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Honda, Volvo take top awards at the Detroit auto show

DETROIT — After a few years of Detroit domination, two foreign automakers nabbed 2016 North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year honors. A panel of about 55 independent automotive journalists selected the Honda Civic and Volvo XC90 on Monday. The winners were unveiled at the start of press previews for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Civic bested the Chevrolet Malibu and the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and the XC90 edged out the Nissan Titan XD and Honda Pilot. Chevy was a particularly strong contender, with 2 additional cars on the pre-finalist short list of 10. It was the first time in the 23-year history of the awards program that a brand had three representatives on the short list, and General Motors Co. CEO Mary Barra was standing close by …

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Editors’ picks

By: Aris Ilagan, Chris Van Hoven, Inigo Roces, and Eric Tipan   The past year was peppered with an exceptional assortment of new vehicles. Drive editors enumerate their favorites of the year. ARIS ILAGAN: DUCATI SCRAMBLER The numbers will speak for it. Its huge sales volume alone is more than enough to convince biker boys that the retro style Ducati Scrambler emerged as the favorite motorbike in its class. Try joining bike meets and you will see that the Scrambler has grown in numbers, tremendously in the past months. Is it with the styling, performance or pricing? Honestly, I would tell you that it’s a mixture of these three. While others deem it impossible to bring home a European-made motorbike, the Ducati Scrambler has proven otherwise. No need to drain your account, just a little over …

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Wheels to expect in 2016

New year, new possibilities and among them is the prospect of upgrading to brand new wheels or getting yourself your first-ever. With so many auto manufacturers offering their ‘best’, from compacts to full-size and sedans to pick-up trucks, choosing may actually be the hardest part. Before you get into impulse-buying, here’s a list of what to expect from the automotive market as we start 2016 to give you a heads-up on what just got here and what’s coming soon. TOYOTA The country’s number one automaker is set to ring in 2016 with two major product launches, the all-new Fortuner and Innova. SUV fans have been eagerly awaiting news on when Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) was going to fully upgrade the 11-year old Fortuner and I’m pleased to say that in less than a week, TMP …

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Toyota introduces the future of auto production

The number one automaker in the world has just figured out a new way to make vehicles even better, inside and out. Using the all-new Prius as the poster child of the new platform, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) brought the international media to Fuji International Speedway in Japan to officially introduce the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). TOYOTA NEW GLOBAL ARCHITECTURE It sounds all fancy, but in a nutshell, the TNGA is a new development framework that will give TMC the freedom to accelerate research and development (R&D) in order to make all future vehicles more attractive in looks and performance, all while reducing cost so that each model may be priced more competitively. In other words, it is like having your cake and eating it too. Sharing platforms or frameworks lets TMC improve …

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‘Billionaire living’ at a fraction of the price

The Autohub Group of Companies, distributor of Mini, Rolls-Royce and Lotus, is taking you one step closer to beating Manila traffic forever through the newly launched Aerohub Aviation Services and its Fractional Ownership Program. The program was launched last December, at BGC. Simply put, the program allows three to five individuals to share ownership of a Robinson R44 Raven Helicopter, for just a P8,800,000 share price. The same goes for Rolls-Royce vehicles. Each share consists of 20 percent ownership of one brand new Robinson Raven helicopter, together with all costs associated with the importation, registration, Philippine aircraft VAT, first year annual association fees, insurance, and registration, as well as four years of aircraft maintenance, hangar use, and basic crew management through a partnership with Lionair, Inc. Each fractional owner is entitled to …

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Road sense

Metro Manila’s horrible traffic situation needs a radical solution. And it should be so radical, it will likely meet acceptance and protest. The people — not only the government — should realize that we have come to the point where only strong solutions and strict implementation will be required. There should be no place for exemptions. I will dare suggest the use of car sharing in high-traffic areas. I do not mean “car pooling” where a group of people going the same direction share a ride. The car sharing system requires the use of personal vehicles (PV), those three-and four-wheelers that can sit only one to two riders. Those vehicles, which are not yet in the country, are being used in many parts of the world as part of an efficient and …

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