Motor Image unveils the Subaru XV GT at the MIAS

By Alvin Uy Philippine Daily Inquirer April 17,2019
Motor Image unveils the Subaru XV GT at the MIAS

Subaru XV GT designer Mashiko Kobayashi (left) is joined by TCIL Managing Director Glenn Tan

Motor Image Pilipinas Inc., the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, unveiled the Subaru XV GT Edition on the opening day of the 2019 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) at the World Trade Center last April 4.

This is the top end variant of its popular XV model, and this special edition is only available in the markets represented by the Motor Image Group. Aside from Singapore where the Motor Image Group is based, Subaru is being exclusively represented by Motor Image in Cambodia, parts of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.


Last month, this writer had an exclusive meet-and-greet with the designer of the XV GT variant, former Subaru turned independent automotive designer, Mashiko “Jack” Kobayashi. It was the first time Motor Image showed select members of the regional media the prototype model of the XV GT variant. A graduate of the famous school for automotive design, the Art Center in Pasadena, he decided to go independent last year.


He was the Chief Designer (Head of Global Advanced Design Studio) at Subaru Corp., and was responsible for the exterior design of more than 12 Subaru production models, including some models of the WRX STI, the first generation XV, the Levorg, and the first generation Outback models during his 25-year stint with Subaru.


The special edition of the highly popular crossover vehicle is a collaboration with engineering company Giken Co. Ltd under Kobayashi’s leadership.  Giken is an award-winning engineering company founded in 1964. Holding numerous patents in Japan, South Korea and the United States, it has established itself as an industry leader in the design and manufacture of technological and material handling systems. Giken is a global supplier of aero-parts and other passenger car components to Subaru and other major Japanese car brands.


This variant features a specially designed aero kit that has four well-made and integrated elements, giving it a much sleeker and sportier look. These elements include a front bumper lip extension with integrated canards, side skirts, a roof spoiler and a rear bumper extension. Other features include a set of exclusive 18-inch set of alloy wheels, dual side view monitor system, specially designed carpets and seat-leather trims.


“Motor Image worked with Giken and Kobayashi-san, because they share our enthusiasm for design, and creating fun and exciting products. I know this will be the start of an exciting collaboration for Subaru customers. We believe this GT edition will help create excitement in Asia, and offer customers who want an even sportier version of the XV, a new and unique look. We expect that the Philippines will be one of the key markets for the Subaru XV GT Edition,” said Glenn Tan, deputy chairman and managing director of Tan Chong International Limited (TCIL), the parent company of Motor Image Group. Tan was present during the XV GT MIAS launch.


He further added that this iteration of the XV will be a game-changer for Subaru in the country, as it caters to Filipinos’ preference for dynamic and sporty vehicle features. Filipinos expect their vehicles to be in good form and function to suit a “ready for anything” lifestyle. The new Subaru XV GT Edition is a prime choice for consumers who wish to elevate the fun in driving, as it combines Motor Image’s in-depth understanding of the market, Mr. Kobayashi’s expertise, as well as Giken’s experience and Japan standard production capability in Southeast Asia.

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