Mahindra and Mahindra’s Pik-up to sell in US – Feb 2010 onwards

Automobile major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) plans to start production of its utility vehicle 'Pik-up' for the US market by the end of this year and commence its sales by February next year.

2009-mahindra-pik-up_100182369_l The 2009 Mahindra Pick Up

Acc to Mahindra and Mahindra President (Automotive sector) Pawan Goenka,

"We will start production of Mahindra 'Pik-up' utility vehicle by December this year for the US and by end-February next year, the vehicle will be sold there (in the US)"

Tata in cost cutting mode, JLR to go aluminium

Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover is thinking over building all its future cars with light weight aluminium bodies to reduce input costs as the two British marquees are trying hard to come out of the more than Rs 1,700 crore loss in 2008-09.

2010jaguarxfrlive_01_opt The 2010 Jaguar XFR

The two iconic brands are also developing hybrid engines for use in future models of JLR.

In its Annual Report for 2008-09, Tata Motors Chairman Ratan Tata said,

JLR is planning to have all its future cars constructed with light weight aluminum bodies resulting in considerable savings in weight, and reduction in CO2 emissions.

The main challenge in JLR will be to sustain operations through this difficult period arising from the global financial meltdown. There is good reason to believe that the company's new products and more aggressive marketing will see the company through this period”

New Ford Fiesta SXI variant launched at Rs 6.99 Lakhs

Ford India announced the launch of Fiesta SXI priced at Rupees 6.99 lakhs (Ex-showroom Delhi), with a view to expanding its base among the young style-oriented Indian professionals and intesifying the competition in the upper midsize segment.

The new SXI will have the following features ->

* New Headlamps
* New Grille
* Beige interiors
* Brushed aluminum finish on the gear knob
* Brushed aluminum finish on the steering wheel
* 2-DIN-MP3 player

The new Fiesta SXI comes with the advanced and efficient 1.6 Duratec (petrol) and 1.4 Duratorq (common-rail, turbo diesel) engines.

The car comes with a two year/1,00,000 kms warranty and an option to purchase 'Extended Warranty' covering it against electrical and mechanical failures for an additional period.

The top-end SXI variant has been priced at Rs 6.99 lakh (petrol) and Rs 7.99 lakhs (diesel) (Ex-showroom, Delhi) and will be available at Ford dealerships across the country starting August 3.

Porsche Panamera coming to India on October 3

2010_porsche_panamera_press_001 The 2010 Porsche Panamera

German Carmaker Porsche will launch its premium luxury sedan Panamera in India on October 3.

The company aims to sell 50 units of the Panamera this year. 13 cars have already been booked by the company.

The price of the Cars will range from Rs 1.4 - 2 Crore.

Some more pics of the Porsche Panamera ->

Porsche_Panamera red-panamera-1

Hyundai i20 Diesel Variants Launched in India

Hyundai_i20_diesel_India           The Hyundai i20 Diesel

Hyundai recently launched three variants of the i20 in India.

Placed in the D-plus segment, these variants range from approximately Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 8 lakh on road.

The i20 diesel has all the features of a Hyundai Sonata, which include six airbags, automatic climate control air conditioning and music controls on the steering wheel.

The car comes with anti-locking brake system and electronic brake distribution . The Asta variant comes with an optional sunroof.

Some Showroom Pictures of the i20 diesel –>

hyundai i20 diesel showroom

hyundai i20 diesel new  hyundai i20 diesle showroom 2

Malaysian Car Maker Proton wants to enter Indian Market

Malaysian car maker Proton is keenly looking to enter the growing Indian automobile market to expand its overseas operations amid global demand slump.

Proton has been trying to enter the lucrative Indian auto market for some years and the company was reportedly in talks with home-grown auto major Mahindra & Mahindra as well as contract manufacturer Argentum Motors.

proton_mpv The Proton MPV

Apart from its annual report of last fiscal, where the company had marked India as one of the major target markets, Proton's recent review states that it is studying the 12-lakh units strong Indian passenger car market.

New Isuzu Engine for Chevrolet Tavera

chevrolet-tavera The Chevrolet Tavera

GM India is thinking about planting an all-new Isuzu engine in the Chevrolet Tavera. The new engine could be from the Isuzu D-Max pick-up in Thailand, and this engine will meet the new BS IV emission norms which come into effect on April 2010.

isuzu dmax pick up truck The Isuzu D-Max Pickup Truck

However, it’s unlikely that the BS IV Tavera will be launched before the end of 2010. This means that the car will only sell in non-metro towns after April next year, until the Tavera with the new engine is launched.

