Friday, January 25, 2013

“Pulsar 220 Superhero Caught In Argentina” plus 7 more Motorbeam

“Pulsar 220 Superhero Caught In Argentina” plus 7 more Motorbeam

Link to Motorbeam.com

Pulsar 220 Superhero Caught In Argentina

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 08:14 AM PST

Menganno Motorcycle Superhero

A story comes in from Buenos Aires, Argentina that, a “superhero” named Menganno has been identified as ex-police officer named Oscar Lefosse and he is held for investigation for carrying an illegal firearm. He is being charged for shooting at three criminals with his Glock pistol (standard police force weapon) although his gun license expired more than a year ago. Although ex-cop claims he was fired upon and acted in self-defense, posting pictures of his own bullet damaged car on facebook.

However the police has a different story and said that all the shots were fired from INSIDE the car. The 43-year old was a policeman from 1986 to 1996, and appeared in superhero form in 2010, patrolling the streets on a motorcycle. Now what excites us in this story is that the superhero, ex-cop, used a Bajaj Pulsar 220F for patrolling! We guess the fastest tag which the bike had, definitely helped him vouch the Pulsar as his choice of chariot.

Armed only with pepper spray and handcuffs while wearing a blue part superhero outfit, part riding gear which resembles to Robocop (a cartoon/movie based icon) definitely made us stand notice this incident, after all Pulsar a is homegrown product. Some owners might feel proud while others will think it’s finicky. However Menganno thought that with 21 PS of power, comes great responsibility and his superhero antics were the gift to Argentina.

Pulsar 220 Superhero

Source – VisorDown

2013 Chevrolet Sail Test Drive Review

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 07:09 AM PST

Chevrolet Sail Sedan

Chevrolet Sail – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car tested: 2013 Chevrolet Sail

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 7-9 lakhs (est.)

The Chevrolet Sail is high on practicality, which is imperative to a large chunk of buyers.

Mid-sized sedans are seeing increased demand in India, with sales improving gradually over the past few years. Today, the mid-sized segment is quite crowded with many products on offer from a slew of manufacturers, both local and international. General Motors entered this segment long time back with the Chevrolet Aveo, a vehicle which tasted little success, due to the lack of a diesel engine and intense competition. Now in its second go in the Aveo segment, GM has armed the Chevrolet Sail with a potent diesel motor, which is sure to appeal to a larger section of buyers. So does the Sail sedan impress?

Exteriors – The Sail notchback is the sedan version of the Sail U-VA hatchback and thus the styling of both vehicles is almost identical till the B-pillar, post which we have slightly bigger windows for a better rear seat experience. However unlike some sedans in the segment, where the boot seems to be an after thought, the Sail has a well integrated boot which doesn’t look out of place. The tail lights are big and the rear bumper has nice lines too. The overall styling of the vehicle is conservative and the styling won’t grab eyeballs but neither will it offend anyone. The neutral design of the Sail puts it across as a simple vehicle where function precedes form.

The neatly integrated boot doesn’t look big on the outside but offers enough space to carry big bags. The loading bay is slightly high but overall SAIC has done a fantastic job to ensure the Sail’s rear is not an eye-sore like the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire.

Interiors – GM has made absolutely no changes to the dashboard of the Sail sedan over the Sail U-VA hatchback. The interiors are almost identical too and there are minor changes like softened seat cushioning and fixed rear seats (the hatchback has folding seats which boosts carrying capacity). The interiors are not a lively place to be in and overall quality levels are average at best. The use of beige colors on the interiors does give the Sail an airy feeling on the inside. However the plastics are hard and the steering wheel feels quite an over thought, with no color co-ordination whatsoever.

The Sail sedan is expected to fill the shoes of the erstwhile Optra, which was known to be a loaded vehicle. Sadly GM has thought otherwise with the equipment list of the Sail, which doesn’t get steering mounted audio controls, on-board computer and climate control. What the Sail sedan loses in terms of interiors design appeal, it makes up by offering loads of space. There is ample amount of legroom and headroom on offer throughout the vehicle and every occupant will be comfortable inside the car. Seating five is not an issue thanks to the centrally placed fuel tank. There are quite a few storage areas too and the doors have generous pockets as well.

