Tuesday, December 11, 2012

“Duster Blinged-Out By German Tuning Company” plus 9 more Motorbeam

“Duster Blinged-Out By German Tuning Company” plus 9 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Duster Blinged-Out By German Tuning Company

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 10:00 PM PST

Dacia Duster Elia

The Dacia Duster (Renault in India) has been given a full cosmetic make over by a German tuning company called Elia. This is their second attempt (here is the first one) to add some style quotient to this basic, value for money SUV. They have added generous helpings of chrome with many other tweaks to make the Duster catch few eyeballs.

At the front the white Duster gets chrome bull bars, chrome grill inserts with chrome replacing the plastic that surrounds the fog lamps. The headlights are blacked. At the back again it gets a special chrome bull bar and the tail lamps get combination LED treatment. Apart from this it also gets 20-inch chrome wheels and rocker panels.

There is a matt black theme in addition to the chrome, with a matte black styling kit for the lower part of the bumper, wheel arch extensions and mirrors. Plus there are decals on the doors as well as a stripe on the bonnet and front of the roof. The small panel which says 'Duster' on the back door (which in India is in chrome) is replaced with matte black.

Apart from the exterior, the exhaust system is replaced with stainless steel sports exhaust system with twin tail pipes for some acoustic enhancement as well. The interior gets a special multimedia system with a large screen in the centre console.

Even though this special Elia version seems a bit over the top, in India which has a special attachment to white SUV's with lot of chrome, it might just do the trick. These cosmetic upgrades may just catch on if Renault provides them as accessories or the complete Elia kit.

Dacia Duster Elia interior

Dacia Duster Elia side

Dacia Duster Elia rear

Yamaha Confirms 250cc Bike Launch In 2014

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 08:37 PM PST

2013 Yamaha YZF-R250

Just a few days ago, Yamaha had confirmed its plans to focus on the scooter segment. Everyone was disappointed with the company not planning an entry into the 250cc motorcycle segment. However the Japanese automaker has now confirmed its plans to launch a 250cc motorcycle in India in 2014. Details on this upcoming quarter-litre machine from Yamaha remain sketchy, but we can expect Yamaha to unveil the 250cc motorcycle at the 12th Auto Expo in February 2014. Sales are expected to start sometime later in the same year.

Yamaha currently plans to focus on scooters and will not launch any new motorcycles. The company’s next motorcycle launch will be the 250cc motorcycle in 2014. Yamaha will launch more scooters, including a 125cc scooter targeted at male riders. The company will also update its current motorcycle line-up by giving it refreshments over the next year.

“We will focus on the scooters category for next two years, but in 2014 we will launch powerful sporty 250cc bike in the Indian market. There is a good market for this premium segment which we would like to tap,” Hiroyuki Suzuki, MD and CEO, Yamaha India, said.

Details about the 250cc bike are still sketchy, whether it will be a 250cc Fazer or an all new 250cc motorcycle on the lines of the R15. Since Yamaha is delaying the launch, we expect the 250cc motorcycle from Yamaha to be similar to the R15 in styling, being more of a sport bike than a tourer. The Yamaha R250 will be a twin-cylinder machine, belting out close to 30 BHP of power and should be priced around Rs. 2 lakhs.

Incidentally Yamaha is not the only manufacturer which will launch a 250cc motorcycle in 2014. Hero MotoCorp plans to launch its own 250cc motorcycle, which it is developing with the help of EBR of the USA. Chennai based TVS Motor is also working on a 200cc+ motorcycle, which they expect to launch in 2014. Piaggio too could launch the Aprilia RS200 motorcycle in the same year. Thus we can safely call 2014 the year of quarter-litre motorcycles.

Source – MyDigitalFC

Honda Teases Upcoming Urban SUV Concept

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 10:39 AM PST

Honda Urban SUV Concept

Honda has revealed a teaser of its upcoming Urban SUV Concept, which it plans to unveil at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show to be held in January. Honda hasn’t given any details about the vehicle yet and we expect them to release more information about this upcoming compact crossover in the near future. The Japanese automaker had recently announced plans to expand the Honda Jazz model line-up to three platforms, including a hatchback, sedan and a compact SUV.

This Urban SUV Concept seems to be the Jazz based SUV, which is likely to hit production by 2014. The company mentions that this concept is a global one and combines a sporty and dynamic profile for a spacious yet functional interior. The current Jazz is already very spacious and the next generation is expected to be even bigger, resulting in improved interior room. An SUV on the Jazz platform could do well for Honda to achieve a sales target of 2 lakh units per year from the Jazz alone.

