muXOP completes epic 1,000-km Catanduanes tour; RZ4E-powered mu-X units keep pace

ON A ROAD trip that spanned over 1,000 kilometers, members of the mu-X Owners Philippines (muXOP) and their families, on board 20 units of the Isuzu mu-X SUV, successfully completed another epic adventure from April 27 to May 1, this time to the picturesque island province of Catanduanes.

Coming along for the trip were representatives of Isuzu Philippines Corporation and members of the motoring media who rode a mu-X LSA Automatic 4×2 and a mu-X LSA Manual Transmission 4×2 variant powered by Isuzu’s newest and most efficient diesel engine, the BluePower RZ4E.

The trip started at the Petron KM 44 Southbound service station on the South Luzon Expressway in Calamba, Laguna early evening of April 27, leading to an early morning roll-on roll-off (RORO) trip from Tabaco Port in Albay Province to the San Andres Port in Catanduanes.

Catanduanes, the country’s 12th largest island and a “maogma” (happy) place for the locals, also dished out wondrous sights as the convoy circumnavigated the island that weekend. The highlight of the 150-km island loop was the stop at Binurong Point, which revealed to visitors standing at the edge of a 200-foot-high seaside cliff a breathtaking view of the open Pacific Ocean.

All throughout, the reliable SUVs of muXOP provided reliable, consistent power and stability to negotiate the tricky twists and turns of the mountain and coastal roads. The mu-X offered enough comfortable space for entire families and their heavy luggage, and still leave room for the mandatory “pasalubong”.

muXOP, headed by Mr. Val Estor, explained that the barely year-old Club which already counts over 2,000 members has been actively engaging in group tours and humanitarian missions, the most recent of which was when the club delivered relief goods to those displaced by the recent eruption of Mount Mayon.

The new RZ4E engine, Val noted, would motivate mu-X owners to embark on more trips, what with the vastly improved fuel efficiency, significantly reduced noise and vibration, and cleaner emissions.

The Isuzu RZ4E engine is the result of the Japanese carmaker’s 6 years of extensive research, and represents Isuzu’s first foray into smaller engines but with higher outputs. Even while capable of generating maximum 150 PS of power and 350 Nm of torque, the RZ4E-powered mu-X has been recorded to yield up to 37 km per liter on highway runs. The RZ4E engine is also 60 kg lighter than the previous 4JJ1 engine, meets Euro4 emission standards, and is noticeably quieter.

Occupants of the two RZ4E-powered mu-X SUVs noted that they were able to keep pace with the rest of the convoy despite being loaded with passengers, luggage, camera equipment, and native pasalubong, and still manage to get a respectable fuel mileage of 17.63 km/liter for the automatic, and 14.37km/liter for the manual.

Indeed, “less is more” with the new Isuzu mu-X powered by the innovative BluePower, Euro4 emission-standard 1.9-liter RZ4E diesel engine. With the introductory price of P1,595 million for the RZ4E LSA AT 4×2, P1.570 million for the RZ4E LSA MT 4×2, and P1.395 million for the entry-level variant RZ4E LS MT 4×2, one not only saves on the purchase cost, but also on owning and running the vehicle.

Available colors for the BluePower RZ4E mu-X across all variants are Havana Brown, Cosmic Black, Obsidian Grey, Titanium Silver, and Silky Pearl White.

Test drive an RZ4E-powered mu-X at your nearest Isuzu dealer. Log on to www.isuzuphil.com for more details.

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EVAP, DTI meet with MOTIE of Korea

REPRESENTATIVES of Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines headed by Chairman Ferdi Raquelsantos, President Rommel T. Juan and VP Edmund Araga together with high-level Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) officials Usec. Perry Rodolfo, Board of Investments Executive Director Corieh Dichosa, Asec. Fita Aldaba and Commercial Counselor Jojie Dinsay met with representatives of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) recently in Seoul, Korea.

At the top of the agenda was how Korea, being more advanced in EV technology, can support the Philippines in its EV industry given that the current ongoing PUV Modernization Program of the government is looking at electric jeepneys as one option for the modernization and upgrading of our old, dilapidated PUVs.

These PUVs are mostly made using surplus diesel engines and other used parts and components from Japan.

The PUV Modernization Program of the Department of Transportation and the DTI is aimed at upgrading some 200,000 PUVs over the next six years that are more than the maximum allowable 15 years of age. They are intended to be replaced with the modern PUVs that are powered by either brand-new Euro 4 compliant diesel engines or electric motors.

Considering its current manufacturing capability and state of the domestic EV industry, EVAP is targeting only about 10% of this volume or 20,000 units over the next six years.

Points that were discussed were the safety and quality control systems of Korea that we could possibly adapt, the EV Industry in the Philippines, the EV policies of the Philippines and a discussion on how the two countries can possibly collaborate to achieve the goals of PUV Modernization Program of the Philippines within the Duterte administration.

The Philippines also suggested cooperation with Korea in the joint conduct of a market feasibility study on EV to include safety standards, regulations, and financing.

EVAP President Juan said that EVAP is glad to be able to do an in-depth discussion with MOTIE. “We know that our government is very supportive of this sunrise industry and we just need reliable EV technology, parts and components to use in the PUVM Program of the government. These are things that Korea has”.

Usec. Rodolfo led the Philippine side at the discussions while Asec. Aldaba presented the current state of the EV industry in the Philippines amidst the phenomenal economic boom that the country is experiencing right now. The Philippines continues to maintain its GDP growth of 6.8% and has invested heavily in its Build! Build! Build! Program to improve its infrastructure to support and sustain the economic performance.

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