This week in cars: Chevrolet Tracker PH launch, all-new Toyota Land Cruiser arrival

There’s a lot to be excited about
by TopGear.com.ph | Jul 4, 2021
PHOTO: Chevrolet, Autohub Group, Toyota, Klein Vision

The new Chevrolet Tracker is now in PH starting at P1.142-M

“There’s a new competitor in the stacked subcompact crossover segment. The Covenant Car Company, Inc.—the official distributor of Chevrolet vehicles in the Philippines—has officially launched the new Chevrolet Tracker. Let’s take a look.

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“Powering the Tracker is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine that generates 116hp and 175Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. It also comes with an intelligent start/stop function that helps improve fuel efficiency.

“As for its pricing, the base LS will be priced at P1,142,888, while the higher LT  Redline Edition is at P1,242,888. That’s not too far off from the prices of competitors like the Geely Coolray, Ford EcoSport, or MG ZS. For potential buyers, take note that Chevrolet Philippines is also offering an introductory discount of P30,000 for either variant until September 30, 2021.”

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The all-new Toyota Land Cruiser is on its way to PH

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“If you’ve been holding off from buying a brand-new premium SUV in hopes of the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser arriving soon, well, we have some good news for you.

“Top Gear Philippines has learned that the next-generation SUV will be launching locally sometime in August 2021.

“Aside from this launch window, details regarding the release are still scarce. We have learned two important details, however. The first is that the vehicle’s price tag could rise by as much as P700,000, and the second is that some Toyota dealerships are already accepting reservations.

“No word regarding local specs or features just yet, but let’s quickly go through what’s been made available in other markets just so you have some idea what to expect. The all-new Toyota Land Cruiser was launched with two new engine options: A 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 gasoline with 409hp and 650Nm and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 diesel with 305hp and 700Nm. Both come paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.”

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The Klein Vision AirCar has completed its first inter-city flight

“Mere hours after Hyundai’s European boss said his company was making “very significant investments” in what he called “urban air mobility,” a flying car built by a small Slovakian company called Klein Vision landed into Bratislava Airport after a 35-minute flight from the city of Nitra. Yes, friends, what you’re looking at here is a real-life flying car.

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“The AirCar landed in Bratislava at 6:05am on Monday. Its wings and tail were then retracted—an automated process that takes less than three minutes—before it was driven into the center of town by the company’s founder, Professor Stefan Klein.

“The AirCar is powered by a 160hp BMW engine and to date has completed over 40 hours of test flights and 142 successful landings (it needs a runway, this car—no drone-style vertical take-offs here). It can fly at up to 8,200ft and cruise at 190kph. The next prototype will use a 300hp engine and should be able to cruise for over 966km at 299kph.”

Autohub Group now has a Mitsubishi Mirage Sport

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“It’s been nearly two years since Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (MMPC) told us that the facelifted Mirage will arrive here in our market. Granted, we were told to wait, but it’s understandable if some of you feel like you’ve been waiting too long.

“For those of you growing impatient and already want to pull the trigger on a brand-new ‘unupdated’ Mirage, here’s something you might want to check out: Autohub Group’s Mirage Sport. Of course, it may not be as impressive as the new model, but at least it’s a fresher take on a car that’s arguably showing its age.

“This Mirage sports custom black exterior accents on the grille, the side mirrors, and the front and rear bumpers. It’s also got blacked-out wheels as well as a rather stylish blacktop. Taking notes from the Honda Brio, we see.”

The all-new Subaru WRX will debut later this year

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“Perhaps 2021 might be even better for Subaru fans. Last year, we were treated to the big reveal of the all-new BRZ. This year, it’s the next-generation WRX that’s set to break cover.

“This may not exactly come as news to some of you because spy shots of the car are out on cyberspace, but at least now we finally have the official announcement.

“Not much is shown or discussed, as expected—we only get to see a very vague silhouette of the new WRX. We tried tweaking the photo a bit to see more of the car, but we didn’t really get much out of it, either.

“Anyway, we’re already halfway through the year, so we probably won’t have to wait that long before we get more details. We’re just hoping that like the last one, this new WRX will still come with a stick shift and an STI-tuned engine and underpinnings.”

