Thursday, August 30, 2018

Soon, separate toll lanes for VIPs and judges

According to PTI, the Madras High Court has directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to start providing a separate lane at toll plazas for VIPs and sitting judges across India. This decision was made by the high court to curtail the unnecessary harassment and delays faced by VIPs and judges at toll plazas, as per the report.

A bench comprising of Justices Huluvadi G Ramesh and MV Muralidharan passed the interim order directing the NHAI to issue the circular to all toll plazas across the country. The circular orders them to provide a separate lane so that vehicles of VIPs and sitting judges can pass through without any hindrance.

The High Court has also warned that they would issue a show cause notice to the concerned authorities unless the circular was issued and that any violation of the order would be viewed seriously.

from Autocar India - Cars

Infiniti Prototype 10 concept previews electrification plans

Infiniti has shown its Prototype 10 Concept, which it describes as a “physical manifestation of Infiniti’s creative and ambitious plans for electrified performance”.

The speedster concept, powered by an electrified powertrain, signposts Infiniti’s intentions to be an electric-only brand from 2021, adopting a variety of powertrains developed under parent company Nissan. It's the second retro-inspired concept after the Prototype 9, which evoked Formula 1 racers of the past.

It’s a roofless single-seater, with the motor at the rear and cooled by large vents behind the driver’s seat and where the passenger seat would be. Only the driver's seat, four-point harness, pedals and smaller diameter steering wheel adorn the interior. Steering by wire eliminates the need for a steering column; instead, the wheel is fixed to carbon-fibre struts that emerge directly out of the car’s bodywork. Its design builds on that of the Q Inspiration concept saloon, which was revealed at the Detroit motor show earlier this year.

The Prototype 10’s simplicity reflects the flexibility available when designing cars with electrified powertrains, says the brand’s new executive design director, Karim Habib. The car will never make production, however, given the tiny market for single-seat track cars and Infiniti’s relatively low sales in Europe, but the brand’s future range of sports cars, saloons and SUVs will be made using the car’s design language, with different electrified powertrains depending on the model.

Pure-electric cars will be made, as will range extender-equipped ones designed for longer journeys; no external charger is needed, and all the power is generated by the petrol range extender, developed by Nissan as the e-Power system. Performance hybrids are also on the way, capitalising on the performance benefits of plug-in hybrid systems. An electric four-wheel drive system is confirmed for eventual production. These will all sit inside flat-floored modular architecture to boost packaging benefits, which will be introduced on its electrified cars in 2021.

The car’s design, which draws heavily from early California speedsters of the mid-20th century, was overseen by Infiniti’s design centre in Kanagawa, designed virtually in the UK and built in the US. Under development, the car’s simple shape and the fact that only the driver’s head can be seen when sitting behind the wheel led the development team to dub the car ‘The Bathtub’. The driver’s seat was mounted as low as possible to keep the car’s centre of gravity close to the ground.

Infiniti’s renewed ethos means that its cars will be designed to have better driving dynamics than current models, as well as being more powerful and efficient as the brand makes the most of the performance benefits of electric power. Habib said: “The Prototype 10 echoes the layout and design of early speedsters. This period saw the creation of some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high-powered single-seat competition cars, were characterised by the simple love of driving.”

from Autocar India - Cars

2018 Mahindra Marazzo to get four variants

Mahindra will finally introduce the Marazzo MPV in the Indian market on September 3, 2018. Various dealerships across the country have started receiving initial stocks and demo vehicles already, with bookings being accepted at Rs 10,000 at most locations. 

As the launch nears, more spy shots and other details have come to light.  Dealer sources tell us that the upcoming Marazzo MPV will be sold in four trim levels, starting from the base-spec M2, going up to the top-spec M8, with the M4 and M6 as the mid-spec variants. 

The Marazzo will come with a single engine option at launch, a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel good for 130hp and 300Nm of torque. The sole transmission will be a six-speed manual, with an automatic expected to launch a bit later.  While enough has been spoken about the MPV’s interiors and looks earlier, we’ve now got our hands on the complete equipment and feature list for all four variants.

