Friday, 29 November 2013

SCOOP ! Renault Duster facelift unveiled

The facelifted Renault Duster is here now - after a lot of talkings about it and various rendering by various websites. The first images of the car are here and this is the version that would be coming to India as well.

The changes have been done on the outside and the interiors as well with the technical specifications remainiung the same. On the exteriors you would see a honeycomb like chrome grill replaced by a dual chrome strip on the front grill. Moreover, the Dacia badge is replaced by the Renault badge. The headlights are also carried from Dacia Duster and sport the “double-optic” units with integrated daytime running lamps. 

As you could also see in the Images, the new car also includes the Renault branded roof rails with slated support and 16" Dark metal alloys with Mud and snow tyres. 

On the rear you would see the Dacia badge again replaced by the Duster badge, chrome exhaust and updated headlamps. 

On the inside, you would see a new infotainment system, a new center console, center armrest with storage and steering mounted audio controls. With this you would see most of the complaints of customers being addressed. 

The Renault Duster would be carried in by same 1.5L K9K engine and 1.6L Petrol engine. Stay tuned for more details on the same.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Honda's Compact SUV names Vezel, unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show

Honda's Compact SUV is now unveiled at Tokyo Motor Show 2013 and will be called as Vezel. The new Jazz-based crossover sports a very clean styling, strong character lines and a hidden rear door handle that gives a coupe-like profile.

The new Compact SUV's basic design comes from CR-V however Vezel looks much more modern with characteristic line split all over the body. The Vezel shown in Japan was a hybrid model, though Honda say that a traditional petrol variant will also be introduced. Honda will launch the car with 2WD and 4WD systems.

Features used on the Jazz such as the center-tank layout and the highly configurable Magic Seat setup that also provides a flat floor for highest cargo capacity, has funneled here as well.

The new Urban SUV will be launched in Europe during 2015, with the name of the European model being confirmed nearer to launch. The launch date for Indian market has yet not been finalized but we expect the same to be displayed at the upcoming 2014 Auto Expo and launch by the end of year 2014.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Triumph Motorcycles Indian website goes LIVE now ! Check out the list of motorcycles for sale in India

Triumph Motorcycles has just now launched their Indian website and shows the lineup available for sale in India. While we already told you a couple of days back that the bikes from Triumph will be launching on 28th Nov 2013 and here we are with lot more details.

The Indian website of the UK based manufacturer shows the list of bikes with all their details. We am sure there would be lot of Triumph fanatic people available in India, they can now pamper their senses by checking out the specifications and the list of vehicles available in India.

However, the only thing missing on the website is the price of these vehicles which will be unveiled during their launch date - 28th November 2013.

Recently we also spotted their first dealership coming up in Bangalore, and provided the images of the showroom before it opens. This will be first showroom of Triumph in India and more would be opening up in New Delhi, Chennai and other cities as well.

The company has appointed Mr. Vimal Sumbly, former General Manager of Sales at Bajaj Auto, as the brand head in India. The bookings have already been started unofficially and the same could be booked by depositing Rs 5 Lakh to the dealer.

Source - Triumph India Website

Ertiga Competitor - Honda Mobilio with Diesel engine to be unveiled during 2014 Auto Expo

Honda had earlier announced that Maruti Suzuki Ertiga's competitor would be coming to the India market around festive season in 2014, i.e. around October 2014. However, the car has already been unveiled at 2013 Indonesian motor show held during Sep 2013.

The sources at Honda have now confirmed that the Utility Vehicle will be unveiled during 2014 Auto Expo in India with a Diesel engine too. The company does not mentions anything about the launch date of the car in India.

Honda's Mobilio will be powered by the same 1.5L ErathDreams Diesel engine however the power and torque figures have yet not been revealed. For Indonesia, Mobilio is powered by City's i-VTEC 1.5L Petrol engine with a power output of 118PS and 144Nm of torque. 

2014 Honda Jazz to be showcased at Auto Expo with 1.5L Diesel engine

The Honda Jazz 2014 which was discontinued this year in India will be launched again during mid 2014. The car will be first showcased at the upcoming 2014 Auto Expo.

