A look into the All Terrain Vehicle’s (ATV) – by POLARIS

All terrain vehicles(ATV’s) are made to experience a totally a different type of an automobile. Polaris manufactures All terrain vehicles which are just awesome to ride on any kind of a terrain. They have the ability to overcome any obstacles in your way, thus allowing you to maneuver in extreme terrain conditions. These vehicles make riding real adventurous.

Polaris India is a completely owned subsidiary of Polaris and apart from ATV‘s they also manufacture a wide range of mobility solutions which includes snowmobiles, motorcycles, defense vehicles etc. In this post, we will focus on an ATV named [email protected] by Polaris India.

The [email protected] is categorized into a mid size chassis which is very robust and compact. The vehicle can be placed in a shed or in any small truck carrier to be transported to the desired driving location. The payload capacity is 453 kg  which makes it more reliable for a long exciting  journey. Also the dump box has a gas assist dumping system in spite of manual unloading.

ranger-400-img-11

ENGINE:

The vehicle is powered by a 4- stroke, 455cc carbureted engine which gives a thumping output of 29 HP. The engine is liquid cooled. In the extreme driving conditions,  air cooled engines might not keep the engine under optimum operating temperature. Liquid cooling would help to get maximum efficiency from the engine.

DRIVETRAIN:

The vehicle is equipped with automatic transmission system which allows the rider much more comfort and easy driving. It also has an on demand four wheel drive(4WD) . This flexibility allows easy transfer from 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD. For an ATV, traction on rough terrain means the most, 4WD function has been added to increase the traction on the wheels. This allows ATV’s to go past the wet conditions where the traction is less between the wheel and the wet surface.

SUSPENSION:

Suspension in ATV’s will decide the ride quality. The wheel travel is the major parameter for all ATV’s . It tells us about the movement of the wheels during ride’s on bumps and  terrains. Mc Pherson struts are installed in the front with a travel of 8″ and double wishbone suspension in the rear with 9″ travel.  Double wishbone for ATV’s provide an adjustable ride of the wheel. They can be adjusted for varying various parameter’s like camber, caster on which an ATV’s ride depends immensely. With a ride height of 10″ the vehicle can easily run along at high speeds over rough terrains. The rear double wishbone also has a five point pre-load set up which can allow the rider to stiffen the suspension on travelling with heavy loading conditions. The handling of the vehicle is predictable all because of light weight mid size chassis. Thus the rider can enjoy the response from the vehicle.

BRAKES:

Brakes being the most important for safety, hydraulic disk brakes are installed. The disc brakes are one that sot efficient braking system and have the capability of braking in any kind of exposed conditions. The ride needs to be safe along with adventure component in it. Thus it is important to have the best brakes technology installed in it.

OTHER FEATURES:

It has been equipped with a very ergonomic cabin. It has been made considering the rider movement during extreme driving conditions.  Two adults can easily move in and out of the vehicle cabin. It also feature’s a speed control key where a black key can take you at high speeds and a yellow one will reduce your speed.

All the above mentioned features make this a perfect mid size ATV for a good and exciting ride. Also there is an opportunity of riding Polaris ATV’s on the tracks being made for them as a support to entrepreneurs across the country. Also when we go to any showroom of the Polaris, a feeling of a world of ATV’s come to our mind. They are customized in order to make the customer feel the love in the terrain type atmosphere there itself. Also the Polaris ATV’s are being used by Border Security Force patrolling team. They use these vehicles to easily patrol in the desert area near India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan.

 

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These vehicles have started gaining popularity among people and will definitely be able to grow further as they represent a bunch of very exciting automobiles.

Visit Polaris Website: http://www.polarisind.in

Automobiles – Emission reduction

Growing automobile population has resulted in the imbalance of the environment. Air pollution has reached a new level. Thus emissions from automobiles have become an area of concern which needs to be controlled. Major emissions released  from the internal combustion engines are unburnt hydrocarbons,  nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxides.  Stringent emission norms have resulted in various emission reduction technologies. In India , presently BS IV Emission norms are imposed in  23 major cities and also there is a possibility of future regulations on carbon dioxide emissions and  minimum fuel economy depending on the vehicle category. There are various emission reduction technologies depending on the type of fuel used i.e petrol or diesel. It is the fuel chemical composition and properties which lead to the emission formation during combustion inside the cylinder.

