FEATURE

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Volume 7 | Issue 005 | December 2011
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7-11 January 2012
FERRARI SPIDER
DRIVEN: NEW
DRIVEN
:
SKODA RAPID TATA SUMO GOLD
& MERCEDES SLS ROADSTER
BIG BATTLE FOR THE SMALL CAR CROWN
TESTED
FORCE ONE
AUDI A6 2.0 TDI
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4
CONTENTS
DECEMBER 2011
T H I S MO N T H ’ S S T O R I E S A T A G L A N C E
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
126
REGULARS
ROAD TESTS
50 TATA SUMO GOLD Tata’s workhorse goes golden
54 FORCE ONE We test Force Motors’ first commuter vehicle to
find out if this CV manufacturer has got it right
58 BMW X3 vs AUDI Q5 The SUV segment witnesses another
tussle as the German giants fight it out with their latest
offerings
74 HYUNDAI EON vs MARUTI SUZUKI ALTO K10 The
question has arisen again between the tried and
tested and the new and attractive
FIRST DRIVES
39 SKODA RAPID The Czech car-makers fill in the gap between
their Fabia and Laura with this new offering
42 AUDI A6 This Audi is everything that you wanted your car to
be, including economy
46 AUDI R8 We live our fantasy for a day, with the growl of
a V10 for music and a beast for company
100 FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES-BENZ SLS AMG
ROADSTER We drive these finest sport cars from
Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz in Italy and France
FEATURES
68 WATER WATER EVERYWHERE! The Toyota Etios Liva
decides to spend a weekend in the lap of nature, with
water sport thrown in for good measure
82 MAKING OF THE HYUNDAI EON We take you inside the
manufacturing facility of Hyundai to show how this
latest baby Hyundai is made
92 ON STEVE McQUEEN’S TRAIL We trace the footsteps of
this iconic American actor on the wheels he adored
116 THE BIG TEST The world watches as Porsche Panamera
diesel locks horns with its rivals
126 THE GODS OF ‘AMERICAN GRAFFITI’ We visit the men
who invented the hot rod in post-war America and are
still at it. Our companion? The Ford Mustang
8 BULLETIN The latest news and happenings from the
automotive world
28 EMISSION ZERO The electric Urban Concept: Audi’s
radical vision of a zero-emission city car
30 TECHNO BIBLE Basic terms used in the automotive world
to add to your knowledge
32 GEAR BOX Here’s a list of goodies that a true petrol
head would like to splurge on
34 INTERACTIVE Just the right platform for your comments,
opinions, queries and compliments
134 LONG TERM The goings-on in the Car India garage
165 THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY We do the homework
for you to make your choice that much easier
190 DID YOU KNOW Interesting facts about the Japanese car
manufacturers, Subaru
SPORT
138 INSIDE THE F1 CHAMP’S OFFICE Everything you wanted
to know about Vettel’s F1 car
144 FORMULA ONE A postcard from Indian GP, Hamilton
wins Abu Dhabi
148 WRC Loeb grabs his eighth consecutive championship title
58
74
lt's a bit spooky that Ferrari and Mercedes
choose exactly the same moment to decapitate
their f nest sports cars. ln ltaly and France, we
drive the 458 Spider and SLS Roadster
SPIDERS
FROM
VENUS
Story: Georg Kacher (SLS) and Chris Chilton (458)
Photography: Jamie Lipman
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER
FIRST DRIVE
100 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
101
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
100
COVER
FEATURE
COVER
FEATURE
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WELCOME
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Car India Magazine, 401-B,
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Road, Pune 411 040. INDIA
Tel: +91-20-32930291/2
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WHY WE ARE UNIQUE/DIFFERENT
Unlike other automobile magazines, Car India is devoted
cent per cent to CARS, SUVs and MUVs. There are no bikes or
commercial vehicles to be found in Car India. Therefore, we
have a very focused readership and also give our advertisers a
better bang for their buck!
Our editorial team is passionate about cars. They live,
drink, eat and breathe cars. This lends the crucial extra touch
to their editorial efforts.
Our editorial team is bound by a strict code of conduct. In
an industry where foreign junkets and gifts are rampant in
order to win over editorial staff, we strive hard to maintain
our editorial integrity and balance.
Our emphasis is on bringing out a quality, information-packed
issue that does not rely on mere filling up of pages. We are not
in competition with magazines that are in a page count race.
Finally, we never exchange advertising for good reviews.
Just take a look at our ‘Car of the Year Awards’ for the past
five years. Not a single wrong one!
EDITOR Aspi Bhathena
Assistant Editor Sarmad Kadiri
Copy Editor Deepak Upadhye
Senior Correspondent Adhish Alawani
Correspondent Ravi Chandnani
Senior Staff Writer Saeed Akhtar
Staff Writers and Reporters Shridhar Chari, Gasha Aeri,
Piyush Sonsale, Amit Panday
Editorial Contributor Navroze Contractor
Art Director Ramnath Chodankar
Senior Designer Ravi Parmar
Designers Varun Kulkarni, Santosh Wadhai, Shajib Shamim
Senior Photographer Sanjay Raikar
Picture Agencies DPPI, Corbis
Production Executive Dinesh Bhajnik
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & HEAD PRODUCTION Atul Bandekar
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Phil McNamara, H S Billimoria, Sam Katgara, Aspi Bhathena
PUBLISHER Marzban Jasoomani
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Editor – Aspi Bhathena
They have mentioned
a hike in the fines
imposed for most
offences, but left
out the one, which,
according to us, causes
fatal accidents
WE, AT CAR INDIA, WOULD LIKE TO
congratulate the Jaypee Group for organising the Formula
One race in India and making a grand success of it.
Let us now touch upon the age-old question: whether
one should buy a diesel car or a petrol one. This depends
entirely upon the way you use your car. Normally the A
segment, which consists of the Maruti Alto, Chevrolet
Spark and the new kid on the block, the Eon from Hyundai,
do not offer a diesel option. The cars in this segment are
basically used within city limits, where one covers a distance
of anything from 8,000 to 12,000 kilometres per annum.
With this kind of use one does not need to buy a diesel car,
because the extra money paid for it is not justified.
The government proposes to raise the fine amount for
various traffic offences. In a way it is a good move, but, at
the same time, it should be imposed scrupulously by the
authorities and should not end up increasing the rate of their
chai-paani. They have mentioned
a hike in the fines imposed for
most offences, but left out the one,
which, according to us, causes
fatal accidents – people riding/
driving down the wrong side of
the road on dual carriage
highways. This happens right
under the nose of the traffic police,
who tend to turn a blind eye
because they do not want to
antagonise the local people. At
times you even come across police vehicles coming down
the wrong way. I feel that the fine imposed for this should
be double that for the other offences.
This month we have tested the Eon, Hyundai’s answer to
the Maruti Alto, which is the largest selling car in the
country. The Eon has a lot going for it such as modern looks,
space and the quality of its interior, but will that be enough
to dethrone the king? The other new car on test is the all-
new X3 from BMW in which it takes on the segment leader,
Audi’s Q5. There is a complete report on how they fare.
ASPI BHATHENA EDITOR
Editorial_Dec11.indd 6 11/24/2011 6:10:05 PM
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ADS CI Dec11.indd 37 11/23/2011 2:33:27 PM
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BULLETIN ALL THE AUTOMOTIVE NEWS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE THIS MONTH
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
ALL THE AUTOMOTIVE NEWS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE THIS MONTH
NEW VW ‘UP!’
SPOTTED IN
MUMBAI
Volkswagen’s latest small car
doing the test runs in the country
The VW up! seen here is a three-
door car, probably here for
initial test runs.The production
model will have five doors
The car has a very
impressive design
and finish
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ALL THE AUTOMOTIVE NEWS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE THIS MONTH

ALL THE AUTOMOTIVE NEWS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE THIS MONTH
DECEMBER 2011 car india
Volkswagen’s compact
hatchback, ‘up!’ (spelt with a small ‘u’ and an
exclamation mark at the end), was recently
spotted in mumbai by a friend of aalok Raj, a
reader of the motoring blog motorbeam.
This is the frst time that the ‘up!’, part of
Vw’s new small family (nsF) series of
models, has been spotted in India. the car
was headed somewhere on a trailer and the
reader managed to take a couple of shots of it,
which we have reproduced here.
the ‘up!’ under discussion here was the
three-door model, which is the base variant in
its range, the other being a fve-door mini
multi-purpose vehicle (mpV). It is identical
to the fnal production version that was
displayed at the recent Frankfurt motor show,
powered by a front-mounted transverse
engine mated to a fve-speed manual gearbox,
transferring power to the front wheels. the
current engine options on the ‘up!’ include
two three-pot 1.0-litre petrol ones that offer
60 ps and 75 ps of peak power, but we
reckon that Vw will initially offer only
the less powerful variant here, keeping in
mind the fuel-effciency concerns of the
average Indian compact buyer. moreover,
the tyres appear to be thinner and of a lower
profle as well.
we expect the Indian version to be heavily
localised, thus bringing the cost down and
making it a serious rival to the current crop of
Indian hatches.
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10
BULLETIN
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
TOYOTA KIRLOSKAR MOTORS
seem to be on an upswing as the
company has recorded a robust 75
per cent growth in the Indian market
this financial year (April and
October). This is quite an
achievement, considering that the
Indian car market is going through a
slump because of the recent
recurrent hike in petrol prices and
the rising interest rates for car loans.
Toyota are among the few car
manufacturers who have been able
to grow even in this slow-moving
market.
Toyota are really serious about
increasing their market share in the
small market and that was the reason
why the company launched diesel
variants of their popular hatchback,
the Etios Liva, and the budget
sedan, Etios. The diesel trend has
really picked up in the past few years
and every manufacturer has a car
available with a diesel engine.
Toyota are no exception.Toyota also
plan to increase the number of
dealerships in an attempt to cover
more cities and provide better
service throughout the country.
They will also invest about Rs 2,000
crore for expansion of their
production facilities and
localisation of
components.
TOYOTA SERIOUS
ABOUT SMALL CAR MARKET
IF YOU THOUGHT THAT
Ferrari’s productions cars do
not have enough F1 technology
aspects in them, you will be
pleasantly surprised to learn
that Ferrari boss, Luca de
Montezemolo, is looking at
introducing more of them in
their road-going machines.
It is a known fact that most
racing teams do all their research
and development in racing itself
so as to benefit from it in some
way or the other in the
production cars. However, after
having so much in the current
range of Ferraris already, it will
be interesting to see what the
Italian manufacturers are really
aiming at.
The buzz in the industry is
that the Prancing Horse is
planning to bring the ‘kinetic
energy recovery system’
(KERS) to its production cars.
Basically, KERS is a technology
that uses a battery, a super
capacitor or a flywheel to obtain
and store energy under braking
and release it during
acceleration when it is required
the most. For example, in an
overtaking manoeuvre. It is a
very technological system and
has proved itself extremely
useful in F1 racing. However,
getting such a thing on a
production car would be a little
too much. Nevertheless, the
599GTB Fiorano showcased
last year at the Geneva Motor
Show had KERS and that
just shows what Ferrari are
capable of.
FERRARIS TO FLAUNT F1
TECHNOLOGY
‘Kinetic energy recovery
system’ likely to be part of it
NISSAN RECENTLY
launched a new version of the
X-Trail, called the ‘Xtreme
Trail Limited Edition’, to
commemorate the launch of
their reality television show in
association with the National
Geographic channel.
The new variant will be
available for a limited period
of time only at an ex-
showroom Mumbai price of
Rs 22.78 lakh. This new
limited edition X-Trail has 10
new features such as touch-
screen navigation, a rear
spoiler, X-treme Trail decals
and a door visor set, among
others.
The limited edition X-Trail
is available at all the 45 Nissan
dealerships in the country.
LIMITED EDITION
X-TRAIL
To commemorate reality telly
show in association with
National Geographic
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DECEMBER 2011 car india
HONDA HIT by
flOOD IN THAIlAND
The ongoing flood in
Thailand is wreaking havoc not only on the
lives of that country’s inhabitants, but also
on the worldwide automotive community.
honda Siel Cars india (hSCi) recently
stated that the company was throttling down
its vehicle production due to supply
constraints from its Thailand plant. While
the production of the City has already been
suspended, the Brio will be discontinued by
the time you read this issue.
in addition, the company has also cut
back the output of the Jazz hatchback to a
few hundred units per month. To tackle this
acute problem, the company is making
emergency arrangements to source
components from other locations based in
China and Japan and normalise output as
soon as possible.
Jnaneswar Sen, Senior VP, hSCi,
confrmed that output would be badly hit
this month, adding that arrangements were
being made to tap other areas for sourcing
critical parts. “We are looking at China and
Japan very keenly. We hope to frm up
things soon and return to normality in the
coming months, though nothing can be
confrmed as of now,” said Sen.
CyruS MiSTry, The
soft-spoken managing
director of the $ 2 billion
Shapoorji Pallonji (SP)
group, has been
unanimously appointed as
successor to ratan Tata after
the latter retires in december
next year (2012).
Born on July 4, 1968,
Mistry graduated from the
imperial College, london,
with a Be in civil
engineering. he also holds a
master’s degree in
management from the
london Business School and
is a fellow of the institution of
Civil engineers.
This move also makes
Mistry the chief of the iconic
car brand Jaguar-land rover
and Tata Motors.
in a statement to the media
Mistry said that he was
deeply honoured by this
appointment and was aware
that an enormous
responsibility with a great
legacy had been entrusted
to him.
Managing india’s biggest
brand is no easy task, but we
are sure 43-year-old Mistry
will be able to take the group
to new heights with his fresh
approach and zeal. Car india
wishes him the very best.
Cyrus MIsTry TO HeAD
TATA sONs
To take over after Ratan Tata’s retirement in December next year
TATA sONs: IllusTrIOus TrADITION
1868-1904 Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata
1904-1932 sir Dorab Tata
1932-1938 sir Nowroji saklatwala
1932-1991 Jehangir ratanji Dadabhoy Tata
1991-2012 ratan Tata
Bulletin Dec11.indd 12 11/24/2011 10:51:04 PM
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BULLETIN
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
FORD HAVE PLANNED
eight models for India by the
end of 2015 and we have
already seen the first one of
these in the form of the new
Fiesta. The one to follow is
the compact SUV, EcoSport.
The current EcoSport is
being sold in Brazil and is a
popular car there.
The new-
generation
EcoSport is
expected to be
unveiled at the Auto
Expo in New Delhi
in January 2012 and
its launch is
expected to take
place in Brazil in
another couple of
months. This
compact SUV is expected to
be available in the Indian
market later in 2012.
Based on the compact car
platform B2E, the EcoSport
fits in the sub-four-metre
bracket. The power for
this Ford will come from the
DV5 1.5-litre engine that is
expected to produce
somewhere close to 90 PS of
peak power. A gasoline
engine option looks difficult,
though.
The EcoSport will come
with a price tag close to Rs 8
lakh. Though it poses as an
SUV, do not expect
the EcoSport to really
go off the road and
prove to be a hardcore
off-roader. However,
given its price range
and the kind of looks
that we see in the
pictures, the EcoSport
has the potential to
become an instant hit
in India.
2010 2011
BMW 2,674 5,005
Fiat 13,933 9,314
Force 1,942 2,448
Ford 56,928 52,166
General Motors 61,810 65,064
Hindustan Motors 6,484 3,095
Honda 35,446 29,717
Hyundai 206,901 214,436
ICML 445 286
Mahindra 101,372 133,454
Maruti Suzuki 628,378 524,547
Mercedes-Benz 2,928 3,501
Nissan Motor 4,805 12,570
Renault India 0 1,037
Skoda Auto 10,167 15,829
Tata Motors 202,557 179,323
Toyota Kirloskar 44,265 78,025
Volkswagen - Audi 1,892 3,381
Volkswagen 20,451 45,315
Total 1,403,378 1,378,513
DOMESTIC SALES
( IN NUMBERS )
APRIL-OCTOBER
MANUFACTURERS
PASSENGER VEHICLES
2010 2011
BMW 2,484 2,868
Fiat 13,933 9,314
Ford 55,110 50,502
General Motors 50,221 51,650
Hindustan Motors 4,866 1,772
Honda 35,110 29,552
Hyundai 206,832 213,427
Mahindra 4,948 10,525
Maruti Suzuki 533,653 432,070
Mercedes-Benz 2,731 3,098
Nissan Motor 4,524 12,422
Renault India 0 773
Skoda Auto 10,065 14,923
Tata Motors 151,167 123,810
Toyota Kirloskar 6,219 43,354
Volkswagen - Audi 1,205 2,319
Volkswagen 20,448 45,311
Total 1,103,516 1,047,804
DOMESTIC SALES
( IN NUMBERS )
APRIL-OCTOBER
MANUFACTURERS
PASSENGER CARS
Car Sales from
April-OCTOBER 2011
FORD ECOSPORT TO
MAKE ITS DÉBUT IN 2012
Car expected to be unveiled at
forthcoming Auto Expo
SINCE THE DIESEL
variant of their compact
SUV, the Rio, is BS III
compliant, Premier Auto
cannot sell the car in the
urban areas. This has hit the
already low sales of the car
as it has hardly any appeal
for the rural areas.
Therefore, Premier are now
looking at a new source to
power the diesel Rio.
Their quest has landed them
on the doorsteps of their old
ally, Fiat. Premier are
looking forward to using the
Italian car maker’s popular
1.3-litre multi-jet diesel
engine that also powers the
Maruti Suzuki Swift and
Tata Indica Vista. The car is
currently being tested in
Italy to accommodate the
integration of the new
engine.
Once the technicalities
are complete, Premier will
enter into a deal to procure
68,000 multi-jet engines
from Fiat. The BS IV Rio is
expected to be launched in
the first half of 2012.
PREMIER RIO MAY
GET FIAT ENGINE
xxonda stop production of City,
Brio next on the cards
Bulletin Dec11.indd 14 11/24/2011 10:49:46 PM
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DECEMBER 2011 car india
We Hear
Honda City
WitH a FaCeliFt
Contrary to the popular
opinion that Honda will unveil
the facelift City at the Delhi
Auto Expo next month, we
recently confrmed that the
company would be launching
the new City this month itself.
The re-designed model was
expected to be launched in
October 2011, but was
delayed due to want of
components in Honda’s
Thailand facility. The revised
City will have increased
localisation in India and it will
feature slight changes both in
the exterior and the interior.
Peugeot
industrial site
Peugeot recently held the
ground-breaking ceremony
of their future industrial site
in India at Sanand in
Gujarat. The future
automotive and engine/
gearbox plant will be
constructed on an area of
600 acres, to which Peugeot
will add a suppliers park at a
global investment of Rs
4,000 crore. This investment
is expected to generate
5,000 new jobs in the
automobile hub.
neW MrF Zlo
MRF Ltd recently launched a
new series of high-perform-
ance tyres: the ZLO series.
These new tyres have an
asymmetrical design with dis-
tinct dual tread pattern and
are made of advanced poly-
mer compound with stable
ring construction for better
road grip in both wet and dry
conditions. The company has
introduced them in four tyre
sizes and they can be ftted
on more than 35 domestic
and imported car models
running on Indian roads.
Former President oF india
dr a P J abdul Kalam inaugurated the robert
Bosch Centre for Cyber Physical systems at the
indian institute of science, Bengaluru recently.
the centre is a part of Bosch’s global
‘interCampus Programme’, which aims to create
better research facilities for students to accelerate
the development of future technologies.
BosCH researCH Centre
in Bengaluru
reCognising the
growth and enthusiasm in
motor sport here, British
sportscar makers, Caterham
Cars, have established a
subsidiary in india. the
announcement was made at
the Buddh international
Circuit during the inaugural
indian gP.
the brand’s indian
subsidiary will be headed by
the Burman brothers, mohit
and gaurav, promoters of
dabur india Ltd, and the
racing and track day activities
will be supervised by British
car racer matt Cummings. in
time, Caterham Cars also
plan to introduce their CdX
driving experience and
factory-backed racing series,
Caterham academy.
Caterham seven, the
company’s frst sport car, was
launched in 1974 and still has
a strong demand. it is built
around a Lotus engine and
has evolved over the past 37
years. the seven has been
appreciated by enthusiasts
for its low cost, performance
and handling. Caterham
Cars india will initially
introduce the seven and their
new sP/300r sportscars here
and are also looking at
assembling them in india in
the future.
British sportscar-makers establish
subsidiary in the country
Bulletin Dec11.indd 16 11/24/2011 10:49:14 PM
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bulletin
DECEMBER 2011 car india
We Hear
i10 LPG BLueDrive
From HyunDai
Hyundai Motor India Limited
recently launched the LPG
variant of their popular
small hatchback, the i10, in
India. The LPG variant,
dubbed BlueDrive, will be
available in two of the i10
models: the 1.1 Magna and
1.1 Era.
The Era is priced at Rs
4.16 lakh (ex-showroom,
New Delhi) while the Magna
is priced at Rs 4.3 lakh (ex-
showroom, New Delhi). This
makes the BlueDrive LPG
variant more expensive than
its petrol version by Rs
27,000, which is an
incredible bargain
considering the long-term
savings with the former.
amBassaDors
oF CHarity
Hindustan Motors fagged off
a 2,000-km charity rally from
Goa recently. This 10-day rally
has been organised by a UK-
based social enterprise,
Global Enduro, as a part of
Karma Enduro Charity
Challenge 2011 and has the
participation of about 12
Ambassador cars. The rally
would be held in two rounds
and some of the participants
from the total of over 50
entries come from across the
globe. The route chosen
would take the participants
across the Western Ghats,
taking in the diverse terrain
of Goa, Karnataka, Tamil
Nadu and Kerala.
neW muv From nissan
NV200 to be built in association
with Ashok Leyland
The forThcoming
11th Auto expo to be held in
the national capital will witness
considerable action from
manufacturers like maruti,
Tata, hyundai, mahindra and
mahindra and Toyota as all
these car-makers are gearing
up to showcase the new and
revised models of their SUVs
and mUVs.
maruti are expected to
showcase the production
version of the riii concept,
which, it may be recalled, was
the main attraction at the
maruti stall at the last Auto
expo. They are also expected
to display a new mini-SUV
concept based on the riii
platform this time.
hyundai are expected to
showcase a new SUV concept
that is said to be India-specifc
along with their global
products like the i30, i40 and
genesis.
Tata motors are expected to
showcase the long-awaited
revised Safari. They might also
display the diesel version of the
nano and a new passenger car.
Toyota are likely to unveil
the new generation of their
highly successful mUV, the
innova, along with a refreshed
version of the fortuner.
mahindra and mahindra are
expected to be present at the
Auto expo with an automatic
variant of the XUV 500 and a
mini-Xylo. general motors
will also be there with the new
generation of the Tavera along
and the new-generation Beat.
suvs to Be Prominent
at auto exPo
New or revised MUVs and SUVs expected
to take centre-stage
niSSAn recenTly
launched the sedan, Sunny,
and it seems that the Japanese
giant is on a roll for it is ready
with a new mUV, which will
be showcased at the 2012
Auto expo.
This new mUV, nV200,
will be jointly built in india
by nissan and Ashok
leyland. The nV200
is apparently on sale in
europe, America and Japan
and is available in petrol and
diesel engines. however, the
indian version is expected to
be powered by a 1.5-litre diesel
engine that produces
86 PS of power and 200 nm
of torque. its price and other
details are not known as yet,
but we expect nissan to make
announcements in this
regard at the forthcoming
Auto expo.
Bulletin Dec11.indd 18 11/24/2011 10:47:41 PM
CMYK
MY NAME IS ISHA ARORA. I READ CAR INDIA
regularly. I am a teacher by profession and,
fortunately, I can manage good time for my family.
My husband, who is a manager working for a
corporation, is just the opposite. I came across
Goodyear Travelogues and I too thought of
contributing to it. We had been planning a visit to
the Vaishno Devi shrine for a long time. My father,
mother and siblings were also desirous of visiting
the place. My daughter, Hardika (6), also tagged
along with us. I drove from Faridabad to Katra in
Jammu & Kashmir to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine.
On the way we crossed cities like Karnal, Ambala,
Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot and Jammu.
Since I enjoy driving my car, driving for a long
distance is always fun for me and so it is for my
brother. We started at 5.00 am and took NH 1
which connects New Delhi with Ambala. Good roads
and sparse traffic enabled us to drive past the
national capital in just 30 minutes. The drive to
Ambala was equally smooth. We covered the
distance of 250
km in five hours.
We stopped at
a place on the
outskirts of
Ambala for breakfast.
By now Hardika was quite
hungry. We opted for a hearty brunch
to save time later and got back to the highway
within an hour.
My brother and I swapped seats and he drove the
car Ambala onwards. Our next halt was at
Jalandhar, by which time we had covered a distance
of 430 km. We faced traffic jams while crossing
Ludhiana. Besides, there were a few patches where
work on road was under way. All of that reduced our
average speed. After tea at Jalandhar, we resumed
our journey again. It was 4.00 pm by now. Taking
NH 1A, we drove towards Pathankot, which was
another 125 km away. We encountered a number of
rash truck drivers on our way. However, we made it
to the city without much difficulty by 6.45 pm.
Taking the bypass, we avoided the city traffic and
kept moving towards Jammu. In another 15 minutes
we crossed the J&K toll and entered the beautiful
State of Jammu and Kashmir. Thereafter, reaching
Jammu looked easy as we came across one of the
best stretches we had encountered so far. The
newly built road is smooth and the traffic not too
dense. The distance of almost 110 km between
these two cities was covered in two hours.
We reached Jammu by 9.15 pm and headed
straight for our relation’s house. We stayed over the
night there and the next morning, all of us, including
our relations in Jammu, drove to Katra, which is the
place from where the trek to Vaishno Devi begins.
Katra is nearly 40 km from Jammu and is known as
the base camp for the Vaishno Devi shrine. There
was no question of a physical trek, because we had
opted for the helicopter service. Hardika was the
happiest to get a 'copter ride.
Having paid obeisance at the Vaishno Devi shrine
we were all very happy on our way back to Katra,
from where we again had to drive back to Jammu.
This trip of over 1,300 km was comfortable and
entertaining. We are thinking of visiting the shrine
next year also.
*Tell us about a trip you cherish, accompanied by exciting
photographs….and one lucky writer will win a set of four
Goodyear tyres.
Send your entries to: carindia@nextgenpublishing.net
*Conditions apply.
1 Only one work published in the magazine shall be entitled
to win the set of four Goodyear tyres.
2 By sending entries, you certify the contents to be true
and correct, and waive all your rights to the content and
acknowledge that your work may be freely published,
build upon, modified or reused for any purposes without
restriction under copyright or database law.
IG6K:AD<J:

Check air pressure and tyre tread depth

Check engine oil, brake pads and liners,
headlamps and blinkers

Lots of water as you have to climb a good
distance before reaching the temple

A good quality camera that will capture
those divine moments
CHECK LIST
Aerial view of Katra
L to R: Isha Arora, brother Chirag with daughter
Hardika, mother & father, sister Richa
T
r
e
k
k
in
g
fr
o
m
K
a
t
r
a
t
o
V
a
is
h
n
o
D
e
v
i
IG6K:AD<J:
8BN@
FARIDABAD
TO VAISHNO DEVI
Avid Car India reader Isha Arora drove
with her family from Faridabad to Katra
to pay obeisance at the famous
Vaishno Devi shrine
Distance travelled
total 1,300kms approx
FARIDABAD
Karnal
Ambala City
Ludhiana
Jalandhar
Pathankot
Jammu
KATRA
MASTER FOR Zinio.indd 20 11/28/2011 3:35:14 PM
CMYK
MY NAME IS ISHA ARORA. I READ CAR INDIA
regularly. I am a teacher by profession and,
fortunately, I can manage good time for my family.
My husband, who is a manager working for a
corporation, is just the opposite. I came across
Goodyear Travelogues and I too thought of
contributing to it. We had been planning a visit to
the Vaishno Devi shrine for a long time. My father,
mother and siblings were also desirous of visiting
the place. My daughter, Hardika (6), also tagged
along with us. I drove from Faridabad to Katra in
Jammu & Kashmir to visit the Vaishno Devi shrine.
On the way we crossed cities like Karnal, Ambala,
Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Pathankot and Jammu.
Since I enjoy driving my car, driving for a long
distance is always fun for me and so it is for my
brother. We started at 5.00 am and took NH 1
which connects New Delhi with Ambala. Good roads
and sparse traffic enabled us to drive past the
national capital in just 30 minutes. The drive to
Ambala was equally smooth. We covered the
distance of 250
km in five hours.
We stopped at
a place on the
outskirts of
Ambala for breakfast.
By now Hardika was quite
hungry. We opted for a hearty brunch
to save time later and got back to the highway
within an hour.
My brother and I swapped seats and he drove the
car Ambala onwards. Our next halt was at
Jalandhar, by which time we had covered a distance
of 430 km. We faced traffic jams while crossing
Ludhiana. Besides, there were a few patches where
work on road was under way. All of that reduced our
average speed. After tea at Jalandhar, we resumed
our journey again. It was 4.00 pm by now. Taking
NH 1A, we drove towards Pathankot, which was
another 125 km away. We encountered a number of
rash truck drivers on our way. However, we made it
to the city without much difficulty by 6.45 pm.
Taking the bypass, we avoided the city traffic and
kept moving towards Jammu. In another 15 minutes
we crossed the J&K toll and entered the beautiful
State of Jammu and Kashmir. Thereafter, reaching
Jammu looked easy as we came across one of the
best stretches we had encountered so far. The
newly built road is smooth and the traffic not too
dense. The distance of almost 110 km between
these two cities was covered in two hours.
We reached Jammu by 9.15 pm and headed
straight for our relation’s house. We stayed over the
night there and the next morning, all of us, including
our relations in Jammu, drove to Katra, which is the
place from where the trek to Vaishno Devi begins.
Katra is nearly 40 km from Jammu and is known as
the base camp for the Vaishno Devi shrine. There
was no question of a physical trek, because we had
opted for the helicopter service. Hardika was the
happiest to get a 'copter ride.
Having paid obeisance at the Vaishno Devi shrine
we were all very happy on our way back to Katra,
from where we again had to drive back to Jammu.
This trip of over 1,300 km was comfortable and
entertaining. We are thinking of visiting the shrine
next year also.
*Tell us about a trip you cherish, accompanied by exciting
photographs….and one lucky writer will win a set of four
Goodyear tyres.
Send your entries to: carindia@nextgenpublishing.net
*Conditions apply.
1 Only one work published in the magazine shall be entitled
to win the set of four Goodyear tyres.
2 By sending entries, you certify the contents to be true
and correct, and waive all your rights to the content and
acknowledge that your work may be freely published,
build upon, modified or reused for any purposes without
restriction under copyright or database law.
IG6K:AD<J:

Check air pressure and tyre tread depth

Check engine oil, brake pads and liners,
headlamps and blinkers

Lots of water as you have to climb a good
distance before reaching the temple

A good quality camera that will capture
those divine moments
CHECK LIST
Aerial view of Katra
L to R: Isha Arora, brother Chirag with daughter
Hardika, mother & father, sister Richa
T
r
e
k
k
in
g
fr
o
m
K
a
t
r
a
t
o
V
a
is
h
n
o
D
e
v
i
IG6K:AD<J:
8BN@
FARIDABAD
TO VAISHNO DEVI
Avid Car India reader Isha Arora drove
with her family from Faridabad to Katra
to pay obeisance at the famous
Vaishno Devi shrine
Distance travelled
total 1,300kms approx
FARIDABAD
Karnal
Ambala City
Ludhiana
Jalandhar
Pathankot
Jammu
KATRA
MASTER FOR Zinio.indd 21 11/28/2011 3:35:28 PM
23 DECEMBER 2011
BULLETIN
CAR INDIA 23
RIDING HIGH ON THE
success of the Vento in the
country, Volkswagen,
Europe’s leading car
manufacturers, are now
offering steering-mounted
audio controls, park distance
control, RCD 310 music
system with USB and four
speakers as standard features
in the Highline diesel variant.
These new features have
been introduced in the market
to further enhance the driving
pleasure of the Volkswagen
Vento in India. The diesel
variant is equipped with a 1.6-
litre engine with a maximum
power output of 105 PS at
4,400 RPM and a maximum
torque of 250 NM at 1,500-
2,500 RPM. The car is
available for Rs 9,77,500 (ex-
showroom, New Delhi).
RAISING
THE BAR
Volkswagen offer new
features in the Vento
Highline (Diesel)
MERCEDES-BENZ
recently conducted a
worldwide trip comprising
solely their rugged G-Wagon
off-roaders. The trip,
spanning 38 days and the
continents of Europe and
Asia, drew to its conclusion
in Kolkata. This unique
caravan, part of the global
‘Mercedes-Benz Driving
Events’ campaign, witnessed
15 G-Wagons experiencing
the pinnacle in off-roading by
setting out to conquer the
roof of the world from
Germany, Poland, Lithuania,
Estonia, across the Ural
Mountains in Russia,
Kazakhstan, the Gobi Desert
in China, Tibet all the way up
to the Mount Everest Base
camp, finally concluding the
grand drive in India.
The G-Wagon, which
stands for Geländewagen
(which means ‘cross-country
vehicle’ in German), is
widely acknowledged as one
of the best off-roaders in the
world.
Speaking on the occasion,
Martin Breuninger,
Managing Director of
Mercedes-Benz Off-road,
said, “The G-Wagon is the
pinnacle in automobile
engineering when it comes to
SUVs. Riding across
landscapes and hostile
terrain, this drive has only
reinforced the G-Wagon’s
supremacy as a vehicle that
offers the best capabilities in
the highest terrain of
the world.”
Worldwide Mercedes G-Wagon
drive culminates in India
Bulletin Dec11.indd 23 11/24/2011 10:45:20 PM
24
bulletin
DECEMBER 2011 car india
We bring you the dope on all the latest cars that are in the neWs
Just launched
Skoda Yeti 4 X 2
In an attempt to wIden theIr customer
base skoda India recently launched a new 4 X 2 variant of
their premium off-roader, the Yeti. the new version is priced
at rs 15.68 lakh (otr, pune), which is rs 2.33 lakh cheaper
than the base 4 X 4 variant.
the 4 X 2 variant uses the same engine as the 4 X 4, but
skoda have detuned the engine a little, reducing its peak
power output to 111.5 ps and 250 nm from
142 PS and 320 Nm. The 4 X 2 gets a fve-speed manual
transmission and a 55-litre fuel tank unlike the 4 X 4, which
features a six-speed manual box and a 60-litre fuel tank. these
changes have also made the Yeti 4 X 2 a full 98 kg lighter than
the 4 X 4 and helped skoda reduce the price.
Range RoveR evoque
Jaguar-Land rover recentLY Launched
their much-awaited soft-roader, the evoque, in the country
recently. the evoque has been launched with two-litre petrol
(240 ps, 340 nm) and 2.2-litre (190 ps, 420 nm) diesel
engine options.
as expected, this baby range rover comes to the country in
two-door coupé (petrol) and fve-door (diesel) options.
Features such as cruise control, terrain response and panoramic
sunroof, etc, have been offered as standard. the price of the
evoque starts from rs 44.75 lakh (ex-showroom, mumbai).
LamboRghini aventadoR LP 700-4
IndIa Is Fast becomIng a FavourIte destInatIon
among all super car makers, with every marque nowadays launching its latest
product here almost as soon as it is introduced internationally. continuing
this trend, Exclusive Motors Pvt Ltd, purveyors of some of the fnest luxury
and sport cars in India, recently unveiled the much-awaited Lamborghini
aventador Lp 700-4 at their showroom in new delhi.
the 6.5-litre, 710 ps aventador comes with a top speed of 350 km/h and
0-100 km/h in just under three seconds. It also comes with an entirely new
technology package, showcasing the unique and powerful functional design.
The carbon-fbre monocoque, occupant cell, with tub and roof is made in
one single unit giving the frame an enhanced level of rigidity and outstanding
driving precision. the permanent all-wheel drive with drive mode select for
track and road capabilities makes it even safer and more precise.
As befts its hypercar-
duelling power and
performance, the
aventador Lp 700-4 will
not come cheap, retailing
for a whopping rs 3.69
crore (ex-showroom,
new delhi).
Skoda RaPid
skoda’s mId-sIze sedan had been spotted a number
of times in camoufage while being tested on the highways. The wraps
fnally came off and the car was launched in the Indian market last month.
Called the Rapid, Skoda have made this car specifcally for India, keeping
in mind the Indian requirements.
the rapid will come with two engine options: a 1.6-litre gasoline and a
1.6-litre diesel. While the diesel version will be equipped with a fve-speed
manual gearbox only, the gasoline version will offer the option of either a
fve-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
the price range for the gasoline version of the rapid will be rs 7.62 lakh
to rs 10.11 lakh (otr, pune) and that for the diesel version will be rs 8.95
lakh to rs 9.33 lakh (otr, pune).
although the skoda rapid looks like a Fabia with a boot attached, it is
much more than that. For a frst drive report of the Rapid, please turn to
page number 38.
Bulletin Dec11.indd 24 11/24/2011 10:41:02 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 17 11/23/2011 2:42:26 PM
26
bulletin
DECEMBER 2011 car india
We bring you the dope on all the latest cars that are in the neWs
Just launched
  TaTa Sumo Gold
TaTa MoTors have launched a feaTure-
packed Gold edition of the sumo victa. It has the victa dI’s
turbocharged 3.0-litre engine that produces 85 Ps of power at
3,000 rPM and 250 nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,000
RPM. Tata claim a fuel-effciency of 14.7 km per litre. There
are fve colour options and four trim levels on offer. Tata are
offering a three year/1,00,000 km engine warranty with the
Sumo Gold. Its price ranges from Rs 6.15 to 7.52 lakh (BS IV,
OTR, Pune, individual). This issue also carries a report on the
frst drive of the Sumo Gold.
ESTd BrinGS ariEl aTom To india
InTeRGlOBe eSTaBlIShed PRIVaTe lIMITed, The
luxury lifestyle solution provider and subsidiary of InterGlobe
enterprises, has announced the launch of the ‘ariel atom’ in India. The
eSTd will exclusively represent the ariel Motor Company in India and
SaaRC. according to reports, the Somerset, england, based company’s
v8 atom series became the fastest road legal car to go around the track.
The models of atom available in India will include the 245 BhP and 300
BhP variants of ariel atom 3 with a starting price of Rs 55 lakh.
Tom Siebert of ariel Motor Company said, “We are very excited to
come to India and be a part of the evolving motor sport environment.
With The eSTd we will reach out to prospective Indian customers and
offer them a product that can be used for anything from serious motor
sport to ultimate fun.”
The eSTd offers an exclusive selection of the world’s most sought-
after luxury products from executive jets to super cars such as Koenigsegg
agera, Gumpert apollo, deronda and now ariel atom.
morE Car aT ThE SamE PriCE
In These TIMes of rIsInG InPuT cosTs, The
cheapest car in the world has just become cheaper to provide
some relief. Tata Motors have launched an upgraded version of
the nano micro hatch, referred to as the nano 2012 informally. It
has received a comprehensive upgrade in design, features and
performance.
To start with, Tata have introduced new colours for the nano
to bring the total of options to 10. Inside the cabin, the lX trim
of the nano gets a beige interior, the cX gets black and the
standard version comes in graphite.
The 624-cc petrol engine of the nano now churns out 38 PS
of power and 51 nm of torque instead of 35 PS and 48 nm in the
earlier model. however, that has not affected the fuel-effciency
of the car. In fact, Tata claim that the fuel-effciency has
increased from 23.6 to 25.4 km per litre. The nano’s suspension
set-up has also been revised. It gets an anti-roll bar in the front
and booster-assisted brakes to enhance performance.
The biggest surprise, however, is that Tata have not increased
the price of this revised car. The nano comes with a four
year/60,000 km warranty for Rs 1.40 lakh for the standard,
Rs 1.70 lakh for the CX and Rs 1.96 lakh for the lX variant (all prices ex-
showroom, new delhi). This adds more value to the car at the same
price, making it cheaper than before. The new car has an on-sale status
and will arrive in Tata showrooms throughout the country soon.
Bulletin Dec11.indd 26 11/24/2011 10:37:49 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 53 11/23/2011 2:45:39 PM
28
EMISSION ZERO
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
The electric Urban Concept is Audi’s radical vision of a zero-emission
city car. It’s fun to drive and, better still, it will be built
URBAN CONCEPT
T
HE FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW IS THE
world’s biggest motor show. At the recent 2011 exhibition,
upwards of 100 new models were unveiled: there was an
awful lot to get excited about at Frankfurt. Yet this, the zero-
emission, all-electric Audi Urban Concept, was, perhaps, the
most intriguing exhibit of all.
Despite the concept car tag, this thing is for real: to test the
water, Ingolstadt intends to sign off a batch of 999 units to be
sold for Rs 7 lakh each. They will either be built in-house by
the Quattro division or by an outside supplier.
Weighing just 480 kg, the outer skin of the Urban Concept
is made of carbonfibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP), while the
occupant cell is a mix of CFRP monocoque and an aluminium
structure. It’s 3,219 millimetres long, 1,678 mm wide – so it’s
actually longer and wider than a Smart car – but considerably
lower at just 1,189 mm tall. It is also rear-engined and rear-
Emission Zero_Dec2011.indd 28 11/24/2011 1:19:55 PM
29
Our monthly dose of guilt-free, clean and green car technologies
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
THE AUDI
URBAN CONCEPT
PRICE Rs 7 lakh
(estimated, in the UK)
ENGINE Two electric motors
powered by lithium-ion
battery, 7.1 kWh
TRANSMISSION
Single-speed transmission,
rear-wheel drive
PERFORMANCE 6.0 seconds
0-64 km/h, 96 km/h,
50-km range
WEIGHT/MADE FROM
480 kg/CFRP, aluminium
drive. The lithium-ion battery is mounted transversely behind the
seats, weighs 90 kg and supplies 7.1 kWh to two motors located
between the rear wheels and supply drive via a single-speed
transmission. A full recharge on 230V mains takes about two
hours, but, if you have access to a high-voltage power line, the
same job can be done in less than 20 minutes.
Accelerate from zero and it’ll hit 64 km/h in six seconds, top
out at 96 km/h and have a driving range that’s currently claimed
to be in excess of 50 kilometres. These numbers are not yet final,
because Audi are using experimental hardware borrowed from the
Q5 hybrid, Sanyo R&D and their own E-tron (remember the
electric R8 E-tron supercar?) think-tank.
Although the proportions and the packaging have been
developed from scratch by the design team under Stefan Sielaff,
the Urban Concept does share certain elements with the VW
XL1 fuel miser. Among them are the front suspension, the nearly
identical rear suspension (but without steering rods), the brakes
co-developed with Continental, the alloy wheels and parts of
the driven rear axle.
The sunflower-yellow car seen here is dubbed Engineering
Experience Module. It looks less flash in detail than the fully
finished, electro-white crowd-stopper from Frankfurt and uses a
conventional spring-strut suspension instead of the show car’s
more elaborate pushrod design. In addition, its aluminium and
carbonfibre tub is stronger, stiffer and heavier than that of the
more refined stage two version and the drivetrain doubles the
power output from 20 PS and 47 Nm(the show car is pegged low
to demonstrate it can be operated without a full driving licence by
16-year-olds in certain EU countries like Italy, France and the
UK) to approximately 41 PS and 95 Nm to better illustrate the
dynamic potential of the brand-new chassis.
Since both the steering wheel and the pedals are fully
adjustable by a clever lever and linkage system, finding a
comfortable driving position is easy. More surprisingly, given its
tiddly appearance, the Urban Concept boasts of enough room for
two occupants: the 1+1 seating layout allows the occasional pillion
to crouch behind the driver in an oddly off-set and slightly
claustrophobic niche.
The cockpit is an object lesson in functional minimalism. All
it contains are a push-button P/R/N/D gear-selector panel,
two Audi TT-derived air vents, a hazard warning light button
and a small digital instrument display panel depicting speed,
distance travelled, remaining range, battery charge status and
recuperation activity.
The Urban Concept makes a compelling alternative to a scooter,
a Smart or a Mini. Youthful, efficient, alternative, affordable and
fun to drive, the Urban Concept sends a promising message from
a brand that has taken itself too seriously for far too long.
1. It weighs just 480 kg and
two electric motors drive the
rear wheels
2. Audi intends to sign off an
initial batch of 999 units
3. All-electric Urban Concept
promises a range of 50 km
4. Kangaroo leather features
on the show car’s seats
1 2
3 4
Emission Zero_Dec2011.indd 29 11/24/2011 1:20:46 PM
30
BOSCH TECHNO BIBLE
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
A water-cooled engine has a hollow
chamber in the outer walls of the
cylinder block and head. The chamber
is filled with water, which works as a
coolant to maintain the engine’s
temperature at the optimum working
level. Since these parts of the engine
have a double outer layer, the system
is referred to as a ‘water jacket’.
WATER JACKET
BOSCH BI-FUEL NG-MOTRONIC ECU
This electronic control unit
(ECU) is based on the Motronic
version for gasoline injection.
It controls the CNG injectors
via separate driver stages.
The torque-guided control
permits the simple integration
of the functions, which are
specific for CNG operation. A
number of advantages result
from integrating both fuel
systems in a bi-fuel ECU. For
‘Rack and pinion’ is a gear meshing system which converts rotational motion into
linear. The pinion gear is circular while the rack is a toothed shaft. Rack and
pinion is commonly used in the steering system of a car. The steering wheel
shares its axis of rotation with a pinion gear. The rotational motion of the pinion
is converted into linear (lateral) motion of the rack, needed to turn the wheels
in a particular direction.
RACK AND PINION
Iridium is a hard metallic element. It can sustain high
temperatures and also possesses anti-corrosion properties.
Spark-plugs used in petrol engines are subject to very high
temperatures during the combustion stroke. This wears
out the plug in time while the chemical reactions in the
combustion chamber have corrosive effects on it.
Therefore, iridium is used in the spark-plugs meant for
high-performance engines for no compromise in
performance and longer life of the plug.
IRIDIUM PLUGS
A seat-belt pretensioner system pulls the buckle of a seat-
belt further inside the socket when it experiences a
sudden outward jerk. As a result, the belt tightens its grip
over the passenger. This keeps the passenger in the right
position on the seat to prevent injury during a crash. The
pretensioner either pulls in the buckle socket or rolls back
the spool around which the socket’s string is wound.
SEAT-BELT PRETENSIONER
instance, lower wiring costs and
cost savings due to the second
ECU becoming unnecessary. In
addition, the system as a whole
has considerable optimisation
potential. A further advantage
inherent in the single-ECU
concept is the fact that at every
operating point a co-ordinated
change can be made between
gasoline and CNG operation
without any jump in torque.
Tecno Bible_Dec2011.indd 30 11/24/2011 5:32:50 PM
31
THE A TO Z OF AUTOMOTIVE TECHNOLOGY
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
LUMBAR SUPPORT
Car seats that come with a little
bulge near the base of the back-
rest are said to have ‘lumbar
support’. Lumbar is the scientific
name for the region of a person’s
back opposite to abdomen or, in
simpler words, the lower back.
The lumbar region bears the
maximum weight of a person’s
upper body. Long hours of driving
give rise to fatigue in this region,
causing great discomfort.
An ornamental model, symbol or
badge located at the centre of a car’s
bonnet, above the grille, is called a
‘hood ornament’. It gives the driver a
better judgement of the car’s bonnet.
Radiator caps of early cars were
located above the bonnet. Over time,
however, car manufacturers starting
adding attractive hood ornaments
over them as their insignia.
‘Targa Top’ is a type of a semi-convertible car. The roof of such cars is removable,
but the pillars and the framework joining them remain fixed. It serves as a safety
feature wherein the fixed section works like a roll bar when the car flips. The
rear windscreen can be either fixed, removable or collapsible. The term is a
Porsche trademark, used by them for the 911 Targa sports car since 1966.
TARGA TOP
Certain regions of a car’s under-body are
made stronger than others to support
the weight of the car when it is being
lifted by a jack or vertical lift. These are
called ‘jacking points’. There is at least
one on each side of the car.
JACKING POINTS
HOOD ORNAMENT
Tecno Bible_Dec2011.indd 31 11/24/2011 5:33:32 PM
32
GEAR BOX
COOL STUFF THAT’S RELATED TO MOTORING IN SOME WAY OR THE OTHER
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
MERRY
CHRISTMAS!
A spectacular Christmas
celebration requires great gifts
and what better gifts than these
excellent products from the
famous small car-maker, Mini?
Yes, Mini has come up with an
array of gift ideas for the entire
family to elevate the fun quotient
this holiday season.
For starters there is this foldable
bicycle that is made from high-
quality components and features a
clever folding mechanism. Then
there is this sleek looking Union
Jack watch with the Mini emblem
adorning the fascia. Next is the
sleek, hard-shell trolley with a lot
of space and a pocket for your
laptop too.
As for the kids Mini has this
Convertible Cooper S baby car
which runs on an electric motor
that can go upto five km/h.
So what are you waiting for? Go
ahead and celebrate Christmas in
style by gifting your dear ones
these great products.
To buy, visit: mini.com/shop
Perfect gifts for the forthcoming festive
season from legendary car-maker, Mini
GearBox_Dec2011.indd 32 11/24/2011 2:53:59 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 7 11/23/2011 2:46:29 PM
34
INBOX
What do you think? What have you been up to?
What do you like? What’s just ruined your day?
Tell us. Write to: Car India, 401-B, Gandhi Empire,
2 Serene Estate, Kondhwa Road, Pune 411 040. INDIA.
Email: carindia@nextgenpublishing.net
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
As a motorist, one thing that always petrifies me are the
forever ‘innocent pedestrians’. It is a widely held notion
that a motorist is responsible when an accident occurs even
if he is not at fault. Besides suffering injuries, he has to pay
the cost of repairs on the damaged vehicle and is also
forced to face all the legal and social implications alone.
India boasts of the second largest population in the
world and sudden appearances of pedestrians on a busy
lane is not a rare phenomenon. One should always look out
for two kinds of morons strolling on the streets, both
lacking road sense and both with no respect for fellow
vehicle users. The first ones are those who can clearly see
the oncoming traffic, but don’t bother to wait for a few
seconds to let the vehicles pass. These people are in such
a great hurry that they fail to understand that by jumping
in front of high-speed vehicles they not only put their own
lives at risk, but also those of other road-users.
Those in the second category are a step ahead of the
aforesaid people and they can prove fatal. These people
unexpectedly jump on a busy lane with heads turned in the
other direction, thus warning the motorist that if he
intends to survive, then he had better go hit a tree, ram
against another vehicle or spill out of the road. They
perceive an oncoming lorry as a clay toy, which, if it hits
them, will be shattered to pieces. So, ultimately, it’s the
problem of the driver to avoid hitting them.
They tend to forget completely the fact that the person
sitting behind the steering wheel is also a human being and
is as much prone to err as fellow road-users.
Now the question that exercises my mind is: do we need
an authority to regulate the behaviour of pedestrians?
Bhanu Pratap Singh, via e-mail
IS THERE A CURE FOR THIS MALAISE?
LETTER OF THE MONTH
FAR FROM THE
MADDING CROWD
I am a regular reader of Car India and am
fond of all the articles that talk about the
driving experience. I travel a lot myself. I
happened to visit Kabini recently.
When one talks about Kabini, the first
thing that comes to one’s mind are the
elephants, but Kabini is not just about
elephants. There are about 58 tigers and more
than 160 leopards in the whole Nagarhole
range of forests, including Kabini.
After this experience I’d like to say to my
fellow readers – if you are tired of the
maniacal Bengaluru traffic and need a break,
then head straight for Kabini. It’s an
experience you will never forget.
Srikanth S, Bengaluru
HOW ABOUT THE
DIESEL POLO?
I have been following Car India regularly
and am also a fan on your Facebook page. I
am thinking of changing my car and want a
new diesel hatchback. Is the Volkswagen
Polo (diesel) the best hatchback if the only
selection criterion is driving pleasure?
Kshitij Shankhdhar, Lucknow
Hello, Kshitij,
The Volkswagen Polo (diesel) offers ample
pleasure to the driver. However, if you want
even more of it and money is no constraint,
you may consider the VW Polo 1.6 (petrol).
SPONSORSHIP FOR RACING
I am a regular reader of your magazine
and love your team’s passion for the four-
wheeled machines. I am also a motor sport
enthusiast and wish to venture into racing
with the national championships organised
by JK Tyres. But the one problem I can
foresee is sponsorship. I need your guidance
in this regard.
K Subramanian, Solapur
Dear Subramanian,
Getting sponsorship is a ticklish issue. The
most important fact in this regard is that one
cannot hope for a sponsor unless and until
one proves one’s mettle on the racetrack.
Sponsorship may become possible only after
a consistently good performance throughout
a race season. Until then one has to rely on
one’s own resources.
WELL-DESIGNED MAGAZINE
I enjoy reading automotive magazines very
much. Usually I do not stick to a particular
magazine. I just pick one up at a news stand
on the basis of its cover and its contents. Last
month I happened to pick up Car India. I
found your magazine to be a decent read,
though, I am sure, there is room for
improvement.
One thing is sure, though. The design of
your magazine has improved considerably
from what it used to be earlier.
I look forward to many more entertaining
and informative articles from Car India and
wish you the best.
Rahul Arora, Mumbai
Hello, Rahul,
Thank you for candid comments. Please
feel free to communicate to us the areas
where you feel improvement is needed.
We shall be happy to consider and act upon
such suggestions.
WAITING FOR XUV500
WITH 4WD
Recently I picked up a
copy of Car India that had
the Mahindra and
Mahindra XUV500 on
the cover. I must
confess that this SUV
from M&M is one of
the finest looking
vehicles I have come across in
recent times and I appreciate Mahindra’s
efforts in making such a fine offering.
However, I don’t really feel that the XUV
will be capable of handling really rough roads
that other Mahindra vehicles are capable of.
Besides, I was disappointed a little to learn
that there is no 4 X 4 variant. Had there been
one, it would have made a great addition to
the range.
After reading the article I paid a visit to a
M&M dealership in Mumbai during my
recent visit to that city where I came to know
that there is a huge demand for the XUV500
and that there is a waiting period of several
months. I am really interested in buying one,
but in the 4 X 4 variant. Are M&M likely to
introduce a 4X4 variant in the near future?
Jignesh Dwarakadas Patel, Ahmedabad
Dear Jignesh,
From what we know a four-wheel drive
variant of the XUV500 is likely to be
introduced early next year.
Letters_Dec2011.indd 34 11/24/2011 6:44:10 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 55 11/23/2011 2:47:55 PM
36
THE CRITICS
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Gavin
Green
The space taken
up by pointlessly
big wheels could
be put to better use
PATRICK LE QUÉMENT, FORMER
design boss of Renault, once took issue with a
story I’d written. He said I called him a stylist.
Rather, he was a designer. There is an
important distinction, of course. Designers
create; stylists merely make it look good. My
favourite definition of design is Le Corbusier’s:
intelligence made visible (there is a similarly
titled book written by Stephen Bayley).
I’m also fond of an observation made by one
of the great car conceivers, Sir Alec Issigonis:
A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
Le Quément was right. He is a designer
(when I saw him in Paris earlier this year, he
told me of his latest project: designing luxury
yachts). When you have the Megane Scenic
monospace on your CV – and the ‘jellymould’
Ford Sierra that radicalised saloon design –
you can certainly claim to have advanced the
cause of the car.
But how many other designers are making
cars that are as much science as art? Cars that
make peoples’ lives more enjoyable or easier
(or both)? Think – different cars that change
the direction, no matter how modestly, of the
automobile? A clear contrast, when
comparing great
design with great
style, is the
original Mini of
1959 and the
BMW Mini of
2001. The first is
a lesson in
design genius: a
car that
revolutionised
packaging and
reformed
motoring
architecture, not least by prioritising people.
It was inexpensive (to buy and run), space-
efficient, agile and one of the cutest shapes in
the automotive oeuvre. The BMW Mini is a
pretty premium hatch. This does not make
BMW’s offering unworthy or undesirable; it’s
clearly a big sales success, satisfying another
definition of design coined by Henrik Fisker,
formerly of Aston Martin and now maker of
his own plug-in hybrid sports cars: ‘If design
isn’t profitable, then it’s art’.
Often car ‘designers’ put style above
practicality and usability. This might
make them good stylists, should that new
feature improve the appearance of the car.
But it also makes them lousy designers if
that eye-catching new style simultaneously
reduces functionality, intuitiveness, comfort
or efficiency.
Take the car stylists’ current obsession with
huge alloy wheels. This is not intelligence
made visible. It is battiness writ bold. I’m
afraid they’re nearly all at it, even otherwise
good ‘designers’. Concept cars frequently ride
on absurd big-foot appendages, looking more
like toys than intelligently conceived tools.
Alas, such wheels often make it to the market.
Big wheels are a bad idea. They damage
ride, amplify noise, hurt aerodynamics, raise
rolling resistance and reduce cabin space.
Bigger wheel-arches rob room that might
more usefully be employed by feet or luggage.
Little wonder that the most space-efficient car
in the world, the Tata Nano, has 12-inch
wheels. Big wheels do not improve dynamics,
never mind their sportier stance. Rather, they
usually hurt handling and poise partly
because of their greater unsprung weight.
I often ask car engineers for the ideal tyre/
wheel combination for their new cars. They
never commend the big foot version. At the
press launch of the Range Rover Evoque,
Mike Cross, dynamic guru at Jaguar Land
Rover, recommended the 19-inch wheels (not
the 20s) because of their better ride and
superior handling balance and feel; for the
Jaguar XF he’d choose 18-inch wheels – 19s
for the V6 – rather than 20s.
Now it’s true
that cars usually
look better on the
biggest wheels
available. But
this does not
make big wheels
more attractive,
per se. Rather,
big wheels look
better because
they fill the
oversized arches
that stylists
demand. Empty wheel arches can make a Jaguar
look more like a Jeep. The sensible thing is to
design smaller arches, not bigger wheels.
As I mused on this, I quickly jotted down
my three top best-looking cars, concentrating
on those of a sportier mien. They were: the
Series 1 Jaguar E-type, the Ferrari 250 GTO
and the Lamborghini Miura. All had 15-inch
wheels. A humble modern Ford Fiesta, by
comparison, can be had with 17s.
But these are old cars. Does not modern
low-profile rubber necessitate taller rims? I
saw a gorgeous Lamborghini Countach near
my home in Richmond recently, its low-
profile rear tyres measuring a very modern
345/35. They were riding on 15-inch wheels.
And, I tell you, it all looked pretty tasty.
Bigger does not mean better. Guess
what type of wheel that apogee of motoring
high performance, Adrian Newey’s latest
Red Bull F1 car, uses? OZ Racing wheels,
13 inches in diameter. car
But how many other
designers are making
cars that are as much
science as art? Cars
that make peoples’ lives
more enjoyable or easier
(or both)?
Gaven Green_Column_Dec2011.indd 36 11/24/2011 1:11:54 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 13 11/23/2011 2:48:36 PM
There is a new entrant in the mid-size sedan segment – the
Skoda Rapid. And though it looks like a Fabia with a boot
added on, we try to find out how much more it is than just that
as we drive the Rapid line-up in Rajasthan
Story & Photography: Adhish Alawani
SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE
38 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE
Skoda Rapid_Dec2011.indd 38 11/24/2011 12:37:33 PM
W
E ALL LOVE THE SKODA
Fabia for several reasons. It is a
well-engineered car with decent
engine options, good transmission,
adequate space, great efficiency and solid
build quality. Skoda decided to carry these
positive attributes forward to a higher
segment and thus came the Rapid that you
see in the pictures around.
At first glance from the front, one might
mistake this one for the Fabia. The Rapid
has an identical nose that includes the
headlights, the front grille, the massive fog
lamps and even the smallest details like the
two creases running at the centre along the
length of the bonnet. But as you move
towards the rear, you notice its bigger size
with the additional boot. The tail-lights
are typical C-shaped Skoda ones. The two
diagonal lines next to the number-plate are
a unique design element distinguishing
the Rapid from anything else in the
market. Overall, the car looks and feels big
from the outside – exactly what a mid-size
sedan should be like.
Inside, the Rapid has a few bits from
Volkswagen and a few from Skoda put
together to make a decent interior.
However, there isn’t anything new in it.
The dash is the same as in the VW Vento
while the controls are from Skoda. The
steering wheel is again typically Skoda and
without audio controls on it even for the
top-of-the-line model.
The Skoda Rapid comes with two engine
options: 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel.
These units are the same that you get on
the Volkswagen Vento with exactly the
same state of tune – 105 PS of peak power
from both the mills and 153 Nm
1 The dashboard of the Rapid will
look very familiar to those who have
already seen the Vento and Fabia
from inside
2 The five-speed manual is available
on both petrol and diesel versions
3 The six-speed automatic
transmission is available only on the
petrol version of the Rapid and it is a
rather sluggish box
4 Skoda boast a lot about the cup
holder at for rear passengers. The
lever to adjust the front seat from rear
seat is a useful feature. Not if you
have naughty kids seating at the
back though
1
2
3 4
SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE
39 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Skoda Rapid_Dec2011.indd 39 11/24/2011 12:38:51 PM
and 250 Nm of peak torque respectively.
The petrol engine comes with an option of
either five-speed manual or six-speed
automatic transmission (no DSG to keep
the cost down) while the oil burner is
mated to a five-speed manual only.
Like the Vento, the Rapid feels a little
sluggish in its petrol avatar and even more
so with the automatic transmission. The
auto box feels decent enough and hassle-
free while driving within the city. On the
highway, however, it gets irritating on
account of its slow response when you
decide to overtake the vehicle ahead. In
fact, the Rapid automatic is best driven in
the tiptronic manual mode only. The diesel
version is more engaging to drive with the
huge amount of torque coming into action
from as low as 1,500 revolutions per minute
and staying flat until 2,500 RPM. The only
noticeable difference between the Rapid
and the Vento is that though they share the
same engines, the Rapid sounds a little
quieter than the Vento owing, we reckon,
to a better insulated cabin.
On the driving and handling front, the
Rapid continues to flaunt the solid
character that the Skoda (and Volkswagen)
brand is famous for. Though the Rapid
feels identical to the Vento so far as the
engines are concerned, the same cannot be
said of the suspension set-up. It is slightly
on the softer side and thus improves the
everyday city drive quality. However, it
takes its toll when pushed hard round
corners, where a slight body-roll becomes
perceptible. The Rapid doesn’t feel as
sure-footed as the Vento in this regard, but
it isn’t as soft as the Hyundai Verna either.
Having tried out both engines and
transmissions, we can say that the diesel
manual version is the best of the lot. From
what we know of the engine in the Vento,
we can assure you that this mill will be
highly efficient too. A good package
indeed and with a price ranging from Rs
7.62 lakh to Rs 10.11 lakh, it is a mite
cheaper than its Volkswagen sibling too.
Our take? Not an enthusiast’s sedan, but
a good mid-size family sedan.
SKODA RAPID
PRICE Rs 7.62 to 10.11 lakh (OTR, Pune)
ENGINE 1.6-litre, 105PS, 150Nm (Petrol)
1.6-litre, 105PS, 253Nm (Diesel)
TRANSMISSION Five-speed manual
(Diesel and Petrol), Six-speed automatic
(Petrol only)
NEED TO KNOW
The 1.6-litre diesel engine is the
better of the two. Loads of torque
make it a good car to drive
SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE
40 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
SKODA RAPID FIRST DRIVE
Skoda Rapid_Dec2011.indd 40 11/24/2011 12:39:48 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 57 11/23/2011 2:49:40 PM
Audi’s latest offering, the A6 2.0 TDI,
spectacularly raises the bar in the premium
luxury saloon class. We got behind its wheel
to experience it first-hand
BENCHMARK
IN LUXURY
Story: Adhish Alawani
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
A
UDI INDIA ARE ON A ROLL AND THE LINE-UP
of their products is an eloquent testimony. Not a single
car from Ingolstadt’s range has given us the slightest
reason to grumble. In fact, with every new car or variant
launched, the German giant has managed to raise the level of
excellence still higher. The latest addition to this is the 2.0-
litre diesel version of the A6. To some, it might sound like a
small-capacity motor in a premium luxury saloon. Indeed it
is. However, it does its job so well that you are left with no
alternative but to be awestruck by what it does.
The Audi A6 2.0 TDI started showing off its excellence
when we drove it from Chennai to Mumbai in just one
tankful of diesel a couple of months ago. A car in that
segment delivering close to 19 km per litre was incredible
indeed. Not just fuel efficiency, the comfort that this car
offered during the whole trip was phenomenal. A long haul of
1,337 kilometres with just three stop-overs en route would not
have been possible had it not been for this car. But the story
didn’t end there. This month, we took the A6 and drove it
around the city to gauge its abilities as an overall car.
No doubt, the A6 has stunning looks. Its muscular stance,
coupé-like roof-line that descends nicely towards the rear to
gel well with the boot and its big, chrome-lined grille between
the LED headlights making for a bold front end lend the A6
style as no other car in its segment. Inside, the A6 has a
wonderful combination of grey and silver touched with
brushed aluminium outlines on the dashboard and centre
wall. The brown leather upholstery complements the
AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST
42 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST
Audi A6_Dec2011.indd 42 11/24/2011 12:32:15 PM
BENCHMARK
IN LUXURY
AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST
43 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Audi A6_Dec2011.indd 43 11/24/2011 12:33:00 PM
1 The 2.0-litre
diesel motor
powering the A6
is extremely
efficient and
decently
powerful
2 The LED
headlights are
optional while
the DRLs are
standard
3 The white
backlit
instrumentation
console looks
extremely stylish
4 Class apart
interiors of the
A6 give the car
a higher
segment feel
elegance of its interior. The white backlit digits in the instrument
console, the pop-up infotainment screen, well-laid-out switches
that even include a touch pad for selecting the radio station make
for a set-up of user controls and interface that Audi have got
straight from the future. The only thing that didn’t feel quite up
to date was the manual adjustment for rake and reach of the
steering wheel instead of an electronic one.
Coming to the crux, let us talk about the 2.0-litre diesel engine
powering the A6. As mentioned earlier, the capacity might feel a
little on the low side for a saloon of this segment, but it makes so
much sense that you cannot complain about it. It has got 177 PS
of peak power and an impressive 380 Nm of peak torque. These
figures on the paper translate into a 0-to-100 km/h sprint in 9.53
seconds and a top speed of over 220 km/h. What is more
interesting is that even at 220 km/h the A6 remains rock-steady.
The chassis and suspension are so well set up that they do the job
of delivering an excellent combination of comfort in the city or on
long drives and superb dynamic ability for spirited driving in
mountainous terrain. Going back to the engine, what also needs
to be appreciated is the fact that there is a linear power delivery
from the oil burner, which makes driving around the city a
1
2
4
3
Audi A6 2.0 Tdi roAd TesT
44 car india December 2011
Audi A6 2.0 Tdi roAd TesT
Audi A6_Dec2011.indd 44 11/24/2011 12:34:06 PM
Audi A6 2.0 TDI ( Rs 47.30 lakh OTR, Pune) 11111
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE
Cylinders Four, In-line
Engine Layout Logitudinal
Fuel supply Diesel
Bore x stroke 81 x 95.5
Cubic capacity 1968cc
Compression ratio 16.5:1
Valvegear DOHC, 4 valves per cyl
ENGINE OUTPUT
Max power (PS) 177
Power peak (rpm) 3750-4200
Red line (rpm) 5000
Max torque (Nm) 380
Torque peak (rpm) 1750-2500
TRANSMISSION
Forward speeds, Seven-speed
1st gear 2.404
2nd gear 1.441
3rd gear 1.031
4th gear 0.797
5th gear 0.637
6th gear 0.523
7th gear 0.437
8th gear 0.382
Reverse gear 2.908
Final drive 5.390
Drive wheels FWD
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 17”
Tyre size 225/55 R17
BRAKES
Front Ventilated disc
Rear Ventilated disc
STEERING
Type Electromechanical
steering with speed-dependent
power assistance
Lock to lock 2.8 turns
SUSPENSION
Front Five-link, double upper and
lower wishbone, anti-rollbar, CDC
shock absorbers
Rear Self-tracking trapezoidal-
link axle with wishbone, anti-
rollbar, CDC shock absorbers
ACCOMMODATION
Seating 4
Head Room, F/R 940/940mm
Leg Room F(max/min)
1120/975mm
KneeRoomF(max/min)
920/670mm
KneeRoomR(max/min)
825/590
Shoulder space 1400mm
Fuel tank 75 liters
Boot space 530 liters
DRIVER AIDS
Six airbags, head restraints,
ABS, EBD, adjustable steering,
ESP
O
v
e
r
a
l
l

h
e
i
g
h
t


1
4
5
5
m
m
Width(excluding mirrors) 1874mm Front track 1627mm
Rear track 1618mm Kerb weight 1585 kg
Wheelbase 2912mm
Overall length 4915mm
car Road Test 232
CAR INDIA’s test and performance data is the sole copyright of Next Gen Publishing
Ltd. No part of the data or text can be used in any form for any purpose or promotion or
advertisement without the explicit written permission of the editor.
Performance testing by Aspi Bhathena
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h)
True Speedo
20 20
38.9 40
59.2 60
77.0 80
96.8 100
116 120
OVERTAKING
ACCELERATION
(kick down, in seconds) Roll-ons
40-60 1.59
60-80 2.25
80-100 3.01
100-120 3.99
FUEL CONSUMPTION
City 12.5 kmpl
Highway 18 kmpl
Overall* 13.8 kmpl
* Overall is 25% highway and 75%
city driving
TEST RESULTS
CAR RATING
BRAKING TEST
From 80km/h to 0
30.77m/2.76s
From 100km/h to 0
38.06m/2.77s
PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Power/mass (PS/tonne)
111.67
Power/litre (PS/litre)
88.5
Torque/litre (Nm/litre)
190
TEST CONDITIONS
Altitude 550m above MSL
Weather Warm, windless, dry
0-400metres sprint: 17.02s
Terminal speed: 135.24km/h
1km sprint: 30.82s
Terminal speed: 173.25km/h
Design & Style: 11111
Powertrain: 11111
Performance: 11111
Fuel Efficiency: 11111
Dynamic Ability: 11111
Space: 11111
Creature Comforts: 11111
Driver Appeal: 11111
Safety: 11111
Interiors: 11111
Suspension: 11111
Ride Quality: 11111
Handling: 11111
Steering: 11111
Braking: 11111
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
ACCELERATION (km/h)
TIME, SECONDS
6.65s
4.45s
2.86s
9.53s
13.38s
1.53s
comfortable affair.
Aiding urban driving ease is the eight-speed multitronic
transmission that shifts seamlessly. However, if you select the
‘Sport’ mode, the transmission acts like a manual transmission
that revs up to over 5,000 RPM before shifting. In the normal
mode and with pedal to the metal, the engine will hold at 4,000
RPM and goes on shifting seamlessly.
Of course, the last bit that we looked at during out test was the
efficiency. With a fuel efficiency of 12.5 km per litre during city
runs, it was hard to believe that the A6 could actually put some of
the entry-level basic sedans to shame. An overall efficiency of 13.8
kpl completes the story.
So, how would one summarise the A6? It is an excellently
styled car with a decent amount of power, mind-boggling
handling and unbelievable fuel-efficiency in the premium saloon
segment. At Rs 47.30 lakh (OTR, Pune) we wonder if there is
anything better you can buy in the Indian market. The A6 is
actually setting a benchmark that its competitors will have a very
tough time beating – undoubtedly it’s a segment leader and that
too by a huge margin.
AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST AUDI A6 2.0 TDI ROAD TEST
45 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Audi A6_Dec2011.indd 45 11/24/2011 12:34:49 PM
46 car india December 2011
audi r8 v10 feature
Audi R8 Berlin_Dec2011_3 pager.i46 46 11/24/2011 11:53:21 AM
We spent a day driving the R8 V10 at
the Audi ‘driving experience centre’
at Gross Dolln, near Berlin
An
ExpEriEncE
To Cherish
Story: Aspi Bhathena
47 DECEMBER 2011 car india
audi r8 v10 feature
Audi R8 Berlin_Dec2011_3 pager.i47 47 11/24/2011 11:54:07 AM
G
ROSS DOLLN USED
to be a Soviet-era air force base that
had the second longest runway in
the world. This air force base,
which had lain in disuse, was later
converted into a ‘driving experience centre’
with different kinds of courses such as skid
pads, slalom, ABS and handling tracks of
different shapes and sizes.
There was a short briefing by chief
instructor, Marco Werner, three times Le
Mans winner and a works driver for the Audi
racing team. He emphasised how the weight
transfer of the car under braking and
acceleration changed its handling
characteristics from oversteer to understeer.
We were then split into three different
groups. We had three different types of
driving exercises and we were lucky to start
off with the slalom, then on to the ABS test
before moving on to the next course as this
gave us time to get used to the car and get
ourselves warmed up before we got on to the
handling track.
It was wet and cold in the morning and
there was a drizzle too. The conditions were
far from ideal for flat-out driving. Even in
those wet conditions we had to push really
hard to get the car out of shape during the
slalom, thanks to the leach-like traction of
the R8 Quattro.
The lane change ABS test was
so easy in the R8 V10 compared
to some other cars because there was so
much grip and stability that it steered
normally with full pressure on the brake
pedal and the ABS activated.
The two-kilometre-long handling track
had different elevations. There were different
types of corners, from tightening corners to
double apex turns, and some of them had a
totally blind approach as the braking point
was before the crest and the turn in point was
immediately after the top of the climb.
After a small briefing on the lines we
should take through the corners, Marco
Werner led us round the track, building up
speed gradually, so that we could keep up
with him in the lead car. As I started going
faster and faster on this short handling track,
I was either on power or braking hard into
the apex of the corner. Even with the Quattro
and leach-like grip you could feel the tyres
squirming while exiting the corners under
the brutal power of the V10 engine. The R8
V10 is extremely driver-friendly compared to
most mid-engine super cars with a rear-
wheel drive thanks to the Quattro system.
The icing on the cake after a day of driving
nirvana came in the form of a drive with
Marco Werner in the R8 LMS car. The
flying laps that I did with Marco were a
lesson of sorts for he was smooth as silk and
inch-perfect as he cut all the apexes and used
the entire width of the track compared to
what we were doing. The LMS car is a rear-
wheel drive only as the rules do not allow an
all-wheel drive.
A number of people buy these super cars
but hardly use more then 20 to 30 per cent of
their potential. The Audi driving experience
is what we need in India so that the owners
of these cars can learn how to use their
expensive cars in a safe environment under
proper guidance.
Even the wet conditions don’t affect the R8 quattro
like they would affect the two-wheel drive cars
Marco Werner pushes the R8 LMS
Racer during the flying lap
Getting the position just
right for the drive
AUDI R8 V10 FEATURE
48 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
AUDI R8 V10 FEATURE
Audi R8 Berlin_Dec2011_3 pager.i48 48 11/24/2011 11:55:47 AM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 29 11/23/2011 2:50:54 PM
old is
Gold
T
ata Motors have
launched the sumo Gold as a
premium version of the sumo victa
DI. It sports a better looking grille than
the victa, with the word ‘Gold’ etched in
a chrome strip on top. the Gold badge
can also be found on the tailgate. apart
from that, its design and features are the
same as that of the victa DI. there are
four different trims: CX, LX, eX and
GX. the GX comes fully loaded with
clear-lens headlights, fog lights, tinted
window glass, rear wash/wipe system
and defogger, foot-boards and wheel
covers. the spare wheel has now found a
niche under the body to improve rear
visibility. remote and central locking
system are also part of the package.
Inside the cabin, the Gold has fabric
upholstery, a music system with four
speakers, power windows and cup
holders on the inner side of the glove-
box lid. the car we drove had a seating
capacity of seven. a nine seater option
comes with a third row of seats instead
of the two at the back, which face each
other. these can be folded to enhance
boot space. the back rest of the second
row, however, is not collapsible. the
seats are slightly stiffer and come with
adjustable lumbar support for the bucket
ones. the Gold’s spacious cabin offers
ample leg space and headroom. In fact,
the roof is so high that I (5’ 9”) was able
to stand between the front and rear seats
with my neck bent! the only
inconvenience is the plastic panel below
the glove-box, which reduces leg space
for the front passenger.
the instrument console has analogue
speedometer and tachometer dials and a
small digital display in the centre for the
odometer, two trip meters and a clock.
Door-ajar and seat-belt indicators also
find place on the console. these are
accompanied by acoustic warning.
however, tata could have done a better
job of concealing the wiring of the seat-
belt warning system near the pretensioner
as it can be easily unplugged.
tata have upgraded the victa DI’s
three-litre turbocharged engine to meet
the stricter Bharat stage (Bs) Iv norms
applicable in cities. It comes with a
Delphi common rail injection system and
has been termed as Cr4, like their other
Bs Iv engines. the power output has
The Gold edition is Tata Motors’ latest offering in the Sumo
series. We drove it recently to fnd out its worth
Story: Piyush Sonsale
Photography: Rommel Albuquerque
TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive
50 car india DeceMber 2011
TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive
Tata Sumo Gold_Dec2011.indd 50 11/24/2011 3:54:44 PM
TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive
51 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
Tata Sumo Gold_Dec2011.indd 51 11/24/2011 3:56:48 PM
been increased from 70 to 85 PS at 3,000
RPM and torque from 223 to 250 Nm at
1,600-2,000 RPM. Transmission is five-
speed with an overdrive. Tata claim a
fuel-efficiency of 14.7 km per litre.
Although the Gold has good
acceleration for its size, its engine still
leaves the driver wishing for more power,
especially with the air-conditioner on.
Anti-roll bars have been installed to
reduce body roll. They do a fair job, but
won’t stop your breakfast and lunch
getting mixed while driving on a zigzag
stretch. The Gold has an independent
suspension system in the front and leaf
springs at the rear, with the result that the
front absorbs the bumps and potholes
well, but the rear bounces up and down
and upset the ride. The braking system
has ventilated disc brakes in the front and
drum ones at the rear. Vibrations through
the seat, pedals and steering are
negligible and the Gold’s NVH (noise,
vibration and harshness) levels are not a
cause for complaint either.
A BS III version of the engine is also
available as an option in respect of the
Gold outside cities. There are six colour
options, including the light golden shade
worn by our car. Tata are offering a
claimed best-in-class engine warranty of
three years/1,00,000 km with the Gold.
Considering the whole package and
its price range of Rs 6.15-7.52 lakh (BS
IV, OTR, Pune, individual), the Sumo
Gold has all the ingredients of a big
family car and can also serve as a
premium people mover without burning
a hole in your pocket.
1
2
3 4
5
1 Lumbar
support lever
2 The 3.0 litre
CR4 engine is BS
IV compliant
3 Good leg space
and headroom is
a Sumo virtue
4 Rear seats are
foldable
5 Spare wheel is
tucked under the
body
TaTa sumo gold gX
PRICe Rs 7.52 lakh (oTR, Pune)
enGIne 2956cc, 85Ps, 250Nm
TRanSmISSIon Five-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
waRRanTy 3 years/1,00,000 km
NEED TO KNOW
TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive
52 car india December 2011
TaTa Sumo Gold FirST drive
Tata Sumo Gold_Dec2011.indd 52 11/24/2011 3:58:07 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 11 11/23/2011 2:51:59 PM
Force Motors have entered the passenger
car market with an SUV. Is this SUV
capable of taking the successful CV
manufacturer to new heights?
Story: Ravi Chandnani
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
FORCE ONE ROAD TEST
54 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
FORCE ONE ROAD TEST
Foce One_Dec2011.indd 54 11/24/2011 12:02:02 PM
1 The dashboard and
the steering look nice in
its minimalistic avatar
2 The gear knob is
wrapped in leather and
has a good up-market
feel. The reverse gear
position is quite unusual
though
A
fter making some of the
best-selling commercial vehicles in the
country, force motors have entered the
personal transport segment with their
first offering, the force one. this new
sUV from force clearly points to the
company's passion for growth. is the force one
capable of making force motors a force to reckon
with in the indian sUV segment? Let's find out.
Design And Features
one look at the force one and you immediately
realise that the proportions of this sUV are spot on.
it appears very imposing and the angular design
lend it a tough and rugged appearance while
keeping the overall look elegant. the bold front end
with a simple yet classy grille dipped in chrome
bears a huge force motors monogram which gives
the front a stylish view. the headlamp with a
projector beam and integrated daytime running
LeDs and round fog lamps accentuate the overall
appearance of the front end.
its bulging wheel fenders and huge 16-inch
wheels shod with all-terrain tyres add good muscle
to the force one when viewed from the side.
however, the rear end has been kept a little too
simple. overall, the exterior of the force one
appears quite good because of the right proportions
and old school angular design that give it a robust
sUV look while keeping things simple and elegant.
moving to the interior, you'll find a well-laid-out
cabin which is quite simple. it features a
minimalistic dashboard with a two din audio system
that features an aux port, UsB port and Bluetooth,
manual a-c controls and angular vents with fake
wood trim surrounding the centre console. a
chunky steering wheel with controls mounted on it
for music, phone and cruise control settings are the
highlights of the dashboard. Use of colours like
beige and light brown give a warm and welcoming
feel and features like leather-covered seats, steering
and gear knob, a-c vents in the second and third
row and rear parking sensors give the force one an
upmarket feel.
one thing of this sUV that everyone will
appreciate is the huge space on offer. good leg and
knee room make the interior quite roomy and the
third row, which looks quite tight, actually has
decent knee room for an adult. Besides, the central
arm rest between the driver and the passenger seat
has dual storage. overall, the interior looks and
feels good, though it could have been a little more
modern.
Engine And Performance
force one is an indian sUV with an international
heart. the motor powering this big sUV is a unit
that comes from Daimler ag, germany. the 2,149-
cc diesel engine was developed by mercedes and
force motors are making this very engine here in
india under licence from Daimler. on paper the
engine looks quite impressive with a power output
of 141 Ps and 321 nm of torque. it has a five-speed
transmission, which is a little heavy and requires
some effort to shift. But the power delivery is quite
nice as the force one can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h
in just 15.45 seconds. rather good for a vehicle of
this size. the roll-on figures also suggest that you
don't need to shift constantly to keep up with traffic
or to overtake. the top speed that we recorded
1
2
Force one road test Force one road test
55 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
Foce One_Dec2011.indd 55 11/24/2011 12:11:52 PM
The 2,149-cc diesel engine was developed by
Mercedes and Force Motors are making this very
engine here in India under licence from Daimler
FORCE ONE ROAD TEST
56 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
FORCE ONE ROAD TEST
Foce One_Dec2011.indd 56 11/24/2011 12:12:54 PM
before running out of road was 162.6 km/h.
However, there is considerable body-roll that
becomes perceptible instantly. This is due to the
soft suspension set-up, which is fine within the city.
Once on the highway, you start noticing every little
pothole and bump. Moreover, the road holding
characteristics of the Force One do not inspire
much confidence and let you push hard, as it
becomes quite unstable at high speed. Its light
steering, good for the city but not enough for the
highway, lacks positive feedback. And the absence
of ABS is a reason people might shy away from this
SUV. Overall, you can take the Force One out for a
day in the city, but if you enjoy driving and would
like to take it to the highway often, then you might
be disappointed because of its stability and soft
suspension.
Overall
Many would think of the Force One as a 4 x 4 SUV.
However, this one here is a 4 x 2 version. A 4 x 4
version will appear in the market by the end of 2012
along with ABS.
Force Motors have priced the Force One at Rs
12.45 lakh (OTR, Pune, for the 5+D variant), which
is reasonable for everything you get with it. We
have to say that the first attempt by Force Motors is
definitely commendable, but a few tweaks here and
there will make it a more desirable product than it
currently is.
car Road Test
CAR INDIA’s test and performance data is the sole copyright of Next Gen Publishing
Ltd. No part of the data or text can be used in any form for any purpose or promotion or
advertisement without the explicit written permission of the editor.
Performance testing by Aspi Bhathena
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h)
Gear True Speedo
1 29.2 28
2 57.9 58
3 97.8 99
4 147 150
5 162.6 167
OVERTAKING
ACCELERATION
Roll-ons
3rd 4th 5th
40-60 6.56 8.15 21.38
60-80 3.87 5.13 9.29
80-100 8.36 5.29 8.48
100-120 - 5.37 12.68
FUEL CONSUMPTION
City 8.5 kmpl
Highway 11 kmpl
Overall* 9.12 kmpl
* Overall is 25% highway and 75%
city driving
TEST RESULTS
CAR RATING
BRAKING TEST
From 80km/h to 0
41.34m/3.46s
From 100km/h to 0
71.12m/4.59s
PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Power/mass (PS/tonne)
75.80
Power/litre (PS/litre)
65.61
Torque/litre (Nm/litre)
149.37
TEST CONDITIONS
Altitude 550m above MSL
Weather Warm, windless, dry
Force One 5+D ( Rs 12.45 lakh OTR Pune) 1112
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE
Cylinders Four, Inline
Engine Layout Longitudinal
Fuel supply Diesel
Bore x stroke NA
Cubic capacity 2149cc
Compression ratio NA
Valvegear DOHC, 4 valves per cyl
ENGINE OUTPUT
Max power (PS) 141
Power peak (rpm) 3800
Red line (rpm) NA
Max torque (Nm) 321
Torque peak (rpm) 1600-2400
TRANSMISSION
Five-speed Manual
1st gear NA
2nd gear NA
3rd gear NA
4th gear NA
5th gear NA
Reverse gear NA
Final drive NA
Drive wheels RWD
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 16”
Tyre size 235/70 R16
BRAKES
Front Ventilated disc
Rear Drum
STEERING
Type Rack and pinion, power
assisted, collapsible
Lock to lock 3.6 turns
SUSPENSION
Front Independent Double
Wishbone with Coil Spring
Rear Multi Link with Pan Hard
Rod & Coil Spring
ACCOMMODATION
Seating 5
Head Room, F/R 940/935mm
Leg Room F(max/min)
1185/1025mm
KneeRoomF(max/min)
790/625mm
Shoulder space 1440mm
Fuel tank 70 liters
Boot space NA
DRIVER AIDS
Tilt adjust steering, reverse
parking sensor
O
v
e
r
a
l
l

