With 2018 drawing to a close, the beleaguered Indian motorist and the automotive industry have good reason for cheer. While India citizens have had to suffer wallet-burning fuel prices for most of 2018, the end of the year has seen prices steadily declining thanks to a similar decrease in the cost of global crude oil.
As of December 31, 2018, petrol prices in Mumbai have dropped to its lowest this year at Rs 74.47 per litre. At this price, a litre of petrol costs Rs 3.40 less than it cost on January 1, 2018, at Rs 77.87 per litre. When compared to the price of petrol on October 4, today’s price is a whopping Rs 16.87 less!
Diesel now costs Rs 65.76 a litre – while not the lowest, this price is a fair bit below the highs it scaled in 2018. On January 1, 2018 diesel cost Rs 63.35 a litre and rose to its highest, like petrol, on October 4 to Rs 80.10. The price differential between the two fuels as of today is Rs 8.71 a litre.
For reference, 2017 began with petrol being priced at Rs 76.91 per litre and ended at Rs 77.87 with the highest being Rs 79.99 a litre on October 3, 2017. The lowest price at which the fuel was sold in 2017 was Rs 72.66 per litre on April 1, 2017.
In 2014, the highest price that petrol had scaled to was Rs 82.07 per litre. The lowest price that motorists paid was Rs 62.75 on March 10, 2016. As per our sister publication Autocar Professional’s analysis of fuel prices since then, the price of petrol has not fallen below the Rs 65 a litre mark and has continuously marched upwards.
Even as motorists will tank up with a smile today and in 2019, there clearly is scope for a higher level of price cuts on petrol and diesel given the high level of state and central taxes on fossil fuels. [...]
A 1:12 Ducati Panigale scale model is one of the first things I look at every morning. It sits at the centre of my TV unit, and to own and ride a Panigale has always been a dream of mine. While owning one still very much remains a dream, I recently had the opportunity to ride one on a racetrack! And it was all thanks to the first Ducati DRE Track Day in India. The experience was overwhelming and humbling, and it only made my craving for a shiny red 1:1 Panigale stronger.
DRE or Ducati Riding Experience promises to offer ‘a very high level of teaching and instructors, prestigious locations, the entire Ducati range and great fun’, and let me tell you that they didn’t fail to deliver. Alessandro Valia, Ducati’s chief test rider was the instructor. The location in question was India’s only F1-spec track – the Buddh International Circuit and the bikes we took turns riding were the SuperSport, 959 Panigale and the dreamy V4 Panigale.
Now I know what you are thinking: Riding Ducati motorcycles on a Formula 1 circuit has to be an expensive affair, right? The tyres themselves cost about half a lakh rupees. That wasn’t the case, however. Registration costs for all Panigale V4 owners were waived off. And as for other Ducati owners, the track day was priced at just Rs 10,000. In addition to this, owners could also enjoy a 20min session on the Panigale V4 for Rs 5,000, the 959 Panigale for Rs 3,000 and the SuperSport for Rs 2,000. But this wasn’t just for the Ducatisti, even non-Ducati owners could be a part of the event, as long as they had a motorcycle with over 600cc. They were also given the option to test ride the Ducati motorcycles, albeit for a higher cost – Rs 16,000 for the V4, Rs 12,000 for the 959 and Rs 10,000 for the SuperSport.
Our riding experience didn’t begin with riding but instead with learning. Alessandro Valia’s classroom presentation included almost everything you would need to know before heading out to the track. He explained how we should enter and exit corners, find the correct lines, throttle and braking control, and optimum body position, in the most entertaining and animated way. He also proudly explained all of the electronic wizardry on his ‘love’ – the V4, and told us that we should give the slide control tech a go. That is when I thought everyone would chuckle, but no one did because he was being serious. This got me a bit worried because I felt like I didn’t know what I was in for.
We then walked towards the pits where there were about three dozen pretty Ducatis sitting, waiting to be unleashed. But the view wasn’t the only thing I was enjoying – I can’t forget the glorious sounds of the L-twins and V4s out on track, echoing against the grandstand. Visual and aural bliss, to say the least. While I was still busy looking around, Hiya from the Ducati PR team signalled (because the human voice was no match for engines at 14,000rpm) that it was time to ride.
My first session was on the SuperSport S, Ducati’s sports tourer. It wasn’t designed for track times, which is why it took time getting used to. It was also my first time on a high-capacity motorcycle on a racetrack and I made almost every possible beginner’s mistake on my first two laps – ran wide, accelerated too early out of a corner, missed shifts and even went off the track. But my third and fourth lap took a turn for the good, quite literally. After a 30min break, it was time for our second and final session, and because of the high demand the V4 was in, I was given a choice of either riding it for one lap or the SuperSport for four laps. Without the slightest hesitation, I chose the Panigale V4 – the centrepiece on my table back home. One lap of the 5km track was enough to blow my mind. Thanks to the electronics and the more-focused chassis, the bike was so much easier to corner than the SuperSport. I touched 255kph on the back straight but was still one of the slowest riders there; I was so overwhelmed by the performance of the motorcycle that, after getting off it, I needed to sit down and take it in. What an experience!
When you buy a motorcycle like a Ducati, you are buying into the brand and its culture. An event like this not only allows you explore the potential of your motorcycle in a safe and fun way, but also brings together like-minded owners and enthusiasts, and gives outsiders a taste of the brand as well. This is why I would recommend attending the second edition of the DRE track day when it returns to India next year. [...]
Close on the heels of India’s first Aventador SVJ being delivered to a customer in Bengaluru, Lamborghini has confirmed that it is set to expand the SVJ line by introducing the limited-edition SVJ 63 in our market in 2019.
“We delivered India's first Aventador SVJ on December 17, and it’s not just the first in India, it is among the first few in the world. 2019 is going to be a very exciting year for us. We will start the year with the unveiling of one new exciting product apart from the SVJ and during the year we will also have the SVJ 63 coming to India,” said Sharad Agarwal, head, Lamborghini India, to Autocar India in an interview.
Unveiled at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the special-edition SVJ 63 pays homage to Lamborghini’s founding year of 1963. It is produced in a unique configuration with bespoke colour and trim and also highlights the rich use of carbon fibre.
It is powered by Lamborghini’s most powerful series production V12, which puts out 770hp at 8,500 rpm and 720Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm. The SVJ accelerates from 0-100kph in 2.8sec and from 0-200kph in 8.6sec. It is capable of touching a top speed of over 350kph. Total production of the Aventador SVJ – including 63 units of the SVJ 63 – is limited to 900 units.
