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Auto Archives - Page 5 of 11 - India Today News

Toyota develops world’s ‘most thermally efficient’ petrol engine
Toyota has developed a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that is said to have a thermal efficiency of 40 percent – just 1 percent short of what the Prius offers with its 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain. Toyota states that the engine can achieve unparalleled levels of fuel economy as a result of new friction-reducing technology and more efficient exhaust and cooling systems. In general, petrol engines have a thermal efficiency of about 20-25 percent. The new 2.0-litre petrol engine, which peaks at 171hp, will also get hybrid electric power. In this guise, it will match the Prius’ 41 percent thermal efficiency but with more performance thanks to its larger capacity. This hybrid powertrain is expected to be introduced on the upcoming Auris, which is scheduled for reveal at the Geneva motor show next week. It will be one of two hybrid powerplants offered in the new Auris, with the existing 1.8-litre hybrid powertrain still being the entry point, albeit in an updated form. The new 2.0-litre engine will also find its way onto other models built on Toyota’s new global architecture (TNGA) in the coming years. Toyota has also developed a more efficient CVT gearbox that uses the world’s first gear drive for initial acceleration. This essentially gives the gearbox the quicker off-the-line response of a standard automatic but enables the higher efficiency of a CVT when moving. Meanwhile, the carmaker has created a torque vectoring system for petrol all-wheel-drive models that can decouple the front axle for a pure rear drive. This system will be introduced in Toyota’s all-wheel-drive and off-road models in the near future, with claims of improved fuel economy. [...]
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New Audi A6 images leak ahead of Geneva show reveal
Images of the fifth-generation Audi A6 have leaked online, a week ahead of the car’s official unveil at the Geneva motor show. As the three pictures floating on the internet make clear, the new A6 conforms closely to Audi’s design template. Audi’s new age design trademark – the large hexagon-shaped grille – takes up prominent real estate up front and is flanked by sharply-cut headlamps that look like an evolution of the outgoing A6s. LED headlights and daytime-running lights are in keeping with the technology-rich look that Audi prides itself for. There are exaggerated air dams, lower down on the bumper, but the details could be restricted to a sporty version of the A6 that seems to have been pictured. Styling is neat and the lines are crisp, with a crisp waistline that originates at the doors and extends to the tail-lights, adding some dynamism to the look. A neatly arced roof flows into the sizeable tail section – all in all, giving the new A6 a well-proportioned look. It is typical Audi fare at the rear, as well, and you can expect the tail-lamps to be big on tech, in their own right. While there are no pictures of the interior, as yet, it would be safe to presume that the car will bear a very close resemblance to the latest A7, on the inside. Expect the new A6 to sport the dual-touchscreen arrangement as the A8 and A7. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instruments would also be part of the package. The new A6 shares its underpinnings with the A7 and by extension, which means it will be marginally larger than the outgoing model. It’s safe to expect a roomier cabin.         Due on roads in April, the fifth-generation executive sedan will be capable of Level 3 autonomous driving, where permitted. According to the six-level scale of self-driving capability established by automotive engineering organisation SAE International, Level 3 implies 'conditional automation'. In this state, the car is able to control most aspects of driving and monitoring the road; but the driver must be ready to intervene when necessary. The A8 was the first production car to feature such technology when it was launched earlier this year. Its power will come from four-cylinder, 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre V6s, and 4.0-litre V8 engines, with two plug-in hybrid variants planned. These will have electric motors to supplement either a four-cylinder or V6 petrol engine; although these derivatives are expected to be more popular in the US and China than in Europe. Plans for a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain have been scrapped The sporty S6 won't be launched until 2019. However, when it does, its engine will be downsized from the 4.0-litre V8 seen in the current car to the 2.9-litre V6 used in the RS4 Avant and RS5, as well as in the Porsche Panamera S. In the S6, it's likely to produce in excess of 456hp – that's more than the 450hp of the RS4 Avant. An RS6 is expected to arrive in 2020, with the rival to the BMW M5 said to be morphing into a hugely powerful plug-in hybrid sharing the same powertrain as the 680hp Porsche Panamera S E Hybrid. The new A6 is likely to come to India towards the latter part of 2018, or even early-2019. We expect Audi to put the spotlight on the petrol-powered variants in-line with its new powertrain strategy.     (WITH INPUTS FROM AUTOCAR UK) IMAGE SOURCE [...]
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SCOOP! Michael Perschke to head new Mahindra EV subsidiary
Former Audi India chief Michael Perschke is tipped to head a new subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, which will develop high-performance electric vehicles. The new Mahindra EV project, known internally as 'Project Montana' will base operations in Europe and develop high-end all-electric models under the Pininfarina brand, according to Mahindra sources. Perschke, who was until recently the Director for Global Sales Strategy at Audi, was brought on board in February.  Interestingly, Perschke recently hinted at his new innings in a Twitter post saying, "14 years with Volkswagen, 9 years with Audi and now up for a new venture @Company_in_stealth_mode so stay tuned!". In fact, according to his LinkedIn bio, he's assumed the role of a senior strategic advisor and project lead for an 'EV-start up' in February. Given the premium positioning of its models and the superior hardware they will make use of, Mahindra's high-performance EV subsidiary will work independently from its mainstream electric division, Mahindra Electric.  [...]