Mahindra is developing an MM540 with the Scorpio engine and gearbox. It will be a 4x4 only and uses suspension bits from the Scorpio and Bolero as well. This model called the ‘Thar’ is mainly intended for export markets. However, there is a possibility that it could be introduced in the domestic market as well.

In accordance with the upcoming BS IV emission standards, diesel car manufacturers are relying on Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) to meet these norms. However, the worry is that our driving cycle and fuel quality in non-BS IV markets could damage the DPF. There is a mad scramble, especially within the VW Group, to find a solution by either making the DPF work in India or meet BS IV norms without the DPF.

Maruti is developing more models to further strengthen its position. An all-new, India-specific model (code: YE3) is expected to slot in below the Alto and fill the space the Maruti 800, with its dwindling numbers, has vacated. The new Wagon R (code: YR9) is also being developed for a 2010 launch.

All these models will use the new KB-series engine which has proved to be incredibly fuel efficient.

Ferrari coming soon to India courtesy Tata, Fiat

Italian auto giant Fiat and Tata Motors are under discussions for a joint marketing project to sell Ferraris and Maseratis in India 

Mr Tata, who is also a Fiat director, told Italian daily La Stampa the two were studying further cooperation to add to existing projects such as a partnership to produce engines in India.

“We have various projects, to take the Nano to Latin America together, to share platforms for new cars, we have projects for (Fiat lorry unit) Iveco and marketing Ferraris and Maseratis,” in India Mr Tata said. “We are talking about a lot of things.”

  black-maserati The Maserati (above) and Ferrari

blue ferrari

Both Ferrari and Maserati brands are under Fiat’s control.

Tata Motors is also present in the luxury car business, having acquired the British brands Jaguar and Land Rover for $2.3 billion from the US automaker Ford last year.

New, Improved Santro Xing coming in December 2009

santro xing modified     A modified Santro Xing [img courtesy – teambhp]

The new emission norms will be applicable from April 1, 2010 onwards. So, many Indian Car Manufacturers are working hard to make all the necessary changes to their cars to meet these norms.

Among them is Hyundai who will be launching the facelifted version of their well-known Santro Xing with an updated 1.1 Litre engine which would be compliant with the Euro IV norms.The new engine will also be slightly more robust than its predecessor which will deliver 1 bhp more power and 0.2 kgm more torque.

The front of the new Santro will get a new grille with chrome inserts, rounded headlamps with integrated turn indicators and re-designed front fenders.

The rear will get new tail lights and the bumper will be full body colored for a cleaner look while the doors will get new pull type grab handles.

Changes to the interiors –> New instrument cluster, new rotary control for the air conditioner and storage areas to store knick knacks. The beige color of the interiors will be replaced by charcoal grayish interiors.

The suspension remains the same but changes would be made to the front rear suspension damping and a bigger anti-roll bar will be provided to improve the ride and handling further.

The New Santro Xing will be launched around December, immediately after which the sales of the car will start.

Fiat SpA, Tata Motors to sell Nano in Latin America

Italian carmaker Fiat SpA and Tata Motors Ltd intend to sell Tata's ultra-low-cost Nano model jointly in Latin America, Ratan Tata said in an interview to a newspaper on Thursday.

tata-nano The Tata Nano

Tata, who is also a Fiat director, told the newspaper the two were studying further cooperation to add to existing projects such as a partnership to produce engines in India.

"We have various projects, to take the Nano to Latin America together, to share platforms for new cars, we have projects for (Fiat lorry unit) Iveco and also for us to sell Ferrari and Maserati," Tata said.

"We are talking about a lot of things."

The first Nano, the world's cheapest car, was delivered this month. Tata said the car's production run for the next two years is already sold.

The Nano is being sold in India for 100,000 rupees ($2,053) excluding taxes.

The Nano passed the European "crash test" safety standard on Friday, allowing it to be sold in the Europe market and a launch is foreseen at the end of 2011, Tata said.

Brazil is Fiat's second-biggest market after Italy.

New Toyota Camry coming to India next week

Toyota, the world's largest carmaker, will launch a new edition of its luxury sedan Camry in the Indian market next week to revitalise the sales of the model.

