Wednesday, February 20, 2013

“This Is The World’s Oldest Range Rover” plus 7 more Motorbeam

“This Is The World’s Oldest Range Rover” plus 7 more Motorbeam

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This Is The World’s Oldest Range Rover

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 07:15 AM PST

1969 Range Rover Front

The Rover company had built the first Range Rover prototype in the year 1967 and finalized the design of the iconic SUV in 1969. The prototypes were named Velar to hide the identity of the vehicle and this model is one of the oldest remaining actual prototype SUV from the company. The Graeme Hunt Company in London has sold this iconic SUV for a price of £77,750 (Rs. 55.94 lakhs) recently. Land Rover produced only 40 pre-production Velar models between 1967 and 1970. According to reports, the oldest Range Rover Velar painted in red was restored in 1994 and is being used till date.

The first generation Range Rover was introduced in 1970 and was produced till 1996. It initially came with bare basic interiors featuring plastic dashboard and vinyl seats, later the SUV got fitted with some upmarket features including air conditioning, power assisted steering, carpeted floors, leather seats and wooden interiors. The first generation Range Rover was powered by a 3.5-litre V8 engine producing a maximum power output of 135 HP.

Read The 2013 Range Rover Review

The Range Rover Velar featured a body on frame design with ladder type chassis using coil springs instead of leaf springs. The SUV came with a permanent four-wheel drive system with four-wheel disc brakes. The Range Rover is running in its fourth generation today and you can see a big leap forward in terms of the design, technology, quality, equipment, comfort and power. The manufacturer has still managed to give a hint of the iconic design in the latest generation model offering a classic blend of performance, technology and luxury.

1969 Range Rover Front

1969 Range Rover Side

1969 Range Rover Rear

Source – GraemeHunt

Mahindra XUV500 Gets Improved Brakes

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 02:03 AM PST

Mahindra XUV500 News

Mahindra has developed a new brake pedal and brake pad design for the XUV500, our friends at CarToq report. Many owners had complained about a very spongy brake feel and grinding noises when applying brakes on the XUV500. But now Mahindra has found solutions to these problems and are fitting new improved brakes, under warranty, to owners who had complained about the brakes. It is said that Mahindra will fit these new pads and pedals to all new XUV500's they manufacture from this month.

Mahindra has improved the design of the brake pedal which earlier had lot of travel and felt very spongy to use. Now the travel has been reduced and so has the bite of the brakes improved resulting in better stopping power. The grinding noise was due to a poor brake pad which has now been upgraded to a new design with better material which will eliminate the noise as well as improve the braking of the XUV500. It is said that these changes have made a marked difference in the braking.

Mahindra is said to introduce these changes on all the new XUV500's they manufacture from February 2013 and so all car buyers that will take delivery of the XUV500 from next month should get the new and improved brakes on their cars. Mahindra is also working on a “Zero Defect” XUV500, which basically means that whatever niggles and problems that the owners faced will be completely eliminated and solutions for all of them will be implemented in the future XUV500's they produce. Mahindra aim to launch this “Zero Defect” XUV500 by April 2013.

Mahindra_XUV_500_First_Drive (81)

Source – CarToq

All You Need To Know About Isuzu’s MU-7

Posted: 20 Feb 2013 12:46 AM PST

2013 Isuzu MU-7 India

Isuzu has silently entered the Indian market without making any official announcements but thanks to our reader Sivakumar Janakiraman, we have got all the details of the Isuzu MU-7. The Japanese automaker is test marketing their products in the South, before investing heavily in marketing and dealership expansion. Isuzu is not new to India and has been supplying engines to Hindustan Motors for ages now. The company has launched two products in the Indian market, the Isuzu D-Max pick-up truck (in single and double cab variants) and the Isuzu MU-7 SUV.

The Isuzu D-Max is priced at Rs. 6.89 lakhs and Rs. 8.10 lakhs for the single and double cab versions respectively. The Isuzu MU-7 is priced at Rs. 24.18 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Hyderabad). The high price difference between the pick-up and SUV is due to the import duty, which is higher on passenger vehicles. These vehicles are imported as CBUs from Thailand and commercial diesel vehicles are charged at just 10% while the MU-7 is subjected to over 100% excise duty. Thus, even though the MU-7 is based on the D-Max, it costs drastically more.

