Connecting customers and cars with APPS

The time for Digital revolution has taken a new turn.  Smart phones are gaining popularity and simultaneously smart cars are being developed. Car Manufacturers are finding newer and better ways of connecting with customers. People are gaining more credibility and finding easier ways of connecting with their favorite automobile brand. Here is an article that highlights on the apps launched by various automobile manufacturers that help them understand the customers better and provide them what they need:

These days, carmakers are loath to giving up their key information and entertainment links in their vehicles with hopes to turn dashboard technology into a reason for buying their vehicle and potentially to earn revenue by selling information and mobile connectivity. This makes car manufacturers spend big money working on their own systems even as they increasingly offer links to Apple or Google’s systems alongside their own.

Car Play:

Manufacturers like Honda and GM recently started installing CarPlay as an option in their new vehicles and both say the software is well received. The Android Auto is coming for new models.

Jay Guzowski, a senior product manager at American Honda, said the company can’t give up on its own system, called HondaLink. “Not everybody has an Apple or Android phone or they aren’t interested in using that environment,” .

Toyota Motor Corp is largely avoiding Silicon Valley’s tech giants and relies exclusively on their own systems to maintain the most direct link with customers. Toyota and others say Apple and Google systems aren’t the right fit for every buyer. Not everyone owns a smart phone capable of linking to CarPlay or Android Auto, and the third-party systems can’t be used in every market.

"Car Play Apple"
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In countries including China, the modified Android operating systems used in phones won’t work with Android Auto and Apple’s iPhone isn’t as widely used as it is in Europe and the U.S. In addition, the Apple and Android systems don’t typically link to the buttons on a car’s steering wheel, or function well in areas with poor mobile phone reception. The systems also don’t connect to the auto’s heating and air-conditioning.

Potentially handing troves of driver and driving-data to Apple or Google also presents red flags, and has ignited debate among auto executives.

We are competing for mind-share inside the vehicle,” said Don Butler, Ford Motor’s director of connected vehicles. The Dearborn, Mich., company first released its Sync system, which runs apps, sends texts and receives messages through voice activation, in its 2008 model year cars.

Maruti Care:

Maruti has also taken a stride towards customer service. The Maruti Care Service mobile app comes in handy no matter where the customer is. Some of the more interesting features with the Maruti Care app are:

"Maruti Care App"
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Maruti Suzuki Connect:

–       Service Appointment enables you to book your car’s service appointment at any of the Maruti Dealer outlets with a simple touch.

–       Enables you locate a dealer workshop with the help of Google maps from your current location just by entering City/Workshop/Pin Code and also gets the address and contact information.

–       Checking service records and the history of your vehicle based on dealer workshop visits.

–       Keeping track of the cost of maintenance of the car on yearly basis for Scheduled / Unscheduled Services and even for Body Repairs.

–       Sharing your service experience to help improve services.

–       Getting an estimated cost of the next scheduled service and other demand jobs.

Maruti Assist:

–       Maximize car’s life through some intelligent driving and maintenance tips.

–       Helps you know live traffic conditions between your destination and location you’re headed to.

–       GPS Trip meter trips from one destination to another that can be recorded and saved for future references.

–       Makes when your car is due for next scheduled service and set reminder accordingly.

–       Saves GPS enabled location and images of your car while parking in vast crowded places and finds the route shown by the app.

My Maruti:

–       Enables you to fetch personal information as registered with Maruti Suzuki.

–       Fetches car’s information as registered with Maruti Suzuki. This can be modified from the nearest Maruti Dealer.

–       Saves personal and car documents like PAN card, Driving License, RC Book and also sets the date of expiry with reminder so that it can be renewed on time.

–       Sends all types of notifications like reminders for document renewal, service appointment date and time.

Maruti Suzuki:

–       Gets contact information of Maruti Suzuki Regional offices for any concern/feedback.


Honda Connect:

With plans of digitizing the vehicle experience in India, Honda Cars India has launched Honda Connect; a smartphone application bundled with a device that offers a variety of functions controllable through a smartphone. This app was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and has a total of 21 functions that come in handy in day to day life.

"Honda app"
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Some of the features:
· Detailed trip analysis such as speed, duration with pit stops details
· Service alert with calendar function and spending
· Information about nearest petrol station and Honda service stations with in-app navigation system
· Impact alert with SOS feature to connect with Honda dealers and service stations
· Location sharing with family and friends
· Option to locate your Honda vehicle in a crowded area
· Notification alerts on your smartphone about your vehicle’s health
· Option to connect directly to a customer service executive.

Hope you are installing the apps in your mobile right now 😉

BlackBerry Joins Self-Driving Car


Blackberry Ltd., a smart phone manufacturer is recognized worldwide thanks to the introduction of its famous Blackberry messenger app. This was one of the reasons for the downfall of the company. The company is strategizing on its comeback owing to the downfall of its share prices. With the announce of its plan for building an autonomous car software jumping into a race with the likes of Apple Inc., Google and Tesla motors Inc to capture a piece of the ballooning industry.

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Google’s self-driving car was the stepping-stone for the inception of this idea to take flight. The company’s QNX software division takes care of the newly formed vehicle division. The company’s QNX software division showed off demo cars that can scan for obstacles, keep from straying from a highway lane and communicate wirelessly with nearby vehicles to avoid accidents, using tools developed by other software and hardware companies on the QNX operating system.

QNX has already been used by plenty of automakers like Ford Motor Co. to build in-car entertainment systems. Blackberry, based in Waterloo, Ontario, wants to extend that model to self-driving car technology by providing a central platform that other companies can use to build their own features.

We are not doing the algorithms that make decisions on driving,” Derek Kuhn, senior vice president of Internet of Things at BlackBerry, said in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We’re providing the building blocks on which the electronics and automotive companies can make those decisions.”

