Maruti has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the Department of Transport, NCT of Delhi, to set up state-of-the-art Automated Driving Test Centres across 12 locations in the city. The carmaker will invest approximately Rs 15 crore to help build the centres.
As per the MoA, pending the Transport Department’s approval, Maruti will help to build the test centres, which will comprise of test tracks, high-definition cameras and an integrated IT system. The Japanese brand will set up and maintain the test centres for a period of three years while the Transport Department will conduct the tests and issue driving licenses to eligible applicants.
The plan for the test centres is to set them up in phases, before being handed over to the Transport Department, who will commission them and decide how they are operated. The Automated Driving Test Centres will possess advanced video analytic technology to monitor and assess the applicant’s driving skills, instead of the manual assessment currently performed.
The Japanese manufacturer, at present, facilitates driver training through its network of nearly 430 Driving Schools, operated in partnership with Maruti dealers across India. It also manages six IDTRs (Institute of Driving and Traffic Research), which use driving simulators and employ trained instructors to impart training based on a theory-cum-practical curriculum, in partnership with state governments.
In the first phase, these Automated Driving Test Centres will be set up at Hauz Khas, Shakur Basti, Raja Garden, Hari Nagar, Burari, Loni Road, Sarai Kale Khan, Rohini, Jharoda Kalan, Mayur Vihar Phase I, Surajmal Vihar and Dwarka. [...]
Like the TVS Apache RR 310? Why wouldn’t you? It’s a gorgeous, fast motorcycle with an impressive equipment list, fantastic handling and a tempting price tag as well. Yes, you also know by now that there is a fair bit of BMW (G 310 R) under its skin but is that all there is to it? Certainly not. Read on to find out what makes the Apache RR 310 the commendable motorcycle it is.
The 312.2cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine has been jointly developed by BMW Motorrad and TVS and is common to, both, the BMW G 310 R and the Apache RR 310. The DOHC motor produces 34hp at 9,700 rpm and 27.3Nm of torque at 7,700 rpm, and is reverse inclined (tilts backwards), with the exhaust port emerging from the rear as well. This helps position the engine further ahead allowing for a longer swingarm, while keeping the wheelbase short, which aids stability and handling progression.
The position of the engine helps it comply with emission norms since it makes the required exhaust length shorter, helping the catalytic converter heat up faster. Thanks to the cylinder head featuring a down draft port with a button tappet arrangement, this engine benefits from an 8 per cent increase in volumetric efficiency. This essentially translates to better intake characteristics and optimum use of the air-fuel mixture available within the cylinder. Additionally, the crankcase is a horizontally split unit and the engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, which is slick and encouraging of quick gearshifts.
The Apache RR 310 has been designed extensively to provide top-notch aerodynamic performance. It has been wind-tunnel tested in India for over 300 hours, resulting in slippery bodywork with a best-in-class coefficient of drag as per TVS’ claims. The gill vents on the fairing channel hot air away from the engine and TVS has also designed a deflector cowl (patent pending) that diverts engine heat downwards and away from the rider.
While the windscreen isn’t adjustable, it is, by default, accommodating enough to allow even tall riders a full racing crouch. Another notable touch is the panel gap consistency, which is a quality-control measure but also aids the RR’s aerodynamic performance.
Standard on the RR 310 is a dual-channel ABS unit that is programmed to be least intrusive. In a real-world scenario, this means the ABS only kicks in when you absolutely need it – either at crawling speeds or under absolute panic braking. This is great for those who don’t like the ABS intruding (who does, right?) into aggressive braking styles. Unfortunately, for those with an agenda against physics, the ABS cannot be disengaged, which means stoppies will be harder to perform.
The RR 310 shares its suspension components with the BMW G 310 R, albeit tuned to suit its purpose as an everyday road motorcycle that will also be ridden on a racetrack. The front-end gets a 41mm upside-down cartridge fork and the rear gets a preload-adjustable gas-assisted monoshock, both courtesy KYB.
Michelin Pilot Street tyres, 110/70 R17 at the front and 150/60 R17 at the rear, are standard on the RR 310. These tyres have been co-developed with TVS, specifically for the RR 310. While these tyres offer impressive levels of grip – our racetrack stint was entirely devoid of drama no matter how hard we tried – they aren’t as communicative those on some of the RR’s peers (the KTM 390’s Metzelers that is).
In conversation with Arun Siddharth of TVS Motor
TVS Apache RR 310: Where can you buy one?
2018 TVS Apache RR 310 review, test ride
TVS Apache RR 310 vs rivals: Specifications comparison [...]
The new Verna is built on the Superbody Structure, using advanced high-strength steel that empowers the car with superior handling, safety and NVH levels.
The extensive use of advanced high-strength steel provides it with a higher level of structural rigidity, which in turn improves the amount of road feedback available to the driver. The Superbody Structure also allows key suspension components to be tuned more precisely; this improves the new Verna’s cornering stability and allows it to be handled more precisely.
The Superbody Structure also improves the NVH levels of the new Verna, making for a quieter and more refined driving experience.
Sometimes, two hands are just not enough. Our hands have to carry, move, hold, type and touch – sometimes all at the same time. In moments like that, it’s good to have some help. The new Verna comes with a segment-first Smart Trunk, a unique feature that makes loading and unloading the Verna’s trunk that much easier.
The new Verna’s hands-free Smart Trunk is armed with sensors that are always on the lookout for the car’s Proximity Key fob. When it senses that the fob is within three feet behind the car for three seconds or longer, it understands that you need some help and pops open the bootlid for you. The Smart Trunk, as mentioned before, is a segment-first feature in the new Verna. [...]
The Q5 has been the bestselling Audi for a few years now and the carmaker does not seem to want to tinker with a successful formula for the new car. It’s similar looking to the older car but the sharper styling and detailing makes it look more like a mini-Q7. It’s based on an all-new platform, which means its lighter than before, and the suspension too has been revised. The cabin is where the new Q5 really shines, with a top-notch interior in terms of design and quality. Equipment levels are impressive and it includes a 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster, in-car Wi-Fi, an 8.3-inch free-standing screen for the MMI system with CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Audi’s GLC and X3 baiter is wider and it comes with a longer wheelbase than before and this translates into more interior room and a larger boot capacity of 550 litres. A seven-speed auto gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive will be offered as standard on most variants.