Mahindra Marazzo safety features

Mahindra will equip the new Marazzo MPV with standard dual front airbags, a passenger airbag off-switch, a speed sensitive door lock/unlock feature, ABS with EBD and brake assist and Isofix child seat  mounts as standard equipment on all variants.

Mahindra Marazzo M2

  • Engine immobilizer
  • 16-inch steel wheels
  • Fabric seat upholstery
  • Power windows
  • Central locking
  • 12V power outlet
  • USB charging point for rear passenger
  • Digital clock
  • Manual HVAC control
  • Roof-mounted rear AC vents
  • Manually adjustable wing mirrors

Mahindra Marazzo M4

  • Full wheel caps
  • Shark fin antenna
  • Driver’s seat height adjust
  • USB socket for front row
  • USB and AUX for rear passenger
  • Rear wiper and washer
  • Voice messaging system
  • Electrically adjustable wing mirrors

Mahindra Marazzo M6

  • 16-inch alloy wheels
  • Front and rear fog lamps
  • Projector headlamps with follow me home feature
  • Cornering lamps
  • Premium fabric upholstery
  • Adjustable lumbar support for front seats
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Conversation mirror
  • Illuminated passenger-side vanity mirror
  • Sunglass holder
  • Centre console with Tambor door
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Navigation
  • Personal reminder (anniversary, birthday etc)
  • Steering mounted controls for audio and other functions
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Emergency call feature

Mahindra Marazzo M8

  • 17-inch machined alloy wheels
  • LED daytime running lamps
  • Leatherette seating upholstery
  • Dual USB sockets for front and rear passengers
  • Puddle lamps
  • Cooled glovebox with illumination
  • Infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility
  • Criose control
  • Reverse camera with display
  • Automatic climate control
  • Power folding and adjustable wing mirrors

from Autocar India - Cars

Mercedes-Benz C-class facelift launch on September 28

It was only at the Geneva motor show earlier this year that Mercedes-Benz unveiled the mid-life update for the C-class, and now, less than seven months later, the India launch is all set to take place on September 28, 2018.

From the outside, it's very much like the C-class we have come to know so well, save for a few tweaks to the bumpers and new designs for the alloy wheels. New on the C-class facelift are two variations of all-LED headlights, and the tail-lights that sport a new LED pattern. On the inside, additions could include a 12.3-inch digital instrument console, a 10.25-inch high-resolution screen for the COMAND infotainment system and also the new-design steering wheel, which gets the dual touchpad control system we’ve seen on the E-class and S-class facelift.

The changes sound minor at first, but Mercedes has made an effort to make this refresh a significant one, and it's the new and updated engines that are the bigger news with the C-class facelift. The range is likely to start with the C 200, but instead of the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol motor as in the current car, it'll come with a new, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine. The downsizing, thankfully, hasn't resulted in a drop in power output, with the smaller engine putting out a similar 184hp as the 2.0-litre, and 280Nm of torque, just 20Nm down on the outgoing engine.

The diesel will be the all-new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit that was first introduced on the E 220d, but just like with the pre-facelift C-class, it'll be available in two states of tune. The C 220d will mirror the E 220d's 194hp and 400Nm, while the twin-turbo C 250d will be replaced by a C 300d, a twin-turbo version of the 2.0-litre OM654, which will produce close to 245hp! Both diesel engines will be BS-VI-compliant. Additionally, all variants of the C-class facelift will get the new, 9-speed, 9G-Tronic auto 'box, which replaces the old 7G-Tronic unit.

The C-class facelift is likely to cost a lakh or two more than the outgoing model. We expect the C 200 to be priced at Rs 41 lakh, and the C 300d to be priced at Rs 47 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom). As we count down the days to the launch, you can read our review of the C-class facelift here.

