Increasing Hyundai Recalls in United States

Everyone is aware of the General Motors recall of around 1.5 million vehicles due to the faulty ignition switches which can shut off the engine at any time and the vehicle can end up in a crash. Even reports of several deaths across the United States were received due  to the fault switches. Now its Hyundai, which has recalled its various models which includes Sonata sedans, Santa Fe Crossover and Veracruz SUV’s.

All these recalls are made for several issues which involves defective transmission shift cable, corrosion of suspension springs, oil leakage from engine and brake problems. All these things are related to the safety aspect of the passengers driving the vehicle. It is good to know that Hyundai has not received any report of crash accidents happened due to the malfunction in the above mentioned systems.  Recall will ensure that all the issues in the vehicles will be solved at the dealerships with no cost form the customer. Now, we will look at various Hyundai vehicles which are recalled and the issues reported in them.

8,83,000 SONATA SEDANS RECALLED FOR TRANSMISSION ISSUES:

Hyundai has recalled about 8, 83, 000 mid-sized sonata sedans due to problems with the the transmission shift cable. The vehicles manufactured from 2011 to 2014 will be inspected and repaired at the dealerships. As per U.S safety regulators, the transmission shift cable might get detached from the shift lever and thus would not provide the gear given by the driver and which might result in improper handling of the vehicle and finally to a fatal crash.

A driver can select the park position but as the gears are not matching, the vehicle might just roll down. According to NHTSA( National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), around 8,80,000 vehicles were sold in United States and rest in Puerto Rico. Hyundai is notifying all the affected vehicle customers through e-mail.

Hyundai Sonata recall
Hyundai Sonata (Source: yahoo.com)

1,33,075 SONATA RECALLED FOR BRAKE LINE ISSUES:

About 1, 33, 075 Sonata Sedans manufactured between December 11, 2009 to September,1  2010 are recalled by Hyundai for problems in the brake lines. There are chances of brake fluid leakage from the brake lines connected from the master cylinder to the Hydraulic Electronic control unit due to insufficient sealing. Brake fluid leakage will result in longer stopping distance and would raise the safety concern of the passengers. Brake hoses will be replaced by a new part free of cost.

2, 25, 000 SANTA FE CROSSOVER SUV’S RECALLED FOR COIL SPRINGS REPAIR:

According to NHTSA, Hyundai has recalled 2,25, 000 Santa FE Crossover SUV’s from the 21 salt belt states. The models manufactured from 2001-2006 are being recalled. Road salt which is used in winter can lead to the corrosion of the front suspension coil springs and finally break them. Broken springs can lead to tire puncture which might cause a fatal crash. The vehicles are being recalled from various districts like Columbia, Indiana , Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, New jersey, Ohio etc.  Hyundai will be notifying the customers and the coil springs will be replaced at free of cost. The recall is expected to start by September 2014 ending.

Hyundai Santa Fe recall
Hyundai Santa Fe (Source: google.com)

61,222 VERACRUZ RECALLED FOR OIL LEAKAGE:

Veracruz manufactured from December 26, 2012 -July 24, 2012 are being recalled by Hyundai due to oil leakage from the engine cylinder head. If oil gets dropped on the alternator, operation of the charging system might become non-operational. This would resulting in loss of power from the engine and finally the vehicle would stop down. The trailing drivers might get panicked by the sudden slowing down of the vehicle.

Hyundai Vercaruz recall
Hyundai Vercaruz (Source: yahoo.com)

BOTTOM LINE:

All the above mentioned recalls are majorly associated with the safety of all the occupants in the vehicle. It is important that the issues are found out very early and thus avoiding any fatal accidents. There has been huge number of recent recalls in United States with the General Motors recall being the most talked about. General Motors was also fined for the same. In India, also there have been recalls by Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra and Mahindra, Ford India etc.

The recall policies are being examined by the transport ministry. Also there are possibilities of strict norm against the recall by the vehicle manufacturers. The vehicle manufacturers need to take appropriate steps in order to avoid such recalls. This can be done at the early stage of the complete vehicle validation and testing. They can also approach customers who are the final users of the vehicle. Addressing of their issue through dealers help them identify the problems which might be region specific, part specific etc. In short they can obtain the details regarding any continuous faults being faced in the vehicle. NO recall will ensure higher levels of automotive safety from the manufacturers point of view and will certainly help in avoiding fatal accidents.

2015 Honda Jazz: What’s New?

rear 2015 Honda Jazz

The Honda name will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Indians. Thanks to iconic cars such as the original City and Civic, the Japanese moniker rose from the primal broth of the first names to ever enter the Indian car market and became a brand Indians aspire to own. Sadly, thanks to the heart stopping petrol rates and the SUV craze sweeping our nation, Honda slowly stepped out of the limelight.

2015 Honda Jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz

With the development of the brand’s i-DTEC Earth Dreams series of diesel engines, Honda is back to take its rightful place among the leaders of the Indian car market. The latest cars to sport Honda’s diesel engines are the City, Amaze and Mobilio, all of which are registering massive bookings since the time of their launch. The next car to be launched by the Japanese manufacturer will be the next gen Honda Jazz hatchback.

Although the original Jazz was a recipe for success, its unbelievably high price tag sent buyers scurrying to other manufacturers. Hopefully, this time around the Japanese marque will release the hatch in a more competitive price bracket. The 2014 Honda Jazz aka Fit has already been on sale in markets abroad for quite sometime now. Honda India however, has taken its time with its launch here. The new Jazz is a complete revamp from its 2009 predecessor. With the most likely inclusion of an oil burner in its range, the new Jazz will surely hit up some good sales figures in the hatchback segment.

