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

Next-gen Ford Everest, Ranger now official in the Philippines

Reserve yours now

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Ford Everest

After a long wait, the next-generation Ford Everest and Ford Ranger have finally arrived in the Philippines.

Alongside the local launch, Ford Philippines also announced that both the Everest and Ranger will come with a 5-year warranty, offering owners coverage for up to 150,000 kilometers of mileage. 

Both the new Everest and Ranger come with a wider track and longer wheelbase, complementing their powerful 2.0L Bi-Turbo or 2.0L Single Turbo engines which are capable of up to a 210PS maximum power and 500Nm maximum torque.

Depending on the variant, customers can enjoy either an 8- or 12-inch digital instrument cluster, and high-resolution infotainment touchscreen with the latest SYNC 4A which can be linked to a 360-degree camera display to help drivers in various situations.

The SUV and pick-up also have selectable drive modes such as Normal, Eco, Tow Haul, Slippery, Mud/Ruts, and Sand, giving owners a reliable vehicle even for off-road driving.

Smarter, safer than ever

As previously reported, the new Everest and Ranger variants sport an impressive list of safety features and driver assist technologies, making them the smartest and safest models yet for the SUV and pick-up.

These includes:

  • Active Park Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (with Stop and Go and Lane Centering)
  • Lane Keeping System with Road Edge Detection
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Evasive Steer Assist
  • Reverse Brake Assist
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors
  • Security Alarm System
  • Child Seat ISOFIX Anchor Points
  • Seven airbags across all variants

They also both have an Intelligent Oil Life Monitor (IOLM), a smart new feature that tells the owner when to have an oil change based on actual engine data, operating conditions, and driving habits.

Pricing, availability

For the full list of next-gen Ford Everest and Ford Ranger models and prices, refer to the lists below.

Variant Price
Everest 2.0L Bi-Turbo Titanium+ 4×4 AT PhP 2,495,000
Everest 2.0L Turbo Titanium+ 4×2 AT  PhP 2,179,000
Everest 2.0L Turbo Sport 4×2 AT PhP 2,089,000
Everest 2.0L Turbo Limited 4×2 AT PhP 1,999,000
Everest 2.0L Turbo Trend 4×2 AT PhP 1,799,000
Ranger 2.0L Bi-Turbo Wildtrak 4×4 AT PhP 1,875,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo Wildtrak 4×2 AT PhP 1,569,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo Sport 4×4 AT PhP 1,594,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo Sport 4×2 AT PhP 1,474,000 
Ranger 2.0L Turbo XLT 4×2 AT PhP 1,374,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo XLS 4×2 AT PhP 1,273,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo XLS 4×2 MT PhP 1,198,000
Ranger 2.0L Turbo XL 4×4 MT PhP 1,198,000

Depending on the model, the available colors for each new vehicle include:

  • Ford Everest: Absolute Black, Aluminum Metallic, Arctic White, Equinox Bronze, Meteor Gray, Sedona Orange, Snowflake White Pearl, Blue Lightning
  • Ford Ranger: Arctic White, Absolute Black, Luxe Yellow, Snowflake White Pearl, Aluminum Metallic, Meteor Gray, Blue Lightning, Sedona Orange

Customers may visit the Ford website to reserve. A Ford Island Conquest test drive event is also happening from July 29 to 31, 2022 at Arcovia City in Pasig.

Over PhP 3 million worth of cash discounts and prizes are up for grabs for customers reserving personally at the three-day event.

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Automotive

Nissan Kicks e-POWER given test drives before Philippines release

Fully electric drive SUV to launch in August

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NISSAN Kicks e-POWER

Ahead of its launch in the Philippines in August 2022, the Nissan Kicks e-POWER was given a test drive by members of the media during a two-day event held at the Clark International Speedway in Pampanga.

The hybrid compact SUV features a fully electric motor-driven e-POWER system wherein the wheels run on an electric motor. Separate from this is a gasoline engine whose sole purpose is to charge the lithium-ion battery, which eliminates the need for plug-in charging for hours and leads to an efficient and quiet ride.

The Kicks e-POWER also sports an innovative e-Pedal Step technology; here, drivers will only have to use the accelerator to move forward by stepping down. The car also automatically stops when the pedal is released, without even having to step on the brakes.

Aside from these, the car also features Nissan’s Intelligent Mobility technologies, such as:

  • Rear cross traffic alert (Premium Plus)
  • Intelligent cruise control (Premium Plus)
  • Blind spot warning (Premium Plus)
  • Intelligent emergency braking
  • Intelligent driver alertness
  • Intelligent trace control

Design wise, the Kicks e-POWER has both a modern 8-inch NissanConnect Infotainment System and 7-inch TFT Full Color Instrument Display, on top of its stylish interiors which includes a D-shaped multi-function steering wheel.

The impending release of the Kicks e-POWER in the Philippines is part of Nissan’s long-term goal of electrifying Nissan vehicles by 2030, and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

The car has already been introduced in Japan earlier this year, while it is also available in Singapore as well starting at SG$ 142,800 – or roughly more than PhP 5 million.

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Accessories

Show & Tell Episode 2: ESR

Better MagSafe accessories by ESR!

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ESR isn’t particularly a new brand. As a matter of fact, we’ve showcased some of their cool accessories in our previous videos including iPad cases as well as MagSafe accessories.

But what if MagSafe can get better? With HaloLock and CryoBoost technology of ESR, your iPhone can get better than before.

Here’s the second episode of our special segment “Show & Tell” featuring the latest ESR products for MagSafe-compatible iPhones.

 

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