Archive for the ‘Automobile’ Category
Sleekly styled, very well built and turned out with a poise and presence which is right up there, the new multi-faceted Indigo Manza is sure to stir up the hornet’s nest which is the present day C-segment says Adil Jal Darukhanawala after an exclusive first drive
If ever one needs reminding as to how effectively Tata Motors has progressed as a car maker, one only needs to sense, see and experience its newest products. From the time the Indica Vista appeared on our roads, the going seems to have changed completely. The ground-breaking Nano seemed to indicate a whole new paradigm shift for the automotive world but Tata Motors didn’t seem eager to step off the throttle pedal. And while a few yet seem to look at the Indian firm somewhat disparagingly, it is this determined drive which is so very indicative of an automobile firm eager to stand up and be counted in its peer group.
The latest Indigo Manza sedan is yet more proof of the above. And lest someone suggest that it is but an Indica Vista with a boot, it would be doing India’s largest indigenous car maker and its latest product a huge disservice. The Indigo Manza is an all new sedan which like its Indo-Italian stablemate – the Fiat Linea, oozes grace and elegance and doesn’t look at all as if the boot has been grafted on in a tacky manner.
If anything, the Indigo Manza (Manza supposedly means a little steer or a beautiful girl, chose what you want to believe), comes across as probably one of the best looking cars in a segment full of high profile machines strong on style and turnout. The Fiat Linea we have already mentioned but in the C-segment the Manza has also to battle the likes of the Honda City, the Ford Fiesta, the Hyundai Verna, the Chevy Aveo and the Suzuki Swift D?Zire and in the battle for making the best first impression, the Tata product does have its nose ahead.
However, open the doors and step into the interiors and you can sense that this car continues to pack in the “more car per car” Tata DNA. The cabin space of the Indigo Manza is abundantly huge and spacious while also being well thought out and crafted. The front seats (height adjustable for the driver with added lumbar support) are superbly sculpted and though I would have liked to see a bit more side support, the seats seem to hold a person well without tiring him out even after hours behind the wheel. Move on over to the rear seats and you have optimum rear seat comfort for a car in its class with abundant head, elbow and leg room. The ergonomics are perfect and the ease of ingress and egress at the rear will win many plaudits. The seat back angle and the H-points are areas where a great deal of thought has gone in to provide great occupant comfort.
The Manza’s interior is simplistically done in a duo-tone shade of plastics and fabric, and for sure has the best cabin treatment of any Tata Motors’ product but the door latches are low rent in their turnout, the one jarring detail in a tastefully configured interior. The one major improvement over the Indica Vista, and a logical one at that is the instrument binnacle now being relocated at the straight ahead position in direct view of the driver’s vision and not housed in the top central console on the dashboard. The chunky four-spoke steering wheel has large horn pad and features audio controls on the top horizontal spokes. Switchgear is pretty contemporary and fantastic to feel and activate. More so the air con controls which are now electronic switches for the servo motors to actuate the flaps and not cable controlled as in earlier Tata cars. A 2-DIN music system is standard fitment even on the base Manza Aqua and overall the car comes well equipped to begin with while the top end versions (Aura, Aura (ABS) and Aura+) definitely a rung above every other car in the segment with their list of standard features.
The same engine does duty in the hot selling Swift as well. The Swift is a punchy performer and is very frugal as well. Has anything changed in the Palio? Well, the Palio is a heavier car than the Swift so there has been some impact on the performance and efficiency. Its not as efficient as the Swift, expect around 12kpl in the city and about 16-17kpl on the highway. Till 2000rpm, there is decent pull, but the actual action starts past that and goes up till about 4000rpm where it runs out of breath.
Ford recently launched its new mid-size car FORD IKON. The Ikon comes with a refereshed look with a diesel engine option. Ford claims to capture the mid-size car segment with this newly launched Ford Ikon Diesel.
During the launch, Ford India President Michael Boneham said. “The new Ford Ikon continues to be a leader in its segment and caters to customers with a combination of superior fuel efficiency and improved engine performance.”
Although the Ikon is a refreshed one it has the same Duratorq TDCi diesel engine of Ford Fiesta which gives produces 68ps of max power @ 4000rpm and 160 nm torque @ 2000 rpm.
