Friday, November 29, 2013

New Honda Mobilio MPV review

New Honda Mobilio MPV review

Courtesy : AUTOCAR

This is the Mobilio, Honda's first MPV for India and the third car to be built on the Brio platform. When launched in mid-2014, it will go head on against the Maruti Ertiga which, until now, hasn’t had a real rival. Since its launch, the Ertiga has enjoyed a favourable response and we reckon Honda’s first MPV in India will not go unnoticed. The Mobilio was recently unveiled in Indonesia and while we’ve earlier reported about the car’s mechanicals, we’ve now spent some time with the car in Japan to get up close to this all-new MPV.
To save costs, the Mobilio is similar to the Honda Brio and Amaze when viewed from the front as all three siblings share body panels all the way to the B-pillar. There are a few tweaks like a wider grille and sportier chin but when viewed head-on, you could mistake it for either the Brio or the Amaze. 
Move to the side and you can see that Honda has resorted to some clever illusions to mask the car’s elongated and van-like proportions. There’s a kink in the window line and two upward moving cuts along the side of the body that act as a sort of guide for your eyes to follow. Then there are the flared wheel-arches and even a ‘floating’ design for the rear pillar of the car, the latter achieved using part sheet-metal and part blacked-out glass. The Mobilio gets larger 15-inch wheels, which fill out the wheel arches and give the Mobilio a good stance. Move over to the rear and this Honda MPV shows you probably its best angle. The wraparound look of the rear windscreen, the flared haunches, big tail-lights and an attractive split at the bottom makes it look a lot more dynamic and youthful than the Ertiga’s rather reserved rear. 

So, while the styling is pretty decent, how does it fare in terms of practicality? Honda has used its packaging expertise to make this MPV fairly spacious. The extra space comes from the fact that the Mobilio’s 2650mm wheelbase is a good 245mm longer than even the Amaze’s, which itself has a wheelbase that’s 60mm longer than the Brio’s. As expected, the cabin employs the same dash as the Brio and the Amaze, which again does look a tad too basic for a car at this price point. However, this car was a prototype and the production car is expected to get a few changes in the cabin to make it look more upmarket. This prototype’s interiors had an all-black dashboard with beige seats and door trim. 

Just like the Brio and Amaze, the front seats had a fixed headrest and this may come across as a bit low-rent to consumers if it’s carried forward to the production model. Move to the second row and you’ll appreciate Honda’s ability to liberate space from smaller cabins. Remember that, despite its increased legroom over the Amaze, the Mobilio still falls short of the Ertiga’s wheelbase by a good 100mm. Just like the Ertiga, the Mobilio also offers sliding second row seats and the reasonably long rails result in great flexibility in attaining the desired legroom. However, it really doesn’t feel like this Honda MPV has a 100mm wheelbase deficit over the Ertiga and more than matches the Maruti for passenger space. Then, there’s also a roof-mounted air-conditioning vent to cool the second and third rows and although we couldn’t test its effectiveness, aesthetically, the slightly crudely finished air-flow selector and the overall vent design does look like it’s built to a cost.
Now, what about the last row? With the middle row left in its centre position, there’s adequate room for your knees to move about a bit with a clearance of about half an inch. However, when the middle row seats were pushed back all-the-way, your knees will feel tightly jammed against the backrest of the 60:40 split middle seat. Overall, we'd say that with a slight compromise, the Mobilio can genuinely carry seven passengers in decent comfort. 

As for the boot, even with the third row seats upright, it’s quite spacious and can easily hold a suitcase and a couple of soft bags. At first glance, it does look a tad bit more capacious than the Ertiga’s boot but we’ll be able to confirm that only after a proper road test.

While we were able to assess the car both inside and out, unfortunately, we weren’t able to drive it and shall reserve a driving opinion for later. However, the Mobilio is powered by the same 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine as seen on the Amaze and will offer superior driveability when compared to the Ertiga diesel. The petrol-engined Mobilio is powered by Honda’s 1.5-litre i-VTEC motor and that again has a power advantage over the Ertiga’s 1.4-litre K14 engine. 
When the Mobilio is launched in India, it is expected to be priced at around Rs 30,000 more than the equivalent Ertiga. At the moment, the Ertiga lacks any real competitors and averages a decent 4,700 units a month. With the launch of the Mobilio, Honda will gain access to this niche market and may just help itself to a generous helping of the pie.

