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Bad weather forces team to abandon search for mountaineer’s Polish companion on Nanga ParbatElite climbers have scaled the treacherous slopes of Pakistan’s “Killer Mountain” in pitch darkness in an extraordinary attempt to rescue two mountaineers.The rescuers climbed more than 1,000 metres up Nanga Parbat, the ninth highest mountain in the world, to reach Frenchwoman Elisabeth Revol in the middle of the night. But they were forced to make the heartbreaking decision not to go on to find Tomasz Mackiewicz, from Poland. Continue reading... [...]
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AMG’s C 43 really did prove that ultimate power isn’t everything when it was launched last year. As far as we’d known, up until then, a hot AMG C-class meant a V8 engine, stiff suspension, a very loud noise, rear-wheel drive, and, as a result, a sometimes-worrying dearth of traction. But then the supposedly lesser ‘43’ came along with all-wheel drive, a bit less power, a softer but still pleasant noise, and comfort like you’d expect from a Mercedes, and it proved to be an altogether more usable package for our roads. But before the C 43, Audi had the old S5 Sportback – albeit for the all-too-brief span of two years. Now that car has been replaced by an all-new model, and it’s everything you’d expect. It’s more powerful, better looking, more spacious, more luxurious and more modern. But is it the better everyday performance car? Or is that the Mercedes?
MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
Let’s start with what they have in common – turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines, torque converter automatic gearboxes and all-wheel drive. And then there’s the fact that they’re both fully imported, so unlike some of their locally assembled stablemates, they are ‘uncorrupted’, which is to say they haven’t been retuned for our market, and that does have an impact on the way they behave on the road.
They both also have regular diesel variants (A5 TDI and C 250d) and the sporty visual add-ons that set them apart are small and subtle. The Audi, for example, just has its grille finished in black rather than chrome, the wing mirrors are silver, and though the alloy wheels are a different shape, they’re the same size. The AMG makes a better effort at distancing itself from its mainstream sibling, what with its ‘diamond’ grille, all-new bumpers and, of course, different alloys. It’s also far more generously equipped than a regular C-class, while the S5 has virtually the same equipment list as the diesel A5. But then the price walk from a C 250 d to C 43 is a lot greater than the one from A5 to S5. Which looks better? Personally, I prefer the Audi, with its subtle curves, low roof and greater visual width. Although, the fact that a C-class is a far more common sight than an A5 Sportback probably has something to do with that.
On the inside too, the S5 isn’t too different from the A5, save for some carbon-fibre trim and red quilted upholstery, whereas the AMG 43 feels a more significant step up from its lesser sibling, with its black leather, dark matte wood and red seatbelt; oh yes, chunkier steering wheel too. Both cars get heavily bolstered sports seats at the front, though, while the S5’s snug buckets are better suited to skinny ol’ me, I suspect most would prefer the larger, comfier chairs of the C 43. And while we’re talking practicality, they both have 480-litre boots, but the Audi’s liftback opening means the space is more usable, plus, its spare wheel is tucked safely away underneath; the Merc’s sits inside the boot. The back seats are important too; in fact, they are what separate sports sedans from outright sportscars and add some real-world usability. With its sloping ‘Sportback’ roof, the A5 does sacrifice quite a bit of headroom and taller passengers will find it a bit cramped back here. No such issue in the C-class, thanks to its conventional sedan shape, and though it’s a little short on thigh support, it does feel like the more comfortable and spacious back seat.
DimensionsAudi S5 SportbackMercedes-AMG C 43Length4733mm4702mmWidth1843mm1810mmHeight1386mm1434mmWheelbase2824mm2840mmKerb weight1660kg1690kgFuel tank58 litres66 litresTyre size (f/r)245/40 R18225/45 R18-245/40 R18
Numbers? The Merc’s 367hp plays the Audi’s 354hp, and it’s a similar story with the torque – 520Nm versus 500Nm. The Audi has eight speeds in its torque converter gearbox (that’s right, no DSG this time), while the Mercedes has nine. Launch them both as hard as possible and they are shockingly closely matched, with the AMG just slightly edging ahead. In the sprint to the ton, it gets there in 4.77sec compared to the S5’s 5.01sec, it gets the 20-80kph sprint done and dusted in 3.08sec to the Audi’s 3.16sec and, when bolting from 40-100kph, the Merc does the dash in 3.58sec versus the Audi’s 4.24sec.
PerformanceAudi S5 SportbackMercedes-AMG C 430-20kph0.69s0.68s0-40kph1.53s1.46s0-60kph2.46s2.30s0-80kph3.90s3.37s0-100kph5.01s4.77s0-120kph6.80s6.52s20-80kph (in kickdown)3.16s3.08s40-100kph (in kickdown)4.24s3.58s
The figures may be as they are, but there are some differences in the way these cars feel on the road, and this is what might make all the difference for many. For instance, while both V6 engines sound really nice, it’s the AMG’s that’s a bit louder and more melodious; the Audi V6 [...]
Suzuki Motorcycles’ stand in Hall No. 2 at the Auto Expo 2018 is set to have 17 two-wheelers on display. This line-up will include the upcoming Burgman Street scooter, new CKD motorcycles, the company’s Indian line-up, dirt bikes and the GSX-RR –Suzuki’s Ecstar MotoGP race bike.
The Japanese brand has said that the Auto Expo will also pave the way to fulfil its commitment of delivering two new products for the Indian market every year. We expect one of these products to be the new Burgman Street, a premium scooter Suzuki has developed for India. Engine details are unclear at the moment and the Burgman Street could share the 125cc motor from the Access 125. However, there is also a possibility that it could feature a new 150cc engine developed specifically for the application. Currently, the only other 150cc scooters on sale are the Aprilia SR150 and the Vespa 150.
We expect the second product to be a CKD motorcycle. It is likely that this bike will be Suzuki’s first sub-1,000cc big bike offering in India, and it could be either the V-Strom 650 adventure bike or the GSX-S750 naked sports bike. The V-Strom 650 uses a 645cc V-twin motor that produces 71hp while the GSX-S750 gets a powerful 749cc, inline, four-cylinder engine that produces 114hp. In terms of pricing, the V-Strom may be priced slightly higher than the Kawasaki Versys 650. But if it’s the Suzuki GSX-S750 that’s launching, it could be priced on-par or may even undercut Kawasaki’s well-priced Z900, while offering similar performance. The Suzuki also offers traction control, which the Z900 misses out on. Both bikes are expected to be displayed, with one launching at the Expo and one later in the year.
Besides the company’s Indian offerings and the previously-mentioned Ecstar Moto GP race bike, Suzuki will also have the GSX-RR, the Gixxer Cup racing model, various motocross variants, the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450, the 2018 RM-Z250 and 2018 DR-Z70 will also be on display.
Suzuki Burgman Street to be launched at Auto Expo 2018
Auto Expo 2018 preview: Scooters and bikes
Suzuki to unveil new scooter, CKD motorcycle at Auto Expo 2018 [...]
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There is good news round the corner for cricket lovers in India. The Narendra Modi government is planning to bring in a regulation which would allow mandatory telecast of Indian cricket matches on Doordarshan channels available to DTH subscribers. [...]