Honda will certainly get the Jazz based SUV to India, as the compact SUV market is seeing tremendous growth. Currently the Renault Duster has stormed the market, selling more than 5000 units a month. Ford is expected to join the compact SUV race in February 2013 with the launch of the EcoSport. However Honda’s compatriot, Toyota doesn’t plan to enter the compact SUV segment in the near future. Expect the Jazz based SUV to be priced around Rs.8-10 lakhs with both petrol and diesel engines being offered.

2013 Skoda Octavia III Officially Unveiled

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 10:22 AM PST

2013 Skoda Octavia III

Skoda has officially unveiled the new Octavia. The third generation Skoda Octavia receives major upgrades in most areas, making the vehicle even more value for money than before. After several days of teasing with various pictures of the new Skoda Octavia, the Czech firm has taken off the wraps of the very first vehicle to use the MQB platform in the Skoda line-up. Skoda intends to play the value game with the new Octavia, which it boasts has more space than its rivals.

The 2013 Skoda Octavia offers 1782 mm of interior length, 73 mm of more knee room and 980 mm of headroom. A 590-litres of boot capacity ensures the Octavia can gobble up big bags with ease. Compared to its predecessor, the new Octavia has 8 mm more front head room, 39 mm more elbow width and 26 mm more rear elbow width. The overall length of the Skoda Octavia has increased by 90 mm while the width has increase by 45 mm. The wheelbase has grown by 108 mm, resulting in vastly improved rear seat legroom.

Volkswagen’s new MQB platform has resulted in weight reduction and the new Octavia is 102 kgs lighter than the model it replaces. There are 8 engines on offer, 4 TSI petrols and 4 TDI diesels. Except the entry level petrol and diesel engines, all other engines are offered with Green tec with start-stop technology. These engines are mated to 6-speed manual and DSG transmissions. Skoda is already working on CNG, all-wheel drive and vRS variants of the car, which are due to be unveiled by mid-2013.

Needless to say, the Skoda Octavia will be powered by the 1.8-litre TSI petrol which belts out 160 BHP of power and 2.0-litre TDI diesel which generates 140 BHP of power. These engines boast of improved mileage courtesy the start/stop system. Skoda has also offered segment first features like the Adaptive Cruise Assistant, Intelligent Light Assistant, Automatic Parking Assistant, electric panoramic sliding sunroof, keyless entry with button start, 9 airbags and touch displays with proximity sensors.

While Skoda will put the new Octavia on sale globally in March 2013, our sources have already confirmed to us about a May 2013 launch for the new Skoda Octavia in India, with the Octavia name plate making a comeback. The Laura will continue to sell as it is and the new Octavia will be positioned between the Laura and the Superb and will be priced between Rs.16 to 20 lakhs.

2013 Skoda Octavia Interiors

Third Generation Skoda Octavia

2013 Skoda Octavia Sedan

Maruti Alto 800 vs Hyundai Eon – Video Shootout

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 05:00 AM PST

Jaguar Land Rover Expands Into Saudi Arabia

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 04:10 AM PST

2013 Range Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is expanding into Saudi Arabia with a new production line, aluminum pressing facility and Saudi specific Land Rover model. This is part of JLR's massive expansion plans world wide after partnership with Cherry Automobile Company in China as well as a new factory in India. Jaguar Land Rover has signed a letter of intent with the Nation Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) in Saudi Arabia which is the world's largest producer of aluminum as well as the cheapest, due to high availability of raw material (bauxite) and cheap energy sources.

This iconic British Luxury car manufacturer will buy the aluminum required for their cars from the country as will open a special aluminum pressing facility to produce the panels for the cars and then open a car manufacturing plant to build their cars. They are currently the pioneers in using aluminium for cars with their revolutionary all-aluminum models like the XJ and new Range Rover. Exact details are still to be worked out and the memorandum of understanding will be signed by mid 2013 with production expecting to start by 2015.

Jaguar Land Rover will also launch a new Saudi Arabia specific Land Rover there. Though details are sketchy, it will be based on the new all aluminum Range Rover. The car will be first brought as completely knocked down kits and assembled there only later to be completely manufactured. This will give Jaguar Land Rover a good start in Saudi Arabia.

