Automotive

2018 Nissan Leaf is coming to Asia and Oceania

New electric vehicles are coming our way!

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Since its launch in 2010, the Nissan Leaf has sold over 300,000 units worldwide, making it the world’s bestselling electric vehicle. To further extend the reach of the most sought-after EV, the Japanese carmaker will bring the second-generation Leaf to seven new markets in Asia and Oceania.

The 2018 Nissan Leaf was showcased during the fourth edition of Nissan Futures, a three-day event in Singapore which focused on how new mobility solutions can help tackle challenges such as pollution, urbanization, and congestion. This was also the first time Southeast Asia got a preview of the new zero-emissions vehicle from Nissan.

The new Leaf features notable accretions in performance and range over the first-gen model. Its electric motor now produces 38 percent more power and 26 percent more torque at 110kW (148hp) and 320Nm, respectively. It also has a higher-capacity 40kWh lithium-ion battery that increased its operating range up to 400km which is more than double the previous model.

Among the new car’s features are ProPILOT Park — an automated parking function, guided by four high-res cameras and 12 “ultrasonic” sensors. The car isn’t fully autonomous but, at least, it can park itself.

It was revealed that the new fully electric Leaf will be available soon in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. The company also plans to introduce it to other markets in the region, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

The exact date of the car’s arrival on said markets remains vague, but delivery should happen before 2019.

SEE ALSO: Nissan creates self-driving slippers for a Japanese inn

Automotive

First-ever Ford Ranger Raptor lands in the Philippines

We witnessed why it was named as such

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Ford’s rugged truck has finally reached Philippine shores after it was unveiled early this year. Holding the title as the only factory-built performance truck across the region, the Ranger Raptor is targeted towards those looking for a vehicle built tough for your off-road adventures.

One look at this beast and you’ll know it’s not your ordinary pickup. It takes styling cues from the F150 Raptor with the iconic block FORD lettering within the grille design. The front bumper is also installed with fresh LED fog lamps and air-curtain ducts for less wind resistance against the body. Being a true off-roader, its front fenders not only look tough, but Ford says it also resists dents and dings from driving on the road less traveled.

Powering the Ranger Raptor is a new 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo diesel engine that outputs 213PS of power and 500Nm of torque. Ford explains that running with its 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo simply means taking advantage of sequential turbocharging in order to deliver greater responsiveness, drivability, and maximum efficiency. Being a performance vehicle means it should be ready for anything that the road (or lack of it) presents the driver. This is why the Ranger Raptor’s shock absorbers are exclusively manufactured by Fox while its suspension has been crafted to take on rough terrain even at high speeds.

During the launch, the Ranger Raptor showed off for a bit as it raced through the open track. It rained really hard that night so it made the course a lot tougher, but the Raptor pierced right through it and leaped around like it was nothing. We saw why it was named as such.

While it oozes power, this truck has the brains to go with its brawn. It has a Terrain Management System which includes different modes depending on the terrain you’re in. For one, there’s the Baja Mode, inspired by Mexico’s famous Baja Desert Rally. While this mode is activated, it automatically switches to being ultra-responsive and allows off-road driving without being held back. Additionally, the company’s Driver Assist Technologies found their way here including SYNC 3, Hill Start Assist, and more. It’s own Satellite Navigation System even has a “breadcrumb” feature and leaves a trail when entering uncharted areas.

The Ranger Raptor is available at all Ford dealerships in the country with a starting price of PhP 1,898,000.

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Automotive

Drive, Eat, Shoot: Exploring the East with the Ford Everest

Who says combining work and play isn’t fun? 🤔

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During our participation at the Auto Rally Challenge a few months back, we were lent a Ford Everest to use at the event. We actually had an extra day with it and our group at GadgetMatch decided to set aside our laptops, grab our cameras, and take the Everest to the first destination that came to mind.

Since we had an enjoyable time with it, we thought we’d share our experience with you guys.

You can check out this short clip of our trip shot entirely on Sony’s smartphone.

The Ride

What we drove was the 3.2-liter Ford Everest Titanium. It’s a midsize SUV great for hauling the family and is packed with safety and comfort features. Being the top of the line variant, it’s the only model with a 4×4 setup so it’s a vehicle that can keep up with your adventures.

Inside, it comfortably seats five people and if you need more, the third row folds out at a press of a button and accommodates up to two more people.

If you find yourself on a long highway stretch, its Adaptive Cruise Control makes for a more relaxing drive so you can take in the scenery around you. Don’t enjoy too much, though, and make sure to still be attentive of the road ahead!

Ford’s SYNC technology lets you play music and read text messages without having to look away from the road. You can do these things through voice commands.

