STARTING the year right usually involves matters that are not work-related. What my mind tells me is that inviting positive, happy energy includes partying, staying up all night, hanging out. But this year, that has changed.
Mitsubishi Motors Phils. Corp. (MMPC) brought good vibes for the year through its Mirage G4 1.2L, a more spacious car than its hatchback brother, as it let everyone know the model’s fuel-saving capability. Recently, MMPC conducted its first event for the year by staging a fuel-economy run from Bulacan to Pangasinan.
Having slept late the previous night, it was difficult to wake up early that day (January’s cool early-morning breeze makes for “bed weather”). But I, along with the other participants, still felt giddy to test the gas consumption of the Mirage G4. We topped up at the cars’ fuel tanks at a gas station in Tabang, inside the North Luzon Expressway. All the members of the 10 teams (five teams each for manual-transmission and CVT variants) discussed how they practice eco-driving; from packing light, to not being heavy-footed on the gas pedal, to not doing jack-rabbit starts, and other techniques.
With a strategy laid out, each team put their moves to the test. From Tabang, Bulacan, on we went to Urdaneta, Pangasinan—wearing game faces on— as we drove Mirage G4 in real-world traffic conditions. It was late morning when we left the gas station, and yet it was cool and breezy, which could have contributed to the good fuel consumption figures that the Mirage showed.
It was noontime when the cars reached the designated gas station in Urdaneta, where the mileage clocked by each Mirage G4 over the 150-plus-kilometer trip that traversed three expressways was recorded.
The trio of Ron de los Reyes, Ronald de los Reyes and Dave Madrid of Auto Review logged an astonishing 33.6 kilometers per liter (kpl) aboard a GLX variant, topping the manual transmission division of the activity. In the same category, the team that posted the closest result to that recorded by Auto Review was Autoindustriya/Philippine Star’s 28.5 kilometers to a liter, the group driving another GLX. Finishing third-best was the team of Philippine Daily Inquirer, with a 17.4-kpl result.
In the CVT category, the Autocar team of Ira Panganiban, Dino Directo, Olson Camacho and George Apacible broke the record of MMPC with a figure of 26kpl. Placing second was the team of Sunshine TV/The Manila Times with its result of 17.7kpl, In close third was the team of this writer, with Turbo Zone’s Ferdie Vinzon and Ariel Bacolor, after it got 17.5kpl.
After the fuel economy run, MMPC Executive Vice President for Marketing Junya Masuda, Vice President for Executive Office Akihiro Yamada, Vice President for Marketing Services Froilan Dytianquin, Assistant Vice President for Marketing Services Dante Calma, Senior Manager Arlan Reyes Jr. and Rosemary Cruz of advertising and PR, joined the 34 participants coming from 16 publications and shows to a drive up to a Baguio country club, where socials were held. The event was capped with a bowling tournament.
Although most have not bowled before, everyone was competitive. But in the end the team of Yamada, Vince Pornelos and Jason de la Cruz scored the best numbers while myself, Ronnie Trinidad and Bacolor placed second.
The fuel economy run and the bowling competition were fun experiences that surely precede much-anticipated activities for the year. It definitely was a treat, and a good way to start the year.