Monday, January 28, 2013

“Isuzu Motors Plans Manufacturing Plant In Andhra Pradesh” plus 9 more Motorbeam

“Isuzu Motors Plans Manufacturing Plant In Andhra Pradesh” plus 9 more Motorbeam

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Isuzu Motors Plans Manufacturing Plant In Andhra Pradesh

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 08:09 PM PST

Isuzu MU-7

Isuzu is a Tokyo based Japanese automobile manufacturing giant. Isuzu Motors is betting big in the Indian market as the manufacturer is planning to setup a plant in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. The automaker is all set to invest a sum of around Rs. 1000 crores in the Greenfield plant that will be capable of making around 50,000 vehicles a year. The manufacturing plant will be ready for producing vehicles by the year 2015. The company has just finished homologation at ARAI.

Meanwhile Isuzu Motors will use Hindustan Motors' Chennai plant and General Motors' facility. An official announcement of the investments being made by the automaker is expected on 15th March in Hyderabad. According to sources, the company is initially planning to introduce the MU7 Choiz SUV powered by a 3.0-litre diesel engine and a V Cross pickup truck featuring a 2.5-litre diesel engine. The automaker will be focusing only on the utility vehicle segment in India.

Isuzu Motors is also known for manufacturing commercial vehicles, heavy trucks and diesel engines. The automaker has provided its diesel engines earlier to Hindustan Motors’ Ambassador and Contessa. General Motors are offering the Chevrolet Tavera in the Indian market as a re-badged Isuzu Panther SUV. There is good potential for Isuzu in the Indian market as it is an SUV loving country. The manufacturer will have to struggle initially for building its brand presence in the market.

Isuzu MU-7 Interiors

Isuzu MU-7 India

General Motors Updates Plans For Emerging Markets

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 08:02 PM PST

Shanghai GM Sail Springo EV front

American Car Manufacturer, General Motors has released an updated plan for emerging markets. Its huge Chinese partner, SAIC which was a major part of its expansion plans now takes a slight back seat with the new alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen taking a major step forward. From 2009, General Motors had said that it will use cars from SAIC, which are very cost effective basic vehicles to expand into developing markets like South East Asia, Russia and South America.

The largest Chinese car manufacturer, SAIC too were depending on the partnership with General Motors to expand into many markets. They were already selling their cars through General Motors dealerships in a few countries like Columbia. So this expansion into Europe will be affected by General Motors new alliance with PSA Peugeot Citroen and their new plans for Europe. General Motors say that this new alliance will help them tap the stagnated European market as well as help them enter new markets like Russia and Latin America with many new affordable products.

General Motors also said that they have a equally good relationship with SAIC with mutual understanding and will continue growth with the Chinese company too. Even though Europe and Latin America are out, SAIC products will be launched in Asian markets like India, Indonesia and Thailand. With SAIC already having a decent market in Thailand, General Motors will work together in expanding their hold in other developing Asian markets. These countries are presently dominated by Toyota, but with very cost effective and simple cars costing as less as Rs. 2.4 lakhs, they can capture a decent share in the market.

2011 GMC Terrain

Source – Automotive News

Tata Indica Vista D90 Track Experience

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 08:57 AM PST

Tata Indica Vista D90 Pit Lane

Tata Motors has unveiled the new Indica Vista D90, which took place at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. The launch event was followed by a thrilling driving experience of the Vista D90 on the motor racing circuit. The 5.14 kms long Buddh International Circuit with a combination of 16 exhilarating turns, speedy straights and thrilling elevations makes it one of the fastest motor racing circuits in the world. Numerous Vista D90s with different shades of colors were lined-up in the pit lane revving hard for a 2 lap spin on the circuit.

Tata Indica Vista D90 Drift

It was my turn now and I chose the eye catching Spice Red shade wearing a sporty body kit to spice up my laps. Step inside the cabin and the new Vista D90 welcomes you with spacious and airy interiors featuring dual tone dashboard treatment, a fancy 6.7-inch touch screen multimedia system, automatic climate control and much more. The signal was green and the Vista D90 flagged off with a little bit of turbo lag at initial revs. The 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel feels powerful and the acceleration is impressively quick.