Coming: January 2018
Engines: 2.0P, 2.0D, 3.0D
Price: Rs 55-62 lakh
2018 Audi Q5 India video review
The Q8 will be top dog in Audi’s SUV line-up when it launches in India. It is poised to take on BMW’s X7. Test mules suggest that it will retain the concept’s striking exterior design that combines the large footprint of an SUV with the sleek lines of a coupé. It shares its MLB platform with the Q7 but with a 5,020mm length, 2,040mm width and a 3,000mm wheelbase, making it even larger than a Range Rover. Audi says the Q8 will use a hybrid powertrain, combining a 3.0-litre turbo-petrol engine and an electric motor, with a total output of 450hp and 500Nm.
Coming: Late 2018
Engines: 3.0P + electric
Price: Rs 1.1crore
SCOOP! 2018 Audi Q8 spied in India
The Bavaria-based carmaker is on a spree to fill every possible niche there is for SUVs. The X2 will be its sixth SUV and it shares the UKL platform with the X1. Designed to be sportier than the X1, it stands 49mm shorter and 69mm lower. Design-wise, the X2 is quite similar to the Concept X2 that was showcased at the 2016 Paris motor show. A BMW roundel adorns a thick C-pillar, while a taut surfacing treatment along the flanks and squared-off wheel arches lend it a rugged look. The X2’s cabin shares plenty of elements with the X1’s, including the black panel instruments and the multifunction steering wheel. Base variants will feature front-wheel drive while four-wheel drive will be available on the top variants. The X2 will lock horns with the likes of the Range Rover Evoque.
Coming: Mid 2018
Engines: 2.0P, 2.0D
Price: Rs 40-50 lakh
India-bound BMW X2 unveiled
The new X3 promises to deliver more luxury and driving pleasure than its predecessors. Set to rival the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC, the new X3 is built on a chassis that is considerably stiffer and 55kg lighter than the one on the car it replaces. It isn’t much larger on the outsides and overall dimensions are similar to the outgoing car. Where BMW engineers and designers have made more space is between the wheels. The high-quality interior follows in the footsteps of the new 5-series, with its hexagonal form and bevelled edges. There is a slightly more space in the rear and knee room is marginally more than the earlier X3. Passengers in the rear get three-zone climate control and the rear seats can be split 40:20:40 to expand the boot space to a massive 1,600 litres. The new X3 also rides better and is nicer to drive than its predecessor. There’s also an M Performance version with a lower, stiffer suspension and 360hp on tap, making it both quick and fun to drive.
Coming: Early 2018
Engine: 2.0P, 2.0/3.0D
Price: Rs 50-60 lakh
2017 BMW X3 review, test drive
Exclusive! BMW plans multiple launches at Auto Expo 2018
The X4 is to the X3 what the X6 is the to X5 – a sportier, coupé-roofed sibling. In the new X4, you’ll get all the features and space of the new X3, but with less of headroom at the rear. It sits on BMW’s CLAR (Cluster Architecture) structure and uses a mix of high-strength steel and aluminum. Power is most likely to come from a 360hp, 3.0-litre, six-cylinder, petrol engine.
Coming: Late 2018
Price: Rs 65 lakh
There’s a new CR-V on its way here and this one is going to feature an all-new diesel engine option – a first for India. In addition to its proven 2.4-litre petrol, there’s going to be a new 158hp, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that is likely to be offered with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. This fifth-generation version of the CR-V is bigger than the car it replaces and will be launched in a seven-seater guise only. This should give the CR-V an immediate advan [...]
McLaren is sure about developing an all-electric supercar and our sister publication, Autocar UK, has been talking its engineers who have shared some details about the challenge faced in building an electric supercar.
Dan Parry-Williams, McLaren’s engineering design director, says that the company is working with a pure Electric Vehicle (EV) test mule, with the main focus being on keeping the driver engagement intact. He said that the route is not that easy and McLaren has to cover quite a distance to meet its aspirations.
Similar to other automakers who are venturing into EVs, for McLaren, technology is the major challenge. Parry-Williams explains this with an example: “If one wants to do some track driving for half an hour in an EV that has a road drive range of over 500 miles, then, at the end of the tracking, the car would completely run out of charge as the energy required for track performance is staggering.”
Parry-Williams said that there is a lot of investment into energy-dense batteries, which are good for providing long range. However, for a supercar performance, power density is more important and a lot needs to be invested in such technology. So, for McLaren, a full EV is still some time away. However, Parry-Williams has confirmed that 50 percent of McLaren’s models will have hybrid powertrains by 2022 that will be high on performance. The company is looking forward to building an EV with an on-board power generator to prevent its battery from getting exhausted even after track performance. [...]
What is the biggest difference you have noticed in the shift from racing modern prototypes to now racing vintage cars?
Once you put your helmet on, you always want to do your best. But now I go to vintage motorsport events just to enjoy myself and I don’t feel I have to win. Of course, it is important to remain focused and concentrate when driving the cars, as they are treasured enormously by their owners and are often incredibly valuable – they are sometimes the best from that particular period.
I look forward to receiving an invitation to Goodwood Revival even more so now that I am retired. The quality of the cars and the level of grip they had were very different then, as were their aerodynamics – this meant you were sliding a lot and it was even more important to find a rhythm.
Also, I find driving a car for the first time is one of the greatest challenges in vintage motor racing – it is a very intense feeling and really allows you to get into the spirit of the event.
Do you ever feel like returning to racing contemporary cars, perhaps in a different form (i.e.) Rallycross?