Quick view :
Price Range (in lakhs)*
Ex-showroom priceRs 6-9 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
FuelPetrol / Diesel
InstallationFront, transverse
Type4 cyls in-line, 1497cc petrol, 1498cc diesel
Power116bhp, 98.6bhp
Torque14.9kgm, 20.3kgm
Gearbox5-speed manual

Royal Enfield Continental GT launched

Royal Enfield Continental GT launched at Rs 2.05 lakh

Continental GT on-sale across India, in yellow or red, priced at Rs 205,000 (on-road, Delhi)

Royal Enfield's Continental GT is the most special motorcycle to leave these famous factory doors in a very long time. A cafĂ© racer painstakingly re-created by Royal Enfield to match similar, sporty looking British bikes of the 1960’s, the GT is built with a keen eye for attention-to-detail.
The Royal Enfield's Continental GT classic round headlight sits surrounded by alloy steering braces and clip-on bars. Other rider controls include good quality palm grips, as well as comfortable to touch, buffed alloy clutch and brake levers. 
Royal Enfield offer superbly crafted after market bar-end mounted mirrors for the GT, which we recommend for their solid construction and functional value, despite their really petite size.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT fuel-tank is tastefully adorned with a classic font company logo, and equipped with a beautifully sculpted, flip-to-open filler cap. There’s a single saddle (dual seat available as optional), with smart red stitching and humped tail section. Those with a keen eye will admire the GT’s alloy wheel rims. The GT comes with a flowing, chromed exhaust, and sporty looking exposed drive chain.
The Continental GT deploys a 535cc, four-stroke, single-cylinder Royal Enfield powerplant. It’s a button or kick-started engine, the air-cooled, long-stroke unit beating out a soft, yet evocative and crisp bark that will have riders blip the throttle more than usual, to extract little extra soundtrack. The GT outputs 29.1bhp at 5100rpm of peak power, while making 4.49kgm of torque at 4000rpm. Clutch action isn’t as positive as we’d like, although the GT does provide a smooth shifting, five-speed gearbox, operated in the universal, one-down and four-up pattern, with shift lever located to the left of the engine.
The GT is quick, not quick enough for a 500 perhaps, yet providing enough oomph for the sporty classic it is, capable of cruising at 100kph comfortably, tachometer hovering at 3500rpm, as the big-single fires away with a steady rhythm. Pushed hard to its limit, the GT achieved an indicated 140kph on flat road in fifth, even racing to 150kph down a slight gradient with the throttle pinned open, surprising us to hold such high speeds over prolonged durations without much protest, other than a lot of vibes. The Continental GT powerplant feels unmistakably Royal Enfield, with tangible improvements, a relatively rev happy nature and improved top-end performance, thanks to lightened engine internals. 
The Continental GT seat is supportive, roomy and wide enough. It’s a reasonably comfortable bike, only not quite as relaxed to ride as traditional Royal Enfield models like the Electra and Bullet. The footrests aren’t placed overly far behind though, and the light lean into its clip-on bars isn’t so pronounced as to make riders uncomfortable. This is clearly the sportiest riding position on offer with a present day Royal Enfield. The GT comes with a twin downtube steel frame, perfected by Harris Engineering, while providing top class, adjustable gas charged suspension at rear by Paioli.
Ride quality is firm, especially from the front telescopic forks, and the GT handles with Enfield trademark stability, the new frame helping the bike lean into corners with a planted, sure footed feel. Ample grip is offered by Pirelli tyres front (100/90) and rear (130/70 section) shod on 18 inch rims front and rear.
The Royal Enfield Continental GT comes with elliptical section steel swingarm, and single disc brakes front (300mm, float mounted, dual piston caliper) and rear (240mm). There’s enough stopping power, with a nice progressive feel at the lever, undoubtedly helped by steel braided brake hoses. The GT motorcycle is easily the best handling Royal Enfield we’ve ridden to date. Fuel economy should range somewhere between 25-30kpl.
The Continental GT has just been launched in Goa, prices at Rs 205,000 (on-road, Delhi). The new bikes will be available for sale in showrooms across India starting tomorrow. 
In conclusion, the Continental GT is a character rich motorcycle. Built today, it still recreates an undiluted, rich and flamboyant feel from the past. The most important Royal Enfield bike built today?
Yes, without a doubt as Royal Enfield understands their firm grip on classic bike buyers, but do need to step up to the next level, after decades sticking with one formula. With big risk, comes big gain, as riding the Continental GT proves. A true Royal Enfield from the word go, the Continental GT will tempt, then charm a whole new set of bikers into the traditional world of Royal Enfield. If you believed classic bikes couldn’t get sporty, the Continental GT motorcycle proves it sure can. 

