This week in cars: All-new Kia Sportage, next-gen Toyota Land Cruiser

Some big introductions were made this week
by | Jun 13, 2021

Kia unveils the all-new Sportage

“It’s here, people. The all-new Sportage that Kia teased a while back is officially out in the open, and it’s looking pretty damn good.

“It’s an overhaul, all right, as the entire front end has been completely reworked. It now features a very aggressive-looking front fascia with sporty boomerang-shaped DRLs. These are wrapped around stylish headlamps that flank a large tiger-nose grille.

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“It appears no exterior bits from the outgoing model have been retained, as even the front bumper is now completely new. There’s also the new Kia logo embossed on the hood.

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“It’s the same story out back, which boasts a more macho look overall with interestingly shaped taillights and a much beefier, more elaborate-looking rear bumper. On the sides, you’ll see new plastic trim on the doors and the C-pillars, and those sharp-looking wheels.

“Frankly, from whichever angle you look at it, this doesn’t look like the current Sportage’s successor at all, which should be a good sign for Kia. This next-generation compact SUV is built on the Korean carmaker’s new ‘Opposites United’ design philosophy, which will also influence all future Kia designs.”

This is the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser 300

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“Just a couple of days ago we brought you our celebration of the Toyota Land Cruiser’s 70th birthday. Now, Toyota itself is celebrating with a brand-new, fully-sized LC…

“Yep, this isn’t the baby Land Cruiser. This is the Land Cruiser 300 and it’s the replacement for the full-fat, V8-engined 200 Series.

“The V8 engines are no more. In their place are a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gasoline and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 diesel. Both are combined with a new 10-speed automatic gearbox and apparently provide superior ‘drivability’ when compared to the old V8 units. There’s no word on actual power or torque figures just yet, but Toyota assures us that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will drop by around 10% compared to the 200.

“The 300 is built on an all-new platform named GA-F. It’s the first of Toyota’s new TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platforms that has been developed for a body-on-frame vehicle, and apparently allows for increased rigidity alongside a 200kg weight reduction. That’s some diet, fair play.

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“There’s a new adaptive suspension system too, which apparently improves on-road performance but also allows for optimum wheel articulation when you’re off-road. Oh, and there’s no need to tell the multi-terrain Select system what kind of surface you’re on, it already knows well before you do…”

The 2022 Maverick is Ford’s new compact pickup

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Ford officially has a small truck in the US market. Ladies and gents, say hello to the 2022 Ford Maverick.

“Formerly known as a sporty two-door sedan, the Maverick nameplate has been revived in this era as a compact pickup. It certainly looks like a tiny F-150, as it features similar design cues as Ford’s best-selling truck.

“The headlights do look a bit familiar, only relatively smaller and a bit subtle compared with the F-150’s. In itself, though, the entire front fascia looks pretty huge. And the same goes for the rear, where the large panels make the Maverick look like it has a very deep bed.

“That said, this truck has compact dimensions—it stands 5,072mm long, 1,844mm wide, and 1,737mm tall. For reference, the Ranger here in the Philippines measures 5,354mm long, 1,860mm wide, and 1,848mm tall, so the Maverick is pretty small.

“The powertrain options are sheer proof of the truck’s petite physique as well. Standard with this one is a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid powertrain—yes, hybrid—with a total system output of 191hp and 210Nm of torque. This is mated to a CVT that propels the front wheels. With this under the hood, Ford claims the Maverick can do up to 17km/L or approximately 805km on one full tank.”

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Check out the upcoming Toyota Land Cruiser GR Sport

“In case you missed it, Toyota has already pulled the wraps off of the all-new Land Cruiser.

“Its design is bolder and its interior is plusher than ever. And while it no longer comes with a V8 engine, it’s now even more potent with new twin-turbo powertrains available. The 3.5-liter V6 petrol generates 409hp and 650Nm, while the 3.5-liter V6 diesel counterpart is capable of 305hp and 700Nm.

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“But apart from all the new engine options, tech, and what have you, what’s really exciting about the LC 300’s global premiere is the announcement of the upcoming Land Cruiser GR Sport. Nissan better watch out for this one.

“Details are still scarce at the moment, but by the looks of it, this has the makings of a worthy Patrol Nismo rival. The front fascia has been stripped of chrome and has been given a large blacked-out grille with a GR badge.”

Motorists in Davao can now buy the Nissan Leaf

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“Motorists looking to make the leap into electric-vehicle ownership down in Davao will be happy to know that the Nissan Leaf is now available on local shores.

“According to Nissan Philippines (NPI), the electric hatchback has arrived at its Tagum and Davao City dealerships. Both facilities are now equipped with the tools and personnel to sell and service the Leaf, as well as charging stations capable of topping up the vehicle’s battery in just 40 to 60 minutes.

“That last bit is a pretty big deal, as anyone spending P2.798 million on a Leaf will expect reliable maintenance and at least some form of charging infrastructure. It’s also worth noting that every unit comes with a three-year or 100,000km warranty (whichever comes first), as well as an eight-year or 160,000km battery warranty.”