With global demand for the lightweight aluminum on the rise this move by the British Car maker will prove vital in the long run by obtaining the abundant, cost effective and steady supply for their own. In the future all their cars will be made using their aluminum technology. With demand for their cars too sky rocketing in this region, setting up a plant there along with other potential markets will give a boost to the brand along with successfully meeting demand.

2013 Jaguar XFR-S

All The Details About Royal Enfield’s Cafe Racer 535

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 02:27 AM PST

2013 Royal Enfield Cafe Racer 535

Royal Enfield and limelight are those two words which sounds like synonyms of each other now a days. The company has been successfully able to create and maintain buzz around the brand since the launch of the products like Thunderbird 350 and Classic 500. Royal Enfield, once considered as old school bikes with outdated mechanicals, is now scoring way high on wish list of young Indian minds.

This drastic change is a result of efforts put in by the company, which brought us some serious machines with unmatched potentials to grab attention and which can easily stand out of the crowd. Now the next hot thing coming out from them is Royal Enfield Café Racer 535. Now, this starts altogether new segment of bikes in India.

Although it is not a volume segment and it is very unlikely to see any other manufacturer jumping in this segment, it enjoys a great fan following across the globe. As this type of motorcycle is new to us in India, let's have a look at what actually the Café Racer is?

Royal Enfield Cafe Racer Console

This concept of Café Racer came to life in around 1960s within the group of people which later turned into a cult. It is said that they used these bikes mainly for the purpose zipping through streets from one Café to the other in least possible time. Also, it is said that with these bikes, the cult follower should be able to hit 100 mph mark (called Ton) and return to Café before the jukebox finishes one song. This sounds like a perfect story of typical cult bike.

This is the motorcycle tuned entirely for speeds and its visuals also suggest same with bare basic body parts. Some characteristics or must have features of such a bike are the clip on handle bars allowing maximum level of adjustments, extremely bent forward riding posture to reduce the wind resistance, adjustable foot pegs for commanding position, stretched fuel tank which swallows riders legs to increase grip and confidence, minimum body part so as to reduce overall weight and solid power plant to tear apart the tarmac.

Royal-Enfield-Cafe-Racer-Concept-1

All these characteristics chalk out a perfect racing machine. Usually these bikes come with single seat, after all who wants to carry an extra weight at the tail while racing. Some equip their bike with a full fairing and cowl for the headlamp. All this level of customization was very hard to provide for any company at that time. Later on as the craze for the old bikes grew, some manufacturers like Honda, Suzuki and Harley Davidson tried their luck in this territory. Now Royal Enfield has loaded their arsenal with one such more weapon called Café Racer 535.

The Cafe Recer concept bike has 535cc engine churning out 36 BHP of shear power. It has floating caliper Brembo disc brakes upfront, bigger diameter front forks and Ohlin air shockers at rear, double cradle chassis underneath, adjustable foot pegs, clip on handle bars and twin pod instrument cluster with tachometer. We hope that many of these parts will be carried over to production version but some parts like Ohlin shockers will be dropped to keep the cost in control.

The Cafe Racer has already created a set of followers before its launch across the globe. 2012 Indian Auto Expo, Long Beach bike show in US, ECIMA, etc have been visited by Café Racer 535 and everywhere it received overwhelming response. On the web also it is being appreciated and every fan out there is waiting for its launch which might happen sometime early next year. Expect the pricing of the Cafe Racer 535 to be around Rs. 2 lakhs plus. The bike will be a cracker for sure, let's see how this cult bike gets welcomed in India.

Royal Enfield Cafe Racer

Showrooms – Last Place To Get Info About Vehicles

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 02:09 AM PST

Force One Showroom

Before buying a bike or car most of the people research about them. They ask their friends, search on the internet and visit the showroom. Some people blindly trust the showroom folks and end up falling into their trap. Trust me guys, showrooms are the last place to get information about vehicles. They should only be used for test drives, nothing else.

I surveyed a range of showrooms to test the knowledge of the salespersons and got the following results. At TVS during test ride, the tachometer was displaying more than 3000 RPM at idling. I asked him to close the choke to make it normal and guess what? He doesn’t know where the choke switch is. Another incident was in the Maruti Suzuki showroom when the sales person argued with me that the diesel engines of SX4 and Swift are not sourced from Fiat and are Suzuki's homegrown engines. Well, he admitted his fault when I showed him the fact in one of the magazines lying in his showroom itself.

