Friday, August 10, 2012

“Nissan Evalia Test Drive Review” plus 4 more Motorbeam

“Nissan Evalia Test Drive Review” plus 4 more Motorbeam

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Nissan Evalia Test Drive Review

Posted: 10 Aug 2012 10:16 AM PDT

Nissan Evalia Test Drive Review

2012 Nissan Evalia – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car tested: 2012 Nissan Evalia XV

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 13,00,000/- (est.)

Renault-Nissan are on a roll. The joint venture company will soon see their market share in India increase significantly. Renault launched the Duster compact SUV, which seems to be working wonders for them. Now its Nissan’s turn to conquer the market with the Evalia. First unveiled in India at the Auto Expo earlier this year, the Evalia is a hugely promising MPV, which has proven its mettle overseas (as the NV200). This Nissan vehicle is the New York taxi and could soon replace the black cab as the London taxi. This itself says a lot about the car. We drive the Nissan Evalia on Bangalore roads to find out, if it has the capability to do a Duster for Nissan.

Exteriors – In order to set the sales chart on fire in the MPV segment, you don’t really have to be a looker. The Nissan Evalia looks very van like and is quite boxy. Nissan itself calls the NV200 a global small van in international markets. When viewed head-on, the Evalia looks quite decent. The front grille merges with the headlights, which are swept back marginally. The front bumper is huge and has twin slat air dams on the lower half, finished in black. The v-shaped grille is the real noteworthy element at the front.

Coming to the side of the Nissan Evalia and you will immediately notice the flat design of the body panels. There are very little cuts or creases on the Evalia but Nissan has tried to incorporate some lines on the middle doors. The front door frame has got some curves and the front windows are shaped in a unique way. The fuel filler is below the drivers door. The second row doors are sliding type. The windows of the second (butterfly flap) and third row are designed in a way to look like a single piece. There is a small black strip below the rear windows which houses the sliding mechanism of the doors. The alloy wheels are 14-inch units which have 10-spokes. The spare wheel doesn’t have an alloy.

At the rear, the Evalia has a big tailgate, which has hydraulic struts for opening and closing. The no-nonsense styling continues at the rear and the Evalia has two piece lights, brake lights stacked vertically while the reflectors are stacked horizontally. A high mounted rear stop lamp is present but there are no wiper, washer or defogger at the rear. For India, Nissan has added chrome over the number plates, however they should also consider adding chrome over the tail number plate. Overall the styling of the Nissan Evalia is very neutral and is certainly not going to grab attention. However the simple styling helps in space maximization on the inside, something which gives the Evalia the amazing room.

Head over to the next page to read about the interiors of the Nissan Evalia.

Volkswagen To Launch Polo Facelift Soon

Posted: 10 Aug 2012 04:52 AM PDT

2013 Volkswagen Polo Facelift

Just a few days ago we reported Volkswagen has discontinued the Polo 1.6 and now the facelift of the Polo has been spotted. The German automaker will soon launch the updated Polo, which will get cosmetic changes and could also get 4-cylinder engines. This is a mid-life facelift for the Polo, until the next generation model is launched in 2014. Volkswagen’s marketing department had quit recently, owing to the poor sales of the Polo. However Volkswagen seems to be ready to respond with the updated Polo this festive season.

Changes to the Volkswagen Polo will include black inserts on the headlights, smoked tail lights and new alloy wheels. The interiors will receive upgrades as well with a new audio system having touch controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The Polo Highline will get steering mounted audio controls as well. Volkswagen will also bring an automatic gearbox in the Polo petrol, details of which are still not known. All these changes will give the Polo a minor boost till VW is able to bring in the vastly improved Mark VI Polo.

Once Volkswagen launches the Polo minor facelift, once can expect Skoda to follow up with similar changes to the Fabia. The Fabia is not selling and Skoda is more worried than VW regarding the poor sales. Thus both companies are working extensively on their premium hatchbacks to boost volumes and increase market share in the Indian market. Maruti Suzuki launched the new Swift last year, while Hyundai upgraded the i20 earlier this year. Ford will be launching an update to the Figo soon and Nissan plans to give the Micra a mid-life facelift next year.


Source – Autocar India

Conquest Launches Evade Unarmored SUV In India

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 11:44 PM PDT

Toronto-based Conquest Vehicles Inc. has launched Evade, its first unarmored sports utility vehicle in India. Priced at Rs. 8 crore (starting price), such an offering is quite strange from the company as they are actually known for their Knight XV armored SUV. With over 400 cubic feet of space inside, the vehicle offers a lot of room and luxury. The Evade is available in both petrol and diesel versions and comes with a 4×4 system. It has received a new body style, new headlights and taillights, narrower fender flares, redesigned grille, hood scoop and a wider backdoor. There is addition of a third tandem sunroof too. The rear bumper has been provided with an integrated step for easier access. The exteriors are made up of aluminum-mild steel blend which makes the Evade lighter than the Knight XV.

