Fiat Uno NEW!

The all NEW! Fiat Uno….

Yes, Fiat has finally decided to go through its archives and use a brand name which once was its bread and butter, the UNO

The first thing that comes to mind is all the POLICIA! cars in the European movies I have seen, but that apart the Uno was always one of the most important platforms in the history of Fiat and was also voted European car of the year in 1984

Now after more than 20 years, and a drastic change in the demographics of the traditional small car markets with Fuel and going GREEN as the new 21st century issues, a car this size and profile makes immense sense to a manufacturer having significant presence in small cars

Looking at the dimensions, the car looks pretty small and despite Fiat’s presence in the US through Chrysler, it is very unlikely for the car to be launched in North America

However it looks very promising for emerging markets like India, China , Brazil and its traditional home turf – Europe

Engine options may vary from 1 to 1.4 litre depending on respective configurations more so when Fiat wants to position this car somewhere between the Panda and the Grande Punto

Official figures and specs are yet to be revealed. Check this space for more on the NEW Uno

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Dakar returns to Argentina/Chile

How many of us are amazed by the seer scale of rallying when it comes to DAKAR?

An entire generation has grown up watching the Mitsubishi Pajero win numerous Paris-Dakar rallies over the years

And who can ignore the giant Kamaz and Tatra trucks and those BMW’s and KTM’s?

The popularity of Dakar over the years has increased dramatically. Its no longer an event just for the hardcore rally enthusiasts. Past couple of years have seen many new entrants; new fans by roadside which resembles more a WRC scene than a traditional Dakar

The rally of 2008 was cancelled due to security concerns and for 2009, the event left its traditional Sahara sand dunes to the more rocky terrain of South America

And contrary to the opinions of many, it turned out to be very successful and so the Dakar returned to the same venue for its 2010 event

Now after Carlos Sainz finally winning in the Volkswagen, with KTM and Kamaz continuing their stronghold in Bikes and Trucks respectively, all eyes are set for the next years reunion

Next year, Dakar returns to Argentina/Chile and will be held from January 1st to 16th 2011

For the calender of events click here

For next years route click here

Registration will start in May 2010

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

If you ever get to see that “Emirates (airline)” TV commercial..

Don’t miss the punch line “When was the last time, you did something for the first time”

And trust me, the very thing happened to me the first time I saw this beauty called the “Giulietta” (pronounce it more as Juliette)

Never seen a 5 door hatch and yelled “WOW”

Yes, this is the latest beauty from the Italian sculptors better known to the world as Alfa Romeo

History: The car has a lot of heritage riding on the wheels, well atleast the name has. Alfa first manufactured the Giulietta compact in the 50’s and now has reintroduced the brand

The car just looks awesome, the design cues are continued from the MiTO and surprisingly they were able to fit in the 5 doors and still make it look compact. The nose and front bumper are have more curves than expected but the new headlamp cluster compliments the other two.

Insides are supposed to be more airier than the more cramped MiTo and the huge sunroof helps the cause

Engines: Alfa has put all its tech on the run at launch. Giulietta has 4 engines, so the options are plenty for every need with 2 each of petrol and diesel with six-speed manual transmission on all four engine

Petrols are 1.4-liter turbo fours with 120 or 170 horsepower (MultiAir variable valve technology on the latter)

Turbo -diesel with capacities 1.6 and 2 liters and producing 105 and 170 hp

A 235bhp beast is supposed to follow soon

A real catch for this car is the niche upscale stance that it commands which puts it in direct contention for the best compact among the likes of Audi A3 and the BMW 1 series. This said the price will be pegged in the Ford Focus region

This will help Alfa cater to the needs of both the segments and they’ve got a real winner on their side…

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Yamaha YBR

Yamaha is set to launch its 110cc bike named YBR today

The company targets to hold 10% market share & I think this explains why a company like Yamaha would target this segment (and ignoring what the company is really known for)

Though they have failed in similar attempts before (recall crux ,alba, G5 etc) and i believe that they should still be away from this segment

Honestly Yamaha FZ is the most stable Indian bike I have ever rode but even then they are not upto what Yamaha can really provide

Honestly I believe Japanese companies are fooling us as similar offerings in other South East Asian markets are much better both in performance and quality standards

The bike does’t look good either(Atleast Honda has done something new with their 110cc)

Also it costs a whoping Rs41000. We have better option at this cost so I dont think this bike will really work unless one gets a John Abrahim dinner along with the bike

It seems Yamaha, after all the praise for the FZ and R15  has got it wrong all over again

ENGINE SPECIFICATION

Maximum Power: 7.5 Bhp @ 7500 rpm
Maximum Torque:

Gears:

7.8 Nm @ 6000 rpm

4

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Yamaha R125

No its not R15

Does it look like one?

