Automotive

Ford flaunts its all-new 2019 Mustang Bullitt

Manual tranny with at least 475 horses on tap

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Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic movie Bullitt starring Steve McQueen and introduced the limited edition 2019 Mustang Bullitt. It carries a retuned V8 engine and a classic roar in a beefy yet sexy body.

The 2019 Mustang Bullit was unveiled at NAIAS 2018 in Detroit and is the third-generation member of the McQueen family. As such, genes from the original Mustang GT still flowed through the new model, like the 19-inch classic torque thrust aluminum wheels, red painted Brembo brakes, and the black front grille among other subtle hints.


Interestingly, it still has the same white cue ball shift knob as in the movie. And yes, this means the new Bullitt is all manual. Fun!

Under the hood, the re-tuned 5.0-liter V8 engine churns out at least 475 horsepower and 570Nm of torque that gallops its way to a top speed of 262kph (163mph). The company adds that this is faster (by just a bit) than the latest Mustang GT.

The interior has been fitted with leather trims and green accent stitching running along the dashboard, door panels, center console, and seats — giving you that special Bullitt experience. Buyers can opt for the Shadow Black or the movie-inspired Dark Highland Green and choose one of three factory-installed options.

The Bullitt Electronics Package includes navigation, driver memory seats and mirrors, upgraded sound system, and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. There’s also the MagneRide semi-active suspension system for optimized driving performance or the RECARO black leather-trimmed seats.

Steve McQueen and the Mustang GT in the 1968 movie Bullitt

No pricing has been announced but expect this special edition muscle to have limited production.

Automotive

A Father’s Day drive up north

Story time!

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We recently got the Ranger Raptor for the second time to use at this year’s STV ARCC and represent Ford Philippines. And since we had a free day before the event itself happened, I decided to use it and take out my dad along with my brother for a road trip. Good thing Mom had an errand to do that day!

Dad wanted to visit a certain theme park restaurant north of Metro Manila so I agreed and went for it. We already brought the Raptor to a 4×4 route for some off-road action, so now we go for long, paved roads with hungry stomachs.


That’s Dad, my brother Kiefer, and me on the road

After four hours of driving from the south, past the traffic metro, and all the way up north, we reached our destination. The place is called Isdaan Floating Restaurant and it’s at the municipality of Talavera in Nueva Ecija in the Philippines. “Isdaan,” when translated, means “fishery” so it already paints you a picture of what to expect. The restaurant is hard to miss as it has a wide, inviting facade fronted with sculptures.

The staff greeted us with a warm welcome and led us to our private floating nipa hut with koi fish swimming around and under us. Looking at the menu, there were lots of choices from appetizers, meat, seafood obviously, and even specialties that you don’t usually see in city restaurants.

“Guarding” the floating nipa huts

We got Bicol Express (spicy stew), Sinigang na Liempo (pork belly soup), and Binukadkad na Plapla (butterflied fish) from the menu. One of their signatures is a Boat Special. Basically, they offer select dishes in a long sizzling plate mounted on a wooden counter-top that resembles a boat. This was how Bicol Express was served which greatly added to the presentation value.

Food was really great especially the soup. While the service wasn’t too snappy and could definitely be improved, the food compensated for it. It has that home-cooked taste that hits the spot after a long drive.

After eating, we decided to walk around the area and check out the theme park side of the place. There were giant statues everywhere — from the Charging Bull similar to New York’s, Big Buddha of Phuket, and even prehistoric dinosaurs. It does make for great photo opportunities as you’ll see in the following photos.

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Apart from the gigantic and humorous characters, another attraction to find here is a corner to vent out all your pent-up emotions. For a reasonable price, you can choose objects like those plates or coffee mugs that you can smash onto the wall. If you ask me, I feel it’s a bit out of place in this family-friendly restaurant but it still does make the place unique.

Those are all fun but what usually entices people to visit this place is the fact that you can dip your feet in this shallow pond and have large koi fish swimming in between your legs. It might sound weird and it’s probably not for everyone, but the novelty of being able to do it was actually fun.

These koi quickly gather around you as you go near the water

Caught this little guy trying to nibble on his watch

Can’t leave the place without this obligatory shot!

After all the photos were taken and a few minor mishaps (one of us slipping trying to get in with the fish, not telling who), we were ready to go back home. It was another four hours inside the Raptor and we ended up exchanging stories and laughing our way through the expressways while the truck was mostly on cruise control. It was definitely a trip to remember.

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Automotive

Mazda Smartphone Mirroring Upgrade Kit now available

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible

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Both Waze and Google Maps are proven navigation apps. This is why vehicles that support Android Auto and Apple Carplay — mirroring smartphone functionalities — are pretty much preferred these days over built-in navigation systems in the car.

Mazda in the Philippines is one of the latest to adapt in integrating smartphone mirroring to its Mazda Connect infotainment system. Through a hardware upgrade kit, your favorite apps like Waze and Spotify are now easier and safer to access while driving.


The upgrade kit can be retrofitted to Mazda vehicles all the way back from 2014 onwards as long as it has a Mazda Connect system. Aside from the new system module, the kit includes higher-capacity USB ports that can not only accommodate smartphone charging, but also transfer data for displaying relevant information on the touchscreen.

An official software update also comes with the kit for seamless communication between the smartphone and onboard system.

The Mazda smartphone mirroring upgrade kit may be purchased for PhP 17,500 plus VAT at all 21 official Mazda dealerships in the country. The price includes installation by trained Mazda technicians to ensure proper fit and integration and comes with a one-year warranty for the newly installed hardware.

ALSO READ: Mazda 6: Not your ordinary mid-size sedan

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Automotive

Michelin’s new tires are airless

No more punctured tires

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A flat tire on your way to an important meeting is never fun.

This is one of the things Michelin is set out to remedy with the announcement of its new tires. Called UPTIS (Unique Puncture-proof Tire System), the airless technology will allow you to run over nails and still carry on like nothing happened. Not only that, its design and durability should also lessen regular maintenance making it a safer alternative to the pressurized tires we use today.


What the company did was use flexible rubber composites with proprietary fiberglass resin instead of the traditional air-filled interior. This way, the composites bend to absorb bumps on the road.

Although saying goodbye to patching punctured tires is already a feat in itself, Michelin is thinking bigger. It is estimated that about 200 million tires are disposed of annually due to punctures and wear. That’s a lot of scrapped tires with almost no use. To help pull down these numbers, Michelin aims to make UPTIS last longer through design and materials used. And speaking of materials, the company went with a sustainable approach — sourcing renewable materials for production. This way, it will require fewer materials to produce the tires.

The French company plans to introduce UPTIS commercially as early as 2024 and has already teamed up with General Motors to test this new technology. A fleet of Chevrolet Bolt EVs will be fitted with the new tires and will be used to conduct real-world tests.

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