The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to analyse the effects of the ban on firecrackers in the Delhi-NCR region which the apex court had imposed in October last year. The apex court will hear the [...]
If you were looking for an affordable flagship smartphone, chances are you were looking at a OnePlus device, or a previous generation smartphone that saw a price cut. A lot of smartphone makers have r... [...]
Intel’s Basin Falls platform had quite a few surprises in store. Having been revealed at Computex, the X299 Platform was all about playing leapfrog with AMD’s Threadripper announcement. Fo... [...]
Mumbai, Jan 5: The beginning of 2018 has brought cheers to the market as Sensex and Nifty on Friday touched a new record. The BSE Sensex soared to the life-time high of 34,175.21 and the NSE Nifty scaled the historic 10,562.80 [...]
Pictures don’t lie. Not most of the time, anyway, but I have to admit, when I first saw pictures of the new Audi Q5, I kind of wished that they were at least hiding something. At the front, it was hard to tell apart from the Q7 – the big hexagonal grille with a matte chrome surround, signature LED headlamps, and crease after Teutonic crease. Moreover, from there backward, it looked the same as the last Q5, and though their LED pattern was all new, the tail-lamps were almost the same shape. Had the Audi design team finally taken the ‘family look’ a bit too far?
Well, it’s a frigid morning on an empty stretch of highway in Jaipur and my breakfast is a nice, heavy helping of my own words. Yes, it’s only a little bit larger than the last Q5, but there’s a nuance to the design that makes this brand-new, second-generation Q5 look altogether more athletic and, visually, a little more compact. That Q7-like grille and headlamp combination are more raked back and angular and the daytime running lamp signature is quite different. Even around the sides, there’s a thick crease that curves over the wheel arches and to the tail, and a more pronounced ‘dimple’ in the doors. Yes, the rear is still reminiscent of the last car, but the LED pattern in the lamps is all new and there’s a small rear undertray with faux exhaust tips that adds a bit of character. In classic Audi fashion, it’s a design that will probably grow on you in time. The 18-inch alloys, though, do look a bit too ordinary – I wish they’d opted for a more dramatic-looking set.
SAME, BUT DIFFERENT
It’s on this deserted desert highway that I’m getting my first glimpse of this car, the orange glow of the dawn bringing those new lines to life. And also glinting in that light is the badge – 35 TDI. Now I’ve learned enough about Audi’s new badging scheme over the last few years to know that this isn’t the V6 model, but instead the 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel. But what I’m happy to find (after a little digging) is that it’s the brand-new 190hp, 400Nm engine that’s in the A4. And because this new Q5 is built on the same new MLB Evo platform as the Q7, it’s as much as 90kg lighter, in some variants, than the old car. That bodes well for fuel economy and performance, and though I won’t get a proper chance to test the former today, I certainly can tell you about the latter.
It feels deceptively quick. Not in an electrifying way like, say, a larger six-cylinder engine, but rather in the smooth, silent swell of torque that we’ve now come to expect from newer VW Group diesel engines. This version of Audi’s seven-speed ‘S-Tronic’ dual-clutch gearbox feels quick as ever with its shifts and is really good at sensing what you want from it almost before you’ve provided an input. The difference is, this time it feels a lot smoother and more refined than what we’re used to, to the point that it almost feels like a torque-converter automatic.
The Q5 for India, of course, has Quattro all-wheel drive and that allows it to put power down really effectively. Not that any customer realistically would, but it’s really easy to launch this car quickly – it simply lunges off the line with very little drama. Audi claims a 7.9sec 0-100kph time, and for a 1.9-tonne SUV with a four-cylinder engine that’s really not too shabby at all, and perfectly believable. We will, of course, need to strap our testing equipment to it soon to verify that for you. It then proceeds to pull strongly to the redline, with an especially healthy mid-range, as it hurtles me down the Rajasthani national highway, quickly reaching three-digit speeds and holding me there with a confident ease. It’s smoother and more linear than the older versions of the 2.0 TDI, but it still delivers a nice kick.
