THE FORGOTTEN SOUL : CHEVROLET SRV

The first generation Chevrolet SRV was introduced as Daewoo Lacetti by the South Korean manufacturer Daewoo in 2002. It was available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. The hatchback, known as Lacetti5 in South Korea, was introduced in summer 2004. Lacetti was made based on its predecessor Nubira under Daewoo before GM took over. The second generation of this car was introduced in India as Chevrolet Optra. It was available as both Chevrolet Optra magnum and Chevrolet Optra SRV in India. SRV or sports recreation vehicle was based on the Optra platform. It comes in two variants 1.6L base and 1.6L option pack.

srvfrontsrvbackcruze-SRi-hatchHOLDEN CRUZE HATCH

SOURCE : CHEVROLET SRV – PERSONAL PHOTOS

STYLING:

From the front SRV looks like Optra magnum with minimal changes, but from the rear the car looks like a sports coupe. The car has a mind boggling sporty touch due to the nicely designed tail lamps and the stunning spoiler. The front side of the car turned out to be really attractive due to the presence of the cat eye headlamps and between the headlamps are the single strip grille adding more glamour to the already sexy car. Even though the SRV is a hatchback it has the full dimension of a sedan. The front bumper is impact proof for 5mph and comes with fog lights adding that oomph factor to the exteriors of the car. Chevrolet SRV was an absolute head turner with its dual tone Fiery Red and velocity blue colors. Apart from this it also comes in Intense Black and Platinum Metallic.

INTERIORS:

The interior is roomy and spacious with standard features. Well it doesn’t come with high end features such as sat-nav or Bluetooth connectivity. But SRV has everything that a hatchback should have at those times. The car was made targeting the young professionals and is often termed as the “sexy road vehicle”. Though it doesn’t have all the features available in today’s car, Chevy SRV was absolutely a stunner at that time. I can say the cabin is not that attractive with black patterns overtaken by tinges of grey. Compared to the modern hatches, SRV’s cabin looked way too obsolete. Chevrolet haven’t done anything much for the safety of its passengers. SRV is not equipped with passenger Airbags or ABS with EBD making it a little unsafe. However the option pack came with driver’s airbag. Well coming to the boot space, There is a decent amount of boot space in the car with 275-litre which can be increased to 1045 litres by folding the rear seats. The seats are pretty comfortable for making long highway journeys in the car eventful. However city driving can leave you tedious.

ENGINE:

Though it was aimed at the youngster’s, the car turned out to be pretty expensive in terms of fuel economy giving an average mileage of 10- 12kmpl. The Chevy SRV comes with 4- cylinder 1.6 litre VGIS (variable geometry intake system) in line engine that produces 101ps at 5800rpm and a torque of 140Nm at 4500rpm.The torque is well spread across the range with 100kmph reached in 12.9seconds. The gear box comes with a 5 speed manual transmission and was quite a let-down as it did not go smoothly with the ride. The driver may need some time to adapt to the new sticky, rubbery gearbox. The car stays stable in high speeds but steering is slightly heavy and is not up to the mark.

BOTTOM LINE:

SRV is quite pricey and that is why it didn’t hit high on market. Also it is not fuel efficient. In 2010 Chevrolet SRV was discontinued in Indian market. The sole reason for this was its high price and low fuel economy. People would prefer 3 box cars when it is priced above 7 lakhs and with SRV being priced at 7-8 lakhs it was surely a thumbs down. The non-availability of diesel power train is also a reason. The rubbery gearbox is another reason which led its customers down.

CURRENT SCENARIO:

However the Chevrolet SRV is discontinued only in India. It is still prevalent in different parts of the globe with different names. There are lot of moto-enthusiasts around the globe still happily revving with this fantastic machine. (For example In Russia for every 5 minutes, one can spot 2-3 SRV’S) In India too there are a lot of SRV lovers happily using this car. Different parts of the world such as china, Europe, Asia, south America, Canada, Indonesia, Europe, south Korea, Uzbekistan, Australia and U.S, SRV is known and used as Buick Excelle, Chevrolet Lacetti, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Estate, Chevrolet Nubira, Daewoo Lacetti, Daewoo Gentra, Holden Viva, Suzuki Reno and Suzuki Forenza respectively.

FUTURE?

In Australia, Holden, a subsidiary company of general motors already replaced SRV with Holden Cruze hatch. Other countries like south Africa also introduced it. In India too SRV lovers like me (I owned a Chevrolet SRV previously) are restlessly waiting for the replacement of this wonderfully stylish car, which is still a dream for the youth.

