This week in cars: Toyota GR Corolla officially launched, Innova EV Concept revealed

Plus, PH arrival of new Macan and debut of entry-level F-150 Rattler
by TopGear.com.ph | Apr 3, 2022
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PHOTO: PGA Cars, Toyota, Ford

Is the Hyundai Grand Creta a good fit for the local market?

Hyundai Grand Creta

“Remember when Hyundai Asia Resources tried to make a dent in the local subcompact crossover scene by bringing in the Creta in 2017? The stylish little runabout, overshadowed by the likes of the Ford EcoSport and the Nissan Juke, failed to take off in the Philippines. The South Korean car brand still has a shot at reviving the name here, though—at least under a different segment (and if rumors turn out to be true, under new management as well).

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“Over in South Africa, the Creta name lives in the form of the Grand Creta. The vehicle, which is actually a rebadged Alcazar, is a new three-row SUV that sports a look largely similar to the smaller Hyundai it draws its name from. A wheelbase extension was necessary to achieve the new layout—a move that may pay off if the thing ever lands in Philippine showrooms.

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“Hyundai has given the Grand Creta two engine options: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline with 157hp and 191Nm, and a 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel with 113hp and up to 250Nm of torque. Transmission choices are a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual. Those of you hoping to take this Hyundai off the beaten path, however, will be disappointed to know it only comes with a 4x2 drivetrain.

“All the basics in terms of features are covered, too. LED daytime running lights, a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay connectivity, a rear parking camera, and side and curtain airbags all come standard. There’s even wireless smartphone charging, and all units come with faux leather seats.

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“Lastly, the exterior flaunts a rugged design that’ll surely win over anyone looking to upgrade to something larger than a crossover. The interior, while nothing extraordinary in terms of design, features a clean and minimalist appearance. There’s even a drop-down table installed on the rear of the front seats.”

The new Porsche Macan is now in PH

Porsche Macan, 2022 Porsche Macan, Porsche Macan Philippines, Porsche Macan photos

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Long gone is the impression that a sporty vehicle is limited to only two doors and a ground-hugging stance. Some SUVs have since cemented their status as a fun ride, with models like the Porsche Macan leading the charge thanks to a package that offers the brand’s performance without sacrificing the practicality of a larger vehicle.

The latest version of the Macan has just landed in the Philippine market, flaunting a handful of aesthetic enhancements to go along with a redeveloped 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line-four engine.

The new mill churns out 265hp between 5,000-6,000rpm and up to 400Nm of torque between 1,800-4,500rpm to all four wheels, with a Porsche Traction Management (PTM) system ensuring optimal grip through drives.

Shifting is handled via a seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) transmission, and a variety of drive modes available (Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual) gives drivers options to customize the Macan’s performance to their liking. Launch Control should also make things interesting for those looking to get to speed in a jiffy.

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Outside, new LED lights give the Macan a fresher appearance, and the side blades of the nameplate now feature a new Lava Black color and intricate 3D surface. There’s a new bumper at the rear to go along with a new diffuser as well. Capping off the vehicle’s stunning design are 19-inch wheels.

As for the interior, the stealthy vibe is enhanced by a rev counter derived from the 911, as well as a new analog clock on the center of the dashboard. The center console has been redesigned and now features touch controls, and also houses the cabin’s 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Other notable features include electronic seat adjustment and a new gear selector.

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The Toyota Innova EV Concept could be a game changer

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Toyota may have just unveiled a real game-changer at the 2022 Indonesia International Motor Show (IIMS).

“If it isn’t obvious, the MPV you’re looking at here isn’t just any regular Toyota Innova. Do you see those eye-catching blue accents scattered all throughout its exterior? They signify something revolutionary (at least segment-wise) sitting under the hood. Wait, no—not under the hood. We mean inside the vehicle. No, that doesn’t work, either.

“What we’re trying to say is this is actually an electrified version of Toyota’s hit seven-seat MPV. It’s called the Innova EV Concept, and it could shake up its segment like nothing else before it—provided it makes it into production. You can check out the EV’s teaser video below:

“No details regarding this Toyota’s performance have been made public (though we expect more figures to surface following its IIMS reveal today), but the Japanese carmaker says the Innova EV Concept is ‘a symbol of our commitment to accelerated electrification.’

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“The brand’s electrification plans won’t be the only thing that will be doing some accelerating if a production version hits showrooms, though. Considering the Innova’s stature as one of the Southeast Asian auto industry’s most successful vehicles, this has the potential to be a major hit.

“While there’s been no solid indication this will be heading to a factory floor, Toyota has previously announced plans to launch 15 new electric offerings between now and 2025. This, combined with previous statements from the brand indicating the importance of the region to its electrification push, could mean an electrified Innova is a matter of when, not if.”

