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Gaurav Gill wins 2018 Dakshin Dare
The 10th edition of the Maruti Suzuki Dakshin Dare concluded in Goa, with Mahindra Adventure’s Gaurav Gill and navigator Musa Sherif clinching victory in dominant fashion. Gill set the pace from the opening stage itself, and went on to win all five legs and majority of the 15 Special Stages with an aggregate time of 6 hours 57.44 mins This marks Gill and Sherif’s second Dakshin Dare victory, with the pair having won the rally the last time they participated in it in 2012. “Even after all these years, I retain the same enthusiasm for rallying. I am motivated enough to give 200 per cent each time I drive,” said Gill. “We had a very good team and a great strategy that helped us last five tough days.” Gill’s Mahindra Adventure team-mate Philippos Matthai (with navigator PVS Moorthy) claimed second place overall, with a time of 7 hours 12 mins. Meanwhile, Team Maruti Suzuki’s Samrat Yadav (with navigator Karan Aukta) clinched the last podium spot. His team-mates, Sandeep Sharma and Suresh Rana, finished fourth and fifth respectively. In the bike category, Vishwas S.D claimed the overall title, making the most of early leader Yuva Kumar’s misfortune in the last Special Stage. Yuva, who was leading all the way from the start, saw his bike break down with just 15Km to go and by the time the damage was repaired, he lost 15 minutes. The setback dropped him to third place overall, with Vinay Prasad slotting into second place.   Results Cars: 1.       Gaurav Gill/ Musa Sharif – 6:57:44 2.       Phillippos Matthai / PVS Moorthy - 7:12:00 3.       Samrat Yadav / Karan Aukta - 7:21:10   Bikes 1.       Vishwas S.D 2.       Vinay Prasad 3.       Yuva Kumar [...]
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Five-year insurance rule: Updated Honda bike and scooter price list
The on-road prices for Honda’s two-wheelers have gone up considerably after the Supreme Court of India’s new ruling that has made five-year insurance mandatory on new vehicles. The on-road price for company’s and India’s most popular scooter, the Activa 5G (STD) has gone up to around Rs 68,600 from Rs 64,500. On the other hand, the on-road price for more-expensive models like the CBR 250R (ABS) has gone up by around Rs 8,000 from Rs 2.22 lakh to Rs 2.30 lakh. Here is a table of all of the updated prices: Modelon-road (old)on-road (new)Activa 5GRs 64,500Rs 68,657 - Rs Rs 70,766Activa-iRs 61,000Rs 64,639Activa 125Rs 70,700 - Rs 75,600Rs 75,504 - Rs 81,464DioRs 59,100 - Rs 64,700Rs 66,705 - Rs 68,965AviatorRs 62,500 - Rs 64,800Rs 70,457 - Rs 72,643CliqRs 55,300Rs 58,257 - Rs 58,825GraziaRs 68,700 - Rs 73,900Rs 75,497 - Rs 80,440NaviRs 48,800Rs 58,720CB Honet 160RRs 1,03,000 - Rs 1,12,000Rs 1,07,569 - Rs 1,16,617CB Unicorn 160Rs 87,300Rs 95,563 - Rs 98,332X Blade 160Rs 95,700Rs 1,00,585CB Unicorn 150Rs 82,600Rs 89,287CB Shine SPRs 72,500- Rs 79,000Rs 78,813 - Rs 83,779CB ShineRs 70,100 - Rs 72,400Rs 75,646 - Rs 78,932CBR 250RRs 1,89,600 - Rs 2,22,600Rs 1,96,814 - Rs 2,30,206Dream YugaRs 62,900Rs 68,773Dream NeoRs 56,800 - Rs 59,800Rs 65,683 - Rs 66,011CD DreamRs 55,000 - Rs 56,800Rs 63,178 - Rs 63,505LivoRs 65,200 - Rs 67,600Rs 72,367 - Rs 75,051 [...]
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Jeep Compass Limited Plus launch next month
Jeep India is all set to add more variants to its popular Compass line-up. The company currently sells the Compass in 10 variants  available in two engine and two gearbox options. Jeep is readying the Compass Limited Plus variant for an India launch, which is likely to be introduced sometime around Dusshera (October 19, 2018, Friday). These exclusive spy shots give us a hint on what to expect from the Jeep Compass Limited Plus trim.   First up, the upcoming top-end variant will see the addition of a panoramic sunroof, something which is quite sought after these days as far as Indian buyer preferences go. Additionally, this trim will come with a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 18-inch alloy wheels and eight-way power adjustable driver and front passenger seats.  On the safety front, dual-front, side and curtain airbags, and rain-sensing wipers are on offer as standard equipment on this variant. The Jeep Compass Limited Plus will be sold in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 173hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine will be available with the same six-speed manual gearbox, though there will not be a diesel-automatic on offer yet. The Limited Plus petrol trim will be sold with the same 163hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to an automatic gearbox. Expect the Compass Limited Plus to be priced at least about Rs 1.5 lakh more than the current top-spec Limited 4x4 (O) trim (Rs 21.94 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi) when it launches next month. Jeep will also introduce a Compass Black Pack edition, soon and is expected to launch the rugged Jeep Compass Trailhawk variant sometime in first half of 2019. Also see: 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk video review 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk review, test drive 2018 Jeep Compass long term review, second report 2017 Jeep Compass review, road test 2017 Jeep Compass petrol AT video review [...]
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Royal Enfield Rider Mania 2018 registrations open
Rider Mania is among the most popular motorcycle festivals held in our country and is definitely the most the popular annual event for Royal Enfield bike-owners. Royal Enfield proudly claims Rider Mania to be "the largest gathering of Royal Enfield enthusiasts in the world" that is "a melting pot of Royal Enfield owners and enthusiasts." This is a three-day motorcycle festival that includes various events like dirt-track racing, assembly wars and live music performances. This year’s event is taking place in Goa between November 16-18, 2018. "Many enthusiasts plan their riding calendar around Rider Mania as it’s the best place to meet old friends, make new ones, share stories and experiences and plan new adventures.” Registrations for the 2018 edition of Rider Mania have already started on Royal Enfield’s official website. If you register in September, it will cost Rs 2,000. This amount will go up to Rs 2,500 if you register in the month of October and Rs 3,000 if you register during November 1-11. Last year, Royal Enfield surprised the crowd with a showcase – the Indian debut of the company’s new Interceptor and Continental GT 650. We are expecting Royal Enfield to up the ante this time around and showcase custom bikes built around the 650cc, twin-cylinder bike. The manufacturer could even bring down its land-speed-record-setting custom creation, which according to RE has managed to clock 241.4kph at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States of America. Also see: Royal Enfield Himalayan ABS priced from Rs 1.79 lakh Vimal Sumbly joins Royal Enfield as Head, Asia Pacific Dakar Rally-inspired Royal Enfield Himalayan showcased [...]
