Saturday, August 30, 2014

Kia All New Sorento (UM)

2015 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento is now on its third-generation and the Korean carmaker says that this new model is moving upmarket with its new features that makes this new model a class ahead from its rivals. I was surprised by this one but I want further explanation about the latest generation. Without further ado, let's investigate what's what...

Okay, now tell me. What's new?

Well, this is a totally new model just like the Hyundai Santa Fe DM two years ago but unlike the Santa Fe, the new Sorento has a clean muscular design that really stands out more than its previous model. Looks like its image of being a crossover has now been sharpened to give you a glimpse of the future ahead from the Korean carmaker. However, sharp-eyed spotters might think that the new rear design looks more like a Toyota S#q#### . (Sorry, vowels blocked for search engine reasons)


Well, the new model is now bigger than its previous model. You can see that the new Sorento has gained 95mm of length and 5mm of width but the height has dropped from the previous model's 1,700mm to 1,685mm. Thanks to its added length, the All New Sorento has a wheelbase of 2,780mm, 80mm more than the last one.

What's it like inside?

2015 Kia Sorento interior

2015 Kia Sorento interior

In the previous model, the interior looks okay but it can be somewhat lacking. On the new model, its "bold and premium" character really pulled it off and this new interior really does suit its personality very well. Because it can fit up to seven people, the new Sorento really suits well as a family car for everyday use. If there are any downsides, I believe that the 3rd row seats doesn't have enough room but no matter.

You can also expect a wide variety of conveniences such as the heated/cooled seats, cluster ionizer, heated steering wheel, wide panorama sunroof, smart tailgate, UVO 2.0 eServices, JBL sound system, and so much more to bring out the best for its premium taste.

Did you know that you can fold the 2nd and 3rd row seats for added luggage capacity that is fit enough for factory-fresh shipments the clients awaiting for these? This car supposed so...

Hey, there's something new about that body, right?

Oh, you're right. I almost forgot. The new model is now constructed from Advanced High Strength Steel that has 60kg of tensile strength but it's 10% lighter than the last one. It also comes more than twice as much of ultra-strong hot-stamped steel than the last one, by about 10.1%, sharply strengthening the pillars.

What's it like to drive?

2015 Kia Sorento

The new model now matches the same level of driving from its European counterparts...well, almost. For engine choices, it still retains the same diesel-only lineup as the last one. It comes with a 2.0L 4-cylinder and 2.2 4-cylinder. The 2.0L diesel produces 186PS of power and 402Nm of torque. Fuel economy is about 13.5km/L if you would go for the 2WD model. The 2.2L diesel, on the other hand, delivers 202PS of power, 441Nm of torque, and 13.4km/L of fuel economy, should you go for the 2WD model. Both of these engines are bolted to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.

It still comes with a not-so-bad fully-independent suspension setup but with some minor alterations. On the rear multi-link suspension, the subframe has gained bigger bushings to better isolate it from the interior and the larger shock absorbers have been mounted vertically behind the axle line to enhance body control motion. That all seems fine but because it comes with a brand new electric motor-driven power steering system, it's starting to get more responsive and more agile than the last one while retaining its ride quality most luxury SUVs have.

It's a good thing it doesn't feel as cheap as a second-hand Korean SUV from the last decade but still, the best of Europe are still edging on such competition and the new Sorento tries to brave through this obstacle like handicapped darts.

Should I buy one?

The new Sorento is now priced from 2.765 million Korean Won up to 3.685 Korean Won (around $28,000 to $36,300) so not only it's becoming more affordable to own than the previous model, it's affordable to own than the Hyundai Santa Fe but that's only for the entry-level model. For a top tip, you can have this than the Hyundai Grandeur diesel because why? It has more room, more seats, and it has 4WD optional. The Grandeur doesn't have that so this can be a decent chauffeur-driven car if you're a celebrity or a politician of a certain province.

Available colors: Snow White Pearl, Silky Silver, Imperial Bronze, Metal Stream, Platinum Graphite, and Aurora Black Pearl.

Photo: Kia Motors Corporation

Thank You and Goodbye to Car Town

So, it's been four years since Car Town began in the summer of 2010 and it's been a long journey. We come a very long way. So what's it all being about?

Well, we learned that it's more enjoyable to collect tons of cool cars than any other game in the world, you can race against friends, you collect more cash from jobs, the DeLorean Time Machine saves your jobs in case you missed them, and we learned that recreating the best Fast and Furious moments using Fast and Furious cars is a lot more enjoyable.

We know that because the plural of the Prius is Prii, we all have different Priuses to choose from, Prius V's five-seater capacity and boot space means good for a camping trip, we learned that Camaros rule than Mustangs, Corvettes rule than Vipers, we can distinguish a car whether if its a road car, a track-day car, or an offroader, we had numerous experiences on adventures such as the desert, the arctic, United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, the US, Japan, and so many places. 

