New 2011 BMW X3 Launched

BMW India has launched its all-new X3 SUV. The new X3 is available with a 2.0 184bhp and 3.0-litre 258bhp diesel engines.
The X3 packs BMW’s eight-speed gearbox along with a Dynamic Damper Control and an engine start-stop function as standard. Also standard is BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system which uses an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch to distribute torque between the front and rear axles. 
The new model gets muscular styling as compared to the one it replaces and is 83mm longer and 28mm wider than the model it replaces and it sits on a slightly longer wheelbase. It also weighs 90kgs less than the earlier 2.0 diesel car
Additional features include bi-xenon headlights with LED rings.  The X3 2.0-litre gets 17-inch alloy wheels and a 6.5-inch high resolution display screen while the 3.0 version gets 18-inch alloys and a bigger 8.8-inch high resolution display screen.
Bluetooth connectivity and a USB slot are standard so is the full-size panaromic sunroof. The unique 40:20:40 split rear seats can be flipped down to expand storage space as required.
The new X3 competes with the likes of Audi Q5, Land Rover Freelander and Volvo XC60. 
BMW has priced the 2.0-litre X3 at Rs 41.2 lakh while the 3.0-litre version starts at Rs 47.99 lakh. With Audi recently slashing prices of its Q5 2.0 TDI which now starts at Rs 35.13 lakh, the mid-size luxury SUV competition is sure to heat up

Nissan Sunny Review, Test Drive

Nissan's all-new Versa is an all-new entry level saloon, built on the same ‘V’ platform as the cute-looking Micra.  The all-new car is a tailor-made assault on the surprisingly similar requirements of car compact saloon buyers in the US, China and even India. Since the Versa name belongs to Maruti in India, Nissan has chosen to badge it the Sunny here.
The Sunny is built to make an impression. It looks quite large, especially when viewed from the rear three-quarters, with its big boot, long wheelbase and massive cabin. It’s closer in size to something like a Civic or a Laura; compact it is not. Although based on the same platform as the Micra, the Sunny looks nothing like it. Only the Nissan badge appears to be common.
‘V’ for Versatile
Clearly, Nissan’s new ‘V’ or versatile platform can accommodate both compact and medium-sized cars. Platform cost saving aside, Alliance partner Renault shared parts, know-how and even helped with sourcing parts for the Sunny. The platform uses 20 percent fewer components and has knocked 100-odd kilograms off the scale.
Style and space
The Sunny doesn’t look boxy or cheap. Long flowing lines, a beautifully crafted nose and an elegant rear section mean the new Sunny actually looks very attractive from many angles. Sure, the stubby nose means some of the proportions are a bit odd. And from the rear it looks like a baby Nissan Teana!
The Sunny boasts of a Corolla Altis-sized wheelbase and that translates into a lot of room on the inside. In fact the comfy backseat has more legroom than a Mercedes E-class! The drooping roofline, however, means that you sit slightly lower than is ideal and the backrest is leant back a bit. And the front seats, if anything, are even more comfortable, with thigh support and side bolstering both very impressive.
Nissan has tried very hard to make the cabin look upmarket as well. The chrome-ringed dials, the silver accents on the steering wheel, and the Micra-like chrome door handles give the ambience a bit of a lift. Overall plastic quality and fit and finish are also up to expectations. A few cheap plastic bits like the air-con controls and window switches do exist. And at 420 litres, the boot is pretty large.
Big-car dynamics
The US-spec Sunny comes with a new-generation 1600cc petrol motor. Producing a useful 109bhp, it makes more than sufficient power, and initial responses to the throttle are very good too. For the Indian market, however, the Sunny will come with a smaller 1.5-litre petrol developing 107.5bhp.
The engine feels nice and smooth and there’s enough performance, there isn’t too much grunt in the midrange. Downshift and you’ll find there’s plenty of punch in the top end, but the motor does get a bit vocal. On the gearbox front, the CVT is surprisingly good, with very little rubber-band effect present and the ability to hold engine rpm in the sweet spot. Meanwhile the five-speed manual has a crisp shift and is both light and effort-free to use.
Despite a bit of pitter-patter at low speed due to stiff damping, the Sunny’s ride quality is excellent especially once the car is up to speed. Road noise is reasonably well contained for a car of this price, bump absorption is first rate and because of the long wheelbase there isn’t too much pitching and bobbing either. It really does ride like a big car.
Also impressive is stability and handling. The Sunny tracked straight and true even at speeds as high as 140kph, with only a light grip needed on the wheel. Nissan has also done an outstanding job with the brakes. The electric power steering is both accurate and well weighted, unlike many such systems. Although, the Sunny is nice to drive and does everything you ask of it, it’s not a car that encourages you to drive it faster. 
The Sunny is a car that has almost everything Indian customers want. It looks large and attractive on the outside, is extremely spacious and comfortable inside, rides, performs and drives well and feels robustly engineered too. Nissan will have a more powerful version of its 1.5-litre diesel that powers the Micra on sale soon. With the right price the Sunny has the potential to shake up the competition. Here’s a car worth waiting for.  