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Mahindra Marazzo platform could spawn more body styles
The Marazzo MPV marks many firsts for Mahindra. In fact, Mahindra has filed as many as 33 patents on the vehicle. Chief among the innovations is the Marazzo’s ladder frame and monocoque hybrid chassis with the unique element being the transverse positioning of the engine. Mahindra says the platform is modular and can support a full range of body styles.   Speaking exclusively to our sister publication Autocar Professional, Rajan Wadhera President, Automotive Sector, Mahindra & Mahindra said, “The platform can take a seven to eight seater product, be it a crossover or a blue-blooded SUV. It can be scaled up or even down to a compact segment car.” Wadhera went on to say, “The lines between a car, hatchback, SUV or MPV are very blurred these days and not as deep as they used to be. Customers are now willing to change over which is why you see a lot of them moving from hatchbacks to SUVs.” Depending on demand for certain types of body styles, Mahindra could potentially use the scalable U321 platform to develop a number of new models. Powertrain options should be common between the platform siblings as well. The Marazzo’s new 1.5-litre diesel engine could be the engine of choice on new models spun off the platform, though more petrol and diesel engines are in the works as well. The Marazzo’s 123hp, 1.5-litre engine will next find use on the S201 compact SUV that is scheduled to go on sale within 2018.  S201 aside, Mahindra is also set to launch its version of the SsangYong Rexton which is expected to be launched in the run up to Diwali this year. Also see: Mahindra Marazzo to get customisation packages 2018 Mahindra Marazzo vs rivals: Specifications comparison 2018 Mahindra Marazzo video review 2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, test drive 2018 Mahindra Marazzo image gallery In conversation with Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, M&M video [...]
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2022 Audi R8 to be all-electric supercar
In 2022, Audi will reinvent the R8 as an electric supercar, in a move that will mark the end of the use of V10 engines by the carmaker. V10s have been a staple for Audi, having been used in some of their most exciting performance models over the past few decades. The adoption of the all-electric drivetrain for the third-gen range-topping supercar highlights the rise of electric power and, as a corollary, the end of big, high-revving, normally aspirated engines sans electrical assistance. Audi is also winding down the use of V8 engines. The latest RS4 and RS5 models have switched to downsized turbo V6s. The bigger V8s are seen in only the most potent models – in the A6, A7 and A8 ranges, as well as the bruising SQ7 SUV. Audi created a limited-run R8 E-tron in 2015 as its first step towards electrified performance cars. Senior company sources have hinted that the brand plans to go one step further with the third-generation model by launching is solely as an electric car – a radically different proposition from today’s model. The 2022 model will likely take inspiration from the PB18 e-tron concept, which was revealed at this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The 775hp, triple-motor concept uses a shooting brake-like rear-end for greater interior space and improved day-to-day usability than the current R8. However, performance is still paramount. Audi has theorised a top speed above 300kph, and a 0-100kph time of "scarcely more than 2sec". The R8 was a hit at its launch in 2006 as a stunning range-topping supercar to crown Audi’s huge model expansion; but in 2015, the second-generation R8 did not have the same success. In fact, it was understood that Audi had shelved plans to launch a third-generation R8 after the relative disappointment of the current model. However, the push towards creating a whole range of all-electric models for its E-tron stable led Audi to reconsider its position. As an electric vehicle developed with pure performance intent, the third-gen R8 could feature some of the most impressive figures. With four-wheel drive, instant torque from its electric motors and an output of perhaps as much as 1,014hp, the 2022 electric performance car is likely to have a 0-100kph time of about 2sec. To link the R8 with the E-tron badge to be adopted by all electrified Audis, the car is likely to use the name R8 E-tron again. The first electric Audi will be revealed in September and will simply be called E-tron. This will be a sporty Q5-sized vehicle (known as the Q6 E-tron at one point in its development). Before the next R8 is launched in 2022, the E-tron Sportback will make an appearance. The Sportback would be a rakish sibling to the E-tron. This will be followed by the E-tron GT – a model developed by the firm’s Audi Sport performance division. The 2022 R8 will enter a very different-looking supercar segment as electrification takes hold. McLaren, Ferrari and Porsche are all set to have hybrid technology in production by then, and the current R8’s sister car, the Lamborghini Huracán, will most likely be replaced by a model sporting an updated version of the existing platform, modified to accommodate a hybrid system with a V10 engine. Audi plans to sell 8 lakh electrified models by 2025. As a result, it is positioning itself as a leader in electric cars. This move is in response to emissions regulations in all major global markets growing even stricter. Another reason is the opportunity presented by such vehicles – particularly in China, the world’s largest car market, that aims to establish itself as the global forerunner for electric cars. [...]
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Tesla to show new model next week at Grand Basel show
Tesla is ready to unveil its new model at next week's Grand Basel motor show. An invite was sent to Tesla car owners, which reveals a part of the car's side profile. The eco-friendly news portal Electrek showed the aforementioned preview image and accompanying text. As expected, the image gave little of the car's identity away. However, the profile makes the car out to be lower and sleeker than any of Tesla's models so far – sedans or SUV, alike. The Model X is the current flagship of the range. Since no further luxury models are planned in the near future, the possibility of this Basel-bound mystery car being a limousine-like flagship is slim. Also, given that the theme of the show is "automotive masterpieces", the brand's long-awaited flagship Roadster model is the most likely model to be revealed when doors open at the Swiss car event, next week. The Roadster's full styling was revealed last year and the production version is expected to remain true to the prototype's look. After the reveal of the Roadster concept, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the new Roadster will be a "base model"; so faster iterations of the new Roadster should be due. On the weekend following the Roadster concept's surprise reveal, the company boss took to Twitter and said that the successor to Tesla's first production car will be offered with a special upgrade package. Musk did, however, hint that producing a faster version of a car that is already claimed to be capable of accelerating from 0-97kph in 1.9sec may prove to be a cause for safety concerns. "[An upgrade is] just a question of safety," he said. "Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities." The 2+2 sports car was a surprise debutante during the launch event for the new Tesla Semi lorry in California. Musk also announced that the roadster produces 10,000Nm of torque from its three motors. It can hit 97kph half-a-second quicker than the current fastest-accelerating Tesla – the Model S P100D. He said the successor to Tesla’s first production car, which went off sale six years ago, can also accelerate from zero to 160kph in 4.2sec and complete a quarter-mile sprint in 8.9sec. "This will the first time that any production car has broken nine seconds in the quarter mile," he said at the reveal event, where the Roadster was driven out of the Semi’s trailer without prior warning. The numbers also claimed that the Roadster, which has a removable glass lid and wraparound rear section to give it a look similar to the Mazda MX-5 RF, will have a top speed of more than 402.3kph. Musk revealed that the car’s 200kWh battery pack enables it to have a 998km range, which is another new record for production electric vehicles. According to the American EPA test, the previous highest-capacity battery produced by Tesla is the 100kWh pack with a maximum range of 883.2km in the Model S P100D. Like the rest of Tesla’s range, the Roadster will be equipped with the brand’s latest autonomous driving technology. Since the last quarter of 2016, all Tesla cars have been equipped with eight surround cameras to provide 360-degree visibility around the car up to 250 metres away. There are also 12 ultrasonic sensors, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects, as well as a forward-facing radar to through heavy rain, fog, dust and even underneath the car ahead. The Roadster will be updateable via over-the-air software, meaning the performance, autonomous features and safety systems may be boosted even after a car has been purchased. Recent examples of Tesla updates have enabled quicker 0-97kph times and enhanced Autopilot functionality. The Tesla Roadster is pegged to arrive on roads in 2020 and will be rivalled by the McLaren electric supercar, Lamborghini Terzo Millennio concept and the Rimac C_Two in the UK. [...]
