Gopal Singh Rathore

This is Gopal Singh Rathore. I have done my B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from VIT University, Vellore. I am an auto enthusiast and remain curious to learn about automobiles. I have participated in BAJA SAE INDIA in 2012 and 2013 where I was involved in a team from my college for making an off-road vehicle. I was in the suspension department of the team. I love writing about automobiles and is always curious to learn about them at anytime.

Virtual Baja SAE 2015: OffRoad Competition

BAJA SAE INDIA with its inception in 2007, has come up a long way to become INDIA’s biggest Off-road Motorsports Competition for Engineering Students. With support from major players in the automotive industry like Mahindra & Mahindra, Chevrolet, Volvo etc. this event has definitely made a mark in the lives of thousands of Engineering Students across the country.

It is all about designing and fabricating a single seater ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) which can negotiate various off-road conditions like hills, wooden logs obstacles, bumps, pits and various other tough conditions. With its growth across the years, the difficulties of qualifying for the event have also increased.

The event is divided into two phases. Phase 1 includes the team registrations from Engineering Colleges and a qualifying round commonly known as “VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA”. Phase 2 involves the main event “BAJA SAE INDIA” held at NATRAX test tracks near Pithampur, Indore. Now, we will have a look about recently completed VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 event and also an interactive session we had with students from TEAM KSHATRIYA representing VIT, Vellore.

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TEAM KSHATRIYA’S ATV IN ACTION DURING BAJA SAE INDIA 2015

VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 was organised from 10th July – 11th July, 2015 at Chitkara University, Chandigarh which is located on Chandigarh-Patiala Highway. The event was greeted with a huge response from the Engineering Students and around 395 teams from various Engineering Colleges of the country participated in this mega event. This event acted as qualifier to BAJA SAE INDIA 2016 main event. The major objective of this event was to judge the designs and feasibility of ATV’s being proposed by various participating teams. A test for automotive general knowledge and BAJA SAE INDIA 2016 rule book guidelines was also included for the first time.

All the teams were required to present the designs of their ATV’s to the experts from the automotive industry. An interactive presentation majorly includes basic dimensional lay out of the vehicle, roll cage design, virtual simulations using CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) software to test the vehicle at design stage itself, suspension and steering design, power-train system, brakes systems , driver ergonomics, electrical wiring and safety aspects and innovations being proposed in the vehicle.

Considering the tough conditions for the vehicle to comply with in the main event, the students needs to put a lot of effort in making successful designs and which eventually plays very important role in qualifying for the main event.  At the end of the day, 179 teams were only selected for the main event and only these teams would be allowed to go for fabricating their off-road buggy and race it for the main event.

We had an interaction with students of TEAM KSHATRIYA from VIT, Vellore who were positioned 2nd in the VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 and also secured overall 3rd position at BAJA SAE INDIA 2015.

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TEAM KSHATRIYA members participating in VIRTUAL BAJA SAE INDIA 2015

Q.1. Hello, Team Kshatriya! Can you brief us about the history of TEAM KSHATRIYA?

Ans.

Team Kshatriya was founded in the year 2006, by a group of dedicated Mechanical Engineering students of VIT, Vellore. We are an off-road racing team fueled by passion and driven by desire that has grown in strength ever since its inception. What defines us is our nine long years of experience in BAJA Racing. 9 years, 8 cars, 13 trophies and 2 podium finishes are what have been achieved till date.

Q.2 How do you feel about winning the 3rd position in BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 and now the 2nd position in Virtual BAJA SAE India 2015?

Ans.

To most of them, it would be a moment to take pride in, and so is for us. The hard work and sleepless nights did pay off eventually. Not to mention, we are not yet stopping. It’s only a milestone crossed with many more to come.

Q.3 What is the driving force that imparts this consistency in an event such rigorous?

Ans.

We believe that winning isn’t getting ahead of others; it’s getting ahead of yourself. Learning from previous mistakes and incrementing our efforts every year adjunct with hard work in the right way is the key to success.

Q.4 What are the difficulties that you are facing?

Ans.

A large number of innovations require even a larger funding, and that is where we are lacking for now. We have taken considerable initiatives in publicizing our works. We need people to know who we are and what we do.

Q.5 What are your upcoming plans?

Ans.

A lot of innovations have been designed and are to be incorporated within the vehicle. Now, when it comes to BAJA, it is all about the endurance and sustainability in tough terrains hence the innovations are to be tested for the same. That is what we are up to for now.

So, here was TEAM KSHATRIYA moving ahead for the main event with lots of experience in their baggage. We wish them good luck for BAJA SAE INDIA 2016.

Finally, I would like to say that this event is definitely taking right shape by converting students into Automotive Engineers and Managers by making them learn things in a practical manner and also improving academia – industry relationships.

For more details, please visit

www.bajasaeindia.org

www.teamkshatriya.com

 

GenZe: Mahindra’s first electric two wheeler

Innovative urban mobility has been in the spotlight for the automotive industry. This is mainly due to the increasing traffic, safety issues, emissions degrading the environment etc . Products like compact cars, electric bikes and other innovative urban mobility vehicles are taking their place on roads. Many players in the industry are making products which defines urban mobility between two points in a comfortable and simpler manner. Based on the similar concept, Mahindra has come up with their first electric two wheeler named ” GenZe” in USA. “GenZe” refers to the new generation mobility with zero emissions. The vision of GenZe is to transform urban lifestyles by developing highly efficient and fun vehicles.