New Toyota Camry Unveiled

These are the first pictures of the all-new Toyota Camry that is scheduled to go on sale across the globe in 2012. We expect the car to hit Indian shores by early next year.
In the styling department, Toyota has gone in for a far bolder look than the ‘please-all’ styling of the current car. The front comprises of larger, more angular headlights with an elegant kink at the base. Two chrome slats with the Toyota logo in between make the grille look more pronounced than earlier. Larger fog lamps further enhances the new Camry’s front end.
The side profile however, does not carry the drama visible in the front styling on the car – the dull window line playing spoilsport here. The shoulder line that broadens as it approaches the boot is an interesting touch though. Move towards the rear of the new Camry and you could find minute Lexus details on the boot. The new smart two part tail lights looks quite attractive.
While the new car’s dimensions are nearly equal to its predecessor’s, Toyota claims there is slightly more space in the new car, which is great considering the current car itself is quite spacious. The dashboard design is all new and wears a more mature look. A large 6.1-inch multimedia screen dominates the fascia, though it remains to be seen if the Indian-spec Camry will feature it.
However, you can expect the car to come with dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and AUX ports and also steering mounted audio controls. Toyota claims that it has further managed to reduce road and wind noise, giving the cabin a relaxing ambience.
While other markets have moved to the new 2.5-litre, four-cylinder VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) engine, the Indian Camry continues to be powered by the older 2.4-litre, four-cylinder VVT-i engine. We expect Toyota to offer the new motor when it launches the car in India next year. The 2.5-litre 16-valve engine produces 169bhp at 6000rpm, a marginal 2bhp more than the current car. But with no diesel engine on offer, the Camry could still find itself at a disadvantage to its diesel-powered rivals like the Skoda Superb and VW Passat.
The Camry destined for USA will be offered with an option of a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission. It is yet to be known however, if the Indian-spec saloon will be upgraded to the new ‘boxes or will stick to the current 5-speed transmission.
The use of higher tensile steel promises added rigidity which should no doubt aid handling. Under the skin, there are no major changes except a slightly tweaked suspension to improve overall comfort. But what’s interesting is that Toyota is now planning to ship the Camry in India via the CKD route and assemble at its Bidadi plant in Karnataka. The current car is imported as a CBU.
Local assembly should bring with it huge savings in costs which will make the Camry a whole lot more affordable and lucrative to D-segment car buyers. If the new Camry can undercut Honda Accord prices, Toyota has a winner on its hands.

Aston Martin V12 Zagato Revealed

Aston Martin V12 Zagato concept
The road car variant of the new Aston Martin V12 Zagato, which will go into production from the middle of next year, it has been revealed.
The hand-built Zagato is based on the V12 Vantage and features a body of aluminium and carbonfibre. The race-bred machine is powered by a 6-litre engine, developing 510bhp and 58kgm of torque.

Developed half a century after the introduction of the iconic DB4GT Zagato, the new V12 Zagato broke cover at the Villa D’Este Concours on Lake Como, Italy, in May. It won the coveted design award for the concept and prototypes class.
Two prototypes were then honed during endurance races at the Nürburgring, including the 24-hour event at the German track in June. The pair of Zagato racing machines will appear on Aston’s Frankfurt motor show display next month, along with the One-77 supercar and the recently launched Virage and Vantage S.
The competition specials have been nicknamed ‘Zig’ and ‘Zag’ by Aston technicians. ‘Zig’ will appear in full racing specification and features a full aerodynamic package including front splitter, dive planes, rear diffuser and spoiler. Whereas ‘Zag’ has been converted back into a road-spec show car to give an indication of how the finished customer cars will look when they are built next year.
Just 150 road-going examples will be built.

2011 Opel Astra

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Opel Astra
The new Opel Astra Sports Tourer brings style, practicality and eco-friendly technology to the compact wagon segment, giving owners the flexibility to combine professional and private use in one vehicle.

Sharing the same Opel design DNA and Sports Tourer name as its larger Insignia counterpart, the Opel Astra Sports Tourer also introduces a similar focus on first class quality and functionality. The sculpted shape encapsulates a cabin with all the widely-acclaimed attributes of the Astra hatchback, while adding an ample cargo carrying capability. Space-efficient trunk design, enabling an impressive load volume of up to 1,550 liters, is complemented by smart, upscale features such as the new FlexFold Rear Seats - a system which folds the rear seatbacks at the touch of a button.

The Opel Astra Sports Tourer's athletic looks are backed by an equally athletic driving experience. The new wagon shares the same innovative rear suspension and mechatronic FlexRide chassis as its hatchback peer. Other class leading features such as AFL+ adaptive forward lighting and medically-approved ergonomic front seats add comfort and safety to the driving fun on offer.

A wide powertrain choice of nine fuel-efficient engines provides a bandwidth from 70 kW/95 hp to 132 kW/180 hp. Fuel-saving Start/Stop technology will be first introduced on the 1.3 CDTI engine (70 kW/95 hp) early next year, resulting in CO2 emissions as low as 109 g/km.

The styling of the GTC Paris Concept is largely guided by its five-door sibling, with sportier touches including more performance-oriented front and rear bumpers and a coupe-like roofline strongly reminiscent of the three-door variant of the previous-generation Astra H/C (the last Astra model to be sold in Australia).