VISIT CHEVROLET INDIA WEBSITE : http://www.chevrolet.co.in

GM GLOBAL WEBSITE: http://www.gm.com

PORSCHE MACAN AN “INTENSE” ENTRY

Looks like history has it coming back for the legendary sports automobile car maker, Porsche. The recent launch of its “second” SUV, MACAN that was launched at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show as well as the Tokyo Motor Show, during the same year, is commencing its European sales. The Porsche Macan, derived from the Indonesian term meaning tiger, shares the same vigor but, comes in a smaller package.  A compact SUV that aims on being a roaring success just like its older cousin, “Cayenne“.
The Macan has picked up a few “uber chic” features from its predecessor, the Cayenne and has the word refined flashing on its new design. Built with five doors and five seats, practicality remains constant with Porsche. The tiger comes in 3 different variants.

Macan S Diesel
Macan S Diesel (Image Source: www.wallpaperup.com)

 

LEGACY:

Being the second of its kind, Porsche has made sure that a few aspects like the handling, speed and the lightness be given a lot of priority. The look and feel of this compact aluminum bodied SUV goes down low and thus gives the driver a feeling of driving a sports car.  With a combination of round lines that have fine and precise edges and benignly smooth rear wings, the Macan has a few adaptations from its distant cousin, the 911 turbo, and a few more adaptations like the impeccable head, tail lamps as well as the front spoiler lip from the Porsche 918. And the unique side profile that the designers have named “Porsche Fly line” which, is the coalescence of eclectic proportions.

Striking a perfect balance at being a compact SUV and a sports car, one shouldn’t be bewildered by the thought that the MACAN is built for rough terrains or rocky patches, neither should the assumption run wild to put oneself into believing that the MACAN is a “wannabe” sports car. It is an SUV with the reflexes of a sports car. Porsche has smartly added in some whooping features that make the Macan even more desirable. The aerodynamics has been given substantial thought and even though the Porsche Macan is a compact SUV, what really matters is what lies under the hood.

With a wheelbase the measures about 43.3 cms, the Macan emphasizes on the “compact yet spacious part “and hence, the boot space can generate more space by simply folding the seat downwards, which generously create 500+ liters of space. Apart from that, Porsche has added in glowing eyes during the day (day time lights) and a revolutionary Light system, the PDLS or the Porsche Dynamic Light System, which consists of a projector halogen bean that has both dynamic and static cornering lights. Also, Porsche highlights the Bi-Xenon headlights that come equipped with the Turbo mode.

VARIANTS:

The variants come from the same family but share different engines. Rolling in with a 4-wheel drive, the Macan S that has a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo frontal engine that thrusts 340 bhp or 250 kW producing 538Nm of torque. This compressed powerhouse sprints 0 to 60 miles or 96.5 kms/hr in just 5.2 seconds and swooshes the roads with a top speed of 156 km/hr..

The Macan S Diesel is differently designed. It comprises of a 6cylinder, 3.0-liter rear placed engine that thrusts 258 bhp or 190 kW producing 580 Nm of torque. This beast sprints 0 to 60 in 6.3 seconds and swooshes the roads at 230 km/hr.

And lastly, the Macan Turbo that shares certain similarities with the Macan S, has a 3.6 -liter frontal engine but thrusts 400 bhp or 298 kW and producing 550 NM of torque (Rightly named tiger) does it simpler with a 0 to 60 in 4-6 seconds and sprinting at a top speed on 164 Km/hr.

But, one thing that all the Macan variants share in common is the 7 speed PDK (Porsche Doppel Kupplung ) the paddle gearbox that quick responsive gears that do not hinder with the power supply that is distributed to the wheels. Worried about slowing this electromechanically steered compact sprinter? Porsche has added silver colored aluminum monobloc fixed caliper brakes for the Macan S and the diesel model whereas the turbo gets a color twist of red.

SUSPENSION & TECHNOLOGY:

Choose your suspension that comes in a choice of Steel and Air, which works based on yet another Porsche system, the PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) The air suspension, as opposed to the steel suspension, helps you adjust your ride height 15mm lower. The PASM also helps in providing electronic damping controls that allow you to spoil yourselves with various modes such as “The Comfort Mode, Sports Mode and Sports plus Mode”

Image Source: www.expertreviews.co.uk
Image Source: www.expertreviews.co.uk

The traction is managed by the PTM (Porsche Traction Management) system as well as the PTV (Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus) and comes inbuilt with all MACAN models, which constantly keeps a track and adapts to various driving conditions smartly in accordance to the driver’s style. Macan’s are also built with an “off road” mode that you can activate while traveling at a speed on 80 kmph, by simply touching the respective button.

INTERIORS:

Being a compact SUV, one cannot expect the commodious space that was found aplenty in Cayenne. However, the MACAN is graciously spacious enough to comfortably place five individuals.