GenZe 2.0 by Mahindra (Source: www.genze.com)
GenZe 2.0 by Mahindra (Source: www.genze.com)

Form here, we will go through about the technology, features, specifications and many more things about GenZe 2.0.

TECHNOLOGY & FEATURES:

All the features of GenZe 2.0 are made to make drive simple and lots of fun for the rider. This vehicle has the ability to make the rider interact with the vehicle and this is what makes these type of vehicles smart. Here are some of the key technologies and features involved in the making of this vehicle:

  • Touch Pad display:

Commonly two wheelers will have a conventional speedometer, with limited interaction with the rider. However, GenZe 2.0 has a 7 inch Cruise Connect Touch screen display which shows speed, range, battery charge level, CO2 reduction. Additionally, the rider can choose the three driving modes based on type of drive. One of the modes is dedicated for new learners of GenZe. All these keep the drivers interaction with vehicle at all time and thus make driving a fun activity.

7 inch Touch Screen of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www. genze.com)
7 inch Touch Screen of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www. genze.com)
  • Aluminum Chassis:

For a smart vehicle, it needs to be light and Aluminum provides it the strength along with lesser weight. Light weight aluminium chassis enhances performance of GenZe 2.0. The one piece chassis is stronger, lighter, corrosion and dent resistant. With compact design, it also adds to the aesthetics of the vehicle. The looks are definitely different from the conventional two wheeler and the build quality of GenZe 2.0 clearly shows it.

Aluminium Chassis Built of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www.genze.com)
Aluminium Chassis Built of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www.genze.com)
  • Smart Power Module:

For higher efficiency of any electric vehicle, the power module needs to be efficient. It can be charged from any 110 volt outlet. Also there is flexibility in charging of the power module, as you can take the Lithium Ion Batteries pack anywhere you want. It easily comes out of the vehicle with little effort.

smart
Smart Power Module of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www.genze.com)
  • Power-Port:

It is not always to charge the batteries of the vehicle. With the on-board power ports, you can go for easily charging of your personal electronics like Smartphone. The ports are available in the under seat storage area.

  • Switch and Go System:

This allows the rider to go on a GenZe 2.0 without any effort. A key less system requires only a throttle for a comfortable and relaxing ride of the day.

  • Slant Seat:

If you are stuck in a heavy traffic, you definitely want to know whether this will be there for a longer time or will get clear soon. You can look over the traffic on your ride with GenZe 2.0 through the slant seat feature. Here you can adjust the seat position very easily.

  • LED Lighting:

The most efficient LED lights are installed considering the safety aspects of the rider as well as the people on roads. LED lights also make the vehicle to look beautiful on roads with its sleek design and light glow.

  • Larger Front Wheel:

It allows stability at higher speeds and also absorbs obstructions from the roads and un-smooth surfaces. This results in a smoother and a comfortable ride.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS:

Technical Specifications of GenZe 2.0 (Source:www.genze.com)
Technical Specifications of GenZe 2.0 (Source: www.genze.com)

CUSTOMIZING GenZe 2.0:

Apart from all the above mentioned exciting features, GenZe 2.0 can be customized based on rider requirements. You can opt for various options which include Cargo Covers, Cargo units and Windshield.

  • Cargo units can be installed on the rear of the vehicle and are removable. They can be preferred by the riders going for a long journey and these units are durable, UV resistant and also rain proof. Thus allows the rider to go for ride of the lie with an ease and comfort.
Cargo Units in GenZe 2.0 (Source : www.genze.com)
Rear Placed Cargo Units in GenZe 2.0 (Source: www.genze.com)
  • Some rider look for longer windshields for aesthetics as wells as to keep themselves safe from road elements.
Windshield in GenZe 2.0 (Source : www.genze.com)
Windshield in GenZe 2.0 (Source : www.genze.com)

With GenZe 2.0, Mahindra has definitely taken a step towards the development of urban mobility in an efficient manner. This vehicle has the promise of stability, aesthetics and range with adequate power which would make any urban commuter curious to take a ride in one of the advanced systems in urban mobility. These vehicles are making the foundation for the futuristic vehicles and thus they play a major role in their existence for the future.

 

Innovative personal transportation vehicles by Segway

Taking the present scenario of increasing on-road vehicles, whenever you go on a ride either in a car or a bike, you must be thinking of which way to go to reach your destination- so that you face minimal on-road traffic. Just imagine if this is the situation today, what about the future on-road traffic conditions. One of the major reasons for traffic is increasing vehicles on road within a limited infrastructure available. Some of the solutions for tackling on-road traffic include improving and expanding infrastructure, metro trains, mono-rail concept and maximum usage of public transport. The infrastructure development takes time, so how can we go for utilizing the existing space. Segway has come with the solution for this: Innovative personal transportation vehicles. From here on, I will let you know about Segway , their technology and products.

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Increasing on-road traffic (Source: google.com)

About Segway:

Segway Logo (Source: www.segaway.com)
Segway Logo (Source: www.segaway.com)

Segway, a company with a vision of developing a personal, green transportation vehicle has come a long way since their announcement of coming up with a first self-balancing, zero emission personal transportation vehicle: Segway Personal Transporter. Their development team’s aim was to create a vehicle that takes minimal space, extremely maneuverable and also can run on pedestrian paths. Today when we see their product portfolio, we can say that this is an amazing concept of ride one can have.

