Thursday, 31 May 2012

Renault to launch Duster soon, expect shocking price strategy for India

As per Renault India's strategy, the car maker had said the first two cars will be launched at premium, the company launched Koleos and Fluence, but the car maker said the rest three models will be priced competitively. The car maker is all set to launch Duster SUV for Indian market in August.

The car maker says the production will start at its plant in July and will launch once the production starts.  The company has seen the pricing strategy for Maruti's Ertiga and has seen the response, Maruti's gates floods with orders, resulting into another long waiting period of the car.

As per the sources, the car maker is expected to launch car with Petrol variant pricing around Rs 6 Lac and diesel variant costing little more than Rs 7 Lac. If the car maker launches the SUV at above mentioned price, the car maker might gain a potential chunk of market share of SUV's and thus become key player in Indian market.

Click here to read more stories on Renault India's Strategy.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Wanna go for Long drive: Driving from India to Thailand becomes a reality in 2016

Soon, driving from India to Thailand could become a reality. As India sought to expedite its infrastructural projects in Myanmar, PM Manmohan Singh and President U Thein Sein for the first time set a deadline, 2016, for trilateral road connectivity which will make it possible to drive right up to Thailand from India via Myanmar.

After the PM's "restricted" meeting with Thein Sein, who received Singh at his resplendent palace wearing the traditional Burmese gaung baung head gear, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai announced that "efforts would be made to establish seamless trilateral connectivity by 2016".

Singh, who had a one-on-one with Thein Sein before the delegation talks, said India would undertake the repair of 71 bridges on the Tamu-Kalewa Friendship Road. India had earlier helped Myanmar build this road and the plan now is to link it with a place called Yargyi which will effectively link Moreh in India to Mae Sot in Thailand.

"The two leaders decided that India would undertake upgradation of the Kalewa-Yargyi road segment to highway standard while Myanmar would undertake upgradation of the Yargyi-Monywa stretch to highway standard by 2016," Mathai said, adding that the two leaders welcomed the revival of the Joint Task Force on the trilateral highway.

Indian officials believe that this highway will truly become the bridge between India and Asean countries and place it at the heart of India's Look East policy. Myanmar is the only Asean country with which India shares land boundary.

The two leaders decided to constitute a Joint Working Group to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of cross-border rail links and the commercial feasibility of direct shipping links between the two countries. The two sides also discussed the possibility of Indian participation in development of key infrastructure projects like the Dawei port in Myanmar.

However, one of India's most ambitious projects in Myanmar, Kaladan Multimodal Transport Project which will also link India's northeast with the mainland through Sittwe port in Myanmar, barely found a mention in the joint statement. "They expressed satisfaction at the steady progress being made on the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project," it said. It is well known though that the road component of the project leading to south Mizoram is getting delayed.

Monday, 28 May 2012

More Images of Ford EcoSport testing in Brazil, to come in India in early 2013 - Video & Images

Ford is seen testing variants of the EcoSport in Bahia, Brazil without any camouflage. The EcoSport launches in Brazil and China this year where it goes head-to-head with models the Renault Duster and Nissan Juke.

Ford EcoSport was firstly showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo. It was also reported by our readers that they have caught the car across various shopping malls which was later confirmed by the Ford India Officials that the car was out to various malls on a tour.

While we have seen the exteriors of the Ecosport, Ford has successfully managed to hide the interiors from the media and general public. Most of display setups were planned in such a way that the interiors remain a mystery to the audience. The concept of EcoSport was always placed above a tall platform along with tinted windows to keep the peepers away. This is the first time when the Interiors of Ford EcoSport were spied. Below are the images for you.

Click here to see more Images of Ford EcoSport.
Also, view the Advertisement from Ford of its new Ecoboost engine.

Skoda teases its fans on facebook with yet to be launched European Skoda Rapid

Skoda already sells a sedan called Rapid on the Indian market but the Europe-bound variant will reportedly be significantly different. It will likely borrow styling cues from the MissionL concept that was revealed at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

On the old continent the Rapid will fill the gap between the Fabia hatchback and the larger Octavia sedan in Skoda’s lineup. It will carry a base price of just over €13,000 ($16,900) and come generously equipped with standard ABS, ESP and numerous airbags in order to compete against similarly-priced offerings from Chevrolet, Hyundai and Kia.

The Skoda Rapid will feature a redesigned interior but most of the components will come from the Polo’s parts bin. The exterior is styled like the MissionL concept car showcased at last year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The quality or finish could be a couple of notches better than the Indian Rapid and under the hood, Skoda could offer turbo-petrol engines.

Turn to our facebook page for more Images and Stay tuned for more information.

M&M to reopen XUV 5OO booking nationally from 8 June; ramps up capacity to 4,000 units a month

India's largest utility vehicle major, Mahindra & Mahindra will reopen bookings of its much sought after sports utility vehicleXUV 5OO nationally by 8 June. 
Due to a very good response from the customers, M&M has already sold out 9 months production capacity of XUV 5OO in just 2 round of bookings. 