Tata Indica Vista D90 Stunts

Here comes a corner and the car does not feel totally at home, though the handling has improved, its not enough for the track. Braking is impressive with the ABS and EBD working quite well before getting into a corner but while turning, the steering feels vague and there is an evident understeer as it is a front wheel drive hatch. Gearshifts are not as slick as its rivals but the strong throttle response helped Vista clock 150 km/hr effortlessly on the back straight with lesser wind and engine noise thanks to lower NVH levels.

Tata Indica Vista D90 Flagoff

The car now has a sportier stance, extended list of features and a competent engine. Though it lacks the appeal as well as the all round character to be called a true performance hatchback. The overall experience of driving the Vista D90 on the well engineered Buddh International Circuit was thrilling. This is a good move taken by the manufacturer to launch a vehicle on the motor racing circuit, giving a chance to experience the product to a great extent. The Tata Indica Vista D90 comes with a starting price of Rs. 5.99 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).

Tata Showcases Vista D90 Xtreme Concept

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 02:08 AM PST

Tata Vista D90 Xtreme Concept

Tata Motors has showcased a new version of the Indica Vista recently called the Vista D90 Xtreme Concept. This car is based on the new Vista D90, which is a sportier version of the Vista. The D90 boasts of more power as well as better handling. The D90 Xtreme Concept is an even more performance oriented machine and has lot of goodies to grab attention of the customers. This concept car was painted yellow and black and looked every bit in line with its sporty intentions. Tata Motors wants to head into the crossover segment with the Xtreme Concept.

Tata Motors claims that the Vista D90 Xtreme Concept boasts a massive 105 PS of power with a power boost module. This vehicle thus is a lot more powerful than the D90 as well but uses the same 1.3-litre Fiat diesel engine. Along with the power, the Xtreme Concept has sporty styling with a black body kit, black roof and black hatch. The spare wheel is mounted on the boot to make the car look very brutish and macho. The front sports a complete black grille and vents in the bonnet as well as on the sides of the re-designed bumper. The vehicles also boasts of a black spoiler and roof rails to add to the sporty appearance.

The Vista D90 Xtreme Concept gets raised suspension with re-tuned dampers for better dynamics. The interiors too have been given a minor makeover which includes black leather seats, contrasting stitching and aluminum gear knob and pedals. The Vista was always known for its practicality, space and comfort, but with the D90 and now the D90 Xtreme Concept, Tata Motors seems to have given the Vista a very sporty and young image to attract new set of buyers. This will be the perfect car for young Indians wanting high performance, brutish SUV-ish looks and adventure all rolled into their everyday hatchback. It is not known whether Tata Motors will put the Xtreme Concept into production.

Tata Vista 105 BHP

Tata Vista Extreme Concept

Vista D90 Extreme

Tata Vista D90 Test Drive Review

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 12:42 AM PST

Tata Vista D90 Review

Tata Vista D90 – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car Tested: 2013 Tata Indica Vista D90 ZX+

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8,24,850/-

With the Vista D90, Tata Motors aims to target an entirely different set of people.

Premium hatchback is quite a miss-leading term in India. Most of these premium hatchbacks boast of a 75 BHP diesel engine, which to be honest is not enough to ignite the roads, let alone burn them. There are quite a few premium hatchbacks on sale in India today, but how many can really make you skip a beat? There is the Hyundai i20 which comes with a 90 BHP diesel engine but the dynamics don’t do justice to the performance on offer. Then there is the Fiat Punto 90HP, which is indeed a real performance machine. Now Tata Motors wants to enter the performance hatchback space with the Indica Vista and the D90 version is their honest attempt at moving the Vista brand into a more sporty segment, thereby targeting younger consumers. We take the new Tata Vista D90 for a spin on Tata Motors’ test track in Pimpri to gauge if the Vista D90 is as thrilling as it sounds.

Exteriors – The Tata Indica Vista is not a sporty looking vehicle, not even in D90 guise. The styling doesn’t evoke a sporty feel to this car and the small 14-inch wheels don’t give any hint of its target market. Tata Motors on its part has given the Vista D90 a contrasting roof, which along with the badging on the rear are the only exterior differences from the regular 75 PS model. The company has made a sporty body kit, comprising of an aggressive front, rear bumper and rear spoiler add-on, which is being offered at the dealer level as an aftermarket fitment. This does make the Vista D90 look slightly sporty but the vehicle deserves bigger wheels and blacked body parts to pull off the sporty intentions. The Vista D90 is offered in five colors. Four colors from before include – red, white, silver and grey, while a new violet color, featured here, has been added.

