Wednesday, November 7, 2012

“Yamaha V-ixion 2.0 Apt For India?” plus 9 more Motorbeam

“Yamaha V-ixion 2.0 Apt For India?” plus 9 more Motorbeam

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Yamaha V-ixion 2.0 Apt For India?

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 02:04 PM PST

Yamaha V-ixion V2

Yamaha has unveiled the updated version of the V-ixion in Indonesia. The Yamaha V-ixion was first launched in 2007 and is also called the Yamaha Viper. The 2013 version is called the V-ixion 2.0 and could be India bound. Since the V-ixion came first, its safe to say the R15 is the faired version of the Yamaha V-ixion, rather than the other way around. Both the Yamaha R15 and Yamaha V-ixion share parts, including the deltabox frame, rear monoshock suspension and 150cc, single-cylinder engine.

Although the V-ixion’s engine is the same as the R15, power output is slightly different. While the R15 produces 17 PS of power, the V-ixion produces 15 PS (at 8500 RPM). The R15 produces 15 Nm of torque, the V-ixion produces 13.10 Nm of torque (at 7500 RPM). Unlike the R15, which comes with a 6-speed gearbox, the V-ixion makes do with a 5-speed unit. The rear tyre is 120/70, which is not as wide as the R15′s. However with the lack of fairing and twin headlights, the V-ixion is slightly lighter at 125 kgs.

The recent version 2.0 upgrade has seen the Yamaha V-ixion get minor engine tweaks to give a better low end response. Rear disc brake has been added as well along with new alloy wheels (similar to the R15). Overall the upgrade is very similar to what the R15 received in India last year. The V-ixion is priced at Rs. 1.21 lakhs in Indonesia and is not on sale anywhere else in the world. It is the leader in the 150cc sports segment, selling more than 20,000 units a month. This has prompted Honda to launch the CB150R Streetfire.

Does a product like the Yamaha V-ixion have a future in India? We certainly think so. Currently the Yamaha R15 is priced at Rs. 1.20 lakhs, which makes it quite expensive for a 150cc motorcycle. With the launch of the Pulsar 200 NS at Rs. 99,200 (on-road, Mumbai), many value for money motorcycle enthusiasts have opted for the flagship Bajaj bike. If Yamaha can price the V-ixion at around Rs. 1 lakh, it can boost market share and win the hearts of enthusiasts in the country.

Yamaha V-ixion Console

2013 Yamaha V-ixion

Yamaha V-ixion India

Yamaha V-ixion Concept

Pictures Source – Pulsar 200 NS Indonesia

Ford Fiesta Gets Active City Stop System

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 01:25 PM PST

Ford Fiesta Active City Stop

Ford recently unveiled the 2013 Fiesta, which gets minor styling changes. The American automaker has also given the car Active City Stop system, which is an advanced safety system. The Active City Stop uses light detection and range sensors to scan the road 50 times per second, thereby capturing and analyzing 15 images every second. This helps in preventing collisions up to 16 km/hr. But why the hassle of incorporating such a system for such low speeds?

While 16 km/hr collisions are not really a safety threat for people, they can cause minor damages to the car. Further more, in the UK, a car equipped with Active City Stop gets 15% insurance rebate off first year motor insurance from Ford Insure. The Active City Stop system is offered as an option with the Driver Assistance Pack and is priced at Rs. 22,000/-. The package also includes electric folding mirrors and rear parking sensors, both of which are standard on the Indian Fiesta.

So what does the Ford Active City Stop do in case you are approaching an obstacle? The system will first warn the driver about the hazard. It will also reduce engine torque, apply the brakes and activate the hazard lights, in order to prevent a collision. The Active City Stop system is already offered on other Ford vehicles, including the B-Max and C-Max in Europe. Will this system be of much use in India? We don’t think so and hence we doubt Ford will offer Active City Stop in its Indian vehicles.

Fiesta Facelift Front

2013 Fiesta Sedan

Fiesta Facelift Side

Fiesta Facelift Rear

Tata Nano Diesel Launch Set For Late-2013

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 01:09 PM PST

Tata Nano Spied Mumbai

Tata Motors plans an aggressive onslaught of new products along with new variants of existing products. The company is betting big on the Tata Nano to bring them volumes. The future of the Nano already seems bright, with Tata Motors planning to launch the next generation model in 2015, keeping global requirements in mind. However in India, the key to the Tata Nano’s success will be its effciency and cost of running. Since the company is targeting 2-wheeler owners, its imperative that the Nano is very cheap to run.

