Automotive

STV breathes life to old motorsport with ARCC

Keeping the spirit of rallying alive

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I was at Clark, Pampanga in a former United States Air Force base in the Philippines for the STV Auto Rally Corporate Challenge (ARCC).

For the unfamiliar, it’s also called Sampaguita Rally in the Philippines, but it was actually inspired by the Dutch’s Tulpenrallye (Tulip Rally) for the way the directions in the handbook look like. It gained popularity in Europe at the beginning of 1950s and was also the number one motorsport in the Philippines back in the 80s. The sport eventually died down but Sunshine Television has been faithful to breathe life into the sport until today.

STV Chairman and CEO Ray Butch Gamboa kicks off the event.

Now, the “rally” in its name might paint a different picture for some. Usually, speed is associated when you hear the term “rallying,” and that’s because of the modified rally races that are popular today. STV’s ARCC doesn’t follow this trend and stays true to its roots wherein drivers are not required to go fast to win.

Taking an oath to play fair and square.

Car manufacturers, importers, and distributors were the event’s participants and I was invited to be one of Ford Philippines’ representatives. There were a total of nine media reps split into three groups and Ford gave the groups a vehicle each to use in the event.

Our group was in a 3.2-liter Ford Everest Titanium with me at the helm, while one was assigned as timekeeper and the other as navigator.

You, as a participant, get in the vehicle with your teammates and are put on a public road along with other motorists. You’re expected to follow driving rules just like you normally would while following the tulip-shaped directions written on the handbook.

This is what the handbook looks like with tulip-shaped arrows for directions. The smaller sheet is filled with our time for all the checkpoints.

More than speed, the key factor to winning is precision. A series of checkpoints were set up throughout the course, and our team, along with hundreds of participants from other brands, had to arrive at the perfect time at each checkpoint. Get there one second late/early and you get a demerit. In the end, the group with the least number of demerits wins. Having said these, the goal is simple: Be on time, all the time.

With more than 150km of driving, the goal of the event was to promote driver discipline and road safety. This means if you violate traffic rules, authorities can and will flag you and issue a ticket (plus the organizers can disqualify you from the event depending on your offense).

There’s our ride, Vehicle 24.

The dynamics inside the vehicle (at least for us) worked like this: The navigator obviously had the handbook and told the driver where to turn. Meanwhile, the timekeeper calculated the time needed from one point to the next to made sure we get to the checkpoints at the perfect time — all while inside a moving car. Then there’s an average speed indicated per direction so I, the driver, had to maintain constant speeds depending on the instruction. Mix in traffic lights and buildup of cars and the feeling of frustration crept in knowing we needed to catch up.

Still, it was a great practice for coordination and communication among us inside the vehicle. Since Rally Director Georges Ramirez chose a route with tricky turns and hidden checkpoints, it made things more exciting and required us to almost be at the edge of our seats looking out where that next turn would be.

Team Ford (although not complete)

The 2018 ARCC was indeed a challenging experience, but it’s for that same reason that all of us enjoyed the event. Our group didn’t make it to the top list but hey, it was an adventure that you don’t do every day. It also taught us a thing or two about teamwork and precision driving, and I even ended up making new friends. So it’s not all that bad.

Automotive

Sex in driverless cars and what might be the future of autonomous vehicles

All according to a study

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Photo by Kenny Luo

What will autonomous vehicles bring? More than just a driverless solution from point A to point B, according to a new study.

Of course, the logical effect would be the phasing out of traditional cabs and a switch in focus to the customer experience. A paper conducted by University of Surrey Tourism Professor Scott Cohen and University of Oxford Transport Studies Lecturer Debbie Hopkins goes even further in imagining a world where driverless cars are a reality.

According to Cohen, “It’s only a natural conclusion that sex in autonomous vehicles will become a phenomenon.” “Sex,” the study explains, “plays a central role in many tourism experiences.” It furthers, “It is just a small leap to imagine Amsterdam’s Red Light District ‘on the move.’”

The researchers also warn authorities to be ready. With the driverless revolution less than a decade away, these transport spaces may possibly be used as cover for illicit activities like prostitution, drug dealing, or even terrorism. On the other side of the spectrum, privacy issues might also arise as these autonomous vehicles will most probably be tracking everything.

In the meantime, let’s sit tight — in cars that actually have drivers in them.

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MG Philippines makes owning British heritage vehicles a reality for all first car owners

A new contender in the local automotive market!

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Choosing your first car can be a daunting process. You might have a lot of questions: “What type of car should I get? What car brand should I go for? How do I get my money’s worth?” These are all valid questions. Good thing MG Philippines is around to offer a straight-up solution for today’s hip, young blood in search of their first car.

British heritage auto brand MG wants the Philippine market to “Be Excited” as it introduces its first wave of vehicles in the Philippines, which are sure to appeal to the needs of modern Filipinos looking to own their first ride. The lineup from MG Philippines consistently offers vehicles that flaunt a fresh style, modern driving aids, and creature comforts — all at very competitive prices.

MG ZS

First in the lineup is the MG ZS crossover SUV which is aimed at those who demand versatility in their rides, without compromising on vehicle features and breaking the bank. On the outside, the MG ZS is a looker with its London Eye headlamps, Stardust grille, and 17-inch alloy wheels that beg to be noticed.

Bells and whistles include a push start/stop button, as well as a multi-function steering wheel with cruise control. The vehicle also sports an 8-inch LCD infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay so you can stay connected to your device and access media, all while keeping your hands on the wheel. Cruising on the outskirts of the city? Simply roll the Stargazer panoramic sun roof back for a breath of fresh air.