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Jeep's Vitara Brezza rival confirmed for 2020
Jeep made headlines earlier this year when it confirmed development of a new sub-four-metre SUV in its five-year plan announcement. Kevin Flynn, managing director, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India, has now stated that the model in question will be launched in India in 2020. Flynn spoke of the compact SUV in an interview with Business Standard. The compact SUV will be the smallest model to wear the Jeep badge and will become the de-facto entry point to the brand. In India, the model will compete with models like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport, aside from upcoming compact SUV models from Hyundai, Mahindra and Kia. Jeep officials have been vocal about any model with the Jeep badge being ‘true to DNA’ so you can expect the model to have a certain degree of off-road ability, as well. While it is more than likely the model will be built on a front-wheel-drive platform, it isn’t too speculative to think of an all-wheel-drive version in development as well. With no test mules having been spotted in the open, the design and styling is not known for the moment, but rest assured, the design will not veer too much from Jeep’s established look. As with the right-hand-drive Compass, FCA’s plant at Ranjangaon in Maharashtra could also serve as the mother plant for right-hand-drive versions of the Jeep compact SUV. What are your ideal specifications for the Jeep compact SUV? Let us know in the comments section below. Also see: Jeep Compass Black Pack coming soon   SOURCE [...]
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2018 Mahindra Marazzo vs rivals: Specifications comparison
Much has been said about its shark-themed name and design, and we've seen plenty of teasers, too. But now that the Mahindra's new MPV, the Marazzo, is out, it's time to place it next to its rivals-in-chief - the current-generation Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Toyota Innova Crysta - and see just what exactly does it have to offer, on paper. Dimensions We'd told you the Marazzo would slot in between the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta, and a glance at the spec sheet confirms the same. It easily dwarfs the Ertiga in terms of dimensions, but is still one size smaller than the full-size Innova Crysta. That said, of this trio, it is the Marazzo that is the widest, and at 2,760mm, has the longest wheelbase, too.  That translates into a good amount of interior space, but only a real-world comparison will establish how close the Marazzo gets to the Innova Crysta in this department. In terms of boot space, the Marazzo fits right in between the two - with all three rows up, you get 190 litres of luggage space, a shade more than the Ertiga's 185-litre boot, but notably smaller than the Innova Crysta's 300-litre boot. What's interesting to note is that the Marazzo's 45-litre fuel tank is the same size as the Ertiga's, down on the Innova Crysta's 55-litre tank. However, despite the Marazzo being closer to the Innova Crysta size-wise, its claimed turning radius, at 5.25 metres, is closer to the Ertiga's 5.2 metres than the Innova Crysta's 5.4 metres. DimensionsMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaLength4585mm4296mm4735mmWidth1866mm1695mm1830mmHeight1774mm1685mm1795mmWheelbase2760mm2740mm2750mmBoot space (All 3 rows up/3rd row folded/2nd & 3rd rows folded)190/ 680/1055 litres185/735/1800 litres300/NA/1800 litresFuel tank45 litres45 litres55 litres (diesel)/65 litres (petrol) Engine and gearbox The Marazzo finds an empty spot between the Ertiga and Innova in another department. Its 1.5-litre diesel engine is an all-new unit that produces 121hp and 300Nm of torque, which is a good deal more than the Ertiga diesel's 90hp and 200Nm, but is not as powerful as the Innova Crysta. The Innova is offered with two diesel engines - a 2.4-litre, 150hp, 343Nm unit, and a 2.8-litre, 174hp, 360Nm motor. There's not much in the way of choice with the Marazzo when it comes to transmissions, as there is just a six-speed manual on offer for now. The Ertiga and Innova Crysta are both also available in petrol guise, and can be had with an automatic - on the Ertiga, only with the petrol, and on the Innova Crysta with the petrol or the 2.8-litre diesel. PowertrainMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaFuelDieselDieselDiesel/DieselCylinders444Displacement1498cc1248cc2393cc/2755ccPower121hp90hp150hp/174hpTorque300Nm200Nm343/360NmTransmission6-speed manual5-speed manual5-speed manual/6-speed autoFuel efficiency17.3kpl17.5kpl15.10/14.29kpl Fuel efficiency Unsurprisingly, the Ertiga, being the smallest and lightest MPV here, is also the most efficient – by quite a margin. Claimed efficiency for the Ertiga is pegged at 24.52kpl for the diesel, 17.5kpl for the petrol manual and 17kpl for the petrol-auto. Impressively, the Marazzo, despite being significantly larger, mirrors the Ertiga’s fuel efficiency figure – Mahindra claims it’ll return 17.3kpl. Understandably, the Innova Crysta’s fuel efficiency figures are the lowest of the lot – the 2.4-litre diesel is claimed to run 15.10 kilometres to a litre, while the 2.8-litre diesel – available only with the six-speed automatic – has a claimed FE figure of 14.29kpl. Price Mahindra wants the Marazzo to fit into the wide gap that exists between the people's people-carrier and the premium MPV. Marazzo prices start at Rs 9.99 lakh and go all the way up to Rs 13.90 lakh. Given the features and specification, the Marazzo offers a lot of MPV for the money. The prices also neatly slot the Marazzo between the Ertiga diesel (Rs 8.78-10.69 lakh) and the Innova diesel (Rs 15.46-21.57 lakh). PricesMahindra MarazzoMaruti Suzuki ErtigaToyota Innova CrystaPetrolNARs 6.34-8.85 lakh Rs 14.34-20.26 lakhDieselRs 9.99-13.90 lakhRs 8.78-10.69 lakhRs 15.46-21.57 lakh *All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi *Mahindra Marazzo prices are ex-showroom, India Do you think Mahindra's approach to position the Marazzo between the Ertiga and the Innova Crysta will pay off handsomely? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. Also see: 2018 Mahindra Marazzo price, variants explained 2018 Mahindra Marazzo video review 2018 Mahindra Marazzo review, test drive 2018 Mahindra Marazzo image gallery [...]