Just like the Aventador S, the SVJ is also fitted with four-wheel steering, but the new car builds upon the standard car’s agility with a second-generation active aerodynamics system (ALA 2.0).
Improvements over the first-gen system include redesigned air inlets and aero-channel designs. Lamborghini claims the SVJ’s downforce is 40 percent greater than that of the Aventador SV – the Italian carmaker's former performance flagship. Moreover, the chassis is tweaked to provide 50 percent additional stiffness as compared to the Aventador SV.
IN CONVERSATION WITH SHARAD AGARWAL, HEAD, LAMBORGHINI INDIA
On the response to the Urus.
The Urus has truly been a game changer for us in India. We always anticipated a two-fold increase in sales with the Urus but are now expecting growth to increase by up to three-fold this year. About 70 percent of Urus customers are first-time Lamborghini owners.
On the long waiting period for the Urus.
We are doing our best but the challenge is that the Urus has got a phenomenal demand across all markets, where the waiting period is about 9-10 months; and in some markets, it’s even more. So while I don’t see the waiting period coming down soon, we are trying to maintain a consistency with other markets.
On plans for the SVJ.
We delivered India’s first Aventador SVJ on December 17, 2018. You will see a very exciting number of SVJs coming to India in 2019.
Lamborghini SC18 image gallery
Lamborghini Urus customers bring a unique challenge [...]
BMW India had a slow 2018 with only a few new model introductions. However, for 2019, the German carmaker is firing on all cylinders and has lined up no less than twelve new launches for our market. This story was first published in the Autocar India January 2019 issue which is already on stands.
BMW’s biggest SUV, the recently unveiled X7 will be introduced on January 31, 2019. The new flagship SUV from BMW will take on the Mercedes GLS in our market. The X7 comes with all the bells and whistles, and gets the option of a six-seat or seven-seat layout. It is 5.1m long and promises adequate legroom for all three rows of seats.
The new X4 is likely to be the next in line for India. To be assembled from CKD kits, the SUV-coupé is likely to come with a 252hp, 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 265hp, 3.0-litre diesel motor. The performance-oriented BMW X4M and the X3M are also lined-up for launch in 2019.
BMW will also not waste any time bringing in the latest 3 Series sedan (G20) to India. The model should be available by the middle of 2019. The new 3 Series will come with the current car’s engine options – a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol in the 330i (but with a bit more power and torque now up to 258hp and 400Nm) and a 2.0-litre diesel producing 190hp and 400Nm of torque, both mated to 8-speed gearboxes. Around the same time, the all-new X5 will launch too – with a 340hp, 3.0-litre turbo petrol engine and a the 265hp, 3.0-litre turbo diesel mill.
The yet-to-be-revealed next-gen BMW X6 is on the cards as well. The latest iteration of the original SUV-coupé will sit on the X5’s underpinnings. BMW could also assemble it in India, just like the X4.
BMW will also bring the new 8 Series to India, though the range will be limited to only the M8 coupé and cabriolet. The models are expected to see a world premiere at the Frankfurt motor show 2019, and will be powered by a 4.4-litre V8 churning out more than 600hp.
The new BMW Z4 will make it to our shores this year. The folding hard-top model will likely be offered with two engine options – a 340hp, 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and a 2.0-litre, petrol unit good for 258hp.
Aside from the new launches, BMW will also roll-out mid-cycle updates for the X1 and the flagship 7 Series. The luxury limo will come with more features and is expected to get updated styling including an oversized kidney grille. [...]
The walls are peeling, the furniture is frayed and the cups are chipped, but it wasn't always like this. It is hard to believe that once upon a time this decrepit hotel was a pit-stop for everyone from film stars to business magnates to political bigwigs. Anyone travelling from Mumbai to Pune would make a stop at Hotel Ramakant and you had to wait to get a table. The only sign of its glory days is a board in Marathi that documents its history from cart to shop, including all the celebrities who have come here. Today the hotel is empty except for a couple sharing a vada pav. So what happened?
To understand the fate of Ramakant, we have to go for a drive. Not just any ordinary drive, we will go where no car (other than one specially modified 1982 DeLorean) has gone before – a drive back in time. The car we're driving is the new petrol-powered Renault Captur. It’s rather appropriate, since a quarter century ago most cars were driven by petrol motors and diesel was reserved mostly for commercial vehicles; and the drive between Mumbai and Pune was then an adventure that called for careful planning and preparation, along with a big dollop of luck. But before we begin this drive, let’s establish the present scenario.
THE EXPRESSWAY THAT CHANGED IT ALL
Imagine you got an assignment to do a travelogue from Mumbai to Pune. What would you write?
"Battled traffic and dug-up roads till Kalamboli. Hit the Mumbai-Pune Expressway after break at McDonald’s. Paid Rs 230 toll at Shendung. Then reached Pune a little after an hour on the road."
In short: boring stuff. It’s a drive I do regularly and perhaps the most exciting things on this road are those colourful hoardings put up to beautify the landscape and shift the drivers’ attention away from the road. Sarcasm aside, we need to thank the folks who built expressway connecting the two cities. This Captur takes me door-to-door from Mumbai to Pune in less than three hours thanks to this Expressway.
I remember a time when it took me anywhere between five and 10 hours to do the distance. Today, I can travel from Mumbai to Pune for a 9am meeting, arriving fresh and raring to go; whereas before the Expressway opened in 2000, you had to reach out for a bar of soap and a towel after the trip. True my first-generation Maruti 800 had no air-conditioning and this Captur has stuff like automatic climate control and a touchscreen – all of which I would then have imagined was sci-fi.
While a lot of credit goes to modern car technology that has made our drives more comfortable, we shouldn’t forget the roads that made it possible; and the Mumbai-Pune Expressway was the first of its kind – a 93.1km, access-controlled, concrete, six-lane, high-speed expressway that changed the way we travel.
THE NEW JOURNEY ON AN OLD ROAD
For my drive back in time, I decide to take the old Mumbai-Pune National Highway 4 which has now been re-numbered to NH48. It was predominantly a two-lane highway with just a few sections broad enough to host four lanes. At Kalamboli, you can either enter the Expressway or take the NH4 / NH48 / old Pune highway (whatever you call it). The first popular pit-stop on this route was the 'Dutta Vada Pav' shop as you exit Panvel. I've never stopped there and I don’t stop now. My first stop was Khopoli, at the base of the Bhor Ghat. The jewel in Khapoli’s crown was Ramakant hotel, with its vada pavs and poori-bhaajis. Today, it exists as a sad shell of a once-glorious past.