Looks:

The next gen Jazz is an impressive looking machine. Although the hatch may not have the same aggressive road presence as some of its other rivals, the Jazz’s styling hints at what it truly is, a fun driver’s car. The front end features all new headlights and reworked grille while the front bumpers now feature large, aggressively styled fog lamp enclosures.

2015 honda jazz front look
Front View

At the side we see a sharp crease that runs along the length of the car and integrates into the reworked taillights. The new Jazz also comes with redesigned alloys as well. The back sees a pair of impressively styled tail-lamps and a thick chrome line running across the boot lid.

 

rear 2015 Honda Jazz
Rear View of the Honda Jazz

Interiors:

The interiors have also been thoroughly reworked with the new Jazz. Now featuring the same piano black center console as the 2014 Honda City, the new interiors have a more zesty styling about them. Similar to the City, the new Jazz’s air con controls are now feature touch sensitive controls. However, unlike the exterior, Honda has not worked too much on the design for the Jazz’s interiors. The exposed plastics and odd layout of the dashboard takes some of the charm from the Jazz’s character. Despite this, the all black cabin and blue backlit instrument cluster imbue a feeling of sportiness lacking in most cars in this segment. With an increased length from the previous generation and a massive 390 L boot space, the Jazz promises to offer the best in class cabin space.

2015 Honda Jazz cabin
Dashboard of the Honda Jazz Face-lift

Under the Hood:

Mechanically the Japanese hatch is unlikely to feature any new engine options for its India release save for the 1.5 L diesel mill. Internationally, the petrol variant is powered by a 1.5 L four cylinder engine that produces 130 HP at 6600 RPM and 114 lb-ft of torque @ 4600 RPM. Sadly, we may not see such a zesty petrol mill for the Indian market. Honda will most likely introduce the Jazz with the 1.2 L i-VTEC engine that churns out 87 HP @ 6000 RPM and 109 Nm of torque @ 4500 RPM.

Honda will also unveil its first diesel hatch in India in the form of the Jazz. Powering the diesel variant of the hatchback will be the company’s 1.5 L i-DTEC motor that delivers a whopping 100 HP. If the Jazz is released with the 1.5 L oil burner, it may well become one of the most powerful hatchbacks of the industry.

instrument panel 2015 Honda Jazz
Instrument Panel of the New Jazz

The 2015 Jazz’s biggest rivals will be the new Hyundai Elite i20, facelifted VW Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo. While its rivals strive to reinvent itself to be far more aggressive and dominating, the Jazz takes a different route. One of the best looking cars out there, the Jazz looks a lot peppier and promises to be incredibly fun to drive as well. With the unveiling of the diesel mill, Honda is slowly regaining its lost momentum and may very well be the next leader of the Indian auto industry.

Image Source: Internet

LA-Ferrari (the synonym of love)

"Pricey, Elegant and Fuel Efficient"

When there is rivalry between the ultimate super car producing companies; the world stands witness. Ferrari (a division of fiat motors) has a hybrid card up its sleeve. This time, its habiliment pronounces a certain gumption that makes its rivals look fatuous.

The year was 2013, and the Geneva Motor show had its finest moments of new cars being unveiled, new features being flaunted and aspiration levels flying up higher than our dreams. There was sheer joy among enthusiasts, and then came the moment that made various speed freaks skip a heart beat (or more) The La’Ferrari was unveiled. It has equine features of a stallion that is powered hybrid.

La Ferrari (sounds very French) simply means The Ferrari (to the lay man) this is a one of a kind addition to the new age hybrid hyper car breeds. The name might be gullible, but beware this car isn’t just about the style and glamour, the power produced by the hyper hybrid can get you flying on the road at 300 kmph (whew!!)

The La Ferrari defeats the bull too, it is more powerful than the Lamborghini Veneo, and being faster than the previous MC Laren P1 it challenges the Posrche 918 Spyder. Although this car does not have the ability to run under full electric power like the Porsche and Mc laren at low speeds, but Ferrari clearly claims that the La Ferrari is the successor of the Enzo and takes you up close and personal to being  a Formula One Driver with this brutal force on wheels.

 

Ferrari Unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show
Image Source: www.wallpaperest.com

“We chose to call this model La Ferrari because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence”

“Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is truly an extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of our range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry.” Said Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo.

ENGINE:

The heart of the stallion is a 6.3-litre V12 Engine that has been upgraded. The same engine resides in the F12 Berlinetta. The upgrades include an increased compression ratio of 13.5:1 and there are various internal modifications done to the engine to produce a powerhouse. The improved engine produces 596 kW power @ 9000RPM, and the peak torque goes up to 700 Nm @ 6750 RPM (if this isn’t real power then what is?)

The Story of power doesn’t end there, the V12 engine is also accompanied by a pair of specially designed motors by the F1 electronic partner, Magneti Marelli who has introduced a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS)  adds on 120kW to the La Ferrari’s drive train that boost up its power a notch higher, making the power output go up to a staggering 718kW and producing a torque of 900Nm (WOW!!)

La Ferrari engine " A Beast resides in this car"
Image Source: www.vanityfair.com

All that power is gets delivered to the rear wheels through the 7 speed dual clutch gearbox that boosts the Ferrari to around 100 kmph in less than 3 seconds (mind=blown). This car is all set to match the McLaren, Porsche 918 and the Lamborghini Veneno, the Ferrari bests the Mclaren (200kmph in 7 seconds) to a faster 300 kmph, making it faster by 2 seconds. The LaFerrari was also tested at Ferrari’s Fiaorano test circuit and it lapped 5 seconds faster than the Enzo, the la Ferrari also laps the Nurburgring circuit in less than 7 minutes, it is Ferrari’s fastest and the most aggressive road car.

