Toyota Fortuner 5 Speed Automatic is an Old School Feel: Test Ride

Fortuner is no doubt a Cash Cow for the Toyota and to an extent a Star product as well, but everything needs to be a bit tweaked after sometime and this SUV had gone under a facelift in recent years which is then followed by automatic transmission later on. While we are not here to discuss that but it is to confirm, we had driven the newly launched 5 speed automatic version of Toyota and had came up the responses for same.

Before divulging all the feedbacks, we want to clear, new Fortuner is enhanced on the gearbox itself and no other major change either on interior, nor even on exteriors. So don’t expect anything for the cosmetic rather than technical refinements instead.

Toyota had fitted Fortuner with four speed automatic in 2102 when there was a norm of five-six speeders in such heavy bonkers. Though not an issue, it stood frugal on all the competitive edges and had also made lucrative business out of it but as of now, in the era of six abd seven speeders, carmaker had now done the new automatic avatar with just “five” only being assimilated to rear wheels only, just like its predecessors.

Toyota Fortuner

Taking on the drivability it can be said, previous and this new one are almost the same, in fact they both run with neck-to-neck outputs on line. There is still no deployment of tip tronic, pedal shifters and so others, while one has to do only with just a normal arrangement in spite of shelling out huge bucks.

Gear ratios are the one to be talked about, as first, second and third given with the shorter dispensing, meanwhile third and fourth goes with the normal bang. Writing down the actual respirations on a leaf, it was noticed, there is nothing like miraculous difference in both the gearboxes while new the test drive Package is not so faster on the higher revs, not actually when the speedometer flicks between 40-100 kmph. Upshifts goes very well but one has to struggle a lot while moving downwards, we have been fed up of driving it in the lower stance because it takes its own time to move in lower jerks, must say not a seamless refinement, still need to be worked upon. Very importantly, if you have to go from the standstill to the ‘L’ mode then be ready to jolt the lever by seven times for moving just from ‘P’ to ‘L’.

Taking into traffic, the result wasn’t so outstanding that the competitor tends to yield and actually they yields as well, not just only the claiming part like Toyota. Our expectations were being drenched by water all over it when we took the new Fortuner amid sluggish bumper to bumper jams. To an etent it was cool but those teasing are not meant for some 3.0 liter 168 bhp powerplant.

Toyota Fortuner Interior

Fed up of the tugs and all, we then steer to the right and managed our route towards highway, where a breezy start under the swift looking aerodynamics took place. Highway performance was actually better than city, yet the same problem of bulky design and aggressive stance lugs around it which deprives from stability for over a long run at three digit speed flicks.

On interiors, as we had earlier said, there are no major advancements on the cosmetic front but it almost look like the same a bit tad to that of four speed automatic version. On an important note over here, every nick and nack is very similar to that of the outgoing model, nor even there is special badging to bifurcate this newbie form others. Only it exclaimed when one will see gearbox and its indication on the instrument cluster. Meanwhile, first and second row are done very spaciously but the third one seems a bit cramped with knees-up seating arrangement, a very bad feel to the SUV moniker which it holds very proudly under its nose.

Overall, what we can say for the new Fortuner is, it still stands on the expensive posture in entire range, yet further refinement is needed, and the new 5 speed automatic feels something from the pre-historic era, where nowadays world is driving some genius sort of refinement unlike to the Toyota’s old school strategy. We did not trig the fuel economy, but hope it maybe better than the previous sludge. Let us remind you, don’t speculate something extra ordinary on this one, otherwise you would be solely disappointed when went down to the prescribed figures of brochure and such materials. Being priced at Rs. 22.33 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), it is a buy from the heart and from mind, because Fortuner’s stances of something like Prado and Land Cruiser may appeal to you over drivability, given to us we may go for a pre owned Mercedes Benz GL Class rather than this one. Merc is no doubt an assimilation of luxury and power both, if one thinks of the status quo as well then also German stands tall then the Japanese.

Toyota Fortuner Exterior

Our ratings goes at 4/10 for this Fortuner, must needed improvement on technicalities if its makers want to excel in the congesting market scenario, where sometimes a difference of Re. 1 may eat up the sales of competitor.

Meanwhile, just scroll to see what does it had at least stored for us.

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price    Rs 22.33 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Engine

[table id=119 /]

Transmission

  • Gearbox    5-speed auto

Dimensions

[table id=120 /]

Suspension

  • Front    Independent, double wishbone
  • Rear    Non-independent, 4-link

Brakes

[table id=121 /]

Suzuki Teases Authentics Concept for Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the most rewarded events for South East Asian fraternity, and whatever is displayed on that paddock plays an important role for Indian clout too.