The new car was just showcased in Tokyo and as per the confirmed sources, the new car would come with 1.5L Diesel engine too apart from the 1.2L Petrol engine. The Petrol engine would be continued from Honda Brio and Amaze with an output of 88PS and 109 Nm.

The Jazz will also be available with a diesel engine. Honda will use their 1.5-liter EarthDreams unit, which is currently seen on the Amaze. In the Amaze, this engine develops 100 PS and 200 Nm of torque and delivers a class-leading 25.8 km/l.

Stay tuned for more at Wheel-O-Mania. 

Honda announces the all new V-TEC Turbo 1.0L, 1.5L and 2.0L Petrol engines

We saw it coming from Ford, Hyundai and VW. But who knew that would be coming from Honda too and that too so fast. Honda has just now announced the launch of the unveiling of 3 new VTEC Turbo engines with power ranging from 1.0L, 1.5L and 2.0L gasoline. The engines would be suitable for small to medium sized vehicles.

Here's what Honda has to say about these -

With the application of variable valve motion technology such as Honda’s unique VTEC along with direct injection turbocharging with highly-fluidized combustion and a thorough reduction in engine friction, this engine achieves class-leading output and environmental performance, while downsizing engine displacement.

The 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo will output more than 280 hp and will comply with the EU6 emission norms. Honda doesn’t say much about the other two engines, only revealing that they will have reduced friction, a turbocharger with a low moment of inertia and high responsiveness, and direct injection technology along with excellent fuel economy.

We will have to wait and watch as to if this engine can actually compete with Ford's award winning EcoBoost engine

Renault Pulse VOYAGE edition launched in India

Renault India has launched a special edition of its Pulse model called as Voyage edition.

The changes that Renault Voyage edition features are only in the form of interiors with literally zilch / no changes in the exteriors of the car which means do not expect any new alloy wheels, graphics etc. On the interiors, you get a touchscreen multimedia system along with the navigation system and speaked from FOCAL. The French carmaker claims that the total VOYAGE package amounts to INR 58,000.

The company is alson giving free insurance for two years, a two year extended warranty, and roadside assistance for four years with this special edition. No other changes in the car  even mechanically. It carries the same 3 cylinder 1.2L Petrol engine and 4 cylinder 1.5L Diesel engine.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS introduced with dual tone colors

Bajaj Motorcycles have introduced two new colors for their ongoing Pulsar 200 NS variants. The two new dual tone finish would be available in "white and black" tone and "red and black" tone. 

The 200NS was launched with four color choices – Cherry Black, Saffire Blue, Tosca Red and Mustard Yellow. The new color additions take the total number of body colors to six.

The 200NS is powered by a four-stroke, SOHC, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine displacing 199.5cc. A maximum power of 23.52 PS is produced at 9,500 rpm, while a peak torque of 18.3 Nm is produced at 8,000 rpm. The 200NS is currently priced at INR 87,794 (ex-Showroom, New Delhi).

The new Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS is also on the works and is scheduled to be launched some time soon - latest by February 2014 during Auto Expo 2013. The new color toned Pulsar 200 NS would be arriving at Bajaj dealerships near you soon.

Production version of Honda's Urban SUV named CR-U, to be launched in India in 2014

Honda's Urban SUV concept which was previewed for the first time in Detroit in January 2013, Honda says it combines "a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior". The concept hints at a dynamic, fuel-efficient small SUV with aspirational styling and next-generation connectivity. Its clean character lines are complemented by hidden rear door handles, giving the SUV a coupe-like presence. The new concept is shorter than the CR-V, making it an ideal size for both city streets and mountain roads.

Under the sheet metal there’s believed to be the same platform as already used for the Honda Fit, and the expectation is that a production version of the concept will be manufactured at the company’s work-in-progress plant in Celaya, Mexico. That facility, the subject of an $800m investment by Honda, has already been tagged for producing variants of the Fit.

Stay tuned as Honda's Urban SUV production version will be completely unveiled at Tokyo Motors Show in 48 hours from now.  The name CR-U is still not confirmed by the Japanese carmaker but there are several reports which confirm the same. Stay tuned for more at Wheel-O-Mania. 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Mercedes SLK 55 AMG to be launched in India on 2nd December 2013

Mercedes just confirmed that they would be launching their SLK 55 AMG in India on 2nd December 2013.