Courtesy : AUTOCAR

Pulsar 375 revealed

New Bajaj flagship, Pulsar 375 revealed

Biggest, fastest, most important Pulsar yet, the Pulsar 375 breaks cover

India’s most loved sportsbike is about to get bigger, racier and better than ever before. It’s still some months from production ready, with Bajaj presently focussing on introducing the exciting KTM 390 Duke, but it's known that the team at ‘**Ahead’ (Bajaj R&D) is working to ready a neatly faired-in, approximately 375cc all-new Pulsar that will debut across India towards the end of this year.

The big, new and faired-in Pulsar shall aim to be a bold new segment driver when it hits Indian roads, by offering biking enthusiasts here a level of style and performance never previously available with any Pulsar. The new Bajaj flagship is styled to draw eyeballs, its mean Yamaha YZF-R1-resembling dual-headlights peering out in the set of detailed frontal images available with us and our own exclusive rendering. Clip-on handlebars will be standard, as will be plenty of lightweight alloy parts, and expect a sporty, compact cockpit layout, with comprehensive, nicely laid out instruments and Bajaj-typical good quality switchgear. The new Pulsar will make a purposeful and mean-looking sportsbike, as can be seen in its tastefully sculpted tank and body cowls, as well as split seats.

This upcoming larger capacity Pulsar will share its basic, four-stroke and single-cylinder engine platform with the KTM 390 Duke, so expect a full complement of close to 45 aggressive horses, with ample modern technology packed in, including a liquid-cooling system, four-valve equipped head and a six-speed, close-ratio gearbox, apart from an array of other goodies. Final drive will be via an exposed chain running back down the left of the motorcycle, and expect a compact, sporty exhaust system. The big Pulsar’s engine will be tailored to suit its new role and having recently ridden and experienced the 390 firsthand, you can expect a refined, rev happy powerplant that will deliver blistering performance for the class, with urgent acceleration and a top speed in excess of 150kph.  

This sporty new Pulsar will use smart alloy wheels and standard telescopic fork front suspension, while a monoshock will do duty at the rear. The spy pictures imply the bike will deploy a steel, multi-spar frame, supported by an elliptical section steel swingarm at the rear. Single, drilled and petal-type disc brakes will do duty front and rear, offering good heat dissipation, while an ABS brake system will be offered with this bike, as already on the KTM 390 Duke.

Even as more details remain under wraps, you can safely expect this Pulsar to offer all and more in terms of a stylish, affordable Indian sportsbike, with a rich specification list and quick turn of performance. 

Courtesy : AUTOCAR

All-new 2014 Honda City

All-new 2014 Honda City: A closer look

What is different on the new fourth-generation Honda City? Here is a scrutiny.

Honda has just unveiled the much awaited all-new City in a global reveal in New Delhi. The fourth-generation car is bigger, sleeker and sharper looking than its predecessor but it’s more of an evolution than a revolution. The new Honda City follows its ‘Exciting H’ design language which is to be carried over to other Honda models as well.

The front still retains the ‘arrow-head’ shape of the earlier car but has a more prominent grille, twin-barrel headlights and a sharper bumper.
The sides of the car have strong character lines running through the doors whilst the rear tail-lamps which extend into the boot lid of the car, accentuates the 1695mm width of the car. In fact, carmaker claims the new Honda City is the widest car in its class which is quite believable when you get into the car. Legroom is particularly spacious thanks to the increased wheelbase (up by 50mm to 2600mm) and the flat floor only adds to the sense of space and comfort. Rear seat passengers are further pampered with a rear air-con vent, a first on a City.

The new 2014 Honda City is loaded with equipment like never before. You get a large, five inch multi-function screen takes care of all the audio functions but the talking point is a unique touch panel for the all the aircon controls which is easy to use and looks pretty high-tech and upmarket.
The 8-speaker sound system is supported with USB, aux-in inputs and unlike the previous City Honda has caved heeded to customer feedback and given a CD player. Another unique feature are four power output sockets to keep to full house of battery munching smart phones topped up. Other features include; a start/stop button, sunroof, cruise control and a rear view camera with different views.

The all-new interiors feel much more upmarket than before with richer plastics, a piano black finish on the top bit of the instrument panel and sturdy vents that sit right at the top of the dash. The chunky steering wheel feels great to hold and the mesh finish on one of the spokes is a cue taken from the Honda Civic
The driving position, like most Hondas, is spot on with the stubby, leather clad gearlever falling nicely to hand. The dashboard cowl, however, is higher than before which will make short drivers make full use of the seat height adjust function.

The new Honda City will be powered by the familiar 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine from the previous City but this latest version has been tuned for further efficiency. The big news, however, is the addition of a diesel engine in the City, which is essentially the same 1.5 i-DTEC motor from the Amaze. Honda has concentrated on fuel efficiency over performance and the Honda City diesel is expected to return best-in-class fuel economy, no doubt aided by the disappointingly skinny 175/65 R15 tyres.
The new Honda City is expected to go on sale in January 2014 and is likely to cost between Rs. 8.3 lakh for the base petrol model to Rs. 11.6 lakh for the top-end diesel.