I was very comfortable with my decision to retire; it was the right time for me and I felt completely at peace with my decision. I am fortunate to still be involved in the industry and I enjoy my role at Audi enormously. I am also a brand ambassador for Rolex and being Grand Marshal at the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona was definitely a highlight, as I was participating in the ultimate gentleman’s 24-hour race at Le Mans.
Driving a variety of cars is a very special feeling and that only really happens at heritage motorsport events. For example, each of the five years I have been to Goodwood Revival, I have driven a different car in each class, which I’ve really enjoyed and find challenging.
What have been your highlights during the Monterey Classic Car Week so far?
The highlights for me have been seeing the enormous variety and depth of cars on show at the different events throughout the week. The amount of cars on the track at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is phenomenal. At Laguna Seca, I was particularly struck by the drivers’ laid-back approach to racing – it is all about celebrating the heritage of our sport, far more than the competition. It creates a lovely atmosphere, truly unique and far away from real competition.
Siddhraj Singh [...]
The first motor show of 2018 is around the corner and we can’t wait to get the glimpse of the hot metal that will be on display. The Detroit motor show, also known as the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will kick start on January 13, 2018 where some of the most anticipated cars of the year will be showcased. Here is a list of the new models that are expected to be seen during the show.
BMW will showcase the X2 SUV at the Detroit motor show. The SUV will be positioned between BMW’s entry-level SUV, the X1 and the mid-sized X3.
Honda has finally decided to revive its Insight brand. It looks way more conventional than its predecessor, keeping the sedan proportions intact. Honda has affirmed that it won’t compromise with the design – even with the hybrids.
Hyundai’s asymmetrical hatchback will be showcased in its second-generation form and is likely to get engine options similar to those on the i30. It will also be Hyundai’s second model to get a high-performance ‘N’ variant, after the i30N.
Infiniti Electric Concept
Infiniti will also be showcasing an electric concept precursor to the production car that will be revealed at the Detroit motor show. It could be an all-new model, rather than a variant of an existing car.
The facelifted Jeep Cherokee is also expected to make an appearance at the motor show, for the first time. Though the dimensions of the Jeep remains almost identical to its larger siblings, the façade looks rather radical, with single unit headlamps and an edgy-looking grille.
Lexus LF 1 Limited Concept
Lexus had earlier given a glimpse of its ‘luxury flagship’ concept bound for the Detroit motor show. The images provide hints of the design with a light-bar tail-lamp cluster, a split spoiler and a coupe-like roofline.
Mercedes AMG 53 range
Mercedes will showcase the first hybrid of the 53 range that will initially make it to the CLS 53, the E53 Coupe and the Cabriolet models. Each will be powered by a 3.0-litre, straight-six cylinder engine that produces 435hp, coupled with a 50kW (68hp) electric motor.
Mercedes-Benz is also set to give a cyclical update to its G-class SUV. Previously, the changes made to the next-gen G-class are in the know, thanks to the spy pics and the official release of the interiors. The SUV will get some tweaking in the face and will have a longer wheelbase while the major changes will be made on the interior, making it more in-line to the company’s premium sedans like the E-class and the S-class. Among the major changes are two 12.3-inch touchscreens and the gear knob that have been shifted behind the steering wheel. In India, Mercedes only sells the AMG version of the G-class (the G63 AMG), while the standard G550 is sold in European markets.
German carmaker, Volkswagen will also unveil the new Jetta at the Detroit motor show. The upcoming Jetta will be built on Volkswagen’s new MQB platform and will derive its powertrain from the current-generation Tiguan. It will get a 1.5-litre turbo petrol, a 2.0-litre turbo turbo petrol (in different states of tune) and 2.0-litre diesel options. [...]
A month after the NX300h was officially unveiled; Lexus has finally announced its prices. The base, luxury variant of the NX300h is priced at Rs 53.18 lakh (ex-showroom, India) while the top of the line F-Sport is priced at Rs 55.58 lakh (ex-showroom, India).
The NX300h is powered by a petrol-hybrid powertrain - a 2.5-litre, petrol mill coupled to a rear-mounted electric motor which, in combination delivers 197hp and 210Nm of torque. The engine is mated to an E-CVT gearbox that channelizes the power to all four wheels.
The NX300h gets power-reclining rear seats, a 10.3-inch multimedia display with standard navigation system, a 14-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, 360-degree panoramic surround view, heads-up display and foot gesture-based sensor-activated rear power tailgate. The F-Sport variant also gets paddle shifters. Safety kit of the NX300h includes eight-airbags, ABS and vehicle stability control.
Considering that Lexus is importing the NX300h in India as a Completely built unit (CBU), the company has priced it competitively enough to lock horns with Mercedes GLC, upcoming BMW X3, 2018 Audi Q5 and the recently launched Volvo XC60.
Read our Lexus NX300h review [...]
The Passion is as reputable a brand (if not more) than the Splendor. It has contributed immensely to Hero’s gigantic, overpowering presence as a mass-market manufacturer. Unlike the Splendor, however, the Passion is more liberal in its approach to styling and appeal; and this means Hero can evolve it more generously, at every stage. The result is the two snazzy-looking motorcycles you see here – the Passion Pro and the XPro.
In simple terms, both motorcycles now get the non-sloper, in-house developed 109.1cc motor previously seen only on the Splendor iSmart 110. The output figures on both Passions are identical – 9.5hp at 7,500rpm and 9Nm of torque at 5,500rpm – and both share the 4-speed gearbox, as well. Both get electric starters (as well as a kick) and are carburetted, and i3S (idle-start-stop) is standard on both, too.
How are they different?
In mannerisms, the Passion Pro is the friendlier, more conservative one while the XPro tries its hand at spiritedness. The engine has no contribution to the latter but the difference lies in the dynamic setup. The Pro is 1,962mm long and the XPro is 1,967mm long, with respective wheelbases of 1,236mm and 1,249mm. How, you ask? This is because the XPro gets a longer swingarm and this has a noticeable impact on the cornering liberties, it lends you. The XPro also utilises a stiffer rear shock which adds to its handling prowess and the Pro is, obviously, the more comfortable commuter, as a result.
