Lamborghini – The Mighty Bull from Sant’Agata

Do you believe in Love at first sight? (No! This is not an article about relationships and blah blah :P. Don’t close the browser window. Continue reading) This article is about the Love for Automobile. Especially an Italian one. Especially a Lamborghini.There is always a first time to everything. Let me tell you about my version of Love at first sight with this Italian Automobile manufacturing company.

The Badge
The Badge

Back in 2008 when my dad brought me a Sony PlayStation 2, the first game I played was Need For Speed Most Wanted. I raced my way up through the blacklist. But when I had to race this Hector “Ming” Domingo, this guy turns up in his black car with gray trim at the rear and I keep looking at his car. Well that was the Lamborghini Gallardo. The car that made me fall in love with Lamborghini. As my game progressed and I became richer, I could soon buy the great Lamborghini Murcielago ( my now dream car 😀 ).Soon after I topped the blacklist, all I would do was, take out the V12 Murcie for a spin around Rockport. All the Lamborghini’s have some peculiarity which make them stand apart. Well, the Italians are artists and this reflects in their vehicles too. Be it Ferrari, Fiat, Ducati, Alfa Romeo and so on.

As long as the story goes , it is said that it was Enzo Ferrari that indirectly led to the inception of the brand Lamborghini. Back in the 60’s , Ferruccio Lamborghini used to roll in the Ferrari 250 GT. By then , he has a wealthy businessman owning companies manufacturing tractors and other industrial enterprises primarily making central heating and air-conditioning equipment. His Ferrari used to have a clutch problem which made him make frequent trips to Maranello which pretty much annoyed him. Also he used to complain about the build quality of the Ferrari’s manufactured those days. Not only him , many others too had the the same complaint but were afraid that they wont be allowed to buy a Ferrari again.

In those days, Enzo Ferrari was more interested in the Car Racing Scene that was developing that time and would not devote proper time to production cars. So Ferruccio himself took to fixing the clutch problem by installing one from his tractors. The problem never appeared again. With this solution that he found out he decided to visit Enzo Ferrari and talk about it. However things did not turn out to be as expected. Enzo Ferrari put him down by saying that the problem was with Ferruccio and not with the cars. He also told him that a man like him should concentrate on manufacturing tractors only because he had no knowledge about a sportscar. This miffed Ferruccio and he decided to not buy a Ferrari anymore; instead build his own supercar. When people heard about his ambitions, they laughed and mocked at him. But he was very much determined and adamant and in the 1963 he came out with prototype that pumped 370 horses.

Lamborghini's First Car - The 350 GTV Prototype
Lamborghini’s First Car – The 350 GTV Prototype

He set up the factory at Sant’Agata Bolognese, about 25 kilometres from Bologna and named it “Automobili Lambroghini”. His aim was to not only build sportscars but also to help the customers with the problems they had with their cars. He had the perfect team for the same. The first production car was a 270 bhp Lamborghini 350 GT.
Soon after their first car was out, Lamborghini launched the Miura in 1966. A crazy mid engined car that played a gamechanger for the Lamborghini and gave the Maranello people ( The guys at Ferrari 😛 ) a run for their money. (Well , Lamborghini even today continues to do so 😉 😛 ) The idea of naming it Miura came to Ferruccio after he visited the Miura Ranch in 1962. Miura continued to be a raging success for Lamborghini and kept a check on Ferrari. None of the Ferrari’s could beat it until they came out with the flat-12 Berlinetta Boxer in 1973.Howeve Lamborghini continued rolling out more powerful and lighter versions of the Miura. Before the Miura went out of production, powerpacked version of it was made known as the Miura SV(SuperVeloce).It was soon replaced by the Countach as soon as Lamborghini was brought by German Automaker giant Audi.

The Game Changer Lamborghini
The Game Changer Lamborghini

 

The Bull wide open
The Bull wide open
Miura's Replacement
Miura’s Replacement

It was the first Lamborghini to be made with an SV badging. Wondering what an SV mean?? It means Super Fast.Lamborghini has been absolutely correct in its nomenclature. The SV’s are steroided and pumped up versions of their normal version. This is includes more horses, including the use of carbon fibre, significant weight reduction and last but not the least- more aggressive stance. All said, stating the but obvious, the SV’s came with a bigger price tag which was totally value for money ( If you are billionaire 😉 ) Till now , few of the cars have been lucky enough to be made with this badging.

The first one being the Miura followed by Diablo. Next came the mighty Murcielago and now the recent addition to the list was the stunning Aventador. Lamborghini has followed this policy of making Superleggera versions of its small(comparatively small :P) yet powerful cars such as the Gallardo. A Hurracan Superleggera can be expected anytime in immediate future 🙂 ). For the bigger beasts it has the SV badging ready. Until the production of the Aventador, the Lamborghini Murcielago SV LP 670-4 was the fastest Lamborghini ever built. With a 6.5 L V12 beast roaring and 670 horses running wild, it could punch the competition harder than ever. The SV’s came with a limited number and stayed in production for a less time before eventually going out of production.

Miura SV
Miura SV
Diablo SV
Diablo SV
Murcielago SV
Murcielago SV
The recently unvieled Aventador SV
The recently unvieled Aventador SV

The Murcielago was precedded by the Diablo and is succedded by the Aventador.Same goes with the recently launched Hurracan. It has proved to be a worthy successor to the best selling Gallardo.
Apart from making powerfull production cars, Lamborghini has successfully made exclusive hypercars with the likes of Sesto Elemento, Reventon and Veneno. There have also been rumours about a Lamborghini bike named Caramello. The list of recent concept cars by Lamborghini include – Egoista, Urus, Estoque, Asterion.

Sesto Elemento
Sesto Elemento
Reventon
Reventon
Veneno
Veneno
Egoista
Egoista
Urus
Urus
Estoque
Estoque
Asterion
Asterion

All thanks to Mr Ferruccio Lamborghini for doing what was impossible. Challenging the old player(Ferrari) in the market and giving it a run for its money is what Lamborghini has been doing since its inception. No matter who all are competing, in the end, the competition doubles up between Ferrari and Lamborghini; each trying to outrun the other.