Segway Technology:

In order to develop a system, we need expertise in different domains to make the system run smoothly. Segway, with a cluster of technologies has come up with this innovative mode of transport. Some of its technologies include dynamic stabilization which uses the movement of the user for maneuvering and even provides a zero turning radius. Electronic propulsion to wheels through motors and software support for traction and braking makes the ride comfortable. Smart battery management allows the efficient usage of Lithium batteries. Regenerative braking for recharging the batteries during deceleration has also been employed. Various other technologies like Drive by wire advanced sensing and digital dashboard makes user experience memorable with Segway vehicles.

One thing is for sure, the Segway vehicles have minimized the use of mechanical elements and focused more on electric mobility coupled with digital architecture for clear information and interaction of the user with the machine.

Segway Products:

Segway has a wide range of products in various categories like consumers, businesses, Police and security, tourism.

Segway Products (Source: www.google.com)
Segway Products (Source: www.google.com)

For consumers, Segway i2 SE, can be used for an enjoyable ride for commuting to offices. If you need some adventure rides on terrains and beaches, Segway x2 SE, an off-road vehicle is the best option.

For logistics and cargo purposes, Segway i2 SE can be added with cargo accessories like storage bins on sides, front storage case. These are made to go at varied speeds, maneuver easily in any environment conditions. Segway x2 Golf, can be used on golf turfs and allow the player to go very quickly to the ball with Golf bag carrier attachment on the vehicle.

Police and security agencies require very fast and effective modes of doing patrolling. For them, Segway has solution in the form of Segway i2 SE Patroller.  This can allow efficient patrolling for traffic management on roads, airport and railway station securities. Innovation is the necessity of life, we have seen it in past and now it is the time for innovations to be used by our future generation. Segway is the result of the same and has the potential making driving a different experience altogether.

Segway India:

In India, Segway has partnered with Bird Group for business. They have almost the same product port folio as that of international market. Recently, Delhi Police has ordered for 25 Segway Patrollers for usage in Delhi for effective monitoring. Apart from this, BirdSegway also organises tour in the National Capital Delhi to make you see India Gate, Amar Jawan Jyoti, secretariat Building, Rashtrapati Bhawan on Segway vehicle. You can book the spots online on segwaytour.in. Considering a new market of vehicles, Segway needs to go a longer way in India.

Scrooser: A similar innovative personal transportation vehicle

Scrooser (Source: www.scrooser.com)
Scrooser (Source: www.scrooser.com)

With rising interest in innovative mobility solutions like Segaway, Google Driver Less cars etc, Scrooser is one among the products through such innovative concepts. It is based on the concept of making to the different corners of city in a perfect manner. This also can be a revolutionary motor vehicle of the future with advantages of electric propulsion, unique styling, zero emissions. For more information.

 

Tweel: An airless tire by Michelin

Tires play an important role in the overall performance, stability, durability of the vehicle and their response in various conditions make them typical in itself. Whether you have a scooter, a motorcycle, a car or even a truck, along with fuel you also need to go to air filling stations for maintaining the tire pressures. When we go for long rides, we usually do a visual check of the vehicle and tire pressures are definitely monitored. What if I say, that in future you might not have go to air filling stations or check your tire pressures. Yes, I am talking about airless tires which are developed by French Tire Company “Michelin“.

These tires are now a reality and Michelin has taken them into the production stage. We will be going through the development of tires in automotive industry and then go for knowing more about “Tweel“. Tires play an important role in the overall performance, stability, durability and safety of the vehicle and their response in various conditions make them typical in itself.

The first tires in the industry were having bands of leather, steel and then the wooden wheels came into existence. However it was the pneumatic tires made of rubber which took the vehicle performance and stability to higher levels. The rubber tires started getting implemented everywhere from light weight vehicles to heavy weight trucks. The basic parts of a tire carcass include treads, bead, sidewall, shoulder, plies and rims are associated with them to form a functional wheel. Based on their construction, they are divided into bias, belted bias and radial tires. One more thing added to this category is the “Airless Tire“.

Michelin Tweel airless tire
Tweel: An airless tire (Source: www.michelintweel.com)

Design of Tweel

Tweel is an airless design proposed by Michelin and they have started their first production. Unlike pneumatic tires, this will not be having any compressed air and thus it cannot burst no leakage and cannot become flat. It is supported to the rim with the help of polyurethane spokes. These spokes will perform the role of compressed air i.e absorbing the shock. Tweel on getting loaded or even during obstacles will try to get the shape of the obstacle beneath it and then try to overcome it. Tweel can be described as rubber sandwiched between steel. The stiffness of these tires is directional i.e they can have high vertical stiffness and smaller lateral stiffness. In case of a heavy loader which has lower speeds but for its higher weight carrying capacity, the vertical stiffness can be kept higher and lateral stiffness can be lowered. However in pneumatic tires this parameter does not provide such flexibility. The treads can be grooved similar to the existing pneumatic tires. The overall result is a deformable and non-pneumatic mobility solution.