Interiors – The biggest change to the interiors is the Manza inspired dashboard. The one on the Vista D90 has been lifted straight from the Manza Club Class, which means you get the instrument cluster on the driver’s side and not in the center. The tachometer has Tata Motors’ patented technology and glows red when you hit the rev-limiter. There is a driver information system on top of the center console which displays distance to empty, average mileage, instantaneous fuel efficiency, ambient temperature and time. A new 6.7-inch touch-screen audio system with GPS and AUX, USB compatibility has been added as well. The system can also play audio-video, which automatically stops as soon as the vehicle gets into motion. The touch-screen itself is not so slick to use although these features are definitely a segment first.

Also new on the Vista D90 is climate control system, which has three modes – manual, economy and automatic. The rest of the Vista remains the same as before, which means you get a generous cabin with acres of interior room and a big boot. There is good headroom, legroom and knee room all around and five people can sit in comfort inside the car. Quality levels are good and the Vista feels well put together. There is a drastic improvement in fit and finish since the very first Vista was launched, way back in 2008.

The Indica Vista D90 also gets one touch power window (for the driver) and is loaded with all the features in the ZX variant (including front airbags, steering mounted audio controls, 6-way height adjustable seat with lumbar support, electric rear view mirrors, follow me home headlamps, etc). There are only two variants on offer, VX and ZX, with both getting ABS as standard. The 75 BHP version is now available in only LS and VX trims.

Performance – Tata Motors has given the Vista D90 a more powerful engine. This unit is the same 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel motor from Fiat but now gets a Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT). Thus, this very engine is the same one which does duty on the Fiat Linea, Fiat Punto 90HP, Maruti Suzuki SX4, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Tata Indigo Manza. However, Tata Motors have tweaked the engine for the Vista D90, with different gear ratios for optimum performance. Belting out 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque, the Vista D90 has an ARAI certified mileage of 21.12 km/l.

So how does the Vista D90 perform on the road? Very well indeed. There is good amount of power from the motor and the Vista D90 pulls strongly to three digit speeds. You need to work the gearbox to really extract power as turbolag is quite evident at low revs. In-gear acceleration is very good and the Vista D90 does gather speed quickly. The company claims the Vista is faster than the Swift and i20 from 40-120 km/hr in fifth gear. The gearbox is decent although the clutch felt too light and did not bite properly. With a power to weight ratio of 76.3 PS per ton, the company claims that the Vista D90 is faster than other cars in the segment, with 60 km/hr coming up in 6.3 seconds and 100 km/hr taking 15.5 seconds.

Driving Dynamics – The Indica Vista has always been known to be a comfortable car, with excellent ride quality. The company has made changes to the D90 to go with its sporty intentions. The Vista D90 gets stiffer springs to improve handling. The Vista D90 does handle better than the regular Vista and is more stable at high speeds too, but the steering is devoid of feel and doesn’t communicate much. The changes haven’t spoiled the splendid ride quality of the Vista and it continues to please by absorbing bad roads in its stride.

NVH levels have been improved on the Vista D90 and the car is now quieter on the inside with wind and engine noise reduced from before. The vehicle’s brakes are very good with ABS and EBD working extremely well to prevent lock-ups. The brake pedal does feel a bit numb though but stopping power is ample considering that the Vista weighs slightly more than its rivals.

Verdict – Tata Motors has gone ahead and improved the Indica Vista in many areas, which improves the value for money quotient even further. The Vista D90 now boasts of better handling, improved braking performance, more features and better performance. The interiors see a vast improvement with the relocation of the instrument cluster, while the good ride quality and generous cabin space are firmly intact. All this makes the Vista D90 a more rounded and desirable package.

The Indica Vista now offers more performance per car, making it a more practical offering than before.

