Thursday, November 26, 2015

Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (Manila) expands scope to include Audi, Volkswagen

The Porsche Training and Recruitment Center Asia (PTRCA) is expanding its operations by welcoming Porsche's sister brands Audi and Volkswagen as its cooperation partners by sourcing out its personnel for its Middle East operations from the PTRCA.

Established by local Porsche importer and dealer PGA Cars, Inc. in 2008 with the cooperation of the Don Bosco Technical Institute (DBTI), the PTRCA has already trained more than 250 personnel as motor vehicle service mechatronic technicians for Porsche centers in over 11 countries across the Middle East and Asia Pacific. With the expansion of the training to include Audi and Volkswagen vehicles, the PTRCA expects the number of its trainees to increase from 32 per year to as many as 145 by 2017.

"Good English language skills and the good work ethic the people of the Philippines are known for are beneficial here," Porsche AG after-sales chief Michael Drolshagen said as the reason the German carmaker established the PTRCA in Manila. "But of course for us it means also practicing social responsibility. Because a qualification from the PTRCA not only gives these young adults access to the international labor market, it also gives them a real opportunity to noticeably improve their own living conditions and to strengthen their family environment."

As the PTRCA training for motor vehicle service mechatronic technicians for Porsche, Audi, and Volkswagen starts this year, sister brands Lamborghini and Bentley are reportedly planning to join as cooperation partners as well--a testament to how much the Philippine-trained mechanics are valued by the Volkswagen conglomerate.

"I am glad that we have--along with Don Bosco--established the success of the program from the initial idea from Porsche AG and us," shared PGA Cars owner and chairman Robert Coyiuto Jr. "Having reached our six year mark last December, we are confident of the skills of the graduates and long-term potential of the advanced training curriculum. The PTRCA not only provides a highly skilled and proficient labor force for the global Porsche and Volkswagen Group network but also provides the underprivileged yet highly deserving Filipino youth the opportunity to become breadwinners for their families. This also underlines the fact that as a successful company, we put a strong priority on our corporate social responsibility. This is my commitment."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We now have the engine specs of the all-new Toyota Innova--at least for Indonesia

Toyota Indonesia launched the all-new Toyota Innova yesterday, and though we've seen enough of the exterior and interior to know what the car looks like even before the vehicle's public debut, the Japanese carmaker remained mum on what engine or engines the popular MPV will get.

Well, we finally have those details, which were revealed at the launch, and much like its predecessor, the all-new Toyota Innova will be offered with a choice of either a diesel or gasoline engine--at least for the Indonesian market.

The 2.4-liter GD diesel engine will reportedly put out 147hp and either 342Nm of torque for the five-speed manual transmission-equipped variants or 360Nm for those with the six-speed automatic. The 2.0-liter VVT-i gasoline-fed mill though will produce 137hp and 183Nm of torque.

Yesterday's launch also revealed the all-new Toyota Innova's dimensions and its length, width, height and wheelbase measure 4735mm, 1830mm, 1795mm, and 2750mm, respectively.

In comparison, the outgoing model has the following dimensions: 4585mm, 1775mm, 1760mm, and 2750mm, respectively, which means the next-generation model is much larger than its predecessor.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Ford Ranger gets highest 5-Star ASEAN NCAP rating for its class

The updated Ford Ranger has received the highest 5-Star safety rating in its segment, with a score of 15.45/16 points for Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) based on the crash tests recently conducted by the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program (ASEAN NCAP).

"Achieving 5-star ASEAN-NCAP is an important milestone in the new Ranger's success story as we designed and developed this vehicle to challenge the conventional world of pickup trucks and provide customers with more class-leading safety features than ever," said Ford ASEAN President Mark Kaufman. “Safety is always Ford’s top priority. We are hugely proud of the results we have achieved and today's announcement is further proof that the new Ranger is true to our ‘Built Ford Tough’ heritage with outstanding levels of safety customers expect in this all-important vehicle segment.

According to the American carmaker, it has leveraged its global engineering tools and advanced safety technologies "to offer an unmatched level of occupant protection for the new Ranger." Passive and active safety components currently used by the Ranger include side impact protection beams, a collapsible steering column, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).

As for the actual unit tested by the ASEAN NCAP, it was equipped with dual front airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Roll Over Mitigation (ROM) and ISOFIX for child seat attachment.

