Subaru PH unveils all-new XV and concludes 2017 Palm Challenge

At centerstage (from left): Katsuyuki Mizuma, corporate senior VP of Subaru Corporation, and Glenn Tan, managing director of Tan Chong International Ltd.

At centerstage (from left): Katsuyuki Mizuma, corporate senior VP of Subaru Corporation, and Glenn Tan, managing director of Tan Chong International Ltd.

Who wants a chance to travel to Singapore and win an all-new Subaru XV? Apparently, this is what over a hundred aspiring contestants aspired for when they braved the scorching heat last Saturday at the Philippine edition of the 2017 Palm Challenge.

Sponsored by Motor Image Pilipinas, exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, the annual endurance challenge started in the morning.

Five all-new XV vehicles were flanked by aspiring contestants vying to represent the Philippines in the Singapore finals this coming October.

The challenge lasted over 10 hours at an open and uncovered area on 9th Avenue, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City.

The punishing heat was interspersed by a couple of heavy rainshowers that drenched the participants and cooled down their weary and tired bodies.

However, the rain and sudden temperature change caused the participants to slip on their grip, and increased their discomfort.

At the end of almost 11 hours of sheer determination and raw will power, 10 finalists made it, and earning them the right to represent Team Philippines in Singapore.

Veteran challenger Alex Neblasca, a perennial Philippine winner and last year’s runner-up in the Regional Palm Challenge finals in Singapore, came in third.

Coming in second was Rheden Pinoliad, while the new Philippine champion was Juntie Torres, who works as a security guard.

Torres clocked in 10 hours, 57 minutes and 50 seconds.

The Philippine team will be in Singapore from Oct. 27 to Nov. 1, 2017, to compete in the regional finals of the Subaru Palm Challenge.

Apart from the Philippine leg, Motor Image also held the second year of the Collegiate Leg of the Subaru Palm Challenge last Sunday.

The top three lasted for almost 5 hours on a very hot Sunday. Vincent Ragudo of Our Lady of Fatima University won the top position with 4 hours, 51 minutes and 6 seconds.

Shana Costillas came in second, while Joyce Enage took third place. Both Costillas and Enage are from Rizal Technological University.

The top 10 finishers of the Philippine edition of the 2017 Palm Challenge (all in orange T-shirts) with MIP officials

All the three contestants took home a cash prize of P5,000 each. Collegiate champion, Vincent Ragudo, earned an additional P30,000 for his school.

All-new XV unveiled

It was also the same weekend that Motor Image unveiled the all-new XV.

This second generation XV represents the first full model change since the original Subaru XV launch in 2012. It is also the second model to have the revolutionary Subaru Global Platform.

Glenn Tan, managing director for Tan Chong International, said: “When we were looking at the all-new XV, our principals focused on emphasizing performance. For me, it is all about control.”

The new platform was first introduced in the all-new Impreza, which elevated the driving experience of the new generation Impreza, and now the XV with heightened levels of confidence, comfort and control.

Guest performance by Bolt of Talent contestant Hans Dimayuga

The all-new XV had a regional launch last June, with international celebrity and dog whisperer, Cesar Milan, gracing the unveiling.

Tan Chong International is the parent company of Motor Image, the exclusive distributor of Subaru across nine countries in Asia, including the Philippines.

Tan was joined by Katsuyuki Mizuma, corporate senior vice president for Subaru Corporation (Japan).

“The all-new Subaru XV is a bold statement that will cater to Filipinos who require the practical and functional features of a crossover SUV for their everyday activities,” said Reza Mutalib, head of Regional Marketing, Motor Image Enterprises Pte Ltd.

“We are thrilled to launch this new generation XV built on the new Subaru Global Platform. The first generation XV was very well received, and we are confident that the all-new Subaru XV will be the perfect driving partner for Filipinos, whether it be in daily traffic or out-of-town escapades,” Mutalib added.

Participants brave the harsh sun and intermittent heavy rains.

During the media briefing before the start of the Palm Challenge weekend, it was announced that Mutalib will be overseeing the Philippine operations of Motor Image concurrent as head of country for Motor Image Philippines. The promotion of Gerry Hernandez as the MIP general manager was also bared.

Also during the presscon, MIP executives intimated that Subaru’s proprietary EyeSight driver assist technology will be made available for select models for 2018, and will be unveiled at the Manila International Auto Show this coming year.

EyeSight is the culmination of everything Subaru engineers know about safety. Adding confidence to every trip, the technology monitors traffic movement, optimizes cruise control, and gives a warning if you sway outside your lane.

The precollision braking feature applies full braking in emergency situations, helping you avoid or reduce frontal impact.

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