The developing technology may offer an alternative for carmakers that are considering building their own self-driving software or partnering with Apple and Google. Still, those companies have been pouring resources into autonomous cars. Google’s vehicles have driven more than two million miles on their own and Tesla sells some cars pre-loaded with the ability to stay in a certain lane on their own. The market is still wide open and BlackBerry shouldn’t be counted out, according to Jeremy Carlson, an automotive technology analyst at IHS. There are a lot of intermediate steps that need to happen before fully autonomous cars hit the roads, he said.

There’s plenty of opportunity for everyone,” Carlson said.

The software for in-car navigation and entertainment systems is used in more than 60 million vehicles, including as part of Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Apple and Google also have developed their own systems. The foothold means that the company has solid relationships with car manufacturers that it can build on to help them develop self-driving vehicles, Carlson said. BlackBerry announced its plans to try to gain a piece of the autonomous car market at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a technology industry gathering that has morphed into the venue for auto companies to introduce their newest innovations.

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Handing over your driving duties to a software-driven vehicle is a pretty futuristic idea. If the latest surveys are any indication, the market for self-driving (aka autonomous) vehicles is getting ready to explode — and smart people are paying close attention.

Consumers are looking on with great interest and with a lot of questions. Many people are worried about the safety of riding in a car driven by sensors and software, but accident data from Google’s self-driving car project indicates that all of the self-driving cars’ accidents to date were caused by human drivers.

Experts believe that self-driving cars are usually safer than error-prone human drivers, who are responsible for 90% of accidents. They also say autonomous vehicles can reduce traffic jams and increase highway capacity because sensors allow the vehicles to drive closer together.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS):

ADAS has primed the pump for even more auto automation. Safety features, such as automated emergency braking, automated lighting and adaptive cruise control, and convenience features that connect the car to your smart phone for navigation, communication or entertainment, are all but expected by today’s auto buyers.

Software will drive most of the innovation around autonomous vehicles, and an upcoming webinar with Kerry Johnson, Product Manager for QNX Software Systems, will talk about writing software for self-driving vehicles. Specifically, he and Kris Keach, Contributing Editor for Tech Online, will explore:

– The emergence of high performance embedded system on chips (SoCs) targeting ADAS and autonomous vehicle applications.

– The impact of increasing system integration and autonomous technology on embedded software.

– The need for safety standards such as IS 26262, which specifies the functional safety of electrical and electronic systems in road vehicles.

– The emergence of pre-certified products as part of the solution to address safety challenges.

– The role of a software platform to support evolution from ADAS to autonomous driving.


"Blackberry QNX"
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Bottom Line:

If this technology hits it off, Blackberry is going to regain its popularity and get more credibility that it was losing. This could be quite revolutionary for the company and would certainly give Google a run for its miles.

Pioneers of Autonomous Cars

The field of driverless cars has been developing at an incredibly fast pace. Up until the early 2010’s, Google remained the sole proponent for fully autonomous cars. However, come CES 2014, BMW soon showcased their advancements in the field as well. As a result, other mainstream manufacturers soon jumped the bandwagon and have begun their in-house development of autonomous cars. We take a look at the current players playing an active role in bringing driverless cars to the general public.


One of the earliest advocates for autonomous driving technology, tech giant Google has been tweaking and testing its driverless car for a few years now. Prior to its current in-house developed super mini, Google made use of existing cars such as Toyota Prius and the Lexus RX450h and retrofitted each of them with sensors, cameras and specialized hardware to allow for autonomous capabilities.

The Google driverless car
The Google driverless car

Soon after, Google developed its very own bespoke car to continue with its experiments and showcase what its fully production ready car might look like. The Google car is a small hatch with a neutral color paint job. Unlike other manufacturers that provide a manual override in the form of a steering wheel and conventional pedals, Google’s driverless car features nothing of the sort. A sign of complete confidence from the maker in its abilities. The car features no distinct features save for two ‘eyes’ and a ‘nose’. The main purpose of the car’s “cutesy” design is to disarm the general public.

The car make’s use of a dizzying array of sensors and cameras to map the road ahead. The on-board computer then processes this information with pre-existing map data to create an inch perfect replica of its immediate surroundings. Some computation is even performed on remote server locations. Each Google car is fitted with sensor equipment worth over $150,000.


Although Google may have been one of the first endorsers of driverless vehicles, recent reports suggest that the tech supergiant is not leading horse of this race. Mainstream manufacturers such as BMW may have a higher probability of launching a fully autonomous car for commercial purposes. Unlike the Google car that focused primary on city driving, BMW’s initiative proved a bit more entertaining. The self-driving car in its most advanced avatar was showcased at CES 2014 in the form of a live demo. The Bavarian car maker managed to develop a system that mapped a certain race track and “learnt” the quickest possible routes. Similar to Google’s self-driving car, BMW’s autonomous 2 Series and 6 Series were fitted with a host of sensors that generate a 3D map of the car’s surroundings.

BMW's ultimate "drifting" machine
BMW’s ultimate “drifting” machine


Tesla’s entry into the autonomous vehicle industry was rather unexpected. Unlike other manufacturers that advertised the upcoming technology, Elon Musk quietly added an autopilot mode for the Model S in a recent update that allowed near complete autonomous driving. However, human intervention is required from time to time. However, with the addition of the feature, Tesla has officially joined the race.

Tesla Model S P85D
The new Tesla Model S models come with auto pilot


Ford has had a late start in the autonomous vehicle segment. Ford and one other South Korean car maker are the only two manufacturers on this list that cater to a wider spectrum of car buyers. With Ford’s entry this year, we may see small instances of autonomous driving technologies such as fully driverless parking and retrieval in budget cars such as the Fiesta or Taurus.