A few things which GM should have fixed in the Sail sedan but haven’t is the power window switches which have been placed right ahead of the gear knob. There is no dead pedal nor driver’s seat height adjustment on offer. The instrument cluster doesn’t feel much intuitive either and the tachometer should be switched with the speedometer. A digital speedometer and an analog tachometer is easier to understand, rather than the other way round. The Sail does get keyless entry and a feature laden audio system which has AUX, USB and Bluetooth connectivity. Overall the cabin doesn’t feel special but is quite practical and there is loads of space to be utilized. We would have liked if GM would have offered more equipment, at least on the top-end variants.

Performance – Powering the Sail sedan is the same set of engines from the Sail U-VA hatchback. Which means you get a 1.2-litre petrol engine, even though the Sail is not a sub 4-metre compact sedan. GM chose the 1.2-litre engine over the 1.4-litre engine in the interest of fuel economy. The 1.2-litre engine is also a generation ahead of the 1.4-litre engine. The 1.2 Smartech motor is not the best when it comes to NVH levels but offers decent performance from the 86 horses it has on tap. In-gear acceleration is good and this motor feels best in the mid-range but the rubbery gearbox does take away from shifting cogs smoothly.

The more popular engine of choice will certainly be the diesel, which uses the highly acclaimed 1.3-litre Fiat oilburner. This motor has been tweaked by GM engineers to befit the Sail for better city drive-ability. Power delivery is linear and although turbolag is evident, it is relatively contained. Mid-range from this engine is fantastic and there is good progress between 2000-3500 RPM. The top-end is not as punchy though and power trails off quickly at around 4000 RPM. GM has used its own gearbox on this diesel engine, which has short throws and the overall experience from the diesel Sail is very positive.

Driving Dynamics – The Chevrolet Sail has decent stability at high speeds but the steering doesn’t feel as direct and involving as some of its Japanese rivals. While the steering is light at low speeds, making it easy to maneuver in city conditions, it doesn’t weigh well enough as speeds build up. GM has improved the steering on the petrol model which feels slightly better. Handling is decent though there is some amount of body roll which is marginally more than the hatchback. However the ride quality is simply fantastic and the Sail blows you away by absorbing bad roads in its stride with utter confidence. We took the vehicle on the worst possible roads around GM’s Talegaon facility and the Sail thoroughly impressed us. Braking performance is good with ABS on offer on top end variants.

Verdict – The Chevrolet Sail sedan thus comes across as not much more than a Sail U-VA with a boot but in this case, the boot has been integrated very well. GM has retained the interiors, engines and features on the sedan, with its hatchback sibling. There are a few shortcoming like the lack of features and average steering feel, but the ride quality and space more than make-up for it. The 3-year Chevy promise on offer will make the Sail a very competitive car in the segment. Now GM only needs to price the Sail sedan very aggressively to taste success in the mid-size sedan segment. The Chevrolet Sail does offer plenty to the buyer but the company has to play the value for money card in view of intense competition from more established rivals.

Good interiors space, generous boot and splendid ride quality make the Sail sedan a very practical vehicle in its segment.

Whats Cool

* Excellent ride quality
* Interior space
* Well integrated boot

Whats Not So Cool

* Plastic and interiors quality
* Some equipment missing
* Steering feel

Chevrolet Sail Specifications

* Engine: 1248 cc, 16V, DOHC, SDE (diesel), 1199 cc, 16V, DOHC, Smartech
* Power: 78 PS @ 4000 RPM (D), 86 PS @ 6000 RPM (P)
* Torque: 205 Nm @ 1750 RPM (D), 113 Nm @ 5000 RPM (P)
* Transmission: 5-speed manual
* Top Speed: 160 km/hr
* 0-100 km/h: 16 seconds (D), 15 seconds (P)
* Fuel Consumption (as per ARAI): 22.1 km/l (D), 18.2 km/l (P)
* Fuel Type: Diesel and Petrol
* Suspension: Mcpherson struts with coil springs and stabilizer bar (Front), Semi-independant suspension with coil springs (Rear)
* Tyres: 175/70/14 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: 240 mm Disc (Front), 200 Drums (Rear), ABS, EBD
* Safety: ABS, EBD, Dual SRS Front Airbags

Chevrolet Sail Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4249 mm X 1690 mm X 1503 mm
* Wheelbase: 2465 mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1462/1457 mm
* Ground clearance: 174 mm (D), 168 mm (P)
* Turning Radius: 5.15-metres
* Boot Volume: 370-litres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 42-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1124 kgs (D), 1065 kgs (P)

Piaggio To Rollout New Variants Of Vespa

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 12:58 AM PST

Piaggio Vespa LXS Black

Piaggio unveiled the iconic Vespa with its LX125 automatic variant at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Vespa LX125 has received a positive response from the Indian market since its launch. The manufacturer is now looking forward to expand the brand's market presence in India. Ravi Chopra, Chairman and MD, Piaggio Vehicles recently announced that the company has set a target of selling 1,00,000 units of the Vespa, which can be achieved by introducing new variants of the scooter. The new variants include a disc brake variant, a sport variant and a 150cc variant.

