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This week in cars: Refreshed Toyota Fortuner, Hilux; Toyota Wigo PH arrival

This was a pretty busy week for Toyota

Toyota unveils the refreshed Fortuner

The refreshed Toyota Fortuner finally breaks cover dropped a bombshell of an announcement this morning as it finally reveals the refreshed Fortuner. Let’s take a closer look.

“The new-look SUV features a much more aggressive front fascia, with thinner headlamps and a new grille pattern. The chrome strips flanking the Toyota badge have also been blacked out, giving the vehicle a much sportier appeal. The front bumper went through a major overhaul as well, with the fog lamp housings and lower lip seeing big changes. The new Fortuner also gets new daytime running lights and reworked 18-inch wheels.

“There is a new special variant called the Legender, which looks almost like an entirely new Toyota. It gets an even more aggressive look than the standard SUV, with a sleeker-looking grille and foglamps. It gets less chrome and more blacked out trims, too.”


The refreshed Toyota Hilux has officially been revealed

“The new Toyota Fortuner isn’t the only big news this morning. The Japanese car manufacturer has also revealed a refreshed version of the Hilux pickup truck flaunting new looks and packing an upgraded engine.

“First, let’s talk about the improved mill. The 2.8-liter turbodiesel option now comes with 201hp and 500Nm of torque—a noticeable bump from the 174hp and 420Nm or 450Nm of torque we’re accustomed to here in the Philippines. The brand also claims that both the 2.8- and 2.4-liter engines boast better fuel economy, and have had their idling reduced from 850rpm to 650rpm for more capability off-road. Toyota also claims that it has improved the vehicle’s suspension setup, providing it with better shock absorption capability.

“In terms of aesthetics, the first thing you’ll notice is the new face featuring bolder lines, tougher angles, and a significant amount of new trim (either chrome or black plastic, depending on the variant) surrounding the grille. It also runs on new-look wheels, and, if you look closely, redesigned headlights with daytime running lights and LED taillights. Inside, the truck receives new touchscreen and gauge designs.”

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The refreshed Toyota Wigo to arrive in PH on June 15

“It seems like our speculations about the facelifted Toyota Wigo are correct, as we have just received confirmation that Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) will launch the refreshed hatch in our market this month. 

“In case you missed it, this model was the one launched in Indonesia just a few months back—in that market, the Wigo is known as the Agya, hence the plate in the photos. As the initial photos showed us, the Wigo now has an even more aggressive-looking face than before. In hindsight, this facelift was actually a glimpse of the changes Toyota made with the Fortuner. They look alike, don’t they?

“The new Wigo gets some minor tweaks with its taillights out back, while it gets new alloy wheels underneath. Inside, the Wigo gets a new push-start ignition, a new infotainment system, and a new A/C control panel.”


The GR Yaris RS isn’t the hot hatch you were looking from Toyota

“Well, you didn’t expect Toyota and Gazoo Racing to go to the big trouble and huge expensive of engineering a brand-new, three-door, wideboi body shell for the GR Yaris, and then only use it for one model, did you?

This is not—we repeat, not—the Toyota GR Yaris. The fabulously muscular Yaris pictured here does not have four-wheel drive. It doesn’t have the world’s most powerful three-cylinder engine. It doesn’t have 260hp.

“Nope, this is the Toyota GR Yaris RS, which sounds like it should be even sportier. But here, RS stands for Really Slow.

“See, what Toyota has done is taken the GR Yaris’s bodyshell, ripped out the 1.6-liter turbo engine, and replaced it with a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter engine. The engine is branded ‘Dynamic Force,’ but that’s a bit over the top—it generates only 118hp and 148Nm.”

The refreshed Hyundai Santa Fe breaks cover

“Have you been looking forward to seeing the new-look Santa Fe? Well, no need to wait any longer, as Hyundai has revealed the first images of the refreshed SUV.

“As was shown to us in the first teaser image, the new Santa Fe has been given a much larger grille with an overall cleaner front fascia. The fog lamps have been adjusted to flank the grille, and new vertical DRLs have been added as well. The front bumper sees some minor changes, too.

“Out back, the taillights have been redesigned to connect from one end to another across the rear hatch, while there were some slight alterations made to the rear bumper. Also, by the looks of it, Hyundai may have done away with the old shark-fin antenna.”


Toyota releases a new teaser for the refreshed Hilux

Fernando Alonso, while most famous for winning the Formula 1  title in 2005 and 2006, is well-versed in the art of manning trucks thanks to his time driving for Toyota in the Dakar Rally. As such, it makes sense the Japanese carmaker would choose him to be behind the wheel to put the refreshed Hilux to the test.

“Yes, the refreshed version.

“Toyota has just released a teaser trailer for the new Hilux, flaunting the updated pickup truck with the former F1 champion behind the wheel. It’s a proper look at the vehicle being put through its paces, albeit a camouflaged one. The 31-second clip doesn’t show much—just a few clips of the new Hilux with some footage of the GR version thrown in for good measure.”

Germany to make EV chargers at all gas station mandatory

Germany is making another move to usher in an era of electric mobility.

“According to a report by Reuters, the European nation will be requiring gas stations to provide EV charging infrastructure for motorists as part of a €130 billion (P7.3 trillion) economic recovery plan. The hope is that by making electric car chargers more accessible and eliminating refueling issues, the move will encourage people to buy new cars.

“The report adds that the stimulus plan allocates €2.5 billion (P141 billion) towards battery production and charging infrastructure, includes a  €6,000 (P339,000) subsidy towards the cost of buying an EV, and that the plan includes taxing owners of traditionally-powered SUVs.

“In the report, energy storage specialist The Mobility House (which the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance invests in) said that the move is a “‘very clear commitment to battery-powered vehicles and establishes electric mobility as a technology of the future.’”


The Ford Mustang Mach 1 will soon be revived

“There’s an all-new Ford Mustang Mach 1 in the works, and this one is set to roll out soon. Sooner than the next-generation Mustang, in fact, as the Mach 1 is returning for the 2021 model year.

“And yes, this one still runs on a combustion engine unlike the battery-powered Mustang Mach-E. It packs a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8, to be exact. That’s one way for a car to make a comeback after a 17-year hiatus.

“Ford has only provided us a preview of the new Mach 1, but at least the photos give us a good look at the car’s slightly-camoed-up face. The front end appears to sport bigger air intakes on the grille and the bumper. Other than that, there’s not much to see with the zoomed-out view of the Mach 1’s rear. We know the car will get some nice new wheels, though.”

Bentley bids goodbye to its iconic 6.75-liter V8

“We’ve talked a lot about the 6.75-liter Rolls-Royce–Bentley V8 engine on these pages of late—principally because the recently-announced 6.75 Edition will spell the end for both the iconic power unit and the wonderful Bentley Mulsanne.

“And now, the time has come. What you see here is the very last example of the L-Series V8—an engine that has been in continuous production for more than 60 years.

“Seven Bentley engineers took 15 hours to assemble the final 530hp, 1,098Nm V8 for the 30th and final Mulsanne 6.75 Edition, bringing an end to a production run of over 36,000 engines.”

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