ASEAN NCAP clarified though that due to the organization's prerequisites, Ranger variants that are not equipped with ESC and Seatbelt Reminder (SBR) for front passengers are relegated to a 4-Star AOP. As for the Child Occupant Protection (COP), it obtained 63% compliance, making it eligible for the 3-Star category rating.

ASEAN NCAP added that of the pickup trucks it has tested, the Ford Ranger's 15.45-point AOP score is the highest in its class, followed by the top-spec variant of the Mitsubishi Strada (15.22 points), the Chevrolet Colorado (14.19), the all-new Toyota Hilux (14.53), the standard Mitsubishi Strada variant (13.56), and the Isuzu D-Max (11.87).

This is what the all-new Toyota Innova looks like

Toyota Indonesia is set to publicly reveal the all-new Toyota Innova later this afternoon. But while we wait for the official specification sheet to be made available online, here are what we gathered on the Japanese carmaker's best-selling MPV in the ASEAN region.

The premium Q-Type diesel variant is equipped with LED projector headlamps, a Smart Close back door system, a pair of Captain's Chairs for second-row passengers, and 17-inch wheels. Inside, the cabin is more elegant with a sophisticated dashboard design that's dominated by an eight-inch advanced infotainment system and an automatic temperature adjustment air-conditioning system to go with the Eco-Normal-Power drive mode system. Lastly, illumination lamps in the headliner provide "premium ambient light" for "exquisite traveling comfort."

Though engine specs have yet to be revealed, Toyota Indonesia did share that two engines will be made available for the all-new Innova: a Super GD diesel engine and a Dual VVT-i gasoline mill.

So, what do you think of the all-new Toyota Innova?

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines releases statement on sudden uninteded acceleration claims for Montero Sport

Claims of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport being defective--specifically for an issue known as sudden unintended acceleration, or a vehicle supposedly accelerating forward with no driver input--has been going on since 2011. Someone even started a blog about it called simply as though it appears to have been deactivated for some time now.

Well, with the mainstream media and social networks recently reporting of Montero Sport owners once again experiencing the said issue,Mitsubshi Motors Philippines Corporation has issued its latest statement on the matter. You can read the Japanese carmaker's statement on the sudden unintended acceleration issue involving the Montero Sport in its entirety below:

"MMPC would like to assure the public that the Montero Sport is neither defective nor unsafe to use. MMPC and its principal Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan (MMC), has conducted extensive testing and investigation of all submitted claims of unintended acceleration, using current and available technology to determine the cause of said Unintended Acceleration but has not found any defects or cause directly linked to the vehicles involved.

MMC technical experts went to MMPC to conduct series of tests on the units with this complaint when it was first observed in 2011.

That same year, in the absence of an automotive third party testing facility in the Philippines, MMPC sent a Montero Sport unit with sudden unintended acceleration complaint to MMC's proving ground in Okazaki, Japan to be inspected and tested. In all these tests, MMC found no defect or malfunction that would result in the alleged sudden unintended acceleration.

MMC and MMPC have concluded that the performance and behavior of the Montero Sport is completely dependent on driver action and reaction, and that the vehicle will only move upon driver intervention.

Nonetheless, MMPC is committed to consumer safety and earnestly request owners of Montero Sport that if they have concerns about this issue, to contact Mitsubishi Customer Care Center at telephone number (+632) 250-8888, Monday to Friday, or visit any of our service centers nationwide for a free check-up. During the free check-up, qualified personnel will also provide tips on the best and safest way of operating the vehicle."

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand has now produced four million vehicles

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh) marked a milestone in its 28 years of existence by producing its four millionth vehicle. To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held that was attended by Thai government officials and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation President & Chief Operating Officer Tetsuro Aikawa.

"I'm very happy to be here with you to commemorate MMTh's achievement of four million units produced and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Thai government and all parties concerned for their continued cooperation and support rendered to MMTh," Aikawa said in his speech during the ceremony. "Moving on we will continue to place our Thai operations as the core of our business, devoting ourselves to producing vehicles that will exceed customers' expectations, and expand our operations in step with the Thai automobile industry."