The new sport variant will be named as Vespa LXS125. The LXS125 will be treated with intricate design elements and new features including square headlights, red suspension rod, red taillights, black springs, semi digital console and much more. It will be a performance oriented automatic scooter. The LXS125 will get a tweaked 125cc engine producing a maximum power output of 12 BHP mated to an automatic transmission and will boast of a front disc brake.

The new variants will be introduced during this year including the 150cc variant following the same design language, without fuel injection system. Piaggio is expected to offer fuel injected scooters starting from the year 2014. We expect the manufacturer to introduce the Sport variant LXS125 in a few months of time. The Vespa LXS125 will be offered in limited color options of black and white and is expected to be priced Rs. 4000/- more than the regular Vespa LX125. The Vespa LX125 comes with a price tag of Rs. 59,661/- (ex-showroom Maharashtra).

Piaggio Vespa LXS White

Piaggio Vespa LXS Instrument Cluster

Piaggio Vespa LXS Side

Big Daddy Customs Builds Tata Grande Based ‘XENON’ Concept

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 12:47 AM PST

BDC Tata Xenon front

Indian replica and coach building firm, Big Daddy Customs, has built a concept car, called the XENON, based on the Tata Sumo Grande crossover. Earlier projects by the firm include a '1967 Ford Mustang Eleanor' based on a Chevrolet Optra and a 'Range Rover Evoque' based on a Tata Safari, both cars which got quite a lot of appreciation. Now Big Daddy Customs has built another amazing looking car based on another Tata car.

Big Daddy Customs say that Tata themselves commissioned the build. Tata wanted to get reactions from the public to a modern crossover based on the Tata Sumo Grande. This amazing concept gets a dashing blue colour and completely reworked front headlamps, bumper and grill. LED lights too have been added to the bumpers to make it look more stylish. At the sides the car gets macho matt black wheel arches. At the rear, the tail lamps and bumper too are reworked.

The Xenon concept gets many 'XENON' badges all over the car, like the front grill, on the tailgate as well as the illuminated side step. The Xenon also gets very stylish looking complete black alloys. Tata had ordered Big Daddy Customs to only alter the plastic and soft body areas, leaving the metal body parts untouched. This will eliminate additional manufacturing costs for Tata if they decide to build this car. If Tata gets a very positive response, the Indian car manufacturer may just put this amazing looking crossover into production.

BDC Tata Xenon side

BDC Tata Xenon rear

BDC Tata Xenon LED

BMW Toyota Join Hands To Build Green Technology

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 12:35 AM PST

BMW i3 Coupe Concept Front

BMW and Toyota have formed an alliance to develop many futuristic technologies for cars and build new sports cars together. The two automotive giants announced their partnership for the first time in the late 2011 and finally signed an agreement in June 2012. They have agreed on joining hands and developing a lot of new technology including new generation green batteries for electric cars, called 'Lithium-Air' which will produce energy from oxygen from the environment.

Toyota and BMW group have set a target to showcase a new concept for a mid-size sports car by end of 2013 as well as to co-develop a complete fuel cell vehicle system by the year 2020. The two companies will also work together to research into newer light weight materials like composites for cars to make them as light as possible and in turn more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly. With more stringent rules guiding emissions and future of the automobile dependant on greener alternative fuels, this alliance will help both companies to build products for the future.

Toyota and BMW said that partnering with each other will lead to adding up of each other's resources which will in turn make them more competitive in terms of modern technology. The two companies share a corporate culture and now have build enough trust to work with each other. BMW is reputed to build very solid and sporty cars while Toyota is reputed to be very innovative and for bullet-proof engineering but their cars lack sportiness. So both companies will complement each other to build better products.

2012 Toyota Prius front

Tata Indica XL Spied Without Any Camouflage

Posted: 25 Jan 2013 12:23 AM PST

Tata Indica XL Spy Shot

The special new version of the aging Tata Indica, the Indica XL, was spied recently. This car was rendered by us few months ago and now it seems that Tata is ready to launch the car. The new Indica XL is an extended version of the Indica hatchback with slightly longer wheelbase to free up space for rear passengers and more luggage space. This car is aimed at buyers who travel a lot with five people on board and lot of luggage. The XL gives a lot more leg room for rear passengers and thus maximizes comfort.

