by Chris Van Hoven
Eagerly awaited by car aficionados all over the metro, the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) has always been a fantastic showcase for the best of what the Philippine automotive industry has to offer. From current models and aftermarket accessories to tuned street cars and restored classics, there’s a bit of everything for every motoring enthusiast.
MIAS also serves as a chance for car brands to highlight some exciting new models, never before seen on local shores. Whether some of these models see the light of showrooms is something we’ll know as MIAS goes on; but until then, let’s take a quick glance of some of the show’s most anticipated highlights.
MAZDA MX-5 RF
Mazda has been teasing us endlessly with small bits of information on their new MX-5 variant, which complements the current MX-5 soft top. The Mazda MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) offers the best of both worlds for convertible and coupe fans alike, allowing you to still feel the “wind in your hair” exhilaration of a convertible, while seamlessly transforming into a veritable hardtop coupe when needed. The power retractable roof takes a mere 13 seconds to fully open or close, making the transformation a (ahem) breeze.
The MX-5 RF isn’t the only exciting new model we’ll get to see this weekend, as Mazda is set to introduce another showstopper — the all-new CX-5 crossover SUV. The 2017 CX-5 features a new grille, sleeker headlights, slimmer tail lights, and a refreshed interior. Changes go beyond aesthetics however, as the new crossover also features reduced NVH levels and G-Vectoring control technology for improved handling dynamics. The CX-5 has proven to be one of Mazda’s more popular models, accounting for one of every four Mazda units sold. It’s no surprise then that Mazda is pulling out all the stops in making sure the 2017 model improves on its predecessor in every way.
HONDA CIVIC TYPE-R
Honda fans have long clamored for a Type-R variant of the beloved Civic, which represents its highest performance version. Their patience has been rewarded, as they’ll finally get to see the all-new Civic Type-R in the metal — and it’s a beast. Powered by a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder turbo engine that outputs 320 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual transmission with rev match technology, the all-new Civic Type-R features the traditional red and black motif, as well as a redesigned aggressive grille, remoulded skirts, 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and a massive rear spoiler, making sure its high-performance intentions are well known.
The Impreza is arguably Subaru’s most well-known model, so we can expect a significant level of improvements as they introduce the all-new 2017 Subaru Impreza this weekend. Riding on Subaru’s brand new Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the 2017 Subaru Impreza continues to carry its rich rally history with it, together with enhancements to its performance, safety, comfort, all-around space, and fuel economy. Equipped with an improved version of Subaru’s renowned all-wheel-drive system, the Impreza is certainly a compact sedan we’re keeping a close eye on.
Volkwagen is set to introduce the all-new Tiguan at the Manila International Auto Show, marking the compact crossover SUV’s second generation. Longer and wider than the model it replaces, the Tiguan features a more muscular design, an updated cabin, and a Euro-6 compliant 1.4-liter TSI turbocharged engine which produces 150 hp and 250 Nm of torque. The Tiguan also features a regenerative braking system and automatic start/stop for improved fuel economy. The Volkwagen Tiguan is hugely popular in Europe, where it’s praised for its refinement and practicality, so we’re excited to see how it stacks up to the rest of its crossover competitors.
Finally, Chevrolet is unveiling their A-segment car, the fourth generation Spark. The vehicle now features a redesigned shell, looking more like a sporty hatch. Top-of-the-line models will get LED daytime running lamps and halogen projector headlamps. It will be powered by the a 1.4-liter inline four engine, producing 99 hp. Inside, it will feature a steering wheel with remote stereo controls, which manipulate the Chevy MyLink touchscreen entertainment system. It will be priced from P648,888 to P763,888.