The Macan comes equipped with a multi functional steering wheel that is inspired by the 918 Spyder lets your fingers keep a tab on the gears. Another lucid detail is the 4.8-inch color display placed on the right hand dial. This assists you with your navigation.

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Image Source: www.flatsixes.com

Porsche has also management in its communication effectively with the PCM (Porsche Communication Management) an advanced system that communicates and provides the desired navigation information, infotains you with wide accessibility to readily available essential online services through a 7inch high definition touch sensitive screen.

Music Freak?

The Porsche MACAN comes equipped with a Burmester Sound System(optional for all models) featuring 16 speakers and a sub-woofer. (So you go, Boom Boom all the way)

Image Source: http://www.porsche.com/microsite/macan/middle-east.aspx
Image Source: http://www.porsche.com/microsite/macan/middle-east.aspx

Porsche has also given some serious thought into the safety and security measures in the Macan and hence the PSM (Porsche Stability Management) and the PAS (Porsche Active Safe) systems were structured. Built in sensors moderate and monitor your travel, the speed of the vehicle and prevents your vehicle from colliding by applying brakes when needed. Lastly, the Macan also has the LCA (Lane Change Assist) system that allows you to take charge of the tricky lanes and puts you out of jeopardizing situations.

Lance Change Assist Feature. Photo Source: www.autobahnbound.com
Lane Change Assist Feature. Photo Source: www.autobahnbound.com

 

COMPETITORS:

Macan S goes head on against its direct competitors such as the Mercedes M-Class, BMW X5, and Audi Sq5 whereas; the Macan Turbo and the Macan S Diesel collide with the Range Rover Sport, BMW X6, Mercedes GL-Class and presumably its own cousin, Cayenne.

IMPACT ON YOUR POCKET

The Macan S is all set for a base pricey grab of US$ 49,900 whereas the Macan S Diesel and the Macan Turbo are available at US$ 78,500 and $72,300  respectively in the international markets.

Interested? It is anticipated that the Macan would carry a hefty price tag (70-90 lakhs) in the Indian Market.

Visit the Porsche website : http://www.porsche.com

How the 2014 Union Budget will effect the Auto Industry?

The Indian automotive scene has a seen quite a slump and the industry was expecting a boost from the newly-elected government.

Auto-Industry (1)

Some of the industry expectations from this year’s budget included a cut in Excise duty to 10% on automotive parts, timeline for the introduction of the GST, Fleet modernization scheme, withdrawal of the 1% National calamity Contingent Duty (NCCD) and fund allocations for National Electric Mobility Mission Plan.  Here are some points that are a part of the new budget that effect the industry and the industry reactions.

Implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST)

This is something that the auto industry has been demanding for a long time and the finance minister, Mr. Jaitley said that it will be implemented within this fiscal year itself. This will replace all direct taxes levied on goods and services by the Indian central and state governments. The industry hopes for an early implementation of GST.

Arvind Saxena

“The corporate sector was expecting a timeline for the roll out of GST. But the government’s intention to introduce CenGST and also the DTC after review is very encouraging news.” – Arvind Saxena, Preseident & MD, General Motors India

FDI in Insurance to go up to 49%.

Expect increase in the competitiveness in the insurance sector. Also a change in the way your insurance premium is calculated, considering factors such as past history of claims, location of home & work (Parking conditions and safety), age group, safety features on the cars, nature of work and gender beyond the standard consideration of make, model, service history and life of the vehicle.

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“This would encourage foreign investment and will further augment free flow of knowledge and intellectual cross-fertilization,  benefiting the insurance sector as a whole” – K K Mishra – CEO & MD, Tata AIG

Development of Road Infrastructure.

There is no doubt that if proper infrastructure in terms of roads and connectivity plays a major role in the auto sector. An allocation of 37,880 crores for National & State Highways and 14,389 crores for rural roads will help increase the complete transportation frame work. This benefits the industry in the long term.

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“We welcome the announcements related to infrastructure growth such as development of 100 smart cities and rural roads development.” – Joe King, Head, Audi India

National Electric Mobility Mission Plan

An allocation of 24 crores through the ministry of heavy industries provides an initial boost for electric and hybrid vehicle research and manufacturing. However no direct incentives for electric vehicles were announced.

Dr-Pawan-Goenka2

“We did expect an announcement on incentives for electric vehicles which did not come through” – Dr. Pawan Goenka, Executive Director, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.

Reduced Excise Duty Rates to be retained for now

The interim budget saw an announcement for reduced excise duty. This has been extended and the industry hopes that these rates of duty are extended even into the next calendar year.