We also learned that the Scion xB can have different shapes and styles depending on the occasion, that you can fit cars with the best parts to give out the full potential within them, that decorating your car is a work of art from a true car enthusiast, and your garage is your own infinite world of possibilities.

But in the end of it all, maybe we discovered just one thing that in this crazy, fast-moving world of Car Town, WE LOVE CARS.

Today, Car Town is officially ceased to exist. The message goes like this;

We want to thank you all for your patronage over the last 4 years. We all here have enjoyed bringing you this car collecting experience and we feel that we have been truly blessed with a great community and hope you join us in our future projects.. --Car Town Facebook Team / GLU

Thank you and goodbye, Car Town. We all going to miss you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

IMPUL gets their work on the V37 Skyline (Q50)

Nissan specialist, IMPUL, finally got their mojos to work on their latest tuning project using the Nissan V37 Skyline (Infiniti Q50) as the base. Although release schedules aren't announced as of press time, the V37 Skyline tuning program from IMPUL comes with an array of aero kit upgrades and IMPUL has put a price tag each.

The The front bumper with daytime running lamps on it starts at 145,000 Japanese Yen (around $1,450), the side steps costs 95,000 Japanese Yen (around $950), the rear half costs 85,000 Japanese Yen (around $850), and the rear spoiler costs 95,000 Japanese Yen (around $950). Have them all and this full kit will cost you 400,000 Japanese Yen (around $4,000).

IMPUL will also offer an OHLINS SUPER SHOCK suspension, priced at 338,000 Yen (excluding tax), which IMPUL said that it offers great cornering stability.


CHILDHOOD RUINED: Hello Kitty is NOT a cat!

Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary

The year 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of one of the most loved cute characters of all time, Hello Kitty. When it was launched in 1974 by Sanrio, Hello Kitty won millions of fans and not only that, she spawned countless merchandises from toys, video games, clothing lines, and tons of Kitty-ness. If I can only remember that in the Philippines, there was a store called the Gift Gate where Hello Kitty and other Sanrio merchandises were sold exclusively there.

For its 40th birthday, Hello Kitty will have a special exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum, located somewhere in Los Angeles, California, this mid-October and after the exhibit, there's going to be a first-ever Hello Kitty-dedicated convention at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Hello Kitty fans are looking forward to say Happy Birthday to Hello Kitty this year but some conspiracists are trying to uncover Hello Kitty's untold secrets that was never told over the past 40 years. Those damn conspiracists, exposing conspiracies to childhood favorites for the hell of it.

Christine R. Yano, the anthropologist from the University of Hawaii and author of her book titled "Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific" revealed that when she was working for the script for the show, the folks from Sanrio stopped by and told that Hello Kitty is NOT a cat. I repeat, Hello Kitty is NOT a cat. Instead...she is a little girl. Really?

Also, it is revealed that Hello Kitty is not her real name. In fact, her real name is in fact Kitty White. Her parents are named George and Mary. Her birthdate is November 1st, she's a Scorpio, she's a third-grader, and she has a twin sister named Mimmy (but we know that). What we also didn't know is...she's British. Why she's British? That's a conspiracy...

Image: Sanrio

Mazda Flair (2015 minor model change)

2015 Mazda Flair

2015 Mazda Flair Custom Style

Following with the launch of the 2015 Suzuki Wagon R facelift which includes its brand new fuel-saving "S-ENE CHARGE" feature that propels its fuel economy up to 32.4kmpl, beating the likes of the Daihatsu Move and the Mitsubishi eK Wagon, it looks like the Mazda equivalent, the Flair, won't be far behind because, like the Wagon R it was based on, the 2015MY minor minor change sees the Flair, along with its Custom Style model, receiving the same S-ENE CHARGE feature.

2015 Mazda Flair interior

2015 Mazda Flair Custom Style interior

If you're new here, let me get this straight; S-ENE CHARGE is basically an improvement of the ENE-CHARGE and it takes  full use of the lithium-ion battery and the Integrated Starter Generator while joining forces with the improved R06A engine. The ISG provides a motor assist during acceleration and during deceleration, it stores some of its electric power.

With S-ENE CHARGE, the 2015 Flair's fuel economy has improved to 32.4km/L on the JC08 Mode scale.

Not only the fuel economy that stands out from the rest but it's loaded with safety features such as the very clever Radar Brake Support, a special feature that prevents unintended acceleration, a big issue that was faced with millions of drivers in history, an Emergency Stop Signal that warns drivers from behind, ESP, and so much more.

Prices start from 1,166,400 Japanese Yen up to 1,737,720 Japanese Yen. Customers can even afford one with or without S-ENE CHARGE but just like the Wagon R, there are differences to these models because on the normal Flair, you can afford an entry-level model with a 5-speed manual gearbox exclusive to this model while on the Flair Custom Style, the 660cc turbocharged engine is available exclusively for that model.


