Automotive

2020 Range Rover Evoque: The SUV you didn’t know you needed

Being ordinary is boring

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The Range Rover Evoque is one of Land Rover’s best-selling vehicles and is the most affordable in the brand’s line-up. It sold over 800,000 units since its launch and has been a very popular SUV worldwide.

This second-generation posh compact SUV has been revamped to keep up with the latest in automotive technologies while maintaining the original Evoque styling with its iconic sloping roofline, ascending beltline, and wide shoulder lines. Although, at the same time, it also borrows design cues from its bigger brother, the Velar.

Just by looks alone, this car would definitely sell since it’s plain beautiful and well-styled. It’s not just made to look good, though, since Land Rover has the reputation of producing well-performing and capable luxury vehicles.

They have set the standard high in this segment and we expect nothing less in the introduction of the all-new Range Rover Evoque —  an SUV that could be considered from the future.

Out of the four available variants in the country, what we have here is the R-Dynamic HSE Diesel model and it sports a Shadow Atlas front grille and copper inserts on its bumper air intakes, rear exhaust, and bonnet vents. It also has sophisticated-looking LED lights that we instantly fell in love with.

The Evoque stands on 20-inch wheels with what the company calls Diamond Turned Finish. These, together with its pronounced shoulders and wheel arches, make the exterior look dynamic — a mixture of robust elements and elegance in one sleek package. In terms of dimensions, the Evoque is wider and longer thanks to Land Rover’s new Premium Transverse architecture. It is now 100mm longer than the old model which is evident when you step inside.

The interior is plush and is padded with premium quality materials. The dash, steering, and center console are wrapped in stitched high-quality soft leather with black piano finish accents and soft-touch plastic which make every surface of the interior look and feel luxurious.

Gone are the knobs and switches that normally clutter the dashboard and have been replaced with Land Rover’s InControl Touch Pro Duo system; a dual high definition 10-inch touch screen that controls everything — from navigation to air-conditioning to the terrain management system.

Overall, everything looks clean, minimalistic, modern, and we’d even dare say futuristic. Other standard features you will find are USB ports, cup holders, and 12-volt outlets up front and at the back. The interior is exceptionally spacious and comfortable, not to mention extremely quiet even at high speeds.

Audio is also superior in quality thanks to the Meridian 10-speaker setup. It offers superb, authentic, and immersive surround sound with Meridian cabin correction technology that harmonizes with the precise acoustics of your Range Rover’s interior.

In short, the entire cabin aims to pamper your senses with aesthetically pleasing lines, premium and comfortable materials, and a sound system that delivers high-quality audio for everyone inside.

The Evoque was designed to be more of a street-friendly luxury SUV than a rock crawling hard-core off-roader. But don’t be fooled — this does not mean that this SUV is incapable. It is basically a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s a Land Rover for crying out loud, and we know what they do best.

It’s a proper off-roader with a low range gearbox and it can even compete with the big boys like the more purpose-built off-roaders. In its segment, this could very well be the most capable crossover. We had the chance to test its off-road capabilities and boy was it easy. The Evoque is well-equipped and armed to the brim with the latest in off-road and driving assistance technology.

Mudding and rock-crawling was no trouble for this beast using Land Rover’s latest terrain response system. An inexperienced off-road driver can take on rough terrain with ease thanks to the ClearSight Ground View that makes the bonnet and floor invisible. Being able to see where the tires are is a game-changer.

It uses five HD cameras that let the driver see every corner of the vehicle in 360 degrees. This simply makes off-roading a lot easier. On the downside, this SUV is not the best in wheel articulation as there is a limited amount of wheel travel and will definitely get some wheels in the air in uneven terrain. Although in general, the Evoque will give you the confidence to get you where you need to be even with rough road conditions.

If I were to drive just one car for the rest of my life, I would choose this. It has everything you could possibly want — the luxury of a large sedan that pampers you throughout, the attractive looks of a concept car, the capabilities of a rugged off-road SUV, world-class safety, and lastly, to exaggerate a bit, the technology of a spaceship. It truly is an all-in-one vehicle.

