Car News

This week in cars: All-new Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in PH

There were a few big arrivals

You can already buy an all-new Toyota Land Cruiser for P5.173-M

“If you happened to see the all-new Toyota Land Cruiser on the road over the past few days, there’s a chance that it wasn’t a gray-market unit. See, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) actually started retail sales of the full-size SUV on September 4, 2021.

“According to a trusted source, units of the next-generation LC300 landed on our shores some time last month, and they eventually made their way to local dealerships last week. We’re told that they’re now available for purchase. However, there is no official announcement yet as of this writing, since the launch has been bumped to October.

“A bit of an unusual arrangement, seeing as TMP itself has yet to release any details whatsoever about the all-new Land Cruiser. That said, we already have the specs and prices which we shared with you a while back. For those of you who missed them, you can click here for more details.”

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 lands in PH with P7.76-M price tag

Ford Philippines is bolstering its Mustang lineup with a new addition that many fans of the legendary nameplate can get excited about: the Shelby GT500.

“The Shelby GT500 arrives in our market packing a 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that generates 760hp and 847Nm of torque, mated to a seven-speed Tremec dual-clutch gearbox. It’s equipped with Brembo brake calipers, a Magneride damping system for improved performance, and a Torsen limited-slip rear diff.

“Other features of this high-performance car include an electronic line lock function and launch control (for track use only), magnesium paddle shifters, and an active valve performance exhaust system with quad exhaust tips.

“The Shelby GT500 also comes with creature comforts like Recaro leather seats with Miko suede trim, a dual-zone climate control system, a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, and an eight-inch infotainment system with smartphone connectivity.”

The all-new Ford Ranger will make its debut in 2022

“The hits in the pickup segment just keep on coming.

Ford has just released its first official images of the all-new Ranger, showing off the next-generation pickup draped in camouflage and being tested off the beaten path.

“Not surprisingly, details are scarce. The American car manufacturer has revealed, though, that the 2022 Ranger will see its full reveal later in 2021 and is scheduled for an official launch sometime next year.

“So yeah, there’s still very little to go on at the moment. The teaser image Ford Philippines has provided us does, however, give us a decent view of the vehicle’s proportions and headlights. Observations? The Ranger looks a bit burlier, and a lot more work appears to have gone into its daytime running lights.

“Obviously, no performance figures or specs yet. At the moment, the current-gen Ranger in the Philippines can be had with a 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel (210hp and 500Nm), a 2.0-liter turbodiesel (178hp and 420Nm), or a 2.2-liter turbodiesel (158hp and 385Nm).

“Other official details? Well, the brand promises superior off-road capability, and that this will be the smartest generation of the long-running truck yet.”

Floating Motors is looking to turn classic cars into luxurious boats

“‘A Volkswagen Kombi... boat? Is this from a Hollywood action movie or something?’

“Surprisingly, it isn’t. The buoyant VW pictured above is a concept from Floating Motors, a company that’s looking to rebuild classic cars as watercraft. On its website, you’ll find more designs of other converted classics from Mini and Porsche. It’s not your typical restomod, to say the least. In fact, the company calls this new thing ‘resto-floating.’

“This is how the company describes it: ‘Similarly to restomod, we strictly respect the original car model proportions and sizes, applying the most modern nautical techniques for the floating hull (catamaran, conventional, or foil), and delivering an exceptional quality concerning construction materials and applied technology, for the longest durability into harsh conditions.’

“The concepts don’t show much yet, but they look wickedly cool. We doubt they’re as extravagant as expensive yachts—these are just as big as standard cars—but we reckon they’re just as enjoyable, if not more so.”

Lexus unveils new RC F Fuji Speedway Edition

“Very few race tracks in the world feature a backdrop as stunning as the Fuji Speedway’s in Japan. Built near the base of Mount Fuji, many gearheads consider the setting an essential itinerary item for a visit to Land of the Rising Sun. That’s saying a lot, considering the countless motoring shrines and landmarks scattered throughout the country. 

“That said, fans aren’t the only ones who hold the legendary speedway in high regard. Lexus, for example, is paying tribute with the release of the new RC F Fuji Speedway Edition—a more powerful version of its flagship V8 offering, the RC F.

“Limited to just 50 units, each RC F Fuji Speedway Edition will come equipped with a naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V8 capable of 472hp and 535Nm of torque. Now, those figures are identical to the standard RC F, but Lexus has seen it fit to tune the limited release for a faster 0-60mph (97kph) time of 3.96 seconds (for comparison, the ‘regular’ RC F will do that in 4.2sec).”

GAC has launched the all-new GS8

“We’ve seen leaked images of the next-generation GS8 floating around cyberspace over the past few months. Now, though, we finally get a proper look at the all-new SUV—official images of it this time around.

“The all-new GS8 debuts with a similar shape as its predecessor but with an entirely new look. The previous model’s relatively subtle front end has been overhauled, and it now sports a massive new grille that grows even bigger as you go higher up the range. The said grille is flanked by equally large vertical headlights that give the vehicle a classy and muscular look.

“The changes out back aren’t as drastic, but the rear end does look more modern and refined than before. It still gets large taillights and twin exhausts along with a spoiler up top. The two sets of wheels available are pretty stylish, too.

“Moving onto the interior, the all-new GS8 retains its elegant and premium vibe but now sports a more futuristic look overall. The new dash gets a gigantic touchscreen mounted front and center, and this is paired with an equally large digital instrument cluster.

“There’s a plethora of white quilted leather around the cabin with a lot of storage space available to boot. This interior can also be had with a classier and darker gray and black finish accentuated by green trim.

“The all-new GAC GS8 is built on the GPMA-L platform and is available with a Toyota Hybrid System (THS) power unit. You may recall that sometime last year, Toyota confirmed that it will be providing GAC with its hybrid tech.