PETROL ENGINES:

Major emission form the petrol driven engines are unburnt hydrocarbons and carbon mono oxide. In such vehicles a catalytic converter is installed in the exhaust pipe of the vehicle.

Catalytic Converter

Catalytic converter consists of an outer metal casing in which a substrate is fitted. The substrate  is made of a porous material in which huge number of cells are cut throughout the length of substrate. The exhaust from the engine passes through these cells and finally to the atmosphere. These cells are internally coated with precious metals like platinum, palladium, rhodium in a certain ratio. These materials act as oxidation and reduction catalyst. The exhaust gas on reaction with these catalysts undergoes oxidation and reduction which results in lower emissions.

In most of the modern cars, a three way catalytic converter is installed. Catalytic converters need to be cleaned at certain time intervals for allowing proper flow of exhaust without any blockage. Also if not cleaned regularly it might result in higher catalytic converter temperatures which reduces catalyst efficiency. For petrol engines, a stoichiometric air fuel ratio of 14:1 is important for least emissions. An oxygen sensor is also installed in converter for monitoring the amount of oxygen in the exhaust. The signal from the sensor is then fed into the ECU(Electric control unit) and finally to the engine to maintain the stoichiometric air fuel ratio.A new technology in petrol engines is to allow petrol engines  run with a lean mixture which reduces emissions due to lower fuel content . It is achieved by stratified combustion which means a formation of a cloud of air-fuel near spark plug. This cloud being lean in mixture produces lesser emissions. Secondary air injection is also used to allow certain amount of air to enter into the exhaust pipe and allow further combustion of unburnt hydrocarbons.

DIESEL ENGINES:

Major emissions from the diesel engines are nitrogen oxides, soot. In diesel engines the in-cylinder peak temperature is higher, this results in the formation of nitrogen oxides. Heterogeneous combustion is the main cause for the formation of soot in diesel engines. In order to reduce nitrogen oxides, simplest technology used is EGR (Exhaust gas recirculation) where a part of exhaust gas is introduced into the intake air. This results in lesser oxygen content and hence peak combustion temperature reduces and nitrogen oxide levels come down. This method has a disadvantage of lowering the power output from the engine and thus requires precise control of exhaust gas flow into the intake air.

Selective catalytic reduction is another technique to reduce nitrogen oxides where reductants like urea or ammonia are introduced into the exhaust gases. These reductants get adsorbed on the catalyst where the reaction occurs and nitrogen oxides are converted into nitrogen.Diesel particulate filters are used to trap the soot particles. The filters have micron level openings placed in the direction of exhaust flow which then traps the soot particles. The filters get blocked by continuous usage and needs to be cleaned before any further usage to improve efficiency.

FUTURE:

CNG fuelled vehicles are gaining popularity among the people . However there is still lack of CNG supply to the various regions of the country and this has inhibited its growth. Today in Delhi all the buses are running on CNG fuel, such initiatives really help in emission reduction and makes cities pollution free.In order to control the emissions from the vehicles, the Government has planned subsidy for electric vehicles. Electric vehicles represent a clean mode of transport.

In India as of today, Mahindra Reva Company has been providing two vehicles in these segment: Mahindra Reva and Mahindra E2O. The electric technology is definitely among the future mode of transport. Also there have been breakthroughs in the solar car concepts, fuel cell driven cars etc. To make the environment clean we need to go for clean technologies in automobiles.

Automobiles emission exhaust

Fuel for NextGen Cars makes our future green

Just Promenade along one of the most densely populated cities in India and you will  find yourself being warmly saluted by thick dark smog that covers the area .Oh yes ! We are talking about something that practically affects every single being around you on this planet aye, its air pollution ! It prematurely is responsible for deaths of  a mind-blowing 6 million people per year across the globe.It is the main cause of “global warming” and cancer.