Ford has only recently jumped into the driverless car band wagon
Ford has only recently jumped into the driverless car band wagon


South Korean car maker Kia is the other budget manufacturer to begin testing its autonomous vehicular technology. Although Ford’s and Kia’s development phases have only just begun, 2016 provides far more resources and information regarding autonomous driving technology than all the previous years. As such, the manufacturers are now able to work with more than what most car makers began with.

Kia is a South Korean car maker under Hyundai's ownership
Kia is a South Korean car maker under Hyundai’s ownership


Audi is one of the only manufacturers on this list to have actually released its autonomous fleet to the media. As part of an event, a few journalists were offered a ride from Las Vegas to CES 2015. An interesting feature of Audi’s system is the inclusion of two cameras that constantly monitor the driver’s eyes. Should the driver close his eyes, the car begins beeping loudly and comes to a complete halt following which the car switches its hazard lights on.

Audi's fleet of autonomous cars ferried journalists from Las Vegas to CES
Audi’s fleet of autonomous cars ferried journalists from Las Vegas to CES

As with most new technologies, the latent complications and ethical dilemmas of various scenarios are yet to be fully explored. Similar to the internet, Einstein’s mass-energy equation and programming, autonomous vehicles are also susceptible to misuse. As such, fears of the public are not unfounded. However, one must progress and the only direction is forwards.

HONDA BR-V – The New Ride To be In Town

"Honda BR-V"

Japanese automobile maker Honda was working on the next version of the SUV that was named CR-V. Now, the company is going to introduce a new SUV with the model name BR-V. The company has also disclosed the official sketch of the upcoming SUV. Now, the company has formally pulled off the covers over the production version at the Gaikindo Indonesian International Auto Show 2015.

The firm has also opened bookings for this Utility Vehicle and its deliveries are estimated to start at early 2016. Even before its disclosure, its images have been leaked online, which created a buzz across the automobile industry. The Indian bound model is most likely to get a twist and it will carry a new appeal. The images are out online and some auto portals have also posted the images of its interiors, which explains that this BR-V is going to be a seven seating car. It is highly unlikely that this four-wheeler will be launched in the sub 4-meter segment. Hence, it is going to compete with the likes of Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari Storme. Its launch in India is slated in 2016, meanwhile here is a review on this SUV:


Based on the available images online, the car looks pretty attractive. At the front of this car, it has a chrome-designed grille along with Honda’s emblem placed in the center. There are sleek headlamp clusters with great improvements and they have chrome. It also seems to have projector beams on the front lamps that have improved visibility. The front side of the body is colored and it is integrated into the overall look. It also has a wide air intake section allowing vehicle’s engine cooling. The lower side of the bumper has matte silver faux skid plate.

"Honda BR-V"
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The side section of this vehicle resembles many MPV models. It has rear roof lines raise towards the car’s rear. This beast presents a strong ground clearance of more than 200 mm. It also has 16-inch diamond cut alloy wheels that add to its charm. It has LED incorporated tail lamp sections that are interconnected in a thin strip. Overall, it is a beast of a ride.


Inside the BR-V, the vehicle has a sound ergonomic design. This is similar to the designs found on the Honda Jazz and City. This 7-seating capacity car has a 3 row seating system for optimized space usage. The upholstery on this car gives out a beautiful experience. It has a 50:50 third row seat that allows the passengers to conveniently store items. There are AC vents for all the rows that enable good circulation for the occupants. The seats are sure to be covered in fine upholstery. At the front, the driver gets the benefit of a stylish steering wheel with the company’s emblem at the center. The vehicle may also house a touch screen AV system for the entertainment requirements of its passengers. It also has an advanced infotainment system. It may also have a USB port and Aux-in option that allow occupants to integrate their devices with the system.

"Honda BR-V"
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This vehicle will most likely house a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that comprises of 4 cylinders. A 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine is also expected, since there is a huge demand for these power plants. These engines are popular in most brands but they might undergo some modifications for improved power output. They are supposed to come along with a six speed manual transmission, and some sources claim that a CVT gearbox is also available. The vehicle’s mileage is expected to carry around 18 to 25 kmpl depending on the engine type. The i-VTEC petrol motor expected to power the machine gives a power of 119bhp at 6600rpm, along with a torque of 145Nm at 4600rpm. Coming to the 1.5-litre i-DTEC mill, it is expected to produce a power of 99bhp at 3600rpm, along with a torque of 200Nm at 1750Nm.


The Honda BR-V is an ultimate machine that has beautiful specs and features. If the aforementioned is true, it is sure to boost sales of the brand. The vehicle has a great exterior format and its looks are mind blowing. The vehicle has a reasonably good fuel economy and is expected to carry a modest price tag. The vehicle seems to have plenty of space inside and is spacious enough for 7 passengers. On the downside, this vehicle, based on its size, might have performance issues. The vehicle has a little chrome on the outside, but it would be great if there were more chrome.

Toyota Corolla Altis Limited Edition: A Silent Entrant

"Toyota Corolla Altis"

Toyota has fabricated a beautiful picture in India. With the launch of some of the most promising cars, the company takes a shot at launching a limited edition. Known for making simple quality and reliable cars, it has introduced a no nonsense limited edition called the Toyota Corolla Altis Limited Edition. Yes, that’s right no fancy names either, such simplicity.

Limited Edition Altis comes with a host of upgrades inside but outside changes are bare minimum. When it comes to interiors, the highlight is the smart link infotainment system which gets air and hand gesture controls. Bluetooth and smart phone connectivity are also available with this system. Illuminated scuff plates on the doorsills, puddle lamp with Toyota name on it is also there on the Toyota Corolla Altis Limited edition.