Toyota plans to launch the new Camry with some changes in its looks after the sales of the model fell drastically by over 75 per cent during the April- June period.

new toyota camry india The 2010 Toyota Camry

A senior company official told PTI that the new Camry would have some additional features, including new front grille, headlamps, fog lights and rear view mirrors with indicators, to attract luxury car buyers. Camry is sold in India as a completely-built-unit (CBU).

According to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) lost significant share of the premium car market to its rival SkodaAuto during the first quarter of the current fiscal.

While TKM sold 44 units of Camry in Q1 against 182 units in the year-ago period, SkodaAuto handed over keys of its recently upgraded luxury sedan Superb to 541 customers in the same period.

SkodaAuto registered an over eight-fold jump in the sales of Superb over 67 units sold in the April-June period in 2008.
Camry with a 2.4 litre engine is priced between Rs 20.97 lakh and Rs 22.58 lakh, while the 1.8 litre Superb is available for Rs 18.89 lakh, both in ex-showroom, Delhi.

Apart from TKM, carmakers in the premium segment -- BMW India, Honda Siel Cars, Hyundai Motor and Mercedes-Benz -- lost their market shares to SkodaAuto's Superb, the advanced version of which was launched in March this year.

The other models present in the segment are BMW 5 and 6 series, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars.
Besides Camry, TKM will also bring in its sports utility vehicle Fortuner by September, expected to be priced at about Rs 20 lakh. The company would launch the SUV with a 3-litre advanced common-rail diesel engine.

BMW thinking of re-entering India’s High-End Bike Market with Motorrad Range of SuperBikes

German luxury carmaker BMW is once again planning to foray into the India’s minuscule high-end motorcycle market, almost 13 years after its abortive attempt to enter the Indian market through a joint venture with the Hero Group

The company is studying India’s high-end and premium motorcycle market to introduce its Motorrad range of super bikes in India

bmw_s1000rr_2009_1 The 2009 BMW S 1000RR

Acc to top BMW India officials,

“Our people from BMW Motorcycle are having a look at the market. They are also in discussion with us for feedback on the matter. As soon as we see potential for a viable market entry for sustainable growth, we would take that into consideration. The bikes of the Motorrad range will be priced at more than Rs 10 lakh in India

The premium bike market in India is very small — less than 500 units a year — but both in terms of growth prospects as well as branding opportunity, it is an attractive segment.

Although its earlier outing in India was not successful — BMW launched its F650 model in collaboration with Hero but the venture did not take off — this time round the German company may be able to sell more bikes.

Auto analysts say the presence of top superbike models such as the Suzuki Hayabusa or the Honda 1000RR Fireblade and CBR 1000R and Yamaha’s MT01 and R1 has grown the market and increased the appetite for Rs 10 lakh-plus bikes. Bajaj is also planning to introduce big bikes from KTM and Kawasaki stables in the near future.

BMW officials, however, clarified that the plans are not for the short-term and it could take 1-2 years before anything is finalised.

BMW Motorrad is a brand used by the German company for its motorcycles, which are in production since 1923.
BMW Motorrad’s G series, F series, R series and K series are available around the world. These bikes range from 450 cc capacity to 1300 cc capacity and are designed for off road, sport and touring purposes.

Nissan’s $700 million investment in Electric Car Project

Car manufacturer Nissan will invest almost $700 million in two plants to make batteries for electric cars in Britain and Portugal after securing financial support from their governments.

Automakers around the world are exploring plans for mass electric car production as the industry seeks to haul itself out a devastating downturn.

The Nissan news comes less than a week after Toyota said it would produce its first European-built hybrid car in Britain from 2010. Nissan will invest more than £200 million ($328.6 million) in the plant near Sunderland, north east England.

Acc to Nissan,

“The two governments (UK and Portugal) have offered to extend financial assistance and other support to ensure that Nissan locates the proposed plants within their respective countries”

0808_03_z nissan_cube_electric_vehicle_prototype front_three_quarter_view Nissan’s Electric Vehicle Prototype

[Source – Reuters]

Delhi HC: Nano will worsen the Traffic Problem

The much-acclaimed low-cost car Nano, which recently hit the roads, could worsen road traffic by adding to the growth of private vehicles in the coming days, a Delhi High Court Judge on Monday said.