The SLK 55 AMG is powered by a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 motor that punches out 421 hp. Thanks to this more than healthy output, the SLK accelerates from 0-100 kph in 4.6 seconds and reaches an electronically limited top-speed of 250 kph. The car is driven through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission which offers three driving modes – Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M).

To differentiate the SLK 55 AMG from the regular SLK, visually and mechanically, AMG fits the car with front and rear aprons and side skirting, ventilated and perforated disc brakes, AMG sports suspension, Nappa leather upholstery, and 18-inch AMG alloy wheels.

The launch of the Mercedes SLK will be followed by that of the new generation S CLass in January. The new S Class will come to us via CKD route and is looking all poised to redefine the ultra luxury car segment of Indian car market. The new S Class will be launched in both petrol and diesel variants.

Stay tuned to Wheel-O-Mania for more details.

Maruti Suzuki SX4 successor - YL1 spotted testing

Maruti Suzuki's SX4 sedan while launched in 2007 was the most appealing car of that time - fitted with best in class features, good in space and a masculine look with Maruti's brandname was the customer's first choice.

While SX4 still offers the best in class features, however the competitors have grown beyond it and an overall package that the competitors like Verna and City provide, is something which has been worrying Maruti Suzuki for a long time now and has led to plumetting of sales of SX4.

The new SX4 which is based on Suzuki Authentics concept looks much bigger than the current gen SX4. The new car will be fitted with the same petrol and diesel mills with 1.6L Petrol engine and 1.3L SDE diesel engine.

On earlier occasions also we had showcased some of the images of the car of exteriors as well as interiors. Here are some more Images of the interiors of the new SX4. The car no doubt looks even better as far as interiors are concerned when compared to new exterior image. The car hosts new beige + black interiors with premium finish, gloss black paint on gear knob and around the touch screen music system. A high gloss black finish line is also available across the dashboard similar to what we see in Dzire - though in faux wood finish. The V shape dashboard falling design is new and resembles a little bit to Hyundai Verna.

The car also features Auto Climate control Ac and power charging slot. A rectangular chrome finish around the gearbox looks premium and an addition of storage space in front of gear stick is a welcome addition. The three spoke steering wheel with audio controls on it looks descent and is a mandatory feature considering equipment level of its competitors.

The car would be launched around Auto Expo next year however before that we would be witnessing the launch of Maruti Suzuki's small car - YL7.

However, Maruti Suzuki's immediate competitor Honda City would be unveiled on 25th November - official confirmation from the company is here. Stay tuned for more.

Image source - Motorbash

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Volkswagen to recall 2.6 million vehicles worldwide

Volkswagen ever since in its history, announced biggest ever recall of 2.6 million vehicles worldwide due to technical problems relating to faulty lights, leaky engine fuel lines and possible malfunction when synthetic oil is used in its gearbox.

It includes 800,000 of its compact Tiguan sports-utility vehicle which could be affected by faulty fuses that can trip lighting circuits. Volkswagen also said it is recalling its 2-litre Amarok pickup truck because of leaky engine fuel lines, which affects around 239,000 vehicles.

VW issued a separate recall in China for around 640,000 vehicles that were locally produced or imported between January 2009 and June 2013.

The recall comes after the country's quality watchdog identified a problem with the DO200 gearbox, which may suffer electronic malfunction when synthetic oil is used. 

Audi A4 Celebration edition launched at Rs 25.99 Lakh

The German Luxury carmaker which is already at numero uno position among its competitors in India is not keeping quite. With another facelift, Audi A4, launching a Celebration edition, the carmaker is actually trying to grab more attention and therefore more of the customers to its kitty.

The new car - A4 Celebration edition, which we would actually call the "Corporate edition" is a trimmed down version of the ongoing regular A4 on sale. The new car misses out on features like Sunroof, power folding mirrors, 17" alloy wheels replaced by 16", Cruise control and wooden trimmed dashboard. The front passenger seat also lacks the automatic adjustment of seats and does away with the manual option only.

