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Aston Martin DBX SUV expected to be named Varekai
Since the SUV's first announcement at the 2015 Geneva motor show, the model has been referred to as the DBX – the name of the concept that previewed it. It is due on roads in 2019 and the production model is currently under development. Its design was signed off late, last summer with intentions of drastically boosting the 105-year-old firm's sales volumes. Varekai looks set to adorn the final version, following the application of a new trademark for the moniker. It sticks to the brand's naming convention of names starting with a V – like the Vantage, Vanquish and Valkyrie. The British luxury carmaker declined to comment when contacted by our sister publication, Autocar UK. When the DBX production model arrives, it will rival the Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus, Maserati Levante and top-end Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes in the luxury 4x4 segment. However, CEO Andy Palmer has previously stated that the DBX will stand apart from them “because it has not sacrificed any beauty to achieve its practicality or performance”. The SUV project was envisioned by Palmer before he took up his role at Aston Martin in 2014 and it was officially kick-started on his fourth day in the job. Palmer indicated that the final car will carry much of the DNA hinted at by the concept. “There are aspects of the car that have changed dramatically,” he said. “But in terms of the pure lines and the fundamental core principles of the car – you’ll recognise them.” Reichmann has suggested the roofline will have to be much higher than that of the concept in order to give the production car an extra layer of practicality. The DBX concept of Geneva 2015 was a two-door, four-seat model powered by electric motors mounted inboard of the wheels and powered by lithium-sulphur cells. The car featured several other high-tech concept flourishes – such as an F1-style kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) – in order to emphasise that it would be at the cutting edge of powertrain technology when it was launched. However, Marek Reichmann, Head of Design, and his team also made a point of highlighting some of the SUV's more practical elements such as cabin and load space. The DBX will be built on a new bonded and riveted aluminium architecture that is closely related in principle to that used by the DB11. There had been speculation that Aston would lean on part-owner Mercedes-Benz for its chassis technology, but Palmer said Aston preferred to make use of its own expertise – albeit turning to Mercedes for some sub-systems and V8 power – as it will do with all of its next-generation vehicles. The DBX will also be the first Aston to be sold with four-wheel drive, although it’s not clear if every model will have the function. The SUV's Range-topping power will come from Aston’s 5.2-litre V12, to be re-tuned from the 600bhp and 516lb ft unit found in the DB11. There will also be an AMG-sourced 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 that makes 503bhp and 498lb ft and, in time, an all-electric powertrain that will be developed as proprietary technology by Aston with the input of Williams Advanced Engineering. Palmer has ruled out diesel versions of the DBX. However, he confirmed that a hybrid version of the car will be developed sans plug-in hybrid technology, since research suggests that luxury car buyers do not consider the experience to be premium enough. This revelation raises the possibility of Aston using the high-performance powertrain from the Mercedes-AMG GT Concept that was revealed at the Geneva motor show, last year. Its hybrid unit combines AMG’s twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 with an electric motor to deliver a combined 800bhp. In the GT Concept, that figure equates to a 0-100kph time of less than 3sec; the DBX will be heavier, though. The battery is charged as the car is being driven – both, through brake energy recuperation as well as with the aid of the petrol engine. However, Palmer also highlighted the learnings the company had made while developing the hybrid KERS-style system with Red Bull Technologies for the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar, suggesting the firm could use a modified version of that instead of turning to Mercedes. In terms of ride and handling goals, Palmer highlighted the characteristics of the Porsche Macan. “It is probably dynamically the best car in the SUV category,” he said. The interior of the DBX is set to take a new approach, with the design team having to focus more than ever on practicality. Aston has created focus groups of existing customers to provide input, including the much-vaunted female focus group, which was instigated on Palmer’s suggestion as soon as the concept car was revealed after it emerged that just 3,500 of the firm’s lifetime sales of 70,000 cars were to women. “This is not an Aston Martin that is exclusive to any one type of buyer [...]
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Recipe of the day: Badaami Murgh
Last-minute guests at home, kids fed up of boring food or picnic planning? We present you with a quick recipe that you can try at home without fretting about the ingredients (as they are normally available in every household). Get the chicken now. What ar [...]
