Refreshed Toyota Hilux, Kia Stonic PH launch

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“It’s finally here, ladies and gents: Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has officially unveiled the refreshed Hilux. Now, we’ll cut the dilly-dally and get right to it—let’s talk about all the specs, features, prices, and variants of this facelifted truck.

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“It appears the initial price list we acquired checks out from top to bottom. In case you missed that one, here they are again:

2020 Toyota Hilux

  • Toyota Hilux 2.8 4×4 Conquest AT – P1,830,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.8 4×4 Conquest MT – P1,755,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 Conquest AT – P1,455,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 Conquest MT – P1,380,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 G AT – P1,295,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 G MT – P1,220,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 E MT – P1,113,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×4 J MT – P1,148,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 J MT – P952,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 FX MT (with rear A/C) – P1,057,000 
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 FX MT (without rear A/C) – P1,029,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 Cargo MT – P936,000
  • Toyota Hilux 2.4 4×2 Cab & Chassis MT – P843,000

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“The Hilux’s front fascia is what gets the majority of the changes with this refresh. The grille is now wider and extends further downward, taking up part of the old front bumper’s real estate, and the chrome bits have been replaced with blacked-out trim. The truck also gets new-look foglamp housings and alloy wheels.”

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“How about that? When we received word just a couple of days ago that a few units of the facelifted Toyota Fortuner have arrived at Toyota Motor Philippines’ (TMP) plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna, we had no photos to show for it. Well, ladies and gents, now we do.

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“We just received a photo from reader Judiel Rei Umahon Aguilon, and it appears that the new Fortuner really is here on our shores. The new units were spotted somewhere in Batangas— a bit far from where the first few units supposedly landed, but still on local roads nevertheless. And while the lone image is a bit blurry, it’s enough for us to see the blacked-out grille and the redesigned bumper to conclude that this is, in fact, the facelifted model.”

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“If you’ve been waiting on the local launch of the Kia Stonic, you won’t have to wait much longer. The subcompact crossover is being introduced to the market in October 2020, but Kia Philippines has decided to reveal the vehicle’s official prices and variants way earlier.

“The Korean car manufacturer’s upcoming crossover will be available in three variants: The Stonic LX MT, Stonic LX AT, and Stonic EX AT. All units will come equipped with a 1.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Manual units will generate up to 94hp, while higher-end automatic ones produce up to 99hp.

“Check out the Kia Stonic’s official Philippine prices and variants below:”

2020 Kia Stonic

  1. Kia Stonic LX MT – P735,000
  2. Kia Stonic LX AT – P835,000
  3. Kia Stonic EX AT – P925,000

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“It’s been quite a year for Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic. The carmaker has launched a new vehicle each month since June, and it’ll be keeping its streak alive this month with the upcoming launch of the refreshed Hilux.

“But as big as the past few months have been for the country’s top-selling brand, it appears that TMP is saving one of its biggest launches for the last quarter of 2020. You see, we have just received word from a trusted source that a few units of the facelifted Fortuner—the one that debuted in Thailand alongside the new Hilux back in June—have already arrived at TMP’s plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna.

“We have no photos to confirm this just yet, but taking into consideration TMP’s activity over the last four months or so, the launch of the Fortuner doesn’t sound too farfetched at all. Especially since the new-look SUV was first launched right next to the new Hilux, a truck that’s already on its way here.”

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“The list of locally available electric vehicles (EV) continues to grow, and this time it’s Mitsubishi Motors Philippines (MMPC) adding to the roster.

“The new vehicle in MMPC’s stable is the Outlander PHEV, a vehicle that was first announced back in January. This is a plug-in hybrid SUV that packs a 2.4-liter in-line-four mill that generates 128hp and 199Nm combined with two electric motors—one up front (60kW, 137Nm) and one out back (70kW, 195Nm)—and a 13.8kWh lithium-ion battery.

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“With this setup, the Outlander PHEV can drive up to 55km on solely electric power. For total fuel consumption, Mitsubishi claims the SUV is capable of achieving 16.6km/L. As for its charging capabilities, the Outlander can fully recharge in about 5.5 hours with a standard power outlet at home. Quick charging is also available, and through this the battery can recharge up to 80% in just 25 minutes. These motors also enable the vehicle’s 4WD capabilities, with its super all-wheel control setup.”

