Historic miss of Lexus launch

In Photo: One of the greatest drivers of Formula 1, Michael Schumacher

NOW, take a look at this muscle. Its engine does not only have 32 valves but 477 screaming thoroughbred Kentucky-like horses, as well. What is this, a monster for the future?

And here’s more: It is a 4.7-liter hunk and has an eight-cylindered engine. Fantasmagorical?

OK, you want some more?

It has a 10-speed transmission. Euro-2s are out basically (sorry to L300 and Adventure, and Crosswind, as well?).

Euro-4s are now the in-thing, yes, but, hey, what about this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious intruder from Tomorrowland that is even Euro-6 compliant already?

Will we have a nowhere man handling it soon? Darth Vader, perhaps? Solo, aka Napoleon or Harrison Ford? Vin Diesel? Never Tom & Jerry, dummy. Is it a bird triple the size of an emu, ostrich?

Is it a plane bigger than the A380?

Is it a seafarer double the size of the Titanic?

None of the above.

OK, now, listen up.

This is a car, with 13 speakers in the cabin to almost totally muffle the rumble of an engine equipped with four tailpipes.

Call its interiors like a presidential suite of that seven-star hotel in Dubai, my pleasure.

For, this is the Lexus LC 500 sports car, whose launch just a few days back I terribly missed mainly due to flu.

Danny “Sir John” Isla, the immediate past president of Lexus, had graciously wanted me fetched but I vehemently said no. My two-piece suit was pressed ready, yes, but I didn’t want to infect the well-heeled throng and spoil the first big party for Raymond T. Rodriguez, Sir John’s dashingly tall and handsome and gallant successor.

Oh, well, I also rued missing the occasion very much because not only was a much-coveted Macallan sip got sideswiped but history knocked out, as well. It marked the first time that I failed to attend a Lexus launch since this exquisite Japanese luxury brand opened its doors in Manila in 2009. Lexus Chairman Alfred Ty is my witness. Ah, yes, there’s always the first time. And how much is the latest Lexus head-turner?

It pegs to the tune of P8,888,000. That amount can already buy almost seven Innovas, if not eight Vioses, or six Fortuners.

Expensive then, you say?

Not in Manila. While five-20 units sold for the year is considered a windfall already for our neighbors in the Asean region, our own homegrown high-end folks have made reservations long before the LC 500 was launched last week.

And how many had been ordered thus far?

Blink not: 80!

And before 2017 could bow out, 30 units shall have been delivered to loyal Lexus customers.

When it comes to cars, there’s no stopping the Filipino from owning one. The more expensive the ride is, the more he covets it.

Reason? The world’s weirdest is the Filipino. Isn’t basketball his national sport—a game where height is might?

Laugh and the Filipino laughs with you—if not at you.

Schumacher revisited

A dear friend of mine sent the following. It’s something to ponder on, especially in these troubled times when the true meaning of life is at times drowned out by meaningless ululations.

“Dear panyero,

“Today, Michael Schumacher, one of the greatest drivers of Formula 1, is almost forgotten and fighting for his life after a ski accident in 2013 when he sustained severe head injuries. He weighs a mere 40 pounds today and is fighting for his life daily.

“To think…he won 91 GP races and was seven times a world champion. The speed was in his soul but on a day of relaxation in a ski resort, fate intervened and his life changed forever.

“To date, his medical bill is around €14 million and his wife had to sell his properties to pay the medical expenses.

“His tragedy could be a lesson in life for all of us. There is nothing permanent in this short sojourn on Earth.

“Why bicker about race and religion when we all end up as skulls and skeletons without a difference?

“You need money to survive but you need not to be consumed by it.

“Do not be unkind to yourself by saying you will enjoy tomorrow as tomorrow may never come.

“Do not give excuses to have a good time with family and friends. For in the end, only they matter.

“All we have today is today, and all that is within our reach is to be happy while time runs. That we have to deal with problems and possessions, when we are so insignificant and powerless in front of something that ‘steals our lives’.

“Let’s do good and live a contented life. Thank you, panyero.”

PEE STOP Uber was suspended one month for allegedly continuing to accept applicant-drivers in defiance of an order from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The agony of one is the glory of the other: Grab. With Uber out, Grab could easily rake in oodles of money, considering the huge demand of app-based cabs amid a continuously declining trust on traditional taxis. But is the LTFRB’s punishment on Uber fair, if not legal?…Joke time—policeman: I arrest people, but when I go home, I am under house arrest, by my wife!

 

Image Credits: bmw.com