BUILD:

All that power is concealed under a lightweight carbon fiber chassis that is sturdy and has a low center of gravity as compared to the Enzo. It weighs around 1360 kgs and it isn’t as bulky as most of the hyper cars built. The body is honed in the same manner and the same wind tunnel as most of the F1 race cars. The cars feature pretty neat aerodynamic devices like the diffusers (front and back) The wing mirrors on the La Ferrari are quite long, they are built in such a manner that the driver can look at the car’s rear wheel arches. This might be absurdly built, but that’s the trend (so what are we really going to do about it right?)

La-Ferrari looks and body
Image Source: www.caricos.com

The LaFerrari has a double wishbone suspension mated with magnetic shock absorbers and new & improved carbon brakes to seize all the hyper power on wheels. Even the tires are of a different class; the specially crafted Pirelli P-Zero Tires are safe and obviously one of a kind.

Inspired by the F1 cars, the cockpit has two seats and the seats are a fixed part of the chassis. The pedal box and steering wheel can be adjusted according to the driver’s comfort, or you could pretty much get it tailor made (After all, you are going to burn the deepest corners of your pockets to afford this ride, so why not customize it?)

WHAT’S WITH THE HYBRID?

The Hyper-Hybrid La Ferrari spreads the Green word loud and clear, this is the future of green cars. The V12 engine is mated to an electric motor, the car is Hybrid and it is built not only for speed but to refurbish and redefine the way people look at green cars.

The car runs on a petrol engine and runs on three variations. It is developed for racing and stores electrical energy and uses it later to supplement power from the petrol engine.

The car reduces fuel consumption and lowers CO2 emissions.

 

La-Ferrari electric engine
Image Source: www.mages.alphacoders.com

PRICE:

This is the most crucial section. Ratan Tata had pored over each and every inch of La Ferrari at the Geneva auto Show, He claimed that the car looks terrific and what’s more terrific is its price. One being asked if he would buy one, he joked, “I don’t have the money”

Well, the car costs $ 2 million !

The car has already received more than 700 requests for this hyper beast (I wonder, where does all that money comes from?)

La-Ferrari price
Image Source: www.mrwallpaper.com

BOTTOMLINE

Well, this is yet another dream that might come true if you are a billionaire. It is one of the most spectacular cars built by Ferrari ever. Hope you see one whiz by on Indian roads.

Harley Davidson – LiveWire… the electric machine!

Electric bikes have been around longer than you expected. The first electric motorcycle was patented in 1897. Then, there was no progress in the electric motorcycle development for about a 100 years. Now, a lot of manufacturers are taking interest in the electric motorcycle and one of the most conservative, conventional and traditional manufacturer, Harley Davidson, has taken interest in the electric motorcycle and started project LiveWire.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire
LiveWire Badge

It is good to see the company progressing and coming up with such new ideas.

Harley-Davidson kicked off a US tour travelling through 30 Harley dealerships and it also intends to do the same across Europe and Canada. All this to show the product and take a customer survey.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire bikes
Prototype LiveWire’s

Anyone who thinks about Harley’s, the first thing that comes to mind in a beautifully thumping V-Twin Motor. The Project Live Wire is nothing like that. It is an opportunity for Harley Davidson’s customers to get on an all electric motorcycle and give Harley Davidson a little feedback on what they feel.

We as human beings have a tendency to resist change. It’s just a natural phenomenon. Over time we then come to accept these changes. The traditional Harley riders are a little skeptical about this change and want to stick to the traditional loud bikes but the feedback from the newer generation riders has been amazing. The bike is pegged for female riders and customers from other brands too.

Harley Davidson does not intend to change over to these types of bikes. The V-Twin powered bikes will continue to be produced alongside.

The biggest problem with any vehicle powered by electricity is range. The range on this concept has been optimized as a demonstration vehicle of 53 miles. They are taking feedback from riders about what sort of range they would like on the bike.
The battery technology is fast growing and over time, when this motorcycle does come into production, it will have a really optimized range.

The design team who makes the Harley’s, have their design centered around the jewel of the bike, the v-twin engine, similarly, the design of the LiveWire was designed to focus and highlight on the longitudinally mounted motor. The motor looks like an in-line 4 cylinder engine when you look at the casing.

The bike uses a traditional Harley Davidson belt drive and is a single speed gearbox. This gives amazing throttle response and a 0-100 kmph just under 4 seconds.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire speed
Harley Davidson LiveWire

The stance of the bike is aggressive, which features an ultra light cast aluminium frame weighing just above 6 kgs. The whole bike weighs 210 kgs. A adjustable rear mounted mono shock suspension, fully adjustable inverted front forks.

The bike is really comfortable for people of all sizes and girls as well.

The design is a blend of both old and new, the lights are are a combination of both reflector and projector LED technology and all the lights are full LED. LED’s certainly are expensive but they are light, compact and consume very less power and at the same time provide bright illumination.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire looks
Full LED front Headlamps and Indicator Stocks

The instrument cluster, a touchscreen interface, isn’t completely integrated into the design and looks like a large smartphone or tablet.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire dashboard
Touchscreen Instrument Cluster

The bike is great for new riders as it has no clutch, no gears to shift and is a complete get on and go bike. The only things that need a service are the brake fluids and the tires.

The team made some deliberate decisions as far as the sound of the bike is concerned. Unlike other electric bikes which are distinctly silent, the LiveWire makes a characteristic sound. It’s best described as the sound of a jet engine. The sound is based on a gear noise and not artificially generated. The longitudinally mounted motor which is transmitted up a bevel gear which helps make its characteristic sound.