Acc to Justice Kailash Gambhir,

"All Indian cities are already struggling with traffic flow problem due to various types of vehicles on the road, lack of need-based road and traffic design and engineering and the unchecked growth of private vehicles and with the entry of the new cheap car Nano on the road, the situation is likely to get worsen"

The Court made the remarks while delivering its verdict in the BMW hit-and-run case involving Sanjeev Nanda in which his sentence was reduced to two years from five years for mowing down six persons ten years ago.

The Court also pulled up the Centre for its "apathy" towards public safety on roads and made a slew of recommendations for road safety.

The court said,

"There are no stop signs, no speed limits and as heavy vehicles go zig-zak on the roads, it is hard to ignore the disturbing reality that many commercial and private drivers are drunk and no one checks them"


One of the plants for the production of New Nissan Micra (or March) at Chennai - India

Nissan will be rolling out three different variants of its hatchback and sedan models (including the new Nissan Micra), as well as a multipurpose vehicle (MPV), from five plants across the world, one of which is coming up at Oragadam, 55 km from Chennai.

The other plants are located in Thailand and China while the locations of the remaining two are yet to be decided.

nissan micra manufacturing india chennai The Nissan Micra (or March, as it is sometimes called!)

Acc to the company, the proposed cars will be lighter and more fuel-efficient but will not have Nissan's newly developed fuel injection systems for small capacity petrol engines

The company plans to ship out 110,000 units from the Indian plant from 2011 onwards and later increase the export to 180,000 units to more than 100 countries

The factory has a capacity of 200,000 vehicles, & is set to become operational by June next year. Nissan predicts that European exports will account for between 60 and 70 per cent of total production.

Acc to Nissan’s senior executive,

“It’s been difficult for us to make money on small cars in Europe. But we’re not going to India just to lower costs. We want to be in the Indian market, and to be in India, you have to build cars there.”

The company hopes to achieve a five per cent market share in India through its new factory and expects Renault, its aillaince partner, to utilise the facility in due course.

[via Autocar, IANS]

PSA Peugeot Citroen entry in India NOT yet confirmed

PSA Peugeot Citroen, the second largest carmaker of Europe, will take a final decision by this year-end on whether to enter India, although sometime back it was determined to set up shop in the country.

The company, which had decided to go slow on starting its operations in India due to the global meltdown, is conducting a feasibility study on rolling out its vehicles here as well as for sourcing opportunities for global operations.


Acc to a PSA Peugeot Citroen spokesperson 

“We are assessing the Indian market now whether we will be present there or not. These are all speculations that we are launching our products. The decision is yet to be taken, which might happen by the end of this year.

A decision on the industrial and commercial implantation of Peugeot Citroen in India could be made in 2009. The study is focusing on areas such as possibilities for industrial production and being able to meet Indian customers' expectations.

We are also assessing the various opportunities offered by the country in terms of sourcing components

Tata Motors threatens to scrap Electric Indica Vista Launch in UK

Tata Motors has threatened to scrap its plan to launch Vista electric cars in the UK if it does not receive a 10 million pounds loan from the British government soon

tata-indica-vista-electric car - ev-2    Tata's Electric Indica Vista

In April, Tata Motors registered its expression of interest to apply for the 10 million pounds loan to help launch the Vista electric vehicle, which was unveiled at the Geneva Motors Show this year, and build an assembly line for it in the UK.

But last Tuesday, the company was told that it will take another eight weeks for the business department to decide whether it had met the necessary criteria and can be considered for the loan

The report said executives of Tata Motors will meet Ian Lucas MP, who oversees the 2.3-billion pounds car assistance package, and deliver a petition signed by senior managers from Tata Motors' R&D centre, TMETC, based at Warwick University, which helped design the car.

No money has been released by the government from its 2.3 billion pounds package, which it unveiled in January. The package is made up of loan guarantees and loans for car makers wanting to invest in fuel efficient technologies 

Nissan was granted 400 million Euros loan by the European Investment Bank in April and the government is understood to be close to agreeing to underwrite it.

Tata Motors' Norwegian subsidiary, Miljo, has already been awarded a 6-million pounds loan and a 1-million pounds grant from the Norwegian government for electric cars.

The firm secured a 340 million Euros (292 m pounds) loan from the European Investment Bank in April but this needs to be guaranteed by the government and the two sides still cannot reach agreement on the conditions.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of trade body SMMT, said:

"Ministers... want to make sure the public purse is protected.? But when you're talking about a company the size of Tata, it shouldn't be a concern ? Officials are spending an awful lot of time creating conditions and scenarios which will not come to pass."

