Sunday, November 18, 2012

“KTM Unveils 1290 Super Duke R Prototype” plus 6 more Motorbeam

“KTM Unveils 1290 Super Duke R Prototype” plus 6 more Motorbeam

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KTM Unveils 1290 Super Duke R Prototype

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 09:31 AM PST

2013 KTM 1290 Superduke R

KTM has unveiled the 1290 Super Duke R Prototype at the 2012 EICMA Motor Show. This new motorcycle is extremely exciting and features insane specifications. To start off, the styling is extremely muscular and screams LOOK AT ME. The twin-colored alloy rims with RACING written on them look very eye catchy in motion, while the riding position is spot on for street riding. This Duke features drive-by-wire technology and a single sided aluminum swing arm.

Power comes in from the RC8R’s V-twin engine which produces around 180 BHP of power and 120 Nm of torque. The production model will hit showrooms within the next 12 months. But other than the engine, this Super Duke has nothing in common to the RC8R, which tips the scale at 200 kgs. The KTM 1290 Super Duke R will weight much less thanks to the chrome molybdenum trellis frame and carbon fibre parts used extensively on this motorcycle.

In typical KTM style, the 1190 Super Duke too features upside-down forks made by WP. The suspension features a gas pressure reservoir. To ensure all that power goes on the road safely, there is ABS and traction control with anti-stoppie and anti-wheelie control (all can be deactivated). Post its global launch next year, we can expect Bajaj Auto to bring the Super Duke R to India. The expected price for the 1290 Super Duke R is around $17,000 (Rs. 9.4 lakhs).

KTM 1290 Superduke R

KTM 1290 Superduke R Wallpaper

Yamaha R15 V2 vs Honda CBR150R – Shootout

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 04:10 AM PST

Yamaha R15 vs Honda CBR150R

Both the R15 and CBR150R are extremely revv happy machines, ready to attack corners.

Entry-level performance motorcycles are gaining popularity in India. When Yamaha launched the R15 way back in 2008, it created a revolution of sorts. Three years later, the upgraded Version 2.0 of the Yamaha R15 was launched and Honda took notice. The Japanese automaker surprised everyone at the 2012 Auto Expo by unveiling the new Honda CBR150R. Both these machines are very similar yet different. While the Yamaha R15 is priced at Rs. 1.35 lakhs, the Honda CBR150R is priced at Rs. 1.55 lakhs (all prices on-road, Mumbai). Yet it’s difficult to choose either one of them.

Styling - The new Yamaha YZF-R15 V2.0 is an absolute cracker when it comes to design, with the R6 inspired tail section and the new ‘shelves’ in the front fairing, making it look fresh and energetic. While the Honda CBR150R looks conservative and the design is inspired by its elder sibling of the family. Every part is smaller than that of its elder sibling. The headlight, stubby exhaust, the smaller tail light and tyres makes it definitely look like a smaller CBR, which makes the bike a head turner too. With its distinct graphics and colors options, it stands out in the crowd. But the beauty pageant award goes to the Yamaha R15.

Honda CBR150R ConsoleYamaha R15 Console

Instrument Cluster and Switch gear - Both bikes have an analog tachometer and a digital speedometer but here again the R15 scores with its high quality switch gear and host of features it has to display on its instrument cluster. The switch gear in the CBR150R is massive disappointment because it's a straight lift from small capacity bikes of the Honda stable and lacks the engine kill switch. The pass light switch looks decades old too. The Honda CBR150R makes do with a temperature gauge and digital clock to display apart from the regular trip-meter and fuel meter. But the CBR150R’s digital console shines with an all around piano black finish and in the night the RPM needle glows very brightly. This grabs the attention of the commuters around you.