The problem is not only with Indian brands, but the reputed and premier brands like Skoda who are also full of flaws. I asked him what is ABS and if it is necessary. He told me that it improves the fuel efficiency. I was about to laugh but somehow managed to stay calm. However the crown of wrong information goes to Ford where the salesman itself got confused with the engine capacity and fuel tank capacity. He was very adamant with the fact that Ford Figo has a 45-litre engine.

Well there are a thousand more examples justifying the title but this article is not for defaming the showrooms but for making the readers aware about them. Dealers hire people at a minimal pay and so it will be rude to expect an educated executive selling you vehicles. Most of salesmen cram the specification sheet without understanding it and spit it out when asked. So, next time before buying a new vehicle use the showrooms only for test drives and price quotes, for all other information do a research yourself.

Volkswagen Polo R WRC Launched

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 02:00 AM PST

Rally Polo R WRC2013 VW Polo R WRC

Volkswagen has launched the Polo R WRC car as well as the road going version in Monte Carlo to celebrate its entry into rallying. This version was showcased at the Worthersee Tour festival last year and now the production for limited edition road going versions will begin. Only 2500 cars will be built and will cost about Rs. 25 lakh in Europe. Bookings have started but deliveries will only commenced by September 2013.

The road going Polo R WRC vehicle has a turbo-charged 2.0-litre engine with 217 BHP of power and 350 Nm of torque and has a short shift, 6-speed manual gearbox. This enables the Polo R WRC to sprint from 0 – 100 km/hr in just 6.4 seconds with a top speed of 243 km/hr. The vehicle has a special updated sports chassis to handle all the power and gives the Polo extremely agile handling.

The exterior is made to look like the car it is based on, with aggressive front bumper and large air intakes up front and a roof spoiler and diffuser at the rear. The car is painted white with blue and grey stripes. The tires are huge low profile, 215/35 sections sitting on 18 inch ‘Cagliari’ wheels. The insides too boasts of sporty interiors, with light weight sports seats, black roof lining and aluminum-styled pedals. The centre of the seats and steering wheel are covered with black Alcantara leather.

Even though the Volkswagen Polo R WRC is very sport oriented, it does not lose out on equipment with airbags, climate control, a front center arm rest, cruise control, rain and light sensors, an audio and navigation system and an alarm as standard. It also includes a special winter package with heated seats, headlamp cleaners and heated screen washers. Volkswagen claims that inspite of the very powerful engine, the car has a decent fuel efficiency of 13.3 km/l and CO2 emissions of just 170 g/km.

The actual rally Polo too was launched at the event (pictured below), which has a 1.6-litre turbo-charged, 4-cylinder race engine producing a mind blowing 311 BHP of power and 425 Nm of torque. Like all rally cars, it has four-wheel drive and a 6-speed sequential gearbox. This car does 0 – 100 km/hr in just 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km/hr.

VW Polo WRC engine

VW Polo WRC interior

VW Polo R WRC

VW Polo R WRC rear

KTM 390 Duke To Be Priced Aggressively

Posted: 11 Dec 2012 01:43 AM PST

KTM 390 Duke Speed

While India awaits the launch of the KTM Duke 390, the motorcycle has been launched in the UK, priced at £4500 (Rs. 3.93 lakhs), which is £300 (Rs. 26,200/-) higher than the Duke 200. The Duke 125 is priced £200 (Rs. 17,500/-) less than the Duke 200. The sharing of all parts, except the engine helps in the aggressive pricing. All these three variants of the KTM Duke are offered with ABS as standard equipment, as this braking technology is mandatory in the country. The ABS can be switched off, which helps riders in doing stunts.

The launch of the KTM Duke 390 in the UK only confirms that regular production of the 390 Duke has commenced at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan facility as the Duke 125, Duke 200 and Duke 390 are only manufactured in India and exported throughout the globe. The India launch is still a few months away, as the Duke 390 will have to go through the procedure of homologation at ARAI, Pune. Thus one can expect the Duke 390 to go on sale in India by April 2013. The Austrian automaker might also offer the Duke 390 in the USA.

Looking at the UK pricing of the Duke 390, one can safely expect KTM to price this high capacity Duke at around Rs. 2 lakhs, offering ABS as standard. The 390 Duke uses a 373cc single-cylinder engine which generates 43 BHP of power and 36 Nm of torque. With a dry weight of just 139 kgs, the Duke 390 is expected to reach 100 km/hr in less than 7 seconds, with top speed being around 170 km/hr. KTM plans to launch full faired and adventure versions of the 390 Duke by 2014, which too will be manufactured locally.

2013 KTM 390 Duke India

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