Saturday, September 16, 2017

Genesis G70

Hyundai Motor Company's Genesis is proud to present to you their final addition to the luxury brand's sedan lineup which began with 2015's EQ900 and 2016's G80. This is the G70 and by the looks of it, this is Korea's answer to the German establishments such as the BMW 3er, Mercedes C-Klasse, and the Audi A4, not to mention other competitors from across the globe such as the Lexus IS, the Infiniti Q50, or even the Cadillac ATS. So, what is it then, this Genesis G70?

2018 Genesis G70

That is a tricky one because the G70 is made to cater against other executive midsize saloons in its class despite the fact that it was heavily based on the Kia Stinger. Needless to say, there is a clear difference between the G70 and the Stinger because while the Kia Stinger is about getting things loud all day and all night, the G70 is rather like sipping a cup of Korean red ginseng after work. In short, it's much more of a civilized professional unlike the Stinger it was based into.

2018 Genesis G70

A closer look on the exterior design shows that Genesis really means business and all that Genesis design DNA is catered to their smallest offering yet. These headlamps look vaguely similar to the Alfa Romeo Giulia, which is also one of its chief rivals, while the side view is reminiscent of today's Hyundai Grandeur and the odd-looking rear view has some Accent-styled headlamps. I kinda admit that while the G70 is a good-looking saloon, the rear view just kinda spoils it like a hot female swimmer with her buttocks too big for a pictorial.

2018 Genesis G70 interior

The same story goes for the interior and while its pleasantly luxurious, the dashboard is rather questionable for a luxury saloon. Squint your eyes harder and you can see the dashboard can be a close resemblance of a the ones you saw on today's Mazdas while the steering wheel looks very average for a luxury car. Although the front view of the G70's not somewhat rewarding to look at, it's surprisingly high-tech because it comes with the heads-up display, server-based voice recognition service using Kakao AI platform, smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink support, wireless charging system, and 8-way intelligent driver seat, among many others. On the back, despite being 3er sized, it's surprisingly comfortable and can leave occupants on an "out on a limo" feeling every time they get out from the G70. Like most Genesis saloons, the G70 comes with the latest Quantum Logic surround technology and 15 Lexicon speakers optimally positioned for the ultimate acoustic performance.

2018 Genesis G70
Because the Genesis G70 uses the same architecture as the Kia Stinger, it offers the same choice of three engines available from the Stinger as well. ranging from the 2.2L CRDi-VGT engine with 202PS of power output, 2.0L Turbo GDi engine with 255PS of power output, and the powerful 3.3L Turbo V6 engine producing 370PS of power and 52kgf-m of torque, all mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox with Shift By Wire. All models can be either rear-wheel drive or come with the HTRAC all-wheel drive. 

In Sport variants, the G70 takes advantage of its sport-tuned suspension like you'd expect from the Kia Stinger as well as other features such as launch control, rack-mounted motor-driven power steering, dynamic torque vectoring system, and mechanical limited slip differential. As a result, the handling is expectation-shattering in every single way for a Korean luxury car but when compared to the Kia Stinger, the G70 is just plain subtle and too polite whereas the Stinger can be as bold and as brave as a village idiot.

The G70 is the first to introduce the new Genesis Active Safety Control, which features a wide variety of world-class safety tech such as Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Blind spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Driver Awareness Warning (DAW). Other than that, the G70 comes with the Around View Monitor which keeps this car and the driver aware at all sides of the world, no matter where it may be.

The G70 starts at 37,500,000 Korean won for the 2.0T, 40,800,000 Won for the 2.2D, and 44,900,000 Won for the 3.3T, which is slightly expensive than the Kia Stinger. So, what can I say? While the G70 upsets the public in terms of pricing, the styling, and the subtlety that is not what you expect for a luxury car, it's surprisingly comfortable, technological, and handicapable on the road. It can be a decent contender against the German "establishments" but unlike the Kia Stinger, the G70 is too honest for its own good and I'll let you decide on what to do about the G70 for the time being.

Available colors: Marble White, Platinum Silver, Racing Grey, Carbon Metal, Titanium Black, Royal Blue, Graceful Grey, Blazing Red, Umber Brown, and Lapis Blue.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

Lola Nidora and sisters will get their own talk show

It's ALDUB's 26th Monthsary and many Eat Bulaga viewers kept on wondering what was that special surprise announcement Lola Nidora's in store for them. Today, all have been revealed and it's going to be very special for fans of Lola Nidora and D'Explorer sisters.

Lola Nidora, Lola Tidora, and Lola Tinidora will have their own late-morning talk show coming soon on GMA right before Eat Bulaga! Honest! They have their own talk show a la Ryzza Mae Show a few years ago and every day, they will have a special celebrity guest to ham with and poke fun.

It's great to see Lola Nidora and the gang back for their own morning talk show coming very very soon on GMA so watch for it!

Bubble Gang - September 15, 2017 #BGAgawanSaTrono

On the September 15, 2017 episode of Bubble Gang...

