GIVE YOUR BIKE A CUSTOM TOUCH OF RAJASTHAN!

I believe in love at first sight (this applies strictly to bikes:) ) and I’ve always wanted to own a bike that was unique, omnipotent and designed exactly the way I wanted. I’m sure most of you must have felt the same too.

India in particular has become a hub for custom bikes and custom enthusiasts. It’s like transforming your bike into an autobot. While India was getting flooded with lot many custom bike houses, only a few created legends that we find on roads. One such legendary custom bike house is named RAJPUTANA CUSTOMS.

MEET VIJAY

A Rajput by birth and a biker by heart. Vijay was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan where he did his schooling. After completing his degree in Mass Communication from Carleton University, Canada in the year 2009, Vijay returned to India to pursue his dream of customizing bikes.

RAJPUTANA CUSTOMS VIJAY
Image Source: www.350cc.com

The year 2010 was when Rajputana Customs came into action and ever since, Vijay and his team has been giving India a very traditional Rajasthani touch with their classic customized bikes.

THE NAME’S RAJASTHANI:

If culture drives the country, then what’s the harm in naming the bikes differently?  Every bike built at Rajputana Cutoms shares a very unique blend that combines the Rajasthani culture with the name of every bike and bringing it a step closer to the fabulous design and performance it has to offer. The name that each bike carries, truly pronounces the uniqueness of Rajasthan in its own given ways. A few names of the bikes go as follows: RAJMATA, BITOO, CHINGARI, AGHORI, RAKDI, SOORMA etc. You might think that these are just unusually used names of bikes, but it is not so. There is a deep significance especially with respect to name for every bike ever customized under Rajputana Customs label.

THE CUSTOM HANGAR:

I am going to discuss a few of my favorite bikes that were customized by Vijay Singh and his team.

LOCO & LAADO:

Probably one of the cheapest custom bikes offered by Rajputana Customs, the LOCO and LAADO are customized Royal Enfield 350 or 500 cc, while the LAADO is a customized 1942 BSA M-20 (500 cc) World War-II Army model bike. These bikes fall under the 75k-1-lakh category. Also, the mentioned cost is just for the customization without the bike. So, ride your bike to Rajputana Customs and get it transformed.

Rajputana Customs model Royal Enfield
Image Source: www.350cc.com

UNO

Don’t you just love the tires on this one? Clawed with A 23 mm front and 240 mm rear tire, the UNO comes with a mono-shock soft tail, An excellent Airbrush effect paint job that makes the bike look like it is made out of snake skin, Massive front suspension. Infact, everything in the bike goes through a major overhaul except for the engine and similar parts. The UNO is a customized Royal Enfield 500 cc and the customization of the UNO is priced at around Rs. 4.75 Lakhs.

Rajputana Customs UNO
Image Source: www.350cc.com

NANDI

A name that most Indians are familiar with, the Nandi is a customized Royal Enfiels 500 cc Bike, the customization would cost you Rs. 5 lakhs.

Rajputana Customs Nandi RE
Image Source: www.pipeburn.com

Built with a 23mm front and a 300 mm Rear tire, the Nandi looks super aggressive. The drop down mirrors on the Nandi are a beaut. Look closely at the etched details that you would find on the bike. That is exactly what Rajputana Custom’s means, strict precision in their work and absolute satisfaction on the face of the customer.

LIGHT FOOT:

This particular Bike rode its way into Bollywood. Rajputana Custom has successfully worked its way into John Abraham’s garage too.

Rajputana Customs John Abraham
Image Source: www.L350cc.com

The Light Foot is a 500 cc Royal Enfield with a Girder front Suspension, and internal throttle assembly, hand graving on its brass parts, premium quality leather seats, exhaust guards, classy looking grips, foot rest and even the battery box. The work looks quite meticulously planned in order to create awe. There are a few old school features mated into the Light foot such as the single side drum brakes and the classic old look. Vijay had taken efforts to fit in a leaf spring seat that perfectly syncs in with John’s weight (90 kgs)

Rajputana Customs Royal Enfield 500CC
Image Source: www.350cc.com

Customizing this bike would cost you your 500 cc Royal Enfield and just Rs. 5lakhs.

CHINGARI:

Sparking up serious fire in the custom market, the Chingari  is a café racer offered by Rajputana Customs. Café racers had always carried the British feel with them, but Rajputana broke the chain and built something that would definitely give the British café racer a taste of the Indian Chingari. Carrying a blazing yellow color, spending 1.5 lakhs and your 350/500 cc bike on the chingari customization would definitely be worth it.

Rajputana Customs Café racer Chingari
Image Source: www.350cc.com

8 BALL:

Building a bobber out of an Enfield was also an exciting challenge for Rajputana Customs. With the stable hand of Vijay’s teammates and of course their brains too the 8 Ball was certainly a ball in Vijay’s court. Sure enough the 8 ball had an arousal effect on bobber fans.

Vijay says, With “8 Ball” we have just started to scratch the surface of a goldmine. We are here to usher in an era of RE Custom Bobbers and old school charm. Here comes the boom…..ride on.

Rajputana Customs Bobbers
Image Source: www.350cc.com

 

The single seat bobber was too old school, Rajputana Customs had another whacky idea, why not add a detachable back seat? And it totally worked (unfortunately if you are married, you would want to keep this a secret from you know who 😉 )

The Customization of the bobber (8ball) would require your 350/500 cc Enfield and although your pocket might feel Rs. 2 lakh lighter, the looks would be worth the money.

RAJMATA:

By far, one of the most favorite customized bike I’ve ever come across, the RAJMATA is a 1200 cc Harley Davidson 48 that was under the custody of Vijay till it looked sexier than ever. Although, the owner of this Harley did not want anything jazzy on the bike, Vijay and his team did their best to make the bike look better than ever. Customizing your Harley into the Rajmata would cost you anywhere between Rs. 6 to 8 lakhs.