From the design front, the new Ford Ikon received a lot of changes to the interior and exterior European styling. It has a refreshed slick hood design and a much better front bumper. It comes with a modern instrument cluster with new graphics, tachometer, LED needles and LCD odometer display.
Apart from the above, Ford Ikon comes with lot of new accessories like the side skirts, reversing parking sensor, remote boot release kit, sporty seat covers, neck rest and floor mats.
The price of the New Ford Ikon has been fixed at 5.19 lakh for the diesel version and Rs. 4.59 for the petrol one (ex-showroom Delhi.)
The new Ikon comes in a total of 7 color options – Morello, Diamond White, Panther Black, Moondust Silver, Paprika Red, Platinum and Brush Steel.
Hyundai has officially lifted the lids on all new i20 at the ongoing paris auto show. i20 – part of Hyundai’s popular i-series is designed to meet the bigger rivals such as Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta (Hatchback) and Skoda’s Fabia. “Engineers have driven the Ford Fiesta and Honda Jazz and the i20 aims to combine the best parts of these big sellers but without the premium price tag,” UK marketing director Andrew Cullis said.
Pictures of Hyundai i20
Hyundai i20: Designed with Europe in mind by Hyundai’s European Design Centre in Germany this new i20 is slightly longer and wider than the Getz. While the tear drop headlamps and large air dam reminds the i10, the twin crease on the bonnet and the bold chrome-topped grille flanked by piercing teardrop headlamps at the front gives the i20 an upmarket look. chunky standard-fit 16-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels The shoulder line that runs along the car ends in a distinct manner. Over it stacked are the swap around tail lamps. Similar to other i-series cars – i10 and i30, i20 also features ‘H’ boot lid. Overall the styling of the i20 is swanky and appealing.
Hyundai i20: is internationally available in four engines. Of these engines, the Indian i20 may come with 78bhp, 1.2-litre petrol emitting just 123g/km and a 1.4-litre turbodiesels. Both the engines is fitted with a five-speed manual transmission.
Hyundai i20: Though the new i20 got a brand new chassis platform, Hyundai – Kia developed the i20 similar to their popular hatchback ceed. The height.of i20 is same as the ceed(1480mm) while increasing the other dimensions. With a wheelbase of 2525mm (70mm larger than the Getz) you would expect a roomy hatch.
Hyundai i20: Going by the history of Hyundai, the i20 will also come with a long list of features. Expect climate control, a powerful four-speaker radio, CD and MP3 audio system with integrated data display screen, a multi-function steering wheel, sun roof, height-adjustable driver seat, reach-and-rake adjustable steering wheel, keyless entry and electrically operated windows and side mirrors with the i20
Hyundai i20: The Hyundai i20’s five-seater gets 60:40 split flat-folding rear bench with a low lip for easy loading into the 295-litre rear loadbay. I20 also offers numerous intelligently positioned interior storage spaces including a large cooled passenger glovebox and two cupholders.
Hyundai i20: At the front, i20 features MacPherson strut and at the rear it gets torsion beam suspension that are tuned to deliver the taut ride quality. Hyundai claims the new rack and pinion steering setup has also been tuned to deliver quick and accurate responses resulting in excellent urban agility.
Hyundai i20: Built on an all-new platform i20 will replace the ageing Getz hatchback in western countries. However in India i20 will co-exist with getz and expected to be priced between Rs5-6 lakhs. Launch of this i20 will happen sometime in November.
Maruti Suzuki had introduced its concept car – Maruti A Star earlier at the Delhi Auto Expo this year. The car shall be launched in October this year in India. Maruti is all set to roll out its A-Star model from its Manesar plant in Gurgaon.
The new model shall be powered with 1.0 litre petrol engine initially. It shall also be Euro IV and Euro V compliant which would lend it an added advantage. The car shall be exported to European markets later in January next year. Europe is the main market for Suzuki and A-Star concept car has been specially designed keeping in mind demands of European customers which are seeking more eco-friendly car models.
It shall later introduce its diesel version of the car which would have second generation of diesel engine. It has already launched diesel version of Maruti Swift and the fifth global car from Maruti Suzuki shall be later powered with a more eco-friendly diesel engine.
The current model of A-Star to roll out in October shall be font engines with front wheel drive with a 1.0 litre K-series engine. It shall 205/47 R17 tyres and 5 speed manual transmission. It shall have a 2360mm wheelbase, length 3580mm, breadth 1680mm and height 1400mm.
