• The 11th Manila International Auto Show: Getting better than ever


    EVEN with the extreme heat and car park woes, the 11th Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) didn’t fail to impress visitors as the show presented a throng of highly anticipated all-new vehicle models, state-of-the-art wheels, tires, paints and gizmos, and even included a very laudable road-safety activity for kids. The show, the biggest annual motoring event in the country, was held from April 9 to 12 at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City.

    This year’s show occupied the entire 30,000 square-meter facility of the WTC including the two annex tents of the adjacent Philippine Trade Training Center, where close to 140 exhibitors took part and over 500 cars were put on display, along with over 90 units of motorcycles from 30 different brands. The country’s biggest auto show also spread throughout the outdoor area to give way to the action-packed stunt-driving exhibition by Russ Swift, and the test-drive area for the new vehicles.

    Now much bigger and better, the MIAS 2015 explored the aspect of automobiles that is easily taken for granted — the ability of automobile families to go to places waiting to be explored. As such, MIAS used the theme “The Great Outdoors” as it paid homage to vehicles that will make the journey just as captivating as the destination.

    Making its debut at the MIAS was the new Ford Expedition Platinum. The new Ford Expedition Platinum is the most powerful yet fuel-efficient model to date since first being introduced in 1996. The new Platinum series further elevates the Expedition experience with an updated look and finish, both inside and out, giving the SUV a grander and more refined stance. Together with the Expedition, the all-new Ford Everest was also revealed at the show. The Everest completes the line-up of segment-leading cars, SUVs, and trucks in the Ford pavilion.

    Joining the Everest and Expedition Platinum are seven other popular Ford nameplates. These were the exciting Fiesta equipped with the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, the dynamic Focus that blends smart and safety technology seamlessly, the ground-breaking EcoSport compact urban SUV that redefines a whole new segment, the Escape and Explorer Sport that bring style and power together with their fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines, and the best-selling Ranger that tops its segment in the market. The iconic Mustang was also showcased at the Ford booth.

    Next to be unveiled was Subaru’s flagship models, the Legacy and the Outback. The new Legacy is the sixth-generation model, 25 years on since its original release back in 1989. Like its predecessors, the new model succeeds in proving impressive performance, comfort and safety. The Legacy is powered by Subaru’s signature boxer engine, with mid-range torque having been increased to give drivers a responsive ride that is also light and comfortable for everyday driving. The Outback, meanwhile, features a unique crossover concept that combines passenger-car comfort with the long-distance capabilities and load space of an SUV. While developing the latest generation Outback, Subaru has consistently sought to deliver a crossover with class leading performance, AWD handling capabilities and all-round driver and passenger safety. The all-new Outback features a revamped chassis, steering, suspension and brakes system, with an enhanced off-road performance and improved active and passive safety systems. The Outback sports a new crossover look with a bold body shape, bigger tires and muscular fenders.

    The German marque showcased its entire model lineup including the multi-awarded VW Golf GTI, which is the ultimate sportsman within the VW sports car family. The Golf GTI is powered by a 2.0 turbocharged stratified injection engine with maximum output of 220 ps at 4,500-6,200 rpm and a maximum torque of 350 Nm at 1,500-4,400 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed dual shift gear transmission and sports-tuned suspension, this car is the definitive hot hatch. Other VW models on display were the Polo Hatchback, the Touareg Sport Edition, the accessorized Beetle, the accessorized Tiguan, the accessorized Touran and the new Polo Sedan.

    Notwithstanding the great German cars, the highlight of the VW exhibit was the launch of the VW Child Safety Initiative (CSI) campaign to support child safety on Philippines roads. Based on two goals, the CSI aims to prevent accidents by teaching and educating parents and kids about possible dangers on the roads. The other aim is passive safety inside the VW vehicles by using child seats together with the factory standard safety systems like airbags, active collision systems and the ISOFIX child seat fixations. At its exhibition booth, VW Philippines set up a “child safety corner” with a simulated road to heighten awareness on road safety, as well as to teach the motoring public how child seats greatly increase safety for younger passengers. The 50-square meter junior driving course area with seven VW push cars from Germany was part of an educational program to teach children the basic rules of road safety.

    BYD Hybrid
    Having proven its reliability in China, this brand has brought its second-generation Plug-in-Hybrid Sports Saloon to the country, for Filipinos to enjoy. The QIN (pronounced as Chin), which is named after the first Emperor of China, who unified the country’s cultures and nations, is a dual-mode hybrid, designed to have both power and efficiency without compromise, unlike any other plug-in-hybrid sedan built to date. The Qin is packed with performance, fuel economy and cutting-edge technology, and offers pure driving enjoyment with its power train, cranking out 300 hp and is capable of propelling the car from zero to 100 kph in less than 5.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 185 kph. It is also perfect as a daily commuter, thanks to its hybrid mode, which is not limited by range as in the case of pure electric cars, allowing the Qin to overcome many of the paradigms that often plague plug-in-hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

    The BYD Qin is a plug-in hybrid car that has three basic modes: HEV-SPORT, which uses both the gasoline engine and the electric motor to power the car, producing a total of 300 hp and all 440 Nm of torque on demand; HEV-ECO mode, which employs the electric motor from zero to 40 kph and automatically starts the gasoline engine when the Qin reaches 40 kph to combine both the electric and gasoline engines to power the car, which yields a fuel consumption figure of more than 50 kilometers per liter; and Pure EV mode, which uses only the electric motor to power the car over a total range of 70 kilometers.

