The best thing about Speedhunting abroad is not just discovering car culture in a country you might have never traveled to before. It’s about meeting the people and companies at the center of it.

While at the 2024 NeoClassic show in the Philippines earlier in the year, I chatted with the team from Autoplus and quickly realized that I needed to visit them.

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Located in the heart of Manila, Autoplus is a business born out of pure passion. A passion for cars, a passion for driving, and most importantly of all, a passion for getting the best out of any car that comes through its doors. And by that, I do mean any car. Autoplus caters to everything from muscle cars and JDM machines to high-end exotics.

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Bryan from NeoClassic drove Alec and I to the shop in his lifted, off-road spec Porsche Cayenne, which stood out like a sore thumb amongst Manila traffic.

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On arrival, I was immediately impressed by the sheer number of cars dotted around the place. Some I had seen at the show, while others were in to get work done.

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We hadn’t even ventured inside, but I already knew we were in for a treat.

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Autoplus has been in business for over 30 years, and over that time it has found success in many forms of motorsport, including circuit racing, drag, drift and even the standing mile. It built the first legit 1,000hp R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R in the Philippines and the Ford GT that holds the country’s standing-mile record.

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The company’s recently-built facility features a large showroom at the lower level with the main workshop adjacent and visible through a large glass window.

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The showroom is a cool place to hang out. Autoplus is the official RAYS distributor in the Philippines, so you can check out the vast inventory of Volk Racing and Gram Lights wheels, plus all the other products on display.

Let’s head into the garage area to see where the work gets done.

The Workshop

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Where to start? With a Mercedes-AMG C 63 coupe and a McLaren 720S right alongside.

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A few lifts down were a couple of other cars being worked, this time an EG Honda Civic and a C6 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

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On the other side of the shop, some good old-fashioned American muscle and the more modern German equivalent. I told you they work on everything.

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There was so much to take in.

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The first of two cars that Autoplus pulled out so we could take a closer look was this McLaren 675LT.

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What makes this car special – or should I say unique – is the fact it’s the VP455 prototype vehicle. It was built as a 650S, but as all the documentation that came with the car shows, it was converted and used as the test mule for the 675LT. Before McLaren sold it, it was refurbished back into new road-going condition.

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Making it even more exceptional is its long list of MSO (McLaren Special Operations) goodies.

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Things like the exposed carbon fiber hood, roof scoop, rear spoiler, and vented fenders. It also features Senna center-locking wheels and limited edition MSO HS carbon seats.

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Next was this Ford GT – a pristine example inside and out.

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Lifting the massive one-piece rear cowl exposes the guts of the GT, where you can get lost in the details of the supercharged V8 as well as the aluminum rear chassis section. But what strikes you instantly is the aftermarket KW suspension.

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Autoplus, not overly impressed by the car’s dated stock dampers, organized a suspension group buy for 12 Ford GT owners in the region. If you see one on the streets of Manila, there is an ultra-high chance it’s riding on KWs.

Upstairs

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With the workshop tour done, we made our way upstairs. Here on level two are where some of the Autoplus demo cars, race cars and the owner’s collection are kept. Needless to say, things got interesting.

Starting with this EK4 Honda Civic SiR sedan. You don’t see these things very often anymore, and pretty much never in factory-original condition like this.

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In another corner was the Autoplus Suzuki Jimny, which we saw on display at NeoClassic.

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As the Sierra version (non-kei grade) of the Jimny, it came stock with a naturally aspirated 1.5L engine that makes 100hp. This one features forged engine internals and a top-mounted turbo to output 180whp. The Autoplus team are waiting to see how long it takes before the motor goes bang, all in the name of research and development.

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This Ford GT, which I also saw at the show, is a hardcore build sitting on RAYS Volk Raving RE30s and running KW suspension, of course. It reputedly develops 900whp on aviation gas.

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Yes, that is a genuine McLaren race car.

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How cool would it be to have it registered for road use?

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As you can see, the Autoplus collection is vast and diverse.

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From a Lotus Exige V6 Cup car to an Impreza WRX STI S203.

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And next to the Subaru, a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo V.

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I spotted this Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec carbon rear diffuser from a mile away.

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When I visited, the Autoplus team was working on a few kyusha restorations. It was cool to see this beautiful L-series engine waiting to be dropped into a classic Nissan/Datsun.

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Of all the cars I was shown in the workshop, the Autoplus GR Yaris was my personal favorite. I am a massive fan of Toyota’s homologation special and its 1.6L 3-cylinder turbo engine, which has so much hidden potential. And this GR Yaris is one of the most heavily modified I’ve seen.

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The car sits on Volk Racing TE37s up front and ZE40s at the rear. These are large wheels but barely clear the giant AP Racing Pro 5000R race calipers.

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The left side headlight has been replaced with a carbon fiber intake that directs fresh air into the engine, which itself features a fully-forged rotating assembly.

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Currently, the G16E is pushing out 340whp, but Autoplus expects more as new modifications are made.

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The doors feel a little lighter than standard, all thanks to the thin carbon door cards that weigh next to nothing. Inside, the driver and passenger are hugged by Bride Low Max seats and secured with Willans harnesses.

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Drawing information from the MoTeC engine management system, the MoTeC C125 data logger/digital display has rendered the stock instrumentation redundant.

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The best bit? That would be the 7-speed mechanical sequential transmission. It allows you to flat shift through the gears without torque dropping off.

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I’d like to give big thanks to Autoplus for opening the doors and showing us around its impressive facility.

But this story isn’t over just yet, as we got to take out a car for a drive on the streets of Manila. Can you guess which one?

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: dino_dalle_carbonare
dino@speedhunters.com

Additional Photography by Alec Pender
Instagram: noplansco





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