To cater to the increased demand, the company has ramped up its capacity to 4,000 vehicles per month, which is double of what it was gearing up for during the time of launch in 2011. 

Pravin Shah, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra said, "We have been inundated with requests for re-opening of bookings not just from existing cities but also from cities where the XUV500 was not available. Now that we have ramped-up our production capacity significantly, we are confident that we will be able to take care of the growing all-India demand for the XUV500." 

In the second phase of bookings, the XUV500 was made available in 19 cities across India and had received an overwhelming 25000+ booking applications from customers. 

Out of these booking requests, the names of 7200 winning applicants were selected through an automated process, called the XUV500 Draw.

Click here to view more stories on XUV 5OO.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Peugeot's 'global' sedan 301 coming to India soon

The freshly unveiled 301 is all set to be Peugeot's 'global' sedan and is eyeing for an India debut by the end of next year 

It is undeniable that India is emerging as a strong upcoming market for automobiles. One just has to look at the trends over the last few years to see just how many international car makers have decided to set up shop out here.

German, American, Japanese and Korean auto giants have all enjoyed great success in India, and last year it was one more French company, in the form of Peugeot, which also announced its future plans for the country.

Now Peugeot isn't entirely alien to India, but it's been almost 15 years since the company ceased production of the 309 sedan here. 

But that being said, this continental car maker currently has one of the best portfolios for an emerging auto market such as India.

The plethora of sensible (and stylish at that) hatchbacks and practical people carriers that Peugeot offers should be quite well received in the country. And let's not forget the company's elegant sedan offerings, which should woo buyers here as well. 
So taking a top-down approach, the first car to hit Indian roads with the heraldic lion badge is set to set the luxurious 508 sedan, which will be brought here through the CBU (completely built unit) route. 

Now though, Peugeot has just taken the wraps off a new 'global' sedan, which the company has specially designed for emerging markets. This notchback sedan in particular, dubbed as the 301, is set for its official world debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show in September this year, and would be following the 508 to India, albeit this car would actually be manufactured here. 

The 301 has been specifically developed keeping in mind the needs of emerging markets such as Russia, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and should be well suited for a wide variety of operating conditions, which include extreme temperatures as well as less than ideal road conditions.

This 4,440mm long sedan boasts exceptional rear leg room, thanks to its 2,650mm wheelbase and, at 506 litres, also features rather generous boot space. Safety wise, the 301 can be configured with all the latest safety features, such as ESP, ABS, up to 4 airbags and emergency brake assist, depending on the market.

So far, Peugeot has announced three different engine options for the 301, which include a 3-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine making 72PS of power, a 1.6-litre diesel motor with 92PS and a range-topping 1.6-litre petrol unit with 115PS of power on tap which also offers an automatic gearbox option.

Given the size of the car, it is likely that both the 1.6 litre mills would be the ones offered in India, and Peugeot might just keep the smaller engine to avail excise benefits on one of its hatchback offerings which might make its way to our shores later. 

The Peugeot 301 has already started production in Spain and will be first launched in Turkey in November this year. As for India, no official statement has been issued, but word has it that production will commence at the Sanand, Gujarat plant by the end of 2013.

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BMW opens first brand retail store in Paris - Images

As automakers seek new ways of expanding their businesses, we are starting to see all sorts of new products and services being offered to customers, many of which have nothing to do with cars.

BMW has opened a new BMW Brand Store on Paris’ upmarket Avenue George V.

The new store, designed by renowned architect Eric Carlson, is to be the first of many. Other planned locations include sites in the UK, the Netherlands and China. According to the automaker, opening a new retail store allows it to reach out to customers, either existing or potential, with the objective of allowing them to experience the brand in their chosen environment.

In addition to buying BMW-branded products, the new store allows customers to inspect some of the automaker’s latest vehicles in a friendlier and more easy-going environment than your regular dealership. There will be information booths as well cars, plus what BMW calls a Product Genius, a person with in-depth knowledge of BMW’s lineup of cars and new products.

Maruti Suzuki 800 facelift spotted

Our friends at have managed to get some test mule camouflaged images of the new Maruti Suzuki 800, which is all set to replace the existing one this December 2012.

Maruti Suzuki has been quite clear on the fact that the Maruti 800 replacement will offer more space while retaining the Alto’s F8D petrol engine. However, this engine will come with some more technology to make it more peppy and frugal while also serving to match the competition(Read Hyundai Eon), which has forged ahead on the engine technology front. The purported Maruti 800 replacement’s design is muscular and chunky, quite unlike the old Maruti 800′s plain-jane breadbox looks. The car comes with headlamps that look to be inspired by the Ford Figo while the air dam has the Renault Pulse written all over it.

The headlamps and the front bumper seem to be inspired from the Ford Figo. The huge hexagonal grill is reminiscent of the A- Star. The grill has a small horizontal chrome slat with a Suzuki logo embedded in it. The hood features an extremely sharp crease sweeping to the A-Pillar.

The rear almost seems like it was designed by Hyundai designers. The overall shape resembles of the i10 but with i20 inspired tail lamps at both ends. The rear image also reveals that this is an LXI variant (essentially a base variant with less frills).