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Karnataka elections: Rahul Gandhi to campaign in state on May 3-4
New Delhi, May 1: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will undertake the eighth leg of his campaign for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly polls on May 3-4, a party source said on Tuesday (May 1). Resuming his "Jana Aashirwada Yatre", the [...]
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Gujarat: BSF detains Pak man for crossing IB in Kutch
Bhuj (Gujarat), May 27: A Pakistani national was detained on Sunday by the Border Security Force (BSF) when he tried to enter the country through the international border in Gujarat's Kutch district, an official said. Three SIM cards and [...]
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Moto G6
  Lenovo’s Moto G lineup of phones have evolved with the changing times. Every time a new feature or a trend started making waves within the market, the Moto G lineup would have it. The range... [...]
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Liverpool's England international Adam Lallana aims to make up for lost time
The England international, who sustained a thigh injury in the pre-season, played 86 minutes of Liverpool's 2-1 victory over Burnley on New Year's Day. [...]
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In view of elections in three states and Lok Sabha polls, BJP trains functionaries of 29 departments
New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has conducted a meeting of functionaries of 29 departments and projects constituted by party president Amit Shah. This is part of the ongoing Pt. Deendayal Upadhyay Prashikshan Mahabhiyan. The meeting is significant in view [...]
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Jabees BTwins
  I’d been hearing of this Hong Kong based company for quite a while. The fact that they made one of the first relatively affordable, “truly” wireless in-ears in the market, made me aw... [...]
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Budget 2018: Will Arun Jaitley make India happy?
New Delhi, Feb 1: All eyes are on Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, and he must deliver to make one and all happy by tabling a smart and populist budget in Parliament. Tough task, nonetheless, experts say not impossible. In a [...]
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Indian Air Force organises Paralympics event for special kids in Delhi
Indian Air Force organises Paralympics event for special kids in Delhi [...]
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February sees continued growth for automakers
Most automakers registered a growth in passenger vehicle sales in February and the positive trend indicates the Indian passenger vehicle industry is headed for a record fiscal (April-March 2018). Volumes were led by Maruti Suzuki, which registered a double digit increase in sales and homegrown automaker Tata Motors posted robust growth of 45 percent. Honda, however, bucked the trend and saw volumes dip 18.23 percent year-on-year. Maruti Suzuki The country's largest carmaker continued to maintain its lead by a comfortable margin. At 1,36,648 units, volumes rose 13.3 percent year-on-year. The growth was particularly driven by its small cars (up 38.7 percent) such as the Dzire and the Baleno, followed by a strong demand for the recently launched third-gen Swift. While the Vitara Brezza kept the sales momentum of the UV segment on the upswing by 13.8 percent, sales of the company’s mid-size sedan, the Ciaz, declined 16.8 percent. The company is expected to set a sales record for itself and surpass the 1.5mn mark in the fiscal. In FY2017, it sold a total of 14,43,641 units (+10.59 percent). Hyundai The second largest carmaker in the country by sales volumes, Hyundai Motor India, sold 44,505 units in February, registering growth of  5.1 percent (February 2017: 42,327). The company is marching forward on the back of sizeable demand for its Grand i10, Elite i20, and the Creta SUV, which have continued to perform well in their respective segments. Tata Motors Tata Motors has been slowly upping its game in the Indian PV segment and its efforts are quite evident in the robust sales numbers posted by the company. It sold a total of 17,771 units last month, posting a substantial 45 percent growth (February 2017: 12,272). The company has been witnessing good demand for its newest offering, the Nexon compact crossover, which was launched in September 2017, and has gone on to keep the assembly lines at Tata Motors’ Ranjangaon plant buzzing, with over 25,000 units being built within five months of its launch. Tata Motors could also be considered to be the show stealer at the 2018 Auto Expo with its H5X SUV and the 45X premium hatchback concepts. The company will introduce the production version models of these concepts in 2019, which will aid its goal of becoming the third largest car manufacturer in the country by 2020. Mahindra & Mahindra UV major Mahindra & Mahindra also announced its sales numbers with the company selling 22,389 passenger vehicles in February, registering growth of 8 percent (February 2017: 20,717). While sales of its UVs, which include popular models like the Bolero, Scorpio and the XUV500, grew by 7 percent with 20,977 units (February 2017: 19,529), its passenger cars and vans grew by a considerable 19 percent, albeit contributing very low volumes of 1,412 units (February 2017: 1,188). Honda Japanese carmaker Honda registered sales of 11,650 units in February 2018, down 18.23 percent year-on-year. The City sedan was the best-seller with 3,885 units, followed by the WR-V crossover (3,364), Jazz (2,257), Amaze (933), BR-V (822), Brio (375) and CR-V (14). The company attributed the reduction in overall volumes to the fall in dispatch of the Amaze ahead the launch of the all new model in the second quarter of 2018.  Toyota Toyota reported total sales of 11,864 units in February, up 2.8 percent. The carmaker recently unveiled the Yaris at the Auto Expo 2018. It is banking on the sedan, which will go up against the popular Honda City, to boost its volumes and strengthen its position in the automotive segment. “With the launch of the Yaris in May 2018, we hope to boost our sales momentum," N Raja, deputy managing director, TKM, said. "The National Auto Policy Draft has been very encouraging with a clear focus and push towards ‘technology agnostic’ green mobility roadmap. We are optimistic that such measures to promote cleaner and greener technologies will further promote hybrid technology and rationalise the GST structure for automobiles,” Raja added. Ford India American carmaker Ford, which has been seeing slow sales for quite some time, registered sales of 9,041 units and grew by 8.4 percent (February 2017: 8,338). The uptick in numbers could be credited to the EcoSport facelift, which was launched in November 2017, and sold 6,833 units in January, contributing majorly to the company’s sales.  However, company president and managing director Anurag Mehrotra cautioned that the government's decision to increase customs duty could drive up prices, thus impacting demand. Passenger vehicle sales February 2018CompanyFebruary 2018February 2017Growth (%)Maruti Suzuki136,648120,59913.30%Hyundai Motor44,50542,3275.10%Mahindra & Mahindra22,38920,7178.10%Tata Motors17,77112,27244.80%Honda Cars India11,65014,249-18.24%Toyota Kirloskar11,86411,4532.80%Ford India9,0418,3388.40% [...]
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Corning unveils the tougher Gorilla Glass 5
  Corning has unveiled the next iteration of Gorilla Glass, a toughened glass used on most touchscreen devices. Called Gorilla Glass 5, the company says that the new glass can survive drops on roug... [...]
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Graphene oxide sheets can make dirty water safe to drink, really?
The process is extremely simple. A team of researchers has come up with a way to use “veritable wonder material” graphene oxide sheets to turn dirty water clean for a thirsty wo [...]
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Mercedes seeks to widen customer base with AMG SLC 43
Tax breaks for cars powered by sub-3.0-litre engines in India has enabled Mercedes to price the AMG SLC 43 at a lower rate. [...]
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UP minister draws public ire for saying Rajputs, Yadavs drink more liquor
Protesters hurled tomatoes and eggs on Saturday at the home of Uttar Pradesh minister Om Prakash Rajbhar for saying that Rajputs and Yadavs consumed more liquor than others. Youths, some of them wearing red caps, mobbed the minister's official [...]
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Rajnath Singh at Saarc meet in Pakistan, barely shakes hands with counterpart Nisar Ali Khan
The ongoing strain in Indo-Pak relations was evident at the Saarc Interior/Home Ministers' conference, when Home Minister Rajnath Singh came face-to-face with his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan for the first time on Thursday, and the two leaders barely shook hands. The post Rajnath Singh at Saarc meet in Pakistan, barely shakes hands with counterpart Nisar Ali Khan appeared first on Firstpost. [...]
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Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha meet Stalin; What is the duo up to?
Former finance minister Yashwant Sinha and BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Friday met DMK Working President MK Stalin in Chennai. The meeting assumes significance as both the Sinhas been staunch critics of the Modi government at the Centre. Yashwant [...]
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Assam strike: Cornered rebels had orders to hit back
Kokrajhar: An injured is taken to the hospital after an attack by NDFB (S) terrorists in the market area at Balajan Tinali near Kokrajhar town in Assam on Friday. (Source: PTI) The [...]
