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Skoda India appoints Pavel Richter as production technical director
Skoda India has announced that Pavel Richter has been appointed the Production Technical Director of the Volkswagen Group’s Skoda-led India 2.0 project starting November 1, 2018.  The 46-year-old will be responsible for the production of all the models that roll out of VW’s plant in Pune. The company says re-organising the responsibilities at the management level is an important step in implementing the ‘India 2.0’ project. Commenting on Richter’s appointment, Dr Andreas Lauermann, managing director and president of Volkswagen India, said: “I am delighted to welcome Pavel Richter to our team in Pune. With his experience, he will play a crucial role in achieving our common goal of further strengthening the Volkswagen Group’s position in the strategically important Indian market.” Gurpratap Boparai, managing director of Skoda Auto India and head of the ‘India 2.0’ project, said: “Pavel Richter has known the company for many years and has considerable expertise in the international automotive industry. With his capabilities, he will play a key role in making the ‘India 2.0’ project successful.” Pavel Richter has been working at Skoda Auto since 2000 and has performed various managerial roles in the many international markets. In 2011, he became head of the Skoda’s production facility in Kvasiny, Czech Republic. From 2014, Richter was responsible for the production of the Octavia, Rapid and Karoq models at the company’s headquarters in Mladá Boleslav. Also see: Skoda hires outsider from Tata Motors as head of engineering for ‘India 2.0’ project Next-gen Skoda Rapid, VW Vento coming in 2021 Skoda CEO confirms localisation of VW 1.0 TSI petrol Skoda's 'India 2.0’ project to bank heavily on localisation Skoda to take charge of VW Group model development for India [...]
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Volkswagen launches Digital Workplace across dealerships
German carmaker Volkswagen has launched the Digital Workplace application in all 121 dealerships across 104 cities in India. Dealerships will be equipped with tablet computers along with a pre-installed Digital Workplace application in order to digitise and simplify the buying experience. The Digital Workplace app is mean to aid VW consultants in lead capturing, provide 360-degree views and vehicle presentations, videos, competition comparison, financing solutions, register test-drives and more. The app also allows the technicians to showcase and explain the repair work required on their vehicles to customers. A six-step procedure will send timely notifications to customers via SMS about their vehicles right from the time it enters the workshop, until completion of the work. At the end, the customer can choose to either pick up their vehicle or ask the dealership to drop it at their doorstep. Furthermore, the app will enable dealers to create a customised product brochure for customers with their preferred vehicle and choice of features. Speaking about this initiative, Steffen Knapp, Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars said, “People are at the centre of Volkswagen’s business and with the Digital Workplace initiative, we aim to enhance the sales and after-sales processes as well as digitalize the customer buying experience. As the country moves a step forward with the Digitalize India campaign, this is yet another enterprise to fully integrate our dealerships and provide a premium user experience. It is our endeavour to offer our customers, all of Volkswagen’s services at the comfort and convenience of their homes.” [...]
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TVS announces Mexico operations via Torino Motors
TVS Motor Company has announced that it will start operations in Mexico. The Housur-based two-wheeler giant has partnered with Torino Motors, a subsidiary of Groupo Autofin. Torino Motors will be the official distributor for the TVS brand in Mexico. In the first year of association, Torino Motors will work with TVS to open 40 dealerships across the Central American nation. Torino Motors will distribute the following TVS two-wheelers in Mexico – the entire TVS Apache range including the flagship Apache RR 310, TVS XL100 HD, TVS HLX 150 (150cc commuter), TVS Stryker (125cc commuter) and step-through offerings such as the TVS Rockz and Neo. The TVS Ntorq 125 and the Wego scooter will also go on sale in Mexico. Commenting on this association, R Dilip, Senior Vice President – International Business, TVS Motor Company, said, “We are delighted to partner with a reputed, well-known company such as Torino Motors, who come with over 40 years of experience in Mexico. We look forward to the market knowledge that they will bring on board. Their insights will allow us to personalise our offerings to suit the customers of Mexico and their vast network of distribution will ensure maximum reach in the country. Together with Torino Motors, we are determined to create customer delight in the country.” TVS is already present in over 60 countries and is among the leading two- and three-wheeler exporters in India. Also see: 2018 TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0 review, test ride 2018 TVS Ntorq 125 long term review, second report [...]
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Mahindra Y400 SUV launch delayed
Mahindra has pushed back the market launch of its upcoming flagship SUV which is still known by its codename 'Y400'. A few days ago, we had an exclusive report about the model reaching showrooms on October 9, 2018. According to sources, the Marazzo MPV was recently launched on September 3, 2018 and dealers wanted the MPV to enjoy more floor-space as the brand’s newest launch before introducing more new products. By launching the Y400 on October 9, Mahindra would essentially leave only around a month-long gap between both launches. Secondly, most Mahindra dealerships are under renovation and upgrade along with an addition of the Mahindra Prime Zone at the moment. The Mahindra Prime Zone, as reported by us earlier, will cater to the brand’s newer launches like the Marazzo MPV and the Y400 SUV. A third model in the form of the S201 SUV is likely to join the “Prime” line-up a little later. Apart from the above, Honda has already announced the CR-V market launch on October 9, 2018. Additionally, there is another automotive event scheduled around that date which is why the company has decided to launch the SUV a little later – likely around the end of October. The new Mahindra Y400 SUV will sit above the XUV500 in the company's India line-up and will be a replacement for the first-gen SsangYong Rexton. The SUV will come with a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-diesel engine producing 187hp and 420Nm of peak torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 7-speed torque converter automatic transmission, although all-wheel drive will be on offer with its higher-spec variants. Estimated prices for this new Mahindra Rexton are expected to begin at Rs 22 lakh (thanks to a significant degree of localisation). This means that it will undercut its segment-rivals – the Toyota Fortuner, the Isuzu MU-X and the Ford Endeavour. Also see: 2018 Mahindra Marazzo: Which variant should you buy? Mahindra to go carbon neutral by 2040 Mahindra to ramp up Roxor production [...]