- Agawan Sa Trono gags

- A wedding and a funeral

- The sharp man-nizer

- More beki words to spell and use in a sentence in Spelling Beks!

- Are you a wanted man?!

- One guy adores his pal's looks

- Bingo, the literal way.

- Basa-basa-pik!

The Mulawin vs. Ravena finale

Mulawin vs. Ravena is a dark sequel to GMA's first fantasy drama series and it centers on the kingdom of Avila in the wake of Aguiluz's death from the end of the first chapter. It's about the lines between the two races blurred and the prophecy from the Balasik proclaims that a powerful being will threaten both races, forcing the two sides to unite as one.

In the last few days, we witnessed that the two sides joined forces to defeat the powerful beast, which is half-god, half-Ravena, and turned out that one of Gabriel's children, Tak, is the chosen one. Following their victory against the monstrous beast, the kingdom of Avila is peaceful again with Almiro, the son of Aguiluz and Alwina, claimed his throne and marries Anya, a Tabon. Also, the two childhood friends, Pagaspas and Lawiswis, also getting married as well. But for Gabriel, he grows suspicious that the Golden Feather might end up on the wrong hands and he needs to find a safe place to hide it. In the Ravenas' lair of Halconia, Rafael, who claimed the throne from the renegade Daragit, who was slain by the beast, is plotting a coup as he wants to get Anya from Almiro and sabotage the wedding. His plot to sabotage the wedding failed but because of the chameleons, Rafael managed to obtain the Golden Feather, got Wak and Tak hostage, and killed Gabriel. The chameleons told the Mulawin heroes they will bring back Wak and Tak in exchange for Anya. With Wak and Tak under safe hands while Anya is now under Rafael's grasp, it won't be long before Almiro and the others raided Halconia to save her while dealing with Rafael and the end of Halconia.

Now, onto the finale, as the gang trying to escape the collapsing Halconia while Maguindara's caught in the collapse, Almiro used every ounce of his strength to kill Rafael once and for all before his untimely collapse. As Anya tries to beg for help, Pagaspas came and they managed to escape Halconia. Back in Avila, as Almiro's life is on the line, Almiro sees Gabriel in the afterlife as he promised Almiro to take good care of his children Wak and Tak as well as Anya. With Gabriel bid him farewell, Almiro has awakened and the wedding between him and Anya has resumed happily.

With peace returned at Avila, it won't be long until things returned to the way things were and this concludes the story of Mulawin Vs. Ravena.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Driving Music Vol. 80

Whether if you're ready for the weekends or hanging out after that whole 9 to 5 stuff, rest assured that these Driving Musics are here to "drive to the music you love" the most. Come on, get greedy, there's plenty of songs fit enough for your next road trip ahead.

1) Can't Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton) by Macklemore - from a Toyota C-HR commercial

2) Flash by Queen - from a Toyota Camry commercial

3) Just Tell Me You Love Me by England Dan and John Ford Coley - from a Kia Capital commercial

4) You Got It (The Right Stuff) by New Kids On The Block - from a Kia Capital commercial

5) Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra - from a Suzuki Spacia Custom Z commercial

6) Chorale VI (Sol Fa)/Cantus - Song of Aeolus by Adiemus - from a Toyota Prius PHV commercial

7) Believer by Imagine Dragons - from a Jeep commercial

8) Love Is All Around Joan by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts - from a VW USA Tiguan commercial

9) Zorba's Dance by Giorgos Zampetas - from a VW USA Tiguan commercial

10) Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone by Dean Martin - from a Ford Australia Fairlane commercial


11) Best Day Of My Life by Mayday - from a Toyota Taiwan Sienta commercial

12) Night Drivin' by Neighbors Complain - from a Suzuki Escudo commercial

Driving Music from Leopaul's Blog is the segment where solves every car enthusiasts' questions about the title of the song of car commercials...with the risk of MATCHED THIRD PARTY CONTENT on their status. It's your jam. Drive to the Music You Love.

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: South Korea condemns North's missile launch

South Korea strongly condemned North Korea's recent missile launch on Friday, urging the Korean Peninsula to stop its "reckless" provocations and return to the negotiating table immediately.

In a statement, the Seoul government reaffirmed its will to cope with the ongoing threats from North Korea in close global coordination with the US and other partner nations going forward.

The North fired a ballistic missile at 0657 hours local time that traveled over Japan into the North Pacific Ocean.

The provocation came days after the UNSC unanimously adopted fresh sanctions against the North for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (September 15, 2017)

- A spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Marawi revealed that the IS-sympathizing Maute Terror Group are using armaments owned by the government. According to him, some of the weapons used by the Maute rebels most probably given or sold to the rebels by someone in the government.

- The National Capital Region Police Office sacked the entire Caloocan City police following the police brutality of 17-year-old Kian Loyd Delos Santos and 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz last month.

- The Commission of Elections announced that it will push through with the gun ban starting the 23rd of September, even without the Barangay and SK elections.