The two Passions are different visually, too and the XPro is definitely a more appealing design. That being said, thanks to revisions to the bodywork, it’s the more conservative Pro that gets the sportier-looking seat while the XPro has to make do with the flatter unit. The Xpro gets tubeless tyres as well, while the Pro doesn’t. A 240mm front disc is offered on both motorcycles, thankfully, although CBS will only happen by 2019 (when it becomes the norm).
On the tarmac
The XPro is definitely more enjoyable but that may not necessarily be the lookout of the average commuter. The 109cc mill (on both) isn’t happy being revved hard and the heel-and-toe shifter makes quick progress a bit of a task. I couldn’t toe-shift the bike up the gearbox in my riding boots and I wish Hero had taken the initiative to educate and evolve its wide audience base in this aspect – a daunting task but, ultimately, a fulfilling one, no?
This mill is linear and has decent low-end grunt but lacks the refinement of the Honda Dream range, especially at higher revs. Short-shifting is the way to go on these motorcycles since efficiency is, in any case, the priority for in this segment. In the short riding loop I had access to, I managed to get its analogue speedometer to display 80kph, but it’s definitely more at home doing 65kph or lower. Vibrations (from the handlebar and footpegs) are evident but get annoying only if you ride it in a commuter-inappropriate manner (like you would ride a KTM, I mean). Hero definitely could have made a better attempt at improving its refinement levels, however, especially considering it has the benefit of international exposure as well as its impressive Rajasthan-based R&D centre.
Is it rock-solid?
Yes it is. Both motorcycles are devoid of more-than-necessary bodywork (although they aren’t austere either) and with low kerb weights of 116kg (Pro) and 119kg (Xpro), these will come by as friendly, easy-to-ride machines. Both take kindly to bumps and while the Pro is more absorbing thanks to its softer-set suspension, both are pliant and can take on India’s worst with ease. The 18-inch alloys contribute to their relative long-leggedness although I certainly preferred the XPro to the Pro for its longer-swingarm-aided longer wheelbase and the consequent stability.
On a different note, the 240mm disc tends to overpower the front tyre (2.75 x 18 on the Pro, 80/100 R18 on the XPro) and hard braking results in the handlebar getting a pronounced tug to the right. This is not a nice feeling, at all although I would still prefer it to a less potent drum brake.
Which is the one to buy?
Honestly, for all the XPro’s appeal, the Pro is the one to go for. It’s more comfortable and isn’t trying too hard to impress. I’d be hard-pressed to tell one from an XPro in a Hero-infested crowd, anyway. Since the Pro is lighter (by 3kg), taller (in terms of its seat height – 781mm; 778m for the XPro), and has the bigger fuel tank (11 litres; 9.2 litres on the Xpro), it’s more practical and fit for its intended purpose. That having been said, the XPro is worth a consideration if you want a commuter with a slim sporty intent without losing out on efficiency.
Currently, the Splendor iSmart 110 is priced at Rs 52,658 (ex-showroom, Mumbai) and the existing Passion Pro (with an electric starter, disc brake and alloys) is priced at Rs 51,397. This upda [...]
The BMW X7 SUV will be shown in production form towards the end of 2018, following the presentation of the X7 iPerformance concept at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2017.
BMW's seven-seat Mercedes-Benz GLS and Range Rover rival will sit at the top of its model range alongside the 7 Series. The first pre-production models have rolled off the production line in Spartanburg, South Carolina, US.
The X7 has been spotted testing several times in the past few months, offering glimpses of the future SUV's design and scale. It will be the largest SUV yet produced by BMW and adopts a typical SUV body shape with a boxy passenger area and, as the new BMW shots confirm, a flat-faced front end, toned down from the controversial styling of the X7 iPerformance concept. The extra large kidney grilles and slim headlight clusters remain, however.
The X7 iPerformance concept which precedes the production version will be toned down in styling ahead of the car's sales debut, but its dimensions will remain largely the same. This means that a length of 5020mm, 2020mm width and 1800mm in height, as well as a 3010mm wheelbase, will all remain largely the same, and the car will be roughly 113mm longer, 82mm wider and 37mm higher than the existing third-generation X5, with a 76mm longer wheelbase.
Beneath the camouflage will be familiar BMW design features, such as halo daytime running lights and kidney grilles. The light bar seen on the X7 iPerformance concept is not carried over to the production model.
The seven-seat BMW X7 is being developed with the US and Chinese markets in mind but was confirmed for the UK market by BMW's head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, in 2016.
Speaking to our sister-magazine, Autocar UK at the New York motor show, Robertson said: “We will have some versions that are top-end luxury, as well as more mainstream versions. I can’t talk about pricing now, but given that this car will have all the technology and luxury of the 7 Series, it gives you a pretty good idea of the price point we’re talking about.”
Previously, it was thought the X7 would be built on an extended version of the X5’s underpinnings, but Robertson said many parts are actually bespoke. “If you put both cars next to each other, the resemblance is small in terms of wheelbase etc. We’re not going to just extend the wheelbase, it’s a complete new panel cell.”
It is too soon for BMW to confirm which engines will go into the X7, but sources have previously speculated that it will feature a selection of six and eight-cylinder engines, such as the 3.0-litre diesel in 30d, 40d and 50d guises and the twin-turbo 4.4-litre petrol V8 from the X6 xDrive50i.
Robertson also hinted that the X7 would use engines from a wide range of BMW models, rather than just the X5 and X6. It will offer the choice of traditional petrol and diesel and, as showcased by the new BMW concept, a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid driveline with a zero-emission range of up to 100km
The BMW X7 will be built at the company's plant at Spartanburg in the US. It will have three rows of seats, making it a rival for the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator in that country and China. It's around 110mm shorter and a little wider than the Mercedes-Benz GLS, and around 30mm longer than the Range Rover. [...]
Toyota’s performance arm Gazoo Racing will display a new concept, the GR Super Sport Concept, at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon in January 2018. The road-going model will showcase technology that has been developed by Toyota’s Le Mans programme.
