Thursday, October 25, 2012

“Hyundai Showcases New Smaller Engines” plus 4 more Motorbeam

“Hyundai Showcases New Smaller Engines” plus 4 more Motorbeam

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Hyundai Showcases New Smaller Engines

Posted: 25 Oct 2012 08:22 AM PDT

Hyundai Engines

Korean automobile duo, Hyundai-Kia, have showcased an array of new and existing engines and transmissions at the International Powertrain Conference in Korea. While the petrol engines were given more importance as per the programme, a few diesel engines have also been introduced. The strategy focused on making small yet powerful engines eyeing the global downsizing trend. Hyundai is dedicated to offer country/region specific customized engines so that the same would perform equally well in any weather or other circumstances.

Hyundai’s small cars in India are powered by mostly petrol engines and plans are in place to introduce them in the diesel version too. On the other hand, Hyundai plans to increase the petrol engine sales in the U.S and China. The Korean car giant assures that the new engines will offer high performance coupled with low CO2 emissions and low fuel consumption. One of the new small petrol engines is a Kappa 1.0-litre TCI (Turbocharger Intercooler) engine which produces a peak output of 105 BHP and a maximum torque of 137.3 Nm. This Kappa 1.0-litre is a three-cylinder, Dual-overhead cam (DOHC) engine. While the engine block is made of aluminium, the intake manifold and the head are made of plastic.

Another addition to the T-GDI engine range is a 1.2-litre Turbocharged Gasoline Direct Injection (T-GDI). Already on offer are the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre T-GDI engines and the new 1.2-litre will be used to power the smaller units. Also featured among the petrol engines were the Gamma 1.6-litre T-GDI, Nu 2.0-litre continuous variable valve lift (CVVL) engine and the Theta 2.0-litre T-GDI engine. On the diesel front, a U2 1.1-litre waste gate turbocharger (WGT), three-cylinder engine was unveiled. It promises low CO2 emissions of 85 gm/Kg. Also equipped in this engine is a start-stop function. A Euro 6 compliant 2.0-litre diesel engine was also launched at the event. Hyundai is working on further expanding its diesel engine offerings based on its current U, R, and S diesel engines.

Source – Carscoop

2012 BMW 3-Series (F30) Test Drive Review

Posted: 25 Oct 2012 06:41 AM PDT

2012 BMW 320d F30 Test Drive Review

2012 BMW 320d F30 – Click above for high resolution high gallery

Car tested: 2012 BMW 3-Series (F30) 320d Luxury Line Plus

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 48,40,846/-

The new 3-Series makes the competition go back to the drawing board.

Even though the Indian automobile industry is in the midst of a slowdown, the luxury car segment is growing at a good pace. BMW is the current leader in the luxury car space and the 3-Series is one of their best products. The 3-Series is also one of the most popular compact executive cars to have rolled out from Germany. Launched way back in 1975, the BMW 3-Series is now in its sixth generation. Not only is the 3-Series an important car in the segment, the vehicle is extremely important for BMW too, accounting for more than 30% of total sales. The latest generation BMW 3-Series has improved in all directions and is called the Ultimat3 but is it the best 3-Series till date? We drive the Bavarian beauty to see why it is the new benchmark in its segment.

Exteriors – The styling of the new BMW 3-Series is more evolutionary than revolutionary. There is no mistaking the car for a 3-Series, with the overall body style being quite similar to the E90. The F30 3-Series draws heavy inspiration from its elder siblings, the F10 5-Series and the F01 7-Series. The front is now more expressive with the large headlamps and slightly forward slanting kidney grille merging into each other. This makes the car look much wider than it actually is. The headlights look striking with LED lights positioned like eyebrows having the characteristic twin corona rings within.

The luxury line gets oodles of chrome, including some on the rear view mirrors, around the doors and above the fog lamps. The character lines are extremely dynamic and the sweeping lines are clearly visible when viewed from the side. At the rear, the 3-Series sports the character L-shaped tail lights with reflectors positioned on the bumper. A chrome strip runs on the bumper too, right above the exhaust. Overall the smooth flowing surfaces, precise lines and defined edges give the new BMW 3-Series tremendous road presence.