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Aurus debuts with Russian presidential limousine
New Russian luxury car brand Aurus has launched its first models, the Senat and Senat Limousine, at the Moscow International Auto Show. The limo, described as offering ‘uncompromising level of ballistic and explosive protection’, will serve as Russia’s new state vehicle and was seen in this role at the fourth inauguration ceremony of Russian president Vladimir Putin earlier this year. The new brand, which is run by Russia’s Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engine Institute, known as NAMI, was developed at the behest of Putin, who felt it was important that Russia made its own presidential vehicles. The Senat Limousine uses a 4.4-litre V8 engine (jointly developed by NAMI and Porsche) aided by a hybrid electric motor to offer 598hp and can clock 0-100 kph in less than six seconds. The engine is mated to a nine-speed gearbox. Other engine options for the non-armoured Senat will include a 6.6-litre V12 with a staggering 859hp output! The Rolls-Royce-rivalling (in case you couldn’t already tell) Senat is 5630mm long, with a 3300mm wheelbase, rising to 6630mm and 4300mm respectively on the limo variant. Both cars will be built on a unified modular platform. The Senat will feature all-wheel drive and run on independent multi-link rear suspension with gas-filled shock absorbers. The interior has been focused on rear passengers, with rear seats that recline to 45 degrees and are equipped with custom designer pillows. There is also a built-in refrigerator with Aurus-branded crystal glasses and fold-out tables with leather trim. Along with the two Senat models, Aurus is also planning to develop a minivan called Arsenal and an SUV named Komendant. The model names are inspired by the Kremlin’s towers. Aurus models will go on sale in Russia in early 2019 and be offered in international markets as well. While Aurus is originally planning to produce 150 vehicles a year in 2019 and 2020, a new production facility will expand capacity to 5,000 by 2021, with the option to further increase volume to 10,000 vehicles if there is demand. [...]
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Volkswagen was in on bid to make Tesla private
A report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Volkswagen was one of the companies standing in line as a potential investor making a bid to take Tesla private, alongside private equity firm Silver Lake and a Saudi sovereign wealth fund. Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that the Silicon Valley Company will remain a publicly traded company after the deal fell through. It has not yet been made clear exactly why Musk changed his mind about taking Tesla private; but the WSJ report suggests that the CEO balked at the proposal of relinquishing further control of his company to secure the investment. The investment necessary to take Tesla private was estimated at around $30 billion. Volkswagen, was looking to make a substantial commitment for the same. The German car giant wouldn’t be the first carmaker to attempt to hold a stake in Tesla. Toyota and Daimler both invested in the EV start-up’s early years. Meanwhile, Elon Musk may be facing an investigation at the hands of the Securities and Exchange Commission after he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 (around Rs 29,000) per share and claiming that the funding to do so was “secure”. At that point, no board statement or regulatory filings had been made to confirm this. The attempted move by VW to invest in a major EV player such as Tesla could be seen as a quick way to gain a strong foothold in the EV market – a desire expressed by the automaker for VW's US operations and overall long-term strategy. Volkswagen is expected to launch “practically one new electric model per month” from 2022, according to a statement made by CEO Matthias Müller a few months ago. The VW ID hatchback will be the company’s first purpose-built EV and is due to launch in 2020. [...]
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Volkswagen T-Cross SUV interior sketch revealed
Volkswagen has released the first interior sketch of its upcoming T-Cross SUV. The company has been testing the new SUV in various parts of the world since some time now. As reported by us earlier, the official interior sketch confirms that the T-Cross SUV will indeed share a very similar dashboard and centre console design with the latest-gen Polo and Virtus sedan (both of which are not sold in India currently). The dashboard has a simple design with a large 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display taking centre stage. The SUV’s interior will also get an optional package which will allow buyers to select colour-coded bits for the dashboard and centre console. Additionally, a large 10.25-inch display will replace the traditional gauges, at least on the higher-spec variants of the T-Cross SUV. The T-Cross will be sold in two versions globally, a standard Euro-spec model and a slightly longer and more upright-designed version for emerging markets such as China, South America and India. The India-bound T-Cross will feature longer rear doors and more SUV-like rear styling as opposed to the sloping and rounded look on the European model. Apart from the interior bits, the model shares underpinnings with the Volkswagen Virtus sedan which sits on a modified variation of the MQB A0 architecture meant for emerging markets. The Volkswagen T-Cross SUV for emerging markets will see a world premiere at the upcoming Sao Paulo Motor show in November 2018. India will get a Skoda derivative based on the T-Cross first. The new Skoda SUV, also reported by us earlier, will share multiple body panels with the T-Cross but will have its own identity as it will take some styling cues from the Skoda Vision X SUV concept showcased earlier this year. Both SUVs will be powered a 1-litre, three-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine which is good for around 115hp. The VW T-Cross and its Skoda derivative will measure around 4.19m in its Indian spec and will take on the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur, the upcoming Tata Harrier and the Nissan Kicks when they hit our market from 2020 onwards. [...]