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Mahindra to go carbon neutral by 2040
Mahindra has announced its commitment to become a carbon-neutral company by 2040. India’s leading manufacturer of utility vehicles has stated that it will focus on energy efficiency and the use of renewable power to achieve this target. Residual emissions will be addressed through carbon sinks. “We are doing our part in the global fight against climate change with this ambitious new target,” said Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group. “Mahindra will leverage the latest technological advances and its recently announced Carbon Price to work towards being carbon neutral by 2040.” “Targets based on science are the only effective way to meet the challenges we face,” added Mahindra; and it is known to face environmental challenges head-on. Mahindra was the first company in the world to commit to doubling energy productivity of the automotive business by signing on to The Climate Group’s program EP100 and is now almost 12 years ahead of schedule. The farm equipment business is also ahead of schedule in achieving its goal and is more than half-way there. The company was also the first Indian company to announce its internal Carbon Price – $10 per tonne of emitted carbon – to fund investments required to pursue the path of carbon neutrality. Mahindra assessed the goals for energy efficiency and renewable energy that it set for itself; and decided on its carbon price based on what was required to meet these goals. International benchmarks were also factored into setting the price. The company has more than 10 years of experience in creating carbon sinks. It looks forward to using this experience to deal with residual emissions in a manner that is world-class and follows the best established protocols. The automaker says it will be working on its carbon-neutrality commitment with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an international non-profit organisation that works with leading companies to raise the global bar for corporate sustainability leadership. It will continue to work with EDF and other leading partners as it implements actions towards achieving carbon neutrality. Mahindra is also a signatory of the 'Science-Based Targets' initiative which provides companies with a clear pathway for reducing emissions in line with the goals of UNFCC's Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well below 2degC above pre-industrial levels. These existing commitments prove helpful for the company on its path to carbon neutrality. [...]
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2019 Suzuki GSX-S300 spotted undisguised
Back in April 2018, leaked patent images of Haojue’s HJ300 had surfaced. Now, pictures of the production-ready bike have leaked from what looks to be the assembly plant. The bike, as expected, features DR300 badging which will most likely be replaced by GSX-S300 ones for the international market. The motorcycle is rumoured to be equipped with a 299cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine with output figures of around 30hp and 25Nm of peak torque while using a 6-speed transmission. The new images also reveal the same aggressive design language seen in the patent images as well as an upside-down fork, petal disc and aluminium swingarm. ABS equipment is also evident in the leaked images. The new Suzuki GSX-S300 is likely to make its global debut at the 2018 INTERMOT fair in Germany or at EICMA in Italy, later this year. That being said, it is unlikely that this 300cc Suzuki will make it to our market. Instead, Suzuki is working on a more-affordable, single-cylinder 250cc bike to rival the Yamaha FZ25. Even though the 250 will be completely different mechanically, we expect that it will share similarities in terms of design. Suzuki could go with a new nomenclature system for the 250 and call it a GSX, but the Gixxer brand is now a strong and recognisable name in India, so we expect the new 250 to carry it forward. Also see: Five-year insurance rule: Updated Suzuki price list Suzuki to launch four dirt bikes in India   IMAGE SOURCE   [...]
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Review: Santro: The Car That Built A Company book review
BVR Subbu and the Santro are both extremely important bits of Indian automotive history and folklore. On the face of it, the little Santro didn’t look like it was headed for success when it was showcased back in September 1998. In fact, as Subbu says, “most didn’t give it a snowball’s chance in hell.” The design was unconventional to say the least, the company was unknown and the Koreans who first came to India knew almost nothing of the market. This then is the story of the Santro, from the inside, from the man who did more than any other to make it a success. And it is a fascinating story, told with tremendous passion and, it must be said, respect for his Korean colleagues. Subbu starts off with some very interesting revelations about the Indian car industry in chapter 1 or ‘The world as it was then’. Oh no, I said, history lesson, but it isn’t. Stick with it, there are some real eye-openers here. Stuff like how Mercedes-Benz penned the first Indica, how Tata Motors almost started its car-production journey with Audi’s DKW 900, how Maruti went into liquidation in 1977 and how Tata Motors, in 1986, took the dimensions of the Honda City from Autocar (UK) and built a test mule! Then starts the best part of the book, where you, the reader, get a seldom-seen insight into how the Santro was turned from an unattractive but well-engineered car into a sales success. Subbu’s memory, field of vision and clear definition of the battlefield paint a vivid picture. Some highlights include how the styling was changed for India, how he emphasised the need for a larger and more powerful engine by demonstrating what he called ‘the Peddar Road Syndrome’ (where a loaded car has to power up a long slope in a city like Mumbai), how the performance of the air-con unit was bumped up to meet the demands of Indian car buyers and how Hyundai contributed to the Army Wives Welfare Association during the launch of the car.  Subbu often quotes Mao, quite effectively, draws parallels with military strategy and explains his approach and solution to a problem by often going back to his days in Tata Motors, who he says “taught him everything he knows”; something I’ve often heard him say in person. And then there’s how he turned the introduction of Euro-II emission norms into a showcase of the Santro engine’s technical sophistication. Subbu has also dedicated a lot of space to how Shah Rukh Khan was convinced to be Hyundai’s brand ambassador, with a fascinating insight into the man, his approach and why and how he played his part in the Santro success story. It’s clear from the book that Subbu thoroughly enjoyed his Hyundai journey and it is clear he enjoys telling the Santro story too. A must read if you are interested in the Indian car industry, and what makes it tick. Also see: Hyundai AH2 hatchback to be launched on October 23 Hyundai Santro discontinued after 16 years WagonR vs Zen Estilo vs Santro [...]
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Nissan Sunny Special Edition launched at Rs 8.48 lakh
In anticipation of the upcoming festive period, Nissan has launched a limited edition Sunny at Rs 8.48 lakh (ex-showroom). The Sunny Special Edition comes with certain stylistic elements on the exterior which sets it apart from the regular Sunny. This car gets a black roof wrap, new body decals and blacked-out wheel covers. It also gets a new rear spoiler. Inside, the Sunny Special Edition gets premium seat covers finished in red and black and a two-tone colour scheme. It also gets a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone mirroring as part of the package. The Sunny is also equipped with NissanConnect which is an integrated connected car technology, with more than 50 features, for the owner's  security and convenience. Features like geo-fencing, speed alert, curfew alert, nearby pit-stops, Locate My Car and Share My Car Location address the safety and car security concerns, along with the well-being of drivers can be accessed via this application . Keyless entry and push-stop-start via intelligent Key, and ‘Lead Me to Car’ which guides people to their cars, add a layer of convenience to the overall drive experience. Safety kit like dual airbags, speed-sensing door lock and a driver seat belt reminder is standard across all variants. The Sunny Special Edition is available in two powertrains. A 99hp, 1.5-litre petrol and an 86hp, 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine. While both engines are mated to a five-speed manual, a CVT gearbox is also offered with the petrol variant. The Sunny rivals the likes of the Fiat Linea and lower-spec variants of the Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. [...]