The GSI is seen here with a camouflaged front bumper, which tells us the model will have a slightly altered front fascia from the standard Astra - a more aggressive look according to our spy photographer. The GSI will come with a dual exhaust at the back and a two-tone interior with sports seats. Also, the GSI will feature wider wheel arches, according to German car mag Auto, Motor und Sport.
The Opel Astra Sports Tourer benefits from the same harmoniously sculpted, high quality interior first seen in the hatchback. The wraparound wing front fascia arcs across the cabin into the top of the door moldings, creating a warm and inviting ambience.
The feeling of space and movement is further underlined by an elegant center stack, mounted at a shallow angle, which flows from the instrument panel down into the gearshift. Décor details - such as the chrome-ringed gauges, the controls and the framing of the center stack - are combined with the use of soft touch materials and subtle warm ambient lighting to give a high quality presentation.
Four interior trim levels are offered. A new interior with warm colors and elegant atmosphere is now introduced on the Cosmo variant, using cocoa in different hues as an alternative to black.
The cabin is as practical as it is stylish. No other compact wagon offers so much accessible interior storage space - 25 liters in all or, twice as much as in the current generation wagon. Now, the wagon is full of intuitive storage locations, including door pockets able to take large, 1.5-liter bottles, a highly adaptable center console that allows many configurations, a glove box of decent size and a pull-out storage drawer on the driver's side.
Power for the GTC Paris Concept comes courtesy of a turbo-charged and direct-injected 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission.
Until now, specific power figures for the GTC Paris Concept were a tightly-held secret. Opel has today revealed that the hot hatch's turbocharged engine pumps out a huge 213kW, bringing it within spitting distance of the 225kW offered by its ultimate rival, the Ford Focus RS.

Best-in-class total cost of ownership makes Opel Astra Sports Tourer wagon of choice

The Sports Tourer makes a compelling choice for fleets, which are expected to exceed 50 percent of sales in markets like Germany. The compact wagon can serve as an adaptable, high mileage workhorse during the week, and become a stylish, family hold-all at weekends.
Because cost of ownership is increasingly important Opel designers and engineers have focused on keeping accident repair costs low. Even though most crashes take place at relative low speeds, they usually cause expensive bodywork and components damage. Key to the Opel Astra Sports Tourer competitive edge is the design of its bumpers as well as front and rear bodywork: low repair costs mean low insurance payment and savings can amount to several hundred euros per year.
The strong residual values of the new Astra are already being indicated by sales of early used hatchbacks available on the market. Auto industry experts expect that the new Opel Astra Sports Tourer will enjoy similar success.
Taking all factors into account the Opel Astra Sports Tourer offers the best total cost of ownership in its class making it a truly smart choice for the business buyer.,,

New Porsche 911 Revealed

These are the first official pictures of the all-new Porsche 911.
Known internally as the 991, the new 911 — the sixth truly independent model in an illustrious 48-year history — is set to make its world debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor.
The new 911 will initially be sold in rear-wheel drive Carrera and Carrera S coupé guises. Cabriolet and four-wheel-drive variants will follow in 2012, and pave the way for a range-topping Turbo packing 523bhp in 2013.
Developed under Porsche design boss Michael Mauer, the visual changes are subtle but effective enough to set the new car apart from its predecessor.
The traditional round headlamps are set on the front of a wider, slightly higher front bumper. The lights have been made bigger and house more complex internal graphics than before, and are complemented by new LED daytime running lamps on the leading edge of a reshaped bumper. The rear is distinguished by new, thin LED tail-lamps. They sit underneath a prominent lip that forms the trailing edge of the engine lid and wrap further around the rear bumpers than before.
As with the outgoing 911, the new model has a choice of two standard naturally aspirated, horizontally opposed six-cylinder engines mounted aft of the rear axle line.
The big news concerns the downsizing of the base unit in the Carrera. It drops in capacity from 3.6 litres to 3.4 litres — the same as the Boxster S and Cayman S. But while the Boxster/Cayman S engine delivers 316bhp, the new Carrera packs a sturdier 345bhp at 6400rpm — up by 4bhp over the old 3.6-litre engine. It also has 280lb ft of torque.
The Carrera S continues with a 3.8-litre unit, but it has changes to the induction and exhaust which liberate an extra 14bhp at 394bhp at 7000rpm and this version boasts 324lb ft. At the rear, the Carrera continues to feature two oval exhaust pipes, while the Carrera S gets four round pipes.
The new model receives a new seven-speed manual gearbox — a first for a series production road car.
There have been significant chassis changes as a result of the lengthened wheelbase in the quest to further improve the handling, grip and ride.
Expect the new 911 to reach our shores soon after the global launch.