"Toyota Corolla Altis"
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 The new Limited edition Corolla Altis Limited edition happens to be a beauty. Although it might be a little difficult to differentiate from the regular Altis, the limited edition version has a little more up its sleeves. This car has been derived from the Furia design philosophy. It has an aggressive appearance, stylish design and a lot of promise. This car has a square design in front with sharp lines for bumpers, grille and the hood. The blacked-out headlamps are LED enabled and flow upward into the sloping bonnet, which has prominent creases on its sides.

This vehicle has limited edition badges on C-pillar and on the right side of the boot. These are the obvious differentiating changes in this vehicle. All the four wheels on this car have extremely flared arches and the doors slope forward on the side. At the back, Toyota has retained some of the aggressiveness from the American-spec car due to the wrap-around tail lamps. The rest of the rear looks like it has been designed based on the current Camry sedan and features a large number of bulging lines. This car surely seems like a limited edition if you look close. The changes might not be so prominent from afar.

"Toyota Corolla Altis Limited Edition"
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The Corolla Altis Limited Edition gets some of the high-end features suited best to be called a limited edition. This car has illuminated scuff plates and puddle lamps with Toyota written on it. This looks pretty prominent in the dark and seems pretty cool. The interiors of this car feature leather seats with “Limited” emblems embossed on them and faux wood inserts on the door pads, armrest panels, and gear lever boot bezel. Additionally, this car also has wood finish trim on doors that add much flair to its interiors and it also has a Smart Link Infotainment system with air and hand gesture controls, voice function, Bluetooth and Smartphone enabled navigation.

This vehicle also has a wood finish armrest panel around the power window switches. Leather seats on top trims are visible and have limited edition badges on them at the rear. There is also wood finish around the knob, which makes the black beige and wood combination look slick for luxury car buyers. Standard features across variants include driver and passenger airbags, ABS with EBD, rear AC vents, parking sensors and electronically internally adjustable OVRMs. On the higher specs, there is a front parking sensors, Xenon lamps, touch screen infotainment system as well as electronically adjustable seats.

"Toyota Corolla Altus Limited Edition"
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Inside the hood, the Corolla Altis Limited Edition has no mechanical changes. The engine remains the same just like any other Corolla. The engine line-up is the same as before- a 1.8-litre petrol unit and a 1.4-litre diesel engine. The former produces 138bhp and 173Nm of torque while the latter produces 87bhp and 205Nm of torque.

  • 1,798cc, 4-cylinder petrol, 138 BHP @ 6,400 rpm, 173 Nm @ 4,000 rpm, 6-speed manual transmission
  • 1,364cc, 4-cylinder diesel, 87 BHP @ 3,800 rpm, 205 Nm @ 1,800-2,800 rpm, 6-speed manual transmission

The diesel has a six-speed manual while the petrol can also be had with a seven-speed automatic gearbox.


Competition and price:

The Toyota Corolla Altis competes with Skoda Octavia, Chevrolet Cruze, VW Jetta and the Hyundai Elantra. This car, being a limited edition is expected to get more likes and more bookings than the normal ones.

Prices for the Toyota Corolla Altis Limited edition petrol starts at Rs. 14,68,324 and diesel starts at Rs. 16,00,324 (ex-showroom Delhi)

"Toyota Corolla Limited Edition Altis"
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Bottom Line:

This vehicle definitely came as a surprise and its launch was kept in the dark and this strategy might not have been the best by Toyota. That said, there should have been more offerings with the Corolla Altis than just focusing on the interiors. The company should have added a more sportier look, and a couple of freebies to make this one tough vehicle to book and one tough competitor to beat.

Honda Civic Coupe 2016

"Civic Coupe"

Here’s a look at the 10th generation Honda Civic that is expected to hit the streets during the fall of 2015. The 2015 LA Auto show set the stage for this new production model. The Coupe version is slotted to arrive at dealers in March 2016 thereby giving the coupe-crazy customers a completely revised contender to consider while deciding.

Although this isn’t a revolutionary redesign as compared to the 2015 Civic Coupe, it happens to be an excellent improvement. The much-awaited improvement is something that the Civic badly needed. Its more aggressive styling and slew of interesting exterior and interior details should help the Civic Coupe compete with plenty of rivals.

Here’s a look at the 2016 Civic Coupe:


The all-new 2016 Honda Civic Coupe version has some awesome features that resemble the ones spotted on its prototype. It has a classy grille, multi-layered rear end and sloping roofline. The Grille resembles the one found on the Civic Sedan. In fact, the A-pillars have also been unchanged. That said, the front design of the car goes inline with the rest of the body. The Coupe has a 2.9 inch longer wheelbase, the body is 1.9 inches wider, and the front overhand is 1.4 inches shorter.

The wheels have been moved to the corners, giving the car a wide footprint, which should lead to greater stability. The sloping roof is an inch lower than the Civic Sedan’s, contributing to the car’s overall, low-slung look. And despite the longer wheelbase, the Civic Coupe is actually 5.5 inches shorter than before. The rear end of this car is styled to attract the eye of a youngster, It has a C-Shaped LED Taillight that stretches across the entire rear end. The dynamic shape of the lights not only gives the rear more attitude, but helps in reducing drag, thanks to the crisp lines. A modest spoiler tops the trunk, helping with aerodynamics and styling.

"Civic Coupe"
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Its LED treatment continues up front, with LED daytime running lights. LED headlights are optional as well. The headlights, regardless of lighting source, are now automatic, meaning no more worrying about turning your lights on and off. It also houses rain-sensing wipers as an option.