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Maruti Suzuki Ignis limited edition launched
Maruti Suzuki has launched a limited edition of its funky-looking Ignis hatchback. The Ignis is Maruti’s lowest selling model after the Gypsy and the company aims to capitalise on the upcoming festive period and boost sales by offering more equipment on the model. The Ignis limited edition boasts of accessories worth Rs 45,000, which will be dealer fitments. The package includes exterior changes like side door cladding with ‘Ignis’ branding, a body kit with silver moulding on the side skirts and both bumpers. It also comes equipped with a tailgate-mounted spoiler. Inside the limited edition Ignis, premium seat covers are a part of the package. This model is based on the mid-spec Delta variant, which already features plenty of kit. It comes with ABS and airbags, a 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, electrically adjustable ORVMs and keyless entry as standard. Maruti is yet to disclose the official pricing of the Ignis limited edition but, we expect it to cost a slight premium over the standard Delta variant of the car (Rs 5.28-5.83 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi). With the diesel Ignis being discontinued earlier this year, the car is now available with only the 1.2-litre petrol engine that makes 83hp and 113Nm of peak torque. It comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox. The Ignis competes with the Ford Freestyle and Mahindra KUV100 NXT in the market. Also see: 2017 Maruti Ignis long term review, second report 2018 Ford Freestyle vs Maruti Ignis comparison Maruti Suzuki Swift vs Baleno vs Dzire vs Ignis [...]
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India-spec Ford Aspire facelift leaked ahead of October 4 launch
Ford is gearing up to launch its refreshed compact sedan, the Figo Aspire, on October 4, 2018. The Aspire facelift has been spied testing earlier and now, a new set of images have been leaked online. These show that the car shares a number of design cues with the Freestyle cross-hatch which was launched back in April and with the international-spec Ford Ka+. The Aston Martin-eqsue grille, also seen on Ford’s cross-hatch, gets a chrome surround and so do the revised fog lamp housings. The headlamp units are the same but now get a blacked-out effect with redesigned internals. However, it does not get LED DRLs. The front bumper has been slightly altered as well. Viewed from the side, the only major visible change is to the alloys wheels, now 15-inch multi-spoke units which are shod in 195/55 R15 rubber.  The cabin of the refreshed Ford Aspire gets the Freestyle’s new dashboard along with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which is expected to feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. From the images, we can also see that Ford has equipped the new Aspire with a push-button start, two USB ports at the front, steering-mounted audio controls and an automatic climate control system. However, a rear AC vent seems to be absent. The top-spec Titanium+ trim is expected to get six airbags and ABS with EBD. A highlight of the new model is that it will be powered by the new 96hp, 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine which made its debut on the Freestyle. The motor will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox (again, from the Freestyle), but there is talk of replacing the current 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a more cost-effective torque convertor unit. The 100hp, 1.5-litre diesel engine will continue unchanged. A diesel-automatic combination is not expected to be offered in the compact sedan facelift at launch. The compact sedan segment has recently seen the introduction of the second-gen Honda Amaze (Rs 5.81-9.11 lakh), while Maruti Suzuki’s Dzire (Rs 5.60-9.45 lakh) has been the segment stalwart. Hyundai’s Xcent (Rs 5.61-8.61 lakh) and Volkswagen’s Ameo (Rs 5.62-10.02 lakh) are also contenders in this burgeoning segment. Expect the Aspire facelift to carry a slight premium over the current model which retails at Rs 5.82-8.79 lakh for the petrol models and Rs 6.93-8.56 lakh for the diesel variants. All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi Also see: Ford EcoSport recalled in India Ford India crosses 1 million unit sales milestone 2018 Ford Freestyle vs Maruti Ignis comparison Drag Race: Ford Mustang GT vs Audi RS5   IMAGE SOURCE [...]
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Mercedes reveals new autonomous vehicle concept
Mercedes-Benz’s commercial vehicle division has revealed a new autonomous mobility concept ahead of its public debut at the upcoming IAA commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany.   Called the Vision Urbanetic, the new concept has been conceived to eliminate the separation that currently exists between people moving and goods transport through the adoption of a self-driving, electrically powered skateboard-style chassis that can accept different bodies – it can be a roomy ride-sharing vehicle or a goods transporter.   As a ride-sharing vehicle, the Vision Urbanetic can accommodate up to 12 passengers, while the cargo module can be divided into two levels and transport up to 10 EPAL pallets within a load space of 10 cubic metres. A load length of 3,700mm fits into a total vehicle length of 5,140mm.    The different bodies can be changed either automatically or manually, according to Mercedes, with the automated process claimed to take only a few minutes. Further body derivatives are under development and expected to be shown in the future.   The autonomous chassis to which the bodies are attached incorporates all the hardware required for the driverless features to function, allowing the Vision Urbanetic to travel to locations without a body attached. The new concept also showcases an IT infrastructure that analyses the supply and demand of ride-hailing passengers or goods within a defined delivery area, all in real time.     Mercedes says the Vision Urbanetic’s electric powertrain makes it highly suitable for city centres and areas subject to legal access restrictions. Its near-silent operation also presents new options for night-time deliveries, the firm says. [...]
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2018 Tata Tiago NRG launched at Rs 5.50 lakh
Just a week after pictures of Tata's first production cross-hatch were leaked online, the company has today launched the Tiago NRG at an introductory price of Rs 5.50 lakh for the petrol and Rs 6.32 lakh for the diesel (ex-showroom, Delhi).  As you'd expect from a cross-hatch, the Tiago NRG is largely identical to the standard hatch but features a full body kit in a contrasting black shade, aimed at adding a bit of SUV flavour to the package. The body kit consists of front- and rear-bumper add-ons with faux brushed-aluminium scuff plates, along with additional trim pieces on the running boards and wheel arches. A big difference between the NRG and the standard Tiago is the raised ride height. The Tiago NRG cross-hatch boasts 180mm of ground clearance, as opposed to the 170mm seen in the standard car. It is marginally longer, wider and taller than the standard hatchback as well, but that is due to the addition of exterior elements. In terms of appearance, the Tiago NRG sports a black front-grille with no chrome detailing, a black roof, black roof-rails, black wing mirrors and door handles, and an additional black plastic trim on the tailgate. The NRG also gets headlamps with projector lens and black inserts (similar to the ones seen on the top-of-the-line Tigor compact sedan), and a new design for the 14-inch alloy wheels. On the inside, the model gets contrasting trim elements finished in orange for the dashboard. Additionally, it is also equipped with electrically adjustable wing-mirrors and a cooled glove box. The Tiago NRG is the only Tiago variant available with a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that doubles as the reverse-camera display. It also gets the Tigor's four-speaker Harman sound system. Mechanically, the Tiago NRG is exactly the same as the standard hatch. Engine options include an 84hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 69hp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder diesel unit. Interestingly, the only gearbox on offer is the five-speed manual – the standard Tiago can also be had with a five-speed AMT. At this price, the Tiago NRG comfortably undercuts the Ford Freestyle but is also one size smaller. Only a full comparison will tell us which one is the better cross-hatch. In the meantime, do you think the NRG is an attractive alternative to a standard hatchback? Leave your thoughts in the comments. Also see: 2018 Tata Tiago NRG vs rivals: Specifications comparison [...]
