Thursday, October 29, 2009

F1 season finale this weekend

The Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend after years of waiting. Billions of dollars worth of building work and months of hype have taken place to make this event a reality.

The 2009 season will witness its last event as UAE’s first proper F1 race. Even thought the title has already been decided, the drivers and teams have enough reason to still race for, as winning the race for the lower places would result in million dollars of income for the following seasons. In all, 50,000 tickets have been sold, leaving no more vacancy. This huge number of audience will help make a great atmosphere and a true F1 experience for the thousands of F1 fans who travel across the world for the event.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix being the final round of the Formula 1 season will mark a new chapter in F1 history by being the first twilight race in the sport’s history. At 5pm, the drivers will get underway in daylight but by the time the winner crosses the finish line, it will be dark around two hours later. The track will be illuminated with hundreds of floodlights once the sun sets. The circuit is the lagest floodlit track in the world.

BMW cancels 5 Series convertible launch

BMW has confirmed that it had plans to launch a convertible variant of the M5. The M5 convertible had been developed around two decades ago and was going to be launched at the next Geneva motor show. The plan of launching the car was called off owing to sales concerns. The manufacturer felt that launching a M5 convertible would drastically reduce demand for its other drop-top car. At that time the 3 series convertible was registering high profits for BMW and it didn’t want any in-house competition.

The M5 convertible was revealed to a select gathering of journalists. BMW also revealed that the car had been developed to be sold at a price of £50,000.

Honda's labour problems resolved

After running into deep labour problems for a few months now, it is said that Honda have resolved the labour issues by getting into a new agreement with the workers.

Honda is India's leading bike and scooter manufacturer with very good customer satisfaction ratings.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Car Deliveries Delayed - Is it the right time to buy?

A spike in new car bookings has caught manufacturers by surprise. This has caused a backlog in deliveries and most manufacturers are unable to deliver cars before 20 to 30 days.

This means that as a buyer you will wait longer for your dream car and you will not be able to negotiate any deals with the car.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SX4 Facelift - 7.6 Lakhs On Road

Maruti’s once popular mid-size sedan, the SX4 has been given a mid-life makeover. The cosmetic upgrades include restyled bumpers, a honeycomb grille, new tail-lights and some much needed side accoutrements. The exterior changes have certainly helped it mask its height, which used to make it stand out like sore thumb in company of other sedans.

But the changes are not just cosmetic. Thanks to the upcoming BS-IV norms, the SX4’s 1.6 litre unit now boasts of VVT (variable valve timing) which has nudged the power up to 105 PS and the torque to a meaty 145 Nm. The previous iteration of the SX4 was already popular for its potent and torquey mill. However, it was also known for its healthy appetite. The VVT should bring on marginal improvements in both.

Interestingly, Maruti has also launched an automatic variant of the SX4. Automatics have never really caught on in our country, thanks to the penalty they incur in terms of fuel-efficiency. Apart from the notable exception of Honda and Skoda, none of the manufacturers have offered cutting-edge automatic gearboxes in our market. Even the SX4 sports just a 4-speed unit, albeit with a overdrive button on the shifter for overtaking situations.

Though the SX4 might still find it hard to match the City, it can certainly aim to be the best of the rest.


SX4 VXi MT Rs 7.60 lakh.
SX4 ZXi MT Rs 8.34 lakh.
SX4 ZXi (Leather) MT Rs 8.70 lakh.
SX4 ZXi AT Rs 9.04 lakh.
SX4 ZXi (Leather) AT Rs 9.41 lakh.
*All prices On-Road, Pune.

Formula1: Jenson might drive for McLaren

If Formula One rumor mongers are to be believed, then Jenson Button will be donning a McLaren racing suit for the next season. The 2009 F1 champion is yet to sign a driver’s contract with any of the teams including Brawn GP. Mclaren intends to replace Heikki Koveleinan for the 2010 championship. They were interested in signing up Kimi Raikonnen but have been unsuccessful in negotiating a contract.

Hyundai plans to expand its used car arm

Hyundai motor says that it plans to expand its used car business exponentially. Currently it operates less than 50 used car supported dealerships and intends to increase it to over 200 by end of next year. The used car market is expected to grow multifold in the coming years, and manufacturers have been trying to keep up the pace of getting into this space as it also allows them to keep their customers satisfied with an end-to-end car buying experience, as most car owners are set to go down the exchange schemes in future.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

VW Polo coming to India

VW are planning to launch their flagship small car Polo's launch in India during early 2010. The car has already been a big success in european markets and if priced competitive it could soon cause ripples among sales figures of other small cars in the same segment.

A target too high? Time will tell!