- President Duterte named former Gabriela representative Luz Ilagan as the new secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

- Eight elderly patients died after being left inside a stifling South Florida nursing home that lost power during the wrath of Hurricane Irma, prompting an investigation and adding to the casualty list from the storm, which is now up to 81.

- 24 students died when a fire broke out at a boarding school somewhere at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

- Sweden began their largest military exercises in two decades with support from NATO countries, drilling 19,000 troops after years of spending cuts that have left the country fearful of Russia’s growing military strength.

- Volvo will reveal their first-ever XC40 crossover on the 21st of September.

- Following their disastrous F1 season, McLaren and Honda agree to terminate their Formula One partnership.

- The F-2A -NAGASE- fighter-bomber plane joins the Hasegawa Hobby Kits' ACE COMBAT model kit lineup. It will be available at most hobby stores on the 27th of September starting at 3,200 Yen plus tax and delivery. It contains all the pieces and decals needed to replicate the special F-2A as seen on the ACE COMBAT video games.


FH3 Hot Wheels: Great Dane

The Danishes; they're good at making Danish biscuits, they're good at making Legos, they're good at making furnitures, so on, so forth, not to mention the sexiest commercials in history, but they never made themselves a car of their own until this. Meet the Danish hypercar called the Zenvo ST1, a car you can you can enjoy on Forza Horizon 3's Hot Wheels.

Although made by the country that has more windmills than any other nation with its capital city a heaven for cyclists, the Zenvo ST1 is a monstrous hypercar that is powered by a twin-charged 6.8L V8 engine producing 1,086hp of power and 1,054ft-lb of torque, capable of reaching flatout speeds of over 233mph, which is Veyron territory for a thousand horsepower cannibal that has the chuckle of Mads Mikkelsen donning the maniacal role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Scary indeed for a Danish.

The speed is downright scary, I should say, but what's even scary is the dynamic driving style that is worthy of challenging even the most hardened of drivers elsewhere. The Zenvo has conventional suspension and a heavy, steel chassis, making it less modern than today's supercars with fancy suspension setup and as a result, an inexperienced driver would never attempt to drive this. This is a tense moment. It's like a surgery where a surgeon has to risk everything to put a pump unit on the patient's affected area while dealing with the endless blood pool too risky to handle. In other words, it's almost undrivable. Remember that Top Gear moment when the Zenvo caught fire because the cooling fan malfunctioned? Yep, I can hardly remember that moment when the Zenvo went wrong during a test drive.

Such a very challenging car deserves a challenge and since this is Hot Wheels Thrilltopia, it's even more challenging to drive the Zenvo in an obstacle-laden sandbox filled with loops, ramps, and flames. See if this Zenvo can survive this mess without catching fire like the last one. Okay, ready? Get the camera rolling!

Glad the Zenvo didn't caught fire but there's no way I'll ever going to drive this monster machine ever again until I'm good enough. For a Danish supercar, the Zenvo really is an intimidating supercar that challenges the drivers' manliness, no matter how crushing or brutal things can be. If you think you're good enough, drive the Zenvo on the Hot Wheels Thrilltopia and see for yourself.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Stars of 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show

Going on now until the 24th of September, 2017, the 2017 IAA or the Frankfurt Motor Show is one of the most exciting car shows to witness during the fall season in Germany, even in the heat of the ongoing election season in Europe's biggest nation. From debutantes, full model changes, minor changes, concept cars, this show has it all to demonstrate the past, the present, and the future of the world's automotive industry.

It's time to list down the stars of this year's IAA:

2018 Audi A8
2018 Audi A8 L
2017 Audi Aicon Concept
2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS
2018 Audi RS4 Avant
2018 Bentley Continental GT
2018 BMW 6-Series Gran Turismo
2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept
2018 BMW i3
2018 BMW i3s
2018 BMW M5
2018 BMW M5 First Edition
2018 BMW M8 GTE Racecar
2017 BMW X7 iPerformance Concept
2017 Borgward Isabella Concept
2018 Dacia Duster
2018 Ferrari Portofino
2017 Honda CR-V Hybrid Concept
2017 Honda Urban EV Concept
2018 Jaguar E-Pace
2018 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy Racecar
2017 Kia Proceed Concept
2018 Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster
2018 Land Rover Discovery SVX
2018 Maserati Ghibli GranLusso
2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG Project ONE Concept
2017 Mercedes-Benz EQA Concept
2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell Concept
2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet
2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
2018 Mercedes-Benz S560e
2018 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Cabriolet
2018 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
2018 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Cabriolet
2018 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe
2017 Mercedes-Benz Vision Maybach 6 Cabriolet Concept
2017 Mini Electric Concept
2017 Mini John Cooper Works GP Concept
2018 Opel Grandland X
2018 Opel Insignia Country Tourer
2018 Opel Insignia GSi
2018 Opel Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS
2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package
2018 Porsche Cayenne
2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
2018 Renault Megane RS
2017 Renault Symbioz Concept
2018 Seat Arona
2018 Seat Leon Cupra R
2018 Skoda Karoq
2017 Smart Vision EQ ForTwo Concept
2017 Toyota C-HR Hy-Power Concept
2018 Volkswagen Golf Sportsvan
2017 Volkswagen ID Crozz II Concept
2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI
2018 Volkswagen T-Roc

...and more.