Rajputana Customs Harley Rajmata
Image Source: www.pipeburn.com

What’s unique about this bike? Well, the bike was remodeled to look Rajputana built.  Rajasthan is known for its Naquaashi, or the carving that Rajasthan is quite famous for. After a grueling 6 months+, the Rajmata was complete. She looked like a stunner.

 

Rajputana Customs Harley Rajmata
Image Source: homeiswheretheharddiskis.wordpress.com

BOTTOMLINE:

“Traditional Names, Modern Designs”

Apart from these classics, Rajputana customs also has bikes named,  Raangad, Aghori, Bittoo, Soorma, Raakhdi, Gulaiil etc.

Rajputana customs bikes
Bitoo
Image Source: www.350cc.com
Rajputana customs bikes
Aghori
Image Source: rajputanacustoms.com

Rajputana Cutoms has so many more customized bikes that have indeed created a demand for customized bikes in India. If you have the bike, the money and of course some time in your hands (customizing a bike takes a lot of time depending on the details you get into) you might want to give it a shot.

Visit the Rajputana Customs Website: www.rajputanacustoms.com

ITS SCOOTY ZEST BABY !

Another Reason for Girls [I’m assuming even Guys 🙂 ] to rejoice. TVS has announced the launch of its newest member in the Scooty family, The All new ZEST.

Scooty Zest review
Image source : Overdrive.in

Zestful by looks and playful by nature, the Scooty Zest is set to get winks on Indian roads in 2014. The peppy ranged Scooty is going to be packed with new features and not to forget, new and vibrant colors – making a great addition to your selfie 😉 

ENGINE:

The Scooty Zest is gonna to carry a 109.7cc Single cylinder Engine. The power can max out to 8 Bhp @ 7500 RPM, producing 8 NM torque @ 5500 RPM (cute enough). The auto transmission mated to the Scooty Zest’s engine, and a 4 stroke single cylinder (air cooled) and a carbureted engine would provide 51mm bore and a 43mm stroke. The Scooty Zest would also be quite fuel efficient and would provide competition in terms of pick up and riding comfort.

TVS claims that the ZEST would provide a mileage of 62 Kmpl. (much needed these days)

SUSPENSION:

Hydraulic telescopic forks front suspension and a mono coil spring rear suspension would make the bumpy roads a bit more bearable, thereby ensuring a hassle free smooth ride.  The braking is of utmost concern and hence drum brakes have been installed in both front and rear of the Scooty Zest (although a front disk brake could have been impressive)

Owing to unsteady road conditions, TVS Scooty Zest would have 10 inch pressed steel wheels and the tire size would be 3.0X10 inches.

VISUALS:

An all new white finished instrument panel would feature a classy analogue speedometer, a trip meter and a fuel gauge. This new scooterette with its makeup, looks better than the previous Scooty versions. TVS has redesigned the front apron of the Zest and the lamp design has also been changed. The headlight and the tail light looks chick friendly.

The albeit the chick friendly image is something the Scooty is known to carry. The technology and engineering has been a priority with the Scooty Zest. The appearance is exactly what a girly ride should look like. The stylish headlamp would have a 12 v, 35/35 W fixture to brighten up the road at night. The dash board has also been arranged specifically keeping uber chic features in mind and instruments such as the speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge have been given a contrasting look with the scooterette.

Scooty Zest review
Image Source: www.bikes4sale.in

Zest would have both electric start and manual (kick) starter. The handle bar also provides easy and simple handling without worrying about the slippery accelerator or the heavy handles. Scooty Zest would also have sufficient space in the front to hold small luggage. There would also be a solitary hook attached (just like in any typical scooter) to safely handle bags and such.

The Scooty Zest is in tune with the current trend and the side profile definitely speaks so. The usage of high quality plastic definitely adds glamour to the side profile. You can easily store a bit more luggage (make up kit etc 🙂 ) under the seat. The seating is exceptionally larger and more comfortable than the previous Scooty models. The rider wouldn’t have to worry about the leg space, as TVS has graciously increased the foot rest and the pillion foot rest too. The pillion foot rest has been raised a bit towards an uprising position for extra comfort.

The seats look a bit similar to the Wego and the exhaust unit shares similarity to that sound in the Jupiter Scooter. The lamps have been given a slender look rather than sticking on to the bulky look. The tail lamps would have LED fixtures instead of the normal bulbs.

COMPETITION:

With competition lurking in every corner, the TVS SCOOTY ZEST would compete hip to hip with Honda Activa, Honda Dio, Yamaha Ray, Mahindra Rodeo etc. TVS would really have to work its way up. Thankfully, TVS has a good reputation among the ladies and the Zest might succeed.

PRICE:

This stylish two wheeled beauty can be yours for Rs. 47,500*/-

BOTTOM LINE:

The all new scooty Zest is allegedly more peppy in terms of design and features. However, the peppy and cute factor wont just do. With bigger and more aggressive competition increasing, TVS would have to strategically plan the advertising and branding of ZEST. The good part is that TVS is going to bring out the ZEST in various color shades.

Scooty Zest features review
Image Source: http://www.carblogindia.com/

The Zest had mixed reactions at the Auto expo, while some prefer the performance attributes and the easy to handle features of the Zest, others aren’t quite convinced with the looks. Its up to TVS to market this potential competitor differently to regain the girly pride that Scooty has always stood for.

LAGONDA THE LIMITED EDITION ASTON MARTIN

OVERVIEW:

British Luxury cars are always a feast to the eye and Aston Martin does a fine job. Being one of the most desired luxury cars and producing the most expensive car (one 77) in the world- the Aston Martin wins hearts on screen and in real life.

Although Aston martin is popularly known for its super and hyper cars such as the V12 Zagato and the One 77, we are going to discuss the more discreet saloon version of Aston martin named Lagonda.

