Automotive

A racing virgin’s experience at the Toyota Vios Racing Festival

Challenging, but something worth doing again

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I love driving. Whether it’s an out of town drive for hours or simply going for a short trip with the wife, one could always count me in for such activities. So when Toyota Motor Philippines extended an invite to their annual Vios Racing Festival, I didn’t think twice and submitted my name.

I thought, “I drive pretty well on the road so this shouldn’t be that challenging. How hard is it to avoid cones, anyway?”

Boy, was I wrong.

The Racing Festival

As a quick background, Toyota Motor Philippines has been organizing Vios motorsport events in the country for six years now. Called the Vios Cup, the circuit race celebrates the spirit of Waku-Doki (shortened from the Japanese phrase “Waku waku doki doki” which translates to a feeling of “heart-pumping excitement”) and features drivers from different backgrounds — celebrities, new Vios owners, and car club members are just some of the individuals invited at this special event.

The Autocross Challenge

This season, TMP has added the Autocross Challenge that runs alongside the main event. It’s a timed competition where participants race through an obstacle course and finish with the quickest lap time possible. Basically, the company presents it as an amateur-friendly way to get into the world of motorsport.

The Experience

Unlike the main event where participants spent months training for the circuit race, I and my fellow media participants only got one day of practice driving around the obstacles before the event. The cars were provided by Toyota — a souped-up Vios OMR fit for the track — complete with manual gearbox and loads of torque. We were also given tracksuits and helmets so apart from keeping me safe, I looked like a legitimate race car driver wearing those.

As the title states, I had no experience whatsoever in racing cars. After the briefing, I was basically given the suit and the car and thrown into the track to get a feel for how to make the fastest lap time possible.

So I got in the car, drove up to the starting line, lodged the transmission to the first gear, and gave the engine a full rev. As soon as I was given the go signal Fast-and-Furious-style, I was off — complete with tires screeching.

The obstacle consisted of multiple chicanes and we needed to slalom our way past them. To make things more interesting, there were sharp u-turns and a 540-degree turn at one point and it was where I spun out since I made the mistake of applying brakes while making the turn. It felt like I was in a movie, though, like Ansel Elgort in Baby Driver.

After finishing the first lap, I made mental notes of how I can improve my time for the next practice run. The problem here wasn’t how to avoid obstacles. It’s how to avoid obstacles with speed to be able to finish with the quickest time.

Good thing there were seasoned racers with us and they were able to give me some tips. One could say that taking on the Autocross challenge is similar to dancing — you have to know exactly when to shift, when to brake, and when to turn. These are key elements that I needed to keep in mind, pretty much like memorizing dance steps. I did better time during my second attempt and that concluded our practice day.

Then came the race day itself. After breakfast, I was just in my hotel room sitting down and pretending to drive while thinking about the track. I saw the racing movie Rush a few years back and that’s where I got the idea of imagining yourself on the track, taking on the obstacles and practicing gear shifting at the right moment.

After the opening ceremonies and the main event kicking off, it was our time to compete. To cut some of the details, I finished with a time of 1:01 with the top 10 finalists finishing at 0:58. Considering it was my first time doing something like that, I was pretty happy and satisfied with my performance.

End of Day Thoughts

As someone who’s always into trying out new things, participating in an Autocross Challenge was definitely one for the books. It’s a great initiative from Toyota Philippines to continuously hold events like this to keep the spirit of motorsport alive in the country.

The racing festival itself, even if you’re not a participant, was a really enjoyable event even for the entire family. It’s also worth recognizing TMP’s efforts to bring new blood into the sport every year as it’s not exclusive to Vios owners only. In fact, they’re also opening the Autocross Challenge for the public through their social media pages.

So if you want to get into the adrenaline-pumping world of racing, head to their official pages and see how you can be part of the next Toyota Vios Racing Festival.

If you’re still reading up to this point, it just means you’re one interested fellow and you might want to check out the event next year when it makes a comeback.