To start the bike, flick a switch from the off position to the run position which is activated by the key fob, similar to the key-less entry systems on cars. Then press and hold the start button.

Before starting off, riders have to choose between a range mode and a power ride mode which run for 59 & 29 miles respectively on full charge. However, to switch over you need to stop.

The ride is pleasant at speed and the bike is light weight and handles it really well. Top speed is 92 MPH. The re-gen is just amazing and the brake pads are hardly used. Both used in conjunction is really amazing and the bike has only one disc on the front. This is more than sufficient. The throttle is progressive and at no point does it lurch or jerk in any way.
Compared to the traditional Harley’s with the foot clutch and hand shift this is the complete opposite to ride.

The LiveWire is a running prototype that will set the baseline for the models that Harley’s generate, based on the same concept.

Harley Davidson - LiveWire specifications
Harley Davidson LiveWire

I commend Harley Davidson from sticking their head in the sand and making the same thing year in and year out. It is the reason why we saw the demise of many British motorcycle companies and also Indian. As traditional a manufacturer as Harley Davidson may be, it is good to see them thinking ahead about the future.

In a couple of years when electric bike’s become faster and more convenient, that is when the revolution is going to start and i am confident that Harley Davidson will be one of the leaders to be a part of this revolution.

Why Tesla Open-Sourced its Patents ?

model s blue

Elon Musk is clearly on a mission to change a lot of fundamental beliefs and practices. The maverick entrepreneur is something of a jack of all trades and master of them all as well, having tasted a degree of success in most ventures others can only dream of having. With Paypal he changed the way online transactions were carried out. SpaceX has altered the way we think about space travel. Musk has had the audacity to think of trips to the moon as an everyday, commercial affair.

And with Tesla he is pushing the boundaries of what we think electric and hybrid vehicles are capable of doing. The Canadian-American magnate has made it amply clear that conventions and rules mean little to him. But his latest caper is quite dumbfounding, even for his standards.

tesla red model s

“All our patents belong to you.” Like a thunderclap at dawn, Tesla’s document outlining its open-sourcing of its patents makes its intentions clear up front. The press release sent most observers of Musk and motoring in general into a deep and stolid period of cogitation.

Why would a veritable superpower in the world of electric vehicles, holding hundreds of patents, leave most of its intellectual property to be exploited by competitors and in essence, anybody?

Tesla model s blue

There are a couple of reasons why the move by Tesla is so astounding. Firstly, it flies in the face of anything we’re used to seeing in the industry. Patents are a means to secure one’s work so that it cannot be used by competitors from making use of or monetary benefit from their findings. It is also uncharacteristic for Tesla to do such a thing, as until now they have used their portfolio of patents in a most conventional manner- to foster innovation within the company and to maintain the innovation chasm it has established between itself and its rivals.

This raises a simple question. Why? Why would Tesla do such a thing? It seems like the kind of move that could bring an end to its dominance in the field of electric vehicles. Also, how much access does Tesla really give with regards to its patents? Let’s find out.

tesla model s

The first and most emergent reason that seems to behind Tesla’s move is to allow for greater standardization in the field. As with any emerging technology, one of the greatest impediments to the spread of electric vehicles has been the lack of standardized technology.

Consider charging stations, for example. Any electric vehicle owner will tell you that the lack of charging stations is one of the main problems they face. But it isn’t just the paucity that is hurting them, but the lack of uniformity. There are several different kinds of technologies that co-exist for charging electric and hybrid cars. If, instead, there was a standard technology used for charging stations, it would allow the infrastructure to be laid out more rapidly and be more ubiquitous.

Thus, it seems that Tesla has been almost altruistic in giving away its patents. Doing this will make their technology of preference known, and give it a shot at being the standard for the industry. It seems like a bit of a calculated risk but it also gives Tesla the chance to establish itself as the company providing the standards, and hence being the leader in its space. In doing so Tesla encourages greater uniformity in the kind of technology that is used while also asserting itself as an industry pacemaker.

With patents, a lot of what is kosher and what isn’t comes down to the legalese. Tesla has stated in its release that it won’t go after anyone that applies its technology in “good faith.” We’ll probably find out exactly what that means only when someone does breach the boundaries of good faith. On this point, it’s those that will potentially make use of the patents that will need to play it safe. How reliable really is Tesla’s declassification of its patents? One wouldn’t want to be the manufacturer to make use of Tesla’s technology only to find out that they’ve made an infringement.

Bottom-Line:

Thus, as with any other legal matter, it is the nitty-gritties that it will all come down to. It may seem like Tesla has kept to its maverick ways and pulled another fast one on us. But at the end of the day it will be a court of law, mostly in the USA or France (where Tesla also has some of its patents filed) that will decide how the patent publishing plays out.

All you need to know About the EURO NCAP Testing

Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Programme) is an organization dedicated to car safety performance assessment to help buyers choose the safest car on the market. 

Even though governments across the world have regulations regarding crash safety, they are not as stringent as what Euro NCAP follows.

Star Based Rating System for Euro-NCAP
Euro-NCAP Assessment Rating

Let us look into some of the features of the Euro NCAP Testing of vehicles.

How does Euro NCAP choose which cars to test and how are they sourced? 

With the number of cars available on the market, it is not possible to test each and every variant. The most popular models are chosen for the test. As for the variant, the fastest moving one is chosen.

These cars are sourced from the dealers anonymously. If they are testing a car that is not available to the dealers yet, they randomly select cars from the production line. These tests are so detailed that Euro NCAP requires a total of 4 cars for a complete assessment.

