This week in cars: Next-gen Ford Everest, 702hp Ram TRX in PH, electric FJ Cruiser

There were a lot of big announcements in the past week
by TopGear.com.ph | Dec 19, 2021

This is our first peek at the next-gen Ford Everest

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“Ladies and gents, here is your first look at the next-generation Ford Everest. You’ve probably seen spy shots of this one making the rounds on social media, but now Ford has released the first official photos of the all-new model in camouflaged form.

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“The images are scarce, but they do give us a pretty good view of the new SUV. Up front, it’ll have the same styling as the all-new Ranger, with C-shaped headlights flanking the grille. Meanwhile, a pair of modern taillights connected by what seems to be a plastic trim on the liftgate make up the rear end.

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“The camo the Everest is sporting was also designed by Ford. The colorway consists of Meteor Gray, black, and white, which is important to keep the vehicle ‘hidden in plain sight.’ Reflective strips are also present on this exterior, helping the SUV stand out at night.

“The next-generation Everest is now entering the final phase of Ford’s global testing program, so that means we might be seeing it in all its glory sooner rather than later.”

Ram’s 702hp truck, the TRX, is now in PH

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“Still fighting over which truck is the most badass one in our pickup-loaded market? Ram Trucks Philippines has just brought in another new model, and this might just settle all the debates: the Ram 1500 TRX.

“The new full-size pickup’s got the same massive physique as the 1500, but with an extra burly bumper, 18-inch wheels, tires—everything. Of course, it’s got an extra big engine under the hood to back all that up, too.

“The TRX lands in our market with its beastly 6.2-liter supercharged HEMI V8 that generates 702hp at 6,200rpm and 880Nm of torque at 4,800rpm and is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This puts even the 1500 Rebel and its 395hp 5.7-liter V8 to shame, and it makes the TRX the most powerful locally available truck in the segment to date.

“This pickup boasts a luxurious cabin clad in a host of leather bits on the seats, dash, door panel, and center console. Red stitching and TRX badges accentuate the black-laden interior.

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“A bunch of niceties can be found here, the most notable one being the large 12-inch infotainment system that’s paired with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon setup. The head unit has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The front seats are power-adjustable and have heating functions, and a wireless charging pad is also fitted up front. The pedals, meanwhile, can also be adjusted and have a memory function as well.

“The truck also comes equipped with a wide range of safety and driver-assist features, including adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go function, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, lane-keep assist, and pedestrian emergency braking. Other tech like a remote tailgate release and a built-in active noise-control system are also available.”

Toyota appears to be building an electric and compact successor to the FJ Cruiser

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“Whether you like it or not, the world’s biggest automotive companies are going electric, and that includes Japanese giant Toyota. The carmaker has now confirmed that it’s betting big on electrification, so much so that it plans to introduce 30 battery-electric vehicles by 2030.

“Toyota was kind enough to give us a peek at some of those EVs, and there were a few that stood out among the pack. One is this Compact Cruiser EV, which may very well be an electric successor to the legendary FJ Cruiser. The ‘compact’ in its name seems accurate, as an actual photo of it standing beside a pickup—which we’ll talk about in a bit—shows just how small the presumed electric 4x4 is.

“That being said, the Compact Cruiser EV still sports a similar shape to the FJ Cruiser, only the former features more modern design cues. The overall styling, however, still hints at enhanced off-road performance.

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“As for the pickup standing next to it, we’re taking a wild guess in saying that it just might be an electric Tundra. Its headlights resemble those of the next-gen pickup’s, after all. It’s burly and it looks rugged, so we reckon this EV is something off-road enthusiasts can get behind.”

Kia has fully unveiled the all-new Carens

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“The versatility to seat seven passengers and decent ground height—tick these two boxes, and your vehicle at least has a shot at making it in the Philippine market. With that in mind, we think Kia Philippines should seriously consider bringing in the next-generation Carens.

“Revealed for the Indian market, the all-new Carens is a three-row “recreational vehicle” (though, quite frankly, this is clearly something along the lines of the Honda BR-V) with seven seats and respectable ride height.

“The brand doesn’t reveal this thing’s exact ground clearance, but considering the images seen here and the fact that it’s built for the Indian setting, it should do fine within our borders.

“No engine details yet, but Kia has shared that you can get this model with either a seven-speed dual-clutch or a six-speed automatic transmission. The entire lineup comes with six airbags as standard, and you can equip units with modern niceties like a 10.25-inch touchscreen paired with an eight-speaker Bose sound setup, a sunroof, and a 64-color ambient lighting system.