And in this competition, people like us get to witness their marvellous production cars that keep us drooling over and over and again. Both Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini must be competing in heaven too. Who knows. :D. May the legends live forever.
BTW Ferruccio’s favourite car was the Lamborghini Miura which stands with pride in his private museum at Dosso di Ferrara till date. 😀

Mr Lamborghini posing pridely with his Countach Miura and the tractor
Mr Lamborghini posing pridely with his Countach Miura and the tractor

 

Face Off: Datsun Go+ vs Maruti Ertiga

The MPV segment is fast becoming one of the most heavily populated segments of the Indian market. The incredibly successful Toyota Innova has slowly moved up the price bracket and as a result, manufacturers are swooping in with compact, inexpensive compact MPVs to fill the void. The latest to join the fray is the new all new Datsun Go+. The Japanese MPV will go toe to toe with much bigger names such as Honda, Maruti and Chevrolet. We pit the Go+ with the popular Ertiga and see how the new kid on the block fares.

Design:

Datsun Go+:

The Go+ is an extended version of the Go hatch. The front end sports a large honeycomb grille surrounded on either side by well designed headlights. The rear features well integrated tail lamps and a neat, uncluttered bumper design. The boot sports an interesting design element where the Datsun logo sits atop a crest. Although Nissan/Datsun has done an above average job with the Go+’s styling, the manufacturer has not made any attempts at covering up its cost cutting methods. Things such as the numerous panel gaps, loosely connected exhaust pipe showcase the extreme levels of compromise the Go+ had to be put through to keep its prices as low as possible.

 

datsun go plus front three quarter
The Datsun Go Plus

All in all, the Go+ is a good looking albeit unexceptional looking thing. The MPV will not stand out in a crowd.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Maruti Suzuki has always had issues with porting designs from one body style to another (Think first generation DZire). This time however, the manufacturer has done a good job with the design transplant. Although the Ertiga sports similar elements to the Swift, the design has adapted to better suit the MPV body style. The compact MPV sports a cutesy front end with no distinguishing traits. The rear features well integrated tail lights that sport a wrap-around effect. The Ertiga’s exterior too is very plain jane in character.

2014 maruti suzuki ertiga
Front view of the Suzuki Ertiga

Despite the very neutral styling of the both the Ertiga and Datsun Go+, cost cutting is blatantly evident in the latter giving the Ertiga an edge over the Japanese MPV.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Interior:

Datsun Go+:

The cost cutting continues on the inside as well with the Go+ completely missing panels in some places altogether. The lidless glovebox, lack of a proper music system and cheap plastics all hint at the primary goal of the Go+: to be a budget offering. However, for a driver, the Go+ is rather well equipped. Apart from the good engine, the Go+ comes with a digital tachometer as well as a distance to empty, average and current fuel consumption readouts. Extremely useful features lacking in its competition. The speedometer also has useful though crude markings for optimal gear shifts.

datsun go plus interior
The interior of the Go+

Datsun has made maximum use of the cabin’s space with a multitude of cubby holes for miscellaneous items. The front row seats feature the controversial single unit seats that allow for a child to sit between the driver and front passenger. Although Datsun maintains that this is a USP, in reality, this poses a major safety issue as there is no protection during the event of a crash.

The combination of cheap plastics and beige and gray colour scheme leaves much to be desired, However, when one keeps in mind that the Datsun GO+ has been designed to keep costs low, many of its shortcomings can be forgiven. Despite this, the lack of airbags, ABS or any other safety mechanism on any variant is a disappointment and only serves to strengthen the belief that manufacturers care more about market share than the safety of its customers.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

The Ertiga is a slightly more premium offering than the Datsun. Like the Go+, the Ertiga borrows heavily from the hatchback it is based on. The Maruti MPV’s cabin is a mixture of beige and grey. Unlike the Go+, the Ertiga comes with a fully loaded infotainment system complete with steering mounted controls for the driver. The MPV also features electrically adjustable ORVMs, power windows, and a conventional glove box.

Interior suzuki ertiga
Interior suzuki ertiga

The Ertiga offers a lot more than the pocket friendly Go+.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Under the Hood:

Datsun Go+:

The Go Plus is powered by a 1.2 L petrol engine that produces 67 bhp @ 5000 RPM and 104 Nm @ 4000 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual. Despite its large size, the Go Plus’ low weight allows the 1.2 L mill to deliver more than enough power for easy driving. The small engine and light frame means that the Go+ delivers an impressive 20.62 kmpl (ARAI).

Datsun does not currently offer the Go+ in diesel.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Suzuki offers the Ertiga in petrol as well as diesel. The petrol powered variant houses a 1.4 L engine that produces 94 bhp @ 6000 RPM and 130 Nm @ 4000 RPM while the Fiat sourced 1.3 L diesel engine churns out 89 hp @4000 RPM and 200 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. Maruti Suzuki offers a CNG variant as well.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Verdict

The Datsun Go Plus is a budget offering. As a result, the MPV makes severe compromises on various fronts. Though the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is unquestionably the better car, the Ertiga is a better choice for more than just its features and design. The philosophy behind the Datsun Go+ is that of “cheap and best”, a philosophy widely followed by the Indian society. Citing lack of interest, the Japanese automaker has completely omitted basic safety features such as airbags and ABS. The former now being adopted as standard by a growing number of brands in India. Despite what many buyers believe, a car’s safety level is one of its prime aspects. Especially in our country. The recent NCAP tests and its horrifying results have showcased the kind of deathtraps our cars can be. While the apathetic nature of manufacturers and poor government regulations are mainly at fault, our outlook towards the entire situation is partly to blame as well.

If we as a community begin to understand the importance of safety and demand for better manufactured products, then the industry will slowly change its ways. Hopefully the automotive industry gains enough empathy to improve its own standards before our passive government finally wakes up.