Friday, 25 May 2012

Toyota Etios sales crosses 1 lakh mark, to increase production by 80% by 2013

Japanese auto major, Toyota Kirloskar Motors has crossed a significant milestone of selling 1 lakh Etios series - Etios sedan and Etios Liva small car, since launching the car in December of 2010. Despite the tough market environment, the car has received good response from the market. encouraged by the response, the company now plans to ramp up the production capacity of Etios Series cars to 2,10,000 units from 1,20,000 units by early 2013.

Hiroshi Nakagawa, managing director, TKM said "This is an important milestone. We thank the one lakh customers who have trusted the brand and also appreciated it. Despite unforeseen and unfortunate events like tsunami in Japan and the floods in Thailand, we have been able to achieve the one lakh mark."

Etios, the first product specifically made for the Indian market has also been rolled out in the international markets. The company shipped its first consignment to South Africa in April of 2012 and plans to export 20,000 units annually.The company is aiming to take the localisation level on the car from 70% to 90% in 2013, with key components like engine and transmission slated to be produced locally, it will help the company overcome depreciating rupee.

Approximately 100,000 engines will be produced per year starting in the third quarter of 2012 and about 240,000 transmissions a year by early 2013. The domestic production of engine and transmission for the Etios and Etios Liva will be carried out at Toyota Kirloskar Auto parts.Sandeep Singh, deputy managing director, marketing, TKM added "The number reflects how the Etios family has grown and how Etios and Etios Liva has become a household brand in India. This is a small yet very important milestone in this large project that will place TKM on a higher pedestal in the global operations of Toyota."

In order to reach out to more customers with Etios, Toyota has also expanded its reach to over 175 outlets, which it plans to further scale it up to 220 by early 2013 and 25 of these additional outlets will be in the semi-urban rural areas.

Nissan to launch Sylphy for Indian market in 2014 - Images inside

Nissan Motors has some serious plans to increase its market share in the Asian markets and it considers India as one of the important destination amongst other Asian countries. Sylphy is one such vehicle which Nissan plans to launch for the Indian car freaks and would like to place it in the D-segment sedan market.

The car would thus compare with Toyota Corolla Altis, VW Jetta, Hyundai Avante/Sonata, Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic. Nissan as of now has Sunny and Teana in the sedan extreme segments, however in the D-segment, Nissan currently has no models, and this is where almost all other car makers are present. Sylphy is quite a spacious car with its class leading space focusing on passenger comfort. This is something Nissan has been focused towards, similar to what we see in Sunny and Teana which has comfortable rear seats. Therefore, features like dual zone air conditioning, a spacious rear seat with emphasis on high leg room and shoulder room, etc are the Sylphy’s major selling points. So, the car is expected to be aimed at the chauffeur driven car market, a perfect foil to the likes of the Corolla Altis and the Skoda Laura.

The Sylphy comes with a 1.8 Liter petrol engine that runs on a long stroke design and features a range of steps like variable valve timing and low friction internals for maximum fuel economy, smoothness and torque. This engine is mated to Nissan’s latest intelligent XTRONIC CVT transmission. This CVT transmission, the latest in Nissan’s range, is said to be lighter and more fuel efficient that previous versions. A diesel engine is yet to be announced for the Sylphy, although this would be a prime requirement for the car in India, if Nissan intends to gather good sales.

The car is expected to hit the Indian market in 2014 and will be priced between INR 12-17 Lac, with starting range for Petrol version and high end for Diesel Automatic transmission variant.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Hyundai announces Petrol Price Lock Assurance to insulate customers from price hike

Hyundai Motor India Ltd has structured a Petrol Price Lock Assurance program to protect its customers from the fuel price hike announced on May 23. Under the program customers will be offered discounts on the petrol models of the Eon, Santro, i10, i20, Accent and Verna.

The program covers this fuel hike for the next seven months, it is valid on purchases made till May 31.The scheme is being offered in addition to the 5-star Assurance Scheme announced for the Santro and i10 earlier this month. Speaking about the offer, Arvind Saxena, Director-Marketing and Sales, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. said, "The Petrol Lock Scheme will insulate the customer from the impact of the price hike. The price hike is severe and we need to soften the blow for our customers."

Earlier this month the company had announced the 5 Star+ Assurance Program to offer 360 degree services to the customers ranging from maintenance to roadside assistance.

Book a General Motors/Chevrolet Spark/beat and you could win assured gifts upto worth Rs. 2 Crore - Blockbuster Weekend

Seems like the after effects of Petrol hike have already started to be seen in the Indian market as the OEM's have already started to give huge take aways for the models sold in India. It was very eminent that since Petrol price hike has been there and some thing like a steep increase of  Rs 7.50, the auto makers will face the heat and will give additional discounts on its cars to add to the sales.

Chevrolet India has just announced that it will be giving huge take aways, worth upto Rs 2 Crore, if you book a Chevrolet Beat or a Chevrolet Spark this weekend, and GM India calls it as a Blockbuster Weekend.

Rush now to book a  Spark/Beat to get huge and attractive discounts.