Further looking:

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: US seeks to impose direct sanctions targeting Chinese banks

The United States is seeking to impose about twelve Chinese banks doing businesses with North Korea.

Ed Royce, Chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, says a list with the targeted Chinese entities has been handed over to the US government, adding that it is time to impse the harshest pressure following the regime's nuclear test.

Sources say Washington is currently reviewing the option of having North Korea return to the negotiating table as it did in 2005.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is visiting a US military base home to nuclear-capable bombers and ICBMs. His visit to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota comes less than two weeks after the North's nuclear test.

The trip was scheduled before the Korean Peninsula's nuclear test but it gives an opportunity for the US to highlight its powerful strategic arsenal.

South Korean government, meanwhile, said today that it is considering providing 8 million dollars in aid to North Korea through international organizations. According to the unification ministry, the government plans to hold a meeting on inter-Korean cooperation next week to finalize the plan.

Seoul suspended its aid to North Korea through UN agencies after the North's nuclear and missile tests last year.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (September 14, 2017)

- President Rodrigo Duterte explains along with other officials and soldiers about his supposed disrespect on entering the Grand Mosque in Marawi City with boots still on their feet. According to the president, they only kept their boots on because of the mosque was littered with broken shards of glass that could injure them. The Armed Forces of the Philippines regained control of the Grand Mosque from Islamic State sympathizers.

- Meanwhile, President Duterte is determined to grant the Marcos family immunity from possible prosecution in return for the voluntary turnover of a portion of their alleged ill-gotten wealth.

- The impeachment complaint against COMELEC Chairman Andres Bautista was reviewed on Wednesday after the complaint showed signs of flawed wording in the verification sheets. The complaint was threatened to be junked for insufficiency in form.

- Evacuees from Hurricane Irma have returned to the storm-ravaged Florida Keys, where sunrise will give them a first glimpse of devastation that has left countless homes and businesses in ruins. The current death toll is now up to 60.

- European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told the EU's eastern states on Wednesday he fight for equal rights for their consumers, but their workers would not be allowed to unfairly undercut those in western members.

- Another teaser for the upcoming Lamborghini Urus SUV has gone up before its December 4 reveal.


- Former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston returns to stage play for his lead role in an upcoming adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth.

- New Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon info on the radar! The latest info delves deeper on the mystery of the legendary Necrozma and its new forms similar to the legendary Pokemon such as the Dusk Mane Necrozma (when collided with Solgaleo) and Dawn Wings Necrozma (when crossed paths with Lunala). Also, Lycanroc's signature Z-move, Splintered Stormshards, has been unveiled, as well as two new Ultra Beasts to look out for.


Mazda CX-8

Mazda is now officially out of the minivan race as the MPV, the Premacy, and the Biante, are officially discontinued because of the rise of crossovers and following the success of their crossovers such as the CX-3 and the CX-5, they've decided to add their flagship SUV with minivan-sizing that will contemplate today's Japanese families.

2018 Mazda CX-8

This is the brand-new Mazda CX-8 and judging by the name, this will be Mazda's flagship SUV offered exclusively for the Japanese market and bearing minivan-like sizing, this crossover means business for Mazda as this SUV blends the the ideal balance of luxury, performance, economy, and safety, all in one unique crossover.

2018 Mazda CX-8
Like a man of his word, Mazda's trademark KODO design fits rather well for a big midsize crossover and by the looks of it, the CX-8 bears the impression of "Honey, I Grew Up The CX-5" because for those who think their new CX-5 not big enough for those who are having kids can either trade one for this of lend their CX-5 to someone close so their previous Mazda crossover are in safe hands while the CX-8 accommodates rather well for family use.

2018 Mazda CX-8 interior

It's all typical Mazda interior by the looks of it but because being the first-ever Mazda SUV to be offered with third-row seating, albeit for Japan, the CX-8 is not just about practicality and utility but also luxury as well because for people who picked the six-seater variant, it comes with captain's chair seats with a large console box between them. Those second-row seats were heavily inspired by luxury minivans offered in Japan such as Toyota's Alphard and Vellfire, Nissan's Elgrand, and Honda's Odyssey, and if you can picture it quite well, it's just another ride for the politicians but if you're not using it for political or business purposes, you can get one in a seven seater format, which is family-oriented. 

Of course, being an SUV with three rows of seats, expect the occupation of child seats on the second-row, making access to the third-row seats a royal pain and this may involve either squeezing. If you do make it to the third row seats by either from the second row or at the back, you have to admit that because of its minivan-like sizing, the third-row seats can accommodate even the tallest of people like me. As for the boot space, it's not so bad either. I mean, you have room for your grocery hauls and stuff for your relative's birthday as well as other occasions. 

