Hyundai Sets up a New Test Centre at Nurburgring: Germans be Careful

Nurburgring of Germany is the famous name in automotive industry as it puts the world’s toughest strain on a car during test drives, most probably for those who are going in the arena of sports car fraternity. Till date only the best are known to be qualifying this track, which is quite true. Here as a common trend, for capturing most of the time slots, carmakers had built up a R&D centre inside the track area itself, which now the Germans are seeing a new setup coming up at one of the spots there. And that particular setup belongs to none other than “Hyundai”. The carmaker who had hailed from Korea with not-so-heavy-bunch of expectation is now ruling the industry of automobiles, just had made to fourth position as per the recently released sales reports.

Talking about the structure, it is still under construction, but the remaining work is said to be completed till August 2013. Standing tall on all the aspects, racetrack based R&D centre will stack up four floors of construction, with glass framing for most of the portions on building, and also a well hospitalized area to entertain VIPs during their visits, said to be its major physical image setter there.

New Hyundai test centre at the Nurburgring
With the entire things in place, Hyundai is set take on unconquered markets under a systematic approach via this centre. Commenting on this development, Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, said, “Quality is one of Hyundai’s core values and it is key to achieving customer satisfaction.  The Nurburgring is the ultimate location to test vehicle durability, and we’re able to apply what we learn there to all of our vehicle development projects”. He further added “Our new facility will increase our testing capacity, bringing direct benefits to our customers in terms of vehicle quality and performance.”

Hyundai too had managed to set the bar of 180,000 kms test runs for the span of several weeks’ tests. Hence, now the quality, style, ride, handling and durability will definitely tick in the boxes of check list for every Hyundai customers and drivers.

Mercedes Benz To Launch B Class Diesel Soon

Recently fondled over the A Class launch, we were also speculating the B Class diesel to make a debut there itself. But to our contradiction there did not come any of the other badges than this and finally we were made to walk out of the venue with only a press kit of niche hatchback. But today, news came in plunging to our expectations that, Mercedes Benz had said to roll out B Class diesel in the span of next few weeks, which we can accumulate the period by end of this June.

Initially B Class was done only with the petrol motor since launch but looking at the rising demand of diesel makers learnt the importance of oil burners in Indian kitty. But disappointingly they had delayed a lot for bringing in the diesel on B moniker, because a gap of 1 year is actually a big stretch between the debut of two various trims in same model plate. Just last year, B Class was the cheapest Merc in India but now A Class is said to get placed in that particular boot. However, A Class had brought in both the options of fuel so a good amount of result is witnessed in the pre-launch activity era itself. In spite these many days B station wagon had lost a cool number of buyers to competitors in the respective Rs. 20-30 lakh pricing range.

Mercedes Benz B Class

However, we seem the new B Class diesel will prove in the best for further roads but the pricing should be casted in competitive criterion only.

2013 Opel Corsa Ecoflex Seen Testing in India

2013 Opel Corsa is seen doing tests rounds in India, which one of us maybe thinking that it’s getting ready for the local launch. But contradicting to our expectations, we came to know the test mule that is seen here is not for the launch but the owner of Opel i.e. GM tries seeking outputs from it for the derivation to be applied on India-specific various Chevrolet models. However, there is a strong reason for such, as said; the General Motors may be vying to get in boots right against Maruti and Hyundai. Though the previous attempt of Sail sedan and many more had went into vain for them, so the carmaker would have thought of giving these bugs a rocket shoot with the new flicks.

If thought of getting this vehicle on our local grounds then we learnt, speculations for such is a waste of time, because price tags of getting Corsa (in India) will tear the roof of hatchback segment, as it seems not tending to fall efficient in the respective repertoire of government’s taxation system.

Opel Corsa Ecoflex
The spy shot is taken in Bengaluru where the R&D centre of GM is situated. And when speaking the language of engine, it was revealed Opel Corsa Ecoflex sports 1.4L petrol motor that churns out 87bhp. And if given with the turbocharger then the results can be compiled to that of Mercedes Benz A Class and all, sitting in between with 120PS with 200Nm of torque. This similar type of trend can also be witnessed in the recently launched Polo GT TSI and the upcoming Ford EcoSport.

