PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA – We all dream of owning a sports car and there are a few places in the Philippines that Filipino sports car lovers and the general public would ever get to see sports cars all bunched up.
At the 212 Philippine International Motor Show (PIMS), there was not a shortage of these beautifully-made road racers. Sports cars from Nissan, Toyota, and Honda made it to the 2012 PIMS, as well as a few from Lexus, Chrysler, and BMW.
So take your pick.
The Nissan 370Z (otherwise known as the Fairlady Z 34 in Japan) is quite distinguishable in the Nissan booth. Powered by a DOHC V6 engine capable of producing 332 horsepower, the 370Z can bring you from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in just 4.9 seconds. Its other Fairlady “sisters” sport different mods and depending on the market and the one at the 2012 PIMS must have been the 370Z Roadster as it has a convertible top.
In the early 2000 the Japanese anime Initial D introduced to Filipino car lovers one of Toyota's most favored road vehicles, the AE86 Trueno. At the 2012 PIMS, Toyota gave the public its first look at a totally refreshed “Trueno.” Simply called the 86, this model is giving a new meaning to the word “road racing.” Unlike its more engine-powered brethren, the 86 is powered only by a 2.0 liter engine. But what it lacks in power, it makes up for a combination of lightweight design, balance, and finely tuned horsepower.
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
The Galant VR-4 was a staple rally car in the late '80s to the early '90s and was a race driver's favourite in rally races, up until it was replaced by the Lancer Evolution series. But despite this, the Galant VR-4 can still go head-to-head with some of world rally racing's best vehicles. The Galant VR-4 driven by 1988 Asia-Pacific Championships winner Kenjiro Shinozuka was on display at the 2012 PIMS. Even after 15 years, this race car is still a stunner and anyone who sees it would still want it.
The Dodge Charger RT Redline Concept seen at the 2012 PIMS was built by Mopar, a division by Chrysler that makes aftersales motor parts (thus the name “mopar”). The dressed up Dodge Charger at the 2012 PIMS uses Mopar's Stage Two package that includes a whopping 5.7-liter V8 engine the cranks up around 360 hp. That's enough to leave a headache while driving at its top speed of almost 230 kph.
It might not be fair to include the Honda CR-Z in this category as it is powered by a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. It isn't exactly a sports car but it is getting there especially after it participated and finished in a 25-hour endurance race in 2010. At one time, a modified version of the CR-Z was reported to have produced 533 hp. Despite that, the CR-Z is a highly fuel efficient vehicle, able to consume only 4 liters for every 100 kilometers. Fuel economy, as started by the CR-Z could be the next direction for sports cars.
BMW sports cars
It's an all sport business for German giant BMW during the 2012 PIMS as it showcased several sports car series including convertible variants. Lined up at the BMW booth were the new Z4 Roadster, the 335i Cabriolet, the 650i Cabriolet, and the 3 Series M Performance. The top down models could really make a drivers look cool even under the extreme heat of Manila.
The Lexus LFA is not a sports car - it's a supercar. Powered by a 4.8L naturally aspirated V10 engine, a six-speed automated sequential gearbox, and a carbon fiber body, it matches European supercars made by Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Porsche. With only 500 cars being produced anyone who wants one might have to wait to just be even invited. Add to that the fact that anyone who wants it needs to have at least $440,000 (approximately P18 million) in their pocket. Despite only going into production in late 2009, this new entrant in the supercar series is one of the rarest and most expensive in the world.
Till next time, this is Monico D. Mekaniko, Va-va-vroom!