“Specific details on the new powertrain are still scarce, though, but several reports say that the hybrid system comprises a GAC-built 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and a rear-mounted electric motor that together produce 241hp.”

Toyota will launch a Crown-based SUV, but the sedan will live on

“Several reports have surfaced over the past year about how Toyota is planning on discontinuing the Crown and turning the iconic sedan into an SUV. Well, it appears that might not be the case after all.

“According to a report by Best Car, it’s true that Toyota is planning on building a Crown-based SUV. However, that won’t be taking the place of the sedan in the company’s lineup. On the contrary, Toyota is expected to launch a next-generation Crown sedan in the future, one that Best Car has actually seen. The publication has no photo to share, so it instead rendered what the all-new Crown will look like.

It’ll apparently be styled like a “four-door coupe” with a significantly smaller grille and more aggressive-looking headlamps. The Crown’s classy design is less evident in what is said to be the new model. Frankly, it now looks more like a Camry or a Corolla Altis.

“As for the Crown-based SUV, Best Car has no image to show either, though it did mention that it plans to unveil another render in the future. We’ll share it again here once the illustration comes out.”

The Revo Z Razer Edition is another special Hilux for Thailand

“Man, Toyota Thailand just can’t seem to keep its hands off the Hilux. Remember late in August when the market was treated to a low-riding version of the midsize pickup? Well, the brand has followed this up with yet another release called the Hilux Revo Z Razer Edition.

“As is common with such treatments, everything included in the package is purely for aesthetic purposes only—save perhaps for the noticeably lower ride height.

“Add-ons that come with the package include busy new bumpers at the front and rear, side skirts, edgy red and black decals, as well as sleek new five-spoke alloy wheels with a stealthy finish. As you can see, these enhancements, along with the lowered stance, endow the Hilux with a relatively sportier appearance.

“Since there are no performance changes, Razer Edition units only come available with the company’s 2.4-liter turbodiesel mated to either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. The former does 148hp and 400Nm of torque, while the latter is good for 148hp and 343Nm.”

Chevrolet launches new Ford F-150 Raptor-fighting Silverado ZR2

“Ford and Ram better watch out, because Chevrolet has just made some hefty changes to its Silverado range. The pickup line gets new looks, new tech, and an all-new ZR2 variant that’s ready to take on the likes of the F-150 Raptor and the 1500 TRX. Let’s take a closer look.

“Looking at the non-ZR2 Silverados first, the pickup gets a few design changes. Outside, the entire front fascia, including the grille and the daytime running lights, has been tweaked. Out back, the Silverado is still equipped General Motors’ multi-flex tailgate. There are also three new exterior colors available: Dark Ash, Sand Dune, and Glacier Blue Metallic.

“The vehicle also gets a fully redesigned interior across the range. The cabin has been given more horizontal lines to give it a more spacious feel. There are new leather bucket seats, electronic shift controllers, and open-pore wood-finished dashboards in select variants.

“The center console of the truck is now more functional, and there’s also a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster paired with a massive 13.4-inch infotainment system. The latter offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, as well as built-in Google features such as Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.

“Now, for the Silverado ZR2. This one gets different designs both inside and out. Its front end gets a new grille and a black hood insert that accentuate the exterior along with the new 18-inch wheels. The cabin, meanwhile, gets an abundance of leather finished in Jet Black and Graystone colorway.

“Apart from the new look, this macho truck boasts suspension upgrades and better off-road technology. The ZR2 features Multimatic 40mm DSSV spool-valve dampers that work hand-in-hand with the truck’s springs to increase front and rear suspension travel.

“In addition, the Silverado ZR2 gets front and rear e-lockers and  specific off-road chassis and suspension calibrations. There’s also a new skid plate package,33-inch off-road MT tires, and steel bumpers with improved approach angles for enhanced off-road capabilities.

“There are four powertrains available. The Silverado ZR2 packs a 6.2-liter turbocharged V8 that generates 420hp and 623Nm of torque mated to a 10-speed automatic. The other three engines are a 355hp, 519Nm 5.3-liter V8; a 310hp, 569Nm 2.7-liter four-pot; and a 207hp, 623Nm 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbodiesel.”

Hyundai’s Vision FK is a 680hp sports car powered by hydrogen

“The Hyundai Group has outlined the next phase in its massive push toward widespread fuel-cell use. And to get our attention, it has shown a prototype fuel-cell sports car whose battery and electronics systems come from Rimac.

“The Hyundai Vision FK has an output of about 680hp, and can crack 0-100 in less than 4sec. Range would be 600km approximately. A fuel cell is good for steady output and rapid refueling. Also, the fuel-cell stack and tank are together lighter than a big battery. But it needs some battery to buffer its power for the peaks of max acceleration.

“Hyundai Group’s R&D chief Albert Biermann explains that the group’s existing EV range has batteries more suited to long range than instantaneous high power. So, he turned to Rimac for that part of the system, as well as the electronics (Hyundai owns 12% of Rimac Automobili). The battery can be plugged in, keeping the car mobile even when there’s no hydrogen to be had.

“The car is disguised for the moment, but we can’t help seeing a bit of cut-and-shut Kia Stinger in the panels.

“Biermann was of course coy when asked about its production future: ‘It’s technical overkill, but an exciting challenge. This is our rolling lab project where we challenge our engineers, and we drive technology forward. The packaging of this vehicle, a combination of high-powered battery system and fuel cell, is very challenging. And our in-house EGMP EV system is not suitable.’

“But he said the company, which includes the Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis brands, is ‘preparing this project for sports cars. We are even thinking about going into motorsport with fuel cells.’”

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PHOTO: Toyota, Ford, Floating Motors
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