This week in cars: Suzuki Vitara AWD in PH, Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition

In case you missed any of these
by | May 30, 2021

Suzuki PH launches all-wheel-drive Vitara starting at P1.458-M

“As promised, Suzuki Philippines (SPH) has officially launched the Vitara AllGrip. This is the new all-wheel-drive variant that’s just been added to the Vitara lineup. Let’s take a quick look.

“At first glance, you might think that no aesthetic changes were made to this AWD Vitara. Yes, the overall shape and styling of the car were retained, but there are actually a few minor exterior enhancements here worth noting.

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“The front and rear skid plates, as well as the lower bumper garnish up front, have been tweaked a little to give the vehicle a more chiseled look. What’s more, new chrome and black bits have also been plastered on the sides of the car for some added style.

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“The engine under the hood has been kept as is, so the Vitara AllGrip still packs a 115hp156Nm 1.6-liter petrol engine. The six-speed automatic gearbox here, of course, sends power to all four wheels instead of just the two up front. There are also four different drive modes available: Auto, Sport, Snow, and Lock. Drivers can select among these options as needed by simply turning a knob on the center console.

“As for its price, the new Suzuki Vitara AllGrip can be had for P1,458,000. The two-tone exterior, meanwhile, sells at a slight premium at P1,468,000.”

Would you like to see the Ford Ranger Raptor Special Edition in PH?

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“Remember the new special-edition Ranger Raptor that was set to be launched in Europe? Well, it has officially been unveiled, folks, and now we finally have a good look at the truck. We now also get to see the entirety of the short film The Good, The Bad and the Bad-RSE, too, but more on that later.

“First, let’s check out the truck’s design. Now, if it looks familiar, then that’s because you may have already seen the Ranger Raptor X from Australia—the Ranger Raptor Special Edition is basically the same as that one, but under a different name.

“This latest Raptor also gets striped exterior accents from one end to another, as well as a good dose of matte black bits. Inside, meanwhile, it sports two-tone leather seats and red contrast stitching all around. The instrument panel also gets a Raceway Grey finish, which is exclusive to this special-edition variant.

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“No mechanical changes were made here, so this Ranger Raptor is still powered by a 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine that generates 210hp and 500Nm of torque that’s mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox.”

The Toyota Highlander Bronze Edition is one sleek SUV

Toyota has a lot of offerings in other countries that we think could do well in our market, too, and the Highlander is one of them. Apart from it being a Toyota—something Filipinos definitely love—it’s got style, power, and, most important, three rows’ worth of seats.

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“Of course, the Fortuner already fits this bill. And for the more well-off folks who want to go a bit upmarket, there’s always the Land Cruiser. Sans these two, the Highlander would be a good addition to Toyota Motor Philippines’ stable. The reality, however, is that the local subsidiary has got no room left for another hefty six- or seven-seater.

“Bummer, especially since the new Highlander Bronze Edition has just been revealed, and it’s a rather sleek take on the brawny SUV.

“We’re really digging the look. The Cement exterior finish (the car can also be had in Wind Chill Pearl) is accentuated nicely by snazzy 18-inch bronze wheels. There’s additional bronze stitching inside the cabin as well as illuminated bronze door sills. The two-tone seats are also highlighted with more bronze bits, and this special model gets exclusive floor mats to boot. Nicely done.”

Toyota uses fuell-cell technology to light up Eiffel Tower

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“What better way for a carmaker to showcase its fuel cell’s capabilities than to use it to power something big, right? In the case of Toyota, it went really big.

“The Japanese automaker’s fuel cell was recently used to power a generator that lit up no less than the Eiffel Tower, and it was quite the spectacle. This happened during the Paris de l’hydrogène, a hydrogen and mobility exhibition organized by the City of Paris together with Energy Observer, a Toyota-supported, self-sufficient, world-traveling boat operator.

“The entire exhibition highlights the vehicles, technologies, and applications that will ‘shape the sustainable cities of the future.’ Toyota’s fuel cell is incorporated in the green hydrogen-fueled GEH2 generator—developed by Energy Observer Developments (EODev) —that was used to power the demonstration.

“The new Toyota Mirai, the fuel-cell CaetanoBus, and a REXH2 maritime range extender were also on display, all of which utilize Toyota’s fuel-cell technology and are already commercially available today. ”

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Mitsubishi Australia has built a Strada-based trophy truck

“The Mitsubishi Strada is a truck. But this? This is a truck.

“We’ve come across our fair share of trophy trucks at Top Gear Philippines. But one based on the Mitsubishi Strada? Not so much. Here’s one in all its glory, though—and no, this is not a concept or a rendering. It’s an actual, functioning unit.