Derived from the name Lagonda Marque, Aston martin had purchased the Lagonda Unit in 1947, which managed to produce 645 cars. Two versions of the Lagonda were created, a short-lived 1974 Aston Martin V8 saloon version and an ultra modern version in the year 1976.

Aston Martin Lagonda (1976-1989)
Aston Martin Lagonda (1976-1989)
Image Source: www.nydailynews.com

Aston martin too had its downs, during the mid 1970’s Aston Marin was facing a financial break down and funds were a necessity.  The 2-door sports car producing company took a sudden move of producing 4-door saloon cars that were an instant hit. It not only gave the company a relief for its money problems, the 4 door saloon had certainly drawn attention and customers couldn’t say no to this saloon car.

William Towns, who adapted the “folded paper”, designed the Saloon Style then, ensured that design and aesthetics, be a big factor, and this unconventionally designed car just made things better for Aston Martin enthusiasts.  The combination was trendy and an opulent mix of style fabricated with plush leather interiors and the instrumentation was just commendable ( Although, performance had played spoil sport with the Lagonda ). The 3 speed “Torque Flite” auto transmission, 4- cam carbureted V8 wasn’t really an impressive bid. The mileage really took a toll on the driver; with under than a single digit mile per gallon, the Lagonda series 3 had faced issues.

Lagonda’s had a reputation of being among the most expensive saloon’s the world had to offer- with a hefty price tag and limited production. The direct alternatives to the Lagonda were, Rolls Royce Silver Spirit/Silver Spur and the Bentley Mulsanne.

Being the first ever car produced that was computer aided with digital instrumentation panel etc. was a massive success for Aston Martin. Computer technology being a mystery then, had the price advantage and hence the Lagonda’s price was 4 times as much as the budget of the saloon.

A couple of years later, the Lagonda faced more problems of being labeled among one of the top 50 ugliest cars of the last 5 decades and being tagged as one of the worst cars of all time (what a shame)

CURRENT SCENARIO:

Aston Martin Lagonda is finally making a come back, as confirmed officially in 2014. The new Lagonda will be made available in the Middle East market and the sales are going to be restricted to an invitation basis. The super saloon would be made to order and thereby revive its lost reputation through the limited series Lagonda. Style and Elegance being a priority, this super luxury saloon would come with a limited edition badge.

Judging by its looks, the new Lagonda would definitely boast the company’s ethos and ensure that the Lagonda fits into the “Finest cars” category. With increasing demands in the Middle East, Aston martin has decided to give the market a shot with this limited edition roll out.

The New Aston Martin Lagonda
The New Lagonda
Image Source: http://www.astonmartin.com

CAR SPECS:

According to sources, the new Lagonda would carry an omnipotent 5935 cc, V12 engine carrying the power of 600 horses( :O ) and an upgraded 8 speed auto transmission, the car would be based largely on the VH platform as its cousin, the Rapide.

Being partially owner by Kuwait’s Investment Dar, Aston martin is definitely set to give another luxury boost to the Middle East.

Lagonda in the Making
Lagonda in the Making
Image Source: http://www.astonmartin.com

Only 100 units of this hand built marvel are going to be produced at Gaydon (Warwickshire) just like its sporty cousin, the One-77. The Designer of Aston Martin Lagonda, Marek Reichman says, “The Debut of this super luxury saloon in the Middle East market will be an exciting moment not only for Aston martin, but for discerning customers who are seeking the ultimate in luxury and personalization”

Aston Martin Lagonda review

Image Source: www.wild-speed.com

BOTTOM LINE:

A truly fantastic comeback is what we can expect from Aston Martin. Being a limited Edition, the Price is also going to be the same. Aston Martin is quite serious about the production of these limited edition super luxury saloons, and Middle East being one of the most popular hub for super cars- the Lagonda is certainly not going to be disappointing.

2014 Vauxhall Corsa-An Overview

Vauxhall, which is a subsidiary of General Motors (USA), is slowly rooting into USA (it’s a well-known hotshot in the U.K ). Vauxhall has an amazing history hidden behind it. It was founded in 1857 by Alexander Wilson in London. Vauxhall is not only famous for automobile production; it is also famous for large war tanks production. During World War II, Vauxhall is one of the few companies to produce large quantities of warheads for British. Over 5,600 Churchill tanks were built by Vauxhall, during the world war. In 1925 Vauxhall was acquired by General Motors and till now it is owned by General Motors.

If you are in Asia, you must be wondering that Vauxhall is totally a new name. Vauxhall has already made its debut in Asian countries like China, India and also in Europe too. If you know about a brand called Opel, then you are already familiar with Vauxhall ( as Vauxhall and Opel are same ). Vauxhall was called as Opel in European and Asiatic countries and in U.K it was called with the same name. So far Vauxhall has built several cars, but among all those cars build by Vauxhall, Corsa is considered as Vauxhall’s most famous release. In the U.K it is called as Super-mini and is one of the highest selling cars in the U.K region.

Vauxhall history - British churchill tank

Image Source: ww2shots.com

Now with the new Corsa, Vauxhall is targeting both U.S.A and U.K markets. Corsa has an amazing popularity in U.K and considering this popularity and legacy of this model, after years of experimentations and minor enhancements and upgrades, Vauxhall will finally revealed the fourth-generation Corsa for 2015. The car was scheduled to hit the market in 2015. Do you think, this British make has enough power to repeat the legacy again..? Lets see !

Opel Corsa OPC review

Image Source: gmauthority.com

Technical Specs:

These are some of the technical specifications of this car. Have a look.

Vauxhall Opel corsa specs

Review: Styling

Exterior:

The Fourth Generation Corsa has similarities from its predecessor (as it has the same dimensions of the Super-mini). As the car has to carry the legacy of that model, the company decided to go with the same dimension range. But, it has some major changes with regards to the exteriors, such as new body panels, Sporty design, and new colors. The trapezoidal front grille and LED daytime running lights are look impressive and makes this car look all the more elegant. The design features are not only taken from its predecessor, it’s also taken from another Opel car called Opel Adam (a sports hatch). So the new Corsa has a perfect sporty and as well as a classy combination. In fact the trapezoidal front grille is obtained from Opel Adam. The only drawback when it comes to exteriors; driver visibility is not quite good enough as the car suffers from a demerit of low cabin range.