On the mechanical front, the car gets lower spec 2.0L TDI engine which produces 143 bhp rather than the higher spec 177 bhp version. The 143 bhp version of the 2.0 TDI will do the 0-100 km/h sprint in 9.1 seconds, hit a top-speed of 210 km/h and return 16.55 km/l. Since its a non-Quattro version, power goes to the front wheels via a CVT gearbox.

The Celebration edition would be available only in "White" color and only a certain number of units are available on sale. The new car is available at a price tag of INR 25.99 Lakh. 

Triumph Motorcycle's first dealership in Bangalore under process

Triumph Motorcycles, showcased its entire range of bikes during the 2012 Auto Expo and the UK based bike maker also announced their plans to set up a manufacturing facility in Karnataka. Due to market situations, the bike maker has decided to delay the start of construction of its plant whereas they have started assembling the bikes at Manesar near Gurgaon and hence have struck to their deadline of launching the bikes in year 2013.

The Triumph's lineup includes bike starting from the retro edition Bonneville while the others include Speed Triple, Daytona, Street Triple and Rocket III. While Daytona has been spied testing on previous occasions, the exact bikes which the UK based manufacturer plans to bring in India is yet to be looked at.

Triumph India's line up is now expected to start with Bonneville which will be priced around INR 12.5 Lakh. The bike is priced around INR 7.5 Lakh (12,000 USD) in America however adding to that the import cost, the higher price by around INR 5 Lakh is explained.

Above you could see the first showroom from triumph which would open up in Bangalore soon- post which the showrooms would open up in New Delhi, Chennai and other cities as well.

The company has appointed Mr. Vimal Sumbly, former General Manager of Sales at Bajaj Auto, as the brand head in India. The bookings have already been started unofficially and the same could be booked by depositing Rs 5 Lakh to the dealer. 

BMW Z4 launched in India at INR 68.9 Lakh

The BMW Z4 facelift has launched in India, just a couple of hours ago and is priced at INR 68.9 Lakh for the Z4 sDrive35i, while the sDrive35i Design Pure Traction version costs Rs 69.9 lakh (ex-showroom, India).

The facelift comes with minor cosmetic updates like new chrome grills, restyled bumpers, new alloy wheel design and new headlamp design. Subtle cosmetic changes in the interiors have also been seen.

There are no mechanical changes from the previous Z4, with the power output at 302bhp from the car's 3.0-litre, twin-turbo direct-injection engine. It comes mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Top speed is a claimed 250kph while 0-100kph is dispatched in 5.1sec.

Philipp von Sahr, president, BMW Group India, said, “The new BMW Z4 embodies the excitement of dynamism and aesthetics in a more uncompromising style than ever before. The new BMW Z4 represents a time-honoured and yet alluringly contemporary interpretation of the traditional roadster concept. The classical proportions and unmistakable athletic character, armed with a raft of design and equipment innovations, bring more excitement to the new BMW Z4. Because when it comes to real driving pleasure, there’s one emotion that comes first: passion.”

Official now - Next gen Honda City to be unveiled on 25th November 2013

As already told by us a couple of days back, Honda Cars India Limited has officially confirmed today that their next gen - Honda City will be unveiled in the country on 25th November 2013.

The new car will carry the same i-VTEC 1.5L Petrol engine as available in the current gen City and the new 1.5L i-DTEC Diesel engine that is currently available in Amaze. The Japanese carmaker had last month sold just 31 cars to the dealers which indicates that the company has already exhausted the entire lot of cars and the new car has already begun its production at its Greater Noida plant.

As per the sources, the Japanese car maker has already started taking the bookings of the new car and the same can be booked through any of the authorized dealer by paying just INR 50,000. The outgoing model is now offered at a discount of upto INR 40,000

The car is also expected to grow marginally in size, and combined with the fantastic interior packaging efforts we’ve seen in Honda’s recent cars, the new City could very well set a new class benchmark for cabin space. The interiors will be upgraded too with a more upmarket ambience and more equipment – one of the current car’s shortcomings. Expect segment staples like automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity to be on the list.

As seen in the above Image, the new cars from Honda will be coming with Solid wing face which the carmaker says is their H Design. Remember, Hyundai - last time coming up with their Fluidic design and implementing it to their entire lineup and making all models successfull. Let's wait n watch if Honda too tastes success for all its models via its H design concept. Stay tuned for more on 25th November 2013.

