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Latest Updates about Bike and Cars

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hexa_650x400_71477145299Home-grown auto major Tata Motors is all set to launch its new premium crossover – Tata Hexa early next year. Slated for 18th January 2017 launch the car will be targeted against the Toyota Innova Crysta and Mahindra XUV500. Tata Motors has been very forward about the car’s design and styling, so you already know what the all-new Tata Hexa looks like and we have already shared our first impressions of the crossover, taking about our driving experience and feature offerings of the Hexa. So here’s all the other things that need to know about the soon-to-be-launched Tata Hexa.

tata-hexa-performance_827x510_81477068631Tata Hexa Side Profile

The Tata Hexa will replace the carmaker’s previous premium 7-seater – the Aria,in the Indian car market. The Hexa will be the carmaker’s flagship model in the country and apart from the price, we now know almost everything about the Hexa. In terms of design and styling, the Tata Hexa is much more than just a new crossover in the market. It is an effective replacement to the underwhelming Aria. The styling is beefier, modern and upmarket with an abundance of chrome and gloss thrown in. In addition to that the Hexa offers a host of exterior features like – projector headlamps, LED DRLs, accentuated wheel arches with black body cladding, 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, LED tail lamps and dual exhausts.

Tata Motors will be offering a total of six variants and nine different iterations on the premium crossover and it will come with the option of both 6-seater and 7-seater cabin layout. The variant list includes – XE, XM, XT, XMA, XTA, and XT 4×4, out of which, the 6-seater configuration as an option will be available only on the XT, XTA and XT 4×4. The remaining trims will be offered in the 7-seater configuration as standard.

tata-hexa-cabin_827x510_81477068372Tata Hexa Cabin
The cabin offers a sporty feel with an all-black treatment that is further accentuated by the use of a good amount of soft touch materials to give it an upmarket feel. The three-spoke steering wheel that is seen on latest Tata cars, makes an appearance here as well along with a host of features. The new crossover comes with several comfort features like high-quality contoured leather seats (height adjustable for the driver), high head room and leg room for passengers, and auto climate control among others. There car also gets a lot of gizmos on board including, touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX-IN and smartphone connectivity, 10 JBL speakers, and more.

Under the hood the new Tata Hexa draws power from the 2.2-litre diesel engine that is available in two trims – Varicor 320 and Varicor 400. The former develops 148bhp and 320Nm of peak torque, and comes mated to only a 5-speed manual gearbox sending power to the rear wheels and is offered only with base XE variant .

On the other hand, the more powerful Varicor 400 engine makes 154bhp and develops 400Nm of peak torque and does duty on all the higher models. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual gearbox and a 6-speed automatic unit. Furthermore, Tata Motors will be offering 4×4 or as the company calls it ‘Super Drive Mode,’ which will only come with the XT trim, while the lower variants will send power only to the rear wheels. The 4×4 trim also gets a Terrain Management System.

tata-hexa-rear-profile_827x510_81477068297Tata Hexa Rear Profile

Bookings have already commenced at a token amount of ₹ 11,000, while deliveries will begin soon after the launch. However, Tata’s efforts will boil down to the pricing that could truly make or break the Hexa. With the Innova and XUV being strong contenders, Tata is likely to undercut the competition, something we’ve seen it do with the Tiago, and that could work in the crossover’s favour.

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maruti-suzuki-baleno-rs_827x510_71467980855The Maruti Suzuki Baleno has already struck a chord with the people here and considering that it has been selling more than 9000 units on a monthly basis, the demand is on the rise. The company is still playing catch up with the demand for the car and trying its best to curtail the waiting period on the car, which is probably why it thought that the launch of its go-fast RS version of the car should be postponed in the first half of 2017.

The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS debuted in India earlier this year at the 2016 Auto Expo and the car won’t come in January because the Ignis will be launched then. The Baleno RS then will come in February or March, so it’s launch is just about a couple of months away. The Baleno RS comes with ample style and power and will initiate the carmaker into the country’s hot hatch segment that currently fields names like the Fiat Punto Abarth, Volkswagen Polo GT, and Polo GTI.

maruti-suzuki-baleno-spy-image_827x510_71467980957Baleno RS Spied

The Maruti Baleno RS will derive power from Suzuki’s 1.0-litre BoosterJet turbo petrol engine developing 110bhp and a maximum torque of 170Nm, which will not make it the most powerful hatch but it’s up there. The company will offer a CVT unit and probably a manual gearbox too. The new Baleno RS’ list of provisions is likely to include the sporty bucket seats, a flat-bottom unit steering wheel with mounted controls, a moderately refurbished dashboard, SmartPlay infotainment system with Apple CarPlay support, and aluminium finish pedals. The car will be retailed via Maruti Suzuki India’s premium dealership network – Nexa and is likely to come bearing a price tag of ₹ 8 lakh – ₹ 9.5 lakh.

