- Mercedes To Launch Mini G-Wagen Called GLG
- Volkswagen Polo Blue GT Gets Cylinder Deactivation
- Tata Motors Plans 6 New Models By 2014
- Bajaj To Launch Most Advanced 100cc Bike
- 2012 Toyota Camry Test Drive Review
- Ford Showcases 4-Wheel Drive Ecosport
- Nissan To Launch 10 New Products By 2016
- Mahindra Unveils LHD XUV500, Quanto 2.2 & Genio In Brazil
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 10:45 PM PDT
We all already know about the Mercedes-Benz India working on the new A-Class and is already on the testing phase. There were speculations too about crossovers based on the new A-Class platform. Moving these speculations more towards reality, Mercedes has planned two different crossovers on the A-Class small family car platform. The first crossover will be named GLA and the second one will be called GLG. Both these crossovers will be pinned to the current A-Class, the MFA platform. While the GLA will derive its design from the A-Class itself, the GLG will have its design inspired by the G-Class but in a more modern and aerodynamic way.
The Mercedes GLG will be more like a smaller version of the current G-Class, while the GLA can be coined as a soft-roader, more of a city oriented compact crossover. The GLA-Class will be offered in a range of powerplant options, both petrol and diesel. The petrol engine could be a 2.0-litre one which powers the current A-Class (W176). The diesel engines could be the 1.8-litre and 2.1-litre engines. These engines will be coupled to either a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (Indian version will get only an automatic). Expect the GLA-Class to go on sale by 2014. Also in talks, is an AMG version of the GLA, the GLA45 AMG, which will be heavily powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine with an all-wheel drive system.
The Mercedes GLG has also been named as the Mini G-Wagen. Inspired design from the G-Class, the GLG too would sport the boxy look but in a much modern way. Being introduced as an off-roader, it will feature Mercedes' 4MATIC technology providing constant traction in all road surfaces. The gasoline options for the GLG are most likely to be a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre engine with two power options. The diesel engines will be the 1.8-litre, 107 BHP and also a 2.1-litre diesel engine with power options of 133 BHP and 166 BHP. Similar to the GLA, the GLG would also feature an AMG variant, the GLG45 AMG. The GLG can be expected to hit the roads by 2015.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 10:30 PM PDT
What will you do, if you want your geyser to fetch Luke warm water? You will probably mix cold water to the steaming hot water from the geyser to make it suitable to your needs. Most of the machines work to their maximum power output, even if that much power is not needed. So, these machines use the same amount of energy even if work done is negligible. In our energy scarce world, can we make something which uses the energy only when it's required? Well, the new Volkswagen Polo Blue GT has an answer for this.
The new Volkswagen Polo Blue GT comes with ACT cylinder deactivation system, which deactivates the second and the third cylinders when that extra power is not needed. This system gets activated automatically when the load on the car is less. That means, during the initial acceleration of car i.e. from stand still, all the four-cylinders are active. But as speed develops and the power required is only to maintain the speed, then the second and third cylinder gets deactivated to save fuel. If instant power is required during this period, the inactive cylinders can be activated by just pressing the accelerator pedal. The best part about this technology is that it ensures better fuel economy without any lag in the performance as both the activation and deactivation occurs in less than 40 milliseconds in any condition.
The Volkswagen Polo Blue GT version, when compared to the GTI version, is more or less similar on the outside, sporting day time running LEDs to Blue motion's side sills and front windscreen rain channels. It also sports the same 17-inch rubber (quite big when compared with the Indian Polo). Though underneath the hood, the Polo Blue GT is a bit low on power, it can make it up with its incredible efficiency and lower emissions (which is a very important spec in European markets). Even though the power is less, with 0-100 km/hr sprint in just 7.2 seconds, you can't call it slow until you are comparing it with Lamborghinis.
With such specs and amazing emission and economy figures it should be a huge hit in Europe where the bookings have started with deliveries possible only by December. However, there are no plans to launch it in India yet.
- Harshit Shrivastava
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 10:09 PM PDT
Tata Motors is one of the oldest selling brands in automobile industry and now the company plans to take second position in the Indian market. After the launch of the Safari Storme, Tata Motors admitted that despite a range of offerings in different segments, the company has been unable to sell its cars. To take second position, the company is working on many products. There will be six new products in India over the next one year. Currently Tata Motors and Mahindra are battling for the third spot, while first and second positions are occupied by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai respectively.