Khopoli, for travellers, was once akin to the Everest Base Camp for mountaineers – a break to renew your energy, check your equipment (your car) before you took on the challenge that is the narrow steep road ahead. Since cars then didn’t have an effective handbrake, you could burn your clutch while balancing the car on it and your accelerator while trying to stop it rolling back in bumper-to-bumper traffic led by overloaded trucks lumbering uphill at a glacial place. And in case a vehicle broke down, which was quite frequently, all you could do was find some rocks to wedge behind your tyres and hope your passenger was someone with an opus of entertaining stories.
Today, there is hardly any traffic and the drive uphill is uneventful. I don’t know if they have changed the road’s gradient or the Captur’s, 106hp engine is making it look easy. It doesn't have the strongest mid-range; but it does the job and the fearful ghat is now a tame puppy. And without the traffic it’s an enjoyable road to drive on – much more engaging than the Expressway. I’m starting to love it.
While you are driving through the ghat, you might spot a train making its way through the hills. If you are interested in history, Google the history of Indian railways and Bhor Ghat. All I will reveal is that it was a feat of engineering that took 24,000 lives before the Mu [...]
What you see here are images that show the all-new 2019 Maruti Suzuki Wagon R in full, well before its official reveal on January 23, 2019.
What’s immediately clear is that the Wagon R for India is quite different to the one on sale abroad, as has also been the case in the past. While Maruti’s popular hatchback sticks to the high roof ‘tall boy’ silhouette, the styling is quite different to what we are used to. Up front, the new Wagon R gets wraparound headlamps which are curved towards the grille and also get distinctive kinks on the far ends. The grille is simple and trademark Suzuki, with a large logo sitting at the flanked by a chrome strip. A simple bumper with angular housings for fog lamps can also be seen in the pics. The model spied seems to be mid-spec V trim and hence does not get fog lamps.
Moving on to the sides, the new WagonR looks longer than before however the slab-sided appearance still remains. According to sources, additional legroom for the second row along with reclining seats can be expected. The latest Wagon R also gets a floating roof design similar to that seen on the Ertiga, along with subtle creases to the front and rear fenders and doors, which make the overall styling more appealing. At the back, the Wagon R gets much larger tail-lamps which are now mounted high up the C-pillar, helping give the hatchback a more crossover-like look.
The new Wagon R is expected to continue to be based on the outgoing model's platform, which will be tweaked to clear the latest crash test norms. The current 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine will continue as well, albeit tuned for better refinement. Also likely to be offered right from launch are an AMT auto gearbox version as well as a CNG-powered one.
There is buzz that the Wagon R will get many features for the first time to compete with newer rivals. Maruti is likely to include the SmartPlay touchscreen infotainment system on fully-loaded versions. A driver’s side airbag and reverse parking sensors as mandated by law from April 1, 2018 will also be part of the equipment list.
The Wagon R has been a fixture on the best-sellers list in India. You can bet Maruti will hope to keep it that way with the new model. The new Wagon R will compete with the Hyundai Santro, Datsun Go and Tata Tiago among other models. Expect pricing to be competitive and in the Rs 4-6 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom) bracket.
Like what you see? Let us know in the comments section below.
While we had previously reported that BMW’s new flagship SUV, the X7, is headed to India soon, Autocar India can now confirm that the range-topping X7, badged as the M50d, will be launched in our market on January 31, 2019. BMW will launch the model at the India Art Fair, held in New Delhi from January 31 to February 2, 2019.
The new flagship SUV in BMW’s range (slotting above the X5) made its public debut in full production form at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2018, where it was displayed with a 340hp, 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-petrol engine (xDrive40i), a 265hp, 3.0-litre straight-six turbo-diesel (xDrive30d) and a sporty, quad-turbocharged, 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 400hp and a colossal 760Nm of torque (M50d).
BMW will introduce the more mainstream variants in India, in the form of the xDrive40i and xDrive30d, in September 2019. The nine-month long gap between the launches of the M50d and the lower-powered variants is so that the X7 can be localised.
On all three variants, power is sent to all-four wheels as standard via an 8-speed automatic transmission and an off-road package is expected, which will have four surface-specific drive modes.
Meant to combine the luxury of the 7 Series with the X5’s versatility, the seven-seat SUV’s cabin follows the smaller SUV’s design. A multi-layered dashboard houses a standard 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment display and there’s also a completely digital instrument panel. Standard kit is expected to include four-zone climate control system, soft-close doors, a three-piece glass sunroof, a park assistant function with a reversing camera and a reclining function for all three rows.
In international markets, BMW offers the X7 in a seven-seat layout (with a bench seat in the middle) along with a six-seat configuration (with captain seats in the second row).
Expect BMW to price the X7 M50d at about Rs 1.6 crore (ex-showroom). The X7 range in India, which will be complete in September 2019 with the arrival of the more affordable, mainstream variants, will rival other seven-seat luxury SUVs like the Land Rover Discovery and the Mercedes-Benz GLS.
2019 BMW X7 image gallery [...]
In August this year, Royal Enfield began equipping its full range of motorcycles with ABS in a phased manner. Its latest bike to get this much-needed safety feature is the Classic 350 Redditch. The inclusion of dual-channel ABS comes at a reasonable hike of roughly Rs 6000, which sees its cost rising from Rs 1,47,464 to Rs 1,52,900 (ex-showroom Delhi). The bike now costs Rs 1,74,400 on-road in Delhi.
The 350 Redditch is powered by the same 346cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine found in the rest of the Classic 350 range. Output figures, too, remain unchanged at 19.8hp at 5,250rpm and 28Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. The bike comes in three colors inspired by the models built during the 1950s at the Redditch factory in UK.
Royal Enfield has now equipped most of its portfolio with ABS with only the standard-colour variants of the 350 Classic and the Bullet series yet to receive the feature.
The addition of ABS on the Classic 350 (Signals, Redditch and Gunmetal Grey variants) helps it further rival the Jawa and the Forty-Two which were recently equipped with a rear disc brake and dual-channel ABS. The ABS-equipped Jawa has been priced at Rs 1.73 lakh, while the similarly-equipped Jawa Forty -Two has been pegged at Rs 1.64 lakh (all prices ex-showroom), which is a considerable premium over the ABS-equipped Classic 350s.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X ABS priced at Rs 1.63 lakh
2018 Royal Enfield Classic Signals 350 ABS launched at Rs 1.62 lakh
Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500X ABS launched at Rs 2.13 lakh [...]
