This week in cars: Suzuki Jimny Lite, Ford Ranger Raptor X PH launch

It’s been quite the busy week
by | Jun 27, 2021

A Suzuki Jimny Lite has been launched in Australia

“The Suzuki Jimny is a vehicle built with the off-road purist in mind. Well, purists, as well as budget-minded off-roaders and fans of cars with small form factors. It’s not surprising, considering the vehicle’s no-nonsense package leans more towards utility than flash.


“Now, the Japanese carmaker is releasing a more grounded version of its tiny SUV. This is the Suzuki Jimny Lite, a more no-frills variant that does away with some niceties to help meet the high demand for the model.

“First, let’s point out that no changes have been made to what’s under the hood. It still gets a four-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline engine with 100hp and up to 130Nm of torque. So, what differences are we looking at?

“Well, no more four-speed automatic transmission for one thing. You can only get the Jimny Lite with a five-speed manual. This is the only real difference in terms of performance.”

Ford Ranger Raptor X to arrive in PH in July with P2.038-M price tag

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“Remember those special-edition Ford Ranger Raptors that kept surfacing in different markets over the past few months? Well, it was only a matter of time before one arrived here.

“Specifically, it’s Australia’s Ranger Raptor X—or Europe’s Ranger Raptor Special Edition—that’s on its way. Ford Philippines has just confirmed that the truck will be available in our market starting July 2021. Those of you who are interested, however, should take note that only 200 units of these will be sold throughout the year.

“This latest addition to the American carmaker’s local truck lineup will still come with a 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine under the hood—same as the ‘standard’ Ranger Raptor. This unit churns out 210hp and 500Nm of torque, and is mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

“The pickup will also come with a few accessories such as the red tow hooks up front and the extended sports bar out back. There are also exterior decals all around, and bits such as the door handles, bumper cover, tailgate handle, and fender vents have been given a matte black finish. Color options available include Arctic White, Conquer Gray, and Performance Blue.


“We’ve also confirmed that the Ford Ranger Raptor X will sticker for P2,038,000. For context, the ‘regular’ Ranger Raptor is priced at P1,998,000. Whether or not these upgrades are worth the price bump is still up for debate.”

Toyota gives us our first look at the all-new Tundra


Toyota’s feeling pretty generous today—the Japanese carmaker has just released the first official photo of the upcoming Tundra. Specifically, the TRD trim.

“The photo you see above is all that we get, though. No other images, no specifications, and no other pertinent details were given. Not that we’re complaining, because this is a pretty substantial ‘teaser.’

“One look at it, and we can say that the all-new Tundra is one handsome-looking truck. While its Ford F-150 rival didn’t get that big of a redesign, the Tundra gets a major overhaul that gives it a fresh new look.

“The massive grille is flanked nicely by those snazzy headlamps, giving the pickup a very sporty front end. There are black plastic claddings on the front bumper and on the fender flares, but we’re guessing these are available on this top-spec TRD variant.

“That being said, we assume the truck will still sport this very rugged styling across the range, and we still expect non-TRD Tundras to look similar.”


Honda PH says the all-new City can average 25km/L

“If you’re a motorist who’s constantly obsessing over your car’s fuel economy, the all-new Honda City might be worth considering once you decide to upgrade. Both the model’s sedan and hatch variants recently concluded an Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP) fuel economy run with impressive results.


“Over the course of 75km, the all-new City 1.5 RS CVT and City Hatchback managed to eke out 25km/L—the sedan with 25.17km/L, and the hatch with 25km/L. For comparison, the previous-gen City averaged 23.9km/L in the same event.

“Both the City sedan and hatchback come equipped with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine capable of 119hp and 145Nm. We must point out, however, that the units that participated in the fuel economy run kept their A/C fans set on low at 24 degrees, and maintained 60-80kph between 1,500-2,000rpm.”

Chevrolet PH is launching the Tracker on July 1


“Remember the Chevrolet Tracker? It’s a subcompact crossover the American carmaker launched in China a couple of years back. Well, it’s arriving in the Philippines next month and, depending on how it’s priced, could be an ideal competitor to the likes of the Ford EcoSport and Geely Coolray.

The Covenant Car Company (TCCCI), Chevrolet’s official Philippine distributor, has sent out invites for the vehicle’s local introduction on July 1. While details regarding exactly what will be available locally are still scarce, we do know quite a bit about the car from its launch over in the People’s Republic.

“Over in China, the Tracker is available with two engine options: a 1.0-liter Ecotec turbo with 123hp and 180Nm of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and a 1.3-liter turbo with 162hp and 240Nm paired with a CVT.

“The latter engine belongs to the Tracker’s sportier Redline variant, by the way. Chevrolet is also claiming that the 1.3-liter turbo’s fuel economy can reach 17.5km/L, while the smaller 1.0-liter turbo can manage up to 19.6 km/L.”