Opel Corsa exteriors

Interior:

When it comes to interior build quality, the car doesn’t have luxurious interiors like Volkswagen polo, but the car offers sophisticated and decent interiors. It offers a wide range of interior features in its class and the price as well. Heated front seats, soft-tone ambient lighting, and a full-size panoramic roof are some of those interior changes. There is also another enhancement on dash board where a 7-inch touchscreen is added with gaming console attachment availability. Kids will love this feature. The boot space quantity at the back remains same (285-Litres). The LCD panel can also be used in order to connect to smart phone and you can browse through the contents of your smartphone. It has both apple and android connectivity as it has IntelliLink support and if you have an iPhone you can connect your phone and can access Siri through that touch screen.

Opel Corsa interiors

Review: Engine & Performance

The new Vauxhall Corsa is equipped with a wide range of engine options, the user can choose from 4 different engine variants and all these engines have the same six-speed manual engine in default. However some engines have an option to customize the gear box option from manual to auto. The car can reach a maximum speed up to 110mph at an acceleration rate of 0-60 in 10 seconds.

  • 1.2-liter gas engine which can churn a maximum range of 69 horsepower.
  • 1.3-liter CDTi engine which can churn a minimum horsepower range starting from 74 and can reach the maximum of 94 Horsepower
  • 1.4-liter engine: This engine also has a turbo and non-turbo variant, where turbo variant can produce maximum horse power range up to 99, while the non-turbo variant can produce 89 horsepower.

These engines are nothing new to Vauxhall as the previous cars of Vuxhall were mostly equipped with these three engine specifications, but for Corsa, Vauxhall has designed a new engine exclusively for it

  • It’s the 1.0-liter three-cylinder, turbo engine which can churn a maximum power up to 89-113 horse power and can produce the torque ranging up to 125 pound-feet of torque

Opel Corsa engine

Image Source: caranddriver.com

Review: Safety and Reliability

During prototype testing the new Corsa has participated in the 2013 Driver power survey and secured 126th position with an average score of 85.52 out of 100. But after reaching to production stage in 2014, the 2014 Corsa is not yet participated in 2014 Driver power survey, but we can clearly say that it will get good results in this year too (as it’s already scored best marks in previous year ). It also has six airbags as standard, irrespective of high-end or low-end model. One of the main demerit in safety aspect of this car is the absence of electronic stability program in all model as some rumors are spreading that only the high end model will get the stability control program.

When it comes to a reliability issue, Vauxhall users can enjoy the lifetime warranty facility. This is one of the reasons why Vauxhall cars are sold in such a big numbers

Opel_Corsa_Airbags_768x432_co13_t02_006

Image Source: technocars.com

Pros & Cons:

Pros:

  • New Design
  • Engine Customizations
  • Comes in budget

Cons:

  • Absence of some safety measures
  • The exterior and interior should be some more better

Rivalry:

This car has only two major rivals. Ford’s Fiesta is one of the major rival for this car as in every aspect. Apart from Fiesta, Volkswagen’s polo is also considered as one of the major rival for this car.

Vauxhall Opel Cora compare

Image Source: autoexpress.co.uk

Bottom-line and Price:

Although the price is not yet revealed by the company, but based upon the price of previous super-mini, the new Corsa can also be priced at a decent and affordable price. We think the price range will start from £9,000 and can go up to £10,000.

2014 Honda Acura NSX- an Overview

Today I am going to review about a car which was showcased in Marvel’s super hit Hollywood flick “Avengers”. Yes you got it right, the new Acura NSX 2014. This car appeared at the end of the film(driven by Robert Downey .JR ). Acura is the luxury division of Honda and the new Acura NSX is a hybrid electric sports car which was based on the Original Acura NSX that was produced in the year 1991-2005. In the 2005 the NSX model production was ended due to some lag in safety and reliability issues of this model. Since then, many around the world are waiting to see the comeback of this NSX series with enhanced features. After about 7 years of continuous experimentation on the performance and safety issues, Honda has finally called for the re-entry of the NSX series again. After much expectation, hype, and spy photos from Nuremburg ring ( during its testing ),  Honda has finally unveiled the new NSX at the 2012 North American Auto Show and then followed by Geneva and Tokyo Motor shows in the same year.

After unveiling the concept, Honda is now planning to make this prototype to a production model and this model will be hitting the roads by the end of 2015.

Below is the model which was shown in Avengers

Honda Acura NSX in Avengers

Image Source: Youtube.com

Technical specifications:

The technical specifications are quite impressive and certainly has the ability to deliver high amount of power to this car.

2014 Honda Acura NSX specs

Review: Styling

Exterior:

The all new NSX has a major range of exterior enhancements when compared to the old NSX series cars (due to the long time gap) and the enhancements in design have certainly delivered an amazing external appeal to this car. The front and rare designs, side profile headlights and tail-lights all are very new and looks amazing and perfectly placed. Sporty and Sexy are the two words to describe the car exterior. When it comes to front looks, the carbon black grille at the front occupies a large amount of space and is fitted with a “V” shaped chrome coated metal rig. To this the fog lamps are attached on both left and right side. From the front angle, it throws the look of a laughing beast. The rear profile is descent and good. It’s also 3.3 inches wider and 0.4 inch lower when compared to the old 2005 NSX. Overall the car exterior is quite good and can truly maintain the legacy of the NSX forever.

