Automotive

Chevrolet Colorado High Country Storm: War painted

Still powerful, but better-looking

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People say your choice of car reflects your personality.

Some like speed, others like high-end luxury, and some others will choose utility and fuel economy over the rest. For the adventurous and rugged guys like me who prefer trucks and SUVs over sedans, the choice is simple: high-performance trucks/SUVs that are tough and stunning to look at are usually the main criteria. I have been obsessed with trucks since I was young and grew up wanting to do nothing more than drive them.

One of my favorite trucks in recent years are the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Colorado ever since they came out in the Philippines around 2013. I’ve read reviews, watched videos, and went to car shows to see them. Though they were not the most attractive looking, they were the best in their class, especially in performance.  The latest facelifted models, however, changed everything. It is now one of the most handsome looking SUVs/trucks you will see on the road today. With the rising trend and popularity of special edition performance off-road trucks, the Colorado had to come out with something of their own. Thus, the Chevy Colorado High Country Storm was born.

When this truck rolled up to pick me up, it immediately caught my attention even from afar. It was very good looking. You could instantly tell that this is not your ordinary Colorado.  The first thing that caught my attention were its daytime running lights. It gave the truck such a fierce looking facade, making it look somewhat angry and aggressive. I then noticed the decals, its 18-inch blacked-out rims, the black Sport Bar, and a few body trims. All of them put together gave the truck a sporty and rugged vibe. This was what an adventure-mobile was supposed to look like — like a warrior painted for war.

We drove this truck for 60 kilometers to Jungle Base off-road trail in Tanay, Rizal. Driving it on the road, the first thing I noticed was how powerful the 2.8 Duramax engine was especially while overtaking. I felt the acceleration you would normally find in a car running on petrol and it consistently felt like it had more than enough power to get me anywhere on the paved road. The 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select Manual was also impressive and shifted flawlessly, although tends to switch to a lower gear. I felt very secure and confident driving it on the long winding road, through thick fog and heavy rain.

The rain-sensing wipers did the job wonderfully, auto headlights lit up when it got too dark, and traction control made the slippery road a lot manageable. There’s Lane Departure Warning, too, that beeped every time I skewed out of my lane unknowingly. Overall, the truck gave me a sense of safety and comfort.

Reaching the dirt road that lead to our destination, switching to 4WD was a breeze with just a turn of a rotary switch on the fly. We drove through mud and rocks until we reached the more challenging area. We switched to low range 4WD, turned on the Hill Descent Control, and all we had to do was steer the car down a steep decline of huge rocks and slippery mud.  This was where it felt even more mechanical, a machine working its own way through the obstacles ahead. You can hear and feel the entire mechanism working hard, braking individual wheels to keep a steady pace.  The wheel articulation was very impressive as it kept the car leveled through large rocks and deep ditches. Every part of the vehicle was working cohesively to keep us going.

We’d like to think we were able to push the Colorado High Country Storm to its limits. We climbed rocks, went through deep mud, steep inclines and declines, tested its wading capabilities through rivers, and even went on axel-bending terrains. Its turbocharged diesel engine — packing a lot of torque — is one of the main reasons the Colorado storm passed all these with minimal effort.

There were, however, a few downsides if you’re picking it out as a dedicated off-roader. There were no locking differentials and it’s a feature serious off-roaders will be looking for and something the competition has. The front bash plates were made of plastic and will protect from mud and water, but can be damaged when rock crawling. You’d also probably want to change its tires out. The stock tires get the job done for off-roading, but it takes extra effort. Ride comfort isn’t the best I’ve experienced and is quite bouncy, although that’s pretty common for pickups. Finally, the Sport Bar they call was mostly covered in piano finish hard plastic. It personally felt out of place and delicate.

All things considered, this truck was amazing and loved our time with it. It was fun to drive, very reliable, and stunning to look at. Just see for yourself.

Still can’t get enough of it? More action shots here:

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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