Thursday, 28 November 2013

With Codename RX, Maruti Suzuki to launch Innova sized MPV in 2016-17

With the increase in demand for Utility vehicles, Maruti Suzuki India is also planning to introduce a new multi-utility vehicle in the market. The new model will directly compete against Toyota Innova, which has been the country's top selling model. The company plans to launch the MPV in 2016-17.
According to Livemint, the new MPV will be larger the the Ertiga. Maruti's Ertiga has been doing good business in India, but it cannot compete well against Innova which comes equipped with loads of space and power. The country's largest carmaker felt a need of a larger MUV to compete well in the higher segment, where Innova rules the market since it was introduced in 2005.

Codenamed RX, the new MPV is said to be an 8-seater, and will be powered by diesel engine larger than the 1.2-litre DDiS unit which does duty in the Ertiga MPV. It seems like Maruti sanctioned the development of the RX MPV in January 2013. The company wanted to keep this development secret, however Mint managed to get a note informing about the appointment of a chief engineer for their MPV project. Few of the Maruti's component suppliers have also confirmed the development of the RX.

In FIA Formula E Championship Mahindra racing is participating

Mahindra Racing will join the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship beginning in September 2014. The motor sports division of the Mumbai-based USD 16.2 billion multinational Mahindra Group has signed an agreement with series promoters Formula E Holdings to become the eighth and only Indian team to join the new zero emission series.

The innovative all-electric global race series will include 10 races in its first season in city-centre locations around the world, including London, Beijing and Los Angeles, designed to raise awareness about electric vehicles as well as help advance EV technology.

The series has generated significant interest globally, and professional services firm EY recently released a report forecasting that Formula E will help contribute to the additional sale of 77 million electric vehicles worldwide over the next 25 years.

Already a major global force in the development and production of electric vehicles through Mahindra Reva it was a natural step forward for the Mahindra Group to join the Formula E Championship.

“We strongly believe that Formula E can provide an excellent global showcase for our electric vehicle technology,” said Mr Anand Mahindra, Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group. “With advanced operations and expertise in electronics, IT, automotive technologies and manufacturing, we are already seeing the fusion of this technology into our electric vehicle operations. Racing will further accelerate that trend while Formula E is set to raise awareness globally about the benefits of electric vehicles.”

Mahindra is no stranger to international motor sport, with Mahindra Racing already established within the two-wheeled world of the MotoGP World Championship.

According to Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director and President (Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors), “As pioneers of electric mobility in India, we are extremely thrilled to extend EV technology to the exhilarating world of the Formula E championship. This will not only help us develop next generation EV technologies, but will also catapult our product development capabilities to the next orbit.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

By Bagged 3,500 bookings in a day the all new 2014 Hyundai Genesis revealed in Korea

The South Korean brand, Hyundai Motors finally took the wraps of its most anticipated premium sedan segment, all-new Hyundai Genesis. It is the company's first ever rear-wheel-drive vehicle specifically in the sedan segment. The four-door saloon has certainly got the abilities to create a dent in the market, while the same has come out quite clear with its pre-booking reaching at 3500 in a single day. All new Genesis looks promising in terms of churning sales to the company. The company has full hopes to sell 62,000 units of this sedan at the global front, while in Korea itself it expects to do business of 32,000 units. It may arrive in the major markets by 2014.

As far as styling is concerned, it is based on Hyundai's new design philosophy Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, which is also seen in its very popular Fluidic models. The concept of the same model, the HCD-14 Genesis Concept was showcased at the Detroit Motor Show this year. In terms of dimensions, the sedan is stretched out with length of 4,990mm, width measures at 1,890mm and overall height is 1,480mm. The wheelbase of the car is now extended by 75mm to 3,010mm, making it more spacious than before. It can be said that the all-new Genesis is a great blend of Hyundai's advance technologies, best-in-class comfort and aesthetically high features implement in it.