This causes the tests to be unbiased and prevents from manufacturers making changes to one off models that will effect the test results.

The Euro NCAP members are obligated to sponsor at least one car model every year.

How are the cars graded? 

With the quickly increasing standards in terms of safety, the Euro NCAP updated their scoring scheme in 2009 and the same is being followed.

Pre 2009, Euro NCAP released 3 ratings per car, i.e., Adult, Child and Pedestrian Protection. The manufacturers concentration revolved around the adult occupant protection. This lead to neglect in the areas of child occupant protection, pedestrian safety, whiplash, active safety systems etc. Hence the new system of assessment devised in 2009 encouraged manufacturers to give it an holistic approach rather than focus on adult occupant protection that was being used as a marketing tool to sell volumes.

They new system calculates a score based on Adult Protection, Child Protection, Pedestrian Projection and safety assessment systems.

The overall score is calculated by comparing the four individual scores with respect to each other and it is made sure that no single area is underachieving.

Depending on the on board safety systems, an additional score is provided for features such as seat-belt reminders, speed limiters, Electronic Stability control etc.

VolksWagen Polo Airbags India Crash Test
Comprehensive Rating of the Indian Spec Volkswagen Polo ( With Two Airbags Fitted)

Adult Protection involves a front & side impact test, the pole test which mimics a crash into a tree or lamp pole and a whiplash test to check protection against spinal injuries.

Child Protection checks the design of the car seat and instructions provided by the manufacturer so that the user installs the child seat correctly.

Pedestrian Protection asses the car design and if it is able to minimize head and leg injuries for adult and child pedestrians.

The new rating system, Safety Assist, rewards active safety systems, i.e., systems that help avoid a crash in the first place or to minimize the effect of the crash. These include stability control systems, seat belt reminders and speed limiting devices. This may include any other radical new safety systems developed and installed by the manufacturer.

What are the various Tests that the cars undergo?

Autonomous Emergency Braking 

Euro NCAP tests the automatic breaking system in various scenarios such as city and inter urban driving conditions. Even within this, various scenarios that are regularly faced are emulated.

Frontal Impact 

This is the most frequent of road crash. The vehicle is driven into a fixed deform-able barrier at 64kmph at an offset. Data is then collected from the crash test dummies. The things that are assessed are the car’s structural safety, and how effective systems like the seat belts and airbags are.

Car crash test
BMW 1 Series – Frontal Impact Testing

Car to Car side impact 

After the frontal collision test, the side impact takes the place of the 2nd most important test. Euro NCAP simulates this type of crash by having a ‘mobile deform-able barrier’ hit the driver’s door at 50kmph. The intrusion into the side is checked and this test has driven manufacturers to fit side airbags on most cars.

front side impact car crash test
Frontal Impact & Side Impact

Pole Side impact

The test car is propelled sideways at 30kmph into a rigid pole which sees a major penetration into the side of the car. Cars with curtain airbags which will prevent the drivers head from passing through the window fare well in this crash.

Whiplash

A low speed rear end crash are the most common reason for whiplash. The car seats are checked for anti-whiplash properties and upto what extend they reduce the effect of the rear impact.

whiplash rear impact car crash test
Whiplash

Child Protection

This test is performed alongside the front and side impact tests dummies representing 1½ and 3 year old children are placed in the rear of the car in the type of child restraint recommended by the car maker. The overall child protection score is determined by the child seat dynamic performance and the instructions for the child seats, airbag warning labels, and the car’s ability to accommodate the child restraints safely.

Pedestrian Protection

Various tests involving adult and child pedestrians accidents are replicated at 40kmph. Instead of using full body dummies, specific body parts such as the head and legs are used and they are hit to certain sections of the cars. The deformation on the vehicle body and the dissipation of the energy is checked.

pedestrian impact tests
Pedestrian Safety Test

Electronic Stability Control 

ESC is an active safety system that prevents the crash happening in the first place. The new rules at euro NCAP state that a 5 start safety rating will not be provided unless 85% models sold in its range are fitted with this system.

Were any Indian Cars tested by the Euro NCAP?

Yes! You won’t be happy to hear, but they didn’t fare well in the tests. The benchmark for safety in India is set so low that Indian manufacturers show no obligation to increase the safety standard of domestic cars.

The cars that were tested include the TATA Nano, The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo.All these cars were Indian made models and were selected at random from dealers and shipped to the NCAP testing facility as per standard Euro NCAP protocol.

Some of these models when sold abroad feature airbags and other safety systems but as the sold in India models do not feature them, they didn’t sell so well. The Volkswagen Polo variant with two airbags was a saving grace and awarded 4/5 stars and 3/5 starts for Adult & Child Safety Respectively. All other cars in the test were awarded 0 stars.

The Maserati Ghibli-An Overview

Much like its predecessor all the way  back in 1967 with the emphasis on sporty glamour , the all new Maserati Ghibli is sure to captivate you with her herculean personality and her phenomenal performance . Maserati is a Italian luxury sports car company since 1914 , well known by its brand mission statement  ” Build Ultra-Luxury Performance Automobiles With Timeless Italian Style”.  Maserati is a style and brand that sets it apart from rest of the luxury cars of its kind with the perfect fusion of style , luxury and phenomenal performance . Ghibli is the limitless satisfaction for the drivers desires and expectation and is a  revolution in the sports sedan segment .Sculpted forms and sleek lines of the Maserati Ghibli creates moments like the wind .