Hence, many of us may be thinking what model plates that GM will use to get this technology as a part of the clear competitive sweep. It is surfaced; Sail and Cruze are the badges that can do justice with it if given aspirations of turbocharger under their hoods.

2013 Opel Corsa Ecoflex Seen Testing

However, we think if the America based automaker try to look into the way of diesel for such temperament then the worked-out exercise may get in better results than the expectations. Hope so got the point!

Image Courtesy – Overdrive.in

Rolls Royce Launches Wraith in Dubai, India Launch Soon

Rolls Royce Wraith is the fastest yet sportiest Rolls ever produced from the stable of British carmaker, which is also able to do Nürburgring with great speed in spite of being loaded with a heavy kerb of luxury on board. That’s what it makes this niche bug to stand out from the rivals of horizon. As we said ‘niche’, then it means one of the debut to also happen in the land of oil rich Sheikhs, who are the actual merchants of possessing such metal gems wisely. Rolls just got right and now it held the launching ceremony of Wraith in Dubai at AGMC, the local dealer of Rolls-Royce Motor Car in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates recently.

Commenting on the launch, Osman Abdelmoneim , General Manager , AGMC, said, “Despite being revealed for the first time today, the Wraith is already an astounding success in the UAE. Our limited allocations for 2013 are completely sold out and the order books are looking very healthy. Wraith will definitely attract a new demographic to the brand, it is a car that will appeal to a slightly younger audience, and one that will quickly establish itself as the ultimate gentleman’s gran tourismo.”

Rolls Royce Launches Wraith in Dubai
Need not to divulge more of the light on this tranquility, but we already knew, Wraith is a two door coupe tempted with the sweepy fastback design and the dramatic two-tone presentation on exteriors. Powering this coupe is a powerful V12 engine under hoods mated with a 8-speed automatic ZF transmission gearing out all the bumps at 624 bhp and 465kW of maximum torque, which turns the 0-60 mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds.

However, the organization did not revealed the exact numbers of bespoken model plate sold in UAE, but we expect a good amount of chunk to appear soon from the order books of first phase. Not much to say for this model plate on India launch, but we recently learnt that, Rolls Royce Wraith will make debut on our land by this July itself, slated if everything went right as per to the pre-launch requirements.  Moreover, RR is also considering extending the network support by a couple of new showrooms, called to be inaugurated in Indian cities of Chandigarh and Ahmedabad, whilst of the existing ones in Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.

Mahindra’s fourth quarter profit rises by 42 percent

Mahindra and Mahindra announced the financial result for the 4th quarter which ended on 31st March 2013. The gross revenue and the other income of the Mahindra and Mahindra ltd. And MVML (entity) were Rs. 11342.3 crore in comparison to the Rs. 10333.6 crore last year- a growth of 9.8 percent. The profit on the exceptional item and tax for the current year was at Rs. 1230.4 crore against Rs. 868.0 crore last year with a growth of 41.8 percent. The operating margin for the combined entity has increased from 12.0 percent last year to current 14.4 percent. The strict focus on the cost control and strong performance by auto sector has rendered to this incredible growth.

During the current quarter Mahindra gathered an exceptional profit of Rs. 90.6 crore arise by the sale of 34 lakhs shares of the subsidiary Mahindra Holdings and Resorts India Ltd. in the Q4 last year. The net profit after the exceptional item tax were Rs. 962.9 crore in compare to the Rs. 911.3 crore in Q4 last year.

Mahindra's fourth quarter profit rises by 42 percent

In the passenger vehicle segment the entity sold about 72076 vehicles in the current quarter with a growth of about 23 percent over the last year. All the product in the UV segment continues to do good and company continues its leadership position with market share of 47.8 percent. In the car segment Mahindra sold 3747 Veritos. It also exported 776 vehicles in current quarter.