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In conversation with Anand Mahindra, executive chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra
Anand Mahindra, executive chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra speaks to us on the impact of the PF0 halo model on the Mahindra Group, the risk associated with the project and overcoming the steep learning curve. With the e2o on one end and PF0 on the other, you are straddling two extremes. How does this work in terms of Mahindra’s strategy? Can we see a middle ground? The landscape of future mobility is going to be a varied one. It is going to straddle the very low end, which will involve transport as a commodity where people get into small pods or EVs or autonomous cars to get from point A to point B. In the middle, will be cars that reflect the owner’s personality, their desire for recreation and for getting out on an open road. Then there will also be the very ultra-high end, where people buy cars because they are passionate about them, because they love speed and they love performance and they just love things of beauty. My goal is to see that Mahindra is represented in all of these three ends. We have electric cars such as the e2o, which is going to serve as commodity transport. We are already well represented in the lifestyle segment through our SUVs. But, we also wanted to be in the high end, where it is very difficult to create a heritage brand, which is why we invested in Pininfarina. With Pininfarina, we are bringing an incomplete story to life – the story of Batista Pininfarina who always wanted a Pininfarina-badged car. Moreover, this is not the only car that Automobili Pininfarina will make. It will never be a mass-market brand, but it will certainly come down to a point where there will be higher volume cars than the PF0. What effect will a halo model have on Mahindra & Mahindra? If we succeed with the Pininfarina brand, it will put a wonderful halo onto every kind of mobility that Mahindra does and this halo will trickle down as well. Pininfarina stands for innovation, purity and elegance. Those are qualities that I think can be transferred on to not just all the vehicles that Mahindra builds, but frankly to the entire Mahindra portfolio and to the brand. Pinifarina designs architecture, it designs boats, and we believe that if you want a business to be anti-fragile, things of beauty are what’ll bring you that resilience. No matter what happens in the world, no matter what technology enters into the building of products, things of beauty are always going to be of great appeal to consumers. We believe Pinifarina and its design DNA are going to help the entire portfolio of Mahindra companies and indeed the brand. Isn’t developing the PF0, which takes you to unknown territory, a big risk? Our group is now of a very substantial size, so this is not a risk that is an overly large one financially. But it is, of course, a risk to our reputation. If you don’t take such risks occasionally, you are never going to achieve anything of consequence. It’s the old philosophy of ‘No pain, no gain’. I think the largest risk I ever took was betting on the Scorpio many years ago. We spent Rs 600-700 crore, and I don’t think I have ever made a bet as big as that. So this risk is certainly not one I am very scared of. The interesting thing is that, ever since we got into EVs, I have constantly been asked on social media: “When are you going to make something to rival Tesla?” And after seeing the prototype, I think we have finally developed a cutting-edge product. What role will your Formula E racing team play? In Formula 1 racing, most of the technology never makes it into any of the cars that are driven. But there is going to be a race-to-road movement as far as Formula E is concerned. The beauty about the all-electric hypercar is that it is not isolated from the technology that comes from racing. So Mahindra Racing is going to be the bridge between Mahindra Group and Automobili Pininfarina. They will also pass on the technology to Mahindra Electric. The enormous development in batteries, motors and dynamics is going to be transferred seamlessly, not just to high-performance cars like the PF0, but also to much humbler electric vehicles such as our e2o. Automakers are facing a challenge of spreading resources between IC engines, autonomous and electric mobility. Is collaboration the way forward? Collaboration is certainly a way forward and as you know, Mahindra has been doing it for many years. We have collaborated with Ford, with Renault and are collaborating with Ford again. But in the last 20-30 years, with the advent of the internet, of start-ups and with the porosity of knowledge, it is far easier to be able to share knowledge than it was earlier. In the earlier days, individual companies developed their own proprietary knowledge and then kept it within their headquarters like a fortress; that’s not the case today. You know you can look up on the net and discover how to build a nuclear weapon. Building a car is mu [...]
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Mahindra Marazzo ready for September 3 launch
New, exclusive spy images of Mahindra’s Marazzo MPV, scheduled to launch in India on September 3, 2018, show various exterior and interior details for the first time. The spied model is the higher-spec M8 variant. The ‘shark-inspired’ grille takes a dominant position on the nose of the new Marazzo. The headlamps, which feature LEDs, are similar to those found on the XUV500, though the triangular fog lamp clusters (with LEDs) are unique. The large rear window gets a wiper and is bounded by a chrome strip at the bottom (below which is the housing for the number plate), which connects the C-shaped LED tail-lamps. The LED lights are only expected to be offered on the higher-spec trims; 17-inch black-finished alloy wheels are also on offer with this top-spec trim. The cabin area of the Marazzo M8 sees the introduction of a digital instrument cluster, a 7.0-inch (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible) touchscreen infotainment system mounted on the centre console and an automatic AC unit. The steering wheel has buttons for the infotainment system on the right and for cruise control on the left. The dashboard gets a dual-tone gloss black and beige finish. All three rows of the MPV, which will be available in seven- and eight-seat configurations, get roof-mounted AC vents. The Marazzo is powered by a new 1.5-litre diesel engine that makes 130hp and 300Nm of torque, and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, as the spy images show. Mahindra dealers have unofficially started accepting bookings for an amount of Rs 10,000. The MPV will rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (Rs 6.34-10.69 lakh) (the second-gen model is arriving soon) and the Toyota Innova Crysta (Rs 14.34-21.57 lakh), and will be priced between the two. All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi [...]
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2018 Royal Enfield Himalayan ABS bookings open
A few Royal Enfield dealers have begun accepting bookings for the upcoming ABS-equipped Himalayan. While most dealerships aren’t giving out exact prices yet, there are a few who are. A dealer we spoke to suggests that the Himalayan ABS will be priced at Rs 1.78 lakh and the Himalayan Sleet ABS will be priced at Rs 1.80 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom Mumbai). On-road costs for both, however, are expected to cross the Rs 2 lakh mark. These prices suggest that there is an increase of around Rs 10,000 over the non-ABS equipped Himalayan models. Even if this dealer claim is not 100 percent accurate, we believe a price hike in the range of Rs 10,000-12,000 is fair increment to expect – and actually quite competitive when compared to how much more Bajaj and TVS charge. Other than the addition of ABS, we expect the motorcycle to remain mechanically unchanged. It will continue to use the single-cylinder, fuel-injected 411cc motor that makes 24.8hp and 32Nm of torque. What remains to be seen however, is that if the Himalayan will be equipped with switchable-ABS (like the BMW G 310 GS), given that it is an entry-level ADV motorcycle. Back in November 2017, Royal Enfield updated its Himalayan to BS-IV specifications and also made some headway towards correcting the previous bike’s reputation for low reliability. The biggest change on the updated Himalayan was the fuel-injection system that replaced its carburettor; the company added this upgrade in order to meet BS-IV norms. The bike also underwent other small changes – like the addition of a small metal guard on the oil cooler, matte-black powder coating for the fuel tank's cap, bar-end weights and luggage-mounts below the rear seat. You can read our review of the 2017 Royal Enfield Himalayan here. Also see: Royal Enfield to make ABS standard across the range soon [...]