Features like Blind Spot Information and Lane Keeping make sure you only switch lanes when it’s safe. Meanwhile, its Active Park Assist together with proximity sensors help when you squeeze your way through a tight parking space.

A Power Panorama Moonroof also comes with the package. Enjoy a view of the sky or open it for a breath of fresh province air — it’s all up to you.

From the leather-wrapped seats down to the available 230V socket, it’s creature comforts like these that make the Everest an enjoyable ride.

Considering our headquarters in the Philippines is at the east-most border of Manila, we thought it would be exciting to go out of the busy city and see some sights. The province of Rizal made the most sense, so we hopped inside the Everest.

The Food

We left around lunch time so the first thing on our itinerary was to look for a place to eat. We wanted none of those fast food chains; we wanted to try something new.

This led us to our first stop: Balaw Balaw Restaurant and Art Gallery in Angono, Rizal.

Angono is known as the Art Capital of the Philippines and is evident in the restaurant. Apart from the dining area, there’s a dedicated space with an abundance of artworks, from paintings and woodwork to sculptures.

The restaurant specializes in Filipino dishes. Although, if one feels adventurous, there’s an exotic corner in the menu with crickets and beef testicles. Unfortunately, none of us felt like going for cow balls during lunch so we went for a safer, more traditional meal.

We got Kalderetang Itik (young duck stew), Balaw-Balaw Fried Rice, grilled chicken, and Minaluto which is basically seafood platter with a mix of fried pork and vegetables.

With our tummies filled and bodies energized, we hopped back on the Everest and off we went for our next destination.

The Sights

Although we were out on a road trip, we still brought a bit of work with us. We needed to shoot photos for our smartphone reviews and wanted to go for a fresh, new location. We heard the Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo City is photography-friendly and offers an array of contemporary art displays and wide, open spaces.

We were not disappointed. The place is a spacious haven for art, culture, and OOTDs. It has a Greek vibe to it which goes well with the shroud of trees surrounding the area.

A quick tip if you plan to go to Pinto Art Museum: visit on weekdays so there are fewer people. We heard the place can be a little crowded during the weekends and holidays.

Hundreds of artworks are displayed throughout six galleries so be sure to allot enough time going around. We think two to three hours should be enough.

Shot using a Sony Xperia XZ2 with a clip-on macro lens

Shot using a Sony A7S II

The entire museum is inside a 1.2-hectare property that not only houses paintings and installations, but brightly colored fowls, as well!

We shot what we needed and were ready to go home. But one last stop: We chanced upon this road less traveled and pulled over to bask in the rays of the setting sun. We popped open the Everest’s Power Liftgate and gathered around to hang for a while.

Stories were exchanged, selfies were snapped, and laughs were had. We drove back to our headquarters shortly after and called it a day. That was how our quick trip to Rizal with the Ford Everest went.

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Automotive

Ford Philippines intros stylish new 2018 EcoSport

With a choice to go for the 1.0L EcoBoost engine

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Driving in the city isn’t always fun especially during rush hour. But with the arrival of Ford’s new EcoSport in the Philippines, your everyday drive is looking more comfortable and enjoyable.

The new EcoSport boasts enhancements inside and out. We see the exterior having a new front grille and headlamps proceeded by a fresh hood design. Going in, you’ll be greeted by a leather dashboard, a large 9-inch touchscreen display (8-inch for the Titanium variant), and a power sunroof.

In terms of features, the new EcoSport is equipped with smart technologies for added convenience. These include the Rear View Camera with Rear Parking Assist, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Automatic Headlights, and Smart Keyless Entry. Opening text messages, making calls, and playing your favorite tunes can all be done hands-free using Ford’s SYNC 3 system — little things that altogether make city driving more enjoyable.

It’s also no surprise that we see Ford’s array of safety features on the EcoSport including Hill-Start Assist, Anti-Locking Brake System (ABS), and a total of six airbags in all EcoSport variants.

Three variants come with a new 1.5-liter Ti-VCT engine but what’s interesting is that Ford’s award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is what powers the top Titanium AT model. Being the company’s most technologically advanced engine, Ford promises more power while consuming less fuel.

Six color options are available including Absolute Black, Ingot Silver, Crystal White, Ruby Red, Canyon Ridge, and Blue Lightning. See the price list below for all EcoSport variants:

  • 1.0L EcoBoost Titanium AT – PhP 1,168,000
  • 1.5L Trend AT – PhP 1,028,000
  • 1.5L Trend MT – PhP 968,000
  • 1.5L Ambiente MT – PhP 918,000

The complete lineup of the Ford EcoSport mini SUV is now available for viewing at all Ford dealerships in the Philippines. Additionally, customers can hop on one and test drive the units from August 31 to September 2 at the Ford Island Conquest Year 2 happening at the Big Bear Oval in Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.

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