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Hot new bikes for 2018
Ather S340 e-scooter Back in 2016, Ather Energy, a Bengaluru-based start-up, unveiled an electric scooter called the S340. At the time, the scooter had a claimed top speed of 72kph and a range of up to 60km. The S340’s IP67-rated battery had a claimed expectancy of as much as 50,000km. All of these stats could see an improvement. The scooter will get features like LED lights that respond to ambient light conditions, a touchscreen dashboard, on-board navigation and drive modes like Sport and Economy. The touchscreen is integrated with a S340 mobile app that keeps the rider connected with the vehicle, and can also sync navigation routes remotely. The company has a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru, and the launch of the scooter can be expected in the second quarter with a price between Rs 90,000 to Rs 1 lakh. Coming: Q2 2018 Expected price: Rs 90,000 - 1 lakh Benelli Imperiale 400 The Imperiale 400, showcased at EICMA 2017, is Benelli’s Royal Enfield challenger and is slated for a mid-2018 launch. The Imperiale will follow the CKD route and is scheduled to begin its ARAI certification process by March 2018. It’s powered by a 373.5cc, air-cooled, SOHC, single-cylinder engine that produces 19.7hp at 5,500rpm and 28Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. This torquey motor is fuel-injected (with a Delphi ECU) and is paired to a five-speed transmission. The motorcycle rests on a tubular steel, double-cradle frame and implements a 41mm telescopic fork and twin shock absorbers. Braking duties are performed by a 300mm single disc with a two-piston floating caliper and a 240mm rear disc with standard ABS. The Imperiale runs a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoke wheel combination, which gels with the bike’s appealing design. The seat height is pegged at 780mm, which should make it an ergonomic delight for a wide range of motorcyclists. It is expected to hit the Indian market in mid-2018 with a price of around Rs 2 lakh. Coming: Q2 2018 Expected price: Rs 2 lakh Benelli Leoncino DSK Benelli will launch the Leoncino – its neo-retro naked motorcycle – in India, by February 2018. The Leoncino, earlier slated for a 2017 launch, is currently undergoing endurance testing for ARAI certification, which will be completed by January 2018. The Leoncino is powered by a 499.6cc, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected, parallel-twin that produces 49.6hp at 8,500rpm and 45Nm at 5,000rpm. This engine is paired to a 6-speed transmission and features a wet clutch. Typical of Benellis, the Leoncino sports top-notch cycle parts. The engine is housed within a tubular steel-trellis frame and the bike sits on 17-inch wheels at both ends. Pirelli Angel ST tyres will be standard (120/70 R17 up-front, 160/60 R17 at the rear). The fork is a 50mm USD unit while the rear gets a monoshock with 112mm of wheel travel. ABS is standard and it gets a 320 mm twin-disc setup with 4-piston calipers at the front, with a 260mm disc (with a single-piston caliper) at the rear. Its 785mm seat height and 145mm of ground clearance will make it accessible; but like all Benellis, the Leoncino is a hefty motorcycle at 207kg and this will, no doubt, blunt performance. The 13.5-litre fuel tank might prove to be a tad small for highway runs but this will certainly be compensated by the involving riding package the Leoncino promises to be. The motorcycle (in road-biased guise) was recently spied on test in the country and this is the only version which will go on sale in India. The Leoncino is expected to hit the market in February 2018 and be priced around Rs 4.5 lakh. Coming: Q1 2018 Expected price: Rs 4.5 lakh Benelli TRK 502 Benelli had first showcased the TRK 502 at EICMA 2015 in Milan, Italy, and now we are inching closer to seeing this motorcycle available at showrooms, here. It sports that typical adventure-motorcycle look with its large, beaked front-fairing and tall stance. The TRK 502 will come equipped with a 499cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that churns out 46.9hp of power and about 45Nm of torque. Besides these figures being quite appropriate for our Indian riding conditions, the TRK 502 will also be available in two different setups. There will be one road-oriented model with 17-inch rims at the front and rear, and one model equipped with a 19-inch rim upfront to assist in off-road duties. ABS will come as standard on both models. These figures are quite appropriate for the Indian conditions, but the weight of 210kg is going to be a bit of a performance dampener. The TRK is expected to go on sale sometime around March 2018 and be priced around Rs 5.5 lakh. Coming: Q1 2018 Expected price: Rs 5.5 lakh BMW G 310 R The successful mid-displacement street-naked segment is sure to heat up with the arrival of BMW Motorrad’s G 310 R. BMW has played it safe with the styling of the G 310 R and strayed away from the general quirkiness that can be seen on its bigger displacement models. Th [...]
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PhotoGallery: Formula 1 2018 new cars image gallery
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Review: 2018 Hyundai i20 facelift review, test drive
What is it? It’s the facelift of a very popular premium hatchback, so naturally, there was a lot of anticipation for it. When the wraps came off it at the 2018 Auto Expo, however, the first impression was that not much had changed. Even afterwards, when we placed photos of the old and new side by side, it was a tricky game of ‘spot the difference’. Now that we have the car with us for some closer inspection, let’s see if there’s more than meets the eye. What’s it like on the outside? Yes, at first glance, it’s hard to spot the changes at the front. The i20 already had a wide hexagonal grille, so the fact that it’s a bit curvier now is easy to miss. Similarly, the bumper itself is ever so slightly more sculpted to fit the new triangular fog lamps, and the functional air ducts beside them that are said to reduce turbulence in the wheel wells and aid aerodynamic efficiency. The headlamps, as per a previous update, now feature projector elements and LED daytime running lamps. The rear of the i20 looks much better updated, thanks to new tail-lamp graphics that light up in a horizontal line; neat, but frankly we prefer the old style that was similar to what you get on the Verna, Elantra and Tucson. There’s also a slightly reprofiled tailgate and a thick blacked out section in the bumper that really adds some character. You can opt for a black coloured roof (our car doesn’t have it) and there’s a new set of alloy wheels, which look good, but thanks to their design, actually appear smaller than the earlier car’s set. They are, however, the same 16-inch size. What’s it like on the inside? Again, on the inside, the changes are not easy to spot. The fabric on the seats now has a hounds-tooth pattern, which is a cool, almost retro touch. Some of the buttons and controls on the steering wheel and dashboard new too, the central AC vents have been redesigned slightly and the touchscreen has a matte finish so it’s easier to see in bright sunlight. In terms of equipment, it’s still up to the same high standard as before, except one of the 12v charging points has, handily, been replaced with a USB charging outlet (this is separate from the USB port for connecting devices). The touchscreen is one of the best around, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a simple, clean and easy-to-use interface. At the rear, you now get ISOFIX mounting points, and a fold-down armrest, which is a segment first. What’s it like to drive? There have been no mechanical changes on this facelifted i20, but there has been a bit of retuning to both the engine and the chassis. For instance, Hyundai says it has achieved a nine percent increase in fuel economy thanks to a slight remapping of the engine and those aero ducts in the front bumper. In truth, you can feel it a bit when you drive. In this diesel car, for example, the bottom end feels a bit stronger and some of the punch at the top end is missing, thanks to changes to the fuelling. The change is not too drastic, and if you drive primarily in the city, you will appreciate the improved low-end responses. What remains unchanged is the smooth nature of this motor and the light and easy gearshift action. In a bid to make it a bit more engaging to drive, Hyundai has also tinkered a bit with the suspension and the steering of the i20. They’ve stiffened the rear suspension a little bit and you can feel that in the way the car isn’t quite as bouncy coming off a large speedbreaker, for instance. They’ve also sharpened up the steering a bit and reduced the slack at the centre position to make it feel a bit more engaging than before. Truth be told, this is still no driver’s car, and to truly improve the dynamics would require a full generational leap – as we saw with the new Verna, but it’s good to see Hyundai is trying to improve things on the current-generation car. Should I buy one? Overall, this facelift appears to be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and really, not much was broken with the Hyundai i20. It’s also worth remembering that Hyundai has been giving the i20 small, regular updates over the years, particularly to the equipment list, and this is why the facelift doesn’t feel as much of a change as most facelifts do. The long equipment list couldn’t have gotten much longer and the interior quality was already pretty much at the top of the class. Even the changes to the engine mapping are very minor. What is much appreciated is the small but effective attention that’s been paid to dynamics, for whatever it’s worth. So yes, the i20 hasn’t changed all that much with the facelift, but then, it didn’t really need to. [...]