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“Excise duty benefits announced in the interim budget have been extended till December 2014 and any further changes would depend on the demand in the automotive sector in the next five months.” – Abdul Majeed, Partner, Price Waterhouse Coopers

No Measures for the Commercial Vehicle industry

The commercial vehicle segment has seen slump for more than 2 years now. No measures have been taken for the recovery of this sector. However, indirect measures such as emphasis on growth in infrastructure and manufacturing sector will help boost Commercial Vehicle Industry growth.

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“With mining activity expected to pick up, we also expect a demand trigger for commercial vehicles which has been seeing negative growth till now,” -Umesh Revankar, MD, Shriram Transport Finance Co.

Reduced Steel Prices & Elimination of Customs Duty on Auto Components

Steel is one of the most important input material used in the industry.The elimination of customs duty will be a relief to companies who are trying hard to localize components to keep production costs under check. This is a huge boost we hope to see some of it being passed on to the consumer.

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“Aspects like the continuation of excise duty concessions along with reduction in steel prices and elimination of customs duty on auto components bode well for the sector.” – Kencichiro Yomura, President, Nissan India

Investment Allowance

A proposed allowance of 15% to companies who invest more than 25 crore in a year in new plant and machinery. This is expected to stay for 3 years.

Bottom Line: 

Although the industry expected bolder reforms, measures such as reduced steel prices, extension of excise duty concession and elimination of customs duty of auto components are all a silver lining for the industry. The overall budget has tried to balance from all quarters. The budget is realistic with a long-term view rather than a quick fix treatment and has stayed away from populist measures.

BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 – a destination for every Auto Engineering student

BAJA SAE INDIA has become a popular name in the minds of Indian Engineering students. BAJA SAE INDIA represents an event organised by SAE INDIA in collaboration with the giants of automotive industry like Mahindra & Mahindra, General Motors and Cummins. The objective of the event is to allow a group of Engineering students to design, fabricate, test and validate a single seater off-road vehicle. The off-road vehicle made by the students is then judged based on various parameters like design, safety, durability, build quality, rule book compliance.

The event was first started in 2007 at Indore, Pithampur on NATRAX test tracks. Since then the event has grown in number of participating teams, vehicle quality, test track developments. In order to bring a uniformity in all the vehicles, BAJA SAE INDIA every year launches a rule book which is basically the bible for the students. They need to follow the rule book while designing the vehicle. The rule book contains guidelines for roll cage design, safety aspects, limits on the vehicle dimensions etc.Also the engine is common to all the vehicles which is supplied by Briggs and Stratton. This event involves the designing phase, manufacturing phase, testing and validation of the vehicle and finally the main event. The teams are usually divided into various sub- departments like Chassis, Powertrain , Suspension & Steering, Brakes,Electrical and Marketing. The departments are made in order to excel in each aspect of the vehicle building.

Note : BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 is scheduled from Aug 1 -Aug 2, 2014 in Gujrat Technological Univeristy, Ahemdabad.

VIRTUAL ROUND:

For BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 there are more than 300 teams registered across the country and not all of them will get a chance to build an off-road vehicle. Considering this level of competition, a virtual round is created where all the teams are required to present their vehicle design and analysis in front of panel of judges from the automotive industry.  The Virtual round for BAJA SAE INDIA 2015 is scheduled from Aug 1, 2014- Aug 2, 2014 at Gujrat Technological University, Ahemdabad. After the virtual round results, a final list of participating teams in the main event is released and only those teams are allowed to go for building their off-road vehicles.

AFTER VIRTUAL SCENARIO:

Now comes the manufacturing phase, which involves material purchase, manufacturing of jigs and fixtures, welding , machining. It is the time where the students get their hands dirty to visualize a marvel which was earlier on computers. It is the crucial time as many problems are addressed during this phase. After the manufacturing phase is completed , the student starts testing of the vehicle and allowed to various rough road conditions for the vehicle in order to pass the tough endurance race held in the main event. After making their off-road buggies, students wait for the main event to fulfill their desire of running their buggies on the tracks.

Team Kshatriya , Car No. 4 at BAJA SAE INDIA 2014
Team Kshatriya , Car No. 4 from VIT University, Vellore at BAJA SAE INDIA 2014

MAIN EVENT:

The main BAJA SAE INDIA event is held at Pithampur, Indore. The event is for four days and DAY 1 starts with an inaugural ceremony followed by the registration of the teams. DAY 1 has technical inspection test of all off-road vehicles which involves Engine check, Tilt test, Figure of 8 test, Rule book compliance and  Brake test. In order to participate in the main endurance race held on DAY 4, the teams have to pass technical inspection. DAY 2 then takes us to the static events where the experts from the automotive industry judge the off-road buggies in terms of design. The vehicle is displayed and the judges of various domains like powertrain, suspension etc. shower their questions on students regarding their design criteria, approach, methodologies etc. DAY 3  is for the dynamic testing of the vehicle. Various dynamic events like acceleration test, hill climb, maneuvering track are conducted . A different suspension track was included in 2014 event, thus there might be surprises for the students even in this year.Day 4 marks the ending of the BAJA SAE INDIA event with final endurance race of four hours on an off-road track developed for the event. The track is designed in such a way it tests durability of the vehicle in all aspects. The major features of tracks are mud pots, sine waves, hills etc. The teams need to run their vehicle for four hours continuously to complete the race. It is the place where many failures in the vehicle take place and the students then take the vehicle to the pit and then repair it to make it once again run on the track. Some vehicles run once again and some do not get into the track after failure.

BAJA SAE INDIA then comes to an end after four thrilling days of off-road motor sports.  A valedictory function is organized for rewarding the students. Various awards like Engineering Design Award, CAE analysis award, Best build quality award,Endurance race winner etc are presented to the various teams.

Bottom Line:

The students give their best to build these buggies and race them in very difficult conditions. This project makes them a quick learner in the field of Automobiles, where they can be directly absorbed by the automotive industry. Students are then recruited through written test and interviews by major automotive companies.This event on a whole is providing India its future automobile engineers who have the skill and the desire to develop automobiles.

Visit Baja India website: www.bajasaeindia.org

2015 Volkswagen Passat Unveiled!

The Volkswagen Passat has always been a bit of an odd ball for the Indian market. With a price tag that rivals entry level cars from luxury car makers, the Passat was always be part of one of the toughest segments in the market. While the current gen Volkswagen Passat does offer a slew of features and oodles of space and comfort, the sedan lacked the brand image to take it to the top. With the first generation’s lackluster organic design, the car failed to look the part; A condition most buyers look for in a car this pricey. All this improved with the current generation.

Despite this However, Volkswagen is slowly building on its reputation as a company that produces more than just quality C segment cars. With the growing popularity of the Jetta and Polo GT, the German manufacturer is slowly climbing the ladder in the pricier segments of the market.

2015 volkswagen passat
The Next Gen VW Passat Has Been Unveiled for the Europe Market

The 2015 Volkswagen Passat was unveiled earlier this week for the European market. Building on the previous generation’s focus on build quality and features the new Passat seeks to be more of a premium offering than the outgoing model. With Volkswagen’s aggressive model release campaign still going strong, it is highly likely that the new sedan will make to Indian shores sooner rather than later.

vw passat front view
The Headlights Are Far More Striking To Look At in The Latest Passat

While the current gen model followed a rather understated design philosophy, the new Passat seeks to be a far more dominating character on the roads. As with most Volkswagen’s , the 2015 Passat is a sharply designed sedan that exudes an aura of class rivaling that of the Skoda Superb. The chunky headlights have given way to a far more sleeker set and the LED daytime running lights integrate perfectly with the thin strips of chrome along the front grille. The fog lamp enclosures have been spruced up with a chrome line that runs along the length of the lower bumper.

2015 volkswagen passat rear
Rear Two Third of the Next Generation Passat

The roofline takes a gentle dip to merge with the largely unchanged rear end. However, the plunging roofline may be a hindrance to tall passengers at the back. VW has more or less retained the overall shape of the current gen Passat’s tail lamps with minor tweaks made to the rear lamps’ dimensions. One of the most striking bits of the rear end are the integrated dual exhaust tips. Located on either side, the chrome lined exhausts bring to mind a sportier coupe which comes as no surprise considering the fact that the earliest Passat sketches indicated that a coupe version was in the works.

interior of 2015 passat
Interior of the Next Gen Passat

Interiors are typical of a Volkswagen with form following function. While one might argue that the interiors are quite dull, the interiors are one of the most ergonomic in its class. The combination of white and beige gives the new Passat an airy feel to it. With the dashboard and center console finished in black, the new interiors improve on the upmarket feel of the car’s exteriors. The center console features a fully loaded infotainment system that comes with a touchscreen display. The analogue clock that sits dead center of the dashboard is an excellent touch. One of the most interesting parts of the 2015 Passat’s interior are the A/C vents. The front A/C vents are directly integrated along the dash of the car so much so that the vents are almost indistinguishable. the premium quality plastics and leather finish is deserving of a car at this segment.

dashboard of volkswagen passat
Dashboard of the 2015 VW Passat

The new Passat will be offered in both petrol and diesel options. However, India might see only the  diesel variant arriving on the market. The range topping diesel unit is a 2.0 L four cylinder engine that produces a whopping 240 HP while the top of the line petrol mill is a 2.0 L TSI unit that churns out a massive 280 HP. While these specs are impressive, the India bound Passat is highly unlikely to sport such power under the hood. Volkswagen will most likely bring in the Passat with a detuned variant of the 2.0 L turbo diesel mill. While deliveries of the new Passat begin later this year for the European market, the German car maker is yet to make a call on the tentative launch dates for the Indian market.