Lest of all the knowledge distribution, we want to exclaim, Maruti had teased Authentics Concept for Shanghai Auto Show!

There are not many information on the Authentics’ antiquity but it will be a C-segment sedan with all the sporty tweaks, as being derived from its first appearance.

There looks a tremendous use of chrome on all the part and even dual exhausts finds itself cosseted in same crispy shining tweaks. Headlamps tend to be sweptback and new set of alloys with a bit of blackish pinning fills all the sportiness to core. Most tempting factor over here is tail lamps, which had grabbed all the attention due to an exclusive rejuvenation being worked on it.

Suzuki Authentics concept
On an expectation, we find its curves resembling to Swift models of present era, as the headlamps looks inclined in similar design format. At other side of flip, Authentics might have taken cues from Toyota Furia Concept of Detroit Motor Show as well; that’s because lethal combination of executive attire and sports are traded on this one too, which is a rare combination in the industry and very few brands like Hyundai and Volvo flaunt it with pride in production spec, not including Toyota as of now.

Getting back to the start again, India had received same version of China debuted Mercedes Benz G63 AMG, so likely same type of aura goes strong with this ‘sports-executive’.

Suzuki Authentics concept Back View

Lastly, golden paint job is some sort of new flick that may Honda City will also envy, meanwhile Japanese are cashing extensively on that particular shade of their flagship model.

Sahara Force India signs long term agreement with Mercedes-Benz

Sahara Force India has signed a long term agreement with the engine supplier Mercedes. This will enable Sahara Force India to use their full powertrain from the 2014 formula one season. According to the agreement, Mercedes-Benz will be now responsible for supplying complete power unit for Force India which will include internal combustion engine with the energy recovery system, gear boxes and hydraulic systems.

Mercedes has been supplying engines to the Sahara Force India team from the year 2009 and the alliance has now reached its fifth season. Speaking on the same, Vijay Mallya, Team Principal, Sahara Force India, said that the new agreement with the Mercedes-Benz for the upcoming year is one of the most significant deal in the history of Sahara Force India. However, he didn’t take McLaren’s name.

He further added that as Formula One will be experiencing a new powertrain regulation from next year, Sahara Force India can’t think of a better partner to work with as the next season will enter into a new era to excitement. Mentioning the future of the agreement and the long term stability with the deal he said that the deal will allow them to continue their journey in the front line of the Formula One grid.

Sahara Force India F1 Team
From next year Formula One race will began with an all new engine. A new engine has already been assigned for the next 2014 season. Currently the Formula One cars are powered by a 2.4 litre V8 engine which is ought to be replaced by another turbocharged 1.6 litre V6 unit that will be equipped with heat and kinetic energy recovery systems. The new engine is seen as a go green initiative from the Formula One.

Motorsport head of the Mercedes-Benz, Toto Wolf said that, the long term nature of the agreement also offers an excellent balance between the price and the performance of the engine. He also hoped that the new agreement will mean that both the teams, i.e. Sahara Force India and Mercedes-Benz will be working together for the entire life of the new generation of the powertrain. The collaboration will surely help Sahara Force India which is still struggling on the track to gain some respectful position.

Jaguar F-Type bags the award for 2013 World Design Car of the year

About 43 cars were considered for this prestigious award and the selection procedure was carried out by advisory panel of design experts before the final consideration for the 66 World Car of the Year jury members. Director of design at Jaguar, Ian Callum said that none of the design project has given him more pleasure than working on the F-TYPE. He further added that this is the project he has been looking forward to, since he joined Jaguar. He also said that it is the one project that has given a great satisfaction to him and his team. The F-TYPE represents true design value of Jaguar, purity of form, beauty of line. He also added that he felt quite honored that jury has chosen to recognize their work and consider them for this prestigious award.

The advisory panel speaking on the F-TYPE said that, the long wheelbase, short overhangs and flared fenders provides a better stance to this car. The contour in the plan view tapered towards the door concentrates on the muscular rear fender that also houses the driven wheels.

Jaguar F-Type
The exterior of the car, represents the Jaguar’s elegance in terms of horizontal proportions and rounded surfaces, yet giving it a more dynamic look. But panel said that the interior is quite attractive. The cabin is clearly driver oriented and grip bar for the passenger has been nicely embedded with the big central console. The designs of the seats are also pleasant.