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Next-gen Honda City to come by 2020
Honda has begun work on the next-gen Honda City sedan, which is expected to hit Indian showrooms by 2020. The fourth-gen City, currently on sale, made its public debut in 2014.  While details on the fifth-gen City are scarce as of now, one could expect the car to get sharper styling cues and more upmarket materials, similar to the upcoming Honda Civic, which would also be on sale in India by the time next-gen City arrives.  Sources tell us that Honda is also readying a petrol-hybrid version for the City. This variant will be a mild-hybrid alternative and won’t get costlier, fully-fledged hybrid technology that is available on other Honda models sold abroad. However, a decision of launching the mild-hybrid City will depend on the government's auto policy on future mobility. The next-gen City will also have an updated engine line-up under its hood. Honda is ready to bear the high cost of upgrading its current set of diesel engines to clear stringent BS-VI norms that come into effect in 2020. The company has already begun road testing the BS-VI ready engine on Indian soil. Honda will simultaneously upgrade its petrol engine line-up too. Also, as reported by us earlier, the next-gen City is also likely to come with the diesel-CVT configuration just like the Amaze. Adding this engine-gearbox setup to the City will help Honda take on its arch rival, the Hyundai Verna diesel-auto, more aggressively since the current-gen City does not have a diesel-automatic option. The next-gen City diesel will also take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, which is expected to come with Maruti's in-house BS-VI ready1.5-litre diesel engine. The City has been the backbone for Honda in India and given the fresher competition in the segment, Honda will keep the next-gen midsize sedan up-to-date in terms of refinement and equipment levels in order to continue its three-way battle with the Verna and the Ciaz.  Also see: Honda records sales of over 15 lakh units in India Honda Civic India launch in early 2019 New Honda CR-V India launch on October 9, 2018   IMAGE SOURCE [...]
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Review: 2018 Suzuki Ertiga review, test drive
Engineering a car is a massive exercise. And, often, getting it right boils down to the little things – a few inches here, a few centimetres there. It’s all about finding the right compromise. Case in point, Maruti’s Ertiga, the one currently sold in India. Designed to be light, compact and seat seven, Maruti today knows it took things a bit too far, made it a bit too compact. This is why the all-new Ertiga I am about to get behind the wheel of features both, more space in the cabin and a larger engine under the hood; 100mm longer and 100cc larger (130mm and 88cc more to be precise), it promises much. But do these and the other changes help take the Ertiga’s ride and drive experience to the next level? The traffic-free roads on the outskirts of Jakarta beckon. BIGGER AND BOLDER I can’t resist a bit of a walkaround when I see the MPV in the flesh for the first time. It sure does look bigger and bulkier. MPVs are all about space on the inside after all, but that also makes life difficult for the designers. This isn’t a new problem. Truth be told, the battle between aesthetics and practicality has been raging for millennia. Sat at opposite ends of the ring, Kipling said: “Never the twain shall meet” and that could be the case here too. To understand just how difficult this is, take a long hard look at the plump-as-a-partridge profile of the new Ertiga. Still, Suzuki and Maruti designers have put in a stellar effort to make this Gen-2 MPV look more attractive. First up, they’ve given it more of a cowl. While the current Ertiga sold in India is very ◊ ∆ ‘mono-volume’, this new one has a distinctive nose that protrudes out like on an SUV. Similar to the Innova Crysta in profile, the new Ertiga’s stand-up bonnet is attractively detailed too. The sleek-looking wraparound headlight enclosure gets chrome and metallic highlights, the projector unit is beautifully finished, and though there are myriad surfaces and shapes where the headlights meet the grille, the execution is so neat, it looks very classy. Even the massive ‘C’-shaped brackets that house the fog lamps give the chin a robust look, and the rising swage line that runs through the door handles makes the new Ertiga look a bit tipped-forward too. I walk around the rear, and here, too, the ‘floating roof’ and ‘L’-shaped tail-lights work quite superbly. The designers at Suzuki have also widened the base to make it gel better with the bulk of the car. If only the profile were nicer; and to compound the issue, the 15-inch wheels look two sizes too small and ruin the stance. These lines and details would have looked so much better on an SUV. FORWARD MARCH To counter the added bulk, Maruti has put a larger, more powerful engine under the hood of the new Ertiga. Larger in capacity by 88cc than the 1.4 that currently powers the Ertiga in India, the new K15B also puts out substantially more power – 105hp compared to 92hp. And torque, with the increase in cubic capacity, has, of course, gone up too. What has remained unchanged, however, is the character of the engine. I set off at a relaxed pace as what I’m keen to test initially is not flat-out performance but this engine’s improved pulling power. The 1.4 engine has always been very tractable and pulled cleanly from low speed, and now this larger 1.5 is identical in character too. In fact, with the additional torque and gearing that is only marginally taller in the lower gears, the new Ertiga pulls forward in an even more energetic manner. This means I can potter around at low speed in a high gear, and pull away cleanly whenever I need to. Nice. Particularly useful in start-stop traffic, of which there is no shortage in downtown Jakarta. Yes, when fully loaded, you will need to downshift more often, but here, just three up, the Ertiga pulls so well from just about any engine speed, it’s quite relaxing to drive. Power and torque delivery is also quite linear. There’s no sudden step up in power and there’s no spike in the mid-range, but torque keeps building and building until you get to the peak at 4,400rpm. And the new Ertiga also has a lot more oomph in the top end. The engine revs until just 6,200rpm, but spin the motor past 4,500rpm and there’s loads and loads of power, and then the new Ertiga feels reasonably quick; the strong top end is particularly satisfying to use if you are in a hurry. The new K15B engine, however, isn’t the most refined unit around, especially at higher engine speeds. Cross 4,000rpm and the snarl from under the bonnet starts to sound strained. And go past 5,000rpm and the din rises further. Also, no way is this engine as smooth as the 1.5 unit of the Honda City, or for that matter, as eager to rev. More insulation is needed here for sure. STILL A HATCHBACK We need to negotiate a long stretch of dense [...]