2019 is shaping up to be the year of off-road focused bikes in India. In less than a month, we have seen Benelli testing the TRK 502 X, Royal Enfield testing its Classic 500 Scrambler, Yamaha testing the XTZ 125 and most recently, KTM’s highly-anticipated 390 Adventure. The latest two-wheeler manufacturer to become part of this list is UM Motorcycles.
Leaked images of what appears to be presentation slides reveal UM’s plan for the entry-level adventure motorcycle segment. The brand's new entry-level motorcycle will be called the DSR Adventure 200 ABS and will be priced around the Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) mark. The leaked images also reveal the bike's technical specifications and some of features that will be on offer.
The UM DSR Adventure 200 ABS has a tall stance and features adventure-bike styling elements which are similar to the ones on a Polish motorcycle called Romet ADV 125FI Pro. The UM that was spotted in India also features panniers and a top box like the international-spec Romet. Either UM plans to offer a rebadged Romet with a larger engine in India, or both Romet and UM are selling bikes coming from a third manufacturer that we aren't aware of. A similar incident occurred when we discovered that the Okinawa Praise was, in fact, likely to be a rebadged scooter from Chinese manufacturer, Luyuan.
Powering the DSR Adventure 200 ABS is a 196cc, air-cooled, 2-valve, carburetted, single-cylinder engine that makes 16hp at 8,500rpm and 16Nm of torque at 6,500rpm. This motor comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox and has a 14-litre fuel-tank capacity. The seat height on the DSR is 780mm – which is low for an adventure bike. While the motorcycle features disc brakes at both ends, it is equipped with only single-channel ABS. Like the Romet, the UM DSR Adventure 200 ABS rides on 17-inch alloy wheels and comes equipped with tubeless tyres.
There is also an image of the bike that has surfaced along with the presentation slides. The bike in this image features most of the equipment seen on the slides, aside from the tall windscreen. The slide has also revealed the four colours the adventure bike will be available in – Olive Green, Midnight Black, Brick Red and Octane Blue.
If and when launched, the UM DSR Adventure 200 ABS will go up against the upcoming Hero Xpulse 200, which, in turn, is likely to be priced at around the Rs 1 lakh mark.
2019 Hero Xpulse 200, Xpulse 200T spotted testing in India
Since he first appeared on the pages of Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale over 60 years ago, Commander James Bond has taken his choice of company car almost as seriously as his choice of hand gun, champagne and, er, companion. Despite his cars having been modified with missile launchers, ejector seats and amphibious capability, he’s made some questionable and some great choices for cars.
Let’s take a closer look at the motors behind the myths to see which, if any, really are worthy of the attentions of the world’s least secret agent and some of those his nemesis’s used too…
Bentley 4.5 supercharged (Casino Royale, the book, 1953)
Although Aston Martins have become signature Bond cars, Ian Fleming’s first choice of wheels for the secret agent was the blown behemoth known as the Bentley 4.5 supercharged. However, the ‘blower’ Bentley wasn’t a great car even when it was new in 1929, let alone 24 years later when Bond got his hands on it. Even WO Bentley hated it, saying to supercharge one of his cars was “to pervert its design and corrupt its performance”.
The Bentley didn’t win a single important race either, largely because it broke down much too often. Due to the large Amherst Villiers supercharger slung out in front, it was slow and cumbersome too.
Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, 1964)
Some believe that the DB5 is not quite as good as its legend would have you believe and if it wasn’t for its starring role in Goldfinger, the car would now be considered merely one of Aston’s better efforts. While the DB5 does have those landmark looks, a classic interior and a pleasantly characterful engine, it doesn’t have a particularly fun driving experience. It was made when Aston Martin had progressed away from thoroughbred, race-proven sports cars and was designed in the 1950s, as a gentler, softer, more touring-oriented model. Wonderful to park outside the Gstaad Palace Hotel, less of a joy to drive over the mountains to get there.
Toyota 2000GT Convertible (You Only Live Twice, 1967)
An almost perfect Bond car, the Toyota 2000GT is gorgeous and fascinating to look at. Its importance as Japan’s first truly credible sports car can’t be underestimated either. The 2.0 six-cylinder engine was decently powerful for the time thanks to a Yamaha twin cam head and triple carburetors. It even handled, rode and steered beautifully for the era. And then they discovered Sean Connery was too tall to squeeze comfortably into its cosy cabin, a problem they solved by simply sawing the roof off to turn it into a terminally cool convertible. Sadly, this is likely also to have had a catastrophic effect on its rigidity and turned a taut, finely-honed sports car into a wobbling mess with all the structural integrity of a sandcastle.
Lotus Esprit S1 (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)
The early Esprit was sleek, sexy and handled like a dream. In reality, however, it was also plagued with teething issues and was inexact in its construction standards. Brilliant at dodging trucks and exploding sidecars, but if one really had dived into the sea, it would have needed not only fins in its wheel wells but aqualungs in its glove box too. Remember that scene where Bond drops a fish out of the window as he drives up the beach? How did it get in to begin with? It probably came in through the panel gaps.
Citroen 2CV6 (For Your Eyes Only, 1981)
Lovers of the 2CV will see no fault in this flawless, thrilling icon of style and driving pleasure. Others would look at it as a yellow shed full of bullet holes (at least in this particular case), but for fans of inverse snobbery, the 2CV was actually a very clever and quite cool choice. Some would feel lukewarm about 2CVs and, thanks to handling that looked appalling but was actually closer to inspired, the car made an entirely credible anti-hero. Less credible was its ability to outrun a pack of bad guys in Peugeot 504s.
BMW Z3 (Goldeneye, 1995)
Had this been a Z3M coupé instead of the convertible, it would have been an excellent addition to Bond canon. Filmed before the car went on sale, the Goldeneye Z3 had a 1.9-litre four-cylinder engine and, while it was only on screen for a matter of seconds, that was long enough to show that those who chose Bond’s car at the time were far more interested in which company paid the most rather than which car would best suit Britain's intrepid civil servant.
Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another Day, 2002)
While this movie is considered by Bond fans to be one of the weakest of the lot, the car chosen by the secret agent was perfect Bond fodder. Take away the preposterous invisible cloaking and the Vanquish was different from other Aston Martins in Bond movies. It was fast, loud and beautifully balanced and a touch intimidating too. The fact that it’s truly flawed [...]
