Automotive

Ford unleashes 2019 Ranger Raptor

The only factory-built performance truck across Asia Pacific

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Built Ford Tough indeed

The legendary F-150 Raptor now has a sibling and it also packs serious muscle.

Ford Motor Company has just launched its first Ranger Raptor in Bangkok, Thailand. It’s the company’s new off-road, performance pickup truck which combines Ford Performance DNA with the Ranger’s toughness and engineering that it has become known for. Think of it as the toned-down version of the F-150 Raptor.


When it comes to design, though, there is very little difference between the two.

The front shows a familiar grille with the iconic FORD lettering pressed proudly at the center. There’s also the frame-mounted front bumper and dent-resistant front fenders to further toughen it up for the wilderness.

Just like its older brother, the Ranger Raptor is huge from all angles. It stands 1873mm tall, 2180mm wide, and 5398mm long while ground clearance has further been lifted to 283mm. The truck has a towing capacity of 2500kg so it can definitely haul things for you.

What truly sets this apart is at its core. The Ranger Raptor’s chassis frame is specifically designed for traveling at high speeds off-road. Made of various grades of high-strength low-alloy steel, the frame is made to absorb the blows of off-road driving.

“The standout experience of the Ranger Raptor, hands down, is how far you can push it off-road versus any other available production road vehicle in our markets, and still ride like a millionaire on-road,” said Damien Ross, Chief Program Engineer, Ranger Raptor, Ford Motor Company.

Under its wide hood sits a 2.0-liter Bi-Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine that pumps out 213PS of power and 500Nm of torque. This is then mated to the same 10-speed automatic transmission as the F-150 Raptor and comes with a unique electronic terrain management system featuring six drive modes (Gravel, Mud, Rock, Baja, etc).

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Ford vehicle without the host of safety features. It carries the advanced Driver Assist Technologies at the push of a button like the SYNC 3 voice assist system, SatNav, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, and Load Adaptive Control among others.

“It really is like a motocross bike, snowmobile, and an ATV rolled up into a pickup truck — it’s an incredible, awesome experience!” said Jamal Hameedi, Chief Engineer, Ford Performance

This macho vehicle is not to be confused with the Ford Ranger that was announced last month at NAIAS. The Ranger Raptor will be produced in Ford Thailand Manufacturing and will be available for the Asia Pacific region. Color palettes include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, and Conquer Grey.

Automotive

2019 Mazda 3 arrives in the Philippines

Still has the KODO design language

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The highly awaited 2019 Mazda 3 has finally arrived in the Philippines. This compact car (first seen during its grand debut in Los Angeles last year) still has the company’s KODO design language but comes with a fresher look.

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Up front, both the sedan and hatchback models have a large meshed grille with Mazda’s logo proudly sitting at the center. This is flanked with a more aggressive pair of headlamps that sort of stretch to its sides. Rounding up the front fascia is an accented lower lip.

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Walk to its back and you’ll be greeted by a refreshed tailgate that protrudes outward. Together with its rear bumper and new taillights, the Mazda 3 exudes a sportier, more agile vibe that blends well with the contours of its body. All that is standing on 18-inch alloy wheels.

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The same attention to detail that gives the exterior attitude can also be found inside. The seats are wrapped in elegant red leather while the rest of the interior has a simple approach. There’s an 8-inch infotainment display, three-spoke steering wheel, and redesigned control hub at the center.

Mazda Philippines wanted this event to be more like a welcome celebration for the arrival of the Mazda 3 in the country. As such, a number of things are not yet final. It’s still unclear if the models to go on sale here will already have the company’s SkyActiv-X technology that has the responsive traits of a gasoline engine with the conservative fuel consumption of a diesel unit.

Pricing and availability were also not disclosed, although Mazda says they will be announcing the details once everything has been finalized. We’ll just have to make do with the photos for now — good thing this car is such a looker.

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Nissan pushes through with electrification of Asia and Oceania

One step at a time

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It’s that time of the year again when Nissan gathers thought leaders, government officials, and media representatives from around the region to discuss how to improve and reshape the way people use transportation.

With the theme “Transform the way we drive and live,” this year’s Nissan Futures offers updated statistics and tackles the company’s plans and strategies to fully electrify Asia and Oceania.


Through a report, Nissan kicked off the event by showing us our current situation and where this could lead. They said that in about 30 years, the human population will hit 9.9 billion and two out of three people will be living in cities. This translates to more carbon footprint for each city and heavier air pollution for everyone if we simply continue going down this path.

“Asia Pacific is home to more than 2.1 billion urban residents, that is 60 percent of the world’s urban population. This brings increased pressure on the region’s cities and mobility systems. Events like Nissan Futures create the appropriate platform to discuss solutions for our region’s societies and mobility systems,” said Yutaka Sanada, Regional Senior Vice President for Asia and Oceania. “Driven by our Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, we are committed to bringing safe, smart, and sustainable mobility to more people.”

Yutaka Sanada officially announces the arrival of Nissan Leaf to more countries.

READ MORE: NISSAN LEAF TO ARRIVE IN PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA BY 2020

We already talked about the benefits of electric vehicles (as well as myths that surround them) and how they will significantly reduce tailpipe emissions on the streets and eventually reduce air pollution. With that in mind, Nissan envisions a city with a more sustainable environment by jumping on the electric bandwagon. And right now, their Leaf electric vehicle is what embodies their plans for the future.

“The Leaf remains the icon of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, our strategy for moving more people to a better world,” said Daniele Schillaci, Nissan’s Global Head of Marketing, Sales, and Electric Vehicles.

Just earlier this month, the Leaf cemented itself as the most successful EV to date — surpassing the 400,000 sales mark. Although, we weren’t that surprised since we got to drive and experience the Leaf for the second time. I’d say the drive was more exciting this year since we drove it around the open streets of Hong Kong and witnessed how it fared in terms of its safety features, handling, power, and battery consumption.

We made a short video of the drive:

Yes, we’re still far away from cities being fully electric, but Nissan is relentlessly pushing through. It has already put its foot in and is paving the way for electrification that will soon extend beyond the confines of a vehicle.

SEE ALSO: NISSAN INTELLIGENT MOBILITY FIRST LOOK

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Automotive

New Model Y is Tesla’s more affordable electric SUV

Arriving fall of 2020

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The Tesla Model Y has made its debut, positioning itself as a more affordable Model X — the company’s luxury SUV. This new mid-size all-electric vehicle is the company’s second stab at a mass market EV as an effort to make more people jump on the electric bandwagon.

At first glance, one could mistake it for a Tesla Model 3 with its long, sloping lines, wide bonnet, and lower grille. The difference is that being a crossover, the Model Y is bigger. In front there are LED fog lamps, auto dimming and power folding side mirrors, and a choice of 18-,  19-, or 20-inch wheels.


Inside, it has a 15-inch touchscreen display against a minimalist interior that we’re pretty much used to seeing. The vehicle will fit up to seven people on its 12-way power adjustable heated seats with a panoramic glass roof above them.

The Model Y will come in four different versions namely the Standard Range, Long Range, Dual Motor AWD, and Performance specs. The Long Range Model Y boasts a range of 300 miles while the Performance version can go from zero to 60mph in 3.5 seconds and topping at a speed of 150mph.

Apart from the Standard Range which will come later in 2021, all other models will arrive in the fall of 2020. Pricing starts at US$ 39,000 and stretches to US$ 60,000 for the top-of-the-line Performance model. In between those are the Long Range and Dual Motor AWD which are at US$ 47,000 and US$ 51,000, respectively.

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