2018 Mazda CX-8

Due to the success of the diesel variants of both the CX-5 and the CX-3, the CX-8 follows the same suit as the only engine offered at launch is the same SKYACTIV-D 2.2L engine from the CX-5 but it's been uprooted to produce 190PS of power and 450Nm of torque. Couple that with the revolutionary SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed AT and the fuel efficiency is 15.8km/L based on the very relevant WLTC mode standards. First introduced on the gasoline variant of the CX-3, the WTLC (Worldwide harmonized light duty driving test cycle) or Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, whatever you may call it, is a chassis dynamometer test calculate vehicles' fuel efficiency in urban areas (WLTC-L), residential areas (WLTC-M) and highways (WLTC-H), just like the EPA-estimated mileage or the EU combined fuel-efficiency cycle in so many ways and this is their new and proper way to determine how fuel-efficient a car should be.

Okay, now that you are familiarized with the WLTC Mode standards, let's move on to the handling and like today's Mazdas, the G-Vectoring Control delivers a healthy balance of response and stability depending on the load of the wheels. Combined with the i-ACTIV AWD and the result is a crossover that handles pretty well in today's weather forecast, whatever it may be. As for city use, the CX-8's true asset is the safety tech courtesy of i-ACTIVSENSE such as Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM).

The new Mazda CX-8 starts at 3,196,800 Japanese Yen and arrives in dealerships this mid-December, in time for the holidays. Although not the most exciting crossover to enjoy with, the CX-8 is the crossover that delivers the ruggedness of the SUV, the spaciousness of a minivan, which Mazda no longer makes, and sedan-riding comfort, all in one unique crossover catered for the Japanese motorists. Hope this better works but that's Mazda so if any articles circulating about this crossover, it's their loss, especially someone...

Available colors: Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Grey Premium Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Titanium Flash Mica, Sonic Silver Metallic, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, and Snowflake White Pearl Mica.

Photo: Mazda Motor Corporation

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Talks are underway for SK-JP-US summit in NY

A Blue House official told that leaders of South Korea, United States, and Japan might have a summit in New York. He confirmed report that the three countries are in final stages of talks to hold a three-way summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York next week.

Citing unnamed sources, it has reported that the meeting between US President Donald Trump, South Korean leader Moon Jae-In, and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe could take place next Thursday with a focus on bolstering cooperation in response to North Korea's sixth nuclear test.

Also confirming that Seoul and Washington are indeed in talks regarding US President Donald Trump's South Korea visit this November. Earlier, various media outlets in the US reported that President Trump will likely stop by China on his first official trip in Asia.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (September 13, 2017)

- Former president Fidel V. Ramos reacts on the reports that the military will attempt a coup d'etat against the government and the review on the Duterte administration's war on drugs.

- Five people are dead while six others are missing due to Tropical Depression Maring.

- As the death toll from Hurricane Irma is now 12 in Florida, evacuees returned home to find homes ripped apart and businesses coated in seaweed amid a debris-strewn landscape where an estimated 25 percent of all dwellings were destroyed.

- Former parliament speaker Halimah Yacob was declared elected as Singapore’s first woman president on Wednesday, after the returning officer announced she was the sole candidate to qualify for the contest.

- Apple officially unveiled two new iPhone models, the iPhone 8 and the flagship iPhone X which fetches a thousand dollar price tag. The flagship model ditches the home button an in return, a whole screen occupied the newest model. Plus, it comes with facial recognition software called Face ID. The iPhone 8 models, on the other hand, have an all-glass design and can charge wirelessly. All come with an iOS 11 software and an upgraded camera and processor. In a separate note, the new Apple Watch was launched as well as Apple TV 4K.

- Jaguar's upcoming I-PACE crossover will go racing for a special one-make race series as a supplement race for the upcoming 2018-2019 FIA Formula E season.

- The all-new Renaultsport Megane has been unveiled with the turbocharged 1.8L petrol engine with 280PS of power and 390Nm of torque, a choice of Sport and Cup chassis, and new 4CONTROL four-wheel steering.

- BMW returns to endurance racing with their M8 GTE Racecar

- Director and writer J.J. Abrams will be officially directing and writing another Star Wars film tentatively called Episode IX.

- Gegege no Kitaro characters will make a special guest appearance in the upcoming Yo-Kai Watch Shadowside film.

- Adam Wingard, director of Netflix's live-action Death Note film, deleted his official Twitter account due to death threats and harassments.

- As the Doctor Who Experience officially closes its doors to the public, here's a fitting tribute to the best Doctor Who exhibit in time and space.


All New Suzuki Swift Sport ZC33S

Those who've been waited to see a brand new Swift Sport based on the recently-released fourth-generation Suzuki Swift have been heavily rewarded as the newest incarnation of Suzuki's world-class hot hatch has been unshackled to the world over, armed with the HEARTECT platform, improved handling, and the 1.4L downsizing turbo engine, which is the most intriguing change of all for this regeneration. Let's take a closer look on the all-new Swift Sport.