Michelin Tweel airless tires
Compression of Spokes in Tweel (Source: www.michelintweel.com)

Benefits and Drawbacks of Tweel

Tweel is one single unit, replacing the current tire-wheel assembly. Once they are bolted on, there is no air pressure to maintain, and the common problem of unseated beads is completely eliminated. Tweel performs like a pneumatic tire, but without the risk and costly downtime associated with flat tires and unseated beads. The variation in stiffness will help in achieving high performance in suitable targets. Unlike radial tires, the treads around the tire if worn out can be replaced by a new one. This reduces impact on the environment. Michelin expects the tread’s life to be two to three times as that of conventional tires. They have shown good signs in off-roaders and also in military applications. However, as of today the prototypes for cars are under development and their success in other automotive applications will enhance their growth and demand. The initial prototypes were reported with problems of noise and vibration. They have been successfully solved in the next prototypes.

 Tweel Products:

Based on the success of Tweel Michelin has come up with products like Tweel Terrain, Tweel Turf and Tweel Hard Surface. Tweel Terrain has been designed for skid steer loaders on a wide range of surfaces. Tweel Turf is available exclusively for John Deere Z-Trak Series Movers.  Even NASA has contacted Michelin to develop a Tweel like tire for next generation lunar Rover and hey have come up with AB Scarab Wheels. So presently, Tweel is getting its presence in agriculture, loaders and military vehicles and in future they have a great chance of getting implemented in automotive vehicles as well. With products like Tweel coming into existence, we can even imagine more innovative technologies in the automotive industry in coming times.

Electric Rickshaw: A growing mode of Urban Transport

Electric-Rickshaw or E-Rickshaw

If you are in Delhi, you must have seen or even traveled in a battery operated three-wheeler. Yes, I am talking about the commonly known “E-rickshaws” which have been growing on large scale especially in Delhi. They have been in news for the past three- four months for taking them into the Central Motor Vehicle Rules Act.

These vehicles were banned by Supreme Court on July 31, 2014 based on a public interest litigation filed mainly due to safety reasons. They were considered illegal as per existing laws and asked Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways to frame rules in order to regulate these vehicles. The Govt. has come up with draft notification on October 8, 2014 by making necessary amendments in the Central motor Vehicle Rules Act. We will go through the basic configuration of these vehicles and the new notification of Rules issued by Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways.

The E-rickshaws are three wheeler, battery operated vehicles. They allow easy mobility to the urban commuters from one location to another similar to an existing auto-rickshaw. However they are powered by electric motor unlike the existing petrol or diesel auto rickshaws. Thus they represent an environment friendly mode of transport and require charging of the battery everyday for their running. These vehicles came into the market especially in Delhi and started doing a good job of commuting people and increased day by day.

Thousands of people started commuting in E-Rickshaws but due to safety aspects it was banned in Delhi. There were around 1,00,000 (ie. a lakh ) E-Rickshaws on Delhi roads which represents a huge number and also provides a livelihood to thousands of people in the city. Now as the rules have come, these vehicles will be seen soon on the roads in a legal manner like other vehicles.

erickshaw (13)
A typical E-Rickshaw (Source: google.com)

Now looking at the technical specifications of E-Rickshaws, first the frame or chassis is simpler and is made of steel. It is a rear drive vehicle with differential. The vehicle is powered by a brush less motor of 48V, 250W to 800W capacity. It is also equipped with reverse gear. The top speed is limited to 25 kmph. The wheel base varies around 2m and height is around 1.8 m. The gradient capacity is around 15- 20 degrees and is installed with hand brake for parking. A foot brake pedal in the front can be seen similar to existing auto rickshaws. The vehicle weighs around 200 kg and 4 -5 people can be seated comfortably in it, excluding the driver. The battery used for running the motor is of Lead-Acid type and has a capacity of around 12V, 20Ah. The electronic controller allows the smooth running of the electric drive train.

Commonly four batteries can be seen in the vehicle and can be charged at home with an input Voltage of 220V, 50Hz. On full charging, the vehicle can go up to 100 kms. The steering system is of handle type as in any conventional rickshaws. Hydraulic Shock Absorbers in the front suspension and leaf springs in the rear suspension can be seen. They have a ground clearance of around 300 mm. The roof of the vehicle is covered with fiber or plastic to protect passengers in rainy season.  Most of these vehicles are assembled in India and all the parts are getting imported from China. All the technical things are kept as simpler as possible and the aim is to commute maximum people at low cost. The cost of these battery operated vehicles range from Rs.85, 000 to Rs 1, 25,000. With its success stories, small commercial vehicles with Electric Power-train can also be seen.

e-rickshaw
People Travelling in E-Rickshaw in Delhi (Source: google.com)

The new notification from the Government has come for legal running of these vehicles. The notification has limited a certain range for length, height and width dimensions. It has limited the power of the motor upto 2000W. Keeping safety in mind, it also ensures availability of horn, brake lights, reverse lights, head lamps on the vehicle.  The braking capability of vehicle should be good to avoid any accidents. The top speed should not go above 25 kmph. The electrical circuit layout, seating capacity of the passengers, hand holds inside the passenger cabin are made mandatory according to the rules. All these things will be necessary for any manufacturer to get their E-Rickshaw approved by test agencies.

Conclusion:

These vehicles definitely have the potential to come up in a much larger scale and with notifications coming for legalizing them, this can be a pushing force to come up with a quality product which is eco-friendly, safe and comfortable for the commuters. National Electric Mobility Mission Plan from Government can even allow subsidies in this field to the buyers and this will be an important step in providing this facility at a higher level to the people. Keeping all points in mind, these vehicles can make themselves an excellent mode of urban transport at low cost and higher efficiency.