The award was collected by the Global Brand Director of Jaguar, Adrian Hallmark at the New York International Auto Show. Speaking on the occasion he said that the F-TYPE is the first full blood Jaguar sports car to be launched for more than 50 years. He also said that the architecture and technology used in the car are at the par and vehicle has been wrapped with the progressive design that can only be a Jaguar. It is dynamic and refined as any Jaguar car and it also proposes unique proposition and price perspective. These features have clearly made an impact on the juries and quite honored to receive this award. The new F-TYPE is really a superb car which will carry the Jaguar legacy further.

VW Golf bagged World Car of the year 2013

The Volkswagen Golf has been branded as the World Car of the Year at the New York Auto Show. This is second consecutive year Volkswagen has fetched this prestigious award and fourth time since year 2009. The Volkswagen Golf VI grabbed the award back in 2009 followed by Polo in 2010 and Volkswagen UP in 2012.

The Golf was selected from an initial list of over 42 new vehicles from all over the world. The list was then further shortened to 10 vehicles and then again selecting 4 vehicles out these 10. The final four shortlisted vehicles were; Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Mercedes-Benz A-class, a combined entry Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota 86/GT 86 and Volkswagen Golf.

Volkswagen Golf 2013 World Car of the Year
To be eligible for the World Car of the Year award, the particular vehicle should be available for sale in at least two continents during the period that starts from January 1, 2012 to May 30, 2013. The vehicles are selected and voted by the prestigious jury panel that compromises of 66 top level automotive journalist from around 23 countries.

Volkswagen Golf

Maruti Launches SX4 Facelift

SX4 is the big beast from Maruti stable and was in quite desperate need of facelift in recent times.

Maruti had been playing a lot tweaks on it but it didn’t made to that least targeted point in sales chart. Though, now carmaker can hope a lot from the facelift version that it had rolled out just now.

The facelift SX4 is now made available with cosmetic tweaks and not the technical ones. The 1.6 liter petrol and 1.3 liter DDIS diesel stands frugal with enhanced fuel efficiency on technical part with more of refinements on interiors as well as exteriors.

Significantly redesigned front grille and 10mm longer wheelbase makes the facelift SX4 more aggressive than ever before.

2013 Maruti Suzuki SX4 facelift
Interiors seems to be more blushed with the flourishing features like multimedia screen which is the master locale of various functions namely, navigation, music system, mobile connectivity for playing track etc.

In the new generation, two shades are only represented on the offer list namely Serene Blue and Granite Grey, unlike to that of four options for the outgoing model. VXi, ZXi, VDi, ZDi are the variants that will feature the new SX4, while CNG is foiled in the base category VXi only.

Prices starts at Rs. 7.38 lakh for base Petrol (VXi) and soars upto Rs. 9.21 lakhs for high end diesel (ZDi). All the price tags are ex-showroom Delhi.

Maruti had played with ‘Ace of mileage’ on this model and we have mentioned below in the tabular form. There doesn’t seems to be the major difference in three of them, as per to their official data, but only actual test run will divulge what is the reality behind it.

[table id=118 /]

Suzuki to Soon Roll Up Its Operation from Canada As Well

Some days back, Suzuki had rolled up its operation from US and now it seems that the next turn is towards Canada. Though, one can say that, may both of the countries be sharing similar vibes to an extent.

The rattling sound from Suzuki’s Canadian operation was started sneaking since the last November, when US based sister company announced its exit from the venture. The carmaker tried too hard to sustain operations in that territory but failed to comply with output against the costing figures.

Suzuki will now focus on motorcycles, ATV and marine engine business in the Canadian division, while warranties and spare parts would also be looked upon after the exit, so that existing number of vehicles may not get rusted down in garages during their life.

Suzuki to Roll Up Its Operation from Canada
On a conclusion, around 55 dealers are scattered in the whole of Canada who managed to sell just 5,458 cars in 2012, and another 30% drop in sales had been experienced for first three months of 2013. All these strata had lead to built Canadian-spec vehicles also.

Suzuki will leave the Canadian territory after completing ‘2014 model year’ there itself, without filing bankruptcy.

However, the quitting decision is not a big surprise for Canadian dealers, as per one of them, “Suzuki sales have been slowing down for the past few years […] Suzuki is a strong company worldwide but their share in North America was so small that they weren’t making money […] so they made a business decision.”

Yet, it is still not confirmed that whether Suzuki will follow the suit during exit or not.

Volkswagen UP Caught Testing in India

Volkswagen is in the force to catch up with small cars sales, as had experienced a good response from its Gol in various down the line markets. Though, what does matter here is that, India too is on the hit list and might see some of the cool German offering in near future.