The all-new Mahindra XUV300 has generated a lot of buzz recently for its class-leading features and design. The compact SUV is set to be launched in the first week of February 2019 and few dealers have commenced bookings before the launch.
We spoke to a few dealers in Pune city and Gujarat who are now accepting bookings unofficially for an amount of Rs 11,000 (Rs 10,000 in Mumbai) which can be refunded. Deliveries are expected to commence by mid-February 2019.
The XUV300 will come with a 123hp 1.5-litre diesel and a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine, both mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The XUV300 is likely to be priced around Rs 7.5 lakh going upto Rs 12 lakh for the top-spec W8 variant that will also come with a sunroof.
Mahindra XUV300 detailed in new images
Mahindra S210 electric SUV confirmed for mid-2020 launch
Mahindra XUV300 revealed before February 2019 launch [...]
Tata Motors will launch its much-awaited Harrier SUV on January 23, 2019. The Harrier will be positioned as Tata’s contender in the ever-growing mid-size SUV segment that also includes the Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass. The SUV will be launched with a 2.0-litre 140 hp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. A diesel-automatic variant will join the line-up later in the year. The Harrier is 4,598mm long, 1,894mm wide and 1,706mm high and comes with a 2,741mm long wheelbase.
The Harrier will come with a Land Rover-like Terrain Response controller with multiple modes (Normal, Wet and Rough) for the ESP system. Additionally the model will also come with Tata’s Multi Drive 2.0 that comprises of Eco, City and Sport modes.
On the features front, Tata will equip the Harrier with plenty of goodies, including a unique twin-screen setup. The 8.8-inch infotainment display and the 7.0-inch digital MID will share info and both screens will be able to display information such as turn-by-turn navigation, music and other infotainment data. Also part of the package will be a JBL sound system, a cooled storage space under the front centre armrest and puddle lamps.
On the safety front, fully-loaded versions of the SUV will come with six airbags, ABS with EBD, corner stability control, hill-hold and hill descent control, a roll-over mitigation system and hydraulic brake assist. It also gets Isofix child seat mounts at the rear. In all, there will be four trims on offer – XE, XM, XT and XZ.
Bookings for the Harrier began some time back and the company is currently conducting roadshows at various parts of the country. Deliveries for the Harrier are expected to by end of January.
2019 Tata Harrier review, test drive [...]
Having launched the current Superb back in 2015, Skoda has now started testing a facelift for its range-topping sedan with a global debut likely sometime next year.
The test mule spied is the estate derivative – Skoda’s Superb Combi – and featured minor changes to the front and rear of the sedan, along with revised headlamps and tail-lights. The headlights now feature LED units compared to the current cars Bi-Xenon projector units. The rear looks more or less unchanged, though the LED tail-lamps have been reprofiled. Other changes are likely to include new design alloy wheels.
There are no details about the interior, though one could expect revised materials, a larger infotainment system and the addition of more tech.
Under the hood, the Supeb facelift is expected to receive a new hybrid powertrain pairing a 156hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol motor with a 115hp electric motor. The powertrains currently on offer are expected to be carried forward.
There is no news on when the facelift will come to India. With its rivals, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, featuring hybrid powertrains, Skoda could offer the Superb Hybrid in India to better compete in the segment.
Improving service is priority for us: Skoda Auto India head
Skoda Octavia gets Virtual Cockpit in India
2018 Skoda Superb Sportline launched at Rs 28.99 lakh
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SUVs are the toast of the automobile industry these days. Even Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Lamborghini now each make one, and while fastbacks and notchbacks may be the norm today, it’s hard to ignore wagons if you’re a classic or modern classic car enthusiast.
Just as each of us have a certain liking towards particular body styles, sometimes, wagons on classic cars can be more appealing than sedans. In fact, long before the world caught the modern soft-roader SUV mania, almost every major manufacturer made wagons.
I like all kinds of estates – right from the classic Peugeot 504 to the supercar-rivalling Audi RS6.
A friend of mine recently bought a Mercedes-Benz W123 wagon with a huge tow hook fitted, and I think it looks absolutely cool! In fact, if you ask me, the estate body style actually goes better with the character of a W123 workhorse than a sedan.
For some reason, estates never did well in India, despite worthy efforts from some of the biggest players in our market namely Fiat, Tata Motors and even Maruti who failed to crack the formula.
Strangely though, estate body styles on classics and modern classic cars seem to be holding their values much higher than those of sedans and it is not hard to see why.
Firstly, rarity aside, I think wagons look great and have a sense of occasion that is missing in their sedan counterparts. Of course, they are more practical than sedans, even though you may not be too concerned with practicality when it comes to your hobby car. Yet, those Sunday morning drives with your family, and long weekend trips are way more fun in an estate.
Even Indian heritage classic cars in estate forms are getting extremely sought after. For example, prices demanded for the Hindustan Landmaster Traveller can be double than that of the regular sedan considering the dearth of these cars on sale in India. Even finding a nice example of a Sienna Weekend, Baleno Altura, or even a first-gen Skoda Octavia Wagon is getting difficult. I particularly liked the floating roof design on the Baleno Altura.
Another thing I like about classic and modern classic car estates is that they look even more appealing when fitted with period correct accessories like a caravan tow hook, luggage rails, and hey, you can even carry a small dinghy on the roof. Isn’t that awesome?
The old cube-shaped rather gawky-looking wagons may have fallen out of favour back in the day, and yet their distinct characters make them all the more appealing as classic cars today.
The next time you come across a wagon in a classic car classified, don’t think twice about the premium they demand. [...]
A few days ago, Mahindra announced the name of its newest compact SUV, the XUV300. The model will hit showrooms sometime in February next year. While Mahindra had shown the SUV in studio images, new images of the car online share a few additional details.
As per the images, the sub-four-meter XUV300 compact SUV will share variant nomenclatures with its larger sibling the XUV500 with the top end will be badged W8.
From the images, the equipment on offer on the W8 trim includes projector headlamps, diamond cut alloy wheels, fog lamps, roof rails, four-wheel disc brakes, rear wash wiper, roof-mounted spoiler and a floating roof design. Interestingly the headlamps feature L shaped LED daytime running lamps which extend partway to the fog-lamps.
While we have also seen the interior of the SUV in studio images of the dashboard, the pictures reveal that the rear bench will offer adjustable rear headrests with a dedicated centre headrest for the third passenger. There also seems to be a rear centre armrest as well.