Face Off: Tata Bolt vs VW Polo

2015 volkswagen polo dashboard

Tata Motors is one of the few surviving Indian car makers. Although the car maker enjoyed great success back in the 20th century and early 2000’s, the indigenous car maker has failed to keep pace with its competition. The emergence of foreign car makers such as VW, Hyundai and Nissan dealt a great blow to native automakers. However, after a long period of absence, Tata is back to regain market control with its all new Bolt hatchback. We pit it against Volkswagen’s popular Polo to see how the latest Tata hatch fares.

Design:

Tata Bolt:

The all new Bolt is a refreshing change from the dated design of the Indica. Though the Indica proved to be a value for money product, its popularity in the commercial vehicle segment resulted in the hatchback developing Although the Indica Vista introduced a slew of changes and improvements,  the Vista’s uncanny resemblance to the original Indica drove many to opt for other vehicles such as the Maruti Swift and VW Polo. For the 2015 Bolt however, the Indian car maker has introduced an all new design philosophy that attempts to provide the premium feel the Indian consumer is looking for without the high price tag commonly associated with such products.

2015 tata bolt front three quarter
The Tata Bolt has come a long way from the Indica and its modern styling will surely play a great role in the hatch’s critical reception

The Bolt is a major step up from the Indica Vista in terms of design. The blackened C pillars, aggressively styled headlights and silver foglamp accents all contribute to the car’s appeal. Despite all the changes Tata has managed to squeeze in, the Bolt still feels a bit dated in design when compared to the more contemporary VW Polo.

Volkswagen Polo:

The 2015 VW Polo sports minimal exterior changes. Key changes include a reworked front and rear bumper, revised headlight cluster design, new alloys and a strip of chrome across the lower bumper. The neat, restrained design of the Polo is executed perfectly and the understated presence and business like demeanor of the German hatch is far more modern when compared to the Bolt.

2015 Volkswagen Polo front three quarter
The Polo’s restrained design makes the German hatch one of the slickest in its segment

Winner: VW Polo

Interior:

Tata Bolt:

The sporty all black cabin of the Tata Bolt may seem claustrophobic to some. However, the Bolt features one of the best interiors from the Indian manufacturer in a long time. A sporty three spoke steering wheel complete with steering mounted controls greets the driver. The instrument cluster makes its way back to its conventional position behind the silver accented steering wheel.

2015 tata bolt dashboard
The Bolt features an impressively specced infotainment system

The Indian automaker has also fitted the 2015 Bolt with a best in class infotainment system. The specially designed Harman sound system features a high res touchscreen with established features such as Bluetooth telephony, USB, AUX in and iPod connectivity. However, unlike any other system in its class, the Harman entertainment system also offers navigation, voice recognition, SMS readout and even video playback.

Volkswagen Polo: 

Interiors of the previous gen Polo was a very humdrum affair. Though the hatchback’s build quality vastly surpassed its Indian rivals, the Polo suffered from an issue most VW models bear. The clinical precision of a German made car comes at the price of creativity and outright style; A trait most of the Indian buyer community look for in a premium hatch.

 

2015 volkswagen polo dashboard
The facelifted VW Polo is graced with a flatbottomed steering wheel and the center console now sports a silver finish

The German automaker has made tremendous strides in the latest iteration of the Polo. The glossy black flat bottomed steering wheel and the addition of a dead pedal will surely help VW score some brownie points in the enthusiast community. Unlike the Bolt, the German car maker has opted for a dual tone beige and black interior giving the cabin an airy feel. Despite the Polo offering an ergonomically well balanced cabin, the low functionality of the car’s infotainment system is a major downside against the fully loaded Bolt.

Winner: Tata Bolt

Under the Hood:

Tata Bolt:

Tata offers the Bolt in both petrol and diesel avatars. The petrol variant is powered by Tata’s all new 1.2 l Revotron engine that produces 89 hp @ 5000 RPM and peak torque of 140 Nm @ 1500 RPM. Power from the turbo petrol is sent to the front wheels via a five speed manual gearbox. For the first time ever in its segment, the Tata Bolt offers three different driving modes. Based on the user’s choice of Sport, Eco or City, the engine’s mapping is reworked to provide power, maximum fuel economy or a computer estimated combination of both.

tata revotron engine
Tata’s 1.2 l Revotron engine offers three different driving modes

The 1.2 l diesel unit produces 74 hp @ 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. The QuadraJet engine is mated to a five speed manual transmission. Unlike the cutting edge Revotron engine, the diesel variant is rather conventional in nature, offering no new tech under the hood.

Volkswagen Polo:

VW is the only automaker to offer a truly high performance variant in the hatchback segment. Although Fiat made an attempt very early on with the 90 hp Punto, VW offers the Polo with 100+ hp in both petrol and diesel variants. Powering the more pedestrian petrol variants is a 1.2 l four cylinder unit that churns out 74 hp @ 5400 RPM and max torque of 110 Nm @ 3750 RPM.

VW packs a detuned variant of the 1.5 l diesel mill found on the GT TDI. Producing 89 hp @4200 RPM and a peak torque of 230 Nm at 1500 RPM, the diesel Polo is far more powerful than the diesel variant of the Tata Bolt. Both engines are mated to a five speed manual.

Winner: Tata Bolt

Verdict:

The VW Polo offers a little more than just style and features. Its solid build quality and dual airbag standard is an indication of the German car maker’s commitment to producing safe, quality cars. However, for the extra premium that the German hatch demands, VW offers little in terms of creature comforts.

2015 Volkswagen Polo rear three quarter
The Volkswagen Polo offers solid build quality and high safety standards

Tata has come a long way from the Indica. The Bolt is a near perfect blend of style, features and engineering ingenuity. Setting a benchmark for the hatchback class here in India, the Bolt is easily one of the best from the Indian car maker in a long time. It’s cost to features ratio will play a major role in sales figures and may just bring Tata back from the brink.