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Honda will launch the Prologue battery-electric SUV in 2024

Honda is one carmaker that’s betting big on electric. In fact, it has recently revealed its plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“In North America, Honda wants battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) to account for 100% of its sales by 2040. As part of that, it has laid out plans to launch new EVs in the region starting from the latter part of this decade.

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“Now, Honda has confirmed that the first of these EVs will be the Prologue, an electric SUV that’s set to debut in 2024. No photos or details were released, but it was confirmed that the Prologue will be one of the first products of the partnership between Honda and General Motors. This new electric SUV will be based on GM’s highly flexible global EV platform and will run on the brand’s Ultium batteries.”

The Aston Martin DBX is now in PH with a P24.5-M price tag

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Aston Martins? They’re fast, luxurious, and for some, the pinnacle of British motoring. Practical, though? Not so much.

“Everything changed, however, when the car manufacturer launched the DBX in 2019. This wasn’t just any new Aston—this was the brand’s first-ever SUV in its 108 years making vehicles. And now, the model has landed in the Philippines.

Aston Martin Manila has finally introduced the DBX to the local market. Asking price? A whopping P24.5 million per unit. It’s quite a sum, but then again, who considers a luxury car to be put off by a couple of extra zeros at the end of a price tag?”

Mitsubishi plans to sell affordable mini EVs in SEA by 2023

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“Ultra-compact and ultra-affordable—that’s what carmakers are trying to achieve with their EVs these days. And if the success of the Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV is anything to go by, it just means that this is a potentially winning formula. 

“Now, it appears Mitsubishi Motors Corporation wants in on that small EV segment, too. According to a report by Nikkei Asia, the Japanese carmaker is looking to offer a mini EV in Southeast Asia for under ¥2 million (P878,000) by 2023.

“What’s more, Mitsubishi is also reportedly investing ¥19 billion (P8 billion) to build a new production plant in Thailand. With it, the carmaker is aiming to produce 10,000 units of its small EV annually.”

Volkswagen has unveiled the 2021 Polo GTI

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“Sensible, grownup people of the Internet—say hello to the facelifted Volkswagen Polo GTI. A five-door hot hatch for those of you who think the Ford Fiesta ST, the Hyundai i20N, and the Mini Cooper S are just a bit too juvenile.

“The Polo GTI has always been ‘the sensible one’ out of all the supermini-sized hot hatchbacks, which is arguably as much its main selling point as it is its greatest weakness. And there’s no sign the new one will be any different.

“Mechanical changes are in short supply—the new Polo GTI still uses the same 204hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as the last one, meaning you’ll hit 100kph from rest in a respectable 6.5sec and reach 241kph if you keep your foot in. Power arrives at the front wheels via a standard-fit seven-speed DSG and an ‘XDS’ electrically locking diff.

“Actual changes are as per the facelifted regular Polo. So on the outside, the GTI gets new head and taillights, new bumpers and, um, probably some other stuff. Inside there’s a more modern infotainment system, the annoying touch-sensitive climate controls from the latest Tiguan/Arteon, latest-gen driver assists, and much tartan. Because GTI.”

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Jeep reveals new Xtreme Recon Package for the Wrangler

Jeep just loves dressing up the Wrangler. The carmaker has released one limited-edition model after the other, especially this year as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.

“Now, Jeep has revealed yet another off-road setup for the Wrangler: the Xtreme Recon Package. Unlike other special-edition releases, however, this new one isn’t just all about the aesthetics. As if the Wrangler wasn’t a capable enough off-roader already, Jeep’s new package promises even better off-road performance.

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“The Xtreme Recon Package includes 17- by 8-inch beadlock-capable wheels shod in 35-inch BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires, the latter of which come straight out of Jeep’s factory. It also includes a 1.5-inch factory suspension lift with uniquely tuned shocks, as well as a new 4.56:1 axle ratio.

“Jeep says that with all these tweaks, the Wrangler Rubicon and Rubicon 392 models achieve a best-in-class approach angle (47.4°), breakover angle (26.7°), departure angle (40.4°), ground clearance (328mm), and water wading capacity (853mm).”

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PHOTO: Chevrolet, Autohub Group, Toyota, Klein Vision
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