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport
2018 Suzuki Swift Sport

Carrying the tradition of the Swift Sport legacy for over a decade, the Swift Sport is a hotter version of the Swift that promises to ignite the senses of any driver who come across this hot hatch that is the ideal stepping stone for budding car enthusiasts on track days and for the new model, based on the fourth-generation model, it has radicalized the way we think about hot hatches.

The design maybe based on the latest Swift but the Swift Sport features sportier aerodynamics that became the trademark of the Swift Sport heritage since the first one and with the new look, you have the impression of a junior-sized Nissan GT-R that wants to rip through the curves like a swimmer by weekdays, pop star at weekends and holidays. Sounds exaggerating but I'd admire with the new look's confidence when it wants to let it all out. On the inside, the familiar interior of the latest generation Swift has been kitted out with red interior accents and driver-centered instrumental panel for that fresh sportscar smell that makes you change your clothes from your yuppie look to boy racer look when no one's looking at you, except your girlfriend's dad who has a shine on your car.

2018 Suzuki Swift Sport interior
2018 Suzuki Swift Sport interior
With the new design that is downright obviously sporty for a hot hatch, here comes the performance this new model radicalized at and for starters, the average M16A natural aspiration engine from the previous Swist Sports has been thrown away to the great junkyard in the sky and in place uses the new K14C BoosterJet turbocharged engine as seen on the Escudo, producing 140PS of power output, four more than the old one, and 230Nm of torque, which sounds massive.

No more CVT on the choice of gearboxes, thank goodness for that, because the new Swift Sport has a choice of either a 6-speed automatic or a more enjoyable but technical 6-speed manual gearbox with fuel consumption of up to 16.4kmpl based on JC08 Mode standards and it's not just the enjoyable choice of gearboxes and the revolting turbo engine that contributes to an improved fuel efficiency, it's the brand new HEARTECT platform that provides improved rigidity, performance and weight loss, which makes this new model less than 970kg of weight and more enjoyable to drive thanks to its improved sport-tuned suspension, Monroe front shock absorbers, and specially designed rear suspension. Of course, on a track day basis, the sporty handling of the Suzuki Sport is great but on a everyday Tokyo traffic, it feels like a war zone in here, especially when the new Suzuki Swift Sport comes with a wide array of safety tech such as advanced forward detection, Dual Sensor Brake Support, lane departure warning, and other key technologies.

The new Suzuki Swift Sport starts at 1,836,000 Japanese Yen, which is more expensive than the previous model it replaces but more affordable to own than today's Japanese sportscar, making it a great beginner's car to work with, tune with, and play with. On a day-to-day basis, the Swift Sport can be a crushing experience because of its sport-tuned dynamics but out in the open, the Swift Sport is as free-spirited as a pop star swimmer and while the turbocharged engine is a revolting radicalization to the new model, the sharp weight drop due to the HEARTECT platform and the dynamics will make this new model a must have for this year. Come on world, we're getting envy over it.

Available colors: Champion Yellow 4, Burning Red Pearl Metallic, Speedy Blue Metallic, Pure White Pearl, Premium Silver Metallic, and Super Black Pearl.

Photo: Suzuki Motor Corporation


Heads up, Starlight Stage noobs and vets, there's a new installment of the STARLIGHT MASTER range inspired from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls Starlight Stage app game, and this installment is anything beyond magical.

Sweet Witches' Night ~Rokuninme wa Daare~
If by magical, there's more to it than that because the title of this installment is Sweet Witches' Night ~Rokuninme wa Daare~ and after spending a lifetime to getting hooked to this song from DEBUT to MASTER difficulty, they've been rewarded to listen the extended version never before heard, performed by the likes of Kanako Mimura (CV: Yuka Otsubo), Airi Totoki (CV: Hitomi Harada), Nono Morikubo (CV: Karin Takahashi), Noriko Shiina (CV: Chiyo Tomaru), and Shizuku Oikawa (CV: Yuri Noguchi).

If the highlight song doesn't sweeten you enough, there are two new songs to look out on this installment such as わたぐも by Miria Akagi (CV: Tomoyo Kurosawa) and shabon song by Miho Kohinata (CV: Minami Tsuda), Mika Jougasaki (CV: Haruka Yoshimura), Yumi Aiba (CV: Juri Kimura), Haruna Kamijo (CV: Mina Nagashima), and Miria Akagi (CV: Tomoyo Kurosawa).

Impressed? Enjoy listening to these new songs on this latest volume and be sure to keep playing Starlight Stage!

01 Sweet Witches' Night ~6人目はだぁれ~ (M@STER VERSION)
02 わたぐも
03 shabon song
04 Sweet Witches' Night ~6人目はだぁれ~ (M@STER VERSION) オリジナル・カラオケ
05 わたぐも オリジナル・カラオケ
06 shabon song オリジナル・カラオケ
07 Sweet Witches' Night ~6人目はだぁれ~ (GAME VERSION)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J150 - 2018 facelift

Welcome everyone to Series III of the current-generation Land Cruiser Prado and because this is the second time Toyota has facelifted this baby Land Cruiser, this latest minor change promises to be the best Prado ever, whatever the heck that is, because apart from the updated design, they've added Toyota Safety Sense P on the latest minor change. More on that later on, but first...