h
e
i
g
h
t
1
8
8
5
m
m
Width(excluding mirrors) 1780mm Front track NA
Rear track NAmm Kerb weight 1860 kg
Wheelbase 3025mm
Overall length 4860mm
0-400metres sprint: 19.89s
Terminal speed: 114.32km/h
1km sprint: 36.25s
Terminal speed: 144.60km/h
Design & Style: 111
Powertrain: 1112
Performance: 1112
Fuel Efficiency: 1112
Dynamic Ability: 111
Space: 11112
Creature Comforts: 1112
Driver Appeal: 111
Safety: 111
Interiors: 1112
Suspension: 1112
Ride Quality: 111
Handling: 111
Steering: 111
Braking: 111
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
ACCELERATION (km/h)
TIME, SECONDS
10.26s
6.86s
3.71s
15.45s
21.87s
239
1.31s
1 The engine from
Daimler is quite
powerful however, the
gearbox is a bit heavy
and needs effort to shift
2 LEDs adorn the front
end during the day as
they stay on until you
switch on the main
headlamps
3 The central armrest
doubles up as a storage
space
4 The steering mounted
controls are big and
easy to read
1
2 3
4
FORCE ONE ROAD TEST FORCE ONE ROAD TEST
57 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Foce One_Dec2011.indd 57 11/24/2011 6:56:42 PM
It’s BMW versus Audi yet again. The 2.0-litre diesel avatars of X3
and Q5 are all set for a battle. Let’s see whose day it is today
Battle For
Supremacy
continueS
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
58 cAr IndIA December 2011
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 58 11/24/2011 12:48:39 PM
Story: Adhish Alawani
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
59 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 59 11/24/2011 12:49:33 PM
A
s you can see in the
pictures around, what we have
for a comparison are the BMW
X3 and the audi Q5. Both are
mid-size suVs or rather soft-
roaders we would say, both are
German, both are powered by 2.0-litre
diesel engines and both are pretty new in
the indian market. the audi Q5 has been
around for over two years, but its 2.0-litre
diesel variant came earlier this year. the
BMW is comparatively a more recent
entrant, having come to these shores about
three months ago. since BMW and audi
have been arch-rivals for years, the battle for
supremacy still continues even in this case.
if you think that this one is another
fierce battle of two of the best-in-class
warriors, you might be surprised by the
outcome. how? Let us see.
Design AnD styling
When a company launches a new car, one
expects it to be a much better looking one.
it should appeal at first sight and make its
predecessor look dated. We expected that
of the X3, but were disappointed on that
front. no doubt, the X3 looks better than
the earlier version of the same car, which
was much too box-like. the headlights
have been slightly changed, the kidney-
shaped grille is more or less the same, the
bumper is slightly sleeker than before and
the overall look is more of a facelift than
that of a new car. even at the rear, the basic
form has been maintained. the sharp edges
have been replaced by curvy ones and the
rear now bears a finer look. overall, apart
from refining the design, BMW have not
done much with the X3’s looks.
Look at the Q5, on the other hand, and
you know that this audi is a modern car.
it has soft edges at the front and sides, a
big, chromed grille, LeD jewelled
headlamps, sharp yet stylish tail-lights and
an overall aggression that would scare its
competitors. What really goes in favour of
the Q5 is its positively raked nose as
against the upright one of the X3. though
the new Beemer is less boxy, the nose still
gives an old car feel to it. if looks had to
decide the fate, the X3 would be miles
behind the Q5.
engine AnD trAnsmission
as mentioned earlier, the BMW X3 and
audi Q5 are both powered by 2.0-litre
diesel engines. however, their power
outputs differ. While the X3’s motor
produces 184 Ps of peak power, the Q5’s
engine makes only 170 Ps. even on the
torque front, the X3 stands tall with 380
nm as against 350 nm of the Q5.
obviously, with the higher output ratings,
there is no question that the X3 performs
better when it comes to outright
acceleration. the BMW manages 0-to-100
km/h in 9.56 seconds while the Q5 crosses
the same mark 1.8 seconds slower, that is,
in 11.36 seconds. however, a point to be
noted here is that the Q5 takes a little
longer to get off the mark because it
launches in the second gear, then drops to
the first and then accelerates hard. it loses
almost a second in this business.
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
60 car india December 2011
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 60 11/24/2011 12:50:20 PM
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
61 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 61 11/24/2011 12:51:23 PM
Now, instead of outright acceleration, if
we compare the kickdown accelerations of
the two cars from 40 to 120 km/h, the Q5
is just about a second slower than the X3.
We think that this difference is negligible
while considering everyday driving.
The credit for comparable kickdown
acceleration times of the Q5 despite having
lesser power goes to its excellent
transmission. This Audi uses a dual
clutch, seven-speed gearbox that shifts
through the cogs seamlessly as against the
old fashioned, torque converter type eight-
speed box used in the X3. While the Q5
manages to upshift without letting the
driver notice it, the X3 takes its own time
and makes the shifts evident. Even within
the city, the Q5 feels much better to drive
unlike the X3, which keeps revving up and
down all the time.
Handling and drive Quality
It is an established fact that BMWs are
drivers’ cars. They have stiff suspensions,
precise feedback and a lot of sportiness.
However, we haven’t been big fans of their
extreme stiffness when it comes to day-to-
day driving. BMW moved a little towards
the optimum set-up for the 5-series and an
1 Audi’s seven-
speed dual-clutch
transmission offers
seamless shifts
2 The Q5 offers an
excellent cabin
with good space for
driver and front
passenger
3 Audi’s 2.0-litre
diesel engine is
highly refined and
moderately
powerful
4 Sharp taillights
with lots of LEDs are
a visual treat
1 2
3 4
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
62 car india December 2011
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 62 11/24/2011 12:52:32 PM
excellent one in the GT, which were
welcome and appreciable changes. But
what they did with the X3 was a little too
much. This SUV has become so soft now
that those who have known BMWs for a
long time will find it difficult to accept this
one. There is quite a lot of body-roll
evident too. At slow speeds, the X3 feels
good as it takes care of the bumps with its
soft suspension. But as the speed goes up,
the X3 doesn’t feel as planted and as stable
as a BMW should.
On the other hand, the Q5 impresses at
low as well as high speeds and manages to
negotiate every sort of surface
appropriately. There is very little body-
roll, good stability through corners and a
very comfortable drive at the same time.
Be it in the city or on the highways, the Q5
feels at home. What impressed us even
more was that you couldn’t hear the road
noise or the engine in the cabin while
driving at high speeds in the Q5. As
against that, the X3’s engine was audible
in the cabin even at idling.
Space, equipment
and FeatureS
The X3 has something to boast about
when it comes to cabin space. With
overall dimensions a little more generous
than the Q5’s, the X3 manages to offer
more space to the rear passengers than
1 BMW has a
powerful yet noisy
and unrefined
engine
2 BMW has
maintained the
basic form of the
taillight and added
curves to it
3 Eight-speed
transmission is a
little troublesome in
city driving but
good for highway
cruising
4 The interiors of the
X3 are quite simple
and typically
BMWish
1 2
3 4
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
63 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 63 11/24/2011 12:54:08 PM
Audi Q5 2.0 TDI ( Rs 46.32 lakh OTR, Pune) 11111
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE
Cylinders Four,In-line
Engine Layout Longitudinal
Fuel supply Diesel
Bore x stroke 82.5x92.8
Cubic capacity 1984cc
Compression ratio 9.8:1
ValvegearDOHC,4valvespercyl
ENGINE OUTPUT
Max power (PS) 172
Power peak (rpm) 4200
Red line (rpm) 5000
Max torque (Nm) 350
Torque peak (rpm) 1750-2500
TRANSMISSION
Forwardspeeds,Seven-speed
1st gear 3.692
2nd gear 2.150
3rd gear 1.344
4th gear 0.974
5th gear 0.739
6th gear 0.574
7th gear 0.424
Reverse gear 3.333
Final drive 4.357
Drive wheels AWD
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 17”
Tyre size 235/65R17
BRAKES
Front Ventilateddisc
Rear Ventilateddisc
STEERING
Type Electromechanical
steeringwithspeed-dependent
powerassistance
Lock to lock 3.0turns
SUSPENSION
FrontFive-link,doubleupperand
lowerwishbone,anti-rollbar,CDC
shockabsorbers
RearSelf-trackingtrapezoidal-
linkaxlewithwishbone,anti-
rollbar,CDCshockabsorbers
ACCOMMODATION
Seating 5
Head Room 960mm
Leg Room F(max/min)
1145/950mm
KneeRoomF(max/min)
890/660mm
KneeRoomR(max/min)
820/570
Shoulder space 1415mm
Fuel tank 75liters
Boot space 540-1`560liters
DRIVER AIDS
Sixairbags,headrestraints,
ABS,EBD,adjustablesteering,
ESP
O
v
e
r
a
l
l

h
e
i
g
h
t

1
6
5
3
m
m
Width(excluding mirrors) 1880mm Front track 1617mm
Rear track 1613mm Kerb weight 1755 kg
Wheelbase 2807mm
Overall length 4629mm
car Road Test 240
CAR INDIA’s test and performance data is the sole copyright of Next Gen Publishing
Ltd. No part of the data or text can be used in any form for any purpose or promotion or
advertisement without the explicit written permission of the editor.
PerformancetestingbyAspiBhathena
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h)
True Speedo
19.8 20
39.5 40
58.8 60
78.0 80
97.1 100
116.2 120
OVERTAKING
ACCELERATION
(kickdown,inseconds)Roll-ons
40-60 1.82
60-80 3.07
80-100 3.68
100-120 4.72
FUEL CONSUMPTION
City 10kmpl
Highway 14kmpl
Overall* 11kmpl
*Overallis25%highwayand75%
citydriving
TEST RESULTS
CAR RATING
BRAKING TEST
From 80km/h to 0
24.88m/2.54s
From 100km/h to 0
45.58m/3.31s
PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Power/mass (PS/tonne)
98
Power/litre (PS/litre)
86
Torque/litre (Nm/litre)
175
TEST CONDITIONS
Altitude 550maboveMSL
WeatherWarm,windless,dry
0-400metres sprint: 17.98s
Terminal speed:128.60km/h
1km sprint: 32.46s
Terminal speed:165.38km/h
Design & Style: 11111
Powertrain: 11112
Performance: 11112
Fuel Efficiency: 11111
Dynamic Ability: 11111
Space: 11112
Creature Comforts: 11111
Driver Appeal: 11111
Safety: 11111
Interiors: 11111
Suspension: 11111
Ride Quality: 11111
Handling: 11111
Steering: 11111
Braking: 11111
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
ACCELERATION(km/h)
Time, seconds
7.93s
5.02s
3.13s
11.36s
15.72s
1.43s
1&2 The Audi Q5
(Left) has much
lesser knee room for
the rear passengers
than the BMW X3
(Right)
3 Audi’s bold front
end with positive
rake looks much
better than the
upright nose of
the X3
1
AuDIq5vsBMWx3 SHOOTOuT
64 car india DeCembeR 2011
AuDIq5vsBMWx3 SHOOTOuT
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 64 11/24/2011 6:58:53 PM
BMW X3 xDrive 20d ( Rs 49.24 lakh OTR, Pune) 11112
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE
Cylinders Four,In-line
Engine Layout Longitudinal
Fuel supply Diesel
Bore x stroke 84.0x90.0
Cubic capacity 1995cc
Compression ratio 16.5:1
ValvegearDOHC,4valvespercyl
ENGINE OUTPUT
Max power (PS) 184
Power peak (rpm) NA
Red line (rpm) 5000
Max torque (Nm) 380
Torque peak (rpm) 1750-2750
TRANSMISSION
Forwardspeeds,Seven-speed
1st gear NA
2nd gear NA
3rd gear NA
4th gear NA
5th gear NA
6th gear NA
7th gear NA
Reverse gear NA
Final drive NA
Drive wheels AWD
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 17”
Tyre size 225/60R17
BRAKES
Front Ventilateddisc
Rear Ventilateddisc
STEERING
Type Electromechanical
steeringwithspeed-dependent
powerassistance
Lock to lock 3.0turns
SUSPENSION
Front NA
Rear NA
ACCOMMODATION
Seating 5
Head Room 955mm
Leg Room F(max/min)
1100/930mm
KneeRoomF(max/min)
860/600mm
KneeRoomR(max/min)
920/680
Shoulder space 1410mm
Fuel tank 67liters
Boot space NA
DRIVER AIDS
Sixairbags,ABS,EBD,
adjustablesteering,ESP,
Drivingmodes
O
v
e
r
a
l
l

h
e
i
g
h
t


1
6
7
5
m
m
Width(excluding mirrors) 2098mm Front track 1616mm
Rear track 1632mm Kerb weight 1790 kg
Wheelbase 2810mm
Overall length 4648mm
car Road Test 241
CAR INDIA’s test and performance data is the sole copyright of Next Gen Publishing
Ltd. No part of the data or text can be used in any form for any purpose or promotion or
advertisement without the explicit written permission of the editor.
PerformancetestingbyAspiBhathena
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h)
True Speedo
19.0 20
38.8 40
58.5 60
77.4 80
97.5 100
117.6 120
OVERTAKING
ACCELERATION
(kickdown,inseconds)Roll-ons
40-60 1.83
60-80 2.48
80-100 3.46
100-120 4.49
FUEL CONSUMPTION
City 9kmpl
Highway 14kmpl
Overall* 10.8kmpl
*Overallis25%highwayand75%
citydriving
TEST RESULTS
CAR RATING
BRAKING TEST
From 80km/h to 0
25.17m/2.29s
From 100km/h to 0
38.49m/2.82s
PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Power/mass (PS/tonne)
102.8
Power/litre (PS/litre)
92
Torque/litre (Nm/litre)
190
TEST CONDITIONS
Altitude 550maboveMSL
WeatherWarm,windless,dry
0-400metres sprint: 16.74s
Terminal speed:129.59km/h
1km sprint: 31.18s
Terminal speed:165.33km/h
Design & Style: 1111
Powertrain: 1111
Performance: 11111
Fuel Efficiency: 1111
Dynamic Ability: 1111
Space: 11111
Creature Comforts: 11111
Driver Appeal: 1111
Safety: 11111
Interiors: 11111
Suspension: 1111
Ride Quality: 11112
Handling: 11112
Steering: 11112
Braking: 11111
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
ACCELERATION(km/h)
Time, seconds
6.29s
3.93s
1.97s
9.56s
13.93s
0.76s
2
3
AuDIq5vsBMWx3 SHOOTOuT AuDIq5vsBMWx3 SHOOTOuT
65 DECEMbER 2011 car india
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 65 11/24/2011 6:59:51 PM
its competitor. The rear knee room is
better in the X3 by approximately 100 mm
than in the Q5. The shoulder space and
headroom are, however, almost identical
in both these SUVs.
On the features front, the X3 gets an
additional Auto Start/Stop and keyless
ignition button, which are missing in the
Q5. On the other hand, the Audi gets the
parking camera, which isn’t even an option
in the X3. The rest is pretty much similar
in both the cars.
EfficiEncy
Fuel-efficiency is hardly a prime factor
when it comes to luxury cars like BMWs
and Audis. However, with the automotive
world trying to get greener and greener by
the day, fuel-efficiency has gained in
importance. Both the cars have almost
similar efficiencies with the X3 delivering
nine kpl and 14 kpl in city and on highway
respectively and the Q5 delivering 10 kpl
and 14 kpl respectively. The slightly
higher efficiency of the Q5 within city is
due to its superior dual-clutch
transmission, whereas the X3’s at par
efficiency on the highway despite having
more power and torque is due to its eight-
speed box that lets the car run at lower
revolutions per minute.
VErdict
While the X3 proves to be better in
outright performance, cabin space and is
at par with its efficiency, there are some
shortcomings in this Beemer. The first
disappointment is the styling of the X3.
The new car looks more like a facelift
version to us. Secondly, though the engine
is powerful, it is noisy and unrefined.
Thirdly and most importantly, the X3
doesn’t feel like a typical BMW. It’s soft
and doesn’t give the feel of an enthusiasts’
car. The Audi Q5, however, impresses
with its drive quality, handling,
refinement, transmission and styling. It
only lacks in outright acceleration,
something that would hardly matter in
everyday driving.
What clinches the argument in favour of
the Audi Q5 is its price. The Q5 2.0 TDI is
priced at Rs 46.32 lakh (OTR, Pune) and
the BMW X3 xDrive 20d at Rs 49 lakh
(OTR, Pune). At almost Rs 2.7 lakh less,
the Audi Q5 makes for a perfect all-rounder
with a better driving experience.
There is very little body-roll in the Q5, good
stability through corners and a very comfortable
drive at the same time
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
66 car india December 2011
audi q5 vs bmw x3 shootout
X3 vs Q5_Dec2011.indd 66 11/24/2011 12:55:07 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 43 11/23/2011 2:53:11 PM
Before the sun decides to
cover itself with a blanket of
fog and water gets chilly, the
Toyota Liva and we decided to
wash the heat off our skin
WATER
WATER
EVERYWHERE!
Story: Gasha Aeri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
68 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2068 68 11/24/2011 5:58:08 PM
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
69 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2069 69 11/24/2011 5:59:10 PM
T
HE MORNINGS AREN’T THE SAME THESE DAYS.
My negligence to come out of the bed must be taken as
compulsive lethargy owing to earth’s revolution and thus
the change in season. Simply short, winter is almost here
and before it makes the last leaf on the treetop fall,
we decide to capture the ghat and beach while they are
still in all their grandeur.
For the same I decided to visit the most scenic
ghat close by and with a companion which offers
good fuel economy for that long run, ample cabin
space and good drive quality to beat those
winding roads. Solution, the Toyota Etios Liva.
The mission to be accomplished by mid-
day was rafting. So, after some Google
hunting and basic preparations we set off for
the river Kundalika, a small stream flowing
from the Sahyadri range to finally merge with
the Arabian Sea. About 80 km from Pune, the
rafting spot was located just before Kolad. As we
reached the spot told us by the adventure group, much
to our dismay, the river was nothing more than a couple of
inches over the pebbles of the riverbed. But at the stroke of the hour
of nine o’clock, Tata Power’s Mulshi dam project released their
excessive water and the river was swept off its misery. And thus the
river decked up to offer some splashes to me and my fellow rafters.
Before we set off for an adventure, we were taught some basic
rowing and survival techniques. And off we went for a 14-km long
adventure trail. The water was friendly in the beginning, with just a
little current making our raft go ahead. As we progressed towards the
first rapid, the trainer made us practise all the rowing techniques and
commands which we might need later. As the raft steered clear of the
first turn, we saw that the water dipped suddenly a little
ahead and rose back to the usual level instantly. So,
that’s what they call a rapid, I reckoned. As our
trainer ordered us for fast forward rowing, I knew
that I was nearing it and what I recollect
happened a while later was being under a strong
but not very high wave, which left me all
drenched, happy and satisfied. Funny as they
were, the trainer and his group of friends had
given some peculiar names to the
rapids – morning headache,
Rajdhani Express and,
my favourite, Jim Carry!
Wonder if Mr Mask felt
funny when our raft tickled
his belly and came out.
It was all going well until we met these
rapids on our way, but this turbulence wasn’t there to stay
for ever and we came out to find
a clear and calm river after struggling through those rapids. Our
arms hurt because of all the fast rowing and, much to our relief, the
trainer signalled to us that we could now swim in the still water.
But the joy achieved after a couple of dips in that comfortably
WHITE
WATER RAFTING
AT RIVER KUNDALIKA
 Cost: Rs 1,375 (per person)
 Contact: Kundalika Rafting
www.kundalikarafting.in
 Best season to go: Monsoons
 Timings: 8:00 am- 12 noon
 Preparation: Light breakfast,
Water proof/ light cotton clothing,
No valuables/electronics,
No asthma/heart patients
 Places to eat: Roadside vendors
 Transport: Personal
vehicles / cab provided by
the adventure group
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
70 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2070 70 11/24/2011 6:00:24 PM
From Pune, head towards Mulshi via Chandani Chowk.Cross the Tamhini Ghat and proceed
towards Kolad. The rafting spot is located a little off the main road to Kolad. About 10 km
before Kolad, take the kuchcha road on the right and follow it till you see a stream flowing
across an open field.
The destination of your rafting session would be Kamat village. From there, follow the
narrow road till it joins the main highway to Kolad. Take a right at the highway and
proceed till you hit NH-17. Take a right towards Panvel to head towards Alibaug. There are
various options for routes going towards Alibaug on the left.
WE WENT WHERE?
FROM PUNE TO ALIBAG, VIA MULSHI DAM
PUNE
ALIBAG
Mulshi
Tamhini
Kolad
Kurul
Since the river
is fed by the excessive
water released from the
Mulshi dam, rafting
packages are avilable
throughout the year, but
the most preferred time
is during monsoons,
with ample of rain
to support the
water level
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
71 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2071 71 11/24/2011 6:01:59 PM
Good legroom at the rear made the drive
comfortable for the passengers too and ample
storage space made sure that there was enough
room for all our knick-knacks
cold water didn’t last long and we were told that the effort to row
back the final km would be all the rowing done so far combined, as
there were no waves to support the raft. Nevertheless, we rowed
and reached the bank.
After that tiring journey, I just wanted to get into the comparatively
cooler cabin of the Liva, stretch my legs and make the a-c vents take
the sun off my skin and it felt good when the Liva agreed with me. It
was good to see that the coolbox had kept my water bottle at just the
right temperature after that heat bite.
After a quick lunch, there was another big question. Whether to
head back to the madness of the city or extend this bright weekend
and pay a visit to the closest beach. I checked the fuel range and the
fine economist that the Liva is, there was more than enough fuel. The
Liva stood up to my expectations and offered an economical 19 km to
a litre, despite those rough roads and unsteady speeds we did. So with
more than a half tank full and excitement to hit the beach, off we went
to Alibaug.
After the broken ghat road until Kolad, the road to Alibaug was
an improvement and, as good as it is, the Liva handled well round
the corners and turned ghat driving exhaustion into a pleasure
drive. Good legroom at the rear made the drive comfortable for
the passengers too and ample storage space made sure that there
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
72 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2072 72 11/24/2011 6:03:32 PM
was enough room for all our knick-knacks.
After a 45-km drive, we could see the direction boards assuring
that the beach was in close vicinity. Alibaug, being a small tourist
place, we didn’t expect anything lavish, but a decent hotel offering
good authentic Konkani cuisine is what we were looking for and
we got it too. Arms aching after the morning’s rowing and the belly
happily settled with a good meal, the laziness recurred and we had
to drag our feet to the car.
The Kihim beach, we were told, was about 12 km from Alibaug and
with good roads, good mileage and scenic surroundings, we didn’t
mind going that extra bit. The road took us through tiny lanes with
coconut and palm trees on the sides and old houses, everything being
so laid-back that we felt envious of the local people who took things
at a slow pace and were part of no rat race. And there it was, standing
right in front of us with all its glory: the Kihim beach. The beach is
also famous for its thick cover of coconut trees and is home to various
rare species of butterflies, birds and flowers. After strolling on the
beach for some time, something very interesting caught my attention.
After jet-skiing, kayaking and paragliding, para-sailing was what I
was yearning for, but what we witnessed wasn’t exactly that, but a
little different and interesting. Instead of a jet-ski pulling the
parachute, it was being pulled by a Jeep and the chute followed the
car up in the sky. More like para-moto-sailing! Being up in the air
and pulled by a car, with the sand underneath felt strange instead of
being over the sea. But since we went during the lean tourist season,
whatever little something we were offered was most welcome. A
single run at the length of about 300 meters was all that a single
ticket bought me and after a smooth landing, I declared the end of
the activities for the day.
The return from the beach to Pune was rather uneventful after
whatever I experienced through the day. We took the first exit after
Pen and joined the Mumbai-Pune expressway and matched our pace
with the cars around. Making a snapshot of all the major recollections
from those activities, I thereby strike off two more things from my
‘things to do before I die’ list. There are still a lot many left and a lot
many weekends to spend. What say, Liva?
A rafter need not
be a trained swimmer,
but that doesn’t take
away the risks involved
during a mishap in
water. The best advice is
to follow the instructions,
respect the river and
always keep your
reflexes ready for
the worst
TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE TOYOTA ETIOS LIVA ADVENTURE
73 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Toyota Liva_Pune to Alibag_Dec2073 73 11/24/2011 6:05:11 PM
We wish we had a magic mirror that could help
us pick the better car between the all-new
Hyundai Eon and the tried and tested
Maruti Suzuki Alto K-10
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY
74 cAr indiA dEcEMbEr 2011
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY covEr storY Eon sportz vs Alto K10
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd74 74 11/24/2011 1:02:33 PM
Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY covEr storY Eon sportz vs Alto K10
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd75 75 11/24/2011 1:03:50 PM
T
he Maruti Suzuki alto haS Managed to
sustain what could be termed as a car manufacturer's
dream run and most of the credit goes to its good value at
the puny price, something that no other car model has been
able to achieve so far. the price is so low that it makes
profts margins wafer thin. It’s no surprise that we haven’t
seen a new car launch in this segment for close to a decade now. at
the same time it says a lot about the alto as it remains the largest
selling car across segments for over six years. the launch of the alto-
K10 accelerated the sales further to 1.48 lakh units this fnancial year!
this showed how the indian car market had evolved as buyers
preferred to shell out extra money for the k-10 version over the
cheaper alto 800 and Maruti 800. indians are read to pay a little extra
for a better, feature-rich product.
Betting solely on volume, hyundai have launched their cheapest
car yet – the eon, an entry-level hatchback tailor-made for india.
the advantage the korean company has over the alto is that the
eon is a new model with modern styling, good technology and
decent equipment.
Looks
the alto was initially developed way back in 1979 in Japan and has
been in india for over 11 years now. the model has been upgraded
regularly and the current generation alto has classic car lines lending
a solid stance, but it looks like a previous generation design. the alto
K10 has slightly fared front lamps that distinguish it from the smaller
engine powered alto-800. even though it has a boxy design, it still
works for more conservative car buyers and there's no shortage of
them in this segment. To its advantage, the fat side body of the
Maruti makes it easy to restore any of the unfortunate dents in
the long run.
the eon, on the other hand, is imposingly fashionable and looks
elegant. Hyundai’s Fluidic sculpture design language has been nicely
executed even on this entry-level hatchback. its hexagonal grille and
large swept-back headlights look pleasing. in fact, some of the light-
catching lines on the side take you by surprise as you would have
never expected them to be featured on a car with this comparative
price tag. Both cars offer wheel caps, but the ones on the eon have a
smart design that makes it appear like alloy wheels. the fancy
crescent shaped tail-lights compliment the korean design, though the
muscular bumper and tiny boot-lid make the eon look stocky from
rear. The overall ft and fnish of the Eon is superior with tight shut
lines throughout. on the design front, the hyundai indisputably
outshines the alto, as the eon has a much stronger essence of pride
of ownership.
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY
76 car india december 2011
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd76 76 11/24/2011 1:06:30 PM
High quality finish and good plastic
raise the bar in this segment
The cabin is roomy but narrow rear
window give a less airy impression
The surprisingly large boot
seems to twice the size of Alto’s
The 814-cc motor produces 56PS and
75Nm which are adequate for city use
The Maruti interiors show
clear signs of ageing
Three adults will not be comforable
on the Alto’s rear seat
The K10 engine is peppy and returns
the same fuel economy as the Eon
The boot is a disappointment
compared to Eon’s
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd77 77 11/24/2011 1:08:03 PM
Usability
The Eon is taller than the Alto and, with its wide-opening doors
makes getting in or out a lot more convenient than in the Maruti,
which has lower seats that make you go through the rigmarole of
crunch-squat-and-slide. However, the Alto’s wider seats are more
comfortable than the Eon’s, which taper on top and have
integrated head-rests.
The Eon has a taller driving position, which is ideal for the city and
the large front and rear windscreens improve visibility, comparatively
speaking. Meanwhile, the Alto is low on the elbow room and since it
is 75 millimetres narrower than the Eon, the driver and front
passenger come too close for comfort.
The black-grey dashboard and upholstery of the Maruti Alto is a
lot less desirable than the brighter half-beige-half-black treatment
seen in the Eon. The layout of the Eon’s integrated centre console
looks great, while the chunky knobs feel sturdy to operate. The large
dials are easily legible and have a small screen with gear shift
indicator to achieve best fuel economy. The plastic appears to be
hard-wearing and the quality is impressive.
The Alto gets a new instrument cluster and also a digital fuel-gauge
and trip meter. Maruti try hard to catch up with the newly launched
Xplore limited edition, which now comes equipped with a double-din
stereo with USB and Bluetooth along with leather seats. However, it
does not have the fnesse neither does it feel as solidly built as the
Hyundai. Having said that, it is not bad for the price.
The Eon scores again with its intelligent design, which carves out a
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY
78 car india december 2011
Eon sportz vs Alto K10 covEr storY covEr storY Eon sportz vs Alto K10
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd78 78 11/24/2011 1:08:52 PM
fair amount of storage space. It’s got a decent sized glove-box with
another large cavity above for storage. Unlike the Alto, which just
has sleek door pockets ft to store maps, the Eon front doors also
have bottle holders. Talking about storage, the Alto’s boot seems
minuscule, where even a tennis bag is a squeeze. The Eon has a
surprisingly large 215-litre luggage space, which has no qualms
about accommodating a regular suitcase, and the seats can be folded
to make more room, but the tiny boot lid gives a narrow approach
and the boot lip is a little high.
We can ignore the fact that in India even compact cars are used to
carry entire households, so cabin space it vital, but unfortunately
also a luxury. None of the two cars can comfortably seat more than
four adults. The Maruti's rear seat is low and fat, while the
Maruti Suzuki
Alto K10 VXi
Price Rs 3.69 lakh (otR, Pune)
engine 998cc, 68PS, 90Nm
tranSMiSSion Five-speed manual,
front-wheel drive
PerforMance 13.97 secs 0-100km/h,
156km/h top speed
fuel efficiency 17.5kmpl (overall)
NEED TO KNOW
car Road Test
CAR INDIA’s test and performance data is the sole copyright of Next Gen Publishing
Ltd. No part of the data or text can be used in any form for any purpose or promotion or
advertisement without the explicit written permission of the editor.
Performance testing by Aspi Bhathena
MAXIMUM SPEED (km/h)
Gear True Speedo
1 40 37.2
2 71 67.5
3 114 108.1
4 138 132.2
5 138 132.2

