Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Subaru LEVORG (VM)

This is probably one of the most ideal cars to drive when you woke up at 3 o'clock in the morning and go out for an early cruise round the town. Sure, you have the roads with you at the time but in this new model I'll be tackling about, think of it like you're going away from your house in the suburbs, then travel round town until you reached your granny's house, which is about a few miles from a historic site. How lucky this scenario would be especially the car you were driving is an estate available only in Japan.

2015 Subaru LEVORG

This is the LEVORG and even though it has a very weird name, Subaru claims that this is a Real Sports Tourer as said in their advertising but come on, even though it's a sports tourer which is the size of the outgoing Legacy Touring Wagon, which will be phased out this year, I don't really hold much hope even though it's not going to be offered worldwide because it's available exclusively to the Japanese market.

Sure, it was similarly sized to the Legacy Touring Wagon but unlike the Legacy Touring Wagon, the LEVORG looks clean in the exterior design department and it looks handsome as well. The bonnet scoop adds a nice touch because what's underneath it are one of two DIT engines which I'll talk about it later but anyway, because it looks more like a European sports tourer, there's nothing to criticize about how the LEVORG looks and as for the interior...

2015 Subaru LEVORG interior

It's all typical Subaru interior in here but when fully equipped, you get the same experience that you felt from watching a very erotic Danish commercial. While taking an early morning cruise on a Tokyo highway, the LEVORG really soothes my mind and I don't need to worry a single thing or two because it's a very comfortable ride because it's as well-lubricated as a jar of Vaseline.

It's the first to offer Eyesight Ver. 3, which is the new and improved version of Subaru's very own pre-crash safety system. For Version 3, it integrates Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Braking and Vehicle Lane Departure Warning. If you have any doubts, handle this stuff with care.

So, on the city highways, the LEVORG is brilliant because of its comfort zone and the clever suspension setup that makes this tourer feel like in a different league but as dawn reaches and the open roads are in reach, the LEVORG starts to unravel.

2015 Subaru LEVORG

The LEVORG comes with two turbocharged petrol engines available and because they're turbocharged, you can expect them to be somewhat fun to drive but this car's no fool, though because even with the turbocharged engines, the only transmission available is a LINEARTRONIC CVT gearbox but different engine types offer different settings on the CVT gearbox. First, there's the FB16 DIT engine which develops a modest 170PS of power output and with the fuel economy of 17.4 km/liter (JC08 mode), it's quite okay to drive for a little bit longer and models rigged with the 1.6L DIT engine have two modes in the SI-DRIVE, determining the best gear control for fuel efficiency and driving enjoyment.

Then, there's the top of the line FA20 DIT engine which develops an impressive 300PS of power output and 400Nm of torque. With models using this high-performance engine, there's a S# in the SI-DRIVE and when set, drivers can take advantage to its paddle shifters and shift from one to eight. Eight simulated gears, eh? That's enough fake moving mechanisms that will keep the LEVORG longing for days but better still, this SPORT LINEARTRONIC makes this CVT gearbox more responsive than any other CVT gearboxes and can be taken lightly.

Couple that with a new chassis as well as Subaru's legendary SYMMETRICAL AWD system, the LEVORG really is a sports tourer well-lubricated for the road ahead and oh, in the speed bumps, there's a bit of worry in here but that's fine because you get the little feeling that you were an angry yobo driving a Subie wagon on the roads of Africa. Yes, I just said that but that's the way Subarus are meant to be, they can take on any terrain no matter how bad they can be.

2015 Subaru LEVORG

If I have any doubts about the LEVORG, I would say that the interior's a bit too stale, the CVT gearbox is not a fit for a turbo engine (if you're a Subarist), and the biggest problem to this care is the price and with prices start at around 2,667,600 JPY (estimated $27,000) it's pricier than its rival tourer from Toyota, the Avensis but unlike the Avensis, the Subaru LEVORG is much more enjoyable to drive because of the turbocharged engine and it has all the right elements that a good sports tourer should be; being agile in the corners while maintaining the ability of being a family car or a company car. You can even use it to drive at the shops as well and take advantage to its bigger boot.

It might have a silly name but the LEVORG is definitely a serious daily driver's car for the serious drivers. Despite being a serious machine, the LEVORG can be taken lightly with care and I just want one of those in my whole life.

Available colors: Crystal White Pearl, Steel Blue Grey Metallic, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Grey Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Lightning Red, and Galaxy Blue Silica.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries

Toyota Passo and Daihatsu Boon - Second Generation F/L

2015 Daihatsu Boon

2015 Toyota Passo

2015 Toyota Passo

The second generation Toyota Passo and the Daihatsu Boon may have been around for four years since their 2010 regeneration but these looks never make the grade and remained exclusive to the Japanese market as of now. Now, both these models underwent a minor change and this time, the updated second-generation Passo and Boon are now fuel efficient than even because they're now have a brand-new 1.0L petrol engine equipped which is 30% fuel efficient than the outgoing engine it replaces.

2015 Daihatsu Boon interior

Although the engine still retains the 1KR-FE designation, this brand new engine is developed jointly with Daihatsu. It achieves a maximum thermal efficiency of 37% thanks to the use of a tumble flow-generating intake, cooled EGR system, and an improved compression ratio. Couple that with the idling stop feature and the result is a record-high 27.6km/L fuel consumption as calculated by JC08 Mode standards. That's 30% more than the last one.

Of course, you can expect the new 1KR-FE engine to be equipped in both the Passo and the Boon but the 1.3L 1NR-FE Dual VVT-i engine? That's only available for the Passo (in normal and +Hana versions). The 1.3L petrol engine still develops a modest 95PS of power and 121Nm of torque while its fuel consumption is a meager 19.0km/L.