2014 Honda Acura NSX exterior

Interior:

As far as the interiors is concerned, NSX was designed on the “Human Support Cockpit” theme. The details regarding this new Human Support Cockpit theme was revealed by the company in the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Jon Ikeda (chief designer, Acura Design Studio) stated that they are insistent about delivering on the “Synergy between man and machine,” . Hence the interior is given a smart and human friendly look ( so the car doesn’t look like a machine at all ). The interiors are designed with a mend of both red leather and Alcantara which gives this car a ravishing red color that looks quite amazing. The leather work on both dashboard, seats and steering looks quite luxurious and also very trendy. Carbon fiber cased central consoles, bucket seats, LCD display, Central control, AC-vents and audio system are neatly in place. The middle of the dash is equipped with an infotainment system which shows the information of the car. Other features are yet to be confirmed as the car hasn’t reached the productive stage yet.

Honda Acura NSX Interior

Image Source: kamart-automotive.com

Review: Engine & Performance

The new NSX is powered by a 3.7L DOHC 24-valve V-6 and 2 electric motors at front and 1 rear electric motor. During the initial design phase, the car was said to have a V-10 engine layout, but at the end it was replaced by the V-6 engine with direct injection. The NSX V6 engine can deliver higher amount of power output ( about 400bhp ) and the Electric motors produces prodigious torque instantly for higher performance rates. Both of these combined, the car can produce monstrous power that can enable the car to reach higher speed within less time. It can reach 0-60 MPH in just 3 second. The Seven Speed twin clutch auto transmission helps to produce a balance rate of power to this car with the help of the engine.

Honda Acura NSX engine

Image source: digitaltrends.com

Review: SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive)

Have you observed that I have stated total 3 motors on both front and back? why? This car works on a new “All-Wheel Drive” system. The car is powered by a new technology named as SH-AWD, short for Super Handling All Wheel Drive. The engine, along with the main electric motor will primarily drive the rear wheels and the rat motor powers the rear wheel’s rotation. So, all 4 wheels in the car rotate at same time. This is done to increase the handling and stability of this car and due to this the car has certainly improved when it comes to aspects like handling, and cornering.

Rivals:

This car has many rivals starting from BMW to Lexus and Porsche to Nissan, but the considerable rivals for this car are Lexus LFC and i8. Apart from these, the cars from Porsche and Nissan will also compete.

  • Lexus-LFC
  • BMW i8
  • Nissan GTR
  • Porsche 911
  • Lamborghini Gallardo

2014 Honda Acura NSX

Image Source: motortrend.com

Verdict:

Although the price is not yet officially confirmed by the company (as the car is still not reached its production stage), but as far the speculation from trusted sources, the car is said to be priced at $130,000 (base price). That seems a pretty decent price for a monster of a car like this 🙂

Continental’s Head-up display technologies is a boon for drivers

During driving, in order to read information available on the dashboard the driver takes it eyes off the road. In situations of rush hour traffic, this causes an anxiety, overload and finally he compromises for safety. Thus all the information should be available in the line of sight of the driver. This method of display is known as “Head-up display“(HUD).

WINDSHIELD HEAD-UP DISPLAY:

Head-up display comfort
WINDSHIELD HEAD-UP DISPLAY

 

In windshield head up display, a floating image over the hood is seen. HUD helps avoiding driver distraction and makes driving safe.  Drivers get the necessary information like indicator signals, speed without looking on the dashboard display. The driver feels in control of the vehicle and can respond to critical situations faster. Few examples like speed limit can be displayed on HUD and the driver can be warned for crossing it, adaptive cruise control will allow the driver to see on HUD, the distance from the car ahead and in case of violation warning can be shown on HUD. Also the display can be customized in terms of brightness, contrast, configuration of required information and thus provides flexibility to the driver. Navigation can be coupled with HUD and will provide a convenient way of following the directions. All these information on HUD results in a safe driving environment. HUD’s are available in Audi A6/A7 series, BMW 3 series and Mercedes Benz C-class and are manufactured in a precise environment in Germany.

Head-up display
HUD FOR AUDI A6 and A7

 

AUGMENTED(Virtual) HEAD-UP DISPLAY:

Continental has come up with a prototype of its evolutionary Head-up Display technology named “Augmented reality head-up display”. The motto of this technology is: Seeing is Understanding ie. whatever the driver sees from the display can be directly converted into functionality. The Augmented Head-up vehicles will be seen in vehicles from 2017.It is much more advanced and driver friendly when compared to the windshield HUD. In this, all the information  are displayed in such a way that it makes itself a part of driving. During driving, the information gets reflected on the exterior traffic view. For example when Adaptive cruise control(ACC) is active, the vehicle detected for safer distance can be detected on HUD. Thus all of the information is self- explanatory and makes the driver much more comfortable, relaxed and even tackling critical situations in a better manner. Initially HUD was made for better human ergonomics and now with this technology it has come to a new level of human interaction.

The technology involves insertions of color graphics on to the real road view at 130 cm and 60 cm high section of the driver’s vision. It is due to the use of digital micro-mirror device technology ( which is also found in a digital movie projector ). In the continental demo vehicle three major things were considered. First, the AR-HUD helps the driver to come out of danger in case of getting out of lanes. It supports Adaptive cruise control (ACC) and a crescent shape marking is observed on the road view over the detected vehicle for safe distance. The navigation information helps driver to know which turn needs to be taken without looking for the real world. All the mentioned methods develop trust in the driver for its vehicle and goes to a new level of human interaction with the vehicle.

CONTINENTAL AR-HUD
AUGMENTED REALITY HEAD-UP DISPLAY

It is not at all easy to show all the required information on the road view display. It requires knowledge in various automotive domains. After all data collection from vehicle dynamics, camera images and sensors, the control unit models the real road view display for the driver, thus it basically shows the complexity of the system and would be of great help in modelling of such systems for driver less cars.

COMBINER HEAD-UP DISPLAY:

combiner hud
COMBINER HEAD-UP DISPLAY

It refers to a HUD system similar to windshield HUD but requires less space for installation. It has a small disc shaped device called the combiner which is used as a mirror for displaying the information. This is advantageous for sport vehicles where the cockpit is smaller. The distance of display from the driver is slightly shorter and is around 1.5 m-2 m and thus the driver needs to adjust himself for better view. The optical path can be passed through the combiner itself by changing its optical properties.