Interiors – The evolutionary theme continues on the inside too. Although the dashboard has been heavily revised, it does have the typical feel and layout seen in BMW cars. The new 3-Series’ cabin looks quite a bit like the 5-Series, which we all know has been inspired from the 7-Series. The 3-Series gets dual tone beige interiors (on the luxury line) with wood inserts on the dashboard, center console and door handles. BMW has very carefully used silver inserts which have been very well executed to give the 3-Series a very premium cabin. The quality of the interiors is top notch and everything is very well put together.

The instrument cluster is now wider, with four pods having silver surrounds instead of two pods seen on the earlier 3-Series. The dials are easy to read and the cluster has the multi-information display which carries an array of data. The tachometer has off-ready on it (right below 0 RPM), which is for the start-stop system. The steering wheel is small in size but extremely good to hold and use. It has an array of buttons to use the various functions like audio system, phone and cruise control.

The infotainment system uses a widescreen display and has many functions including navigation, maps, BMW apps, phone, iDrive features, etc. The screen also doubles up as the reverse parking display and also gives your projected movement as you turn the steering wheel. The center console is angled towards the driver by 7-degrees, to make the cockpit more driver centric. The buttons on the center console are slightly small, while the gear lever is the same joystick we have enjoyed on the 5-Series (the old 3-Series did not have this). Visibility is good and the front seats are electrically adjustable. The front doors have generous bottle pockets but the same can’t be said about the rear doors.

The new BMW 3-Series is now 93 mm longer, with the wheelbase being 50 mm more than before. This has resulted in the cabin room increasing by quite a bit. The new 3-Series is a proper four-seater, with good amount of legroom and headroom for all passengers. The old 3-Series was known to be cramped at the rear but the new one addresses this issue. The seats are very comfortable with thigh support and back support being excellent. Like all rear-wheel drive cars, the transmission hump protrudes through the cabin resulting in the rear bench being best for two to occupy. Boot space is a good 480-liters, a 20-litre increase over the old generation model.

Performance – BMW is offering the diesel 3-Series with the same 2000 cc, diesel engine which has a rated power output of 184 BHP and 380 Nm. Badged as BMW TwinPower Turbo, this engine uses a twin-scroll turbocharger to boost turbine efficiency. While this engine is not the best in term of NVH levels, performance is stonking. The 320d pulls strongly to 100 km/hr, taking just 7.9 seconds to cross the ton. Mid range is simply fantastic and there is more than enough thrust available for our roads. Even though its a diesel, this motor loves to be revved and pulls very strongly at all speeds. BMW claims a top speed of 235 km/hr.

The BMW 320d’s performance is quite petrol like. There is no sudden surge and power delivery is linear. Driveability is very good too and this diesel engine is at home whether in the city or out on the highways. Mated to the 320d is a 8-speed ZF gearbox which has seamless shifts and is quick to react to throttle inputs, shifting cogs when needed. There are no paddle shifters on the 320d, but one can manually shift using the tiptronic function on the gear lever. At 100 km/h the tachometer reads 1500 RPM in 8th gear and 1900 RPM in 7th gear. The new 3-Series has several EfficientDynamics measures like automatic start-stop and intelligent Eco Pro mode, which makes it a very frugal car. One can expect a mileage of 10 km/l in the city.

Driving Dynamics – The new BMW 3-Series is much bigger car than before and the track is wider too, but that hasn’t added to the weight of the car. Instead, the new 3-Series is 40 kgs lighter, while at the same time 10% more rigid, thanks to use of aluminum in its construction. The 50:50 weight distribution has been maintained like the old model. The result is the new 3-Series handles splendidly like the old model, with good agility and precision. However the new electric steering is not as quick or sharp to respond as the E90 but is quite accurate.

There are three driving modes on the F30 BMW 3-Series – Eco Pro (for efficient driving, it also displays the extra kms you have driven on the same amount of fuel), Comfort (gearshifts are smooth, steering is light) and Sport (faster gearshifts, stiffer suspension, heavier steering and faster throttle response). The Sport mode gives the new 3-Series extreme performance and handling but the car becomes a big jerky and there are no adjustable dampers for the Indian model. There is Sport+ mode too, which disables DSC but enables DTC. In this mode, traction is restricted and the gearbox won’t up-shift at all till you manually do so.