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Bajaj is all set to relaunch and revive the Pulsar NS 200 in the Indian market. The new updated bike will make its debut in mid-January 2017 and will feature a minor makeover in styling terms. More significant will be a BSIV engine though, and Bajaj says that the bike’s specs and output will remain unchanged. Expect new colour options and new style body graphics. The NS 200 will continue to use the naked look though, and its basic structure remains unchanged.

Sources indicate that there will be an ABS version of the bike launched subsequently in 2017 – to better take on the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V portfolio, which is seen as the chief rival of course. The single-channel ABS system would likely be carried over from its sibling – the RS 200. But Bajaj is unlikely to offer the NS 200 with FI (fuel injection), as there is no apparent value addition seen with this option. Bajaj will also export the reworked and refreshed BSIV NS 200 from January – meaning only one spec of the bike will be produced by the company.

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Bajaj Pulsar AS 200

The Pulsar NS 200 was slowly withdrawn from the domestic market around April 2015 – even though its production has continued unabated since for exports to Latin America (where it is a strong seller for Bajaj). At the time the NS 200 stopped selling in India it was due to a variety of reasons. The bike was selling a healthy 2500-3000 units per month at the time, but Bajaj had capacity constraints at its Chakan production unit where it was made. This was due to the launch of the Pulsar AS twins (150 and 200) and the subsequent relaunch of the Avenger brand with its new extended family of motorcycles. The NS was held back in a sense to provide a launchpad for the AS 200 – which was positioned as a more premium offering and offered a bit more equipment at a similar price point anyway.

Bajaj never officially suspended the NS 200 but in effect it was no longer available at dealers, and hasn’t been for over a year. Now the NS 200 will return to join the Pulsar family – which is anyway undergoing an upgrade to BSIV. The RS 200 will also get its BSIV heart by the end of January. The Pulsar 220 remains the strongest seller in that family though with sales averaging 7-8000 units a month. The combined Pulsar family sells over 10,000 units a month and given the slow sales of the AS series, the return of the NS 200 is expected to enhance that number. The AS 200 has never hit the numbers the NS 200 had and given its 3-digit monthly sales numbers, the NS 200 coming back is not a big surprise. By the time the NS 200 is relaunched in India, the entire Pulsar family: 135, 150, 180, NS 200, 220, RS 200 and the AS series will be available as Bharat Stage IV (BS IV).

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mercedes-benz-s-class-coupe-night-edition_827x510_61482140747

 

Mercedes-Benz has recently revealed a new special edition S-Class Coupe ‘Night Edition’. The car will make its official debut at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, in Detroit and will go on sale from April 2017. It is based on the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Coupe and Mercedes will start taking orders for this exclusive two-door S-Class, from 9th of January 2017 itself, after its unveil at the Detroit Auto Show.

As the name suggests, on the outside, the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Night Edition features a Selenite grey magno hue along with black treatment all around the exterior of the car. The front, in particular, gets a new updated grille with a single louvre in high-gloss black, black air intake grille and a dark chrome chin blade completing the design. The car also gets an exclusive set of 20-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, which are painted black and feature high-sheen detailing. Other additions made the Night Edition include the new glossy black ORVM housing the inserts in the side sill panels. Front and rear aprons with AMG body styling come as standard, with “Night Edition” badges on the front wings. Selenite grey magno paint comes as standard.

cThe S-Class Coupe Night Edition Get 20-inch AMG Multi-Spoke Light-Alloy Wheels

Similar dark touches have been added to the inside of the car as well. The cabin comes with an array of options for the upholstery, which includes – regular leather, Nappa leather or AMG Nappa leather in black/black; crystal grey/black; saddle brown/black; or Bengal red/black. A high-gloss black poplar wood trim comes as standard. The car also features a Nappa leather AMG sports steering wheel with “Night Edition” wording engraved on the insert.

mkMercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe Night Edition Rear

Mercedes-Benz offers the new S-Class Coupe Night Edition in three powertrain options – S 400 4Matic, S 500 and S 500 4Matic. The latter two are powered by the same 4.7-litre V8 engine that belts out 445bhp and develops a peak torque of 700Nm with the exception of Mercedes’ signature 4Matic all-wheel-drive system on the last one. The carmaker also offers the car with a 3.0-litre V6 motor the makes 367bhp and develops 500Nm of peak torque. All three models are capable of reaching a top speed of 250kmph and while 0-100kmph is achieved at 5.6-seconds in the S 400 4Matic, the S 500 and S 500 4Matic do the same in 4.6-seconds.

