Sunday, 23 December 2012

Renault Duster vs Mahindra XUV500 vs Skoda Yeti

Soft-roaders aren't exactly a new phenomenon. And we Indians love them big and brawny. Whether there's substance to all that show is a different thing altogether. As long as there's street-cred, we're a happy bunch. And this market is bursting at its seams. Look around; see how many pseudo off-roaders are doing the school run every morning, and you'll know we aren't kidding.

Now if your noodle is in place – and there's no reason why it shouldn't be – you'd be a bit daft as a manufacturer to not want a piece of the soft-roader pie. The latest entrant to this party is the Renault Duster and it's given us a great excuse to  gather its rivals – the Mahindra XUV 500 and the Skoda Yeti for a bit of a stand-off.

We were quite impressed with the Duster the last time around, but with the Yeti and the overbooked XUV 500 being quite the able sport utilities in their own right, we figured it was time to pitch them together to see which one of these softies really deserves school-run duty.
Let's begin with the Duster. It certainly has street presence, with all that chrome upfront. It looks good, certainly more manly than the other two.  Those boxy lines do its SUV image well. The XUV's cheetah-inspired design looks pretty good too especially in flesh. Some bits may make you think the designers went overboard, but the end result still warrants a second look.

Speaking of second looks, there's also the Skoda Yeti. It's been around for a while, it isn't exactly fresh but it doesn't look dated either.  At first, we thought it was a bit quirky. But the Yeti has grown on us and we now quite like the way it looks.Although their purpose may be the same, all three take different routes to get there. On the mechanical front, the lines start to get blurry.

The XUV gets a 2.2-litre engine good for 140bhp and 330Nm. It's the same mHawk powerplant from the Scorpio, only with 20 more horses and a six-speed 'box. It's quite refined as far as vibrations go, but mechanical clatter does make its presence felt. But once at speed, the noise isn't intrusive. Performance-wise, the XUV defies its weight, but that's only once you figure out how to extract its juice.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012




Bentley unveiled its Continental GT3 race car in the US for the first time at Los Angeles Auto Show, as the company forges ahead with its plans to return to motorsport towards the end of 2013.  Bentley is also showing its new 205 mph (330 km/h) Continental GT Speed performance flagship, the sister car upon which the GT3 is based and the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne. 

Commenting on Bentley’s stand at the Los Angeles Show, Rolf Frech, Member of the Board for Engineering, Bentley Motors, said:

“For some time now our customers have been telling us that it is time to return to motorsport.  Our US customers are no exception and I am delighted to be showing the Continental GT3 concept race car in LA. I am also pleased to introduce the new GT Speed to the US.  The Speed has been a sales success story for Bentley ever since it was first unveiled in 2008 and we expect strong interest in the US region.”
To celebrate the debut of the Continental GT3 Concept race car in America, and the unveiling of our newest Mulsanne Visionaries film 'the Future of Speed with Andy Green' - Bentley held a launch event in LA on the eve of LA Auto Show.  In attendance and giving their thoughts on the future of speed were Jay Leno, sportscar driver and TV host Jason Bell, LA Angels baseball player CJ Wilson, Andy Green and TV producer Taylor Buzbee.


Sunday, 9 December 2012

BMW 4 Series Coupe

The  BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept has unveiled , BMW is looking ahead to the fourth generation of its sporty mid-range coupe - and reasserting its global leadership credentials in the process. 

Dream Wheels say’s

The BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept adds a new spices  to the qualities of the BMW 3-Series Coupe in terms of aesthetics, dynamics and elegance. The "4" doesn't just mark the start of a new cycle, it represents the zenith of a development curve. BMW has given the new model its own individual character and a standalone design - and, in so doing, has turned "4" into segment shorthand for aesthetic and dynamic appeal. The latest addition to a nomenclature that sees BMW building on the fine tradition of its large BMW 6-Series and BMW 8-Series Coupes, the "4" stands for greater sportiness, greater exclusivity and even clearer differentiation from the BMW 3-Series range. About looks the BMW 4- Series is fully loaded with  jaw dropping  style . It’s GANGSTER eyes  style headlamps has perfectly matched with its design . The two doors and body bumper enriched it’s
sportier looks.

