Porsche toyed with the idea of a four-door car for years before coming up with the Panamera. Those looks take a bit of getting used to but itâ€™s roomy and thereâ€™s even a diesel version available.
India’s small but growing super car market has managed to buck the slowdown, though the duty hike in the budget this year has caused some “volatility”. According to super car companies the 100 units a year supercar market in Indiaâ€”where the average car price hovers around the Rs 3 crore and above markâ€”has faced off the slowdown much better than their mass market cars, which cost just about 1% of their price tag.
Price is Right
“The supercar segment is very niche even in the luxury car market,” said Pavan Shetty, head of Indian operations, Lamborghini India. “A supercar not only has to cost â‚¬200,000 or more before duty, but it should be 2-door and crank out at least 400 PS of power.â€ By that definition, the supercar models available in India include the Mercedes Benz SLS, the Bentley GT, the Audi R8, the Ferrari models and someAston Martin variants.
Lamborghini India, which has just launched a limited India edition of the Gallardo LP550 of which all of six cars will be available for sale, has already sold one carâ€” at Rs 3.06 crore ex-Maharashtra â€” even before the launch of the vehicle. “We sold 14 cars in 2011 and 17 in 2012 and we are definitely faring better than last year in 2013, but we need to wait and see the impact of the duty on the market,” said Shetty.
He admits that the slowdown has not hit this segment as badly as other, more mass market, cars. “It’s true the extent of the slowdown is not as bad as it is in other car segments and besides the base is too small,” he said.
The good news though is the new generation of supercar enthusiasts that this segment is now attracting. “Although unlike developed markets, there are no professionals going for supercars in India, a brand new segment of owners is coming up here as well, and these are mostly the second generation of business houses and self-achievers,” said Shetty.
This new generation knows their cars and the technology behind them, which explains why the customisation quirks are not very different from global trends, said Shetty. “Typically customers want to see the engine through the glass bonnet and they want the usual bells and whistles like blue tooth, rear view camera, parking sensors, etc, but the favourite colours continue to be yellow and orange, which are the Lamborghini colours worldwide,” he said.
Source: Times of India
Shuffling between cities and visiting remote locations has become easier for corporate India that has turned towards executive jets to ferry them whenever and wherever they want.
“India has realised a 46 per cent increase in registered private jets in the past 36 months,” said Justin Firestone of aviation consultancy firm Firestone, which recently came out with a bi-annual report on Indian aviation.
Though small in number, the niche is witnessing a boom, thereby attracting all major aircraft manufacturers to India. “The growth opportunity for private jet manufacturers to deliver their products into India is tremendous,” Firestone said.
The report says that India currently has a total of 136 private jets made by global aircraft manufacturers like Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna, Bombardier and Gulfstream.
The spurt in demand of these technologically advanced and luxurious aircraft is the realisation of an unmet demand and current travel needs of the industry, said Amber Dubey, director for aerospace and defence with global consultancy KPMG. “With the demand for business travel on the rise, corporate sector and high-net individuals have started to realise the benefits of owning an executive jet. It saves time and gives hassle-free travel,” Dubey added.
He further foresees the demand for the executive jet sector to be on the higher side in the coming three-to-four years.
Currently, private jets’ range varies from around $4 million to $58 million.
The owners’ club includes like DLF’s KP Singh, Raymond’s Gautam Singhania, Reliance Group’s Mukesh Ambani and GMR group’s GM Rao. According to the official data by the aviation regulator of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the private jet fleet in the country is around 135 out of a total of 1,146 aircraft.
“Yes, we do receive many applications from different sectors and companies who want to obtain permission to import these aircraft,” said a high ranking DGCA official.
“Many corporate houses have registered their own – non-scheduled operator company – with the agency. Once the registration process is completed the company operates the aircraft as per its organisation’s requirements.”
But the high growth rate in acquisition of the niche aircraft type may be damped with a recently-imposed import duty of 2.5 percent on the aircraft.
Dubey feels that the need and demand for these aircraft would remain high even if the cost of acquiring the aircraft becomes a bit costly.
“It will just get a little costlier to have the aircraft, but the advantages that it provides are tremendous,” Dubey said.
Trends within the niche sector suggest that the Indian customer is now more attracted to technologically-advanced jet-powered executive aircraft rather than the propeller-driven ones.
“The interesting fact which has come out is the demand shift in executive jets, from propeller driven aircraft to more technologically advanced jets which are faster and provide more comfort,” said Ashok Pratap Rai, chief executive of leading charter aircraft service provider Club One Air.
Another boost for the growing segment could come from Delhi International Airport Ltd. The company is expected to take a decision soon on an integrated domestic-cum-international terminal complex for LCC and private jets.