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Volkswagen has been subject to scrutiny across the globe since the news of its emissions scandal broke in 2015. The scandal affected the group’s vehicles with its 2.0- and 3.0-litre diesel engines. Earlier this year in June, the German carmaker reached a settlement with US authorities which saw it agree to buy back 475,000 units of vehicles with the 2.0-litre engines and offer compensation of $5,100 to $10,000 per owner, at a total cost of $10.03 billion. Now Reuters reports that VW has further agreed to pay over $200 million to compensate for emissions from nearly 80,000 3.0-litre diesel vehicles in the US.

While VW AG’s 2.0-litre vehicles had software that allowed the vehicles to evade emissions rules in testing and emit up to 40 times the legally allowable emissions in on-road driving, the vehicles with 3.0-litre engines have an undeclared auxiliary emissions system that allowed them to emit up to nine times allowable limits.

It was reported last month that Volkswagen had reached an agreement with regulators in the US concerning 80,000 affected Audi, Porsche and VW 3.0-litre vehicles. A separate, more comprehensive framework is likely to be offered for the older vehicles.

The latest agreement in the scandal, in addition to $2.7 billion that VW previously agreed to pay in regard to the 2.0-litre diesel vehicles, is yet to reach a final resolution in the US. It is reported the primary concern amid the negotiations is how much compensation will the affected owners receive for repair or selling them back.
While the owners of affected cars in the US will be compensated, the company has continually dismissed any proposals of a similar settlement in Europe. While there has been no official confirmation in reference to the resolution of the issue in the continent, VW reportedly intends to fix the vehicles but will not offer any cash to the owners.

The German group was dealt another blow from South Korea – the country’s authorities slapped a fine of a record 37.3 billion won (25.2 million pounds) for false advertising on vehicle emissions.

Now with the $200 million for the 3.0-litre vehicles, Volkswagen’s total expenditure in the resolution of the scandal in just the US alone has gone up to $16.7 billion. Other than that, the company will most likely also pay billions in fines as part of a separate potential settlement with the US Justice Department to resolve an ongoing criminal investigation and a civil suit alleging civil violations of the Clean Air Act.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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honda-navi-wins-ndtv-two-wheeler-of-the-year_827x510_41481903503

 

The NDTV Car and Bike Awards have the distinction of being India’s most credible automobile awards, while also having India’s most voted for Viewers’ Choice categories. The CNB Viewers’ Choice Car and Two Wheeler of the Year are sought after trophies at each year’s event. The 12th edition of the NDTV Car and Bike Awards concluded today with the best of the best winning the coveted awards.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India swept the 2017 NDTV CarandBike awards with the Honda Navi winning the coveted Two Wheeler of the Year, as well as notching up wins in the Two Wheeler Design of the Year as well as Team HMSI notching up the PR and Communication of the Year for the Honda Navi. The two wheeler jury was of the unanimous view that the Honda Navi is can neither be called a scooter, nor a motorcycle, so a new category had to be introduced and the Navi also won that category, the Mini Bike of the Year.

The Scooter of the Year Award goes to the Aprilia SR 150 while the NDTV Viewers’ Choice Two Wheeler of the Year Award was won by the Bajaj V15. Other notable winners include the Triumph Street Twin, Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro and the Royal Enfield Himalayan.

Here’s a list of the winners in the two wheeler categories:

Two Wheeler of the Year

honda-navi_827x510_81481901034Honda Navi

Scooter of the Year

aprilia-sr-150_827x510_61481901249Aprilia SR 150

Motorcycle of the Year (Up to 110cc)

tvs-victor_827x510_81481901304TVS Victor

Motorcycle of the Year (Up to 160cc)

honda-cb-hornet-160r_827x510_41481901344Honda CB Hornet 160R
Motorcycle of the Year (Up to 250cc)

tvs-apache-rtr-200-4v_827x510_41481901648TVS Apache RTR 200 4V

Motorcycle of the Year (Up to 500cc)

royal-enfield-himalayan_827x510_51481901686Royal Enfield Himalayan

Motorcycle of the Year (Up to 1000cc)

triumph-street-twin_827x510_61481901749Triumph Street Twin

Motorcycle of the Year (Above 1000cc)

ducati-multistrada-1200-enduro_827x510_41481901801Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro

Viewers’ Choice Two Wheeler of the Year

bajaj-v15_827x510_51481901842Bajaj V15

Mini Bike of the Year

honda-navi_827x510_71481901893Honda Navi

Two Wheeler Design of the Year

honda-navi_827x510_41481901979

 

Honda Navi

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mercedes-amg-c-43-front_827x510_71481687475

 

Mercedes-Benz India has launched the Mercedes-AMG C43 4Matic in India in a move to expand its performance oriented automobile portfolio. The C43 is the 13th launch of the year for Mercedes-Benz India and comes as a bonus after the manufacturer originally intended to launch just 12 cars in 2016. The Mercedes-AMG C43 is priced at ₹ 74.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and bridges the gap between the entry level Mercedes-Benz C200 petrol and the beastly Mercedes-AMG C63.

The Mercedes-AMG C43 is powered by a twin turbo 3.0-litre V6 that makes 357bhp and 520Nm of torque mated to the 9G-TRONIC gearbox. It can go from 0-100kmph in 4.7 seconds. Unlike the C200 or the C63, the C43 comes with an all-wheel-drive setup in order to compete against the likes of the Audi S4. The C43 also gets features like AMG ride control which is a sports suspensions setup with AMG developed springs and a 3 stage variable damper. The C43 also gets a performance exhaust as standard with a raspy exhaust note similar to the one found on the GLE450 and the SLC43.

mercedes-amg-c-43-rear_827x510_71481688583

 

Mercedes-AMG C 43 Rear

The interior on the Mercedes-AMG C43 is also slightly sportier as compared to the normal car with optional red accents on the door panels and aluminium accents on the dashboard. The instrument cluster also sports the typical AMG style with the sporty “chequered flag” design.
On the exterior design front, the C43 gets larger air intakes on the front bumpers and a more aggressive stance due to larger AMG-spec wheels. The rear bumper gets an inbuilt diffuser and the C43 also gets a subtle lip spoiler on the bootlid. The rear bumper also gets a quad exhaust setup that is typically expected from all AMG cars.

mercedes-amg-c-43-profile_827x510_81481688625

 

 

Mercedes-AMG C 43 Profile

Although the Mercedes-AMG C43 does not have any real competition in India yet as Audi India no longer sells the S4, it will go up against the likes of the S5 Sportbackand the upcoming Volvo S60 Polestar too.

 

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2017-maruti-suzuki-swift-leaked_827x510_71481172867

 

You can now give your imagination skills a rest, as the first image of the much awaited next generation Maruti Suzuki Swift has made its way online and has revealed the all-new model in its complete glory. The next generation Swift (Codenamed YSD) is one of the more eagerly awaited models globally and will be based on a new platform with better equipped features and performance figures.

Unlike the outgoing model which saw a more evolutionary styling, Suzuki has opted to go for a completely new appearance with the new generation Swift, albeit retaining the distinctive lines. The new trapezoidal grille takes prominence up front, which is split into two and gets finished with chrome garnish. The grille though has moved lower and makes for a clampshell styled bonnet that curves up to the windscreen.

new-generation-maruti-suzuki-swift_827x510_81458362612New Generation Maruti Suzuki Swift Rendering

The headlamps continue to retain the sweptback styling, and are less angular this time, and incorporate LED DRLs. You also see a more sharply styled bumper with a wide air intake, extending to either sides. The fog lamp enclosure is also finished in black, with the recesses designed to look aerodynamic.

The side profile is a strong reminder of the outgoing Maruti Suzuki Swift. The shoulderline looks similar, while the A and B-pillars remain blacked out. The new generation Swift will also come with diamond cut alloy wheels, but could be different in different markets. The image of the rear profile is yet to make its way online, but going by the same previous spy shots, one can expect the new Swift to get LED tail lamps to complete the package.

new-maruti-suzuki-swift-cabin_827x510_61458314578New Maruti Suzuki Swift Cabin Spy Shots

While the design certainly looks appealing and more premium on the new generation Suzuki Swift, the hatchback will also get several mechanical changes. The model now shares its underpinnings with the Baleno, being based on the same platform and will be lighter than outgoing version. To give you perspective, the Baleno weighs around 890 kg. The new platform offers 10 per cent better rigidity over the older model, while the weight is 15 per cent lower.