Moreover, this premium sedan has got cutting-edge safety and security technologies. The Korean version of Genesis will get four different engine options- 3.0-liter V6 generating 253.5bhp output, a 3.3-liter V6 belts out 278.2bhp of power, and a 3.8-liter V6 engine that is capable to produce 310.7bhp. The top-of-the line model features a 5.0-liter V8 engine which puts up maximum power output of 419.2bhp.

Gambit to go global Royal Enfield's Continental

The first all-new Royal Enfield motorcycle in over five decades and probably the most significant ever to be made in India by the venerable firm was unveiled yesterday in Goa to the national media. The Continental GT marks a tectonic shift for the maker of the Bullet but this bike goes beyond the nostalgic Royal Enfield offering and in so doing moves away from its staple diet yet has traditional and modernity residing in one happy package.

The inspiration for the new bike is an iconic machine from Royal Enfield's British past, the 250cc single cylinder Continental GT which was then - in 1965 - the fastest quarter-litre bike sold in the UK. The new bike evokes the same theme of performance for the present day but has a raft of modern features that Are subtly blended into the package to deliver practical yet mellow motorcycling for the times. In the pipeline for the better part of over half a decade, the company took its time to soak in the heritage and also to understand ways and means to balance tradition and every day practicality while yet conforming to contemporary legislation before making the new machine.

Built around its single cylinder UCE (unit construction engine which is the only bit borrowed from the existing Bullet portfolio, this engine has been bored out to 535cc and is perhaps the most powerful and torquey motor ever to roll out of the firm's Chennai facilities. It is however what is built around it that marks the Continental GT as one to watch out for. A completely new frame designed and developed by Harris Performance of the UK, frame makers of Grand Prix racing machines for decades along with some of the best and proven suspension and cycle aggregates from the best component specialists worldwide makes this a truly evocative machine.

The Continental GT though is to be views not just as a big milestone for the company (which it sure is) but for the fact that it heralds an all new approach by its maker to make a bike for the global markets. The global market for bikes with an engine displacement in the range of 250cc to 750cc is estimated to be in the region of around 800,000 units and Royal Enfield wants to play major role in this segment. In fact given the bike demographics worldwide, this is the sweet spot where motorcycling is headed back to - involving rather than intimidating and Royal Enfield is hopeful that it could dominate this territory.

The firm which commissioned its all new manufacturing facility at Oragaddam near Chennai earlier this year has seen not just the numbers go up but thanks to the new manufacturing processes, the waiting time for its models has been steadily being shaved off. Already the monthly average output  is to the tune of around 20,000 bikes a month and with the new Continental GT being so brilliantly price positioned, expect this number to increase dramatically. At an on-the-road price of Rs 2.14 lakhs in Mumbai, it is seriously hard to ignore, whatever be your kind of motorcycling.

The very aggressive price positioning is also symbolic of a new Royal  Enfield which its youthful and enthusiastic CEO Siddharth Lal is striving to develop. With traditional rivals like Harley-Davidson and Triumph (India launch today) poised to offer their own low cost motorcycles to Indian (and south East Asian) bikers, the manner in which Royal Enfield has fired a warning salvo across their combined bows marks the start of a new and very interesting dynamic that will be played out on our roads from January 2014 onwards.

Friday, 22 November 2013

In conversation with Jaguar Chief Designer Alister Whelan-

Ian Callum heads the Designing department for Jaguar, however it is Alister who finalizes the design for production. What design changes are to be implemented are decided by this man, who ensured that most of the elements from the C-X16 get transferred into the final version. So, we speak to Alister Whelan and understand his thoughts on the F-TYPE Coupe that was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show and Los Angeles Motor Show simultaneously.