Today’s on-road vehicles produce over the third of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in our atmosphere and over twenty percent of the global warming pollution.Do you know USA alone is responsible for 30.3% gas emissions on a global scale ,33% of Chinese people live in such polluted and poisonous environments that the air they breath is equivalent to smoking 2 packets of cigarettes every day. In Asia smog is so thick in the skies in some areas that you cant even see the starts at night .Automobiles alone  are responsible for 40-90% of the air pollution.

Delhi Covered In Thick Smog
Delhi Covered In Thick Smog

This increasing demand and dependence on fossil fuels is sole the reason for air pollution due to automobiles. Do you know  just in Delhi alone 1400 new cars are added to its roads daily .We have to take an initiative to bring upon a change.A change that will provide clean , renewable  and sustainable fuel that powers our cars and bikes and our future generations to come .These futuristic fuels are the brain child of scientists who did Intense research and development .

 

BIO FUEL : MOTHER NATURE TO REHABILITATE

Thumbs up: clean , green . Renewable fuel.It is already involved in mass production and use in major countries around the globe.

Thumbs down:  Enormous amounts bio mass needed for large scale Bio fuel production, reduced mileage for your vehicle .

The Bottom Line :  Their potential is unstoppable when production starts on a massive scale and gas emissions can be effectively reduced by a large amount .

It would be an underlying statement to say that Bio-Fuel cannot replace the entire fossil fuel dependence , they give a promising future to the ever growing need for fuel to run the economy and our daily lives .Before we move to Bio Fuel and its production, lets have a basic introduction to what Bio Fuel is. Bio Fuel’s are made from conversions of bio mass ( refers to recent living organisms – mostly plants and plant derived products) .When we dig the earth for fossil fuels we are retrieving fuel which geologically have been carbon fixed millions of years ago.biofuel is a fuel that contains energy from geologically recent carbon fixation. These fuels are produced from living organisms .Bio Fuel are subject to intense scientific research and innovations. In this article We are going  to talk about Bio Diesel and Bio ethanol which can be used to run our cars.

BIO DIESEL:

Bio Diesel  is a domestically manufactured renewable fuel with possible ingredients being vegetable oil, animal fats, grease or even used restaurant oil. It is a cleaner and a greener replacement for the use of petroleum Diesel . Bio Diesel is commonly referred as B100 or simply BIO DIESEL  in its pure liquid form without any natural diesel or petroleum mixed in it .The good news is a normal diesel engine can be powered by a  B100 and whats more interesting, is you can prepare B100 at home without any investments.

Still ain’t impressed ? Well these statistics will convince you to move to B100. It is 100% renewable and cars that run on it produce no soot. CO2 emissions are reduced up to a mind boggling 50 % and there wont be even traces of SO2 from your exhaust.This is the cleanest and matchless replacement for your car

BIO ETHANOL:civic_biomass

Bio Ethanol is principle substitute for  petroleum ,commonly used with different blends of ethanol and gasoline. Bio Ethanol is predominantly manufactured by fermentation of sugars , although it can be produced industrially by steaming ethylene .

The main ingredient to make ethanol sugar comes from fuel crops .Fuel crops consists of corn, maize and wheat crops, waste straw, willow and popular trees, sawdust, reed canary grass, cord grasses, jerusalem artichoke, myscanthus and sorghum plants.Ethanol blends are widely sold in USA and Brazil. The most commonly used blend is the E10 it is blend of 10 % ethanol and 90% gasoline .

Almost all cars made after 1986 can safely run on E10, while most cars made before 1986 cannot. The Australian Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries (FCAI) maintains a list of cars and bikes that can safely run on E10

The clear advantage here is that it is renewable and is a infinite source of fuel i.e crops are not finite and they can be reproduced any number times.We also will have a upper hand of reducing the green house emissions by a significant amount.

 

HYDROGEN FUEL : THE LIGHTEST ELEMENT TO THE RESCUE.

Thumbs Up           :  Has the highest amount of energy per kilogram than any other fossil fuel. The only byproduct is pure water .