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PhotoGallery: 2018 Jeep Wrangler image gallery
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New cars and SUVs launched in 2018
Most carmakers in India, particularly the premium manufacturers, have been on a launching spree since 2018 began. While the 2018 Auto Expo saw its share of new car launches, the rest of the year hasn’t been slow either. The first launch of the year was a special edition Kwid and the most expensive one (so far) has been the Rolls-Royce Phantom. Additionally, Hyundai brought out the refreshed i20 (and then a CVT for the petrol version) while Datsun, Maruti and Tata have added a dash of convenience to their respective models with AMT-equipped variants. The month of May saw the largest number of launches so far in 2018, totaling 16. Here’s our comprehensive list of the launches so far this year. However, if you'd like to see which new cars are just around the corner, click here. AUGUST Renault Kwid facelift (Aug 1) Renault has launched the refreshed Kwid range in the Indian market. Prices for the 2018 Renault Kwid remain unchanged and start from Rs 2.66 lakh for the base 800cc variant, go up to Rs 4.59 lakh for the top-spec 1.0-litre Climber AMT trim. On the outside, the updated Kwid gets a new grille design with chrome trim on higher variants. The budget hatchback comes in six exterior paint shade options. Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) equipped rear seat belts now come as standard across the range while the top-spec Kwid RXT (O) comes with a reverse camera. AMT-equipped models get a creep function now. Also see: 2018 Renault Kwid 1.0 AMT review, test drive Honda City Edge edition (Aug 6) Honda has launched a special edition of its City sedan called the City Edge. Available in both, petrol and diesel guises, it is priced at Rs 9.75 lakh and Rs 11.10 lakh, respectively (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Honda City Edge edition is based on the SV variant which gets standard equipment like steering-mounted audio controls, climate control, rear AC vents, cruise control, a driver’s seat height adjust and power-folding wing mirrors. In addition to these features, the City Edge gets features like 15-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and a rear camera with the display located in the rear-view mirror.  Also see: 2018 Yaris vs Verna vs City vs Ciaz comparison 2018 Yaris vs Verna vs City video comparison Honda BR-V Style edition (Aug 6) A special edition BR-V, called the Style edition, has arrived, priced between Rs 10.44 lakh for the S MT petrol variant, and going up to Rs 13.74 lakh for the VX MT diesel trim. It is available on all variants and gets additional equipment like a front bumper guard, a tailgate spoiler, body-side mouldings and bumper protectors at the front and back. The Honda BR-V Style Edition is available with a 1.5-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. While the diesel engine is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox, the petrol motor also gets a CVT automatic option, along with standard manual transmission. Also see: 2017 Honda BR-V long term review, final report Honda WR-V Alive edition (Aug 6) In a bid to boost the appeal of its WR-V crossover, Honda has introduced a special edition with a bit more equipment that enhances the vehicle's safety and comfort. Offered on the base S trim of the WR-V, the Alive edition is priced at Rs 8.02 lakh for the petrol and Rs 9.11 lakh for the diesel. Both the versions are priced Rs 23,500 higher than the standard S variants. (All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi). Additional features on the WR-V Alive edition include 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, rear parking camera, rear parking sensors, premium steering wheel cover and seat cover with a special edition logo. Additionally, WR-V customers also get a one-month subscription to Honda Connect. The app offers features such as service bookings, insurance and PUC reminders, impact alerts and trip analysis. Moreover, Honda has also introduced a new exterior paint shade dubbed Radiant Red, which is also available across the entire range. Also see: Freestyle vs WR-V vs i20 Active: Specifications comparison 2017 Honda WR-V review, test drive BMW X1 sDrive20d M Sport (Aug 7) BMW has introduced a new variant to its X1 line-up, called the sDrive20d M Sport, and priced it at Rs 41.50 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The new trim slots below the top-spec X1 xDrive20d M Sport that is priced at Rs 44.50 lakh. While the new variant is nearly identical to the top-spec trim – inside, outside and in terms of safety kit – there is one crucial mechanical difference between the two. As the sDrive nameplate suggests, the new variant does not get BMW’s all-wheel-drive (AWD) system that’s available on the xDrive20d M Sport. Also see: 2018 Volvo XC40 vs BMW X1 vs Audi Q3 comparison video BMW X1 facelift spied testing Maruti Suzuki Swift Z+ AMT (Aug 8) Maruti Suzuki has now introduced AMT versions on the top-spec Swift. The petrol-AMT [...]
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Rimac reveals bespoke C_Two California
Rimac has revealed a one-off C_Two customer car ahead of its debut at Pebble Beach later this week. The C_Two California gets bright blue paint on the outside, plus holders for two six-litre bottles of champagne and two champagne flutes inside. Mechanically, it’s unchanged over the regular C_Two. The blue paint scheme is new for the Rimac and car also gets a new set of wheels. The C_Two accelerates from 0-96kph in 1.85sec and from 0-160kph in 4.3sec. Its 120kWh battery allows a range of 650km on the NEDC cycle, while power output is claimed to be 1914hp and torque 2300Nm. A 415kph top speed is also claimed. Almost all 150 units in its production run sold out in the three weeks after the car’s official debut at the Geneva motor show earlier this year. Each car costs around £1.5 million (about Rs 13.5 crore), although Rimac sales boss Kreso Coric revealed to Autocar that buyers add an average of £450,000 (Rs 4.06 crore) of options to their car. The California buyer's champagne additions will have been a part of this. [...]
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Dyson trademarks Digital Motor for automotive use
Dyson’s road car project has taken a step closer to production following the appliance company's trademarking of the ‘Digital Motor’ terminology for automotive use. The trademark, filed recently and for the European market, applies to both cars and non-road-going machines, although the use of the trademark in an automotive context is a first for the company. It's first car is due next year, and the brand also wants to grow its EV programme workforce by 300 people in a bid to ramp up the pace of development before the vehicle reaches the market. The British brand, a leader in vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, already has 400 employees focused on the project, but is now "looking to fill an additional 300 automotive vacancies" as it moves into a new location at Hullavington Airfield, a 750-acre campus that will be Dyson’s second research and development site in Britain. The EV project has been working to produce three EV models for more than three years now. Its first car will be a low-volume model produced in fewer than 10,000 units. Company founder, Sir James Dyson, said this model will carry a premium price tag but will not be a sports car. Dyson will use its low volume first model development and production period to establish relationships with suppliers, so that when it focuses on future models, which will include mass produced cars, it will already be an established manufacturer. It plans to produce two mass produced EV models after its low-volume debutant. If all goes well, the brand then intends to continue developing electric cars into the future. Dyson is working to produce its cars with solid-state battery technology. This advanced battery chemistry, which uses higher energy density cells that are quicker to charge and store more energy than current liquid cells, is predicted to make it to market in time for the brand's second car, possibly at the start of the next decade. This would place Dyson at the front of the race to bring solid-state batteries to market. Of the existing car makers, Toyota has been most vocal about its plans to introduce the technology within the coming decade. A BMW spokesman recently claimed that the company is also making fast progress, while Porsche has hinted that solid-state EVs are in its product plans. Dyson's solid-state development appeared to take a hit when its battery expert, Ann Marie Sastry, left the company in late 2017. Dyson told Autocar that it doesn't "get into specifics on personnel matters" when questioned on the matter. The brand is also invested in artificial intelligence technology along with a long list of other cutting-edge digital technologies, including robotics and machine learning. Although not officially linked to its car programme, it suggests the brand will be well placed to integrate autonomous technology that can 'learn' as it goes into its earliest vehicles. Dyson's first EV The first car's development is being funded by a GBP 2 billion (about Rs 18,000 crore) investment from Dyson and the project has received support from the British Government. Dyson is keeping specific details, such as performance and range, a secret, but the first model won't be a mass-market car such as the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf; instead, it will be aimed at a more tech-oriented market. Dyson's existing household goods tend to be more expensive than the competition, suggesting that the car's market position will be firmly in the premium segment, like that of Tesla. There's no definitive word yet on where the car will be built, but Sir James revealed to Reuters last year: "Wherever we make the battery, we’ll make the car; that’s logical. So, we want to be near our suppliers; we want to be in a place that welcomes us and is friendly to us, and where it is logistically most sensible. And we see a very large market for this car in the Far East.” Dyson has a large market presence in the Far East, so Chinese production isn't an unrealistic prediction, although the car is being developed in the UK. In the announcement of Dyson's electric car plan, Sir James took swipes at the governments' push for diesels and the Dieselgate emissions scandal. "Governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants," he said. "Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring." He revealed that a major aim is to reduce air pollution from cars "at the source", saying, "I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem. Dyson carr [...]