Mitsubishi Thailand's production facility is located in the Laem Chabang Industrial Estates in the Chonburi Province and I was lucky enough to be part of the Top Gear Philippines team to go on a factory tour there in May 2012. We were actually there to test drive the Mirage subcompact hatchback prior to its launch in the Philippines in December of that same year.

Mitsubishi Thailand actually has three factories in the area to accommodate the production of five of its models for both the domestic and international market: the Lancer EX, the Mirage hatchback and the Mirage G4 sedan, the Strada (which was launched earlier this tear), and the all-new Montero Sport which will be launched locally in January 2016.

Congratulations, Mitsubishi Motors Thailand!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Restaurant Review: Lucky House Lumpia & Fried Chicken Restaurant - Comfort Chinese food in the middle of Sampaloc, Manila

Eating out is always a treat, especially when you discover a new eating place that serves your favorite comfort food at affordable prices. Luckily for us, we discovered a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant near our house that offers all that!

The place is called Lucky House Lumpia and Fried Chicken Restaraunt and it's located at the corner of A.H. Lacson Avenue and S.H. Loyola Street in Sampaloc, Manila--about a couple of blocks from the University of Santo Tomas from the corner of EspaΓ±a and  A.H. Lacson going toward Roxas Boulevard. We actually discovered the place as we were driving home one night since it was brightly lit and was one of the first establishments to open up at the new building that occupied the lot. Anyway, as we were pondering what to have for dinner one night, we thought of trying out the new place and instead of ordering the food to-go, we thought we'd just drive there and save ourselves the hassle of washing the dishes after eating--a chore that often falls to me!

Anyway, when we first saw the place, the wife said the name reminded her of an old Chinese restaurant she used to go to with her family. Owing to the newness of the location though, everything about the place seemed spotless, thanks in part to the stainless steel kitchen counter tops, shelves, and even the plates and cups used to serve the food and water. Another nice touch was the glass wall that separated the kitchen from the dining area so that if you were seated right beside it, you can actually see your food being prepared!

Unfortunately, we weren't able to take a photo of the menu, considering it only had a few items on it, but the good news is that everything is relatively affordable. So, I ordered the Chinese kikiam, Rachel and Dylan had the chicken mami, and Dana sampled the Chinese fried chicken. We only waited for around 15 minutes and our food was immediately served to us. To our pleasant surprise, my meal and Dana's came with a bowl of soup which we think is made of the same broth as the one used in the mami.

So, the Chinese Kikiam was cooked to perfection as it was crisply fried outside and yet was still juicy inside. It also came with its own sweet and sour sauce which complemented the kikiam well but was made too thick for my taste as I prefer it to bee a little runny. Still, it wasn't bad for P88.

I also sampled the Chinese Friend Chicken and it was very crisp and flavorful, with a taste that's quite close to Sincerity's which is the benchmark for all similar dishes. The order had three pieces of chicken and came with its own gravy. At P110, it's the most expensive dish on the menu.

As for the Chicken Mami, it came in a deep bowl and actually had a lot of meat in it as opposed to other restaurants that only put a few so at P88, it was very much worth it. The soup also tasted unique; very different from Masuki or Ma Mon Luk and yet was very much Chinese in flavor.

While Rachel and the kids had water and soda, respectively, I ordered the Sago't Gulaman which came in a big, glass mug and had lots of the, well, sago't gulaman that it was also worth it at P38.

While we were eating, more customers came in but with only two tables for four and two tables for two, the restaurant quickly became full. Fortunately, a couple of customers ordered their food to-go so the wait for a vacant table wasn't too long. There were (I think) three more tables outside that could probably seat at least six more people though the weather poses a problem since the area is exposed to the elements.

So, will we be eating there again? Definitely. It's not often you find a restaurant that serves good yet affordable food near your house. We also saw the Fresh Lumpia being made for one of the customers then and promised ourselves that we'll certainly try that next time.

UPDATE: We finally got a photo of the menu on our second visit to the place and it's a totally new one with a lot of new dishes being added to it like the Lumpiang Shanghai and Kuchai Dumpling.

Photos taken with Starmobile Muse

Friday, November 20, 2015

#FaptasticFriday: Former porn star Bree Olson

Former porn star Bree Olson is back in the news, though it's for all the wrong reasons!

Charlie Sheen recently revealed that he has been HIV-positive for four years already, a revelation that has had a very tremendous impact on Bree's life since, based on the timeline of their relationship, she was one of the "goddesses" living with him just before he found out about his illness!