1)The F-Type is one of the most gorgeous sports cars around, this is the production model of the C-X16 concept as it was showcased as a Coupe. What is one feature that you would have wanted to retain from the concept on the production version?
AW: We try to include most of the design aspects of the concept into the production. Mine was the sideways opening tailgate, a feature seen on the E-TYPE as well. However, this design isn’t practical for a daily usage, hence we decided to take the feature off it. The F-TYPE Convertible had two lines flowing across, but the Coupe has three, as the roofline is the third one. Here in Tokyo, we have displayed the F-TYPE R, which is the most dynamic Jaguar ever made. It produces 550PS of power, instead of 495 on the V8S. The roof-top of the R is metal, however is also the option of a glass top.
2)The C-X17 will be the Jag with grace, space and pace. What are your thoughts on this concept?
AW: The C-X17 is Jaguar’s first step towards crossover. As Ian had mentioned, the design is intriguing. The C-X17 gets all the styling cues that one will see in a Jaguar, be it the F-TYPE or the XF. We have ensured that it is undoubtedly a Jaguar from every angle and I think does have appealing exterior and interior too.
3)Jaguar has raised the levels of expectation with its designs. Do you think that the next generation of the current range will be an even more uphill task?
AW:That’s an interesting question. Yes, the bar has been raised and the expectations will be higher too. We are working as a team to fulfill the future designs. If you look at C-X17 and the F-Type, they both are different vehicles, yet they have a lot of similarities. The previous generation Jaguars had different identities, but there is a similarity between the current ones. We try not to make them all a design form the same mould and some differentiation has to be maintained.
4)One feature or design element that you will like to see in the C-X17 that should make it into production? Or will like to see it get into production?
AW: We aren’t sure if the C-X17 will make it into production. Of course, we will want to get it into production.

At LA Motor Show'13 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG 2014 unveiled

The Mercedes-Benz S65 considered to be as the most responsive and powerful sedan developed by the leading German brand. The super saloon has been unveiled at the 2013 LA Motor Show, while the same is expected to arrive by next year.

It houses the highly rated 6.0-liter biturbo, 12-cylinder, V12 engine. Above this the twin-turbocharging mechanism just doubles up the overall performance of the engine. The output figures are certain to be high with 621.4bhp of maximum power and 1000Nm of massive torque output. The engine is mated to a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS transmission, which allows three different modes of driving- Sport (S), Manual (M) and controlled efficiency (C ). With this the saloon races to top speed of 250kmph (electronically limited), while it takes mere 4.3seconds to cross 0-100kmph of speed.

The hallmark features of this upcoming sedan includes class-leading dynamism and unbeatable performance. Apart from this, the saloon has been made fuel-efficient with mileage of 8.4kmpl. Other highlights include forged crankshaft, start/stop system, reduced-friction bearings, carbon-fibre engine cover, lithium-ion battery, alternator management and multispark ignition. These all makes the saloon mechanically sound vehicle. The suspension mechanism is made up of AMG sports suspension which features MAGIC BODY CONTROL as standard, while the inclusion of ROAD SURFACE SCAN is first ever type of suspension with superb efficiency. In terms of comfort levels, two new innovative additions of head-up display and touch-pad serves the practicality purpose.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

New Octavia 1.8 Ambition model introduced by Skoda at the price of Rs. 16.85 lakh

Skoda India has silently launched a new base 1.8 Ambition petrol model of the recently launched new Octavia. It has been priced at Rs. 16.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The bookings of the new model has been commenced, while the deliveries will start from early January.

The 1.8 TSI was only available in the Elegance version, which has been priced at Rs. 18.81 lakh. Now, the new 1.8 Ambition model costs around Rs. 2 lakh lesser than the Elegance model.
To achieve such an aggressive pricing, the company has removed some features including the LED daytime running lamps, rear declid spoiler, adaptive frontlight system, Corner function with front fog lights, tyre pressure monitoring, headlight washer, side and curtain airbags, front parking sensors, panoramic sunroof, 12-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, cruise control, memory settings for the wing mirrors and many more. It now features halogens instead of Xenons.
The new model is powered by the same 1.8-litre turbo charged petrol engine that churns out a maximum power output of 177.6bhp and 250Nm of top torque, mated to a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. The vehicle continue to sport the 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control, a multi-functional display, bluetooth functions, upholstery and an infotainment system.