Friday, April 23, 2010

The other brands' take on Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Last June 2009, Mitsubishi Motors commenced the launch of the world's first electric car in the public. The Mitsubishi i MiEV truly literates Mitsubishi Motors' brand slogan "drive@earth" and this is the electric car that started it all before the advent of the Nissan Leaf. About the i MiEV, this is the first car that it uses lithium-ion battery as its main source instead of gas fuel. It's powered by a YF41 hybrid engine that produces 64PS of power.

While waiting for Mitsubishi Motors Philippines to bring the i-MiEV to our shores, some brands trying to use the i-MiEV's body for some purposes... 

Take a look on what we got:

PSA Peugeot Citroen uses the Mitsubishi i-MiEV for their mainframe as their OEM versions known as the Peugeot i0n and the Citroen C-Zero, both of these i-MiEV OEMs will be on sale at the rest of the European peninsula this year. Not only that, there is also something that you shouldn't believe:

Mitsuoka Motors, the brand behind the aggressive Orochi coupe, the Morgan Roadster-cloned Mazda Roadster-based Himiko, and the Galue sedan, unveiled their modified version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, known as Like. But why Like? What do they like most? The only thing Japanese like the Like is for its hybrid capacity. Even it is an electric vehicle based from the i-MiEV, the exterior design is another part of the Mitsuoka story.

No matter which country you are on, no matter which style do they look on their i-MiEV, this electric vehicle is a part of the commitment for the eco-lovers. With the rising gas-prices, and the case of global warming, this electric vehicle will once save the world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Renault New Megane Coupe-Cabriolet

The convertible adults surely take pride of its form steps on the center stage from its first public appearance in Geneva, Switzerland, and now its ready to bring some glamorous taste on the streets of Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, London, and the rest of the European peninsula. Joining to the third-generation Megane lineup, consisting of the 5-door hatchback, 3-door coupe, tourer, and RenaultSport, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet (or Megane CC) welcomes you to the glitz and glamour of this French convertible's new form.

Destined as the top rival against the Lexus IS C and the MB E-Class Cabriolet, the all-new Megane Coupe-Cabriolet takes pride and ganders the hearts of the aspiring customers, alluring them to test-drive the lust-worthy jewel of Renault. On the convertible side, the Megane CC brings the gale throughout the long and winding road, taking them to new heights and the wind of fresh air. On the coupe side, the Megane CC boasts exceptional design and sporty elegance to attract more drivers and tempt them to indulge through their imagination. Unlike most convertibles, which are soft-top or hardtop, the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet is the world's first glass-top convertible, thanks to its panoramic glass that once closed, the view from the top still remains.

For its interior, the Megane Coupe Cabriolet can seat up to four people inside. It also has an optional Carminarat Tomtom navigation system that allows drivers to pick which places they want to travel, from hotels, restaurants, golf courses, and everything adults want to enjoy from their stressful work at the office. It also has climate control to warm on the cold nights and cool them on a hot summer. For the sound of enjoyment, an available Arkamys 3D audio system and the USB connectivity is added to bring most of your favorite songs while cruising with your Megane CC. An optitron meter with multi-information system is added on the dashboard, displaying what is going on with your car.

A choice of gasoline engines (1.6 16V, TCe 130, and 2.0 16V) and diesel engines (dCi 110 DPF, dCi 130 DPF, and dCi 160 DPF) are the systematic brain power of the Megane Coupe Cabriolet, even with the choice of either a six-speed manual, CVT, and the new six-speed Efficient Dual Clutch automatic transmission with Dual Clutch Transmission technology. For safety, the new Megane CC comes with front seatbelt with warning lights, tire pressure monitoring system, Bi-Xenon headlamps, auto headlamp activation, auto windscreen wiper activation, and speed limiting cruise control. It also has the host of driving aids such as ABS brakes, emergency brakes, and Electronic Stability Control.

My thoughts about the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet:
Take off your "megane,” because this Megane is the most seducing addition to their Megane lineup. As the world's first glass-top convertible, the new Megane Coupe-Cabriolet welcomes adults with its new glass-top roof, seducing design, and the feel that calls this Megane "a light shining through the light.” Europeans are welcomed to be shined by the new face of the Megane Coupe-Cabriolet and it will bring some glitz and glamour against the Lexus IS C and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet.


Toyota Premio & Allion (Second-Generation - Phase II)

In December 2001, Toyota Motor Corporation replaced the aging Corona and Carina to make way to its twin sedans, available only in Japan, the Premio and Allion. In June 2007, both the Premio and the Allion made their way to its second-generation. Now this year, the twin sedans undergo a minor change to praise buyers with its new style, new interior, and new features. But before talking about this facelift, let me tell you how the Premio and Allion differ from each other.

2011 Toyota Premio

The Premio is the successor of the legendary Corona sedan, which boasts excellent comfort and luxury for the executives, making it a perfect JDM executive medium sedan targeted for adults. On its second phase of this generation, the Premio is most likely similar to the Crown Majesta.

2011 Toyota Allion

The Allion on the other hand is the antithesis of the luxurious Premio sedan. It is the replacement of the Carina sedan, and it boasts a sporty exterior and excellent performance, giving the Allion an all-in-one sports sedan for the ordinary drivers. For its Phase II, the Allion's front was inspired from the latest-generation Mark X.

2011 Toyota Premio interior
2011 Toyota Allion interior

Both the Allion and the Premio share the same interior features, such as wood paneling, reclining rear seat, a choice of optitron or analog meters, multi-information display, climate control, optional navigation system, and optional audio system with the 5.8" monitor equipped.