The XUV300 will come with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder 123hp diesel from the Marazzo along with a 1.2-litre turbo petrol. Both engines will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox for now with the automatic variants joining the line-up a little later. The XUV300 will be positioned at the higher end of the sub-four-meter compact SUV segment in the Indian market.
Two new UM motorcycles, from completely different segments (dual-sport and cruiser), have been spotted in India. The bikes appear to be the Hypersport and a new variant of the Renegade. This is the second time the dual-sport motorcycle has been spotted in India; the first time was back in June 2018.
UM have multiple models in the dual-sport segment globally, but the only one with alloy wheels is the Hypersport, which is the model that has been spotted. This version of the Renegade, on the other hand, has been spotted for the first time and features a new alloy wheel pattern and minor styling tweaks compared to the Renegade Sport S already on sale in India.
The Hypersport is available in international markets with three different motors – 150cc, 199cc and 223cc. If it does make its way to the Indian market, we believe it will get the 223cc motor that we have seen on other UM offerings. This single-cylinder engine makes 17hp at 8,000rpm and 17Nm of torque at 5,000rpm on the Duty range.
Similarly, we expect the upcoming Renegade variant to feature the 279.5cc, single-cylinder that is also found on other UM bikes in India. It makes 25.1hp at 8,500rpm and 23Nm of torque at 7,000rpm on the Commando range and the Renegade Sport S.
While UM had launched the Renegade Duty S and Duty Ace in India at the Auto Expo 2018, these bikes still don’t appear on the manufacturer’s website.
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Earlier this month the Bloodhound SSC land speed record project was cancelled as it was unable to find adequate funding after it entered administration in October 2018. The project needed £25 million (around Rs 229 crore) in order to achieve its goal of reaching its 1,000mph (1,600kph) target, thereby setting the new land speed record. The project was initiated back in 2007 by previous land speed record holder Richard Nobel and current title holder Andy Green.
The administrators have been able to find a new investor who has bought the project and all the assets. This investor is Ian Warhurst, who owned Barnsley-based turbocharger firm Melett from 2002 until he sold it to US firm Wabtec late in 2017. He will staying on as managing director. He has been featured in Management Today’s list of Britain’s top 100 entrepreneurs.
The administrators are pleased to have secured an investor who will be capable of seeing the project through. They have also stated that Ian Warhurst will outline his plan for the project in early 2019. [...]
Concerning all orders made by the Government of India for new vehicles, the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises has said that preference will be given to made-in-India vehicles and parts. The ministry has said as much in a notification it released.
In this bid to encourage OEMs and component makers to domestically manufacture vehicles and components, the government body has stated that for procurement, a minimum localisation of 65 percent and 60 percent for ICE vehicles and components, respectively, will be necessary for it to qualify as being domestically manufactured.
The ministry has said that there is sufficient local capacity and local competition. It notified, "Where the estimated value of procurement is Rs 50 lakh or less, then only local suppliers shall be eligible, subject to meeting minimum local content. This would be applicable for procurement of 2Ws, PVs, 3Ws and CVs alike."
This government notification is now in immediate effect and will be reviewed after March 31, 2019. [...]
The past few years have seen Italian brand, Ducati, make headlines for more than just their high performance motorcycles. Numerous rumours about Ducati being sold by its German parent, the Volkswagen Group, have been circulating. Last year, brands like Royal Enfield, Bajaj and Harley Davidson were rumoured to be in talks to acquire the brand.
The VW Group boasts of an automotive empire that includes Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini, Scania, Man Trucks, VW Commercial Vehicles, and the Volkswagen brand itself, apart from Ducati. There has been no shortage of speculation that the Volkswagen AG are looking to streamline their production and focus on cars, especially electric vehicles. The Dieselgate scandal put these plans into overdrive. Earlier attempts at selling the Italian marque had ended by the labour union voting against it.
This time however, things are different. It’s not someone at the VW Group bringing up the issue of parting ways with the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer. KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer, in an interview with German publication Speedweek, said that he is looking to acquire Ducati.
According to Pierer, while KTM’s partner brand Bajaj Auto is looking to add another motorcycle brand to the portfolio and is eyeing Triumph, he is dead-set on Ducati. “I have an emotional relationship with Ducati. Ducati is Ducati, there’s nothing to shake about that. The only brand that would fit us is Ducati. Everything else you can forget.”
Bajaj, last year entered into a non-equity partnership with Triumph Motorcycles to develop mid-capacity bikes. While we’re yet to see a product from that alliance, it will be interesting to see what the probable KTM-Ducati acquisition would mean, and whether the brands will share technology with each other.
Pierer also told the German publication that he aims to bring KTM (and associated brands) into the position of third largest motorcycle manufacturer, behind Honda and Yamaha.
KTM acquired rival brand Husqvarna back in 2013 and have been very involved in their technology. Some KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles today, share the same engines and chassis. This leads us to wonder how much of an involvement KTM will have in the Desmo lineup if the deal were to go through. Only time will tell.
The price gap between diesel and petrol cars is expected to widen greatly post 2020 as the high cost of upgrading diesels to meet BS-VI norms will make them considerably more expensive. The price gap between a petrol and diesel car is expected to surge by Rs 1.5 lakh, over and above the Rs 1 lakh it is at currently. This will drive total price difference up to Rs 2.5 lakh, according to CV Raman, senior executive director (engineering), Maruti Suzuki.
“The cost equation is definitely going to change. Diesel is going to be at least Rs 2-2.5 lakh higher than a BS-VI petrol. Moreover, the sentiment is not very good on diesel. Now whether the customer will make that switchover is uncertain,” he said.
“We are doing Euro-V and Euro-VI (BS-V and -VI) all together, so we need to put a DPF (diesel particulate filter) as well as SCR (selective catalytic reduction) and LNT (Lean NOx trap). So you have to control PM and NoX both at the same time. Normally we'd go from one stage to another but in a step by step manner but here, the entire cost will happen at the same time,” Raman added.
Maruti is not only looking at improving its internal combustion engines by hybridising them – essentially by introducing SHVS-like systems – but is also seriously considering stronger hybrids. The carmaker is said to be working closely with Bosch for its electrification strategy and will seek to localise a high percentage of its components. With years of experience in India, Bosch could be capable of offering a localisation strategy tailored to suit the Indian carmaker's needs.
Interestingly, the gains in fuel economy from a hybrid are about 30 percent and for a diesel, they are about 25 percent. So hybrids are definitely a better solution in terms of fuel efficiency and even meeting the Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) norms, but the high costs could be a challenge for Maruti.