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Mahindra to ramp up Roxor production
Mahindra rolled out its new Roxor off-road utility vehicle for the US market back in March 2018 and started production for the side-by-side powersports offering in April. Speaking to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Rajan Wadhera President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra said that the brand is already planning to increase production of the Roxor at its new Detroit facility as it is expecting to see demand for the vehicle increase. In order to support this ramping up of production, the Indian brand is also looking at expanding its market presence in North America from its current network of 300 dealerships. Additional outlets have been planned for California state and even in neighbouring Canada, where it is expected to launch in showrooms next year. Wadhera also revealed that the brand has so far produced 800 units of the Roxor, all of which have been dispatched to the brand’s dealers. Of these 800, 400 have already been sold through Mahindra’s US network. The two-seat Roxor is based on the Mahindra Thar, and looks quite a bit like the lifestyle SUV sold in India. It features a steel body on a boxed steel frame and is powered by a 64hp, 2.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that powers all four wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox. Top speed is limited to 72kph. The Roxor is not a road-legal model and rivals the Polaris RZR ATV and the Kawasaki Mule Pro series. While the Roxor is assembled at Mahindra’s Detroit facility, about 50 percent of the model’s parts are sourced from India. The model has recently become embroiled in an intellectual property rights dispute with FCA. Also see: Mahindra Marazzo to get customisation packages 2018 Mahindra Marazzo vs rivals: Specifications comparison 2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, test drive In conversation with Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, M&M video [...]
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Harley-Davidson to set up R&D centre for electric vehicles in California
Harley-Davidson has announced that it will be setting up a new R&D (research and development) centre in Silicon Valley, California. The upcoming R&D centre will be focusing on the development of electric vehicles, including batteries, performance electronics, and design. It will work in conjunction with Harley’s existing R&D centre in Wisconsin and is expected to start operations by late 2018. Few months back, the American brand had announced the 'More Roads to Harley-Davidson' growth plan, which gave electric vehicles a lot of significance. The new programme has been dubbed 'Twist and Go' and the first offering from this initiative is the Livewire. Harley recently showcased the production version of its first electric motorcycle, which will go on sale next year. The company also has plans to expand its EV portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible products that will go on sale by 2022. It also has started hiring electrical, mechanical and software engineers for the upcoming R&D centre. The facility will initially employ a staff of approximately 25, most of which the company intends to hire from within the Silicon Valley area. Commenting on the new R&D centre, Matt Levatich, President and CEO of Harley-Davidson, Inc, said, “Recently we shared with the world our accelerated plans to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders globally. This new R&D facility in the heart of Silicon Valley will help us deliver on those plans and demonstrate our commitment to lead the electrification of the sport. This is an exciting time in Harley-Davidson’s incredible history, and it’s also an exciting time to join our company and help shape our future.” [...]
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Bajaj three-wheeler, quadricycle production capacity to increase
Following transport minister Nitin Gadkari’s announcement at the SIAM annual convention about moving to a 'no-permit' regime for autorickshaws powered by alternative fuels, Bajaj Auto has announced that it plans to increase its production capacity of three-wheelers and quadricycles to 1 million units per annum.   This means the company's current three-wheeler manufacturing capacity of 6,60,000 units at the Aurangabad plant will see a hike of 52 percent.   Bajaj Auto is the market leader with an 86 percent market share in alternate-fuelled three-wheelers and will look to maximise gains with the new policy development. According to the company, the past 12 months have seen an upsurge in three-wheeler demand in India, mainly due to permits released in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Delhi. Consequently, during the September 2017 to August 2018 period, Bajaj Auto sold 4,35,000 three-wheelers – a growth of 88 percent – which has strengthened its leadership in this segment. The company currently has a 58.78 percent domestic market share in three-wheelers. Meanwhile, this new development will give a boost to the Bajaj Qute quadricycle, which comes with CNG / LPG fuel options. Expect state governments to approve the quadricycle for taxi applications. On the export front, Bajaj Auto says the volumes of its three-wheelers and the Qute in international markets continue to grow at a growth rate of 65 percent year-to-date. [...]
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Gaurav Gill wins 2018 Dakshin Dare
The 10th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare concluded in Goa, with Mahindra Adventure’s Gaurav Gill and navigator Musa Sherif clinching victory in dominant fashion. Gill set the pace from the opening stage itself, and went on to win all five legs and majority of the 15 Special Stages with an aggregate time of 6 hours 57.44 mins This marks Gill and Sherif’s second Dakshin Dare victory, with the pair having won the rally the last time they participated in it in 2012. “Even after all these years, I retain the same enthusiasm for rallying. I am motivated enough to give 200 per cent each time I drive,” said Gill. “We had a very good team and a great strategy that helped us last five tough days.” Gill’s Mahindra Adventure team-mate Philippos Matthai (with navigator PVS Moorthy) claimed second place overall, with a time of 7 hours 12 mins. Meanwhile, Team Maruti Suzuki’s Samrat Yadav (with navigator Karan Aukta) clinched the last podium spot. His team-mates, Sandeep Sharma and Suresh Rana, finished fourth and fifth respectively. In the bike category, Vishwas S.D claimed the overall title, making the most of early leader Yuva Kumar’s misfortune in the last Special Stage. Yuva, who was leading all the way from the start, saw his bike break down with just 15Km to go and by the time the damage was repaired, he lost 15 minutes. The setback dropped him to third place overall, with Vinay Prasad slotting into second place.   Results Cars: 1.       Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sharif – 6:57:44 2.       Phillippos Matthai / PVS Moorthy - 7:12:00 3.       Samrat Yadav / Karan Aukta - 7:21:10   Bikes 1.       Vishwas S.D 2.       Vinay Prasad 3.       Yuva Kumar [...]
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Five-year insurance rule: Updated Honda bike and scooter price list
The on-road prices for Honda’s two-wheelers have gone up considerably after the Supreme Court of India’s new ruling that has made five-year insurance mandatory on new vehicles. The on-road price for company’s and India’s most popular scooter, the Activa 5G (STD) has gone up to around Rs 68,600 from Rs 64,500. On the other hand, the on-road price for more-expensive models like the CBR 250R (ABS) has gone up by around Rs 8,000 from Rs 2.22 lakh to Rs 2.30 lakh. Here is a table of all of the updated prices: Modelon-road (old)on-road (new)Activa 5GRs 64,500Rs 68,657 - Rs Rs 70,766Activa-iRs 61,000Rs 64,639Activa 125Rs 70,700 - Rs 75,600Rs 75,504 - Rs 81,464DioRs 59,100 - Rs 64,700Rs 66,705 - Rs 68,965AviatorRs 62,500 - Rs 64,800Rs 70,457 - Rs 72,643CliqRs 55,300Rs 58,257 - Rs 58,825GraziaRs 68,700 - Rs 73,900Rs 75,497 - Rs 80,440NaviRs 48,800Rs 58,720CB Honet 160RRs 1,03,000 - Rs 1,12,000Rs 1,07,569 - Rs 1,16,617CB Unicorn 160Rs 87,300Rs 95,563 - Rs 98,332X Blade 160Rs 95,700Rs 1,00,585CB Unicorn 150Rs 82,600Rs 89,287CB Shine SPRs 72,500- Rs 79,000Rs 78,813 - Rs 83,779CB ShineRs 70,100 - Rs 72,400Rs 75,646 - Rs 78,932CBR 250RRs 1,89,600 - Rs 2,22,600Rs 1,96,814 - Rs 2,30,206Dream YugaRs 62,900Rs 68,773Dream NeoRs 56,800 - Rs 59,800Rs 65,683 - Rs 66,011CD DreamRs 55,000 - Rs 56,800Rs 63,178 - Rs 63,505LivoRs 65,200 - Rs 67,600Rs 72,367 - Rs 75,051 [...]
