Friday, August 3, 2012

“Audi To Locally Assemble Q7 By End-2012” plus 5 more Motorbeam

“Audi To Locally Assemble Q7 By End-2012” plus 5 more Motorbeam

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Audi To Locally Assemble Q7 By End-2012

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 07:25 AM PDT


Betting big on the Indian car market, Audi today revealed its plans to locally assemble the Q7 SUV in India. The German automaker will bring in the Audi Q7 via the CKD route and assemble the popular SUV at its Aurangabad facility. The assembly operations will start by the end of the year and currently Audi imports the Q7 from Bratislava (Slovakia). Due to the Audi Q7 being a CBU, the pricing is on the higher side. Once the CKD operations start, Audi will revise the price downloads to position the Q7 more aggressively in the Indian market.

Audi doesn’t have any plans to assemble the Audi A8 in India as its aluminum space frame (ASF) construction makes it difficult to assemble the vehicle locally. Audi currently assembles the A4, A6, Q5 in the Indian market and will soon start assembling the Q3 as well. The company will launch the Audi S6 later this year and is contemplating bringing in a V12 TDI engine in the Audi Q7. Audi recently opened its 20th showroom in India, which was opened in Navi Mumbai. The company plans to aggressively expand its dealership outlets and plans to open 5 more showrooms by the year end.

Audi is not the only luxury car manufacturer which is betting big on local assembly. Arch rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz are also going the CKD route with its popular models. Mercedes-Benz will soon start local assembly of the M-Class and GL-Class, while the B-Class and other MFA architecture cars will too be locally assembled. Local assembly requires heavy investments and the volumes need to justify the investments. For the record, currently the most expensive car to be assembled in India is the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which is brought in through the SKD (semi-knocked down) route.



2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R Launch On 9th August

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 04:55 AM PDT

The launch of the 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R has been confirmed for the 9th of August 2012. Bajaj Auto has sent out invites for the launch event, which will take place in Pune. Present on the occasion would be Mr. Amit Nandi (Vice President, Probiking) and Mr. Rajiv Bajaj (Managing Director, Bajaj Auto). The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R has been a long time coming but was delayed due to the high demand in overseas markets. More over, due to the difficultly in attaching a saree guard, the launch was further delayed by a few weeks time. Dealers on their part are taking bookings already.

Kawasaki recently unveiled the 2013 Ninja 650R, which gets new colors and ABS (as an option). However this model is not being launched in India currently. Currently Bajaj Auto locally assembles the Ninja 650R through CKD kits imported from Thailand. The Japanese automaker has allocated more quantity of the Ninja 650R for the Indian market this time around and hence bookings are not expected to close anytime soon. Bajaj Auto doesn’t plan to locally manufacture the Ninja 650R anytime soon as the company doesn’t find enough volumes to justify local production.

The 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 650R has minor improvements, which make the motorcycle slightly better than its predecessor. While the power and torque output remain the same at 72 BHP and 65 Nm, the parallel twin motor is got minor tweaks to improve the power delivery at low and mid-range of the power band. A stiffer frame also debuts on the Ninja 650R which improves the handling of this middle-weight motorcycle. The company has also incorporated a eco-mode to boost mileage. Expect a small price hike on the Ninja 650R as the depreciating Rupee will reflect in the import costs of the bike.

Volkswagen Adds Semi-Automatic Gearbox To Up!

Posted: 03 Aug 2012 04:30 AM PDT

2012 Volkswagen Up exterior

Volkswagen Up!, the small city car from the German automaker, is now available with automated manual gearbox (ASG) for UK buyers. This 5-speed semi-automatic transmission will be seen on both three and five-door Up! models. However those with the BlueMotion technology will be not be provided with ASG. The option allows the driver to use the ASG as a regular automatic as well as manually change gears with the use of the lever. Volkswagen doesn’t offer steering wheel paddle shifts on the Up!. The ASG offers increased fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions.

Initially the Volkswagen Up! was introduced with the 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine offering two options. Buyers could choose from either the one that produced 59 BHP of power or the one that produced 74 BHP of power. The BlueMotion technology version came with higher fuel efficiency producing 59 BHP of power. Variants that are available have been named as Take Up!, Move Up!, High Up!, Up! Black and Up! White. As promised, Volkswagen introduced the five-door variant and has now launched the Up! with automatic transmission. So as per its plan, we could expect the electric variant of Up! to come up soon.

Volkswagen Up! for the Indian market might still take time as the company is still undecided on the price to be fixed. However, it is expected to be available in both petrol and diesel versions. The petrol variant will have a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder engine that would provide a power output of 75 BHP. The engine will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The diesel variant will have a 0.8-litre, turbocharged diesel powertrain that will produce a peak power output of 51 BHP and peak torque of 100 Nm with similar gearbox as that of petrol variant. Automatic transmission might come as an option. The wait for Up! has been long now, and we hope to see it soon on the Indian roads.

Volkswagen Up! ASG Semi Automatic Gearbox

Continental Flying Spur Camouflage Makes It An S-Class

Posted: 02 Aug 2012 11:52 PM PDT

The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur has been caught testing and the car was camouflaged to make it look like the upcoming Mercedes-Benz S-class. There were pseudo Benz head and tail lights. The Bentley Flying Spur is expected to take some cues from the 2011 Continental GT and 2012 GTC. Just like the two, the Flying Spur too will sit on a carry-over platform. The four-door would get complete sheet metal makeover. There would be reshaped headlights, hood and new front and rear fascias. There is an addition of fender ‘shoulders’ over the rear wheels.