 

Face Off: Mercedes Benz S-Class vs BMW 7 Series

Cars in India have mostly been reduced to tools for locomotion. While the budget models do bring in the big bucks, automakers such as Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have completely departed from the upper segments to focus solely on dominating the A, B and C segments of the Indian market. This trend is now being carried over into luxury car makers such as Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW as well with each manufacturer launching sub 30 lakh hatches and crossovers to woo the Indian buyer base. However, the Germans have not given up on the ultra luxury section of the automotive industry with Mercedes Benz launching what it calls the “Greatest car ever made”. Released in India late last year, the 2015 S-Class is one of the most advanced luxury cars opulence has to offer. Although the all new 7 Series is yet to arrive, how well does the current model stack up against the Benz’s Golden Chariot?

Design:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

Although Benz has implemented its new design language with finesse on its lower models, the S-Class is on an entirely different plane. Serving as the car maker’s flagship, previous iterations of the luxury sedan have always been quite formal in character lacking any frills and embellishments.However, the new design language calls for a bit more flair. While this may have worked well with cars lower in the German car maker’s range, the new design philosophy simply won’t do. The S-Class may be striking, but one may not term it beautiful. It’s ungainly posture, bloated headlights, flashy grille and the odd combination of organic elements make for an incoherent design.

2014 mercedes benz s class sedan
The new S-Class is rather ungainly in character

BMW 7 Series:

The current gen 7 Series is more of an evolution in design rather than a complete makeover. As a result, the 2014 BMW flagship wears a finely tuned, refined shell characteristic of big Bimmers. With its understated presence and no nonsense styling, the 7 series is a far more elegant offering than the S-Class.

2013 BMW 7 Series front three quarter
The 7 Series’ somber tone and sophisticated presence suits the character of the car quite well

Winner: BMW 7 Series

Interior:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

For all its exterior design flaws, the S-Class’ cabin is a beautiful place to be in. A blend of quilted leather, aluminum and bewitching ambient lighting envelop its passengers in a cocoon of opulence and magnificence. While the S-Class battles it out with the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in terms of pricing and size, the interior of the Benz flagship is comparable to ultra luxury cars such as the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls Royce Ghost Series II. Few cars make its occupants feel so special.

2014 mercedes benz s class interior
The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the ultimatum when it comes to interior design and comfort

BMW 7 Series:

Similar to the luxury sedan’s exterior, the interior of the new 7 Series adopts an understated look. An ergonomic, business like cabin greets its passengers. However, while the 7 Series’ cabin is just as functional as its Benz rival, passengers may not feel as exclusive as they do in the S-Class.

bmw 7 series cabin
The unimpressive cabin of BMW’s flagship is rather disappointing

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Under The Hood:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

The big Merc is offered with some seriously big engines. Offered in both petrol and diesel, buyers have an options between a 3.0 l oil burner and the more potent 4.6 l petrol mill. The 3.0 l diesel unit churns out 255 hp @ 3600 RPM and a peak torque of 620 Nm @ 1600 RPM.
The mammoth 4.6 l petrol engine puts out an impressive 453 hp @ 5250 RPM and a shocking 700 Nm of torque at 1800 RPM. Power is sent to the rear wheels via Benz’s 7G-TRONIC gearbox on both variants.

2014 mercedes benz s class engine
The big Merc is offered with some impressive firepower

BMW 7 Series:

BMW too offers both petrol and diesel engines for the 7 Series here in India. The diesel variant is powered by a 320 hp 3.0 l engine that produces 450 Nm of torque. The 7 Series petrol twin houses a 4.4 l turbocharged unit that churns out 450 hp at 5500 RPM and 650 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM.

2013 bmw 7 series engine
BMW offers more “sensible” engine options for its 7 Series

While both cars offer potent engines under the hood, the S class offers the more entertaining petrol mill.

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Verdict:

While the 7 Series may seem like the more civilized of the two, the S-Class is the last word on luxury. Although the 7 Series enjoys the privilege of honing years of dseign expertise, the Bavarian flagship fails to impress on the inside. The dull interiors and lack of exotic and bespoke touches lends a pedestrian feel to what should be the very best from BMW.

The S Class however, is God’s own chariot. The epitome of luxury, Mercedes Benz’s flagship wraps its occupants in an exorbitant cloak of wood, leather and aluminium. With the optional AMG madman under the hood, few can match what Benz has to offer with the S-Class.

Fiat 595 Competizione 2015 Release

abarth-595-turismo-and-competizione-launched
Fiat Front Source:www.autoevolution.com

Driving in this world has not only become an important integrated part of our everyday lives, it has also become a source of luxury. The car you drive can say a lot about who you are. When you turn the ignition and roll down the busy streets of New York, California, and even in small towns, the people who see you don’t see you, they see your reflection in the sleek car you knew would turn heads. Whether it’s for you or you and your growing family, life comes full circle once you have the right vehicle for your needs. Today, we are going to be looking at the Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione 2015. We hope to give you some insight into this new and improved Fiat with all it has to offer, yes, including the price.

Fiat Rear Source:www.boldride.com
Fiat Rear
Source:www.boldride.com

Fiat, which is based in London, UK, has been making vehicles in the United States in 2009 after its merge with Chrysler and has become the seventh largest auto maker in the world. In the year 2015, Fiat looks to make a new Abarth to appeal to every type of demographic, and so far, there is no question they are making their mark. Do you remember a few years ago, a man walking down the street and sees a beautiful woman bending over and then wiping foam off his lips from his coffee? That was the first commercial and view of the Fiat Abarth I had ever seen. I must say I was impressed, as I am with the 595 Competizione.

The Fiat Abarth 595 Competizione is a remake of its 1964 predecessor which had 32 base horsepower. Looking at it now, I’m not even sure you can call it the same vehicle. With 158 base horsepower and 170 foot pounds of torque, the wind is sure in my hair already. With its continued sleek design and following suit with many car companies adding turbocharge, or as some call Eco boost,  this four cylinder “T-jet” car is putting up a good fight. According to an article done by Car Magazine, “this car is the 500 at its best” (Abarth 1).

source:www.freshnessmag.com
source:www.freshnessmag.com
Source:www.freshnessmag.com
Source:www.freshnessmag.com

The car has a 7.4 second 0-62 mile per hour, and it makes it seem so easy. Watching the car fly down the drag-strip makes my heart flutter, and it’s not just the engine. Inside you have beautiful leather seats and fittings you can really get your hands on. The 595 has done well in its first make over, releasing with all of the new-fangled accessories we all want: Bluetooth, park and rear assist, and even comes with tinted windows as standard. This car may be small, but packs a big punch.