Photo: Mazda Motor Corporation

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Forza Motorsport 5: Meet the SRT_01E electric racer


Your eyes don't deceive you. At first glance, it does look like today's Formula 1 cars but what you notice here is something different. It was born alongside the new age motorsports and this new age of motorsport can only mean one thing; zero emission motorsport. That's right, the FIA Formula E is coming and this is the primary machine for the opening match; the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.


The year 2014 gives birth to a brand new generation of motorsport. The FIA Formula-E Championship is a brand new FIA single-seater championship and the world's first fully-electric racing series. The inaugural season starts from September 2014 to June 2015, spanning 10 different locations from London, Beijing, and Miami.

The Spark-Renault SRT_01E is the first ever open-wheeler electric racing machine to be homologated by the FIA and this zero-emission racer aims to turn the tables of what is achievable in electric motorsport while balancing cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

It was built by the newly-established Spark Racing Technology while the monocoque chassis, built from carbon fiber and aluminum, was done by Dallara. The electric powertrain and electronics was sourced by McLaren Electronics System while the battery was sourced by the Williams F1 Team, producing 200kw of power while linked to a 5-speed Hewland sequential gearbox with fixed ratios.

In the opener of the FIA Formula E Championship, 10 teams, with two drivers each, are competing in the first season. The teams are AMLIN AGURI, ANDRETTI FORMULA E, AUDI SPORT ABT, CHINA RACING, DRAGON RACING, E.DAMS-RENAULT, MAHINDRA RACING, TRULLI, VENTURI, and VIRGIN RACING. There are selection of aces taking part in the opener; aces of all kinds such as motorsport icons, F1 testers, former Formula 1 racing drivers, even female drivers. The opening match will be in Beijing, the capital city of the People's Republic of China, on the 13th of September.


Of course, it looks like a Formula 1 car but because this is a zero-emission racing machine that runs solely on electric power rather than prehistoric fossil fuel, this is a total difference to experience but I really want to know what's like to be behind the wheel of the Formula E car and to find out, I went to the Top Gear Test Track for some experimentation.


As I noticed it, the SRT_01E is a very serious racer with some very serious zero emission technology. Sure I may not hear something at the start until the whirring of the electric motor kicks in on the move, but unlike a Formula 1 car, this Formula E car won't attack you like extremists on a spaceship and when it comes to handling, the aerodynamics really done its sorcery and it handles like a boss! I was very impress to have an electric car that can handle like a Formula 1 car and if I'm going on the opening match, this could be a very exciting match to see. It may be a serious motorsport but it's probably one of the most exciting to see.


After taking a lap round the Top Gear Track with the Formula E car, I still believe testing it here is not quite enough because next time, I will travel round the world and see if the Formula E car tackles through the world's best courses in Forza Motorsport 5.

Let's Do The News! (August 28, 2014)

Things we learned so far...

- It is confirmed that the Filipino boxing superstar, Manny Pacquiao, will be training Chinese boxers to help ease the tensions between the Philippines and China. He mulls demonstrating his boxing know-how through a training academy in China that will be named as the Manny Pacquiao Boxing Education Institute.

- IS THIS THE NEW SUZUKI ESCUDO? A new model is set for its 2014 Paris Motor Show debut!

Is this the new Escudo?

- Based on the current analysis, the search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has been refine while the investigation will not go on unless the wreckage and the black boxes are found.

- On the Ukraine Crisis: Pro-Russian separatists are advancing through the southeastern part of Ukraine as reports stated that the rebels took control the town of Novoazovsk, on the Sea of Azov.

- The Ebola outbreak will continue to get worse according to a top US public health official and it would need an "unprecedented" response to bring it under control.

- Renault has unveiled a racecar to be used on the brand-new Renaultsport Trophy one-make race series next year. The new R.S. 01 comes with the chassis built by Dallara and it comes with the same VR38DETT engine from the Nissan GT-R. This midship racer weighs 1100kg and it can do 0-60mph in under three seconds.
RenaultSport R.S. 01

- The Enzo Pastor murder case starts to unravel as reports told that the PNP has the suspect behind the murder of the racing driver two months ago. Businessman Doming de Guzman III was arrested in Muntinlupa City since August 26 while PO2 Edgar Angel was arrested on the 23rd of August. Also, Enzo Pastor's wife, Dalia, was involved in the murder case as reports told she had an affair with de Guzman.

- Video streaming site, Twitch, was acquired by Amazon for US$970 million dollars.

- The Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill horror game franchise gets its very own figma! Out this April, it's priced a 4,444 Japanese Yen plus tax. Preorders are open for booking so here's your chance to have a piece of Silent Hill!

Figma Red Pyramid Thing


Asphalt 8 mobile racing game unveiled its "Dubai update"

Asphalt 8 Airborne's Dubai update

It's been a year since Asphalt 8: Airborne hit the smartphones on the App Store and Google Play and most racing game fans still won't stop playing the most extreme installment of the Asphalt mobile game franchise from developer Gameloft.