Honda CBR150R Yamaha R15 Comparison

Performance - Both the CBR150R and R15, come with the 150cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, 4-valve engines and this is where the similarities end. While the R15 comes with an SOHC engine, the CBR150R comes with a DOHC unit. This is the sole reason which makes these bikes poles apart. The R15 produces 17 PS of power at 8000 RPM and 15 Nm Of torque at 7500 RPM which you might think is pretty high in the revv range. The CBR150R produces a power of 18 PS at a whooping 10,500 RPM and a low 12.66 Nm of torque at 8500 RPM, which on paper makes the CBR150R slower than the R15 because they weigh almost the same and power comes at very high RPM.

But as soon as these bikes get on the road, things change. Once the Honda CBR150R crosses 7000 RPM, it makes all its power and below 6000 RPM it's as good as dead and the engine is tuned for drive-ability rather than performance in city. But no matter what, the RPM stays around 4000-5000, so you can easily make progress by shifting at around 7000-8000 RPM in city. Tall gearing of the CBR150R makes the engine easily rev to a stratospheric 11,700 RPM redline where it makes all its power and is faster than the R15 to 0-100 km/hr by 1 second, but slower than the R15 when it comes to 0-60 km/hr. The CBR150R reminds one of the VTEC, the technology found in Honda's cars which no doubt makes it a pick for those fun track days or cornering hard on a winding twisty roads.

The Yamaha R15 is more practical bike to live with, when it comes to drive-ability in city. It has superior low end torque when compared to the Honda CBR150R. The screaming SOHC engine is also a hoot to ride and loves to redline. But it lacks the fun quotient which the CBR150R gives while riding hard. The new V2.0 is tuned to be a much friendly street bike than the older one which was specifically made with track performance in mind. The R15 and CBR150R even have the same top speed but it is the baby CBR which will put a wide grin on your face when you're riding hard.

Honda CBR150R Yamaha R15 Shootout

Riding Dynamics - Let’s come to brakes first, both have front and rear disc brake setup and both have superb brakes, offering great feedback enabling them to come to a halt exactly where you want them to. It's because the dimensions, weight and the disc diameter are identical. Ride quality on both motorcycles is good, both bikes dismiss small bumps very easily, but it's the bigger bumps which make the rider uncomfortable because of the dedicated riding position offered by both these bikes. The riding position on the CBR150R is spot on. It is comfortable for those long trips once you get used to the bike and gives good feedback to the rider too.

But it's the Yamaha R15 with its aggressive riding position which gives massive feedback to the rider and makes the rider push harder and harder into corners every single time. The V2.0 has had lot of changes when it comes to dynamics. The weight distribution has been changed with more weight on the front, extra long wheelbase thanks to the aluminum swing arm and the fatter front and the rear tyre. All this has made the bike more stable around the corners than before but it takes a bit more effort than before to turn because of the 55 mm increase in wheelbase. It's no slouch but it doesn’t feel agile in changing directions like the previous version.

The Honda CBR150R though has 1305 mm wheelbase and with a fairly dedicated position and twin tube diamond frame chassis handles beautifully, front suspension has a bit more travel then we expected. However, it’s still fun to chuck into corners and is easy when coming out of the corner at high speeds because of the top end power it generates with utmost ease, a true CBR characteristic. But it's the tyres which are a complete let down, switching to soft compound tyres of the same dimensions will generate more confidence in the rider. Both bikes should check the rear suspension as the factory settings come on extremely softer side.

R15 vs CBR150R Review

Verdict - If you enjoy riding, want the practical pillion seat and if budget permits, then go for the Honda CBR150R. But, if you would be riding solo most of the time and you have a tight budget and still want a stylish motorcycle with high quality levels and low end torque for your daily commute, then go for the Yamaha R15. After all, these bikes are very similar when it comes to measuring performance and dynamics but what you need to choose is which of these bikes characteristic suit your needs.

If you are looking for a high revving motorcycle with sharp handling and surefooted brakes, both the Yamaha R15 and Honda CBR150R will please you to a great extent.