 

Faceoff:Suzuki Hayate vs Mahindra Centuro Rockstar

suzuki-hayate-launched-2_560x420

With the raising competition in the two wheeler’s market, it is important for the manufacturers to come up with changes in their existing models which can attract customers in terms of technology, design and styling and cost effectiveness. Updates in bikes involves slight changes which involves rendering of the bikes and new features installation.Here we will look at two such updated models, Facelifted Suzuki Hayate and Mahindra Centuro Rockstar.

DESIGN AND STYLING:

Mahindra Centuro has a unique style in its range of bikes. Its frontal golden ribs provides it a rugged style and tough look. Chisled like body and tattoo like decals makes it watchable anywhere. The bike from Mahindra two wheelers look very fresh in its design and definitely stands itself out of the conventional designs.  The Rockstar model will come with combination of bright red, black and gold colour which adds premium looks to the bike. The bike is equipped with  LED brake lights.

Mahindra Centuro Ribs
Golden Ribs in Mahindra Centuro (Source: google.com)
Mahindra Centuro Rockstar brake lights
LED Brake Lights of Mahindra Centuro (Source: google.com)
Decals in Mahindra Centuro Rockstar
Tattoo like decals in Mahindra Centuro (Source: google.com)

When we come to Suzuki Hayate, it looks like a slim designed bike with all systems arranged in a compact manner. The face lift model comes with a fully painted side cowls which adds to the styling. The vehicle will be offered in Glass Sparkle Black- Red Graphic Glass Sparkle Black- Blue Graphic, Pearl Mirage White, Pearl Mira Red/Glass Sparkle Black and Pearl Moon Stone Grey. The bike with its styling and colour options does not give a tougher body language when compared to Mahindra Centuro Rockstar. Thus here Mahindra Centuro comes higher in design and styling.

ERGONOMICS AND BUILD QUALITY:

Comfort and eergonomics play a vital role in the minds of customers. Mahindra Centuro Rockstar has been designed keeping that in mind with extra large seats for comfort. Hayate has its own way of sleek styling of seats. Build quality of both the bikes are appreciable and are comparable to each other.

POWERTRAIN:

Centuro Rockstar is powered by Mahindra’s indigenously developed 100 cc intelligent Mci (Micro chip ignited 5-curve) Engine which delivers a power output of 8.6 PS @ 7500 RPM. It also has a patented lubrication system which helps it in achieving mileage of 85.4 kmpl as per ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) . It provides a smart balance between power and fuel economy and is coupled with 4 speed manual transmission.

Centuro Rockstar engine
Mahindra Centuro Rockstar: Micro Chip 5-Curve Ignited Engine (Source: google.com)

Suzuki Hayate comes with a 112cc engine with a mileage of around 75-80 kmpl at standard test conditions.  It comes with a 4 speed manual transmission for powering the rear wheels.  The engine provides a maximum power of 8.4 PS @ 7500 RPM.

Indigenous and fuel efficient engine of Centuro comes up in the higher position.

SUSPENSION , BRAKES AND WHEELS:

Centuro Rockstar is having telescopic coiled spring dampers in the front and five step adjustable damper in the rear. Drum brakes are installed in both front and rear wheels allowing comfortable braking responses to the rider. Alloy wheels make the bike look new and also reduces weight of the bike.

Suzuki Hayate is also equipped with telescopic coiled spring dampers in the front  and coiled spring damper in the rear with swing arm. The swing arm helps in maintaining stability at higher speeds. Drum brakes are installed in both front and rear wheels and is also equipped with alloy wheels same as that of Centuro Rockstar.

 COST AND OTHER FEATURES:

Suzuki Hayate self start model costs Rs. 47,727 on -road at Gurgaon and Centuro Rockstar costs Rs. 43,774 on-road a Gurgaon. This shows the cost effectiveness of Mahindra Centuro.

Also Centuro is equipped with features like stylish flip key, anti-theft system, easy pass switch and handle mounted choke. Suzuki Hayate comes with maintainence free battery, and tubeless tyres as its major features.

Considering all the above mentioned parameters, Mahidnra Centuro has taken lead in front of Suzuki Hayate. Mahindra is new to the two wheelers market, but still its Centuro Rockstar definetly has the potential of taking on many bikes in major aspects. Mahindra two wheelers has also shown an aggressive futuristic display of products in 2014 Auto Show with Mojo being the latest to be launched.

Recent sales report from Mahindra two wheelers shows that they have sold 2 lakh units of Centuro till day.

Rigid Dump Truck by Hitachi

Have you ever seen trucks used in areas like mining ,dumps and construction? I will let you know about some world class rigid dump trucks  from Hitachi. Rigid dump trucks are entirely different from the trucks we see in our day to day life. These machines are huge and are made for carrying heavy loads in mining, construction and dump areas with the use of attached hydraulic excavators. Even the height of the tires are bigger than a human. They can be seen in coal handling areas, stone mining areas etc. where huge payloads needs to be transported.

Hitachi has 12 models of rigid dump trucks in the market under the company named Hitachi Construction Truck Manufacturing Ltd. Various models differ mainly on their load carrying capacities and also work area.The company has an excellent record for performance and least failures. These trucks have to go through the worst off-road conditions and now Hitachi has come up with latest updates in comfortability and serviceability features. Here we will go through one of the Rigid dump trucks by Hitachi and the latest updates Hitachi has come up with.