These new six introductions by Tata Motors will be a mix of new models and refreshes. We can expect the Nano CNG, refreshed Vista (with Manza’s dashboard), facelifted Aria to be among those six launches. Seeing from a sellers point of view the company has planned to reach out to the customers as it was hinted by Mr. Karl Slym at the launch of the Safari Storme. The company has good products such as the Nano, Manza and Aria but those are not selling as well as Tata Motors would like them to.
Last month Mahindra launched the Quanto in India. The company already has its popular UV brands like the Bolero, Scorpio and XUV500 selling very well. In the first half of the financial year, Tata Motors sold only 6087 vehicles in utility vehicle category that includes Sumo Grande, Safari, Xenon and Aria. Mahindra managed to sell more than twice that amount in one month alone. Thus if Tata Motors intends to stay ahead of Mahindra, the company needs to work on bringing new models quickly and that is what they intend to do.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 08:30 PM PDT
Bajaj Auto has announced that it would launch a bike which will be the most technologically advanced one in the 100cc category. It would also be the most expensive bike in this category. However, the company management has stressed upon the fact that it would be the most superior motorcycle in terms of the technology and the pricing is just a secondary thing. Though it is going to be the most expensive in its segment, the company officials have given no hint on the price tag.
Currently, the company sells only two brands in the 100cc category namely, Discover and Platina. The new 100cc bike could be called the Discover 100, although nothing is confirmed as yet. The technology on the upcoming 100cc bike is still unknown but what could the most advanced technology in the 100cc segment mean? Could Bajaj Auto give the 100cc motorcycle a 4-valve engine, front petal disc and monoshock rear suspension? You never know as the company is quite capable of offering anything in any segment.
Bajaj Auto is looking at increasing export operations drastically by 2015. Currently the company exports around 30% of its production, which they plan to boost to 50%, leading to increase in profits. The upcoming 100cc bike could play a vital role in emerging markets like India and Africa. Bajaj Auto is also said to be working on a 375cc motorcycle, which will be launched by April 2014. This 375cc Pulsar will share components with the upcoming KTM Duke 375, which is due for launch around the same time.
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 03:57 AM PDT
Car tested: 2012 Toyota Camry AT
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 30,05,754/-
The D-segment has always been a favorite of the Japanese biggies. Whether its Honda or Toyota, both are known to sell good amounts of the Accord and Camry respectively. However they are not the leaders in India, because India is a diesel dominated market. Neither the Accord nor Camry are available in diesel and thus the Skoda Superb continues to dominate in this segment. In fact petrol powered D-segment cars have such poor demand, that Honda has delayed the next generation Accord and Hyundai is already working on a diesel version of the fluidic Sonata. All this hasn’t stopped Toyota from launching the latest generation Camry (XV50) in India although its powered by a petrol engine. Does the new Toyota Camry have anything special to make a strong case in the D-segment?
Exteriors – The styling of the new Toyota Camry draws heavily from the last generation model. It does look bigger than the model it replaces but not by much. The dimensions are almost similar but Toyota says the complete car is re-engineered. The new Camry gets new sheet metals and Toyota claims to have used its experience in Formula 1 in developing this car, which results in is a more aerodynamic vehicle having a CD of 0.27, which is the least in the segment. The front and rear styling has been re-worked to make the Camry look sharper. For India, Toyota has given the Camry a generous dose of chrome (look closely below the doors and you will notice a chrome strip there too) to give it that premium feeling. The Japanese automaker calls the new design language on the Camry 'rational tech-dynamism’. Overall the Toyota Camry looks like a mini-Lexus and has amazing road presence.
Interiors – Step inside the cabin of the new Toyota Camry and you are greeted by very well appointed interiors. The cabin has a very Lexus feel to it and the quality is very good too. The two-tone dashboard is very functional and has wood inserts and the upper half of the dashboard has soft touch leather. While the dimensions of the Camry remain almost similar as the old model, interior room has improved marginally. The A-pillar is now thinner than before and the roof is flatter. This results in good amount of headroom for passengers at both the front and rear.
The steering wheel is quite big for our liking but won’t be much of a bother as most owners are going to be sitting on the rear bench with the chauffeur driving. The steering wheel houses audio controls and telephone buttons and the cruise control stalk is placed on the right side of the steering. The center console has an analogue clock on the top, with the AC vents right below. There is a touchscreen DVD audio system (MP3, USB, Aux and Bluetooth compatible), which also displays vehicle information (average speed, fuel history, trip information etc). The Camry also features dual zone climate control. The gear lever mechanism is quite old school and the new Camry has a foot operated parking brake. There is a dead pedal which is big enough for the largest of shoes.