The interiors have been completely overhauled to give this car a very sporty look. This car makes the two-tiered dashboards look like history. It has borrowed its dash from its four-door brother, and in doing so, becomes far more grown up without looking its fun factor. Clean lines, well-placed screens and gauges, and stylish cues make bring the interior into modern days. The Civic Coupe uses digital gauges that have been retained for quite sometime. The higher the trims, the more features you’d find.

For variants starting from EX and higher, there is a center-mounted TFT screen that digitally shows engine and ground speed via an analog style tachometer and a fully digital speedometer. The familiar blue hue emanates from the cluster, matching the blue color coming from the center-muted infotainment screen. This is a massive seven-inch unit that fully supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, runs the Pandora app, and has SiriusXM and HD Radio. Additional features include, an electronic parking brake with an electronic Brake Hold function that assists in hill starts. EX and higher trims have leather door panel inserts with real stitching, the cabin is lit by an overhead LED lamp, and the shifter sports a leather boot.


"Honda Civic Coupe Interior"
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The Civic Coupe borrows its engine from the Civic Sedan and thrusts out the same horsepower and torque. Base Civic receives a 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder that makes 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. The engine can be had with either a CVT or six-speed manual transmission. Like the previous generations, the manual is relegated to the lowest LX trim. The 2.0-liter is estimated to deliver 31 mpg city, 41 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined, when mated with the CVT. It also comes in a 1.5 liter version that is more exciting than the normal version.


"Honda Civic Coupe"
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Performance and Safety:

Safety has been paid close attention to and Honda has added every available safety system in its parts bin on the Civic Coupe. First off, the car is built using Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Structure, also known as ACE that helps redistribute an impact’s force around the passenger compartment, keeping occupants safe. Multiple airbags and seatbelts are standard equipment, as part of the Honda Sensing suite of technologies.


Although the prices are yet to be revealed, you can expect this car to be around the $ 20,000 ballpark for the base model.


The Civic Coupe is definitely a stunner of a car and has adequate features to gouge upon. The car carries a new 1.5-liter engine option that is sure to stir up some action. It is a pretty reliable car and promotes Honda’s name quite well. However, you might have an issue with this car if you’re tall. Also, there is no manual transmission option in the upper trims that might upset a few. Overall, this is one beauty waiting to rule 2016.



Chevrolet Trailblazer

"Chevrolet Trailblazer"

Chevrolet, as expected launched the Trailblazer in India. This vehicle is a hard-core off-road SUV that comes with plenty of performance capabilities and a lot of muscle.

Sadly, this is a performance-oriented vehicle and has a rear wheel drive mechanism instead of a 4WD system as we all expected. However, the company claims that this vehicle isn’t just about performance, since it represents a new benchmark with regards to safety and driving experience in its class. Another fact is that the vehicle is being brought as a CBU unit, imported from Thailand. Since a long time, this car maker is conducting several test runs for this SUV across India.

Now, it has officially arrived, it will be interesting to see how the competitors like Toyota and Ford would face this threat. Both these automobile firms have already unveiled their SUVs for India and Ford is already on its way to roll out the 2015 Endeavour soon, maybe very shortly. This newly launched Trailblazer may gain the upper hand over the others for several factors. One of the reason is its classy SUV appeal. It may not look like a modern vehicle, but the perfect body structure and its expressively crafted cosmetics does leave you mesmerized.

If you’re all into performance, this vehicle is the perfect choice for you. Here’s a review on this car:



 At first look, this SUV looks similar to its cousin the Captiva. This car looks a tad up sculpted and appears quite bold and classy. The Trailblazer takes the company’s signature design language ahead and features a dual port grille up-front with perforated mesh and sleek chrome surround. Adorned with this is the golden bowtie badge that sits in the middle of the grille. The bold headlight cluster loaded with projector lamps and turn blinkers surround the badge.

"Chevrolet Trailblazer"
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There are LED DRL’s also that further amplify the facet. Its front bumper is sleek yet muscular and assembled with a black colored lower cladding. It also has fog lights with chrome-plated strips that enhance the classiness of the car’s facet. It’s mirror caps as well as the door handles have been garnished in chrome rendering it a premium look. The car’s fenders are coupled with alloy wheels that look attractive. The car also has a chrome waistline that compliments its SUV appeal and has roof rails. The rear side of the car looks pretty bold and it hosts dynamic brake light clusters with chrome wraps. Overall, it carries a pretty stern and rugged design that looks pretty appealing.

"Chevrolet Trailblazer"
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The beast has a comfortable cabin. You are certainly going to love driving with such a cabin. The interiors on the Trailblazer have a great look but, they lack a modernistic appeal. The ergonomics on this car with all the bolsters and support for the body are wicked cool. They are dressed up with leather upholstery that adds regal stance to the insides. These seats can offer comfortable accommodation for a maximum of seven passengers. For added convenience, all three rows of the cabin are provided with AC vents. This really helps the third row occupants to experience chilled ambiance all through the journey. The manufacturer has managed to achieve an up-market look to the cabin by adorning it with glossy-black accents. These inserts can be found on door panels, steering wheel and on center fascia as well. The instrument cluster on the other hand has a distinctive design with separate consoles for each gauge.

The door panels have a bigger armrest ensuring relaxed traveling experience. The shift selector on floor console has chrome as well as leather inserts adding to the sophistication of interiors. Not to forget that the steering wheel has a very attractive three spoke design featuring gold plated bowtie and high-gloss black inserts. Besides, there are multi-functional switches on this rim that eases the operation of audio system. The center console on this vehicle comes packed with a touch enabled infotainment system featuring MYLINK.