The teaser image of the concept shows a sleek race-car-like silhouette, which is expected to feature a hybrid powertrain, similar to the one used on the team’s World Endurance Championship TS050 Hybrid.
The WEC racer combines a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine with electric motors to develop a total of 1,000hp, which is sent to all-four-wheels. The long rear section on the concept suggests the usage of this powertrain, which could be mounted just behind the passengers. The design of the GR Super Sport Concept also seems to be influenced from the LMP1 race car.
The GR Super Sport Concept signals the continued efforts by Toyota Gazoo to introduce more road-going high performance cars. The new performance arm will bring the new Supra to international markets next year, followed by the recently revealed Yaris GRMN.
In addition, Toyota Gazoo will also showcase an 86 GR, which is based on the GT86 and the Vitz GRMN, which is a limited-run Japan-only hot hatch, at the Tokyo Auto Salon 2018. In a bid to underline its racing heritage, the Japanese brand will also display its range of motorsport models, from its World Rally Championship and World Endurance Championship models, to those that have performed at national rallies and races.
Also see: Toyota GR HV Sports concept revealed [...]
In a bid to reach its ambitious target of complete electric mobility by 2030, the Indian government is currently considering offering consumers incentives to purchase and use EVs.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, speaking at the International Conference on Electric Vehicles - Future Roadmap for India in New Delhi, said that the government’s target for electric vehicle use would be conducted through holistic development of the automobile and allied industries, without hindering growth prospects.
The automobile and component industry contributes 7.2 percent to India’s total GDP, creates over 30 million jobs and exports almost 25 percent of its total manufacturing.
At the conference organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), Kant said that the aim is to accelerate the pace of the electric vehicle segment, while ensuring that India maintains its size and scale, its GDP share, employment share, which is possible only if we are able to produce in size and scale.
“We will continue to support this movement in a very big way. We will continue to support all OEM and Indian manufacturers. We would like major disruptions to take place in India, we would like interoperable charging systems and we would like to support EVs by a vast range of initiatives like lower road taxes. The government will act as a catalyst to support this entire movement so that the automobile and auto component sector continues to play a very major and significant role in India’s GDP, job creation as well as exports,” said Kant.
“As a policy framework this cuts across several departments – Ministry of Road Transport, Power, Heavy Industries – but we in NITI Aayog will continue to coordinate and drive this movement,” he added.
Addressing the concerns of the automobile industry, he said, “The change is inevitable but we should do it in a manner where we do not disturb combustion vehicle manufacturing. We should do to size and scale which will enable India to become a centre for manufacturing, battery manufacturing for usage as well as for exports. It is possible to do this in India is because our per capita usage of cars is still very low,” concluded Kant. [...]
How good is the Honda Activa 4G?
AAA The Honda Activa 4G is a good scooter. Its competitors all have similar levels of fuel economy and performance, but the Activa is a great all-rounder. The only concern we have is that the rear suspension may feel a bit stiff over bumps. But we recommend taking a test ride and experiencing this scooter before making a buying decision. [...]
In the latest batch of Euro NCAP’s crash tests, Hyundai’s Kona SUV has managed to score five stars, making it one of the safest models in its segment.
With 87 percent in adult occupant safety, 85 percent in child occupant safety, 62 percent in pedestrian safety and 60 percent in safety assistance systems, all versions of the Euro-spec Nissan Juke rival earned the five-star rating.
The Kona which is being evaluated for India will be an all-electric model rather than the petrol and diesel ones that were tested.
The model that was tested possessed an array of driver assistance systems that Hyundai calls SmartSense – such as lane keep-assist, autonomous emergency braking, a driver alert, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert. In addition to these, the Kona tested comes with nine airbags.
Hyundai’s Kona EV, which was showcased at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show (and is expected to launch internationally at the 2018 Geneva motor show in March) is expected to be powered by a more powerful version of the all-electric Ioniq’s 28kWh battery that develops 120hp and has a claimed range of 280km. The Korean brand is targeting a range of about 384km for the electric Kona.
The model – which is still under evaluation for the Indian market – will be on display at the upcoming Auto Expo, in February 2018. It will share space with a new electric sedan at Hyundai’s stall at the event, along with an i20 facelift and a new hatchback that will replace the Eon.
New Hyundai Kona SUV image gallery [...]
Polestar has announced that their hybrid performance sedan, the 1, will have a production run of 500 units per year once it goes into production in mid-2019. The limited number of models is due to the complex construction process required to create its carbon-fibre bodywork.
The brand’s first model since it became a standalone brand from Volvo will first be available in the US, Chinese, German, Swedish, Norwegian and Dutch markets as the firm has said that these ones have the highest demand for its product. There is no official word on when the model will arrive in India.
The 600hp, four-seat GT coupe will be the brand’s flagship model, acting as a halo product and will only be on sale online through subscription.
Company boss Thomas Ingenlath labelled the 1 as “an electric car with support from an internal-combustion engine”. The 1 will be the only hybrid in Polestar’s line-up with all future models, starting with a Tesla Model 3 competitor, possessing an all-electric set-up.
Two electric motors, with the aid of an integrated starter/generator, power the rear wheels, and produce a combined 218hp. A 150km range has been claimed in pure-electric mode. Volvo’s 382hp, 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine drives the front wheels. When combined the total system output is 600hp and 999Nm of torque.
As we had mentioned at its unveiling, the Polestar 1’s styling is derivative of the Volvo Concept Coupé unveiled in 2012. The main differences between the two, at least at the front, are the Polestar logo replacing the Volvo one and the grille. "Polestar will not have a front grille, it will have the grid," explained Ingenlath. The grid at front houses sensors.
While not a proper Volvo, the Polestar 1 borrows plenty of technology from its parent company and will serve as a "technology spearhead". It is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture, although Polestar claims about 50 percent of the structure is new. Measuring 4.5 metres in length, it is nearly 0.5m shorter than the S90, and is overall smaller than the luxury sedan. Weight has reduced by about 230kg, torsional rigidity has increased by 45 percent and the centre of gravity is lower than the S90 thanks to extensive use of carbon-firbe.
