Blogs

Thu
Mar 6 2014
Staff Writer 
Porsche vs BMW by Staff Writer 
How two of the biggest auto brands have evolved with time.

I know that Porsche and BMW can’t really be compared on any front. You definitely can’t compare them on their product range and not in terms of the number of cars sold every year. But, in my mind, there is a thread of thought that connects them very strongly. Managing change, divisive change. You see, both companies have long and rich histories, which like ballast in a ship, keeps them tracking smooth and straight in an ocean of jostling waves. But, at some point, doing things differently and doing different things becomes inevitable.

 
Mon
Feb 17 2014
Shapur Kotwal 
All show by Shapur Kotwal 
On the highs and lows of the Auto Expo 2014.

The Auto Expo 2014 was probably India’s best ever. Exciting concepts, a bunch of alluring showroom-ready cars and loads and loads of optimism. It was well organised, and had the vibe of an international auto show.

 
Wed
Feb 12 2014
Staff Writer 
12 + 300 = Awesome by Staff Writer 
Now that the madness has subsided, it's time to celebrate a great Expo, and a special milestone.
It's funny how time can feel so contrarily elastic at times, like at the 12th Auto Expo. Each never-ending day just flew by. From waking up at 5am to passing out at 3:30am, it was all a deliciously maddening rush. At the end of the day, only my feet were true witnesses to the many kilometres spent walking up and down the halls. But the noodles in the noggin still stirred restlessly, thinking of what remained to be covered.
 
Tue
Feb 11 2014
Renuka Kirpalani 
Safety in cars: It starts with you by Renuka Kirpalani 
Sure, more standard safety kit and better regulation are the need of the hour, but a change of attitude is just as important.
So there was this huge uproar and much debate on Twitter and Facebook about certain Indian small cars failing the Global NCAP safety test. At the outset, I am glad that this test happened because at least it got people talking about safety.
 
Fri
Jan 31 2014
Ouseph Chacko 
Safety behind the wheel is safe tea at home by Ouseph Chacko 
Maybe we should look at something deeper than the NCAP tests.

Five Indian made hatchbacks failed the Global NCAP crash tests. Cars like the VW Polo, which are considered to be well built failed alongside the ones you know aren't up there yet. All the cars crashed were base models and none of these cars had airbags.

 
Thu
Jan 16 2014
Renuka Kirpalani 
Fast, furious and fun: An F-type weekend by Renuka Kirpalani 
When a Jaguar F-Type ran somewhat free on the roads of Mumbai and how.

With all the international jury rounds coming up, I thought I’d start the new year driving cars I hadn’t got my hands on yet. First up was the slinky Jaguar F-Type.

 
Tue
Jan 14 2014
Shapur Kotwal 
Nano V2: Tata’s baby grows up by Shapur Kotwal 
The Tata Nano has come a long way from its launch way back in 2009; in fact its so different , it's almost like an all-new car.
The Nano, for me, has always been a diamond in the rough; absolutely brilliant in conception, but lacking in finesse and detail. Despite this, we at Autocar India were so enamoured, we actually bought one of the first cars; a top-of-the-line LX. And it’s that car that springs to mind every time I think of the Nano. The uncomfortable seat, the muscle-burning, heave-ho steering, the basic interiors, the resonance from the engine; there’s little doubt, the original Nano was crude around the edges.
 
The new Nano Twist, however, is so far from that original in almost every way, Tata should have swallowed a brave pill and tagged it ‘V2’. It’s better in almost every department.
 
The tipping point, quite clearly, is the lighter and really well set up power steering. The assisted helm means you no longer need to play tug of war with the Nano, especially at city speeds, and that immediately removes a constant irritant. Better support for the shoulders removes problem number two for me, and Tata’s ‘kaizen’ or continuous improvement approach to the car means there’s a huge leap in overall ability compared to the original. It really is quite a shocker. The list of improvements over the years is so long, in fact, it’s almost as if this car is all new.
 
What you get now is a smoother and more silent engine, less peaky power delivery, a lighter clutch, an improved seat, more upmarket doorpads, a nicer looking dash, a Bluetooth-equipped four-speaker audio system, more suspension travel and a better ride; phew! And the impossibly cute Nano even looks better.
 
Yes, there are plenty of issues that still need sorting; budget willing. An openable rear hatch, a five-speed gearbox, disc brakes up front and a wider track are part of the obvious list. And so is the greater fuel economy of a diesel, essential if Tata wants to bridge the gap in running costs between two and four wheels. A cheaper, two-door version and an SUV on the same platform would be part of my list too.
 
Still, even as it stands, no car offers the combination of space, comfort, efficiency and ease of use as the new Nano Twist. Tata’s ‘zara hat ke’ city car clearly deserves to have a stronger second innings. Make sure you drive a new one, it really is quite a sea change. 
 
 
Mon
Jan 6 2014
Staff Writer 
S is for - Shattering by Staff Writer 
On why the new S-class is the "best car in the world".
“Shattering!" At Autocar India, we consider that exclamation to be our very own. Right from the editor to the interns, it's everyone’s go-to word when something really impresses you. The right way to use it is as such - “The ride is shattering!” or, “It is just shattering the way that engine pulls!”.  In very rare instances an entire car is deemed "shattering".  And in even rarer circumstances, the plaudit is conferred with greater enthusiasm after a good night’s sleep.
 
Sat
Dec 14 2013
Hormazd Sorabjee 
The car that put India on wheels by Hormazd Sorabjee 
The Maruti 800 was born 30 years ago and changed the face of motoring in India forever.

On December 14, 1983, Harpal Singh, after paying the princely sum of Rs 47,500, was handed over the keys to the first Maruti by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Exactly 30 years ago, the humble Maruti 800 was born. It went on to conquer Indian roads and become a symbol of mobility much like the Ford Model T did in America and the Volkswagen Beetle in Europe. It vindicated Osamu Suzuki’s leap of faith in India at a time when auto giants like Volkswagen, Fiat and Toyota thought it was suicidal to do so.

 
Thu
Dec 12 2013
Staff Writer 
Electronics Shock by Staff Writer 
My recent experience on two 'big bikes'.

I rode two ‘big bikes’ recently. Enjoyed them to the last tenth. It's not because I have suddenly gone Marc Marquez in terms of skill, instead it’s because of the technology on the bikes. Both the KTM Super Duke R and Kawasaki Ninja ZX10R are equipped with engine modes, ABS and traction control. This Holy Trinity is watching out and protecting riders every millisecond of the ride. I was unsure whether it was a good thing or not, because as you can see that electronics have made driving cars quite like playing an XBOX simulation with all the assists on. Quite dull.

 
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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