Further Reading -

Yamaha R15 V2.0 Review
Honda CBR150R Review

1600 BHP Bugatti Veyron In The Works

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 03:53 AM PST

2013 Bugatti Veyron

When Volkswagen bought Bugatti and announced it would develop the world’s fastest supercar, everyone was in mis-belief. Few years later, the Veyron proved its point by carrying insane specifications, mainly 1000 PS and 400 km/hr. Now Bugatti engineers are said to be working on an even faster Veyron which is set for launch in 2013. This Super Veyron will be the world’s fastest car by a comfortable margin, with a top speed of 290 mph or 467 km/hr.

So how does Bugatti plan to boost the performance of the already quick Veyron? For starters, the company plans to shed 250 kgs from the existing car, which will be achieved by using lighter materials, mainly carbon fibre. The current Veyron Super Sport produces 1183 BHP of power, while the original Veyron debuted with 987 BHP. The upcoming Super Veyron will boast of an insane 1600 BHP of power, which is more than 30% over the Super Sport. Expect prices to be much higher than that of the existing Veyron.

“We are working on the next super-sports car. The big challenge will be reducing weight – we are looking at some incredible technologies, such as wheels made entirely from carbon fibre. We’re considering hybrids, too,” Jens Schulenburg, chief vehicle engineer, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, said.

But where will all that extra power come from? The existing 8.0-litre engine will be increased to 9.6-litre and will continue to use quad-turbochargers. The W16 unit might take the help of an electric motor to reach the 1600 BHP power figure. A 0 – 100 km/hr time of 1.8 seconds is what this Veyron will be capable of achieving. While the traditional Bugatti traits will remain intact on the styling front, the new Veyron will be more aerodynamic. The debut will happen at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

Bugatti Veyron 1600 BHP

Source – AutoExpress

JLR & Chery Lay Foundation Stone Of China Facility

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 03:34 AM PST

2013 Land Rover Discovery Front

Just a few weeks after getting approval from the Chinese government for a joint venture, Jaguar Land Rover and Chery have formally laid the foundation stone for their upcoming production facility in Changshu in the Jiangsu province of China. This partnership with Chery Automobiles will lead to new models being developed for a partnership brand. JLR and Chery will set up a new research and development centre and an engine manufacturing facility at this upcoming plant.

Tata Motors’ decision to set up a joint venture with Chery in China is indeed a very smart one. China is one of the biggest car markets in the world and already accounts for a majority of profits for the British company. By opting for local manufacturing in China, JLR will be able to further boost profitability. JLR and Chery will also develop models specific to local tastes, which will be sold through a domestic brand which is yet to be named.

Chery and Jaguar Land Rover will also manufacture Jaguar Land Rover vehicles which will be exported. Currently JLR only manufacturers in the UK which results in higher cost of labour. Manufacturing in China will lead to immense cost advantages due to much lower costs of human resources in China. This 50:50 joint venture has been named – ‘Chery Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Company Ltd’. The plant will be complete and ready for production by 2014.

2012 Jaguar XF Diesel

Bajaj Pulsar 390 – What To Expect?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 02:34 AM PST

Pulsar 200 NS vs KTM Duke

With the KTM 390 Duke officially unveiled, we can safely speculate what to expect from the bigger Pulsar due next year. The higher capacity Pulsar will share many of its parts with the Duke 390 and is likely to be called the Pulsar 375 or Pulsar 390. Just like the Duke 200 and Duke 390 share almost all their parts (except ofcourse the engine), the Pulsar 200 NS and Pulsar 390 NS will also share all their parts. This part sharing strategy will help Bajaj Auto in pricing the Pulsar 390 very aggressively.

Checkout The KTM 390 Duke

Bajaj Auto will not be launching a full faired Pulsar anytime soon. The company will instead focus its attention on streetfighter motorcycles only, which are cheaper to manufacture. The Pulsar 390 will thus be identical in styling to the Pulsar 200 NS. Even the hardware is expected to be identical with the Pulsar 390 using the same frame, tyres, suspension and brakes. Bajaj Auto might offer ABS on the Pulsar 390 as an option, owing to the higher speeds this motorcycle would be capable off.

