When business and leisure collide

In Photo: The Russian-made Ural NEXT all-wheel-drive 6x6 trucks

Story & photos by Randy S. Peregrino

THIS year’s edition of the Manila International Auto Show (Mias) drove up the action to the tune of “Work and Play.” The event focused more on innovations involving ranges of vehicles ideal for the businesses and, of course, for the leisure and adventure-seekers. An spectacle of sensational cars was still the crowd drawer. But this time, visitors in the hauling and forwarding business sectors were delighted to see a segregated hall for trucks on display.

Mercedes-Benz’s main attraction—the AMG

JAC Motors wants you to ‘Forget Normal’

RECENTLY opened new dealership in Westgate Center, Alabang and under the exclusive distributorship of Triesenburg Auto Corp., JAC Motors brought in its complete lineup of passenger vehicles in the country. Determined to offer a first-rate brand alternative to the growing auto industry in the country, the manufacturer is also keen on promoting their tagline “Forget Normal,” as an expression of breaking away from the usual and the conventional.

Among these introduced models, four segments made it to this year’s auto show. At a glance, all models share a pronounced trapezoidal front grille with distinct differentiations. But the interior is where each of the variant sets its vast individuality in cabin layouts. Leading the pack is the flagship model S7 seven-seater midsized sport-utility vehicles (SUV). It is powered by a 2.0-liter VVT turbocharged petrol engine dishing out 187 hp and 300 N-m of maximum torque coupled to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. There’s also the S2 subcompact SUV powered by a 1.5-liter VVT gasoline engine, which produces 103 hp and 146 N-m of maximum torque paired to a manual or a CVT gearboxe options.

Motul Philippines’s army of five MB G Wagon 4×4

The M4 minivan, meantime, is powered by a 1.9-liter diesel mill paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Last is the J sedan motivated by the same 1.5-liter VVT gasoline engine from the S2, which produces 103 hp and 146 N-m of maximum torque. Likewise, it offers both five-speed manual gearbox and CVT automatic options.

Motul’s band of off-roading machines

This year, Autoplus Sportzentrum, the local distributor of Motul performance motor oils in the country, shifted gears from displaying exotic sports cars and decided to showcase a troop of five Mercedes-Benz G Wagon 4x4s. While these ultimate off-roading machines were clad in different body shades, its setup are identical from the ground and up. Noticeable were the remarkable suspension modifications that gave the vehicles significant amount of ground clearance, along with superb exterior add-ons.

Supporting Mias for 12 years now, Motul Philippines continues to showcase its loyal clients’ rare collections of sensational vehicles for the eventgoers to appreciate. But another highlight from the brand’s booth was the illustration wall representing Motul’s 165 years of history timeline. From the time the brand was established in 1853, its first multigrade oil launched in 1953, breaking new ground in 1971 for introducing the first 100-percent synthetic oil in the market—the Century 300V and up to what it has become today in the arena of motorsports.

JAC Motor’s midsized SUV S7 and subcompact SUV S2

Starting the Benz alphabet with a G

AS usual, capturing every visitor’s attention right in front of the main hall entrance was the assemblage of stunning Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Again, spectators were lured with the way these stellar autos were presented. Without the need of a program, the booth still managed to create a spectacle for everyone to appreciate.

Taking the center stage this time was the fresh edition of the AMG G 63 4×4 Wagon. Powered by a 5.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, it dishes out a powerful 420 hp at 5,500 rpm and a massive 760 N-m of maximum torque between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm. Completing the Benz’s lineup of vehicles were the AMG GLA 45, CLA 180 Urban sedan, E class 220 d sedan, V 220 CDI Avantgarde Long passenger van, and the GLC 250 SUV.

New heavy-duty haulers

TRUCKS in the country are also evolving along with passenger cars. Modern designs are starting to ply our streets, while more manufacturers are being introduced in the market. Among these new players are from Europe. For the first time, a Russian manufacturer finally brought in its version of commercial vehicles. The GAZ Group, through GAZelle Motors Corp., showcased the Ural NEXT all-wheel-drive 6×6 medium-duty special passenger and dump truck variants. Unlike the typical trucks, these models sport a bonnet-type cab, which is vital for optimal all-wheel-drive operation by distributing axle loads in the front and rear optimally, without overloading the front axle. Both variants are powered by a 6.6-liter, six in-line, turbodiesel motor dishing out 240 hp and 900 N-m of maximum torque.

DAF CF series tractor heads clad in radiant yellow shade

The other new player, meantime, is the Dutch-made DAF medium and heavy-duty trucks. Pioneer Trucks and Equipment Corp. (PTEC), the exclusive distributor of DAF trucks in the country displayed its frontliner CF series tractor head and long chassis. Sporting the usual flat-nose cab design, the exterior profiles highlight more aerodynamic contours and vent openings up front. Beneath the radiant yellow body shade, both variants utilize a Paccar PR series engine ranging from 249 to 360 hp with matching maximum torque range from 1,050 to 1,450 N-m depending on the load and application. Aside from DAF, PTEC is also into truck parts distribution, apart from importing known truck brands like Kenworth, Peterbuilt and International Harvester.

Meanwhile, the opening day was capped off with the Automobile Association Philippines’s (AAP) 23nd Annual Motorsport Awards. The AAP 2017 Driver of the Year awardees were Medario Emilio Rivera (Slalom), Jose Wilfredo John Dizon (Karting), Jonathan Tiu (Drag), Patrichk dela Rosa (Circuit), David Feliciano (Rallycross), Edison Dungca (4×4 Off-Road Pro), Bomvet Santos (4×4 Off-Road Production). Also, special awards were given to Daniel Miranda as the Vios Cup Overall Champion Eduardo Suiza III as FORS Over-all Champion, and Ajay Atis for Marshal of the Year. As for the Achievement Awards, some of the reciepients were Angie King for the 2017 Ferrari Challenge Asia and Dexter Rei Daquigan for the 2017 Classic Mini Championship Asia.

Image Credits: Randy S. Peregrino

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Randy is our contributing writer for motoring and journey sections. If he is not doing test drives for monthly feature stories, he finds delight in covering travel events once in a while. His passion for cars goes beyond appreciation and knowledge as he takes pleasure in fixing stuff all by himself - as long as he have the right tools. Previously, he led teams of associates in the BPO industry from several offshore companies for almost a decade. He is a proud Thomasian.