OVERTAKING
ACCELERATION
Roll-ons
3rd 4th 5th
40-60: 6.27 8.98 10.83
60-80: 6.48 9.54 11.50
80-100: 7.56 13.3 15.63
100-120: - 21.0 43.97
FUEL CONSUMPTION
City 16 kmpl
Highway 23 kmpl
Overall* 17.75 kmpl
* Overall is 25% highway and 75%
TEST RESULTS
CAR RATING
city driving
BRAKING TEST
From 80km/h to 0
33.02m/2.90s
From 100km/h to 0
51.07m/3.52s
PERFORMANCE FACTORS
Power/mass (PS/tonne)
78.32
Power/litre (PS/litre)
68.79
Torque/litre (Nm/litre)
92.13
TEST CONDITIONS
Altitude 550m above MSL
Weather Warm, windless, dry
0-400metres sprint: 20.90s
Terminal speed: 104.98km/h
1km sprint: 39.59s
Terminal speed: 124.61km/h
Design & Style: 1111
Powertrain: 1112
Performance: 111
Fuel Efficiency: 11111
Dynamic Ability: 1112
Space: 11112
Creature Comforts: 11112
Driver Appeal: 1111
Safety: 1112
Interiors: 1111
Suspension: 1111
Ride Quality: 1112
Handling: 1112
Steering: 111
Braking: 1112
120
100
80
60
40
20
0
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
ACCELERATION (km/h)
Time, seconds
11.99s
7.09s
3.97s
18.62s
242
Hyundai Eon Sportz
( Rs 4.28 lakh OTR, Pune) 1111
SPECIFICATIONS
ENGINE
Cylinders Three, In-line
Engine Layout Transverse
Fuel supply Petrol
Bore x stroke 67.0 x 77.0
Cubic capacity 814cc
Compression ratio 10.1:1
Valvegear SOHC, 3 valves per cyl
ENGINE OUTPUT
Max power (PS) 56
Power peak (rpm) 5500
Red line (rpm) NA
Max torque (Nm) 75
Torque peak (rpm) 4000
TRANSMISSION
Forward speeds, Five-speed
1st gear 3.833
2nd gear 2.105
3rd gear 1.310
4th gear 0.919
5th gear 0.784
Reverse gear NA
Final drive NA
Drive wheels FWD
WHEELS AND TYRES
Wheel size 13”
Tyre size 155/70 R13
BRAKES
Front Disc
Rear Drum
STEERING
Type Electromechanical
Lock to lock 3.1 turns
SUSPENSION
Front Mc Pherson Strut with coil
Spring and Anti-Roll Bar
Rear Torsion Beam Axle with Coil
Spring
ACCOMMODATION
Seating 5
Head Room (F/R) 1080/920mm
Leg Room F(max/min)
1080/940mm
KneeRoomF(max/min)
840/650mm
KneeRoomR(max/min)
780/600mm
Shoulder space 1185mm
Fuel tank 32 liters
Boot space 215 liters
DRIVER AIDS
Airbags, gear shift indicator,
adjustable steering
O
v
e
r
a
l
l

h
e
i
g
h
t


1
5
0
0
m
m
Width(excluding mirrors) 1550mm Front track 1386mm
Rear track 1368mm Kerb weight 715 kg
Wheelbase 2380mm
Overall length 3495mm
1.24s
EON SPORTz vs ALTO K10 COvER STORY EON SPORTz vs ALTO K10 COvER STORY
79 CAR INDIA DECEMbER 2011
COvER STORY EON SPORTz vs ALTO K10
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd79 79 11/24/2011 6:48:12 PM
Hyundai's is higher and more inclined. The Eon also has a 20-mm
longer wheelbase and the car boasts of better legroom both in front
and rear to fulfil family needs. But, again, the Maruti offers better
support, though the Eon has an advantage in headroom and shoulder
space. However, its narrow rear window make the cabin feel less airy.
DRIVE AND RIDE
The two cars come loaded with frugal three-cylinder motors. The
Hyundai's 814-cc engine has been derived from the i10's 1.1-litre
IRDE engine and though it gets a counter-balance to keep the
vibration low, some of it can be felt on the gear-shift lever. The Eon’s
SOHC motor gets three valves per cylinder, unlike the Alto's larger
998-cc mill, which has four valves per cylinder. Both sport five-speed
transmissions, where the Eon borrows it from the Santro. Here the
Hyundai scores over the Maruti, with its smooth clutch, as the Alto
has an abrupt release action, but the Maruti equalises the score with
its more accurate gear-shifts compared to Eon’s rubbery shifts.
Though both the cars weigh just over 700 kg, the smaller Hyundai
engine with lower power and torque output of 56 PS and 75 Nm
dents its power-to-weight ratio. Plus the Eon is sluggish at low
speeds and not as eager as the Alto. So, one needs to think about
overtaking way in advance. The Eon has adequate power for city
commutes, but the Alto K-10 with 68 PS and 90 Nm has more punch.
During the 0 to 100 km/h performance test the Eon was four seconds
slower than the more fun-to-drive Alto. Both the cars can comfortably
cruise at 120 kph, but the Eon loses breath if revved harder, making
the Alto the ideal choice for driving enthusiasts. Just tap the Maruti’s
throttle and you zip past most city traffic. Interestingly, both of them
have an identical average fuel economy of just over 17 kpl.
THE FINAL WORDS
This Hyundai is sprung on McPherson strut at the front in
combination with a torsion beam axle at the rear. The set-up makes
the ride feel slightly stiff at low and medium speeds, but the taller
profile (155/70 R13) of the small size wheel helps it in absorbing
potholes. But the Alto’s McPherson strut and coil spring gas filled
shock-absorbers make the car a little more compliant and its lower
height gives it better body control.
Both the cars have an electrically assisted steering with a tight
turning radius, making driving and parking them a breeze. The Alto
has an advantage as the steering is more direct and natural, while the
Eon is more or less accurate, but lacks a self-centring action.
After spending a few days with the two small cars, it’s becoming
increasingly difficult to pick a clear winner. Both Maruti and
Hyundai have a great network of service stations and dealerships,
with a proven track-record of low maintenance and reliable products.
The Eon might not have the performance of the Alto, but comes
across as an appealing modern car that has a stronger pride of
ownership. A feature-rich, no compromise product that one would
want to buy. While the Alto is not as swanky or stylish, but has
already sold over 18 lakh units in India, which says a lot about the
trust people have in the car, but also reduces its uniqueness.
So, if you like the tried and tested and don't mind the ageing
design, then go for the Alto. But if you don't mind paying a little extra
and want a fresh design with good features, then the Eon is the one.
ON AND OFF
Pitting the Eon and Alto K10 against each other
doesn't really make sense, because the former with
its 800-cc engine is a micro car for us but the price
defies this difference and therefore this comparison.
After gaining numbers with their last offering in the
segment, the Santro Xing, Hyundai took what they thought was a big
step ahead and came out with a smaller car for the shrinking Indian
roads. The product looks very promising – robust build quality, good
fit and finish, ample cabin space and fresh looks. The tall body of the
Eon offers better road visibility than the Alto. But then, when one
gets a 20 per cent bigger engine offering more power and torque in
the same price bracket, then other features on the surface don't look
that essential. That's where the Alto K10 scores. A responsive engine
makes it a better city car than its rival. And then there is the typical
Korean softness to the Eon, which increases body-roll. My say, the
Eon looks great in my porch, but I would drive the Alto K10.
GASHA’S PERSPECTIVE
EON SPORTZ VS ALTO K10 COVER STORY
80 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
EON SPORTZ VS ALTO K10 COVER STORY COVER STORY EON SPORTZ VS ALTO K10
Hyundai Eon vs Alto_Dec2011.indd80 80 11/24/2011 1:09:30 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 25 11/23/2011 2:54:20 PM
EON: THE
COMPLETE
STORY
From raw material to road...
Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
82 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
Making of Hyundai EON_Dec2011.in82 82 11/25/2011 12:12:40 PM
3
1 2
4 7
5 6
1. Sheet metal ready to transform itself into well-shaped cars
2. The Press Shop: Where the Eon takes its initial form
3. Press Shop’s Blanking Line gives the first shape to the car
4. Robotic welding for accuracy and neat finish,
as the body parts come together
5. The Eon’s frame from the paint shop
proceeding towards the conveyor
6. Wait for its turn before the
components are fitted
7. An engineer carefully puts the
wirings in place
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
83 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Making of Hyundai EON_Dec2011.in83 83 11/25/2011 12:19:22 PM
1 2 3
7
8
9 4
6 5
1. Sound damping on the firewall being
fitted to keep excess sound and heat
out of the cabin
2. Up and away to the Assembly Line 2 for
some more action
3. The robotic arm puts the
dashboard in place
4. Engineers install the dashboard and make
final adjustments to it
5. The gas suspension comes on with a
promise to keep the ride comfortable

6. With the console and seat-belts mounted
on the monocoque, the cabin gradually takes
shape
7. The fuel tank being placed with a little
help from the hydraulic lifts
8. Ready to store 32 litres of the precious
golden fuel, the fuel tank is bolted
into position
9. The rear suspension being mounted to
make the Eon ready for our roads
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
84 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
Making of Hyundai EON_Dec2011.in84 84 11/25/2011 12:30:55 PM
5
4 3
2
1
6
1. Head start: A stack of cylinder
heads raring to go
2. Machining the cylinder head. Later it
will be fitted with valves and cams
3. Cylinder head being mated
to the engine block
4. The gearbox assembly
5. The complete engine assembly
6. The mated engine and gearbox reach
the assembly line
where the final checks are made
making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE
85 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
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1. Engine and
transmission being
put into the
monocoque
2. Eyes wide open: The
flared headlamps
being fitted to body
3 The systematic ‘Just
in Time’ method keeps
the invetory cost low
4. Finally the wheels
are mounted
1
2
3
4
Car India: How did you decide to enter the mini hatchback
segment?
T Sarangrajan (TS): As you know, Hyundai is covering entire
car segments, except the lower compact car segment, which
contributes to a major chunk of the entire compact segment. So
this segment is most vital for us to increase our numbers. That is
the reason we decided to make a car for the lower compact
segment. Many people have asked me that even internationally
Hyundai is more popular for bigger luxury cars, but why has the
company gone for something so compact? My reply is – that when
a company like Apple starts making iPad from Mac then you don't
ask them this question.
We wanted to offer the best to the Indian customer as we have
been doing in the past many years. Take the Santro, for instance,
we were the first ones to offer fuel injection (FI) in a small car in
India, while many said that FI would not work here. With Accent
CRDi we made diesel a popular engine option in passenger cars.
Similarly, with the Eon we wanted to offer the best of both the
worlds – the luxuries of a bigger car for the price of a small car.
Keeping this in mind the process and development of Eon started.
CI: How did you keep the cost low?
S V N Prasad (SP): An important aspect in keeping the cost low
were our vendors. We never squeezed them to reduce their price
nor gave them a low price target. We made them use their
resources and investments in a more efficient way and, in turn, to
get more business. Our concept is to keep one or maximum two
vendors per component and we totally understand the difficulties
of suppliers. And that is one reason why the suppliers stand by us
and offer us lower price. Secondly, these prices are only possible
because we promise volumes. In the first year itself we have
planned to produce 1.6 lakh units, which is a decent enough
volume for any kind of new car model. Localisation also played a
vital role. Eon has over 95 per cent local parts.
CI: What is the total plant capacity?
In conversation with T Sarangrajan,
VP (Production), and S V N Prasad,
GM, (Production Planning &
Control), Hyundai Motor India Ltd
Interviewed By: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar
EON: TRULY
MADE FOR
INDIA
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
86 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
Untitled-1 86 11/25/2011 12:26:56 PM
TS: We are now running a capacity of 6.3
lakh on both the plants working in three
shifts, but with minor tweak it can go up to
6.7 lakh units a year.

CI: How many hours does it take to
manufacture one Eon?
SP: It takes roughly 14 hours for it to roll out.
We calculate production in UPH, which is
units per hour. In our Plant 1, where the Eon
is produced along with the Santro and i20,
we have 51 UPH and in Plant 2, where the
i10, Verna and Santa Fe, etc, are produced,
the UHP is 53. This means that every minute
one car rolls out from each of the plants.
CI: There are different models from
different segments being assembled
simultaneously on the same line. How
do you go about that?
SP: It mainly depends on demand, but most
importantly it runs on the kind of system
backup we have. There are so many variants
especially in export and domestic models like
LHD (left-hand drive) or RHD (right-hand
drive). All this requires a lot of logistical
support. Our production starts from body
shop. We have the sequence of the cars. As
per the requirement of sales we plan for the
month. Most of the time 40 to 45 per cent of
the production is for export and the balance
is for domestic sale. So, depending on the
shipment, we have to schedule the cars, since
we cannot occupy the plants only for export
and make domestic demand wait. That's why
we plan production in a continuous manner.
During production every car has a printed
bar-coded specifcation fxed on it. When the
body is made we bring it to the conveyor belt
from the PBS (Painted Body Storage) area
and on the way the bar-code is scanned. This
information is immediately sent to our
vendors and also to the different shops. Then
they retrieve the particular parts required by
the car model and send it to the assembly
shop. This method that we follow is called
'Just in Time'. This way the workers on the
assembly line need not worry as the parts
come in a sequence manner and he can
simply take the part and fx it on to the body.
TS: Since about 70 per cent vendors are in
and around Chennai and the remaining have
warehouses here so that they can supply on
'Just in Time' basis. Normally, we keep out
local part on one shift basis and this system
helps us save time and cost. We don't keep
large inventory as it can increase logistical
problems and also damage of parts can
happen. These are the advantages of
sequence feeding.
CI: How many people are involved in
the production of Eon?
TS: There are 350 to 400 people available on
the assembly line, but since there are various
models being produced simultaneously, they
are not exclusively for the Eon.
CI: Did your workers receive any
special training for the Eon?
TS: Yes, for Eon more than 200 workers
were sent to Korea. Since they have frst-
hand experience working in the plants in
India, so they can point out the problems
during the development stage. This avoids
any confusion or extra cost if the tools are
developed frst and then some request for
change is made by our workers.
SP: For new workers we have the technical
training centre where they have to attend a
21-day course before coming on the actual
production line so that they get familiar with
vehicle and equipment.
Apart from this, there is continuous
training and job rotation so that he gets
multi-skilled also.
CI: What inputs or suggestions did you
give to the Korean engineers during the
development of the Eon?
TS: The frst thing we told our Korean
counterparts was that in India people buying
small cars actually want a big car at a small
car price. The car should be big, the luggage
space should be large and there should be a
lot of storage area. The interior should feel
like that of a luxury car and lastly, the car has
to be fuel-effcient.
Most of the other inputs we gave was on
the technical aspect like a particular bolt's
size and similar micro level things. We have a
big design set-up in Hyderabad fully owned
by Hyundai and where they design trim parts
not just for HMI (Hyundai Motors India),
but for all Hyundai made anywhere in the
world. Since the Eon trim parts have been
designed by the Indian engineers, we didn't
have to give them any feedback.

CI: What kind of testing has gone into
the making of Eon?
SP: We have done exhaustive testing of the
Eon, of over three lakh kilometres at different
stages, like pilot stage, drive stage or pre-
production stage. Every stage has different
sections like highway, city, rough roads, etc.
We measure all the wear and tear and how
each part performs and make adjustments
accordingly.
CI: What makes the Eon unique?
TS: Like all new offerings from Hyundai,
Eon is also fuidic design with a lot of curves.
It makes a kind of fashion statement in spite
of it being a small car, which is something
new for Indian customers.
More importantly, this car has been
developed, designed and made specifcally
for India. It is not that this model is being
sold elsewhere and has been brought to
India. The Eon is not made anywhere else in
the world, but India.
S V N Prasad, GM (Production Planning
& Control), Hyundai Motor India Ltd
T Sarangrajan, VP (Production),
Hyundai Motor India Ltd
making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE
87 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
Untitled-1 87 11/25/2011 12:23:08 PM
1. Time for the
windscreen to be placed
on the Eon
2. Engineers exercise
great care while fitting
the windscreen on the
car
3. The curvy seats take
their place
4. Last but not the least,
the doors are fitted
5. Oil and coolants filled
before the car rolls off
the assembly line
2
1
5
4
3
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
88 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MAKING OF HYUNDAI EON FEATURE
Untitled-1 88 11/25/2011 12:22:25 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 39 11/23/2011 2:55:14 PM
Car India: When did work on the Eon
concept begin?
H W Park: From 2008 onwards HMC
(Hyundai Motor Company) focused more on
designing stylish cars. All our styling was
totally changed and made better than past.
That was our aim while making the Eon also.
It would have been easy to make a cheap car,
but we didn't want to, since we respect
Indian customers and want to lead the
Indian market.
The Eon is a small car, but we made sure
that it was stylish and spacious and made to
match Indian customers' taste.
Arvind Saxena: In 2008 we realised that if
we really have to grow and take HMI to
much bigger volumes, there was an
opportunity in this segment which was not
represented until then by us. Fortunately,
this area was about 30 per cent of the small
car business and wasn't represented by us.
That's when we decided that we would start
work on a car for this segment.
We started extensive research to fnd out
the current trends and customer expectations.
You will realise that Eon would be the only
car in recent times as a car actually made for
Indian customers in the true sense. Our
research very clearly threw up a couple of
things. Fuel-effciency was the number one
requirement. Number two was not the price,
but styling. Then came features and interiors.
Number four was the space inside. And
number fve was price. This gave us the
direction our focus should be on. If you look
at the Eon you'll fnd answers to all of these
in that order.
Unlike Europe, the small car in India is
never an individual's car, but a family's car.
That's why the space, luggage space are very
important. The focus we had was to make a
car that is aspirational. That's why we have
given the Eon the style quotient which makes
it very distinct from any other small car.
CI: What was the reason to go for a
three-cylinder car?
AS: Clearly the fuel economy and we have
managed to reach the fgure of 21 kpl, which
makes it the most fuel-effcient car, which is
the prime driver in this segment.
CI: Would you have considered a
1,000-cc rather than the 814-cc the
Eon comes with?
AS: Frankly, we never considered a 1,000-cc
in a three-cylinder set-up. For the size of the
car we thought this was more relevant and it
is not the performance that is an important
criterion in this segment. When we are able
to achieve the power, torque and mileage,
which is a very good combination by this
814-cc engine. Looking at a completely new
engine would mean fresher investments,
which would affect the overall cost of the car.
HWP: We can think about this after the
next couple of years, but not immediately.

CI: What are the future plans for
the Santro?
AS: Today, the Santro sells more than many
newer models. There is defnitely an overlap
with the segments, but the customer is also
very different. I think he is a more
conservative buyer, would go for a tried and
tested product. The Santro has its own
attributes being a tallboy and the kind of
space it has inside. It will continue as it has
an advantage to us as now we can serve all
kind of profles in our showroom.

CI: What about i10 diesel engines?
AS: i10 diesel was more out of the media's
imagination, as it was never on our product
plans. The demand for diesel has grown. Last
year the overall industry demand was close to
28-29 per cent and now it has come to almost
38 per cent. But it is more popular in bigger
cars and mid-size upwards would be 70-80
per cent. And then price sensitivity is higher
in smaller cars. Unfortunately, the difference
of price in petrol and diesel makes diesel a
more attractive option. But we are working
towards it. We need a suitable engine as the
current ones are very high-spec engines, so it
will not be suitable because of the cost.
HWP: Some time ago we exported i10 diesel
to the European market, but even that
stopped because its a small car and didn't
match the price.
CI: How much did your Hyderabad
design facility contribute to the Eon?
HWP: The initial concepts were done at the
Hyderabad facility, which were then sent to
the Korea R&D centre, where they made
some prototypes. There is a huge
contribution from the Indian facility since
they refected Indian culture and some
specifc features.

AS: The basic part was done from Korea, but
Hyderabad acted more from the local point
of view, since their understanding of India is
far better. You must appreciate that this car
has been launched with almost 95 per cent
localisation.
HWP (interrupts): No, it is exactly 97.5 per
cent of localisation.
AS (continues): To reach that level of
localisation the R&D played the
most vital role.
CI: So did the Korean designers
visit India?
AS: We had several of our designers visit
India regularly for test. Before the launch of
the Eon we had two customer clinics for the
car. The frst was at the prototype stage
when we brought the car here and shared
with several customers and took their
feedback and continuously kept updating
the car. Then there was another conducted
even later.
CI: It has been seen that newer models have
a spike in demand, so is Hyundai prepared to
supply Eon seamlessly?
AS: We are fairly covered as we expect to
sell 1,40,000 to 1,50,000 Eons annually and
we are geared up for that kind of number.
Plus we have a bit of fexibility in our
production between the two plants and
various models. So, we can always tweak it
to meet the demand. —S K
Car India spoke to H W Park, MD & CEO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMI), and Arvind Saxena,
Director (Marketing & Sales), HMI, to understand the big idea behind the small car
‘Made to match Indians’ taste’
H W Park, MD & CEO (foreground), and
Arvind Saxena, Director (Marketing &
Sales), Hyundai Motor India Ltd
making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE
90 car india DECEMbEr 2011
making of Hyundai Eon fEaturE
Untitled-1 90 11/25/2011 12:20:18 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 47 11/23/2011 2:56:03 PM
92 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
ICONIC FOOTSTEPS FEATURE
Steve Mcqueen_From UK_Dec2011.in92 92 11/24/2011 10:33:20 AM
In a modern Jaguar – successor to his beloved XK-SS –
along LA’s Mulholland Highway, via diners, aircraft hangars,
old friends and the house where he lived his last days, we
trace the ghost of America’s coolest icon
ON STEVE
McQUEEN’S TRAIL
Story: Ben Oliver
Photography: Greg Pajo
93 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
ICONIC FOOTSTEPS FEATURE
Steve Mcqueen_From UK_Dec2011.in93 93 11/24/2011 10:34:24 AM
I
N AUGUST, A SLATE-GREY 1970 PORSCHE 911S
showing 18,000 km and in fine, un-restored condition drove
onto the stage at RM Auctions’ annual Pebble Beach sale.
What happened next was pretty extraordinary. If the
Porsche’s four registered owners had all been unknown, it would
have been worth a million. But it was first invoiced to Solar
Productions, Steve McQueen’s film company, and was delivered
to the set of his film, ‘Le Mans’, in which he drives it for the first
four minutes. He shipped it back to California after filming and
sold it soon afterwards. That history and those four minutes made
it worth Rs 6.76 crore to somebody.
Full disclosure: I’m a Steve McQueen fan. In the old
outbuilding where I write there are three pictures of him on the
walls. That’s three out of maybe 50 pictures in here. I’m no stalker.
I’ve seen most of his films and happily admit some of them are
terrible. But I’ve always wondered why I – and maybe you too –
like him so much; why it’s okay for a straight man to have three
pictures of Steve McQueen on his walls, but not Brad Pitt’s.
McQueen was a premier-league Hollywood star. His Rs 60
lakh fee for ‘The Towering Inferno’ in 1974 set a new record. But
the power of his image seems to have grown beyond what his
short but stellar career would suggest. ‘Iconic’ is a much-misused
term, but it’s used correctly here; McQueen’s image has become
simple cultural shorthand for cool. He is the 11th highest-earning
dead celebrity and the brands he chose himself – Persol
sunglasses, Heuer watches, Triumph and Porsche – lucked into
the perfect free personal endorsement.
So how did this happen? What makes someone pay 14 times
over the odds for a dead actor’s car? Maybe it’s because he didn’t
want it to happen. Seeking adulation is the quickest way to kill it
and with McQueen it was always the reverse. He was intensely
competitive as an actor, but the roles and the money always
seemed to be the means to another end; to be left alone to do the
McQueen’s house and garage from
the top of the estate. His memorial
service was held in the garden
The Old Place on Mulholland. A
few fading pictures the only
reminder of an infamous regular
94 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
ICONIC FOOTSTEPS FEATURE
Steve Mcqueen_From UK_Dec2011.in94 94 11/24/2011 10:35:29 AM
stuff you and I would do if we had time and money. He collected,
drove, raced, rode and flew cars, bikes and planes with
discernment, passion and skill. The friends he made and kept
were a stuntman, his karate coach and his flying instructor, not
other actors. “Man, after I’ve gotten my sugar out of this business,
I’m going to take off – and run like a thief,” he told the ‘Life’
magazine as early as 1963.
So I’ve got a road trip planned. The Mulholland Highway does
what Steve wanted to; leaves Hollywood for the arid isolation of
Los Angeles’ canyon hinterland, where the roads are good and
the people few. It ends near Malibu, where he moved to live by
the sea and from there it’s just an hour further to Santa Paula, the
small town that he settled in before he died. Mulholland was
McQueen’s favourite road, the venue for his late-night motorised
badness; one story says the local cops had a prize of a big steak
dinner for whoever could catch him.
Yes, it’s a little personal pilgrimage; I wanted to drive the same
roads he did, stop at the same places and talk to some people who
knew him. I didn’t set out imagining I’d discover the secret of his
appeal, but I hoped I’d find a few of his traces.
And I wanted to reclaim McQueen as a Jaguar driver. Although
he is most associated with Porsche, having won his class at Sebring
in a 908 and driven a 917 in Le Mans, his favourite road car was
probably the ‘Green Rat’, his 1957 Jaguar XK-SS. It was exactly his
kind of car. As its Le Mans-winning D-type racer became
uncompetitive, Jaguar was stuck with 25 it couldn’t shift, so it
decided to turn them into barely legal road cars. Just 16 were
converted before the factory fire of 1957 destroyed the remainder.
So much of Steve McQueen’s very
private personality was expressed
through his cars and bikes that
this book reads like a ‘peek
inside his head’. Renowned US
motoring journalist, Matt Stone,
has put together the definitive
work, with dozens of unseen
pictures and many first-hand
insights from those who
drove and raced with the
man. His films and film
cars, from ‘Bullitt’ to ‘Le
Mans’ and beyond, are
dissected, but the real
joy is in his personal
collection, from
Porsches and Ferraris to
that Jaguar.
McQueen’s Machines:
The Cars and Bikes of
a Hollywood Icon
(motorbooks.com).
McQUEEN’S MACHINES
By Matt Stone
McQueen’s final
project, rotting on land
at his last home. Has
probably looked
cooler, to be honest
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McQueen first saw his parked on Sunset Boulevard in 1958; he
bought it, repainted it in British racing green, had famed hot-rod
artist Von Dutch make him a glovebox to hold his Persols and
drove it like a bastard for the next nine years. He was endlessly
photographed in it and terrorised Mulholland in it. He missed it,
so in 1979, after two years of negotiations with collector William
Harrah, he bought it back.
I wonder if he’d have liked our Jaguar as much. The XKR-S is
only one letter and a misplaced hyphen away from McQueen’s
car, but it approaches roadgoing hardcore from the opposite
direction, sharpening up a big GT rather than softening off a
racer. He’d have liked the name of the colour – French racing
blue – if not the colour itself; too bright for his tastes. But it looks
sensational in the fierce California glare, way bolder than it did
when we first drove it in weak British sun. And the aerodynamic
addenda look better here too; the wing and front air tunnels
somehow more acceptable in a more flamboyant car culture.
We start at the Warner Brothers studios. It’s not as it used to
be. The security guards love our Jag-waar and reveal that George
Clooney now sighs up in a Tesla Roadster. From here it’s a short
drive to McQueen’s house on Solar Drive in the Hollywood Hills.
We won’t get to explore the extra 40.5 PS our car offers over the
standard 517 PS XKR on the way; all my attention is on avoiding
the vast craters in California’s concrete roads, which seem to have
gone completely third-world since Arnie nearly bankrupted the
state. It can’t possibly have been any worse when McQueen was
driving here; Jaguar might have stiffened the R-S’s springs by 28
per cent and fitted wider rubber, but I’m glad it hasn’t ruined the
GT ride. Glad of the impressive sat-nav too, to disentangle the
spaghetti of streets that access every buildable inch of these
vertiginous and very desirable hills.
McQueen bought his house here when he was 30 and must
have felt like a god. The air is cleaner and cooler up here than in
the city laid out far below; you can’t see much of the house from
the road, but it was beautiful. Quiet too; just the chirping crickets
and cicadas. And 50 years ago, the blare of a barely-silenced
straight-six breaking the Dunlops’ grip as another drive home in
the XK-SS turned into a hill climb.
Mulholland starts near here and heads west. Its best stretches
are beyond Los Angeles, in the Santa Monica mountains around
the town of Cornell. The machinery might have changed, but
McQueen would recognise the spirit. On a Saturday morning
almost nobody uses this road to actually get anywhere. Stand on a
corner and every few seconds brings another sports-bike rider
with his knee fully down or a big trail bike cranked over so hard
there are sparks coming from the footpegs or a caged-out 911 GT3
trying to keep up. It sounds like a track day, until the whump-
whump of a police chopper sends everyone down to the Rock
Store diner to calm down and have a coffee.
McQueen ate here, but also at the Old Place a little further
down Mulholland. The owner, Tom Runyon, was exactly
McQueen’s kind of bloke, a no-bullshit trapper and hunter who
ran the tiny wood-panelled restaurant until he was 89, offering
just steak, clams and baked potatoes. McQueen liked Tom so
much that he gave him a part in ‘The Getaway’. His son now runs
it with the same no-bullshit attitude. And unlike almost every
other commercial enterprise with a McQueen association it makes
no hoo-ha about it. The barman has to point out the only
reminder, some yellowed photos pinned to the back wall. “He
used to come up here all the time with Ali McGraw,” he says.
“Nobody bothered him. That’s why he liked it.” It may also have
been the food and the atmosphere: we liked it so much, we came
Those who maintain that
America doesn’t have any
‘proper’ driving roads, look
away now
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back for dinner, when a local was banging out Folsom Prison
Blues on the guitar, everyone else was joining in and it felt wrong
not to be a little drunk. I wonder how McQueen got home to
Malibu. I doubt it was sober.
I am, of course, when I get back into the Jag to drive the best
section of Mulholland, The Snake, that heads west out of Cornell.
The old saw about America not having any decent driving roads
is untrue – this stretch is almost Alpine, with its long straight
climbs to hairpins or dizzying series of cambered switchbacks.
Finally I can get deep into that throttle and add the supercharged
5.0-litre V8’s thunderous bass soundtrack to the screaming treble
of the sports bikes. The big GT’s grip at both ends is mighty, its
body control firm and flat and the brakes don’t go off despite the
heat and provocation. It has a mighty span of ability, the XKR-S;
this is the same car whose visibility made it a doddle to park in
town and whose ride, refinement and co-operative auto ’ box
made a couple of long commutes over LA’s concrete, often static
freeways bearable. But although the steering is quick and direct, I
can’t help wishing Jag had had the balls to go three steps further
and give us a really edgy, lightweight special, something closer in
spirit to the XK-SS. But that’s not what the brand is about now.
And McQueen might have liked it just as it is. In 1966 he
conducted a group track-test for ‘Sports Illustrated’, testing,
among others, a Jaguar E-type 2+2. “I found it very smooth down
the back straight at 110 mph [176 km],” he wrote. “The visibility
was good, the brakes were solid. There is great appeal in the 2+2
for the man who will accept a compromise. He can put his two
kids in the back, run his wife in the front and take off for his
vacation.”
So how good a driver was he? “He was better than people
knew,” Derek Bell told me the previous week. “He drove that 917
for three months and didn’t crash it and you know what they were
like, so that ought to tell you something.” Bell spent the summer
of 1970 filming ‘Le Mans’ with him. “I think we got to know him
in a way few others did, apart from his family. In his other life,
everyone wanted to be like him or be better than him. But when
we were making that film he stepped into our world and he was
modest and respectful and unstarry.”
Like Mulholland, McQueen kept moving west, out of LA to
Brentwood, then Malibu and, finally, to Santa Paula, a small,
citrus-farming town 96 km from Los Angeles. He first came here
on the trail of an old plane he wanted to buy; he liked the tiny
airport so much he bought a hangar and moved into it with his
plane and cars and over 100 motorbikes and his new partner, the
model Barbara Minty. This was his ‘hermit’ era; you wouldn’t
think of a bloke with a long beard and a plaid shirt, living in an
aircraft hangar with his collection of 10,000 jack-knives as the
King of Cool, but he was turning down massive films like
‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Close Encounters’, devoting himself
instead to flying and buying more cars and bikes, including the
XK-SS.
He’d done this before, buying his old Porsche Speedster back
from Bruce Meyer, then an acquaintance, now a major-league car
collector. “I’d bought it in the late 1960s for 1,500 bucks. I knew
it had been Steve’s, but I wouldn’t have given 1,500 and 10 for
that. We went motorbiking and desert racing together. He and
Bud Ekins were the cool guys, but they were nice guys, they just
liked being around other guys with bikes and cars. I didn’t really
want to sell him the car. I drove it every day, but he called me
once a week for months. In the end I thought it would make him
happy and, maybe, someday someone will do this for me, so I let
him have it and not for any premium.” Bruce has a picture of
He was turning down
films like ‘Apocalypse
Now’, devoting himself to
buying more cars
McQueen was married under the
skylight (below right), a year
before he died. VW shifter on his
last project car (below left)
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them together on the day he delivered it back to Steve, with
Steve’s famously vicious dog Junior nuzzling his crotch (left). “Of
course, now it would be worth millions. I’d have loved to have
bought it back from his estate, but it was the only car his son
Chad kept.”
Six months in the hangar was all Barbara could take. In 1979
they bought a tiny, 100-year-old house and 15 acres near the
airport. McQueen added a huge grey outbuilding for his favourite
cars and bikes. The XK-SS moved here with him and we park our
Jaguar where McQueen parked his for the last time. It is an
extraordinarily beautiful, peaceful place, sitting in the lee of a
steep dusty slope. When Steve was diagnosed with cancer, he
and Barbara were married under the skylight in the house and
when he died less than a year later, on November 7, 1980, his
memorial service was held in this garden.
The current owner suggests we might want to drive up the
dusty trail that leads into the hills. The trail ends in a clearing and
by its edge slumps a very home-made chassis with two fat rear
wheels, a Volkswagen transmission complete with shifter and
gearknob, and bent steering column ending with an old white
rubber steering wheel cracked and crazed by the sun. Steve
McQueen built this buggy himself and it has remained here,
slowly disintegrating, since he died. I try to sit in it, grip the
wheel, joggle the gearstick. If that Porsche 911 is worth millions,
this must be worth tens of thousands to some collector. But,
maybe, it’s better it stays where it is.
Our man outside McQueen’s
hangar at Santa Paula Airport,
where he lived for six months,
surrounded by bikes and planes
A new Jaguar
emerging from the
shed built to house
the 1957 XK-SS
XKR-S shot on Solar Drive. This
was McQueen’s view of LA
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ADS CI Dec11.indd 45 11/23/2011 2:58:28 PM
It’s a bit spooky that Ferrari and Mercedes
choose exactly the same moment to decapitate
their finest sports cars. In Italy and France, we
drive the 458 Spider and SLS Roadster
SPIDERS
FROM VENUS
Story: Georg Kacher (SLS) and Chris Chilton (458)
Photography: Jamie Lipman
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
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A
GRAND TOURER. LET’S CALL IT THAT. IN
roadster form, shorn of those gullwing doors which arguably
tip its coupé sibling into supercar territory, this is the SLS
which makes the best case for a wildly opulent, fantastically
expensive Mercedes-Benz. It is not a supercar cabrio in the
mould of a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, Ferrari 599 SA Aperta
or Aston DBS Volante, but a highly competent and extremely
well-balanced GT. Give it a bit of space to accommodate its
physicality and it will shine brightly, corner for corner, straight
for straight and, given the room, it will slide through second- and
third-gear bends, aided by the superb visibility you always get
with the roof down.
But we are in Nice. The Monaco Yacht Show is on. The roads
are packed and narrow. And if we do manage to spring the trap and
get into clear air we’ll be heading where? To the playground
switchbacks of the Monte Carlo Rally, where a car measuring 2,075
millimetres between mirror tips and weighing 1,660 kg is going to
be hamstrung by its proportions. Why did they bring us here?
Actually, the answer is simple: this is what the SLS roadster
was born to. These are its people. We stop for a few minutes and
instantly draw a small crowd. Encouraged by our Stuttgart plates
one German gent in his sixties offers me cash for the car. And
those very proportions which make the car so unsuited to these
roads are the reason why they’re all hooked – the yacht-like
stance, the long bonnet with its set of blacked-out air intakes and
heat dissipation vents, the polished thin-spoke rims which bare
the XXL brake discs and the colour-keyed callipers, the pop-up
air deflector integrated into the boot-lid, the chromed jewellery
fins and filler cap and the canvas roof which stows away neatly
behind the leather-trimmed roll-over protection elements. The
car has presence, star quality even.
It takes only 11 seconds to raise or lower the folding top and
you can even do this on the move since the system is active at
speeds of up to 48 km/h. When erect, the hood is remarkably
quiet thanks to its triple-layer insulation, the seamlessly injected
rear window made of heated safety glass and the clever low-drag
drip-rails. It may lack the Ferrari 458 Spider’s hard-top
cleverness, but it also leaves you wondering why a roof which
works so well actually needs reinventing.
But, supercar or not, the SLS Roadster is still all about
performance, not abstinence nor even moderation. Equipped with
a normally aspirated 571 PS 6.2-litre V8, the car peels Tarmac like
few other drop-top GTs. In the ‘Race Start’ mode, with warmed-
up tyres and on a suitable surface, the mighty Merc can launch
itself from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds. The acceleration from 0
to 200 km/h is an equally swift and impressive 11.3 seconds.
Against the stopwatch, the rear-wheel-drive drop-top is thus in
the same league as the 4WD Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio, the 4WD
Gallardo Performante Spyder and the 4WD Audi R8 GT Spyder.
Even though the Roadster’s additional cross-bracing, sill-
reinforcing and bulkhead-strengthening add 40 kg, Mercedes
had to restrict the top speed to 319 km/h to protect the Z-rated
tyres. To lower the centre of gravity, the coupé’s dry-sump
lubrication was installed. Like the coupé, the Roadster relays up
to 649 Nm of twist action to the trans-axle transmission through
a carbon-fibre drive-shaft which rotates at engine speed inside a
torque tube. When the torque curve peaks at 4,750 revolutions
per minute (RPM), there is a fair bit of kick-boxing going on
between the double-wishbone rear suspension, the 295/30ZR20
tyres, the diff lock and the masterminding ESP electronics. With
the big-bore engine blitzing to its 7,000 RPM redline, grip and
traction are permanent issues in the bottom three gears.
It’s austere and arguably
uneventful. But check
out the Ferrari’s red
leather, then decide
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
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How does it all feel on the legendary passes of Sospel,
Escarène, Col de Braus, Col de Turini? Although the SLS does a
splendid job neutralising bumps, ironing out broken blacktop
and straddling the grooves of time, it constantly needs to hold
back to protect itself from Armcos made of stone blocks, from
hard shoulders that turn into steep rock faces or deep crevices
and from 90-, 180- and 270-degree corners which provide barely
enough sealed ground to let the 4,638-mm-long Benz pass
without emergency switchback action. Although there is very
little traffic now, the SLS invariably runs out of road as soon as
you start pushing. In a first move, the front tries to scrub off
excess energy. In a second gesture, the wriggly rear squirms for
mechanical grip. Ignore these warnings and the entire beast will
fight for dynamic stability, making the Pirellis and the ESP chips
work overtime.
Before the D567 ties my forearms in a knot, the landscape
finally opens up and merges with layers of wide terraces which
permit faster radii and more space for a more relaxed
infrastructure. It’s up here in no-man’s land close to the Italian
border where the powerful two-seater can at last shed its poseur
mask and begin to lay down its real talents.
As a prelude to this section I load the AMG button with the
Kacher selection: ESP in the ‘Handling’ mode to better understand
the depths of the car’s limit, the dampers of the optional Ride
Control Chassis in ‘Sport’ as the logical in-between choice, the
transmission in ‘Manual’ to make the SLS climax according to my
personal preferred rhythm. Twenty minutes later, we pit for a
rethink, shaken and stirred. ‘Manual’ is nice to have, but the
ingenious black box seems to be every bit as talented in reading the
route and it unfailingly dishes up the appropriate ratio. So it’s back
to ‘Sport’ and its self-acting throttle blip. The sporty suspension
setting does keep body roll in check and it relays an almost
intimate firmness, but it lacks the compliance warranted by the
damper decoupling button which is standard in any late-model
Ferrari. So ‘Comfort’ it is, and the better for it. After a second stop
and some more self-consulting, engine and transmission move up
to ‘Sport Plus’, where a dash of surplus torque makes gear changes
feel even quicker. Finding the right ESP choice turns out to be
trickier than expected. How come? Because traction control is
active in all three modes (On, Sport, Off) and because hard braking
automatically reinstates the complete safety net. As a result, only a
smooth driver can beat the system.
Almost 40 per cent lighter than steel rotors and totally immune
to brake fade, the carbon ceramic brakes (a snip option at Rs 7.65
lakh) have a lot going for them, at least on a racetrack. But high
above the Mediterranean, where you can’t build up enough speed
and stress, steel brakes would have probably been just as fine. To
support the evenly balanced weight distribution, the AMG
engineers opted for fatter 295/30ZR20 tyres in the rear. Up front,
they went for size 265/35ZR19 footwear. Since the rack-and-
pinion steering is still of the hydraulically activated kind, its ratio
is a quick but not radical 13.6 to one, it describes an unhurried 3.5
turns from lock to lock and it is weighted for typical MB brand
values such as stability and confidence. Through the third- and
fourth-gear corners which prevail on the plains, the car finally
displays its true virtues.
You’ve gotta love the ride. After a year of firm, occasionally
aggressive and often track-oriented suspension set-ups, which
were too spicy for secondary roads and even for the autobahn,
AMG has recently rediscovered the beauty of compliance. The
The gull has lost his wings and
blue sky is standard. Everything
else is a cost option
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C-Class Coupé was the last of the old breed, the E63 AMG and
the modified SLS are the first purveyors of the newly found
balance. You still get all the good bits like the melodic engine, the
whiplash upshifts, the riveting brakes and more grunt than most
can cope with. But the sharpness at the edge has been toned
down, the roughness of individual components has been scaled
back, the interaction between the dynamically relevant modules is
now smoother, quicker and even better timed. Rawness and
uncompromising firmness will in the future be the domain of the
Black Series cars.
After 190 clicks, my perception of the SLS AMG roadster has
performed a spiritual handbrake turn. In the course of the day, it
has evolved from a melodic piece of boulevard furniture to an
intriguing driving machine for long distances, fast sweepers and
wide enough corners to smoke a tyre or two. The car is neither
emphatically modern nor does it incorporate the mildest trace of
green. It’s ferociously expensive, at Rs 1.31 crore basic, with a
MERCEDES SLS ROADSTER
PRICE Rs 1.32 crore
ENGINE 6,208 cc 32v V8, 571 PS at 6,800 RPM,
649 Nm at 4,750 RPM
TRANSMISSION Seven-speed dual-clutch, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION Double wishbones front and rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM 1,660 kg/aluminium and steel
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT 4,638/1,939/1,262 mm
PERFORMANCE 3.8 seconds 0-100 km/h, 319 km/h,
7.5 km per litre
RATING 11111
Monaco Yacht Week
was in full swing. So
we parked our boat
Gone in 11 seconds…
After 190 clicks my perception of the
SLS roadster has performed a spiritual
handbrake turn
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After 190 clicks my perception of the
SLS roadster has performed a spiritual
handbrake turn
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range of eye-wateringly pricey extras from those brakes to Rs 12.61
lakh worth of carbon-fibre bits and a media system featuring on-
board telematics in the Rs 2.36 lakh region. Sadly, one must also
pay extra for all body colours bar two, for fancier leather, shinier
wheels, a better sound system and for memory seats. What you
can’t get for money or kind words is a legible instrument panel, a
head-up display or such mod cons as start/stop and cylinder
deactivation. Wrong kind of car for these eco-conscious times?
Perhaps. But now that even Ferrari is offering efficiency packs for
the 458 and California, AMG may have to reconsider. Instead, the
SLS boasts of a row of green, yellow and red LEDs which mimic
the rev counter and act as upshift warning lights.
But I am loving the car. Its aluminium body is in principle as
old-school as the 1952 300SL and the 1957 300SLS which started
the breed. The long-stroke V8 is a real torque monster which
Ridiculously tight corners +
unfeasibly narrow roads +
implausibly wide car = Georg
having loads of fun
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highlights gear changes with rev salvoes when the going gets racy.
The dual-clutch transmission pumps power to the rear wheels in
almost unmanageable doses. The steering steers without virtual
elastokinematic assistance and electronically imposed relativity.
The suspension knows no artificial colouring and no chemical
additives. The brakes are masters of balance and poise.
Led on the long leash, the Roadster is every bit as entertaining
as the coupé. Better still, it provides an even more intimate
driving experience because there are no filters, softeners,
thinners. What you smell, hear and taste is what you get: a fast
car working every bit as hard as its driver. Less emotional than a
Ferrari – than the new Ferrari? Maybe. But surely no less
impressive. Let’s see if Chris Chilton fell for the 458 Spider.
Raffaele De Simone, Ferrari’s sprite-like test driver, cups his
chin in a hand and strokes an imaginary goatee. “You know, I’m
One price you pay is the loss of
that view of the engine. The other
price you pay is Rs 1.56 crore
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really pleased with what we were able to do with this car,” he says
in his soft, heavily accented English. “For me, it’s now very hard
to decide whether to take the 458 Italia or the Spider.”
Sure it is. Who’s he trying to kid? The guy must be 30 at most,
a professional test driver for the greatest car company of all time,
a man who’s lapped the Nürburbring in under seven minutes in a
599XX, who surely values ultimate handling precision above
everything else and he’s telling me he might prefer the cabrio!
The one that’s always bendier, heavier and understeerier than the
coupé it’s based on? That’s like going to some pretentious cheese
club night and admitting that the Emmental is your favourite
because the holes look cool. Sounds like PR spin, particularly as
I’ve just sat through a presentation in which Ferrari have
explained how they are positioning the 458 Spider as a more
genteel, GT-style car than the 458 Italia coupé, which is being
pushed further down the supercar route via tweaks aimed at
maximising the emotional enjoyment.
Why the different treatments? In the past it might have been
down to a cabrio’s much less rigid chassis not being up to the
stresses of coping with its coupé sister’s aggressive spring and
damper rates. But this time it’s simply a nod to customer demand.
Ferrari’s research has shown them what we knew already: that
tin-top supercar owners are wannabe Alonsos, who like to push
their car’s engine, brakes and suspension to the limit. In true
narcissistic style, they like to drive solo and indulge in the odd
trackday. Spider drivers, on the other hand, are poseurs. They’re
more likely to drive with a passenger and would much rather
cruise around with the roof down than don a helmet. But they’re
still serial Ferrari lovers and definitely distinct from California
drivers, who are mostly conquest sales and often female.
The strange thing is that, while Ferrari are attempting to push
their two small sports cars apart, to the casual observer they now
appear closer than ever. And that’s because the 458 Spider is the
world’s first supercar to sport a folding hardtop. A clever bit of
work it is too, cycling from open to closed in just 14 seconds,
demanding nothing more strenuous than a button prod. It
commands a mere 50 kg weight penalty over the coupé, making it
six seconds and 25 kg superior to the old F430 Spider’s folding
cloth roof.
This might be the first mid-engined coupé-cabrio, but it isn’t
Ferrari’s first hard-soft-top. Even before the California, there was
the 2005 575 Superamerica, whose roof flipped through 180
degrees, so that it sat face up on the rear deck when you wanted
to let the sunlight in. Having abandoned attempts to store the
458’s lid vertically behind the seats, Ferrari worked on the
Superamerica idea for the 458 Spider, but this time managed to
store the two-piece roof under a neat rear tonneau cover.
So many cabrios are designed to look good top-down, with
little thought given to how they’ll look roof-up – the default UK
state. But the 458 Spider looks just as good as the Italia in either
position. In fact, many will mistake it for the coupé. The
giveaways are the side window line – which is vertical in the
Spider, and swept back to a point on the coupé – and the engine
cover treatment. The coupé is a fastback with a glass window
giving a direct view into the engine bay. The Spider is more like
an Elise, with a flat engine cover and the folded hood obscuring
the V8. The small vertical rear window acts as a wind deflector
with the roof down, just like a 6-series BMW’s.
Mechanically, the Spider is virtually identical to the coupé.
There’s a new silencer so make the most of the engine’s
Rear window doubles as wind
deflector. You can manually
adjust it to suit
It won’t take you through the
hedge backwards, although
people will think so, judging by
the state of your hair
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
108 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
Ferrai 458 Spider & Merc SLS AMG108 108 11/24/2011 10:26:47 AM
soundtrack – particularly important now that the side air intake
normally found at the back of the rear quarter window has been
moved to the rear of the car – but the rest of the hardware is
unchanged. Which means you get the same 4.5-litre direct-
injected, naturally aspirated V8 and a 9,000 RPM reminder of
why turbochargers aren’t quite the panacea we’re led to believe.
This engine is sen-bloody-sational: rawer than bare-leg gravel
rash after a beer-fuelled scooter spill in Benidorm and just
begging to be thrashed. There’s stacks more mid-range torque
than the old F430 had and 80 per cent of its 540 Nm is ready for
action at just 3,250 RPM. But what of weight? Although Ferrari
say the folding aluminium top saved 25 kg over a cloth
arrangement, the associated hinges, motors and sill strengthening
have added 50 kg to the coupé’s 1,380 kg without-fluids kerb
weight. Fortunately, that’s not enough to do any meaningful
damage to performance. Ferrari quotes the same 3.4 seconds 0-
100 km/h time as for the coupé, although the top speed falls by
six km/h to 319 km/h.
So much for the Spider being the softer option. What about the
chassis, though? The modest weight penalty and stiff structure
meant Ferrari were able to retain the existing tyre compounds and
spring rates, merely recalibrating the magnetorheological dampers
to suit. Am I imagining a smidge more understeer on the tighter
corners of our twisty test route south of Parma? Probably not. And
there’s the teeniest trace of rear-view mirror shake as the 20-inch
wheels deal with some of the rougher sections of a road that even
Ferrari’s PR manager admitted was a brave choice for a car launch.
A year after last driving a 458, the speed of the steering comes as a
shock, the turn-in is so immediate, you need to re-train your brain
to deliver less arm movement. Get past that, though, and you’ll have
fun no matter your ability. With the steering wheel manettino
selected to the ‘Sport’, or better still, ‘Race’ mode, the brilliantly
subtle F1-trac ESP system and traction-boosting electronically-
controlled E-diff3, let you dig deep into the power as soon as you
pass the apex of a corner without fear of coming unstuck. Very
clever, but really you’ll never feel how sweetly balanced the 458 is
until you flick the manettino a little further. Then you can lean on
the front tyres to get the nose tucked in before feeding the power in
as little or much as you dare. Neutral, like a 1950s GP racer, a touch
sideways with a simple wristflick of lock or with two smoking
Pirellis: how you exit the corner is up to you.
Softer option it may be, but there are no disappointments with
the Spider’s handling. Hopefully, the Italia’s now-retuned ESP
system (also available as a software update for existing cars) will
allow a little more lateral slip in ‘CT off’ (traction), meaning less
need to resort to the full ‘CST off’ (traction and stability) end of
the dial. We look forward to trying both it and the revised
software for the mandatory seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox
that’ll add a kick to the coupé’s gear changes. Sadly, the Spider
won’t get either of those tweaks, even as an option. Could be
worse, though, Spider owners: you could be driving the
Mercedes SLS Roadster, which uses the same gearbox, but
without Ferrari’s ECU.
Gripes are few. The steering could do with a touch more F40-
style texture to its feel and the complicated dashboard with its
twin-info screens and dual controllers is every bit as confusing as
it sounds. The Rs 60,695 Hele pack, which brings stop/start and
intelligent fans and fuel pumps to help cut fuel consumption from
7.5 km per litre to 8.4 kpl and CO2 output from 307 g/km to 275
g/km, should really be standard. And I’d still like a stealth button
for the exhausts so that I could enjoy the performance without
signalling to the police seven miles away that they might want
Red steering wheel makes you
a target for taste police;
manettino dial does the same
for actual police
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
109 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Ferrai 458 Spider & Merc SLS AMG109 109 11/24/2011 10:28:04 AM
Obviously this makes sense. But
before committing, try to think
of Guildford in the rain
Gone in 14 seconds…
It’s as close to the Coupé in handling
as matters, looks just as good and
sounds even better
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
110 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
Ferrai 458 Spider & Merc SLS AMG110 110 11/24/2011 10:30:00 AM
to make this the last doughnut and start erecting that road block.
But there’s nothing here that would stop you putting in an order
for one – except perhaps the two-year wait for delivery. Even at
Rs 1.56 crore – a steep Rs 20.24 lakh over the 458 Italia and a
colossal Rs 41 lakh over the California – the UK’s allocation of
Spiders is sold out until 2013.
But let’s suppose they’re not. Do you buy Italia or Spider? For
me, the modest reduction in dynamic ability is amply
compensated for by the Spider’s multi-dimensional personality.
Despite Ferrari’s attempts to push the pair apart, the Spider is as
close to the coupé in handling as matters, looks just as good and
sounds even better. You don’t even need to drop the roof. You can
have the best of both the worlds with the roof up and the rear
window down, flooding the cabin with engine noise. The 458
Spider really is a coupé and a roadster. I still think Raffaele would
grab the Italia keys. But I wouldn’t be surprised if his finger
waved, just for a moment, over that Spider fob.
FERRARI 458 SPIDER
PRICE Rs 1.56 crore
ENGINE 4,499 cc 32v V8, 570 PS at 9,000 RPM,
540 Nm at 6,000 RPM
TRANSMISSION Seven-speed dual-clutch, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION Double wishbone front, multi-link rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM 1,430 kg/aluminium
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT 4,527/1,937/1,211 mm
PERFORMANCE 3.4 seconds 0-100 km/h, 319 km/h,
8.4 km per litre
RATING: 11111
It’s as close to the Coupé in handling
as matters, looks just as good and
sounds even better
FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE FERRARI 458 SPIDER AND MERCEDES SLS AMG ROADSTER FIRST DRIVE
111 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Ferrai 458 Spider & Merc SLS AMG111 111 11/24/2011 10:30:55 AM
CAR INDIA
AWARDS 2012
It is time once again to honour the best in the
four-wheeler industry. The Car India Awards have
established a sound reputation for credibility and
fairness and are looked forward to by the entire industry.
CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW
112 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW
CI Awards 2011 preview_Dec11.ind112 112 11/24/2011 12:15:09 PM
Micro Car Of The Year
Contenders: Hyundai Eon
Korean car-makers Hyundai have
always had a strong presence in the
small car market with their Santro and
i10 models. With the latest launch of
the Eon, they placed a model in the
micro car category as well. An able
first car for many, the Eon aims to
take up things from where other
low-cost cars left off.
Entry-level Hatchback
Of The Year
Contenders: Honda Brio, Toyota Etios Liva,
Maruti Suzuki Swift
As one would expect in a four-wheeler
market like India, the hatchback
segment is where every car
manufacturer looks to achieve
numbers. Thus, new entrants keep
coming in year after year. This year,
noticeable ripples were created in the
small car market by Honda’s smallest
kid, the Brio; global car maker Toyota’s
debut in the hatchback segment, the
Etios Liva; and Maruti Suzuki’s
uncrowned king in a new avatar,
the new Swift.
Mid-size Sedan Of The Year
Contenders: Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta,
Toyota Etios, Nissan Sunny, Skoda Rapid
There was no dearth of action in the
mid-size sedan segment either, what
with Hyundai launching their popular
sedan, the Verna, with a complete
makeover and Ford answering with the
new and improved Fiesta. Similarly,
Toyota introduced a budget variant in
the sedan segment, the Etios. If some
car-makers were busy improving their
existing models to match the rising
competition, some others, like Nissan,
made their debut with the Sunny,
which shares the same platform with
the Micra. Taking the same platform
from sibling VW Vento, Skoda launched
the Rapid.
Executive Sedan Of The Year
Contenders: Renault Fluence,
Volkswagen Jetta
To compete with the leaders, Renault
of France launched the Fluence with
great pomp. Good looks and drive are
what this French beauty offers.
However, before it could boast of being
the only launch of the year in the
executive sedan segment, Volkswagen
launched the new Jetta with looks and
driving experience to die for.
Premium Sedan Of The Year
Contenders: Volkswagen Passat, Audi A6
The contenders in this segment come
from the same family, but with their
signature virtues. Where the
Volkswagen Passat made a comeback
with great improvements in looks and
major tweaks under the hood, the Audi
A6 defied the myth that luxury sedans
are not economical.
SUV Of The Year
Contenders: Mahindra XUV 500
The most recent launch in this list was
the Mahindra XUV 500, which the
company defines as their global
product and rightly so. Having earned a
reputation with their MUVs, the
company’s attempt with making a fine
soft-roader is worthy of appreciation.
MUV Of The Year
Contenders: Force One,Mahindra Thar
If the hatchbacks and sedans were
making the market swoon, the MUVs
weren’t much behind either. The year
witnessed some remarkable launches,
starting with the Force One from Force
Motors. Soon thereafter Mahindra &
Mahindra brought back the glorious
Classic in a new-age avatar, the Thar.
Premium SUV Of The Year
Contenders: BMW X3, BMW X1,
Renault Koleos
This year, German car-maker BMW
caught the nerve of the Indian car
maket brought an affordable beemer,
which is selling like a hot cake in the
country- the BMW X1. The second
launch of the year from the company
was the BMW X3. Also referred to as
‘baby X5’, the X3 is based on the
touring version of the 3-series and has
enough grunt to prove its name.
Making the best of the emerging
Premium SUV segment in the country,
French manufacturer Renault brought
to the country their premium and much
awaited product, the Koleos.
AWARD CATEGORIES
AND NOMINATIONS
Television Partner
Associate Sponsor
Knowledge Partner
P R E S E N T S
Associate Sponsor
Title Sponsor
Associate Sponsor
Hospitality Partner
113 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
CI Awards 2011 preview_Dec11.ind113 113 11/24/2011 12:17:34 PM
Nominate your choice and WIN
To vote, SMS AWARD<space>A,B,C etc and send it to 56161
For example, if your choice is the
Maruti Suzuki Swift, then sms AWARD D to 56161
Hyundai Eon
A
Honda Brio
B
Toyota Etios Liva
C
Maruti Suzuki Swift
D