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Honda Cars India appoints Gaku Nakanishi as president and CEO
Honda has appointed Gaku Nakanishi as the new president and CEO of Honda Cars India, effective April 1, 2018. Consequent to the management changes announced annually by Honda Motor Co, he will take over from Yoichiro Ueno, who was appointed to the position in February 2016. Gaku Nakanishi was the president and CEO of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co since 2015. He has been associated with Honda for nearly 30 years and has significant experience in the automobile industry. His work experience includes stints in North America, Mexico, Japan and Thailand with Honda and the overseas division for CIS, Middle East & Africa and Asia & Oceania regions. Ueno moves to the New Business Strategy Division, Business Development Supervisory Unit in Honda Motor Co to spearhead Honda’s pursuit of open innovation in the area of future mobility. During his tenure, Yoichiro Ueno was instrumental in solidifying Honda’s brand positioning in India. He led the introduction of several premium models in India including the BR-V crossover, Accord Hybrid sedan, City sedan and the WR-V cross-hatch, while laying the foundation for the launch of upcoming models such as the new Amaze compact sedan, new seven-seat CR-V SUV and the Civic sedan. The outgoing president’s focus on new age communication led to integrated marketing campaigns that targeted consumers across age profiles. In his role, he emphasised achieving operational efficiencies at the company and the dealership level during the rapid market shift from diesel to petrol, demonetisation and GST implementation.  Also see: Honda Civic, CR-V at Auto Expo 2018 first look video Honda City 20th Anniversary Celebration Drive concludes New-gen Honda Amaze first look video [...]
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F1 2018: McLaren adopts new look with MCL33
McLaren has revealed its 2018 Formula 1 challenger three days before the first pre-season test at Barcelona, in a new papaya orange livery. The Renault-powered MCL33 will be driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, again, this season. Its move to a largely papaya orange livery will please many fans who felt last year's switch to an orange-and-black design was not close enough to the colours used by founder Bruce McLaren in the team's early years in F1. The new design is similar to the one used by Alonso when he drove a McLaren-branded Andretti entry in the Indianapolis 500 last year, but also features elements of blue - as used on McLaren's early F1 and later CanAm cars - on the front wing, rear wing and engine cover fin. “And we definitely view 2018 as the year when McLaren will move closer to the front, fighting teams and drivers as we improve our fortunes,” said McLaren Technology Group Executive Director Zak Brown. “Our return to a papaya orange livery for this year wasn’t simply an emotional decision; it demonstrates that we are listening to our fans, building deeper engagement with them and the Formula 1 community as a whole. “We want McLaren to earn respect on and off the track, and this felt like a good starting point. We want to show everyone what makes this team special, whether that’s our fans or our partners – there’s room for more on our journey.” Also see: Mercedes W09 revealed ahead of 2018 F1 season 2018 Renault F1 contender breaks cover Sauber reveals 2018 F1 car with new look 2018 Red Bull F1 car unveiled with temporary livery Williams takes wraps off 2018 F1 car Haas reveals 2018 F1 car Ferrari unveils 2018 F1 challenger [...]
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2018 Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350X, 500X launch on Feb 28
Royal Enfield will launch its highly-anticipated Thunderbird 350X and 500X on Feb 28, 2018. The new Thunderbird variants had been spied towards the end of 2017 and RE will finally take the wraps off these motorcycles in less than a week from now. The new Thunderbird variants are likely to share the engine and gearbox with the standard Thunderbird range. However, there are multiple changes that set it apart from the regular model, such as the new handlebar and seats. The bikes stand with black alloy wheels shod with tubeless tyres and the engine gets a matte black finish instead of silver. The exhaust and suspension will also get a similar matte black look. The headlamp and tail-lamp are the same units as the standard model, replete with an LED daytime running light and an LED tail-lamp as well. Making a re-entry into the RE fold (after the long-gone Fury) are alloy wheels and the new Thunderbirds get 9-spoke blacked-out units. Given its expected ‘younger’ target audience, it would be interesting to see if the bike maker has opted for a smaller (and uniform; the present Thunderbird runs a 19-inch front/18-inch rear) 18-inch front wheel to boost its handling, especially in the urban context. Disc brakes will be standard at the front and rear although ABS is unlikely to be offered – the first Royal Enfields to feature ABS will be the Interceptor/Continental GT 650 twins. The 350X sports identical visual and ergonomic revisions as the 500X. It gets a blacked-out headlight dome with an LED daytime running lamp and is also equipped with a new, shorter handlebar (as opposed to the ape hangers on the regular Thunderbird). The digi-analogue twin-pod instrument cluster also gets the blacked-out treatment with a chrome garnish around the dials. A major change is the all-new seat, a single-piece unit – unlike the split seat on the regular Thunderbird – which looks modern and in-tune with the rest of the motorcycle’s appeal. Interestingly, the pillion seat on the X doesn’t get a backrest. The grab rail is also a noteworthy feature – it is neatly integrated next to the pillion seat and ends in the tail-lamp unit. Also finished in matte black are the exhaust and the telescopic fork, as well as the top and bottom ends of the dual shock absorbers. The Thunderbird 350X will be available in red and white (fuel tanks only – everything else is uniform, on both variants) while the 500X will be available in a bright yellow as well as blue. Keeping with the Royal Enfield tradition, more colour options are expected to make their way to this range, over time. While the launch details are yet to be revealed, we expect the X variants to be priced at a slight premium over the existing Thunderbirds – which are currently priced at Rs 1.48 lakh (350) and Rs 1.90 lakh (500; all prices ex-showroom, Mumbai). Given the changes on offer, we expect to see a price increment of around Rs 5,000 over the existing models.  Image Source [...]
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New Harley-Davidson Iron 1200, Forty-Eight Special unveiled
Harley-Davidson has added to its Sportster motorcycle line with the introduction of the Iron 1200 and Forty-Eight Special models. The latest in a line of 100 motorcycles the company plans to introduce by 2027, these new high-bar Sportsters combine throw back styling trends from the custom bike scene with the Sportster platform and the Evolution 1200 V-Twin engine. Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 The Iron 1200 carries on the design first seen in the Iron 883, but brings a bigger 1,202cc motor to the table. This results in a claimed increase in torque of 36 percent, from 72.9Nm in the Iron 883 to 98.9Nm in the Iron 1200. The styling is also influenced by original Iron 883, with a blacked-out engine and chrome pushrod tubes. The bike also uses similar nine-spoke, 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels as the Iron 883. The Iron 1200 features a raised handlebar that is 812mm wide and with a 165mm pull-back, which should result in a more upright riding position. The Iron 1200 also has a new cowl around the single headlight that isn’t seen on the 883. The bike comes from factory with a single seat and a 12.5-litre fuel tank. ABS and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are available as factory-installed optional extras on the US-spec models. The Iron 1200 is priced at $9,999 (about Rs 6.5 lakh), which makes it a thousand dollars higher than the Iron 883 in the United States. However, it is the most affordable of the 1200cc Sportster range, priced thousand dollars below the 1200 Custom. The Iron 1200 is available in three colour options – Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Billiard White. Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special The Forty-Eight Special uses the same motor as the new Iron 1200. However, this bike gets a beefier front-end, with its 130mm section front tyre and 49mm diameter fork. Adding to the chunkiness in the front are the large aluminium triple clamps. The Special also has a tall handlebar but it is shorter and has less pull-back than the Iron 1200. The bottom-end of the 1200cc engine and gearbox on this motorcycle is covered in chrome. The exhaust system on the Forty-Eight Special is chrome as well, unlike the black-out pipes on the Iron 1200. The Special uses Harley’s famous “peanut” fuel tank with a capacity of around 8.3 litres. The wheels on the Special are 16-inch nine-spoke alloys, front and rear.  The Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight Special is priced at USD 11,299 (about Rs 7.35 lakh), which matches the price of the regular Forty-Eight and the Roadster. As with the Iron 1200, ABS and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are available as factory-installed optional extras. The Special is available in three colour options - Vivid Black, Wicked Red and Billiard White. Whether these two motorcycles will come to India is currently under consideration, but we see good reason for at least the Iron 1200 to make it to India (if not both) as the new entry point to the 1200 range in the Sportster family. However, before that happens, Harley-Davidson will be launching two new motorcycles within the Softail family in India on the Feb 28. Harley’s international line-up in the Softail family consists of nine models, of which four are currently available in India – the Street Bob, Fat Bob, Fat Boy and Heritage Classic. [...]