You’ll enjoy it. I know I did!

Automotive

Honda opens its flagship store on Lazada

An all-new Honda City is also up for grabs

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Honda Lazada

Nowadays, most brands are taking to Lazada to sell their products. You wouldn’t normally think of automobile brands offering their products on the e-commerce platform, but one brand wants to prove you wrong. Recently, Honda Philippines just opened its first flagship store on Lazada.

Honda doesn’t actually let you purchase a car right from the e-commerce platform. Instead, you purchase a vehicle reservation voucher for your chosen Honda car. Through this system, you don’t have to visit a dealership anymore, ensuring quick and contactless transactions.

In the future, Honda is also planning to bring over other merchandise to its online store. These include — but not limited to — genuine parts and accessories for various models.

Reservation vouchers are accepted now on the following physical stores nationwide:

Luzon, NCR area

  • Quezon City
  • Manila
  • Greenhills
  • Alabang
  • Global City
  • Makati
  • Pasig
  • Shaw
  • Manila Bay
  • Baliuag

Luzon, other areas

  • Pangasinan
  • Ilocos Norte
  • San Pablo
  • Calamba
  • Lipa
  • Rizal
  • Carmona
  • Cagayan

Visayas and Mindanao

  • Cebu
  • Iloilo
  • Mandaue
  • Negros Occidental

Honda City up for grabs

Honda is also taking part in the upcoming 11.11 sale by Lazada. An all-new Honda City 1.5S CVT will be given away to one lucky customer. To join, a customer must follow the car brand’s store page to earn one e-raffle entry. By purchasing any item from the store, customers may earn four additional e-raffle entries.

Raffle draw will take hold on November 25, 2020. Honda will notify the winner through a phone call or registered email. The winner will also be announced on Lazada Facebook page, as well as the website and Facebook page of Honda Philippines.

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Automotive

Ford Ranger, other SUVs come with exclusive deals this Truck Month

Solid deals all October long

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Getting a car feels like a necessity these days due to limited public transportation. Here in the Philippines, the rainy season brings floods and other weather hazards which make SUVs and pick-ups popular in the country.

Those on the lookout for their first SUV or pick-up purchase should take a look at Ford’s offering now. This Truck Month, the brand is offering exclusive perks on the Ford Ranger, Everest, EcoSport, and other SUVs. These perks are available only from October 1 to 31, 2020.

Discounts, downpayment deals, and free ownership package for Ford Ranger

The centerpiece of this year’s Truck Month is the cash discounts, low downpayment deals, and free ownership package with every purchase of a Ford Ranger Wildtrak, XLS, or Raptor.

The 4×2 Ranger 2.0L Wildtrak is getting a PhP 90,000 cash discount for the manual transmission variant. Meanwhile, the automatic transmission variant enjoys a discount of PhP 70,000.

Meanwhile, the Ranger 2.2L XLS MT variant is down to its lowest price of PhP 943,000. There’s a PhP 88,000 all-in downpayment option for the variant too.

And as for the Ranger Raptor, every purchase comes with a free Premium Care Package for a limited time. This package is inclusive of a five-year scheduled service plan, warranty, and roadside assistance. It is already a steal considering that the whole package is worth PhP 100,000.

Perks for Ford SUVs and Transit van

Select variants of the Ford Everest gets a PhP 50,000 cash discount. These variants include:

  • Bi-Turbo Titanium+ 4×4 AT (2.0L)
  • Turbo Titanium 4×2 AT (2.0L)
  • Turbo Sport 4×2 AT (2.0L)

Even bigger discounts await buyers of the Everest 2.2L Trend 4×2 AT. For a time, it comes with a PhP 100,000 discount though customers can also avail the PhP 178,000 all-in downpayment.

