Full of surprises
The Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) marked its 10th year of auto exposition last April 3 to 6 with yet another grand show for the books. Held at the World Trade Center Manila, the auto expo encompassed over 30,000sq.m. of exhibition space, occupying both the World Trade Center Manila and the Philippine Trade Training Center. Worldbex Services International (WSI) constructed air-conditioned hallways to join the independent structures. In addition, a 4,000 sq.m. custom tent was erected to provide additional floor space.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by WSI executives together with the guest of honor, Senate President Franklin Drilon.
The auto show was participated in by a wide variety of automobile and aftermarket parts and accessories brands and the Motorcycle Development Program Participants Association Inc., which is composed of motorcycle brands Honda, Kawasaki, Kymco, Suzuki and Yamaha.
Besides the new vehicle launches announced by Manila Bulletin Drive last week, several other manufacturers kept mum on their surprises until the last minute.
Peugeot T16 R2
Eurobrands Distributor, Inc., purveyors of Pegueot, presented a replica of the 208 T16 R2 which competed in the European Rally Car championship, the Nurbugring 20 Hour Race and is currently entered in the 2014 FIA World Rallycross Championship. The T16 R2 is based on the 208 GTi which Peugeot will soon release locally.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
CATS Motors, Inc. offered the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a choice of three engines ranging from the 3.6-liter V6, 5.7-liter Hemi V8 or its latest 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V6 engine. All engines are paired with an eight-speed transmission. In addition a choice of three drivetrains are also available to choose from: the QuadraTrac I, the two-speed transfer case equipped QuadraTrac II with Selec Terrain or the QuadraLift air suspension system with Selec-Terrain.
Ford revealed a new Escape based on the current US market version. The marquee has not released any specifics on powertrain, equipment or price. The vehicle is expected to be launched in the local market by the fourth quarter of the year. The model will slot in between the EcoSport and Explorer as the brand’s compact crossover SUV offering.
Kia brought forth its 2014 Soul, inspired by the Kia Track’ster coupe concept presented at the Chicago Auto Show in 2012. The Soul features smoother exterior body panels with surface detailing and a “floating” body-color panel inset into the tailgate. It’s equipped with a FlexSteer Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) system, soft-touch materials on the instrument panel, center console, and door panels and a new 1.6-liter diesel engine paired with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Tata made MIAS the venue for its formal launch in the country with the president and chairman of Pilipinas Taj Autogroup (TAJ), its local distributor, David Coyukiat; TAJ general manager, Nicky Mariano and executives from Tata Motors Limited present. TAJ highlighted its mini trucks, the Tata Ace and Tata Super Ace during the show, to be made available in the third quarter of the year at its Marcos Highway and Davao City showrooms. TV weatherman “Kuya Kim” Atienza was present at the launch to endorse the brand.
To show off its partnership with the latest Marvel franchise, Chevrolet displayed a customized Chevrolet Colorado fitted with Captain America decals. The display is part of the brand’s Turbo-Diesel Powerhouse Team which includes the Trailblazer and Spin. Chevy also had a 2014 Camaro ZL1, better known as Bumblebee, one of the lead characters of the blockbuster movie series: Transformers. Though the vehicle itself could not transform, a Bumblebee cosplayer was present to entertain the crowd.
Besides the presentations of the vehicle manufactuers, the show also featured the Russ Swift Precision Driving Stunt Show; Top Gear special demonstrations; the display of the 2014-2015 winners of the car of the year and truck of the year by the Car Awards Group Inc.; the Classic, Vintage and Custom car competition presented by Petron; MDPPA Road Safety Seminar and the 19th Motorsports Award (AAP).