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This week in cars: Updated Honda Civic Type R PH launch, Hyundai Custo minivan concept

Honda launches the 2021 Civic Type R with a P3.21-M price tag

“Just less than a month after the official arrival of the Toyota GR Yaris, there’s already a new hot hatch in town. Sort of.

“We’re talking about the refreshed Honda Civic Type R, folks. Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) has now announced the updated hot hatch for our market.

“The new Civic Type R gets some minor tweaks on both the front and rear bumpers as well as on the grille. For the most part, however, the hot hatch looks the same. What’s new here are the Racing Blue (pictured above) and Sonic Gray color options.

“The engine under the hood also remains untouched. The 2021 Honda Civic Type R will still be powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline mill that pushes 306hp at 6,500rpm and 400Nm of torque at 2,500 to 4,500rpm. This is also still mated to a six-speed manual gearbox with a rev match control system.


“The new Honda Civic Type R will be priced at P3,210,000. It will be exempted from any safeguard duties and will also be available with an introductory P100,000 discount until September 30, 2021.”

Hyundai has released new images of the upcoming Custo minivan

“The Honda Odyssey, Kia Carnival, and Toyota Alphard—it seems like every memorable minvan in the Philippine market has been around for ages already. Hyundai, though, could make things a bit more interesting if it decides to bring in the Custo.

“The South Korean auto brand has released teaser images of its upcoming minivan offering on its official Weibo account and, if we’re going by what we’ve seen of its aesthetic so far, the Custo definitely has what it takes to hang with the segment’s top dogs.

“Photos show a sleek-looking minivan with an attractive silhouette and very bold character lines running along its sides. It also flaunts a handful of very modern design elements, such as multiple LED lighting units concealed as part of its grille, and a polished unified taillight design.

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“Its whole look is very in line with contemporary Hyundai and Kia offerings like the Hyundai Tucson and Santa Cruz, both of which feature faces similar to what’s seen on the Custo here. Sadly, Hyundai has yet to release any photos of what we can expect inside this thing.”

Legende Automobile reinvents the Renault 5 Turbo

“‘In a world that has become increasingly more digital, we were yearning for a time machine that could transport us back to the analog ’80s.’

“The words of LA-based Legende Automobiles as it unveils this, the Turbo 3. It’s a reborn Renault 5 Turbo and it may well be one of the most cohesive reinventions of an icon yet.

“It’s designed to reverse some of the cost-cutting measures Renault itself made for the second-gen 5 Turbo. Known as the Turbo 2, it’s a car still with a mid-mounted turbo engine but with just a bit less wackiness than the car before it, an attempt to drag things closer to the price bracket Renaults would usually inhabit. With the blank-check culture of restomodding, though, the 5 can be ramped right back up to the max once more.


“‘Technology has given us many great things, but it has also taken away the tactile experience that we, as car nuts, are missing in today’s driving,’ continues Legende. ‘Sequential transmissions with paddle shifters have their place, but for this machine, we wanted an old-school mechanical shifter to give the driver full control of the turbo-powered engine.’

“The source of that engine is as yet unspecified, but we’re told it makes 400hp—more than twice the figure of the original 5. The suspension matches that of a 5 Maxi rally car to help make sense of it all, rest assured. The Turbo 3’s body is mostly carbon and is wider to accommodate larger wheels (16-inch front, 17-inch rear), yet Legende has cleverly kept the 5’s cartoonish proportions intact.”

Here’s a glimpse of what future SsangYong cars may look like

“Yes, this is a SsangYong, not another brand you might be thinking of. The Korean carmaker—owned by Indian engineering behemoth Mahindra & Mahindra—has released these new sketches of its upcoming next-generation SUV. Remember, SsangYong.

“The new SUV has been codenamed ‘X200,’ and is apparently based on the company’s new philosophy which reads ‘powered by toughness.’ There’s more than a hint of a famous American off-road brand about its aesthetic, that’s for sure.

“Details of its powertrains are scant, though SsangYong does mention this car—and the J100 model it announced earlier this year—will both use “eco-friendly powertrains, thereby responding to the biggest trend in the automotive industry.” Think electrified, then.”

Meet McLaren’s fastest convertible yet, the new 765LT Spider

“Missed out on the now-sold-out 765LT Coupe? Well, we have good news: Behold the McLaren 765LT Spider. Save for the retractable carbon hardtop, it is basically identical to the LT Coupe. And you can still buy one—McLaren is building as many Spiders as it did Coupes (765 for the whole world), and they haven’t entirely sold out. Yet.


“McLaren’s fastest convertible yet uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 754hp and 799Nm of torque. The LT Spider claims the same 0-100kph time, 0-200kph time, and top speed as the LT Coupe: 2.8sec, 7.2sec, and 330kph, respectively. At 1,388kg, it weighs 49kg more than the LT Coupe, but 80kg less than a regular 720S Spider.