Talking about the interiors, the Evade comes with 2+2 style limo seating, reclining seats and laptop trays. There is also an option where by one can chose to have a driver partition or a retractable flat screen television. The steering wheel, proprietary hinges, running boards and the key are made out of solid stainless steel. The handles are made up of solid aluminum block. The interiors have got a blend of military design cues and perfect rich finish. Touch screen facility is made available for both the driver and the passengers. There are joystick controlled searchlights. The vehicle is also equipped with FLIR night vision camera systems which are present at both the front and the rear end. Evade also houses a ergonomically designed cockpit and cabin.

The launch of the Conquest Evade clearly shows how global niche luxury car makers want to tap the growing population of exotic cars in India. The Evade is the first luxury SUV which is priced above Rs. 2 crore in the Indian market. The vehicle currently has no competition but Bentley, Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin and other super car makers are considering their own luxury SUV to meet the growing demands of luxury SUVs.

Volkswagen India To Expand Dealership Base

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 11:38 PM PDT

Volkswagen India is taking steps to make their customers experience better. First and foremost, the company is in plans to extend its dealership network, making it convenient for their customer to reach them out in a better way. Currently, the company has around 200 dealerships across the country. By 2015, it would double the number of dealerships. The company would add 50-60 dealerships every year over the next few years to reach its target. Well, increasing the proximity of the dealerships for the customers will be surely a successful move, but what about the customer experience at these outlets?

The company has decided to spend a good lot on training of the personnel at the dealerships. Their main focus is on training the technicians. The existing 4000 technicians, working across all the dealerships, will be imparted training. Also, the prospective technicians who are going to join the force in future will also undergo the training. Knowledge of machine is a must today to help customers choose their pick and to also convince them of the product. The company has its regional training centre at Chandigarh. By September, such training centres will also be opened in Bangalore and Kolkata.

"We are planning to offer 20,000 training man-days during the current year and 35,000 training man-days next year," Dietmar Hildebrandt, VW Group Sales Director, India said.

The company has a tie up with the city-based Geedee Technical Training Institute. They offer a course called VG-TAP which stands for Volkswagen Group-Technik Ausbildungs Programme. It is a course which is devised by the company itself. Currently, the company has VG-TAP in nine locations across India. The number would be increased to 12 by this year end and by 2015, we would see 25 centres. Apart from training, the company has also proposed to spend on opening the spare parts centres. Currently, the spare parts depot is present in Aurangabad and the proposal has been made to open them in Delhi and Mumbai too. Perhaps, these might look like a lot of planning on the company’s part to enhance customer experience. But, will they beat the cafes and the mobile showrooms the other auto giants are coming up with?

Source – Business Line

Honda US Unveils New 2013 Accord

Posted: 09 Aug 2012 11:00 PM PDT

2013 Honda Accord

Honda has officially unveiled the images of the production version of its ninth-generation Honda Accord sedan. The same will hit the dealerships anytime this fall. Although the traditional Accord styling is apparent from the images, it has its own set of new features that sets it apart from its previous versions. First and foremost, the 2013 Accord will offer more space for both the passengers and the luggage when compared to its previous versions. The overall length has been reduced which gives it a bit compact look and also improves the handling and driving dynamics. Although, not many details have been revealed by the company on the interiors of the car, it is expected to feature the all new LED daytime running lights, headlights and taillights.

“This car is the most sculpted and the most dynamic Accord yet, following Honda’s long-held philosophy of ‘man maximum, machine minimum,” Vicki Poponi, Assistant VP, Product Planning, Honda America, said.

The 2013 Accord would also be the first one to debut the Honda’s new Earth Dreams engines. The base version will be powered by a 2.4-litre 4-cylinder direct injection powertrain where as the bigger one would feature the 3.5-litre V6 which again is a direct injection powertrain. Although manual transmission is available for both, the V6 will also get a 6-speed automatic transmission whereas the 4-cylinder version would get the CVT. The 2.4-litre direct-injected (DI) engine produces a power of 181 HP and 240 Nm of torque. A plug-in hybrid model is also in lines. It will come with city driving range of 16-24 Km. The top speed it would attain is 100 Km/hr. The battery can be charged fully in just 4 hours using a 120 Volt charger. Use of a 240 Volt charger will bring down the charging time to 1.5 hours.

2013 Honda Accord Sedan

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