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“Kia has nailed the design here as well. The overall look is clean and features sharp design elements when it comes to its character lines, roofline, and lighting. And speaking of lights, the all-new Carens features what Kia calls ‘Star Map’ daytime running lights. The 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels look rather neat, too.

“The interior gets a nice mix of light and dark treatments, as well as a digital instrument cluster and modern-looking seats. There’s a considerable amount of what appears to be faux metal trim and some very angular design choices on the door panels.”

The 2022 Genesis G90’s interior shows South Korea does luxury like the best of them

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“Earlier this month, luxury car manufacturer Genesis gave the world a proper look at the 2022 G90 sedan—a vehicle that’s supposed to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

“Now, as far as the exterior is concerned, the G90 looks top-notch—but we needed a view of the cabin before casting judgment because...well, those who end up buying these babies will spend considerably more time sitting inside them than staring at them from the outside. Now, the company has provided that.

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“Behold, the interior of the 2022 G90. This is proof that uber luxury isn’t exclusive to the Bentleys, Bimmers, and Benzes of the world.

“It isn’t just the materials, either—though we’re very fond of this new Newspaper Crown Wood and Newspaper Strip Wood application they’ve come up with here, both of which are made from recycled waste paper. For starters, there’s not one but two panoramic sunroofs which can each be operated individually.

“Then, there’s how much attention Genesis has paid to set up the interior mood. There are mood lamps, of course, as well as electric curtains and a fragrance system. Scents are managed through the car’s central infotainment screen, rear touchscreens, or A/C controls. Available options include ‘The Great Outdoors,’ ‘Driver’s Awakening,’ and a custom one dubbed ‘My Favorite Place.’”

Nissan has released a limited-edition 70th Anniversary Patrol in the Middle East

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“The Nissan Patrol is now 70 years old? We know, right? Man, time sure does fly in the automotive industry.

“If you were hoping that the Japanese car manufacturer would commemorate its SUV’s birthday with a special release of some sort, you’re in luck—if you leave over in the Middle East, that is.

“Car buyers in the region are being treated to the aptly named Nissan Patrol 70th Anniversary edition. This limited-edition version of the vehicle flaunts a handful of upgrades that celebrate the history of the model.

“Jealous? Don’t worry—if you aren’t a hardcore fan of the SUV or a collector, you aren’t missing out on too much. Performance is the same, as these units come packing either a 4.0-liter V6 with 275hp and 394Nm or a 5.6-liter V8 with 400hp and up to 560Nm of torque. Both come paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. If the latter option sounds familiar, it’s because that’s what the local-spec 2022 Patrol gets in the Philippines, too.

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“Instead, the meat of this variant is in the aesthetics. The face gets a bolder V-Motion grille with a classy appearance, and the SUV also runs on new 20-inch machine-cut alloy wheels. Also, on the side, you’ll notice new fender badging featuring the brand’s 70th anniversary logo.

“The cabin now comes in burgundy, and passengers will be pleased to find a new 12.30-inch touchscreen infotainment system and new 10.1-inch rear entertainment screens. And…that’s about it.” 

Autohub has launched the new Mitsubishi Strada Super Shogun in PH

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Mitsubishi Motors Philippines already has the Strada Athlete for customers looking for a dressed-up version of its pickup. If that design doesn’t work for you, though, here’s something different that might suit your taste better: the Strada Super Shogun.

“This kitted truck based on the Strada 2.4 GLS 2WD AT is the latest offering from Autohub Group. The package includes new black alloy wheels, door handles, and side decals. A new grille and a red skid plate can be found up front, while a Strada-badged roll bar is fitted out back. 

“The pickup retains its 2.4-liter turbodiesel that generates 178hp and 430Nm of torque. This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels.

“The new Mitsubishi Strada Super Shogun is now available for P1.27 million. For context, the higher-spec Strada Athlete stickers for P1.764 million.”

Subaru PH will launch the new WRX, Forester, and BRZ in 2022

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“It’s going to be a busy year ahead for Motor Image Pilipinas (MIP) and a great one for Subaru fans—the company has just confirmed that it will be launching the refreshed Forester, the all-new WRX, and the next-generation BRZ in 2022.

