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Saturday, 12 November 2016

Meet The Beefed-Up Renault Duster Extreme Concept From Brazil.

Renault has showcased the Renault Duster Extreme Concept at the 2016 Sao Paulo Auto Show. This concept remains a standard Duster both inside and out but, with a lot of added bits to make it 'Extreme'. This concept has been developed by 'Renault Design Latin America' or RDAL, Renault's Sao Paulo design facility in Brazil. This edition is based on the 4X4 variant of the SUV and gets mechanical upgrades. Based on the Brazilian model, this Duster gets a 2.0-litre petrol and ethanol (flex-fuel) engine which produces about 150PS of power and uses a manual gearbox to send power to all the four wheels. 

In terms of looks, the concept gets a new tough-looking bumper with an integrated power wrench, a roof mounted exhaust, a roof mounted carrier with roof rails, LED lights, towing hook, red accents in the headlamp cluster and massive off-road centre locking wheels. On the inside, the concept features red accents on the AC vents, extreme banging on the dashboard, '4WD' on the steering and three-point seat belts. 

In India, Renault has recently launched the 'Adventure Edition' of the Duster. It is available with the diesel engine in both tunes – 85PS and 110PS. Further, the 110PS variant is only available in the AWD (all-wheel drive) mode. Prices for this edition of the 2016 Duster start at Rs 9.64 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi) and is about Rs 10,000 costlier than the corresponding standard variant.

The Renault Duster Extreme Concept might never see the sun but as a real life concept, its looks stunning. Also, enthusiasts can take ideas from this concept and get their Dusters modified to look 'Extreme'.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

All-New Jeep Compass Revealed; India Launch In 2017

Jeep has finally revealed its much-awaited Compass compact SUV. After being spotted multiple times in spy images, it has garnered itself a considerable fanbase in the country. Looking unmistakably like a smaller Grand Cherokee, the Compass is a compact 4x4 SUV which will rival the likes of the Hyundai Tucson and other premium SUVs of the country. The Compass will be locally manufactured at FCA’s facility in Ranjangaon, near Pune, and will be launched in India in 2017. Expect a price of about Rs 25 lakh for the baby Cherokee.

As mentioned, the Compass resembles the Grand Cherokee in looks. But the added aggressive bits like the contoured hood, squared wheel arches and the big front bumper give the Compass its own personality. The sloping roofline merges well with the boot, giving it a neat and classy side look. The rear has split LED tail lamps, a high boot-lid, a chrome strip underlining the rear windscreen and a spoiler giving it a sporty touch. Inside, the dashboard layout and the instrument cluster is much like the Grand Cherokee, with an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system flanked by air-con vents. The touchscreen will most likely run the Jeep's U-Connect system.

In India, the Compass is most likely to be powered by a locally produced 2.0-litre diesel engine. The reason why the Compass will be priced very aggressively in India is the high level of localisation. On August 30, Jeep entered India with the Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee SRT and Wrangler Unlimited with a rather high price tag. The Compass could very well be Jeep's mass-selling SUV in the country.
The Compass SUV is a global product by Jeep and will be available with "7 fuel-efficient powertrain options for consumers in more than 100 countries around the world." It will be available in North America in the first quarter of 2017 after its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Ford Endeavour Prices Slashed By Up To Rs 2.82 Lakh!