See the Range Rover Evoque in action through this video:

Automotive

There’s a new MX-5 Miata built for the track

Offering the joy of car racing at a reasonable cost

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A favorite sports car of many, the Mazda MX-5 just got a serious upgrade as a track car.

This coming 2020, RaceGAS Dynamics will be introducing a new one-make sports car racing series called the Miata Spec Series. It’s the country’s only rear-wheel-drive sports car racing championship that features the latest edition of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Latest edition of the 4th-gen MX-5 Miata

Developed for the track, the updated MX-5 is designed as an affordable car that will be equipped with custom competition parts to bring out its on-track full potential while still being street-legal.

We were able to review the MX-5 RF Club Edition roadster a few months back, and the performance of the stock MX-5 is already impressive enough.

There is an array of new upgrades including brand new Cusco coilovers and sway bar suspension components, a Sparco steering wheel, racing seat and racing harness, a six-point roll cage that allows operation of the soft top assembly, a full cat-back exhaust system, one set of 17×7.5-inch Concept One wheels and 215/45/ 17 Nitto tires, and finally, a full set of apparel which includes racing suit, shoes, and gloves.

Major engine, drivetrain, and electronic components will be sealed by the organizer prior to customer handover to ensure the cars’ conformity to the one-make racing formula.

President of RaceGAS Dynamics Allan Uy shares, “Ever since I began my racing career, I have always wanted to create a sports car series that allows the cars’ owners to enjoy their rides whether on the track or on the road. With the Mazda MX-5, we are able to realize this dream.” He further adds that the Miata Spec Series offers its participants the enjoyment of sports car racing at a reasonable cost.

Set to be released in May next year, Interested buyers may reach out to RaceGAS Dynamics through email ([email protected]) for inquiries about the cars and the upcoming 2020 Miata Spec Series season.

The expected introductory price is at PhP 2,500,000 for the brand new MX-5 Soft Top Manual Transmission unit by RaceGAS Dynamics.

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Automotive

Honda introduces its new and affordable City variant

Ready to take on any urban challenge

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Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. has just introduced its new and affordable Honda City. The Honda City 1.5 S CVT is currently the most affordable model in its family that comes with an Earth Dreams Technology Continuously Variable Transmission.

This series has been known as the brand’s best-selling nameplate in the Philippines and this time, the new City has a Euro-4 1.5-liter SOHC four-cylinder i-VTEC engine with Eco Assist System. Together with its CVT configuration, this subcompact sedan delivers 118hp and 145Nm of torque which produces a powerful yet efficient powertrain ready to take on any urban challenge.

To give a quick rundown of some of its features, the City 1.5 S CVT aims to give customers one of the best value for money propositions in its class. At this price point, you still get features such as front and rear windshield defoggers, power windows, power door locks, security alarm with immobilizer, LED daytime running lights, and keyless entry as standard.

Plus, since Honda makes no compromise when it comes to safety, the new City also offers dual airbags, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD).

Priced at PhP 820,000, the Honda City is available in four different colors such as Lunar Silver, Modern Steel Metallic, Crystal, Black Pearl, and Taffeta White. Units are already available in Honda dealerships nationwide.

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Automotive

The Tesla pickup just got a reveal date

We’ll finally see Elon Musk’s promising electric truck

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People have always been on the lookout for any updates regarding Elon Musk’s upcoming pickup truck ever since he first announced the project. It got a lot of people excited as it promises more power for less the asking price. Well, we’re only a few days away from its unveiling as Musk finally announced its reveal date.

According to the main man of Tesla, the electric pickup truck will be unveiled on November 21, 2019 in Los Angeles near the SpaceX rocket factory.

If you still remember some of Musk’s previous tweets, his main concern for the upcoming truck is for “people to get a really great truck for US$ 49,000” and it seems like he’s dead set on doing that. It should also be more capable than other trucks like the Ford F150 and even outperform a Porsche 911.

In more than a week’s time, we’ll finally get to see the Tesla pickup and I for one am just looking forward to seeing what it will offer. In the meantime, you may read our article on what to expect when it finally gets unveiled.

READ MORE: Anticipating the Tesla Pickup Truck: What you need to know

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