Category Archives: Car News

Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (last of a series) — Vortex Generator / Shark Fin Antenna

This series is written by Ice Man, a well known personality in the auto performance tuning circuit. Often a judge in major car shows held nationwide, he is regarded as an expert in car enhancements and styling. Much like Dr. Gregory House on TV, Ice Man is borderline arrogant, painfully critical, and definitely one of the best in the motoring field.

WARNING: If you are reading this and have any of the products mentioned, I’m sorry for being too critical but it doesn’t change the fact that your car still looks “passe” and “uncool”.

Auto Fashion Disaster No. 4: Vortex Generator/Shark Fin Antenna

This is another mod that somewhat looks cool. These are the things you normally see on the roof near the rear of an Evo or BMW. But once again, realize that your car is not an EVO or a BMW.

Actually, I can tolerate the shark fin antenna because it does look kinda cool, until some smart guy sticks it on a massive SUV or an AUV. Come on, it doesn’t work that way.

Continue reading Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (last of a series) — Vortex Generator / Shark Fin Antenna

Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (3rd of a series) — Mugen RR / Evo X Bodykit

This series is written by Ice Man, a well known personality in the auto performance tuning circuit. Often a judge in major car shows held nationwide, he is regarded as an expert in car enhancements and styling. Much like Dr. Gregory House on TV, Ice Man is borderline arrogant, painfully critical, and definitely one of the best in the motoring field.

 

WARNING: If you are reading this and have any of the products mentioned, I’m sorry for being too critical but it doesn’t change the fact that your car still looks “passe” and “uncool”.

Auto Fashion Disaster No. 3: Mugen RR / Evo X Bodykit

Ok, this is pretty brand specific for the Honda and Mitsubishi camps; but come on, this is so last 3 YEARS AGO fashion.

The bodykit industry is very much like the fashion industry: everyone wants the latest look that comes out of the runaway — in this case — the car show.

Continue reading Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (3rd of a series) — Mugen RR / Evo X Bodykit

Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (2nd of a series) — Carbon Fiber Stickers

This series is written by Ice Man, a well known personality in the auto performance tuning circuit. Often a judge in major car shows held nationwide, he is regarded as an expert in car enhancements and styling. Much like Dr. Gregory House on TV, Ice Man is borderline arrogant, painfully critical, and definitely one of the best in the motoring field.

WARNING: If you are reading this and have any of the products mentioned, I’m sorry for being too critical but it doesn’t change the fact that your car still looks “passe” and “uncool”.

Auto Fashion Disaster No. 2: Carbon Fiber Stickers

These were actually cool when they first came out,… for around 3 months. Once again we have a product that tries to emulate the real thing and caters to people who choose to not spend on the real thing.

Continue reading Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (2nd of a series) — Carbon Fiber Stickers

Automotive Fashion Disasters We Would Like to See Disappear (1st of a series) — LED lighting strips

This series is written by Ice Man, a well known personality in the auto performance tuning circuit. Often a judge in major car shows held nationwide, he is regarded as an expert in car enhancements and styling. Much like Dr. Gregory House on TV, Ice Man is borderline arrogant, painfully critical, and definitely one of the best in the motoring field.


WARNING: If you are reading this and have any of the products mentioned, I’m sorry for being too critical but it doesn’t change the fact that your car still looks “passe” and “uncool”.

So let’s start shall we?

Auto Fashion Disaster No. 1: LED lighting using DIY strips

Much like the “Euro” and the “Projector” fads that came before it, Audi style LED strips have now appeared on everything from Pajeros to Camrys, and there is no end in sight. But unlike before when you have to buy the whole headlight, now all you need to buy is a brownish colored strip that you stick on top of your existing headlights. In the daytime, these strips look downright ugly, and at night, they look even worse: fake and ugly.

Be smart, don’t ruin what car designers have spent thousands of hours on,… or maybe at least buy the full headlight version which has slightly more polish. Whatever you do, just remember it’s still a fad. After a few months, you may not want it on your car any more.

Next up, Carbon Fiber Stickers…

Robot Cars Will Soon be a Reality

A lot of the focus around future transport in recent years has been on the kind of fuel that will be used. Will they be hybrid, electric or hydrogen powered? What gets talked about less often is whether cars will need to be driven at all.