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado

What's new on how it looks for this 2018MY minor change? Well, you can see the Prado's new hood, taller front bumper, new daytime LED running lamps, redesigned grille, realigned wing lines and bumpers, new taillights, new rear bumper, newly designed wheels, and more, making it even more longer than the pre-facelifted model by about 60mm. Exterior aside, the interior has been heavily revamped to make it more luxurious while still providing seats for either five or seven. With the new dashboard, new instrumental panel, reorganized switch gear, LED ambient lighting, new T-Connect SD Navigation System for expensive models, new steering wheel design, and much more, Toyota's done a massive job to overhaul the Prado's already luxurious interior into something else. Now that's what an SUV should be like, catering the rich and powerful wherever they go.

2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado interior
2018 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado interior

The engine lineup's heavily changed, however. Gone is the 4.0L V6 engine, which is rather disappointing for Prado fans many, and in the choice of engines are now down to just the 2.7L 2TR-FE engine with 9.0km/L of fuel economy or the revolutionary 2.8L 1GD-FTV clean diesel engine with 177PS of power, 450Nm of torque, and fuel economy of up to 11.8km/L based on JC08 Mode standards. All of these engines are mated to a 6-speed Super ECT.

Combined with the ladder frame, Multi Terrain Select, Crawl Control, KDSS, and the Multi Terrain Monitor among many other features, the Prado really is a real sports utility hero, even in its new look, and because being a Toyota, the Prado now comes with a new array of safety tech courtesy of Toyota Safety Sense P, including a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure alert, automatic high-beam, and optional blind spot monitoring system and rear cross traffic.

The Land Cruiser Prado is available in TX, TX L Package, and TZ-G, and prices now start at 3,538,080, which is more expensive than the pre-facelift and while offroad enthusiasts are mourning over the loss of the V6 engine, which became the staple of the Prado lineage, the new look and the added tech made the Series III Land Cruiser Prado a cut above the rest as its ready to chart through new heights, whatever lies ahead.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

Eighth-generation Toyota Hilux (GUN125)

Japan now has their own pickup back where it belong and it's known as the Toyota Hilux, a global model that has been absent in the Japanese market after a over a decade in the half and now it's back for the eighth generation model. Of course, this particular model has been introduced few years ago in Thailand under the Hilux Revo banner but there is one major reason why a truck like a Hilux was introduced in Japan for the first time not because it's too late to start a JDM pickup renaissance. No, it wants to demonstrate Japan what a real global Japanese model is.

2018 Toyota Hilux

You see, the Hilux was the forefront of global Japanese models went missing on their home market when they stopped selling one in Japan since 2004. Years later, it was followed by the Nissan Safari, Honda Civic, the Toyota RAV4, the Nissan Dualis, and then the Honda CR-V, Japan is a bizarre car market where what's sold globally is not available in its home market for reasons known only to themselves. Unless Japan's governing bodies deal with this ongoing trend, there will be Japanese cars that won't be available on Japanese soil while letting the rest of the world have one and that's unfair.

Today's Toyota Hilux is just like today's Honda Civic as its return to Japanese market will strike a warning shot to those who buck the trend, those who afraid to be Tomica-nized, and those that made Japan left behind with the rest of the globe in terms of cars. So, now that the Hilux is back in Japanese soil after its 13-year drought, what's new about the newly-revived truck?

2018 Toyota Hilux

Although Japanese in spirit, the new Toyota Hilux is an import from Thailand, the Land of Smiles, meaning that this pickup has a dual citizenship status just like the Mitsubishi Mirage, which is also made in Thailand as well. Keeping it true to the Hilux spirit for almost five decades, the Hilux's masculine design stretches out from the front, the side, and the back, and while it's rare to see a pickup truck roaming around on the streets of Tokyo, the Hilux's design shows that this truck is a bravado in the land of anime, idols, gadgets, and small cars. It maybe born from Thailand but it has a heart and soul of a Japanese otaku inside and out, if you know what I mean.

2018 Toyota Hilux interior
2018 Toyota Hilux interior

On the inside, despite its bravado looks, the Hilux is as comfortable as a Toyota Corolla in so many ways and judging from its Auris-styled dashboard, it's classic Toyota comfort for five passengers and accommodating inside the new Hilux can be downright average or decent if you may. Not too shabby but not too luxurious but hey, at least it's well-lavished for some country folks working hard for a living and as a medium-sized pickup truck, the bed can accommodate up to 500kg of payload, which is not what you called a one-tonner or a half-tonner either, but rather above average to carry some stuff from your farm days or for your day off at the beach. Now that's versatile in so many levels.