Mercedes Allies With Buddh Circuit

Mercedes-Benz has joined hands with the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) with an aim of taking motorsports closer to Indian fans.
The German carmaker has chalked out aggressive plans to provide boost to the ever growing spirit of motoring in India. Mercedes-Benz and JPSI have concluded an agreement whereby Mercedes-Benz cars will be utilized as safety cars for all events taking place at the BIC.
Both partners will jointly set up a Performance Driving Academy by next year to foster potential talent and popularise performance driving. The new academy will offer structured programs, cars, trainers and help groom new talents on the racing circuit. In addition, the company also plans to popularise motorsports through promotional activities, road shows and dealership activations across India. Mercedes-Benz customers will also have exclusive access to use the cars on the race track.
The carmaker will start a nationwide promotional campaign and give motorsport enthusiasts an access to witness the action at the Indian Grand Prix in October. It plans to create Pit Stops at all its dealerships which will put up race tickets and merchandise on sale. Speed Date is another activity planned in the second half of October in Mumbai with participation of over 100 Mercedes-Benz and AMG cars.
Speaking on the occasion, Peter Honegg, MD & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “Mercedes-Benz is a performance brand and our long association with motorsports is a testimony to this fact. It has been our endeavour to enable more people to experience the performance and dynamism of our cars, and we will continue to do so in times to come.”
Commenting on the partnership, Sameer Gaur, MD & CEO, JPSI Sports added, “We are pleased to have Mercedes-Benz as the Official Partners for Buddh International Circuit. Together with Mercedes-Benz, JPSI will play a pivotal role in popularizing motorsport in India. BIC will act as a new platform to create a talent pool of next gen motorsports champions of India”.

Hard-Top For Ferrari 458 Spider

The new Ferrari 458 Spider will feature a retractable hard-top roof when it breaks cover at next month’s Frankfurt motor show. Although Ferrari has already produced a hard-top convertible in the current California, the 458 Spider will be the first time that it has fitted a folding hard roof to a mid-engined two-seater.
The F430 Spider, released in 2005, was given a soft-top to keep weight down, but Ferrari has made the new machine’s roof using lightweight aluminium, which means the whole roof and its mechanism is 25kg lighter than a soft-top’s would be. Ferrari’s figures give a dry weight of 1430kg for the 458 Spider, making it about 50kg heavier than the Italia.
Packaging considerations also dictated Ferrari’s choice of the hard-top, which can be deployed in 14sec. It was engineered to fit ahead of the engine bay without compromising aerodynamics or performance. The smaller space needed to house the roof means that there is space for a luggage bench behind the seats.
The operation of the retractable roof uses a central pivot, as opposed to the hinge system which is more common on cabriolets. A similar system was used on the Ferrari 575 Superamerica. On the 458 Spider, the buttresses behind each seat are designed to optimise the flow of air to the engine intakes and the clutch and gearbox oil radiators.
The Spider uses the same 4.5-litre, 578bhp, 55kgm V8 powerplant as the 458 Italia. The throttle pedal mapping and multi-link suspension’s damping have been calibrated specifically for this version, and the engine note has been tuned for top-down driving. An electric wind stop is fitted to reduce noise when the roof is retracted, and normal conversation can be sustained at more than 194kph.
Despite the extra weight, the convertible retains the 0-100kph time of under 3.4sec that the 458 Italia has. Top speed will be around 318kph, compared with the 458 Italia’s 325kph.

2011 Opel Corsa

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Opel Corsa
GM has just revealed the facelift version 2011 Opel Corsa which is now a bit more powerful and with 13 percent more fuel efficient.
The 2011 Opel Corsa Facelift is also featuring an improved chassis and steering while at the interior the level of comfort was increased.
On the Color Race, Color Edition and Color Wave 2011 Opel Corsa variants the manufacturer offers unique 17 inch wheels and body finishes and a 111 Limited Edition version that will get sold only in Europe is also on its way.
The 2011 Opel Corsa Facelift comes fitted with the standard 1.0-litre 3-cylinder unit that produces 65 HP while the most powerful version has the 1.6-litre OPC engine under the bonnet that is good for 192 HP.
The Opel Corsa continues to offer one of the roomiest and most attractive interiors in its class. The welcoming nature of its cockpit has been given a substantial make-over. The layout of the attractive, user-friendly dashboard has been retained, but the surface treatments - a clever blend of matt and high-gloss materials - have been the subject of noticeable upgrades in quality and appearance.

The variety of available finishes, fabrics, and colors helps to differentiate between the trim levels and also ensures that all customers find the perfect trim to match their wishes. Key features of the interiors are the newly decorated center consoles, with the striking patterns and colors of the instrument panel pads, available in modern color combinations that give the interior a young and fresh character.

High quality begins in the Essentia entry level model, showing a premium Punch fabric quality and a new center stack color matt chrome. In addition to the classic charcoal interior, the Enjoy trim level adds a young fresh look with Steel Blue or is available in Tabasco Orange. The lively, colorful interiors are offset with contrasts in material applications such as pearl white on the console, the steering wheel and around the door handles. The colors and instrument panel patterns created through a two-tone effect add harmony to the overall appearance of the interior. The Sport execution shows a center stack held in elegant Japan Black with galvanized air vent decorations. The Cosmo has a new grey high gloss center stack bezel with a contrasting wing insert in the instrument panel, plus beautiful embossed seat fabric to give it a very elegant and upscale feel.

The new "Touch & Connect" infotainment system is a multi-media all-round unit with navigation system that is universally connectible and easy to use. Its many upscale features include dynamic navigation, Aux-in and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The navigation is menu-driven via a touch screen.
The Opel Corsa's new looks build on the strong foundation of its successful design. It still retains its dynamic, friendly character, but now introduces a bold, sporty face in line with Opel's new design language.