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“Sigh. Yet another two-seat, mid-engined supercar that snatches 100kph from rest in under 3sec and tops the 200mph mark. Butterfly doors, all-carbon construction, an eight-speed dual-clutch paddle-shift, rear-wheel drive, and clever electronics. It will be exclusive, yet bespoke. Track-ready, yet a comfortable daily driver. Simple, but complex.

“The script is getting old, and you’d think in a world increasingly turned on by efficiency and covert consumption, another addition to the supercar ranks would slip quietly into the long night. But this one is made by Maserati. Maserati.

“Suddenly, we’re listening.

“The reason that ears are pricked is mainly that Maserati is still an effortlessly cool brand. If you couldn’t work a Merak or a Khamsin into your retro fantasies, then at least there’d be a place for a blocky bi-turbo. Less flash and more cheerful than Ferrari, more characterful than McLaren, lacking the bawdy—but joyful—aggression of a Lamborghini.

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“Admittedly, things have been a little fallow in recent years, the GranTurismo and GranCabrio twins feeling outpaced before their death, the Ghibli and the Quattroporte not capturing the imagination like they should. The Levante may be a decent SUV, but the soul of the company does not live two feet from the floor, have four-wheel drive, and seat five plus luggage. Maserati, despite all that, has history and reputation, mystique and back story. And now, once again, it has a supercar. A supercar called the MC20.”

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“We bet you weren’t expecting this today. Meet the Aston Martin Victor, a one-off commission made by the company’s Q division and utilizing a greatest-hits package of what the company has learned from the One-77, the Vulcan, and the Valkyrie. Yowzer.

“Knowing where to start is tough, but let’s go bottom up. Underpinning the whole thing is a refurbished carbon monocoque chassis from the One-77, which is also where the Victor’s front-mounted 7.3-liter V12 engine has been sourced. It produced 750hp when the One-77 launched a decade ago which—said no one ever—is not enough.

“It’s been sent back to Cosworth for another fettle and has returned producing a significantly more terrifying 836hp (and 821Nm of torque), still without a turbo in sight. Yep, 836hp via natural aspiration. The noise is going to be good, isn’t it?

“It drives the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox—in place of the One-77’s automated unit—making this the most powerful stick-shift Aston Martin road car ever. There is a ‘bespoke motorsport clutch,’ and we probably don’t need to explain why. Helping its driver manage all of that are the inboard springs and dampers of the track-only Vulcan, with ginormous Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and race-car-esque center-lock wheels at the end of them.”

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“We all know that the new Nissan Z Proto is coming—the Japanese carmaker confirmed that right at the start of the month. And while a series of teasers for the next-generation Z car have surfaced over the past couple of weeks, we still haven’t got a real proper look at the entire thing.

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“Now, Nissan has revealed yet another new teaser, and it still doesn’t show much. But it does confirm something that we know a lot of people will like: The upcoming Z Proto will come with a manual gearbox—a six-speed, we assume. There’s no word yet if there’ll be other options to choose from, but we’ll take all the sneak peeks we can get at this point.”

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“There’s just no two ways about it: The Suzuki Jimny, as great an off-roader and as fun a car it is, isn’t a very practical vehicle. A large part of this is due to its cramped rear, from where you’re likely to get an earful regarding your choice of ride.

“If this is the case, we may have found a solution: Ditch your rear passengers and buy this two-seat light commercial vehicle version instead. Hey, who needs friends when you can own a Suzuki Jimny in peace, right? Kidding aside, the Japanese car manufacturer has introduced a two-seater version of its tiny little off-roader in Europe,  and it makes for a viable option if you have no intentions to ever have people sitting in the back.”

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“Anything past a cool P4 million is a lot for an SUV around these parts—that’s about the range for the likes of the Toyota Land Cruiser and the Nissan Patrol. If you’re willing to climb past P5 million, you might as well start looking at European offerings, too.

“And then you come across the VinFast President, which packs a 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of 420hp and 624Nm. The carmaker doesn’t mention it on its official website, but the price of this thing is currently making its rounds online. According to a report by the Nikkei Asian Review, this Vietnamese-made luxury SUV will be limited to just 500 units priced at $164,000 each.

“That figure is just a smidge under P8 million. Its a lot for a vehicle carrying a relatively unfamiliar badge, at least to the eyes of consumers outside of the SUV’s home country. It’s promising to see, though, that Vinfast doesn’t seem content to just be that aspiring carmaker from Vietnam.”

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