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LOWEPRO
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CAR INDIA
ANNUAL
SUBSCRIPTION
SUNGLASSES
CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW
114 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW
CI Awards 2011 preview_Dec11.ind114 114 11/24/2011 12:23:48 PM
Hyundai Verna
E
Ford Fiesta
F
Toyota Etios
G
Nissan Sunny
H
Skoda Rapid
I
Renault Fluence
J
Force One
O
VW Jetta
K
VW Passat
L
Audi A6
M
Mahindra XUV 500
N
Mahindra Thar
P
BMW X3
Q
BMW X1
R
Renault Koleos
S
CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW CAR OF THE YEAR 2012 PREVIEW
115 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
CI Awards 2011 preview_Dec11.ind115 115 11/24/2011 7:11:12 PM
116 car india December 2011
Panamera diesel vs rivals shootout
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U116 116 11/24/2011 10:57:21 AM
Panamera Diesel versus rivals. Like most wars, it’s all about oil. But can
Porsche’s limo do the diesel thing like Mercedes, Audi and Jaguar?
THE BIG TEST
Story: Anthony ffrench-Constant
Photography: John Wycherley
117 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U117 117 11/24/2011 10:59:12 AM
From this angle it’s
911 versus E-Class
versus A8. They may
have plain faces, but
in this market it’s all
about the tushy
118 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U118 118 11/24/2011 11:00:15 AM
F
INDING MYSELF MORE THAN SOMEWHAT
short of the odd Rs 47 lakh to spend on my next motor car,
I find it hard to credit that those who do have said sums
sloshing to and fro in the petty cash till should be
overmuch concerned with such piffling trivia as running costs.
However, with UK market perceptions perverted by our
unusually large company car quota, this does seem,
increasingly, to be the case. So, where once the average
thrusting executive would settle for nothing less than the
Saturday morning golf club car park status-enhancing rumble of
eight cylinders to hallmark the touchdown of his latest thrusting
executive, the oleaginous thrum of a thrifty 3.0-litre V6 turbo-
diesel would now appear to suffice.
Here, then, leather upholsteries smeared by a steady trickle of
hot, salt, in memoriam V8 tears, are a clutch of style-conscious
four-door offerings to which, until all too recently, one would
have readily attributed eight-cylinder petrol power: Porsche’s
Rs 47-lakh Panamera Diesel, the Rs 42-lakh Mercedes-Benz
CLS 350 CDI BlueEfficiency Sport, Jaguar’s Rs 54.79-lakh XJ
3.0 Diesel Portfolio LWB and the Rs 37.83-lakh Audi A7
Sportback 3.0 TDI SE S tronic. In the case of the Audi and
Mercedes, the V6 turbo-diesel will have to suffice, since V8
power isn’t an option available to British buyers.
Yes, yes… I know it might not feel like a fit, but the Jaguar’s here
for two very good reasons: firstly, it can’t be denied that it oozes
sufficient sheer style to take the fight to these three cod-coupé
Teutons. And, secondly, a closer investigation reveals the Gaydon
glamourpuss to be an entirely competitive price proposition.
Jaguar gave us a long-wheelbase version, the as-tested price
rising to Rs 61 lakh almost entirely by dint of lavish rear-seat
entertainment goodies. However, the stubbier SWB sibling
comes in at Rs 52.41 lakh and (a couple of grand’s worth of
trinkets such as adaptive cruise control and DAB not
withstanding) is pretty much fully loaded with toys straight out
of the box.
Ladling equipment aboard the others to the point of
approximate parity brings the Mercedes price to Rs 52.18 lakh
and that of the A7 to Rs 49.98 lakh. In the case of the
Panamera, the price rises to Rs 53.36 lakh, but that does include
over Rs 2.36 lakh for posh wheels and a hilarious two-and-a-
half grand for, erm, blue paint. All of which makes the Audi the
bargain of the pack. Just.
119 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U119 119 11/24/2011 11:01:28 AM
Now, let’s forget the brand snobbery that inevitably holds sway
in these executive headwaters for a moment and consider the
quantities of curtain twitching elicited by these four on stylistic
merit alone. If ever proof were needed that it isn’t until the felt-tip
rummagings reach the rump of a car that its designer starts to
properly earn his pay-cheque, these four plush rush with hush
aspirants provide it, in spades. We are, strictly speaking, talking
rear three-quarter view here and it’s rare to find four such wildly
different takes on finishing what you started in the hitherto
ocular-safety-first executive class.
When it comes to the crunchy gravel catwalk, I continue, I
confess, to have difficulty with the Panamera. I can just about
cope with the 911-left-on-the-party-balloon-pump a-tad-long
looks from most angles – that blatantly Porsche proboscis
proving appropriately imposing. But the rear engine installation-
aping back of the car is so abruptly truncated that it mars what
might otherwise be quite a svelte profile. Worse, the view from
any further astern resembles nothing so much as a randy terrier
humping a basketball. Clearly (VW Touareg-sourced Cayenne
not counting), Porsche’s designers haven’t penned anything but
911s for so long they are now incapable of penning anything but
911s, albeit in an exciting range of different sizes.
To those of us whose childhood was accompanied by a parade
of angular, slab-sided behemoths, the first evidence – in the
shape of the 2005 CLS – that a Mercedes bends, came as a
shock. Indeed, I fear I was among those who dismissed the
upshot of the covert operation in which a reckless Mercedes
designer smuggled into the studio a set of French curves with
which to assault a humble E-class as merely mutton dressed as a
banana. However, familiarity clearly breeds content, because
today I’m such a convert that I now consider the last-generation
CLS to be a paragon of elegance.
Mercedes are wont to describe this replacement as their ‘James
Bond Car’. Which is not to say that forward-firing machine guns
have joined the legion list of driving assistance systems on offer
(most of which we recently so enjoyed spending a shouty eternity
trying to switch off in the new M-Class); rather that, in purely
catwalk terms, the newcomer lobs a little more gristle into the
blancmange by replacing Pierce Brosnan with Daniel Craig.
This new-found musculature is most successfully evinced in a
handsome new hooter, which looks best with the single-strake
sports grille and optional all-LED headlights housing 71
individual lamps, no less. Less pleasing is a side view in which
further French curve frolics clash somewhat with the decidedly
matronesque size of the rear wheelarches, the latter having now
grown from E-Class whiff-of-Pullman to back-half-of-old-
Bentley in stature.
Of these four contenders, the CLS plays it by far the safest in
the rear three-quarter stakes, with an appropriately slippery rump
that’ll never blow any frocks up. As a whole, the design proves
Porsche may be
noisy newcomer,
but Audi quietly,
consummately goes
about its business
XJ has them all
licked for sheer class
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
120 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U120 120 11/24/2011 11:05:22 AM
undeniably striking from some angles, yet surprisingly colour
sensitive and, perhaps, lacking the clean homogeny and sheer
elegance of the original.
Seriously useful word, ‘striking’. The missus’s latest mid-life
crisis haircut; an astonishingly loud item of knitwear rescued
from the foothills of the Andes by a close chum; a maiden aunt’s
dubious application of paint on canvas; experimental cooking of
the duck à la banana school… all may be safely dubbed striking
without risk of either commitment or offence.
In the case of the undeniably striking Jaguar XJ, however, I’ll
clamber off the fence and go on record as saying I think it looks
absolutely splendid. Sitting on a grassy knoll in the middle of
Birmingham, watching it schmooze by in traffic, the LWB XJ has
tremendous road presence, standing out like a Blue Riband liner
on a boating pond. Admittedly, in the manner of Jennifer Lopez,
the rear view might at first appear gently out of proportion (not
unpleasant, just, well… a tad larger than expected), but replete
with delicious details like the little ridge of red LEDs that stands
proud of the rear lamp cluster, it has grown on me with every
fresh viewing.
Meanwhile, slipping quietly along under the radar, it’s the A7
Sportback which takes the honours in the rear three-quarter
stakes. Pretty as a picture both from behind and in profile, the
only modicum of ocular clunk may be attributed to Walter
de’Silva’s Big Grille policy. Cars in this class cry out for
horizontality in the hooter department to provide the essence of
executive. To my eye, the proportions of its oval grille make even
the XJ struggle for visual width. Of the current Audis, only R8
and S5 can carry off the big grille.
Given a first-class driving position and an entirely comfortable
seat, the extent to which the Panamera interior will win you over
depends upon your admiration for the first iterations of the
fiendishly expensive Vertu phones on which the centre-console
switchgear appears to have been styled and how adroitly your
sausage fingers cope with the rather small buttons. That aside,
the only real ergonomic glitch is the absence of steering wheel-
mounted controls. Because Porsche (like all of the Germans) do
not adjust the centre console systems for right-hand drive cars,
the gear lever is directly in the way of the multimedia system
volume control.
Despite a fairly upright rake, life in the Panamera’s strictly two-
seat format rear is comfortable enough, with adequate legroom
when I sit behind myself. There’s air aplenty too, with
independent control and both centre console and B-pillar-
mounted vents. The load space is somewhat shallow, however, so
it’s a good job the seats will fold flat.
Both Audi and Mercedes have honed their instrumentation and
ergonomics to the point of near perfection and there’s little to
choose between them other than preference of style. The A7’s
instrument binnacle is a paragon of crisp clarity and I’m entirely at
home with the multimedia system’s operation, though there’s a
strong argument in favour of the Mercedes equivalent, which allows
you to change functions on screen rather than via separate buttons.
In the face of the A7’s almost entirely chthonic and Teutonic
Is CLS cabin dark? Or is
it the shadow cast by
the Panamera’s arse?
When it comes
to the crunchy
gravel catwalk
I continue to
have difficulty
with the
Panamera
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
121 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U121 121 11/24/2011 11:07:30 AM
AUDI A7 SPORTBACK 3.0 TDI QUATTRO SE S TRONIC
PRICE: Rs 37.88 lakh
AS TESTED: Rs 50.06 lakh
ENGINE: 2,967 cc 24v V6 turbodiesel, 250 PS at 3,800-4,400 RPM, 550
Nm at 1,750-2,750 RPM
TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed auto, four-wheel drive
SUSPENSION: Independent double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM: 1,785 kg/steel
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT: 4,969/1,911/1,420 mm
PERFORMANCE: 6.3 seconds 0-100 km/h, 250 km/h, 16.67 km per litre
MERCEDES-BENZ CLS 350 CDI
PRICE: Rs 41.82 lakh
AS TESTED: Rs 52.25 lakh
ENGINE: 2,987 cc 24v V6 turbodiesel, 265 PS at 3,800 RPM, 617 Nm at
1,600-2,400 RPM
TRANSMISSION: Seven-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION: Multi-link front, multi-link rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM: 1,815 kg/steel
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT: 4,940/1,881/1,416 mm
PERFORMANCE: 6.2 seconds 0-100 km/h, 250 km/h, 16.39 km per litre
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
122 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U122 122 11/24/2011 11:09:00 AM
PORSCHE PANAMERA DIESEL
PRICE: Rs 46.87 lakh
AS TESTED: Rs 53.40 lakh
ENGINE: 2,967 cc 24v V6 turbodiesel, 250 PS at 3,800-4,400 RPM, 550
Nm at 1,750-2,750 RPM
TRANSMISSION: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION: Independent double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM: 1,880 kg/steel
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT: 4,970/1,931/1,418 mm
PERFORMANCE: 6.8 seconds 0-100 km/h, 241 km/h, 15.39 km per litre
JAGUAR XJ 3.0L D PORTFOLIO LWB
PRICE: Rs 54.83 lakh (SWB Rs 52.46 lakh)
AS TESTED: Rs 61.06 lakh
ENGINE: 2,993 cc 24v V6 turbodiesel, 275 PS at 4,000 RPM, 600 Nm at
2,000 RPM
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
SUSPENSION: Independent double-wishbone front, multi-link rear
WEIGHT/MADE FROM: 1,796 kg/aluminium
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT: 5,247 (5,122)/1,894/1,448 mm
PERFORMANCE: 6.4 seconds 0-100 km/h, 250 km/h, 13.87 km per litre
(SWB 14.2 km per litre)
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
123 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U123 123 11/24/2011 11:10:34 AM
finishes, the CLS seems a little more lounge-lizard lavish and the
driver’s seat is ridiculously comfortable. Whilst the Audi’s
switchgear is bulletproof, splitters of hairs might gripe at the
Mercedes’ plastic air-con knobs that cry out to be turned in cold-
to-the-early-morning-touch aluminium and the flimsy feel to the
centre armrest lid hinge mechanism. Fastback styling brings a
perception of confinement in the back of both cars, though
neither leg nor headroom is inadequate. The Audi combines fold-
flat rear seats with a parcel shelf so pale of hue that reflections all
but obliterate the driver’s view astern.
The Jaguar’s creak-and-reek full-leather interior constitutes the
original curate’s egg. Its individuality cannot be denied and,
though a little chrome heavy, wonderful touches of whimsy you’d
simply never find in a car coming out of Germany abound.
However, even glossing over a clock of sub-Ratner’s quality, there
are a couple of notable glitches that somewhat spoil the ship.
Firstly, the front seats just aren’t good enough. They’re too flat,
unwelcoming and lacking in lateral support. There’s little point in
having electrical hugging adjustment to the seat side bolsters if all
they do when activated is merely push you forward out of the seat
in the manner of an orange pip squeezed between fingertips. I
know Jaguar are eager to shed the gentleman’s club image, but a
comfy chair is just a comfy chair, wherever you find it.
The 8in centre console touch-screen also disappoints. I must
confess to far preferring touch-screen systems to the more
distracting, knob-operated alternative, but not if the reality is a
screen so inelegant, insensitive to the touch and slow to react that
serious digit bruising is the outcome of loading in a particularly
lengthy destination address. Nor is the sat-nav system itself
exactly top-drawer.
But the most unfortunate addition, and that from which there’s
no escape, is the replacement of analogue dials with, er, virtual
analogue dials. They may allow you to feed the driver all manner
of ancillary info (most of which is already accessible from the
centre console screen), but, lacking the visual crispness of the
real thing, they just don’t cut the visual mustard.
With 125 mm of more rear-seat legroom than the standard car,
there’s stacks of space in the back. Sadly, the rear seats aren’t any
more comfortable than those up front and the electric adjustment
is somewhat Victorian in deportment terms, merely moving the
occupant from vaguely reclined to bolt upright. The headrests, by
contrast, are sublimely comfortable.
As discussed, all four cars boast V6 turbo-diesels of a whisker
under 3.0 litres in displacement. The XJ’s unit develops 275 PS and
600 Nm, the CLS 265 PS and a handsome 619 Nm. Unsurprisingly,
since they’re identical but for eight-speed rear-drive transmission in
the Porsche and seven-speed all-wheel drive in the Audi, both the
Panamera and the A7 muster 250 PS and 550 Nm.
Porsche have admitted that the Panamera was never designed
to accommodate a diesel powerplant and, unfortunately, you can
tell; this is not a happy installation. An unseemly amount of
vibration and noise penetrates the cockpit on tickover, suggesting
trick engine mountings have been shunned in favour of the
humble bolt. On the move, too, the unit is rarely as quiet as you’d
expect and particularly raucous when outside its narrow, 1,000-
RPM peak torque band. It’s almost as if it’s been decided that,
this being a Porsche, we must hear the powerplant, even if it isn’t
a particularly engaging racket.
In stark contrast, the same engine installed in the A7 remains
astonishingly quiet at all times and all velocities, with the
Mercedes and Jaguar units finding a fractionally more vocal
parity. Though the CLS takes the straight-line honours on paper
and the Jaguar always feels the fastest car here, there’s little to
choose between these four in performance terms. All but the
Panamera boast of sub-6.5sec 0-100 km/h times and all but the
Panamera top out at a governed 250 km/h. So, with Mercedes and
(L-R) Serena Williams,
Kylie Minogue, Jennifer
Lopez, Carol Vorderman…
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
124 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U124 124 11/24/2011 11:12:34 AM
Audi shod in 19-inch wheels and the Porsche and Jaguar 20-inch
and all four cars sporting their own take on adaptive suspension
damping, we must turn to ride and handling characteristics for
clearer adjudication.
The Panamera’s steering is all you could wish for from a giant
911 – accurate, nicely weighted and linear and the car (the
heaviest here) turns in with surprising alacrity for such a porker.
But the gently firm ride is utterly baffling. Driving on inferior
surfaces that leave the others relatively unfazed, it’s immediately
apparent that the Porsche is constantly jostling around like the
old Parisian metro trains that used to run on rubber wheels. It’s a
disconcerting, blancmange-bushings sense of disconnection
between bodyshell and undercarriage that can only be shackled
by keeping the adjustable dampers in the ‘Sport’ mode. Even
then, the car too often shrugs and fidgets along surfaces that the
rest treat with admirable disdain. Perhaps suspension and engine
mountings might be exchanged to good effect?
The Jaguar is quite simply a terrific drive. A mine of detailed
information, the steering may be a tad light for some, but it’s
unnervingly accurate and sweetly responsive. The XJ’s body
control is also unimpeachable and, allied to appropriately
tenacious levels of grip, makes for such effortless, scything
progress you’ll invariably find yourself travelling somewhat more
rapidly than your nicely cosseted senses would have you believe.
The only downside to the XJ’s suspension set-up is the high
degree of nugget that has been allowed to filter through to the
cabin by way of secondary ride characteristics. This does,
undeniably, add a sporting feel to the driving experience, but may
not be to everyone’s taste in this class.
Having had occasion to grumble about the tough-love ride of
many past Audis, it came as a positive revelation to board the A7
and discover that the ride comfort gap between it and the CLS
has closed considerably. Ultimately, though, despite that fact that
the A7 is the quieter car, the Mercedes boasts of better steering
with a greater feeling of involvement, marginally superior body
control and a more luxurious ride quality.
Tough call, then. After a hard day’s thrusting, any executive
worth his salt would be delighted to find himself wafting home in
any of these machines. For myself, even if I could come to terms
with the Porsche’s looks, I prefer to be stirred rather than shaken
by my wheels, so the conventionally sprung V8 manual Panamera
remains the monarch of the model range.
The Jaguar has such character, presence and panache. Combine
that with an entirely engaging and entertaining driving experience
and it’s hard to resist. I’m going to, though, because I don’t think I’d
be happy or comfortable enough on board for the duration. Sitting
demurely in the background with its finest stylistic attributes
hidden away astern, the Audi does everything so competently it’s
almost impossible to find fault, other than to suggest that it perhaps
fails to engage the driver in any particular fashion.
And that’s why, ultimately, I’m off home in the CLS. Though
I’d love to steal the A7’s instrument binnacle, the Mercedes
interior offers the most superior environment overall. And,
though I’d love to steal the Jaguar’s steering, the Mercedes’ artful
combination of dynamic ability and occupant comfort proves
entirely seductive.
Ben Pulman (left)
gave his surname to
cars this swanky
Audi engine cover fits
Porsche EXACTLY
car
Porsche
admit that the
Panamera was
not designed to
accommodate
diesel.
Unfortunately,
you can tell
PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT PANAMERA DIESEL vs RIVALS SHOOTOUT
125 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Panamera Diesel vs Rivals_From U125 125 11/24/2011 11:13:38 AM
These men invented the
hot rod in post-war
America. And they’re still
at it. We pay them a visit
in the greatest US muscle
car ever made
THE GODS OF
‘AMERICAN
GRAFFITI’
Story: Ben Oliver
Photography: Greg Pajo
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
126 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011126 126 11/24/2011 11:17:46 AM
TOP: Our man with Pete Chapouris in the
SoCal Speedshop workshop
MIDDLE: Mustang at the cruise in Pomona
BOTTOM: Bruce Meyer with one of his
eight 1932 Fords
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
127 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011127 127 11/24/2011 11:20:46 AM
Jimmy Shine with the 1934
Ford he is building for ZZ
Top’s Billy Gibbons
Fuel tank adapted from B52
bomber hydraulic tank. Reads
‘rocket fuel’ in German
It’s a $75k bespoke Donovan all-
aluminium rod with a 809PS V8.
Even Pete admits it’s ‘over the top’
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
128 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011128 128 11/24/2011 11:24:00 AM
I
T’S LIKE WALKING INTO MICHELANGELO’S
studio and finding him chipping lumps of marble from the David.
Jimmy Shine takes off his welder’s mask and puts down the torch
and politely introduces himself by name. He is working on the
bare-metal body of a chopped 1934 Ford hot-rod for Billy Gibbons of
ZZ Top. If Shine is a sculptor, his patron, Gibbons, is like one of the
Medici bankers who paid for the Renaissance. When this car rolls out
of the SoCal Speedshop in six months, it will be perfect. Other than
learning to weld, aged nine, Shine has had no formal training, but he
can build by eye and instinct a car whose form, proportions, surfacing
and stance are all perfect and make every part himself.
I defy you not to want a Jimmy Shine hot-rod. I asked a few people
why the great southern Californian hot rod builders get it so right,
when the armies of trained designers at big car companies often get it
so wrong and got the same answer: a shrug of the shoulders and,
“They just get it”. Jimmy Shine definitely gets it.
Last year I was in California to do a story about how Silicon Valley
money and dot-com brains meant the future of the US car industry
might lie here with companies such as Tesla and not ‘back east’. Tom
Gage, an EV pioneer, agreed but pointed out that this was nothing
new, that since the war southern California has fizzed with car design
and engineering ideas which Detroit has either struggled to adopt or
been too scared to. The SoCal scene hasn’t just created the global
hot-rod industry or influenced car design or spawned the companies
that might change motoring forever, it also created drag racing and
salt-flat speed tests and it permeates American pop culture: fashion,
music such as the Beach Boys’ 409 and Little Deuce Coupé and films
like George Lucas’ ‘American Graffiti’.
It even had an impact on my trade. In 1963, ‘Esquire’ sent Tom
Wolfe here to write about the ‘kustom-kar’ scene. Wolfe panicked and
got writer’s block and, as the deadline passed, he just typed his notes
out and sent them to the editor who had found someone else to write
the story. But once the pressure was off, the easy, impressionistic style
in which he wrote made the editor just run the notes uncut. The story,
‘The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby’, is one of the
first examples of New Journalism and one of the best pieces of writing
about cars. The stuff Wolfe reported on then I would see again nearly
50 years later; the cruises, the builders like artists in their studios and
the big car-makers trying to capture some of that mojo.
The new Ford Mustang Boss 302 provides my wheels. Yes, it’s a
muscle car, not a hot-rod, and the two are very different. Muscle cars,
with their easy, affordable, factory performance, nearly killed the hot-
rod in the 1960s. But the new Boss is the right steer for this trip and
for a few reasons. First, it was an affordable Ford coupé and engine
that provided the favoured raw material for the early hot-rod scene:
the 1932 ‘Deuce’ and the Flathead V8. Second, the Boss has its roots
in southern California. The original, built in 1969 and ’70 as a Trans-
Am racer and road car, was designed by Larry Shinoda, one of the
few to make the leap from the California hot-rod scene to the
mainstream; he also did the Mako Shark and the 1963 and ’68
Corvettes. And this generation of Mustang was designed by Larry
Erickson, another SoCal hot-rodder with a foot in mainstream; he
also designed Billy Gibbon’s Cadzzilla.
But, most importantly, the new Boss is ‘boss’: the term the
teenagers in ‘American Graffiti’ and Wolfe’s ‘Esquire’ story use to
indicate approval. In fact, it’s better than boss. It’s the best
American car I’ve ever driven and if you’re going to do a story
about the best of American car culture…
Jimmy Shine’s bare-metal
1934 Ford pick-up: spent
30 years in a river-bed
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So why did all this happen in southern California? “You had 20-
year-olds who had been flying P51 Mustangs in the war and had a
need for speed coming home to their Model Ts and putt-putting
down the road. That was never going to work,” says Pete Chapouris,
who runs the SoCal Speedshop. Pete ‘gets it’. In 1973 he built the
‘California Kid’, a flamed 1934 Ford coupé and a hot-rod masterpiece.
It starred with Martin Sheen in the film of the same name, which,
along with ‘American Graffiti’, helped reanimate the hot-rod after the
oil crisis killed the muscle car overnight in 1970.
However, in 1945 servicemen were returning to dog-slow Model Ts
in every state. Why did rodding start in California? “We had the dry
lakes,” says Pete. “We had the aircraft industry for our parts and the
guys who worked in it, the metal-shapers. But mostly it happened
here because it’s not gloomy. There’s a vibrancy here. I get out in my
car and I drive around and I have a good time. And it’s not just me.
It’s everyone I know. My dad was in it. I’m 68 and I’ve been in it all
my life. Now Jimmy and my son are in it. But you’ve got to ‘get it’,
right? If you don’t get it, you can’t work here. Jimmy gets it. You’ve
got to know when the tip on the hood is exactly right. It’s instinctive.”
The SoCal Speedshop was founded in 1946 by Alex Xydias, who
came back from war and borrowed a hundred bucks from his
mother. I was lucky enough to meet him – soft-spoken and nearly
90, he is revered by other rodders. Alex ‘gets it’. Alex invented ‘it’.
His hot-rods in the classic SoCal ‘hi-boy’ style – coupés with the
top chopped, body sitting as standard on the chassis rails, but
‘tipped’ forward by the big rear wheels used to increase the gearing
for high-speed running – are just perfect. His greatest creation is
the Belly-tank Lakester, created by welding together the bottom
halves of two external fuel tanks from a P38 fighter and installing a
Flathead V8 to make a tiny, beautiful teardrop that would do 322
km/h on the salt. With no rollcage.
The late-night illegal street racing soon shifted to the first proper
drag strips. “Some guys got hurt, but it was never what it was
cracked up to be in the press,” says Pete. The speed freaks got
kicked off the Muroc dry lakes to make way for Edwards Air Force
base and Chuck Yeager and moved north to the salt and even higher
speeds of Bonneville from 1949. The ‘Hot Rod’ magazine was
established in 1948 and spread the word east, bringing fame and
orders for the SoCal Speedshop and rival hot-rod builders like
George Barris. “By the time Elvis Presley came along, it was pretty
much a done deal,” says Pete.
When Wolfe got here in 1963, Detroit had been paying attention
for a while. Barris told him what had happened when he met
designers in Detroit three years previously. “I was amazed. They
could tell me about cars I built in 1945. And all this time we
thought they frowned on us.” Detroit was in its pomp then – it was
watching what was happening in California, but not acting on it.
“They were in denial, man,” says Pete. “They said the Japanese
would never catch us and German cars are too expensive. They
thought people were entrenched in buying Fords and Chevys.
Detroit was run by a bunch of old guys and by the time they woke
up and realised it wasn’t 1950 any longer it was too late. It’s funny
that you could lead for so long and lose your way so quickly. They
just didn’t listen to us.”
They’re listening now. Almost all the major car-makers have design
studios in California, staffed by graduates from the vehicle design
courses at the Art Center in Pasadena. Pete says he can see the
influences everywhere. “Look at the shape of the sideglass on a CLS
Mercedes. That’s Cadzzilla. Or a black 6-series on 20s pulls up next
to you at the lights: it’s wedged, it’s tipped, it’s got the stance, it’s
Bruce Meyer’s garage,
aka Aladdin’s cave
Bruce with five legends from hot-
rodding’s earliest days. Alex
Xydias is second from right
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
130 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
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Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011130 130 11/24/2011 11:29:41 AM
An American, finally,
to worry the Germans
Mustang at Mel’s Diner on
Sunset Boulevard. (Below)
In-N-Out burgers, feeding
hot-rodders since 1948
A black 6-series on 20s pulls up at the lights.
It’s wedged, it’s tipped, it’s got the stance.
I say to myself, ‘That’s a hot rod’
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131 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011131 131 11/24/2011 11:34:16 AM
got everything we’ve been doing for years and it’s just frickin’ perfect.
I say to myself, ‘That’s a hot rod’, because it is. You’ve gotta think we
influenced some young designer somewhere.”
Those seminal early hot-rods are getting the recognition they
deserve now. Bruce Meyer is, in the California vernacular, a dude.
He is 70, but I don’t want to be like Bruce when I’m older. I want
to be like Bruce right now. If you ever wonder where the cars that
sell for eight figures at auction end up, the answer is here, in
Bruce’s Beverly Hills garage, when they’re not on loan to museums.
While he goes to ‘work out and eat a banana’, he suggests we hang
out in his garage, which starts out unassuming with an up-and-
over door, but soon has you wondering if you’re hallucinating as it
widens out to accommodate, among many, many others, a $17-
million 1957 Ferrari Testarossa.
Meyer has eight seminal 1932 Ford hot-rods and Alex Xydias’s
original belly-tank; they’re worth millions. “Every car I have has to
appeal to my aesthetics. It’s a formula I can’t pin down. It’s a
combination of the shape, the history, who built it and the hot-rods
have it just as much as the Ferraris. I go to the hot-rod shows and a lot
of the guys just don’t get it. They can have a great-looking car and
they put the wrong wheels on. But some guys just have it. Pete
Chapouris has it. He gets it.”
We had to go to a cruise. There was one in Pomona, east of Los
Angeles, so we took the long way round on Route 2, through the San
Bernadino mountains to the north of the city. The Boss was
unbelievable up here; the exhaust note of the 450 PS V8 feral, the
shift incredibly quick and close, the steering talkative through that
thin, suede-rimmed wheel. It handles better than any car with a live
rear axle has a right to. By some industrial magic Ford have turned
their ageing rentacoupé into an M3 rival; it’s as if GI Mustang got
posted to Germany, had a fling with a skinny, little RS Porsche and
produced this. It’s properly exciting; suddenly you’re Parnelli Jones
hunting Javelins in a 1970 Trans-Am race. If the US car industry has
the guts to keep doing this, it may be all right.
It could still be 1970 in the parking lot in Pomona. Or 1960 or 1950.
The variety of cars is extraordinary. There are classic SoCal hi-boy
coupés and roadsters and East-coast style rods with fenders and roofs
for the weather, bodies ‘channelled’ down over the chassis rails.
There are custom 1950s Mercury coupés, their sideglass cut down to
slit, and rat-rods that blur the line between car and steampunk
sculpture. All surrounded by guys idly talking cars in the warm night
air, just as they have done every night since 1945. For all the million-
dollar classic hot-rods, the car makers’ advanced design studios and
the radical new electric-car makers, southern California’s grass-roots
scene continues much as it always has.
Pete Provencal is a SoCal original. He doesn’t ‘get it’. While most
of the rods here look pretty good, Pete’s is duck-egg blue with red
wheels and a box body. But he’s the real deal. He went to his first
drag race soon after the war, aged five, “and that was that”. He’s
been building his own cars since the age of 15 and he built every part
of this one himself. He looks like God’s derelict brother now, but he
could have been one of the ‘American Graffiti’ kids. “My wife died
last year so I threw myself into this. If I got bored I’d die too. It’s
good that people build these high-dollar cars, but you don’t need to.
This thing cost me maybe four grand and I scrounged most of what I
needed. I didn’t bother plating any parts, because I don’t plan on
cleaning it. I drive it every day. I’m going to hitch a trailer to the
back and drive it to Minnesota.”
Boss meets its original ancestor
in a random encounter in an
underground car park on Rodeo
Drive. Even more randomly,
that’s Simon Cowell’s Rolls
Phantom in the background
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
132 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
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Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011132 132 11/24/2011 11:35:39 AM
Scenes from a Pomona
cruise. Pete Provencal
(right) with his, ahem,
striking home-made
rod (below)
NEED TO KNOW
THE MUSTANG BOSS 302
PRICE Rs 20.74 lakh (in the UK)
ENGINE 4,951 cc 32v V8, 450 PS at
7,400 RPM, 515 Nm at 4,500 RPM
TRANSMISSION Six-speed
manual, rear-wheel drive
WEIGHT/MADE FROM 1,650 kg/
steel
LENGTH/WIDTH/HEIGHT
4,775/1,877/1,397 mm
PERFORMANCE 4.2 seconds 0-100
km/h, 250 km/h, 6.0/9.2 kpl (US city/
highway)
RATING 11111
MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE MUSTANG MEETS HOT-RODDERS FEATURE
133 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Ford Mustang Hot Rodders_Dec2011133 133 11/24/2011 11:41:33 AM
ci gARAgE
Monthly updates on car india’s long-terM fleet
134 DECEMBER 2011 car india
trustworthy Mate
I
t has been a long while since our last
update on our long-term Volkswagen Passat. in the
meantime, it has ably braved the rainy season and all its
after-effects. apart from my daily commute, the Passat has done
quite a few day trips to Mumbai and back and a few weekend
drives to Mahabaleshwar as well.
the car is easy to use in the city as the light steering lets you
manoeuvre it through the chaotic Pune traffic. its park assist is
very helpful in ensuring that the car gets parked even in the
tightest slot.
the fuel-efficiency of the Vw Passat will give many small
cars an inferiority complex: it delivers about 13.5 km per litre
within the city and 17 kpl on the highway and this under normal
driving conditions.
after all the beating it has taken and having hogged more
than 12,500 kilometres there is not a single squeak or rattle from
this car. as a matter of fact, the Passat has one of the quietest
cabins. this makes it a great long-haul car. there is hardly any
fatigue after a really long drive.
the Passat is one of the cheapest cars to run as it delivers a
phenomenal fuel-efficiency and there is no service cost, the first
service being due after 15,000 km or one year.
asPi bhathena
R
e
c
e
n
t