The old BMW 3-Series was known for its stiff ride quality but the new one has vastly improved in this regard. The suspension is tuned for Indian road conditions and is softly sprung. Ride quality is good and ride comfort is impressive. However there is some bit of firmness leading to the suspension becoming a bit noisy. Grip levels are excellent and so is the high speed stability but the rear gets a bit unsettled on hard cornering. The rear suspension is slightly more softer than we would like but overall the dynamics of the new BMW 3-Series are spot on and offer a splendid blend of ride and handling. Braking performance is splendid as you would expect form any BMW, with the 3-Series shedding speed with urgency and confidence.

Verdict – The sixth generation BMW 3-Series is indeed a step in the right direction. The F30 model address the major gripes of the E90 model, with increased interior room, vastly improved ride quality and better performance. BMW might have slightly tamed the 3-Series, but that is in-line with what most prospective buyers would want from their compact luxury car. The new 3-Series is not only fun to drive (like the old generations), it is practical too, making it the most attractive all-round package in its segment.

The new BMW 3-Series pleases with its practical yet fun approach. Its fast, frugal, spacious and comfortable, making it extremely difficult to beat.

Whats Cool

* Performance and efficiency
* Cabin space
* Ride and handling

Whats Not So Cool

* Run flat tires
* Electric power steering

2012 BMW 320d Specifications

* Engine: 1995 cc, 4 Cylinder, 16V, Common Rail Diesel with VGT
* Power: 184 BHP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 380 Nm @ 1750-2750 RPM
* Transmission: 8-speed auto
* Top Speed: 235 km/h
* 0-100kmph: 7.9 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 10-11 km/l (City), 13-14 km/l (highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Tires: 225/50/17 Run Flats
* Brakes: Ventilated Discs, Brake Energy Regeneration
* Safety: ABS, Dynamic Traction Control, Automatic Stability Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Cornering Brake Control, Six Airbags, Park Distance Control

2012 BMW 320d Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4624 mm X 1811 mm X 1429 mm
* Wheelbase: 2810 mm
* Ground clearance: 140 mm
* Turning Radius – 5.65 m
* Boot Volume: 480-liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 60-liters
* Kerb Weight: 1430 kgs

Upcoming KTM Duke 390 Details Emerge

Posted: 25 Oct 2012 01:19 AM PDT

KTM Duke 200 Review

The big news is out for all the Duke fans. It was only a speculation last year, but now things have moved ahead so much that the big brothers, KTM and Bajaj, have decided to launch the KTM Duke 390 at the Milan Motorcycle Show which is scheduled during 15th to 18th of November, 2012. Though the name has not been revealed yet, as the naming legacy continues, the company might name it as KTM Duke 390, just like its elder siblings Duke 690 and Duke 990 and the baby Duke 200. The production will be done at the Bajaj’s facility in Chakan, Pune.

KTM Duke 390 will be powered by a 375cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled 4-valved engine. It will come with an advanced fuel injection system and would weigh just 150 kg, providing a good power to weight ratio, thus one can call it a lightweight super fast beast. Rest of the features will be shared with its younger brother, KTM Duke 200. It would mean that Duke 390 will flaunt the same lightweight trellis frame, the lightweight swing-arm and the suspension components as that of the Duke 200. However, one can expect scaled up frame and enhanced wheel-base to give that extra bit of fun while racing.

The year 2012 had been a big one for the Austrian bike maker and ‘Hamara’ Bajaj. Earlier this year, the duo launched KTM Duke 200 and few months back Bajaj launched its Pulsar 200NS. With the launch of Duke 390, the duo would give a tough competition to its rivals. It is expected to be priced between Rs 1.8 lakhs – Rs 2 lakhs. Though, the exact time of roll-out will be revealed during the launch, we can expect it to hit the roads globally by mid-2013. However, we are more eager to see this bike on the Indian roads which is sure to happen in the near future.