Yes, the news is true: At a time when there are news of every carmaker looking to increase their car prices, Ford has surprised everyone with massive price slashes of up to Rs 2.82 lakh on its Endeavour. However, only the Trend trim registers the price drop while the Titanium variant’s price remains unchanged.
Earlier in August, the American carmaker reduced the prices of its Figo hatch and Aspire sedan by Rs 91,000, while, in the same month, it upped the cost of the Endeavour by up to Rs 1.72 lakh! At that point of time, the price rise was limited only to the Titanium version.
Apart from pushing sales of its SUV, the other reason for this price cut could be largely accredited to the upcoming competition in the form of the all-new Toyota Fortuner in November this year. With the huge price drop, the Endeavour now becomes the most affordable and value for money car in its category, leaving behind the Pajero Sport, Fortuner, Santa-Fe and the CR-V.
Have a glance over the variant-wise price change of the Endeavour:
Endeavour Variants
Previous Price
Updated Price
Price Change
2.2 Trend 4x2 Manual
No change
2.2 Trend 4x4 Manual
2.82 lakh
2.2 Trend 4x2 Automatic
1.72 lakh
2.2 Titanium 4x2 Automatic
No change
3.2 Trend 4x4 Automatic
1.72 lakh
3.2 Titanium 4x4 Automatic
No change
Interestingly, in this price slash, the Ford Endeavour Trend 4x4 manual and Trend 4x2 automatic variants have gone even cheaper than the base Trend 4x2 version! For all those Endy followers out there, this is probably the best time to shop for this mighty beast.
Source: mycarhelpline

Friday, 23 September 2016

Fiat Avventura Urban Cross Launched At Rs 6.85 Lakh

Fiat has added yet another version of the Punto to its lineup. Called the ' Avventura Urban Cross', the hatchback adds some muscle to the original classic design. Prices start at Rs 6.85 lakh and go all the way up to Rs 9.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Looks
Make no mistake, the Urban Cross still looks like a Punto. Updates specific to the new variant include revised bumpers at either end (with the customary matte silver skid plate, no less), a pair of roof rails and some chunky side moulding. There's no spare wheel on the boot here, a la Avventura. Dimension-wise, it measures 4000x 1700x1500mm (length x width x height) and boasts a ground clearance of 205mm. Expectedly, the fancy LED headlamps and taillamps as seen on the concept at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo have been ditched altogether.
The Cabin
The interiors are standard Punto fare. Fiat has stuck to a black-beige interior theme for the dashboard as well as the upholstery on the seats. The automaker will be offering burgundy 'designer' interiors for a limited time during the festive season as well. Just like a run of the mill top-spec Punto, niceties include a 5-inch touchscreen audio system with steering-mounted controls, automatic air conditioning and a rear AC vent.
The Powerplants
The Urban Cross gets a choice of two engines - a 1.3-litre diesel and a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol, courtesy the boffins at Abarth. The diesel motor makes 93PS/209Nm whereas the petrol is good for 140PS/212Nm. We will be driving both versions of the Urban Cross shortly, so do stay tuned for an in-depth review.
The Urban Cross is yet another attempt by the Italian automaker to revive slumping sales in the country. In spite of offering a good blend of design, practicality and features, Fiat cars haven't been able to capture the fancy of the market. Will this one be able to turn things around? Let's wait and watch.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard Limo Revealed

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the armoured version of the S600 Pullman limousine online. The armoured version is known as the 'S600 Pullman Guard' and will have its public debut at the upcoming 2016 Paris Motor Show. The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard will be priced at 1.4 million Euros (Rs 10.45 crore) in Germany with taxes, and initial deliveries will take place in the second half of 2017. Speaking with respect to India, Mercedes-Benz introduced the Guard version of the stock Maybach S600 at Rs 10.5 crore (ex-showroom, New Delhi) earlier this year. 

The Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard offers VR9 bullet resistance. The vehicle also comes with a Directive ERV 2010 blast rating, which means it can withstand a blast of almost 15kg of TNT from a distance of 6.5 feet. The behemoth tips the scale at 11,200 pounds (5080kg) and Mercedes says that the additional protection has no effect on the interior dimensions of the limo. Even on the outside, it looks identical to the stock S600 Pullman. 