The sporty execution is achieved by re-proportioning the upper and lower grilles. The lower grille has become wider and taller, thus visually widening the car. A high degree of attention has been paid to the three-dimensional mesh of the upper grille, which reminds one of the Astra and replaces the previous horizontal bars. The proud, new Opel logo is integrated into a redesigned, larger and sculptured chromed bar, adding to the expressive appearance of the front. Thanks to these changes, the Corsa now has an even more dynamic stance.

Chiseled Opel eagle eyes have been added to the new headlamps along with the typical wing-shaped daylight signature lamp that made its debut in the Insignia and is now featured in all new Opel products. The internals of the lamp have also been refined to create a very jewel-like execution that enhances the sporty look. The new fog lamp units with integrated chrome blade complete the more expressive presence of the Opel Corsa's new face. The look is further enhanced with six new alloy wheel designs and a large, redesigned Opel logo on the tailgate. Three new exterior colors are also integrated in the palette: a delicate off-white Guacamole, an eye-catching Grasshopper green and a warm Henna.

The side profile of the new Opel Corsa retains the charm that has already established it as a market favorite. The curved, aerodynamic silhouette is equally attractive in both coupé-like three and family-oriented five-door versions. The expressive front and rear design, the well-defined upswept waistline, and the optimal body-to-wheel relationship all work together to give a sleek, dynamic impression. Just like the radiator grille, the V-shaped tailgate with the trademark center crease and the large emblem carries unmistakable Opel design elements.

The Opel Corsa's wide stance and pronounced wheel arches clearly reflect the handling agility and driving fun the bestseller offers.
The powertrain line-up consists of a wide offer of gasoline enginefrom the 1-liter 3 cylinder (48 kW/65 hp ) entry level version to theturbo charged 1.6-liter on the Corsa OPC (141 kW/192 hp). On the dieselside, different versions of the 1.3 and 1.7 CDTI motors offer outputsranging from 55 kW/75 hp to 96 kW/130 hp all with fuel consumptionunder 5 liters per 100 kilometers. The Corsa ecoFLEX 1.3 l CDTI offers exceptionally low CO2 emissions of just 98 g/km for the 3-door variant,99 g/km for the 5-door.
Opel engineers have developed the engines to give greater torque,while at the same time reducing their appetite for fuel and loweringCO2 emissions. All gasoline engines, and the new 1.7 CDTI diesel,comply with Euro 5 emissions standards.
The most popular gasoline powertrains – 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4-liter withmanual and automated Easytronic transmissions – offer combined cyclefuel consumption between just 5.0 and 5.5 l/100 km, and CO2 ratingsfrom 117 to 129 g/km with manual transmission. With an average fuelconsumption of just 5.0 l/100 km and 117 g/km CO2, the Corsa 1.0 is thecleanest of all gasoline-powered entries in its segment. The 1.4 enginecomes in two variants, with 64 kW/87 hp and 74 kW/100 hp and isavailable with full automatic transmission in its most powerfulexecution. The 1.2 and 1.4-liter Twinport engines are now fitted withdouble cam phasing to allow variable valve timing on both inlet andexhaust sides for more efficient breathing.
Other measures that improve fuel consumption for all gasolineengines include a low friction oil pump, remapping of the enginethermostat and a ”shift up” indicator to help the driver change gearfor optimum fuel economy.
The 1.3 CDTI engine is also improved, giving the Corsa ecoFLEX modelexceptionally low CO2 emissions of just 98 g/km for the 3-door variant,99 g/km for the 5-door. The Corsa ecoFLEX is Opel’s lowest emittingcar, yet it is packed with 27 percent more power and 10 percent greaterfuel efficiency. A diesel particulate filter and the “shift up”indicator in the cluster are standard.
The top-of-the-line 1.7 CDTI diesel engine now offers more power andtorque – increased to 96 kW/130 hp and 300 Nm – as well as a ninepercent cut in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption, to 118 g/km and 4.5l/100km.,

New Volkswagen Up Unveiled

These are the first pictures of Volkswagen’s all-new Up hatchback, a model poised to become the company’s biggest seller and a key component in its plans to assume worldwide market leadership by 2018.
Volkswagen will also manufacture the Up for the Indian market however it will be a four-door version and will be positioned below the Polo. Holding true to the look of the original concept, the production Up has a simple two-box silhouette. VW design boss Klaus Bischoff says the layout provides optimal space utilisation within a compact footprint, making the car highly suitable for city driving.
Among the more distinctive design flourishes is a large front bumper featuring a low-set, rectangular grille. This, together with round foglights and large, angular headlights, helps to give the Up a more expressive face than other recent new Volkswagens. The upright stance of the design points to a roomy cabin which will suit Indian families looking for a budget car. Pronounced wheel arch flares are aimed at emphasising the Up’s wide tracks, giving it a confident stance by small-car standards.
VW claims it has been able to provide the new car with class-leading levels of interior space through the use of a wheelbase that provides the Up with ultra-short overhangs. Along with seating for four adults, the Up also offers approximately 251 litres of luggage space, extending to 951 litres with the rear seats folded.
The 2007 Up concept used a rear-engined, rear-drive layout, which, according to Volkswagen boss Martin Winterkorn, provided the best possible packaging solution. But the production car has a more conventional transverse, front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive architecture, known as MQB.
Indian-market Up will get an all-new range of fuel-efficient petrol and diesel engines ranging from 1 to 1.2 litre. The biggest challenge for Volkswagen is to price this car competitively, we understand that the German manufacturer is targeting an aggressive Rs  3 lakh price point for the base version.
The Up will make its public-debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show and will be launched in India by 2013.

