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A refined riot

It took two hours to get from Quezon City to Makati, and once there, there was more traffic waiting at Bonifacio Global City (BGC). I was driving a manual, slowly crawling from stoplight to stoplight, but nothing could wipe the ear to ear smile off my face. I was driving an Aston Martin. DBPhils Motorsports, Inc., distributor of the storied British brand so closely associated with James Bond had generously handed over the keys to a Vantage V8 N430, Vantage V12 and Rapide V12. Aston Martin Manila had just opened last September, with a showroom located along the prestigious 5th Avenue in Global City. The opening was timed well with the premiere of the latest Bond film, Spectre. And while the buzz over the movie has long since faded, fanfare over …

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Pleasant surprises

You meet extraordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, like at dinner of well-crafted cuisine, where unexpectedly, they present you with an award to show their appreciation for your years of doing your job. Circumstances like that I will certainly keep in my memory bank because, one, I probably won’t be invited to a dinner with a surprise like that again; and two, sitting in a restaurant with the big men of the Toyota Dealers Association brings an air of elegance, you instantly forget the traffic you crawled through, and the deadline work you left behind, before you stepped in. For the 47 gentlemen and ladies behind the Toyota brand in the Philippines, it must have just been another relaxing dinner with friends.  What made it special were two matters to celebrate: to welcome …

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What do you love about your car?

promo by a petroleum company last Monday that asked motorists to show how much they love their car on social media was like a memo to all saying that Valentine’s Day is here. Men won’t have a problem relating for obvious reasons but I notice women nowadays showing the same amount of emotion to their daily drives. And with the traffic these days, the only thing you spend more time in is your desk at work and your bed at home. So I figured, let’s talk about the things to love about driving — features you love most about your car. We’ll rate the following features using X’s and O’s with XOXO being the highest. Displacement, horsepower and torque aside, there’s so much more to vehicles nowadays than what you get from under …

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California superbike school level 4

Faster, flowing and rhythmic. This is how my motorcycle riding style was transformed after completing the four skill levels of the California Superbike School (CSS) that I took for three consecutive years since CSS first conducted its sessions in February 2014. Primarily designed for superbike racing, the CSS courses instill upon its students the art of cornering, which is key to winning. From Level 1 to Level 3, there are sets of drills that honed us to have better control, not only of the motorbike but also ourselves as riders. There are modules for proper braking, steering, counter steering, correct body position, and to avoid target fixation, among others. Step-by-step, Australia-based CSS instructors, led by Steve Brouggy, diligently and patiently redefined our riding styles and techniques in transforming us into better yet, safer …

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Samsung and Hyundai Motor work together with Quanergy

By Lee Seung-hoon and Cheon Beom-joo, Maeil Business News Korea The Samsung Group and Hyundai Motor Co. chose U.S.-based venture Quanergy as their partner to tap into the promising smart car industry. Samsung Venture Investment, which manages investment-related activities for Samsung affiliates, signed an investment deal with Quanergy specializing in LiDAR sensor, a fundamental component necessary for autonomous vehicle, said sources on Sunday. Together with Wardenclyffe Partners, Samsung Venture Investment placed $45 million in Quanergy in May, 2014. Samsung is said to bet on growth potentials of the three-year old Quanergy. Wardenclyffe Partners is a venture capital firm established by Tesla Motors. Earlier, Hyundai Motor Co. also established technological partnership with Quanergy. Hyundai’s EQ900, the first luxury sedan under the Genesis brand, uses Quanergy’s component, making autonomous driving possible. Also dubbed as Laser Radar, LiDAR sensor recognizes …

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What you need to know

Introduced in 2005, the Toyota Fortuner has seen relatively minor updates during its 11-year life cycle. That didn’t stop it from becoming one of the best-selling SUVs in the country, staying relevant and desirable through the years amidst a competitive segment. It comes as no surprise then that the 2016 Toyota Fortuner, now boasting a brand new design and new tech underneath, has been eagerly awaited by loyal owners and curious first-time buyers alike. Toyota recently unveiled the all-new Fortuner to the public, complete with pricing and specs, allowing us to take a closer look at how the 2016 Toyota Fortuner stands apart from the rest. GD ENGINE Toyota’s GD line of diesel engines was launched mid-2015, offering more torque with greater fuel efficiency. The 2016 Toyota Fortuner makes use of both …

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Wanted: Pinoy racer in MotoGP

Five-time MotoGP champion, Jorge Lorenzo, is known by the racing community as a person who seldom smiles, is always serious, and seemingly pragmatic before, during and after a race. But when he arrived at the Carmona Racing Circuit in Cavite last week, as part of his three-day visit to Manila, the ace Spaniard rider had his smile locked from ear to ear. A big throng of Lorenzo fans warmly welcomed him to the Philippines, thanks to the Yamaha Motor Philippines-sponsored tour. It was the first time that the 26-year-old Spanish rider set foot on Philippine soil. He is the 2006 and 2007 250cc World Champion, and the 2010, 2012 and 2015 MotoGP World Champion. Accompanied by YMP President, Toru Osugi, and other company executives, Lorenzo quickly donned his official Team Movistar Yamaha racing …

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The summit of the Everest

Just like the mountain that it was named after, the all-new Ford Everest has come a long, long way from its humble beginnings. Its 2006 predecessor now feels more like a distant cousin twice removed than simply a model that’s just two generations old. We take a look-see at what all the hype is about. Read on as we tackle Ford’s top draw, the all-new Everest Titanium 3.2L 4x4 AT. Filling up in all the right places Just like a gangly teen with good genes and a healthy appetite, the all-new Everest has filled up quite nicely in all the right places. It has rounded out all-around and along the edges giving it a fuller and more robust appearance. The Everest’s design is now sleeker and more fluid from any angle, yet is able …

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Envoy to outsiders

As intimidating and appealing as cruiser bikes are, the lifestyle and personalities they’re associated with may not necessarily be everyone’s cup of tea. Yet that’s all about to change, both for Harley and those looking to buy one. Serving as Harley-Davidson’s envoy to a new and possibly profitable market segment is its Street 750 model. NOT YOUR TYPICAL HARLEY Designed to be enjoyed in the city and by riders new to cruisers, the Street 750 hopes to ease them in to the proud American brand, and possibly up to bigger and better bikes in the future. It’s inspired by Harley Davidson’s Dark Custom line of accessories and apparel with the amount of chrome tastefully reduced in favour of a matte finish. It’s meant, after all, to appeal to urban riders that have …

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Toyota Japan halting domestic assembly for week on parts shortage

Toyota said Monday it will stop all Japanese vehicle assembly lines for one week from February 8 due to a parts shortage following an explosion at a supplier. The decision was made due to the lack of components resulting from a recent industrial explosion at Toyota affiliate Aichi Steel Corp, the world's top automaker said in a statement, adding that overseas production would not be suspended. "Operations are scheduled to recommence on February 15, and vehicle production on lines outside Japan will not be suspended," the company said. "Toyota will continue to take any measures necessary to minimise the impact of this incident on vehicle production," it added. Toyota said it may get parts made on alternate production lines operated by Aichi Steel and also could procure components from other steelmakers to meet its …

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