Honda Mobilio – a Pre-launch expert review

WOW factors about Honda Mobilio:

Reliability, Fuel efficiency of Diesel engine, Wide network of dealers, Low maintenance cost, Performance of petrol engine, spacious cabin & yes the name “HONDA” !

Factors against Honda Mobilio:

Noisy diesel engine which lacks refinement and low ground clearance — with respect to other models.

People’s love for MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle):

Mpv’s are also known as minivan’s in North America. In one way, mpv’s are a symbol of parenthood, the reason being, most of the people wouldn’t drive it if they don’t have children. Kids love the space in mpv’s whereas sedan, hatchback restrict their movements and MPV’s are great people movers. Mpv’s offer extra large space coupled with the ability to fold down all the seats. The Indian market has already has a few mpv’s  like Maruti Ertiga (though it’s called as muv  ie. Multi-Utility vehicle), Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia etc. The latest one that will join this group in near future is Honda Mobilio after its runaway success in Indonesia.

Looks:

Honda Mobilio is a 7 seater mpv, which was produced in 2001 but not launched in the Indian market at that time. Honda will launch its second generation mpv soon in India. Honda India has also made an official announcement of this news on its website. The platform of Honda mobilio is same as that of Honda Amaze and the Honda Brio. This gives the flexibility to Honda for sharing the parts. Honda mobilio has the same strong bold lines found in its earlier models which looks better than the other mpv’s of this segment. The front carries the sharp grille and looks sporty. The rear comes with integrated roof spoiler, tail lamps which are typical to Honda design.

Honda Mobilio MPV

Interior:

Honda mobilio will have three rows of seats. The mid rows of seats can be folded to make space and access to the 3rd row seats. Mid rows of seats in Honda Mobilio comes with a 60:40 split. The same way 3rd of seats can be folded to get huge space for loading bay. This should also provide a better leg room. Honda has increased wheelbase in Honda Mobilio than Honda Amaze and Honda Brio. Honda mobilio launched in Indonesia lacks steering mounted audio controls and chrome trim, not sure if Honda will include this in the Indian version.

Under the Hood:

Honda mobilio will be powered by the same 1.5litre diesel engine employed in Honda Amaze and latest generation Honda City. This will be a four cylinder engine which produces 100ps @ 3600rpm and a torque of 200n@ 1750rpm. Honda mobilio will also have the time tested petrol offering, which will produce 119ps of power @6600rpm and torque of 145nm @4600. Honda mobilio has already received car of the year award by the iotomotif online magazine.

Bottom-line: The runaway success of Honda Amaze and Honda city with its diesel offering has set the path which should be an advantage for Honda Mobilio.

Curious Questions of Motor heads:

1. Honda Mobilio Launch date?

Expected in July 2014.

2. Honda Mobilio expected Price?

6 – 8.5 Lakhs

 

Ford Mustang Shelby – the king of muscle cars !

Reason people love Muscle cars :

  1. Need for speed
  2. Looks
  3. Roaring sound of the engines
  4. Novelty of owning it and guaranteed head-turner
  5. A bold statement that you make “ I am what I am”

Reasons people dislike muscle cars :

  1. Not practical to drive for daily use
  2. Fuel guzzlers
  3. Higher emissions

Given a chance to list the classic muscle cars, most of them would list 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, 1969 Ford Boss 429 Mustang, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Chevrolet Chevelle SS, 1970 Dodge Charger, 1971 Plymouth HemiCuda, 1970 Pontiac GTO, and 1970 Buick GSX etc. Considering the successful muscle cars produced we can say that 1965 is the beginning of muscle car era which lasted for more than a decade. So among the list what made Ford Mustang Shelby a special one?

History :

Automotive legend Carroll Shelby was the brain behind designing high performance cars for Ford, namely Ford Mustang Shelby. The first car was Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 manufactured in 1965. The same year saw the race version of the car called as Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. The most notable achievement happened in 1967, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 was released. Till day this car is a favorite for fans. Years rolled by and different versions was released. The latest one is 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Carroll Shelby has made the word Ford Mustang synonymous to his name.

Carroll Shelby With GT350_GT500

The Car :

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 had a 4 speed manual transmission with a V8 engine which produces horsepower of 355hp @ 5400rpm and torque of about [email protected] It won the hearts of enthusiasts for its straight-line speed and was an instant hit. Among many other features include sporty stripes, lowered suspension with coilovers, hood mounted air scoop and side exhaust pipes with glasspak mufflers. Those who own this beauty feels its bang for the buck. The car found itself in the top slot in a poll conducted to its readers by MSN Autos for 10 greatest muscle cars of all time.

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 :

 

2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 :

In Movies :

1967 Ford Mustang Shelby codenamed Eleanor featured in the film “Gone in 60 Seconds” released in the year 2000. Replicas of Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 were made for the film and few of them were totaled because of the damage during the stunt sequences. Cinema vehicle services supplied cars for the movie. Later the car was displayed in Auto shows, car fairs and auto races. It was sold at an auction for $1 million. After the movie release, there is surge in demand for Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The catchy phrase “If you leave the car unlocked, it will be gone in 60 seconds” became popular.