Fiat and Mazda announce co-operation program

Fiat Group Automobiles  S.p.A. (Fiat) and Mazda Motor Corporation (Mazda) have signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the development and manufacturing of a new roadster for the Mazda and Alfa Romeo marques based on Mazda’s next-generation MX-5 rear-wheel-drive architecture.

The study calls for both Fiat and Mazda to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive. The Alfa Romeo and Mazda variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.

The project assumption is that both vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant with production for Alfa Romeo envisaged starting in 2015.
“Establishing technology and product development alliances is one of Mazda’s corporate objectives and this announcement with Fiat is an important first step in that direction.  It is especially exciting to be collaborating with such a prestigious marque as Alfa Romeo on a new roadster based on the next-generation MX-5, which is such an iconic vehicle for Mazda and recognized as the best-selling roadster of all time.”  said Takashi Yamanouchi, Mazda's Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO.

“This agreement clearly demonstrates our commitment to Alfa Romeo and the determination to grow it into a truly global brand. By partnering with Mazda, we will be co-operating with the recognized leader in compact rear-drive vehicle architectures in order to deliver an exciting and stylish roadster in the Alfa Romeo tradition. We are appreciative of this collaboration with Mazda and look forward to maintaining a fruitful and continuous relationship.”  said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The Final Agreement is expected be signed in the second-half of 2012.

Fiat and Mazda have also agreed to discuss further opportunities for co-operation in Europe.

Ssangyong unveils facelifted Rexton W SUV at 2012 Busan Motor Show

Mahindra owned South Korean automaker Ssangyong has just unveiled a refreshed version of the Rexton SUV, which now gets a big makeover, to look much more contemporary than ever before. Dubbed the 2012 Rexton W, the SUV was teased a week ago by Ssangyong, before the official unveiling in the South Korea at the 2012 Busan Motor Show. The Rexton W, apart from getting a big cosmetic facelift also comes with a more fuel efficient turbo diesel engine which is an all new engine that has been developed by Ssangyong with a particular focus on punchy low end torque for good driveability.

Called the e-XDi200 Active Turbo Diesel engine, the motor displaces 1,998cc and comes in an inline four cylinder layout. The engine features a variable geometry turbocharger and a common rial direct injection system to pump out a peak power of 154 Bhp while peak torque is rated at 360 Nm. Crucially, this torque is available all the way from a low 1,500 rpm, in a wide rev band of up to 2,800 rpm. Also, right from idle, the engine delivers 190 Nm of torque, which is one of its biggest selling points as driveability will be terrific with that kind of low end torque.

Toyota to build another brand to sell low value cars, less than $ 6,000 in India

Toyota on Thursday confirmed that the car maker would not sell small cars, less than $ 6,000 in India through its current subsidiary Toyota Kirloskar Motors. Since, the car maker is looking to increase the market share in the growing Indian market, the car maker says we are trying to improve upon the brand image and hence will not launch smaller models through TKM.

The car maker however, hinted that another brand may be launched, through which the smaller cars, less than $ 6,000 will be sold in India, Toyota was eyeing a 2016 entry to the sector.

Japan's biggest automaker began selling its low-cost sedan Etios in India in 2010, but with a price tag of $10,000 it is still expensive compared with cars made by rivals such as Tata Motors, whose Nano sells for as little as $2,900.

Toyota has said it wants to achieve 50 percent of its worldwide vehicle sales in emerging markets from 2015 compared to 40 percent in 2010.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Petrol price raised by Rs 7.50 per litre from 24th May 2012

The government on Wednesday hiked the price of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre. The hike will be effective from Wednesday midnight. Oil minister Jaipal Reddy had on Tuesday said there was an immediate need to raise fuel prices, but had refused to say when the hike would actually take place.

The government had decontrolled petrol price in June 2010 but rates were last increased on November 4 last year. This despite oil price rising by 14 per cent and 7 per cent fall in value of rupee against the US dollar.

Earlier on Tuesday, Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy had said that there was an immediate need to raise fuel prices, but refused to say when the hike would actually take place.
The government had decontrolled petrol price in June 2010 but rates were last increased on November 4 last year. This despite oil price rising by 14 per cent and 7 per cent fall in value of rupee against the US dollar.
Price of diesel, kerosene and cooking gas were raised in June 2011.
State-owned oil firms, who had in the fiscal ending March 31, 2012 lost Rs 4,860 crore on petrol sales, are currently losing Rs 6.28 per litre on petrol.
Interactive graph: Fuel price hike 1989 to 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Volkswagen to setup plant in Gujarat soon?

Has German auto major Volkswagen hit the road to Gujarat? The company, which put on hold its Rs 2,000-crore investment plan in Maharashtra, is exploring possibilities of setting up a car plant in Gujarat.

 A consultancy firm working for the company had met senior officials in Gujarat some time ago and was shown some locations in and around Ahmedabad and Vadodara. While the exact investment is not known, sources close to the development say it will be a smaller plant than some of the existing car factories in Gujarat.

