“The Volkswagen Kombi is making a comeback. The German carmaker is launching the Multivan here in the Philippines with the iconic ‘Kombi’ moniker attached to it, and we’re kind of excited at the proposition.
“If you’re interested, Volkswagen Philippines has already announced that units have landed and will be formally introduced within the month. We also now have the vehicle’s official engine details and specs, as well as its indicative starting price.
“Local Volkswagen Multivan Kombi units will come packing a 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine capable of 148hp and up to 340Nm of torque paired with a 7-speed Direct Shift gearbox. Only the model’s top-spec variant has been announced, and the vehicle will be available in a variety of color options including Reflex Silver, Black Pearlescent, and the Bi-Color Reflex Silver/Starlight Blue.
“As for cost, the brand has mentioned an indicative price of P3.65 million. This figure isn’t final yet, though, and we expect a concrete price tag once the model is formally introduced. If what we see here holds, however, it’s a pretty lofty number when compared to the rest of the company’s Philippine lineup.”
“Kia previously gave us a proper look at the fifth-generation Sportage. Now, the Korean carmaker has finally released details about the tech and engine options that this new Kia will come with. Let’s take a look.
“Apart from the massive curved touchscreen display inside the cabin, the Sportage will also be getting a host of advanced driver-assist features that’s basically standard in most Kias these days. This suite of features includes forward and blind-spot collision-avoidance assist, a blind-spot view monitor, highway driving assist, navigation-based smart cruise control, and remote smart parking assist.
“There’s also an all-new Terrain Mode feature available on this Sportage. This mode automatically adjusts the car’s settings and optimizes it for different road conditions such as snow, mud, or sand. Comfort, Eco, Sport, or Smart drive modes are also available.
“The new Sportage also promises heavily improved driving dynamics, as Kia has supposedly “meticulously tuned” its steering and suspension systems. The SUV also gets a new electronic control suspension that provides a smoother ride. The electronic 4WD system ensures power is distributed evenly between the front and rear wheels to enhance both performance and safety.
“As far as powertrain options go, the Sportage will be available with either a 178hp, 265Nm 1.6 liter TGDi mated to a seven-speed DCT or a six-speed manual, or a 183hp, 417Nm 2.0-liter diesel engine paired with an eight-speed automatic.”
“It’s been five years since the Ciaz officially arrived in our market. Now, Suzuki Philippines (SPH) has now announced some significant updates to the subcompact sedan. Segment leaders like the Toyota Vios and the Honda City better watch out for this one.
“The new Ciaz gets a fresh look up front with a new grille and bumper. The previous model’s front fascia already looked a bit dated, whereas this new one has a much sportier look to it. The car also gets new LED headlamps to boot, but that’s about it for the exterior changes.
“Only one variant is available for this new model, and it’s still powered by a 1.4-liter K14B gasoline mill that generates 91hp and 130Nm of torque and is mated to a four-speed automatic. No more stick shifts for this one, though, folks.
“As for its pricing, the Ciaz retails for P888,000 and is now officially available in SPH dealers as of this writing. What do you think of the updated sedan, readers? Think this can compete with established competitors in its segment?
“Excited for the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser? We understand. The LC300 is, after all, shiny and new, and is available in Gazoo Racing guise. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the next-generation vehicle now finds itself under the spotlight.
“Don’t think for a second, though, that the LC300’s reveal means the Japanese carmaker will now leave what’s currently on offer outside to gather dust. Over in Australia, for example, the Land Cruiser Prado continues to receive worthwhile updates.
“Prado units down under still get a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 201hp and up to 500Nm of torque, but the SUV’s package has been bolstered for 2021 with more safety, convenience, and some added aesthetic tweaks.
“GX units now get a little extra chrome outside and puddle lamps, while higher-end units now come equipped with new 19-inch alloy wheels with either an ‘Active’ or ‘Prestige’ design. Buyers of more premium variants now also have the option of moving the spare wheel from the rear of the vehicle to under it.
“In terms of safety, features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert now come as standard on GX and GLX units, complementing Toyota Safety Sense tech like high-speed active cruise control and lane departure alert with steering assistance.”
“Okay, we admit that’s a bit of an exaggeration. Before you go hysterical over the announcement, know that the company isn’t going completely electric just yet. It isn’t discontinuing the Charger, the Challenger, or the Durango—it’s only building a new electric muscle car—the ‘world’s first full battery electric muscle car,’ it claims, due for release in 2024.
“Why? ‘Performance made us do it,’ Dodge said. You can check out the short clip herefor a better look.
“All this was discussed by brand CEO Tim Kuniskis during the 2021 Dodge Electric Vehicle Summit. ‘Dodge will not sell electric cars. Dodge will sell American e-muscle,’ he said. ‘So if a ‘charger’ can make the Charger faster, we’re in.’ Okay.”