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Jeep Compass Limited Plus launch next month
Jeep India is all set to add more variants to its popular Compass line-up. The company currently sells the Compass in 10 variants  available in two engine and two gearbox options. Jeep is readying the Compass Limited Plus variant for an India launch, which is likely to be introduced sometime around Dusshera (October 19, 2018, Friday). These exclusive spy shots give us a hint on what to expect from the Jeep Compass Limited Plus trim.   First up, the upcoming top-end variant will see the addition of a panoramic sunroof, something which is quite sought after these days as far as Indian buyer preferences go. Additionally, this trim will come with a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels and eight-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.  On the safety front, dual-front, side and curtain airbags, and rain-sensing wipers are on offer as standard equipment on this variant. The Jeep Compass Limited Plus will be sold in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 173hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine will be available with the same six-speed manual gearbox, though there will not be a diesel-automatic on offer yet. The Limited Plus petrol trim will be sold with the same 163hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to an automatic gearbox. Expect the Compass Limited Plus to be priced at least about Rs 1.5 lakh more than the current top-spec Limited 4x4 (O) trim (Rs 21.94 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) when it launches next month. Jeep will also introduce a Compass Black Pack edition, soon and is expected to launch the rugged Jeep Compass Trailhawk variant sometime in first half of 2019. Also see: 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk video review 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk review, test drive 2018 Jeep Compass long term review, second report 2017 Jeep Compass review, road test 2017 Jeep Compass petrol AT video review [...]
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Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2018 registrations open
Rider Mania is among the most popular motorcycle festivals held in our country and is definitely the most the popular annual event for Royal Enfield bike-owners. Royal Enfield proudly claims Rider Mania to be "the largest gathering of Royal Enfield enthusiasts in the world" that is "a melting pot of Royal Enfield owners and enthusiasts." This is a three-day motorcycle festival that includes various events like dirt-track racing, assembly wars and live music performances. This year’s event is taking place in Goa between November 16-18, 2018. "Many enthusiasts plan their riding calendar around Rider Mania as it’s the best place to meet old friends, make new ones, share stories and experiences and plan new adventures.” Registrations for the 2018 edition of Rider Mania have already started on Royal Enfield’s official website. If you register in September, it will cost Rs 2,000. This amount will go up to Rs 2,500 if you register in the month of October and Rs 3,000 if you register during November 1-11. Last year, Royal Enfield surprised the crowd with a showcase – the Indian debut of the company’s new Interceptor and Continental GT 650. We are expecting Royal Enfield to up the ante this time around and showcase custom bikes built around the 650cc, twin-cylinder bike. The manufacturer could even bring down its land-speed-record-setting custom creation, which according to RE has managed to clock 241.4kph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States of America. Also see: Royal Enfield Himalayan ABS priced from Rs 1.79 lakh Vimal Sumbly joins Royal Enfield as Head, Asia Pacific Dakar Rally-inspired Royal Enfield Himalayan showcased [...]
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Mahindra Marazzo platform could spawn more body styles
The Marazzo MPV marks many firsts for Mahindra. In fact, Mahindra has filed as many as 33 patents on the vehicle. Chief among the innovations is the Marazzo’s ladder frame and monocoque hybrid chassis with the unique element being the transverse positioning of the engine. Mahindra says the platform is modular and can support a full range of body styles.   Speaking exclusively to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Rajan Wadhera President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “The platform can take a seven to eight seater product, be it a crossover or a blue-blooded SUV. It can be scaled up or even down to a compact segment car.” Wadhera went on to say, “The lines between a car, hatchback, SUV or MPV are very blurred these days and not as deep as they used to be. Customers are now willing to change over which is why you see a lot of them moving from hatchbacks to SUVs.” Depending on demand for certain types of body styles, Mahindra could potentially use the scalable U321 platform to develop a number of new models. Powertrain options should be common between the platform siblings as well. The Marazzo’s new 1.5-litre diesel engine could be the engine of choice on new models spun off the platform, though more petrol and diesel engines are in the works as well. The Marazzo’s 123hp, 1.5-litre engine will next find use on the S201 compact SUV that is scheduled to go on sale within 2018.  S201 aside, Mahindra is also set to launch its version of the SsangYong Rexton which is expected to be launched in the run up to Diwali this year. Also see: Mahindra Marazzo to get customisation packages 2018 Mahindra Marazzo vs rivals: Specifications comparison 2018 Mahindra Marazzo video review 2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, test drive 2018 Mahindra Marazzo image gallery In conversation with Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, M&M video [...]
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2022 Audi R8 to be all-electric supercar
In 2022, Audi will reinvent the R8 as an electric supercar, in a move that will mark the end of the use of V10 engines by the carmaker. V10s have been a staple for Audi, having been used in some of their most exciting performance models over the past few decades. The adoption of the all-electric drivetrain for the third-gen range-topping supercar highlights the rise of electric power and, as a corollary, the end of big, high-revving, normally aspirated engines sans electrical assistance. Audi is also winding down the use of V8 engines. The latest RS4 and RS5 models have switched to downsized turbo V6s. The bigger V8s are seen in only the most potent models – in the A6, A7 and A8 ranges, as well as the bruising SQ7 SUV. Audi created a limited-run R8 E-tron in 2015 as its first step towards electrified performance cars. Senior company sources have hinted that the brand plans to go one step further with the third-generation model by launching is solely as an electric car – a radically different proposition from today’s model. The 2022 model will likely take inspiration from the PB18 e-tron concept, which was revealed at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 775hp, triple-motor concept uses a shooting brake-like rear-end for greater interior space and improved day-to-day usability than the current R8. However, performance is still paramount. Audi has theorised a top speed above 300kph, and a 0-100kph time of "scarcely more than 2sec". The R8 was a hit at its launch in 2006 as a stunning range-topping supercar to crown Audi’s huge model expansion; but in 2015, the second-generation R8 did not have the same success. In fact, it was understood that Audi had shelved plans to launch a third-generation R8 after the relative disappointment of the current model. However, the push towards creating a whole range of all-electric models for its E-tron stable led Audi to reconsider its position. As an electric vehicle developed with pure performance intent, the third-gen R8 could feature some of the most impressive figures. With four-wheel drive, instant torque from its electric motors and an output of perhaps as much as 1,014hp, the 2022 electric performance car is likely to have a 0-100kph time of about 2sec. To link the R8 with the E-tron badge to be adopted by all electrified Audis, the car is likely to use the name R8 E-tron again. The first electric Audi will be revealed in September and will simply be called E-tron. This will be a sporty Q5-sized vehicle (known as the Q6 E-tron at one point in its development). Before the next R8 is launched in 2022, the E-tron Sportback will make an appearance. The Sportback would be a rakish sibling to the E-tron. This will be followed by the E-tron GT – a model developed by the firm’s Audi Sport performance division. The 2022 R8 will enter a very different-looking supercar segment as electrification takes hold. McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche are all set to have hybrid technology in production by then, and the current R8’s sister car, the Lamborghini Huracán, will most likely be replaced by a model sporting an updated version of the existing platform, modified to accommodate a hybrid system with a V10 engine. Audi plans to sell 8 lakh electrified models by 2025. As a result, it is positioning itself as a leader in electric cars. This move is in response to emissions regulations in all major global markets growing even stricter. Another reason is the opportunity presented by such vehicles – particularly in China, the world’s largest car market, that aims to establish itself as the global forerunner for electric cars. [...]