When was the last time you ever wondered the Indica was getting long in the tooth? The original Indica was launched way back in 1998 and we’ve had to wait 10 long years to get an all new version and we say that the wait is worth every single day. TATA has made a lot of changes to the new version, changes that are very significant and the Indica Vista is a colossal improvement over the present Indica. All these changes contribute to a model that is up there among the best in the market and within striking distance of international standards. After sitting around the car and spending an hour or so with it, we wondered whether this car should wear the Indica badge after all. All the short falls of the V2 have been rectified in the Vista, which will set this cat among the pigeons. We simply love it.
The first thing you notice about the Vista is that the styling is similar to the earlier Indica, which is quite good looking, I mean, c’mon. IDEA did a terrific job back then, and since we see the Indica V2 all around, the beauty or its style has faded away. The styling on the Vista is more evolutionary rather than radical (which is best explained by Honda’s design philosophy). This evolutionary styling has reduced the burden on the designers and they have concentrated on the finer aspects of design rather than spending time on designing an all new model.
Looking at the car from a distance, you do feel that TATA could have concentrated more but this is until you take a closer look.
The headlamps look stunning and an art in itself even though they look similar to the ones found on Peugeots. The lights complement the smiling face which is a TATA trademark. The honeycomb radiator grill has a chrome strip on its top border to give it a rich feel. The front bumper is also contemporary with normal circular fog lamps and a rectangular recess split into two parts by a horizontal plane. The central ridge that runs along the bonnet debuts in the new Vista and will be followed in other TATA designs as well.
Along the sides, the wheel arches are more prominent and the Vista looks good without the plastic arches the old Indica gets. The wheels are still small to fill the wheel wells and a bigger rim size would have been better. The turn indicators are incorporated near the steeply raked A-pillars and make a style statement. The body profile is quite similar and it slightly slides down towards the rear. The main point worth mentioning is the large glass house but more on that later. This large glass house has reduced the width of the C-pillar and this is sure to aid visibility while parking/reversing.
The Vista is best viewed from the rear where the long lights and rounded shape make for a handsome design. The long lights run from the roof all the way to the bumper. The light cluster is split above the reverse lights so that an accident need not mean replacement of the entire cluster, which in turn mean less costs. This also shows the strong family lineage also found in the Nano. The rear bumper is neat with embedded reflectors and the hatch door incorporates a stylistic cut bisecting the TATA logo.
The main part of the exteriors, the fit and finish are top notch and the panel gaps are even and the tolerances is tight, which takes the Vista to an all new level. The comparison photos with the earlier gen indica are testimony to this achievement. The doors have external and long rubber beading which results in less noise when being shut and gives that characteristic ‘thud’ sound, which surprised us, and left us in disbelief. We tried opening and shutting the doors quite a few times to reassure ourselves and much to our amazement, the characteristic vibrations and ‘noise’ seems to have taken a hike on the Vista. The door side beading is body coloured in higher models. The bonnet weighed a lot lesser compared to the earlier Indica, a clear indication of weight reduction. Contrary to this, the front bumper was flimsy and elastic. The steeply raked front windshield adds its bit for improving the aerodynamics of the car, while enhancing looks.
TATA has climbed up several ladders together with respect to the interiors which is twin layered like on the Nissan Teanna. The styling is top notch and multiple textures have been used to good effect. Soft touch plastics are used which combined with three tone interiors look absolutely stunning. The main change is the central instrument cluster which incorporates various tell tales and a tacho, speedo and odo. The dials are very clear and have an electro-luminescent feel to them when lighted up in bright white.It also has the lights for airbags ABS which means these features will be present on future models. There is also a ‘ICD’ light which indicates any malfunction with the instrument cluster.
The AC vents can be fully shut and work well in directing air flow and the knobs are of the right size and feel a lot of upmarket, especially in contrast to the V2. The glovebox requires special mention as it runs the full width of the dashboard towards the A pillars and has huge storage capacity. The Audio system is 2-DIN (CD/MP3) on the top of the line ‘AURA’ variant has good audio quality through 6 speakers. The audio system has an auxiliary input for i-pod and also an USB port. The main feature of this system is a special function which scans through the radio stations, where it pauses for a couple of seconds so that you know what is being played at each station.