Bottom-line : The definition of a muscle car will vary from person to person. But only few cars live up to the expectation of muscle car fans. Ford Mustang Shelby is for sure one among them. Ford Mustang Shelby with its timeless design lived by Carroll Shelby’s motto “Performance is my business”. It reflects the glorious past of Ford, Carroll Shelby and will continue to do so even in the coming era.

 

Tata Bolt and Tata Zest – an expert review

Why you should buy this car ?

Wide network of dealers, Better Mileage, Low cost and Maintenance, Time tested 1.3 QJD engine of FIAT.

Why you should NOT buy this car ?

Niggling issues, Fit and Finish, Taxi image — with respect to the earlier models.

 

As the name suggests, with great enthusiasm and energy Tata motors is all set to launch its 2 new products – Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. Whether it is going to be a shot in the arm or not,  let’s take a deep-dive at what’s in the offering.

Tata Motors at Auto Expo :

Looks :

Tata Motors has started to focus much on the design aspect for its new cars to attract back its customers. This is much needed one in the current competitive market where the customers are wooed by the fluidic design of Hyundai and Arrow shot design of Honda. We hope even Tata motors design engineers would have eagerly waited for a green signal to change the design that most Tata cars carry till now. Personally i am not a big fan of the overall design in Tata Indica vehicle. Thanks to Tata motors for finally deciding to change the design pattern. Tata Bolt and Zest will be the first to carry the company’s new design patterns. Both Tata Bolt and Tata Zest have been designed taking inputs from the three Tata Motors design studios in Pune (India), Coventry (UK) and Turin (Italy). They call the new design lines (Tata signature grille) as new ‘Humanity Line’, which is visually looking better. In the Tata Zest, the projector headlamps are complemented by chrome accents (Considering the people’s love for the look & shine), the rear treatment with LED lamps, new set of 15 inch alloy wheels and better exterior styling.

Interior :

Tata Motors has unveiled separate website for the all new Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. The new design language gives a fresh character to both the cars. Interior design too looks much better than the current models. The changes like silver trim inserts, newly designed steering wheels, enriched dashboard looks, black and optional color combination shade, redesigned instrument cluster with integrated multi-information display and A/C vent design.  We are not sure if leather seats would be provided as an optional.

Under the Hood (Bonnet) :

Both the Tata Bolt and Tata Zest will be powered by the first-in-class Revotron 1.2T engine. The Revotron 1.2T represents the next generation of revolutionary petrol engines that is four cylinder, turbocharged and MPFI engine. In MPFI engine, there is one fuel injector installed for each of the 4 cylinders, which is expected to deliver superior performance, power, torque and mileage. This is possible as the MPFI (micro-chip) which effectively uses the petrol. With the 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT), The 1.2-litre petrol motor develops 85PS at 5,000rpm and 140Nm of torque at 1,750-3,500rpm. What attracts us is the diesel engine. Take a guess, yes. It’s the so called “national engine of India” by enthusiasts. You are right. It’s the fiat sourced 1.3-litre quadrajet diesel engine. This is the engine which also powers the Maruti Swift, Maruti Dzire and other Fiat products. The diesel engine will deliver 90ps and 200NM of torque.

Features :

With some exclusive features as the Tata motors say, Tata Bolt and Tata Zest will also be among the most-loaded cars in their respective segments which features the all new 5 inch infotainment system with touch screen supporting various functions by HARMAN. Harman’s automotive division sells branded audio systems through several car makers, including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota/Lexus, BMW, and General Motors. MapmyIndia has designed the next-generation navigation & location based services for Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. In my opinion, in India it’s better to ask people where the road will take you considering the frequent and unexpected maintenance work carried in Indian cities. Drive by wire technology for better engine response, reduced wear and tear over the years compared to the hydraulic and mechanical technology used in conventional cars. Tata motors claim that the Improved suspension coupled with a zero pivot sub frame will ensure smooth and comfortable ride. The true potential of which can be explored once you take the vehicle for a drive.

Trivia :

Tata Motors has roped in the formula one motor racing driver from India, Narain Karthikeyan in the development of Tata Bolt and Tata Zest. Sources say his job is to create a benchmark in different segments by working closely with engineers. This will give edge to Tata Motors on how to surpass the competition vehicles in this category. His feedback ranges from like high-speed steering feel and striking a balance between performance and fuel efficiency (Highly critical in the Indian market).

Bottom-line : As the saying goes ‘Patriotism ends at marketplace’, only quality products stand apart and survive in the market. In south India, there is a widely used colloquial term “TATA”, which means saying good-bye. We believe Tata Bolt and Tata Zest have the right mix that can save Tata Motors from customers saying “TATA” to them.

Curious Questions of Motor heads:

– Tata Bolt Launch date?

Expected in third quarter of 2014.

– Tata Zest Launch date?

Expected in third quarter of 2014.

– Tata Bolt expected price?

4.5 – 7 Lakhs

– Tata Zest expected price?

5 – 8 Lakhs