Also see:

Mercedes-Benz C-Class facelift video review

2018 Mercedes-Benz C 300d image gallery

from Autocar India - Cars

Next-gen Hyundai Grand i10 takes shape

As reported earlier, Hyundai is gearing up to introduce the new AH2 hatchback sometime in October. The company has already begun road-testing for two of its upcoming products that will hit the showrooms in the future. The sub-Creta (Carlnio-based) SUV was spied recently and now, fresh spy shots of Hyundai’s all-new Swift rival, a replacement for the Grand i10 hatchback, have emerged on the internet. The next-gen Hyundai Grand i10 is likely to make a global debut sometime next year.

A first glance at the test mule one would easily pass off as the camouflaged vehicle for the AH2 tall-boy hatch (which is set to revive the Santro nameplate), however a close look reveals that this car is wider and longer. For those who don’t know, the current-gen Grand i10 for India is 40mm longer than the model sold internationally. The test-mule spied looks almost as long as the India-spec car, which means Hyundai could create just one model for the global market with added focus on rear legroom and backseat comfort.

In terms of design, the next-gen Grand i10 is said to borrow a lot of design cues from the upcoming Hyundai Elantra facelift. A hexagonal front grille and wider headlamps and tail-lamps are two of the exterior design features expected on the hatchback. The current Grand i10 is already feature-packed but expect Hyundai to add more kit to the 2019 model.

The Grand i10’s main competitor, the Maruti Suzuki Swift, is available with an AMT gearbox on both petrol and diesel variants. With Hyundai India set to launch the next-gen Santro with an AMT option, expect the 2019 Grand i10 to feature this gearbox as well, at least in India.

Currently, the Grand i10 comes with an 83hp, 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, which is mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic gearbox. There is also a 71hp, three-cylinder turbo-diesel motor that is available with only a 5-speed manual gearbox.

An India launch for the next-gen model is still some time away.

Also see:

Hyundai Carlino-based compact SUV spied in India

Hyundai Xcent gets ABS, EBD as standard



from Autocar India - Cars

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Vehicles older than 15 years to be scrapped per new gov. policy

The Delhi government has revealed new guidelines for scrapping of vehicles in the National Captial Region. Called the Guidelines for Scrapping of Motor Vehicles in Delhi, 2018, the notification states that petrol, CNG and diesel vehicles that are older than 15 years and are found plying on the roads, parked in a public place, or abandoned will be scrapped. The registered owner of the vehicle will be given the scrap value of the model.

However, the policy also states that when it comes to petrol and CNG cars, if they are parked in a private space and can furnish adequate proof, then they will not be impounded.

The policy also provides environmental and procedural guidelines for the government-run scrappage yards including battery disposal, re-using and recycling of parts and dealing with the separation and storage of all automobile-related liquids and metals.

from Autocar India - Cars

8 most expensive cars on sale in India

What a week it’s been for expensive cars. Bugatti took the wraps off the Divo that costs 5 million Euros (Rs 40 crore), while just a day later a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO went for 48.4 million dollars (Rs 340 crore) making it the most expensive car ever sold at auction. This got us thinking of the most expensive cars on sale in India today. Prepare to feel small.  

A disclaimer first: The prices listed here are base ex-showroom prices. Each model comes with an extensive (and extremely costly) list of options that makes them even more expensive.

8. Rolls-Royce Ghost Rs 4.3-4.9 crore

An entry point to the Rolls-Royce family it may be but the Ghost is still a Rolls-Royce through and through. Its 570hp, V12 engine and surprising level of waftability make the Ghost quite enjoyable to drive as well.

7. Rolls-Royce Wraith Rs 4.60 crore

The Wraith is Rolls-Royce’s idea of a sporty coupe. The four-seater is every bit as luxurious and refined as its more sedate stable-mates, but is far more exciting and dynamic, thanks to the 632hp, 6.6-litre V12 motor that propels this 2,360kg car to 100kph in just 4.4 seconds.