Source – Zigwheels

GM Launches Chevrolet Spark Facelift at Rs 3.26 Lakhs

Posted: 25 Oct 2012 01:05 AM PDT

New Chevrolet Spark Facelift

General Motors has launched the Chevrolet Spark Facelift in the Indian market today. The company was ready with the facelifted Spark since quite some time now, but chose to delay the launch, as it wanted to clear inventory of the old model. While GM has gone ahead and bravely called the facelifted Spark as the All new Spark, the truth is far from it. The facelifted Chevrolet Spark is mechanically the same as the old model, with changes to the car being purely cosmetic. GM feels this is enough to gain volumes this festive season.

New Chevrolet Spark Facelift

The changes to the Chevrolet Spark include a new front end with revised grille, bumper and head lights. The rear also gets a new bumper with reflectors and black lower body to make the car visually more appealing. On the inside, GM has given the Spark an all new green colored instrument cluster, while the seat and door fabric is new too. Power comes in from the same 995cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine which produces a power output of 63 PS @ 5,400 rpm and peak torque of 90.3 Nm @ 4,200 rpm. LPG variants come with a next-generation sequential injection-type LPG kit which has advantages like no engine backfiring while changing to LPG mode or back to petrol, good fuel economy, low running cost, better power and pick-up, and lower emissions compared to the competition. The factory-fitted LPG kit is certified by ARAI and DOE. It comes with the standard company warranty of three years/100,000 km along with Chevrolet Promise.

Prices are as –

Base model – Rs 3.26 Lakhs
LS – Rs 3.53 Lakhs
LT – Rs 3.81 Lakhs
LS LPG – Rs 3.82 Lakhs
LT LPG – Rs 4.10 Lakhs

All prices are Ex showroom Delhi.

New Chevrolet Spark Facelift

The new Spark comes with a three-year/100,000-km standard warranty. In addition, customers can opt for a unique add-on service maintenance package, the Chevrolet Promise Cost of Ownership Program, which provides free maintenance for three years or 45,000 km (whichever comes first). New Spark will be available in six colors; Velvet Red, Caviar Black, Linen Beige, Sandrift Grey, Summit White and Misty Lake.

New Chevrolet Spark Facelift

Make no mistake, the Spark sold in India and the Spark sold overseas is very different as the Indian Spark is the Daewoo Matiz, while the global Spark is the Beat. GM is trying to extract every ounce of revenue from the aging Spark, which sold less than 300 units last month. This facelift to the Spark is GM’s last and final attempt before they axe this re-badged Daewoo Matiz. Will the facelifted Spark be a formidable rival to the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800?

Toyota Testing Prius In Bangalore

Posted: 24 Oct 2012 11:00 PM PDT

2012 Toyota Prius On Test

The Toyota Prius has created waves across the globe, becoming one of the most popular models for the environment conscious buyer. Unfortunately for Toyota, buyers in India are more cost conscious than anything else. The CBU pricing of around Rs. 35 lakhs for the Toyota Prius has resulted in not even a single unit of this hybrid vehicle getting sold last month. This is the first Toyota model in India, which hasn’t tasted success and the pricing is to blame.

However Toyota might be considering going the CKD route to reduce prices of the Prius. Avid MotorBeam reader Chandu Prasad recently spotted an on-test Prius being driven on the Outer Ring Road in Bangalore. Toyota has ample space in its factory to do limited assembly of the Prius and we feel this might happen soon. By going the CKD route, prices of the Toyota Prius can be reduced by a very good amount, resulting in more people opting for this hybrid vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles are not so popular in India due to the limited options being available. Prices of hybrid vehicles also puts it out of the reach of 95% of buyers. Honda had launched the Civic Hybrid in 2008 at a price of Rs. 21.5 lakhs (ex-showroom). The company had to reduce prices by Rs. 8 lakhs to clear stock as the demand for the vehicle was very less at that price. With the reduced prices, Honda sold 98 units of the Civic Hybrid in one day. Could Toyota create a similar magic after they start locally assembling the Prius in India?

Toyota Prius Spied Bangalore

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