The Design: 

The BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept allows the driver to experience the essence of this new, sporting and elegant generation of car in the lap of contemporary luxury. An array of high-quality details provide an exclusive showcase for the car's perfectly balanced coupe proportions. Inside, the expertise of BMW Individual, skilled handcraftsmanship and carefully selected materials combine to create a supreme interior. The role of BMW Individual in the BMW 4-Series Coupe Concept's development clearly underlines the brand's commitment to challenging itself constantly in pursuit of perfection. 
These first official pictures show the new two-door to be a muscular and broad-shouldered design draped over a wide-stance platform.
BMW has released the key dimensions for the concept, which are expected to be carried over to the production car with very little change. They include a 2810mm wheelbase that it shares with the 3-series saloon.
At 4641mm long, 1826mm wide and 1326mm high, the new concept is 17mm longer than the saloon, 15mm wider and a significant 67mm lower, a dimension that emphasises the two-door’s sportier footprint.
The front and rear tracks reflect the squat look, too. At 1545mm, the front is 3mm wider than the saloon and the 1593mm rear is 10mm wider.
Despite the brief for a sportier, more individual look, designers have crafted bodywork that broadly follows the theme of the 3-series saloon, with a distinctive swage line running along the bodyside and linking the front and rear haunches by running through the door handles.
Where the 4-series concept asserts its identity is in the execution of the swage line, which takes a sharper, more aggressive form and mirrors the more pronounced sill cover. The wheel arches of the 4-series concept bulge more aggressively than those of the four-door. These body adornments also lend BMW’s smaller coupé a more aggressive look than its bigger brother, the 6-series.
At the front, the family resemblance to the saloon is carried through, with headlights that link into the hallmark kidney grille. The grille itself is made more prominent by protruding more aggressively from the surrounding sheet metal.
“The front end displays a clear link with the 3-series family, but with a sporting take on the theme with precise contours and multi-faceted surfaces,” says BMW.
The execution of the intersection of the grille and headlamps is sportier thanks to the narrower lamp units built around on-trend ‘squircle’ projector lamps.
Underpinning the front is a gaping front air dam that extends the full width of the nose. The production coupé is tipped to have a more toned-down airdam, although elements of this design may influence the forthcoming M4.
Another departure for BMW is the hockey-stick-shaped decoration on the front wings, behind the wheel arches. Some sort of adornment will appear on the production 4-series, but how close its design will be to this feature is unclear.
The interior is based closely on the 3-series saloon’s and, ignoring the concept car decoration in this design study, appears to be directly carried over.
The instrument pack, minor switchgear and instrument panel’s upper moulding, for example, mimic the 3-series saloon, with its high-mounted infotainment screen. Likewise, the radio and air-con modules in the centre console are carried over from the saloon.
BMW hasn’t released any chassis or engine information with the concept. But our sources say that the production 4-series will feature engines selected from the saloon range and mirror the bulk of the line-up in today’s 3-series coupé.
Today’s global best-seller is the 320d, which will morph into the 420d. Seven further engines are likely to result in a 418i, 420i, 428i and 435i petrol line-up and 425d, 430d, 435d diesels. The long-awaited M4 is also a key 4-series variant.
Chassis settings are tipped to be firmer than the saloon’s to further establish the 4-series as a separate model.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

fourth generation Range Rover

British multinational automaker Land Rover Friday launched its fourth generation sport utility vehicle (SUV) Range Rover  at gurgaun.Rohit Suri, vice president of Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR)-India, launched the vehicle at a function at Sector 29.

Range rover in Indians will comes in two engine options – a 4.4-litre V8 diesel with 334bhp of power and 700Nm of torque. The petrol is a supercharged 5-litre V8 motor with 504bhp of power and 625Nm of torque.

"The new Range Rover offers an unparalleled special blend of luxury, performance and unmatched all-terrain capability.

"Its clever design and revolutionary lightweight construction will give Indian customers a product that will cope with the most difficult of terrains and provide a step change in comfort, refinement and handling," Suri said.
Though the basic silhouette is the same as the previous generation, you can tell this Rangie is all new thanks to the all new LED-cluster head lamps. The more prominent grille and the tighter skinning. This luxury off-road stalwart uses an all-aluminium body that's 420kg lighter than its predecessor, sitting on a wheelbase that's been stretched by 40mm. It's also a touch lower and wider in the body than its predecessor. Though no one will miss this SUV on-road its actually only as long as an Audi A6.

Indians can choose from two spec options – Vogue SE and Autobiography in diesel and only the top end Autobiography for the petrol. The main difference being that the top version gets a contrasting shade for the roof and body. 
Prices for the Range Rover start at Rs 1.72 crore and go up to Rs 1.9 crores with all the bells and whistles. All prices are ex-shoroom, Delhi.