The domestic tractor industry showed a decline of 1.7 percent in the current quarter, the company sold 46107 tractors under Mahindra Swaraj brand against the 48517 tractors last year. The company’s market share during the quarter was 37.2 percent. The company also exported 3767 tractors in the last quarter. The Powerol business also saw a growth of 20.8 percent at Rs. 283.6 crore in quarter 4 in compare to the Rs. 234.9 crore last year.

Audi Working on A3 MPV

As considering the A3 badge to be rolled out on Indian shores very soon, we now got our hands on the piece of news that Audi is working on A3 MPV version for getting the best out of compact. This news is directly dispatched from the bay of R&D boss Wolfgang Durheimer who claims that the concept version of A3 Sportback in MPV avatar will make public debut sometime by next year i.e. in early 2014.

Commenting further on, Durheimer added “I think there is definitely room for rational cars or family cars in the Audi line-up. But they have to be stylish, like any Audi.”

Not much of the technical details this time but we speculate the Volkswagen’s MQB to pin it underneath, which will be about 200mm longer than the conventional A3 Sportback.

Audi A3 MPV
However, with just the recent launch of Mercedes Benz A Class on Indian shores, competition is really heated up here and the competitors are also finding more cues to draw chunk of the shares from respective segment. Well, Audi is now said to be chalking out the plans for A1 local debut very instantly whilst of the Bavarians for 1 Series, which are an immediate rivals to the newly launched Merc hatchback.

Ashok Leyland Stile Caught Testing

After previewing the vehicle at 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, Ashok Leyland is taking its own time to debut it on Indian shores. However, it was learnt that, some of the problems had occurred in between the vehicle’s development, which we expect could have delayed it from reaching the debut platform very shortly after preview.

Hence, no to disappointment, the Ashok Leyland Stile is caught testing recently. Must say, this maybe the final set of test rounds called for the launch that is slated to happen nearby on 16th June 2013. Stile is basically a rebadged version of Nissan Evalia, which moreover looks like the same Japanese badge from all angles, but is wearing a different front fascia and tail lamp cluster as its major signature blocks.

Ashok Leyland Stile Caught Testing
As also learnt, stile is going to make appearance in two engine variants i.e. diesel and CNG. And also there are enough chances for it to borrow the renowned 1.5 liter Renault K9K turbocharged diesel jag from the Evalia churning out output impressively 85 bhp and 200 Nm of peak torque, all under the guise of five speed manual gearbox. We expect the CNG version to appear soon after the roll out, because Ashok Leyland is quite famous for the low maintenance cost and rigidity, which this bug will provide enough of them, and must say, would be sufficient for the taxi and yellow number plate owners to own it in large numbers.

Ashok Leyland Stile Caught Testing Back View

Image Courtesy – IndianAutosBlog.com

2015 Ford Endeavour (Everest) spotted testing

Even though Ford had announced on stopping its production in the Australian market, the story does not end here because the plant will continue working on concepts and production of cars for the global market.

And Endeavour (also called Everest in the Asian market) is also an Australian development product.

Expectations are that the next up-dated 7-seat Endeavour’s development shall begin in Thailand after a public revealing by the second half of 2014. Recently the next-generation Everest was spotted test driving on the roads.

Ford Endeavour

As per sources, the test vehicle was wearing panels that belong to Territory-Another one of Ford’s machine. Nevertheless the next-generation Everest is going to be completely different in style compared to the Territory. The test mule is also loaded with the new Ranger Panels.

Sources say the next-gen Everest will have a shorter wheelbase than the Ranger, this feature will give a much better drivability especially along the off-road capabilities.

Ford Endeavour Back View

Meanwhile, back in India, Ford India is full gear in preparing the launch of EcoSport and expectations are the next-gen Ford Endeavour will be the next up-coming vehicle in our country.

Courtesy : Carsguide

BMW X5 revealed

The new 3rd generation of the BMW X5 will come with a 2.0 Litre four-cylinder diesel engine in some markets and a rear wheel drive that will push this SUV towards more fuel efficiency. The new BMW X5 will be making its official debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The decision to expand the engine choices has been copied from the Mercedes, which did the same for its M Class. However, the decision to offer a rear wheel drive is one of the first in the highly competitive luxury SUV segment.