It is one of the kind features that helps you to sync your smart phone with the infotainment and allows you to access various radio stations across the globe. Perhaps Trailblazer is the first vehicle from GM to get this feature and later it will be offered to other vehicles in its portfolio. The leather wrapped steering wheel has a conventional design, but glossy-black accents and a golden bowtie renders it an up-market appeal. Placed in the league of luxury SUVs, this latest model is loaded with all the essentials like features like automatic climate control unit, electrically adjustable seats with memory, cruise control and parking assistance with reversing camera.

"Chevy Trailblazer"
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Power Train:

Under the belly of the beast is Chevy’s 2.8 litre diesel engine comprising of a latest generation common rail direct fuel injection technology. It is a 4-cylindered mill featuring 16-valves altogether, making a total displacement capacity of 2776cc. This turbocharged oil-burner has the ability to unleash a maximum power of 197bhp at 3600rpm that results in a hammering torque of 500Nm at 2000rpm. Being mated with a six speed automatic gearbox, it distributes the output to the rear wheels and enables it to deliver good performance, even on rugged roads.

Bottom Line:

The Trailblazer is a phenomenal car to own. It’s appearance is astounding. This vehicle comes with traction control and it has a braking program that ensures stability. It has one of the highest ground clearances found in any off-roader. This vehicle also has MYLINK technology that is quite amazing. On the downside, this vehicle is expected to bag a hefty pricetag. The cabin on this car seems outdated and the comfort features on this SUV are somehow lacking. Lastly, the fuel economy on this SUV is a big drawback. Overall, you’d love this SUV if you’re an off-roader.

Volkswagen Beetle Dune

Volkswagen of America, an operating unit of Volkwagen group of America (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia.  The company is a  subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany.This is one of the largest producer of passenger cars in the world. The company produces plenty of passenger cars.

VW sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen, Golf R, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers. Beetle is one of the most sought after car from VW. The car is recognizable from afar owing to its shape. This bug shaped car has been a part of VW’s heritage. It’s time  for change and so, the company has designed a new breed of beetle named Dune.


Making its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the VW Beetle Dune has certainly looks like a charm. VW has taken inspiration from the vintage beetles for this model to give the coupe and convertible a more rugged style. Dune, just like Baja Bugs of olden days, the Dune happens to be a streetcar in an off-roaders style.

"VW Beetle"
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Firstly, the Dune has better ground clearance that has been raised by 04. Inches and the track are 0.6 inches wider, but the Beetle Dune remains a front-wheel-drive passenger car. That said, Volkswagen worked within the Beetle’s means to create a very cool throwback. The Dune’s exterior is heavily modified from a standard Beetle. New front and rear fasciae feature aluminum skid plates and matte-black details, and the side sports polished aluminum sills.

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Unique 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires complete the aesthetic upgrades. The Dune is pretty cool and its new body panel gives the coupe and convertible looks that make it even more desirable. The vehicle has a restyled front bumper that gives it an especially purposeful look with a central intake that’s outlined in bright trim. The vehicle has graphics along the doors that evoke the model’s vintage spirit. The company also adds a tweaked fascia and spoiler at the back. Sporty look aside, the new front bumper features a large central air intake that widens towards its bottom edge, and a black honeycomb screen has an aluminum-look surround that morphs into the front skid plate. On either side of the intake, two black honeycomb vents contain the fog lights. A Lighting Package will be available, which will add Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and LED license plate lighting.

The side of the vehicle is characterized by the contrast between the polished aluminum sills and the black trim strips that are reminiscent of the original Beetle running boards. Distinctive 18-inch Canyon aluminum-alloy wheels are fitted with 235/45 all-season tires. The side mirrors have contrasting black lower portions and Reflex Silver uppers, and “Dune” graphics are displayed on both doors. At the back, the Dune features a large rear spoiler, standard LED taillights, and a new bumper design that integrates matte black and aluminum elements, as at the front of the car. The rear diffuser also acts as a skid plate. The Beetle Dune will soon be available in 3 exterior colors; Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl. Sandstorm Yellow cars have an interior that features body color upper door trims and dash pads, whereas the Pure White and Deep Black Pearl vehicles have black door and dash pad trim. This is truly an exceptionally designed car. Dune lets away the misleading perceptions of Beetle being a girl’s car.


Inside the Beetle Dune features sporty seats with contrasting orange stitching and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. Standard equipment includes the latest generation MIB II infotainment system, which serves as the foundation for Volkswagen’s available Car-Netsuite of features. VW Car-Net connectivity includes App-Connect technology, which allows integration with the three major Smartphone platforms—Apple Car Play Android Auto TM and Mirror Link allowing seamless integration for compatible Smartphone. The Dune comes with composition Color infotainment system that has a 6.3-inch screen with a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming. MIB II also features a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth connectivity for compatible devices are standard, along with a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control system. A Technology Package will also be available, which adds Clima-tronic dual-zone automatic climate control, the award-winning Fender Premium Audio System, KESSY keyless access with push-button start, and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.

"VW Dune Interior"
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The exteriors and interiors seem pretty classy. However, these cars keep the Beetle’s base power train of a 1.8 TSI four-cylinder sending 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet torque to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic engine.

"VW Beetle Dune"
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Bottom Line:

The Beetle Dune is going to be available in both coupe and convertible variants and the coupe goes on sale in the 1st quarter of 2016. Sadly, no information regarding its pricing and availability in other countries is available at the moment. What’s your opinion on the Beetle Dune? Do comment and share 🙂

Tata Kite Preview – Will it take Tata Motors to New Heights?

"Tata Kite"

Tata Motors seems firm on launching the Kite soon. With plenty of emerging reports floating around the internet, it is imminent that the Kite is to launch soon. The compact sedan from Tata that is believed to be named kite will hit showrooms as soon as the Kite hatchback is launched.

