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PIMS 2022: Mazda shows off 3 new vehicles at its elegant booth

Catch the refreshed CX-8, a PH-exclusive MX-5, and the BT-50 Pangolin II

You'd think that Mazda were stealing the show with a booth this grand. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Step into the halls of World Trade Center for the 2022 Philippine International Motor Show and you will notice a massive three-leveled booth by Mazda Philippines that looks more like it belongs at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The three new cars revealed during the first day of PIMS. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The automaker has also shown off three new vehicles to the public for the first time: the BT-50 Pangolin II Concept, the refreshed CX-8 AWD Exclusive, and the MX-5 Miata Club Philippines 25th Anniversary Edition.

Here are some of the other Mazdas you'll see at its booth. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

And if you’re interested in its other vehicles, the 3 M Hybrid, the CX-30 M Hybrid, the CX-5 AWD Turbo, and the CX-9 AWD Turbo are also on display, with the BT-50 available for test drives. Also, there’s a little surprise tucked away at the pavilion, where a bone-stock first-generation (NA) MX-5 owned by Eddie Salonga, the founding president of the Miata Club Philippines, is sitting pretty.

It's a mild facelift, but the upgrades are tasteful and practical. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The facelift for the CX-8 isn’t major, but it’s a tasteful one that helps elevate the already premium three-row crossover to a higher level.

Most of the changes outside include a redesigned front grille, chrome trim on the lower portion of the front bumper, silver 19-inch wheels, enlarged dual exhaust tips, new tailgate badging in the Mazda Type font, and the addition of Platinum Quartz and Polymetal Gray color choices. The inside still has the same feature set as the older model, but it now has new Sen Wood interior trim, a sunroof, a seven-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, two USB ports in the third row, and hands-free power tailgate (or a kick sensor).

While its powertrain is still the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G with a six-speed automatic transmission (sorry, no turbo here), the CX-8 now has G-Vectoring Control Plus. The Exclusive variant has the Off-Road Traction Assist, which simulates a locking differential. Plus, i-Activsense comes standard on all variants, with features like Smart City Brake Support (front and back), auto high-beams, driver attention alert, and radar cruise control (with stop-and-go) for the Exclusive variant.

The FWD Signature seven-seater will cost you P2.33 million, while the AWD Exclusive six-seater is priced at P2.49 million.

The way this pickup is set up is a breath of fresh air in a crowd of overly aggressive-looking competitiors. PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

The BT-50 Pangolin II Concept, which is what the follow-up to Mazda’s previous BT-50 Pangolin may look like.

A Mazda executive told us that most top-of-the-line pickup trucks on the market like the Ranger Raptor, the Hilux Conquest, and the Navara Pro-4X bank on excessive machismo and aggressive styling. The BT-50 Pangolin II, meanwhile, goes the opposite way, favoring a more subtle and discreet look. While none of these are final, you can see that it’s fitted with a unique sport bar, a load cover, Giti 4×4 AT70 tires, and bespoke Rota wheels.

Are you buying this very special Miata? PHOTO BY SAM SURLA

Finally, we have the MX-5 MCP 25th Anniversary Edition. While this Philippine-market exclusive had been previewed earlier this year as a render, we finally have an actual car in the metal. You can read more about the car in this article. We think the final product is just as stunning in real life.

It’s exclusively finished in Platinum Quartz, and has a Navy Blue soft top. There are also Navy Blue accents found on the side mirrors and the roll hoops, with satin-silver 17-inch wheels.

The inside also comes with something a little special. Nestled between the black leather seats is a Sterling Silver commander knob for the Mazda Connect infotainment, and a serial number plate finished in the same material.

You can avail of this vehicle for P2.25 million (manual) or P2.3 million (automatic) if you make a reservation during 2022 PIMS at all Mazda dealerships nationwide. Each car will come with a commemorative car cover and a 25th-anniversary photobook. This car will only be made for a year, with deliveries starting now until September 15, 2023.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.