With production capped at 500 units a year, only left-hand-drive models are expected to be produced at a bespoke Polestar production facility currently being built in Chengdu, China. Volvo has invested £570 million (about Rs 4,865 crore) into the new performance division.
Forgoing a traditional dealer network in favour of online sales, Polestar will only retail its models online. Cars will be offered on an all-inclusive subscription basis, with a two or three-year fixed term, set monthly payments and no deposit. The yet-to-disclosed fee will include pick-up, delivery and servicing at selected Volvo workshops.
The charge also includes a number of car rental days, allowing owners of the 1 to use larger Volvos. Polestar will also offer a range of concierge services, including hiring larger cars and items such as roof boxes and booking a valet cleaning, through an app. Once the term is complete, the firm will take the car back, refurbish it and sell it in the used market.
Polestar cars will also feature ‘Phone-as-Key’ technology, which will allow app users to operate their car without a key or give a ‘virtual’ key to other users when needed.
Polestar isn’t entirely moving away from traditional showrooms and will open a small number of Polestar Spaces in various locations, but none will be connected to current Volvo showrooms. The first Polestar Spaces are due to open in early 2019.
Polestar 1 coupe image gallery
Polestar sedan and SUV in the works [...]
An image of the supposed production version of the Go Cross has surfaced online. The lone spy pic is said to have been clicked in Indonesia, a market where the Go Cross will make its official global debut, shortly.
Going by the photo, the Go Cross looks like a derivative of the Go+ rather than an all-new model. The car in the photo has black cladding all around and also features silver finish on the front and rear bumpers, differentiating it from the standard car. A roof spoiler adds some distinction to the rear end while this version’s roof rack is expected to carry up to 30kg of luggage. If this is, indeed, the production car, the execution is vastly toned down from the original Go Cross concept that was displayed at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan.
The cross-hatch is expected to share much of its cabin design with the Go and Go+ models. However, like the Go+, the Go Cross will be a seven-seater.
In Indonesia, the Go Cross will be powered by a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder, petrol engine developing 68hp and 104Nm of peak torque. The motor will come mated to a five-speed manual, as standard – although a CVT automatic will also be on offer as an optional extra. Braking duties are carried out by ventilated discs at the front and solid discs at the rear, with ABS as standard, along with EBD and brake-assist.
In terms of equipment, the Go Cross will be offered with a manual AC, a 6.9-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment system (with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity), power windows with an auto up/down function, electrically adjustable wind mirrors (with manual folding) and a rear wiper. The leaked image also reveals that the model gets rear parking sensors.
Datsun is expected to bring the Go Cross to India in 2018, where it will rival the likes of cross-hatches like the Mahindra KUV100 NXT and Maruti CelerioX as well as compact SUVs like the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata’s recently launched Nexon and the refreshed Ford EcoSport.
Datsun Redigo AMT to launch in January 2018
Datsun rolls out 100,000th car in India
IMAGE SOURCE [...]
The Autocar India office sits below the flight path of helicopters landing in Mumbai’s racecourse. The traffic of Bell, Eurocopter and Agusta helicopters increase by late afternoon making their last sortie of the day before sundown stops chopper operations. I’ve often wondered who are these people in the choppers and where are they coming from?
I don’t understand the point of private helicopters in India. Yes, they are great for defence, during natural calamities, for rescue missions, for connecting oil rigs and for politicians to tour the country during elections. There are few landing places for private helicopters in Indian cities. Mumbai, I know has only two – the Juhu aerodrome and the helipad at the racecourse. There is a helipad at the Raj Bhavan and a Navy helipad at Colaba but they are out of bounds for private citizens. So even if you are India’s richest person, you still have to drive the last few kilometres to your home after landing at the racecourse.
Private aircrafts, I can understand. Time is precious, and an aircraft is a fast and comfortable way to criss-cross the country or the world. Helicopters are slow in comparison and have limited range; they do need less space to land and take-off though. Is the helicopter just an ego toy or a productivity machine? Since most helicopter flights operate around a 500km radius, wouldn’t a car do the job as efficiently? Yes, there obviously would be a time and money penalty, but what about comfort and convenience?
We decide to find out. And there’s only one way to do that – the Autocar India way. No conjectures, no guesses, no assumptions, but hard facts and quantifiable data. For that, we needed two things, a car, and a helicopter.
We tackle the easy part first. Which car do we pit against the flying machine? Helicopters are known as go-anywhere vehicles not restricted by airports or airstrips. So the car too has to be a go-anywhere vehicle, and that pointed to an SUV. With their strong engines, four-wheel drive, high ground clearance and rugged build quality, SUVs promise to take you where lesser cars fear to tread. Since a chopper owner will be a high-net individual, this SUV had to be luxurious too. We turned to the SUV that had we had driven down to India from Ingolstadt – the Audi Q7. But this one is powered by a petrol engine. The Audi Q7 40 TFSI, with its Quattro system and a 252hp motor, is requisitioned for the test.
Now comes the difficult part. Where do we get our hands on a helicopter? Bell and Eurocopter have no media vehicles like car manufacturers to loan us. And there are no helicopter owners in our social circles. There is only one thing we can do – charter a helicopter. Yes, it is going to be expensive, but we spare no expenses when it comes to bringing our readers a good story.
I recruit the help of my two colleagues, Gavin and Nikhil. The plan is simple. Gavin will fly to Pawna Lake from Mumbai while Nikhil will drive the Audi Q7. Pawna Lake, 120km from Mumbai is a popular site for weekend tourists from Mumbai and Pune. Ringing the lake are some sprawling properties of the rich and famous. One of these properties has a helipad and the owner has given us access to it. The stage is set for the battle.
D-Day. It’s nine in the morning. Nikhil gets into the Q7 and points its nose towards Pawna. Gavin has the office driver to chauffeur him to the helipad at the racecourse. The chopper is scheduled to arrive at ten, and Gavin doesn’t want to be late. The match is on.