Whats Cool

* Powerful diesel engine
* Class leading space
* Feature loaded
* Driver’s side instrument cluster

Whats Not So Cool

* Steering lacks feel

Tata Indica XL Project Axed

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 12:33 AM PST

2012 Tata Indica XL

The Tata Indica XL has been on test for quite some time now. Recently, when we visited the Tata Motors factory in Pimpri, Pune, we noticed that an unattended and uncamouflaged test mule of the Indica XL was lying around. The vehicle had been left opened and the company was well aware about the media coming to the test track, but still they did not bother to move the Indica XL away from open eyes. This made us quite inquisitive. When we conversed with Tata Motors’ Indica group head, Mr. Amit Sagar at the Vista D90 drive event, the mystery of the uncamouflaged Indica XL was put to rest.

Tata Motors has axed the Indica XL project due to several reasons. The company believes that such a product would find no takers in the Indian market, owing to the fact that very few people actually prioritize rear seat space in a hatchback. The Indica XL draws inspiration from the Indigo XL, which too found little success in the Indian market. The Indica is 3690 mm long and there was quite a bit of length left for engineers to play around with, as the XL had to be less than 4-metres in length. Adding length to the car is tougher than it sounds. The complete vehicle needs to be re-engineered and that was the challenge faced by Tata Motors.

The increase in length of the Indica meant that the turning radius of the XL was more than the standard car. Besides that, the company had to increase the AC compressor unit to cope up with additional interior room. This all was leading to an increase in price, resulting in the Indica XL reaching the Vista’s price point. Thus the company has now decided to focus on the Vista instead of launching new variants of the Indica, which is more than 12-years now. Tata Motors is said to be working on a slew of updates for the Vista, including automatic versions.

Tata Indica XL

2013 Indica XL

Indica XL Variant

Euro NCAP Announces Safest Vehicles Of 2012

Posted: 28 Jan 2013 12:33 AM PST

2012 Renault Clio

Euro NCAP is the biggest independent firm in Europe which tests cars on sale in Europe for their safety and releases their test results every year. They have released the results for 2012 recently. Euro NCAP gives a 'Star' rating to each car it tests according to how the car performs in their safety tests based on 4 criterias – Adult Occupant Safety, Child Occupant Safety, Pedestrian Safety and Safety Assist provided by the car. They test vehicles from each category of cars and people movers.

The top scorers for 2012, all of which also scored the coveted 5-star rating, are as follows. In the Supermini category the Renault Clio grabbed the highest scores. Second place went to the Ford Fiesta. In the Small Family car category, the Volvo V40 was the highest scorer and the Opel Mokka came second. The Volvo V40 also scored the overall highest score of any car tested by Euro NCAP. The BMW 3-series won the highest score in the Large Family car category followed by the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid. The Fiat 500L and the Ford B-Max both won the highest scores in the small MPV category.

The Ford Kuga won first place in the small off-road 4X4 category followed by the Subaru Forester. The karge off-road 4X4 category winner was the Hyundai Santa Fe followed by the Range Rover. Euro NCAP included a new category for the first time in 2012 for Business and Family Vans which was won by the Ford Transit and the FIAT Scudo (and its twins – Citroen Jumpy and Peugeot Expert) was the runner up. The cars that scored the least scores are the Jeep Compass and the Renault Trafic, which scored a mere 2-star rating.

Euro NCAP said that the car manufacturers are continuously evolving and improving their safety standards. They are coming up with many innovative features and safety assist technologies to make their cars safer. Euro NCAP too will include many new features and criteria to their scoring system according to the development in the automotive safety. This year they have included the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) system and the Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) into their scoring criteria.

2012 BMW 3-Series F30 Review

2012 Ford B-Max exterior

2013 Santa Fe Fluidic Styling

Maruti Suzuki Planning A Small Hybrid Car

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:49 PM PST

2012 Swift Sport rear

Maruti Suzuki is India's largest car manufacturer known for its fuel efficient product line-up. The company is now planning to introduce its first hybrid car in the Indian market that will feature a marriage of electric and petrol power units to return a big mileage figure. It is confirmed by the company officials that the hybrid car is being co-developed by the engineers of Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki Japan, which is still in the initial stages.

