|Event Photos by Ulysses Ang|
“We know our customers are very discerning and we are catering to enhance the overall customer experience by offering more variety of choices,” said Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director of Tan Chong International Ltd, the parent company of Motor Image. “The Subaru XV STI Performance Edition takes the Subaru XV one step further, giving customers an enhanced driving experience and stunning visual presence,” he added.
The Subaru XV is the brand’s dynamic crossover that’s specifically catered for the urban environment. The compact footprint makes it a convenient and practical vehicle to navigate busy city streets without compromising on performance, safety, and efficiency on any terrain. It comes with Subaru’s new-generation 2.0-liter Boxer engine for lower maintenance and fuel efficiency. The 150 horsepower is mated to a responsive Lineartronic CVT further reducing fuel consumption without compromising on responsiveness. The Subaru XV also offers 220-mm of ground clearance for added confidence in tackling any terrain while still keeping a center of gravity no more than a typical sports hatchback.
The STI Performance Edition features a sportier exterior through the use of STI front and rear underspoilers and side skirts finished in matte silver and a large-type roof spoiler in gloss black. This is capped off by a series of ‘STI Performance’ badges on the fenders and the tailgate.
More than just for show, the Subaru XV Performance Edition’s aerodynamic kit has been extensively tested by STI using Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru’s parent company)’s wind tunnel. In its tests, the Subaru XV Performance Edition has a reduced co-efficient of lift by 50 percent while balancing the overall airflow around the vehicle. This translates to improved high-speed driving stability and drivability.
Aside from the aerodynamic kit, the Subaru XV STI Performance also comes with STI’s unique Flexible Tower Brace that improves handling time by 30 percent. Unlike the traditional rigid tower brace, STI’s Flexible Tower Brace contains a ball joint in the middle of the tower bridge to absorb the up-down, fore-aft movements while maximizing steering reaction. STI believes that as a car goes through various forces during driving, it’s necessary to filter the unnecessary from the necessary forces. By using a ball joint, the Flexible Tower Brace is able to absorb unnecessary and harsh forces and vibrations while keeping optimal tire contact to the road surface leading for a more linear control.
Mr. Makoto Shibuya, an accomplished rally driver and STI’s General Manager for Experimental Division (responsible for the Subaru BRZ’s driving stability among other projects) worked closely with other STI engineers to develop the Subaru XV STI Performance Edition.
“We chose the Subaru XV as a starting point to introduce the STI Performance brand to customers in the region,” said STI General Manager for Sales Mr. Kengo Hori. “We hope this is just the start of a stronger presence for STI in the region,” he added.
Now offered for the Malaysian-built CKD Subaru XV, the Subaru XV STI Performance is expected to arrive as a dealer-installed package for the Philippine market Japan-made CBU Subaru XV by September. Motor Image Pilipinas General Manger Mr. Michael Luyun said that dealerships across the country: Greenhills, Bonifacio Global City, Manila Bay, Alabang, Batangas, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao will be equipped with special tools and training for the proper fitting of STI parts. Pricing details will be revealed as September approaches. Additionally, in order to secure added exclusivity, there are currently no plans to offer the STI Performance package as a retrofit to existing Subaru XV owners.
“The Subaru XV has been extremely popular with Philippine car buyers. It accounts for 25 percent of our sales nationwide. We are currently experiencing a 10 percent growth year-over-year and we believe that the introduction of the Subaru XV STI Performance Edition will help us realize our annual sales target of 4,000 units,” said Mr. Luyun.
Mr. Tan further added: “The Philippines has always been one of our strongest markets. And there’s even more to come from Motor Image this year. Aside from an expanded dealer network with three new dealerships in the pipeline, expect the all-new Subaru Legacy and Outback to launch before the year end. This will then be followed by the Subaru Levorg in the latter half of 2015.”