“Obviously, hybrid is going to cost money because you’ve got to put in a motor, electronics and a strong hybrid means the battery pack will have to be bigger. So there's a high cost involved, but we are trying to manage it,” Raman said, adding that a petrol-hybrid will cost even more than a BS-VI-compliant diesel.
So while the high cost of upgrading a diesel engine to meet the BS-VI emission standard could impact Maruti's powertrain strategy for its models, there is a possibility that they could push for CNG rather than diesel in smaller cars.
In fact, demand for CNG models is said to have grown by over 50 percent in the past few months so it's no surprise that Maruti feels CNG could be a better bet.
Maruti Suzuki to cease BS-IV production from January 2020
Classic Maruti Day celebrates 35 years of Maruti Suzuki
Maruti Suzuki sells 5 lakh CNG-equipped vehicles
All-new Maruti Suzuki Wagon R leaked ahead of 2019 launch [...]
While Mahindra was expected to bring out its new compact SUV in 2018, the sub-four-metre model’s launch was delayed and will now be the brand’s first new model of 2019. Mahindra’s rival to the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport – which has been known by its internal codename S201 for a long time – is expected to hit showrooms in January 2019. Here’s what we know so far about the new SUV:
It is Mahindra’s fourth compact SUV
Mahindra has brought out sub-four-metre SUVs in the past in the form of the Quanto, NuvoSport and the TUV300. While the aforementioned models are built on ladder frame chassis, the S201 will be Mahindra’s first monocoque-bodied sub 4m SUV. For reference, the S201’s closest rivals – the Vitara Brezza, Nexon and EcoSport – are also monocoque-bodied models.
Shares its platform with the SsangYong Tivoli
Mahindra is leveraging its Korean brand’s SsangYong’s expertise in the new compact SUV. However, while it may seem like the Mahindra S201 is a rebadged (and shortened) SsangYong Tivoli, Mahindra has changed a number of aspects to better appeal to the Indian market. The S201 borrows styling cues from the XUV500 and as a result, looks more rugged than its Korean counterpart. Mahindra has also revised the suspension set-up to suit Indian roads, which has resulted in more ground clearance.
It will be the most powerful in its class
The S201 is expected to launch with the same 1.5-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox that made their debut on the Mahindra Marazzo. In the MPV, the motor makes 123hp and 300Nm of peak torque. If it comes in the same state of tune, Mahindra’s compact SUV will outpower diesel version of the Tata Nexon (110hp/260Nm), Maruti Suzuki’s Vitara Brezza (90hp/200Nm) and the Ford EcoSport (100hp/205Nm).
Mahindra will also debut a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine on the S201 at a later undisclosed date. In its naturally aspirated form, the 1.2-litre petrol motor is found under the hood of the KUV100 NXT and makes 83hp and 115Nm of torque. While the Maruti is only offered with a diesel motor, the Tata gets a 110hp/170Nm, 1.2-litre turbo-petrol mill while the Ford has two petrol options – a 123hp/150Nm, 1.5-litre motor and a 125hp/170Nm, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine.
The brand has also revealed that an all-electric version of the S201 will arrive in the first half of 2020.
It will get segment-first features
Unlike its previous compact SUVs that have a more utilitarian image, Mahindra’s new model will be more premium. This is underlined by the fact that it will come with a few segment-first features and creature comforts. In terms of safety kit, it’ll be the first in its segment to come with four disc brakes and seven airbags. Other safety equipment is likely to include ABS, ESP and rear parking sensors. Premium quality bits in the cabin are expected to be carried over from the Tivoli and the features list is expected to include a large touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control and dual-zone climate control. A sunroof is also expected to be offered on top-spec trims.
The outside of the S201 will also be decidedly upmarket, with features such as full-LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lamps and large, 17-inch alloy wheels will be available on higher-spec models.
It will rival more than just compact SUVs
Seeing as Mahindra is positioning the S201 as a premium offering, it position in the market will be similar to that of Ford's EcoSport – a compact SUV that is at par (in terms of features and price) with bigger rivals. This means that rivals to the S201 will include the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza (Rs 7.58-10.55 lakh), the Tata Nexon (Rs 6.23-10.67 lakh), the Ford EcoSport (Rs 7.82-11.89 lakh), the Maruti Suzuki S-cross (Rs 8.85-11.45 lakh) and the Hyundai Creta (Rs 9.50-15.10 lakh).
(All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi)
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Rally ace Gaurav Gill secured his sixth Indian National Rally Championship (INRC) title after winning the Popular Rally in Kerala – the fifth and final round of the 2018 MRF FMSCI INRC.
Driving for Mahindra Adventure, Gill along with his co-driver Musa Sherif was initially 3rd in the overall standings after the 2018 Coffee Day India Rally, having suffered retirements in Arunachal and Chikkamagaluru. But with the new N1 rule allowing drivers to drop their lowest scores, he entered the final round on top of the standings, albeit just one point ahead of his teammate Amittrajit Ghosh.
After starting off more cautiously and finishing the first two stages in 2nd place, Gill quickly got a feel of the terrain and went on to take a commanding victory after winning seven stages.
“It was a difficult year for us, especially towards the end, due to mechanical issues which were beyond our control,” said Gill. “Kochi was the most difficult, with narrow roads which were fast and had broken tarmac, too. We had to push extra hard to stay ahead of the others.”
Amittrajit Ghosh and co-driver Ashwin Naik completed the rally in 5th place, handing them enough points to secure 2nd place in the overall standings.
“It was a great year for us compared to last season,” said Ghosh. “The championship just gets more and more competitive, which is great for the sport. The beginning of the season was really good but we hit issues from Chikmagalur and were really hit by the lack of pre-event testing and wrong set up choices in Kochi.”
Behind Gill, Race Concepts Motorsport’s Younus Ilyas took 2nd place in the Popular Rally, followed by Arka Motorsports’ Karna Kadur, who had already wrapped up the INRC 2 title in the previous round. Meanwhile, Dean Mascarenhas took top honours in the INRC 3 category, driving for Chettinad Racing. [...]
The Bajaj V15 has got a significant update for 2019, and is now called the V15 Power Up. The motorcycle is powered by an updated version of the 149.5cc engine found on the older bike, but as the name suggests, it offers a little more power and torque.
The engine now produces 13hp at 8,000rpm and 13Nm of torque at 6,000rpm. This is an increase of 1hp and 0.3Nm over the older engine, which made 12hp at 7,500rpm and 12.7Nm at 5,500rpm. As with most updated Bajaj engines, we’re sure to see that this one also brings the added benefit of better refinement and smoother power delivery.