e
n
t
R
a
n
t
s
if the indian car Market is witnessing
its golden period currently, then there is no
denying the fact that the road size and parking
space is shrinking too. so to provide a solution to
the same, hyundai launched their smallest car –
the eon. with a 800-cc engine, this hyundai
small car not only looks good, but comes with the
best build quality and fit-and-finish too. looks
can be deceptive, they say and it holds true in case
of the eon. the car might look small from outside,
but comes with ample legroom and headroom for
the comfort of the passengers. it’s good to have the
baby hyundai join the gang.
the hyundai
eon
Long Term_Dec2011.indd 134 11/24/2011 5:52:04 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 21 11/23/2011 2:59:59 PM
ci gARAgE
Monthly updates on car india’s long-terM fleet
136 DECEMBER 2011 car india
R
e
c
e
n
t

e
n
t
R
a
n
t
s
This new enTranT inTo
the Car india garage is easily the most
good looking one of the lot. not only do
the ‘fluidic’ lines and design cues make it
stand out in the crowd, but its well-laid-
out dash and cabin quality make it a good
package too. The Korean softness that the
new Verna brings along makes it
comfortable in the city and over bumps
and potholes. ample storage space will
come into use when we plan to hit the
highways with this hyundai. For now, we
welcome the Verna to our garage.
the hyundai
VeRna
siMply addictive
A
FTer spending more Than six monThs
with the maruti suzuki sx4 Zdi, i feel that the sedan has
grown on me. The steady flow of torque helps the sedan sail
ahead of traffic and the phenomenon is rather addictive. it’s one
of the few cars that have managed to bring a smile to the face of
petrol-heads like us and our office accountants.
allow me to explain. during the numerous trips that we have to
make for work between pune and mumbai, the frugal 1.3-litre multi-
jet proved to be exceptionally handy to keep the fuel bills in check.
i’ve managed to squeeze over 20 kpl from it on the pune-mumbai
expressway, which says a lot considering the size of this sedan.
Talking about the size, the sx4 boasts of being one of the
roomiest sedans in this segment and this is another aspect why
this maruti has become the preferred car for our long drives and
travelogues. our assorted luggage, cameras and other equipment
sits snugly in the large 505-litre boot, giving us ample room in
the cabin to make the journey comfortable. however, the diesel
variant comes with an additional skirting that reduces the
ground clearance and i personally feel it will have to be removed
before some China wall-inspired speed-breaker demolishes it.
The sx4 has some body-roll, but it is well sprung and takes
most road irregularities in its stride. one thing that i still have to
come to terms with is the irritating blind spot, which makes the
driver do peek-a-boo while turning fast or even on busy roads.
my journey in the sx4 Zdi is half-way through and i have not
many things to complain about. apart from regular service at the
authorised service station, it hasn’t demanded much from me. i
hope the remaining six months also follow the same pattern.
sarmad Kadiri
Long Term_Dec2011.indd 136 11/24/2011 5:49:45 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 49 11/23/2011 3:02:18 PM
InsIde The
F1 Champ’s
OFFICe
Heard of the
lotus position?
This is Red Bull’s
set-up – an
exclusive look at
how Sebastian
Vettel drives
his RB7
Story: Tom Clarkson
ImagIne lyIng In a
bath with your feet up on the
side, next to the taps. Just as
you feel the blood draining
out of your toes, apply your
own body weight in pressure
against the wall with your left
leg to simulate braking and
do that 18 times every 90
seconds, all the while
controlling 800 PS with your
right foot.
now hit your elbows
against the side of the bath at
intervals of 15 seconds, as if
applying full steering lock,
and shake your head from
side to side to simulate
buffeting. Do all of the above
for 90 minutes and you’ll
begin to appreciate the harsh
environment in which an F1
driver has to work.
This x-ray image is of Seb
Vettel in the cockpit of his
world championship-winning
RB7. He calls it ‘Kinky Kylie’
for some reason. makes you
wonder, doesn’t it?
G-forces are felt
most through the
neck. max 5 g under
braking, max 3 g
lateral through the
fastest corners
a driver’s height is
governed by an
imaginary line
linking two roll
structures, one on
top of the roll hoop,
the other on top of
the cockpit. his
helmet has to sit 50
mm below this line
seb’s steering wheel
is collapsible, in the
event that it’s hit by
the driver’s head in
an accident
The windscreen is
designed purely for
driver comfort. It
impedes vision, but
stops buffeting.
Typically 15 mm
high on the RB7
There are two types of protective
foam used in the drivers’ head
surround. Which one is used
(pink or blue) at a given race
depends upon the temperature
inside an f1 cockpit sports
138 car india DecemBeR 2011
inside an f1 cockpit sports
Vettel's F1_Dec2011.indd 138 11/24/2011 2:09:45 PM
The fire extinguisher
bottle sits under the
driver’s legs
Red Bull can set the
power steering to
suit each driver. Seb
likes lighter steering
through fast corners
than team-mate
Mark Webber
To ensure smaller
drivers aren’t favoured,
the footwell has to
extend to the centre
point of the front
wheels – and be a
minimum of 250 mm
wide and 250 mm deep
The brake and throttle
pedals are made of
carbonfibre. Vettel likes
the brake pedal to
move by just 20 mm
and the throttle pedal
by 40 mm. “You have to
push so hard under
braking that I’d rather
be pushing against a
wall than a mattress,”
says Seb
A small vent on the
tip of the nose
allows air into the
cockpit. The size of
this aperture is kept
to a minimum to aid
aerodynamics
inside an f1 cockpit sports inside an f1 cockpit sports
139 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
Vettel's F1_Dec2011.indd 139 11/24/2011 2:11:26 PM
Mr. K M Mammen Chairman and MD, MRF Limited
handing over the winners trophy to Nick Percat
RACE ONE
THE INAUGURAL INDIAN GP ALSO
witnessed some serious action as the 19
drivers participating in the MRF Delhi
Championship zipped past the grand
stand in their 1.6-litre Ford-engined MRF
Formula cars.
This support race saw drivers from
around the world slogging it out on the
new track for the numero uno position.
However, it was Nick Percat of Australia
who had the honour of winning Race One.
Nick's performance has been consistent
since his win in Backhurst two weeks ago.
YO
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Report: Ravi Chandnani
Photography: MRF
The support races at the Buddh International Circuit before the F1 race were full of some exhilarating action
Nick started on pole and took the lead as
soon as the lights went out. He drove
without fault, retaining his number one
spot throughout the race. He ably
exhibited his talent as a driver by
consistently increasing the gap between
him and the rest of the pack, eventually
turning his lead of six seconds into an
effortless win.
Among the other drivers who also put
up a good show were Jordan King and
Alice Powell, both of Britain. These two
youngsters were fighting it out throughout
the race. As the race started Alice was
gunning for the number one spot while
running in second. But it seemed difficult
for the young lady to catch up with the
leader. Meanwhile, Jordan King, who was
slow but steady, moved in closer to Powell
for the second place and managed to slip
into second just after two laps. King
finished in the number two spot by
keeping Alice at bay, who had to be
MRF CHAMPIONSHIP SPORTS
140 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MRFchampionship_Dec2011.indd 140 11/24/2011 1:39:31 PM
Mr. K. M. Mammen, Chairman and MD, MRF Limited
handing over the winners trophy to Jordan King
was Alice Powell, who grabbed every
opportunity that came her way. When
Khani opened up a gap for a brief moment,
Powell zoomed past him, taking the
number two spot in the process. She drove
consistently throughout the race and held
on to the number two spot right until the
finish line. Kourosh Khani also drove
exceptionally well and managed to stick to
the number three spot.
Race Two also saw three Indian drivers
making it to the top 10. Zaamin Jaffer,
Gaurav Gill and Ashwin Sundar finished
fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
YO
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S O
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ETER
A
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The support races at the Buddh International Circuit before the F1 race were full of some exhilarating action
content with a third place.
Race One also saw three Indian
drivers finish among the top 10. Zaamin
Jaffer managed to finish sixth, veteran
rally driver Gaurav Gill finished seventh
and Ameya Walavalkar finished in the
10th spot.
RACE TWO
Race Two saw Nick Percat, winner of
Race One, spin out of control in the very
first lap, which resulted in a DNF.
However, Jordan King, who was runner-
up in Race One, had the pace to take the
lead in the very first lap. But he had to
fight it out with Kourosh Khani of Iran,
who was then running in second place.
Kourosh also had his share of the lead
when he managed to overtake Jordan for a
brief moment. But Jordan regained the
number one spot quickly and drove
straight to victory.
In the midst of all the action at the front
141 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
MRFchampionship_Dec2011.indd 141 11/24/2011 1:39:51 PM
ROUND FIVE OF THE JK RACING
Asia Series was held at the Buddh
International Circuit in Greater Noida as a
support event of Formula One Indian
Grand Prix. Championship leader Lucas
Auer secured pole position for the races (13
and 14) with a lap time of 2:00.522.
RACE ONE
Lucas Auer made the hole shot and led the
nine-lap race until across the finish line.
He was followed by his team-mate, guest
driver Lorenzo Complese, in second and
Nabil Jeffri in third. Jeffri was in second
before he made a mistake on the final lap,
losing his spot to Complese. From the
seven Indians on the grid, three had a top
10 finish. Akhil Khushlani and Vishnu
Prasad finished sixth and eighth
respectively while Raj Bharath stood
ninth. Along with the race win, Auer also
won the Rookie of the Year award.
RACE TWO
Auer's domination continued as he again
led the race from start to finish to bag his
second consecutive win. Afiq Ikhwan
passed Complese on the first lap and
chased Auer throughout the race.
However, he couldn't match his pace and
finished second. Complese and Jaffri had a
HOMECOMING
race-long battle for third. In the last corner
of the final lap, their cars made contact in
an attempt to exit the corner first. They
went off the line and gave a third-place
finish to Irfan Ilyas, who was in fifth.
Guest driver Akash Nandy had a
seventh-place finish, Khushlani stood ninth
while Prasad completed the top 10 finishers.
After round 14, Auer is leading the
championship with 235 points. Ikhwan
is second at 203 points and Jeffri third
at 147.
Lucas Auer
extends his
championship
lead in the JK
Racing Asia Series
Lucas Auer (centre) was on top
of the podium for both the races
L-R: Dr Raghupati Singhania,
Bernie Ecclestone and Karun
Chndhok strike a pose
Report: Piyush Sonsale
Photography: JK Tyre
JK RACING ASIA SERIES SPORTS
142 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
JK Racing_Dec2011.indd 142 11/24/2011 1:41:57 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 41 11/23/2011 3:03:56 PM
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SPORTS FORMULA ONE - INDIA
144 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
F1_Dec2011.indd 144 11/24/2011 1:45:57 PM
1
1. Sebastian Vettel seen here leading the
pack and safeguarding his victory
2. Indian motorsports enthusiasts
cheering their favorite drivers
3. Sauber’s Sergio Perez Mendoza
makes a close move on Force India’s
Paul Di Resta
4. Fernando Alonso defended his
second position well till the
chequered flag
5. Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minster
Mayawati giving away the trophies
to the race winners
2
5 4
3
145 DECEMbEr 2011 car india
F1_Dec2011.indd 145 11/24/2011 1:46:56 PM
1. Felipe Massa’s car in the Ferrari pits
after his unfortunate collision with Lewis
Hamilton. Broken axle gave him a DNF
in the race
2. British actor and comedian Rowan
Atkinson, famous for his role as ‘Mr
Bean’, at the Budhh International Circuit
3. Carlos Goshn and RBR engineers
watch as Vettel and Webber secure
podium positions in the Indian GP
1
3
2
SportS Formula one - IndIa
146 car india December 2011
F1_Dec2011.indd 146 11/24/2011 1:47:54 PM
LEWIS
CLAIMS
ABU DHABI
Mc Laren’s Lewis Hamilton
claims victory at the
penultimate round of 2011
Formula1 season
1
2
1 Jenson Button was trying real hard for
a second place finish however, he
finished third because of KERS problems
2 Fernando Alonso had a perfect race
as he was able to slip into second early
in the race and then maintaining it to
the finish line
147 DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
FORMULA ONE - ABU DHABI
F1_Dec2011.indd 147 11/24/2011 1:48:51 PM
LOEB EMERGES
SUPREME
Wins eighth consecutive World Rally
Championship!
Report: Piyush Sonsale
Photography: DPPI
FRENCH RALLY DRIVER
Sebastian Loeb made his World
Rally Championship (WRC) début
in 2002 with Citröen's factory team.
He won the first rally in Germany
the same year. His first
championship came in 2004. Since
then, Loeb has won eight
consecutive WRC titles and has
many world records to his credit,
making him the most successful
driver in the history of the sport.
Loeb sealed the manufacturer's
championship for Citröen after
winning the three-day, 18-stage
Rally de Espana in Catalunya, Spain,
on October 23, with five stage wins.
He led the three-day rally from day
one itself and built up a lead of
2:06.9 seconds by the end.
Ford's Mikko Hirvonen finished
second behind Loeb and his team-
mate and compatriot, Jari-Matti
Latvala, finished third, 25.1 seconds
behind him.
The fight for the title went down
to the last rally of the season with
Loeb leading the championship with
just eight points more than
Loeb celebrates
his new milestone
Hirvonen.
Loeb and Hirvonen had been
pushing hard since the beginning of
the four-day, 23-stage Wales Rally in
Britain on November 10. However,
Hirvonen had to retire on the second
day (Friday) itself as the radiator of
his Ford Fiesta was damaged when
he spun out. His retirement made it
the eighth successive title win for
Loeb. The next day Loeb too
declared his retirement after crashing
into a road car. That cleared
Latvala's way to victory. He went on
to win 11 stages and ended his 470-
day dry spell by winning the Welsh
Rally. Ford's Mads Ostberg finished
second, 3:42.9 seconds behind
Latvala, and his team-mate, Henning
Solberg, finished third, 3:22.2
seconds behind Ostberg.
The culmination of the Welsh
Rally marked the conclusion of the
2011 WRC season. Champion
Sebastian Loeb has earned 222
points over the season. Hirvonen
stands second at 214 points and
Loeb's team-mate, Sebastian Ogier,
is third overall with 196 points.
SPORTS WRC
148 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
WRC_Dec2011.indd 148 11/24/2011 1:43:57 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 5 11/23/2011 3:13:51 PM
IT WON'T BE WRONG TO
call Rally Hokkaido, the
penultimate round of 2011
APRC, a strange one as Team
MRF's Indian driver, Gaurav
Gill, won and then lost his
victory to team-mate, Katsu
Taguchi, following his
exclusion from the event.
Gaurav Gill, who was first
declared the winner, was later
excluded from the event when
the officials found illegal
modifications done on his car.
This gave the victory to Katsu
Taguchi, Gill's team-mate.
Alister McRae of Team Proton
Motorsports also benefited
from this as he was able to
further extend his lead for the
drivers' championship. Team
MRF also decided not to
attend the final round, which
was held in China where
Alister McRae eventually won
the drivers' championship.
The last and final round held
in China saw Alister McRae
lead the rally right from day
one. Alister proved to be faster
than everyone else, ultimately
winning in China and claiming
the 2011 APRC drivers'
championship.
Meanwhile, McRae's team-
mate, Chris Atkinson, was able
to finish third overall. The
second place in the Chinese
rally went to Jari Ketomaa of
Finland, who crossed the
finish line 1.14 minutes after
McRae. Along with the
drivers' and co-drivers'
championship Team Proton
Motorsports also won the 2011
manufacturers' championship.
RECENTLY MIKKO
Hirvonen, Ford's top driver
in WRC, left the American
car maker's team to join the
French Citroën Racing Total
WRC team, replacing
Sébastien Ogier as the second
driver in the team.
Meanwhile, Sébastien Ogier
has joined the newly formed
Volkswagen WRC team
which will be competing in
2013. Ogier and his co-driver,
Julien Ingrassia, will be
involved in the development
of the car in 2012.
PARTH GHORPADE, THE
Indian rookie in Renault
Formula 4, had a successful
race at the Paul Ricard Circuit
in France. Parth qualified 18th
on the grid because of a bad
rear wing setting which did not
allow him to push hard and
achieve a better position for
the race. However, he stunned
everyone on race day by
finishing seventh. After
correcting the rear wing error
for the race Parth was charging
ahead to catch the front
runners, gradually overtaking a
number of cars in the process.
He also managed to set the
fourth fastest race lap, which
was just two-tenths of a second
off the leader.
Another fact worthy of
mention is that Parth was
returning to a race car after a
gap of seven weeks and
participated in the race without
any testing or practice time.
Parth's excellent driving
skills have earned him a chance
to get a place in FIA Institute
Young Driver Excellence
Academy that imparts to
selected drivers a fully funded
training that helps the
youngsters further sharpen
their skills.
HIRVONEN GOES TO
CITROËN, OGIER TO VW
Polo R Cup Sebastien Ogier with
Julien Ingrassia with Kris Nissen
and Dr Ulrich Hackenberg
PARTH AIMING HIGH
APRC 2011 CONCLUDES
ON A DRAMATIC NOTE
The last two rounds of the 2011
APRC calendar saw an exclusion
and the rise of a new champion
NEWS SPORTS
150 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
Sports news_Dec2011.indd 150 11/24/2011 1:52:38 PM
Automart Dec11.indd 161 11/23/2011 4:12:03 PM
Automart Dec11.indd 162 11/23/2011 4:12:42 PM
Automart Dec11.indd 163 11/23/2011 4:13:13 PM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 30 11/23/2011 3:14:32 PM
165 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
THE
GOOD
THE BAD
& THE
UGLY
INDIA’S PUNCHIEST CAR BUYING GUIDE
All prices are on the road Pune
INDEX
Page No. MANUFACTURER
166 ASTON MARTIN
167 AUDI
168 BENTLEY
169 BMW
170 BUGATTI, FERRARI
171 FIAT, FORCE MOTORS
172 FORD, GM
173 HINDUSTAN MOTORS
174 HONDA
175 HYUNDAI
176 ICML, JAGUAR
177 LAMBORGHINI, LAND ROVER
178 MAHINDRA
179 MARUTI SUZUKI
181 MASERATI
182 MERCEDES-BENZ
183 NISSAN
184 PORSCHE, PREMIER AUTO
185 ROLLS-ROYCE,
RENAULT, SKODA
186 TATA MOTORS
187 TOYOTA
188 VOLKSWAGEN
189 VOLVO
Small Hatchbacks
Big Hatchbacks
Mid-size Sedans
Executive Sedans
Luxury Sedans
Super Luxury Sedans
MUVs/MPVs
SUVs
Premium SUV’s
Sports Cars
Green Cars
All the segments
COLOUR CODE
How it all works
GBU_Dec2011.indd 165 24/11/11 09:52:03
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
166 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
P
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ASTON MARTIN
V8 Vantage
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
Coupe BO 4735/8 6 470 426 1630 80 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Roadster BO 4735/8 6 470 426 1710 80 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
S Coupe BO 4735/8 7A 490 436 1610 80 NA 285/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
S Roadster BO 4735/8 7A 490 436 1690 80 NA 285/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
DB9
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
Coupe BO 5935/12 6 600 477 1760 80 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Volante BO 5935/12 6 600 477 1815 80 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Virage
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
Coupe BO 5935/12 6A 570 497 1785 80 NA 295/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Volante BO 5935/12 6A 570 497 NA 80 NA 295/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Rapide
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
Rapide BO 5935/8 6A 600 477 1990 90.5 NA 295/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
DBS
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
Coupe BO 5935/12 6 570 517 1695 80 NA 295/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Volante BO 5935/12 6 570 517 1810 80 NA 295/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
ONE-77
For: NA. Against: NA. Verdict: NA.
Alternatives: NA
ONE-77 BO 7312/12 6A 750 760 1630 98 NA 335/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
AUDI
A4
For: Audi technology. Against: Pricing. Verdict: Better than the 3-Series or C-Class.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz C Class 2. BMW 3 Series
1.8 TFSI 34.81 1798/4 6A 250 160 1450 65 480 225/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0 FSI 37.06 1984/4 6A 320 179.4 1465 65 480 225/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 166 24/11/11 09:57:58
167 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
2.0 TDI 37.06 1968/4 6A 320 143 1495 65 480 225/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.32 207.4 13.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sep 08 11111
3.0 TDI Quattro 53.22 2967/6 6A 500 240 1690 64 480 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 6.79 250 11.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 10 11111
3.2 FSI Quattro 51.97 3197/6 6A 330 265 1610 64 480 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 7.7 250 8.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 08 11111
A6
For: Refinement, quality interiors, NVH levels and ride quality Against: Price. Verdict: Sets a new benchmark in its segment.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes Benz E Class 2. BMW 5 Series
2.0 TDI 47.30 1968/4 CVT 380 174 1585 65 530 225/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 9.52 220 13.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 11 11111
2.8 FSI 46.00 2773/6 CVT 205 280 1610 65 530 225/60 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
3.0 TFSI 54.00 2995/6 7A 440 300 1740 75 530 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ 10.57 250 8.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
3.0 TDI 54.00 2967/6 7A 500 245 1720 75 530 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.0 260 11.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ August 11 11111
A7
For: Luxury factor of an A8 with fun factor of a coupe. Against: Rear headroom. Verdict: If you enjoy driving in luxury, A7 is the car for you
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz CLS 2. BMW GT
Sportback NA 2967/6 7A 500 245 1770 65 535 235/45 R18 ✓ ✓ 7.22 250 8.87 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 11 11111
RS5
For: Performance, useability. Against: Price, fuel economy. Verdict: If you want a supercar to use, this is it
Alternatives: NA
Quattro 93.00 4163/8 7A 430 450 1725 64 455 265/35 R19 ✓ ✓ 5.97 250 4.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ August 11 11111
A8
For: Luxury at its best. State of the art technology. Against: Pricing. Verdict: The new king of the ring.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz S-class 2. BMW 7 Series
4.2 FSI 111.28 4163/8 8A 445 371 1960 90 500 235/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 6.9 250 6.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 11 11111
3.0 TDI 97.56 2967/6 8A 550 250 1965 90 500 235/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 7.39 250 8.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 11 11111
Q5
For: Performance, diesel engine. Against: Price Verdict: Scaled down Q7 makes sense.
Alternatives: 1. Mitsubishi Montero 2. BMW X3
2.0 TFSI 45.85 1984/6 6A 350 211 1740 75 540 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.86 222 7.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 10 11111
2.0 TDI 46.32 1968/6 6A 500 170 1845 75 540 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 11.36 210 11 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 11 11111
3.0 TDI 53.41 2967/6 6A 500 239 1865 75 540 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 7.51 225 13.49 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 09 11111
Q7
For: Size. Performance. Against: Pricing. Verdict: If size matters, then the Q7 has to be the choice.
Alternatives: 1. BMW X5 3. Mercedes-Benz GL-class
3.0 TDI Quattro 70.96 2967/6 6A 550 239 2325 100 775 255/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 9.15 216 9.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sep 09 11112
4.2 TDI Quattro 84.93 4134/6 6A 760 340 2450 100 775 255/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 6.74 240 7.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 10 11111
3.0 TFSI Quattro 75.87 2995/6 8A 440 333 2240 100 775 255/55 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA

R8
For: Performance, Design, usability. Against: Pricing. Verdict: An incredibly well-rounded performance car.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes SL 2. Porsche 911
4.2 FSI Quattro 145.55 4163/8 6A 430 430 1640 75 100 235/40 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA 11111
5.2 FSI Quattro BO 5204/10 6A 530 525 1700 90 100 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA 11111
5.2 FSI Quattro BO 5204/10 6A 530 525 1769 90 100 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 167 24/11/11 10:00:09
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
168 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011