A Volkswagen spokesperson, however, said the company was not looking to set up a new plant in India "as of now." It has put its expansion in Maharashtra on hold due to an unresolved issue over VAT refund. In January, Volkswagen had announced investment in its India operations to ramp up capacity. The group has two manufacturing facilities at Chakan and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.

Steve Jobs dreamt of building a car: Apple board member VIDEO

Late Apple visionary co-founder Steve Jobs, who created iconic gadgets like iPhones, iPods and Mac computers, was also considering creating an iCar, an official of the tech giant has revealed. 

Apple's board member Mickey Drexler revealed Jobs' desire to add an automobile to the company's product lineup during a recent interview at the Fast Company Innovation Uncensored expo in New York"Look at the car industry - it's a tragedy in America," quoted Drexler as saying. "They talk about expense, they talk about this - and then you say, well 'who's designing the cars?' Steve's dream, before he died, was to design an iCar," he added. Drexler also said that if Jobs had designed the car, it would have dominated the industry. "It would've been probably 50 per cent of the market," the report quoted him, as saying. According to the report, Apple has been rumoured to be working on an iCar for years. In 2007, Steve Jobs met with Volkswagen Group head Martin Winterkorn. The companies were reportedly planned to team up to work on a car aimed at the youth market.

Click below to watch the Video

Rally car rams into the crowd, kills two - Video

A rally car has ploughed into the crowd during a race in southern France, killing at least two people and badly injuring about 15, including children, firefighters said.

The orange-coloured car competing in the 14th annual Maures regional rally veered off the road at Plan-de-la-Tour in the Var region near the Mediterranean coast yesterday, killing a 20-year-old spectator and a race marshal, 50.
Among the injured, four including two youths aged 12 and 17 were critical. A nine-year-old boy was also wounded.
"The toll could worsen," Stanislas Cazelles, an official from the Draguignan commune, told reporters.
He added that the second day of the rally has been cancelled, "given the gravity of the situation."
The public prosecutor in Draguignan, Danielle Drouy-Ayral, said an official from her office was en route to oversee an investigation.
According to initial reports, it appears the driver, whose identity has not been released, made a mistake at an intersection where he was supposed to turn right, but instead drove straight ahead, crashing into the spectators.
"The priority is to find out the causes of this accident. The vehicle will be examined. The driver of the vehicle, who is in shock, has been hospitalised and placed in custody, and the co-driver will be heard," said a prosecutor Julien Ficara.
Investigators have begun collecting photos and footage from spectators, in order to determine the circumstances of the accident.
Visibly shocked by the accident which occurred around 4.30pm (8pm IST), several competitors at the rally were in tears.
Minister for Youth and Sports Valerie Fourneyron said in a statement that the accident poses "a serious question of public security during automobile events."
"With the interior minister we want to meet the concerned people as soon as possible, in order to take necessary measures quickly," she said.
Several fatal accidents have occurred recently during car rallies in France.
On April 28, a 65-year-old spectator, who was at a zone that was off limits to the public, was hit by a car during a rally in the south-east of the country.
On November 12, a 19-year-old was killed during a rally in eastern France.
Click here to view the Video

Monday, 21 May 2012

Audi e-bike: A bicycle that runs at 80 kmph - Images & Video

Imagine a sophisticated bicycle that matches the speeds of a bike with just the press of a button. Well, your fantasy has now become a reality, thanks to an incredible new e-bike by auto manufacturer Audi.

 The new Audi e-bike Worthersee, built on motor racing design principles, has every possible gadget that you could ever need - just like a Formula 1 car.

 Perhaps the most helpful feature is an electric motor to help rest those tired legs of the rider. But this isn't just any electric motor, it can help build speeds up to 80 km per hour, the Daily Mail reported.

 According to its developers, a cyclist can choose between a total of five modes, including the pure muscle power mode, the electric motor alone, or pedalling supported by the motor.

 In the "Pure" mode, the drive power is purely the product of the cyclist's legs, while in "Pedelec" mode you are aided by the electric motor that then makes speeds of up to 50 mph. If you select "eGrip", the Audi e-bike Worthersee runs solely on the electric motor and can reach a top speed of 31 mph.

The cyclist then controls forward momentum using a gripshift and can configure the power as desired using the touchscreen on-bike computer. The cyclist can also hook up to the computer using a smartphone. For those looking to record tricks, video images recorded via the in-helmet camera can be uploaded to the Internet in real time via your smartphone.

Facebook status reports also pop up on the Audi e-bike Worthersee display. Different modes can be set using a smartphone or directly on the e-bike - either "Power Wheelie" mode, with adjustable wheelie angle for less skilled bikers or "Balanced Wheelie" mode for sporting challenges.

 It's also fitted with homogeneous LED light strips that create the immediately recognisable Audi light signature. "When developing the Audi e-bike Worthersee we drew on motor racing design principles for inspiration," said Hendrik Schaefers, one of the designers of the e-bike.