Google Street View Camera Car [051-2010_project365]
Creative Commons License photo credit: woozie2010

Once a notion that was connected only to science fiction, the possibility of robotic cars is becoming much more of a realistic one. Every now and then a robotic car is test driven on the roads in public view, but always with a person in the driver’s seat – ready to take over should things go wrong.

Continue reading Robot Cars Will Soon be a Reality

Hybrid Cars Just Got More Affordable with the Toyota Prius C

Toyota Philippines has unveiled the Prius C in the market. And with prices starting at PhP 1.475 million, going green won’t necessarily meaning breaking the bank.

The larger, 3rd-generation Prius costs more than PhP 2 million, which has probably turned off green-minded individuals in the country to go for cheaper alternatives. As such, sub 1-million subcompacts have proliferated, and city streets are teeming with the Toyota Vios, Honda City and Hyundai Accent, along with a host of other ultra-compact cars.

But with the new Toyota Prius C boasting of a 40 Km/L mileage, it’s probably the best choice for green-enthusiasts, considering rising fuel prices and worsening metro traffic.

Powered by a 1.5 L 1NZ-FXE VVT-i engine (similar to the Vios), the Prius C is likewise powered by a Hybrid Synergy Drive electric motor, which accurately adjusts output from the gas-fed engine and electric motor, depending on driving conditions, while minimizing consumption. The car’s regenerative braking system and exhaust gas recirculation system adds to efficiency, charging the batteries while the car is running.

It’s not as cheap as other subcompacts would be. The Prius C starts at PhP 1.475 million for the Standard and PhP 1.540 for the Full variant. For this price, you could buy a pickup-based SUV like the Montero Sport or Fortuner. But if you want fuel savings, and if you want to contribute to saving the Earth, then the Prius C would be a smart choice.

Nissan 2nd Top Asian Car Brand in the Americas in 2011

Nissan has announced that the brand is now the second most popular brand in the Americas, which includes North, Central and South America. Nissan gained a 0.6% increase in market share over its 2010 figure, advancing the automaker as the #2 Asian automotive brand in the region.

Nissan America has totaled 1.56 million units sold in 2011, while the brand sold 1.33 million in 2010. Nissan trails behind Toyota, which sold 1.85 million units in 2011. Honda, Hyundai and Kia follows, with 1.29 million, 1.03 million and 659,000, respectively.

“2011 was a breakthrough year for Nissan in the Americas in a multitude of ways,” said Colin Dodge, chairman, Nissan Americas.  “We outperformed our key Japanese competitors in every market throughout the Americas while the Nissan brand became one of the fastest-growing Asian automotive brands in the region.”

Other highlights:

  • In the U.S., Nissan gained market share for the sixth consecutive year, ending 2011 with 8.2 percent of the U.S. market, up from 6 percent just a few years ago;
  • In Mexico, Nissan has been the market leader for three consecutive years and ended 2011 with a record market share of 24.8 percent, up 1.7 points from the prior year;
  • In Brazil, Nissan’s business has been rapidly expanding with sales that nearly doubled in 2011.  Nissan was Brazil’s fastest-growing automotive brand in 2011 and is now the 7th best-selling car brand in the country;
  • In Latin America, Nissan finished 2011 with 10 percent market share for the first time, up 0.4 points from the prior year.

Have You Joined the Chevy Spark Virtual Carpool Club Yet?

Chevy has just launched its latest model Spark, and is inviting everyone to join the virtual carpool. Simply mosy over to the Chevy Spark Virtual Carpool Club Facebook application and you get the chance to win five iPad 2s.

All you have to do is “like” the Chevy Philippines Facebook fan page and register in the Spark Carpool Club application. Upon registering, you will automatically be designated as the virtual carpool driver of the account. The objective of the game is to add as much Facebook friends to be your carpool buddy.

Of course, aside from just Liking the page, you will need to have friends join your carpool club, as well. The more friends you invite, the more entries you get to the raffle. A winning “car” with five members will be picked each week, with the members receiving movie tickets and Chevy merchandise. Meanwhile, the winners of the final draw get an iPad 2 each.

Chevy’s latest Spark comes in two new variants, particularly the 1.0 liter 4-speed automatic and 5speed manual, which have the same design as the 1.2L MT. According to tests, these new models can give you as much as 22 km/L for the manual 1.2L and 1.0L variants, and 19 km/L for the 1.0 automatic. How’s that for a fuel-efficient pocket rocket?