October 2013 Car / Model wise sales of Indian Auto market

Hope you guys had a nice Diwali season. As many others do during the auspicious occasions - Diwali and Dhanteras, the month of October has always been good for the auto industry apart from  March, wherein the financial closing takes place. As many of you too would have also purchased new cars during the season, we wish you all the best for your new ride.

The next few months are expected to see numbers growing and if the same pace of car sales continues as it happended during last two months, we could see flat sales for the financial year 2013-14. However, a entering into a slight negative territory is also expected by end of current financial year.

The month was good for the country's largest carmaker - Maruti Suzuki, wherein it attained the top 4 car sales and 4 out of 10 cars sold. The car maker's sales in October are highest since March 2013. The Ertiga and Omni too recorded fantastic sales too. Maruti is also working on removing the non-selling cars from its portfolio as it discontinued Estilo and A-Star from its lineup and would add YL7 from December 2013.

For Hyundai, the month was very good - all thanks to the newly launched U2 1.1L Diesel engine wherein the Grand i10 sold 11,000 number apart from apprx. 4K sales coming from i10. Comibining the two, it crossed 15K.

The months have been bad for Tata Motors however recently Mahindra's too have started losing their chunk of market share - due to low sales of Xylo, XUV, Verito and Vibe.

Toyota did a fairly good month wherein the new Innova finally showed up with 6,000 numbers and Fortuner too crossed 1,600 numbers. Altis registered good number in D segment sedan and Etios and Liva no major improvement remained subdued. The car sales are expected to be similar till refreshed versiions are launched in year 2015.

Honda did a fantastic job and the returns are paying off for them since the launch of Amaze now. The month registered the highest sales in a month till date. Honda must be in a party mood since then and must be very optimistic about their City's launch.

Ford's EcoSport too registered good numbers but similar to what happended to Duster, the car is loosing in numbers. The car similar to that in Brazil, is selling more than its direct competitor - Renault Duster.

Nothing much to talk about Chevrolet, Fiat, HM, Skoda and VW. Nissan's Terrano added 3,079 numbers which, as expected are lower than Renault's Duster.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Mercedes-Benz India celebrates 10 million C-Class sold globally- launches the all new ‘Edition C’ in India

Mercedes-Benz India today introduced the sporty and stylish ‘Edition C’ to celebrate the sale of 10 million cars of the C-Class family world over. Edition C is characterized by a strong impulse for modernity and sportiness and comes loaded with incredible performance, unparalleled luxury and safety innovations in its segment. Inspired by the global success of C-Class, the Edition C boasts of a distinctively sporty and stylish exterior which is complemented by a luxurious interior created out of attractive materials with stylish details and a wealth of high-quality equipment and appointments. A limited number of 500 units of Edition C will be available for the Indian market.

Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India: “The C-Class remains one of Mercedes-Benz’ best-sellers in the competitive entry level luxury sedan segment. To celebrate the success story of the C-Class which sold more than 10 million units globally, we are excited to present the ‘Edition C’ for our Indian customers. ‘Edition C’ with its dynamic and sporty exterior, specially designed luxurious interiors, innovative engineering and impressive efficiency is an inspiring car and will continue to set newer benchmarks in design, quality and luxury for the segment.”

The C-Class success story began in 1982 when the Mercedes-Benz 190 was launched as a mid-range car. Since it was the smallest car in the Mercedes-Benz range at the time, it soon earned the nickname ‘Baby Benz’. The first car under the C-Class designation was introduced in May 1993 and it marked new ground for Mercedes-Benz, not only in terms of its innovative engineering and impressive efficiency but also because of the wider range of body shapes.

The entry of the fourth C-Class generation in the market in 2007 also saw the launch of a new design feature. For the first time, the front-end design of a Mercedes-Benz sedan varied according to the equipment line. While the ELEGANCE equipment line features the three-pointed star in its traditional position on the bonnet, it is built into the centre of the radiator grill for the more sporty AVANTGARDE equipment line.