Starting a 43 miles per gallon and a price tag of 19-21 Euro, the Competizione is pulling away from the drag strip a little far behind its competition. Coming up behind other minis in the competition, it’s no surprise Fiat wants to make a name for itself. The price may seem far off from what its name entails, but this car has a lot to offer. I was not fortunate enough to be able to test drive this new vehicle, seeing the videos produced about it were enough for me to feel strongly about the quality of this little monster.

Sweeping a car like the Competizione under the rug is not something Fiat will take sitting down. This car is a true test of their quality now that they have taken over Chrysler in 2014. Looking past their small and under equipped past, they are busting out and leaving that behind. The 595 is giving us a glimpse into their bright future, one that has made them talk enough to at least compare them to the well rounded car companies not from America, but make cars within America like BMW and Volkswagen. By the Fiat creeping on them with the 595, it’s no wonder they are comparing them.

Source:www.zercustoms.com
Source:www.zercustoms.com

I am excited for the future of the Fiat Abarth after seeing this car in action. This proud and successful car company has so much to look forward to in the years to come, and the 595 Competizione is the best starting point that Fiat could have chosen. By reimagining this iconic vehicle, they are breaking new ground into the ever-changing car industry. I truly do wish them luck in their venture. I encourage anyone looking trade up (or in this case down due to size) to a mini, you give this car a test drive and see for yourself.

Datsun Go + Way to Go

"Nissan Datsun Go +"

First came the Datsun Go, and now its time to buckle up for the Go Plus. Nissan owned Datsun recently unveiled the Go Plus MPV in India. The car shares the same platform as the Datsun Go and shares plenty of design cues.

The sweetest surprise lays in the pricing of Datsun cars. This MPV already has plenty of bookings in India, mainly for its spaciousness and price. Check out more below:

Go Plus:

The car is manufactured at the Nissan-Renault facility in India. This car is aimed at those families that look to buy a low cost car and yet accommodate plenty of people.

"Nissan Datsun Go +"
Image Courtesy: www.guplum.com

Engine and Performance:

The Go+ is a compact MPV and it has the DOHC based 1.2-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine inside. The engine produces 75 PS and 104 NM of torque. The same engine is found in the Nissan Micra, it has a displacing capacity of 1198 cc. The power is supplied to the front wheels through an advanced 5-speed manual transmission. The Go+ will have the same power and performance as found on the Go.

Pleasantly, the mileage of the Go+ is expected at 20 kmpl that beats all competitors in the MPV segment. The Go+ thrusts from 0-100kmph in just a matter of 15 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 kmph.

Features:

Having the Go+ is definitely a Plus to a big family. The combination of comfort and security are both commendable. This reliable family lounge with wheels has various un-compromised features. Since affordability is also a key factor behind the low pricing of this vehicle, the company has resorted to keeping the interiors same as the Datsun Go. The Go+ has a length of 3995 mm and width of 1635 mm. The height is 1485 mm and the wheelbase measures 2450mm. This is a low cost family MPV, but it doesn’t seem all that cheap.

Exteriors:

MPV’s have a humongous looking body. But, trend and style play their parts on the curves and edges of the car. The Gp Plus has a rather decent looking exterior. With some fine touches and a unique appearance with roof dropping towards its back along with a strong shoulder line carried to the rear, the car looks elegant. The car has a headlight cluster, perforated radiator grille and thick chrome surround. There is an air-dam front bumper and air-ducts. Being the lengthy-types, this car looks quite stylish. The elegance continues towards the rear-side of the car with its body-colored bumper, prominent branding and chrome plated model logo. Overall, the exteriors of the car are quite appealing.

"Go Plus looks"
Image Courtesy: picasasongs.com

Interiors:

Once inside, you wouldn’t feel harnessed like you do in cheap cars. In fact, the car has a very nice feel inside too. The dashboard mounted gearshift and bench seat up front reminisce the Datsun Go’s Interiors. The seats of this car are quite wide and covered with premium fabric upholstery. It has a 3-spoke steering wheel too. It also has AC with central console placed on the dashboard. There is a power steering, power window and foldable second seat row option available too. The front row cabin of the car has plenty of leg and headroom space. No more cramming up like most people do in the budget friendly cars.

"Datsun Go Plus"
Image Courtesy: cars.sulekha.com
"Datsun Go Plus interior space"
Image Courtesy: www.motortrend.in

 

Competitors:

There are similar MPV’s driving various families in India. Maruti has its Ertiga that shares a similar shape and size than the Datsun Go+. The Ertiga has a 1373 cc engine that is much powerful than the Go Plus. Ertiga too has 7-seating capacity. The Ertiga base petrol model costs approximately Rs. 6 lakhs (showroom price) for the Petrol model and Rs. 7.5 lakhs for the Diesel model.

"Go Plus Competitors"
Image Courtesy: www.zigwheels.com

Honda’s Mobilio has a 1497 cc engine and a seating capacity of 7. The base E i-VTEC engine price Rs.6.7 lakhs onwards. The Diesel base model costs Rs. 8.2 lakhs.

Price:

The Datsun Go+ comes at an unbelievable starting price of Rs. 3.8 lakhs. It is definitely unbelievable. While competitors like Maruti and Honda offer 40000 kms or 2 years warranty, Datsun offers 2 years or unlimited warranty.