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Gujarat: Here Hindu, Muslim couples tie the knot under one roof to spread the message of unity
Gandhinagar, May 15: At a time when political parties are openly supporting "divisive politics", a Muslim group in Vadodara, Gujarat is doing its bit to spread the message of communal harmony among various religious groups. The group, which organises wedding ceremony of [...]
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Is the BJP’s mission Odisha unfolds with Jay Panda’s resignation?
New Delhi: With the Prime Minister Narendra Modi blowing the poll bugle for the next Lok Sabha election from Odisha, the new battleground for the Bharatiya Janata Partyis is set to be for Odisha. Some more leaders of the [...]
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Sandesara Case: Key witness ousted Congress leader Ahmed Patel, his son and son-in-law
In a sensational development which could have serious political implications, a key witness in the Sandesara case has named senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, his son Faisal Patel and his son-in-law Irfan Siddique in connection with the case. [...]
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Farmers’ stir: Supply of vegetables stays between normal and low
The ongoing farmers' stir in Madhya Pradesh saw a mixed response with some traders claiming the supply of vegetables at the agriculture markets had weakened while others termed it normal. A senior police official said the situation in the state today [...]
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Maruti dealers begin to accept new Swift bookings
The new Maruti Swift will launch in the Indian market in the coming weeks. Slated to be one of the biggest launches this year, the India-spec Swift was seen for the first time, recently. A quick check with multiple dealers reveals that some of them have unofficially begun accepting bookings for the new model. Maruti is yet to announce the details for the new Swift for India. Dealers tell us that customers whose bookings have been accepted for the outgoing car will get the new model automatically if stocks of the older car are depleted – which is the case at most locations. A handful of dealers have also begun to accept fresh bookings for the car. Booking amounts vary between locations since there is no official announcement. Deliveries for the new Swift in India are being promised by the end-February or early in March, according to our sources. The new Swift will continue to be powered by the current crop of engines, a 1.2-litre petrol and the 1.3-litre diesel. However, Maruti will offer automatic gearbox variants too – like with the new Dzire. The new model is built on the same platform as Baleno, albeit around 10-15 percent lighter. The new Swift’s cabin is likely to continue with all-black theme, like the outgoing model. The new model is likely to retain the international-spec car’s minimalistic dashboard with a new, upmarket steering wheel and sporty, two-pod instrument cluster. We expect fully-loaded variants to also get more equipment – such as a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink. Key rivals to the new Swift include the Hyundai Grand i10 and the Ford Figo. The latter is also expected to get a mid-cycle update in the coming months. Image source [...]
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Breaking bread, piercing prejudice: how a Ramadan meal united faiths | Amrit Dhillon
Concerned about the portrayal of Muslims in India, author Nazia Erum hosted a multi-faith dinner in New Delhi to lay a few misconceptions to restAt a dinner in a Delhi home on Sunday, guests around the table were asked to write down one stereotype that they – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus – had about one another. The purpose? Breaking prejudices while breaking bread together.The interfaith meal was prompted by the hosts’ desire to address preconceptions about Muslims, whom they feel have been targeted under Narendra Modi’s government. Continue reading... [...]
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Rats break into Indian ATM and chew up cash worth £13,300
Shredded bank notes discovered after cash machine stops working in Assam stateRats have nibbled through more than 1m rupees of banknotes after entering a cash machine in north-east India, police said.The costly invasion in Assam state was only detected by bank officials after complained that the machine was faulty and had stopped dispensing cash, police in Tinsukia district said. Continue reading... [...]
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Day after refusing India's deportation plea, Malaysian PM meets Zakir Naik
Day after refusing India's deportation plea, Malaysian PM meets Zakir Naik [...]
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L Sarita Devi enters quarters on Day 1 of Strandja Memorial boxing
Seema Punia was assured of a medal without a fight, while the seasoned L Sarita Devi entered the quarters with a hard-fought win on a reasonably good opening day for India in the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament for men and women. [...]
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TGI Friday to have 19 outlets by 2015
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