While Bree maintains that she has herself tested for sexually transmitted diseases annually and has so far been free of the virus, Sheen's sympathizers and Olson's conservative critics accuse her of infecting him with HIV simply because of her former profession. Bree left the business in 2011, at around the time she became one of his "goddesses."

In an interview with Howard Stern, Bree also revealed that she and Charlie "had sex almost everyday for a year." Bree also shared that she and Charlie had sex bareback whenever she was "safe" during her menstrual period and that whenever they used protection, it was only by using a lambskin condom which supposedly only prevents pregnancy and not the transmittal of STDs.

No disrespect to Bree but in support of her and what she's going through, she's our honoree hottie for #FaptasticFriday! We're with you, Bree!

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

A photo posted by Bree Olson (@breeolson) on

Hyundai Philippines to launch all-new Hyundai Elantra this December!

Hyundai Asia Resources (HARI), the Philippines' authorized distributor for Hyundai cars and SUVs, has revealed that it is launching the all-new Hyundai Elantra this December--just three months after the compact sedan was launched globally in its home market of South Korea and just two weeks after its North American launch at the Los Angeles Auto Show which opened its doors today.

The all-new Hyundai Elantra bears an updated version of the Fluidic Sculpture design language which now goes by as Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 and which it shares with the Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs. So instead of the sweeping lines and curves that dominated the design of the current-generation Elantra, the upcoming model sports more angular lines starting with Hyundai's signature hexagonal grille "that projects a distinctive character when combined with its modern lighting signatures," which includes HID headlights with Dynamic Bending Lights that illuminate a corner as the car turns around it and unique vertical LED daytime running lights which are firsts for Elantra.

The Elantra's lower front fascia also reportedly has functional front wheel air curtains which are derived from the Sonata Hybrid to help minimize turbulence and wind resistance by managing air flow from the front of the vehicle and around the wheels. Other aerodynamic aids the Korean carmaker fitted to the Elantra to give it a drag coefficient of 0.27 are underbody covers, an aerodynamic rear bumper bottom spoiler and a specially-designed rear decklid with an expanded trunk edge.

Externally, the Elantra's length and width has grown by an inch while its height and wheelbase remain the same. While the increase may seem minuscule at first, it supposedly is enough for its interior volume of 110.2 cubic feet (3,121 liters) to be comparable to hat of a midsize car, making it larger than the Ford Focus (103.9cu.ft. or 2,942L) and the Mazda 3 (108.7cu.ft. or 3,078L).

The design of the dashboard of the all-new Elantra, particularly that of the center console, is more straightforward and driver-oriented than its predecessor, with an emphasis on "intuitive control, improved interior roominess, high-quality materials and premium technology features." A 4.2-inch color TFT LCD screen sits high in the dash for improved driver visibility and functionality while the climate and infotainment controls are not only laid out horizontally and grouped together by function but are angled toward the driver seven degrees "for optimal ergonomics."

Hyundai also has its eye on using renewable materials by manufacturing the Elantra's seats out of SoyFoam, an ecological-friendly seating foam that makes use of hydroxyl-functionalized soybean oil instead of petroleum-based polyol.

The US-market Elantra will get the turbocharged 1.4-liter GDI mill that produces 128hp and 156lb.ft. (212Nm) of torque out of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and the 2.0 Atkinson-cycle engine that puts our 147hp and 132lb.ft. (179Nm) of torque through either a six-speed manual transmission or next-generation six-speed automatic transmission. The South Korean model, on the other hand, is currently offered with either the 1.6-liter powerplant of the current model that has 130hp and 161Nm, the same 2.0-liter engine as the US model, and a 1.6-liter diesel that has 134hp and 300Nm of torque. As for the Philippine-market Elantra, we'll have to wait for HARI's official announcement though we're likely to get at least the 1.6-liter gasoline mill from Korea.

So, what do you think of the all-new Hyundai Elantra? 

Nissan Philippines updates the Nissan Almera

Nissan Philippines has updated the Nissan Almera subcompact sedan, giving it not only a new front fascia to make it resemble the current design of the Japanese carmaker across nearly its entire product line but also by producing a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder model that's perfect for fleet deployment.
Up front, a new front bumper, boomerang-shaped headlights, and a bolder front grille dominate the design while out back, a new rear bumper with black diffuser cladding and a large lip spoiler complement the sporting look of the newly-designed 12-spoke alloy wheels.