Source: Images via Volkswagen

Visit Volkswagen India Website: www.volkswagen.co.in

Jaguar Virtual windscreen : Fantasy to Reality

If you are a need for speed guy or a guy who loves sci-fi films then this article will truly make your eyes pop out in excitement as you are about to read about a technology which you most often only come across in gaming and movies! Virtual windscreen is a totally new concept in technologies related to automotive industries but when it comes to movies and gaming they have already flaunted many gamer’s like myself – fantasize about this technology 🙂

Remember the BMW i-8 flash in the climax scene in Mission impossible 4 ? where Tom-Cruise gets into the BMW i-8 concept car and drive’s through Indian roads ? If you remember this scene you will remember how the car information is shown on i-8 windscreen which includes the speed, rotation per second, target distance, maps etc. Also you might have seen this in the i-robot movie, where Will Smith has a car that can actually understand him. Many people think about it as a fantasy but now it is becoming  reality as Tata Motors owned Jaguar flaunts such new technologies in their Jaguar Land Rover projects.

Jaguar Virtual Windscreen

Jaguar Land Rover projects:

One of the world’s most renowned car manufacturers of all time Jaguar confirms its commitment to research and development in the UK, with a million pound investment in this new technology, and the innovations/research happening at the University of Warwick is pushing this particular project which is to be called as the Jaguar Land rover project. Jaguar has unveiled the details of its future plans which will now be focused on inventing new technologies and their investments are in order to find totally new cutting-edge designs to support it. As a part from this project the automobile giant has unveiled these bleeding edge technologies.

So, they have introduced their new virtual windscreen screen system and a smart assistant!

Virtual windscreen system:

This system turns the entire windscreen into a huge display where it can display the information regarding the car which includes speed, rotation per second, Instructions, navigation information by projecting images onto the windscreen. It will improve the driving experience, not only on the road but also on the race track as there will be interesting indications on the screen which notifies the driver, the point where the break should be pressed and when it can be released as well !

Infact, Jaguar has also released a video explaining this feature:

Smart Assistant:

Smart assistant is a feature which can actually be able to understand the owner according to their profile which is saved by a new technology called self-learning intelligence. In this, the car automatically learns the owners preferences such as their seat adjustments, songs which are his favorite, remainders etc. ( by learning them through daily bases and saving them in to a form of profiles ). These profiles are set to the user’s mobile phone and when the user gets into the car with his mobile it actually senses the phone and sets the factors of the car such as the preferred song, cabin temperature according to that profile and such. Here the mobile phone acts like a bridge in between owner and the car. You can also get alerts and notifications on your phone when you need to leave for an appointment based on pulse of the traffic on the way to your office, and this service can automatically message colleagues when you’re running late on the road for that particular appointment. Hence they even call this a self-learning car!

Jaguar has released a video explaining this feature:

As we know that the mobile giants are already in the competition, when it comes to automobile technologies as apple has recently unveiled its Carplay technology and Google at the same time introduces its new automobile technology called as Android Auto these may soon be battling it out. But when it comes to virtual windscreen jaguar has made a big step as it has some distinctive smart features which are quite better than these two technologies.

Bottom-Line:

These technologies can for sure create a renaissance in automotive industry and with these distinctive features jaguar can achieve greater heights in automobile manufacturing. As for gamer’s and movie lovers like us, we can feel happy as the fantasy is now to turn a reality. Jaguar is also planning to work on gestures so the user can stop using their hands in order to drive the car. If this happens – driving a car will become more fun !

New Jaguar

Hyundai Eon 1L – an expert review

When you plan to buy a car in the entry level segment, your options are large and for sure will include the Hyundai Eon, The Suzuki Alto K10 & the Datsun GO, to name the front runners.

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Picture Credit : Hyundai Press Release

The Hyundai Eon boasts of an excellent packaged interior and the design is based on the fluidic concept and is sure to turn heads. The only thing that was a let-down was its engine option. A mear 800cc engine was shadowed by the 1l engine in the Alto K10 and the 1.2l under the hood of the Datsun Go.

Fortunately, Hyundai identified this problem and has introduced the Eon with a 1L engine. This engine is derived from the i10 sold in Europe and has come to the Indian shores for the first time. Based on the Kappa-2 Series of engines, it spews out 69ps and 9.6kgm of Torque. The older 800cc unit had only 56ps and 7.6kgm of Torque.