The MG ZS also comes standard with Collision Protection technology and curtain airbags for added safety. Other advanced safety features include an Anti-lock Brake System, Cornering Brake Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Hill Start Assist, Tire Pressure Monitoring System, and Traction Control System.

In terms of power, it has a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated engine that produces 114HP and 140Nm of torque. The MG ZS comes in three variants with the following prices:

  • MT “Style” – PhP 818,888 introductory price
  • AT “Style” – PhP 868,888 introductory price
  • AT “Alpha” – PhP 998,888 introductory price

MG 6

If you’re looking for a sporty-looking ride that doesn’t let down on performance, the MG 6 fastback sedan is your best bet from the lineup. It has a longer, taller, and wider body than others in its segment and exudes an authoritative stance thanks to its 18-inch two-tone alloy wheels, sporty body lines, and a confident-looking fascia.

The interior is equipped with sporty, two-tone black and red seats, dash, and door panels. There’s also a flat-bottomed steering wheel — a clear nod to the brand’s racing heritage. Simply looking at its interior makes your heart beat faster with excitement.

It’s not all about the looks for the MG 6. Under the hood resides a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine which produces 162HP and 250Nm of torque. MacPherson struts up front and blade-type multi-link rear suspension also give you the edge with sharp handling and a smooth-sailing ride. Pricing for the two variants with 7-speed transmission are as follows:

  • AT “Alpha” – PhP 1,068,888 introductory price
  • AT “Trophy” – PhP 1,188,888 introductory price

MG RX5

Your routine might require you to need a daily vehicle that can capably ferry you to and from work, but you might also want it to be versatile enough to take on road trips on weekends. For this, consider the MG RX5. This compact SUV embodies power and class while also being versatile enough to bring on trips outside the metro.

The RX5’s elegant dashboard and door inserts are finished in high-grade materials while the cabin has ample legroom and headroom to fit the entire gang comfortably. You can also haul larger cargo thanks to its 60/40 split-fold function.

Expect a comfortable ride with the RX5, since it is been equipped with an enhanced MacPherson up front, with a rear multi-link suspension system. This ensures you and your passengers are comfortable throughout every ride. That one friend who always sleeps through trips is sure to appreciate this feature.

Additional features include keyless entry, push start/stop button, cruise control, and an electronic parking brake with autohold function for easier and safer driving.

The MG RX5 comes equipped with a 7-speed double-clutch automatic transmission and is available in two models.

  • MT “Core” – PhP 1,058,888
  • AT “Style” – PhP 1,228,888

That’s not all!

MG knows that pretty much everything is connected nowadays through our smartphones. Hence, the company is currently producing an accompanying app to closely monitor its car’s running stats and allow online booking of service appointments. No more waiting in line at the service center! They are also gearing up to opening 16 new dealerships to better accommodate its customers all over the country.

With these offerings, MG Philippines aims to deliver quality vehicles to the Philippine market, while giving them unparalleled service and outstanding value for their hard-earned cash.

So, after reading what MG Philippines has to offer, have you found your match?

Visit the MG pop-up store this month, and get up close and personal with the latest vehicles from MG Philippines. See the following dates and locations:

  • November 15 to 18, 2018 — SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds (2018 Auto Focus Pre-Christmas Test Drive Festival)
  • November 20 to December 20, 2018 — SM City Cebu
  • November 29 to December 5, 2018 — SM Megamall

Please visit www.mgmotor.com.ph for more info. Follow MG Philippines on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


This feature was produced in collaboration between GadgetMatch and MG Philippines.

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Automotive

5 driving tips for pregnant women

What to do to ensure the safest drive

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Illustration by MJ Jucutan

It’s 2018 and women can drive. And you know what? They can even drive while pregnant. 😎

But, having and growing another person inside of you entails special considerations. To ensure the safest and most comfortable drive, I’ve rounded up a checklist for those expecting.

Make yourself comfortable

Considering you’re driving around an instant two people, make sure you’re comfortable when you get behind the wheel. Being nice and cozy in the driver seat before you head out ensures less distractions when you’re already driving.

Adjust your seat so that you have enough room. We know the right positioning can be a little confusing because of how your body has changed, but as a general rule, your breastbone should be 10 inches from the steering wheel. You can even pack small pillows for your back to make sure it has proper support.

Use the seat belt properly

Yep, it can get tricky. But, here’s how it should go:

Your seat belt should be below your belly bump and the lock should be at your hips. The shoulder belt should run across your breasts to the side of your bump. Remove extra layers like thick jackets to make sure everything is fastened and secured in the right places.

Take breaks

There’s no shame in stopping to take a driving breather. You are carrying another human, so you’re excused. Make sure you stop and pause every 90 minutes for a toilet break. Use this opportunity to rest your feet and relax.

Be prepared

Like a true girl scout, make sure you’ve stocked your car with supplies and much-needed snacks. Always have a bottle of water ready and pick health food you can nibble on ahead of time for your drives. Have all your info with you in the car — including your doctor’s number and pregnancy details — just in case. Also, it helps to plan your routes ahead and schedule your drives.

Check yourself

You know yourself best so before heading out, assess how you feel. Make sure you’re feeling alright and consider how you’ll be feeling in the coming hour. Be honest with yourself and recognize that there might be days when you’re better off not heading out on your own. The best preparation is prevention.

Lastly, congratulations girl! 🎉


Thanks to our friends at Ford for sending over some driving tips and inspiring this piece. 

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