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.
A Father’s Day drive up north
We recently got the Ranger Raptor for the second time to use at this year’s STV ARCC and represent Ford Philippines. And since we had a free day before the event itself happened, I decided to use it and take out my dad along with my brother for a road trip. Good thing Mom had an errand to do that day!
Dad wanted to visit a certain theme park restaurant north of Metro Manila so I agreed and went for it. We already brought the Raptor to a 4×4 route for some off-road action, so now we go for long, paved roads with hungry stomachs.
After four hours of driving from the south, past the traffic metro, and all the way up north, we reached our destination. The place is called Isdaan Floating Restaurant and it’s at the municipality of Talavera in Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. “Isdaan,” when translated, means “fishery” so it already paints you a picture of what to expect. The restaurant is hard to miss as it has a wide, inviting facade fronted with sculptures.
The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and led us to our private floating nipa hut with koi fish swimming around and under us. Looking at the menu, there were lots of choices from appetizers, meat, seafood obviously, and even specialties that you don’t usually see in city restaurants.
We got Bicol Express (spicy stew), Sinigang na Liempo (pork belly soup), and Binukadkad na Plapla (butterflied fish) from the menu. One of their signatures is a Boat Special. Basically, they offer select dishes in a long sizzling plate mounted on a wooden counter-top that resembles a boat. This was how Bicol Express was served which greatly added to the presentation value.
Food was really great especially the soup. While the service wasn’t too snappy and could definitely be improved, the food compensated for it. It has that home-cooked taste that hits the spot after a long drive.
After eating, we decided to walk around the area and check out the theme park side of the place. There were giant statues everywhere — from the Charging Bull similar to New York’s, Big Buddha of Phuket, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. It does make for great photo opportunities as you’ll see in the following photos.
Apart from the gigantic and humorous characters, another attraction to find here is a corner to vent out all your pent-up emotions. For a reasonable price, you can choose objects like those plates or coffee mugs that you can smash onto the wall. If you ask me, I feel it’s a bit out of place in this family-friendly restaurant but it still does make the place unique.
Those are all fun but what usually entices people to visit this place is the fact that you can dip your feet in this shallow pond and have large koi fish swimming in between your legs. It might sound weird and it’s probably not for everyone, but the novelty of being able to do it was actually fun.
After all the photos were taken and a few minor mishaps (one of us slipping trying to get in with the fish, not telling who), we were ready to go back home. It was another four hours inside the Raptor and we ended up exchanging stories and laughing our way through the expressways while the truck was mostly on cruise control. It was definitely a trip to remember.
Mazda Smartphone Mirroring Upgrade Kit now available
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible
Both Waze and Google Maps are proven navigation apps. This is why vehicles that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay — mirroring smartphone functionalities — are pretty much preferred these days over built-in navigation systems in the car.
Mazda in the Philippines is one of the latest to adapt in integrating smartphone mirroring to its Mazda Connect infotainment system. Through a hardware upgrade kit, your favorite apps like Waze and Spotify are now easier and safer to access while driving.
The upgrade kit can be retrofitted to Mazda vehicles all the way back from 2014 onwards as long as it has a Mazda Connect system. Aside from the new system module, the kit includes higher-capacity USB ports that can not only accommodate smartphone charging, but also transfer data for displaying relevant information on the touchscreen.
An official software update also comes with the kit for seamless communication between the smartphone and onboard system.
The Mazda smartphone mirroring upgrade kit may be purchased for PhP 17,500 plus VAT at all 21 official Mazda dealerships in the country. The price includes installation by trained Mazda technicians to ensure proper fit and integration and comes with a one-year warranty for the newly installed hardware.
Michelin’s new tires are airless
No more punctured tires
A flat tire on your way to an important meeting is never fun.
This is one of the things Michelin is set out to remedy with the announcement of its new tires. Called UPTIS (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System), the airless technology will allow you to run over nails and still carry on like nothing happened. Not only that, its design and durability should also lessen regular maintenance making it a safer alternative to the pressurized tires we use today.
What the company did was use flexible rubber composites with proprietary fiberglass resin instead of the traditional air-filled interior. This way, the composites bend to absorb bumps on the road.
Although saying goodbye to patching punctured tires is already a feat in itself, Michelin is thinking bigger. It is estimated that about 200 million tires are disposed of annually due to punctures and wear. That’s a lot of scrapped tires with almost no use. To help pull down these numbers, Michelin aims to make UPTIS last longer through design and materials used. And speaking of materials, the company went with a sustainable approach — sourcing renewable materials for production. This way, it will require fewer materials to produce the tires.
The French company plans to introduce UPTIS commercially as early as 2024 and has already teamed up with General Motors to test this new technology. A fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs will be fitted with the new tires and will be used to conduct real-world tests.
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