Now, they've released a brand new Dubai Update on A8! This update features a brand new Dubai location with different variations ranging from DUBAI, THE ROSE OF THE DESERT, and THE MIRAGE.

Also, keep an eye out for time-limited special events featuring 5 brand-new cars to this update such as the Nissan GT-R NISMO, Jaguar F-Type, SSC Ultimate Aero XT, the Mercedes-Benz Biome Concept, and the unsung Dutch supercar known as the Savage Rivale Roadyacht GTS. As A8 rules apply, the fastest in the special events will earn an early access to this car before its available for almost everyone in a couple of days or weeks.

A new season is added and for this 9th season called BEYOND, only cars tuned to the max are allowed to take on the toughest challenges yet. These challenges are made specifically to the car, which is tuned to the max, and if you want to beat those, get yourself ready with your car armed to the highest potential!

If you have a Twitch account, you can stream your A8 action but this Twitch feature is only available for those who owned the latest-generation of smartphones and tablets (for example, the iPhone 5/5c or the iPad 4th gen). A Twitch account is required to access this feature.

Asphalt 8 is available to download for free at the App Store or Google Play now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



With the PS3-exclusive THE iDOLM@STER ONE FOR ALL getting along smoothly with iM@S fans new and old and with thanks to the 9th anniversary concert they've been saving with, looks like the folks from NIPPON COLUMBIA had better way to celebrate these occasions with a brand new chapter of the iM@S MASTER ARTIST chapter of CDs.

To set things off, MASTER ARTIST 3 kicks of with a Prologue titled "ONLY MY NOTE" and at first glance, you might think that this is a 5-track CD but oh no because on track 3 of this brand new CD, there's a non-stop medley featuring the songs you might heard from this month's DLC. We're talking the solo songs scenario stuff and the new DLC solo scenario songs can now be listened for the first time as a non-stop medley featuring all of 765 Production idols! You name them! Harkua, Iori, Makoto, Takane, Azusa, Miki, Ami and Mami, Yayoi, Hibiki, Yukiho, Ritsuko, and Chihaya!

This CD comes with two brand new M@STER VERSION tracks on never-before-heard songs like ONLY MY NOTE and アクセルレーション and with this CD, this will surely kick off the new chapter in the history of iM@S.

Look forward for the arrival of THE iDOLM@STER MASTER ARTIST 3 CD range very soon!

02. アクセルレーション(M@STER VERSION)
03. アイドルマスターOFA・DLC2014年8月ソロ新曲メドレー
05. アクセルレーション(M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ

Let's Do The News! (August 27, 2014)

The big scoop today...

- Four strong aftershocks occurred in the San Francisco North Bay Area early morning including a 3.9M aftershock that caused extensive damage to Highway 29. According to the USGS, the first aftershock occurred at 5:33AM with M3.9, then a second aftershock occurred at 5:35AM with M2.7. A third one occurred at 6:12AM with M2.8, and the last occurred at 6:45AM with magnitude 3. So far, no casualties are reported.

- The president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, told that the "roadmap" to end the lingering conflict between the Russians and the Ukrainians will be prepared after holding his first direct talks on the crisis with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Belarusian capital city of Minsk.

Photo courtesy of AFP

- An American man, who is believed to be fighting alongside the Islamic militants in Syria, named Douglas McCain, was killed in battle. This report was confirmed from the White House.

- Despite the LPA has left the Philippine Area of Responsibility, expect cloudy with a high chance of rainshowers in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA.

- After numerous animals died for unknown reasons, a zoo located in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia was closed, as told by city mayor Yordanka Fandakova. Three Indian bisons, two yaks, and a camel were found death and the cause of death remain unknown.

- The second-generation Volvo XC90 was finally revealed and this new model will spark a new milestone for the Swedish carmaker. Because all Volvos are heavily focused on safety, the new XC90 is beyond compare as it gains "the most comprehensive and technologically sophisticated standard safety package available in the automotive industry", such as automatic braking, self-driving on the stop-start traffic, "run off-road" protection package, pre-crash protection, whiplash protection, blind-spot info, and road-sign reading. Two engines are available such as a brand new 2.0L turbodiesel and a PHEV model which comes with a twincharged 2.0L engine connected with an electric motor that churns a combined output of a mighty 395HP.

2015 Volvo XC90
- It's almost back-to-school, and G. Hannelius shows off some back-to-school inspired nail art for you to try on the latest G. Nails clip presented by SweetyHigh and M Magazine.

- Sebastian Vettel tries out the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, better known to you and I as the Nissan Skyline V37, on Russia's newly-completed Sochi Autodrom, the venue for the first ever Russian GP on the F1 2014.

