There was a time many years ago when it was believed, or at least said as a possibility, by several in the enthusiast car industry that the sports car was dead. That other car types such as the hot new tuned sedans coming to market were the way the world would go. That a company like Porsche, which had never broken out of the success of the 911 at the time, was destined to go. Porsche had made a few attempts to add to its lineup with cars like the 914, the 924 and 944, the 928, but none had the legs of the 911. Flash forward to today, and in this issue we have some things that no one ever thought would happen.
The new Porsche Macan is on our cover. The company put half a billion Euro into a factory to make something many others already made, a compact SUV. A big bet on a big risk, one that is proving to be just what many buyers of such vehicles were looking for. It was destined to be met with skepticism, I mean how different could it really be. Massively, it seems.
Another surprise is a car we tested early this year just before the votes were cast for the International Engine of the Year Awards. The all-electric Tesla powertrain took the Green Engine award, something no all-electric has ever been able to do. Competition was stiff, including from the much-awaited BMW i3 that fielded both electric/gas and fully electric motors. The upstart company with no experience in the car industry proves it has the passion and ability to do what the big boys couldn’t. An amazing vehicle.
By the way, the International Engine Of The Year Awards are listed in a bit more detail in this issue, and the winners will be looked into even more in the coming issues. Some, like the Ford EcoBoost 1 liter and the Ferrari 458’s V8, we’ve already told you about.
Speaking of winners and follow-ups, we spent some time with the much-anticipated Nissan X-Trail. Often considered one of Nissan’s great successes in the Philippines, we check it out to see if they have lived up to the legend. We run what many consider a wonderful distillation of what Honda is best at with the new Jazz. We see how MINI is doing with their follow up of, well, their MINI.
Going further afield, we travel to beautiful Palawan with Kia and to the nirvana that is Maranello to have a nice dinner and check out some toy shops. Going further into the past we go American Iron with a ’67 Mustang.
We have well and truly entered into the wet season, and we wish that all of you stay safe and dry in the coming months.
Carl S. Cunanan