 "The e-bike appears incredibly precise, highly emotional and strictly functional. Indeed, the design effort focused on its function as a sports machine. All design elements are thus firmly aligned to the technical features."
Click here to view Teaser video by Audi

Saturday, 19 May 2012

FIAT reinforces India commitment - Launches Punto Sport & inaugurates another Caffe

FIAT India Automobiles today inaugurated its second exclusive FIAT Caffé in
Pune’s up market locality, Koregaon Park. This was shortly after the launch of its first Caffé in the
national capital and its first exclusive dealership in Hyderabad. FIAT Caffé has been aesthetically
designed in line with FIAT brand’s value of technology and style. The 6,300 sq ft Caffé with a frontage
of 70 feet is designed to give the real FIAT experience to customers. The operations of the Caffé
will be managed by Millennium Drive- one of the leading automobiles dealers in Pune. FIAT Caffé
was decked up with ‘Motor Sports’ theme to also announce the launch of the limited edition ‘Punto
Sport’ MULTIJET diesel.

FIAT Caffé has a mezzanine floor with a lounge at the Café bar. Customers can go through the latest
FIAT India cars on display, take a test drive, and browse through FIAT worldwide or FIAT India details,
guided by specially trained personnel. The collection of international FIAT merchandise is available
for sale, giant 3X3 video walls and TV screens running FIAT ads. An in house library features books
on FIAT’s glorious history, the various sub brands, its sister companies and also available will be Auto
and Lifestyle magazines. The Caffé will hold event round the year and is expected to go beyond being
a car showroom and become a destination of choice for stylish and progressive audience.

FIAT’s limited edition “Punto Sport”, MULTIJET diesel is expected to deliver an exciting ownership
experience. With its assortment of best-in-class features the new Punto sport is the epitome of
Italian design and ingenuity. Punto Sport has a class of its own, given its features and highlights. Apart
from setting high standards with its gorgeous looks and style, the Punto Sport MULTIJET diesel is also
poised to power through the competition, provide great economy and create a new benchmark for
diesel hatchbacks in India.

Speaking on occasion, Mr. Enrico Atanasio, Head- Commercial, FIAT India Automobiles Ltd said, “At
FIAT, we believe in providing our customers with newer and better cars designed with the best-in-
class comfort and technology. We are hopeful that the new limited edition variant of the Punto Sport
will be well-received by our customers and will succeed in delighting them. We are committed to the
Indian market and with this Caffé we aim to offer the real FIAT experience. This is a step towards
ramping up our direct presence in India and we will continue to remain aggressive on this front in the

On this occasion, Mr. Neelesh Naik, Proprietor Millennium Drive said, “We are extremely proud to
be associated with FIAT India and are committed to providing our customers in Pune a premium
experience. There are only 12 such FIAT Image points across the world and it is a matter of great
prestige to be selected to operate the FIAT Caffé for India.”

The sporty version will be made available in 3 colours – White, Black and Red. The car will be made
available in diesel for its loyal patrons who like style combined with performance and also economy
conscious. The Punto sport offers best of both worlds – best in class Power (93 ps) and great fuel
efficiency (20.5 km/l), that too at a very competitive price.

Already setting the standard with its gorgeous looks and style, the Punto 90 HP has already created
a new benchmark for diesel hatchbacks in India. The car has won numerous accolades in the Indian
auto sector.

Car of the Year Award 2009 for Premium Hatchback - ET Zigwheels
Car with the Best Styling & Design by UTV Autocar Awards - 2010
The Most Beautiful Car of the year by BBC Top Gear -2009

Highlights of the limited edition 90 hp Punto Sport:

Premium Chrome accented interiors
Red stitching on Seats, Leather Gear Knob & Gear Cover
Stylish Body Decals (side & rear), with ‘Sport’ branding
Sporty Aluminum Pedals
Decal colour coded ORVMs (mirrors)
Chrome Exhaust Tip
Punto branded Door Sill

The above are in addition to the long list of features such as Dual Stage Airbags, ABS with EBD,
Automatic Climate Control, Blue & Me technology, Integrated CD/MP3 player with USB, Alloy wheels
with the widest tyres (in the category) and Chrome exterior door handles.

Ex-showroom price New Delhi - 736,154 INR
Ex-showroom price Mumbai     - 758,766 INR
Ex-showroom price Pune          - 736,869 INR

Monday, 14 May 2012

State oil companies like IOC, HPCL, BPCL may hike petrol prices by Rs 8 this month to recover past losses

State oil firms plan to raise petrol prices after the end of the budget session of Parliament this month and revise them every fortnight to recover 5,000 crore past revenue losses as they haven't increased rates since December due to political pressure.

 So far, the oil ministry has not allowed oil firms to exercise their freedom to raise petrol prices as per a Cabinet decision. The ministry informally advises companies to postpone the decision because of political considerations. Senior executives at Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum say the companies want to align pump prices of petrol with market rates by an immediate hike of 7 per litre and also recover part of five-month old dues by an additional hike of at least 1 a litre.

 If petrol prices are raised by 8 a litre, the net impact after taxes would raise the price in Delhi by about 9.6 per litre. The fuel is currently sold at 65.64 per litre in New Delhi. "The government is not willing to compensate us for our losses on petrol as it is a deregulated fuel. We can't absorb the losses in our accounts. We have to pass it to consumers in small installments," chairman of an oil company said, requesting anonymity. But oil ministry officials do not rule out political interference again this time to stop a steep price hike, especially in the light of forthcoming presidential elections.