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“Like it? Well, you have Mitsubishi Motors Australia and the Japanese carmaker’s global Triton design team to thank for this beauty, as well as two-time Dakar Rally champion Toby Price, who was behind the concept version.

“Performance figures haven’t been released, but it does come equipped with a 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox. We also reckon this thing will be jumping around quite a bit since its ‘state-of-the-art’ Fox shocks are highlighted in the release. And rounding out the brutish design is a ton of sponsor decals, including massive Red Bull ones on its sides—consumerism at its finest.”

The refreshed JAC S2 is now in PH, starts at P748k

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“Welcome to the refreshed JAC S2, the Chinese carmaker’s first launch of 2021. This subcompact-crossover model has been available on the market for a few years already, and now it’s finally getting a few updates.

“Style-wise, the changes aren’t drastic at all. The overall look is retained, but the grille is a bit wider and there are fewer chrome and plastic bits up front. The wheels sport a new pattern, too.

“The rest of the aesthetic improvements can be seen inside, where the leather seats now feature red contrast stitching. The main update inside the cabin, however, is the infotainment system—the nine-inch touchscreen display now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

“Under the hood, the S2 sees no changes, as it still packs a 1.5-liter VVT engine that generates 111hp and 146Nm of torque and can be had with either a CVT or a manual gearbox. JAC says that the updated S2 will feel a bit quicker-responding to throttle input as a result of the change in gear ratio.”

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Toyota gives the Prius the Nightshade Edition treatment

“It’s impressive what a simple change in color can do for a car. Take this Prius, for example. One moment, it’s seen as a vanilla hybrid. Add a splash of black, and it’s a brooding sedan with a chip on its shoulder.

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“Okay, maybe it isn’t that big of a deal. But you have to admit this looks like it has more going for it attitude-wise than the standard version of the vehicle.

“This is the Toyota Prius in Nightshade Edition guise. If you’ll recall, the Japanese carmaker gave the same treatment to the Tacoma, Camry, and Corolla. Now, it’s the hybrid’s turn to go dark, and we really like the results.”

The 542hp Bentley Bentayga S is one fast family car

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Bentley will be a fully-electric car company by the end of the decade. But for now, it’s doing what it’s traditionally done best: mighty, petrol-powered luxury cars, the latest of which is the Bentley Bentayga S.

“It’s a new badge for the firm’s SUV range, joining a lineup that increasingly echoes that of the Continental GT coupe. It’s not the fastest nor most powerful Bentayga—those honors remain with the W12-engined, 306kph Bentayga Speed—but it may be the sportiest.

“That’s because it uses the lighter 4.0-liter turbo V8 engine familiar from a wealth of really quite quick VW Group stuff—Audi RS6 included—here producing 542hp and 769Nm peaks, good for a 290kph top speed and 0-100kph in 4.5sec. That’s half a second behind the Speed, but we frankly doubt you’ll notice or especially care in the real world.

“Not least because the S gets a brand-new sports exhaust, a unique Sport tune for the suspension, and a more easygoing ESP setting. Whether big luxo-SUV buyers strictly need malleable cornering attitude we’re not sure, but nor are they likely to be craving the wealth of off-road modes that remain intact for the S.”

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A Gulf-liveried Porsche 917K is expected to sell for close to P1-B on RM Sotheby’s

“Pray silence please, for the Gulf-liveried Porsche 917K that David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood raced at the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans is heading up for auction. The estimate? Somewhere between $16 million and $18.5 million. (P769-890 million)

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“The 917K was of course introduced in 1970 after drivers found the original 917 to be almost undrivable at high speeds. K standing for Kurzheck, which is German for ‘short tail.’

“Now, this particular 917K (chassis no.26 and wearing race no.22) was one of three cars to be entered by JW Automotive Engineering at Le Mans in 1970. All three were dressed in that light blue and orange Gulf livery, but no.22 was unique in having a full orange roof as opposed to the other cars’ simple stripe. It also ran the smaller (and more reliable) 4.5-liter flat-12 engine whereas the other two ran the enlarged 4.9-liter unit.”

Bentley promotes diversity and equality with the Unifying Spur

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Bentley has made a Flying Spur art car. Called the Unifying Spur, its design is a very colorful signpost to how diverse the British carmaker wants to make its business.

“‘The 101-year-old company is going through unparalleled change on its journey towards a climate-positive future,’ we’re told. Bentley is clearly a fan of talking about itself in the third person.

“‘Recognizing the fundamental importance of diverse experiences and perspectives to drive creativity and innovation, Bentley aims to become the most diverse luxury car manufacturer. To this end it has set a target of increasing diversity in management to 30 percent by 2025.’”

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