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Kalashnikov reveals Tesla-rivalling electric car
Kalashnikov, the Russian manufacturing giant best known for its AK47 assault rifle, has unveiled the CV-1, a retro-styled 295bhp electric car that it claimed offers Tesla-rivalling performance. The prototype CV-1 was launched at the Army 2018 International Military Technical Forum in Kubinka, Russia. The car’s styling is based on the 1970s Izh 2125 Combi. The CV-1 uses modular batteries, with a total capacity of 90kWh, which Kalashnikov says are powered through a “revolutionary inverter” that measures 50x50x100cm and propel the car a total of 354 kilometres. While no specifics have been revealed about the CV-1’s motor, Kalashnikov cites an output of 295bhp, with a claimed 0-100kph time of around six seconds. According to the RIA-Novosti news agency's press office, a Kalashnikov spokesperson said, “This technology will let us stand in the ranks of global electric car products such as Tesla and be their competitors.” The original 2125 Kombi was produced by Izh, a subsidiary of Lada parent firm AvtoVaz, between 1973 and 1997. The hatchback, itself based on a Moskvitch 412, was initially powered by a 69bhp 1.5-litre engine. Best known for its guns, Kalashnikov produces a wide range of military and civilian weapons and other systems - these include several bikes and off-road vehicles. The firm recently unveiled a four-metre-tall, 4.5-tonne manned robot named Igorek. [...]
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FAME II scheme for EV adoption in India to begin October 1
The second phase of FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles) India scheme has been finalised by an inter-ministerial panel. According to PTI, this will include an investment of about Rs 5,500 crore over five years which will provide subsidies for all types of electric vehicles. The panel has decided that subsidies will be available to all categories of electric vehicles – two-, three- and four-wheelers – in order to promote green vehicles and check pollution. The decision was made by top officials from road transport and highways, finance and heavy industry ministry, along with government think tank NITI Aayog. With an aim to promote eco-friendly vehicles, the government had launched the FAME India scheme in 2015. Currently, incentives are being offered on proper hybrid and electric cars, two-wheelers and three-wheelers. FAME phase II will ensure incentives are given to a wider range of EVs. The scheme will provide subsidies to battery-operated scooters and motorcycles in a range of Rs 1,800 to Rs 29,000, based on their technology. For three-wheelers, the incentives will range from Rs 3,300 to Rs 61,000. At present, the manufacturers claim the incentive from the government at the end of each month. [...]
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Mahindra Marazzo MPV bookings open
Mahindra is set to introduce the Marazzo MPV in the Indian market on September 3, 2018. A handful of dealers have begun accepting bookings on an unofficial basis for this new MPV with the booking amount set at Rs 10,000. While the model has not been unveiled in full, dispatches have begun to dealerships pan-India, which means spy shots of the vehicle in production avatar could soon surface on the internet. The company has revealed a handful of teasers showing various elements including the dashboard and the centrally-mounted rear AC vents. Top-spec trims will come with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, climate control and AC vents for all three rows. This new MPV will be available in seven- as well as eight-seat configurations. The seven-seat variant will come with individual captain chairs for the middle row, while the eight-seater version will have a bench seat for the second row.  The Marrazo will be powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel engine good for 130hp and 300Nm torque that is mated to a six speed manual gearbox. All variants are expected to get airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors as standard. According to Mahindra, the Marrazzo will not replace any model and will be a fresh product in their line-up. According to the dealers we spoke to, pricing for the Marazzo is expected to be somewhere in the “middle” of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga (Rs 6.34-10.69 lakh) and the Toyota Innova Crysta (Rs 14.34-21.57 lakh). All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi Also see: Mahindra Marazzo interior revealed Mahindra Marazzo MPV dashboard revealed [...]
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Super Formula: Ishiura wins from pole, Karthikeyan 11th
Round 5 of the Super Formula Championship was held at the Motegi circuit, and saw Hiroaki Ishiura win the race from pole position. The start saw Ishiura get away cleanly from pole, but halfway through the first lap, he was passed by Honda junior driver Nobuharu Matsushita. Meanwhile, Cassidy had qualified fifth, and was the first of the frontrunners to dive into the pits on lap 11. Matsushita held on to the race lead until he came in for his pit stop on lap 27, while Ishiura stayed out for another 13 laps before coming in for fresh rubber. However, when Matsushita re-joined the race, he found himself behind Kazuya Oshima and Yuhi Sekiguchi, both of whom were due to make another stop. The Japanese driver was unable to pass either of them, and lost a significant amount of time as a result. Matsushita's misfortune meant that Ishiura managed to hold his lead even after his pit stop, and went on to take the chequered flag in first place. Ryo Hirakawa only managed to qualify in ninth place, but perfectly implemented a two-stop strategy that allowed him to finish in second place. Nick Cassidy, having switched to soft tyres early on, used the pace advantage to earn himself the final podium spot. In doing so, he also took over the lead of the championship, with his 27 points giving him a slim advantage over Yamamoto and Ishiura who have 24 points each. Indian driver Narain Karthikeyan put in a strong qualifying performance to earn himself fourth place on the grid, but unfortunately slipped down the order as the race went on, and eventually finish 11th, narrowly missing out on points. "Overall we had excellent pace in qualifying. I was very close to the top Honda runners, only 0.1sec off. So fourth on the grid was good but then in the race, strategies went against us, or let me say it was the wrong call to pit that early on soft rubber. We struggled on medium rubber and lost positions on track. So it is very disappointing to come out empty handed after a good qualifying run,” Karthikeyan said about the weekend. The next round of the championship takes place at the Okayama International Circuit from September 7-9, 2018. Karthikeyan will be looking for redemption, while Cassidy will fight to hold onto his newly earned championship lead. Race results: Po.         No.        Driver                                  Gap 1             1             Hiroaki Ishiura                   - 2             20           Ryo Hirakawa                    2.724 3             3             Nick Cassidy                       26.454 4             6             Nobuharu Matsushita      29.575 5             8             Kazuya Oshima                 38.818 6             4             Kenta Yamashita               41.643 7             16           Naoki Yamamoto             43.618 8             5             Tomoki Nojiri                    50.753 9             37           James Rossiter                  52.039 10    &n [...]
