The Jeepney has always been considered as an icon of Filipino pop culture. Originating from World War II’s Willy’s jeep, it has been given a Filipino twist by the art and ingenuity put into the King of the Road, as it has often been called.
But alas, the King has shown its age, especially with a slew of dilapidated ones that are presently plying our roads. Aside from being toxic to our environment, their current state makes them unsafe for the riding public and other road users. Hence the need for a new, more mdern take. Enter the likes of the Foton Jeepney, also known as the F Jeep.
Taking its cue from the government’s PUV Modernization Program that was launched last 2017, the F Jeep rides on the tried and tested Tornado truck platform, ensuring its robustness and durability. This easily allows it to take on the body designed by leading truck body builder Centro Manufacturing Corporation, that is penned to accommodate 24 passengers in total comfort.
With more occupants in tow, all riders can bask in the comfort of airconditioning, wifi connectivity, GPS navigation, as well as the safety of CCTV cameras, dashcams, and the like. Plus, “paabot po”—a practice of handing loose change thru other passengers to pay the driver—is a thing of the past as this one will be equipped with the tech savvy tap and go card payment system.
As for power, the F Jeep is motivated by a Cummins CRDI four-cylinder engine producing 116hp and 260Nm of torque, sent to the drive wheels via 5-speed manual tranny. This translates to efficient yet adequate power for the city and the occasional highway commute.
Yes, the iconic jeepney is all set to take off into the new century. Here’s hoping that our dear jeepney drivers’ behavior while behind the wheel gets an upgrade as well. Just saying.