“Most of that extra weight versus the LT Coupe comes from the one-piece carbon-fiber roof—which can be retracted in 11sec at speeds of up to 50kph—and its operating mechanism. The rear window can be lowered independently of the roof, so you can better hear the quad-exit titanium exhaust even when it’s raining. McLaren tells us the 765’s carbon-fiber ‘MonoCage II’ structure is so strong, no additional bracing is required for the Spider.”

Subaru will unveil the next-gen WRX on August 20

“Stoked for the all-new Subaru WRX? Delightful news from Subaru, folks, as the next-generation sedan will be premiering sooner than we think.

“According to Subaru of America’s latest announcement, the 2022 WRX will debut at the upcoming New York International Auto Show on August 19, 2021 at 4pm Eastern Time—that’s at 4am on August 20 here in the Philippines. Mark your calendars, people. Don’t forget to set your alarms, too.

“Now, luckily for us, when Subaru unleashes this “whole new beast,” it’ll be streamed live. What’s unfortunate here is that the Japanese carmaker is still keeping mum about the details of the new Subie. All we know from the official website is that it’ll get an upgraded engine and suspension and that it’ll be a complete redesign of the outgoing model.”

Someone has built a dune-bashing ‘Jumpacan’ based on the Lamborghini Huracan


“Move over, Urus. There’s a new off-road-ready Lamborghini in town, and it’s more than just an all-wheel-drive SUV—it’s a menacing dune-bashing machine.

“This, folks, is the Jumpacan. As its name suggests, it’s an off-road-ready version of the road-going Huracan. Obviously, this one wasn’t built in Italy, nor was it officially named by the Italians back in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Why on earth would name a car the Jumpacan?

“Not that it matters, because what’s dubbed as the ‘world’s first off-road Lamborghini Huracan build’ is quite the thing. It was built by Chris Steinbacher and his crew at B is for Build, and it’s a project that’s eight months in the making. And counting. But more on that later.

“In a nutshell, it’s the, er, shell and chassis of a Lamborghini Huracan fitted will all the off-road upgrades you can ever imagine on a supercar. It’s got a long-travel suspension and an LS engine with a manual transmission to boot. No exact figures were given here, but this thing was meant to compete at The Mint 400 off-road endurance race, so insane amounts of horsepower isn’t exactly what these guys were gunning for.”

Volkswagen has unveiled its newest SUV, the Taigo

“Welcome, world, to the new Volkswagen Taigo. Although if you happen to live in South America, you’re probably a little bit confused right now.

“Yes, this does look like your market’s VW Nivus, but that’s because essentially it is the Nivus—it’s just been given a new name, some styling tweaks, and a new trim level for Europe. Because VW absolutely didn’t have enough SUVs in these parts already.

“The Taigo will actually be VW’s entry-level crossover in the UK (and its first—but probably not last—with a coupe body style) when it lands later this year. It’s based on the same MQB A0 platform as both the Polo and the T-Cross, but will apparently sit in between the two in terms of price.

“In case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced tie-go and it’s actually wider, longer, and lower than the aforementioned T-Cross. That’s mainly because the rear overhang has been extended to retain some boot space (438 liters) and include the swoopy (and a little bit silly) rear end. Same ground clearance though, apparently, although don’t let the black plastic arches fool you into thinking it’ll go off-road.


“It’s FWD only and there’ll be just two engine options—a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder petrol and a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder petrol. The former is available in two tunes with either 94hp or 109hp, whilst the latter gets 148hp. There’ll be manual and auto gearbox options, and VW has all but ruled out a GTI or R performance variant. Probably for the best.”

The Renndienst minivan concept has one of the most beautiful interiors you’ll see in a Porsche

“Lamborghini has the Urus. Aston Martin has the DBX. Ferrari reportedly has an SUV in the works. How will Porsche truly stand out in the super-SUV battle, then? Will newer and even better Macans or Cayennes do the trick?

“If it were up to us, Porsche should just leave that segment as it is for now and shift its focus to another equally ludicrous part of the market: super minivans. There’s probably no such thing, but if the folks in Stuttgart were to build this thing, then we reckon there will be.

“The ludicrous minivan in discussion is the white capsule thingy you see above. This is Porsche’s study called the Renndienst, a six-seat van that’s said to resemble the factory racing team’s old Volkswagen racing service van. Porsche calls the exterior ‘futuristic and edgeless’ with a modular travel cabin inside.

“It’s futuristic, alright, but the real highlight here is this cabin Porsche keeps talking about. You see, this sublime interior just might be what future Porsche interiors look like.”

Japanese tuner Wald has done its work on the BMW X7

“Looks like Japanese tuner Wald thought the BMW X7 needed to stand out a little more.

“Check out its new body kit. Certainly not shy, is it? Wald has fitted a mighty new front bumper that almost makes that grille look small. Almost.


“There are a whole heap of new LED lights front and rear too, as well as lower side skirts, a rear spoiler, and a very busy rear bumper complete with a diffuser. Because we’ve always thought the X7 needed a diffuser.”

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PHOTO: Honda, Hyundai, Legende Automobile, SsangYong
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