The dealer in Hyderabad (Mahavir Isuzu) has started taking bookings for the MU-7. The initial booking amount is Rs. 51,000/- and the Isuzu MU-7 commands a waiting period of 6 months, as Isuzu has allotted only 60 units for 2013. Only the 2-wheel drive version (rear-wheel drive) is available currently and the 4-wheel drive version will come after 2 years. However the MU-7 offered is in top model trim and is available in 3 colours – white, black and silver.

The Isuzu MU-7 is powered by a 3.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine which produces 163 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 360 Nm of torque between 1800-2800 RPM. Weirdly though, this engine is not BS4 compliant but only BS3 compliant. It is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Performance is decent and 0 – 100 km/hr takes 10.7 seconds while the top speed is 175 km/hr. This 7-seater SUV has a massive wheelbase of 3050 mm and weighs 1900 kgs.

We are not too sure about the ride quality as this ladder frame SUV uses leaf springs at the rear. ABS, EBD, dual front airbags, rear entertainment system and manual AC is offered on the MU-7. Clearly the Isuzu MU-7 doesn’t come across as a very value for money offering with the features list not bettering its chief rivals like the Toyota Fortuner and SsangYong Rexton W. The company plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh soon.

2013 Isuzu MU-7

Isuzu MU-7 Interiors

Isuzu MU-7 Dashboard

Isuzu MU-7 Details

Isuzu MU-7 SUV

Isuzu MU-7 Brochure

Isuzu India Brochure

Isuzu D-Max Brochure

Isuzu MU-7 India Brochure

Isuzu MU-7 Specifications

Audi Unveils RS Q3 Performance SUV

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 11:43 PM PST

Audi RS Q3

Audi will showcase their latest creation, a performance version of the Q3 compact SUV, at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show, early next month. This is called the Audi RS Q3 and will be powered by a detuned 2.5-litre 5-cylinder petrol engine, which is currently used in the TT RS and the RS3. This engine produces 306 HP of power and an amazing 420 Nm of torque. The car uses the 7-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission and powers all four wheels via Audi's Quattro four wheel drive system. The Audi RS Q3 will go on sale later this year in Europe and will be priced around Rs. 40 lakhs in Germany.

The Audi RS Q3 has many exterior and interior changes to differentiate it from the regular Q3. At the front, the RS Q3 gets a special RS front bumper and a high gloss black honeycomb front grille. The roof rails and many body trims are finished in matte aluminium and at the rear it gets a rear diffuser, a single oval exhaust pipe and a roof spoiler. The RS Q3 gets special design 19-inch alloy wheels with an option of 20-inch wheels as well.

The interior gets many special aluminium trims and parts, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a sportier instrument cluster with grey gauges, white scales and red pointers. The Audi RS Q3 gets special sports seats that are finished in leather and Alcantara with optional diamond stitching.

As far as performance goes, the Audi RS Q3 will do 0 to 100 km/hr in 5.5 seconds and top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/hr. Audi has lowered the car by 25 mm and stiffened the suspension to improve handling. For better weight distribution, the battery has been placed in the boot and the brakes have been updated to bigger and better ventilated discs with 8-piston calipers. The Audi RS Q3 gets electronic stability control (ESC) with a sport mode and an option to completely switch it off. Audi say that the RS Q3 will deliver a fuel efficiency of about 11.3 km/l.

Audi RS Q3 dash

Audi RS Q3 interior

Audi RS Q3 front

Audi RS Q3 rear

Audi RS Q3 side

Fiat To Relaunch Punto In Australia, Exported From India

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 11:38 PM PST


Fiat has considered an aggressive product onslaught for the Australian market planning about 11 new or relaunches in the next two years. The two most important cars would be the Fiat Panda and the Punto. The Fiat Punto was discontinued in the Australian continent in 2010. The Punto to be launched in Australia would be badged Grande Punto which would be a facelifted version of the current generation Punto. The 'Abarth Evo Supersport' version of the Punto should also be made available by the end of the year.

The Grande Punto for the Australian market could be exported from India enabling Fiat India to utilize its production capacity to the maximum. Fiat has plans to make India an export hub of right-hand drive cars and the Punto might very well be the start. Most of the exports could be automatic versions and of course right-hand drive. So there is a possibility a few of those Automatic Punto's could be diverted for the Indian markets too. That should definitely add up to the excitement in the Indian market about another hatchback getting an automatic transmission.