Currently, very few hatchbacks provide lot of space and comfort in the rear bench in India. Only the Toyota Etios Liva has been one of the new cars to fulfill this requirement but the Vista is equally as spacious. For almost ten years, Indica has always been one of the best in these terms and it seems that the XL version will take rear seat comfort to another level. The Indica XL is expected to be positioned between the Indica Xeta and the premium Indica Vista. It should be a very cost effective way of travelling in utmost comfort in the rear seat.

The Indica XL will be launched with the tried and tested 1.4-litre CR4 diesel engine, which famously is the most fuel efficient engine in India. With not much increase in weight, the Indica XL too should be extremely frugal, resulting in low cost of running. The Indica XL may become quite a hit again with commercial taxi firms due to high rear seat comfort and high fuel efficiency.

2012 Tata Indica XL

GM & Peugeot Citroen Reveal Aggressive Future Plan

Posted: 24 Jan 2013 11:35 PM PST

General Motors Peugeot Joint Venture

General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen announced their global alliance last year. They conducted a special press conference in Brussels recently to formally announce their nature of alliance and shared responsibilities for developing new products and entering new markets. The two parties signed the final agreements on 20th December 2012 which specified about purchases, logistics and development of common vehicles for both companies as well as entering new markets.

Both General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen have equally shared responsibility for joint development of vehicles for both the companies to take maximum advantage of their partnership using each company's strong points. According to the agreement, C-segment MPV for Vauxhall/Opel, C-segment crossover utility vehicles for Peugeot and B-segment MPV for both parties will be developed on PSA Peugeot Citroen platforms. General Motors will lead development of B-segment MPV's for both companies. An updated B-segment platform for low emission vehicles for new generation Vauxhall/Opel and PSA Peugeot Citroen cars will be jointly developed by both the companies.

General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen also have an agreement on joint purchasing and a Joint Purchasing Organization (JPO) will be set up to regulate all affairs. At the initial phase of this branch, it will be lead by an executive from General Motors and anytime before a year, the executive will be replaced by a Vice President and Deputy Vice President of Purchasing, each from each company on a revolving basis. General Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroen have also announced their entry into new markets with Russia and Latin America as the main priority. The two companies will also co-develop small, fuel-efficient, high performance 3-cylinder petrol engines from the PSA Peugeot Citroen EB line of small engines.

2013 Peugeot 2008

Lamborghini Launches Aventador Roadster In India [Live]

Posted: 24 Jan 2013 10:40 PM PST

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster Unveil

Price: Rs. 4,77,50,000/- (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Surprise, surprise! Lamborghini has launched the Aventador Roadster in the Indian market today, in less than three months after the super car made its official debut globally. The latest raging bull from Italy is the hottest looking Lamborghini on sale today and boasts of an impeccable design which can make your jaws drop. The hardtop convertible features a two-piece gloss black roof which can only be removed manually (no electronics here). Still the roof doesn’t take much time to install and weighs just 6 kgs.

Lamborghini engineers have made other changes to the Aventador as well. The Roadster features a re-designed rear pillar to support the removable roof, while the rear hood has got a design tweak, allowing more air for the monstrous V12 motor. The rear windshield can be opened thereby enabling the sweet sound from the engine getting more audible inside the cabin. Removable wind deflectors are fitted on the front column for better aerodynamics of the Aventador Roadster, which runs on forged 20-inch and 21-inch Dione alloy wheels at the front and rear respectively.

Interiors

A new Azzuro Thetis light blue color is offered on the Aventador Roadster. Powering this Lamborghini super car is the same 6.5-litre V12 engine which belts out 690 BHP of power at 8250 RPM and 690 Nm of torque at 5500 RPM. This engine weighs just 235 kgs and is mated to a 7-speed semi-automatic single-clutch gearbox. Performance is exhilarating with 0 – 100 km/hr taking 3 seconds, which is 0.1 seconds slower than the Coupe. Top speed is 350 km/hr and the Italian company is betting big on the Indian market, where it saw 21% growth last year. The new Lamborghini Aventador Roadster will be on sale from mid 2013 through the company’s nationwide dealerships.

Front

Rear

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster Top

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster Interiors

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster Rear Overlook

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster Front

Lamborghini Aventador LP700 4 Roadster Rear

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