We have also learned that the Bajaj V15 Power Up gets a new gearbox shift pattern. The previous model had an all-up shift pattern, but the new one gets a sportier, one-down-four-up pattern.
Stylistically, the bike receives a new treatment for the graphics; while they are similar, the graphics are slightly larger. On closer inspection, you’ll find that the graphics are of a slightly different pattern along the top of the fuel tank and on the side quarter panels as well.
The upgrades do not come at a hiked price, and the V15 Power Up will continue to cost Rs 81,590 on-road in Pune.
The Bajaj V15 remains a rather unique proposition in the market. We expect to see the Power Up model with a single-channel ABS set-up in the near future, though it doesn’t appear to be available at the moment.
Bajaj V15 vs Hero Achiever 150 comparison [...]
Mahindra has begun road-testing the second-gen Thar. The first-gen Thar was launched back in 2010 and has been a popular choice in the Indian off-roading community.
We broke the news back in March 2017 about Mahindra starting work on the second-gen Thar. On the design front, the next-generation Thar could be styled internationally, with Mahindra tapping into the design expertise of its acquisitions such as the Italian car design firm, Pininfarina,and the Korean automobile manufacturer,SsangYong, apart from its own local design team.
“For every vehicle that Mahindra develops, we will seek three proposals for its design – one each from SsangYong, Pininfarina and from our team,” Pawan Goenka, managing director, Mahindra & Mahindra, had said to us back in 2017.
While the outgoing model was built with underpinnings from the Bolero and the previous-generation Scorpio, the new Thar is likely to sit on alatest-gen modular chassis. A pre-production test mule was recently spotted on the outskirts of Chennai, wearing a dummy first-gen Thar body butsporting new mechanicals along with a much longer and wider chassis.
The new Thar will be built with better quality materials on the inside and is expected to sport more creature comforts straight from the factory. The model will also be exported to multiple countries and is expected to come with a decent features list, including a touchscreen infotainment system. On the safety front, ABS, speed warning and dual airbags are likely to be standard equipment on the new Thar, along with crash-test compliance according to the upcoming norms that come into effect fromApril 2020.
As far as engines go, Mahindra is likely to use the latestiteration of the 2.2-litre mHawk engine.Itwill be tweaked for more refinement and BS-VI emission compliance –all coupled with robust four-wheel-drive gear. Expect to see more news trickle in on the next-gen Thar as testing continues.
Image source [...]
Growing electric two-wheeler manufacturing company Okinawa Scooters has started accepting bookings for its new i-Praise. The e-scooter can be pre-booked from any of Okinawa's authorised dealerships across India at the booking price of Rs 5,000.
The i-Praise comes with a detachable lithium-ion battery which allows users to charge at their own ease and convenience. Okinawa claims a successfully reduced charging time span of only 2-3hr. The company further claims a reduction in the overall weight of the e-scooter by up to 40 percent as compared to the Okinawa Praise, which is powered by a lead-acid battery. The claimed range of the vehicle is 160-180km on a single charge and said to have a top speed of 55-75kph.
“It gives us immense pleasure to announce the pre-booking of i-Praise #TheIntelligentScooter. We have channelized our engineering and manufacturing prowess to provide our users with a futuristic e-scooter that solves all their commuting woes,” said Jeetender Sharma, founder and managing director, Okinawa Scooters. “With the pre-bookings commencing from December 14 and only going on till the first 500 orders, we are looking forward to an affirmative response.”
Pre-booking of i-Praise began on December 14, 2018 across the 200+ pan-India authorised dealers of Okinawa Scooters. This round of pre-bookings is only open for the first 500 applicants and the delivery of the e-scooter would begin post the official launch of the i-Praise, slated for January, 2019. [...]
Jawa has officially opened its first showroom in the country. Located in Pune, the showroom was inaugurated in the presence of the men behind the Classic Legends group – Boman Irani, Anupam Thareja, and executives from Pune-based real estate firm, NSG Group, to which the showroom belongs. The NSG Jawa Autoriders showroom is located on the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway at Chinchwad.
The company had earlier announced that a number of dealerships (of over 100 dealerships planned for now) will begin operations and start accepting bookings for the new motorcycles from December 15. Of the three Jawa bikes unveiled for India, the Jawa (Rs 1.64 lakh) and the Jawa Forty Two (Rs 1.55 lakh) are available now, with the Perak (Rs 1.89 lakh) (all prices, ex-showroom India) expected to go on sale in late 2019. We recently got to ride and review the Jawa and the Forty Two in Rajasthan. Check out the complete story here or watch our video review.
We also recently wrote a story on what to expect in the new Jawa showrooms, and you can check it out for a more detailed look at what makes a Jawa showroom. Deliveries of the Jawa bikes are expected to go into full swing in the first quarter of 2019.
Jawa Classic gets two new paint shades
Jawa, Jawa Forty Two to make Mumbai debut today [...]
Hyundai Motorsport has confirmed that as part of a two-year deal, nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sébastien Loeb will join the team’s driver line-up. Next year, Loeb will compete in six rounds of the championship in an i20 Coupe WRC alongside long-time co-driver Daniel Elena, with the first of those outings being the season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo, next month.
This year, Loeb returned to the WRC for a three-round stint with Citroën; even taking victory at the Rally de España in October – his first since 2013.
“I am delighted to announce that Daniel and I will compete in six WRC events for Hyundai Motorsport in 2019,” he said. “Winning at Rally de España re-ignited my desire to continue competing at the very front of WRC. Joining Hyundai will give us a fresh challenge and one that I can’t wait to tackle. I have been impressed with the team’s approach and their determination to succeed.”
Commenting on the team’s latest signing, Team Principal Michel Nandan said, “Sébastien’s announcement is hugely important for our team and we are overjoyed that he has agreed a two-year contract. Sealing a deal with someone of his immense talent and calibre shows that we are an attractive and competitive proposition in the WRC.”
Additionally, Hyundai has confirmed that Dani Sordo has signed a one-year contract extension with the team and will participate in eight rounds in 2019, starting from Rally México. He will be joining Thierry Neuville and Andreas Mikkelsen, with the former confirmed for a full-time role.
While a statement from Hyundai Motorsport insists that it’s exploring options to continue Hayden Paddon’s involvement with the team, it seems unlikely that he’ll be part of the WRC next year.