Vettel is 1st Formula 1 driver to try out Russian Grand Prix racetrack
Sochi Autodrom meets Skyline and Vettel
- Actor Dennis Roldan is found guilty as charged from allegedly kidnapping a young Filipino-Chinese boy nine years ago.


Gotta Get Ready For The Next Battle?! Pokken announced

Pokken Tournament

Pocket Monsters (or PokeMon from all over the world), a famed video game franchise loved by kids from all ages worldwide since 1996. Tekken, one of Namco's flagship titles which involves hardcore fistfights and white-knuckle thrills and this franchise is on its 20th birthday this year.

PokeMon and Tekken, not two words you often hear in the same sentence and that's because PokeMon are targeted for the little kids while Tekken are targeted for the grownups who love fighting games and it's gonna be a good thing because last night, Bandai Namco Games collaborated with Nintendo and The PokeMon Company to create next year's arcade fighting game featuring some of the roughest and toughest PokeMon assembled and it's forged by the creators of the Tekken and Soul series. What do you get? Pokken Tournament.

Like it said, this arcade fighting game is set for its 2015 debut and it's targeted for PokeMon fans in their 20's. We're not sure if this is going to be a Japan-exclusive arcade game like the PokeMon Tretta but still, PokeMon fans are surely "ready for the next battle".

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let's Do The News! (August 26, 2014)

Things we learned today...

- On the issue of the Ukrainian Conflict: Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko will hold talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin at a summit in the Belarusian capital of Minsk despite the escalating tensions between the two countries over the fight against pro-Russian separatists.

- Back at the Libya Crisis: There was a report stating that the United States was caught "off guard" by multiple air strikes against Islamic extremists around Tripoli. The attacks were reportedly carried out by the UAE from Egyptian bases.

Photo courtesy of: EPA

- North Korea threatens the United States once again by launching a preemptive strike following America's involvement with the military exercise with South Korea.

- US and Chinese officials will hold talks about the rules of conduct after the US alleged a Chinese fighter plane got too close to one of its planes. The US Defense Department sparked fury against the Chinese military after a Chinese fighter jet done a "dangerous" intercept on the US patrol aircraft in the South China Sea last Tuesday but the Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson denied the claim. There has been four cases of Chinese aces acting dangerously in the skies this year according to US officials.

- Yoshihide Suga, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary, remains undecided about Russian president Putin's visit to Japan this fall. The Asian country will have to consider different factors including the Ukraine situation before giving Putin's visit the green light.

- Japan's professional soccer league, J-LEAGUE, is considering a punishment over a top-division team over a discriminatory gesture by a fan. Last weekend, a teenage fan of the Yokohama F. Marinos team waved a banana at an "import" player of the Kawasaki Frontale team. It is believed that in other soccer leagues, waving monkey food, like bananas, on black players is considered an act of racism.

- The Ford Highboy Roadster from 1932 is the latest highlight from the Jay Leno's Garage webisode! Check it out!

- COMELEC rejects the idea of not having an elections this 2016 following the issue regarding Philippine President Benigno Aquino III's re-election.

- Don't worry. Studio Ghibli won't be gone to the history books but the madmen from FOX's Animation Domination High-Def mashed up some Ghibli stuff for parodic reasons and for parodic reasons, FOX ADHD bids goodbye to Studio Ghibli. Take a look... (STOP: The following video has scenes not suitable for all audiences. STRONG PARENTAL GUIDANCE is advised)


Toyota Land Cruiser 70 - 2014 reissue

If you're asking any Land Cruiser fan in the world what is the best Land Cruiser of all time, more and more offroad enthusiasts believe that it was the LC70 that is by no means the best Land Cruiser ever made not only because it's more off-road worthy than its luxury-focused successors but it's one of the most longest-running cars ever made and even though Toyota stopped making one for the Japanese market in 2004, you can find the LC70 roaming around the Middle Eastern desert or the Australian outback or whatever the LC70 lives on.

Due to inconsistent public demand, the Land Cruiser 70 has been given another year of living as the most off-road worthy Land Cruiser returns to celebrate the LC70's 30th birthday.

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

For the first time in Japan, the Land Cruiser 70 can be offered in two different body styles; a 5-door van or a 4-door pickup truck. This is the first time they've offered a pickup truck on Japan since the Hilux stopped selling on the Japanese market since 2004. For the 2014 reissue of the LC70, the once ancient body 30 years ago has been sprinkled with modern touches to keep the legend refreshed and renewed to take on a whole new chapter of life...that is when this tough fella knows that it has one year of living in this world.

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

The classic body is now festooned with a new front face and its new headlamps come with turn indicators. The inside looks new even though it still comes with remnants of its past and it can seat from two up to five people. The rear seats can be stowed for extra luggage space fit enough for all your adventure-related stuff needed for your last-minute summer vacation. And to top it all off, there's a commemorative "30th Anniversary" emblem placed on the sides.