Mercedes SLK55 AMG Revealed

Mercedes-Benz has revealed its most powerful SLK ever, the Mercedes SLK55 AMG.
Power comes from a naturally aspirated AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine that boasts 415bhp (almost 60bhp more than its predecessor), 55.02kgm of torque and a 0-60mph time of 4.5sec and can take the SLK to a limited top speed of 250kph.
The roadster has an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission that features three modes – sport, manual and 'controlled efficiency'. It features AMG performance components including sports suspension with a Direct-Steer system that enhances handling and agility, Torque Vectoring Brakes that provide selective brake actuation at the rear wheel during cornering and a high-performance braking system.
An optional AMG Handling Package comprises sportier suspension with stiffer tuning, an AMG rear axle differential lock, two-piece brake discs at the front and a three-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel finished in premium leather with Alcantara grip inserts.
The front apron of the roadster features large air inlets and AMG-specific LED daytime running lights, while the wide radiator grille is a nod to the SLS AMG sports car. The SLK55 AMG also boasts styling tweaks including light-alloy wheels, body styling with spoiler lip and two chrome-plated twin tailpipes at the rear.
Darkened clear-lens headlamps and darkened bicolor tail lamps come as standard exclusively on the top-of-the-range V8 model. Bi-Xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination are also available as an optional extra.
The interior design of the SLK55 AMG is reminiscent of the SLS, with four jet-engine style air vents and the centre console finished in brushed aluminium. The car features an AMG Performance steering wheel plus sports seats with the Airscarf neck-level heating system.
The standard retractable hardtop opens and closes in less than 20 seconds. Two other roof variants are available, including one with the Magic Sky Control system, which has glass that can switch from light to dark at the press of a button.
Instead of a standard wind-stop, the car has a new Airguide system. It consists of pivoting transparent plastic wings which are attached to the back of the roll-over bars, meaning no installation or removal is required.
The third generation of the AMG roadster model will be on display at the Frankfurt motor show next month and will go on sale early next year.

Force One Review And Test Drive

Force Motors, the maker of Traveller minibuses and the Trax utility vehicle, has taken a whole new direction and moved upwards into the passenger car space with its all-new Force One. Here are our first impressions after driving this Scorpio and Safari challenger.
On the looks front, the Force One’s boxy design looks quite outdated and not in synch with the modern shapes customers expect from SUVs these days. Though the overall shape is inoffensive, the small glass area and horizontal lines give it a 1990s look. A quick search on Google further explains that Force One’s design language is inspired by the Explorer III, a Chinese SUV that finds a mention in Guangdong Foday’s product portfolio.
The Force One uses the same body panels as the Explorer III; they are imported directly from China for assembly in Force Motors’ Pithampur factory in Madhya Pradesh. The chassis, however, has been designed completely in-house. It is based on a sturdy-looking C-in-C ladder frame that supports an independent, coil-sprung, double-wishbone setup up in the front and a non-independent, multi-link suspension at the rear. Force Motors roped in Lotus Engineering UK to fine-tune the chassis and even set up the vehicle specifically for the 235/70 Apollo Hawkz all-terrain tyres it comes shod with.
Power comes from Mercedes-Benz’s 2.2-litre, OM611 common-rail engine that meets BS IV emissions norms and makes a Tata Safari-rivaling 139bhp and 32.6kgm of torque. It drives the rear wheels via the Mercedes-Benz G32 five-speed manual gearbox.
At 4.8 metres, it is a considerable 400mm longer than a Scorpio. And with a wheelbase that’s 345mm longer than the Mahindra, the Force One promises to be very spacious inside. Get into the SUV and you will find the driving position very much similar to the Ford Endeavour’s, thanks to the high floor. The second row seats have Skoda Superb-rivaling legroom and good headroom. But the floor is high and so, thigh support is compromised. The third row too has plenty of kneeroom but again headroom here is quite compromised. It has reasonable space for luggage even with all seats up.
Plastic quality is decent but there are quite a few panel gaps. The air-con controls work well and Force Motors is particularly proud of the 76 features the car comes standard with. It also has air-conditioning for all three rows, a trip computer, a service schedule indicator, electric mirrors, remote locking, projector headlamps, daytime running LEDs and an audio system.
Twist the key and the Mercedes-Benz engine settles into a rather refined idle. Peak torque kicks in at 1600rpm and the engine pulls well all the way to its 4150rpm redline. There is a hint of lag but once the turbo kicks in, performance is sprightly. The only issue is with the gearbox, which needs strong triceps to operate and this is something Force Motors desperately needs to improve.
On smooth roads, the Force One seemed well planted with not too much body roll around corners. But it does feel a tad softly sprung, displaying some pitching over the bumps in the off-road section. That said, you can confidently hammer over bad sections and it feels a lot more stable than a Scorpio.
Force Motors has launched the Force One in only one trim level – the fully loaded variant comes for an asking price of Rs 10.65 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Given the long list of features, it may seem like good value and there’s no doubt that the SUV scores well in some key areas. It is big, very spacious and underpinned by an indigenously developed chassis which promises decent ride and handling.
But what Force Motors needs to do now is concentrate on bringing the rest of the car up to speed, especially on the fit-and-finish front. The Force One is a good first attempt but to cut it as a serious Scorpio/Safari rival it still has some way to go.