Bottom line:

Datsun has proved it again, the Go was a successful model and the Go Plus is proving to be quite a successful model against all odds. The car has great mileage but its engine is a little weaker than its competitors. That said, the Go+ carries an extremely aggressive price that can definitely take a big chunk out of competition. With such a low pricing for a huge MPV, the Go Plus sure has a promising future. The pre bookings are on and in the following months, you can definitely expect various Datsun cars whizzing by.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive VS Tesla Model S P85D

Front three quarter viewof SLS AMG E-Drive

Among the various gearheads who are into the high end fuel guzzling machines there is another emerging division in automobiles these aficionados might take notice of. This relatively new market is the electric versions of cars that can almost compete with their petrol counterparts. Many automobile manufacturers are realizing this is a division of cars that is untapped with huge potential to become mainstream. Another beneficial aspect to these electric cars is that they are environment friendly and leave a minute carbon footprint retaining the performance that is expected out of these vehicles. A common misconception is that these cars cannot keep up with their petrol counterparts at all but with the constantly developing technologies, they have a chance.

Two car makers are taking this market very seriously and have created two machines that have a formidable chance to stand out among the many cars that are available. German automaker Mercedes-Benz have come into action with their electric car the SLS AMG Electric Drive which is an electric version of their own 6.2L V8 petrol SLS. The Electric Drive version is a limited edition variant that claims to be one of the fastest electric production cars that are available right now. Another American car maker that challenges the SLS AMG Electric Drive is Tesla’s Model P85D an all wheel drive variant of the original Model S.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Engine: The SLS AMG E-Drive is powered by four independent synchronous motors each churning out  185bhp and 184lb ft of torque for a total of 740bhp. Each motor weighs in at about 45kgs and has a rev count of 13,000 rpm. Taking all this into account, this is one of the most powerful model that Mercedes-Benz has ever developed. The battery that carries out all this is a liquid cooled 400 lithium-ion battery and weighs 548 kg. Utilizing the power of these components, the SLS AMG E-Drive hits 100km/h in around 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250kph. This car is  just 0.3 seconds slower than Mercedes-Benz’s own SLS AMG Black series which is a very impressive feat. 

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive engine view
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive battery

Exterior: Mercedes-Benz are known for their intricate, appealing body designs for their cars. The SLS AMG Electric is paid the same attention and detailing work as expected. There are no extreme changes done to the design as it retains the unique SLS AMG guise. The body’s frame is made of ultra light carbon fiber and connected to an aluminium space. The front grille also possesses the honeycomb design with the Mercedes badge plastered on it and the air intakes which are next to it receive the same body paint as the rest of the car. The SLS AMG comes in a few color variants, two new colors that are exclusive to the E-Drive version are a distinct hue of glossy blue,  that is shown in the photos, and a matte neon known as electric beam.

Front three quarter viewof SLS AMG E-Drive
Mercedes-Benz glossy blue color variant

Interior: The interiors of the E-Drive also maintains the exclusive design from the internal combustion counterparts. The interiors comprises of lush upholstery that is expected and has new rotary switch labeled as AMG Drive Unit by Mercedes used to select the three transmission modes. The modes that are included are the Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Sport plus modes. With each having varied performance levels from the motors, which in turn changes the accelerator pedal response and top speeds. In addition to this it also includes the AMG media system with neat little additions such as engine performance and a lap time’s feature for those racing enthusiasts out there.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive interior
The interiors of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Drive

Tesla Model S P85D Engine: This beast houses a dual motor engine which stands for the D in the P85D, that retains the high power rear drive unit from the older P85, while a brand new front drive motor boosts the overall power by about 50% resulting in an increase in acceleration and top speed. It consists of a 85kwh battery with lithium-ion cells like the SLS AMG. The P85D propels itself with the electric motor that generates 691 hp; that is a combination of 221 hp from the new front motor and 470 hp rear motor making the P85D one of the fastest sedans in the world. It can achieve a insanely fast top speed of 250kph and hits 100km/h in 3.2 seconds.

Exterior: The P85D’s design is relatively simplistic but still includes that classy, elegant but mean look that will appeal to most car buyers. It’s body is designed from carbon fiber which always helps in the weight reduction. The headlights are angled and the front grille is wide with Tesla’s badge on it. The rear tail lights are also sleek and are distinct. The P85D model also has optional carbon fiber spoiler that improves stability at high speeds and Brembo red brake calipers.

Tesla Model S P85D
Tesla Model S P85D

Interior: Tesla is a company that innovates constantly and pushes it’s boundaries. The p85D is no exception to this with the company adding a brand new Autopilot system which introduces an autonomous capability to their lineup of cars. The autopilot mode uses a camera that is mounted atop the windshield and ultrasonic sonar sensors that detects obstacles and also has a self-parking feature. The instrument cluster is a LCD display that indicates the basic functions speed, charge level etc. Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, stated during the unveiling of the P85D a new mode will be added to the existing Normal and Sport modes. This new addition is the Insane mode which unleashes the entire power of the P85D’s engine achieving increased acceleration time and a very high top speed.

Final Thoughts: Each of these electric motor powered cars have pros and cons that  help in deciding which of these would best suit buyers that are looking into these cars. The SLS AMG E-Drive starts at a cool 535,869 US dollars and the Tesla Model S P85D comes in at a much more affordable price at 120,170 US dollars. Based on the prices of these two cars the Tesla seems like a clear choice, but for the elite they would look at the SLS AMG E-Drive too which is a very formidable car. The common factor between these two are the electric engine that leaves a negligible carbon footprint while maintaining the performance that is expected from these vehicles, and the usage of electric motors in cars is inevitable in the years to come.

Suzuki Alto RS Turbo-Charged!!!

"Suzuki ALto RS Turbo"

Big or small, all the Suzuki cars have been favorites worldwide. Japanese technology is hence, the best, affordable and popular.

The name Alto is not an unfamiliar one in the automobile world. The instant recollection of a cozy compact affordable car comes to mind. But what if the alto you’ve imagined met a sports car and they decided to have a kid.

Well, the Alto Turbo RS is the product of that reproductive thought you just had. It is definitely not the cuddly and harmless kind of alto that was known to drive people from point A to Z.

The new Alto is a whole new breed of Japanese technology thrusting massive power on the roads. Find out more about this car below.