The chopper is already waiting when Gavin arrives. It’s a Bell 206 L3 single-engine, light-utility helicopter that can carry five passengers. In the cockpit, along with the pilot, is a flight engineer. Like in every aircraft, a chopper has to be signed off by a service engineer every time, before it can take-off. Our commercial flights don’t carry an engineer along because there are engineers at the airports they land, to sign-off the aircraft. But there are no engineers at our destination, so the engineer is on-board to certify the Bell is safe to take-off after it lands at Pawna. Just imagine getting your car signed-off by a trained engineer every time you start the engine. No wonder this 1992 model is as good as new. If we followed the stringent maintenance schedule that flying machines follow, our cars would last us a lifetime without once stalling on the road. While the pilot and Gavin are ready to fly, there is a hiccup. Mumbai Air Traffic Control has asked the chopper to wait since there are other aircrafts nearby. There is no option but to wait for ATC clearance.
Meanwhile, Nikhil in the Audi Q7 has already reached the Mumbai-Pune Expressway. The 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine is refined, the eight-speed automatic gearbox is intuitive, and he is making good time. The 75-litre tank gives the big SUV a range of over 500km and it can easily make the run [...]
Royal Enfield had announced an online sale of 15 limited-edition 'Stealth Black' Classic 500 motorcycles that were part of National Security Guards’ motorcycle expedition ‘Fight Against Terror’. This sale received interest from more than 2,000 buyers who stood an opportunity to purchase one of the 15 bikes. All 15 of of these motorcycles were sold out within 15 seconds of going on sale at 12pm on December 13, 2017.
Priced at Rs 1.90 lakh (ex-showroom), these motorcycles are decorated with unique NSG insignia and the entire proceeds from the sale will go to Prerna – a not-for-profit initiative supported by NSG for differently-abled children. The Classic 500s on sale were part of NSG's 40-day motorcycle expedition in which the Black Cat NSG Commandos covered over 8,000km, across India. They did this to spread the message of citizens' awareness of their collective responsibility toward fighting terror.
These limited-edition motorcycles are based on the matte-black Classic 500 that was launched, back in September. It has a matte-black finish on the body and the exhaust, along with black-spoke wheels. Powering it will be the same 499cc single-cylinder engine that makes 27.2hp and 41.3Nm of peak torque, mated to a five-speed transmission.
The 15 buyers who managed to reserve their limited-edition Stealth Black 500 motorcycles will be handed over their respective purchases at a local dealership on the payment of the full amount.
In conversation with Siddhartha Lal, CEO, Royal Enfield
2017 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, Continental GT twin revealed [...]
The GLC, Discovery Sport and X3, all offer varied things in the same space. Which is the best then? [...]
Mathew, who assumed top role in May 2015, will be replaced by Mahindra Reva COO Mahesh Babu. [...]
Now available to order at dealerships.
Bajaj Auto has launched two new colour schemes for the Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 and the Bajaj Avenger Street 150. The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 is now available in new Cosmic Red and the Bajaj Avenger Street 150 is now available in new Matte Wild Green.
The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 is powered by the 19.03 PS 220 cc DTS-i oil-cooled engine.
Previously, the Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 was available only in Divine Black and Desert Gold, while the Bajaj Avenger Street 150 was sold finished in Midnight Blue as standard without any other option.
The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 measures 2,177 mm in length, 801 mm in width and 1,070 mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 1,480 mm and a ground clearance of 169 mm. It’s powered by the 220 cc DTS-i oil-cooled engine that produces 19.03 PS at 8,400 rpm and 17.5 Nm of torque at 7,000 rpm. The Bajaj Avenger Street 150 measures 2,177 mm in length, 806 mm in length, 1,142 mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 1,490 mm and a ground clearance of 169 mm. It’s powered by the 150 cc DTS-i air-cooled engine that develops 14.54 PS at 9,000 rpm and 12.50 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm.
The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 is powered by the 14.54 PS PS 220 cc DTS-i air-cooled engine.
Also See: Bajaj Pulsar CS400’s exhaust note – Video
The Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 and Bajaj Avenger Street 150 in the new colour schemes are priced at the same INR 85,497 and INR 75,500 (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively.
Bajaj Avenger Cruise 220 and Bajaj Avenger Street 150 – Image Gallery [...]
Will help increase production rate of Baleno, thus reducing the waiting period.
Business Standard reports that trial production of the Maruti Baleno will commence at its new plant in Hansalpur, Gujarat from Q1 2017.
Reports suggest that the Baleno has reached its maximum production rate of 12,000 cars a month.
It will help increase the production rate of the Baleno, as well as share the load with its existing plants in Manesar and Gurgaon, which are running at full capacity and struggling to meet the demand. Reports suggest that the Baleno has reached its maximum production rate of 12,000 cars a month, although the company could adjust production rates of other products to enhance the Baleno’s output. Currently, waiting period for a prospective customer ranges between 6-8 months.
The production plant will commence operations with an initial capacity of 150,000 cars a year, before growing to 250,000 later on. Maximum capacity of the plant is pegged at 750,000 cars a year. Another plant near Hansalpur is also in the works, which will commence operations once the first plant’s maximum capacity is reached. Overall, Maruti expects to churn out 1.5 million cars a year from its two Gujarat plants.
The production plant will commence operations with an initial capacity of 150,000 cars a year, before growing to 250,000 later on.
Also Read: With Vitara Brezza, Maruti overtakes Mahindra as leading UV maker
The first product to be produced at the new plant will be the Maruti Baleno, while the second model is reported to be the next generation Maruti Swift Dzire, which will be based on the next gen Maruti Swift. The new plant is also reported to be the global production hub of the Maruti Ignis, the company’s smallest crossover.
Maruti Baleno RS concept – Image Gallery
[Source: Business Standard] [...]
Will be launched in India this FY.
The BMW G310R has been spied testing in India yet again, courtesy Rushlane. The G310R is already listed internationally, but India isn’t among its first markets, according to several reports.