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70 interior
Even though the latest reissue of the LC70 gained numerous revisions on the outside and on the inside, there is no doubt that deep down here, it's still the living legend worth remembering for. Because the styling still has some old-school touches, driving one of these on your next grocery shopping looks ridiculous because most of the grocery shoppers think that you came from a field. While it's not suitable on your Tokyo trip because of its old looks, it's a well suited SUV fit for your final summer vacation. If you ever thought you can take one of these on your trip to Mt. Fuji, it's your call.

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

2014 Toyota Land Cruiser 70

Because the LC70 is the off-road focused Land Cruiser, it features a range of heavy duty specs suitable for off-road use. The body is ladder-frame, which makes them tough and strong while tackling through the roughest conditions, be it gravel, tarmac, snow, or whatever. It comes with a Part Time 4WD System which selects different modes at the shift of the lever; be it front-wheel, rear-wheel, or 4-wheel drive.

Under the hood, the LC70 comes with a 4.0L V6 1GR-FE engine with VVT-i and Acoustic Control Induction System. It develops 231PS of power output, 360Nm of torque output, and 6.6kmpl of fuel economy on the JC08 Mode scale. Not quite good on modern standards but being a Land Cruiser, it's the off-roader that's still powerful, still indestructible.

What about the price? The 2014 reissue of the LC70 starts at 3,500,000 Yen for the pickup model up to 3,600,000 for the van model. It's much affordable to own than the luxury-focused Land Cruiser 200, the Land Cruiser Prado, or the FJ Cruiser! It's definitely a smart buy for the offroad enthusiasts but better hurry because the living legend's have a very limited inventory this year. Better hurry though because when it's gone, it's gone for good.

It's good to have the old LC70 back on the road...

Available colors: White, Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Dark Red Mica Metallic, Beige, Beige Mica Metallic, and Blue.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

Suzuki Wagon R - Fifth Generation - 2015 facelift

Two years ago, the Suzuki Wagon R has reached its fifth generation and this generation set the new standards for Japan-only kei cars thanks to the implementation of ENE-CHARGE. With numerous rivals trying to outdo its fuel economy, this Wagon R always find a way and because Suzuki wants to be the most fuel-efficient carmaker in the world, they have a brand new attempt that will have its rivals puzzled into submission.

2015 Suzuki Wagon R

2015 Suzuki Wagon R interior

Well, here it is and at first glance, it looks nearly identical to its pre-facelift model except that now, the 2015 Wagon R now comes with its new secret weapon; S-ENE CHARGE.

What is S-ENE CHARGE? Basically an improvement from the ENE-CHARGE, the newly developed S-ENE CHARGE takes full use of the lithium-ion battery and the Integrated Starter Generator while joining forces with the improved R06A engine. The ISG provides a motor assist during acceleration and during deceleration, it stores some of its electric power.

The idling stop system's also changed. Within 13kph or less during deceleration, the engine automatically switched off and it has the capability to quietly restart the engine thanks to the implementation of the ISG. The unintentional engine restart is suppressed by implementing a brake stroke sensor.

Thanks to the new fuel-efficient technologies, the 2015MY Wagon R sets a new fuel economy of 32.4kmpl. I repeat, fuel economy for the 2015MY Wagon R is now improved to 32.4kmpl. Suzuki fans take note of it because it's now more fuel efficient than its rivals like the Mitsubishi eK Wagon, Daihatsu Move, or the Honda N-WGN.

2015 Suzuki Wagon R Stingray

2015 Suzuki Wagon R Stingray interior

It's not just fuel economy that the latest version stands out from the rest, it's the safety that is on par with any other kei car because the Wagon R has hosts of safety features, including the very clever Radar Brake Support system that stops without the driver asking to do and you might thought you are going to hit something. If this doesn't work, it's yours to blame, not the car. Be advised.

Also, it comes with a special feature that prevents unintended acceleration, a big issue that was faced with millions of drivers in history, an Emergency Stop Signal that warns drivers from behind, ESP, and so much more.

The new 2015 Wagon R starts at 1,078,920 Japanese Yen for the base model while the stylish Stingray model starts at 1,461,240 Japanese Yen. Customers can even afford one with or without S-ENE CHARGE but there are differences to these models because on the normal Wagon R, you can afford an entry-level model with a 5-speed manual gearbox exclusive to this model while on the Stingray, the 660cc turbocharged engine is available exclusively for that model.

Available colors (Wagon R):  Crystal White Pearl, Mysterious Violet Pearl, Silky Silver Metallic, Bluish Black Pearl 3, Innocent Pink Pearl Metallic, Urban Brown Pearl Metallic, and Fizz Blue Pearl Metallic.

Available colors (Wagon R Stingray): Crystal White Pearl, Phoenix Red Pearl, Mysterious Violet Pearl, Bluish Black Pearl 3, and Steel Silver Metallic.