Dynamic Sporty Exterior:
The ‘Edition C’ with its stylish and dynamic exteriors continues to set newer benchmarks in design, quality and luxury for the segment. An AMG body styling with front and rear apron and side sill panels, a radiator grille with the centrally positioned star and fins in high-gloss black and the black high-sheen finish 2-tone 17-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels, makes the Edition C distinctive in its appearance. The "Edition C" badge on the wings with dark-tinted headlamps, chromed tailpipe trims and an electric sunroof further adds to the exterior appointments. An exclusive radiator grille with high-gloss black louvres and chrome trim flanked by darkened headlamps clearly underlines the special status and individual character of the Edition C model. The AVANTGARDE design and equipment line further enhance the exterior styling with wider 245/40 R 17 tyres on the rear wheels.

Sporty and individualistic interior:
The dynamic and sporty exterior of the Edition C meets an equally sporty and individualistic interior. Use of attractive materials, attention to stylish details and a wealth of high-quality equipment and appointments exudes luxury. The interiors of Edition C features sports seats in ARTICO / DINAMICA microfibre in black with two-tone contrasting topstitching in blue/alpaca grey and dark aluminium trim with longitudinal grain. The three-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel is crafted in Nappa leather and is further accentuated with contrasting topstitching in alpaca grey. The sporty look of the interiors is coordinated by the DINAMICA microfibre-trimmed door centre panels. The velour floor mats, with edging and contrasting topstitching in alpaca grey, and the black headlining further enhances the sporty feel of the Edition C. The car’s 1/3:2/3 folding rear seat backrests underline an impressive practicality. The interior light package of the Edition C makes a statement with its ambient lighting in the exterior mirrors, an illuminated front foot-well, illuminated interior handle recesses, an illuminated door pocket and courtesy lights in the doors and illuminated air vent thumbwheels.

Telematics and multimedia systems:
Mercedes-Benz has also enhanced the telematics and multimedia centre of the Edition C with features such as an 11.4cm multifunctional colour display in the instrument cluster. Navigation with latest maps now features as standard in Edition C. There is complete integration of the Audio 20 CD control and display with details featuring in instrument cluster display. Navigation allows integrating the destination directly, using the map and navigating to the selected point, whereas the brand logos act as indicators of points of interest such as fuel filling stations and restaurants. There is also provision of fast zoom function with scale indicator and different view for maps. Over 7.9 million key points of interest are featured including fuel filling stations, Mercedes-Benz dealership outlets, museums, restaurants and hospitals.

Safety features:
The C-Class has always been the pioneer in its segment in terms of its innovative safety systems which include numerous driving assistance systems like ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection, Brake Assist System (BAS), Acceleration Skid Control (ASR), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), crash responsive pedals, tyre pressure loss warning etc. These along with six airbags provide a comprehensive level of support and protection for the driver and passengers. AGILITY CONTROL package with the selective damping system provides a customized style of vehicle handling, showcasing the vehicle’s technological prowess. Functions such as PRE SAFE and NECK PRO, ADAPTIVE BRAKE with ABS and ASR, brake drying function and hill start assist, cruise control and rain sensors in the car offer outstanding levels of safety for the passengers.

Edition C is equipped with a 4 cylinder diesel engine with 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which enables reduced fuel consumption while delivering high output and torque for unmatched driving pleasure. Its 4 cylinder 2143 cc engine has a rated output of 125 kW @ 3000-4200 rpm and a rated torque of 400 Nm @ 1400-2800 rpm. The Edition C also uses fuel saving technology like ECO START STOP.

The car is priced at Rs 39.16 Lakh, ex-showroom Mumbai. 

Maruti Suzuki Swift sales crosses 1 million sales mark in 8 years

Maruti Swift, the car that laid the foundation for the compact hatchback segment in India, has raced past the million-unit sales mark in quick time.

Maruti Suzuki India sold 108,619 Swifts in April-October 2013, up 18% over last year. Swift that was launched in the summer of 2005, achieved the milestone in a little over eight years, faster than cheaper and smaller cars like Maruti 800, Alto, Omni, Wagon R, Hyundai Santro and Tata Indica.

It also lost three months production due to two separate instances of labour strife at Maruti’s Manesar factory. Although, Alto remains the largest-selling car in India, Swift has closed the gap every year. “The sales of the Swift have exceeded our expectations. In 2005, we targeted sales of 5,000 units a month and some people thought we were dreaming as nobody would buy such an expensive small car in India,” said Mayank Pareek, chief operating officer marketing and sales, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.

