Who says having four doors can’t be fun?By Alvin Uy |Philippine Daily Inquirer
This year’s theme—Life in the Fast Lane commemorates the enduring passion for motor sports–has inspired participants in the 2012 Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) to showcase and introduce their collection of high performance models. With a recent resurgence and interest in high performance vehicles in a buoyant local luxury automobile market, visitors to the MIAS 2012 can look forward to checking out some of these cars this coming weekend at the World Trade Center.
BMW’s M family in full force
Rarely does one letter define a car brand’s provenance and offers such distinction as the prefix “M” in BMW’s line up of performance sedans, coupes and SUV’s. Considered a league of its own in Bavarian’s distinguished automobile brand, Asian Carmaker Corporation, RP’s exclusive distributor for BMW, will be showcasing a full line up of BMW M cars that will capture the imagination and aspiration of any automotive enthusiast. With BMW’s massive 700-square meter exhibit, it will be the largest display for a European and luxury car brand at the MIAS.
With its drive and chassis technology derived directly from BMW’s motor sport heritage and technology, each M model combines engine output, chassis and aerodynamics to ensure a well-balanced overall high performance concept for both on road or track use.
Its fourth generation M3 sports car is powered by a 420-bhp V8 engine, whose power is transferred to the rear wheels by the optional seven-speed M-Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic. Its crossover X6 M model, meanwhile, applies a combination of an intelligent all-wheel-drive system with BMW’s high-performance engine with an M TwinPower Turbo technology.
For the ultimate off-road performance, BMW’s X5 M and X6 M are the brand’s first all-wheel-drive models to proudly carry the M badge. Both models are powered by BMW’s newly developed 4395-cc V8 high-performance engine delivering 555 bhp using its new M TwinPower Turbo and is dubbed as the world’s first power unit with a common exhaust manifold encompassing both rows of cylinders and featuring its Twin Scroll Twin Turbo Technology.
BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system is naturally geared to the specific power and performance characteristics of the BMW X5 M and the BMW X6 M, just like Dynamic Performance Control also standard on both models. Interacting with the cars’ special M suspension including Adaptive Drive and the newly developed Servotronic power steering, this ensures the driving behavior so characteristic of a BMW M Car, combining unique driving stability with precisely controlled steering qualities all the way to the highest level of driving dynamics.
Chrysler’s first 8-speed automatic luxury sedan
This year, Chrysler’s flagship sedan takes the green road as its all-new 300C offers more refinements and promises a better handling, state-of-the-art safety features and an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. “The 2012 Chrysler 300C is built on the idea that luxury feels better earned – that those who worked hard to achieve their place in the world should demand as much as is demanded of them,” said Saad Chehab, head of Chrysler Brand-Chrysler Group LLC.
“Without compromising the comfort, size or bravado you’d expect from the Motor City’s luxury sedan, the 2012 Chrysler 300C gets best-in-class 31 highway mpg, thanks to its all-new state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic transmission. And since this car represents luxury for those who’ve earned everything they’ve got, we made sure our Chrysler 300C AWD models deliver the segment’s most advanced all-wheel-drive system for greater all-season traction, and best-in-class V-6 fuel economy,” Saad said.
By adding three more gear ratios in its ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, it is designed to reduce the gaps normally associated with upshifting and downshifting, while mating it with Chrysler’s award-winning 292 horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, the new 300C owners and drivers will find these small, evenly spaced ratios give a quicker acceleration and smoother shifts.
For more aggressive driving, quicker shifts are possible in its “Sport” shift mode giving even quicker gear changes and higher revs for even more performance-oriented acceleration and higher shift dynamics. Aside from this, the 300C comes with a pair of steering wheel paddle controls. The 300C’s AWD system features an active transfer case and front-axle-disconnect system to improve real-world fuel economy. The new 300C was also recently named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS recognizes vehicles with outstanding crashworthiness in front, side, rollover and rear crashes.
Jaguar’s new flagship XJ
Jaguar’s uncompromising flagship XJ limousine also takes on the green road and offers a class-leading car with its cutting-edge features and enhancements, while still maintaining the charm and mold of previous generations.
The XJ’s construction is as innovative as its appearance, utilizing Jaguar’s pioneering and state-of-the-art techniques. Crafted from high-grade aluminum, the car is lighter by up to 150 kg compared to its competing models in the same segment, with the commensurate gains in performance, agility and economy. Up to 50 percent of the structure is made from recycled aluminum allowing for a potential saving of up to 3.3 tons of CO2 per car.
Its class-leading architecture starts off with Jaguar’s latest and highly-efficient AJ-V8 direct-injection engines, offering both naturally aspirated and supercharged platforms. Smooth and powerful, these provide effortlessly refined performance. Once inside, passengers will find themselves cocooned in unparalleled luxury. Bathed in natural light from the panoramic glass roof, the interior is meticulously crafted from the finest materials in a manner that is strikingly contemporary. The 1200 W, 17-speaker system from British high fidelity audio brand Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) provides concert-hall levels of high fidelity.
The all-new XJ was awarded Top Gear Luxury Car of the Year 2010. Editor at Large Jason Barlow described the XJ as a “Blast from the future,” adding “rarely has a new car slackened so many jaws.”
Exclusive Benz tuner joins MIAS 2012
Carlsson Autotechnik GmbH has been exclusively doing performance tuning for Mercedes-Benz automobiles since 1989. The Carlsson marque has been known for customizing and upgrading Mercedes-Benz and Smart vehicles and carries their slogan as the “Exclusive Mercedes-Benz Tuner.” This year, Carlsson will be showcasing a full range of Carlsson products, ranging from performance wheels, aerodynamic kits, sport suspensions, sport exhaust systems and performance upgrade modules at this year’s MIAS, including two Mercedes-Benz sedans—a C-class and an E-class sedan, fully customized with Carlsson performance parts and body enhancements.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to officially have Carlsson’s products readily available for Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts who really want to bring out the best from their vehicles,” said Sam Liuson, President of Wheel Gallery, distributors of Carlsson for the Philippines. Wheel Gallery also carries BBS wheels, Kelleners Sport tuning products for BMWs and Nitto high performance tires.