The overall quality is up with the best in its class and is within touching distance within international standards. Gone are the uneven panel gaps(at most places) replaced by tighter fitting panels which elevate the overall feel of the vehicle. The doors have considerable width on the inside part and similar to the ones on LAND ROVER (just hinting, not comparing). The same door opening handles are used at all the 4 corners which reduce costs and clear up area inbetween the front seats. The power windows switches are back at the arm rests on the doors, shifted from near the handbrake.
Speaker provision is present on all 4 doors and on the dashboard. The door pockets are very small and can be used for storing a couple of magazines and nothing more. There are two cup holders and some slots for storing coins, cell phones on the center console. Also present are under seat storage trays which are large enough to hide precious things from prying eyes. Also due to the large glass house, the interiors feel airy and is the exach opposite to the Swift. The arm rests on the doors are supportive and the entire interiors use matching beige coloured fabric.
Comfort was one of the earlier Indica’s strong point and that has improved on the new Indica which is considerably larger than the Swift and the Palio! There is huge amount of headroom and legroom everywhere and even a tall chauffeur will not pose problems. The seats themselves are well bolstered and offer good support and comfort. The driver’s seat is adjustable for height and reach while the steering wheel is adjustable for rake. Rear seats are wide enough but even then 3 six footers will be a tight fit.
The overall comfort will blow away the Swift’s and the i10’s and the Aveo’s. Earlier Indicas had awkward pedal positioning with respect to the steering which has been sorted out and finding a comfortable seating position is easy. The steering wheel itself is well designed and is of the right size, which was a major drawback on the V2, its size measuring to the diameter of Planet Saturn. The seats are lower than the indica V2 and offer good all round views, thanx to the height adjustments, which will bring smiles on to the faces of 6-footers. Another TATA trademark is also present – the doors open very wide (almost 90deg) making ingress and egress very easy.
The boot is slightly bigger than the present model but it still is quite small and the struts intrude limiting usable space. Offering some consolation are the 60:40 split seats which offer good versatility. There is a central tunnel that intrudes into rear legroom and the middle passenger might find it a bit difficult, so three well-built passengers at the backseat might be a bit of a squeeze. The seat belts are also sealed in their own place making it look neat, an area that proved to be an eyesore in the V2. The grab handle provided for the passengers is spring loaded.
Power for the Vista comes from a petrol and 2 diesels. The petrol is a 1.2 CVCP Safire engine making 65ps @ 6500RPM and about 96 Nm of torque at 3000 RPM. This was the engine we has in our test car and it was smooth all the way to its 6500 RPM redline. Also present is the 1.4 Turbo-intercooled engine with 71ps @ 4000RPM and 135 Nm @ 2500RPM . Please note that the DICOR will not be available on the Indica Vista and only the 475 block IDI diesel will be available.
Want more power more refinement? The highlight of the engine range is the 1.3 Quadrajet (1.3 MJT to us) putting out a familiar 75bhp @ 4000 RPM and a mammoth 190 Nm from just 1750 RPM (more than double the 1.2 petrol produces). This engine will make city driving a dream and is expected to be as fuel efficient as ever. This is the pick of the Vista range. Gearbox action feels rubbery and vague but there is noticeable improvement over the previous Indica. The transmission is a 5 speed synchromesh with overdrive. The engine bay incorporates more sound deadening material and another safety feature is that the radiator fan is enclosed in its own chamber. Also we found the engine bay to have more of a ‘Fiat’ feel to it. Parts sharing? You bet.
Indica V2 vs Vista- A picture speaks a thousand words.
The biggest change here is the use of semi-independent twist beam suspension at the rear which eliminates the alignment problems the earlier Indica posed due to independent suspension. The Indica uses hydraulic power steering and diagonal split brakes. The feel of the steering and ride comfort can all be judged only after a full road test which we will bring you very soon. Overall refinement is up which is very evident from the way the central locking system works with less noise. We also found that the hood was considerably lighter compared to the indica V2 which points towards weight saving.
There are some nice touches like the provision of two 12V DC points at the front and at the rear parcel tray and the flowery roof fabric which adds flair.The rear seat head rests (which are rather uncomfortable) are designed in such a way that they reduce interference of driver’s vision while reversing, which along with thin C-pillars add few brownie points for safety.
