Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted April 30, 2009 18:58
Passion for performance
Organizer Worldbex Services International braves the economic storm to stage the Manila International Auto Show's fifth straight year. The show's theme Passion for Performance is evidenced by the display of performance cars from exhibitors headed by the Subaru Impreza Sti, 2008 Philippine Car of the Year adjudged by the thirty publication strong Car Awards Group Inc. Motul, the true performance oil, highlighted its 100% synthetic oils and displayed a selection of performance cars which included a Ford GT, Shelby GT500, Chevy Corvette Z06, Nissan R35 GT-R and the 1,000-horsepower R34 Skyline GT-R, Porsche 911 Turbo, and a row of 997 Porsche GT3 in standard and RS trims.
Adding to the high testosterone performance cars was the display of Emperor Motorsports consisting of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, Nissan 350Z, Nissan GT-R, and Subaru Impreza Sti. The country's leading automotive website AutoIndustriya.com also displayed its Drift-spec Nissan Cefiro A31. An interesting display was the REVAi electric car from Evnnovations, the very first commercially available plug-in electric car in the Philippines.
Sharing the limelight with the performance cars was an invasion of Chinese brands as new players also used the show as a stage for their entry to the local market. Newcomers Great Wall, Lifan Motors, and Wuling Motors took this opportunity for brand awareness. Chery launched its new QQ6 sedan, following on the success of its QQ3 hatchback; Chana launched its new Starlight Jr., a subcompact version of its Starlight minivan; JAC displayed its lookalike of the Hyundai Starex van; Foton launched the 4x4 variant of its Blizzard pickup, and launched the new MPX van.
Ford displayed its recently launched Expedition EL, a long wheelbase variant of the Expedition SUV, and the new Ranger pickup; Chrysler displayed its new Jeep Wrangler TJL; Mercedes-Benz displayed its new GLK-Class compact SUV; Mitsubishi displayed its recently introduced Montero Sport GLS 4x2, a follow-up variant of its top-selling SUV, and the Lancer Evolution X MR. Not wanting to be outdone, Subaru officially launched the Impreza Sedan which comes in standard and WRX variants. Other brands present were BMW, Chevrolet, Honda, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jaguar, Kia, Nissan, Range Rover, and Suzuki.
Also part of the show was the Custom and Classic Car Competition participated by some of the country's best auto shops; the EMMA (European Mobile Media Association) Sound Competition; Aftermarket parts and accessories display participated by Bridgestone, DuPont, Emperor Motorsports, Leder Interia, Motolite, Motul, and Yokohama; and last but not least, the world famous Russ Swift Precision Driving Exhibition which features the new Subaru Impreza Sedan and the Impreza STi.