Two dashes of Germany, a pinch of Japan
BMW, Audi and Honda deliver the spice to mark the start of Q2 2017
The second half of 2017 is getting interesting, as beginning last week, and running up to the next, three car manufacturers based in three auto-progressive nations are serving up their performance specimens for the Philippine market.
Let’s start with the Germans, as the all-new BMW 5 Series was unveiled on July 4 at the Globe Auditorium of the Bonifacio Global City Arts Center in Taguig.
The unveiling of the seventh generation BMW 5 Series also revealed impressive features, such as the BMW Gesture Control, the BMW Display Key (which can provide information on fuel levels, and turn on the air-conditioning before the driver enters the car), a 12.3-inch full digital instrument display, and an eye-catching exterior design.
This iconic brand (7.9 million BMW 5 Series cars have been sold during its first six generations) gets the honor of being the first truly modern BMW, the model that combines the qualities of a sports sedan with the creature comforts of a luxury saloon.
Asian Carmakers Corporation, the official importer and distributor of the BMW in the Philippines, describes the all-new BMW 5 Series as having “aesthetic athleticism and driving pleasure with state-of-the-art technology.”
ACC president Maricar Parco said, “Since 1972, BMW has been producing an award-winning vehicle that enjoys international recognition and success, striking a perfect balance of sport and style, with a sleek exterior and a host of innovative technologies within.”
Audi’s compact SUV
The new Audi Q2, which would be displayed at the Audi showrooms in Greenhills, Global City, Westgate Alabang and SM Seaside City Cebu after the exclusive media unveiling scheduled on July 19, may be the smallest SUV of the German-based carmaker.
It has a raised driving position as well as automatic transmissions with front-wheel drive.
But don’t let its size deceive you, as its powerplant packs a punch.
According to Audi Philippines, the Audi Q2 has a top speed of 197 kph, and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 10.1 seconds.
A strong image is created up front with the singleframe grille in octagonal design positioned up high, as well as by the large air inlets.
The low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades makes the Q2 all the more eye-catching and accentuates to the appeal and sportiness of the model.
The Q2’s powerplant is an inline three-cylinder spark-ignition engine with gasoline direct injection, exhaust turbocharger with indirect intercooler, four valves per cylinder, and double overhead camshaft (DOHC).
The Q2 also comes with a variant powered by a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine TFSI that generates 116 hp, similar to that of the Audi A3.
Audi also features the S tronic dual clutch transmission with seven speeds for all engines.
The top turbocharged direct injection (TDI) and the 2.0 turbocharged fuel stratified injection (TFSI) have a newly developed dual-clutch transmission.
Both engines may also be combined with a quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard equipment.
For the dashboard, standard to the Q2 is a 5.8-inch MMI screen that is positioned high up on the instrument panel.
The infotainment system can be operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the center tunnel.
The Audi Q2 comes with comprehensive driver assistance systems, including the Audi pre-sense front as a standard feature.
The system recognizes critical situations when driving with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the car, and if necessary, can initiate hard braking automatically to a standstill or to low speeds.
One hot hatch
A sneak peek of the much-anticipated Honda Civic Type R was accorded to visitors of the recent 2017 Manila International Auto Show.
Well, peek no more as Honda Cars Philippines Inc. (HCPI) will make available the first-ever Civic Type R model to be sold locally, according to the HCPI media statement last July 10.
HCPI will be bringing in 100 units of the All-New Civic Type R this year at a suggested retail price of P2.98 million (in two color variants: Championship White and Rallye Red).
HCPI will be holding an exclusive event once deliveries are completed to the first owners in the Philippines.
The 36 Honda car dealerships nationwide started accepting reservations on July 11, 2017, with deliveries expected by September.
The Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter VTEC turbo engine with maximum power output of 310 ps at 6,500 rpm, and peak torque of 400 Nm from 2,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission further enhanced by a rev match control system, enabling the car to sustain maximum power during gearshifts.
The rev-matching function can be switched on or off in the user settings for the car, regardless of which driving mode is selected.
According to HCPI, with the combination of the engine, transmission with rev match control system, bespoke chassis, adaptive suspension, and an aerodynamic exterior, the All-New Civic Type R set a new benchmark lap time for the front-wheel drive category at Nürburgring Nordschelife last April 3 of 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the first Honda Type R. “For more than two decades, the Type R badge has denoted the highest performance version of its respective model, derived from philosophy of crafting racing-inspired road cars,” according to HCPI.