General Motors today said that it aims to sell over 4000 electric spark cars over 1 year. The company has made investments in Bangalore based Reva for technology in its new Chevrolet Spark Electric version. It is also said that the electric version of spark will have a top speed over 100 kms per hour and would also cover a maximum distance of around 160 kilometers on a single full charge. However these have to be tested and proven after launch.

Nano's on Fire!

About 3 customers have so far complained about fire in their Nano's. The fault is so far reported on a switch which could be faulty. On all 3 occassions it is reported that the owners were not injured and also the cars were idle. Is it time to buy a Nano yet! These initial technical snags and faults are a usual case in every cars launch. However, our suggestion is to wait for another year before getting your hands on it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Photos from Tokyo Motor Show

Here are some of the photos from this years Tokyo Motor Show.



Lotus Stealth

Lexus Hybrid

Toyota Prius

Subaru Hybrid Tourer


Lexus Hybrid

Toyota on a hiring spree in India

Toyota today said that they are in a hiring spree. The company is gearing up to launch its small car in India. Toyota have already invested massively in Bangalore on a second factory to manufacture its small car.

VW to Buy 49.9% of Porsche

A couple of years back Porsche had made big news when it had sought to buy out Volkswagen a company that was many times bigger than Porsche. Back then Porsche was having the time of its life in the marketplace. The Boxster was a huge hit thanks to the lack of any formidable rivals and Porsche’s bottom line had been soaring. Infact at that time it was the most profitable automobile manufacturer in the world.

But its fortunes changed rapidly. The economic crisis saw people ditching sportscars for more boring options and its rivals, German as well as Japanese eventually caught up with its products. Porsche realized that it was in need of huge investments in each of its product lines, and couldn’t afford to go at it alone anymore.

VW has already finalized to buy 49.9% of its shares by end of year and as the first stage of the complete buyout that will be completed by 2011.

Bullet Classic to be launched on Nov 4th

The Bullet Classic will be powered by a 499cc, single cylinder Unit Construction Engine (UCE in RE lingo) putting out 29PS of power at 5250 rpm and a monumental peak torque of 41.3 Nm at a low 4000rpm. The unit construction engine is a massive improvement over the traditional Royal Enfield engines which have an external clutch and gearbox. UCE encapsulates the two elements within its crankcase, aiding a more compact size, lesser transmission losses, lesser friction and better reliability.

Engine: Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, air cooled OHV
Capacity: 499cc
Fuel system: Electronic Fuel Injection
Starting: Electric Start
Maximum power: 27.2 bhp @ 5250rpm
Maximum Torque: 41.3Nm @ 4000rpm
Brakes (front): disc brake single 280mm disc with 2 piston caliper
Brakes (rear): drum brake (152mm)
Tyre (front): 90×90-18” Tyre (rear): 110×80-18”
Fuel tank capacity: 14.5liters
Weight: 187kgs

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New "SAI" sedan from Toyota stable

Toyota today announced the launch of its new hybrid sedan "Sai" in Japan. This is the second in the low priced sedan range after Prius. Toyota also sells hybrid sedans in the Lexus brand. The car will be priced around 36000 USD in Japan.

Hydrogen cars in slow pace - Honda to enter electric market

Roughly over two years ago, Honda launched the FCX Clarity, the worlds first commercially manufactured and sold hydrogen powered car. The car is commercially available in California. There are many positive sides of using a hydrogen powered car, the main benefit is that its byproduct is only water, and it uses hydrogen which is abundant in our atmosphere.

Honda is seeing slow growth in this market as the number of refuelling stations are limited. Market leading car reviewers, tested the car on all aspects and gave it many positives on comparison to its electric powered green siblings. Electric cars have to be standstill for many hours to be recharged, whereas a hydrogen powered car is just like a conventional car, where you refuel like you do on a normal petrol/diesel car and also travels almost similar distances before the need for refuelling arises again, whereas electric cars are very limited on the distance it covers before it drains out completely.

Governments worldwide should take swift action to encourage more hydrogen refuelling stations. One of the main issues around getting around this is the way the entire world, its economy and etc etc., around the oil industry. Oil has been the main fuel resource up until very recent years and the worlds largest economies depend on their investments in this area for future. There are much more issues around this topic, which puts a lot of pressure on governments on any effort to move away from the use of oil.

Readers: Feel free to comment on this article, to share your thoughts of green solutions, and issues around moving away from oil to alternative energies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Hunk and Splendor

Hero Honda launched the latest versions of Hunk and Splendor. The new versions will help the company increase its sales during this festive period. Ex-Showroom prices for Hunk starts slightly over fifty six thousand rupees, while Splendor costs just over forty thousand rupees.