EH 1100-5: A rigid Dump Truck:

Among its 12 models, EH 1100-5 is one of the rigid dump truck model. It is powered by a  Cummins QSKTTA60-CE engine which gives an enormous 760 hp required to carry out the movement of heavy loads. It is limited to a maximum speed of 58 kmph. The extreme road conditions do not allow the high speeds and thus steady loading and un-loading is usually followed with standard practices. Their nominal payload capacity is around 63500 kg. Heavy load carrying capacity demands for a strong, durable and reliable chassis for the operations. The chassis involves a fabricated box section and rectangular frame rail to withstand bending and torsional loads. The frames are welded using robots for ensuring higher quality. Additional stiffeners are added to increase the toughness of the body.

hitachi rigid Dump Truck
EH1100-5 : Rigid Dump Truck by Hitachi (Source: hcme.com)

With increasing complexities in the working conditions and also exposure of driver to harsh conditions, has made Hitachi to introduce new updates which will improve comfort ability and serviceability features. Now we will go through the latest updates in the new version of EH 1100-5.

hitachi rigid Dump Truck
Rigid Dump Truck in Action(Source: hcme.com)

LATEST UPDATES IN EH 1100-5:

Considering the tough conditions in which these truck works, Hitachi decided to update them in terms of operator comforts, improving service ability, more payload carrying capacity and also remote monitoring of the trucks. It is equipped with a 10 inches LCD screen for the operator to understand different operations and also allows usage of rear view camera for the operator. Several languages have been installed in the LCD for allowing the operator to understand properly and also do effective troubleshooting. Safety has been given high priority with inclusion of two safety features. One is the ROPS ( Roll over protection structure) for operator’s cabin and the other is the three point seat belts.

A hand rail in the front provides better visibility to the operators during haul road operations. There is lot of noise in their work areas and thus to make it comfortable for the driver, provision for special sound cab material and exhaust modifications has been done. With such huge machines, servicing becomes a tedious task if the components are not at the right place. Hence many steering and brake valves have been re-positioned from the mid frame to the service deck for easier troubleshooting. Batteries have been shifted to the front bumper for ground level access.  Within North America, only Cummins QSK23 engine is available but for other markets MTU Series 2000 engines are also available.

hitachi latest rigid Dump Truck
Latest version of EH 1100-5 by Hitachi (Source: google.com)

The body has been redesigned to take up to 70 tonnes of payload. Hitachi has added brake surface area to improve braking in wet conditions. Active traction control system allows smooth running of trucks in wet and muddy conditions. This improves handling and also increases production. Remote monitoring has become an important tool for observing these trucks as they works on sites away from cities and population. It consists of a DLU( Data Logging Unit) for remote monitoring through satellite and Wi-Fi. A new feature of speed limit has also been introduced depending on the customer requirements. This would help in maintaining speed of fully loaded trucks in the downhill.

 BOTTOM LINE:

These trucks are not under production like commercial trucks we see as they are made for special purposes. They make gigantic tasks at mining sites look much easier. Efficiency of these vehicles directly reflects on the production at sites. They belong to very large mass automotive categories made using high strength material and various other technologies. Caterpillar is one of the other manufacturers and is a pioneer in this segment. They employ their own Engines for these trucks.

Mazda MX-5 MIATA: An Overview

Wanna know about a best selling convertible sports car in history? yeah, we are talking about the Mazda MX-5. It was released by Mazda as MX-5 in North America and as roadster in Japan. It is a two seater convertible with a front engine, rear engine drive layout and are manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan.

The first vehicle was launched in 1989 and with over 9,00,000 units sold tells about its huge success in the automotive market. Since then Mazda MX-5 has seen its third generation version on the road and the fourth generation being recently launched. Here we will go through the third generation MX-5 MIATA and some aspects of the recently unveiled fourth generation model.

2015 MAZDA MX-5 MAITA:

2015 Mazda Maita
2015 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA (Source: www.mazdausa.com)

Mazda made this vehicle aiming for a pure fun in driving a light weight sports car and has also maintained the same in the new fourth generation. It comes in three formats: Sport, Club and grand Touring.  We will now got through each segment of the vehicle.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION: 

The vehicle has front mounted engine with rear wheel drive. It is powered by 1999 cc, four cylinders, 16 valve engine with variable valve train technology. It produces a beaming power of 167 hp @ 7000 rpm of the manual transmission and 157 hp @ 6700 rpm for automatic transmission. The maximum power comes at high rpm considering the sports race target in mind. It has an electronic controlled port fuel injection with tuned intake system. Tuning of intake in certain range of rpm helps in achieving high torque in that rpm range and can be commonly seen in race cars. Engine being one of the heavy parts in the vehicle has been manufactured mostly out of aluminum alloy to reduce the vehicle weight. The vehicle comes with a range of 5-speed or 6-speed manual transmission and 6- speed automatic transmission. In manual transmission, a differential with torque sensing limited slip is also installed.

SUSPENSION, STEERING AND BRAKES:

 The ride and handling of sports cars relies on how your suspension, steering and brakes perform on different road conditions especially during high speed cornering. Front is equipped with double wishbone suspension and multi link bars are installed in rear of the vehicle. All the suspension components are made of aluminum. Shock absorbers are gas filled which help in better comfort and ride .Stabilizers are installed both in front and rear to reduce the rolling tendency and make vehicle stable in the cornering situations.  Steering is of rack and pinion type with hydraulic power assisted system. In order to improve the braking efficiency at high speeds, all the wheels have vented disc brakes where vents help in coiling of the brakes.