6. Lamborghini Aventador S Rs 5.01 crore

The Aventador follows in the footsteps of barking mad V12 Lambos. The 740hp motor is nothing short of epic, and the S version brings with it four-wheel steer, which adds a level of agility that was previously lacking. It’s hugely impractical for our roads but also offers an experience like few others.

5. Ferrari GTC4Lusso V12 Rs 5.20 crore

Like the Ferrari FF that came before, the GTC4Lusso isn’t a traditional Ferrari in look. The shooting brake body style divides opinion but does create space for four inside the cabin. While the base 610hp V8 Lusso T (Rs 4.2 crore) is ballistic, the full-blown 690hp V12 is the one to splurge on.

4. Ferrari 812 Superfast Rs 5.20 crore

The 812 Superfast perfectly blends a Ferrari supercar and a Ferrari GT in one incredible package. Its 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 motor pumps out a whopping 800hp and 718Nm, that goes solely to the rear wheels. It’s extreme but oh-so-desirable.

3. Rolls-Royce Dawn Rs 6.25 crore

Opulence and open-top motoring, that’s what the Rolls-Royce Dawn is all about. Claimed to be the quietest convertible on sale in the world, the drop-top is as refined as its roofed stable-mates. It shares its 632hp, 6.6-litre V12 powerplant with the Wraith, which provides a bucket-load of entertainment for a 2,560kg car.

2. Bentley Mulsanne Speed Rs 6.90 crore

The embodiment of everything Bentley stands for, the Mulsanne comes in two versions – the standard 512hp model (Rs 5.53 crore) and the even faster and (pricier) 537hp Speed model. Both share the same 6.8-litre V8, with the engine producing a locomotive-like 1100Nm in the Speed.

1. Rolls-Royce Phantom Rs 9.50-11.35 crore

Currently the most expensive car in India, (the standard model costs Rs 9.50 crore while the long-wheelbase version will set you back an extravagant Rs 11.35 crore), the eighth-gen Phantom melds grandeur and technology like no other car. It is the ultimate in luxury motoring.

Honourable mentions

2011 Maybach 57/62 Rs 4.85-5.10 crore (at launch)

Mercedes’ answer to Rolls-Royce and Bentley, the Maybach was the luxury car of its time. Standard wheelbase 57 S too small for you? You could have the extended wheelbase 62 model that featured every conceivable luxury. But of course, power came from V12 engines.

2016 Audi A8 L Security Rs 9.15 crore (at launch)

The A8 L Security could take a barrage of 7.62x51mm rifle rounds and could also be optioned with its own oxygen system. Power came from a monster of a W12 engine; just what you need to get out of a dangerous situation, fast. 

2016 Mercedes S 600 Guard Rs 10.5 crore (at launch)

Mercedes took the ‘built like a tank’ axiom a bit too seriously with this one. The S 600 Guard was reinforced to such a degree that it could withstand a blast of 15kg worth of TNT at a distance of just two metres. Safest car in the world? Maybe.

2011 Koenigsegg Agera Rs 12.5 crore (at launch)

Believe it or not but the Koenigsegg Agera had an India launch, though there’s no confirmation of the model ever finding a buyer in India. Built to order, the Swedish rocket came powered by a 5.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 that made 940hp and 1100Nm of peak torque. 0-100kph time, you ask? 2.8secs! 

2010 Bugatti Veyron Rs 16 crore (at launch)

Of course, a Bugatti had to top the list. The Veyron was launched in India in 2010 for the royal sum of Rs 16 crore. It’s not known if anyone bought it in India but what is known is that it was the fastest and most powerful car of its time. Its 8.0-litre W16 engine made 1001hp and propelled the car to 407kph!

If you had to pick just one, which of these cars would you have in your dream garage? Let us know in the comments section below. 

from Autocar India - Cars

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Soon, separate toll lanes for VIPs and judges

According to PTI, the Madras High Court has directed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to start providing a separate lane at to...