Inside, a new center cluster layout with a piano black finish add to the premium feel and look of the cabin with the leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats in the range-topping VL variant.

Produced in Nissan Philippines' Santa Rosa, Laguna plant, the new Nissan Almera is reportedly 30% more affordable to maintain than its pre-updated version thanks to the use of upgraded, high quality parts and technology, "which lengthens the intervals between periodic maintenance service (PMS)."

While the same 1.5-liter, 99PS (98hp) and 134Nm of torque  four-cylinder engine soldiers on in the engine bay of the new Almera, a new 1.2-liter, 79PS (78hp) and 106Nm of torque three-cylinder engine paired to a five-speed manual transmission is now available for the base variant, "ensuring maximum fuel efficiency, without compromising driving pleasure."

The new Nissan Almera is now available in five different variants:

1.2L M/T - P630,000
1.5L E M/T - P726,000
1.5L E A/T - P762,000
1.5L V A/T - P845,000
1.5 VL A/T - P880,000.

It is also available in Brilliant Silver, Alpine White, Bluish Black, and Titanium Grey.

Photos taken with Fujifilm FinePix XP80

The girls of the 2015 Manila Auto Salon

I recently featured some of the cars which graced Halls 1 and 2 of the SMX Mall of Asia Convention Center for the 2015 Manila Auto Salon. And just like any other car show, girls were also in abundance to draw in the largely male crowd - although we caught a few females admiring the machines as well, like the cute girl below.

While there were some new faces at the show, the familiar ones were there as well, including #BeastMode girl (not #Beastmode boy, thankfully) and recent Miss World Philippines finalist Jannie Alipo-on.

You can check out the photos of some of the girls I saw at the show below.

Photos taken with Fujifilm FinePix XP80

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The cars of the 2015 Manila Auto Salon

Even before I became a motoring journalist, I've been attending car shows for years being the Typical Guy that I am. As a matter of fact, I was at the very first Trans Sport Show - the country's longest-running car show which is organized by the same group behind the Manila Auto Salon - which was held at the parking area of the then-new Shangri-La Mall way back in either 1992 or 1993, if I remember correctly. Anyway, since Tradeshow International boss Sophie Delos Santos invited me to the 2015 Manila Auto Salon's ribbon-cutting ceremony last November 12, I just had to be there.

The Manila Auto Salon is patterned after the Tokyo Auto Salon, which showcases the latest aftermarket modifications and products in Japan annually, so it's pretty much the same for the local counterpart as the country's top tuners and mod shops displayed their newest creations.

As I walked around the expansive halls of the SMX Mall of Asia Convention Center, which has been the venue of Tradeshow International's events for years now,  I noticed that the most popular vehicle to mod this year is the Toyota FJ Cruiser, with no less than six models on display - and that's a very conservative estimate - and one even belonging to fellow motoring scribe Botchi Santos. As a matter of fact, roughly half the vehicles on display were either SUVs or pickup trucks. In truth, this doesn't even accurately reflect vehicle sales in the Philippines as industry sources peg that nearly 70% of vehicles sold in the country are light commercial vehicles, which is the category where SUVs and pickups fall under, and not cars.

I'm a car guy though so what I was really there for were the cars, bannered by last year's Best in Show winner, the Liberty Walk-kitted Nissan GT-R.

The most noticeable--and arguably the most popular--car on display was Car Porn Racing's C6 Chevrolet Corvette which was first modified to look like the current C7 model and then fitted with an extra-wide body kit. Designed in collaboration with digital automotive rendering artist Jon Sibal, the Corvette was given the name Black Manta by Car Porn Racing boss Ian King - a name that truly fits the vehicle down to the matte black paint.

Anyway, check out some of the cars that were on display at the 2015 Manila Auto Salon.

Photos taken with Fujifilm FinePix XP80

Sunday, November 15, 2015

MMDA announces more road closures, alternate routes for APEC Forum

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has announced more road closures which will take effect after midnight of November 16 to 12 midnight on November 20. I've taken the liberty of posting the said road closures - which will include stretches of BOTH the northbound and southbound lanes of Roxas Boulevard from Luneta all the way to Vito Cruz! - and the corresponding alternate routes to take as shared by the agency.