On the performance side, both the Allion and the Premio are equipped with the set of engines available; an entry-level 1.5L NZ-engine, the new 1.8-litre Valvematic engine, or the new high-end 2.0L ZR Valvematic engine. The new Valvematic engines equipped on these cars gives the Premio and the Allion outstanding performance (144PS on 1.8L and 158PS on 2.0L), cleaner emissions, and class top-level fuel economy. (18.6km/L on 1.8L and 15.6km/L on 2.0L) Both of them have a set of innovative features such as Super CVT-i, optional 4WD system), cruise control, and the optional Navi-AI-Shift. With the Navigation System equipped, the Navi-AI-Shift allows the Premio and the Allion to detect a recommended gear and it automatically shifts on that gear on such road conditions.

My thoughts about the Premio and the Allion:
Despite both of these twin sedans are available only in Japan, it is nice to say that both the Premio and the Allion captures the eyes of ordinary drivers on their everyday basis. For those who are looking for luxury, the Premio is their best bet. For sportiness, the Allion is perfect for those who want it. With the new Valvematic engine armed, both the Allion and the Premio are welcomed by Japan's eco-car tax break laws.

Photo: Toyota

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Subaru Pleo Mk.II

Rewind back to the date October 1998, and if you remember the kei car which is the successor to the Subaru Vivio, known as the Pleo, then how will you explain the outdated 11-year old kei car? Because of the outdated Pleo disappeared since December, and the partnership between Fuji Heavy Industries and Toyota Group, the Pleo name was reborn. Only this time, taken from the form of the seventh-generation Daihatsu Mira (known in other countries as the Cuore or Charade), which gives the newborn kei car some taste and flair suitable for the young, fashionable Japanese women.

Along with the recently launched, Daihatsu Tanto Exe-based Lucra, the new Pleo comes in two distinctive flavors: the regular Pleo targeted for the simple female drivers and the stylish Pleo Custom with the premium taste bold women wanted. The regular Pleo boasts overall cuteness that women always wanted to purchase this car for its looks. The Pleo Custom boasts overall karen-ness (Note: Karen is beautiful in Japanese) giving the term "a kei car with the look and feel of a luxury car" and customers love to buy this Custom variant for its sporty and luxurious features.

The interior of the new Pleo boasts overall comfort and luxury that only a kei car could take this comfort for granted. With the foldable rear seats, women can take advantage of this feature for placing several shopping bags after a long, stressful shopping trip to the mall. For the peace of mind, the new Pleo has a list of features such as the reinforced body, airbags, vehicle theft immobilizer, and anti-lock braking system. When performance is an issue, the new Pleo comes with either a KF-VE engine that delivers 58PS of power and the fuel economy of 21.0-24.5km/L or the KF-DET turbo engine that triggers 64PS of power and the fuel economy of 19.0km/L. It comes with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT, depending on the variant you are.

My thoughts about the Pleo:
When the original Pleo disappeared four months ago, it is not surprising that the Pleo will return, only this time, as an OEM of the Daihatsu Mira. Is it a Coincidence or just a truth? You might just figure it out when you step inside the new age Pleo, in regular and custom flavors. Try it and you will decide how the new Pleo affect its audience impact for its style, packaging, quality, and performance. With the partnership between Fuji Heavy Industries and Toyota Group, the Pleo was another one of the Subaru OEMs since the Toyota bB-Daihatsu Coo-based Dex, Atrai Wagon-based Dias Wagon, and the latest Daihatsu Tanto Exe-based Lucra.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries

Subaru Lucra

Since December 24, Daihatsu launched the newest kei car that slots from the Tanto and the Tanto Custom kei car, known as the Tanto Exe and the Tanto Exe Custom. With the partnership between Toyota Group and Fuji Heavy Industries (also working for the "Toyobaru FT-86" projects), Subaru uncovered their own Daihatsu Tanto Exe, known as the Lucra.

When Subaru decided to stop making kei cars that dates back the Vivio, Pleo, R1, and the R2, they decided to source it out from Daihatsu, which of course a part of the Toyota Group, because of the deal that they would work together for their upcoming projects. Starting from the Toyota bB-Daihatsu Coo-based Dex, the alliance was formed between them.

Now, on the Lucra, you may recognize that this is the OEM of the Daihatsu Tanto Exe. How Subarists will find the Lucra very intriguing that why a Daihatsu-built kei car would was Subaru-badged. Despite the badging, the Lucra possesses different qualities that can also be found on the Tanto Exe:

- Two different styles to choose from; the original for cuteness and the Custom for sportiness

- Amazing seating arrangements that matches different situations

- 21.5km/L on most variants and 19.0km/L on the Lucra Custom RS variant

- Illumination accessory from the top and bottom

- Spacious interior

- Choice of audio and navigation systems available

- Available Momo steering wheel on the Lucra Custom RS variant

- Smart key entry with immobilizer

- Continuously Variable Transmission

- Anti-lock braking system

- Approved for Japan's eco car tax-break laws

My thoughts about the Lucra:

As an OEM of the Daihatsu Tanto Exe, the Lucra continues the strong bond between Toyota Group and Fuji Heavy Industries ever since the Dex, the Dias Wagon, and now the second-generation Pleo. (This is now Mira-based) With the regular, Lucra targeted for the practical customers and the Lucra Custom targeted for the hardcore kei car customers, both of these Lucras will have one giant leap for the car industry, despite its small size. Can the Lucra really replace the Stella because of their identical sizes? We are not sure, but try the Lucra and judge.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries
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