BENTLEY
MULSANNE
For: The ultimate in technology and luxury. Against: Price. Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Rolls Royce Phantom
Mulsanne BO 6752/8 8A 1020 512 2585 96 443 NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
CONTINENTAL GT
For: A Bentley with Le Mans heritage. Against: Price. Service backup.
Verdict: Makes the rest of the range look pre-historic. Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
6.0 W12 2d AUTO BO 5998/12 6A 650 560 2410 90 370 275/40 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
FLYING SPUR
For: Fast and agile for a 2.5 ton car. Against: Price. Service backup. Verdict: Quickest saloon around.
Alternatives: 1. Rolls-Royce Phantom 2. Mercedes-Benz S500
6.0 W12 AUTO BO 5998/12 6A 650 560 2300 90 370 275/40 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2009 Flying Spur BO 5998/12 NA 750 610 2475 90 NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
BMW
3 SERIES
For: Assured mix of practicality. Driving pleasure. Against: Less personality for the price. No spare wheel.
Verdict: Engaging and practical. Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz C-class 2. Audi A4
320i 29.00 1995/4 6 200 156 1390 63 NA 205/50 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
320d 29.94 1995/4 6 380 183 1445 61 NA 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
320d Highline 38.19 1995/4 6 350 177 1445 61 NA 225/50 R16 ✓ ✓ 9.6 NA 6.2 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 09 11111
330i 41.00 2996/6 6 300 258 1495 63 NA 225/45 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.2 250 8.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 10 11112
5 SERIES
For: Performance, driving pleasure. Against: Price, no spare wheel. Verdict: Refined mile muncher.
Alternatives: 1. Audi A6 2. Mercedes-Benz E-class
520d 44.02 2979/6 8A 380 183 1625 70 NA 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
525i 47.25 2497/6 8A 250 204 1650 70 NA 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
525d 50.65 2993/6 8A 450 204 1705 70 NA 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ 7.4 250 11 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 10 11111
530d 57.81 2993/6 8A 540 245 1720 70 NA 225/55 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
535i 80.08 2979/6 8A 400 306 1700 70 NA 245/45 R18 ✓ ✓ 6.85 250 8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 10 11111
GT
For: Performance and looks. Against: Stiff ride quality, price, no spare wheel.
Verdict: You want to be different, this is it. Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz CLS-class
GT 83.00 2993/6 8A 540 245 1960 70 440 245/50 R18 ✓ ✓ 7.18 240 9.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 10 11111
6 SERIES
For: Seductive without the top, substantial, with it Against: Price. No spare wheel.
Verdict: Makes an unmatched style statement. Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz SL-class 2. Mercedes-Benz CLS-class
650i Convertible 122.00 4395/8 8A 600 412 2015 70 NA 245/40 R19 ✓ ✓ 6.19 250 4.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 11 11111
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169 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
7 SERIES
For: Loaded with cutting-edge technology. Against: Price, no spare wheel. Verdict: More stylish and more
capable than its predecessor Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz S-class 2. Audi A8
730Ld 107.00 2993/6 6A 540 245 1975 80 500 245/50 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
740Li 110.00 2979/8 6A 450 326 1895 82 500 245/50 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
750Li 125.65 4395/8 6A 600 410 2055 82 500 245/45 R19 ✓ ✓ 6.6 250 6.2 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 11 11111
760Li 166.69 5972/8 8A 750 544 2250 82 500 245/45 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
M3
For: Breathtaking performance. Against: Price, no spare wheel. Verdict: A legendary performance saloon.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
M3 Coupe BO 3999/8 6 400 420 1655 63 430 265/40 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
M3Convertible BO 3999/8 6 400 420 1885 63 NA 265/40 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
X1
For: Price, Fuel efficiency Against: Ride quality, Heavy steering, No spare wheel Verdict: Cheapest way to get into the BMW family
Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Captiva 2. Mitsubishi Outlander 3. Honda CR-V 4. Hyundai Santa Fe
sDrive 18i 27.00 1995/4 6 200 150 1530 63 NA 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 12.61 NA 7.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ - May 11 11112
sDrive 20d 29.35 1995/4 6 350 177 1575 61 NA 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.8 200 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
sDrive 20d Exclusive 36.43 1995/4 6 350 177 1575 61 NA 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.8 200 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 11 11112
X3
For: Performance, rear leg room Against: Price, doesn’t handle like a BMW Verdict: A big improvement but not quite there
Alternatives: 1. Audi Q5, Volvo XC60, Freelander
xDrive 20d 49.00 1995/4 8A 380 185 1715 67 NA 225/60 R17 ✓ ✓ 9.56 210 10.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Dec 11 11111
xDrive 30d 57.10 2993/6 8A 560 260 1715 67 NA 245/50 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
X5
For: Wieldy. Handsome. Brisk. Against: Only five seats. Verdict: We love it.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz M-class 2. Porsche Cayenne 3. Audi Q7
xDrive 30d 69.36 2993/6 8A 480 221 2075 85 NA 255/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 9.08 201 8.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 08 11111
xDrive 50i 90.05 4395/8 8A 600 407 2265 85 NA 255/55 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
X6
For: Looks, performance, exhaust note Against: Seats just four! Verdict: Radical, but works well as an attention magnet!
Alternatives: 1. Porsche Cayenne
xDrive30d 88.39 2993/6 6A 520 235 2075 85 570 255/50 R19 ✓ ✓ 8.42 206.4 8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 10 11111
xDrive50i 109.66 4395/8 6A 600 408 2190 85 570 315/35 R20 ✓ ✓ 6.6 250 4.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 09 11111
Z4
For: Performance, Fun factor. Against: None. Verdict: A matured sportscar for two.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes SLK 2. Nissan 370Z
Roadster 79.39 2979/6 6 400 306 1525 55 310 255/35 R18 ✓ ✓ 6.49 250 8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 09 11111
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 169 24/11/11 10:02:49
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
170 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
BUGATTI
VEYRON
For: One of its kind that will never be made again. Against: Price. Verdict: A collector’s item.
Alternatives: None
16.4 BO 7993/16 7A 1250 1001 1888 100 NA 265-680 ZR ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
16.4 Grand Sport BO 7993/16 7A 1250 1001 1990 100 NA 265-680 ZR ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
16.4 Super Sport BO 7993/16 7A 1500 1200 NA NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
FERRARI
California
For: NA. Against: NA.
Verdict: NA Alternatives: NA
California BO 4297/8 7 485 453 1735 78 340 285/40 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
458 Italia
For: NA. Against: NA.
Verdict: NA Alternatives: NA
458 Italia BO 4499/8 7 540 562 1485 86 230 295/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
599
For: NA. Against: NA.
Verdict: NA Alternatives: NA
GTB Fiorano BO 5998/12 6 608 612 1688 105 320 305/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
FF
For: NA. Against: NA.
Verdict: NA Alternatives: NA
FF BO 6262/12 7 683 660 1880 91 450 295/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
FIAT
500
For: Size, image. Against: Price.
Verdict: The most stylish city runabout Alternatives: VW Beetle
500 Lounge 18.01 1248/4 5 145 76 NA NA 185 185/55 R15 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
GRANDE PUNTO
For: Looks, value for money Against: Rear seat, fit and finish. Verdict: The car that will turn tables for FIAT in India
Alternatives: 1. Maruti Ritz 2. VW Polo 3. Hyundai i20
1.2 Active 4.86 1172/4 5 96 68 1090 45 280 165/80 R14 - - 18.3 154.2 10.7 ✓ - - - Nov 09 1112
1.2 Dynamic 5.20 1172/4 5 96 68 1090 45 280 165/80 R14 - - 18.3 154.2 10.7 ✓ - - - NA NA
1.2 Emotion 5.54 1172/4 5 96 68 1090 45 280 165/80 R14 - ✓ 18.3 154.2 10.7 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.4 Emotion Pack 6.75 1368/4 5 115 90 1145 45 280 195/60 R15 - ✓ 16.7 158 11.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Sep 09 1111
1.3 Active 5.80 1248/4 5 197 76 1130 45 280 165/80 R14 - - 17.5 154.5 18.9 ✓ - - - NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 170 24/11/11 10:05:27
171 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
1.3 Dynamic 6.18 1248/4 5 197 76 1130 45 280 165/80 R14 - - 17.5 154.5 18.9 ✓ - - - NA NA
1.3 Emotion 6.65 1248/4 5 197 76 1130 45 280 165/80 R14 - ✓ 17.5 154.5 18.9 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.3 Emotion Pack 7.27 1248/4 5 197 76 1130 45 280 165/80 R14 - ✓ 17.5 154.5 18.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 09 NA
1.3 90 HP Emotion Pack 7.64 1248/4 5 209 93 1144 45 280 195/60 R15 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LINEA
For: Looks and equipment Against: Engine feels breathless at high rpm, rear space Verdict: Elegant and practical at the same time
Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Optra Magnum 2. Ford Fiesta 3. Honda City
Active Petrol 7.23 1368/4 5 115 90 1180 45 500 195/60 R15 - - 13.9 170 12.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
Dynamic Petrol 7.53 1368/4 5 115 90 1180 45 500 195/60 R15 - - 13.9 170 12.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
Emotion Petrol 8.26 1368/4 5 115 90 1180 45 500 195/60 R15 - ✓ 13.9 170 12.3 ✓ - ✓ ✓ Mar 09 11112
T-Jet 9.55 1368/4 5 207 114 1230 45 500 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.28 184 11.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
T-Jet Plus 10.10 1368/4 5 207 114 1230 45 500 205/55 R16 - ✓ 11.28 184 11.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov10 11112
Active Diesel 8.29 1248/4 5 214 90.5 1210 45 500 195/60 R15 - - 11.8 168 16.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
Dynamic Diesel 8.64 1248/4 5 214 90.5 1210 45 500 195/60 R15 - - 11.8 168 16.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
Emotion Diesel 9.13 1248/4 5 214 90.5 1210 45 500 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.8 168 16.3 ✓ - ✓ ✓ Jan 09 11112
FORCE MOTORS
Force One
For: Space, Mercedes drivetrain Against: No modern safety equipments like ABS and Airbags
Verdict: Spacious and rugged Alternatives: 1. Mahindra XUV500 W6
2.2 FMTECH (6+D) 12.37 2149/4 5 321 141 NA 70 NA 235/70 R16 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.2 FMTECH (5+D) 12.45 2149/4 5 321 141 NA 70 NA 235/70 R16 - - 15.54 162 9.12 ✓ - ✓ ✓ Dec 11 1112
FORD
FIGO
For: Refined engine. Sweet-shifting gear box. Value Against: Performance and fuel economy a tad disappointing. Styling
Verdict: A competent family car on budget Alternatives: 1. Maruti Ritz 2. Nissan Micra
1.2 Petrol LXI 4.08 1196/4 5 102 71 1040 45 284 175/65 R14 - - 17.09 161 13 - - - - NA NA
1.2 Petrol ZXI 4.85 1196/4 5 102 71 1075 45 284 175/65 R14 - - 17.09 161 13 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.2 Petrol Titanium 5.22 1196/4 5 102 71 1090 45 284 175/65 R14 - ✓ 17.09 161 13 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 10 1111
1.4 Diesel LXi 5.19 1399/4 5 160 68 1090 45 284 175/65 R14 - - 17.8 156 17.5 - - - - NA NA
1.4 Diesel ZXI 5.83 1399/4 5 160 68 1115 45 284 175/65 R14 - - 17.8 156 17.5 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.4 Diesel Titanium 6.18 1399/4 5 160 68 1130 45 284 175/65 R14 - ✓ 17.8 156 17.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 10 1111
FIESTA
For: Design Against: Sluggish Performance
Verdict: Good car however disappointing Alternatives: Hyundai Verna, Honda City, VolkswagenVento and Skoda Rapid
1.5P Style 9.31 1499/4 5 140 109 1117 43 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.17 182.7 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
1.5P Trend 9.91 1499/4 5 140 109 1121 43 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.17 182.7 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.5P Titanium+ 10.64 1499/4 5 140 109 1124 43 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.17 182.7 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sep 11 11112
1.5D Style 10.47 1498/4 5 204 90 1147 43 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.7 178.5 14.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.5D Titanium+ 11.87 1498/4 5 204 90 1157 43 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.7 178.5 14.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sep 11 11112
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 171 24/11/11 10:07:12
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
172 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
ENDEAVOUR
For: Mammoth presence. Tough build. Price. Against: Poor ride quality. Low on space. Verdict: Good pose value and size at a
decent price. You’ll love it if you like trucks. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Captiva 2. Mitsubishi Pajero 3. Toyota Fortuner
2.5 4x2 19.67 2499/4 5 330 143 1879 71 NA 245/70 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
3.0 4x2 20.97 2953/4 5A 380 156 2014 71 NA 245/70 R16 - ✓ 12.09 NA 9.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 10 11112
3.0 4x4 22.62 2953/4 5A 380 156 2014 71 NA 245/70 R16 - ✓ 13.2 168 8.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov 09 11112
GENERAL MOTORS
SPARK
For: Refined, efficient and frugal engine. Great cabin and ride. Against: Gearbox could have been better.
Verdict: A great compact car with hardly any flaws. Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo 2. Hyundai Santro 3. Tata Indica Xeta
1.0 3.70 995/4 5 90.3 63 1075 38 NA 155/70 R13 - - 16 152 15.97 - - - - NA NA
1.0 LS 4.11 995/4 5 90.3 63 1095 38 NA 155/70 R13 - - 16 152 15.97 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.0 LS LPG 4.37 995/4 5 90.3 63 1095 26.2 NA 155/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
1.0 LT 4.35 995/4 5 90.3 63 1095 38 NA 155/70 R13 - - 16 152 15.97 ✓ - ✓ - May 07 11112
1.0 LT LPG 4.62 995/4 5 90.3 63 1095 26.2 NA 155/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
BEAT
For: Pricing, Good Value for Money, Free Service, and Looks. Against: Fuel Efficiency, No Remote Locking system.
Verdict: Sporty to drive with futuristic looks . Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki Ritz 2. Hyundai i10
1.2 4.13 1199/4 5 108 80.5 965 35 170 155/70 R14 - - 14.2 157.2 13.63 - - - - NA NA
1.2 LS 4.44 1199/4 5 108 80.5 965 35 170 155/70 R13 - - 14.2 157.2 13.63 ✓ - - - NA NA
1.2 LT 4.93 1199/4 5 108 80.5 965 35 170 155/70 R13 - - 14.2 157.2 13.63 ✓ - ✓ - Feb 10 1111
1.0 4.96 936/3 5 150 58.5 1027 35 170 165/65 R14 - - 22.5 148.5 NA ✓ - - - NA NA
1.0 LS 5.30 936/3 5 150 58.5 1027 35 170 165/65 R14 - - 22.5 148.5 NA ✓ - - - NA NA
1.0 LT 5.75 936/3 5 150 58.5 1027 35 170 165/65 R14 - - 22.5 148.5 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ o August 11 1111
U-VA
For: : Spacious cabin. Styling. Ride quality. Against: Fuel efficiency. Gear shift quality needs to be improved.
Verdict: Good looking car with decent interior space for its size. Alternatives: 1. Tata Indica Vista 2. Maruti Suzuki Swift
1.2 LS 4.82 1150/4 5 110 76 1095 45 220 155/80 R13 - - 15.80 151.5 11.4 - - - - NA NA
1.2 LT 5.58 1150/4 5 110 76 1095 45 220 185/65 R14 - - 15.80 151.5 11.4 ✓ - ✓ ✓ Mar 07 1112
AVEO
For: Chunky looks. Contemporary interiors. Ride quality. Against: Gearbox. Bottom-end power. Handling.
Verdict: Stylish, spacious offering for the price. Alternatives: 1. Ford Fiesta 2. Fiat Linea 3. Maruti Suzuki SX4
1.4 LS 6.77 1399/4 5 127 92 1095 45 400 185/60 R14 - - 15.0 177 13.3 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.4 LT 7.67 1399/4 5 127 92 1095 45 400 185/60 R14 - - 15.0 177 13.3 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.4 LT ABS 8.00 1399/4 5 127 92 1095 45 400 185/60 R14 - ✓ 15.0 177 13.3 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov 06 111
OPTRA MAGNUM
For: Elegant design. Nice interiors. Refinement. Space. Against: Driver appeal . Verdict: An all round solution for those
who want to exhibit opulence on a budget. Alternatives: 1. Fiat Linea 2. Hyundai Verna 3. Honda City
1.6 LS 8.43 1599/4 5 148 104 1265 60 405 185/65 R14 - - 12.9 177 10.3 ✓ - ✓ ✓ Oct 05 1111
1.6 LT OPT 9.56 1599/4 5 148 104 1265 60 405 185/65 R14 - - 12.9 177 10.3 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0 LS TCDi 9.68 1991/4 5 314 120.5 1370 60 405 195/60 R15 - - 11.58 192.3 16.5 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0 LT AAC TCDi 10.69 1991/4 5 314 120.5 1370 60 405 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.58 192.3 16.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jul 07 1111
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 172 24/11/11 10:08:17
173 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
CRUZE
For: Diesel engine, Performance, Interiors. Against: Turbo Lag . Verdict: Has got the right ingredients to be a great seller for GM.
Alternatives: 1. Honda Civic 2. Toyota Corolla Altis
LT 14.12 1991/4 5 327 150 1520 60 450 205/60 R16 - ✓ 10.32 205 13.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LTZ 17.07 1991/4 5 327 150 1520 60 450 205/60 R16 - ✓ 10.32 205 13.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec09 1111
LTZ AT 16.92 1991/4 5 327 150 1520 60 450 205/60 R16 - ✓ 9.75 NA 11.4 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 10 1111
TAVERA
For: Efficiency. Price. Space. Against: Refinement. Ride quality. Interiors. Lacks performance.
Verdict: A good MUV for tour operators as well as large families. Alternatives: 1. Mahinda Xylo 2. Tata Sumo Grande 3. Mahindra Scorpio
B3 NEO 2 9.37 2499/4 5 186 80 1640 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
B3 7str 9.40 2499/4 5 186 80 1585 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
B4 NEO 2 7str 9.51 2499/4 5 186 80 1585 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
B4 NEO 2 LT-L 9str 10.59 2499/4 5 186 80 1640 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
B4 NEO-LT -L 8str 11.41 2499/4 5 186 80 1660 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
B4 NEO-2 SS-D1-8str 12.00 2499/4 5 186 80 1660 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
CAPTIVA
For: Punchy, refined and efficient engine. Looks. Against: Gearbox, low rev response could be better.
Verdict: A diesel alternative to the CR-V. Alternatives: 1. Ford Endeavour 2. Honda CR-V 3. Hyundai Santa Fe
2.0LT 22.85 1991/4 5 320 150 1820 65 465 235/60 R17 - ✓ 12.6 180.1 10.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 08 1111
2.0LT Automatic AWD 25.47 1991/4 5A 320 150 1910 65 465 235/60 R17 - ✓ 13.6 179.5 9.3 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Mar09 1111
HINDUSTAN MOTORS
AMBASSADOR
For: Space. Old-world charm. Against: Performance. Refinement. Efficiency. Ergonomics. Interiors. Verdict: Definitely not the car for
this generation and age unless you belong to the babucracy. Alternatives: 1. Tata Indigo 2. Ford Ikon Flair 3. Mahindra Renault Logan
1.8 Petrol NA 1817/4 5 134.3 75 1104 54 NA 165/58 R15 - - 17.3 124.8 10.1 - - ✓ - NA NA
1.5 Diesel NA 1489/4 5 73 36 1200 54 NA 165/58 R15 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ - NA NA
2.0 Diesel NA 1995/4 5 106 51 1200 54 NA 165/58 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.8 CNG NA 1817/4 5 103 55 1170 60 NA 165/80 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
MITSUBISHI CEDIA
For: Refinement. Comfort. Space. Against: Wallowy ride. Performance. Handling. Verdict: A reasonably good car
Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Optra Magnum
Sports 10.60 1999/4 5 178 115 1210 50 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.8 196.5 12.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ March 06 1111
MITSUBISHI PAJERO
For: Pedigree. Chassis. Reliability. Against: Interiors. Price. Verdict: A very competent off-roader
Alternatives: 1. Nissan X-Trail 2. Ford Endeavour 3. Chevrolet Captiva
2.8 SFX 24.00 2835/4 5 292.3 120.2 2060 92 NA 235/75 R15 - ✓ 17 153 8.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER
For: Mordern looks, generous equipment levels. Against: Thirsty pet. Verdict: The first genuine scare to the CR-V
Alternatives: 1. Honda CR-V 2. Nissan X-Trail 3. Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara
2.4 L 23.60 2360/4 6 226 170 2130 60 NA 235/75 R15 - ✓ 11.8 186.1 8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 08 11111
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 173 24/11/11 10:09:13
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
174 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MITSUBISHI MONTERO
For: Off-road capability. Dakar Rally Champion. Against: Bland looks. Expensive. Verdict: A reliable, capable off-roader,
if looks don’t matter Alternatives: 1. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2. BMW X5 3. Mercedes Benz ML
MT 49.52 3200/4 5 405 167 2195 90 NA 265/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 15.33 182.5 9.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Oct 07 11112
AT EVO 49.62 3200/4 5A 405 167 2195 90 NA 265/65 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
HONDA
BRIO
For: Engine refinement, fuel efficiency. Against: Boot space Verdict: An overall value-for-money package.
Alternatives: 1. Hyundai i10 2. Maruti Suzuki Swift 3.Toyota Etios Liva
E MT 4.54 1198/4 5 109 88 920 35 NA 175/65 R14 - - 13.03 141 20.0 ✓ - - - NA NA
S MT 5.00 1198/4 5 109 88 920 35 NA 175/65 R14 - - 13.03 141 20.0 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
S (O) MT 5.64 1198/4 5 109 88 920 35 NA 175/65 R14 - ✓ 13.03 141 20.0 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
V MT 5.86 1198/4 5 109 88 940 35 NA 175/65 R14 - ✓ 13.03 141 20.0 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov 11 11112
JAZZ
For: Interiors, engine. Against: Nothing really Verdict: A very versatile car for city use. Typical Honda and a pleasure to drive.
Alternatives: 1. Hyundai i20
Jazz 6.33 1198/4 5 110 90 1055 42 366 175/65 R15 - ✓ 13.5 165 18.0 ✓ ✓ ✓ - July 09 11112
Jazz Edition 6.51 1198/4 5 110 90 1055 42 366 175/65 R15 - ✓ 13.5 165 18.0 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
Jazz X 6.93 1198/4 5 110 90 1060 42 366 175/65 R15 - ✓ 13.5 165 18.0 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA

CITY
For: Punchy engine, class leading interiors, equipment levels Against: Price Verdict: A fabulous car that
delivers unmatched performance and fuel-efficiency. Alternatives: 1. Skoda Rapid 2. Chevrolet Optra 3. Fiat Linea 4. VW Vento
1.5 E MT 8.59 1497/4 5 146 118 1100 42 560 175/65 R15 - ✓ 10.7 189 17.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
1.5 S MT 9.39 1497/4 5 146 118 1100 42 560 175/65 R15 - ✓ 10.7 189 17.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
1.5 V MT 9.90 1497/4 5 146 118 1100 42 560 175/65 R15 - ✓ 10.7 189 17.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 08 11112
1.5 V AT 10.71 1497/4 5A 146 118 1155 42 560 175/65 R15 - ✓ 12.9 NA 15.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 08 11112
CIVIC
For: Refinement. Handling. Looks. Interiors Against: Low ground clearance.
Verdict: Lives upto all your expectations and more. Alternatives: 1. Skoda laura 2. Toyota Corolla Altis
1.8 S MT 14.13 1799/4 5 171 132 1210 50 405 195/65 R15 - ✓ 9.21 206.8 14.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.8 V MT 15.28 1799/4 5 171 132 1210 50 405 195/65 R15 - ✓ 9.21 206.8 14.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.8 V AT 16.13 1799/4 5A 171 132 1210 50 405 195/65 R15 - ✓ 11.7 192.3 13.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 06 11111
ACCORD
For: Performance. Equipment. Interiors. Refinement. Style. Honda reliability. Against: Pricey. Verdict: One of the best in its segment.
Alternatives: 1. Skoda Superb 2. Toyota Camry 3. Nissan Teana 4. VW Passat
2.4 MT Inspire 23.32 2354/4 5 196 144 1450 65 420 215/60 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.4 AT Inspire 24.21 2354/4 5 196 144 1450 65 420 215/60 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 08 11112
3.5 V6 AT Inspire 30.28 3471/6 5A 339 275 1620 70 420 225/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 9.48 203 9.2 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 09 11112
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175 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
CR-V
For: Car-like driving experience. Comfort. Against: Price.
Verdict: A great SUV just got better. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Captiva 2. Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara 3. Mitsubishi Outlander 4. BMW X1
2.0 MT 2WD 28.33 1997/4 5 190 143 1465 58 556 225/65 R17 - ✓ 11.03 187 12.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Mar 08 11112
2.4 MT 4WD 30.18 2354/4 5 218 161 1565 58 556 225/65 R17 - ✓ 10.79 188.7 9.65 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 07 11112
2.4 AT 4WD 31.13 2354/4 5A 218 161 1565 58 556 225/65 R17 - ✓ 11.30 191.3 8.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
HYUNDAI
EON
For: : Modern design, space, quality of interiors, fit & finish. Against: Steering feel. Verdict: Ready to take on the Alto.
Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 2. Chevrolet Spark
D-lite 3.10 814/3 5 74.53 56 725 32 215 145/80 R12 - - 18.62 132.2 NA - - - - NA NA
Era 3.61 814/3 5 74.53 56 725 32 215 145/80 R12 - - 18.62 132.2 NA - - - - NA NA
Magna 3.89 814/3 5 74.53 56 725 32 215 155/70 R13 - - 18.62 132.2 NA ✓ - - - NA NA
Magna O 4.00 814/3 5 74.53 56 725 32 215 155/70 R13 - - 18.62 132.2 NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Sportz 4.28 814/3 5 74.53 56 725 32 215 155/70 R13 - - 18.62 132.2 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - Dec 11 1111
SANTRO XING eRLX
For: : Refined. Comfortable. Efficient. Compact dimensions. Auto box option. Against: Performance. Verdict: A very competitive small
hatch. One of the better deals around. Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo 2. Tata Indica Xeta 3. Chevrolet Spark 4. Maruti Suzuki Wagon R
GL 3.27 1086/4 5 89 63 778 35 218 155/70 R13 - - 16.4 142.2 19.9 - - - - NA NA
GL(AC) 4.23 1086/4 5 89 63 778 35 218 155/70 R13 - - 16.4 142.2 19.9 - - - - NA NA
GLS(M) 4.27 1086/4 5 89 63 778 35 218 155/70 R13 - - 16.4 142.2 19.9 ✓ - - - Feb 07 1112
GL (LPG) 4.29 1086/4 4A 89 63 815 35 218 155/70 R13 - - 19.3 140.3 14.7 ✓ - - - NA NA
GLS LPG 4.52 1086/4 5 89 63 854 27 225 155/70 R13 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
i10
For: Great looks. Interiors. Gear shift. Ride quality. Against: Fuel economy
Verdict: Easily the best Indian supermini, if a little expensive. Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki A-star 2. Chevrolet Beat 3. Nissan Micra
Era 4.48 1086/4 5 99 66.7 860 35 225 155/70 R13 - - 15.52 156.2 14.8 ✓ - - - Dec 07 11112
Magna 4.83 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - - 14.02 156 15.12 ✓ - - - Sept 08 11112
Sportz GLS 5.17 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - - 14.02 156 15.12 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Sportz O 5.50 1197/4 4A 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
Sportz AT 5.80 1197/4 4A 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Asta 5.99 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - ✓ 14.02 156 15.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Asta AT sunroof 6.87 1197/4 4A 112 80 NA 35 225 155/80 R13 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
i20
For: Interiors, ride quality, looks. Against: Underpowered petrol engine, turbo lag
Verdict: India’s new supermini Alternatives: 1. Honda Jazz 2. Skoda Fabia 3. VW Polo
Magna 5.70 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 45 370 175/70 R14 - - 15.13 152.5 12 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Magna Sportz 6.19 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 45 370 175/70 R14 - - 15.13 152.5 12 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Asta 6.66 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 45 370 185/65 R14 - ✓ 15.13 152.5 12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Asta (O) 7.16 1197/4 5 112 80 NA 45 370 185/65 R14 - ✓ 15.13 152.5 12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 09 11112
1.4 Magna DSL 7.11 1396/4 6 220 90 NA 45 NA 185/65 R14 - ✓ 11.77 167.7 19.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 10 11112
1.4 Magna Sportz 7.60 1396/4 6 220 90 NA 45 NA 185/65 R14 - ✓ 11.77 167.7 19.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.4 Gamma Asta 8.07 1396/4 4A 136 100 NA 45 NA 185/65 R14 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
176 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
ACCENT
For: Efficient. Comfortable. Right price. Against: Dated looks, poor handling. Verdict: A practical family
saloon that makes a lot of sense. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Aveo 2. Maruti Suzuki DZire 3. Tata Indigo Manza 4. Toyota Etios
GLE 5.75 1495/4 5 123 94 1023 45 328 175/70 R13 - - 13.8 175 13.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
GLE (LPG) 6.16 1495/4 5 123 94 1023 45 328 175/70 R13 - - 13.8 175 13.3 ✓ - - - NA NA
VERNA
For: Available with ten different trim levels, equipment level, fresh design. Against: high speed stability
Verdict: Value for money. Alternatives: 1. Honda City 2. VW Vento 3. Skoda Rapid
1.4 VTVT 7.96 1396/4 5 135 107 NA 43 NA 185/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.6 VTVT SX (o) 8.72 1591/4 5 155 123 NA 43 NA 195/55 R16 - ✓ 11.48 192.7 13.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 11 1111
1.4 CRDi 9.24 1396/4 6 220 90 NA 43 NA 185/65 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.6 CRDi SX (o) 10.01 1582/4 6 260 128 NA 43 NA 195/55 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SONATA TRANSFORM
For: Big size, comfortable ride, equipment levels. Against: Handling. Fuel efficiency. Verdict: A good attempt at matching the Honda Accord,
but there still is some distance to go. Alternatives: 1. Honda Accord 2. Skoda Laura 3. VW Jetta
2.4 VTVT MT 16.97 2359/4 5 233 175 NA 70 462 215/60 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0 CRDI MT 18.68 1991/4 6 314 150 1489 70 462 215/60 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0 CRDi AT 19.82 1991/4 4A 314 150 1500 70 462 215/60 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SANTA FÉ
For: Feature-packed, engine. Against: Image, price.
Verdict: Could establish Hyundai as a premium brand. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Captiva 2. Toyota Fortuner
2WD 26.54 2199/4 6 422 197 NA 70 NA 235/60 R18 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
4WD 29.06 2199/4 6 422 197 NA 70 NA 235/60 R18 ✓ ✓ 9.4 169.8 10.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 11 11112
ICML
RHINO
For: Value for money. Suspension. Against: Poor NVH levels. Fit and finish. Low end grunt. Verdict: ICML’s first passenger vehicle is a great
contender for eating away sales from other MUVs. Alternatives: 1. Tata Sumo 2. Mahindra Bolero 3. Chevrolet Tavera
S1 7.53 1994/4 5 220 100 1633 50 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA 140 15 - - - - NA NA
S2 8.11 1994/4 5 240 100 1633 50 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA 140 15 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Deluxe 8.57 1994/4 5 220 100 1633 50 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA 140 15 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
JAGUAR
XF
For: Performance, Looks, It’s a Jaguar. Against: Interior space, Service and availability, Price.
Verdict: A true British car with good looks. Alternatives: Mercedes Benz CLS
XF 5.0 BO 5000/8 6A 515 385 1780 69.5 NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
XFR 5.0 BO 5000/8 6A 510 625 1891 69.5 NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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177 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
XJ
For: Luxury and space. Against: Price. Verdict: If you want to be different and don’t want a German luxury car, this is for you.
Alternatives: Audi A8, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series
XJ 5.0 BO 5000/8 6A 515 385 1773 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
XK
For: A sportscar that can be used everyday. Against: Price.
Verdict: A good alternative to 911 and R8. Alternatives: Audi R8, Porsche 911
XKR 5.0 BO 5000/8 6A 510 625 1753 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LAMBORGHINI
GALLARDO
For: : Genuine supercar. Against: Service network. Verdict: A genuine Lamborghini in every perceptible way.
Alternatives: 1. Porsche 911 Turbo 2. Mercedes SL 63 AMG
LP 560-4 BO 5204/10 6 540 560 1500 90 NA 295/30 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LP 560-4 Spyder BO 5204/10 6 540 560 1550 80 NA 295/30 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
AVENTADOR
For: : NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: NA
LP700-4 BO 6498/12 6 690 700 1575 90 NA 335/30 R20 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LAND ROVER
FREELANDER
For: Good off-roading capabilities, Luxury and comfort. Against: Refinement, Price and availability.
Verdict: Good SUV with Land Rover’s legendary off-roading ability. Alternatives: BMW X3, Audi Q5
Freelander 2 BO 2179/4 6A 400 156 1775 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
DISCOVERY
For: Good off-roading capabilities with comfort. Against: Price, service network.
Verdict: Has got Land Rover heritage for off-roading ability. Alternatives: Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Porsche Cayenne
Discovery 4 BO 2993/6 6A 600 245 NA NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
RANGE ROVER
For: Luxury of a limo. Against: Price.
Verdict: Great off-roading ability with luxury. Alternatives: Audi Q7, BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
Range Rover Sport 3.0 BO 3628/8 6A 640 272 2675 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Range Rover Sport 5.0 BO 4999/8 6A 625 510 2572 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Range Rover 3.6 BO 3628/8 6A 640 271 2774 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Range Rover 5.0 BO 5000/8 6A 625 510 2710 NA NA NA ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 177 24/11/11 10:14:36
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
178 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
MAHINDRA & MAHINDRA
VERITO
For: Space, gearbox, ride and price. Against: Lack of power, poor fit and finish, ergonomics. Verdict: Spacious, comfortable and practical.
A great sedan for a tight budget. Alternatives: 1. Maruti DZire 2. Hyundai Accent 3. Tata Indigo Manza
1.4 GLE 5.58 1390/4 5 110 76 1080 50 510 185/70 R14 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ - NA NA
1.4 GLX 5.86 1390/4 5 110 76 1080 50 510 185/70 R14 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ - NA NA
1.4 GLX Play 6.28 1390/4 5 110 76 1080 50 510 185/70 R14 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ - NA NA
1.4 GLX Tourer NA 1390/4 5 160 66 1140 50 510 185/70 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
1.5 DLE 6.63 1461/4 5 160 66 1140 50 510 185/70 R14 - - 16.82 152 16.75 ✓ - - - NA NA
1.5 DLX 6.96 1461/4 5 160 66 1140 50 510 185/70 R14 - - 16.82 152 16.75 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
1.5 DLX Tourer NA 1461/4 5 160 66 1140 50 510 185/70 R14 - ✓ 16.82 152 16.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.5 DLS ABS 7.59 1461/4 5 160 66 1140 50 510 185/70 R14 - ✓ 16.82 152 16.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
BOLERO
For: Rugged. Reliable. Do-it-all MUV. Against: Lacks refinement.
Verdict: : Get one if you have to haul a large number of people over bad roads. Alternatives: 1. ICML Rhino 2. Tata Sumo
Bolero VLX MDI 7.79 2490/4 5 255 98 NA 60 NA 215/75 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
SCORPIO GETAWAY
For: Tons of luggage space. Value for money. Against: Cramped interiors. Poor high speed handling.
Verdict: Fun, inexpensive vehicle for the outdoor people. Alternatives: 1. Tata Xenon
Scorpio Getaway 8.79 2609/4 5 283 115 1910 55 460 235/70 R15 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
THAR
For: Off-roading capability, attention grabber. Against: Dated, Build Quality.
Verdict: A vehicle for masses who have to tackle rough terrain on a daily basis. Alternatives: 1. None Yet
CRDe 7.28 2498/4 5 247 106 1670 60 NA 235/70 R16 - - 18.41 134 11.75 - - ✓ - March 11 111
Di 4.47 2523/4 5 182.5 64 2090 45 NA P 185 R16 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
XYLO
For: VFM, interiors, engine. Against: Unsettled ride. Verdict: The best bang for your buck in the MUV segment
Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Tavera 2. Toyota Innova
E4 8.74 2498/4 5 240 114 1830 55 NA 215/75 R15 - - 16.4 154 11.5 ✓ - - - NA NA
E6 9.35 2498/4 5 240 114 1830 55 NA 215/75 R15 - - 16.4 154 11.5 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
E8 9.94 2498/4 5 240 114 1830 55 NA 215/75 R15 - - 16.4 154 11.5 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
E8 ABS AIRBAG 10.38 2498/4 5 240 114 1830 55 NA 215/75 R15 - ✓ 16.4 154 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 09 1112
SCORPIO
For: Smooth. Tractable CRDe engine. VFM SUV. Against: High-speed dynamics. Verdict: The best budget SUV around
Alternatives: 1. Tata Safari 2. Toyota Innova
EX 8.24 2523/4 5 200 75 NA 55 NA 215/75 R15 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ - NA NA
LX 8.70 2179/4 5 290 120 1980 60 460 235/70 R16 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
SLE 10.12 2179/4 5 290 120 1980 60 460 235/70 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
VLX 11.86 2179/4 5 290 120 1980 60 460 235/70 R16 - ✓ 16.4 155.2 11.83 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 08 1111
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 178 24/11/11 10:15:29
179 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
XUV 500
For: Price, Performance, Space Against: Gear shift, Fit and finish of interiors Verdict: Value for money
Alternatives: 1. Mahindra Scorpio
W6 12.40 2197/4 5 330 140 1750 70 NA 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 12.8 181.3 11 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
W8 14.78 2197/4 5 330 140 1750 70 NA 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 12.8 181.3 11 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ November 2011 1111
REVA
For: : Environment friendly. Operating costs. Styling. Against: : Impractical. Cramped. Performance. Limited range.
Verdict: Good option for environment conscious city commuters who want limited mobility. Alternatives: 1. Maruti 800 LPG
Standard 3.70 DC 1 64 18 670 - NA 145/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
AC 4.18 DC 1 64 18 670 - NA 145/70 R13 - - NA 56 NA - - ✓ ✓ NA NA
Classe 4.69 DC 1 64 18 670 - NA 145/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - ✓ ✓ NA NA
MARUTI SUZUKI
Maruti 800
For: Cheapest proper car Against: Offers nothing in the name of comfort or space. Safety a serious issue
Verdict: Does its job well in entry level segment Alternatives: Maruti Suzuki Alto, Tata Nano
STD NA 796/3 4 59 37 650 28 NA 145/70 R12 - - 21 144 22.7 - - - - NA NA
CNG NA 796/3 4 56 35 683 19.2 NA 145/70 R12 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
LPG NA 796/3 4 56 35 35 19.2 NA 145/70 R12 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
ALTO
For: : Price. Performance. Design. Better than a 800. Against: Rear space. Luggage space.
Verdict: A deal at the price. Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki 800 2. Hyundai Santro 3. Chevrolet Spark
STD 2.74 796/3 5 62 47 690 33 NA 145/80 R12 - - 21.2 136.5 20.5 - - - - NA NA
LX 3.10 796/3 5 62 47 705 33 NA 145/80 R12 - - 21.2 136.5 20.5 - - - - NA NA
LXI 3.50 796/3 5 62 47 705 33 NA 145/80 R12 - - 21.2 136.5 20.5 - - - - NA NA

ALTO K10
For: Performance, fuel efficiency, service. Against: Ride quality, space.
Verdict: A good entry level car. Alternatives: 1. Hyundai Santro 2. Chevrolet Spark 3. Hyundai Eon
LXi 3.54 998/4 5 90 68 760 35 NA 155/65 R13 - - 13.97 156.2 17.5 - - - - NA NA
VXi 3.69 998/4 5 90 68 765 35 NA 155/65 R13 - - 13.97 156.2 17.5 ✓ - - - Sep 10 1112
A-STAR
For: Fuel efficiency, handling, performance. Against: Gear shift, space at the rear
Verdict: Ready to take on the fight in the A2 segment. Alternatives: 1. Hyundai i10 2. Chevrolet Beat
LXi 4.13 998/3 5 90 67 860 35 NA 155/80 R13 - - 15.51 155.5 15.9 - - - - NA NA
VXi 4.43 998/3 5 90 67 860 35 NA 155/80 R13 - - 15.51 155.5 15.9 ✓ - ✓ - Dec 08 1111
VXi AT 4.50 998/3 4A 90 67 860 35 NA 155/80 R13 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
ZXi 4.85 998/3 5 90 67 860 35 NA 155/8 0 R13 - ✓ 15.51 155.5 15.9 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 179 24/11/11 10:16:28
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
180 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
ZEN ESTILO
For: Styling. Fuel efficiency. Manoeuvrability. Against: Ride quality needs to be improved. Unstable at high-speeds.
Verdict: Not as promising as it looks. Alternatives: 1. Hyundai Santro 2. Chevrolet Spark
LX 3.74 998/3 5 90 68 845 35 212 145/70 R13 - - 16.99 153.9 15.2 - - - - NA NA
LXI 4.11 998/3 5 90 68 865 35 212 145/70 R13 - - 16.99 153.9 15.2 ✓ - - - NA NA
VXI 4.40/4.73 998/3 5 90 68 865 35 212 155/65 R13 - O 16.99 153.9 15.2 ✓ ✓ - ✓ Dec 09 1112
WAGON R
For: Flexible interiors. Performance. Fuel efficiency. Easy to manoeuvre. Against: Rubbery and notchy gearshift. Bland interiors.
Verdict: NA Alternatives: 1. Hyundai Santro 2. Chevrolet Spark 3. Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo
LX 3.83 998/3 5 90 67 860 35 NA 145/70 R13 - - 16.32 150.7 15.5 - - - - NA NA
LXI 4.19 998/3 5 90 67 870 35 NA 145/70 R13 - - 16.32 150.7 15.5 - - - - NA NA
LXI CNG 4.79 998/3 5 77 67 960 60 NA 145/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
LXI DUO LPG 4.58 998/3 5 85 59.3 825 28 NA 145/70 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
VXI 4.47/4.82 998/3 5 90 46 885 35 NA 155/70 R13 - O 16.32 150.7 15.5 ✓ O ✓ - June 10 1112

RITZ
For: Ride quality, frugal engines Against: Weak top end (petrol)
Verdict: A tall boy family alternative to the Swift Alternatives: 1. FIAT Grande Punto 2. Hyundai i10 3. Nissan Micra
LXi 4.60 1197/4 5 113 85 1005 43 236 165/80 R14 - - 14.92 162.1 17.4 - - - - NA NA
VXi 4.94/5.28 1197/4 5 113 85 1015 43 236 165/80 R14 - O 14.92 162.1 17.4 ✓ - - - NA NA
ZXi 5.66 1197/4 5 113 85 1030 43 236 185/70 R14 - ✓ 14.92 162.1 17.4 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 09 1111
LDi 5.45 1248/4 5 190 75 1100 43 236 165/80 R14 - - 14.71 170 20.75 - - - - NA NA
VDi 5.85/6.04 1248/4 5 190 75 1100 43 236 165/80 R14 - - 14.71 170 20.75 ✓ - - - July 09 1111
SWIFT
For: Service network, Reliablity Against: Looks like the old car
Verdict: Buy it for ride quality and space Alternatives: 1. Fiat Grande Punto 2. VW Polo 3. Nissan Micra 4. Ford Figo
LXI 4.93 1197/4 5 114 87 960 42 NA 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
VXI 5.37 1197/4 5 114 87 970 42 NA 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
ZXI 6.30 1197/4 5 114 87 990 42 NA 185/65 R14 - ✓ 14.35 170 17,6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ November 2011 1111
LDI 5.85 1248/4 5 190 75 1050 42 NA 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
VDI 6.33 1248/4 5 190 75 1060 42 NA 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
ZDI 7.19 1248/4 5 190 75 1080 42 NA 185/65 R14 - ✓ 14.26 165 19.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ November 2011 11112

SWIFT DZIRE
For: Frugal, powerful and practical diesel mill, great value. Against: Isn’t too good to look at. Verdict: It’s tough to find a better entry level
saloon for that price. Great car, if only it looked a bit better. Alternatives: 1. Mahindra Verito 2. Tata Indigo 3. Ford Ikon 4. Toyota Etios
LXi 5.59 1197/4 5 113 85 1010 43 464 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA
VXi 6.15 1197/4 5 113 85 1025 43 464 165/80 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
ZXi 7.16 1197/4 5 113 85 1035 43 440 185/70 R14 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
LDi 6.56 1248/4 5 190 75 1090 43 464 165/80 R14 - - 16.2 152 17 - - - - NA NA
VDi 7.10 1248/4 5 190 75 1105 43 464 165/80 R14 - - 16.2 152 17 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
ZDi 8.00 1248/4 5 190 75 1115 43 440 185/70 R14 - ✓ 16.2 152 17 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 08 11112
SX4
For: Feature packed with great space and resonable performance. Against: Rivals are slightly faster and quicker.
Verdict: A contemporary all-round package Alternatives: 1. Ford Fiesta 2. Chevrolet Aveo 3. Hyundai Verna
VXi 7.98 1586/4 5 145 104.7 1170 50 505 205/65 R15 - - 12.4 179.2 12.62 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
ZXi AT 9.85 1586/4 4A 145 104.7 1210 50 505 205/60 R16 - ✓ 12.4 179.2 12.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 07 1111
VDi 8.84 1248/4 5 200 90 1225 50 505 195/65 R15 - - 14.9 16.12 15.25 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
ZDi 10.15 1248/4 5 200 90 1245 50 505 205/60 R16 - ✓ 14.9 161.2 15.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 11 1111
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181 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
KIZASHI
For: NA Against: NA
Verdict: : NA Alternatives: 1. Not here nor there
MT 20.17 2393/4 6 230 178 1460 63 461 215/55 R17 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
AT 21.39 2393/4 CVT 230 178 1500 63 461 215/55 R17 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
OMNI
For: Cheap-as-chips. Oodles of space. Maintainance. Against: Unsafe. Minimalistic.
Verdict: A cheap van with dangerously dicey dynamics and safety issues. Alternatives: NA
5 seater NA 796/3 4 59.82 35 785 36 NA 145/70 R12 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
8 seater NA 796/3 4 59.82 35 800 36 NA 145/70 R12 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
LPG NA 796/3 4 NA NA NA NA NA NA - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
EECO
For: Price, Space, Engine Power and Refinement. Against: Boxy Looks, Hard Suspension.
Verdict: A practical and affordable option for big middle class families, good option for car pooling.
Alternatives: None yet
5-Seater STD 3.30 1196/4 5 101 73 908 40 NA 155 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
7-Seater STD 3.53 1196/4 5 101 73 928 40 NA 155 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
5-Seater AC 3.67 1196/4 5 101 73 923 40 NA 155 R13 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
GYPSY
For: Thorough off-roader. Against: Tarmac form. Handling and ride. Thirsty. Verdict: For those who tread the untrodden roads.
One of the best off roaders. Alternatives: 1. Mahindra Bolero Invader 2. Force Motors Gurkha
Soft Top 5.65 1298/4 5 103 81.1 985 40 NA 205/70 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
Hard Top 5.88 1298/4 5 103 81.1 1050 40 NA 205/70 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
GRAND VITARA
For: Good looks. Well priced in its class. Against: Harsh ride, thirsty engine. Verdict: Well rounded on/off-roader.
Alternatives: 1. Honda CR-V 2. Ford Endeavour 3. Chevrolet Captiva 4. Mitsubishi Outlander 5. BMW X1
MT BO 2393/4 5 225 163.5 1614 66 398 225/65 R17 - ✓ 12.01 179 9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 09 1111
AT BO 2393/4 4A 225 163.5 1636 66 398 225/65 R17 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
MASERATI
QUATTROPORTE
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi A8 2. Mercedes-Benz S Class 3. BMW 7 Series 4. Jaguar XJ
Quattroporte BO 4244/8 6 460 405 1990 90 450 245/45 R18 ✓ ✓ NA 270 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Quattroporte S BO 4691/8 6 490 435 1990 90 450 245/40 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 280 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Quattroporte GT S BO 4691/8 6 490 446 1990 90 450 245/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA 285 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 181 24/11/11 10:21:42
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
182 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011