The Pulsar 390 will use a 373 cc, single-cylinder, 4-valve engine which will be liquid-cooled. This engine is expected to be an SOHC unit employing triple spark plugs and fuel injection to produce around 38 BHP of power and 30 Nm of torque. Gearing will be slightly taller than the 390 Duke. Expect the Pulsar 390 to be slightly slower than the Duke 390 with top speeds being almost similar. A price of Rs. 1.5 lakhs is expected for the Pulsar 390.

KTM 390 Duke Wheelie

Tata Motors A Potential Aston Martin Buyer

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 02:18 AM PST


Just recently news of Aston Martin’s majority stake holders inviting bidders to purchase the iconic British brand surfaced. There were two potential buyers which Investment Dar Co was looking to sell Aston Martin to – Mahindra and Toyota. Now another potential car maker has been added to the list – TATA MOTORS. The Indian automobile giant is already in talks with Aston Martin as per sources close to the company. Meanwhile Investment Dar Co continues to rubbish news of the sale.

Other than these three companies, many Chinese companies have also shown interest in taking over Aston Martin. There have been many offers too and its just a matter of a few weeks before the buyer is publicly announced. However its Toyota which has a high chance of picking up the Gaydon-based automaker. The Japanese car maker has already worked closely with Aston, developing the Cygnet for them (the Cygnet is a re-badged Toyota iQ).

But which company should really pick up Aston Martin? Ideally Tata Motors would make a very good fit for Bond’s favorite car company. Tata Motors already owns Jaguar Land Rover, whose design and engineering centre is right next to Aston Martin’s plant in Gaydon. Also since JLR and Aston Martin were both a part of Ford’s Premier Automotive Group, the companies share a lot in common. Aston could share technology with Jaguar, resulting in cost reduction and sustainability.

Source – Birminghampost

Volkswagen Polo GTD Spied In India?

Posted: 18 Nov 2012 01:19 AM PST

Volkswagen Polo 1.6 TDI

Volkswagen will be launching a more powerful version of the Polo next year. Although the company is yet to make an official announcement, the Polo is likely to get a 1.6 TDI diesel engine from the Vento. There are also chances of Volkswagen giving the Polo a 1.2 TSI petrol engine. Both these engines offer much better performance thanks to higher power and torque output. Naturally the cost of the Volkswagen Polo will increase by a good Rs. 80,000/- when these more powerful engines make their way into the hood of Polo.

It’s not a big task for Volkswagen to plonk the 1.6-litre TDI engine into the Polo’s engine bay, because they have already done it on the Polo R Cup. The R Cup Polo is used in races and is powered by the same 1.6-litre diesel heart which does duty in the Vento and Skoda Rapid. However the R Cup vehicle produces a higher power output of 129 BHP at 4400 RPM, against the 105 BHP the Vento produces. Both cars produce the same 250 Nm of torque but the Polo R Cup is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The R Cup’s engine runs a higher compression and the vehicle hits 100 km/hr in just 8.4 seconds.

The 1.2-litre Polo TSI produces 104 BHP of power at 5000 RPM and 175 Nm of torque at 1500 RPM. This enables it to reach 100 km/hr in 9.7 seconds while at the same time remaining frugal too, returning 12 km/l in real time city conditions. Top speed is 190 km/hr, which is easily the best for any hatchback on sale in India. The 1.6 TDI equipped Polo should do a sub 10 seconds time to 100 km/hr, thanks to it being lighter than the Vento.

Volkswagen has already confirmed its plans of launching a 1.5-litre TDI diesel engine in 2014. The 1.6 TDI is a stop gap measure till the 1.5 TDI engine arrives. We recently spotted the facelifted Polo with masked badges in Mumbai. There is a missing badge on the front of the car, which we suspect is for the GT moniker. Volkswagen uses the GTI badge for sporty petrol variants and GTD badge for sporty diesel variants.

2013 Volkswagen Polo Spied

Polo Cup TDI

Volkswagen Polo R-Cup

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