Auto heads are certain to get a taste of hatchback power. Sure enough, the Tata Kite sedan and hatchback cars are going to defend Tata’s honor and are certain to become strong contenders in the hatchback and sedan segments.

Kite is supposedly a sub-four meter sedan of the brand that should hit the showrooms pretty soon. Meanwhile, here is a small preview of the Kite:


It was 2012 when Tata Indica eV2 was refreshed with a better look and better features. The company has completely replaced this car and the revamped version is under the project name “Kite”. The revised car is still expected to offer Indian consumers everything that they need from a hatchback and that too at an affordable price.

"Tata Kite"
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The Kite seems to be a pretty awesomely designed, revamped version of its predecessor. The vehicle is an updated version of the Indica’s XO platform. The spy shots make it look similar to the bolt. The headlamps and restyled bumpers seem new. It also has revised tail lamps that are placed horizontally unlike the existing traffic-signal arrangement on the Indica.


"Tata Kite"
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At the back, revised tail lamps will be placed horizontally unlike the Christmas-tree arrangement on the Indica. There have been plenty of test mules that have been spotted by a lot of people. The preliminary stages of testing and makeshift components are on. There might be new alloys, better curves and a lot more. The prototype seems to have a roofline tapering towards its rear and makes it look like a classy notchback.


The Tata Kite is supposedly going to be equipped with some of the high tech features that are going to be similar to the ones found on the Bolt. This vehicle boasts a better cabin space, better interiors and plush upholstery. That said, the company might add more goodies with an upgraded infotainment system along with Bluetooth and upgraded features that are going to be better than the existing ones. The cabin might be made out of upgraded upholstery, a new and upgraded dashboard and a new instrument panel. The top end vehicle might come equipped with features similar to the ones on the Zest.

Engine and gearbox:

The upcoming Tata Kite hatchback is expected to have a similar power train from its current cousins. However, there are anticipations that Tata might have a new three-cylinder petrol and diesel mill option for this new car. The compact sedan will also be available in petrol and diesel versions. Reports suggest that Tata might power the new cars with a new three-cylinder petrol motor and a diesel engine. While the engines will come mated to a five-speed manual transmission, we can also expect the AMT gearbox to be offered.


"Tata Kite"
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Price and Competition:

The upcoming Kite hatchback might be priced in the range of Rs. 3.9 lakh to Rs. 4.5 lakh. The vehicle should be one of the most aggressively priced vehicle from Tata.  This revamped version is expected to offer good value for money for consumers on a budget. The vehicle will be priced lesser than the Zest and at this price point for a budget sedan segment, it will create a huge impact on the sub-four metre sedans like the Honda Amaze, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Hyundai Xcent. This could also mean that manufacturers like Maruti and Hyundai would need to quickly whip up cheaper compact sedans based on their entry level hatchbacks in order to combat the Kite compact sedan.

Bottom Line:

Tata holds a neat reputation in India, this brand is suited best for consumers belonging to all walks of life. Tata vehicles have been popular, ever since the introduction of cars like Nano and Indica.

But, there have been plenty of complaints about the Tata engines. The vehicles are very noisy and they might seem disturbing while going on a peaceful drive. Also, there have been plenty of complaints about the after sales service standard of Tata cars.

It seems expensive and the service standard does not seem up to the mark. With the launch of a new breed of cars, Tata might have to reconsider working on the quality of service they provide.

On the flipside, the mileage offered by Tata cars is quite pleasing. Also, since the introduction of Zest, the competitors have not been able to compete with such features till date. The Kite hold’s a lot of anticipation and there are plenty of enthusiasts waiting to fly the Kite.

So, let’s wait and watch how the kite flies 🙂

2015 Frankfurt Auto Show: A-To-Z Guide


The recently held 66th International Motor Show (IAA) held at Frankfurt was a huge success from the 15th to 17th September and from September 19th to 28th for public. The 2015 Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IIA) or the Frankfurt Motor show had kicked-off some of the most exciting and the eye catching car’s in the universe. The 2015 edition of this humongous auto show had an interesting array of upcoming car launches and a few crazy concept cars.

There were more than 60 vehicle introductions in both production and concept forms. In case you missed out on the live action, here’s a look at some of the best cars that were absolute “show-stoppers”

Concept Cars:

Production cars are obviously good news. But, at times it’s better to enjoy some of the best looking designs that don’t necessarily come to reality. But well, its better feasting your eyes on these designs than not:

Mercedes IAA Concept:

Mercedes is pretty amazing when it comes to designing. The company has brought a few fabulous cars and out-of-the world concepts.

"Mercedes Concept car"
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The Sttutgart-based luxury carmaker has proven itself once again with an astonishing concept that offers a preview of a futuristic design direction and a new interior pattern of its new breed of cars. The concept car features 8-segments of the body that extend at the rear, when superior aerodynamics is in demand. When it is activated, the front flaps in the front bumper extend by 25 mm to the front and 20 mm to the rear.

"Mercedes Concept"
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Toyota C-HR Concept:

Toyota had unveiled a version of the C-HR concept way back in the 2014 Paris Auto Show.

"Toyota Concept"
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The model was quite spectacular and the second version of this car came with major upgrades. The upgraded version carries more toned exteriors and is certain to rival against Nissan’s Juke.

"Toyota Car"
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Nissan Gripz Concept Crossover:

The classic desert rally cars inspired Nissan Gripz concept desert rally car is here. This car has been designed based on the Japanese carmaker’s new ‘emotional geometry’ design language and shares its style cues with the Nissan Sway concept unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show.