Maserati Ghibli

Ghibli literally means the wind , the winds of northen Africa – making it the most suitable model name for this Maserati because it leaves you with an impression that it moves like the wind . The first ever Maserati Ghibli was the Ghibli | all the way  back in 1967 this v8 powered beauty took part in the 1966 Turin Motor show and since then proved to be the most popular car of its kind . After withdrawing from racing in the 1950s it out sold its biggest rivals, the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura and has remained top in the list of luxury sports cars since then.

Looks And Exterior 

2014 Maserati Ghibli front

 

With emphasis on sporty glamour the all new Maserati Gbhili is sure to fascinate you with her looks. Most notable feature of  this car include the front and rear bumpers which meld together into a single line to give it a dynamic look . The cars nose is accentuated by the featured Maserati grille and the icon vertical concave filters are inspired by Gran Turismo and the A6 GCS Berlinetta, a popular  icon from the past. Being one the longest cars of its kind and such a large wheel base the Ghibli still maintains  the look of a sleek coupe achieved by the frame-less window , the iconic Saetta logo and the triangular C-pillar. The cars traditional oval shape is replaced by the rectangular narrows at the top & highlighted by the iconic headlights give it a built-up look . The tapered boot and the back lighted are the natural continuation giving it the same muscular look even from the back . The iconic twin exhaust gives it a very attractive sporty appearance .

Interior

Maserati Ghibli Interior

Maserati Ghibli interior

This car is the child of pure craftsmanship , the interior is so striking that it sets her apart from the rest of the luxury cars of her kind . The most attractive feature of the interiors is the striking instrumental panel with the 7” TFT display to view the cars dynamic data , the larger than usual odometer with the featured back-light, is a special attraction to the interior of the car. When you buckle up and are ready to drive, you have complete ergonomic control over the car. The gbhili’s interior balances perfectly a sporty look and pure luxury giving atmosphere of pure elegance. The optional all electric front adjustment system and the soft leather seating enables the drivers and passengers to be seated in any angle or any posture resulting in top class comfort .

Performance and Technology 

Maserati Engine

This muscular beauty is more than what meets the eye. If  her  looks were just not enough to be awestruck then let the numbers do the talking. Inside the heart of this mean machine lies a twin turbo V6 3-litre engine which accords all the performance and power one can desire without compromising on the fuel consumption.For a diesel engine these specifications are very impressive ,the Maserati Gbhili is a perfect fusion of versatility in terms of use and outstanding power and performance .It can produce an imprressive maximum power of 330 HP (243 kW) at 5,000 rpm , when the Sport mode is opted , 500 Nm available at engine speeds from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm. Just throttle on to the Ghibli for 5.7 sec you will reach the magic number 100kmph from standstill and an impressive top speed of 243 kmph.

When compared to the more powerful unit in its sibling the Ghibli S , this iconic six cylinder engine is forged with a custom  designed camshafts and injectors , combined with turbo mapping and one of a kind electronic systems to reduce the fuel consumption without compromising on the power and the  throttle response. The Maserati Ghibli can be driven on a versatile range of modes including  Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and I.C.E. (Increased Control & Efficiency).The all new Ghibli is forged with the revolutionary ZF automatic transmission system which in turn gives a lightweight and highly efficient gear transmission assisted by an auto guide software which adapts to the road condition so swiftly to give a high class driving experience .

Handling 

Maserati Ghibli Car review

This car is made with such care and precision that driving it gives as much fun as possible , the servo assisted hydraulic steering wheel gives the best feel with the wheel , steering is so effective and smooth  at all times even when moving through slow city traffic. The ghibli is crafted with a highly sophisticated suspension system to give you high levels of comfort and also sporty performance .

The Verdict 

The all new Maserati Ghibli seems like a very dangerous competitor for its rivals in the luxury sedan class like the Audi A6 , BWW 5 series and the Mercedes E-class . This Italian- American luxury sedan still manages to pack a punch being a diesel engine , price in India is estimated to around $100K ie. 45 Lakhs.

Image Source: Internet

SUBARU WRX-2015 CONCEPT – an overview

Interiors of the WRX Subaru (concept)

Subaru cars have always been accoutered with the chiseled and diabolical looks just like it came out of the gymnasium, the recent announcement about the launch of its new WRX model in 2015 is pretty exciting, meanwhile let us review and get our hopes up with the Subaru WRX concept 2015.

Being a Genetically designed race car (so to speak) drivers and speed freaks were the prime focus, and the design was nothing to be really proud of. It was a racer, without any mention about its looks and such. But the new WRX changes all the previous kept notions.

The new Subaru seems stronger in appearance, it looks grumpy too. The new 268 hp generating turbo machine has a 4 and 6 speed manual transmission. As a part of Subaru’s homologation and the dire efforts to promote the WRX for rally’s during 1990, the Impreza was born with so much under its racing hoods that it was a racing rally horse. The 2 Liter turbo engine wasn’t the only impressive part of the vehicle, the fog lights, fender flares, great seating arrangement and a perfect commandeering steering wheel were the driving forces of the all wheel drive Impreza.

DESIGN

The WRX Concept is called a “design study” by Subaru, I wouldn’t know about the study part but it has certainly won a riders heart. It has a few tricks up its design that remain a mystery but the ride and its design are currently being molested in our minds, it’s a matter of time when 2015 is going to give us a WRX orgasm.

SUBARU WRX-2015 Design
Image Source: www.automotive.com

The anticipated 2 Liter Turbo Charged engine is what’s going to charge the new WRX. The new sedan looking concept seems like a 5 door version. Subaru has not particularly been a beauty pageant in the looks department, but who needs looks when power is abundant in the WRX right?

I have to admit, the 2015 model has a sexy body & sporting ascendancy. This is one car that has been bulked up with steroids, Brains and Brilliance.