Turbo Insanity Alto size:

Suzuki had revealed the new Alto Kei hatch back a few days ago. The company has released the images and information about the sportier and faster version named the Alto RS Turbo. This is a turbocharged version of the standard Alto of the Japanese market and is going to be a debutant during the Tokyo Auto Salon, which is going to happen in January 2015.

The Japanese company has performed this feat earlier too. During the 80’s and 90’s, Suzuki had injected the tiny Alto with whole new performance flair. The turbocharged versions from Alto Works in the Japanese market are not new. The cars were sold with both Front Wheel Drive as well as Rear Wheel Drive options.

"Suzuki ALto Turbo RS"
Image Source: www.carwale.com

The name suggests the raging power that the Alto will supposedly have. The car will be powerful and sporty. Although it will have a few design dynamics adapted from the Kei, this will be racing specific model. The new Alto RS Turbo will hence, follow a long line of Alto RS Turbos that are regarded very highly amongst auto enthusiasts.

Engine:

The Alto RS Turbo will have a powerful 660 cc petrol engine. However, the power output is unconfirmed. The engine will churn out 51 bhp of power along with 63 Nm of torque. This car is said to be 60 kilos lighter than its predecessor and will be based on a new platform. The RS Turbo will come wither with a five-speed manual or a five-speed AMT gearbox. There is uncertainty whether Suzuki will have an all-wheel-drive version of the car but, let’s keep that option open too. Suzuki is known to have launched such versions too. So, the New Year might have a few hidden surprises too.

The car will have the 3-cylinder engine along with the power of a turbocharger.

Design language:

The Alto Turbo RS will have red accents for bumpers and red mirror caps on its exterior front. It will also include 17-inch red alloy wheels. The RS will also have side decals and a racing stripe to accentuate the looks. This car will join the league of some of the quick sporty Kei cars such as: Daihatsu Charade Turbo and the Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart. These cars are known to offer the masses a taste of speed combined with a touch of affordable performance.

The company has given the car a retro look on purpose. The retro style is intended to pay homage to the first Alto RS Turbo that was presented in 1987.

The Turbo RS has abundant usage of chrome combined with Recaro seats and RS stickers. The bumper-lip, decals and wing mirrors are finished in the same color as the alloys to further enhance the car’s sporty appeal.

The fascia of the car sports up a retro looking grille with the straightforward bumper. The asymmetrical slats on the grille of the car will be mostly embellished in chrome.

Awkwardly, the quadrilateral-shaped headlamps are projector units with a chrome garnish. They have quite a weird looking shape, but then this is a sporty car, performance matters more. The front bumper gets modified fog lamps while the OVRMs and alloy wheels are painted in red. The car also boasts of an RS decal near the rear window.

Interiors:

The interiors on the Alto RS include the dual tone paint scheme along with Recaro Seats. The interiors have a slightly different shape than the regular models. The interiors on the RS feature a combination of circular as well as rectangular AC vents.

"Suzuki ALto RS Turbo"
Image Source: http://paultan.org/

Bottom Line:

Suzuki stated that the Alto Turbo RS is definitely going to be a fun to drive car. Its responsive handling combined with high cornering performance is definitely a must have. Sadly, this car is going to be restricted to only the Japanese car market. The Tokyo Auto Salon has been scheduled between the 9th– 11th of January 2015 in China. Let’s hope that India gets a taste of the RS too.

2015 Hyundai Elite i20 vs 2015 Maruti Swift

red Suzuki Swift

2015 brings another great year for cars. The new i20 is all set to lock horns with the updated Swift. Although the Swift has been around for so long, the car has managed to keep its momentum going for generations now. The next gen i20 is finally here. Following year after year of churning out massive volumes, Hyundai brings yet another best seller to the table. The next generation Hyundai Elite i20 was primarily created with handling characteristics and design in focus. Has it worked out? We find out.

Design:

Hyundai i20:

As always, Hyundai has done a phenomenal job with the design of its car. Unlike the previous generation, the 2015 i20 is far more restrained. Still keeping its impressive and striking profile, the i20’s exterior has evolved to create an image that will impress both the young and old. The bonnet’s side profile however, could’ve used more curves. While the front could use some work, the rear is beautifully designed. The new i20’s tailights are simply stunning.

elite i20 red
The Hyundai i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Maruti Suzuki Swift receives only minor updates for 2015. The front end is refreshed with the addition of LED daytime running lights and slightly revamped lower bumper. Maruti Suzuki is also offering all new alloys as well as three new paint jobs. However, despite the revamped interiors and bumped up engine efficiency, in the face of updated competitors such as the new Polo and i20, the Swift’s aging exteriors have begun to show.

2015 maruti suzuki swift side
The New Swift Does Not See Any Major Changes

Winner: Elite i20

Interiors:

Hyundai i20:

Compared to the interiors of old model, the i20 may seem a little boring. However, the interiors of the new model is far more ergonomically designed. The use of beige and light colored plastics give the new i20’s cabin an airy feel to it. The infotainment system’s display has been moved down from the top of the dashboard back to its conventional position. Functionality remains the same with the music system offering bluetooth, AUX in, iPod and mobile connectivity. The fuel gauge and temperature gauge has gone all digital in the latest model. Interesting

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The basic layout of the Swift’s interiors has been left largely unchanged. The top end models will receive push button start. Although the all black interior is sure to impress a younger crowd, however, the older generations may not take to such a dark cabin.

 

2015 maruti suzuki swift interiors
Interiors of the New Swift

Winner: Elite i20

Engine:

Hyundai i20:

Hyundai has never approached the question of its weak engines. The South Korean car maker has once again fitted the new i20 with the same 1.2 l petrol and the 1.4 l CRDI engine. Although both engines produce the industry standard of 82 and 89 BHP, the massive size and weight of the car prevents the car from having the same levels of acceleration as the Swift. The petrol variant gives a claimed mileage of an unimpressive 18.6 km/l and the diesel engine gives out 22 km/l.

drive new 2014 i20
The New i20 is Still Sluggish at Lower RPMs

However, cabin noise insulation is superb and the occupants will feel little to no noise at all from the engine. Sadly good NVH levels means a compromise on a different front and the low end torque is almost non existent. The 2016 model has done away with the generally unsuccessful automatic variant.