2018 Toyota Hilux
Under the hood, the Hilux is powered by Toyota's 2GD-FTV 2.4L diesel engine that produces 150PS of power and 400Nm of torque, which doesn't sound so briskly for pickup standards but it's still got some push and pull to ruin your farm day by accident and cuing the B-word. Mated to a 6-speed Super ECT gearbox, fuel economy is a 11.8km/L based on JC08 Mode standards. Because the Hilux has a wide reputation of being unbreakable, it comes with a highly rigid frame like most pickups have, high tensile steel sheets, specially developed crumple zones, and impact absorbing structures. Nothing says "Drive A Hilux, Be Unbreakable" more than driving one of the world's toughest vehicles on The Land of the Rising Sun, especially when Mother Nature's gone wild with it.

Like most pickups, the Hilux comes with a part-time 4WD system which can switch the driving method depending on the condition of the road surface. You can switch to either 2WD, high-range 4WD, or the offroaders' favorite setting; low-range 4WD, at the turn of the knob and when you engage on 4WD settings, the active traction control and rear differential lock as well as Hill start Assist Control and Downhill Assist Control, keeps the Hilux prepared to take on uncharted territories no matter how crushing or brutal your exploration can be, and with the Toyota Safety Sense P tech, it makes it even more accessible to those who want a safe truck to drive. How's that for explorers?

The new Hilux starts at 3,267,000 Japanese Yen (around $33,000) and because being the only Japanese pickup available on its home base, it gets pretty lonely unless Nissan and Mitsubishi decide to bring theirs to the Land of the Rising Sun but that sounds unlikely and for now, the Hilux will be a niche to the Japanese customers and how the fate of this Thai-made Japanese pickup fares on its homecoming will be anyone's guess.

Available colors: Super White II, Crimson Spark Red Metallic, Silver Metallic, Nebula Blue Metallic, and Attitude Black Mica.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: UNSC unanimously adopts new sanctions

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted new sanctions against North Korea from all 15 members of the body. The move comes in the wake of North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3rd.

The sanctions include a freeze on North Korean imports of crude oil at current levels of four million barrels a year.This is the first time the Security Council has targeted oil in its sanctions against the regime.

The United States had pushed for a complete oil embargo to stop North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles aimed at the US. Resolution 23-75 also includes a ban on North Korean textiles, a key source of revenue for the regime, and restrictions on the use of North Korean workers overseas. However, there is no travel ban or asset freeze against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or Yo-jong.

The resolution demonstrates the international community's growing resolve to take action against North Korea as its adoption comes only eight days after the nuclear test.

Source: Arirang News

Let's Do The News! (September 12, 2017)

- Senator Antonio Trillanes IV signed the waivers of the bank secrecy law on 12 foreign bank accounts that President Rodrigo Duterte accused him of hoarding money in yesterday.

- As tropical storm Maring causing heavy floods in Metro Manila, PAGASA Typhoon Lannie has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. According to PAGASA, typhoon “Lannie” was last spotted with a distance of 1,370 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, with sustained winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour near its center, and gustiness of up to 145 kilometers per hour.

- Back to Hurricane Irma, the death toll is now up to 10 in Florida while 10,000 residents may need evacuation from ravaged Florida Keys.

- On this day in America, September 11 marks 16 years since the deadly terrorist attacks that toppled the World Trade Center in New York. Annually, all US states and Hawaii have flown their flags at half-staff to remember 3,000 victims who killed during the attacks.

- The Mercedes-AMG Project One hybrid hypercar has been unleashed, albeit in concept. This hypercar uses the same fundamentals as their championship-winning Formula One car. Using a turbocharged 1.6L V6 hybrid petrol engine and four electric motors, it generates over a thousand horses and mated to a specially-made 8-speed gearbox, it has a top speed of over 350kph.

- For this week's Frankfurt Motor Show, the Land Rover Discovery SVX has been unleashed. Made by Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations, the SVX adds extreme offroad capability on the base Discover while injecting it with a supercharged 5.0L V8 engine producing 525PS of power. It is the first to feature Hydraulic Active Roll Control, which provides better wheel articulation and improved body control, enhancing extreme off-road traction while also reducing body roll for smooth and sure-footed on-road driving.

- Audi presents their first ever rear-wheel drive vehicle in their lineup, the special-edition Audi R8 V10 RWS. Limited to 999 units, the rear-wheel drive R8 uses the base R8 V10 model as its basis and thanks to a drivetrain swap from 4WD to MR, it drops 50kg of weight, capable of  0 to 100 km/h (0 - 62.1 mph) in 3.7 seconds (Spyder: 3.8 seconds) and beyond to a top speed of 320 km/h (198.8 mph) (Spyder: 318 km/h [197.6 mph]).

- Toyota says goodbye to the FJ Cruiser with the FINAL EDITION model, featuring a beige exterior paint and special black garnishes on the grille.

- The teaser trailer for Fifty Shades Freed, the final installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, is now up. It will hit theaters Valentines Day 2018.

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