The Fiat Punto was first launched in 2005 and Fiat acknowledges that they were at first not very concerned about bringing back a car that old. But the Italian company had the vision of showcasing their hot hatchback as a revived, fully-equipped yet value for money and affordable car for the Australians where the Punto will be positioned at the lower end of the light car market. The engine options could very well be the Multijet 1.9-litre, 130 BHP diesel for the top-end Sport variant and also the 90 BHP, 1.3-litre diesel engine and possibly the 1.4-litre petrol heart.

Punto Abarth Kedar Bendre

Rolls Royce To Make A V16 Engined Roadster!

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 11:29 PM PST

2017 Rolls Royce V16 Roadster

Legendary British Luxury car maker, Rolls Royce, will launch a new two-seater roadster which will be powered by a massive V16 engine! They are planning to launch this incredible monster in 2017. Rolls Royce wants to add new cars to their line-up and this is one of the main contenders for the addition. The other car they are debating to include in their portfolio of super luxury cars is a new SUV. With competition like Bentley working on one, Rolls Royce too is planning to break with tradition and launch an SUV.

The Rolls Royce roadster though is a more realistic car and should be launched about 5 years from now sometime in 2017. The car will be powered by a humungous V16 engine. Back in 2004 Rolls Royce had built a 9.0-litre V16 engine for the Phantom but did not use it in the production car. But now a version of that engine will debut in this car. The engine will produce around 700 BHP of power. The roadster will be very refined, very fast but at the same time will boast of high end luxury and comfort.

Rolls Royce said that they will not design the roadster to break any acceleration or top speed records but concentrate on giving a truly astonishing driving experience to the buyer, with high quality hand built craftsmanship, superior luxury and extremely exclusive feel. The roadster will have a long bonnet, just two seats, a short rear end and a raked windscreen for the classic roadster design and feel. It will use an aluminium subframe chassis from the next Phantom due to be launched in 2016.

Rolls Royce SUV

Source – Car Magazine

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Unveiled

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 11:23 PM PST

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Front

Bentley has re-designed the Continental Flying Spur and this time the car looks gorgeous. After many teaser videos and images, the official images finally surface on the internet. The new exteriors look sporty and luxurious reflecting the new Bentley design language lately seen on the Mulsanne, Continental GT Coupe and Continental GTC Convertible. The new Continental Flying Spur has changed significantly over its predecessor and carries 600 new parts over its predecessor.

The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is powered by a bi-turbo 6.0-litre W12 engine producing a peak power output of 616 HP with a peak torque of 785 Nm, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 0 – 100 km/hr takes less than 4.5 seconds while the top speed is 322 km/hr. Bentley will also be offering a new entry level engine with the Continental Flying Spur, sourced from Audi, a 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 engine that produces a maximum power output of 500 HP with a maximum torque figure of 660 Nm.

The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur is equipped with revised electronic damper control, electronic stability control (ESC), two 10-inch LCD screens for rear seat passengers, 64 GB internal storage for the optional multi-media system, WI-FI hotspot, etc. The vehicle is available in both 4 and 5-seater options.

The updates on the Flying Spur include refreshed interiors with improved quality materials, new switchgear, new steering wheel, instrument panel layout and revised center console design with latest technology equipped gadgets and gizmos. The 2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur will be seen on the stage at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month. We can expect Bentley to introduce the beast in the Indian market soon after it goes on sale globally.

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Dashboard

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Interiors

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Side

2014 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Rear

Proton Plans Aggressive Global Expansion

Posted: 19 Feb 2013 11:12 PM PST


Proton, a Malaysian car company, has said that it plans to expand their sales globally and become a big player in the international car market. Proton was bought by DRB-Hicom in 2012. They will release their plans for the next five years in March 2013, which will aim at producing many quality products and cars that can be sold all over the world, which will match international standards. Proton currently is a major player in home market, Malaysia, where the competition is getting tougher from other car makers.

Proton sells their cars currently in 55 countries like the UK, some countries in Europe, Australia, as well as South East Asian countries. It is famous for making basic, low cost cars. But now they will step up their game to produce cars that can compete with global car manufacturers with bigger cars and expand into many new markets. Proton will go through many improvements so that they can increase their sales and share in the market as well as increase income streams and profits.

Proton manufactures 1,50,000 cars currently every year. In the next five years, they plan to increase their production to 5,00,000 units. They plan to bump up the number of cars exported to international markets, which currently stands at a mere 20,000 cars per year. The main market which will be targeted will be Australia, where there is a high scope for expansion followed by Thailand where they will introduce their car – the Exora MPV. Later in their plan is to expand into Indonesia. Proton owns Lotus, which gives them access to quite a lot of technology and engineering expertise.


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