The project’s expected time is not clear, but the company looks promising to introduce such vehicles for the Indian market. It will be interesting to see how Maruti Suzuki manages to put in a hybrid technology in a small car keeping the costs low. We have seen the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids turning out to be too expensive for Indian buyers. It is a tricky proposition for a manufacturer to offer a hybrid vehicle with adequate power and decent equipment list at an affordable price point.

Mostly, the hybrid technology powered vehicle can be used for ferrying around town using the electric motor for shorter distances and for long drives on weekends the petrol/diesel motor can be used. This is the ideal technology for the manufacturer if they price the product aggressively. Maruti Suzuki has a great potential in the Indian car market as it is one of the oldest car makers. We expect the small hybrid car to be priced well under the Rs. 10 lakh mark.

New Swift Blue

Source – MoneyControl

Tata Motors Launches Vista D90 [Live]

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:29 PM PST

Tata Vista D90 Launch

Tata Motors has launched the Indica Vista D90, which is a more performance oriented version of the vehicle, targeted at thrill seekers. The new Vista D90 is powered by the same 1.3-litre Fiat sourced Multijet, or as Tata Motors likes to call it, Quadrajet. The Pumping out 90 PS of power and 200 Nm of torque, the Vista D90 uses a variable geometry turbocharger to boost output. This engine gives the Vista D90 an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 21.12 km/l, with 0-100 km/hr taking 15.5 seconds.

Other changes to the Vista D90 include a revised instrument cluster, which is now on the right hand side, same as the Manza. The company has also give additional features to the Tata Vista including follow me home headlamps, contrasting roof, steering mounted audio controls, one shot power windows, climate control, touch screen multimedia system, multi-information display, dual airbags and ABS (standard on all D90 variants).

Tata Indica Vista D90 Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi) -

Vista D90 VX – Rs. 5.99 lakhs
Vista D90 ZX – Rs. 6.83 lakhs

Tata Vista D90 Interiors

Tata Motors has improved the handling and brakes of the Vista D90, while at the same time improved NVH levels slightly. The vehicle is offered in 5 colors, namely – Porcelain White, Cavern Grey, Jet Silver, Spice Red and Ultra Violet (new color). The Vista D90 is available in VX and ZX variants. The regular Quadrajet75 version will now be available in LS and VX variants. The company has discontinued the LX variant on the diesel Vista.

Tata Motors claims the Vista D90 has one of the best in-gear acceleration times, compared to its chief competitors, Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai i20. According to data revealed by the company, the Vista D90 is faster than both its rivals from 40-120 km/hr in 5th gear. Tata Motors is also working its petrol engines, in case demand for diesel cars decrease. The company is currently showcasing some stunts on the Vista D90 at the Buddh International Circuit.

Vista D90 Front

Vista D90 Launch BIC

Vista D90 Rear

Vista D90 Launched

Vista D90 Handling

Lamborghini Planning Special India Edition Gallardo

Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:15 PM PST

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Edizione Technica

Italian supercar maker, Lamborghini, have said that they are planning a special India Edition Gallardo along with other special editions for this year of 2013 as it is their 50th anniversary. When exactly they may launch these cars or exact details of the vehicles themselves are not completely clear though Lamborghini has given certain clues to what we can expect. Lamborghini just launched their flagship Aventador Roadster recently at a price of Rs. 4.7 crores in the Indian market.

Lamborghini will launch a special India Edition of the Gallardo 550-2. This Gallardo is a rear-wheel drive only edition, as opposed to the usual four-wheel drive versions. The 550-2 is lighter and tuned for better handling and is famous for a more pure driving experience. Lamborghini will release six Limited Edition right hand drive Gallardo's as a tribute to India. These cars will have the Indian flag on it to denote that they are the India edition.

Exact details of the exterior and interior changes for the Gallardo 550-2 for the India edition will be announced by Lamborghini in due course of time. It is very special for our country that a huge global supercar maker like Lamborghini is acknowledging India as an important market and is planning to build a special edition for our country. We can be sure that many affluent Indians with the buying power will want to own a piece of history, an India Special Edition Gallardo. The Gallardo is in its last year and will be discontinued. The Italian supercar maker is working on its replacement due for unveil later this year.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Edizione Technica Front

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4-Edizione Technica Paris Motor Show

Source – Top Gear India

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