• Nissan Micra Diesel: Road Test and Review

    Don't judge a book by its cover. This is exactly what I was
    thinking while test-driving the Micra Diesel over the weekend. Nissan
    Micra may be a tiny car for many, but only in the appearance. It is as
    big as, or even bigger than, any other contender in the segment. The
    diesel variant powered by a mighty 1.5-litre 63bhp unit borrowed from
    the Renault Logan, makes the diesel Micra a cute little monster indeed.

    And it's worth the customers wait — especially those who ask for the
    diesel variant as soon as the petrol version is launched. Thankfully,
    Nissan didn't keep its customers waiting too long. Within six months of
    the petrol variant launch in the Indian small car market, Nissan
    introduced the diesel variant. At first glance, you will hardly see any
    difference between the petrol and diesel Micras. But, the diesel variant
    comes with 15-inch alloy wheels and rear spoilers, which are missing in
    the petrol variant. Inside, it gets leather wrapped gear-knob and
    steering wheel with a

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  • Yet Another Treat From Tata

    Indian public transport system has been undergoing a drastic makeover
    recently. Hi-tech low-floor buses are no longer something that could
    only be seen in Hollywood movies. First, it was Volvo B7Rs, then came multi-axle B9Rs and even the iconic Mercedes-Benz buses.

    This is exactly when we expect some surprise from Tata Motors. They
    didn't disappoint, as usual. Tata has just launched not just a hi-tech
    low-floor, but CNG-Electric Hybrid Starbuses, India's first such
    vehicle. Powered by a parallel hybrid engine comprising an internal
    combustion CNG engine and an electric motor using regenerative energy
    storage system, the Tata Hybrid Starbus offers substantial improvement
    in fuel economy compared to a conventional bus.

    The launch is also Tata's attempt to join the Delhi government's effort to actualise the "Green Commonwealth Games". Tata Motors will run four such low-emission buses in Delhi during the Games.

    This air-conditioned bus can seat 32 passengers. Pneumatically operated

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  • A Diwali Gift to All Pulsar Fans

    Well, when its competitors come up with every other vibrant colour
    out there, why should Bajaj sit and watch? They're giving Pulsar a
    flamboyant metallic orange shade that will exclusively be available on
    the Pulsar 180, 220 and 220F variants.

    When the fuel tank, doom and the rear panels come in metallic orange
    colour, the front mud guard and side panels remain black. However, there
    won't be any mechanical changes to any of these models.

    Prices will remain unchanged, too — 180cc at Rs 74,300, the naked 220
    DTS-i at Rs 80,900 and the top end Pulsar 220F at Rs 84,300 (prices,
    on-road Mumbai).

    Pulsar, which is largely responsible for changing Bajaj's 'scooter
    maker' image, is by far the leading sports machine in India with a
    consistent 50 per cent market share.

    For Automobile-related updates and queries, connect with me on Twitter

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  • Now, Control Your Car Using A Cellphone

    Cell phones and cars have historically been a dangerous mix. But this idea was floored at last week's i-Stage event, where Mavizon Technologies walked away with first place and $40,000 to develop the AutoBot (no, not that Autobot in your mind), a smartphone application that allows drivers to control a number of car functions with the touch of a button.

    Autobot is nothing but a small piece of hardware mated to your car
    and syncs up to an Internet-based account, which you can access via a
    smartphone application. The device is capable of doing things such as
    sending an SMS when the car leaves a specific boundary or messaging
    friends and family when the driver meets with an accident. Moreover,
    AutoBot will allow the driver to lock and unlock doors, control window
    settings, start the car, locate the car if it gets stolen, and even
    check engine functions and get tips on saving money.

    The most amazing thing is that it works in all vehicles with an OBD-ll port (1996 or later). Interesting, no?

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  • Ambassador Set For A Comeback

    For us Indians, there was a time when the word 'car' meant only
    Ambassador. Regardless of whichever luxury car you drive now, you can
    never forget those moments of comfort you enjoyed in an Amby, right? But
    Ambassador failed to survive amid the revolution in the Indian
    automobile industry.  Before Amby ended up in heritage car lovers'
    garages, Hindustan Motors decided to act. They are coming up with not
    just one, but four new variants of the car that was once the favourite
    of India's politicians and bureaucrats.

    Although HM had made couple of not-so-successful efforts to revamp
    the iconic car, their tweaks were limited to just interiors and
    powertrains. The exterior design always remained the same and the retro
    looks failed to impress the GenX. Finally, the company has decided to
    give a complete new look to Amby and has roped in Pune-based design firm
    Onio Design for this purpose. The first variant would be ready by

    All the new variants of the Ambassador will be available

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  • Tata Nano – No Longer A One-Lakh Car

    Tata Nano is something that took the national pride to new levels, no
    doubt about it. Tata tied the tongues of the global auto experts and
    critics who claimed it's impossible to build a one-lakh car.