“Today, it is the second-largest selling car in the country with close to 200,000 units sold annually. In, fact till last year, it commanded a waiting period as demand outstripped supply.” The success of the Swift indicates India’s growing preference for small cars that are relatively expensive but offer more space, power and features.

It has also led many other global car makers like Honda, Volkswagen, Skoda, Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota to build small cars in the Indian market. “It is natural for the market to graduate to cars that offer more space, power and features,” said Remy Pothet, global automotive practice head, TNS Automotive.

New Honda City bookings open unofficially - Launch on25th November 2013

The next gen Honda City would be unveiled on 25th November and would also come with a Diesel engine option. The car's stocks have already exhausted and however with selected dealers it comes with a discount of INR 40,000-50,000. 

The next gen car would be available with 1.5L i-VTEC engine, same engine powering the current gen City and 1.5L i-DTEC engine which is available in Honda's Amaze. 

As spoken to few of the dealers in Delhi and NCR, the bookings have unofficially been opened and all of them reported to have received around 50-70 bookings for the yet to be launched car. The booking amount ranges from INR 50,000 - 100,000 from dealer to dealer. 

Stay tuned for more information on the same soon. 

Maruti Suzuki Gypsy facelift in works - to come with new petrol and diesel engines

Maruti Suzuki India's first most SUV - Gypsy is the oldest and still the most loved SUV in India. It is still the only and the best option among many rallyists in India and a favourite option among armed forces.

Private sales of Gypsy for regular use is miniscule whereas most of the sales comes from off road drivers and from the armed forces. The other fact that the car is being sold less is that the car is available only in petrol option and looks a little outdated or could say that the competitors are a little more updated now.

As per the rumours, the new car would get minor updates in terms of looks. If we go to the history of Gypsy, we would come to know that the Gypsy was first powered by Maruti Suzuki's 1.0L Petrol engine which was later replaced with Esteem's 1.3L G13 Petrol engine and is still available with the same option. This engine is however available only in Gypsy.

The Japanese carmaker now plans to replace the current G13 engine with G12B engine which will be a more economical option in terms of it would increase the fuel efficiency and along sides without compromising much on power i.e. the power would almost remain the same. The G12B engine is currently available in Eeco and hence on basis of economies of scale, it would be more feasible for Maruti Suzuki to produce this engine rather than producing G13 engine.

The new Gypsy could also be powered by Fiat's 1.3L Multijet engine which is currently powering the rear wheels of Premier Rio - therefore a rear wheel option for Maruti Suzuki's Gypsy could not be ruled out. In that case, it would form a very good competitor to Mahindra's Thar and Force Motors Gurkha.

Another important point to notice is that the current length of Gypsy is 4,010 mm and hence a redesigning of bumpers could let it fall in lesser excise duty norms and thus could provide a far better competition. 

New BMW Z4 to be launched on November 14

The German carmaker which was the highest selling luxury carmaker last year is being overtaken by Audi this year. Nevertheless, BMW needs new models to keep the thirst ongoing and hence BMW will be launching their Z4 variant on 14th November 2013.

The facelift though will get minor cosmetic updates like new chrome grills, restyled bumpers, new alloy wheel design and new headlamp design. Subtle cosmetic changes in the interiors are also expected.

The major changes however will be the replacement of BMW Z4 sdrive 35i in India with sDrive 35is. The extra "s" means the new car will be more powerful than the current version and to be precise the new car will carry 33bhp more than the current gen 202 bhp.

Power will come from the same 3.0-litre, twin-turbo direct-injection engine mated to a 7speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

Expect the car to be priced around INR 75 Lakh. Stay tuned for more information.

Video - 2014 Mini Cooper teased, to be unveiled on 18th Nov 2013

The 2014 Mini Cooper will be unveiled on 18th November and the unveiling will take place at the Oxford plant, and the date also marks the 107th birthday of Sir Alex Issigonis, the original Mini’s designer.

The new Mini will be available in both 3 cylinder and 4 cylinder options. The entry level will be powered by 1.5L three cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing 136 bhp and 220 Nm of torque with an added overboost function which could take it to 230 Nm of torque.

