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

LG debuts world’s first curved OLED for cars

Featured in 2021 Cadillac Escalade

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Pretty soon, smartphones and televisions won’t be the only place you’ll find OLED screens in. The automotive industry is slowly perfecting the OLED screen for everyone’s cars. In particular, LG is partnering with a few car makers for this endeavor.

Earlier this week, Cadillac has launched the 2021 Escalade. Aside from what’s under the hood, the iconic SUV debuts the industry’s first-ever use of a curved OLED screen in a car. The massive 38-inch display houses LG’s P-OLED Digital Cockpit Solution. The all-new software displays the vehicle information and infotainment system.

The display itself combines three separate P-OLED panels into one. The largest panel measures 16.9 inches.

LG is also boasting a new augmented reality-enabled navigation system and night vision. Presumably, the new features make driving friendlier for any road condition and driving time.

With the 2021 Escalade’s debut, LG dips its toe into the automotive display market. It predicts substantial market growth in the industry by 2023. The display company is also expected to debut a similar display in Mercedes Benz vehicles later this year.

SEE ALSO: LG withdraws from MWC 2020 due to Coronavirus outbreak

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Automotive

My favorite pony made more fun

The thrill of rolling on a top-down ‘stang

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No doubt, the most powerful car I’ve driven for the past year is the Ford Mustang 5.0 GT and it never fails to impress. This adrenaline-inducing speed machine was made more enjoyable as it now comes as a convertible. In my book, nothing else screams “fun” like this American muscle car.

The styling of the current model stays true to its heritage with that massive vented hood that gives the car a masculine and bold look. It has its intimidating headlamps along with an aggressive grille, broad shoulder and beltlines, and the iconic triple lamp tail lights which we all recognize.

Yes, this car looks stunning, but what Mustang enthusiasts are really after is performance. Ford has managed to fine-tune the current model to near perfection. Significant improvements and changes to power, handling, and safety of the vehicle were also ensured.

The updated 5.0 Coyote V8 is now fitted with high-pressure direct injection, bigger intake and exhaust valves, and increased compression ratios (12:0:1) boosting power to 460hp and 569Nm of torque with redline increased to 7500rpm and now mated to a 10-speed gearbox.

The sound of the engine alone is exhilarating as all that V8 goodness rumble. The independent rear suspensions, along with improved dampers, make this car very agile and easy around the corners.

In addition, you now have customizable steering settings that can change the steering wheel’s responsiveness and stiffness with a push of a button.

Other notable updates are the obvious facelift, featuring a newly designed hood with a lower grille and headlamps, new front and rear bumper and fender design, a more aggressive rear redesign with quad-tip exhaust and a sportier rear diffuser standard across all GT models.

Full LED headlights, a new full 12 inch LCD digital instrument cluster, and a 10-inch infotainment system with a 12-speaker setup are also what awaits you. You can even customize each selectable drive mode and get a number of performance metrics straight from your instrument panel.

Safety features also got an update such as pre-collision emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist.

The interior also stays true to Mustang’s styling cues with those classic circular air vents, brushed aluminum accents all around, and soft-touch plastic and leather trims. Front seats are fairly comfortable while the rear may be a bit cramped especially if you’re tall.

Let’s get down to the driving experience. As soon as you get on the driver’s seat, you kind of feel a connection with the car and it just gives you an extra confidence boost.

Turning on the engine was already an exhilarating experience for me. And when I took it to our favorite scenic road in Sierra Madre on Normal Mode, it felt surprisingly comfortable for a sports car.  It was smooth, quiet, and tame.

However, the whole car transforms completely once you set the driving mode to Sport+ Mode. It becomes a proper race car with power that just blows me away. We are talking 0-100 in under four seconds.

Throttle response is more sensitive while gear shifts are more delayed. And to top it all, drive it with the roof down and you will have the time of your life — I know I did.

A piece of advice though, try not to use its paddle shifters on Normal Mode. You downshift second gear using the paddle shifter and the car disapproves of your choices. It has a mind of its own and will immediately put you back into third gear making the maneuver super slow while simply making its engine grunt. It’s better to just floor it. And with the roof down, people will definitely remember your face, the guy in a Mustang who failed overtaking a Corolla.

Overall, the Mustang GT Convertible is probably one of the most fun cars I’ve driven. It can drive like a tame and normal vehicle and be as brutal as a race car.  Given the new updates, you are getting more tech for your money. Fuel economy is not the best, but people buying this car will probably not mind, given what this car has to offer.

If you’re only after the looks of the Mustang, probably get the Ecoboost variant for better fuel economy, but Mustang enthusiasts will definitely enjoy the 5.0 V8. In my opinion, this model is very much worth the upgrade from the 2015-2017 Mustang.

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Automotive

New Ford Ranger FX4 is an updated workhorse truck

Ford’s truck lineup offers a Ranger for everyone

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Ford Philippines has just introduced a new model for its already successful lineup of pickup trucks. Called the Ranger FX4, it exudes toughness with its bold design, work-ready performance, and smart technologies.

It also adds to the company’s Ranger portfolio making it the automotive company with the widest lineup of pickup trucks in the country with 13 available variants.

Ford Ranger FX4

The new FX4 still maintains the Ranger’s general appeal but it comes with unique 18-inch black alloy wheels, door handles, front and rear bumpers, and fresh fender features.

Decals along the lower doors and a 3D badge on its tailgate make sure that onlookers will know this is the updated model.

Stepping inside, you’ll be welcomed by Fx4-embossed leather seats, FX4-branded floor mats, and sporty dark environment highlighted by race red stitchings on the soft top instrument panel, center console, gear shifter, and door trims.

In terms of features, we know that Ford doesn’t skimp on the essentials. The new FX4 carries an infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on its 8-inch touchscreen display.

Powering the Ranger FX4 is the company’s 2.2-liter Duratorq diesel engine mated with a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, producing 160PS of power and 385Nm of torque.

The new Ranger models are now available in Ford dealerships nationwide. Pricing is at PhP 1,256,000 for the 4×2 MT model and PhP 1,316,000 for the 4×2 AT variant.

They’re available in five colors — Absolute Black, Aluminum Metallic, Arctic White, Meteor Grey, and True Red.

An updated lineup of trucks

  • Aside from the new Ranger FX4, Ford Philippines is also introducing a series of enhancements and upgrades to its entire Ranger lineup.
  • Ranger XLS variants now come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability. A new Ranger XLS Sport 4×2 A/T variant is added to the Ranger XLS products available to customers.
  • Ranger XLT variants also come with a new 8-inch LCD touchscreen radio with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Capability.
  • Ranger Wildtrak 4×2 variants now have a new wheel design and LED headlamps. The Wildtrak 4×4 also has a new wheel design, LED headlamps, camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection and high-mount USB feature to support various dashcam models.
  • Ranger Raptor now comes with a camera-based Autonomous Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, high-mount USB, and LED headlamps.

Test drive Ford’s trucks for yourself

The launch of the Ranger FX4 also marks the official kick-off of the Ford Island Conquest event this year. The first leg of the experiential test drive will happen on January 24-26, 2020 from 9AM to 9PM at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Pasay City.

During the three-day event, customers have the chance to test drive the Ranger FX4 and other Ford vehicles on a specialized driving course that will showcase the vehicles’ best-in-class features and capabilities.

Customers also have the chance to avail of exclusive offers and deals when they purchase a Ford vehicle. This includes a PhP 10,000 outright cash discount and pick-a-prize cash discount of up to PhP 100,000 on top of existing promotions for the month. Over Ph 1.3 million worth of cash discounts and prizes are up for grabs during the Ford Island Conquest kick-off.

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