Tata Motors is on track with the CNG and diesel Nano, which will give the Nano extremely low running costs. The CNG Nano is set for a launch by March 2013. However the diesel Nano will not be ready until later half of next year. The delay in the launch of the Nano is due to various reasons, with suppliers not ready to invest in the project being one of them. Tata Motors is targeting a mileage of 40 km/l with the diesel-powered Nano, which will make it by far the most fuel efficient car in the country.

Tata Motors recently launched a special edition of the Nano, which gets extra features. These features might soon find its way to the regular Nano. The company is also working on more powerful petrol engines for the world’s cheapest car. The CNG-powered Nano was showcased at the 2012 Auto Expo and is a stop gap method till the diesel model arrives later next year. Tata Nano sold 4004 units of the Nano last month, which is a decline over the previous months.

Ford 1.0-Litre EcoBoost Can Produce 220 BHP

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:59 PM PST

Ford EcoSport Production Version

Ford's new 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is all set to go global soon. The three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine has the capability to expand from 1.0-litre up to 1.5-litres in size with power in excess of 200 BHP. These engines could feature in large cars like the S-MAX and Galaxy in the near future. Ford has been awarded the Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club for its outstanding British technical achievement.

“We have a maximum capacity per cylinder of 500cc, so a 1.5-litre engine is certainly possible. In growing markets there are incentives for certain sizes of engines, so in Brazil they want a 1.0-litre engine, in India its 1.2-litre and in China its 1.5-litre – the EcoBoost engine could be all of those,” Andrew Fraser, head, petrol engine development, Ford, said.

Ford's three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine has managed to hit a high of 220 BHP while testing. The engine has also given a figure of 202 BHP power in a Formula Ford road-legal race car around the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany according to Andrew Fraser. However, Ford is happy getting 123 BHP of power output with the engine's current road car application. Though, bigger capacity engines churn out more power, Fraser says “We might not be up at Focus ST levels (247 BHP) but it'll be something pretty exciting.”

Ford is bringing its global EcoBoost power train technology with the all-new Ford EcoSport to India very soon for the first time in the form of its newest and smallest-ever EcoBoost engine. With only three cylinders and 1.0-litre of displacement, the latest EcoBoost engine will provide fuel-efficient power. It will be the first mini SUV from Ford and after the success of the Renault Duster it is poised to be a sure shot success. Since the EcoBoost engine is the right mix of power and efficiency, it will be a very attractive buy for the mileage conscious and SUV crazy Indian customer. The EcoSport will land between the price range of Rs. 7 lakh – Rs. 9 lakhs.

Facelifted Ford Fiesta

Source – AutoExpress

Hero Splendor Regains Lost Position From Discover

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:51 PM PST

Hero Motocorp Splendor Pro

Hero MotoCorp, the largest selling two wheeler brand in the world has regained its prime position in the market a month after Bajaj Auto's Discover overtook the Splendor. During October's festive season Hero MotoCorp sold over 5 lakh units domestically, with Splendor accounting for over 1.8 lakh of those. Bajaj Auto meanwhile managed to retail 2.62 lakh units, of which over 1.52 lakh were Discovers. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) at No. 3 sold 2.36 lakh units last month in the domestic market.

Hero MotoCorp managed to get ahead of its competition with the sales of 3.41 million units in the first seven months of fiscal year 2013, 1.4 million of these were Splendors. According to industry estimates HMSI did sales of 1.52 million units and Bajaj Auto sold 1.48 million units in the April to October period. A year ago, Hero’s market share had slipped to 42.7% in the April to September 2012 from 45.3% in the same period. Analysts expect improvement in company's market share in the third quarter.

“We expect the race to be very close. What is important to note is that Discover’s sales in the October of 2011 were a fourth of Splendor; that gap has narrowed significantly at present. We still have lots of headroom to grow considering we still haven’t started exporting the Discover 125 ST. It is upward for Discover and downward for Splendor,” K Srinivas, president, motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto, said.

While Hero MotoCorp is still the king in terms of volumes, Bajaj Auto is expected to give them tough competition. The upcoming 100cc bike from Bajaj (could be badged as Discover) has a good chance of boosting volumes and closing the gap between Bajaj and Hero. Honda is expected to see an increase in sales too with the Dream Yuga performing well for the Japanese automaker.

All New Bajaj Discover 100

Source – EconomicTimes

Dacia Unveils Dokker Stepway

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:58 AM PST

2012 Dacia Dokker Stepway Front

The Romanian automaker Dacia recently presented its Dokker Stepway at the 2012 Istanbul Motor Show. The regular version of Dacia's Dokker had been officially unveiled earlier this year. Dacia has once again succeeded in putting its model Dokker into the spotlights by presenting the Stepway version. The Dokker Stepway is the third version in the lineup after the regular Dokker and the Dokker Van.