Still, this is not a performance car, and what owners are likely going to appreciate more is the refinement, and that’s something the new Q5 does exceptionally well. There’s a welcome hush on the move at just about any speed, and it’s not just the engine; even road and wind noise are locked firmly out of the cabin. Part-throttle driving, likely what a Q5 will spend a lot of time doing in city traffic, is also an easy and relaxed affair. The gearbox works around any turbo lag there might be, and even when it does shift, it’s a small and barely-felt interruption to the flow of power.
This is a highway in Rajasthan, and that means, search as relentlessly as I do, there isn’t a corner in sight. Some wide, meandering bends, sure, but nothing to really put the chassis under duress. Again, this is not a sportscar, so perhaps that isn’t critical here, but there’s a very interesting new addition to the specification that makes me want to get a better se [...]
The budget segment of mechanical keyboards in India is witnessing the entry of several manufacturers. While the big brands are pushing keyboards towards the budget segment, other brands such as Circle... [...]
Judge in India declares the Force India co-owner a ‘proclaimed offender’ after failing to appear in courtA New Delhi court on Thursday declared India’s flamboyant tycoon Vijay Mallya a “proclaimed offender” for failing to appear to answer allegations of money laundering by flouting foreign currency laws.The order paves the way for the government to take over Mallya’s businesses and real estate holdings. Related: Force India F1 team boss Vijay Mallya arrested in London Continue reading... [...]
The Yogi Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh has drawn flak from the opposition for painting the Haj House in Lucknow saffron. The Haj House, which is used as a transit point by Muslims on their way to Mecca, was earlier green [...]
Newspaper says it bought access to details from world’s largest biometric database, used to administer public services The personal information of more than a billion Indians stored in the world’s largest biometric database can be bought online for less than £6, according to an investigation by an Indian newspaper.The reported breach is the latest in a series of alleged leaks from the Aadhaar database, which has been collecting the photographs, thumbprints, retina scans and other identifying details of every Indian citizen. Related: India goes from village to village to compile world’s biggest ID database Related: No ID, no benefits: thousands could lose lifeline under India’s biometric scheme Continue reading... [...]
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on Thursday stressed on the need to unify India and make it a country free of social discrimination, and asked all citizens of the country to embrace each other. Bhagwat's comments came at [...]
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday assured that the positive impact of the economic measures being taken by the government would be seen in medium to long term. The minister, in a debate 'short-term discussion on the state of [...]
Linksys is well-known in the networking industry for their extremely well-built devices. There isn’t a networking guy who wouldn’t swear by the infamous WRT54G series. That thing was built... [...]
At least 11 people killed in suicide attack in Afghan capital as both Isis and the Taliban ramp up attacksA suicide attacker blew himself up near a crowd of police and protesters in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 25 others, in the latest deadly violence to bring carnage to the Afghan capital.“A suicide attacker has detonated himself … close to a number of police who were trying to provide security for an ongoing protest,” the deputy interior ministry spokesman, Nasrat Rahimi, told AFP. Related: Its dreams of a caliphate are gone. Now Isis has a deadly new strategy | Hassan Hassan Continue reading... [...]
US demands ‘decisive action’ on Afghan Taliban and Haqqani networkState department vague on detail but says cut adds to $255m already on holdThe United States announced on Thursday it was suspending security assistance to Pakistan for failing to take “decisive action” against the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which Washington believes is destabilizing the region. Related: 'Nothing but lies and deceit': Trump launches Twitter attack on Pakistan Related: Pakistan summons US ambassador over Trump's 'lies and deceit' tweet Continue reading... [...]
Lucknow administration has ordered for schools to be shut. Schools will remain closed until January 7 and the classes will begin from January 8. However, the classes will start at 10 am rather than the usual school timings. The [...]
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday condemned the murder of a Bajrang Dal activist in Suratkal town near Mangaluru. The chief minister congratulated Mangalore City Police for swiftly solving the case and warned general public against communal propoganda. "I [...]