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Arjun Maini steps up to F2 with Trident
Indian Formula 1-hopeful Arjun Maini will graduate to the FIA Formula 2 Championship for the 2018 season, with Italian team Trident Motorsport. The 20-year-old moves up to the Formula 1 feeder category from the GP3 series, where he raced, last year. Driving for Swiss squad Jenzer Motorsport, his results included a win and a third-place finish. "I’m very excited to be competing in the FIA Formula 2 championship with Trident Motorsport," said Maini. "I felt we were quite competitive during the post-season test and given that the series is using all new cars for the coming season, I’m quite excited for the year ahead. Trident is a very strong team and I’m sure if we work hard we’ll be in for some strong results during the course of the season.” The Trident Motorsport team has a strong pedigree in the series, having run ex-Formula 1 driver Gianmaria Bruni, former Formula 1 driver and race-winner Pastor Maldonado, and ex-Ferrari Driver Academy racer Raffaele Marciello. “Arjun is an undoubtedly valuable prospect who has all that it takes to be among the future stars of motorsports for the years to come. It is certainly not by chance that Haas F1 Team selected him to join their development driver program. Team Trident will provide Arjun with the experience and energy needed for him to continue growing up and reach his ultimate professional goals," commented Trident team owner Maurizio Salvadori. Maini participated in the post-season F2 tests as a rookie, topping two out of the six sessions. Along with racing for Trident, Arjun will continue in his role as the Haas F1 Team’s development driver, attending races and tests throughout the year in addition to undertaking a simulator programme. Fellow Haas F1 development driver Santino Ferrucci will be his team-mate at Trident. “As Haas F1 Team continues to mature, we must look toward our future and develop potential talent," said Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team Principal. "Arjun was successful in karting and has transitioned well to various Formula series, winning quickly in GP3. We’ll keep a keen eye on his progress, this year, in Formula 2.” Maini is only the second Indian driver to compete in the series, following in the footsteps of his mentor, Karun Chandhok, who raced in the championship from 2007-2009, when it was run under the GP2 banner. The FIA Formula 2 Championship kicks-off at the Sakhir International Circuit in Bahrain on April 6, 2018. [...]
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2018 Kia Ceed revealed
The South Korean carmaker has decided to take a direct aim at the Volkswagen Golf with the new Ceed. Kia claims that it will be the most high-tech car in its class when UK sales commence, this autumn. Revealed ahead of a public debut at the Geneva motor show next month, the five-door hatchback is the first from a new family of Ceed models. These will include an estate – which is expected to be shown alongside the new hatchback in Geneva – and a shooting brake, due in 2019. Beyond these, there is also an SUV due, to complete the line-up. The new five-door has been given a more mature look with straighter lines and less clutter than its predecessor. The Ceed also comes with wheels of 15-inch, 16-inch or 17-inch diameters – the latter of which are two-tone diamond-cut aluminium ones. Built on Kia’s latest K2 platform and developed at the brand’s European base in Frankfurt, the latest model offers improved interior space and a 15-litre increase in boot capacity (at 395 litres), as a result of tighter packaging and a 20mm wider footprint than its predecessor. The new Ceed also promises to be more agile, thanks to the platform's lower centre of gravity, with the car 23mm shorter and sitting on fully independent suspension. Power for the new Ceed comes from a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel, which are shared with the model's twin from sister brand Hyundai, the i30. The smallest petrol is an updated version of a 1.0-litre T-GDi unit that produces 120hp, while a 1.4-litre T-GDi engine replaces the old car’s 1.6-litre petrol and comes in 100hp and 140hp forms. Just one 1.6-litre diesel CRDi is offered but it's new and comes in 115hp and 136hp guises. Drive is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual as standard, with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox available as an option on the 1.4-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel. A 48V mild hybrid version will be added to the range next year – the same year Ford introduces a 48V mild hybrid version of its rival, the Focus – while Martins told Autocar that a plug-in hybrid version is “under consideration”. Martins said a fully electric version is also possible but unlikely because the K2 platform would need modifying, which could “impact interior space”. Two drive modes, Normal and Sport, are available via the Ceed’s Drive Mode Select system. The former maximises fuel efficiency, while the latter sharpens throttle response and adds weight to the steering. An optional Eco pack adds an active air flap to the car’s front grille, which closes to reduce drag and opens to enhance engine cooling. The pack also includes an underbody cover and lowered suspension to smooth airflow beneath the car, as well as lower rolling resistance Michelin tyres. Inside, the car comes with a new 5.0-inch or 7.0-inch infotainment display, depending on the specification, or an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the top models. The Ceed gets Bluetooth smartphone integration, automatic lights and keyless entry as standard, while buyers are offered options such as a JBL premium sound system, wireless phone charger and heated windscreen. The Ceed has a new Level 2 autonomous system called Lane Following Assist, which can take control of the car’s steering, throttle and brakes in traffic and even suggest the changing of lanes to maintain progress in heavy congestion. Also available is adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a stop, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning, as well as a parking assist function and pedestrian recognition technology that works with the car's forward collision avoidance technology. Kia displayed the previous model at Auto Expo 2018, along with a large selection of its international line-up. Their stall also had the for-India SP concept SUV. Also see: Kia looking at premium positioning to establish brand 360 VR tour of Kia's Auto Expo Pavilion Kia at the Auto Expo 2018 first look video [...]