The more powerful 2.0L Petrol engine which produces 280 Nm of torque and 192 bhp with an overboost function which could take it to 300 Nm.

As far as the diesel engine is concerned, only a single option is available - the 3 cylinder 1.5L Diesel engine producing 116 bhp and 270 Nm of torque.

Mini gets new safety features which includes the active hood which automatically raises up in case of a pedestrian collision. This feature will be active between 19 Kmph and 55 Kmph. The new Mini also gets a collision avoidance system with city braking, and an active headlight system that alternates between high-beam and low-beam depending on the ambient lighting.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Hyundai Grand i10 Automatic launched at Rs 5.73 Lakh

Hyundai has finally rolled out the Grand i10 Automatic version priced at Rs 5.73 Lakh onwards. Though there is no official confirmation from the company, a south indian dealership of the Korean carmaker has carried an advertisement of the same in the newspaper.

At a price of Rs 5.73 Lakh, Sportz Automatic Grand i10 is Rs 70,000 costlier than the Manual variant. The Asta version is pegged at approximately Rs 5.95 Lac. The Hyundai Grand i10 is offered only with the Petrol variant. Other available Automatic cars include Honda Brio A/T priced at Rs 6.15 Lakh, Nissan Micra A/T Rs 6.49 Lakh.

The Grand i10 Automatic is offered with same 1.2L Petrol engine as offered in i10 and i20 hatchbacks.

Stay tuned for more information from the Korean carmaker. 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Dubai Police gets a Mercedes G63 AMG tuned by Brabus

Dubai Police has added Mercedes G63 AMG to its fleet now. Earlier we also saw Dubai police adding Lamborghini to its fleet.

The 690bhp B637 "700 Widestar" is the latest lump of exotica the Emirati rozzers can tool around in. And with a top speed of 149mph, 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds and a roster of off-road credentials, it'll be able to bring many deserty high-speed pursuits to a close.

Finished in white with green police decals, the SUV also gains a roof-mounted light bar, additional LED lighting at the front, 23-inch alloys and Dynamic Ride Control suspension.

The Brabus B63S 700 Widestar is currently on display at the Dubai motor show.

Next gen Honda City to be unveiled in New Delhi on 25th November 2013

Honda's next gen City will be unveiled in New Delhi on 25th November 2013. The new car - codenamed 2CT will be carried with the same 1.5L i-VTEC Petrol engine along with the all new 1.5L Diesel engine.

The Japanese carmaker had last month sold just 31 cars to the dealers which indicates that the company has already exhausted the entire lot of cars and the new car has already begun its production at its Greater Noida plant.

As per the sources, the Japanese car maker has already started taking the bookings of the new car and the same can be booked through any of the authorized dealer by paying just INR 50,000. The outgoing model is now offered at a discount of upto INR 40,000.

The car is also expected to grow marginally in size, and combined with the fantastic interior packaging efforts we’ve seen in Honda’s recent cars, the new City could very well set a new class benchmark for cabin space. The interiors will be upgraded too with a more upmarket ambience and more equipment – one of the current car’s shortcomings. Expect segment staples like automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity to be on the list

Friday, 1 November 2013

Tata Motors to launch CNG variant of Magic Iris

Tata Motors unveiled Magic Iris during 2010 Auto Expo. The answer to three wheelers, which Tata Motors does not manufactures is CNG variant of Magic Iris which the Indian company is scheduled to launch soon. The official Tata Motors website claims that the vehicle (in BS4 spec) would launch soon in 3+Driver or 4+Driver seating options

The Magic Iris would have a 53 Liter CNG tank which will be placed under the passenger seat whereas the space behind the passenger seat could be used for keeping small bags.

The vehicle uses the same 611cc single cylinder engine that develops 13.2 bhp @ 3,000 rpm and 39 Nm @ 1600-1800 rpm (2.2 bhp and 8 Nm higher than the normal version). The transmission is a four-speed manual unit. According to the company, the vehicle can travel 53 km/kg, giving the Magic Iris a range of 220 km.

The prices of the CNG variant have not been announced but expect the same to be priced at around INR 2.40 Lakh. Stay tuned for more details. 

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