The Kaicene Honor S cargo van is now available for P515k

“The Honor S—originally launched under the Changan brand back in 2019—is really an unorthodox MPV. It looks a bit unusual, so understandably, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea.

“Be that as it may, though, the Honor S actually has the ingredients of a decent workhorse, not just a regular people-hauler. It’s got sliding doors at the rear along with enough room for up to eight people, and that’s a pretty good combination.


“That’s probably what Kaicene Philippines saw in the Honor S, because it has now launched a cargo van version of its quirky MPV. This is basically the bare-bones version of the Honor S, with all of the niceties—and the rear seats—taken out.

“The two front seats—now separated completely from the rear cabin—are still intact, albeit now only with two-way manual adjustment. The 10-inch touchscreen display has been downgraded to a regular head unit with AM/FM radio, a USB port, and two speakers.

“The power window on the driver’s side as well as the car’s A/C have been retained, but add-ons such as the aluminum wheels, the foglamps, the rear parking sensors, and the reversing camera have all been removed. The airbags have also been taken out, but the vehicle still has ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution.”

This is the all-new Honda Civic Hatchback


“Introducing the 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback. As promised, Honda has officially unveiled the five-door version of its all-new sedan. Let’s take a look.

“The front end is basically identical to that of the sedan’s, so let’s head straight to the rear instead. Here, you’ll see that most of the design elements of the Civic sedan have been carried over, but you’ll also notice that the hatch gets a new lightbar accentuating the liftgate. There are also twin exhausts underneath that add to the five-door’s sporty appeal.

“Apart from the front clip, almost everything else has been carried over from the sedan. The Civic Hatchback can also \ be had with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine that generates 158hp and 187Nm of torque, or a 1.5-liter turbopetrol capable of 180hp and 240Nm.  The CVT comes as standard, and the six-speed manual that Honda promised comes as an option. The latter would still be a good pick for those who can’t afford the Type R.”


The Ford Ranger WIldtrak 4x4 is now available with a power roller shutter

“The Ranger Raptor X isn’t Ford Philippines’ only launch of the day. The carmaker has also just announced that the 4x4 Ranger Wildtrak variant can now be had with a power roller shutter as an added option.


“‘Power roller shutter’ just doesn’t, er, roll off the tongue, does it? But we digress. Ford says this OEM accessory is a first for its segment. It can be activated from inside the cabin via a switch installed on the dash or from behind the truck via a button on the bed. It can also be operated using the key fob.

“The power roller shutter itself is also designed with an ‘anti-pinch’ feature which activates when it comes into contact with any object, preventing injury or damage to cargo.”

Ferrari officially unveils new hybrid supercar, the 296 GTB


Ferrari is damn serious about building electric supercars. First, it was the SF90 Stradale. Now, we have this: the new Ferrari 296 GTB.

“You might think the 296 GTB isn’t that big of deal because it’s not the first hybrid Ferrari, but this is the first road car from the brand to sport a V6. In fact, the powertrain is entirely new and was “engineered from a clean sheet.”

“The vee on this V6 has an angle of 120 degrees between the cylinder banks, and it features the first Ferrari engine setup with the turbos installed. This lowers the car’s center of gravity and makes the engine more compact, allowing for better mass distribution.

“Other noteworthy points about this new powertrain are that the engine block and the cylinder heads are built from aluminum—which Ferrari claims is new to V6 architecture—while the turbos are made from higher-performance alloys. It also benefits from technology introduced in the SF90—specifically, performance enhancements and emission reductions in the combustion chamber.


“This internal combustion engine is mated to an eight-speed DCT and is paired with a rear-mounted electric motor that produces up to 164hp. The entire setup boasts a total output of 819hp and 740Nm of torque, and allows the 296 GTB to do 0-100kph in 2.9sec and to 200 in 7.3sec. An all-electric eDrive mode is also available, and at full charge, the 296 GTB can run over 25km and reach speeds of up to 135kph.”

An airport in Italy is using a Lamborghini Huracan Evo as a follow-me car


“No, this isn’t the set of the next Fast and Furious film. This is, in fact, a tarmac in Italy’s Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, which has turned to an unlikely vehicle to safely guide aircraft during parking maneuvers.

“The airport is actually using a Huracan Evo as a follow-me car as part of a partnership with the Italian supercar manufacturer. This particular Lambo comes equipped with a special livery designed by Lamborghini Centro Stile, as well as a roof-mounted light bar and a radio with a direct line to the facility’s control tower.

“Oh, and all that is on top of the vehicle’s standard 5.2-liter V10 engine with 631hp and 599Nm of torque—good enough for a top speed of 323kph and a 0-100kph sprint of just 2.9sec. Safe to say, we know what set of keys the airport’s drivers are fighting over at the start of each shift.”


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PHOTO: Suzuki, Ford, Toyota, Sharleen Banzon
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