Mechanically, the S600 Pullman Guard will be pulled by a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 motor similar to that of the S600 Pullman, S600, and S600 Guard. The engine is capable of producing 523PS of max power and 830Nm of peak torque. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Dieselgate: Previous-Gen Skoda Superb To Be Recalled In India

It’s now been over a year since VW’s dieselgate scandal broke out, resulting in one of the biggest controversies in the automobile industry’s history. Volkswagen AG has been carrying out global recalls to take corrective measures ever since. In fact, in December 2015, VW Group India announced its plan to recall VW, Skoda and Audi-branded cars powered by the EA 189 diesel engine series to implement corrective updates. The plan is now being put into action and the first car to be recalled in India under the dieselgate fix scheme is the previous-generation Skoda Superb.

The EA 189 diesel mill series includes motors displacing between 1.2 and 2.0-litres. The previous-gen Superb diesel employed the 2.0-litre TDI unit which produced 140PS of power and 320Nm of torque. While Skoda hasn’t issued a press statement regarding the recall, customers will be contacted either by dealers or the company directly. Alternatively, owners can enter their 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN) here to see if their car is affected by the service campaign. We’d like to point out that the fix will only entail a software update and no hardware additions/alterations, so it shouldn’t take more than a day to implement.

The recall will extend to other Volkswagen Group products, powered by the aforementioned engine range as well. As per Volkswagen Group India’s records, from 2008 till the end of November 2015, approximately 1,98,500 cars from Volkswagen, 88,700 cars from Skoda and 36,500 cars from Audi have been equipped with the EA 189 engines which include 1.2-litre, 1.5-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesel engines.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Porsche To Launch Panamera 4 E-Hybrid - A 462PS Sports Sedan!

When we talk about installation of hybrid and electric tech in cars, the aim remains to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. But when Porsche talks about electrics and hybrids, all these reasons becomes secondary. The primary purpose remains to gulp long distances as fast as possible. Following this concept, the German brand has come up with a new hybrid model - the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid. This car has 462PS power along with a steep torque figure of 700Nm! The result: a top speed of 278kmph and a 0-100kmph time of just 4.6 seconds. And yes, it saves the environment too as it always starts on pure electric juice, has an electric range of 50km, and an all-electric top speed of 150kmph.

It borrows its hybrid tech from one of the fastest and most advanced all-wheel drive cars on the planet - the 877PS 918 Spyder. In the older Panamera hybrid model, the electric motor was only made to work when the driver used more than 80% of the accelerator. But in the 4 E-Hybrid, the 136PS electric motor is always working in sync with the 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo engine to give out the best performance possible at all times. All this power is delivered to all the wheels via a fast-shifting eight-speed PDK gearbox.

Another challenge with electrics and a few hybrid cars is the charging of batteries. The lab coats at Porsche have managed to fit bigger batteries in this Panamera while keeping their weight the same. Also, the high-voltage battery takes just 5.8 hours to fully charge via a 230-V, 10-A connection, and if the driver chooses to use the optional 7.2 kW on-board charger and a 230-V, 32-A connection, the battery fully charges in just 3.6 hours.

The charging process can also be started using a timer via Porsche Communication Management (PCM) or the Porsche Car Connect app (for smartphones and Apple Watch). Moreover, the Panamera 4 E-Hybrid is fitted as standard with auxiliary air conditioning to cool or heat the passenger compartment during charging.

The Panamera 4 E-hybrid also comes with the 'Porsche Advanced Cockpit'. This system has touch-sensitive panels and individually configurable displays. There are two seven-inch screens on either side of the analogue tachometer of the interactive cockpit and the power meter is specifically tailored to the hybrid operation. This display is similar to that used in the Porsche 918 Spyder.

The power meter provides data such as the amount of electrical energy currently being used as well as that recovered through recuperation. Also, the 12.3-inch touchscreen display has the boost assistant display which shows the energy available for boosting, while the hybrid assistant provides various visual signals for regulating the electrical drive power.

This is not just an ordinary hybrid sedan, but one which has learned its tricks from the best hypercar in the hybrid business. The Panamera 4 E-hybrid will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show which will take place at the Paris expo Porte de Versailles from October 1-16, 2016.