This week in cars: GR-styled Toyotas, all-new Honda Civic in Thailand

Another week, another Toyota dressed in Gazoo Racing parts
by TopGear.com.ph | Aug 15, 2021

Does the Toyota Fortuner look good dressed in GR parts?

“Toyota has been busy fitting Gazoo Racing parts in several of its models such as the Hilux, Vios, 86Land Cruiser, and even the Avanza. And in case you haven’t seen it yet, the Fortuner has also been given the same treatment.

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“The Fortuner GR Sport is also available in the same market as that new beefed-up Avanza. It boasts aesthetic upgrades including a new front bumper spoiler, new LED headlamps, and new foglamp design. It also gets a new bumper spoiler out back as well as a Gazoo Racing badge. In addition, it sits on new alloy wheels and gets new GR side stickers.

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“As with most GR-S models, the Fortuner sees no changes under its hood. In Indonesia, it still comes with either a 2.7-liter turbocharged gasoline mill capable of 161hp and 242Nm or a 2.4-liter turbodiesel that generates 148hp and 400Nm. Both engine options come with a six-speed automatic ’box.

“The Fortuner GR Sport also gets the same interior features like the nine-inch infotainment system, wireless charger, and power-adjustable seats. However, this new variant gets extra tech such as the dual-zone climate control, rear-seat entertainment system, electrochromic rearview mirror, and a 360-degree-view monitor.”

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Honda launches the all-new Civic in Thailand

“It seems we’re inching closer and closer to the local launch of the all-new Honda Civic. The 11th-generation model has just been launched in Thailand, and it may well be a preview of what Honda Cars Philippines (HCPI) will eventually reveal here in our market. Let’s take a look.

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“Pictured here is the Civic RS Turbo. This is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine that’s capable of 176hp and 240Nm of torque and is mated to a CVT. So far, this is the only powertrain that’s been revealed in Thailand. For context, that’s 5hp and 20Nm more powerful than the PH-spec Civic RS’s engine.

“The aesthetics are basically the same as what we’ve seen before, so we’ll skip that. What’s worth talking about here is the plethora of added tech that this Civic comes with.

“For starters, there’s a new 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a nine-inch infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay connectivity and Honda Connect features. There’s also a built-in wireless charger available.”

The Civic in Thailand gets new Modulo parts, too

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“So, the all-new Honda Civic, eh? Yes, Honda’s made a considerable change to the vehicle’s aesthetic, opting for a relatively more executive look than a mean one. We quite like it, though. 

“That said, we can see how some readers were hoping for something a little bit more energetic. If you’re of this mindset, cross your fingers that the Japanese carmaker brings in its collection of Modulo accessories to accompany the compact sedan when it launches locally.

“Buyers over in Thailand, where the vehicle was introduced recently, can now choose to get their all-new Civic clad in Modulo accessories. The package isn’t anything too over the top, but it is still sportier than the stock version.

“Included in the Modulo package are new grille accents, a subtle body-colored trunk spoiler, front and rear under spoilers, side skirts, door visors, fender accents, new stainless steel exhaust pipes, as well as Modulo 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior, meanwhile, gets side step accents and sport pedals to add a bit of playfulness to an otherwise stealthy cockpit.

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“If you aren’t looking to go all-out here, there’s always the option of mixing and matching Modulo parts. The ‘Sport Package,’ for example, includes just the under spoilers and stainless steel exhaust pipes for as little as 8,900 Thai baht (around P13,400). You can check out what else is available here.”

Toyota has also given the Avanza the GR treatment

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“It looks like Toyota is really going all out when it comes to expanding Gazoo Racing’s presence in its mass-market lineup.

“First, the brand started off with performance cars—which makes perfect sense. Slowly, but surely, though, the GR badge has made its way to softer offerings like the Camry, Vios, and even kei cars. The latest Toyota to receive the GR treatment? The Veloz over in Indonesia, which you probably recognize as the Avanza.

“Yes, the mild-mannered seven-seat MPV is now a GR vehicle—at least when it comes to aesthetics. Up front you’ll notice a new bumper, grille, and spoiler, as well as a neat new GR badge. The same treatment is applied for the rear, and the additions provide the vehicle with a relatively sportier appearance overall.

“Other upgrades include new black alloy wheels and blacked-out side mirror housings. The dark theme is carried over inside, too, where you’ll find stealthy fabrics with red contrast stitching on the door panels and seats.

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“As you would expect with this type of release, no changes to the MPV’s performance have been made. The vehicle still packs either a 1.5-liter DOHC gasoline engine with 103hp and 136Nm of torque or a 1.3-liter gasoline with 95hp and 121Nm. You can get these mills paired with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.”

Toyota launches new Supra 35th Anniversary Edition in Japan

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“Another special-edition Supra has landed in Toyota’s home market. This new one, however, isn’t merely a spinoff of the brand’s popular sports car. Rather, it’s one built in celebration of the Supra’s 35th anniversary.

“Actually, there are two versions of the Supra 35th Anniversary Edition. One is the RZ trim packing a 3.0-liter, straight-six under the hood, and the other is the SZ-R powered by a 2.0-liter four-banger.

“Both vehicles come with exclusive seats inside the cabin, finished in Alcantara and Ignition Red leather. These also get special 35th Anniversary carbon ornaments on the dash and an extra touch of red leather on the steering wheel, center console, and side panels.