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation

Monday, August 25, 2014

Subaru WRX S4 (VAG) and WRX STi (VAB)

2015 Subaru WRX S4

So, welcome everyone to the brand new Subaru WRX, the rally icon returns with two distinct flavors to choose from depending on which style you're on. For those suitable for daily use, there's the WRX S4 but for those who are speedo boys and a suitable track-day car on a weekend, there's a new WRX STi. Both versions of the WRX are suitable for everyone and depending on which WRX you're on, you will be greeted by the car famed for its legendary motorsport bloodline and just like what Nissan done when the GT-R name is separated from the Skyline brand, the WRX is fully independent and does not have in common with the current Impreza. In other words, don't call it an Impreza anymore.

2015 Subaru WRX STi

What's the difference between the WRX S4 and the WRX STi? Simple, really. The S4 (bearing the chassis code VAG) is a civilized version of the said model and you can visualize it as the 4-door counterpart of the LEVORG sport tourer which is based on. It comes with the same FA20 "Blue Boxer" DIT engine as the LEVORG as well as the not-so-bad Sport Lineartronic CVT from the LEVORG as well. Don't forget that the S4 comes with Subaru's Eyesight Ver. 3. The new WRX STi (bearing the chassis code VAB) is somewhat a WRX S4 with some insane movements because the latest model harks the return of the speedo boy favorite. It carries out the old EJ20 dual AVCS intercooler twin-scroll turbo engine from its predecessor and it's available only in 6-speed manual gearbox.

2015 Subaru WRX S4
2015 Subaru WRX S4 interior

2015 Subaru WRX S4 interior

So, let's talk about the S4 first. First and foremost, the S4 is an everyday variant of the WRX. A variant well suited for the city folk who wanted something more of a go-getter rather than being a homestuck. Picture someone living in a condo who has tons of gadgets on his bag. You could be noticing that it could be a particular person who could be driving this because the S4 is kinda like Subaru's take on the Volvo S60 but don't dare taking this one against the S60 because the WRX S4's Sport Lineartronic CVT gearbox can be a bit of a letdown for a driver's car but because Subaru is one of the Japanese carmakers that perfected the CVT gearbox the same way like Nissan do, it's not so bad. The Sport Lineartronic CVT can also be set to different manual modes via SI-DRIVE. When in Sport Mode, 6-speed manual mode is on and you can take advantage of its paddle shifters for a more enjoyable feel but to bring out the best of the S4, you can try setting it to Sport Sharp. In Sport Sharp mode, the grip becomes well precise and well dramatic and the CVT is now in 8-speed manual mode with good results.

Because the engine is horizontally-opposed, the S4 has a low center of gravity and thanks to its trademark Symmetrical AWD, the S4 is a decent all-rounder suitable for any weather, be it rainy or snow in a Tokyo afternoon. Looks like the S4 performed well to be a driver's car, although Subaru still need room for improvement though.

With the BLUE BOXER DIT engine and the Sport Lineartronic CVT, the WRX S4 achieves a fuel economy of 13.2kmpl on the JC08 Mode scale.

Like the LEVORG it was based on, the WRX S4 comes with 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.

2015 Subaru WRX STi

2015 Subaru WRX STi interior

So, what about the new WRX STi? Because the new model is no longer based on the Impreza unlike the previous generations, it's time for speedo boys to learn one thing. NEVER CALL THIS AN IMPREZA, much like the same way that you should never call the current R35 GT-R a Skyline. This should be a lesson to you all, JDM fans.

Anyway, what's new about the new WRX STi? Well, even though it comes with the same 2.0L 16-valve Dual AVCS twin-scroll turbo engine from the previous model as well as the 6-speed manual gearbox, I wonder what's changed? You know, I tell you what, even with its new look, it still harbors the same spirit.

It still harbors the same heritage that started from the 1990's. After conquering numerous rally courses and surviving through the Nurburgring for a day, the WRX STi has been proven to be the legend that has the respect it deserves and on this new model, the same STi wizardry remains. Apart from the Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, and a Brembo Performance Brake System with Super Sport ABS, the new WRX STi now comes with Active Torque Vectoring.

Active Torque Vectoring applies brake pressure to the front wheel while the Vehicle Dynamics Control provides more settings such as VDC Normal, Traction, and Off, each provides lesser degrees of system engagement. That sounds high-tech but has it work? I can't really say a thing about how grip-worthy the new STi is.

If you're asking about the engine, the 2.0L EJ20 turbo engine develops 308PS of power and 422Nm of torque. Fuel economy? A boorish 9.4kmpl but who cares about it? Even though it still comes with the engine that is two decades old, it's worth passing for the next generation of Subarists. Because the EJ20 is a boxer engine, it has a low center of gravity.

With its chief rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, is almost at the end of its lifespan, looks like the WRX STi has left without a primary rival for now. How pitiful for this car to have no competition...