Hotter hatch: Feast your eyes on the Toyota GR Corolla

Toyota GR Corolla hatch, 2022 Toyota GR Corolla hatch, Toyota GR Corolla hatch photos, Toyota GR Corolla hatch image, Toyota GR Corolla hatch design

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“No more teasers, no more trailers, and no more Easter eggs—Toyota has finally unveiled the 2022 GR Corolla hot hatch in its entirety. And by the looks of it, the hype leading up to this point was well worth it. This is a proper Gazoo Racing offering, both in design and performance.

“Powering the vehicle is a 1.6-liter three-cylinder turbo G16E-GTS engine that puts out up to 300hp and 370Nm of torque. This is sent to all four of the hatch’s wheels via Toyota’s GR-Four AWD system, with drivers given a choice between 60-40, 50-50, or 30-70 power distribution between the front and rear. Oh, and it’s offered exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.

“Toyota also says that the GR Corolla hatch’s high-rigidity body was developed exclusively for the vehicle. Weight is also significantly reduced compared to the regular version, and this was achieved without making compromises to safety, the brand says.

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“The appearance has been nailed here. Two versions of the hot hatch are available: the standard Core Grade GR Corolla hatch and the Circuit Edition. Both of them feature widened fenders (which house 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires) and functional air ducts, though only the latter gets a forged carbon roof and hood vents. The Circuit Edition is also definitely the way to go if you’re after a stealthy vibe, thanks to a gloss black finish and darkened exterior bits.

“Other aesthetic details that add to the vehicle’s sporty demeanor are ‘GR-FOUR’ lettering stamped on the side rockers and GR badging scattered all throughout.

“Gazoo Racing’s competitive roots are carried over to the cabin thanks to real feedback from professional racers. Some of the driver-oriented design choices include a shortened gear stick for quicker shifts, suede sports seats with some synthetic leather thrown in, aluminum sports pedals, and a leather GR steering wheel with telescopic adjustment.

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“Despite its racer-oriented interior, the GR Corolla hatch has a handful of conveniences included. Wireless smartphone charging comes with the higher-grade offering, while an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability comes as standard on all units. The Circuit Edition also boasts a JBL sound setup, while the Core Grade settles for a regular six-speaker system. A full array of Toyota Safety Sense features are included here as well.”

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Ford has dubbed its entry-level F-150 the ‘Rattler’

Ford F-150 Rattler, 2022 Ford F-150 Rattler, Ford F-150 Rattler photos, Ford F-150 Rattler design, Ford F-150 Rattler images

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“Frankly, ‘Rattler’ is not a moniker we would have gone with in naming Ford’s latest pickup offering. The fact that they attached it to the base-level F-150 XL isn’t helping the choice any further, either. But hey, maybe we’re just used to really bumpy roads here in the Philippines.

“Outside of the name, though, the Ford F-150 Rattler appears to be a pretty promising proposition—it’s essentially an off-road capable truck with an entry-level price tag. It’s nowhere close to as extreme as the F-150 Raptor, but it’ll do considering its place in the brand’s lineup.

“The exterior gets new skid plates, painted 18-inch aluminum wheels, ‘Rattler’ badging on the fenders, and rattlesnake-inspired graphics in line with the vehicle’s desert theme. There’s also a new dual-exhaust system that supposedly offers an improved exhaust note. Upgrades to the cabin aren’t as extensive, though. All you’re looking at inside are Onyx seats with bronze accents.

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“To give the F-150 Rattler a bit more capability off the beaten path, the XL’s suspension setup’s been given tuned off-road shock absorbers, and the aforementioned wheels have been wrapped in all-terrain tires.

“Engine choices are limited to what’s available to the standard XL variant: a 3.3-liter V6 with 290hp and 359Nm of torque, a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with 325hp and 542Nm, and a 5.0-liter V8 that does 400hp and 556Nm. The only transmission option, though, is a 10-speed automatic.”

BMW’s first fully-electric 3-Series is headed to China

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“The first-ever fully-electric BMW 3-Series was recently unveiled by the German car brand, and it’s scheduled to go on sale in the Chinese market by May 2022. Taking into account China’s push for cleaner motoring and the fact the model leads the premium compact segment in the country, BMW might have a winner here.

“As with many global offerings that make their way to the People’s Republic, the BMW i3 eDrive35L also gets an extended wheelbase. It’s 110mm longer, which means more space inside for rear passengers. This, combined with a quieter drive and a suspension system tuned specifically for the market’s road conditions, makes the EV version of the sedan an ideal proposition for those who prefer to be chauffeured rather than drive.

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“This doesn’t mean the vehicle won’t provide an engaging drive, though. The BMW i3 eDrive35L’s electric powertrain churns out an impressive 282hp and 400Nm of torque—good for a 0-100kph time of 6.2 seconds. With over 520km of range available courtesy of a 70.3kWh batter, it’s incredibly practical, too.”

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PHOTO: PGA Cars, Toyota, Ford
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