Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted April 01, 2008 18:58
Imagination in motion
The 2008 Manila International Auto Show was highlighted by yet another visit of Guinness Book of World Record's Best Precision Driver Russ Swift from the United Kingdom. He performed his stunts with the newly released Subaru Impreza WRX STi, which was incidentally launched at the show by Motor Image Pilipinas, local distributor of Subaru. Other vehicles used in the stunts were Impreza WRX variants. Swift performed three stunt shows per day for the duration of the event, he also signed autographs for fans after each stunt show.
Another main highlight of the event was the MOTUL Super GT Z car display. AutoplusSportzentrium, exclusive distributor of MOTUL in the Philippines shipped in the #22 MOTUL-Pitwork NISMO 350Z (2004 Japan GT Champion, and 2005 Super GT Champion) racecar from Japan. The display was flanked with very impressive cars as well. They had a Porsche 911 GT3, 911 GT3RS, NISMO 350Z, 2007 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, and a tuned version of the brand new Subaru WRX STi in red. Also on display was a customized American Chopper 1700cc Big Dog, a handmade motorcycle where only 36 units are produced in a year, and a BMW Motorrad Motorsport Randy Mamola limited edition bike.
The show also had its own tire wars, as three major tire companies also had their respective displays. Bridgestone had the most prominent display as it launched its new AR10 passenger car tire and displayed its current lineup for both passenger cars and light trucks. Michelin highlighted their display with Bibendum, and their current lineup of tires. Yokohama on the other hand highlighted their display with high intensity dance numbers from the Yokohama girls.
From the carmakers, BMW displayed its performance lineup led by the new M3 Coupe, M Roadster and M5, Chrysler displayed the 300C Startech Edition, Jeep Rubicon and Caliber, Ford launched its new Focus Diesel Touring Car in cooperation with Tuason Racing, Mazda officially introduced its new Miata roadster to the market as it started booking orders for the famed roadster. Mitsubishi displayed the new Evolution X and the new Lancer GT along with their lineup of vehicles. Subaru officially launched to the its Impreza WRX STi and displayed the N1 Rally Car variant of the previous generation Impreza WRX STi. Chinese carmakers also made their presence with two brands at the show, newcomer Chana and Chery put up a display of their whole lineup of vehicles for the Philippine market. Other brands on display were Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, and Suzuki.
New additions to the event were a Custom and Classic Car Competition held at the accessories tent, and the EMMA (European Mobile Media Association) Mobile Sound Competition co-organized with EMMA Philippines. In addition to these, there were daily car club meets, and customer test drives from the different participating car brands. Also on display was the 2007 Petron Car of the Year winner, the Volvo C30.