2015 Subaru WRX STi
And now for the pricing. The WRX S4 starts at 3,348,000 Japanese Yen while the new WRX STi starts at 3,790,000 Japanese Yen. Overall, they're both cheaper to own than the Volvo S60 per se and that's the bottomline...except it isn't. The bottomline is that the WRX S4 is a daily driver car that you can use it to go to the shops if necessary while the WRX STi is born to be a rally-and-track fighter that can be a suitable multirole at the hands of a skilled driver, not for the speedo boy because I know what speedo boys do with Japanese sports cars.

Available colors: Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic, Dark Gray Metallic, Crystal Black Silica, Lightning Red, and WR Blue Pearl.

Photo: Fuji Heavy Industries

Let's Do The News! (August 25, 2014)

The big scoop today...

- There was a mass protest going on at Luneta as thousands of people are rallying against the PDAF and term extension of elected officials. They've even started signing a "people's initiative" against the PDAF at the Quirino Grandstand. It's not just ordinary people that joined the protest, even high-profile celebs like former beauty queen Ma. Isabel Lopez as well as famed rock band Kamikazee.

- The 2014 CAMPI Philippine International Motor Show starts this September 18 up to September 21, 2014, at the World Trade Center, Manila. The Philippines' most exciting motor returns with even more surprises for the motoring public!

- Metro Manila's water distributors are on an alarming rate ever since most of the water from the Angat Dam in Bulacan was release despite its below normal water levels. They said that the dam had violated the protocol that water must be released at the normal water level of 180 meters above sea level.

- The leader of Thailand's coup d'etat, General Prayuth Chanocha, is named as the new Prime Minister of this country following a royal endorsement from the country's monarch. He accepted a royal command issued by King Bhumibol Adulyadej certifying his appointment as the 29th premier of Thailand. Prayuth will be retiring from his military duty next month and until then, he will hold both posts.

- A PNR train got derailed from its tracks at Altura St., Sta. Mesa, Manila. Luckily, no casualties were reported.

- Multiple car bomb explosions on Saturday killed 22 people and injured 135 others in the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq. These car bombs were detonated in three locations in Kirkuk while the next blast occurred in Arbil, destroying a parked car. It is believed to be carried out by the ISIS militants.

- US Journalist, Peter Theo Curtis, the one who was abducted by Islam extremists in Syria two years ago, has been freed.

- FOX ADHD streamed us a funny animated skit in their new SONGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW HAD LYRICS segment. Here comes Super Mario and Yoshi in this funny clip from FOX ADHD. (STOP: The following clip has stuff not suitable for all audiences. Strong Parental Guidance is Advised.)


Celeb Daniel Matsunaga is PBB All In Big Winner

The Brazilian-Japanese model and actor, Daniel Matsunaga, is named as the Big Winner at the recently concluded Pinoy Big Brother ALL IN Big Night. Held last night at Resorts World Manila, Matsunaga garnered 11.69 percent net votes from the viewers, edging ahead of 2nd Big Placer Maris Racal, 3rd Big Placer Jane Oineza, and 4th Big Placer Vickie Rushton.

After surviving 119 days at the Pinoy Big Brother house, looks like Daniel Matsunaga's got the fame and fortune he deserved after crowned as the Big Winner and he earned Php1 million and other special prizes, including a condo unit worth Php2 million.

Image: Pinoy Big Brother Abs-Cbn Facebook page

F1 2014: Belgian GP

Looks like the rookie come first at the end of the grueling Belgian GP of the Formula One 2014 season held at the extremely-challenging Spa-Francorchamps, where F1 aces from all over the globe trying to hone their skills while surviving the twists and turns of one of Europe's finest racetracks regardless of ranks. Despite Nico Rosberg's qualifying pole position, the rookie of Red Bull Racing, Daniel Ricciardo, snagged the checkered flag for the win! That leaves Mercedes' Rosberg to 2nd place and Valtteri Bottas from Williams in 3rd place.

In the Driver's tally, Rosberg's still hanging in his top position at 220 points while teammate and rival Lewis Hamilton still in 2nd place at 191 points. Red Bull's Ricciardo managed to maintained his 3rd spot in 156 points.

The next race will be at Italy this September 7th.

Report: Formula 1
Image: Top Gear

Wow Mali! - August 24, 2014

Highlights on the August 24, 2014 episode of Wow Mali! Lakas Ng Tama!

- BIYAHENG PRESO - Getting squeezed by escaped convicts arrested by cops in the jeep and comes trouble!

- VOICE OVER SA DENTAL CLINIC - Mind the dental bill because this dentist has gone insane!

- BAGAY SA 'YO - Some idiot's making the rounds at the clothing store and he's messing up on to you!

- NADAMAY LANG - Hey you! Have you finished your homework?

- EMOTE CONTROL: HUWAG MATAKOT, MAKIBEKI! - On this episode's EMOTE CONTROL, a foreigner's report gets messy by Hans Mortel!

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