"Oil PSUs' demand is legitimate. Either the government compensates them for their losses on petrol or allows them to recover their losses, retrospectively. But everything will depend on political will," said an oil ministry official who did not wish to be named. Incumbent President Pratibha Patil's term will end in July. Minister of state for petroleum RPN Singh told the Rajya Sabha last week that oil companies have suggested either declaring petrol as a regulated product "temporarily" or reducing excise duty on petrol from 14.78 per litre by an amount equivalent to their revenue losses .

"Ministry of petroleum has taken up the matter with the ministry of finance," Singh said. Singh told Parliament that "even after implementation of the market-determined pricing, the oil marketing companies have been making price revisions of petrol in a guarded manner, at times, absorbing a part of under-recovery themselves." He said last week that IOC was incurring a revenue loss of 7.17 per litre on sale of petrol. State oil firms could not raise petrol rates under tacit directive from the UPA government initially to brighten its prospects in assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa. But they were not allowed to raise petrol prices even after assembly elections as the government did not want to risk passage of crucial Union budget in Parliament fearing stiff opposition by its allies such as Trinamool Congress and DMK. State fuel retailers are also losing 13.91 per litre on diesel, 31.49 per litre on kerosene and 480.50 per cylinder on cooking gas.

 The oil ministry is planning to convene a meeting of the empowered group of ministers soon after the Parliament session to raise prices of regulated fuels, such as diesel and cooking gas. It is also persuading the finance ministry to exempt oil marketing companies from sharing oil subsidy burden for the last quarter of 2011-12 so that they can make reasonable profits, ministry officials said. State oil marketing companies have incurred a revenue loss of 1,38,541 crore in 2011-12.

The government has already paid cash compensation of 45,000 crore to partially meet their revenue losses for first three quarters. State-run ONGC, Gail and Oil India have shared subsidy burden of 36,900 crore for nine months ended December 2011. There is no clarity on subsidy sharing of 56,641 crore for the last quarter. "Unless upstream companies and the government share a large part of unmet under-recovery (revenue loss), all three firms will sink into red for the first time," a senior executive of Mumbai-based oil marketing firm said. The three firms are schedule to announce their annual financial results this month.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Toyota RAV4 EV Electric SUV Launched at a price of $49,800

RAV4 Electric Vehicle from Toyota was presented at the 26th Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles. It possesses an electric engine developed by Tesla Motors and will be seen in dealer showrooms from summer of 2012 at a price of $49,800. The electric battery is low mounted at the centre of the vehicle and offers a maximum output of 154 horsepower.

Toyota has unveiled what it says is the only all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) on the market, a version of its popular RAV4 with a top range of 160km and a minimum six-hour charge time.
The car will be sold initially only in California with a base price of $49,800 ($48,840) and the Japanese car company hopes to sell a relatively modest 2600 units over the next three years.
Toyota Motor Sales USA executive Bob Carter says the company believes the car will "attract sophisticated early technology adopters, much like the first-generation Prius," Toyota's pioneering hybrid car launched 15 years ago.
"It's all about blending the best of two worlds... The all-new RAV4 EV marries the efficiency of an EV with the versatility of a small SUV - in fact, it is the only all-electric SUV on the market," he added.
The car, which costs more than twice as much as the petrol version of the RAV4 and would have difficulties with out-of-town driving for any distance, may struggle to find mass appeal.
The vehicle will be available later this year in three exterior colors: Blizzard White Pearl, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Classic Silver Metallic. The interior features a unique "Neutron" fabric, woven with a subtle sheen and blue accent, on the seat inserts and door trim.


Inside, a six-way adjustable driver's seat includes variable front seat heaters, which extends heater coverage to the occupant's upper back. The split reclining rear seats with folding center arm rest fold flat for increased cargo space, with a total cargo capacity equivalent to the conventional RAV4 of 73 cu. ft. No interior space is lost in the vehicle due to EV components.
Toyota's approved electric vehicle supplier equipment provider is Leviton. Leviton offers multiple options for charging solutions. For the shortest charge time of approximately six hours, Leviton offers a custom 240V (Level 2), 40A, 9.6 kW output charging station. For more information visit The vehicle comes equipped with a 120V (Level 1) emergency charging cable for instances when the recommended 240V (Level 2) charging is not available.

The RAV4 EV will go on sale in late summer 2012 through select dealers, initially in four major California metropolitan markets including Sacramento, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County and San Diego. Sales volume is planned for approximately 2,600 units over the next three years. The battery warranty is 8 years or 100,000 miles.

Zotye Z100, Maruti A-Star clone, is china's cheapest car

Zotye Auto recently launched what would be the cheapest car to go on sale in China today. When Tata took a similar initiative for India, it found itself filing some 31 design and 37 technology patents with the Nano. But “Zotye International Automobile Trading Co., Ltd” couldn’t have cared less about patents.