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Lamborghini Aventador SVJ revealed
After publishing a number of teasers, the new Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce Jota has been revealed on social media ahead of its official reveal at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The image shared on Instagram shows the front-end design of the flagship Aventador, showing additional bonnet vents and a distinctive new rear wing. Details that had been gleaned from earlier tesers and leaks include a significantly larger front splitter than that fitted to the McLaren Senna, and the new rear wing is held in place by two curved arms and a centre arm. The car also sports a new dual-pipe exhaust system that blows engine waste gases out through the middle of the back end, rather than in the centre of the diffuser like the SV. This new technique, also used by the Huracán Performante, enhances the diffuser’s effectiveness by removing exhaust gases from an aerodynamically sensitive area. No additional details were revealed besides the image, but onboard video footage at the Nurburgring showed the SVJ has become the fastest production car ever to lap the circuit. A report that had leaked ahead of the official confirmation of the lap record claimed the SVJ produces 770hp from its 6.5-litre V12 - 70hp more than the GT2 RS and 20hp more than the current Lamborghini flagship, the Aventador SV. Previous videos and teasers have revealed that the Aevntador SVJ boasts “the best aerodynamic efficiency” and class-leading power-to-weight ratio. Jota models have a history of being produced in extremely low numbers. No more than 28 Diablo Jotas exist, and just one each of the Miura Jota and a more recent Aventador J were produced. This suggests Aventador SV J build numbers might be kept below the 600 units of the SV.  [...]
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Harley-Davidson FXDR 114, updated CVO models unveiled
Less than a month ago, Harley-Davidson announced its radical new product plan that will see a sub-500cc Harley-Davidson for India, an adventure tourer, streetfighter and a range of electric bikes. However, this plan is for the near future. Now, the American motorcycle brand revealed a new power cruiser in the Softail line-up called the Harley-Davidson FXDR 114. The bike maker has also updated its CVO offerings with new technology. The FXDR 114 is a motorcycle that looks like an attempt to fill the gap left by the now discontinued V-Rod. The aggressively-styled power cruiser, as Harley likes to call it, is based on the Softail platform and uses the company’s Milwaukee-Eight 114 engine. The FXDR 114 has all-LED lighting, keyless ignition and a digital instrument cluster. Above the headlight sits a small cowl that sharers its colour scheme with the bodywork. The tank on the new Harley is sleek and swoops down to meet the seat. The bike has a chopped of tail that ends much before the rear wheel and looks even more aggressive than its sibling, the Fat Bob. The raked-out fat fork at front also endows the bike with a mean stance. Harley says that the bike has been designed with a number alloy and composite components to reduce the overall weight, which includes a new subframe and swingarm. The FXDR uses an upside-down fork and a monoshock for suspension duties. The motorcycle also has a new air intake that has been inspired by NHRA drag bikes. Powering this bike is the 1,868cc motor that makes a claimed 161Nm of torque. The tyres on the bike are 120/70 R19 at the front and 240/40 R18 at the rear. The FXDR 114 has a kerb weight of 302.9kg. The FXDR 114 is the most expensive model in the company’s Softail line-up in the United States of America at $21,349 (about Rs 15 lakh). If launched in India, it will be the most expensive Softail model in the country as well. At present, the most expensive Softail model in India is the Heritage Classic at Rs 20.12 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), expect the FXDR 114 to be priced slightly above it. CVO model update The Harley-Davidson CVO line-up has received cosmetic and tech updates for 2019. The line-up still includes the three variants – CVO Limited, CVO Street Glide and CVO Road Glide – and they all get new styling elements and a new audio system. All three bikes also feature a “Blaze Red” band on the Milwaukee-Eight 117 motor they use. Other than this, they also get new colour schemes. The CVO Limited is the only model in this line-up that is available in India. [...]
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New Renault Arkana SUV-coupe teased
Renault has sent out a new teaser image of its new SUV, which will be called the Arkana, and is scheduled to make its world debut at the upcoming 2018 Moscow motor show next week. Expected to launch in Russia in 2019, the preview image of the SUV shows the tailgate with Arkana badging. Renault had previously teased the front of the coupe-like SUV back in June. The SUV’s name is derived from the Latin word 'arcanum', which means secret. Renault claims that the concept of Arkana is "associated with mystery, attractiveness and pioneer spirit". The preview photo sheds light on the shape of the tail-lights that look to extend the full width of the tailgate and is split in the middle by the Renault logo. It also shows a pronounced rear boot lip. The earlier teaser image provided hints of the Arkana’s front – a sporty-looking face that takes design cues from the Renault’s latest design language, first demonstrated by the Mégane, and a coupé-like roofline. C-shaped DRLs that feed out of the main headlights could also be seen in that teaser. For markets such as Russia, the Arkana will be based on the same M0 platform as the Captur sold there, though for the Chinese market, it is more likely to be underpinned by Renault’s CMF-B platform. While there are talks of this SUV-coupe to be sold under the Dacia brand, expect Renault to position the Arkana as an upmarket alternative to the Captur. However, it is unlikely that the Arkana will be brought to India any time soon. Despite a bold design, Renault’s Captur has not managed wow Indian buyers, who prefer a traditional, upright stance on their SUVs. While SUV-coupe’s such as the BMW X4 might make a mark in premium segments, the Arkana, which will be a mass market model, may not have the same impact. Also see: Updated Renault Kwid launched at Rs 2.66 lakh 2018 Renault Duster petrol-CVT video review [...]
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Benelli Motobi 200 Evo breaks cover
Benelli has launched a new cruiser motorcycle at the 2018 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show. The new Benelli Motobi 200 Evo is an entry-level cruiser offering from the Chinese-owned Italian brand. In terms of styling, the cruiser follows a more urban-centric design theme with blacked-out elements instead of chrome. The cruiser also sports a single-pod, fully digital instrument console and a stubby exhaust muffler. Powering the Benelli Motobi 200 Evo is a 197cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected motor producing 13.9Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm and mated to a five-speed gearbox. However, Benelli hasn’t shared the power figures of the engine. Cycle parts are also quite standard with telescopic front fork and twin-shock absorbers, while braking hardware consists of single disc brake unit on both ends. The cruiser runs on a 17-inch alloy wheel at front which comes wrapped with 90/90 section tyre; the rear features a 15-inch wheel with 130/90 section rubber. Fuel tank capacity is 11.8 litres and the motorcycle weighs 156kg. Benelli has announced that the Motobi 200 Evo will go on sale in Indonesia first before being launched in other markets. As for our market – the new cruiser offering wouldn’t be going on sale in India anytime soon. However, if Benelli does bring the Motobi 200 Evo to India, it will rival the likes of the Bajaj Avenger 220 and the soon-to-be-launched UM Renegade Duty S and the Duty Ace. Benelli will be launching two new 250cc motorcycles in India soon, you can read about them here. Image source. [...]
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