BOTTOM LINE:

The need for all these technologies is because of the safety issues during driving due to the driver distractions while checking the dashboard displays. HUD has the potential of reducing the accidents caused due to driver distractions. The role of sensors and other units involved in the system needs to be precise  and accurate in order to give proper informative data . Since the driver understands things based on what he sees. More research in this field, might also come up with cost effective systems and thus making them available for every range of vehicles.

Electric Micro super car- an overview

The usage of the conventional sources of energy like coal and petroleum is growing at a rapid rate and since they are perishable, the world would finally end up with no more such resources. The majority is being used in the transport sector. On- road vehicle population is increasing rapidly and is expected to grow higher and higher. Thus there is a need of  driving vehicles by using resources like bio fuels, electric drive, solar energy and many more.

Electric Micro Super Car:

In one such initiative by EU(European Union) an electric micro super-car concept has been developed.This concept is a product of three years, million dollars of investment between industry and academia along with lot of hard work form the designers team. Electric cars are powered by energy from batteries and which are further charged by power generated by power plants. Thus these vehicles are also not completely clean because pollutants are released during electricity generation.

The electric micro super-car concept is an all green car as it is powered by solar energy. The project named P-MOB is focused on development of light weight electric vehicles with harvesting of solar energy for mobility and  low aerodynamic drag. The vehicle is designed considering the urban driving conditions.

Electric Micro Super Car

The vehicle is a three seater, solar powered with a mass less than 600 kg without batteries pack.    It has top speed of 100 kmph and fully charged battery range of 100km. However when powered by solar energy alone, it can manage 20 km based on testing done on Fit test tracks in Italy. 20 km distance is found to be more than the average distance by daily commuters in Europe.  This makes it suitable for short city drives and will not be able to cope up with the long highway drives. It has a kinetic energy recovery system during braking and is claimed to have 30 percent less aerodynamic drag when compared to the vehicles of same class.The little car has a good deal of style, four wheel drive, good handling and swift acceleration.

The vehicle is made from a low-cost tubular steel frame with sheet metal forming in order to comply with the crash worthiness based on regulations. It has two doors on one side which makes it safe and ergonomic for passengers. In order to make it compact, the designers have installed an integration system technique which simultaneously works with several operating systems like magnetic controls, solar cells and power management devices. The system allows two motors and two differentials to function simultaneously for achieving four wheel drive capability. It also helps in providing better control on sharp turns, higher grip in wet and icy road conditions, faster acceleration without drawing large  power.  In this type of vehicle’s where the output power is small such integration system  helps in the energy management of the vehicle. Mono-crystalline solar cells with self control systems are installed.

The self control helps in compensating for the shadow falling on the vehicle. The solar panels are installed on the vehicle roof and windshields under an area of around 2 square meters. The panels have smart diodes to minimize energy loss during low light conditions. The concept also showcases the distribution of the battery modules. The photo voltaic can be used to power front axle motors and the batteries for rear axle. The batteries (8 kg pack)can also be swapped very easily for driving only over solar power. With minor changes the vehicle can comply with the regulations for micro electric vehicles as well as for M1 vehicle category. Such concepts are being seen as business booster’s by manufacturers. All the concepts of this vehicle are patented.

BOTTOM LINE:

Electric micro super car’s have met the safety aspects, lowest footprints, very low energy usage, which would make this vehicle ideal for urban roads. Green vehicles definitely have the potential of taking a large share of automotive markets across the globe. They will be supported by the subsidy from the respective Government authorities of every country.

In India, the government has a plan of National electric mobility mission plan which will provide a subsidy of around 14, 000 crores for electric vehicles. Thus there is huge potential of business in this range of vehicles. At present intensive research is going on to find the ways for future mobility. All this is because we are getting depleted of the conventional resources at a fast phase.

Maruti Ciaz is truly a marvel !

Maruti Ciaz

Maruti Suzuki is known for its reliability ranging across all its automobiles. Although, the recent launch of “Kizashi” had been a bit disappointing  ( because of the huge variation between the Concept Kizashi and the actual one that rolled out on Indian roads ) However, the latest news indicates that Maruti might discontinue its currently successful model SX4 towards the end of 2014 and roll out the new and revised replacement named Maruti Ciaz.

Ciaz made its first appearance at the 2014 Auto Expo and the Launch is expected in the last quarter of 2014.

[caption id="attachment_1713" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Maruti Ciaz Image Source: www.zigwheels.com[/caption]This shorter version of the SX4 is going to share a few similarities but the difference is going to be obvious. The Ciaz concept might have the looks and curves to drool for and it might look aggressively slender and creased with a lot of chrome, the real impact would be realized when the actual models roll out (Sigh!! how i wish there were limited edition concepts rolled out in the market)Rumored to have the bits and bobs of the Ertiga... Ciaz seems to have an adaptation from plenty of its cousins such as the SX4, Swift and Ertiga. Maruti has such similar elements and design aesthetics mated into its anticipated Ciaz making it worth the festive wait.INTERIORS:A beige colored interior might bring the interiors of the Ertiga to mind, however considering a makeover, Maruti is definitely going to focus on new and improved interiors. The supposedly premium interiors would sport an ergonomic design enough to accommodate 3 people comfortably.
[caption id="attachment_1711" align="aligncenter" width="630"]Maruti Ciaz interiors Image Source: www.motortrend.in[/caption]ENGINE:Although Maruti hasn't declared anything about the exact technicalities or the specifications, the sedan would be launched in petrol and diesel options. The Ciaz might be available in 5 speed Automatic and base Manual models. Powered with a 1373 cc petrol engine, and 93.7 bhp at 6000 RPM ranging to 130 Nm at 4000 RPM, the Ciaz certainly churns out decent power packed to perform. Getting started with the engine and powering it up wouldn't really be concerning. The 1.3 litre multi jet DDiS Diesel engine would perform with an attitude of its own, it might produce power ranging between 103- 290 Nm to 118 Bhp-300 Bhp. It is believed that the engine might be transversely positioned such that the front wheels are powered.The variants will supposedly have 15 inch and 16 inch rims (depending on the variant)MILEAGE:One of the most sort out questions ever. What's the mileage?Well, based on the performance of the Ertiga, it can be anticipated that the Ciaz petrol should provide 15- 16 kmpl mileage (depending on the model) whereas, the diesel model should provide a mileage of 21-23 kmpl which goes far beyond ones expectations over such a sedan.