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Tesla to show new model next week at Grand Basel show
Tesla is ready to unveil its new model at next week's Grand Basel motor show. An invite was sent to Tesla car owners, which reveals a part of the car's side profile. The eco-friendly news portal Electrek showed the aforementioned preview image and accompanying text. As expected, the image gave little of the car's identity away. However, the profile makes the car out to be lower and sleeker than any of Tesla's models so far – sedans or SUV, alike. The Model X is the current flagship of the range. Since no further luxury models are planned in the near future, the possibility of this Basel-bound mystery car being a limousine-like flagship is slim. Also, given that the theme of the show is "automotive masterpieces", the brand's long-awaited flagship Roadster model is the most likely model to be revealed when doors open at the Swiss car event, next week. The Roadster's full styling was revealed last year and the production version is expected to remain true to the prototype's look. After the reveal of the Roadster concept, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the new Roadster will be a "base model"; so faster iterations of the new Roadster should be due. On the weekend following the Roadster concept's surprise reveal, the company boss took to Twitter and said that the successor to Tesla's first production car will be offered with a special upgrade package. Musk did, however, hint that producing a faster version of a car that is already claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-97kph in 1.9sec may prove to be a cause for safety concerns. "[An upgrade is] just a question of safety," he said. "Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities." The 2+2 sports car was a surprise debutante during the launch event for the new Tesla Semi lorry in California. Musk also announced that the roadster produces 10,000Nm of torque from its three motors. It can hit 97kph half-a-second quicker than the current fastest-accelerating Tesla – the Model S P100D. He said the successor to Tesla’s first production car, which went off sale six years ago, can also accelerate from zero to 160kph in 4.2sec and complete a quarter-mile sprint in 8.9sec. "This will the first time that any production car has broken nine seconds in the quarter mile," he said at the reveal event, where the Roadster was driven out of the Semi’s trailer without prior warning. The numbers also claimed that the Roadster, which has a removable glass lid and wraparound rear section to give it a look similar to the Mazda MX-5 RF, will have a top speed of more than 402.3kph. Musk revealed that the car’s 200kWh battery pack enables it to have a 998km range, which is another new record for production electric vehicles. According to the American EPA test, the previous highest-capacity battery produced by Tesla is the 100kWh pack with a maximum range of 883.2km in the Model S P100D. Like the rest of Tesla’s range, the Roadster will be equipped with the brand’s latest autonomous driving technology. Since the last quarter of 2016, all Tesla cars have been equipped with eight surround cameras to provide 360-degree visibility around the car up to 250 metres away. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects, as well as a forward-facing radar to through heavy rain, fog, dust and even underneath the car ahead. The Roadster will be updateable via over-the-air software, meaning the performance, autonomous features and safety systems may be boosted even after a car has been purchased. Recent examples of Tesla updates have enabled quicker 0-97kph times and enhanced Autopilot functionality. The Tesla Roadster is pegged to arrive on roads in 2020 and will be rivalled by the McLaren electric supercar, Lamborghini Terzo Millennio concept and the Rimac C_Two in the UK. [...]
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Jeep's Vitara Brezza rival confirmed for 2020
Jeep made headlines earlier this year when it confirmed development of a new sub-four-metre SUV in its five-year plan announcement. Kevin Flynn, managing director, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India, has now stated that the model in question will be launched in India in 2020. Flynn spoke of the compact SUV in an interview with Business Standard. The compact SUV will be the smallest model to wear the Jeep badge and will become the de-facto entry point to the brand. In India, the model will compete with models like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport, aside from upcoming compact SUV models from Hyundai, Mahindra and Kia. Jeep officials have been vocal about any model with the Jeep badge being ‘true to DNA’ so you can expect the model to have a certain degree of off-road ability, as well. While it is more than likely the model will be built on a front-wheel-drive platform, it isn’t too speculative to think of an all-wheel-drive version in development as well. With no test mules having been spotted in the open, the design and styling is not known for the moment, but rest assured, the design will not veer too much from Jeep’s established look. As with the right-hand-drive Compass, FCA’s plant at Ranjangaon in Maharashtra could also serve as the mother plant for right-hand-drive versions of the Jeep compact SUV. What are your ideal specifications for the Jeep compact SUV? Let us know in the comments section below. Also see: Jeep Compass Black Pack coming soon   SOURCE [...]