The exterior package of the Eon remains the same. The only thing that will differentiate the Eon from a normal spec Eon will be the 1L badge of the tail gate. The interiors too remain the same.

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Picture Credit: Zigwheels.com

The 3 cylinder engine with VTVT (Variable Valve Timing) technology has an Aluminium engine block and head which makes it light. Along with this it features a low-friction timing chain and piston cooling jets, that keeps the car frugal. Although it is slightly down on fuel economy front,  it is still a winner at 20.3 KMPL (ARAI Figures)

On the inside, the engine start grunt by itself differentiates it from the standard eon. The vibrations coming into the cabin and through the gear stick are much lesser. The engine even idles smoothly. However, an aluminium engine translates to a noisier cabin. The soft suspension makes it a breeze for pot holed areas of the city. The car is well insulated to keep out wind and road noise.

The gearbox being the same seems better mated to the new engine and is much more comfortable. However torque at lower RPM is not available. You don’t need to work the gears much and the engine is happy at higher gears at lower rpm’s. This combo of engine with the gearbox has a time faster by 2.6 seconds to 100 kmph which is quite large. The Eon has always been a good city run-about with its smaller engine which did its duty perfectly in the start-stop traffic. This new engine makes it comfortable on the highways too. The 800cc engine felt inadequate and out of place on a highway.

Hyundai Eon:

Over all the Eon is a better place to be in than its competitors. The cabin just has a premium feel to it and the overall feeling is that you are in a car that is from a higher segment. There are no additional features on the interiors to set this variant apart. The car is available in only one variant which is the Magna +. This variant has power windows for the front, key less entry and internally adjustable outside mirrors. The integrated music system with USB & Aux input is an optional extra. The Airbags are also not a part of the package here.

At the time of launch, the MD & CEO of Hyundai Motors India Limited said “Hyundai Eon has been a trendsetter of style, performance, design and finesse in its segment and has received good acceptability and appreciation from its customers. Hyundai consistently innovates to meet and exceed the demands of the customer and the 1.0-litre Kappa engine now offered in Eon is an extension of our modern-premium brand philosophy and will delight our customers with unparalleled driving experience and further consolidate Hyundai’s position in the domestic market.

Bottom-Line:

The Eon is a futuristic & modern design when compared to its competitors. The only problem that existed was the small engine. This has been solved by getting this engine option. The overall package is really enticing as the car has been priced at 3.83Lacs – Ex Showroom Delhi.

Indian Students all set to rock in the Solar Car SASOL Challenge

Can you imagine a car which can run on solar energy, although this concept is already done & there is nothing new in this, but it has been stated that this solar car concept is still under experimental stage and many companies around the world are still striving to get this done. Many muti-national companies are investing a lot of money in order to build a car that can run on solar energy without any drawbacks, as we know the main drawback with this concept when compared to the fuel based car is speed.

Many solar cars cannot deliver top speed drive like petrol and diesel variants. Unlike other countries India is quite new to this concept, but this thing will change in the future as a team of twenty seven enthusiastic engineers from Manipal University have built a 2 seater solar-powered car that can reach up to 120Km/h and they call this project :SERVe. SERVe stands for Solar Electric Road Vehicle. This team will be representing India at the 2014 South African Solar Challenge (SASOL14).

 

SERVe Advent & History:

This project SERVe was first started in 2011 by the students of manipal, their first offering, a single seater race car. After working for three consecutive years the team came up with another car which has an architecture that supports the scope for commercial usage. The SERVe automobile can achieve a top speed of up to 120Km/h, and 60Km/h when powered by only solar panels so it is a dual breed. It took a period of 15 months from turning out from initial stage to final stage for the SERVe. However, they are still in the process of giving the body a final touch which includes aerodynamic look, some design changes etc. After this, the team will work on final testing, calibration, design and also the looks and gathering the data regarding the performance of the car. After completing the final procedures and testing SERVe will participate in the 2014 South African Solar Challenge (SASOL14).

 

SASOL14 – South African Solar Challenge (SASOL14):

South African Solar Challenge (SASOL14) is an international race event which is held every year in South Africa exclusively for these types of cars which runs on solar energy. In this event the challenge is to cover a distance of 4,000Kms in South African outback in the cars which are designed by those respective contestants. It takes around 8-10 days to complete this challenge. The main objective of this competition is to test the vehicle’s maximum limits. The students who invented this car are confidently saying that this car will give a tough competition as it is equipped with a high capacity battery pack that enables the vehicle to run up to a distance of 300-350 km on a single charge and this range can be increased by providing additional solar charge from the sun on that racing day. The SASOL14 has number of participant from all around the world.