He said ministers were being over-cautious because they wanted to avoid a repeat of the MG Rover fiasco, when the government granted a 6m pounds loan to the carmaker months before it collapsed.

A Department for Business Innovation and Skills spokesman said:

"It is important to understand that this scheme is about long-term investment projects, rather than short-term rescue? We have to work at the pace demanded by the companies and also have to consider the best interests of the taxpayer."

Gedi Junction’s Reaction –> The people following Tata Nano project must be knowing that before Nano’s current manufacturing unit, it was to be manufactured at Singur in West Bengal. But after the protests, Ratan Tata issued a similar threatening statement that if protests did not stop, they’d move out of Singur and they did. So, I guess the British Govt. should take this threat seriously.

2011 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Gullwing: Leaked Photo


The curtain is now off the SLS, thanks to a leaked image that a German magazine will publish, which in turn has also been leaked.

Numerous sites are reporting that the first leaked image of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS is real.

The SLS AMG will be the first production car fitted with gull-wing doors since. It includes a grille that looks like a guppy with its mouth wide open, fender vents aft of the front wheels and, of course, those doors.

Power will be provided by the biggest AMG-sourced V8 that will fit under the long hood, though there are rumors of an all-electric version arriving in 2015.

M&M’s Bolero MaxiTruck launched in AP

Auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) today launched the Bolero MaxiTruck in Andhra Pradesh. The vehicle is priced at Rs 3.44 lakh (ex-showroom Hyderabad) and uses the micro hybrid technology.

old mahindra pickup scorpio M&M Scorpio Pickup Truck [old]

The new Bolero Maxitruck features stylish front look of the Bolero. The distinctive front grill gives the vehicle a masculine yet aesthetic face.

The Bolero MaxiTruck is the first product in the 'Pick-Up' category to offer the revolutionary micro hybrid technology which has been pioneered by Mahindra in India.

Micro hybrid technology is based on the principle of not burning fuel when it is not required. The vehicle automatically detects moments during the journey when the vehicle is idle and stops the engine. This conserves fuel, leading to reduced running costs and reduced emissions.

Pictures of the Maxitruck coming soon ..

Man loses Nano keys just after getting them by Ratan Tata

Ashish Balakrishnan's dream came true and then almost turned into a nightmare Friday evening. He now owns a Nano car but has lost its keys!

nano launch mumbai first three customers man loses nano key Ashish Balakrishnan, the second customer of the Nano

At a gala ceremony Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata handed over the keys of the second Nano car to the 29-year-old bachelor who then said: "There are three things in life which one cherishes - to own a house, buy a car and start a family. For me, the second dream is coming through."

And then he lost the keys.

Tata Motors will hand over a duplicate set to Balakrishnan on Saturday. His cousin will drive out the car.

A business manager with HDFC Bank, Balakrishnan had opted for direct full payment for his vehicle. "I hope I can now settle down with a family soon," he said with a smile.

Hyundai launches 2 new i20 variants – Diesel & Automatic

hyundai-i20 diesel automatic launched india

Hyundai launched two variants of its premium compact hatchback, the i20 in India. These two variants are i20 diesel and i20 automatic.

Main features of Hyundai i20 diesel

  • Powered by CRDi engine
  • Electrical EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation)
  • EGR Cooler
  • Eco-Friendly oil filter

Main features of Hyundai i20 Automatic

  • 1.4 litre GAMMA petrol engine
  • First compact hatchback in India to offer Automatic Transmission

Bajaj to discontinue production of Pulsar 200cc DTSi in India

Bajaj auto has announced that they will phase out the Bajaj Pulsar 200 DTSi which was launched in early 2007.

Bajaj recently launched Pulsar 220cc bike with a carbureted version which is priced near to Pulsar 200cc bike.


S. Sridhar, CEO (two-wheelers), Bajaj Auto, said, “The carbureted version of the new Pulsar 220, which has been launched, offers higher power and better performance at a much lesser price. So, continuing with the Pulsar 200 was not possible, as it was priced in the similar range. We wanted to offer the buyers a better bike at an affordable rate.

GM rolls out Special Edition of Aveo at the same Price

Car maker General Motors India on Friday launched special edition of its entry-level sedan Chevrolet Aveo, which will be offered at the same price as the existing version.

aveo special edition india gm

The Chevrolet Aveo is available in the Indian market with a starting price of Rs 5.97 lakh.