Mitsubishi releases new Black Edition Xpanders in Indonesia

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“Hey, MPVs can look cool, too—at least relative to a car buyer’s budget. One surefire way to give the family auto a sleeker vibe? Give it the blacked-out treatment.

“In Indonesia, Mitsubishi has done exactly this. The Japanese carmaker has given its hot-selling seven-seaters, the Xpander and Xpander Cross, darker appearances courtesy of a new Black Edition releases.

“Frankly, the stealthier appearance really suits the vehicles. The choice of color plays nicely with their beefy front-ends and sharp angles to provide a more subdued vibe. The wheels are blacked-out, and the same goes for the side mirror housings, grille, roof rails, and roof rails. We can imagine Batman wouldn’t mind checking these out at a dealership if Wayne Enterprises ever fell on hard times.

“The theme carries over to the interior, too. You’ll find black leather and dark soft-touch material, and in the entertainment department, Black Edition units get a new Rockford Fosgate speaker setup paired with a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.”

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Honda will unveil the new Civic Hatchback on June 24

“Heads up, Honda fanboys—the global launch of the Civic Hatchback is happening later this month.

“When the next-gen sedan made its debut a while back, the Japanese carmaker promised us that five-door and Type R version swould follow, and that the latter will be available with a manual gearbox. Now, Honda has released a teaser of the Civic Hatchback, and it looks like non-Type R models will also come with a stick.

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“According to Honda’s official announcement, the hatch will have a “fun-to-drive six-speed manual.” We know a lot of you will be excited about that one. However, that’s all that Honda has told us for now.

“We don’t get a peek at the interior, nor do we have any other specifics. What we do know is that the launch is scheduled for June 24 at 10am in Japan, or 11am here on our side of the globe. The carmaker will be streaming the said launch via its YouTube channel and has assured us that English subtitles will be available then.”

The all-new Lexus NX breaks cover

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“Has it been seven years since Lexus introduced the NX crossover? Judging by the look of the outgoing model, it doesn’t seem like it. The NX was so sharp and fresh when it debuted that its design withstood the test of time. 

“The look of the NX is so good that Lexus didn’t bother to mess with the formula, and that’s a good thing. At first glance the all-new 2022 NX looks like a refresh, with its familiar upthrust spindle grille, odd but beautiful body angles, and hunkered-down stance. The new NX looks stronger, more muscular. And in a small but bold move, the Lexus logo has been removed from the rear. 

“The highlight of the new NX is electrification. Lexus parent Toyota has always been at the forefront of hybrid technology. With the world shifting away from internal combustion engines, whether we like it or not, Toyota has armed its premium division with the powertrains necessary to meet future propulsion demands.

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“The first-generation NX already had a hybrid variant, the NX300h. The hybrid is retained with the second generation, but this time there’s a plug-in hybrid option—a first for the Lexus range. Other powertrains include a 2.4-liter gasoline turbo and a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated gas engine; these engines grew from 2.0 liters of displacement, but knowing Lexus efficiency don’t expect fuel consumption to increase.”

Geely reveals its new concept, the Vision Starburst

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“Sure, Geely could have settled on a smorgasbord of consonants and numerals in naming its latest concept, the Vision Starburst. But if you’re unbound by the shackles of feasibility, you might as well take advantage of that freedom when it comes to your car’s moniker right?

“Those of you who did raise an eyebrow over the Starburst’s name will be happy to know that the vehicle itself is much stealthier than its label suggests. Geely actually went with the title because it’s in line with the brand’s ‘Expanding Cosmos’ design philosophy—not because someone in management is a fan of fruit-flavored taffy.

“Anyway, on to the concept car. It’s a proper-looking thing, draped in smooth surfaces and strong lines, and with wheels that sort of look like turbines more than anything else. There’s an aggressive face that features a futuristic M-shaped lighting unit and a massive grille with a parabolic pattern.”

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TOM’s Racing has modified the all-new Toyota 86

“We’ve seen quite a number of Toyota 86 renders ever since the next-generation sports coupe made its debut. Not to take anything away from those works of art, but at the end of the day, they’re mere renders—that’s all there is to them.

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“Now, TOM’s Racing has revealed its take on the new 86, and this time around, what the tuner has shown off is an actual modded vehicle. The TOM’s 86 was initially revealed during the recent Fuji 86 Style event held at the Fuji Speedway, where it made its debut sporting a nice orange finish.

“There were no specific details revealed, but according to TOM’s Racing’s Twitter posts, it appears this 86 has been fitted with over fenders, a new ducktail spoiler, a rear diffuser, and a barrel exhaust.

“A quick glimpse of the interior was also shared on social media—check it out here.

“No word on what tweaks were made under the hood, but it would come as no surprise if TOM’s had actually made some changes here. And if it were to make some mechanical upgrades, we reckon it may not be as subtle as the new aesthetic bits.”

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