    Tata Trucks
    Tata Motors Philippines showcased its strong and world-tested line-up of heavy-duty commercial vehicles as well as their light commercial vehicles. Also present were the fuel-efficient eco-diesel powered passenger cars that are perfect for the smart practical Filipino family.

    In its line-up, Tata Motors previewed to the public their Prima range of trucks, which are part of its heavy commercial vehicle stable, including the Tata PRIMA 4038K (6X4) Construction tipper, which is equipped by a 370hp Cummins ISLe 8.9-liter high-pressure common rail diesel engine that is able to put out 370 hp of maximum power with its 9-speed Eaton Transmission. This vehicle is fitted with an 18-cubic meter box body and a Bogie Suspension for all wheels. It is suitable for all type of construction applications like aggregates movement, tankers and other municipal applications like garbage compactors, and skip-loaders, among others.

    Also showcased were the different body configurations of the Tata Ace and Tata Super Ace light commercial vehicles. One of them, powered by a 702cc diesel engine, the Tata Ace been a successful product for Tata Motors with over 1 million vehicles sold globally, was displayed in both eutectic reefer and hopper tipper rear body configurations.

    Mazda Kodo Collection
    Berjaya Auto Philippines, the official distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, showcased its entire Kodo-inspired vehicle lineup at the MIAS. For the past several years, Mazda has implemented Kodo, which means Soul of Motion design, coupled with its ultra-efficient lightweight SKYACTIV Technology, in all its cars, resulting in Mazda’s growing popularity among car enthusiasts. Taking center-stage at the Mazda booth were the all-new Mazda 2 sedan, the Mazda 6 sedan and wagon, and the Mazda CX-5.

    The all-new Mazda 2 is Mazda’s contender in the highly competitive B segment, which represents approximately 20 percent of the Philippines new automobile market. It features the signature wing Mazda grill and glinting predator-like headlamps of other KODO-based Mazda along with the solid stance, muscular character lines and rear-leaning cabin. It has a longer wheelbase with smaller overhangs that opens up space for occupants and powertrains while also enhancing stability and passive safety.

    The new Mazda 6 sedan and wagon has a new exterior design that adds strength and depth-enhancing updates to the nose, lighting signature and wheels. The updates include a newly designed grill and signature wing for a brawnier, more chiselled look; a sharper front and rear LED lighting signatures with full LED headlights; and a darkened high-lustre coating for the 19-inch aluminium wheels. Inside, the car features a revolutionary heads-up cockpit display that adds new meaning to usability, including an array of new connectivity and infotainment technology.

    The Mazda CX5 is the model that paved the way for a whole new generation of Mazdas. Now, with a variety of advancements, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 again points the way forward for the brand. The new CX5 gets a revamped face with a bolder grille and five prominent horizontal fins and matching fog lamp bezels. It has a new set of front and rear lighting signatures with full LED headlights, as well as a redesigned 19-inch alloy wheels with a sharp two-tone finish. The new CX-5 feature Mazda’s latest range of active safety technology, and is equipped with the MZD Connect in-car connectivity system.

    BMW Philippines presented its all-new Series 2 Active Tourer at the 2015 MIAS. The BMW 2 embodies the dynamic nature of BMW to prove that the brand is not afraid to go out of its comfort zone in order to raise the bar for the premium automotive segment. It is BMW’s first Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), decked out with new innovations that make it the perfect choice for every family raring to take the next stage in life.

    The BMW 2 commands a distinct BMW presence with the signature double kidney grille flanked by twin LED headlights with corona rings. Short overhangs at the front and rear add to the sporty character of the vehicle. With a length of 4,342 millimeters, width of 1,800 mm and height of 1,555 mm, the compact BMW 2 Series Active Tourer carries a big character in its compact body. An elongated silhouette and discreet wedge shape create the sleek profile of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, while dynamic BMW lines add more depth to its overall appearance. A long wheelbase at 2,670 mm, large doors and raised roofline allow for maximum spaciousness inside the vehicle.

    Not to be outdone, American brand Chevrolet, showcased the new Trailblazer. The SUV promises to keep the ride pleasant on any road surface with its 500-Nm diesel engine and six-speed manual or automatic. Meanwhile, its electronic four-wheel drive system and ladder chassis will take one wherever, without having to break a sweat.

    The appeal of Britain’s favorite automotive icon has definitely expanded as it introduced a crossover vehicle with more space than ever for both passengers and cargo. With its iconic flair and excellent driving feel, the Mini Countryman was definitely the highlight at the Mini booth.

    Going where no pickup has even gone before, the Foton 4×4 Thunder Ironman was featured at the MIAS. The pickup truck includes standard offroad equipment such as raised suspension and chunky all-terrain tires. With its 225-mm ground clearance, Black Rhino alloys, and 2.8-liter Cummins diesel engine, the Ironman can ably cross rivers and traverse mountains, while the passengers enjoy its full-featured interior.

    With the MIAS 2015 just completed, WORLDBEX organizers are now planning the 12th running of the country’s biggest auto event. With the MIAS soon completing a full 12-year cycle, the organizers are committed to making the event bigger and even better than before.


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