The instrument cluster is called the Optitron Combimeter and is divided into three distinct areas. The left most is the tachometer, which has the gear indicator and outside temperature screen under it. At the center is a large speedometer with a multi-information display that showcases the cruising range, average consumption, etc. On the right most side is the fuel meter and analogue fuel efficiency meter for the Eco mode. The odo and trip meters are placed right below this in a small display. There are reverse parking sensors and headlight washers too. The automatic HID headlights are auto leveling.
The front seats are 8-way power adjustable. However most owners will be sitting on the rear seat, something which the Toyota Camry is known for. The new Camry does offer excellent legroom and back support at the rear. However under thing support is a bit lacking for tall passengers. In order to boost rear leg room further, Toyota has neatly incorporated buttons on the side of the front seats to adjust them. Thus rear passengers can adjust the front seats from behind comfortably, without having to stretch even slightly. There are rear AC vents too, which are pushed forward and the floor is flat resulting in the Camry being a comfortable 5-seater. The front seat backs have scoops to boost legroom even further, even though with the front seats pushed all the way back, there is still plenty of legroom. A flap behind the rear seat armrest can be opened to access the boot, which is big enough for most. The rear doors open wide and big for easy ingress and egress.
Performance – Dab the engine start button below the steering wheel on the right side and the highly refined 2.5-litre petrol engines come to life. This motor uses Dual VVT-i and produces 181 PS of peak power at 6000 RPM and 233 Nm of peak torque at 4100 RPM. This engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox and Toyota has no plans to bring in a manual or a diesel engined Camry anytime soon. The Camry’s engine is butter smooth and revvs very cleanly to its 6100 RPM redline.
Don’t be fooled by the positioning of the Camry as a luxury automobile, the Camry does not lack even when it comes to performance. Stand on the accelerator pedal and the Camry will reach 100 km/hr in just 8 seconds. Although the cabin is well insulated from NVH (some amount of road noise does creep in at triple digit speeds), the Camry does growl a bit when you give it the beans. The gearing is spot on, which being on the taller side enables the Camry to do in 110 km/hr in second gear! There is no sports mode though and one can manually shift through the tiptronic mode. The petrol powered Camry is certified by ARAI to return a mileage of 12.98 km/l, but on our test, we never saw more than 6 km/l on the Camry’s MID although with a light foot and activated Eco mode, one can get 8 km/l in the city.
Driving Dynamics – When it comes to dynamics, the new Toyota Camry did surprise us. Toyota has worked hard on ensuring the Camry offers decent handling and a splendid ride, along with good stability. The new Camry is more aerodynamic than before and even features underbody fins. High speed stability is good and handling is more predictable than before. However the large dimensions and weight do result in some amount of body roll. There is no ESP or TCS on the new Camry and when you become too ambitious and the Yokohama tyres start to screech but still grip adequately, we are rest assured though, that no chauffeur is going to drive it on the boil.
The steering wheel is an EPS unit and is extremely light at city speeds and weighs up decently at high speeds. However it lacks the kind of accuracy you get from the German boys. The old Camry was known for the carpet ride and the new one is no different. Ride quality is splendid and the Camry gobbles up potholes with utmost authority. While Toyota has made the new Camry slightly stiffer (15% stiffer springs, 50% firmer shocks), they have maintained comfort levels of the vehicle. The new Camry offers a splendid balance of neutral handling and good ride quality, which is what most owners would like. Braking performance is excellent and the car sheds speeds quickly, offering very good pedal bite.
Verdict – The new Toyota Camry is a step in the right direction. It keeps up to the promise of the Camry brand, by offering excellent space and ride quality, which is what most owners who buy the car would look for. However the pricing is on the higher side, considering equipment levels are low (no side airbags, ESP, TCS, sunroof, paddle shifts, etc). That said, the new Toyota Camry is difficult to beat when it comes to sheer comfort, which when factored with Toyota’s excellent service makes the Camry a strong vehicle in its segment. No wonder the Camry has already outsold its petrol rivals last month, with 85 units being sold!
The Toyota Camry continues to offer splendid comfort with good seats, roomy interiors and the magic carpet ride it’s known for. Strong performance and Toyota quality are the icing on the cake.