It takes an investment of around  $50,000 for the engineer’s to build this solar monster, but here the main advantage for the SERVe in the competition is that the cost which is put on building this car is 30 times cheaper than other cars which are participating in the competition and this can be a huge asset for the team to gain popularity in this solar segment cars. But that’s just only for the initialization and development stage, and the project will need lot of investment once it gets to the commercialization phase and the team is going to seek the assistance from Indian government as well as from top notched motor companies including Tata Solar, KEI and Altairhyperworks.

 

Bottom-Line:

This idea can help any country to grow more in solar based vehicle segments by creating a history in global automotive industry. It will help India to become pioneer in automobile industry in par with the most renowned automotive countries around the world. If this project is successful then the India can be a rival to Germany which is considered to be the most predominant vehicle manufacture of all time global automotive industry.

Not only this, there will be a huge advantage with regards to the environmental issues as petrol & diesel vehicle are considered to be the most pollutant vehicles. This vehicle can be an amazing gift to Mother Nature. Fingers crossed, lets await the results of the challenge & lets hope for the best to happen 🙂

Jaguar F-type convertible – Owners pride !

Panthera Onca is a species found commonly in the western hemisphere. There is another brand of Panthera Onca also known as “Jaguar” which has its presence all over the world and more powerful than any beast. Yeah, you’re right -We are taking about the Tata Motors owned Jaguar car company. Staying true to its sporting bloodline the Tata Motors owned Jaguar’s F-type convertible is any racers dream. Showcased in the Paris Motor Show, the F-type found its way to the top of the food chain and it rivals the likes of Porsche 911 and Porsche Boxster.

Jaguar F-Type @Paris Auto Show:

Overview:
It’s here in India and its here for good. The first thing that one would notice is all the beautiful curves and creases, Jaguar has incorporated in this beast. Gazing at this you would be totally lost for memory to try and remember the next best magnificent thing that you have ever seen. Jaguar has put a lot into this car to make it one of the best car there is, also it is notable that this is the first Jaguar without the oval grille.

This jaguar is such a car that switches between a Sunday evening parties to Monday morning track day car with no problem at all. Get behind the drivers wheel and you will know the true purpose that this car has been built for. A foot on the Accelerator pad has the capacity to release the grunt stored in this 3.0 litre V6 supercharged power house producing 340 Horse power. The exhaust is designed in such a way that the sound coming out would put even a thunder storm to shame. Amazingly enough the people at jaguar have added an option which upon the flick of a switch makes this noise even louder. Yes, you heard it right LOUDER!

Jaguar f-type convertible

 

Specs:

Not for the faint hearted. 340Bhp is just for starters, Jaguar offers more options under the F-type hood with a 3.0 liter supercharged V6 producing 380Bhp @ 6500 revs and  460Nm torque between 3500-5000 rpm. And then there is a third option, a barking mad V8, more powerful more torque than the V6, I’m talking in terms of light years…This V8 produces 495Bhp @ 6500 rpm and 625Nm torque between 2500-5500. 1 Jaguar having 495 horses… now that’s truly something! Jaguar has tried to make the F-type convertible, light by crafting it with light weight aluminum body. The outcome? Light and nimble, extremely responsive piece of machine which clobbers any straights or corner and this F-type is extremely good at what it does!

Ride:

Obviously no driver of a convertible would drive around in all the hot spots of the city with the roof on (except when the rain gods thinks otherwise). So when you do let the roof down, it is so very clear the interiors have been given attention in order to look as smacking as the exterior. The F-type pampers its buyers by handing them with a choice of 14 color themes and three finishers for the interior including its-n-bits like bronzed switches.  Thus making you want to flaunt the cockpit to the less fortunate ones who can only glance, while you strike by. One of the good part is that a convertible offers you the privacy you need when you need it. Want the roof back on? The F-type does it with the minimal of efforts, so much so that you can have it on even when you are driving at 50km/hr. Practical? Yes indeed.

Though the base V6 is the least powerful of the lot, Jaguar has crafted it in a way never at any point of time drivers will feel short of breath or the crazy need for extra horse power. It’s just a very exciting machine, switch the roof down let the hurling thump of the exhaust haunt your ears as you watch every poles, trees, buildings, people and places in just an instant even before you could say F-type with its heart stopping acceleration of 0-100 in 5.1 seconds. Drive it to the max and this jag can treat you to a top speed of 260 km/hr, if that doesn’t sound much the more powerful F-type 5.0 supercharged V8 will accelerate from 0 to 100 in just 4.3 seconds and this will max out in a blinding top speed of 300 km/hr, such an incredible feat to reach and the jaguar should do it in style.

Bottom-line: Looks + Powerful engine + Rich interiors + Expertise of Jaguar = F-Type

Jaguar f-type Convertible

Visit India Website: www.jaguar.in