The new edition include features like

  • illuminated key cylinder
  • c chrome door handles
  • rear arm-rest with cup holders
  • height adjustable driver's seat

GM India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based car maker General Motors, which emerged out of bankruptcy last week.

Hyundai expected to launch revamped Sonata as i40 in India


After the huge success of Hyundai i10 and Hyundai i20, Hyundai Motors India Limited now planning to launch Hyundai i40 in Indian market from its global product line-up.

yeni_hyundai_sonata_i40 The i40 [img via TRaraba]

It is expected that the new Hyundai Sonata might be re-christened as Hyundai i40 and the existing Hyundai Sonata will be replaced by the Hyundai i40 model.

Hyundai has successfully launched its i-series models - Hyundai i10 and Hyundai i20 and now company is planning to weighten its option with the launch of Hyundai i30 and Hyundai i40 in Indian market.

As the Hyundai has not officially announced about the launch of Hyundai i30 and Hyundai i40 thus it is difficult to say about the exact pricing and the technical details of the final models.

But it is also expected that Hyundai i40 may be replaced as the updated version of its existing sedan model. Hyundai intends to place its new models with the “value for money” proposition and it is planning to launch the new model with a 2.0L CRDi diesel engine.

The company officials indicate that The Hyundai i40 will be manufactured on all new platform that will underpin of the other future models of Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, with the recently launched 2.0L CRDi diesel engine that produces 181bhp of maximum power that being a most popular power-plant from Hyundai's product portfolio.

After the launch the new Hyundai i40 will compete against Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Skoda Laura of this segment.

[via Cardekho]

CNG Kit for Alto launched in “only” Delhi & NCR – Price Rs 43,545

The country's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has launched CNG kit for its highest selling small car Alto in the national capital region, priced at Rs 43,545.

alto cng india kits

"The Maruti-authorised CNG kits will be available across variants of brand new Maruti Suzuki Alto at dealerships in only Delhi and NCR from June 17 onwards," the company said in a statement.

The retrofitted CNG Altos would come with a 12-kg tank, which would accommodate 7-7.5 kg of Compressed Natural Gas, it added.

The company had earlier said it stopped working on LPG models as it planned to roll out CNG variants of the entire range of its cars from early 2010, the first of which would be the Alto.

MSI's Maruti 800, Omni and WagonR come with dual fuel (LPG-cum-petrol) variants. Earlier, it had also offered CNG fitted cars for some period, but later withdrew them. It has so far sold over two lakh vehicles fitted with alternative fuel technology.

Bajaj Discover 100cc launched – News, Photos


Two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto yesterday launched its popular selling model "Discover" in the entry level segment.

The new bike, equipped with its patented DTS-SI technology and priced at Rs 40,000 ex-showroom, had been designed targeting consumers, who travel around 50 km every day and hence christened 'Long Distance Bike'

The 100 cc Platina, priced Rs 6,000 less than Discover, would not be phased out. Acc to Bajaj, "The new vehicle is largely for the brand Discover lovers "

Company officials claimed that it would offer a mileage of 78-80 km per litre.

Discover 100 cc would be exported 'mainly' to developing countries.

(Click to Enlarge)

[Photos via Indianbikers via]

2010 Lexus HS250h launched IN Japan

The new Lexus HS250h is available in Japan now. With initials standing for harmonious sedan, the HS 250h was intended by Lexus to fit the gap between the IS luxury sport sedan and the ES luxury sedan.


While the car is fuel-efficient and has a reduced emissions level, it also provides a high level of comfort and driving performance.

In a market survey that Lexus conducted, it found that 60% of entry-luxury car buyers had an interest in the hybrid if it were only available. That’s how Lexus came up with the idea to fill a gap in its model range.

Lexus claims that the appeal of the HS250h lies with its meeting quality demands, having a lowered environmental impact and very low fuel consumption for a premium sedan.

Due to its hybrid system, the car can deliver 54.19 mpg (4.3l/100 km) and achieve a drag coefficient of 0.27, making it one of the most aerodynamic cars in its class.

The car’s interior is made from Ecological Plastic, a plant-based plastic that has the advantage of emitting less carbon dioxide in its life cycle.

But its most appealing feature, which every driver would want, is its cockpit that lessens the need for physical movement or switching visual focus while driving.