* Interior Room
Whats Not So Cool
2012 Toyota Camry Specifications
* Engine: 2494 cc, 2AR-FE, 16 Valve DOHC Chain Drive, Dual VVT-i
2012 Toyota Camry Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4825 mm x 1825 mm x 1480 mm
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 03:55 AM PDT
The Sao Paulo Motor Show in Brazil is the talk of the automobile town. A lot many products have been launched and unveiled by various auto majors and more would come soon. Amidst the buzz, Ford Brazil launched it facelifted Fiesta and now to add to its own mini list, the company has showcased the two variants of the much awaited Ecosport, a mini SUV which has great scope in the Indian market. Ford Ecosport, which is a sub four-metre SUV, will be priced aggressively and is a potential threat to Renault's Duster.
The two variants of the EcoSport unveiled at the show are – 4WD and Powershift (dual clutch, automatic transmission) variants. A 4WD or a four-wheel drive is vehicle with a drivetrain that allows all the four wheels to receive pwer from the engine simultaneously. It is generally seen on the top-end models. Ford Ecosport carries a reputation of being an urban SUV. However, its four-wheel drive can help those living in snowy and slippery terrains. This offers better safety and security for drives through regions that experience snowfall in winters.
The company has plans to launch the Ford Ecosport sometime early next year in India, China and other Asian markets. For India, Ford would launch the Ecosport with turbocharged petrol and turbocharged diesel engines. However, for Brazil, the company has different plans. A more powerful 2.0-litre 16V flex fuel Duratec engine will power the two models in Brazilian markets. Both the models that were launched are petrol-engine vehicles. Expect Ford to bring in the 4-wheel drive EcoSport to India at a later date.
Source – Autoblog.com.ar
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 03:50 AM PDT
With a market share of just 1.5 percent, it is high time for Nissan to gear up and leap towards a bigger market. The company first started its Indian operations in the year 2005 and over that last seven years, there have been a number of launches and refreshes. However, something has always been coming in their way when it came to climbing up the ladder of market share. Though a late realization, the company has finally planned something concrete in order to move up the ladder.
Nissan's performance has not been that bad too as it could extract some volume through the Sunny and Micra. Though the company has performed well in the passenger car segment outselling its partner Renault this year, nothing much happened with respect to its share on the pie. Renault launched Duster and saw a jump in its utility segment with over 8600 buyers opting for the little beast in the first half of the current fiscal year. Thus, Nissan has now decided to implement a series of plans to increase its share.
As per its strategy, Nissan is planning to launch new products to boost volumes. By 2016, the target is to launch 10 new products and take its market share from the current 1.5 percent to a good 8 percent. This would obviously include the new Datsun range which is affordable and is expected to attract more buyers. Apart from new launches, Nissan plans to cross-badge models with its partner Renault. Having mentioned that, Duster would be used on these lines.
Cross-badging is basically sharing the same car with few cosmetic changes here and there. For instance, what we have today from Renault, like the Pulse compact and the Scala sedan, they are basically the re-badged versions of Nissan's Micra and Sunny respectively. The final move by the Japanese firm apart from these launches would be increasing its dealer network from the current 75 to over 300 dealerships. Nissan launched the Evalia last month and announced a hike in prices on the Micra and Sunny, which will go into effect from 1st November.
Source – Economic Times
Posted: 24 Oct 2012 03:30 AM PDT
At the on-going Sao Paulo Auto Show, Indians too have made their mark. Mahindra's bid to go global led to the unveil of three of their products at the show and soon they would be launched in the Brazilian market. The Brazil market is not new to Mahindras as they have been established there for over five years now. However, they have not been noticed. Perhaps, these new models might get them some attention. The three models which are slated to hit the Brazilian roads are – XUV500, Quanto and Genio pick-up truck. The company has not revealed the prices of these models but one can expect them to be on a competitive side.
The Mahindra XUV500, that was showcased, was an all-drive system variant powered by the mHawk diesel engine that produces 140 HP of peak power output. It has 6-airbags and comes with a seating capacity of seven. The pick-up truck, namely, the Genio comes with a load capacity of 1260 kgs. It is loaded with safety features like dual airbags and ABS brakes. It would be a rear-wheel drive and only diesel variant will be launched. In case of Quanto, the company had something different to offer in Brazil.
In India, the Mahindra Quanto sports a 1.5-litre diesel engine and is a 7-seater. However, the one launched at the show had a seating capacity of five and is powered by a 2.2-litre mHawk engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine produces a peak power of 120 HP, similar to the Scorpio. Features like start-stop system, VGT, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and trip computer are also seen on-board. The current facility at Manaus Free Zone manufactures 360 units per month.
Source – Car and Driver Brasil
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