Automotive

Toyota concept car looks like it was built by aliens

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Toyota Concept-i

While lots of gadgets showcased at CES will grow up to become real products one day, others seem like they were dropped on Earth by alien spaceships.

A perfect example is the Toyota Concept-i, which is a concept car through and through. Just look at it; you can’t get anymore prototype-y than this!


Toyota Concept-i

Toyota Concept-i

Although the biggest attention-grabber is its futuristic design, Toyota is keen on highlighting its use of artificial intelligence to understand your needs and act accordingly.

The car’s software is called Yui, and it works a lot like Google’s Assistant or Apple’s Siri, but way better. It’s there for you to form a relationship with the car, according to Toyota. It’ll learn your behavior and driving patterns, then use that information to predict the best-possible moves.

Yui is geared more towards being a buddy, rather than a machine you command. By doing so, the driver’s bond with the car will be more organic and immersive, or so Toyota says.

Toyota Concept-i

In fact, it’s so immersive that there are biometric sensors on board to read your emotions. If you’re feeling angry or sad, the car can take over and drive you safely to your destination. A little creepy, huh?

The official website of the Concept-i is loaded with lots of ways on how the vehicle makes the driving experience a warmer and friendlier one. As an example, the headlights can wink at you — we’re serious!

On-road evaluations in Japan will apparently begin in the “next few years,” but expect to see this all over streets when your grandchildren have grandchildren, or maybe another few decades after that.

Toyota Concept-i

Automotive

Toyota PH enters the hybrid space with its new Corolla Altis

The Corolla line continues

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Toyota Motor Philippines has just unveiled the newest Corolla Altis. There are five models to choose from including the company’s first hybrid variant in the country.

The new Altis comes with a fresh exterior and what sells it most are the pair of headlamps that wrap around its body. A large black grille adds weight to the front fascia and is then flanked by accented fog lamps.


Going around will also reveal an updated look. The taillights have been tweaked with added character in them — check out that strip of red light piercing through the trunk lid.

Inside, it carries a more straightforward approach with fewer frills and decorations. There’s a floating touch display right at the center and a simple layout for the climate control’s buttons and knobs right under it. A tri-spoke steering wheel is then mounted with buttons for media navigation and cruise control.

The top of the line variants get leather seats, an eight-way power-adjustable seat for the driver, reverse camera, and parking sensors.

It’s also got a lower center of gravity so you feel more confident taking on curves with a bit of speed. And in order to further improve visibility for the driver, the windshield has been increased and the A-pillars were made slimmer.

For a Corolla Altis with an internal combustion engine, it gets a 1.6-liter Dual VVT-i engine mated to either CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. If you’re choosing the hybrid variant, however, you get a 1.8-liter engine and an electric motor. Combined, they have an output of 121 horsepower.

Focusing more on the 1.8 V Hybrid variant, it has a set of features that further improve safety for the everyone inside the vehicle. It boasts a pre-collision system, lane tracing assist, dynamic radar cruise control, and more using a camera mounted at the top of its windshield.

It also comes with different driving modes like Eco, Normal, Sport, and EV that makes it run purely on electricity.

Pricing for the new Corolla Altis follows:

  • 1.6 E MT — PhP 999,000
  • 1.6 G MT —  PhP 1,045,000
  • 1.6 G AT — PhP 1,115,000
  • 1.6 V CVT — PhP 1,185,000
  • 1.8 V Hybrid CVT — PhP 1,580,000

The lineup is available in different colors, namely: Attitude Black, Red Mica Metallic, Silver Metallic, Freedom White (for G and E variants), Celestite Grey Metallic (for HEV, V, and G variants), and White Pearl (for HEV and V variants).

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Automotive

New Porsche Taycan perfectly merges latest tech and retro styling

An important milestone for the company

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Porsche has finally announced its first fully electric sports car.

Called the Porsche Taycan, its configuration and specs make it a competition to Tesla’s Model S although the new EV is far more expensive than Musk’s offerings. But while it features the latest tech, the Taycan still has that retro-ish look reminiscent of Porsche’s older models.