“Shelby has officially unveiled its version of America’s best-selling pickup, and it’ll make the burly albeit ‘regular’ F-150 look a bit measly. This one’s got a new grille with a new Shelby badge up front, along with Le Mans-style striping.
“Air intakes can be found on the hood and on the new front-bumper cover, and more air-managed vents are fitted on the front fender flares and the rear bumper cladding. The pickup also gets new powered side steps and a tonneau cover with a bed rug liner, as well as new 22-inch Shelby alloy wheels shod in BFGoodrich all-terrain tires.
“But let’s move on to the most important part of the truck: the engine. The Shelby F-150 gets a 395hp naturally-aspirated engine as standard, but the supercharged V8 option churns out 775hp. Why anyone would opt for anything other than the latter is beyond us.”
“It’s no secret that Internet quality and service here in the Philippines leave much to be desired. For the majority of us, a connection around these parts is about as reliable as a mid-2000s Chinese car—you can expect it to work, but don’t expect to enjoy the experience.
“Frankly, the state of our Internet is in a pitiful state considering our user base. You know what makes our situation even more painful, though? Seeing other countries leapfrog us not just when it comes to Internet speed, but in innovation, too.
“Take Verizon in the US, for example. The company recently rolled out a ‘rapid-response command center vehicle’ that provides a stable Internet connection and communications services to remote operations. Now, we figure you’re probably picturing a van with a large antenna popping out from the top of it. Well, the setup is a little more sophisticated than that.
“The red behemoth you’re looking at is actually a modified Ford F-650 developed in cooperation with the US Department of Defense. It’s called a Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response vehicle (THOR), and it gives military personnel and first responders access to 5G Internet no matter what environment they’re working in.”
“Punchy-looking little fighter, isn’t it? And yet, BMW’s new 2-Series Coupe might well be BMW’s least controversial-looking car for a long while. It’s lumpy and bumpy from some angles. Downright squat and hunkered in others. But overall, it’s traditional BMW.
“No beavertooth grilles. Just a short front overhang, some muscular shoulders, and a stern face. BMW’s clearly quite proud of it: this one’s painted aubergine purple.
“Mr. Eggplant here is the new M240i, which gets a 369hp wallop courtesy of a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six petrol engine. That’s right, BMW isn’t giving up on its big-sixes just yet.
“This is indeed the magnificent engine from the M440i, hooked up to the equally superb eight-speed automatic gearbox (there’s no manual 2-Series anymore, folks) and powering all four tires through BMW’s rear-axle biased xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
“Choose launch control and you’ll go from 0-100kph in 4.3sec and all the way to a limited top speed 250kph. We’ve just checked and that makes this new M240i quicker than the old V8 M3.”
“Stellantis has made a series of big announcements today. In addition to the reveal of its plans to build the ‘world’s first electric muscle car’ under the Dodge brand, it has also now given us a peek at its game plan for Jeep this decade.
“Highlighting the company’s plans for the future is the launch of the all-new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid, the electrified version of one of the company’s most iconic nameplates. And luckily, Jeep was kind enough to give us a peek at the new PHEV.
“As with most of Stellantis’ recent announcements, though, there aren’t a lot of details about the new EV to go about. What we do know is that this new vehicle is the next step in achieving the company’s goal of offering a zero-emission, all-electric Jeep 4xe in every SUV segment by 2025.
“By that same year, Jeep says that it expects 70% of all its vehicles sold will be electrified. It also gave us a glimpse of some of the tech that it intends to roll out in the future, including biometric recognition features that can be used to lock/unlock or start Jeep vehicles.”
“The new Lotus Emira is propelled entirely by little explosions. It isn’t even a hybrid. That’s not because Lotus is incapable of something electrified, or dragging its feet. Next year, there will be a “lifestyle product” (aka a crossover) that’s all-electric. In 2025, an electric sports car, a co-development with Alpine. So the Emira, by having only a gasoline engine, surely qualifies as an instant classic. Just as well, it looks so good.
“It’s a mid-engined two-seater. Lotus has done plenty of those. But it doesn’t quite replace any of them, even though the Elise, the Exige, and the Evora have lately shuffled off this mortal coil. It’s meant to be usable every day. But not, we hope, an everyday thing. Still special.
“Starting at under £60,000 (P4.12 million), it’ll be a rival to the Porsche 718, or in America to the lower rungs of the Corvette, because it’s going on sale worldwide—a bold ambition. Deliveries start next year, beginning with V6 units. A four-cylinder option will arrive a few months later. So, right now Lotus is still being enigmatic about the outputs and stats, but here’s what we know: The V6 is the supercharged Toyota-based 3.5-liter V6 from the Exige and the Evora. The four-cylinder will be a version of AMG’s superheated two-liter turbo.
“There will be manual, auto, and dual-clutch transmissions, says Lotus, again declining to say much about which engine pairs with which transmission. Well, you can bet neither engine will be offered with all three, and in the old cars, the V6 had manual or auto. So, we can safely assume the dual-clutch is for the four-cylinder.”
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