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

General Motors unveils a flying Cadillac taxi concept

Personal taxis of the future may look like this

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CES 2021 continues to wow everyone with the launching of new products and the unveiling of concept products that could become a reality one day. One such concept product showed at CES is the flying Cadillac taxi concept by General Motors (GM).

The flying taxi concept is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle, eliminating the need for any runway. Based on the exhibit by GM, it is a single-seater with eight coaxial rotors on the side. The vehicle will also operate autonomously with an electric motor and a 90-kWh battery powering it. The motor also enables the flying taxi to speed up to 56 mph.

Further details about the Cadillac flying taxi are scarce beyond these basic specifications. GM says that this concept is part of its “multi-modal future”: the taxi will act as a personal ferry between two points. Upon arriving at these points, a person can take another electric vehicle to carry them to their destination.

The flying taxi is also a part of GM’s new Ultium platform, which is its in-house solution for EV fleets. As for real-world availability, GM hasn’t disclosed anything so the final product may look drastically different than this one. However, it still is a cool concept that could bode well in the future.

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Apple and Hyundai are partnering for an electric car in 2024

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For years, the enigmatic Apple Car has popped in and out of the limelight. Merely because of the volume of reports, the company is certainly working on a vehicle for the future. Finally, the rumored vehicle gets some much-needed confirmation. After several reports, Apple and Hyundai are partnering for an electric car in 2024.

Late last week, an ambiguous rumor reported as much. According to a South Korean outlet, both companies were reportedly in early talks for such a partnership. At the time, the electric car was supposedly entering production in 2027. However, both Apple and Hyundai denied the rumors, casting the report in doubt.

Today, however, a new report has updated last week’s seemingly debunked rumor, as reported by Reuters. This time, Korea IT News, a South Korean newspaper, confirmed the upcoming partnership of the two companies. Apple and Hyundai will reportedly ink the deal by March this year. And, instead of a 2027 deadline, the Apple Car will enter production by 2024.

Again, both companies have refused to comment on the potential partnership. Soon after, the newspaper removed the 2024 anticipated date. According to the same report, Apple and Hyundai will create and release a beta version of the vehicle next year.

Besides their iconic iPhones, Apple has dabbled in other industries over the past few years. For example, the company successfully released an Apple Card, its entry in the fintech industry.

SEE ALSO: Apple is developing its own search engine

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Automotive

Nissan offers exclusive discounts, low downpayment on select models

Save up to PhP 430,000 on your next Nissan purchase!

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Getting your first car is tempting this holiday season. Nissan has just extended its Safer Drives and Deals promo until December 31, offering exclusive discounts and savings on select models.

You can avail of up to PhP 430,000 discount when you buy a brand-new Nissan Patrol, Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Terra, Nissan Sylphy, Nissan Urvan, and Nissan Almera. Through Nissan’s financing program, you can also benefit from monthly offers such as PhP 5,769 downpayment with 0% interest for up to 24 months, or free amortization for up to 6 months on select vehicles.

Select variants of Nissan Navara also come with cash savings of up to PhP 185,000. Also bundled on this exclusive offer is a free bedliner accessory. However, this exclusive offer is only available through Nissan’s financing program.

If you are paying through cash though, you can still take advantage of cash discounts for other Nissan models. You can save up to PhP 330,000 on select variants of Nissan Patrol, Terra, X-Trail, Sylphy, Navara, Urvan, and Almera.

Meanwhile, an all-in low downpayment option for as low as PhP 28,000 is available for Nissan Almera, Sylphy, X-Trail, Terra, Navara, and Urvan. Downpayment options are available through select partner banks of authorized Nissan dealers.

Tempted to get a Nissan car already? Visit Nissan Philippines’ website for more information on their latest promo.

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