EXTERIOR:

Convertible type cars are known for their exterior styling and appearance.  Vehicle has been designed to allow efficient air flow over the body. Under hood flow is guided to the rear by the rear diffusers. The exterior styling of the vehicle has been an important parameter in its success.  Rear fender mounted antenna makes an important sign in the styling. Aluminum alloy wheels, xenon high intensity discharge headlights and chrome head light bezel all make this vehicle beautiful to watch. The Mazda logo in front makes a huge impact on styling.

 

Mazda MX-5 Miata
Elegant Exterior looks of 2015 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA (Source: www.mazdausa.com)

 INTERIOR:

The vehicle is equipped with two passenger seating covered with black cloths and red stitching. Carpet floor mats are available on the vehicle floor. Gear shift knob, parking brake handles and steering wheel are leather wrapped. Automatic climate control and cruise control on steering wheel mounted controls are some other features of  the car interior. Dashboard also has monitoring displays for engine rpm, car speed, oil pressure, coolant temperature and fuel levels.

Mazda Mx-5 Miata interiors
Interiors of 2015 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA (www.mazdausa.com)

SAFETY AND SECURITY:

Racing cars are costly and made to run at high speeds, thus there is definitely a need for security and safety of the car. For safety, the car is equipped with two frontal air bags, traction control systems, Anti-lock brakes with Electronic brake distribution and dynamic stability control system which helps car in stabilizing. For security, anti-theft alarm system and engine immobilizer anti-theft system are installed.

Now, coming to the fourth generation of MX-5 MAITA which has achieved a weight reduction of 100 kg from the previous model. This is because of the implementation of SkyActiv technology (light weight chassis and highly efficient engine and transmissions). The engine is placed closer to the vehicle;s center and has center of gravity lower than any of its previous models. Lower center of gravity provides high stability during high speed cornering. Mazda has told that it is the most compact, high performance and crashworthy MX-5 ever made and is expected to be rolled out in the global automotive market in the start of 2015.

Mazda MX-5 2016
Pre-production model of 2016 MAZDA MX-5

Flying cars by Terrafugia

Have you ever imagined that your car can even fly?

With raising concerns over future mobility solutions, automotive industry is thinking in terms of future fuels, compact cars and electric vehicles. One such future mobility solution which is unique and exciting is the “Flying Car”. A company named “Terrafugia” has come up with this brilliant concept of allowing a car to fly. Imagine a car which can travel on-road as well as fly whenever you want. This will be a dream for many auto enthusiasts.

Terrafugia has made this dream a reality by making a car to transform from a conventional car to a flying car. Terrafugia has the vision of making it as a future mode of personal transportation. We will go through the models of flying cars proposed by Terrafugia.

The first product named “Transition” proves their concept of Flying Cars. The state of the art technology in Transition demonstrates the flying and driving features of the vehicle. The car is powered by 100hp Rotax 912iS Engine .It is equipped with glass cockpits avionic , composite body and various intelligent mechanisms to drive and fly. For driving, similar to conventional cars it has the accelerator and brake pedals and for flying sticks and rudder pedals are involved for flight filled with fun. With its flying feature even you will not be missing your trips due to unfavorable weather.

The engine for driving mode runs on free leaded gasoline and it also drives the propeller required for flight mode. It has different dimensions in flying and driving mode. For driving mode, it is 22m tall, 23m wide and 6m long and for flying mode it is 2m tall, 8m wingspan (wing allows lift of the vehicle) and 6 m long. More wingspan is required in order to achieve lifting of the vehicle during flight mode. The maximum payload is 227 kg with a cruising speed of 160 kmph. Its mileage on-road comes out to be 6.7 l/100km. The range of the vehicle is 660 km with 30 minutes of fuel in reserve.

Flying car by Terrafugia

The electro-mechanical folding allows transition from road to flying car. It has two seats side by side and is rear wheel drive for road. Being a flying car, there might be many people having  risks or doubts regarding the safety aspects of the vehicle. From safety point of view, driver can be used for abnormal weather and also the whole vehicle will act as a transition. Also, air bags are also installed at passenger and driver locations. Golf club cargos can also be taken in the vehicle. Avionics required during flying session involves completely modern glass.The factory has been built for Transition and are ready to fly. With more developing concepts of the flying cars, the cost effectiveness will improve.

Terrafugia Flying car

 

With “Transition” coming on time,Terrafugia is planning for more range of products. One of which is the TF-X with main focus on safety belts, simplicity and easy usage as personal transport.Electric drive will power the vehicle on road.  Like Transition, it also has full vehicle with parachute system and can be used by the driver . When flying, an automatic notification of problems can be directly informed to the authorities.  The simple upcoming design will allow any one to learn it in 5 hours.

The flying can be selected as manual or even auto pilot mode. It will be able to accommodate four passengers as conventional comfort cars and can go upto 500 miles without any issues in one go. Its compact structure allows its storage in small garages.  A option of auto landing helps in case of emergency landing. If the user is not responsive during flying, the system can go for searching of the landing options and then going on for  a safe landing. If the space is not effective, the landing can be aborted immediately.The development of  TF-X is expected for 8-12 years. Installed licenses in car will help in increasing the landing zone database.