The BMW G310R is manufactured at TVS Motor’s Hosur plant in India.
The BMW G310R is the first motorcycle from the company’s collaboration with TVS Motor, as well as its first sub-500 cc roadster. The first made-in-India BMW Motorrad motorcycle entered production last month at TVS Motor’s Hosur plant near Bangalore.
The BMW G310R is powered by a newly developed 313 cc water-cooled single-cylinder engine that develops 25 kW (34 PS/34 hp) at 9,500 rpm and 28 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm and sends drive via a 6-speed transmission. The G310R has a top speed of 145 km/h. 300 mm disc brake with four-piston fixed caliper at the front and a 240 mm disc brake with single-piston floating caliper at the rear, and dual-channel ABS are standard.
The BMW G310R is powered by a newly developed 25 kW (34 PS/34 hp) 313 cc liquid-cooled engine.
Also Read: BMW G310R to ride on Michelin tyres
The BMW G 310 R was said to be launched in India in October 2016. However, as per a recent report, the Indian launch of the G310R will take place sometime in February-March 2017. The TVS Akula 310‘s mechanical twin will be sold through BMW Motorrad outlets.
BMW G310R – Image Gallery
[Image Source: Rushlane] [...]
Will only get the 1.4L T-Jet petrol engine with 140 PS.
According to NDTV’s Car and Bike, the Fiat Avventura Urban Cross will launch in India in September. The Avventura is the third model in Fiat India’s lineup based on the Fiat Punto Evo hatchback.
The Urban Cross features a new grille, updated headlamps, revised bumper and silver body cladding, as seen in the Auto Expo show car.
The Urban Cross will only launch with the 1.4L T-Jet petrol engine sourced from the Fiat Avventura Powered by Abarth. The turbocharged engine produces a healthy 140 PS of power at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 210 Nm between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm, and is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
The Fiat Urban Cross is not just simply an Avventura without the tailgate-mounted spare wheel. It features a new grille, updated headlamps, revised bumper and silver body cladding as seen in the Auto Expo show car. Inside, it features a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation, dual tone red and black interior and silver accents on the steering wheel.
The Urban Cross will only launch with the 1.4L T-Jet petrol engine sourced from the Fiat Avventura Powered by Abarth.
Also Read: Fiat Linea 125 S launched at INR 7.82 Lakhs
Compared to the Avventura, there are barely any differences in dimensions. The Urban Cross measures 4,000 mm in length, 1,700 mm in width, and 1,500 mm in height.
Fiat Avventura Urban Cross – Image Gallery
[Source: Car and Bike] [...]
The current, sixth generation BMW 3 Series was introduced in October 2011 and given a facelift in May 2015. Now, the company has started working on the seventh generation 2018 BMW 3 Series, and here are five things we know about the all-new model.
Like the new generation BMW 7 Series as well as the upcoming next-gen BMW 5 Series, BMW would take an evolutionary approach for the next-gen BMW 3 Series’ redesign. Speculative renderings suggest a more aggressive character that will make the car look sportier than it already is, but still retain the details that make it instantly recognizable as the 3er. This also means the proportions won’t drastically change. It remains to be seen, however, if BMW continues offering the Gran Turismo version alongside the Touring (estate) version.
The next-gen BMW 3 Series will be based on the CLAR rear-wheel drive platform that already underpins the BMW 7 Series and will be used in the near-future for the 2017 BMW 5 Series. Thanks to the usage of lightweight materials including carbon fibre in the structure, lightweight components, as well as other weight saving measures, the next-gen BMW 3 Series could be as much as 80 kg lighter compared to the current model.
The next-gen BMW 3 Series should be offered with an array of 2.0-litre four-cylinder and 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel engine options globally. There would be a small 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol model as well. Then there will also be an M high-performance variant which would presumably continue with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, however it will probably be around a year away from the standard variant.
4. Electric Power
BMW’s plug-in hybrid offensive plan will include an all-new BMW 3 Series iPerformance as well, and it can be expected to follow just a few months after the petrol/diesel-powered model’s debut. A pure electric variant could also be launched further down the road. BMW’s engineers are reportedly working on installation of a 90 kWh battery pack that could give a zero emissions driving range of around 300 miles (480 km). This variant is likely to be named ‘BMW 3 Series eDrive Sport’.
Also See: BMW 4 Series facelift – Rendering
The 2018 BMW 3 Series Sedan (codename: BMW G20) is expected to debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show and should go on sale in Germany and other first markets in early-2018.
2016 BMW 3 Series – Image Gallery [...]
Innovative electric sports car concept has now been engineered as a fully working prototype with the help of Williams Advanced Engineering [...]
Here is a look at the new cars and concepts expected at the Paris motor show this year. [...]
More than 70,000 units of Kwid are on Indian roads.
Speaking to the media, Renault India CEO and Managing Director Mr Sumit Sawhney has divulged that the company is working on reducing the waiting period of the Renault Kwid from 3 months to 1 month.
Since its launch, more than 70,000 units of the Kwid were sold, making it the most successful Renault product in India.
The Kwid is Renault India’s most successful product, selling over 70,000 units since its launch in September last year, and receiving well over 150,000 orders. Speaking on its success, Mr Sawhney said:
Till June, I think we sold about 62,000 units. And in July, we sold about 12,000, I think the total will be 74,000 units. It is a milestone for us.
Mr Sawhney confirmed that exports to markets like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and South Africa will commence from this year end, while exports to Brazil are scheduled for early next year.
Renault will introduce a more powerful 1.0L variant of the Kwid this month.
Also Read: India-bound Renault Kaptur spied in Brazil, to get CVT – Report
To further expand the lineup, Renault will introduce a more powerful 1.0L variant of the Kwid in this month. Details on the performance figures haven’t been released yet, but it’s expected to output between 65-70 hp. It could also be offered with dual airbags and ABS.
Renault Kwid 1L – Image Gallery
[Source: ET Auto] [...]