I got the nicest compliment the other day. The C! guys (I use guys for both male and female, in this case it was two females and one male) were setting up something we had to do and by the time I and the brand principal were there, everything went smoothly and quickly. The brand boss then said to me that we had a very empowered team. That is a wonderful comment for him to have made, because it shows that he appreciates how hard it is to get people to perform at their best consistently and without direct supervision. This means that they have to grow and so do you as someone who supports them. You have to look much further ahead in order to accomplish this, just as they have to in order to grow. A very nice thing to say; makes me proud of our guys.
I am sitting in a hotel in Vigan right now because I saw what Ardie and the guys did here for our travel supplement and I got jealous. A wonderful place where everyone involved is trying to combine the best of the old world with the demands of the new. Excellent example of people working together.
On our cover is the Lexus RC F, their new two-door coupe with the most powerful engine they have yet put into a road-going vehicle. The Lexus is another example of combining the best of what works: front, mid, and rear sections having come from different vehicles then strengthened into a platform that makes both the RC and RC F unique, enjoyable drives in different ways.
Elsewhere within the pages, we have quite an array of different interpretations of passion. The new Audi A3 sedan has made more than a few people change their minds on what luxury means in smallish packages, and we try to find out why. We have a buyer discussion on why the BMW i3 was the right choice for a Silicon Valley engineer, and we head out to hear the roar of a whole slew of ducks at the 2014 World Ducati Weekend. We look at some serious cool with a drag-racing Toyota Starlet, then new school with the 2014 Toyota Vios Cup one-make race series. Nissan gives us two interpretations of the future with their new X-Trail and the Juke NISMO RS. Then we see what it is really like to combine the words ECO and ‘stang with Ford’s Pony car for the new world. We tried another piece of ‘murican muscle with the Dodge Challenger R/T SCAT PACK. Going old again, we look at an amazing Lancia Stratos, an insane collectible that was apparently picked up because the owner saw it in the classifieds almost two decades ago. A work of art on multiple levels. Plus, Angel goes to the Grand Canyon and sees if she can find her way out with a Lexus CT200h, and we discuss the different ways to now power our vehicles and what that really means.
We see what it looks like when hearts are taken and broken with the turnover of the Mazda Miata 25th anniversary models. This car did several things; it made the Philippines the market to be noticed because we got 25 of these cars when all of Japan only got 25. People in the Laguna Seca 25th anniversary event (more on that soon) came up to us because they had to meet the people who pulled that one off! One guy actually came up not because he recognized the Philippine flag but because of the C! logo on all the shirts we gave to all those who went to Monterey for this truly historic event. Watching the cars get turned over was a very special moment, as much about the Miata Club of the Philippines as it was about the car. For that reason alone, all those cars are priceless. The broken heart was mine because I didn’t get one. Oh well, neither my old Miata nor our space-protective dachshunds, Pippa and Kate, would have let me park yet another toy car in the garage.
Carl S. Cunanan