Thumbs Down   :    Production on massive scale is a tedious and expensive process .Handling Hydrogen is burdensome due to its explosive nature.

The Bottom Line :  Though on paper, it looks as if its a very promising production on a large scale, it is onerous on problems with handling and storage being tedious and not yet developed enough for a large scale usage .

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THE HONDA FCX

The dream car is finally here, the one that produces no green house gases ,one that doesn’t use gasoline and has exhaust as pure water
.Ofcourse you cannot  buy one yet , unless you live in California you can lease one . So whats that mystery fuel that will run this car ? yes ,  it is Hydrogen the lightest element and one of the most abundant element in our periodic table . It is estimated that in the coming  20-30 years people will drive Hydrogen powered cars . Whats fascinating is you can see these cars  producing steam instead of greenhouse gases. Many Hydrogen cars exist  but unfortunately most of them are conceptual. These clean energy driving machines include the Chevrolet Equinox, the BMW 745h and the one that’s currently available for lease in California, the Honda FCX.

What makes this dream car run on simple Hydrogen is a FUEL CELL which produces electricity . Similar to the fuel cell used in Apollo 11 expect that it is a miniature version. It takes pure Hydrogen and is oxidized by pure and produces large amounts energy and water as simple by product.

BATTERY POWER : THE ERA OF ELECTRIC CARS 

Thumbs Up: Ultra silent engine . Literally no exhaust from the car .Electric motors gives a smoother ride and better performance

Thumbs Down : The unfortunate and clear disadvantage is the amount of fossil fuel ( coal) is burnt to produce that amount electricity is unimaginable .

The Bottom Line : Electric cars were dream of the car inventors , ever since they faced so many grinding tasks.Finally days have come where its no longer a dream but a reality .

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Tesla model SFD

All Electric vehicles (EV) run on 100% electricity. A Muscular DC motor lies in the heart of these cars which sets them aside from the rest of the cars which traditionally ran on a combustion motor. Battery technology has seen a lot many changes in the past twenty years, the lithium -ion battery was the revolution. These batteries are lighter and have the capacity to store more power but unfortunately it stores substantially less energy than Hydrogen or fossil fuels .These Electric vehicles have very clear advantages and precedence over the traditional Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).

Efficiency : Electric motors convert about 60% of its power from the power grid to its wheels .Conventional gasoline engines convert only about 10% of the energy provided by the fuel.

Absolutely Eco-friendly : These vehicles  have  no tailpipe , no pollutants, although the power plant producing the electricity may emit them. Electricity from nuclear-, hydro-, solar-, or wind-powered plants causes absolutely no Green House gases.

Enhanced Performance : When it comes to acceleration and on-road performance these EV’s rule out the gasoline engines .The ride is undoubtedly smooth and quieter .

However these Ev’s face great battery challenges and most Ev’s run only about 100-200 miles before they run out of fuel when compared to gasoline engines which run about 200 -300 miles.Just to paint the picture of  battery capacity of the most promising Ev’s today . The Chevy VOLT has massive 170kg li-ion battery but runs only about 60 miles . Interestingly some pure Ev’s have managed to push their range further . The MINI manages a range of 240km on a single charge but it had to be fitted with a massive 300kg battery , designers had to remove the back seats.

 

COMPRESSED AIR POWER : CARS THAT VIRTUALLY RUN ON PURE AIR 

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Peugeot 208,

An internal combustion engine powers itself on compressed air produced by the burning fuel that moves the pistons up and down , so conceptually if we can supply  compressed air to the pistons we can achieve the same movement to drive the vehicle. Peugeot Citroen invented technology for air car ready for the market by 2016 . The Peugeot 208, it will combine a normal engine with a the  new revolutionary system that runs on compressed air. The air power can mostly be used only at  the city speeds i.e below 43mph , the company predicts that with this combination these cars can give upto 118 miles per gallon. These cars are no different from normal cars expect for the adapted gear box ,and  cylinders to store compressed air .

 

Bottom Line: Technology is a double edged knife. We can use it for better future rather than for destructive purpose. Everything lies in our hands!!!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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