Talking about the features, the Dacia Dokker Stepway carries out similar features found in the Sandero II Stepway like the special rims, plastic body panels, roof bars and chromed ornaments. It is expected in near future that the high-end trim level of the Dacia Dokker Stepway will include some extra features like the MediaNav system. The starting price for the Dokker Stepway isn't official yet, but it is expected to be more expensive than the Dacia Dokker Ambience with the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine, priced from 12,000 Euros (Rs. 8.37 lakhs) in Romania.

Read About The Sandero Stepway

Automobile Dacia Company was founded in 1966 under the name Uzina de Autoturisme Pitesti (UAP). It is a Romanian car manufacturer, named for the historic region that constitutes much of present-day Romania. It is now a subsidiary of the French car maker Renault. The company is the main exporter from Romania with 10% of total exports. Could Renault bring the Dokker to India? The French automaker is a master of re-badging cars and the Dokker could do quite well for them.

2012 Dacia Dokker Stepway

Mini-Aria Is Tata Motors’ Next Big Step

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:43 AM PST

2013 Tata Mini Aria

The mini-SUV / MPV market is hotting up. When concept versions of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Ford EcoSport were shown to the world, they generated tremendous interest. Much was said about the practicality, value for money and multi-purpose utility for the Indian market. Especially because Indians love the SUV image, extra ground clearance help with bad roads and of course more space is always welcome! Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra moved quickly and introduced the Ertiga and Quanto. The sales charts are witness to the success these companies are enjoying.

Ford is yet to launch the EcoSport and Tata Motors completely ignored the hoopla that surrounded the Mini – SUV / MPV segment. Tata Motors is struggling with sales due to the outdated old Safari and extremely overpriced Aria. In spite of Aria being very technologically advanced, spacious, with a great engine and amazing features it failed to sell well due to high pricing strategy. So now Tata Motors are convinced that their latest project, the mini-Aria will help them get more piece of the action.

The compact version of the Tata Aria should be less than 4-metres in length. The boot will become smaller and the last row of seats may become slightly cramped. Also it may be stripped of the awesome technological advantage that the Aria has. As developing a new platform and chassis is very expensive, Tata Motors can use the Aria or even the Safari Strome chassis and platform as a base. As they are already using the Fiat’s 1.3-litre Multijet engine in other cars, they have a good option of using it for the mini Aria as well.

However all Tata cars are quite heavy (Aria being 2.2 tonnes), the Multijet engine may be quite underpowered for this purpose. Developing a new engine from scratch is an option but will add tremendously to the cost of the car. The engine has to be under 1.5–litres for tax benefit, so using the 2.2 engine is out of the question. Tata Motors has to buckle up, get their game straight and develop a very well thought out product to be able to compete against the already brilliant Ertiga, Quanto and even the yet to be launched EcoSport. They have to especially price it competitively to make it value for money. Otherwise it may end up with the same fate as the Aria.

Tata Motors is also said to be working on a compact version of the Sumo Gold, which might hit the market as soon as next year. It will be sub 4-metre in length, giving it excise benefits. The mini-Sumo will be priced around Rs. 5 lakhs. The vehicle will have 7-seats (last row will be jump seats similar to the Quanto). It remains to be seen if there is acceptance for a compact utility vehicle in the Indian market.

Tata Aria 4X2 Review

Source – Overdrive

2014 Maserati Quatrroporte Unveiled

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:29 AM PST

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Front

Earlier we had mentioned about Fiat launching nineteen new models in the European market which include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Fiat and Maserati products, as part of their strategic plan up to 2015. A top official at Maserati, describing the new strategic plan for the coming years says – it all starts with the new 2013 Maserati Quattroporte. Maserati gave the world a first glimpse of the new Quattroporte luxury saloon through a series of photographs. The premiere release of this speedster is at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and sales are expected to begin by mid-year. Detailed specifications are not yet released by the company.

The Maserati Quattroporte will prove to be a rival to the BMW 7-Series and the Jaguar XJ. As the luxury car maker claims, this car is based on the Maserati design principles – harmony of shapes, dynamism of lines and Italian elegance. The new Quattroporte has a few similar design traits from its predecessor like the front grille. New styling is observed otherwise throughout the car giving an elegant and sporty look to the luxury car. From the side it looks enormously long. Although big on size than the fifth-generation Quattroporte, this new car has been engineered with aluminum and other weight saving materials thus making it lighter.