This will certainly affect the fuel efficiency figures as well from the same 1.2-litre K-Series petrol and 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine options, while transmission options will include the 5-speed manual and an automatic unit. Internationally, the 1.0-litre BoosterJet petrol engine will also make it to the Swift.

new-maruti-suzuki-swift_827x510_51458314502New Maruti Suzuki Swift Rear Profile Rendering

As far as interiors are concerned, Suzuki has opted for a more upmarket appeal coupled with the sporty character of the hatchback. A twin-pod instrument cluster will be seen on the model, and is likely to get a 3D effect centre console. The new model will also come with a touchscreen infotainment system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A flat bottom steering wheel is also expected to make it to the new generation Swift.

The 2017 Maruti Suzuki Swift will be making its way to the market next year and will be followed up with the Swift DZire. Maruti has already commenced testing both the Swift and DZire in India.

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royal-enfield-brand-store_827x510_71481117722

 

Niche bike maker Royal Enfield has opened its first exclusive brand store in Melbourne as part of its growth strategy in Australia. The company, which aims to be a leading player globally in mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc), currently has 25 dealerships across the country.

The exclusive brand store at Melbourne showcases the company’s complete range of motorcycles, apparel and accessories under one roof. “Australia represents one of the most important matured markets for Royal Enfield and we are already witnessing an upward growth in the market, a testimony to which is the 63 per cent growth we have received in the first three quarters of 2016, compared to same period last year,” Royal Enfield President Rudratej Singh today said in a statement.

The growth will be fuelled by the company’s close proximity to the customer through over 25 dealerships across the country, exclusive brand store and evocative product range, available at accessible price points that will appeal to motorcycling enthusiasts, he added.

royal-enfield-himalayan-simple-and-purpose-built_827x510_51463745870

 

The Himalayan was launched in Australia last month

“We are looking at key cities in Australia to expand our distribution network, in addition to a strong aftermarket network and infrastructure to ensure full service support to our customers in the region,” Singh said. The store would house not only Royal Enfield’s motorcycle range, but also its complete range of apparels and accessories, that includes purpose-built protective riding gear and moto inspired urban protection gear. It is a full-service dealership that is equipped with service and aftermarket capabilities as well, the company said.

“We believe that our future growth will come from markets such as Australia with huge potential for our evocative, all purpose, and middle-weight motorcycles,” Rudy said.

As a part of the company’s ‘city strategy’ it now has 19 exclusive brand stores outside India, in places like Milwaukee, London, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Bogota, Medellin, Dubai, Jakarta, Bangkok and Melbourne. “The Melbourne store also follows this global retail identity and we are confident that it will set new benchmarks in motorcycle retail in Australia,” Rudy said. Only last month, Royal Enfield also launched the all-new Himalayan in Australia at the Melbourne Auto Expo.

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bmw-x3-xdrive-30d-m-sport-front-main_678x352_71436262345

 
BMW India has just expanded its petrol line-up in the country with the launch of the gasoline powered version of the X3 and X5 SUVs. The BMW X3 xDrive28i is priced at ₹ 54.90 lakh, while the X5 xDrive35i is priced at ₹ 73.50 lakh.

Power on the BMW X3 xDrive28i comes from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor tuned to produce 242bhp of power and 350Nm of torque available between 1250-4800rpm. On the other hand, the BMW X5 xDrive35i uses a larger 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine that churns out 302bhp and maximum torque of 400Nm available between 1200-5000rpm. Both engines come paired to the 8-speed Steptronic transmission, while the SUVs can accelerate from 0-100 kmph in just 6.5 seconds.

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BMW India Acting President, Frank Schloeder said, “BMW petrol engines are a potent mixture of dynamics and efficiency, and with the launch of the new BMW X3 and new BMW X5 in petrol variants, we are offering our customers yet another form of ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’. We are presenting a significantly balanced and extremely aspirational product portfolio with the choice of both diesel and petrol variants to suit all our customer requirements. These latest generation of BMW engines guarantee a thrilling power delivery and excellent responsiveness which generates a dynamic proposition on the road and gives assured driving pleasure.”
The BMW X3 and X5 petrol are available in the ‘X’ all-wheel drive guise in a bid to offer better traction and riding dynamics along with the petrol engines, across varied terrains. Visually, the SUVs are similar to their diesel counterparts. The German automaker though does offer the X5 xDrive35i in the Design Pure Experience package for improved aesthetics.

The BMW X3 and X5 petrol compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Jaguar F-Pace. Both models will be locally produced at BMW Plant Chennai. The new BMW X3 and the new BMW X5 are now available across the country in both petrol as well as diesel variants.