2011 kia picanto

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 kia picanto
This is the new Kia Picanto, the Korean brand’s A-segment supermini. Back for its second generation, the new Picanto wears the current Kia styling courtesy of Peter Schreyer's design team. The Kia Picanto is available in three- and five-door body styles, and comes with a choice of three petrol engines: a pair of three-cylinder engines, one of which can run on LPG or petrol, and the 1.25-litre four cylinder. We’re driving the four-pot and the non-LPG triple.
In the cabin the Picanto sports a dark cloth interior with a height adjustable driver’s chair. It’s well bolstered and comfortable but could prove too narrow for those with broader backs during longer journeys. In the back seat leg room is limited but no more than you’d expect in an A-segment car and with correct front seat adjustment two adults could ride in relative comfort. The Picanto’s four-door body shape makes it easy to get in and out of the rear seat.

Instrumentation is large and easy-to-read and the controls are laid out with the stereo and climate controls separated, but all switchgear is close at hand. The Picanto’s leather-trimmed steering wheel is a particular highlight in a two-spoke design and featuring various control buttons. Other standard equipment includes cupholders, passenger under seat storage tray, air-conditioning, CD stereo with Ipod and USB connectivity, electric windows all-round, trip computer and Bluetooth hands free. The top-spec EX Picanto gets extra fruit like a 6-speaker stereo system, reverse parking sensors and electric folding side mirrors with LED indicators. Overall, it’s a very livable cabin, the materials used aren’t particularly hard or plasticky and everything feels well screwed together. It’s very small but the available space is used smartly with helpful touches like seat back pockets, bottle-holding door bins and a 60:40 split rear seat.
In terms of exterior styling the new Picanto is a sharp-looker, it’s suitably cute but with a broad, sure-footed stance. Design features include a rising character line, corporate Kia ‘tiger-nose’ grille and uniquely shaped, vertical tailights. There’s a subtle hatch spoiler, front fog lights and daytime running lamps (with LED strips on the EX variant).Standard wheel fitment is 8-spoke 14-inch alloys on the LX and sporty 15-inch multi-spoke alloys on the EX.

Dimensionally it’s a very small car but the Picanto has seen a size increase of 60mm to 3.6 metres in length and a 15mm increase to its wheelbase. Luggage capacity has also grown to 200-litres in total capacity and there has been no change to the Picanto’s height or width compared to its predecessor.
Under the bonnet the Picanto’s new engine is larger than before. It’s a 4-cylinder 1248cc powerplant from Kia’s Kappa family of motors. Power output is rated at 64kW with 123Nm of torque. The LX base-model features a 5-Speed manual box while there’s a four-stage auto for both LX and EX variants. The Picanto is no pocket rocket, but has enough pep to keep up with traffic, it’s best suited for around town blasts but once up to speed its well settled. Off the line the lightweight 850kg Picanto takes 11 seconds to reach 100km/h with the manual transmission, in auto form that stretches out to 12.9 seconds. It needs to be worked hard to get any real performance but as a city car the powertrain is certainly capable.
Driving Impression

The Picanto drives very well, especially in four-cylinder trim. The engine zings eagerly, the gear change and steering are both light and easy, and engaging too, and the ride felt pretty good on our car’s 14-inch steel rims – a gentle loping rhythm with only a few secondary imperfections spoiling the show. It’s even refined at motorway speeds, and little bursts of acceleration are always on tap. It just feels right and instinctively in tune with itself.,

Indian GP Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets for the inaugural Airtel Indian Grand Prix are now officially on sale. Prices will start from Rs 2500 and will go up to Rs 35,000.
The Buddh International Circuit (BIC) has a total capacity of about 110,000 spectators and the ticket slabs will ensure entry for students as well as corporate entities. Weekend tickets for the main grand stand (west zone) will cost Rs 35,000.
If you don’t mind watching the drivers battle it out on the 16-corner of the 5.14km track from an open stand, then you should opt for the general admission ticket (south zone) which is priced at Rs 2500. The south stand tickets for the race weekend will cost Rs 2500 and can go up to Rs 12,500 for premium seats.
For F1 enthusiasts, it’s the north and west stands where the real action is going to be, and these stands are priced in the range of Rs 6000-8500 for the three-day race weekend. These stands come with proper seats and TV screens. Only the picnic stands in the north and south zones come without any seats.
The grand stand will have a seating capacity of over 1,10,000 spectators and tickets for the first ever Formula 1 race in India will definitely be sold out in no time.
It is strongly advisable to purchase tickets from the authorised ticketing partner of Buddh International Circuit - Book My Show. Tickets can be purchased via two online channels and
Work on the circuit is ongoing and is reported to be on schedule, with the track expected to open soon. Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is convinced that the new Buddh International Circuit will be ready in time for the race on October 30.  "I have no doubt in my mind that the circuit is going to be one of the nicest we have and that it's going to be completed on time," said Ecclestone. "We are constantly checking every detail on a daily basis. We are happy that everything is going as per schedule and there are no problems," he added. 