Making it more lucrative, Volkswagen Up is caught testing in India undisguised. It is looking beautiful as like always, in the white paint job and black colored tailgate with red cuddling tail lamps. Overall, this was not the first time that anyone had spotted it in India but there were numerous other occasions where such sort of spy pics has surfaced in past. It is a five door version for Indian shore, being placed below the Polo. Need not to say, Polo will only share some of its tips with its younger sibling so as competitors like Chevrolet Beat, Hyundai Eon etc would feel heat from the parent company Volkswagen.

Long list of speculated features inclines towards “Up”-ward direction only, but there would not be some degraded quality compromises for keeping the price tag as low as possible, Germans are very peculiar about their standards so their image reflects in automotive engineering fraternity.

Volkswagen Up caught testing

However, Up may scale 1.2 liter 3 cylinder petrol in initial stages but would also spruce up to 1.2 liter diesel in the near future as looking forward towards present market scenario.

Future of Up looks bright in India because, there lies a large chunk of buyers for Alto and if they would be landed with German tagged product in the same price range then, at least one shot is reserved for  Volkswagen as well.

These spy pics are taken in Pune by Motorbash.com

Till then one can have a feast upon its features that is meant to be boarded for Indian specific, in the below mentioned table.

  • Name:    UP!
  • Car Body Type:    Hatchback
  • Segment:    B Segment
  • Warranty:    –

ENGINE SPECIFICATIONS

[table id=116 /]

OTHER SPECIFICATIONS

[table id=117 /]

Image Courtesy – motorbash.com

New small engines are in the development phase for Tata Motors

According to the sources, Tata Motors is working on a range of new small engines for the Indian market. These engines will be housed in the two upcoming variants of Nano Hatchback, branded as Nano Diesel and Nano 800. The engines will be more fuel efficient and will be able to produce high torque on demand. Currently the engine is in test phase and it is quite difficult to speculate an adequate time for their addition to the Nano fleet.

Currently Tata Nano is being powered by a 624 cc petrol engine, which is already one of the most fuel efficient engines in the country. Tata Motors is planning to step ahead with the introduction of the Diesel and CNG variant of the car in 2013. If the Tata Motors houses 800 cc engine in the Nano then it surely will give a tough competition to the segment leader Maruti Alto 800. The Tata Nano scores more in terms of passenger space. Although car looks smaller from outside it still beats Alto 800 in terms of space. Nano is comparatively easier to park in the congested city parking and also hires a more effective air conditioning system. Despite of the several pros, pricing will be the one factor that will be playing a crucial role over here.

Tata Nano

Nano with a diesel powertrain is expected to be priced at around Rs. 2.5 lakhs. With a price like this it will be one of the cheapest diesel cars in the Indian market. But most of the experts want Tata to work on noise, vibrations, and harshness in the vehicle. In addition to that the diesel power house will also make this vehicle heavy that will be affecting its performance and acceleration. The new engine will help Tata to push up Nano sales. Currently several models of Nano are being stocked at Sanand Plant in Gujarat and it is also believed that the Jamshedpur plant will also remain closed for 11 days as a part of periodic maintenance. Most of the industry experts believe that refreshment is required in the Nano campaign to target wider variety of audience. Though the sale of Tata Nano and other vehicles are currently running at a slow pace but it is hoped that it will gain some momentum in coming months.

Creators of Sexy Ads for Ford Figo are Fired

Creators of the sexy ads for Ford India are now fired, and they should be, because India is still dwindling with outrageous of Delhi rape case and these guys were going with another sort of nuisance.

Lest of all, Ford India had apologized for the same while the outsourced advertising firm WPP too had sent an apologetic email. WPP added, those visuals were created by the JWT India (a unit of WPP) where individuals themselves had only created and posted visuals on internet sites, without the consent of organization. Those grievances were not even ordered by Ford India, and it is their own piece of creativity.

In the advertisement, one can see former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi behind steering wheel with tied-up girls in the boot of his Figo. This same sort of scenario is done with Paris Hilton and Michael Schumacher with Kadarshian trios and Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Sebestian Vettel in their trunk respective of hatchbacks. On conclusion, all the three posters mentioned “leave your worries behind”, which now seems worries had become a vying factor for the officials itself. It will be interesting to see where they will leave those worries, on a new Boss or his newly setup Organization!

Creators of Sexy Ads for Ford Figo

Ford Figo Celebration Edition is a new launch from the American carmakers and is expected to snatch some of the market share in hatchback segment at a near future, meanwhile, EcoSport is also in the pipeline slated to launch somewhere after June.