GRANTURISMO
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi R8 2. Jaguar XK
GranTurismo BO 4244/8 6 460 410 1880 86 260 245/40 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 285 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
GranTurismo S BO 4691/8 6 490 446 1880 86 260 245/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA 295 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
GranTurismo MC Sradale BO 4691/8 6 490 446 1880 86 260 245/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA 295 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
GranCabrio
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz SL Class
GranCabrio BO 4691/8 6 490 446 1980 75 173 245/35 R20 ✓ ✓ NA 295 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
MERCEDES-BENZ
C-CLASS
For: Against:
Verdict: Alternatives: 1. Audi A4 2. BMW 3 Series
C-200 CGI 36.62 1796/4 5A 285 188.5 1540 66 475 225/45 R17 ✓ ✓ 9.42 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ September 11 11111
C-250 CDI 39.57 2143/4 5A 500 207 1655 66 475 225/45 R17 3 3 NA NA NA 3 3 3 3 NA NA
E-CLASS
For: Technology. Status symbol. Against: Price. Verdict: The best in its segment

Alternatives: 1. Audi A6 2. BMW 5 Series 3. Volvo S80
E-200 CGI 48.11 1796/4 5A 285 185.5 1615 80 540 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
E-250 CDI 50.34 2143/4 5A 500 206 1800 80 540 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
E-350 58.85 3498/6 7A 355 275 1732 80 540 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ 8.83 250 7.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jul 10 11111
E-350 CDI 60.13 2987/6 7A 540 234 1825 80 540 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ 7.8 250 9.3 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
E-350 Coupe 75.75 3498/6 7A 355 275 1645 66 450 235/45 R17 ✓ ✓ 7.94 250 7.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 2010 11111
E-350 Cabriolet 88.95 3498/6 7A 355 275 1765 66 390 245/40 R18 ✓ ✓ 8.17 250 5.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ March 11 11111
E-63 AMG BO 6208/68 7A 630 532 1840 66 540 255/40 R18 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA

CLS-CLASS
For: Distinctive. Better to drive than the E class. Against: Lack of rear head room
Verdict: Refreshing new looks. Alternatives: 1. Jaguar XF 2. BMW 650i
CLS-350 CGI BO 3498/6 7A 350 276 1730 80 505 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
CLS-350 CDI BO 3498/6 7A 540 227 1815 80 505 245/45 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
CLS-63 AMG BO 6208/8 7A 630 378 1905 80 495 255/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
S-CLASS
For: Luxury. Dynamics. The tag of “World’s Best Car”. Against: Price. Verdict: Elegant looking with top of the line
luxury features. Alternatives: 1. BMW 7-Series 2. Audi A8 3. Jaguar XJ
S-350 L 101 3498/6 7A 345 275 1955 90 560 235/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 9.4 250 6.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 06 11111
S-350 CDI 101 2987/6 7A 490 212 2005 90 560 235/55 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
S-500L 117 5461/8 7A 505 374 2151 90 560 255/45 R18 ✓ ✓ 7.44 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ April 10 11111
MAYBACH
For: Powertrain. Equipment. In cabin sound insulation. Against: Price.
Verdict: A technological extravaganza. Alternatives: 1. Rolls-Royce Phantom
57 BO 5500/12 5A 900 557 2735 110 605 275/50 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
62 BO 5500/12 5A 900 557 2855 110 605 275/50 R19 3 3 NA 250 NA 3 3 3 3 NA NA

R-CLASS
For: If you wish for luxury in an MUV than this is it. Against: Too pricey for an MUV. Verdict: Good MUV however, a bit too expensive
for an MUV. Alternatives: None as yet.
R-350 L 79.91 3498/6 7A 350 272 2230 80 633 255/55 R18 ✓ ✓ 10.20 220 5.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jul 11 11112
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183 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
M-CLASS
For: : Great softroader and an SUV with a brand image. Against: Equipment level
Verdict: State of the art technology and looks. Alternatives: 1. BMW X5 2. Porsche Cayenne 3. Audi Q7
ML-350 NA 3498/6 7A 350 275 3500 95 500 255/50 R19 ✓ ✓ 9.77 210 7.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 07 11112
ML-350 CDI 70.62 2987/6 7A 510 227 3500 95 500 255/50 R19 ✓ ✓ 10.16 NA 8.26 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jul 07 11112
GL-CLASS
For: Typical Mercedes built quality. Go anywhere ability. Against: Expensive. Bland styling. Power
Verdict: Joint family car for jewellers and businessmen. Alternatives: 1. Audi Q7
GL-350 CDI 95.93 2987/6 7A 510 227 2450 100 620 275/55 R19 ✓ ✓ 9.56 NA 7.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 10 11112
GL-500 NA 5461/8 7A 530 393 2450 100 620 275/55 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA

G-WAGON
For: Performance, Off-Road capability. Against: Price and Fuel Efficency
Verdict: The car to have if you want to be different. Alternatives: None yet
G-55 AMG BO 5439/8 5A 700 514 2550 95 480 275/55 R19 ✓ ✓ 6.49 210 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ March 11 1111
SLK-CLASS
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi TT 2. Porsche Boxster 3. BMW Z4
SLK-350 80.77 3498/6 7A 370 305 1540 60 335 NA ✓ ✓ 6.91 250 7.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ November 2011 11111
SL-CLASS
For: Superb - an icon redefined. Against: Expensive.
Verdict: Even the other half are envious. Alternatives: 1. Bentley Continental GT 2. Audi R8 3. Maserati GranCabrio
SL-350 NA 3498/6 7A 360 320 1825 80 339 255/45 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SL-63 AMG BO 6208/8 7A 630 391 1970 80 339 255/35 R17 ✓ ✓ 4.6 250 5.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SL-65 AMG BO 5980/12 5A 100 620 2120 80 339 255/35 R17 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SLS AMG
For: NA Against: NA
Verdict: NA Alternatives: 1. Bentley Continental GT 2 . Audi R8
SLS-AMG BO 6208/8 7A 650 579 1735 85 NA 265/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
NISSAN
MICRA
For: Good space utilisation given its compact footprint. Good visibility makes it easy to drive in traffic. Against: Thrummy three cylinder
engine isn’t particularly refined; doesn’t feel as tough as some othr hatchbacks Verdict: Value for money hatchback
Alternatives: 1. Volkswagen Polo 2. Maruti Swift 3. Hyundai i10 4. Ford Figo
XE 4.84 1198/3 5 104 76 860 41 251 165/70 R14 - - 13,51 NA 15.1 - ✓ - - NA NA
XE+ 5.15 1198/3 5 104 76 860 41 251 165/70R14 - - 13.51 NA 15.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
XL 5.54 1198/3 5 104 76 860 41 251 165/70R14 - - 13.51 NA 15.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
XV (P) 6.28 1198/3 5 104 76 860 41 251 165/70R14 - - 13.51 166 15.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Aug 10 1111
XV (D) 6.65 1461/4 5 160 64 945 41 251 175/60R15 - O 15.21 NA 17.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
XV PREMIUM (D) 7.15 1461/4 5 160 64 945 41 251 175/60R15 - - 15.21 166 17.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Jan 11 1111
SUNNY
For: Ride quality, Interiors, Space Against: Fuel efficiency Verdict: Comfortable car for a cheffeur
Alternatives: 1. Mahindra Verito 2. Tata Indigo 3. Ford Ikon 4. Toyota Etios 5. Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire
XE 6.70 1498/4 5 134 99 998 41 490 185/70 R14 - ✓ 12.8 NA 11.75 - ✓ - - NA NA
XL 7.94 1498/4 5 134 99 1022 41 490 185/70 R14 - ✓ 12.8 NA 11.75 ✓ ✓ - - NA NA
XV 8.84 1498/4 5 134 99 1027 41 490 185/65 R15 - ✓ 12.8 NA 11.75 ✓ ✓ - ✓ November 2011 1111
TEANA
For: Refinement. Space. Features. Against: Outright performance. Service. Spares. Verdict: An exceptionally good car for those who like
being chauffeur driven. Alternatives: 1. Skoda Superb 2. Honda Accord 3. Toyota Camry
250 XL 26.69 2496/6 4A 228 182 1506 70 448 205/65 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.58 205 10.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
250 XV 32.19 2496/6 4A 228 182 1537 70 448 215/55 R17 ✓ ✓ 10.58 205 10.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Oct 09 11112
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 183 24/11/11 11:48:48
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
184 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
X-TRAIL
For: Compact size, capable soft roader which gives good characteristics, Decent off-roading ability Against: Lack of lowdown power,
can’t do serious off roading, Lack of third row seat. Verdict: Good soft-roader with automatic option
Alternatives: 1. Toyota Fortuner 2. Mitsubishi Pajero 3. Hyundai Santa Fe
LE MT 27.54 1995/4 6 320 150 1618 65 603 215/65 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.75 197 14 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SLX MT 30.56 1995/4 6 320 150 1630 65 603 215/60 R17 ✓ ✓ 10.75 197 14 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Oct 09 11112
SLX AT 32.80 1995/4 6A 320 150 1663 65 603 215/65 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
370Z
For: Engine and Performance, Good Brakes. Against: Price. Some Interior Plastics, Service. Verdict: Legendary ‘Z’ car looks set to
shake up the growing sportscar market. Alternatives: 1. Audi TT 2. Mercedes-Benz SLK 3. Porsche Cayman 4. BMW Z4
MT 70.29 3696/6 6 363 336 1496 72 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
AT 71.55 3696/6 7A 363 336 1508 72 NA 275/35 R19 ✓ ✓ 6.78 250 7.35 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June 10 11112
PORSCHE
PANAMERA
For: NA Against: NA
Verdict: NA Alternatives: 1. Bentley Flying Spur
Panamera BO 3605/6 7A 400 304 1870 80 445 NA ✓ ✓ NA 285 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Panamera Turbo S BO 4806/8 7A 750 557 1970 100 432 NA ✓ ✓ NA 300 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
CAYENNE
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi Q7 2. BMW X6 3. Range Rover Sport
Cayenne Diesel BO 2967/6 8A 550 243 2100 85 NA NA ✓ ✓ NA 213 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Cayenne Turbo BO 4806/6 8A 700 507 2170 100 NA NA ✓ ✓ NA 265 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
BOXSTER
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi TT 2. BMW Z4 3. Mercedes-Benz SLK
Boxster BO 3436/6 6 360 314 1355 64 NA 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 292 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Boxster S Black Edition BO 3436/6 6 370 324 1355 64 NA 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 292 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
CAYMAN
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Audi TT 2. BMW Z4 3. Nissan 370Z
Cayman BO 2893/6 6 300 268 1330 64 150 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 292 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Cayman R BO 3436/6 6 370 324 1295 54 150 235/35 R19 ✓ ✓ NA 292 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
911
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes-Benz SL 2. Audi R8
911 Carrera 4 BO 3614/6 6A 390 350 1470 64 135 235/65 R18 ✓ ✓ NA 283 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
911 GT RS BO 3600/6 6A 700 629 1370 90 135 235/65 R18 ✓ ✓ NA 276 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
PREMIER AUTO
RIO
For: Creates a new segment in India, efficient diesel engine. Against: Overall quality could be better.
Verdict: A decent offering by Premier, could do with better finishing on the inside
EX NA 1489/4 5 152 64.8 1145 46 NA 205/70 R15 - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
DX NA 1489/4 5 152 64.8 1145 46 NA 205/70 R15 - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
LX NA 1489/4 5 152 64.8 1145 46 NA 205/70 R15 - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
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THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 184 24/11/11 10:24:21
185 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
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ROLLS-ROYCE
GHOST
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Bentley Flying Spur
Ghost 325 6592/12 8A 780 570 2550 82.5 490 255/50 R21 ✓ ✓ NA 250 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
PHANTOM
For: Massive presence. Against: Massive presence. Verdict: Out of my way, little man.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes Maybach 2. Bentley Mulsanne
Phantom 525 6749/12 6A 720 459 24595 100 460 285/50 R21 ✓ ✓ 5.8 240 6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
RENAULT
FLUENCE
For: Good ride quality, looks Against: Underpowered engine, interiors
Verdict: Good alternative to Civic and Altis Alternatives: 1. Skoda Laura 2. Toyota Altis 3. Honda Civic
Petrol 15.69 1997/4 5 190 137 NA NA NA 205/60 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Diesel 15.01 1461/4 6 240 106 NA NA NA 205/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 12.79 181 13.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sept ‘11 1111
KOLEOS
For: NA Against: NA
Verdict: NA Alternatives: Hyundai Santa Fe
Koleos NA 1995/4 6A 320 150 NA 65 NA 225/60 R17 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
SKODA
FABIA
For: Space, build, comfort, fuel efficiency, ride quality. Against: Engine clatter from diesel, sluggish performance.
Verdict: Price revision has made it better value. Alternatives: 1. Fiat Grande Punto 2. Hyundai i20 3. VW Polo
1.2 MPI Active 4.94 1198/3 5 110 75 1070 45 315 175/70 R14 - - 19.10 160 16 - ✓ - - NA NA
1.2 MPI Classic 5.18 1198/3 5 110 75 1070 45 315 175/70 R14 - - 19.10 160 16 - ✓ - - NA NA
1.2 MPI Ambiente 5.75 1198/3 5 110 75 1070 45 315 175/70 R14 - - 19.10 160 16 ✓ ✓ - - NA NA
1.2 MPI Elegance 6.70 1198/3 5 110 75 1070 45 315 175/70 R14 - ✓ 19.10 160 16 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ June ‘10 1111
1.6 MPI Elegance 7.09 1598/4 5 153 105 1100 45 315 185/60 R14 - ✓ 12.1 174 14.4 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec ‘10 11112
1.2 Active Plus TDI 6.55 1199/3 5 180 75 1152 45 315 175/70 R14 - ✓ 17.18 163.5 19.2 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec ‘10 11112
RAPID
For: NA Against: NA Verdict: NA
Alternatives: 1. Ford Fiesta 2. Honda City 3. Hyundai Verna 4. VW Vento
Active 7.62 1598/4 5 153 105 1145 55 595 175/70 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Ambition 8.00 1598/4 5 153 105 1145 55 595 175/70 R14 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
Elegance 9.00 1598/4 5 153 105 1145 55 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Elegance AT 10.11 1598/4 6 153 105 1720 55 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Active TDI 8.95 1598/4 5 250 105 1757 55 595 175/70 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Ambition TDI 9.33 1598/4 5 250 105 1757 55 595 175/70 R14 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
LAURA
For: Loaded with technology. Performance. Equipment list. Against: Price. Verdict: A genuine D-segmenter loaded with

all the goodies. Alternatives: 1. Honda Civic 2. Toyota Corolla Altis 3. Volkswagen Jetta 4. Hyundai Sonata Transform
Active 1.8 TSI 14.66 1798/4 6 250 160 1350 55 560 205/55 R16 - ✓ 9.4 214 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Ambition 1.8 TSI 15.86 1798/4 6 250 160 1350 55 560 205/55 R16 - ✓ 9.4 214 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 09 11111
RS 1.8 TSI 18.16 1798/4 6 250 160 1350 55 560 205/55 R16 - ✓ 9.4 214 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Ambition 2.0 TDI CR MT 16.38 1968/4 5 250 112 1389 55 560 205/55 R16 - - NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Ambition 2.0 TDI CR AT 17.65 1968/4 6A 320 142 1465 55 560 205/55 R16 - - 10.31 179.5 13.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 10 11111
Elegance 2.0 TDI CR MT 18.10 1968/4 5 250 112 1389 55 560 205/55 R16 - - NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Elegance 2.0 TDI CR AT 19.24 1968/4 6A 320 142 1465 55 560 205/55 R16 - ✓ 10.31 179.5 13.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 10 11111
LandK 2.0 TDI CR AT 21.29 1968/4 6A 320 142 1465 55 560 205/55 R16 - ✓ 10.31 179.5 13.12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 10 11111
NISSAN TO SKODA
GBU_Dec2011.indd 185 24/11/11 10:25:11
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
186 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
SUPERB
For: Performance. Comfort. Luxury. Presence. Build. Equipment list. Knockout price. Against: The Badge.
Verdict: : A genuinely well equipped luxury sedan. Alternatives: 1. Honda Accord 2. Toyota Camry 3. Nissan Teana
Elegance 1.8 TFSI MT 21.61 1798/4 7A 250 160 1567 60 565 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 9.69 201 11.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 09 11112
Elegance 1.8 TFSI AT 23.61 1798/4 7 250 160 1567 60 565 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 9.25 219 11.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 10 11112
Elegance 2.0 TDI CR 26.73 1968/4 6A 320 140 1471 60 565 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.92 198 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 09 11112
Elegance 3.6 TFSI 31.34 3597/4 6A 350 260 1471 60 565 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.92 198 11.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Sep ‘09 11112
YETI
For: Space. Utility. Against: Oddball looks. Verdict: Multi-tasker, offers comfort of a car and capability of an SUV.
Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara 2. Hyundai Santa Fe
Active 2.0 TDI MT 4X2 15.68 1968/4 6 320 140 1543 60 416 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.63 NA 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Ambition 2.0 TDI MT 4X2 16.66 1968/4 6 320 140 1543 60 416 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.63 NA 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Ambition 2.0 TDI MT 4X4 18.01 1968/4 6 320 140 1543 60 416 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.63 NA 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Elegance 2.0 TDI CR 19.60 1968/4 6 320 140 1543 60 416 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.63 NA 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Dec 10 11112
TATA MOTORS
NANO
For: Sheer value for money. Space. Price. Against: Built to a price.
Verdict: A real ‘car’ for a very very low price. Alternatives: 1. Maruti 800 2. Maruti Suzuki Alto 3. Hyundai Santro
Base 1.66 624/2 4 48 35 600 15 135 135/70 R12 - - 29.6 106.2 22 - - - - NA NA
CX 2.02 624/2 4 48 35 600 15 135 135/70 R12 - - 29.6 106.2 22 - - - - NA NA
LX 2.29 624/2 4 48 35 600 15 135 135/70 R12 - - 29.6 106.2 22 ✓ - - - Apr 09 11111
INDICA
For: Reliable and efficient diesel. Space. Economical to run and maintain. Against: : Refinement. Build quality. NVH.
Verdict: One of the cheapest cars to own and run. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet U-VA 2. Hyundai Getz Prime 3. Fiat Palio Stile
eV2 LS 5.28 1396/4 5 140 70 1080 37 217 165/65 R14 - - 16.02 155.6 18.5 ✓ - - - May 11 1112
Xeta GLX 3.99 1193/4 5 99.8 65.3 980 37 217 155/80 R13 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
INDICA VISTA
For: Reliable and efficient diesel. Space. Economical to run and maintain. Against: : Refinement. Build quality. NVH.
Verdict: One of the cheapest cars to own and run. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet U-VA 2. Hyundai Getz Prime 3. Fiat Palio Stile
Terra Safire 4.13 1172/4 5 96 65 1075 37 217 175/70 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
Aqua Safire 4.45 1172/4 5 96 65 1075 37 217 175/70 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Aqua TDI 4.86 1405/4 5 135 71 1135 37 217 175/65 R14 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
Terra Quadra 5.19 1405/4 5 135 71 1135 37 217 175/65 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - - - NA NA
Aqua Quadra 5.50 1248/4 5 190 75 1140 37 232 175/65 R14 - - 17.22 NA 18 - - ✓ - Oct 08 1111
Aura ABS 5.84 1248/4 5 190 75 1140 37 232 175/65 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Aura Plus 6.43 1248/4 5 190 75 1140 37 232 175/65 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
INDIGO
For: Exceptional VFM . Space. Against: Poor refinement. Build quality. Verdict: Incredibly cheap and efficient three-box
saloon at the price of a hatch. Alternatives: 1. Mahindra Verito 3. Maruti Suzuki DZire
eGLS 1.2 4.95 1193/4 5 100 65 1065 42 380 175/65 R14 - - NA NA NA ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
eGLX 1.2 5.19 1193/4 5 100 65 1155 42 450 175/65 R14 - - 19.5 154.2 18.9 ✓ - - - NA NA
eLS1.4 5.81 1396/4 5 140 70 1155 42 450 175/65 R14 - - 19.5 154.2 18.9 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
eLX1.4 6.06 1396/4 5 140 70 1155 42 450 175/65 R14 - - 19.5 154.2 18.9 - - - ✓ NA NA
INDIGO MANZA
For: Value for money. Comfort. Space. Against: Plastic quality. Verdict: Tata’s best sedan ever
Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki D’Zire 2. Mahindra Verito 3. Toyota Etios
Aqua Saffire 5.91 1368/4 5 116 90 1100 44 460 185/60 R15 - - 14.41 NA 13.5 - - - - NA NA
Aura Saffire 6.28 1368/4 5 116 90 1115 44 460 185/60 R15 - - 14.41 NA 13.5 ✓ - - - NA NA
Aura Saffire ABS 6.63 1368/4 5 116 90 1115 44 460 185/60 R15 - ✓ 14.41 NA 13.5 - - ✓ ✓ Jan 11 1111
Elan Saffire 7.43 1368/4 5 116 90 1125 44 460 185/60 R15 - ✓ 14.41 NA 13.5 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
Aqua Quadra 6.66 1248/4 5 200 90 1200 44 460 185/60 R15 - - 14.07 167 17.1 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Aura Quadra 7.12 1248/4 5 200 90 1200 44 460 185/60 R15 - - 14.07 167 17.1 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
Aura Quadra ABS 7.59 1248/4 5 200 90 1200 44 460 185/60 R15 - ✓ 14.07 167 17.1 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
Aura Quadra + 8.26 1248/4 5 200 90 1210 44 460 185/60 R15 - ✓ 14.07 167 17.1 ✓ - ✓ - Nov 09 1111
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THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
GBU_Dec2011.indd 186 24/11/11 10:26:09
187 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
SUMO
For: Practical. Spacious. Efficient. Cheap to own and maintain. Against: Boxy looks. Build quality. Interiors. Ride and handling.
Performance. Verdict: Good, rugged option for tour operators and rural customers. Competition is better, but pricier too.
Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Tavera 2. Mahindra Bolero
Spacio A1 6.11 1948/4 5 117 68 1700 65 NA 215/75 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
Victa EX 7.11 1948/4 5 117 68 1700 65 NA 215/75 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
Victa GX 7.49 1948/4 5 190 91 1705 65 NA 215/75 R15 - - 22.3 140.2 11 ✓ - - - NA NA
Sumo Grande LX 8.15 2179/4 5 250 120 1940 65 NA 235/70 R16 - - 17.11 144 10.87 ✓ - - - NA NA
Sumo Grande EX 8.60 2179/4 5 250 120 1940 65 NA 235/70 R16 - - 17.11 144 10.87 ✓ - - ✓ NA NA
Sumo Grande GX 9.36 2179/4 5 250 120 1940 65 NA 235/70 R16 - - 17.11 144 10.87 ✓ - - ✓ Jun 08 111
Grande Ex Mk II Turbo 7.72 1948/4 5 190 90 1940 65 NA 235/70 R16 - - NA NA NA O - - ✓ NA NA
SAFARI
For: Big. Spacious. Rides well. Mile munching capability. Diesel option. Against: Not efficient. Build. Refinement. Body roll.
Verdict: Big, spacious and comfortable, but not nimble. Alternatives: 1. Toyota Innova 2. Mahindra Scorpio
EX DiCOR 2.2 4x2 10.36 2179/4 5 320 140 2170 65 981 235/70 R16 - - 15.2 159.2 9 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
GX DiCOR 2.2 4x2 11.97 2179/4 5 320 140 2170 65 981 235/70 R16 - - 15.2 159.2 9 ✓ - ✓ ✓ NA NA
VX DiCOR 2.2 4x2 13.33 2179/4 5 320 140 2170 65 981 235/70 R16 - ✓ 15.2 159.2 9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov 07 1111
VX DiCOR 2.2 4x4 14.38 2179/4 5 320 140 2170 65 981 235/70 R16 - ✓ 15.2 159.2 9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
ARIA
For: Gearshift, engine refinement, safety kit. Against: Not enough space optimisation, price
Verdict: Lots of kit, but too expensive. Alternatives: 1. Toyota Innova 2. Mahindra Scorpio
Pure 4X2 13.08 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/70 R16 - ✓ 15.38 171 11.6 ✓ - ✓ - NA NA
Pleasure 4x2 14.45 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/70 R16 - ✓ 15.38 171 11.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Sep 11 1111
Prestige 4x2 16.32 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/65 R17 - ✓ 15.38 171 11.6 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Pleasure 4x4 15.18 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/65 R17 - ✓ 15.35 178 10.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
Prestige 4x4 (Fabric) 16.57 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/65 R17 - ✓ 15.35 178 10.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Prestige 4x4 (Leather) 16.99 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/65 R17 - ✓ 15.35 178 10.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Pride 4x4 18.13 2179/4 5 320 140 -- 60 NA 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 15.35 178 10.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Nov 10 1111
TOYOTA
ETIOS LIVA
For: Good drivability and cabin space. Against: Single wiper doesn’t clean the windshield properly, quality of plastic in the interior.
Verdict: Good value for money Alternatives: 1. Ford Figo 2. Nissan Micra 3. Hyundai i10
J 4.71 1197/4 5 104 80 890 45 251 175/65 R14 - - 14.94 NA 17.75 - - - - NA NA
G 5.15 1197/4 5 104 80 900 45 251 175/65 R14 - - 14.94 NA 17.75 ✓ - - - NA NA
G (Special) 5.68 1197/4 5 104 80 900 45 251 175/65 R14 - ✓ 14.94 NA 17.75 ✓ ✓ - - NA NA
VX 6.80 1197/4 5 104 80 920 45 251 175/65 R14 - ✓ 14.94 NA 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ August 11 11112
GD 6.23 1364/4 5 170 68 980 45 251 175/65 R14 - ✓ 17.01 NA 19 ✓ ✓ - - NA NA
GD (Special) 6.57 1364/4 5 170 68 980 45 251 175/65 R14 - ✓ 17.01 NA 19 ✓ ✓ - - October 11 11112
ETIOS
For: Fuel efficiency, Space, Driveability Against: Quality of interior plastics Verdict: Good work horse
Alternatives: 1. Ford Ikon 2. Mahindra-Renault Logan 3. Maruti Suzuki DZire
J 5.71 1496/4 5 132 90 900 45 595 175/65 R14 - - 11.57 171 17.75 - - - - NA NA
G/ G SP 6.30/6.88 1496/4 5 132 90 915 45 595 175/65 R14 - O 11.57 171 17.75 ✓ O O O NA NA
V 7.37 1496/4 5 132 90 930 45 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ 11.57 171 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
VX 7.89 1496/4 5 132 90 930 45 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ 11.57 171 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 11 11112
GD 7.23 1364/4 5 170 68 990 45 595 175/65 R14 - O 16.18 160 18.75 ✓ O - ✍ NA NA
VD 8.30 1364/4 5 170 68 1005 45 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ 16.18 160 18.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
VXD 8.82 1364/4 5 170 68 1005 45 595 185/60 R15 - ✓ 16.18 160 18.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Oct 11 11112
COROLLA ALTIS
For: Good mix of performance, interiors and ride quality. Against: Does not excel in any particular field.
Verdict: A potent D-class performer with a Toyota badge. Alternatives: 1. Honda Civic 2. Skoda Laura 3. Chevrolet Cruze
1.8 J 12.32 1794/4 6 170 132 1615 50 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.46 181 11.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.8 G 14.48 1794/4 6 170 132 1615 50 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.46 181 11.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.8 GL 16.18 1794/4 6 170 132 1615 50 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 11.46 181 11.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.8 VL 17.23 1794/4 7A 170 132 1635 50 430 195/60 R15 - ✓ 12.07 179 NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun ‘11 11112
1.4 HJ 13.37 1364/4 6 205 88.4 1270 50 475 195/65 R15 - ✓ 13.35 177 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
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GBU_Dec2011.indd 187 24/11/11 10:27:04
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
188 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
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THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
1.4 HG 15.62 1364/4 6 205 88.4 1270 50 475 195/65 R15 - ✓ 13.35 177 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.4 HL 16.94 1364/4 6 205 88.4 1270 50 475 195/65 R15 - ✓ 13.35 177 17.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Aug 10 11112
CAMRY
For: Space. Comfort. Lavish interiors. Loaded with equipment. Slick mechanicals. Against: Size. Not performance oriented.
Verdict: Perhaps the most comfortable chauffer driven car in its segment. Could do with a more driver-oriented chassis and suspension.
Alternatives: 1. Honda Accord 2. Nissan Teana 3. Skoda Superb
W-1 27.81 2362/4 5 224 167 1545 45 535 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.4 201.8 12.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
W-2 (AT) 29.95 2362/4 5A 224 167 1545 45 535 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.4 201.8 12.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jun 06 11112
W-3 28.46 2362/4 5 224 167 1545 45 535 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.4 201.8 12.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
W-4 (AT) 30.60 2362/4 5A 224 167 1545 45 535 215/60 R16 ✓ ✓ 11.4 201.8 12.7 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
INNOVA
For: NVH. Refinement. Ride. Handling. Performance. Space. Interiors. Bullet-proof build quality. Against: Hardly anything. Verdict: A very
capable machine, tough to fault. power. Can do a little off roading. Alternatives: 1. Chevrolet Tavera 2. Tata Aria 3. Mahindra Xylo
2.5 GX 7S 10.83 2494/4 5 200 102 1675 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
2.5 GX 8S 12.57 2494/4 5 200 102 1675 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
2.5 VX 7S 14.71 2494/4 5 200 102 1675 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
2.5 VX 8S 14.76 2494/4 5 200 102 1675 55 NA 205/65 R15 - - NA NA NA - - - - NA NA
FORTUNER
For: Spaces, Refinement, Value for money. Against: Big, Cumbersome in city traffic, No autobox. Verdict: You want a combination
of off-road and on-road vehicle, go for it. Alternatives: 1. Mitsubishi Pajero 2. Ford Endeavor 3. Chevrolet Captiva 4. Nissan X-trail
FORTUNER 23.73 2982/4 5 343 171 1955 80 NA 265/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 12.47 178 10.3 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Oct 09 11112
LAND CRUISER PRADO
For: Off-Road Credentials, Road Presence. Against: Price, Body Roll. Verdict: Its a good off roader with a comfortable ride
Alternatives: 1. VW Touareg 2. Mercedes-Benz M-class 3. BMW X5 4. Mitsubishi Montero
VXL 67.03 2982/4 5A 410 173 2990 87 620 265/60 R18 ✓ ✓ 13.2 156 8.9 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 10 11112
LAND CRUISER V8
For: Super-luxurious. Smooth, powerful, refined. Against: Poor fuel efficiency, expensive to buy and run, old-hat image.
Verdict: If you can afford one, think of it as a Lexus LS for bad roads! Alternatives: 1. Audi Q7 2. Mercedes-Benz GL-class 3. Range Rover
VX 108.24 4461/8 6A 650 286 2720 93 620 285/60 R18 ✓ ✓ 10.71 210 5.92 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 09 11112
PRIUS
For: : Environment friendly. Fuel Efficiency Against: Price
Verdict: Good option for environment conscious car enthusiast. Alternatives: None yet
High 35.83 1798/4 CVT 142 99 1395 45 NA 195/65 R15 ✓ ✓ 11.68 175.4 16.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ July 10 11
VOLKSWAGEN
POLO
For: Beautifully built. Great interiors. Drivability Against: Cramped rear. Some essential features missing.
Verdict: Probably the most complete hatchback on sale currently. Alternatives: 1.Skoda Fabia 2. Hyundai i20
1.2L (P) Trendline 5.16 1198/3 5 110 75 1020 45 NA 175/70 R14 - - 16.64 NA 15.4 - - - - NA NA
1.2L (P) Comfortline 5.73 1198/3 5 110 75 1030 45 NA 175/70 R14 - - 16.64 NA 15.4 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
1.2L (P) Highline 6.80 1198/3 5 110 75 1055 45 NA 185/60 R15 - ✓ 16.64 NA 15.4 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Mar 10 11111
1.6L (P) 7.22 1598/4 5 153 105 NA NA NA 185/60 R15 - ✓ 11.7 178 14.8 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Feb 11 11112
1.2L (D) Trendline 6.30 1199/3 5 180 75 1115 45 NA 175/70 R14 - - 15.23 169 19.75 - - - - Apr 10 11112
1.2L (D) Comfortline 6.87 1199/3 5 180 75 1125 45 NA 175/70 R14 - - 15.23 169 19.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 10 11112
1.2L (D) Highline 7.94 1199/3 5 180 75 1145 45 NA 185/70 R15 - ✓ 15.23 169 19.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 10 11112
BEETLE
For: Solid retro looks, Big car feel, great suspension. Against: Price, Performance, Twin Door setup not ideal for India.
Verdict: An iconic car with a remarkable international persona and great suspension too. Alternatives: Fiat 500
2.0 26.65 1984/4 6A 172 116 1345 75 214 195/65 R15 ✓ ✓ 13.74 170 12 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 10 11112
GBU_Dec2011.indd 188 24/11/11 10:28:11
189 CAR INDIA DECEMBER 2011
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VENTO
For: Space, ride quality, handling and built quality Against: Availability Verdict: A nice car to rock the market
Alternatives: 1. Maruti Suzuki SX4 2. Fiat Linea 3. Honda City 4. Skoda Rapid
1.6 Trendline (M) 8.03 1598/4 5 153 105 1120 55 NA 175/70 R14 - ✓ 11.87 186.2 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Oct 2010 11112
1.6 Highline (M) 9.26 1598/4 6 153 105 1180 55 NA 185/60 R15 - ✓ 11.87 186.2 14.1 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Oct 2010 11112
1.6 Highline (A) 10.36 1598/4 6A 153 105 1180 55 NA 185/60 R15 - ✓ 15.42 184.7 12 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Nov 2010 11112
1.6 Trendline (Diesel) 9.15 1598/4 5 250 105 1190 55 NA 175/70 R14 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ - NA NA
1.6 Highline (Diesel) 10.38 1598/4 5 250 105 1220 55 NA 185/60 R15 - ✓ 11.94 183.6 17.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ - Dec 10 11112
JETTA
For: Impeccable build quality, steering response, stability and suspension Against: Slightly pricey
Verdict: Makes tremendous sense for India Alternatives: 1. Skoda Laura 2. Honda Civic 3. Toyota Altis
2.0 TDI Trendline 16.25 1968/4 6 320 140 1445 55 527 205/55 R16 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0TDI Comfortline 17.88 1968/4 6 320 140 1445 55 527 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0TDI Highline 19.56 1968/4 6 320 140 1445 55 527 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
2.0TDI Highline (A) 20.46 1968/4 6A 320 140 1460 55 527 205/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.54 205 14.25 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ October 2011 11112
PASSAT
For: Ride quality. Well equipped. Against: Pricey. Verdict: Comfortable, well-built luxury car.
Alternatives: 1. Skoda Superb 2. Honda Accord V6 3. Toyota Camry 4. Nissan Teana
Trendline 24.23 1968/4 5 350 170 1555 70 565 215/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Comfortline 27.77 1968/4 6A 350 170 1555 70 565 215/55 R16 ✓ ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
Highline 29.84 1986/4 6A 350 170 1605 70 565 215/55 R16 ✓ ✓ 9.23 205 12.5 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ May 11 11111
PHAETON
For: Drive, build quality, comfort, gizmos Against: Pricing Verdict: Has everything one expects from a luxury car, but lacks brand value.
Alternatives: 1. Mercedes S-Class 2. BMW 7-seies 3. Audi A8
3.6 V6 Petrol 95.43 3597/6 6A 370 280 NA NA NA 235/55 R17 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA NA
VOLVO
S60
For: Handling, ride quality, performance. Against: Fuel efficiency. Price. No spare tyre.
Verdict: Good looking car that handles and rides well. Alternatives: 1. Audi A4 2. BMW 3 Series 3. Mercedes-Benz C-class
D5 40.22 2400/5 6A 420 205 1860 67 340 215/50 R17 - ✓ NA NA NA ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ NA 11111
T6 AWD 42.72 3000/6 6A 440 304 1729 67 340 215/50 R17 ✓ ✓ 6.72 250 7.24 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 11 11112
S80
For: Build quality. Safety. Against: Fuel efficiency. Brand appeal. Verdict: Good looking, solidly built luxury car.
Alternatives: 1. Audi A6 2. BMW 5 series 3. Mercedes-Benz E-class
D5 47.72 2400/5 6A 400 185 1647 70 480 225/50 R17 - ✓ 8.10 NA 10.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ March 10 1111
3.2 48.97 3192/6 6A 320 175 1653 70 480 225/50 R17 - ✓ 9.0 240 7.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan ‘08 11111
XC60
For: Best looking Volvo yet, Loaded with safety features Against: Slow shift gearbox Verdict: Good value for money
Alternatives: 1. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2. Mercedes-Benz ML-class 3. BMW X5
D5 AWD 49.59 2400/5 6A 420 207.84 2505 70 495 235/65 R17 ✓ ✓ 9.5 197.7 10 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 11 11112
XC90
For: Powerful. Built like a tank. Added safety. Against: Heavy on gas. Dated looks. Verdict: V8 muscle makes it the
quickest 0-100 SUV Alternatives: 1. Toyota Land Cruiser Prado 2. Mercedes-Benz ML-class 3. BMW X5
D5 AWD 55.22 2400/5 6A 400 185 2080 68 483 205/65 R16 ✓ ✓ 10.94 194.66 6.75 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Apr 08 11112
V8 AWD 56.47 4414/6 6A 440 315 2111 80 483 205/65 R16 ✓ ✓ 8.17 209.04 4.62 ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Jan 08 11112
TOYOTA TO VOLVO
GBU_Dec2011.indd 189 24/11/11 10:29:19
190
THIS MONTH SUBARU
DECEMBER 2011 CAR INDIA
Subaru is the automobile manufacturing
division of Japanese transportation
conglomerate, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI).
FHI started out as The Aircraft Research
Laboratory in 1915. In 1932, the company
became the primary manufacturer of aircrafts
for Japan during World War II.
Kenji Kita, the CEO of Fuji Heavy
Industries, wanted the new company to be
involved in car manufacturing and soon
began plans for building a car with the
development codename, P-1. He gave the
car a Japanese name that he had "been
cherishing in his heart": Subaru, which is the
name of the Pleiades star cluster in Japanese.
The first Subaru car was named the
Subaru 1500. Only 20 P-1s were
manufactured due to multiple supply issues.
The prototype used a monocoque body
structure with an independent front
wishbone suspension and a rear leaf spring
suspension with three plates and a live rear
axle. The 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, OHV
engine, codenamed 'FG4A', was sourced
from Peugeot (from the Peugeot 202) and
built by Fuji Precision Technology, later
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DID YOU KNOW?
The story of transformations and success of this Japanese car-maker who
have also earned a name outside passenger cars, in motorsports
known as the Prince Motor Company.
The Subaru 360 was the first automobile
mass-produced by the company. A number of
innovative features were used to design a very
small and inexpensive car to address
government plans to produce a small 'people's
car' with an engine no larger than 360 cc
when most in Japan could not afford a car.
Subaru is internationally known for their
use of the boxer engine layout popularised
among cars by the Volkswagen Beetle and
Porsche 911. The engine is now a standard in
all Subaru cars. They also offer many
turbocharged versions of their passenger cars,
such as the sporty Impreza WRX.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent
company of Subaru, is currently in a partial
partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation,
which owns 16.5 per cent of FHI.
Subaru 360, the first mass produced
car by the company. A cheap and
affordable 360-cc car.
One of the only twenty Subaru 1500s
produced by the company.The car ran
on a Peugeot 1.5-litre OHV engine
Subaru Impreza WRC. Subaru World Rally Team has
won three world championship titles and the
company won manufacturer's title from 1995-97.
Chikuhei Nakajima,
founder of the Aircarft Research
Laboratory, which later became FHI.
FHI's one of the most popular fighter
plane-Nakajima Ki-84 Hayate, used by
the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in
World War II.
Did you know_Dec2011.indd 190 11/24/2011 10:32:42 AM
ADS CI Dec11.indd 59 11/23/2011 4:00:00 PM
RNI NO. MAHENG / 2005 / 16216
BC_newsstand.indd 168 11/23/2011 2:27:42 PM

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