REVVING IT UP:

The 5-speed manual 1.4 litre petrol engine that reaches 0-100 in 13 seconds, would get you across an average of 150 km(per hr). The diesel engine however, would get you across the same (0-100)  in 12 seconds and can range from 170-175 km(per hour)
[caption id="attachment_1712" align="aligncenter" width="670"]Maruti Ciaz body Image Source: www.techgangs.blogspot.com[/caption]The rear lights certainly look similar to the 5 series BMW lights. Impressive!!!ACCESSORIES:If you are waiting for the Ciaz, then Maruti is certainly not going to disappoint you. Providing an array of accessories, you can easily deck up your ride. You can choose from the following: Deck-lid spoiler, Body decals, revolutionary alloy wheels, roof rails etc. The upholstery can also be customized according to your choice.You'd be musically inclined too, the Ciaz would keep music a priority with a music system and features such as Bluetooth and multimedia options. The top end variants would sport A/C climate controls. The Steering would consist of an audio control panel, the car would also have a cooled glove box, and door pockets. You might also spoil yourself with Luxurious Leather seats (optional)BRAKES AND HANDLING:Maruti might grace Ciaz with the dynamic duo combination of its Conventional Disc and a Drum Brake. The front wheels might have ventilated disc brakes while the rear wheels would have drum brakes. The Ciaz would come with new features like the ABS and EBD which would enhance braking in tough conditions.SAFETY:Safety and security is going to be a priority. The Maruti Ciaz might contain a robust suspension mechanism that would give rise to perfect handling conditions. Loaded with a front Mc Pherson Strut system and a Rear Torson Beam rear axle fitted with coil springs, the sedan has a lot more offerings such as air bags, engine immobilizer, side impact beams and a central locking system.COMPETITION:As the anticipation goes, Maruti Ciaz might be available in petrol variants such as LXi, VXi and ZXi whereas the diesel variants would be available in LDi, VDi and ZDi variants. We can expect Maruti Suzuki to price it competitively.It might compete against the Honda City, Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala in the sedan segment.BOTTOM LINE:If you were a fan of the SX4 and if the concept has kept you waiting then, waiting for the roll out of the Maruti CIAZ would certainly be a wise decision. And if you are an impulsive buyer, you can choose between its competing models.

KIA Quoris : An Overview

Today lets study about a car which is famous for its ‘Tiger Nose’ grille and the manufacturer from South Korea who rules Middle-East and USA with its product- KIA.  This Korean based company is now planning to get a pre-dominant position in USA, Canada and Middle East markets with its new releases. Among those new releases 2014 KIA Quoris is one of the major cars in that Line-up. Way back in 2012 KIA produced its Quoris model for the first time and obtained a huge success. With this success, in 2012 KIA is planning to release a new model under its 2012 successful Label “Quoris”.

Apart from countries like USA, Canada and Middle-East, KIA is now concentrating on some European countries and as well as the Chinese markets with its new release. In order to face competition with European Manufactures, the car is all set to be well equipped with all the luxurious elements as European people love luxury cars more than any other segments. On the contrary Chinese people love performance oriented cars. So in order to win both the European and Chinese markets, the car is 100% required to be well equipped with luxury and performance manyfold. So KIA has designed a car with a power packed combination of both luxury and as well as performance, and that is the KIA 900 which is also called  “Quoris”.

Tit Bits : KIA derived its name from Sino-Korean language which is translated to give a meaning as “rising out of Asia”. So the car which is designed at present by KIA is called as Quoris in Korea only, when it comes to Canada and U.S the car is to be called as the K900

2015 Kia K900

Image Source: blog.caranddriver.com

Technical Specifications:

These are some of the technical specifications of this car. Check it out.

Kia k900 technical specifications

The technical specifications look quite solid and makes this car to be a potential competitor with well known brands. So let’s jump to reviewing the aspects of this car.

Review: Looks/Styling

Exterior:

A head turner from every angle and also has an enhanced outer body, KIA has given this car a versatile and elegant look which attracts you at the first glance itself and thanks to its aerodynamic body designed by KIA motors that has brought this elegant feel to the car. The black chrome plated grille with black spokes inserted vertically and the LED fog lights on both sides in front of the car brings the KIA’s legacy of tiger nose look to this car. The tail lamps with LED toughing’s at the rear end of this car and alloy wheels makes this car look more classy and hip. The Power folding mirrors on sides, door scuff plates, and Keyless entry by using remote smart key has made this car quite impressive and astonishing.  The best part of this car is the panoramic glass which is present on the top rear end of the car. This is adjustable by using a central control on the dash board and while driving to exotic locations, this feature might help you to get some picturesque moments from the car itself for sure. Overall the car’s exteriors are quite brilliant and dynamically engineered.

kia exterior

Interiors:

The car’s interiors are also quite impressive in par with the exteriors. When it comes to the car interiors, one which is considered as the center of attraction is the leather treatment it has recieved. The leather work on seats, Dashboard and some aspects of this car gives an aesthetic appeal to this car and crates a luxurious spell to the folks seated inside of this car.  The standard interior features such as audio/Bluetooth  wireless technology/cruise-control buttons mounted on Steering wheel, Push Button to Start/Stop, Auto-diming the rear view mirror with Home-link and compass, Driver information System, Power tilt and telescopic steering, audio system with 17 surrounded speakers powered by Lexicon have certainly increased the beauty of this car. Overall, interiors are good but it needs some more improvement in order to compete against German automobile legends, as this car was designed by considering the German market too.