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2018 Mahindra Marazzo vs rivals: Specifications comparison
Much has been said about its shark-themed name and design, and we've seen plenty of teasers, too. But now that the Mahindra's new MPV, the Marazzo, is out, it's time to place it next to its rivals-in-chief - the current-generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta - and see just what exactly does it have to offer, on paper. Dimensions We'd told you the Marazzo would slot in between the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta, and a glance at the spec sheet confirms the same. It easily dwarfs the Ertiga in terms of dimensions, but is still one size smaller than the full-size Innova Crysta. That said, of this trio, it is the Marazzo that is the widest, and at 2,760mm, has the longest wheelbase, too.  That translates into a good amount of interior space, but only a real-world comparison will establish how close the Marazzo gets to the Innova Crysta in this department. In terms of boot space, the Marazzo fits right in between the two - with all three rows up, you get 190 litres of luggage space, a shade more than the Ertiga's 185-litre boot, but notably smaller than the Innova Crysta's 300-litre boot. What's interesting to note is that the Marazzo's 45-litre fuel tank is the same size as the Ertiga's, down on the Innova Crysta's 55-litre tank. However, despite the Marazzo being closer to the Innova Crysta size-wise, its claimed turning radius, at 5.25 metres, is closer to the Ertiga's 5.2 metres than the Innova Crysta's 5.4 metres. DimensionsMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaLength4585mm4296mm4735mmWidth1866mm1695mm1830mmHeight1774mm1685mm1795mmWheelbase2760mm2740mm2750mmBoot space (All 3 rows up/3rd row folded/2nd & 3rd rows folded)190/ 680/1055 litres185/735/1800 litres300/NA/1800 litresFuel tank45 litres45 litres55 litres (diesel)/65 litres (petrol) Engine and gearbox The Marazzo finds an empty spot between the Ertiga and Innova in another department. Its 1.5-litre diesel engine is an all-new unit that produces 121hp and 300Nm of torque, which is a good deal more than the Ertiga diesel's 90hp and 200Nm, but is not as powerful as the Innova Crysta. The Innova is offered with two diesel engines - a 2.4-litre, 150hp, 343Nm unit, and a 2.8-litre, 174hp, 360Nm motor. There's not much in the way of choice with the Marazzo when it comes to transmissions, as there is just a six-speed manual on offer for now. The Ertiga and Innova Crysta are both also available in petrol guise, and can be had with an automatic - on the Ertiga, only with the petrol, and on the Innova Crysta with the petrol or the 2.8-litre diesel. PowertrainMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaFuelDieselDieselDiesel/DieselCylinders444Displacement1498cc1248cc2393cc/2755ccPower121hp90hp150hp/174hpTorque300Nm200Nm343/360NmTransmission6-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual/6-speed autoFuel efficiency17.3kpl17.5kpl15.10/14.29kpl Fuel efficiency Unsurprisingly, the Ertiga, being the smallest and lightest MPV here, is also the most efficient – by quite a margin. Claimed efficiency for the Ertiga is pegged at 24.52kpl for the diesel, 17.5kpl for the petrol manual and 17kpl for the petrol-auto. Impressively, the Marazzo, despite being significantly larger, mirrors the Ertiga’s fuel efficiency figure – Mahindra claims it’ll return 17.3kpl. Understandably, the Innova Crysta’s fuel efficiency figures are the lowest of the lot – the 2.4-litre diesel is claimed to run 15.10 kilometres to a litre, while the 2.8-litre diesel – available only with the six-speed automatic – has a claimed FE figure of 14.29kpl. Price Mahindra wants the Marazzo to fit into the wide gap that exists between the people's people-carrier and the premium MPV. Marazzo prices start at Rs 9.99 lakh and go all the way up to Rs 13.90 lakh. Given the features and specification, the Marazzo offers a lot of MPV for the money. The prices also neatly slot the Marazzo between the Ertiga diesel (Rs 8.78-10.69 lakh) and the Innova diesel (Rs 15.46-21.57 lakh). PricesMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaPetrolNARs 6.34-8.85 lakh Rs 14.34-20.26 lakhDieselRs 9.99-13.90 lakhRs 8.78-10.69 lakhRs 15.46-21.57 lakh *All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi *Mahindra Marazzo prices are ex-showroom, India Do you think Mahindra's approach to position the Marazzo between the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta will pay off handsomely? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. Also see: 2018 Mahindra Marazzo price, variants explained 2018 Mahindra Marazzo video review 2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, test drive 2018 Mahindra Marazzo image gallery [...]
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Aurus debuts with Russian presidential limousine
New Russian luxury car brand Aurus has launched its first models, the Senat and Senat Limousine, at the Moscow International Auto Show. The limo, described as offering ‘uncompromising level of ballistic and explosive protection’, will serve as Russia’s new state vehicle and was seen in this role at the fourth inauguration ceremony of Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this year. The new brand, which is run by Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute, known as NAMI, was developed at the behest of Putin, who felt it was important that Russia made its own presidential vehicles. The Senat Limousine uses a 4.4-litre V8 engine (jointly developed by NAMI and Porsche) aided by a hybrid electric motor to offer 598hp and can clock 0-100 kph in less than six seconds. The engine is mated to a nine-speed gearbox. Other engine options for the non-armoured Senat will include a 6.6-litre V12 with a staggering 859hp output! The Rolls-Royce-rivalling (in case you couldn’t already tell) Senat is 5630mm long, with a 3300mm wheelbase, rising to 6630mm and 4300mm respectively on the limo variant. Both cars will be built on a unified modular platform. The Senat will feature all-wheel drive and run on independent multi-link rear suspension with gas-filled shock absorbers. The interior has been focused on rear passengers, with rear seats that recline to 45 degrees and are equipped with custom designer pillows. There is also a built-in refrigerator with Aurus-branded crystal glasses and fold-out tables with leather trim. Along with the two Senat models, Aurus is also planning to develop a minivan called Arsenal and an SUV named Komendant. The model names are inspired by the Kremlin’s towers. Aurus models will go on sale in Russia in early 2019 and be offered in international markets as well. While Aurus is originally planning to produce 150 vehicles a year in 2019 and 2020, a new production facility will expand capacity to 5,000 by 2021, with the option to further increase volume to 10,000 vehicles if there is demand. [...]
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Volkswagen was in on bid to make Tesla private
A report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Volkswagen was one of the companies standing in line as a potential investor making a bid to take Tesla private, alongside private equity firm Silver Lake and a Saudi sovereign wealth fund. Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that the Silicon Valley Company will remain a publicly traded company after the deal fell through. It has not yet been made clear exactly why Musk changed his mind about taking Tesla private; but the WSJ report suggests that the CEO balked at the proposal of relinquishing further control of his company to secure the investment. The investment necessary to take Tesla private was estimated at around $30 billion. Volkswagen, was looking to make a substantial commitment for the same. The German car giant wouldn’t be the first carmaker to attempt to hold a stake in Tesla. Toyota and Daimler both invested in the EV start-up’s early years. Meanwhile, Elon Musk may be facing an investigation at the hands of the Securities and Exchange Commission after he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 (around Rs 29,000) per share and claiming that the funding to do so was “secure”. At that point, no board statement or regulatory filings had been made to confirm this. The attempted move by VW to invest in a major EV player such as Tesla could be seen as a quick way to gain a strong foothold in the EV market – a desire expressed by the automaker for VW's US operations and overall long-term strategy. Volkswagen is expected to launch “practically one new electric model per month” from 2022, according to a statement made by CEO Matthias Müller a few months ago. The VW ID hatchback will be the company’s first purpose-built EV and is due to launch in 2020. [...]
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