All prices estd. ex-showroom

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rolls-Royce Celestial Phantom

Rolls-Royce Celestial Phantom revealed

Rolls-Royce reveals special edition of Phantom ahead of Frankfurt debut.

The new Rolls-Royce Celestial Phantom has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt motor show.

This long-wheelbase special edition offers buyers unique paintwork and special edition alloy wheels. Inside, the cabin gets new 'Dusk' leather seats and a new interior trim, including a dividing wall clock, set with four diamonds.

Other features include bespoke glassware and a picnic set, while fibre-optic star-effect roof lining can also be seen. The Celestial Phantom celebrates the first decade of production at Rolls-Royce's Goodwood manufacturing plant.

The car is expected to use the same 6.75-litre V12 engine as the regular Phantom. Rolls-Royce has not confirmed whether the model will be put into series production, saying that it remains a one-off for the moment.

courtesy : AUTOCAR

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

BMW 1-series launched at Rs 20.90 lakh

BMW 1-series launched at Rs 20.90 lakh

Comes in two engine options, a 1.6-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel. Three trims – base, Sport Line and Sport Plus.

BMW has launched the new 1-series compact luxury hatchback at a starting price of Rs 20.90 lakh for the base petrol variant. The 118d base trim is priced at Rs 22.90 lakh, the 118d Sportline trim at Rs 25.90 lakh and the top-spec 118d Sportline Plus at Rs 29.90 lakh (ex-showroom, all India).
The 1-series hatchback comes with two engine options, a 1.6-litre turbo petrol that puts out 136bhp and a 2.0-litre turbo diesel with a power output of 143bhp. Both BMW 1-series variants come mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The petrol 116i is only available in the base trim, while the diesel 118d is additionally available in Sport Line and Sport Plus trims.
The base trim gets fog lights, automatic headlights, a start/stop button, rear parking sensors, a CD player with aux-in compatibility, Eco mode, BMW’s Brake Energy Regeneration, six airbags, ABS, and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The 118d Sport Line adds dual-zone climate control, a sliding front armrest, electric seat adjust with memory, a hands-free facility with USB interface and BMW’s iDrive controller.
The top-spec 118d Sport Plus comes with features like keyless go, rear air-con vents and a sunroof. It also gets larger 17-inch alloy wheels.
The BMW 1-series will also come with four different driving modes to choose from – Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Eco Pro – which alter the way the engine, gearbox and steering behave. It also gets run-flat tyres, so there’s no spare wheel.
The carmaker is offering its 'BMW Service Inclusive Plus' package free of cost for the first 100 customers. According to the carmaker, this includes services "as often as necessary" within the inclusive period, with the added bonus of avoiding the inconvenience of discussing cost estimates and undertaking financial transactions at every workshop visit.

Source : AUTOCAR

Hyundai Grand i10 launched

Hyundai Grand i10 launched at Rs 4.29 lakh

One diesel and one petrol engine option; four trims – Era, Magna, Sportz and Asta.

Hyundai has launched the new Grand i10 hatchback, which will slot in between the current i10 and the i20 in the carmaker’s line-up.
The Hyundai Grand i10 is available in four trims – Era, Magna, Sportz and Asta.
The Era gets power steering, an air conditioner and an engine immobiliser. The Magna trim adds central locking, fog lamps, keyless entry, wheel covers, electrically-adjustable wing mirrors, power windows and rear air-con vents. The Sportz trim gets rear parking sensors, a music system with aux-in and USB connectivity, push button start, tilt-adjustable steering wheel and a cooled glove box. The top-of-the-line Asta trim adds a rear windscreen wash/wipe with a defogger, rear spoiler, alloy wheels, driver’s seat height adjust, steering-mounted audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity.

The base petrol Era trim costs Rs 4.29 lakh, the Magna trim comes for Rs 4.49 lakh, the Sportz trim for Rs 4.88 lakh, and the Asta trim for Rs 5.47 lakh. The diesel Era comes for Rs 5.23 lakh, the Magna for Rs 5.43 lakh, the Sportz for Rs 5.82 lakh, and the Asta for Rs 6.41 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Hyundai has stated that these prices are introductory.

The car comes in two engine options, a 1.1-litre, three-cylinder U2 VGT diesel motor that develops 70bhp, and the familiar 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine with a four-speed automatic gearbox as an option. The diesel returns an ARAI-rated 24kpl.

Courtesy : AUTOCAR