2015 Daihatsu Boon interior

2015 Daihatsu Boon interior

2015 Toyota Passo interior

2015 Toyota Passo interior

Of course, since both the Passo and Boon are low-cost Japanese eco boxes made for the average of customers, you can still expect the plasticky interior. Even though it has a radio and an aircon, it still feels like a low-cost car. However, in the +Hana versions of the Passo, the cozy two-tone seating really covers up its low-cost interior perhaps but even though with the +Hana, it's still feels cheap and you don't get the excitement that you get from other compacts.

Price wise, the new Passo costs from 1,098,655 to 1,652,400 Japanese Yen (estimated $11,000 to $17,000) while the Boon costs 1,263,600 to 1,549,800 Japanese Yen (estimated $13,000 to $15,500). You know both of these were manufactured at Daihatsu's Ikeda Plant in Osaka but why is the Boon costs more than its Toyota equivalent, the Passo, even though it doesn't have a high-end model and a 1.3L engine?

In the meantime, even though the updated versions are still terrible for the enthusiasts too many, the pricing is a fair start in the compact hatchback market in Japan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Let's Do The News! (April 14, 2014)

The big scoop today...

- Disney alum Bridgit Mendler is the new Save the Children Artist Ambassador! She recently kicked off the Baby Sit In campaign.

- There's a new show coming this Summer 2014 on ABC. It's called Sing Your Face Off and in this brand new show, we will witness celebs in their transformation into pop sensations. Hosted by John Barrowman (better known to you and I as Captain Jack Harkness from the world of Doctor Who), this show features China Anne McClain from ANT Farm, musician Sebastian Bach, basketball player Landry Fields, comedian and actor Jon Lovitz and soap opera actress Lisa Rinna on their road to transformation. The show airs this May 31st on ABC. Check your local listings.

SING YOUR FACE OFF

- YOUR TIME-WASTER FOR THE DAY: There's a new Family Guy game now available on the App Store and Google Play! Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff brings fans of the hit dysfunctional TV series to build their very own Quahog on the go! In the game, Quahog is destroyed after a fistfight between Peter and the Giant Chicken. What would Peter do? Simple, really! REBUILD QUAHOG! This free game allows you to create your own Quahog just the way you want, unlock most of your favorite characters from the show, unlock outfits, make them do some stuff, keep the town safe from imminent threats and much much more! It's available for free on the App Store and Google Play so run, run as fast as you can and tell them the news...just before you injured your knee and go ssssss....ahhhhh...


Sssssss…ahhhhh…ssssss…ahhhhh…sssssss….ahhhhh… #familyguy #questforstuff
Sssss....ahhhhh....

- Check out the latest commercial for Dannon's Danimals starring Austin and Ally's Ross Lynch and Shake iT Up's Bella Thorne.



- The US-Spec Chevrolet Cruze gets a minor change complete with an awkward-looking new front face, new interior, and an updated software for added convenience. It will set for its premiere at this month's New York Auto Show.

2015 Chevrolet Cruze

- In this week's Jay Leno's Garage webcast, presenter Jay Leno takes a look at the pristine 1925 Doble E-20 Steam Car.



- Because of the fire happened under the Quezon Bridge in Quiapo, the DPWH limits this bridge to light vehicles only. Top Gear Philippines has this story.

- As the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 continues, the Australian government will soon be deploying autonomous marine vehicles to help speed up the search.

- Holy Wednesday will be half-day for the University of the Philippines, in preparation for this year's Holy Week.

- Yesterday's Pacquiao-Bradley match was a blast with Pacman putting the end on Bradley's undefeated win streak...but Mommy Dionesia's the laughing stock during the match because...ah, you'll see.

TTFN!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Latest episode of Kojima Station showcased some Ground Zeroes world records





In the fourth episode of the Kojima Productions' KOJIMA STATION (English version) webcast, our experts showcased some unbelievable records set by players who played the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V, titled Ground Zeroes. As of April 10, 2014, players from all over the world spent a grand total of 3650446:04:36 hours of gameplay, that's an equivalent of 416.71 years!

There are some impossible world records set by the most expert of players and that gave them a scratch in the head how in the world did they set such a record like this. 456.89m of the longest range headshot, longest two-wheel driving time is an unbelievable 34:338:41.990, farthest distance enemy sent flying is a whopping 290.38m and the most impossible of all...Longest Range Headshot (tranq.) is an impossible 301.10m! 

It's impossible to perform a longest range headshot using a tranquilizer gun in Ground Zeroes but is it?

Watch the latest at: http://www.konami.jp/kojima_pro/station/en/

Oh, and be sure to grab a copy of Ground Zeroes now and see if you can set some records...

Pacman wins and Bradley's undefeated no more!



The rematch between Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao and Timothy "Desert Storm" Bradley has been one of the most long-awaited matches in boxing history and this match promises to make it right because two years ago, some mix-up snafu from the judges' verdict made Bradley a controversial win from Pacquiao. Now, we fast forwarded two years later and here it is, the rematch that will surely set things right.

With twelve rounds of fist fights from two of the biggest superstars, the stakes are high, very high, and even though it's a high stakes battle, both fighters showcased their strengths and weaknesses on the ring. After just twelve rounds, the judges' verdict is in and it's a unanimous decision for...yes, you guessed it...PACQUIAO!

Finally, that foul-mouthed Bradley faced his most upset moment in history as he's undefeated no more and Pacman's finally reclaimed his world welterweight title he's been longing to take it back from him.

Report: Spin.ph
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