Also, despite the 18th and 19th being declared as a public holiday in Metro Manila across all sectors, the MMDA will still enforce the Number Coding Scheme throughout the week.

Good luck to us all next week because it's definitely going to be carmageddon! As if the traffic on an ordinary day isn't bad enough already...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

#FaptasticFriday: Model and Hollywood actress Xian Mikol

Yes, this came out a day late - as least locally in the Philippines - but hey, it's still Friday on the other side of the globe so this, technically, still counts.

Anyway, our #FaptasticFriday honoree hottie is Xian Mikol, an actress and model in the United States and who's supposedly of Norwegian, Irish, German, Chinese descent. How she has remained relatively unknown is, well, unknown considering that she's drop-dead gorgeous and sexy at  five feet and nine inches tall with a 34-25-36 figure, at least according to Victoria's Secret doesn't know what it's missing by not having Xian as one of its Angels.

How I discovered Xian was completely by accident and through the most unusual circumstance. My kids were actually watching the 2007 live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movie on DVD. Alvin and company had just been signed by a major record label and one of the perks given to them by their producer Ian, played by David Cross, was that they now had a maid to pick up after them. Although her appearance was for only a few seconds, her fetching maid outfit and pretty face was enough to get me hooked on her. And from what I've learned, the sexiest shoot she's done so far is for You have to check out the ones of her in a wet t-shirt, like the one above.

Too bad she recently got married though so she's officially off the market. Anyway, you can check out some more of Xian's photos through her Instagram account. Enjoy!

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

A photo posted by Xian Mikol (@xizzlebizzle) on

Mazda 2, Nissan Navara 4x2 are the Philippines' 2015 Car, Truck of the Year

After four days of exhaustive testing which saw the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) test nearly 80 vehicles that are either brand-new to the Philippine market or have received substantial changes in its powertrain, drivetrain, suspension or activity systems "that affect the way they drive or operate," the country's premiere automotive award-giving body have named the Mazda 2 R Four-Door Sedan and the Nissan NP300 Navara 4x2 EL as the 2015 Car and Truck of the Year, respectively.

Congratulations to Berjaya Auto Philippines, Mazda's authorized  dealer in the country, and Nissan Philippines for their well-deserved awards. Kampai!

2015 Car of the Year-Philippines: Mazda 2 R Four-Door Sedan

2015 Truck of the Year-Philippines: Nissan NP300 Navara 4x2 EL

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Ford's releases Small but Mighty short films inspired by its EcoBoost engine technology

Ford Motor Company has released a series of short films that celebrate the theme Small but Mighty, a trait that was supposedly inspired by the American carmaker's much-celebrated range of EcoBoost engines.

Ford's EcoBoost engines are known for producing the same amount of power as larger-displacement naturally aspirated engines but consume less fuel and thereby generate fewer emissions. The brand then challenged filmmakers to create short films "that capture the spirit of what the engine range is all about, and demonstrate a moment in life, a person or an idea that is Small but Mighty."

Ford introduced the first EcoBoost engine to the world in 2009. Since then, five million EcoBoost-equipped vehicles have been sold globally. For the Asia Pacific region, demand for the engine range is growing as Ford plans to launch more vehicles equipped with the fuel-efficient technology. By the end of 2015, Ford will offer its EcoBoost technology in the Asia Pacific in more than 20 vehicles.

In the Philippines, Ford offers the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost in the Fiesta. Other EcoBoost engines are also available in the Ford Escape, Mustang, Explorer Sport, Expedition, and more recently, the new Focus.

Now, check out the short films below and let me know which one's your favorite.


Honda Cars Philippines launches special edition Honda City with features exclusive to the local market

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) has launched a special edition variant of its Honda City subcompact sedan that is packed with features that are exclusive to the local market.

The New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition was conceived based on the joint research of the local market that was conducted by the HCPI Research Planning & Development Team and a representative from Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Japan. Based on their findings, the Philippine market reportedly prefers a child-friendly vehicle that also protects its occupants from both the heat and airborne allergens.