INTERIORS

The formula of behemoth looks and cherubic interiors are a great combination. The interiors are decorous and pronounce chivalry. The steering wheel looks pretty elegant, so do the seats and upholstery. That should pretty much give you a general view of the interiors.

Interiors of the WRX Subaru (concept)
Image Source: www.2015subaruwrx.com

ENGINE

The brand doesn’t seem to give a rat’s a** about competing cars and their massive engines. A Subaru is what a Subaru does best, Glide through roads!!

The WRX isn’t any different, the new and improved injected 2 Liter engine is wilderness on roads, thrusting up 6000 RPM, that’s convenience at its finest for a race freak. The all wheel drive car would certainly perform its best and the 2-liter turbo charged engine with the power of at least 300 deft horses. Making an awaited debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show, the WRX looks faintly like the Impreza but the similarities are very meager.

BRAKES

With such a lot of mustered power under the hood, the brakes have to be freakishly good. The brakes on the WRX are definitely a show stopper (vehicle stopper in this case)although, there isn’t a lot of information available on them, but we expect something speed stopping.

Check out the heavy duty brakes on the WRX concept.
Image SOurce: www.forums.nasioc.com

HANDLING

The WRX can perform well on roads, but it can perform better on jagged, muddy, and dirt friendly roads, for the fun sake you can try to perform a drift on such a road, the Dunlop SP Wintersport 3D tires would help you exceed your riding expectations. You’d surely have fun dancing with the WRX and it’s communicative steering that

AUDIO

Bleh!! Well, that the apt word for a wannabe stereo system that plays more crap than music. In all honesty, its way better listening to the phones in your phones play list than turning on this grumbling tractor like audio system.

PRICE:

The price of the Subaru WRX hasn’t been announced yet but, you can expect the entry-level price to range from US $ 26,000(Rs. 15.6 lakhs) to $ 32,490(Rs. 19.50 Lakhs), which would definitely make it a worthy buy. This car would just keep you engaged all day; like it was that special kind of girlfriend you always wanted.

 

BOTTOMLINE

The new and improved WRX Subaru
Image Source: www.topspeed.com

The WRX concept has a few features that definitely fit into the “hard to take your eyes off” category, there is an inclusion of a very bold Turbo 4 cylinder engine that would brighten up a racer’s day, there has also been an addition to gears and to sum up the good news, the WRX would be an all wheel drive, the sad part however lies in the infotainment, it is downright sad and makes you want to open your window and rather listen to the cows moo.

“Supposedly” a sedan, it is going to take some time to determine how well this Subaru performs.

Air Car’s to hit the roads in 2015 !

Everyone knows the iPod, but do you know about AirPod ?

Growing environmental degradation day by day, has led to the development of green technologies for keeping the mother Earth alive and also making it safer for the generations to come. Automobiles contribute the maximum share of pollution and thus there is a serious need of coming up with clean, safe and efficient technologies. The presence of limited amount of petrol and diesel is making the global automotive industry to think on alternative fuels.

One such concept named ” One CAT Air Car was shown at the New York Motor show in 2008. It was proposed by Motor development International (MDI) , a French Company founded by Guy Negre.  As the name suggests,unlike conventional cars , this vehicle is driven by compressed air. In petrol and diesel engines, on combustion the chemical energy of the fuel is converted into the mechanical energy.Thus, it is the energy from the fuel that drives the piston of the engine. However,  in Air Car the energy of the compressed air is used to drive the engine.

CONCEPT OF AIR CAR:

MDI AirPod AIR CAR
MDI AirPod at Geneva Motor Show, 2009 (Source: wikipedia.org)

Air Car has a compressed air engine which works on the basic principle of using the energy available from compressed air. The compressed air is stored in high pressure tanks or cylinders installed on the vehicle. The cylinders are filled by plugging the compressor for generating high pressure air. The high pressure air drives the piston which result in the rotation of crankshaft and further the power is transferred to the wheels..

The filling of air is similar to the charging of the electric batteries in electric vehicles. This takes time of around two hours for complete filling and can be avoided by installing the compressor in the vehicle itself with a penalty of its weight.The MDI Air Car fills about 90 kg of high pressure air and can give speeds upto 56 kmph . For attaining higher speeds upto 80 kmph, a motor will start the compressor for producing more high pressure air. Pre-heating of the air using for engine drive, increases energy density of air and produces more power.In order to accelerate, a valve is positioned in the cylinder and during accelerator press, the valve allows more amount of air to go into the cylinder for producing more power.

MDI AirPod Engine Bay
MDI AirPod Engine (Source: howstuffworks.com)

On comparison , the amount of energy available in one kg of air and one kg of conventional fuel like petrol or diesel, the air has very less energy. Keeping this in mind , the weight of the vehicle plays an important role . Thus, MDI initially came up with a single seater concept suitable for urban driving. MDI has many range of products to be run by Compressed air, some of which includes the Ai rMulti-Bus (Urban Transport), AirVan (Transport Utilities),Air Transcontainer and AirBom (Waste Collection).

Pros:

The major advantage of Air Car is that the vehicle produces no pollution. The only source of pollution can be during usage of compressor for producing high pressure air and that could also be removed by using in-built solar panels for providing electricity to the compressor. The cost of air is very less when compared to the prices of petrol and diesel which are increasing day by day. Air being an abundant source such vehicles can be significantly effective. The vehicles are every light with aluminum chassis and keeping the weight to be around 900 kg. The small vehicles being compact can easily maneuver and will cause less traffic in the city. The vehicle can be easy parked in very small spaces.