interior KIA k900

Review: Engine & Performance:

This car is equipped with two different engines V6 (Low-end), V8 (High-End). Both of these engines are powered by the DOHC direct injection fuel system. The low end V6 can churn maximum power up to 311 horsepower and 293 pound-feet of torque and while the high-end V8 can produce a maximum amount of power up to 420 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.  Both of these engines are powered by the all-new 8-speed transmission gear box for precise amount of power release. As far as the performance is considered, the car has the same ECO, NORMAL, Comfort mode in which the Eco-Mode offers higher rate of fuel-efficiency than the other two modes. The performance of this car on city roads is quite high with good turnings, decent fuel consumption and great power transmission.

engines KIA k900

Review: Suspension

The major advantage of this car is its suspension. The car is powered by standard 18-inch alloy wheels (Low-end), and 19-inch chrome wheels (High-end). To support both these two variants, KIA has offered an advanced, five-link, fully independent front and rear suspension. Due to this the car is resistant against the friction aspects, and the shock absorber absorbs the impacts.

Review: Safety

The K900 is powered by several safety measures such as the Driver Information Display, distinctive airbags range as much as 9-Airbags with advanced shock absorption technology, and Knee Pad air bags, Surround View Monitor, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Blind spot detection, ABS, Traction Control etc. These safety measures certainly increase the safety quotient of this car.

Kia K900 safety features

Image Source: kia.com

Brand of cars to consider before buying this are:

  • Hyundai Equus.
  • BMW 7 Series
  • Audi A7
  • Lexus  LS460

Take It:

  • Engine and performance
  • Standard equipment usage
  • Very neat and clean looks

Leave It:

  • Interiors not up to expectations.

Conclusion:

Overall the car looks quite good and has all the necessary features, but the interiors need to be improved to tackle the German flagships. The biggest factor that can help this car to gain momentum in the German market is its price tag, as the price looks pretty descent !

Land Rover- Discover your Vision

Land Rover is a brand of Jaguar Land Rover and is known for its rugged, premium and luxurious SUV’s. It was acquired by TATA Motors in 2008. All the SUV’s from this brand have been a huge success in the automotive markets across the globe. Land Rover has showcased its discovery concept at 2014 Newyork Auto show and will come with a sport model early next year. It will join the family of SUV’s built on the Land Rover platform and has new features, keeping customer- vehicle interaction in mind.

New Land Rover
Land Rover Discover Vision Concept

Land Rover discover defines itself as a rugged SUV with luxurious space for seven along with premium exterior styling.  Discover is unique in the technologies which are applied to easily surpass the off-road challenges often faced during adventure rides. Now, we will go through the latest technologies installed in this concept SUV.

TERRAIN RESPONSE LASER SCANNING:

Being a SUV, it is important that this car should easily pass through all type of road conditions. It is important for the driver to interact with the vehicle during off-road conditions, be it sand or snow. Land Rover has already pioneered this in its previous SUV’s where a knob can be adjusted by the driver in order to change the suspension and power train settings depending on the road surfaces. In the discovery sport concept,  laser scanning technology has replaced the knob. The infrared lasers are installed in the fog lamps to view the terrain ahead and automate the terrain response settings. Also, in addition to that a high resolution screen is installed for getting a topographical look ahead and finding a best possible way out of it.

The next generation response system which will involve road surface texture detection. A water depth sensing system making use of lasers will help in identifying the depth of water bodies and thereby giving the green signal for the under body clearance available for crossing it. Other technologies include the wet grass traction control and high or low speed steering assist.

Land Rover Discover features

A more sophisticated cruise control feature for off-road drive is introduced. If the off-road terrain is not predictable, a semi- automatic cruise control will take over, where the vehicle will be operated at low speeds with appropriate torque vectoring. A guide mode is also installed which will allow the driver to select the type on in-built off-road conditions like muddy, sand, snow, rocks etc. Thus there will always be a  balance between the automatic off-road cruise control and the driver’s involvement in it.

TRANSPARENT HOOD:

A new technology named “Transparent Hood” is introduced in Land Rover Discovery. As the name suggests , you might think of it as a transparent body but is not. The transparency is due to the projection of the images captured by road texture detecting cameras. The images are projected on the heads up display on the windshield. Thus the driver sees the road and not the hood. It makes him feel as if the hood is transparent. The projection can also be made onto the exterior windows. These glasses are named as smart glasses, hence all the glass surfaces actually behave as a multi screen display.

GESTURE CONTROL:

Gesture controls have the tendency to impose risk while driving and are thus under the development stage.As of now they are commonly used for infotainment systems. The motion sensors capable of recognizing the finger and hand movements. Apart from infotainment, they will be made to sense gear shifting, opening and closing of doors and activating lights. These technologies are surely going to take human-vehicle interaction to a new level.

OTHERS:

Four of the interior seats have infotainment screens. The vehicle is equipped with laser headlamps and are 10% in size of LED’s. Thus there is huge potential in exploring the front end design of the vehicle. There is no compromise in terms of light output range which is upto 300m. In order to prevent the blinding of the drivers in the coming cars, smart automatic dimming is added to the laser headlamps. Cameras will detect the traffic and accordingly activate dimming of the light and proper visibility will be maintained for driving.

Land Rover Discovery Light features

 BOTTOM LINE:

All the above mentioned technologies are pave way to reduce driver’s work in the vehicle. If the technologies are applied with proper validation and testing in all driving scenarios, this would definitely start a new era of driver-less cars. It will also help in reduction of driver fatigue occurring during long drives. Land Rover Discovery certainly has the potential to demonstrate such technologies on road and drive a new era of human oriented engineering in automobiles.