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SCOOP! Tata sedan concept to debut at 2018 Geneva motor show
After making jaws drop with the H5X and 45X concepts at Auto Expo 2018, Tata is ready to drop another bombshell, in the form of a new sedan. The company has released a teaser of the concept that'll make its global debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show. Tata has been mulling a Honda City-fighter for some time, now; and in its 20th appearance, in Geneva, it will pull the covers off of a new sedan that is based on the Advanced Modular Platform (AMP) that also forms the basis for the 45X hatchback. Like with other new Tata offerings, design is set to be a key differentiator, for the sedan. While it will be as long as its rival-in-chief (4.4 metres) it will break away from the conventional three-box shape and have a more dramatic, coupé-like roofline. Tata's new Impact 2.0 design language promises ‘segment-leading wheel sizes’ and ‘strong fenders’ for an enhanced road presence and you can expect to see the same on this new car. It'll also feature a prominent, three-dimensional ‘humanity line’ – which is Tata-speak for the styling element underlining the grille and headlights – which has been applied to a stunning effect on the 45X. Despite its swoopy appearance, though, the sedan will be as spacious and practical as you'd expect a Tata to be. It will be roomy, have a sizeable boot and get the latest in-car connectivity. Tata is likely to equip the production version of the sedan with more powerful versions of its Revotron petrol and Revotorq diesel engines; and in addition to a manual gearbox, the carmaker could also look at offering a dual-clutch transmission, as an option. In the future, Tata could possibly develop a hotter JTP-badged version, of the same, along with a variant that features some form of electrification. However, this project – which will require an estimated investment of Rs 400 crore – has not yet been given the green light for production. This hinges on the approval of the Tata Motors board. Tata will unveil the sedan concept on March 6, 2018. Previously, the company has used the Geneva show to debut important new concepts – such as the Hexa and the Tamo Racemo. Also see: Tata H5X interior video from the Auto Expo 2018 Tata Tiago EV and Tigor EV make their debut at Auto Expo 2018 Tata EVs at Auto Expo first look video Tata H5X SUV first look video Tata Nexon AMT debuts at Auto Expo 2018 [...]
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Faraday Future teases new small electric SUV
Faraday Future's new SUV would be priced lower than the FF91 and will likely sell in higher volumes. It has a styling which is very distinct from its larger sibling, with a more angular look and aggressive bodywork. The announcement comes after a Faraday Future source revealed to Business Insider that the beleaguered EV brand will benefit from $1.5 billion (about Rs 9,628 crore) of investment from a Hong Kong-based backer. Around a third of this is already provided up front. The rest is promised once certain targets have been met. The aim is to have the FF91 on the market by the end of 2018. The brand’s ultra-aggressive attempt at bringing the FF91 to market (including the construction of an all-new Nevada-based factory to deliver production targets) have led the company – led by its founder, Jia Yueting – into financial troubles. Doubts have been cast over whether the FF91 would ever make it onto roads. The FF91 has a 130kWh battery pack, giving more than 700km of range. It is likely, however, that the smaller car will have a shorter range – its more compact dimensions cutting down on space for batteries.   [...]
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2018 Mini Countryman showcased at Auto Expo
The all-new, second-generation Mini Countryman luxury SUV is also on display at the ongoing 2018 Auto Expo, along with a rather large selection of BMW models. The Countryman is expected to launch in India in the coming months, where it is expected to rival top-spec variants of compact luxury SUVs, like the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Audi Q3 and its own cousin, the BMW X1. That’s right, the new Mini Countryman shares its UKL1 front-wheel-drive-biased platform – and therefore most of its mechanical bits – with its German counterpart; and that includes the engines. When it launches in India, expect a 192hp, 2.0-litre turbo-petrol in the Countryman Cooper S and a 190hp 2.0-litre diesel in the Countryman D. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox – again, like in the BMW X1. Unlike the previous Countryman, which was only front-wheel-drive in India, this one routes its power through Mini’s ALL4 AWD system. This mechanical difference also sets it apart from its estate-like sibling, the Clubman, which is only available in 2WD, therefore justifying the slight price premium you will have to pay. While the new car is certainly recognisable as a Mini, the Countryman sets itself apart visually. It’s the most distinctive looking, of the current crop of Minis. For instance, its headlamps and tail-lamps are almost square in shape and there are sharp ridges over the rear-wheel arches. Then there is the angry-looking ‘upturned’ chrome grille, aggressive bumpers and chunky cladding around the wheel arches. Finally, the characteristic Mini ‘floating’ roof has a kink at the rear, so as to make it look a bit different from its siblings. On the inside, of course, there’s that classic Mini retro look with loads of circular motifs on the dashboard, dials and doors. Beneath all the old-school chic, however, is a proper luxury car with quality levels that match (and in places, surpass) the BMW X1. It also has some state-of-the-art tech like the latest iDrive infotainment system with a touchscreen. However, in true Mini fashion, a lot of equipment is optional; and speccing it up could seriously shoot the sticker price up. Still, the previous Countryman was perhaps the most popular Mini in India and thanks to its SUV body style, this one has the potential to be, too. Do you think it’s a proper Mini, or just a big SUV that happens to wear the retro badge? Let us know in the comments below. Also see: Updated BMW M3 and M4 launched at Auto Expo 2018 BMW i3S electric hatch showcased at Auto Expo 2018 2018 BMW 6-series GT launched at Rs 58.9 lakh 2018 BMW M5 launched at Rs 1.43 crore 2018 BMW i8 Roadster showcased at Auto Expo Upcoming BMW X3 showcased at Auto Expo 2018 Best cars at Auto Expo 2018 [...]
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Review: 2018 Maserati Levante video review
Also see: 2018 Maserati Levante launched at Rs 1.45 crore 2017 Maserati Levante review, test drive [...]
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Top-spec Skoda Kodiaq L&K revealed
Skoda is set to introduce a top-spec version of its Kodiaq SUV – badged as the L&K Edition – at the Geneva motor show. Like the other special editions from Skoda that carry this logo, this version of the seven-seat SUV gets added equipment – both inside and out – and comes with new engine options. On the outside, the Kodiaq L&K Edition (named after the founders, Laurin and Klement) gets a new chrome-finished grille, LED headlamps, new 19-inch alloy wheels and a tweaked rear bumper. The interiors of the new top-spec trim come with leather upholstery, a piano-black trim on the console, a Canton sound system, aluminium pedals, a power-adjustable driver's seat with memory function, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and ambient lighting. Engine options have increased with the L&K Edition. The engine range now includes a 150hp, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol mill, an updated 190hp, 2.0-litre petrol engine (up from 180hp) and a 2.0-litre diesel engine in 150hp and 190hp states of tune. The seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is offered on all the engines. The 190hp petrol and diesel engines get 4x4, as standard, while the 150hp ones get it as an option. The 4x4 specced-trims also get dynamic chassis control, as an optional extra. This allows the SUV's suspension to adjust, based on terrain. Skoda will display the new Kodiaq L&K Edition at the upcoming Geneva motor show, along with the Fabia facelift and the Vision X concept SUV. There is no word on if this special edition will come to India. Skoda has introduced L&K Editions on the Octavia and Superb sedans, previously. This indicates there is potential for the Kodiaq to get this edition to the country. The Kodiaq currently sells in India for Rs 34.49 lakh (ex-showroom, India) in a single Style trim with the 150hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine. Also see: 2017 Skoda Kodiaq India review, test drive 2017 Skoda Kodiaq India video review 2017 Kodiaq vs Endeavour vs Tiguan comparison Skoda Karoq spied in India EXCLUSIVE! SUVs to lead Skoda’s fresh charge into India   [...]
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Review: 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk video review
Also see: 2018 Jeep Compass Trailhawk review, test drive Jeep Compass Trailhawk image gallery Jeep Compass Trailhawk India launch later this year [...]