The stance, its slopes, and even accents remind us of the iconic Porsche 911. It has the familiar sloping hood with headlamps housed in a semi bulging design. According to the company, the driver will be seated with a low center of gravity — achieving that performance vehicle orientation.

Available in two variants, the Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S run on a dual electric motor setup that outputs an equivalent of 616 horsepower in the combustion world.

If that doesn’t impress you, both models have a ‘launch control’ mode that ups the ante to 670 horsepower for the Taycan Turbo and 750 horsepower for the Turbo S. This makes it possible for the Taycan Turbo to go from 0-60mph in three seconds and the Taycan Turbo S in just 2.6 seconds.

A 93kWh battery pack powers both models and the company says it is able to sustain power for extended periods of time without overheating the battery pack.

In terms of range, it was mentioned that it could go as far as 280 miles or around 450 kilometers before needing to plug in the vehicle. Charging is also one of their main highlights as the Taycan can be charged from 5 percent to 80 percent in under 23 minutes.

This is made possible via an 800-volt charging technology from Porsche which makes it sound like you’re simply filling up a smartphone’s battery.

The launch of the Porsche Taycan signifies a few things for the automotive industry. One is that Tesla now has a newfound competitor in terms of performance, at least (Model S is still significantly cheaper).

Another thing is that electric vehicles are really the future of mobility and we’re sure that more and more manufacturers will be coming out with their own electrified offerings in just a few years’ time.

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Automotive

New Mercedes-Benz CLA arrives in PH

Sporty, classy, and techy

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Auto Nation Group, the importer and distributor of Mercedes-Benz in the Philippines, just launched the new Mercedes-Benz CLA that features a sporty yet elegant design. It also comes with technology that makes driving a lot more enjoyable.

Continuing as a design icon, the second-gen CLA kept its sporty design as a four-door coupe. It has a long, stretched bonnet and flared wheel arches that make for a commanding presence. Meanwhile, a diamond grille and LED high-performance headlamps with daylight running lamps are what greets you up front.


Its GT rear end sports a unique design that they call a ‘Coke-bottle shoulder’ and comes with narrow tail lamps making things sleek and attractive. Rounding up the exterior are 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted with its leather-wrapped steering wheel while the seats, also wrapped in leather, have adjustable cushions for depth and angle. The interior also boasts an increased headroom and elbow room while the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split-folding orientation to accommodate more cargo space.

In terms of tech, the geek inside you will be glad to know that it features the latest generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system with a virtual assistant much like Apple’s Siri. It is activated through a press of a button on the steering wheel or by simply saying, “Hey Mercedes” from anywhere in the cabin.

The driver and passengers can use this feature to input destination, make a phone call, play music, and adjust the climate control. It’s also smart enough to recognize who’s speaking with its speech recognition program. Cool, right?

Finally, it supports Apple CarPlay for smartphone mirroring and hands-free experience and is displayed on one of its two 7-inch digital screens for the instrument cluster and media display.

Safety has always been a priority for Mercedes-Benz and the new CLA is equipped with Active Parking Assist with rear-view camera, Active Brake Assist, Adaptive brake lights, Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program, Acceleration Skid Control, and Hill-Start Assist.

Additionally, it comes with Pedestrian Protection Active bonnet and multiple airbags with windowbags and kneebag for the driver.

Under the hood is a 4-cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that produces 136hp and 200Nm of torque. Finally, depending on weather and road conditions, it’s got Dynamic Select that allows the driver to shift between various driving modes.

To further cater to its lively market, the new CLA is available in an array of colors to choose from including:

  • Polar White
  • Digital White
  • Night Black
  • Mountain Gray
  • Denim Blue
  • Sun Yellow
  • Jupiter Red
  • Mojave Silver
  • Cosmos Black

The Mercedes-Benz CLA 180 Progressive variant is priced at PhP 3,190,000 and is available in all Mercedes-Benz dealers nationwide.

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