Here’s how really rich men indulge their passion for fast cars – they buy them all. The likes of David Beckham, Mukesh Ambani and Jay Leno are all funding this very expensive hobby. Find out which of them has the biggest car collection
At this yearâ€™s New York International Auto show (autoshowny.com), manufacturers debuted their coolest twists on automotive tech, from full-on muscle cars to the ultra-efficient green darlings. Come roll with us through the halls of automotive nirvana, and check out our 12 favorite specimens. (Shown at left, the Porsche 918, an $850,000, 800+ horsepower electric-hybrid supercar, sandwiched between a vintage 917 racer and the new 919 hybrid racecar revealed at this year’s show.)
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Mercedes-Benz India today launched a new limited edition of theE-Class, tagged ‘Edition E’, which has been priced from 48.6 lakh to 60.1 Lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The new Edition E will also be available in 3 variants – E200, E250 and E350 CDI. While the E200 petrol is priced at 48.6 lakh, the diesel powered E250 and E350 CDI have been priced at 50.7 lakh and 60.61 lakh respectively (All ex-showroom, Delhi).
Now, if the year 2015 was aggressive for Mercedes-Benz in India then 2016 is the year of celebrations, which is exactly what the new E-Class marks. Apparently the Stuttgart-based carmaker has completed 20 years since it first rolled out its locally assembled E-Class in India and is celebrating this exceptional feat Mercedes-Benz has launched the Edition E. Displaying the success of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class over the years, the carmaker showcased all the 5 generation of E-Class on the stage today.
It was around 2 decades ago Mercedes-Benz started the local assembly with its E-Class W124. Over 2.7 million units of this car produced globally before we got the E-Class W210 in 2002. The E-Class W210 was also the first car globally to get the guard edition. In fact the company has sold over 32,000 units of the E-Class since the beginning of its production in India in 1995. The E-Class 211 rolled out in 2009. Today the car remains the highest selling luxury sedan in India.
Coming to the car itself, the new Mercedes-Benz Edition E is essentially the same recent edition of the E-Class with some additional features and of course, the ‘Edition E’ badging. The front end has been slightly tweaked and now features restyled headlamps and grille pattern. Some of the new features that we will find the in the new Edition E include – Edition E badging on both the sides, navigation system from Garmin is now standard and rear seat entertainment unit.
Under the hood the Edition E is same old E-Class and continues to offer the same engine options as the current standard E-Class. The E200 gets the 2.0-litre in-line petrol engine that churns out a maximum power output of 184bhp and develops a peak torque of 300 Nm. The E250 and E350 are powered by a 2.2-litre and 3.0-litre diesel engines that makes 240bhp and 500 Nm of torque and 265bhp and 620 Nm of torque respectively. All three variants come mated to a 7-speed automatic gearbox sending power to the rear wheels.
Mercedes-Benz India today rolled-out the locally manufactured all-new C 220 CDI from its manufacturing facility in Chakan, Pune – just 3 months after the car first made its debut in India debut. The price of the made-in-India Mercedes-Benz C-Class starts at Rs. 37.90 lakh. Just so you know, Mercedes-Benz India has now increased the localisation content in the new C 220 CDI to 60%.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Diesel Price (ex-showroom, Delhi):
a. C 220 CDI Style: Rs. 37.90 lakh
b. C 220 CDI Avantgarde: Rs. 39.90 lakhs
Winner of the 2014 World Car of the Year award among many others, the locally produced C-Class will continue to be powered by the 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine that develops 170bhp and 400Nm of maximum torque. It can accelerate from 0 – 100Km/h in 7.4 seconds on its way to a top-speed of 233Km/h. It also happens to be the most fuel-efficient car in its segment with a mileage of 19.27Km/l.
Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “With the local production of the new C 220 CDI and in tune with its ‘Make in India’ commitment, Mercedes-Benz India has now an increased localization content of 60% in this car. We are confident that with the production of the new C 220 CDI in India, we will be able to create a higher benchmark in terms of local production of high-end luxury cars in India, and make our customers equally delighted by providing an unmatched value. Additionally we have launched the ‘Corporate Star Lease’ product, a dedicated leasing solution from Mercedes Financial Services that will bring immense value for our potential corporate customers.”
The Mercedes-Benz Corporate Star Lease programme offers rentals which not only covers the on-road cost of the car, but also additionally covers the maintenance expense during the lease period. This unique leasing programme ensures a delightful ownership experience for corporate customers through a host of attractive features like, freedom from mileage restrictions, the flexibility to change the car or to retain it after the lease period, beneficial tax proposition, and also availability of lease options for 36 months and 48 months.
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
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
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.
This grand-touring beauty was, and still is, one of the greatest street-legal sports cars of its time. Combining great German engineering with Formula 1 racing capabilities, the SLR McLaren AMG provides its drivers with nothing short of an impeccable experience. Its 5.4-litre supercharged V8 engine can produce 626-horsepowers that accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds out of its total 207 top speed. Although its successor, the SLS AMG, now takes the cake, the SLR McLaren AMG paved the way for future creativity, innovation and racing capability.