As such, the New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition's front doors have been fitted with UV Cut Glass windows that "minimizes the penetration of UV rays and infrared lights by approximately 99%," making it ideal for the country's tropical environment. A speed-sensing Auto Door Lock system has also been added to the car which automatically locks the vehicle's doors once it reaches 15kph and then unlocks them when the shift lever is set to Park Mode (P). A Panic Button has also been added to the car's key fob that, when pressed for a few seconds, activates the horns and flashes the headlights and park lights to attract attention.

The New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition also comes with a free Sharp Plasmacluster with Ion Technology which reduces airborne allergens and microbes through the increased number of positive and negative ions as well as helps remove unwanted odors "and moisturizes the skin when constantly used."

Powering the New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition is the same 1.5 Liter i-VTEC engine and Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) developed under Honda's Earth Dreams Technology that powers the rest of the nameplate. It is also equipped with the Eco Assist system, which features the ECON mode "that controls the engine, drive-by-wire, transmission, and air-conditioning performance" and promotes fuel-efficient driving. And just like the rest of the vehicles in its product lineup, the New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition is also Euro 4 compliant.

To set the New City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition apart from its nameplate siblings, it sports an exclusive, all-new Ruby Red Pearl exterior color although it's also available in Gold Brown Metallic and Taffeta White exterior.

The New Honda City 1.5 E CVT Special Edition is now available in Honda dealerships nationwide at P819,000.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Petron adds Lamborghini to its Petron Collectibles toys

From giving away Porsche toy cars to loyal customers the past few years, Petron has added Lamborghini touch-activated toy cars to its Petron Collectibles.

Measured at 1:32 scale or roughly six inches long, the Lamborghini touch-activated car reacts depending on what part of the car you touch: engine start when you touch the driver's window; engine revs for the passenger window; accelerates for the windshield; and drifts for the back panel.

Five different-colored Lamborghini toy cars are available to customers. The Aventador LP700-4 in black or white and the Huracan LP610-4 in green, orange, or red.

To get one of the five cars, a customer must present a single or accumulated receipts worth P500 of Petron Euro 4 fuels - specifically the Petron Blaze 100, Petron XCS, Petron Xtra Advance, Petron Super Xtra, Petron Diesel Max, and Petron Turbo Diesel - to be entitled to purchase the touch-activated Lamborghini toy car for only P250.

The touch-activated Lamborghini toy car from Petron Collectibles is available at over 1,500 participating Petron stations nationwide until December 15, 2015.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Starmobile's latest flagship smartphone boasts dual rear camera system!

Starmobile has always been in the forefront of technology with its products as it often pioneers the latest features much ahead of its local counterparts. Its latest flagship phone is no different as the Starmobile KNIGHT Spectra is the first Philippine-branded smartphone to be equipped with a dual rear camera system.

According to the brand, the dual camera setup works in tandem "to deliver amazing shots," with the 2-Megapixel sensor constantly gathering information like light, exposure, and distance which allows the larger 13-Megapixel sensor "to take brilliant photos more accurately and quickly."

"The result is faster focusing, amazing colors, sharper details, and automatic distortion correction the likes of which can only be found in high end point and shoot cameras," Starmobile Chief Operating Officer Michael Chen said in a statement.

As for the Star Cam functions, these supposedly enhance the photo's quality by giving users more creative freedom through the following options: 
  • Super ReFocus, which allows users to choose the focal point of a shot after taking a photo by having the dual rear camera takes a photo at 10 varying lengths before compressing them into a single file so users can focus on a single object just by tapping on it;
  • Chroma Flash, which enhances flash photography by taking two photos in rapid succession, one with flash and one without it, and combines them into a single photo with just the right exposure; and
  • Opti Zoom, which shoots multiple photos simultaneously to enhance the texture and sharpness of zoomed-in images.
Other notable features of the KNIGHT Spectra are its Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system, Octa Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chipset (64-bit), 3GB RAM, 32GB internal memory and a micro SD expansion slot of up to 64GB, LTE and digital TV connectivity, scratch-resistant glass (front and back), and a 5.5-inch full-HD AMOLED screen.

"The Starmobile KNIGHT Spectra is our most advanced cameraphone to date," Chen added. "With its unique dual rear sensors and built-in Star Cam functionality it takes the mobile point-and-shoot experience to even greater heights."

The Starmobile KNIGHT Spectra will be available in Starmobile stores and resellers by the fourth week of November 2015 for P14,990.