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In conversation with Fabrice Cambolive, Renault Group
Design is a very big theme for Renault at the Auto Expo 2018. Is it something you are using to define the brand in India? When we look at cars we have, today – such as the Captur or Trezor – everything is focused on design and innovation in terms of design; and it's not just design , but design with functionality. In the last six years, we have successfully launched two cars – Duster and Kwid – which are not just pioneers in their respective segments but also bear specific references in terms of design while catering to the Indian buyers' needs. We are trying to replicate the success of both models with the recently launched Captur. But the Captur hasn’t been quite a runaway success. Why do you think its not met expectations? We are entering a new segment with the Captur. I think the Captur brings modernity and a design that is different from what is seen in the SUV segment. We are pretty confident and sure about the vehicle which has proven to be a success in different markets, such as Russia and Brazil. We just have to work further in marketing the Captur and its features and that will enable us in transforming the vehicle into a commercial success; but to do that, we need time. After just two months of launch, I don’t think it is justified to comment on sales numbers. We can rather talk about enquiries and bookings. Just give us a few months to demonstrate the Captur's potential for the Indian market. I’m very confident about the numbers. You have talked about entering new segments. So what are the new products we can expect from Renault? India is a strategic market for the success of our medium-term plan. Being local in India is very important and that's why we have two design centers. We also have a modern manufacturing plant and important technological centers. All these elements collectively enable us to be on a product offensive, for the next few years. As a part of our growth strategy, we will launch one new product, each year, targeting specific segments in India. Our next new model, due in 2019, will feature big innovation in terms of roominess. Can we expect Renault to introduce an affordable electric vehicle in India? If yes, when is that likely to happen? We are paying a lot of attention to the government's directions on electric vehicles. We have a good EV strategy and I think we are aligned with this direction. Renault has considerable experience in EVs; we are number one in Europe, where we have 25 percent market share. Secondly, we are developing new and affordable EVs in some countries, now – and of course, we are looking at what we can take from this learning to address our strategy for growth in this segment in India. We can introduce an electric vehicle in India in two years. The Kwid will be electrified for China. Could we see the same in India? I think it is possible once we see the response in China; but it is doable. More than China, we have to look at how the charging infrastructure develops, in India. In your portfolio, you have the Kwid family, the cars from the MO platform then a big white space in between. Are you trying to fill the void between the CMF-A and MO platforms? In India, there is still a big white space in all segments. We have to grow with targeted products and weigh the potential models in terms of size and roominess. it is also important to tap into the SUV segment-growth. There is a significant potential in the market and many directions for us to take. We will see how it all plays out, over the next two years. Also see: Renault Zoe e-Sport concept first look video Renault Zoe e-Sport displayed at Auto Expo 2018 2018 Renault Zoe e-Sport video review 2018 Renault Kwid Superhero Edition launched at Rs 4.34 lakh [...]
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New Toyota Yaris Cross revealed
Toyota is readying an international launch of the new Yaris Cross. Aimed primarily at emerging markets, the Yaris Cross is essentially a rugged version of the Yaris hatchback. The Yaris Cross gets typical muscular crossover-like styling changes on the outside. This includes roof rails, black cladding on the side and wheel-arch mouldings and a brush metal skid plate below the front and rear bumpers. Higher trims will come with leather seat upholstery, automatic climate control, an HD instrument cluster, two additional speakers and contrasting red stitching on the steering wheel and gear knob. Safety kit on the top-spec trim includes side airbags, curtain airbags and a driver’s side knee airbag. The Yaris Cross is powered by a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated, four-cylinder petrol motor that produces 107hp and 140Nm of torque. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic transmission (offered only on a single trim). Incidentally, the same engine is expected to power the India-spec Yaris sedan, though the gearbox options are expected to be a six-speed manual and a seven-step CVT automatic. However, the Yaris sedan coming to India will rival the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki’s Ciaz mid-size sedan. While the Yaris hatchback shares most of its underpinnings and other bits with the sedan, there is no news of it making it to our shores as of now. If Toyota decides to bring this car to India, it would take on the likes of the Hyundai i20 active. Should Toyota bring this to India? Let us know in the comments. Also see: 2018 Toyota Yaris: 5 things you need to know Toyota Yaris sedan first look video 2018 Toyota Yaris sedan India image gallery Toyota's Yaris: ready to take on the Honda City Toyota evaluating Alphard MPV for India launch [...]
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PhotoGallery: 2018 BMW X4 SUV image gallery
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Mercedes-Benz C-class facelift gets EQ hybrid tech
The German carmaker is ready to introduce two plug-in hybrids to its facelifted C-class line-up as part of plans for an extended range of EQ-Power-badged models. The new EQ-Power system increases the output of the electric motor by 40hp over that used by the existing four-year-old 300h to 122hp. The two new hybrids’ electric range will extend to more than 30.6km, thanks to the lithium-ion battery capacity rising from 6.4kWh to 13.8kWh. The electrified drivetrains are based around a new hybrid system. It operates in tandem with a four-cylinder petrol engine in the new C300e and a four-cylinder diesel engine in the C 300de. Mercedes has remained tight-lipped about the combined system outputs for the new C 300e and C300de. However, the C 330e’s turbo 2.0-litre engine is claimed to deliver 211hp and the C300de’s turbo 2.0-litre engine 194hp. The revisions include a number of subtle styling upgrades including re-profiled bumpers with added chrome highlights, new headlights and a new diamond-pattern grille insert for AMG Line models. Inside, the facelifted C-class retains the basic dashboard design of the outgoing model and gets updated analogue instruments and a 7.0-inch infotainment display. Optional equipment includes a new 12.3-inch high-definition digital instrument display offering three themes (Classic, Sport and Progressive), a revised multi-function steering wheel with touch-control pads, a 10.25-inch free-standing infotainment display and a touchpad controller within a reworked centre console. The C-class’ Comand infotainment system has been upgraded to the same standard as that used by the facelifted S-class. However, it forgoes the touchscreen control and connectivity functions of the more advanced system present in the new A-class. The C-class also gets optional smartphone integration supporting Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. It is also outfitted with a wireless charging pad. The line-up will be offered with new remote parking pilot and driving assistance package plus systems. The new line-up will have three diesel models: the 150hp C 200d, 195hp C 220d and 244hp C 300d. Each runs Mercedes’ latest 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine. Three petrol models feature in the line-up: the C 180, C 200 and C 300. The C 180 uses a 1.6-litre turbo engine that produces 156hp in the SLC 180. The C 200 and C 300 both have Mercedes’ new four-cylinder petrol engine. In the C 200 – a mild hybrid with EQ-Boost badging – the engine delivers a nominal 191hp, with an added 17hp available on kickdown when the alternator acts as an electric motor to boost performance. The C 300 gets a higher state of tune at 244hp, but no electric assistance. The facelifted C-class line-up will make its public debut in sedan and estate body styles at the Geneva motor show in March. They will be sold in three trim levels – SE, Sport and AMG Line – and Mercedes says the new entry-level SE spec will be higher than today’s. Mercedes currently sells the previous C-class in India with prices ranging between Rs 41.94 lakh to Rs 46.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). There is no word on when this facelift will arrive in India and if the hybrid tech will come along with it. Also see: 2018 Mercedes C-class image gallery 2017 Mercedes-AMG C 43 vs Audi S5 Sportback comparison 2017 Mercedes C-class Edition C launched at Rs 42.54 lakh [...]
