around the front fender area are possible indicators of the welding problems. It added that 14,777 units in Indonesia that were manufactured from November 2020 to October 2021 are affected by the Toyota Raize recall.

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“Now, we know what you’re thinking: Will this recall affect local Raize units? We reached out to Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) regarding this, and here’s what we got:

“‘Toyota Raize units introduced in the Philippines are not involved in this specific campaign. Toyota customers who would like to verify if their car is part of any recent service campaign may check online via toyota.com.ph/service-campaign.’”

Feast your eyes on the new Geely Binrui Cool

Geely Binrui Cool, Geely Binrui Cool exterior, Geely Binrui Cool photos, Geely Binrui Cool launch, Geely Binrui Cool design, Geely Binrui Cool interior, Geely Binrui Cool images

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“It’s only been a couple of weeks since Geely Philippines entered the local sedan game with the introduction of the Emgrand, and here we are already salivating over the prospect of another one.

“This is the Geely Binrui Cool—a Chinese-built compact sedan with an attitude. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because this is a sportier take on the car manufacturer’s standard Binrui. This one packs a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine.

“According to Paultan.org, that mill is good enough for an output of 178hp and comes paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT). This figure is a considerable step up from the 139hp the uncool Binrui and its 1.4-liter engine puts out, and it makes the Emgrand’s 102hp look incredibly underpowered.

“We think the real draw here, though, is the aesthetic it flaunts. While most Geely offerings we see here lean more towards conveying a premium and stylish vibe, the Binrui Cool adopts a more energetic and aggressive exterior design. This is highlighted by the muscular face, angry headlights, and bold character lines covering the vehicle’s profile. Photos even show a mean spoiler planted on the car’s rear.

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“That sportiness is carried over to the sedan’s cabin as well. A dark overall theme contrasts incredibly well with nice splashes of the exterior colorway, and there’s a nice floating 12.3-inch touchscreen display, too.

“The report adds that the Geely Binrui Cool comes with a starting price of 79,800 Chinese yuan (over P650,000).”

Suzuki has unveiled the new Vitara Hybrid in the UK

2022 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid specs, 2022 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid fuel efficiency, 2022 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid range, 2022 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid fuel consumption, 2022 Suzuki Vitara Hybrid launch UK

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“As fuel prices continue to soar by the week, it’s high time that we all go electric. Unfortunately, our market isn’t particularly big on EVs just yet. But what we do have right now are hybrids—both the self-charging and the plug-in kinds.

“This is why if carmakers were to begin electrifying their lineups, we think the sensible thing to do would be to start with these hybrids. Now, if you ask us which one we’d want to see land here next, we already have an answer: the new Suzuki Vitara Hybrid.

Suzuki has just launched this new crossover in the UK. It packs a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated K15C gasoline engine paired with a 140V hybrid setup. Not only is it a more capable hybrid powertrain than the Vitara’s existing 48V mild-hybrid system, but it now also allows full EV driving to boot. Through short distances, the vehicle can run using its electric motor alone.

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“Suzuki says the new Vitara Full Hybrid can supposedly do around 22.5km/L in mixed conditions, which is what we think could be a strong selling point for the model if it were to arrive in our market.

“The Vitara Hybrid is also equipped with Suzuki’s AllGrip all-wheel-drive system as well as an Android Auto-/Apple CarPlay-compatible infotainment system. It comes with a few advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), too, including forward-collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning and prevention, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

“If by some miracle Suzuki Philippines decides to bring this hybrid Vitara in, keep the same specs, and give it a reasonable price tag, we’ve no doubt a good number of the brand’s customers will be willing to make the switch and go green.”

MG PH has officially launched the new HS

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As stellar as 2021 was for MG Philippines in terms of sales, the carmaker still had to deal with some disappointments—particularly regarding its lineup expansion. The Covenant Car Company (TCCCI) had several new MG models lined up for our market last year, but none of those really arrived, save for the turbocharged ZS.

“But now that’s all in the past. TCCCI has just announced the arrival of the brand-new MG HS. If this is only the first of the many new models set to land in the Philippines, then it’s already looking like a big year for MG.

“This new compact crossover slides in the same segment as the RX5, positioned slightly higher than the ZS in the lineup. With its sleek looks and competitive pricing, the HS is looking ready to take on the likes of the Ford Territory and Geely Coolray, two of the most popular subcompact crossovers in the market right now. But can this new MG really give its competitors a run for their money? Click on the link above  to learn more about the 2022 MG HS.”

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The all-new Suzuki Celerio has been spotted in PH again

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“Remember the next-generation Suzuki Celerio units that landed on our shores last month? Well, more photos of the all-new hatchback have surfaced. And this time, it appears they’re now being transported somewhere in the Philippines.

“If we were to make a guess, these cars would probably be on their way to Suzuki Philippines’ (SPH) facility in Laguna. However, the company has still yet to make an official announcement regarding a local launch. If the photos here are any indication, then that launch could be happening real soon.

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“We have no word yet on what local Celerio units will have under their hood, but we’re hoping we see that 66hp, 89Nm 1.0-liter gasoline engine make its way here. With fuel prices at an all-time high, we could use a tiny car that can do 26.68km/L.”

Porsche confirms the next-gen 718 Boxster and Cayman will be electric

Exterior of the Porsche Mission R concept, the basis of future all-electric Porsche 718 sports cars

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“The next Porsche 718 sports car, the Boxster and Cayman, will be fully-electric, Porsche’s CEO Oliver Blume has confirmed.

“An exact year isn’t given, but he said: ‘By the middle of the decade, we want to offer our mid-engine 718 sports car exclusively in an all-electric form.’ So, this will be the third all-electric Porsche, after the Taycan and the upcoming Macan EV.

“It’s a quick swing to battery power for Porsche. The Taycan last year sold more than 40,000 copies.

“Blume said the electric Porsche 718 will be a proper sports car: ‘It will have the typical dimensions of a roadster. Always, our EVs will be 100% Porsche, rather than being just oriented to EV competitors. When we made the Taycan, our benchmark was the 911.’”

The gas-powered Subaru WRX STI may soon be axed

Subaru WRX STI

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“There had to be some sort of excitement among the Subaru faithful over the past few years after the carmaker unveiled the all-new BRZ and WRX. The WRX STI should logically be up next, shouldn’t it?

“Well, we’re sorry to burst your bubbles, because Subaru won’t be building a next-generation WRX STI based on the all-new WRX’s platform. Heck, there’s even a chance that the next WRX STI we see won’t have an internal combustion engine under its hood.

“‘As the automotive marketplace continues to move towards electrification, Subaru is focused on how our future sports and performance cars should evolve to meet the needs of the changing marketplace and the regulations and requirements for greenhouse gasses (GHG), zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), and Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE),’ said Subaru in an official statement.

“The carmaker said that it will be ‘exploring opportunities for the next-generation Subaru WRX STI, including electrification.’ Also, it mentioned that “a next-generation internal combustion engine WRX STI will not be produced based upon the new WRX platform.’

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“You could interpret those words differently and say that if Subaru were to build a next-gen WRX STI, it simply won’t be based on the all-new WRX’s platform but it could still have an ICE. But if you ask us, we think it’s really the end of the line for its performance car. Other carmakers are starting to electrify even their most high-powered cars, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Subaru does the same.”

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PHOTO: Charles Banaag, Geely via Paultan.org, Suzuki
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