Generous cash discounts also await the modest crossover from Ford, the EcoSport. The top-of-the-line EcoSport 1.0L EcoBoost Titanium AT and the 1.5L Titanium AT comes with PhP 150,000 discount. Meanwhile, there’s a PhP 90,000 discount for the 1.5L Trend AT and MT variant. Customers have the option to avail of PhP 38,000 all-in downpayment for 1.5L Titanium AT.

Premium SUVs from Ford also get exclusive deals and attractive financing options. Now, one can avail the Explorer 3.5L Sport EcoBoost AWD AT at 0% interest for 60% months at a 20% downpayment. The same financing options offer is also up for grabs with the Expedition Limited EL 4×4, whether it comes in bucket seats or not.

Meanwhile, the Explorer 2.3L EcoBoost LTD is available at 0% interest for 48 months at a 20% downpayment.

Rounding up these exclusive deals are cash discounts for Ford Transit. Getting the 15-seater van nets a discount of PhP 301,000. There’s a financing offer of PhP 68,000 downpayment or 0% interest for 36 months at a 20% downpayment. Ford is throwing in a free five-year schedule service plan on every purchase as well.

Visit the Ford Philippines website or any dealership nationwide to avail of these offers.

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Nissan debunks 4 electric vehicle myths

The Nissan LEAF demystifies common misconceptions about EVs

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The Philippines is gearing up for a major shift in the automotive industry to EVs or electric vehicles as Nissan prepares to bring the Nissan LEAF to the Philippines. But before the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility arrives in the country, Nissan shares the top four electric vehicle myths and debunks them all.

Myth #1: EVs are slow

A recent experiment raced the Nissan LEAF against the fastest elements of nature — fire and wind, with the famous EV winning with its celebrated acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 7.9 seconds.

With lesser moving parts, and a powerful electric motor, an EV accelerates faster than a regular engine car. With over 70 years of EV expertise, Nissan has designed the e-Powertrain that puts electric power straight to the wheels for instant acceleration, making the Nissan LEAF quicker on the start, for a smooth and very responsive drive.

Myth #2: An electric vehicle’s range capacity is limited

On a fully charged battery, the Nissan LEAF can cover 311kms. If you consider that the average daily drive around Metro Manila is 13.2km, you can drive around the National Capital Region in a fully charged Nissan LEAF for up to three weeks, without having to worry about an empty battery.

For out-of-town trips, the Nissan LEAF can take adventurers up to Baguio (246.6 km from Metro Manila) before you need to recharge.

Also, the Nissan LEAF’S ePedal combines both ease, excitement and innovation in EV technology. The innovative feature also enables you to drive using one foot pedal, allowing you to accelerate and brake depending on the foot pressure.

Even more impressive, Nissan’s ePedal is part of an advanced regenerative braking system, meaning the car will even recover a little bit of charge every time you brake.

Myth #3: Charging is a pain for electric vehicles

A common misconception is that electric vehicles can only be charged using quick charging stations. Although the Philippines currently has around 14 charging stations that are ready for the Nissan LEAF, most electric vehicle owners prefer to charge at home, since it is the most convenient option.

Similar to charging one’s mobile phone after a long day’s usage, the Nissan LEAF can be plugged into a regular electrical socket to charge it overnight. Charging with the universal cable usually takes about 12 to 15 hours to fully charge the Nissan LEAF.

For faster charging, users have the option to install a special wall box to speed up the charging time to 5 to 7 hours.

Myth #4: Electric cars are not exciting

With the Nissan LEAF as the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the possibilities of a safe, fun, and exciting driving experience are endless. What’s more exciting than an electric vehicle producing zero emissions and virtually no sound while drifting?

In this exhilarating demonstration, the Nissan LEAF showed how easily the mass-produced EV can churn out both maximum torque and force, while delivering virtually silent donuts and burnouts. The Nissan LEAF, with its rapid acceleration of 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, is quick on the start with a smooth and very responsive drive.


This is a slightly modified press release from Nissan Philippines.

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