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Hyundai i20 facelift: which variant you should buy
The well-rounded Elite i20 has been a hot seller for Hyundai. It’s got great quality and spacious interiors. It’s also practical, looks contemporary and has a set of refined engines too. The Korean carmaker has just given the Elite i20 a minor facelift and shuffled the equipment list across its ten variants. We help you pick the best variant. Diesel or petrol? The price difference between the diesel and petrol i20 varies across the line-up by Rs 1.20-1.40 lakh, with the former being more expensive. If your daily run is a few kilometres in the city, the petrol will do the job just fine and will deliver a satisfactory performance. However, if you drive mostly on the highway, irrespective of your annual usage, we’d recommend going in for the diesel for its punchy and effortless performance. What’s nice is that it is very refined too and the controls are light, so if you need to use it in the city too, the diesel i20 is equally easy to drive. Variant on a budget If on a tight budget, opt for the Magna Executive variant (P/D: Rs 6/7.31 lakh) which costs Rs 58,000-67,000 more than the base Era variant. While you get basic features like dual front airbags, ABS and speed-sensing door locks from the base variant, the Magna Executive gets the addition of a music system with six speakers, rear air-con vents, four power windows, cooled glovebox, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, front armrest and then some cosmetic features like wheel caps, body-coloured door handles and mirrors. Our pick The pick of the range is the Asta variant (P/D:  Rs 7.12/8.36 lakh) that’s Rs 1.05-1.12 lakh more than the Magna Executive and Rs 53,000 more than the Sportz variant. This variant strikes a good balance between value for money and features. It gets 15-inch alloy wheels, 7.0-inch touchscreen with navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Arkamys Sound Mood, automatic climate control and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. You also get kit like steering-mounted controls, electric-folding outside mirrors, eight speakers, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear defogger, front fog lamps and daytime running lamps (near fog lamps) carried over from the Sportz variant. For those looking for maximum safety kit, there’s the Asta (O) variant (P/D: Rs 7.91/9.16 lakh) that offers side and curtain airbags as well. In addition, this variant gets automatic projector headlamps, keyless entry-go, Isofix child seat mounts, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear seat armrest, an advance MID; all this at a premium of Rs 80,000 over the Asta variant.  [...]
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PhotoGallery: VCCCI vintage car rally image gallery
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2018 Toyota Yaris: 5 things you need to know
The Yaris is Toyota’s much-awaited sedan which is likely to reach showrooms in a couple of months. Positioned between the Etios and the Corolla Altis, the Yaris will compete with the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz and others. Compared to the Etios though, the Yaris feels a lot more desirable; and while its styling isn’t very exciting, this car packs in just the right amount of kit and comfort to be a practical and very competitive contender in the segment. Here are five things that you should know about this upcoming sedan: Dimensions Compared to cars like the City (4,440mm) and Ciaz (4,490mm), the Yaris is shorter in length, measuring 4,425mm. The car has a slightly shorter wheelbase, too – 2,550mm – as compared to the City’s 2,600mm and Ciaz’s 2,650mm. However, the Yaris is as wide as the Ciaz at 1,730mm. On the inside, space is huge with generous amount of room and ample seating comfort. Engine Toyota will be offering the Yaris with a single 108hp, 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, petrol engine available with a 6-speed manual gearbox alongside a 7-step CVT (automatic transmission). There’s also a possibility of the Yaris being made available with a petrol-hybrid, at a later stage. This will not only be the most affordable hybrid offering but also a segment-first. Features Toyota is likely to give the Yaris several features so as to compete with its well-loaded competitors. Among most of the kit that we’ve come to expect out of a car in its segment, the Yaris will feature some segment-first features like gesture control for the touchscreen infotainment system, a tyre pressure-monitoring system, 60:40 rear seat split, adjustable three-neck restraints for the rear seat, roof-mounted rear air-con with ambient lighting, a powered driver’s seat and front parking sensors. Safety Not just segment-first gizmos but Toyota has even loaded the Yaris to the brim with a segment-first safety kit. It gets all-wheel disc brakes, seven airbags (including a driver knee airbag), Hill-Start Assist, ABS, EBD and ESP. A similar-specced Yaris has been awarded five stars in ASEAN NCAP crash tests, which is very reassuring. Price The Yaris will be manufactured in India at Toyota’s plant in Karnataka. The plant will also use a high percentage of localized parts, indicating that this car is likely to be priced very competitively with an estimated range of Rs 8.4-13.5 lakh (ex-showroom), undercutting the Honda City’s price of Rs 8.7-13.7 lakh. Also see: Toyota Yaris sedan first look video 2018 Toyota Yaris sedan India image gallery Toyota's Yaris: ready to take on the Honda City [...]
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Electric two-wheelers showcased at Auto Expo
Electric vehicles (EVs) were the talk of the town at the Auto Expo 2018. With the government pushing for electric cars and bikes, it was evident that we would witness much action at the 2018 Auto Expo and we weren’t disappointed! From cruisers to superbike-rivalling motorcycles, there were many interesting electric vehicles displayed at this year’s show and we have picked the important ones out for you. UM Renegade Thor UM Motorcycles unveiled its first electric two-wheeler offering for India at the Auto Expo 2018 – the Renegade Thor. Staying true to the Renegade’s DNA, the Thor is a cruiser, too, albeit an electric one. With a Rs 9.9 lakh price tag, it also happens to be the most expensive electric motorcycle to go on sale in India. The styling of the Thor is typical of a cruiser with flowing lines and dollops of chrome and it’s only when you see the electric motor placed under the faux fuel tank that you figure out that it’s an electric bike. Powering the Thor is a 30kW motor which produces 70 Nm of torque. The Thor is also the first electric cruiser in the world to feature a 5-speed gearbox. According to UM, the 5-speed gearbox (with a belt drive) reduces the load on the powerplant which is beneficial in increasing the range of the bike. UM claims the Thor has a 270km range, 180kph top speed and 80 per cent of the battery can be charged in 40 minutes with the fast charger. Bookings for the Thor will start in April and deliveries will commence by end-2018. Twenty Two Motors Flow Twenty Two Motors launched its first electric scooter in India, and it’s called the Flow. Powering the Flow is a 2.1kw electric motor that delivers 90Nm of torque which enables it to reach a top speed of 60kph. The Flow has been priced at Rs 74,740 and it will be manufactured at Twenty Two Motors’ production facility in Rajasthan. It features an app-based geo-fencing security, which alerts the owner if the vehicle travels beyond the defined geographical boundaries, while providing the option to immobilise the vehicle. The Flow tips the scale at 85kg and gets a Lithium Ion Battery that can be fully charged in five hours, delivering an 80km range. However, there is an option to carry an additional battery which doubles its range to 160km. It also gets features like a reverse gear, cruise control, a hill assist system, a