Cons:

The disadvantage of Air Car is that it might not be used for long drives. It is due to the less availability of compressed air pumps and thus would be beneficial to go for urban drives only for initial stages. The prototype has shown to be driven for 120 miles in one complete filling of cylinders. If the vehicle proves out to be more efficient and fruitful, there are strong possibilities for increasing high pressure compressed air pumps.

MDI AirPod at Parking
MDI AirPod in Parking (Source: www.mdi.lu)

In their latest release , MDI( has come up with a prototype of AirPod and is optimized for parking in the city. The doors on the flanks are removed and can be easily parked perpendicularly to the pavement. They have also introduced joy stick for driving in the AirPod and the vehicle is extremely light.

BOTTOM LINE:

In India, TATA Motors will likely go for the production of Air Car. The compressed engines designed and developed by MDI will be integrated in to the TATA Motors vehicles. TATA Motors Air Car is yet to be produced. Major automobile makers are keeping their eye on compressed air vehicle. The market can be understood only after the customer response for the first models of Air Car. Zero Pollution Motors will be producing the AirPod vehicle of MDI and will be on sale by 2nd half of 2015.

2014 SRT Viper- An Overview

What is more dangerous than the Viper Snake?.  It’s the all new SRT Viper 2014. Until 2012 the Viper was controlled by Dodge and now it dodged out and reached to SRT for a new beginning. Ditching Dodge, the Bad Ass Viper Returns with SRT and this time the snake is more powerful with outrageous speed and performance.!

Even some of the design aspects of the Stingray are in resemblance with the viper. Moving to the new SRT Viper, the new enhancements are huge and the new Viper has many legends involved, right from its subsidiary Lamborghini to Chrysler group and from SRT to Pirelli.

SRT Viper 2014

Image Source: thecarconnection.com

Technical-Specifications:

These are some of the technical specifications of the new 2014 SRT Viper.

SRT Viper 2014 tech specs

Review: Styling

Exteriors:

We know that, viper cars are known for its astonishing build quality and aerodynamic intelligence. The same thing applies to the new Viper as well. The aerodynamic body will surely attract you in the first glance itself. Unlike the other sports cars, Viper’s front is really elongated (there are only a few cars which has this type of elongated body measures). This increases the safety quotient of the car and makes it very stylish and unique.

The light-weight Sidewinder II wheels finished in matte-black and the grille design with whole new Viper’s logo studded on it makes this car amazing and seductive. The Corsa tires which are designed by Pirelli look’s stunning and helps the car to reach maximum speeds with headlong road grip. The headlights and tail-lights which are made of white light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps and Bi-Xenon Lamps are neatly placed to give this car a great road view. In whole the car looks amazing in every angle.

Viper SRT exterior

Interiors:

The all new viper has a whole new skin inside it. When compared to its predecessor, the new viper has a luxurious interior. SRT has focused on driver-focused cockpit-style layout to help drivers drive the car at higher speeds with minimal range of distractions. A 7-inch cluster display which is fully customizable with the tachometer studded in the center makes this car look dramatic and trendy.

Uconnect Access infotainment system made exclusively by Chrysler Group displays the car information that is used by the driver in order to monitor the aspects of the car. Along with these buttons and knobs (which are used to control the aspects of the car such as climate etc.) everything looks perfect and neatly placed. The seats are made by the Italian maker Sabalt, (which sometimes feel uncomfortable for stout folks as they lack upper body support). It also has improved interiors such as audio systems powered by Harman kardon.

SRT Viper interiors

Review: Engine and Performance

The snake is now power packed with a new kind of venom inside in it! Under the hood we can find all-aluminum 8.4-liter V10 which is dubbed as LT4 engine which can churn a maximum torque ranging up to 600 lb·ft (810 N·m) @ 4950 rpm and can produce the power quantity up to 640 bhp (480 kW) @ 6150 rpm. This engine is totally hand made. It also gets a new 6-speed Tremec TR-6060 manual gear system which precisely controls the speed of the car.

Also it has improved add-on enhancement such as new piston range in order to decrease rigidity, sodium-filled exhaust valves, and new catalysts to reduce back pressure. The new viper has new a engineering team which is known as team viper has made this car invincible.

2014 SRT Viper Engine

Image Source: automobilemag.com

Review: Suspension and Braking

The new Viper has a great suspension system which is called as Bilstein DampTronic suspension system, is adapted from the GTS. Not only this, it also has a wide range of add-ons adding to the suspension such as shock dampers, increased spring rates in order to control the car efficiently. The 4-piston brembo braking makes this car very reliable at high speeds. These aspects increase the handling aspects of the car tremendously!

2014 SRT Viper Brakes

Review: Safety

This car is not yet crash tested, but this roadster has a wide range of safety measures provided to this car such as

  • Full suite of air bags
  • ABS+EBD
  • Traction control
  • Stability Control
  • Pre-tensioning seat belts
  • Uconnect Access infotainment system

However this car safety has a flaw too, as this car does not have side impact curtain airbags.

2014 SRT Viper Safety

Love It:

  • Dynamic exteriors
  • Good Acceleration rates
  • Super performer
  • Handling

Leave It:

  • Safety needs to be better
  • Fuel consumption is high
  • Expensive
  • Small drawbacks in interiors

Rivalry:

The car faces major rivalry from Corvette’s C7 stingray and Porsche’s 911 turbo. Not only these two in case of its class, this car also faces rivalry from Audi’s R8, Nissan’s 2015 GTR, 2015 Jaguar’s XKR and Mercedes CL63 AMG.

Bottom-Line:

The new viper is all set to rock the roads, and with these features we can clearly say that it can give pretty good competition to stingray and can the stop the monopoly of C7 in sports segment. Overall it’s a great choice and is unique too.