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Interiors

The interiors are designed elegantly simple, just how Maserati customers would want. But whatever is in, is of the highest quality – wood inserts, plastics and refined leather. Nothing much is known yet about the engine other than the fact that it will definitely be a V8. The powertrain has been jointly developed by Maserati and bigger sister Ferrari. The Italian automaker describes the new generation engines as more powerful and fun to drive while being fuel conscious too. Four-wheel drive system as an option, the Quattroporte will by default have a rear-wheel drive system. Chances are there that a V6 version will also be launched later.

Maserati and thereby Fiat have high hopes through these range of cars. In this segment it’s not about very high volumes, but more on the moderate side and export sales are expected to give the company good support. 2013 is set to see three Maserati models of the planned six models as per the program. Apart from the new Quattroporte, one is a mid-sized luxury sedan Ghilbi and the other is a crossover based on the Kubang SUV Concept. The production version of this SUV will be named Maserati Levante.

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Side

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Rear

Mauti Suzuki Ritz Automatic Launched

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:22 AM PST

Maruti Suzuki Ritz Facelift

Maruti Suzuki have launched the automatic version of the petrol Ritz. As A-Star is the only small automatic car available in the stable, this is a good move. The Maruti Suzuki Ritz AT is powered by the famed 1.2-litre, K-Series petrol engine boasting 84 BHP of power and 113 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 4–speed unit used currently in the DZire. The official fuel efficiency rating for the automatic Ritz is 17.16 km/l (slightly more than the Honda Brio automatic). The Ritz AT will probably be priced around Rs. 6 lakhs.

Recently there has been a steady increase in the sales of small automatic cars. About 10 years ago, the Santro was the only small car with an automatic gearbox and later the Zen. Due to the higher cost of the automatic option and lower fuel efficiency, the sale of these cars was very low. However due to the high number of cars on the road and pretty bad traffic conditions, people have started understanding the joys of owning a small automatic car. Lots of elderly people, ladies, people with lots of city driving and individuals who have returned from abroad prefer using automatic cars.

Presently there are quite a few small automatic cars available in the market, like the Hyundai i10 automatic, Hyundai i20 automatic, Honda Brio automatic and A-Star automatic. So the competition is tough as the i10 and Brio automatic are also very practical cars. Maruti Suzuki may not get huge sales from this car, but definitely will help the company to add to the overall sales figures. But we can ask that why haven't they introduced the Swift with an auto box? As the Swift has a more premium image, the Swift AT might have sold better than the Ritz AT. Maybe Maruti Suzuki is gauging the market response and will introduce the Swift with the auto box in the near future.

Maruti Ritz Automatic

Suzuki Quits U.S. Car Market After Three Decades

Posted: 07 Nov 2012 12:06 AM PST

2011 Suzuki Kizashi Sport

Suzuki plans to exit the U.S. car market after experiencing difficulty in making profits. Saab Automobile and Isuzu Motors also withdrew from the market due to shrinking profits. Suzuki will stop sales of new automobiles in the country, though it will continue offering motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and boat motors. Suzuki will retain their dealerships in order to maintain their existing vehicles in the market. The company will stop its sales after it runs out with its current inventory. As compared to Asian automakers, Suzuki had the smallest market share in the U.S., where Toyota and Honda are one of the top automakers.

Now, Suzuki plans to focus more in the Indian market where the company is facing a stiff competition from Hyundai. Maruti Suzuki is the company's biggest unit, it is the largest car maker by volume in India (Asia’s third biggest auto market). India accounted for around 40% of Suzuki’s 2.49 million deliveries in the year ended March 31. Maruti Suzuki will raise its capacity to 1.75 million units next year at its sixth plant in Manesar. The Japanese automaker controls about 42% of the Indian car market, it;s also working on a new factory in the state of Gujarat adding a further 2.5 lakhs cars annual capacity.

The reason for Maruti Suzuki’s expansion are competitors like Hyundai and Volkswagen looking for a greater market share, with the South Korean company announcing to spend $300 million to build a new engine plant and press shop in India. Suzuki will raise annual capital expenditure to about $2.5 billion over the next five years. This investment will help them expand manufacturing in India, Hungary and Thailand. The company has already booked the amount of its investment in American Suzuki Motor (12.8 billion yen) as an impairment loss. Suzuki has also allocated 9.7 billion yen for bad debts from its U.S. unit for the first half of this year.

2013 Suzuki Grand Vitara

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