[via 4wheelsnews]

Tata Nano hits the roads Today!

The common man’s car is set to reach the common man. After overcoming obstacles like rising commodity prices and political opposition etc.


Ratan Tata will finally hand over the keys of the Nano—his dream project—to its first owner here on Friday.

Though the identity of the first Nano buyer is not known , he or she is likely to be the quintessential ‘man on the street’ , with ordinary aspirations . In all likelihood he or she has even taken a loan for the prize catch.

The defining moment—for Tata Motors, the buyer and the global auto industry—will be held at the company’s showroom in Prabhadevi.

The rollout, which begins on Friday , will prove to be the litmus test for the much-awaited car’s on-road performance.
Tata Motors, through a lottery , selected one lakh customers out of the 2.06 lakh applicants who had booked the snub-nosed car. While a significant number of people opted for a loan, the top-end LX model has been the most sought after.

Beginning Friday, the first one lakh cars would be delivered in a phased manner by the last quarter of 2010. The first one lakh owners are price-protected and will get the Nano at the ex-showroom price of Rs 1 lakh.

Michelin tests new Primacy LC range of tires in India

michelin primacy lc tyre test india

Michelin tested their new range of tyres — the Primacy LC at the hot Sriperumbudur track.

The Primacy LC is a new range of tyres, developed by Michelin specifically for the Asian market.

Available in 15 and 16-inch sizes, they are aimed at cars such as the Skoda Octavia and Laura, Honda Accord and Civic, Toyota Camry, Innova and Corolla among others. It’s positioned as a performance tyre, keeping the environment and fuel efficiency in mind.

michelin primacy lc maruti swift

Now that’s a very difficult trade-off to achieve, since performance generally means lots of grip, but with not so good fuel efficiency. Michelin, however, have managed to achieve that with the use of silica. With 98 per cent silica construction, the tyres not only run cooler, their life is also significantly enhanced. The LC is a low rolling resistance tyre, with relatively lesser friction between the road and the tyres.

All of these features have helped the Primacy go one up over its predecessor as well as match or better the characteristics of its competitors, with near competition-like pricing. Michelin also claim that the cost of a new tyre can be written off by the savings of using a set of four Primacy LCs with less than 45,000 kilometres of use.

With pretty good performance characteristics and economics in play, that does sound like a ‘hot’ proposition.

[via BSMotoring]

Skoda’s Yeti will be assembled at Aurangabad Plant – Exact launch date to be announced by year-end

71922.png Czech carmaker Skoda on Thursday said it will assemble its upcoming sports utility vehicle (SUV) ‘Yeti´ at its Indian plant once it is commercially launched in India next year.

SkodaAuto India, the wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, will showcase the SUV at the Auto Expo in the National Capital in January next year after its European launch in September this year.

“Feasibility study of the car (Yeti) will be started within a few weeks and by the end of the year, we will be able to announce the date of launch. It is unlikely that it will be launched in this fiscal, but it will surely come in 2010,” SkodaAuto India senior general manager (sales and network development) Ashutosh Dixit told the agency.

Before the commercial launch of ‘Yeti´ in India, the car would be showcased in the upcoming Auto Expo in the National Capital in January next year, he added.

“Yeti was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show this year and the vehicle is likely to be launched in the European markets in September in both petrol and diesel engines,” Dixit said, adding for the Indian market, Yeti’s engine capacity would be decided after the completion of the feasibility study.skoda black

Asked whether the car would be manufactured in India, he said, “It will be brought in as a completely-knocked-down (CKD) unit and will be assembled at our Aurangabad facility.”

Besides, the Volkswagen (VW) group company is also expanding its dealership network by 15 outlets by next year.

“The market is recovering and we are witnessing buoyancy around our products. We will expand our dealerships to 75 outlets by 2010 from 61 at present,” Dixit said.

On the marketing front, he said the company is looking to sponsor ‘out-of-the-way´ events such as Kerala Boat Race, art exhibitions, music concerts and various other cultural shows.

SkodaAuto produces luxury cars like Sedan, Octavia, Superb and Laura at its Aurangabad facility, while the premium hatchback Fabia is rolled out from the VW’s Chakan plant.

Acc to sources, the price of the “crossover” Skoda Yeti in India will be about 10-11 lakhs and it’ll bridge the gap between Octavia and Fabia in the current Skoda Line-Up.


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