The new vehicle internally code named as F 15, has been designed in an unique approach that sustains its upright profile and traditional features like its two piece tail-gate. The distinguishing changes are the front kidney grille, which is now much broader and LED imblued headlamp that sits just beside the chrome that surrounds the grille.

BMW X5 revealed
Overall the SUV hires more structured look than its predecessor, greater contouring at the bonnet, more eminent shoulder line and added feature line along the lower side of doors. The tall glasshouse still remains the key design element that starts from original E53 model that was launched back in 1999.

The vehicle is about 4886mm in length, about 1938mm wide and 1762 mm in height. It comes with the 2933mm wheelbase same as the second generation X5 but the tracks are now 4mm shorter both at front and rear end.

The new BMW has received more luxurious interior with the styling that follows the long line of recent BMW. Buyers have the option of two rear seat configurations , a fixed 40/20/40 split fixed seats and a newly developed 70/30 split that can adjust longitudinally to free up the leg space for the third row. Boot capacity has been raised by 30 litre and now stands at 650 litres.

BMW X5 is based on the slightly modified version of the monocoque steel platform.  Use of light weight techniques has led to the reduction of ample amount of weight.  The chassis is quite similar to the one that was used by the previous model with the double wishbone in the front and multi-link at the rear.

BMW X5 Back View

In the global line-up it will be offering a turbocharged 4.4 litre V8 petrol unit that churns out 444 bhp in xDrive50i and a turbocharged 3.0 litre in six cylinder common rail diesel with 245 bhp xDrive30d. The heavily loaded turbocharged 3.0 litre inline six cylinder common rail diesel delivers 376 bhp in the performance xDrive M50d, which claims to hit 100 kmph in just 5.3 seconds.

Three more versions will be added to the line-up after the launch, including the first four cylinder version in X5, the turbocharged 2.0 litre diesel delivering 215 bhp. This trim will be available both in 4 wheel drive xDrive25d and for the first time with a rear wheel drive sDrive25d.

Another version also planned is turbocharged 3.0 litre inline six cylinder that turns out 309 bhp in xDrive40d and another 302 bhp version with 3.0 litre inline six cylinder petrol engine xDrive35i.

BMW X5 Back View

BMW has yet not announced the successor of X5 but it is sure to be added to the 2014 lineup and will be following the X6 M. both will be getting the tweaked version of twin turbocharged 4.4 litre V8 that will be delivering 560 bhp. This engine is also used in m5 and M6.

The car will be produced at BMW’s plant in Spartanburg in South Carolina.

Volvo grabs NCAP Innovation award

Volvo’s pioneering work on the pedestrian protection has received the award from the 2013 Global NCAP Innovation. The award was received by the Lotta Jakobsson senior technical specialist at Volvo Car Safety Center.

At the ESV conference, Jakobsson showed the presentation about the Volvo cars that possess outstanding achievement in pedestrian protection. She presented the paper that described the new pedestrian protection technology used in the new Volvo V40.

The main purpose of the pedestrian airbag is to protect the road dwellers from the impact when they hit the bonnet or the windscreen, where the risk of head injury is quite high.

In china about 25 percent of the traffic casualties are pedestrians, in Europe the figure is 14 percent and USA 12 percent. Far more number of pedestrians got injured in the traffic. Most of the lethal injuries are caused by the hard structure of the car like windscreen and A-pillars.

Volvo Car

In 2010 Volvo launched the pedestrian detection system with full auto brake. The system was able to avoid collision at the speed up to 35kmph. At the higher speed it tends to reduce the car’s speed as much as possible.

Seven sensors are embedded in front of the car that transmits signal to a control unit. When car comes in contact with an object the control unit then evaluates that if it happens to be a human like figure then the pedestrian airbag will be deployed.

The bonnet hinge has been made with the pyrotechnical release mechanism that pulls out a pin and releases the rear of bonnet. During the inflation of the airbag bonnet is raised by up to 10 cms.

Volvo grabs 2013 Global NCAP Innovation Award

These added gaps allow the bonnet to absorb the energy which results in damping effect in order to reduce injury to pedestrian’s head and chest.