Three FIRs lodged against West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee for her
controversial remarks on NRC at two police stations in Guwahati, Assam. [...]
An explosion has rocked Kabul's Banaee area in an alleged suicide bombing on Thursday. [...]
Alik Chakrabarty, leader of Red Star, confirmed today that his party
will participate in the electoral process in the state. The last time it
did, it was in 2014 general elections. [...]
As a result of dry conditions prevailing in Cape Town, the city dwellers and the travelling Indian cricket team there have been advised to not shower for more than two minutes, according to a report in The Indian Express. [...]
Having previously coached fellow IPL franchise Mumbai Indians to the 2015 title during a two-year stint at the club, Ponting will take over at the Daredevils for the 2018 season. [...]
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two trophies, was, to the surprise of many, absent from the franchise's retention list, while Dhoni was brought back by Chennai Super Kings for the upcoming season. [...]
When monsoon rains swept Bangladesh last autumn, flooding forced people from their homes in droves. With some scientists estimating that shifting weather patterns could cost the country almost a quarter of its existing landmass, climate migration is fast becoming alarmingly commonplaceAll photographs by the Environmental Justice FederationLast September, the Bangladeshi government responded to weeks of torrential rain with a slew of statistics. They said 8 million people in 32 districts had been affected by floods, with 307,000 people staying in emergency shelters and 1,945 medical teams deployed. In addition, 103,855 houses had been destroyed, with a further 633,792 partially damaged, and 4,636 schools – and several hundred thousand acres of farm land – had been flooded. This is everyday climate change at work … a slow-onset shift destroying lives and livelihoods before our eyesOne night the water came in … It was so high it almost reached the ceiling. Our house and all our land was washed away Continue reading... [...]
A Facebook survey has revealed that Piyush Goyal, the Union railway minister, is the most "liked" member of the Cabinet after Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A photograph of Piyush Goyal with his wife on Karva Chauth has drawn the [...]
New Delhi, Jan 4: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj wants Hindi to be one of the official languages spoken at the United Nations (UN). She stated that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is ready to spend a whopping Rs [...]
There are over 500 candidates in Karnataka who may not be eligible to contest the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections 2018. The ECI is scrutinising documents pertaining at least 547 candidates who had contested the 2013 polls. It has been [...]
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 [...]
The new Bajaj Discover 110 is ready to be re-introduced. Spy shots of the motorcycle at dealerships have emerged and the 110 will be the second Discover model to be offered by Bajaj – and the sixth commuter, in the range. The other commuters Bajaj currently has on sale are the CT100B, Platina 100, Discover 125, V12 and V15.
To be slotted between the Platina 100 and Discover 125, the Discover 110 aims to offer the styling of the Discover in a more economical package. For 2018, both Discover iterations get five-spoke (or ten-spoke, depending on how you assess the wheel design) alloys in matte black – replacing the silver five-spoke alloys on the existing 125 – and new graphics, as well.
The Discover 110 is not expected to be a feature-heavy motorcycle – although it does get a digi-analogue instrument cluster, an electric starter, a blacked-out lower half (all cycle parts, essentially), handlebar-end weights and dual shock absorbers with a piggyback reservoir. However, the 110 will not be offered with a disc brake as standard.
The DTS-i motor isn’t exactly an all-new unit but boasts substantial updates to make it efficient, as well as a relatively involving motorcycle to ride. We expect this motor to produce 9.5hp and 9.5Nm of torque and it's likely to be paired to a 4-speed gearbox with an all-down shift pattern.
The Discover 110 will compete with the likes of the Hero MotoCorp Passion Pro/XPro and the TVS Victor 110. It will be priced at Rs 50,500 (ex-showroom, Pune), at which point it will undercut its two primary rivals by Rs 3,000-4,000. That aside, the Discover also has the pricing advantage because it isn’t equipped with a disc brake. The Discover 110 will be launched alongside other updated Bajaj motorcycles in the first half of January 2018 – stay tuned for more updates! [...]