drag function (to help push during a puncture) and regenerative braking. TVS Creon TVS added to its list of impressive concepts with the Creon electric scooter. The Creon, which shared the stage with the Zeppelin cruiser, could be its first step in the electric scooter space given that it wears TVS’ legendary racing DNA on its sleeve. The first thing that will grab your attention is the sporty and sleek styling of the scooter with sleek LED lights and dynamic LED indicators on the apron. Look closer and you will notice details like the TFT screen, aluminium perimeter frame and diamond cut alloy wheels which make the Creon look stunning. Powering the Creon is a 12kW electric motor which is good enough to propel the Creon from 0-60kmph in 5.1 seconds with a claimed range of 80km. It also gets a fast charging option that tops up 80 per cent of the battery in just an hour. For connectivity, TVS has partnered with Intel and the Creon features Cloud connectivity, three riding modes, regenerative braking, park assist, GPS, geo-fencing and safety/anti-theft features. In addition, it gets a smartphone charger and an under seat storage that can accommodate a full-face helmet. It also features a disc brake at either end and gets a single-channel ABS. Comprehensive for a concept, right? Emflux One Leading the charge of electric two-wheelers at the 2018 Auto Expo in terms of performance was the Emflux One. Emflux claims the One is the performance equivalent of a middleweight sports bike. Supporting this claim is another one – how about a 0-100kph dash in 3 seconds and a top speed of 200kph? These figures have been claimed for the version kitted out with the optional (and lighter) carbon fibre panels. It is powered by a 60kW motor which produces 84Nm and claimed city range of 200km. Highway range stands at 150km when ridden at 80kph. The battery pack itself is air-cooled and features battery cells developed by Samsung. Quick charging is available with a 0-80 per cent charge completing in 1hr 15min while optional fast charging will also be available. The bike showcased at the Auto Expo is a prototype and the production bike will be launched next year with deliveries commencing from April 2019. The Emflux One has been priced at Rs 6 lakh and it will be made available in three variants. The bike also features a 7-inch TFT screen that displays real time diagnostics, GPS and there’s also a HD camera to record your rides. Honda PCX Electric After showcasing the PCX scooter at the Auto Expo 2016, Honda now displayed the PCX electric at its [...]
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Auto Expo 2018 show report
Despite the absence of several high-profile names for various reasons, the Auto Expo 2018 had plenty going for it. As expected, there were several new concept cars that debuted at the Expo, along with many production-ready cars as well. Here's a quick round-up: SUVs The craze for SUVs shows no signs of fading and carmakers are bringing in many more of them this year. Headlining the list, is the Tata H5X concept, a striking new SUV based on a Land Rover platform that'll be available in five- and seven-seat versions when it goes on sale later this year. Maruti Suzuki, apart from the e-Survivor concept, has a baby SUV on display, the Concept Future S, which will slot in below the Vitara Brezza when it goes into production early next year. The only new carmaker at the show, Kia Motors, too, debuted the made-for-India SP Concept, a Creta rival that'll go on sale in 2019. Honda displayed the India-bound CR-V, which, for the very first time, will come with a diesel engine. Mahindra had a rebadged G4 Rexton and the Stinger convertible SUV concept at its stand, while Hyundai brought in the Kona SUV, the EV version of which is being evaluated for India. BMW showcased the new X3, which is due in a few months' time. Mini put the new Countryman crossover on display, as Mercedes-Benz strutted its all-electric Concept EQ SUV, alongside the E-class All-Terrain. Sedans There were plenty of important new sedans unveiled at the Expo, starting with the new Honda Amaze, which made its global debut, and the new Civic, which is due later this financial year. Toyota trained its guns at the Honda City with its new offering, the Yaris, which will be launched in the coming months. Kia Motors had the delicious Stinger GT on display, while Tata Motors revealed the sporty, 110hp JTP Tigor. BMW launched the 6-series Gran Turismo, a rival to the Mercedes E-class LWB, while Mercedes-Benz launched a brace of new Maybachs: the S 560 and the range-topping S 650. Hatchbacks There was enough action in the hatchback space, too. Tata wowed the audience with the gorgeous 45X hatchback concept, as well as the sporty JTP Tiago. Maruti launched the all-new Swift, Hyundai introduced the i20 facelift, while Kia showcased its Ceed hatchback. EVs and hybrids This is the space that saw the most activity. Nearly every carmaker had an electric offering of some sort. BMW had the i3s hatch and the stunning i8 Roadster, Honda showcased its Sports EV concept while Hyundai brought in the electric and hybrid versions of the Ioniq. Tata debuted the Racemo EV, along with all-electric versions of the Tiago and Tigor, as Mahindra showcased the eKUV100. Renault brought along the crazy 460hp Zoe e-Sport concept, while Kia displaying several EVs and hybrids, with the Soul EV crossover being one of them. Motorcycles and scooters Every two-wheeler manufacturer had a big launch or unveil this year. Yamaha launched the much-awaited R15 V3.0 along with the updated R3. Honda introduced the 160cc X-Blade alongside the Activa 5G. There were a bunch of new 125cc scooters: Suzuki debuted the Burgman Street, as Hero came out with 125cc versions of the Duet and Maestro Edge. The Piaggio Group was out in full force, launching the Aprilia SR 125 and debuting the new Storm scooter, to go with the hot new RS and Tuono 150s. BMW Motorrad announced the launch of the new F 750 GS and F 850 GS, while announcing plans to bring the G 310 R and G 310 GS to India this year. Also on display were the Hero XPulse 200, Suzuki GSX-S750, Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX, UM Renegade Duty and Thor. These aside, there was also the Emflux One electric sportbike. Also see: Auto Expo 2018: Our star cars Best cars at Auto Expo 2018 image gallery Best cars at Auto Expo 2018 Best scooters at Auto Expo 2018 Best bikes at Auto Expo 2018 [...]
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Renault Zoe e-Sport displayed at Auto Expo 2018
Electric vehicles are the talk of the town nowadays and this trend can be seen at the Auto Expo 2018 as well. Almost every carmaker has an example of electric mobility at their stand in some or the other form. Renault wasn’t one to be left out and has showcased its performance-focused Zoe e-Sport at the motor show. Essentially a more powerful iteration of the Zoe electric hatchback, the e-Sport is a technology demonstrator for the French carmaker at the ongoing biennial event. Drawing inspiration from Renault’s Formula E involvement, the Zoe e-Sport is powered by two electric motors that produce a combined 466hp and 640Nm of peak torque; its claimed 0- 100kph time is a rapid 3.2sec. Though there is no information on when this EV will launch in the Indian market, we had earlier reported that the Zoe hatchback has been spotted testing in Bengaluru. From this, we can infer that Renault is evaluating the EV for an India introduction. The standard Zoe is powered by a new 41kWh battery, up from the 22kWh unit that was used in the previous model. It has a driving range of up to 400km (under the European driving cycle) and takes 65min for an 80 percent charge via a quickcharger. Renault claims a real-world driving range of 300km and also a full-charge time of 8-9 hours using a standard 7kW charger. Also see: 2018 Renault Zoe e-Sport video review Best cars at Auto Expo 2018 [...]
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