“The first to arrive here will be the Forester. No specs or details have been provided yet, but MIP has confirmed that the updated crossover will have the same Subaru EyeSight 4.0 technology equipped in the all-new Outback. The suite includes improved pre-collision braking, autonomous emergency steering, adaptive cruise control with lane-centering function, and lane-departure prevention and warning. The new Forester is set to arrive in February.

“After the Forester, MIP will then launch the all-new BRZ, the one we thought was arriving in 2021. So far, all we know is that the sports car will be available with a stick shift and will start at P2.399 million. Barring any further delays, the BRZ will be unveiled in April.

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“Last, but most definitely not the least, is the all-new WRX. Not only did we receive word that the next-gen model will be powered by a new 271hp 2.4-liter turbo boxer engine, but we also have confirmation that the WRX will arrive in wagon form.

“Yes, we’re talking about the WRX Sportswagon that landed in Australia just a couple of months back. We know a lot of wagon fans will be happy about this announcement. Along with its arrival, however, MIP will be discontinuing the Levorg in our market. As for the launch, it’s scheduled to happen in the second half of 2022.”

The Geely Coolray can now be had in two new colors in PH

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“After launching a new top-spec Geely Coolray variant, Sojitz G Auto Philippines (SGAP) is now ending the year with even more additions to the lineup. Not in the form of new trim levels, but two new color options: Sunburst Gold and Cloud Blue.

“The Sunburst Gold finish can only be had with the Coolray Sport Limited, while Cloud Blue is only available with the Premium and Comfort variants. These bring the total color options for the Coolray up to seven, which include the existing Vermillion, white, silver, orange, and blue. No mechanical changes or new features were introduced alongside this announcement.

“‘The Coolray remains to be the most in-demand model in the Geely lineup and a top-seller in its segment. With the recent introduction of the Coolray Sport Limited, we are further enhancing its appeal by adding new exterior colors,’ SGAP president and CEO Yosuke Nishi. “The additional features and color options we recently introduced for the Coolray is our way of telling everyone that we will never stop improving and bringing fun back in driving.’”

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The Thrift Master, Icon’s new restomod, is masterfully executed

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“At Top Gear, we’re very large fans of the literal.

“Maybe it’s all those days spent reading breathless press releases about how the styling of the new car’s air vents is ‘considerably more dynamic’ than the model it replaces. Or perhaps it’s when a BMW 330i is no longer powered by a 3.0-litre engine, but a turbocharged 2.0-liter that ‘has the power of a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter.’ And don’t even get us started on whatever Audi is doing with its ‘40 means between this much and that much power’ nonsense.

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“So, knowing what we don’t like, what, you might be wondering, do we like? Well, how about the Thriftmaster? No subterfuge, no ‘aspirational’ language, no folderol. Just straight, unabashed facts. You know exactly what you’re getting with a vehicle called the Thriftmaster—something that helps you do what you need to as cheaply as possible.

“Okay, fine. To be perfectly, 100% accurate, ‘Thriftmaster’ actually refers to an engine in (and the attendant trim level of) the Chevy ‘Advance Design’ trucks—they came with bigger engines in the Loadmaster spec, or smaller and more efficient ones in the Thriftmaster. Of course, there are any number of intricacies and aberrations in all that, but that’s the gist. The Thriftmaster was the Chevy truck you bought to pinch pennies.

“Or at least it was.

“The Icon Thrift Master (yep, space and capitalization are intentional) is, as far as we can tell, the show truck to beat all show trucks. It is, like every Icon build we’ve seen, utterly meticulous in its construction and exemplary in its execution—especially the astonishing truckbed made from walnut that’s been finished using a Japanese technique called ‘shou sugi ban.’ The process is to carefully char the wood, cool it, clean it, and oil it, finishing and fireproofing the timber without the need for the worrying chemical cocktails we use these days.

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“But even with its Kevin McCloud-spec tray liner, when we say Icon’s Thrift Master is ‘the show truck to beat all show trucks,’ we don’t mean in the show-and-shine.

“See, underneath the looks lies a brand-new chassis with fully-adjustable coilover suspension and six-piston Brembo brakes, as well as a bona fide LS3 with 440hp and 582Nm. Funnily enough, GM never called its LS V8 a ‘Thriftmaster,’ but we’re guessing with all the modern gubbins in even something as rudimentary as an LS, it’ll still manage much the same mileage. If you’re the kind to spend hundreds of thousands on a fully rebuilt LS-powered truck and then fret over fuel economy.”

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PHOTO: Ford, Ram Trucks Philippines, Toyota, Kia
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