The new Bentley Continental Flying Spur will house a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine. There would be a power output increase from 552 BHP to 567 BHP in case of the normal sedan whereas the high performance speed model would see an increase from 600 BHP to 616 BHP. However, the 2014 Continental Flying Spur will be offered in only all-wheel drive. The upgraded version should hit the roads sometime in 2014 and the price of the same is bound to go up by a slight amount. Bentley currently bring the Continental Flying Spur to India via the CBU route and the new model will be offered her as well. The current price of the car is Rs. 1.74 crore (ex-showroom).

Automakers can some time be hilarious, as is the case with Bentley. By camouflaging the Continental Flying Spur to look like the S-Class, the company has got even more attention. This is not the first time the British super car maker tried this trick. Bentley did the same thing with the original Flying Spur by camouflaging it like the W220 S-Class. However how could Bentley forget that there front grille and wheels are easily recognizable and difficult to miss. A good effort none the less. Looks like Bentley is a huge fan of the S-Class and the Flying Spur also rivals the S55 AMG.

Source – WorldCarFans

Audi Launches A8 L 4.2 TDI – Live From Event

Posted: 02 Aug 2012 11:00 PM PDT

Audi A8L 4.2 TDI

Audi India has launched the A8 L with a 4.2-litre diesel engine today. This 4.2 V8 TDI motor produces 350 BHP of peak power at 4000 RPM and a massive 800 Nm of peak torque between 1750-2750 RPM. Mated to this engine is a 8-speed tip-tronic gearbox. and with so much torque on disposal, Audi has channeled power via the Quattro all-wheel drive system. The Audi A8L with the 4.2 TDI heart reaches 100 km/h in just 5.6 seconds and is limited to a top speed of 250 km/h. The Audi A8L 4.2 TDI q is priced at Rs. 10,075,000/- (ex-showroom, Maharashtra).

Abhishek Bachchan is the first customer of the A8L 4.2 and the Audi will hand over the keys of his customized car later today. The 4.2-litre diesel engine is the fourth engine in the Audi A8 India line-up. Audi also offers the A8 L with a 4.2-litre V8 FSI petrol engine, 6.3-litre W12 petrol engine and 3.0-litre TDI diesel engine. The Audi A8 range is priced at Rs. 1.04 crore for the 3.0-litre TDI engine, Rs. 1.152 crore for the 4.2 FSI engine and Rs. 1.66 crore for the 6.3-litre W12 engine (all prices on-road, Mumbai). All these engines are q variants, having the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system as standard.

Audi offers the A8 in long-wheel base version for the Indian market, owing to the high chauffeur driven cars in the country. The A8 L has a 13 cm longer wheelbase than the standard A8. All the variants of the A8 are feature laden with the best of technology and comfort that Audi has to offer to its customers. Even though Audi has launched the 4.2-litre bi-turbo engined A8 L, we expect the 3.0-litre TDI to continue to be the best seller in the A8 range, as buyers prefer to bask in the luxury of the rear seat.

Pointers From The Press Conference -

  • Audi is operating on a healhy11.5 percent profit margin
  • Volume has doubled over last 10 years
  • Globally number 2 position after BMW (Mercedes-Benz is planing to overtake Audi by 2015 globally)
  • Fastest growing luxury brand in 2011
  • India is the fastest growing market for Audi globally
  • Launching A3 in Europe, will eventually make it to India (mostly in 2014)
  • 98 percent growth in July 2012 (YoY)
  • Q3 key for growth this year
  • Two more products to launch this year
  • Navi Mumbai showroom has been opened today (first luxury brand in Navi Mumbai, Mercedes-Benz too plans a showroom here)
  • Lucknow and Goa showroom to open later this year
  • Audi to launch S6 by the end of the year
  • Audi will start local assembly of the Q7 in India by the end of 2012.

Premier Launches RiO CRDi4 Priced At Rs. 6.7 Lakhs

Posted: 02 Aug 2012 10:45 PM PDT

2012 Premier RiO Brochure

Premier has started delivery of the CRDi RiO to dealers in select cities. The RiO is now armed with a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine. This motor has been sourced from Fiat and Premier has named it as ‘CRDi4′ in the RiO. Premier has already signed a three-year contract with Fiat wherein the Italian automaker would supply 28,000 units of their 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engines to Premier. The engine from Fiat will enhance the power output of the diesel RiO from 65 BHP to 72 BHP. The torque output is 183 Nm between 1800-2400 RPM, while the fuel efficiency has been improved to 19 km/l.

The compact SUV is priced at Rs. 6.7 lakhs (ex-showroom Pune). The response has been a positive one, in fact more than the anticipated one from the dealer network. Premier has a decent sales network in the country, comprising of 55 dealers which is planned to be increased to 100 by this year end. The company has plans to set up 200 authorized centers for servicing of the RiO. These authorized centers will be called ‘PASS’ which stands for Premier Authorized Service Stations. Assembly of this car would take place in Premier’s assembly plant in Pune which has a capacity of 1000 units per month.

The petrol version of the Premier RiO is powered by a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder engine which produces a power output of 76.6 BHP and peak torque output of 104 Nm. The other diesel version of the RiO uses the 1.5-litre TDU5 diesel engine from Peugeot. This engine produces a power output of 65 BHP and peak torque output of 152 Nm. Premier will continue to sell the RiO with the TUD5 engine in BSIII markets. Except for the change in engine, everything else remains the same in the CRDi RiO and it remains to be seen if sales of the RiO increases in metro cities with the use of Fiat’s powertrain.

Premier RiO Multijet Brochure

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