    But now, Tata seems to be proving critics right by increasing the
    price of the world's cheapest car for the second time since its launch.
    Tata Motors on Friday said it had decided to increase the prices of
    Nano by about Rs.9,000, effective from November 1.

    For Tata, it may be an attempt to 'partially neutralise the steep
    increase in input costs in the last two years', but Nano will now cost
    twice the much hyped 'one lakh', at least in India's commercial capital.

    The ex-showroom price of the top-end Nano (the largest selling) will
    be Rs 2.01 lakh in Mumbai, while the standard version will be priced Rs
    1.49 lakh. The ex-showroom Delhi prices will be Rs 1.88 lakh (top-end)
    and Rs 1.37 lakh (base model) from November 1.

    Will you call Nano the people's car again?

    Share your views with me on

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  • Improve Your Car’s Fuel Efficiency

    It's really exasperating to see fuel prices skyrocketing, right? We
    can only feel helpless in the face of recurring and economy-driven price
    fluctuations. Seeking measures to improve fuel economy is the only way
    to combat rising fuel prices. Do not disregard these simple guidelines;
    each little step can really start adding up to significant savings to
    your budget.

    Check Tyre Pressure

    Keeping the tyres well inflated is one of the simplest things you can
    do to help improve your car's fuel efficiency. You can improve the
    mileage by about 3.3 percent if you keep your tyres inflated properly,
    according to the DOE.

    Lighten Your Load

    Empty out your boot of unnecessary items. For every extra 45 kg you
    carry, your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2% in a typical vehicle.

    S-L-O-W D-O-W-N

    The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. Driving within the speed
    limit recommended by the manufacturer helps save fuel. Driving just
    5mph over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%.

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  • CarLashes: Sexy or Goofy?

    Well, this might sound inane, but this is real.

    Disney's Pixar Cars
    has proved the front of a car looks a lot like the human face where
    headlights are the eyes, but this is taking things a bit far — a company
    named CarLashes has decided to
    add more bling to a car's face by offering big, curly headlamp
    eyelashes. And to add to the glitter, you can even put some sparkly,
    faux-jewelled 'eyeliners'.

    For some, CarLashes may be silly and goofy, but if Truck Nutz and Miata Teeth
    exist here, why not CarLashes? However, it's up to you guys to decide
    whether CarLashes add personality or goofiness to your car.

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  • Tata Aria: Road Test and Review

    Tata Aria didn't come down in the last shower of rain. Tata Motors
    has matured the learning curve over the years, facing many challenges
    and crossing many hurdles. Now they are, in every sense of the word,
    accomplished enough to develop a world-class vehicle; and the result is
    Tata Aria, the  first indegenous 4X4 crossover.

    Having taken Aria for a short spin, I'm fairly impressed with the
    vehicle, especially the safety measures. Tata has left no stone
    unturned, Aria is a potpourri of every feature that you'd expect from a
    world-class crossover.

    Safety Prime Concern

    Tata has taken safety to new heights. Aria comes with safety
    features, both active and passive, that only 30 lakh plus vehicles can
    boast of. While active features like ESP, ABS & EBD to aid
    steerability and control in emergency braking, six airbags — driver,
    passenger side and curtain — ensure protection from front as well as
    side impacts. Passive features include Hydroformed chassis members that
    enhance strength and

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  • Will Suzuki Take Indians Lightly This Time?

    Suzuki fans worldwide gave a warm welcome to the 2011 Swift, thanks
    to its more spacious and stylish interior, superior quality cabin and
    improved dynamics along with the more pronounced exterior design.

    However, carmakers have this not-so-heartening habit of compromising
    on quality and features when they introduce a model in the Indian
    market. Reasons may be reasonable for them, but do we really deserve

    Now that Maruti is all set to bring the new Swift to the Indian
    market, the question is, will they again compromise on these new and
    exciting features?

    The interior images reveal an all-new design which takes inspiration from the recently launched Kizashi sedan. The new instrument panel and keyless push button start-stop system are among the more obvious revisions.

    The new Maruti Suzuki Swift has a 1.2-litre petrol engine which is
    equipped with Dual VVT (Variable intake and exhaust valve timing) and
    produces 94PS at 6,000rpm. The improved torque is developed to 118Nm at

    Read More »from Will Suzuki Take Indians Lightly This Time?


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