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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2017 Maruti Ignis review, test drive
Maruti S-Cross long-term review, final report
2016 BMW 330i GT review, test drive
2016 Hyundai Elantra petrol long-term review first report
Volvo XC90 T8 Excellence review, test drive
Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017
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