Overall the Vista gives even more car per car and this is very evident when you consider the fact that it gives more bang for your buck and is considerably bigger than the Swift which is the current leader. The car starts at 3.48 lakhs for the base TDi and going up to 4.88 for the AURA Quadrajet. At this price this is certainly the car to go for in this segment. For all those who think passenger cars from Tata Motors are trucks dressed in a car’s skin, should drive the Vista before uttering one more word. This car will set a new benchmark in this segement and we can’t wait for the next-gen Indigo based on the Vista. Trust us, it’s that good.
The four rings which make up the Audi logo represent the four companies that were part of the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932. They were DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi. After the war, the Audi name (which in Latin means “to hear”) disappeared, but in 1965 it reappeared, using the four rings as its logo. The name Audi is also the Latin version of Horch, which in German means also “to hear”.
The BMW medallion represents a propeller of a plane in motion, and the blue represents the sky. This is because BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke – Factories engine of Bavaria) has built engines for the German military planes in World War II.
The symbol chosen by Andre Citroen for his cars comes from the auto industry, the first activity of the french manufacturer. Citroen started by producing tractors transmissions, the two up side down V representing the “teeth” of those wheels.
The prancing stallion held today by the Ferrari cars has been at the top of a famous logo of an Italian airplanes pilot from World War I, Francesco Baracca, died in a mission. His mother, Countess Paolina, convinced Enzo Ferrari to take on its racing cars the symbol of her son.
Harold Wills, a friend of Henry Ford, won lots of money by printing business cards, and when Henry was looking for a logo to mark his car in 1903, Wills was on the job. The type of letter from Ford logo is the same used by Wills on his business cards. The oval appeared in 1912, and the blue background in 1927, along with the launch of Model A.
The Lamborghini logo is easy to decipher: it is a reckless bull. Ferruccio Lamborghini loved bullfights. This is shown not only on the logo, but also in the name of Lamborghini models in time. Nearly all cars have held the names of famous bulls or the noble race of the bulls.
The letters at the top of the logo are the initials of the founder of Lotus, Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman. It is not known why Chapman chose the Lotus name for the company. The Green is the famous British Racing Green, worn by British racing cars, and the yellow background symbolizes the sunny days Chapman wanted for his company.
As in the case of Alfa Romeo, the Maserati logo represents the town of the mark. The trident is the traditional symbol of the city of Bologna, where Maserati cars were built before.
The Mazda logo was designed by Rei Yoshimara, the creator of a famous picture for corporations, the V representing a large pair of wings. For Mazda, the logo symbolizes “creativity, sense of mission, delicacy and flexibility characteristic of the mark”.
The star in three corners represents the Mercedes-Benz dominance on land, sea and air. The star appeared for the first time in 1909 on a Daimler. In 1926 the crown of laurel was added to mark the union with Benz.. The current logo star in a circle, was used for the first time in 1937.
The three diamonds (or three rhombus) of the Mitsubishi logo represent the propeller of a ship, recalling the first activity of the Nippon manufacturer.
The lion from the logo of Peugeot comes from the Belfort city emblem, the place where was built the first Peugeot model. The author of the Belfort city logo, Bartholdi, is the same with the sculptor who designed the Statue of Liberty in New York.
The Porsche logo is almost identical to that of Stuttgart city, built on a stallion farm – that explains the horse on the logo. The horns of deer and the red-black stripes came from the flag of Wurtemberg Kingdom (currently the Land Baden-Wurtemberg).
The Renault rhombus was in the beginning only a logo located on hood. Behind the rhombus was the horn, and since 1922 the center logo was cut to allow the sound to exit. It started with a circular shape and in 1924 became rhombus.
The feathered arrow mark on the Czech cars logo doesn’t have a specific meaning, besides the fact that suggests speed.
Subaru was the first Japanese brand that has used a name derived from the Japanese language. It refers to a group of six stars of Taurus constellation, and known in Japanese as “mutsuraboshi.” They are the Pleiades.
The Toyota logo contains three ellipses which represent the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress and limitless opportunities of the future. In Japanese, “Toyo” signifies abundance, and “ta” means rice. In some Asian cultures, the rice represents wealth.
The Volkswagen’s logo story is simple. It contains the letters V and W: “volks” means “people” and “wagen” means “car”.
Volvo means “I go” in Latin, and the circle with the arrow is a conventional sign for iron – the best known richness of Sweden. The circle represents a shield and the arrow is the arrow of Mars, another symbol for iron.