BOTTOMLINE:

Transition will finish earlier when compared to TF-X. Imagine having a flying car and going from the top of a long traffic jam on highways. This would make anyone excited about Flying Cars. The main thing to watch is about the safety aspects of the vehicle and their approval by the competent authorities. These vehicles definitely have the potential of becoming the future mobility solutions. With shorter runways required the vehicle can go for take off and landing and thereby ensuring a safe flight.

The transition of the car from road driving to flying condition and vice versa is exciting to watch and allows the wings to open for generating the lift force.

HUMMER Vehicles: An Overview

When can one get a  feeling of dominance, power, strength, rigidity and the confidence of going through any obstacles whether it is on-road or off-road? You can get that feel with “HUMMER SUV’s” (Superior Utility Vehicles). The HUMMER with its image of a destroyer has attracted civilian, military people and also the movie makers to show this fascinating vehicle for completing their action filled movies. We will go through the brief history of HUMMER, various passenger Hummers , military applications and usage of Hummers in movies. The first Civilian Hummer was designed by AM General, a heavy motors manufacturing company based in United States. They won the bid for supplying military SUV’s to US Army, aka Humvee. General Motors purchased the brand name “HUMMER” and started selling the various  models. HUMMER CIVILIAN VEHICLES: HUMMER has introduced various vehicles for civilian application from its inception. It includes H3, H3T, H3X, H3 AlPHA and  H2.

  • HUMMER H3:  A mid-size SUV, based on GMT 355 platform and is no longer in production. The vehicle lived upto its 4×4 off-road reputation. It was made with a fully welded steel frame , 9.7 inches of ground clearance with full undercarriage protection.
2007 Hummer H3 review
HUMMER H3 (Source: google.com)
  • HUMMER H3T:  An off-road pick up mainly made for adventure rides in which you just need to get in and then go anywhere. The vehicle is enabled with front and rear differential locks. It allows you to keep everything behind and go wherever you want.
Hummer H3T
HUMMER H3T (Source: google.com)
  • HUMMER H3X:  A HUMMER SUV inspired from the urban driving along with off-road capabilities which everyone expect from HUMMER. A classic SUV which is available only in limited numbers after the production ended.
Hummer H3X
HUMMER H3X (Source: google.com)

 

  • HUMMER H3 ALPHA: This vehicle was part of the HUMMER “Performance Series” with a 5.3L V8 engine. The vehicle was known for its interior comfort and off-road capability. Thus it was a perfect combination of off road and luxury.
HUMMER H3 ALPHA
HUMMER H3 APLHA (Source: google.com)

 

  • HUMMER H2: This vehicle was equipped with features like Panic Brake Assist and Stability Control System which ensured the safety aspects of the passenger in rough and adverse conditions
Hummer H2 black
HUMMER H2 (Source: google.com)

MILITARY APPLICATIONS: AM General manufactures four wheel drive HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) for military applications.  You can see the HMMWV (Humvees)  every time with U.S troops across the globe and even in case of any relief work during Hurricanes and floods.They have taken the roles initially being performed by the jeeps. These vehicles are being produced since 1985 and today they have evolved a lot. The design meets the requirement of military which wants durability and mobility. Today most of the components are updated with corrosion resistance to allow smooth running in harsh conditions. The vehicles are powered by a 6.5 litre diesel engine with a gross vehicle weight of 121,00 lbs. The HMMWV seats four with an enclosed metal cabin. The vehicles are made light weight by using Aluminum for chassis construction. An all wheel drive vehicle with independent suspension which help in the off-road conditions. The ground clearance is around 410 mm for easily surpassing the obstacles. Brake disc are installed in board of the vehicle at the differential output ends.  The vehicles can achieve a top speed of 70 kmph.

HMMWV
A U.S ARMY HMMWV (Source: wikipedia.org)

A2 series HMMWV includes an improved steering column, new rear seats,  better front and rear cross members reinforcements, improved heater system and an advanced air cleaner for no power loss in unfavorable conditions. A2 series HMMWV comes in a wide range of military applications some of which involves ambulances, cargo /troop carrier, Shelter Carrier, Missile Carrier. Reliability Enhanced HMMWV takes them to a new level of performance, durability and reliability. These vehicles are made to go past through the difficult conditions of South West Asia. Reliability Enhancement involves features like Geared fan drive, Rear Differential Cooler, Power Steering Pump, Dedicated parking brake  and Increased load rating of wheels.

Hummer shelter
HMMWV with shelter body (Source: google.com)

HUMMER IN MOVIES: Usage of HUMMER in action thrilled movies has made it more popular in public. The scenes of HUMMER  destroying cars, walls shows the dominance of such vehicles on road. Even in military theme based movies, the HUMMER  tackling through various terrains, with attached combat power and its classic design ,all make it worth to watch. HUMMER has been used in many Hollywood  movies some of which are : One night at the Museum,  Gone in 60 seconds, Never Back Down and Fast & furious series. HUMMER  makes the action more interesting and also provides the movie wallpaper with HUMMER on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKygTJ-F-1k

BOTTOMLINE: HUMMER vehicles have come up as the king of SUV’s in terms of durability and  dominance characteristics. These vehicles are made to run anywhere and anyone can take it. They have been the backbone for US Army troops in tackling difficult war conditions. In movies, they have come up with the most fascinating action scenes.