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Swift has always been known for its peppy performance. The little Indian hatch has garnered a cult following for its low price tag and impressive handling and engine characteristics. Powering the petrol variant is a 1.2 L engine that develops 83 HP @ 6000 RPM and 114 nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. Power has been sacrificed for fuel economy. The petrol variant gives out a supposedly 20.4 kkm/l. The diesel engine is a Fiat sourced DDiS 1.3 L unit that churns out 74 bhp @ 4000 RPM and max torque of 190 Nm @ 2000 RPM. Despite the relatively lower power figures, the good torque numbers ensure the car is on the power at all times.

suzuki swift diesel ddis engine
The Diesel Motor Gives An Impressive 25.2 km/l

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Verdict:

Despite all the new features that the new i20 is loaded with, a driver will always prefer the Maruti Suzuki Swift as his/her first choice. However, one cannot simply ignore the oodles of tech and features offered by the 2016 i20. If you want to drive around in comfort and love fiddling with the multitude of features on a car then the i20 is for you. But if you love the experience of driving and nothing else then the Swift is the car for you.

red Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift Will Always Be A Driver’s Car

Tata Super Nano-A Step ahead!!

"Super Tata Nano"

If you have underestimated the Tata Nano, maybe it’s time to take back that perception.

There was a time when Tata Nano was considered the cheapest car in the world. With a price tag of $ 3000 (Rs. 1.8 lakhs) the Nano was the most affordable car in the world. There was also a time when Tata had the Nano encrusted in Gold, Silver and gem stones. However, that was not a functional model. Now it’s time for Tata Super Nano.

 

"Gold Tata Nano"
Image Source: www.autoorb.com
"Tata Nano Gold"
Image Source: chandrashekharasandprints.wordpress.com

The Nano is a nice and peppy car that is reliable for intra-city driving. The Nano found its way from India directly to various countries and even in Jay Leno’s Garage.

"Jay Leno's Tata Nano"
www.thetruthaboutcars.com

However, the most affordable car has now joined the league of the exclusives. The car competes with cars like Skoda Superb, Hyundai Elantra and even Audi. The credits go to JA Motorsport for converting the cheapest car into an exclusive ride.

The Nano as we knew it:

The Tata Nano was a cute and cuddly ride that could snuggle into almost all streets. The Nano did not just find its way into Tata Motor’s lineup. There was a thought behind conceiving the idea of bringing out this car.  A country like India is dominated by the middle classes. Most families have a 2-wheeler, the father drives a 2 wheeler, and the elder child stands in front, the wife behind holding a baby. Sadly, this is the norm in India. Apart from the risk it holds, the ride is quite uncomfortable for the entire family. That very situation bought out a thought that went into the creation of Tata Nano.

The car was never meant to be coined a “ Rs. 1 lakh car”, but during an interview between Mr. Ratan Tata and Financial Times (British Newspaper) at the Geneva Motor Show, a question was raised about the price of the car, to which, Mr. Tata had said “About 1 lakh”.

"Ratan and Tata Nano"
Image Source: www.rediff.com

The low-end rural car had to look presentable and yet cost low. There were many issues that Tata Motors had to face. Criticisms apart, the price of Steel was not in favor and then there were issues like safety. It was too late for Tata’s rebuttal against the claim of bringing a 1 lakh rupee car. However, there were exponential challenges and price barriers had kept the company pondering about the alternatives.

However, with the intelligent minds put to task and the ability to oversee the obstacles had finally paid off.

The Tata Nano was launched with a 624 cc multi-point fuel injected water cooled naturally aspirated 2 cylinder gasoline engine. The car had 2 valves per cylinder that were mated to a 4-speed manual transmission producing 38 Po power and 51 Nm torque. That said, the Nano maintained its pride by becoming India’s most fuel efficient petrol car that gave a pleasing mileage of 25.35 kmpl. This rear wheel drive configuration makes it quite interesting as a driver’s car.

The JA touch:

Coimbatore based JA Motorsport had something speedy and demonic (in a manner of speaking) in mind. The custom house took all the traits that Nano had and used them to create something exciting and interesting.

You might think that this is just a modified Nano. But hold that judgment till you see what’s inside.

The Super Nano is based on the regular Nano. However, adding features like a full body kit, slick tires, bolt-on roll cage, smoke head and tail lamps might help change your perception a tad and you might still not be totally convinced.

But, picture Carbon fiber treatment on the dashboard, Recaro seats, racing steering wheel, mounted paddle shifters and you might start gaining interest. But, the most convincing part is the 1.3 liter engine that does a super duty job on the Super Nano. Surprisingly this engine churns out a maximum power of about 230 HP.

"Super Tata Nano"
Image Source: http://www.rediff.com/
"Ja Motor Nano"
Image Source: http://www.motoroids.com/

This Super Powered engine races the Nano at around 190 kmph. You’d definitely love the look on the faces of most people who look down at the Nano.

"JM Super Nano interiors"
Image Source: http://www.motoroids.com/

 

The Chassis has also been tampered with and the wheels are a beauty to look at. The MRF ZLO racing slicks are like racing shoes on a horse.

"Super Tata nano"
Image Source: http://www.rediff.com/

This is currently India’s fastest hot hatch and has some neat specs that come as a surprise. The massive power is tamed by AP Racing disc brakes on all the wheels.

"Super Tata nano tires"
Image Source: http://www.rediff.com/

This isn’t a regular Nano and you wouldn’t want it if you’re just a commuter. The Super Nano is better suited on a race track over the normal crowded roads. JA racing has some serious Auto Freaks who have the adequate skills of drilling your car into a beast. They carry a reputation for making Formula Ford Cars in India among their other accomplishments.

Price:

With all that power comes a super price tag. Converting your Nano a Super boost and a new identity would cost you Rs. 25 lakhs (for the entire job)

Bottom Line:

Although the Super Nano is suited for a track, it is a great accomplishment. This is a great upgrade and you might want to check it out if you travel to Coimbatore.