The Zotye Z100, claimed to be the cheapest car, has launched in Zotye’s home town of Hangzhou, China. This car seems to be a successor of the Suzuki Alto of Jiang Nan Auto Company. The company was bought by Zoyte, sometime back. The Jiang Nan Auto Company has made Suzuki Alto (Maruti Suzuki Astar is Alto in other markets) under license. However, we are not sure if this car is a legal replica or Zotye have taken a pinch of the Alto for their own.

So how much does the Z100 cost? Prices start at just 23,800RMB ($3,700USD) and rise to the giddy heights of 25,800RMB ($4,000USD) for the top of the line model. Engine power comes from a 1.0L engine mated to a 5 speed gearbox.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Bosch working on a 'sleep-o-meter' attention assist system

Traffic control organizations majorily National Highway Traffic Security Association (NHTSA) and the German federal office have been claiming that too many accidents are caused due to driver's fatique. While the NHTSA points out in a 2006 study that 20% of the accidents are caused by fatigue, the German office adds that the same phenomenon is the second biggest cause of accidents involving trucks.

The new system called as Drowsiness detection/sleep-o-meter are now getting developed by Bosch, aimed at make full utilization of these systems in lower end cars too. At present, these kind of systems are available but only in high-end cars. , "It can easily, and cheaply, be used to detect whether or not the driver is falling asleep, which would in turn increase road safety."

The Bosch ‘sleep-o-meter’ system takes into account the number of long pauses in the steering wheel movements and the sudden impulses that follow when the driver is sleepy. The system also monitors other aspects like speed, acceleration, throttle response etc. and will light up a coffee cup symbol on the instrumentation and / or make warning sounds to attract the driver’s attention.

No info on when the system will be developed but we expect the same to be introduced same in India very soon.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Mahindra Verito sedan facelift spy shots

Mahindra, known as the India's largest Utility car maker is not leaving any efforts to slowly come up with its market share in passenger cars too. Not much before, the car maker strike a deal with Renault to totally introduce the earlier called Logan, now Verito and has already done a facelift after that.

But seems that the car maker is in a different mood now and is not satisfied with the current sales and response from audience for Verito. Hence, a facelift is underway. The images of the under testing car were caught and we were shocked to see almost every important part of car was camouflaged, which means some major changes to come in exteriors too.

The Verito’s success has been in no less measure due to the 1.5 Liter K9K turbo diesel engine under its hood. This 65 Bhp-160 Nm engine is highly acclaimed for its linear power delivery with minimal turbo lag, making it an excellent drive in congested city conditions. The engine is also highly fuel efficient as it is in a relaxed state of tune. An ideal mile muncher, this engine has been pivotal for the success of the Logan and now, the Verito in India. Expect the compact sedan version of the Verito to also feature this very engine.

Unique advertisement Video of Ford Ecoboost : Must watch

Ford of America is here with a unique, something different in terms of advertisement of its new Ecoboost engine. Ford claims that the new engine is very silent yet very powerful.

Before watching out the video below, we shall brief you on the same "A pair of Australian cane toads – the species, native to Central and South America, was imported into Australia in an unsuccessful attempt to control Beetle populations – are having a nighttime chat on a random road somewhere in Oz. The subject matter ranges from the tastiness and arousing properties of the toads' own back secretions to the velocity with which a four-cylinder car can travel. In this case, the car is powered by one of Ford's turbocharged EcoBoost engines"

Let us also warn you, if you are a member of PETA, must not watch the Video. Also, click here to view our more stories on Ford Ecosport

Force India to pay $1 million within 14 days as legal costs as a penalty, order by High Court of London

Force India was ordered by a British court on Friday to pay legal costs of 650,000 pounds ($1 million) to rival Formula One team Caterham after a dispute about intellectual property.

This is additional to the amount that Force India needs to pay to former wind tunnel partner Aerolab as part of the same case, and this takes the total outflow of Force India to $2.2 million.

Force India also launched legal proceedings against former technical director Mike Gascoyne and 1Malaysia Racing Team, which became Team Lotus and then Caterham.

In his Judgement in March, Mr Justice Arnold rejected Force India's claim, saying the Silverstone-based team had "come nowhere near establishing" there had been systematic copying.

The judge did, however, award Force India £20,900 over use of its intellectual property rights, which he said had been used as a "shortcut" to speed up the development of the Team Lotus car for the 2010 season.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Do you think Maruti should bring Swift Sports to India ?

The Indian auto enthusiasts have considered this as the best competition to Hyundai Veloster, if at all it comes to the Indian market. Though, Veloster will be launched at altogether a different segment and will be priced in the range of Executive Sedans in India, this baby of Suzuki could do wonders if it comes to India.

The three door car comes with 16 inch alloy wheels and internationally it is sold as 1.6L DOHC petrol engine that delivers 136 bhp of output power. However, looking at the present situation of Indian market changing dynamics, the car maker should bring this to India with the similar 1.2 L petrol engine and 1.3L diesel engine.

What's your view on this one, should the car maker bring this three door baby to India. Click here to view more pictures on our facebook page.

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