"Nissan Gripz"
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Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro Surf Concept:

Vauxhall and Opel designed Vivaro surf concept. It was displayed at Frankfurt’s motor show and the vehicle targets surfers. The concept was showcased at the auto show and features two sliding side doors. It has a lot of storage space and the concept comes with a massive main cargo section at the rear, which has 3.2 cubic metres (3,200 litres) of cargo volume.


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Mazda Koeru Concept SUV:

Mazda showcased the Koeru Concept SUV at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. This SUV is an updated cersion of the carmaker’s popular Kodo design language. The concept SUV’s name ‘Koeru’ signifies what translates into ‘exceed’ or ‘go beyond’. The 5-seaeter crossover SUV comes with a redesigned version of Mazda’s shield-shaped front grille, new restyled headlamps from CX-3 along with enormous alloy wheel and a raked roofline. Inside the concept SUV comes with driver focused and heavily styled cabin with Mazda’s latest MZD Connect system.


"Mazda Minagi"
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Honda Civic Tourer Active Life Concept:


"Honda Concept "
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The new Honda Civic Tourer Active Life concept is specially designed for cyclists who need a vehicle to transport their bikes. The concept comes with a sleek MPV like design with an extendable roof rack, custom metallic blue paint, silver roof, 18-inch alloys and new design rear bumper. As mentioned earlier the concept has been designed for bikers and can carry bicycles either on the extendable roof rack or inside the trunk, which has a generous 1,668 liters of cargo capacity. The trunk has a low loading lip and smart rack with a retractable arm that can carry two bicycles.


                                                                   PRODUCTION CARS:


First, here is a look at some of the production cars that were unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show:



What do you get after 3 years of wait? This Italian Beauty that made its way from Italy to Frankfurt.

"Alfa Romeo"
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The most sought after A4 from Audi is quite evolutionary and makes it quite amazing.

"Audi A4 "
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S4 and S4 Avant:

The S4 and S4 turbocharged version is finally here. The supercharged version features a 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo powers and has Inglostadt S4 Quattro.

"Audi S4"
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QE-tron SUV Concept:

The QE-Tron is a sporty electric SUV Concept that makes quite an impact from the house of Audi.

"Audi "
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Bentley has introduced the new Bentayga SUV. This is the first ever-created SUV from the company and is a seven-seater.

"Bentley Bentayga"
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3-series facelift:


"BMW 3 series"
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Bavarian Motor Works has gone evergreen and is an exciting upgrade.




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2016-BMW 7-Series-Carscoops2

The S-Class luxury was added to the BMW family and gets a dash of carbon fiber.


"BMW X1"
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X1 also made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.



Vision Gran Turismo:

The new and improved Vision Gran Turismo comes with a performance-oriented gamers concept. This happens to be the Veyron’s successor.

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Cactus M:

The Cactus M also made its appearance at the Motor Show.

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488 Spider:

The new turbo sports car from Ferrari popped its top at Frankfurt


"2016 Ferrari"
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500 Facelift:

after 8-years, the 500 has gone through major revisions.


"Fiat 500"
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SUV Facelift:


"Ford Explorer"
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There are SUV’s like EcoSport as well as Edge that have gone through various tweaks.




i20 WRC Rally Car:


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Hyundai WRC Rally car made its first preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show.


N 2025 Vision Gran Turismo:


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This is a cross between Le Mans and an open-wheeler that is designed as a gaming franchise.





The German premium brand is going to give plenty of brands a run for their money.

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F-Pace SUV:


"Jaguar F-Pace"
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This is jaguar’s first-ever SUV from Jaguar that was premiered at the Auto show.





"Kia 2016"
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New crossover is a big world debut from Kia at Frankfurt


Ceed Facelift: 

Nip-n-tuck for the Golf from Korea with latest family look.


"Kia Ceed"
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Aventador SV Roadster:

It’s a Lamborghini, need I say more?

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Huracan Spyder:

This is a new soft-top Huracan that was unveiled by the CEO of VW group, Stefan Winklemann.

"Lamborghini Huracan"
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C-Class Coupe:

With smoother and refined edges, this car is a 2-door design.

"Benz C-Class"
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C63 AMG Coupe:

The most popular C63 body style is a 2-door coupe with a brawny 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8.


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C 63 DTM Race car:


"Mercedes AMG"
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The C63 DTM racecar is quite sharp and carries a futuristic design.
S-class Convertible:

This is the first convertible S-Class from Mercedes.


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Clubman Estate:

The clubman wagon has gone through plenty of changes. It’s more of a Maxi over a Mini.



Fractal Concept:

It is an MX-5 sized wild cabrio from the French brand.

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Mission E: Storming new 2+2 sports electric sports car wowed Frankfurt motor show.

"Porsche Mission"
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911 991.2 : Carreras’ usual naturally aspirated engines shrink in size and grow a pair of turbochargers. Yep, they’re all 911 Turbos now!


Megane: All-new Megane raids the lighting store, rediscovers style. Meet the new Golf from France here

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Talisman: Laguna replacement moves up market with slick new saloon and estate.


 Dawn: Drop-top luxuxry at its finest, here’s Rolls Royce’s contribution to the cabrio market.

"Rolls Royce"
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The all-new Baleno gets a new and classy look. It regains the lost legacy of Suzuki.

"Suzuki Baleno"
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Prius:A significant world debut at Frankfurt: it’s the new fourth generation of hybrid.

"Toyota Prius"
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Astra hatchback: This was the first chance to see important new seventh-gen Astra in public.

"Opel Astra"
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Golf GTI Club sport: A hotter, feistier kind of Golf is here.

"VW Golf"
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"VW Tiguan"
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The Tiguan was also a showstopper at the Frankfurt Auto Show.


Wrap up:

There were hundreds of cars that have been showcased at the Frankfurt Auto Show, making it quite the talk of the world.