Skoda’s 24x7 Assistance Initiative

Skoda Auto India announces its 24x7 assistance programme for its new car customers. Called the Skoda Assistance Non Stop Help on the Road, it is a complimentary service to all new Skoda customers for the first two years.
The roadside assistance programme can be availed by new car customers with an effective purchase date starting from March 1, 2011. The services include telephonic assist, roadside assistance, battery related issues, emergency fuel, flat tyre scenario, in case of loss of keys, towing and transportation, and accident co-ordination.
In addition to this, the premium program services also include taxi services, accommodation if required, rental vehicle services and vehicle recovery as well.
Speaking on the initiative, Thomas Kuehl, board member, sales and marketing, Skoda Auto India said, “This is a huge step for us and will further enhance ownership experience for our brand. The latest offering by the company reiterates Skoda's endeavor to provide innovative service to the customers that suits their needs and lifestyle. Skoda believes in value for money products and services.”
Skoda owners can reach the help line department on toll free numbers 1800 209 4646 or 1800 102 6464.

2011 Spyker C8 Convertible

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Spyker C8 Convertible
When it was founded in 2000, the Dutch firm Spyker borrowed its name from an early 20th century airplane engine manufacturer and quickly translated that history into the design language of its first supercar, the C8. The wheels, steering column, and switchgear all recall 1920s airplanes and help Spyker distinguish itself in a field of ultra-modern exotics. The C8 was introduced along with the founding of the new company and has seen minor refreshes ever since.
The 2009 Spyker C8 is an exotic sports car available in three versions: C8 Laviolette, C8 Spyder and longer-wheelbase C8 Aileron. Standard features for the C8 Laviolette include 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, keyless entry/ignition, electrically operated single-hinge tilting doors, full leather upholstery, air-conditioning and a CD sound system. The C8 Spyder shares the C8 Laviolette's equipment roster while adding a power-assisted soft top in place of the Laviolette's fixed roof. The C8 Aileron adds a unique dashboard design with a multifunction LCD display, a navigation system and a six-speaker Kharma sound system with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity. A Spyder version of the Aileron is scheduled to appear later in the model year.
As you'd expect of a hand-built exotic car, the Spyker C8 offers a mind-boggling array of options, including riveted body panels, 19-inch alloys ("Aeroblade" for Laviolette/Spyder, "Rotorblade" for Aileron), stereo upgrades, heated seats, quilted leather upholstery, an aluminum dashboard, a Louis Vuitton custom luggage set, a Louis Vuitton tool kit, Chronoswiss dials, Alcantara interior trim and bespoke exterior and interior color schemes.

In its current incarnation, most versions of the C8 are powered by an Audi-made, 4.2-liter V8 engine that generates 400 hp and 354 foot-pounds of torque. The engine is quick enough to reach 60 mph from a standing start in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 187 mph. A GT-class version of the car, known as the C8 Spyder GT2R, uses a 3.8-liter engine that generates a lower 310 foot-pounds of torque but ups its raw horsepower to 450, resulting in a quicker 3.8-second dash to 60 mph with the same top speed.


To comply with American regulations, the C8 Laviolette and Spyder have been fitted with a steering-wheel airbag in place of the Euro-spec propeller-shaped four-spoke wheel. The C8 Aileron adds a passenger airbag. Antilock brakes are standard, but neither stability nor traction control is available.

Driving Impressions

Mellifluous and responsive Audi V8 notwithstanding, the Spyker C8 isn't a car that tempts you to race other exotics. It's fast, but not that fast. The handling is another matter, though -- with precise manual steering and a chassis tuned with input from Lotus, the C8 has plenty of moxie. Unfortunately, the price of that handling comes in the form of a spine-bruising ride. The C8 does have shock absorbers, but you may have your doubts after a spell in the driver seat. To Spyker's credit, though, the C8's ultra-rigid aluminum structure evinces zero chassis quiver, and driving enthusiasts will appreciate the sense of intimate connection with moving parts and the road below.,

Updated Jazz Now From Rs 5.5 Lakh

Honda has launched a refreshed version of the Jazz and has also announced a major price cut. The refreshed Jazz is now over Rs 1.5 lakh cheaper than the outgoing model.  
The base Jazz now starts at Rs 5.50 lakh whereas the earlier model was priced at Rs 7.12 lakh. The mid-level Select version is priced at Rs 5.75 lakh (Rs 7.24 lakh earlier) and the top-end Jazz X is priced at Rs 6.06 lakh which was Rs 7.48 lakh for the outgoing model. All prices ex-showroom, Delhi
The updated Jazz features exterior upgrades like re-styled bumpers and lights and a new paint shade while interiors get dual tone (beige and black) shade, a height adjustable driver seat, and power retractable outside rear view mirrors for the top-end version. USB-interface is now standard now on all variants. The Jazz Select and Jazz X gain a new feature for the rear seats that now can be reclined as well.
The powerplant, 90bhp 1.2 litre petrol motor remains unchanged. 

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