“The RZ can only be had with a Matte Storm Gray exterior finish. The SZ-R, meanwhile, comes with five color options: Lightning Yellow, Prominence Red, Black Metallic, White Metallic, and Ice Gray Metallic. Both sit on 19-inch matte black forged aluminum wheels.

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“Toyota will only be making 35 units each for the RZ and SZ-R Supras. The 3.0-liter RZ is priced at ¥7,835,000 (P3.58 million), while the 2.0-liter SZ-R at ¥6,535,000 (P2.98 million).”

The new Honda NSX Type S breaks cover

Honda has officially unveiled the new NSX Type S, the final version and last hurrah of the second-generation NSX.

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“It doesn’t look any different from the standard second-gen NSX, save for a few tweaks including the new exclusive matte finish, Type S decals, and five-spoke wheels. The interior, meanwhile, gets a new Alcantara headliner, embroidered Type S logos all around, and additional contrast stitching.

“Now, aesthetics isn’t where this limited-edition model aims to impress. Honda—or Acura, if you live in the US—says this one is supposedly the ‘quickest, most powerful, and best-handling production NSX ever.’

“Powering the NSX Type S is an updated twin-turbo V6 hybrid that’s now capable of 600hp and 666Nm of torque, up by 27hp and 21Nm from the standard version. The nine-speed DCT has been re-tuned as well, and it now promises 50% faster upshift response and has a new Rapid Downshift mode to boot.

“Honda says the chassis, suspension, and response of the NSX Type S have all be optimized as well to improve handling and enhance the overall driving experience. A Lightweight Package is also available, and this one adds carbon-ceramic brakes and other carbon materials to reduce total curb weight by about 26kg.”

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Wald has done its work on the Toyota Supra

“Remember Japanese tuner Wald’s rather striking BMW X7 bodykit from a couple of weeks ago? Well, it’s now done something even more bonkers, although at least this time it’s on a car that’s au fait with bodykits.

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“Check out what’s happened to this very yellow A90 Toyota Supra. Wald reckons it has brought a bit of Formula 1 to the fifth-gen sports car with that new nose, and it’s certainly different from what we’ve seen so far.

“There’s also the obligatory MASSIVE rear wing, wider arches at both the front and rear, huge new wheels and Lexus IS F-style exhaust tips. There’s no word on whether this particular example has had its internals fettled, but clearly, it’s ever-so-slightly lower than standard.”

Audi’s new Skysphere concept is a shapeshifter

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“A variable wheelbase—that’s the highlight of Audi’s new concept called ‘Skysphere.’ What in the world is a car with an adjustable wheelbase, then? It’s like a next-level convertible, only way more radical.

“To give you the gist, a variable wheelbase is exactly what the name suggests. The Skysphere is Audi’s new electric roadster-slash-grand-tourer concept. It has the ability to shapeshift from a 4.94-meter long roadster to a 5.19-meter grand tourer with the single press of a button.

“In the e-roadster form—or ‘Sports’ mode, as Audi calls it—the car features a reduced wheelbase for sportier handling. In ‘Grand Touring’ mode, the Skysphere boasts maximum legroom and adjusted ground clearance for enhanced comfort. The steering wheels and the pedals are also stored away from sight, and the vehicle’s autonomous driving capabilities are put to use.

“Audi says the Skysphere can also pick up passengers independently using connected services, as well as park and charge itself. At this point, who needs a steering wheel, right?

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“This concept car is supposedly pretty punchy, too, packing a 465kW electric motor that generates 750Nm of torque. Pair that with a light 1,800kg frame and the Skysphere jumps from zero to 100kph in just 4sec. The 80kWh battery is said to promise more than 500km of range on one full charge.”

The new Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider is out in the open

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“Great news for all those who put a deposit down on Aston’s £2.5 million (P174 million) hard-topped hypercar, only to realize they couldn’t fit into Adrian Newey’s snug cabin—it’s the new Aston Martin Valkyrie Spider.

“Chopping the roof off does seem a little at odds with the Valkyrie’s obsession with aero, but Aston claims the extra headroom makes it even more like an F1 car in its driving experience. Can’t argue with that.

“Clearly, the ‘standard’ Valkyrie’s gullwing doors couldn’t be transferred across to the Spider—they wouldn’t be much use attached to the new removable carbon-fiber panel. In their place are a pair of front-hinged butterfly doors with narrow letterbox windows, but the aforementioned roof panel will also get a couple of polycarbonate sections to let in light.

“Forget rearranging a hairdo, though, the roofless Valkyrie will have a good go at tearing your barnet from your scalp. The 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 makes 1,000hp on its own, remember, and it’s paired with an additional 160hp electric motor for maximum attack. The Spider keeps all of the madcap underside aero trickery of the hardtop too.”

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The Mini John Cooper Works GP Inspired Edition lands in PH with a P3.99-M price tag

Mini John Cooper Works GP Inspired Edition. That’s a pretty long name—but nowhere near as long as the list of add-ons and upgrades it gets over its non-JCW counterpart. We’ll get to that in a bit, but first? The price.

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“Yes, the price. The hot hatch is now officially available in the Philippine market, and if you’re looking to stand out from the standard hatch, it’ll cost you.

“The GP Inspired Edition carries a P3,990,000 price tag. Now, let’s get into what you’re getting for that sum.

“Underneath the hood is a 2.0-liter twin-turbo engine capable of 231hp at 5,200-6,200 rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1,450-4,800 rpm mated to an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. Familiar figures? That’s because the engine is the same as the third-generation Mini John Cooper Works GP.”

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PHOTO: Toyota, Honda
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