This actually is the R125 available in U.K and definitely what we expect from Yamaha here in India. See it and feel it,  its more sharp, more sporty overall more Yamaha compared to R15 what we get here.

Though R15 is more powerful machine but it does not give the feel of riding something special.

A basic comparison in design , and one can see the difference

Check  the rear panel of R15 its almost same as Gladiator ,the tail light , the exhaust etc etc. R125 is far more better than R15(ofcourse its short by 2 bhp)

Dont know why Yamaha has not provided these features in R15

Anyways  I can only hope for Yamaha to consider seriously about what should and what they can provide here in Indian market. They should take the challenge and stop flowing with the flow and stop trying hard with low end segments.

Hope to see some good machines like this here in India

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

Features
  • Free-revving, fuel injected 4-stroke engine
  • Aggressive R-series styling
  • 6-speed transmission
  • Deltabox frame and aluminium swinging arm
  • Large diameter disc brakes
ENGINE
Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single cylinder, 4-valve, SOHC
Displacement: 124.66 cc
Bore x stroke: 52.0 x 58.6 mm
Compression ratio: 11.2 : 1
Maximum power: 11.0 kW (15 PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Maximum torque: 12.24 Nm (1.25 kg-m) @ 8,000 rpm
Lubrication system: Wet sump
Carburettor: Fuel injection
Clutch type: Wet, multiple-disc coil spring
Ignition system: TCI
Starter system: Electric
Transmission system: Constant mesh, 6-speed
Final transmission: Chain
Fuel tank capacity: 13.8 L
Oil tank capacity: 1.15 L
CHASIS
Chassis: Steel Deltabox
Front suspension system: Telescopic forks
Front travel: 130 mm
Rear suspension system: Swingarm (monocross)
Rear travel: 125 mm
Caster angle 24.2°
Trail 86.1 mm
Front brake: Single disc, Ø 292 mm
Rear brake: Single disc, Ø 230 mm
Front tyre: 100/80-17 M/C
Rear tyre: 130/70-17 M/C
DIMENSIONS
Length (mm): 2,015 mm
Width (mm): 660 mm
Height (mm): 970 mm
Seat height (mm): 818 mm
Wheel base (mm): 1,355 mm
Minimum ground clearance (mm): 155 mm
Service weight (kg) 138 kg

This what expected from Yamaha and other Japanese bikes from

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Mercedes Benz S-400 Hybrid

The S class has always been the flagship offering from Mercedes Benz

Business Tycoons, Political leaders, Sports/Film superstars….you name them , and they’ve got one

And so finally , as a responsibility rather than a necessity, Mercedes decided to go GREEN with this super long, super luxury, super machine.

Last year, we all saw the rise of the BlueTec variants of all major models in the Merc line up

And now this year, they went a step ahead and installed the lithium-ion batteries inside the S class and made it a Hybrid with a promising figure of 30 mpg (wow)

Now that is quite descent for a car which is more than 200 inches long and weighs almost a mammoth 2.5 tons

Looks:- There are some minor changes, especially the grill which has got more curves than ever before. Then there are new LED head and tail lamp clusters and also some more chrome which is visible on the front bumper

But overall its very easy to recognize the S class…

Engine:- 3.5 liter DOHC 275hp V6 producing 258lb.ft. of torque coupled with high capacity lithium-ion battery supplementing 20-horsepower electric motor and an impressive starting torque of 118lb.ft.

Interiors:- All leather, some ultra electronics from the future with 40GB hard-drive GPS navigation with Bluetooth interface and Voice Control, 15-speaker Harman-Kardon LOGIC7 Surround Sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1, HD digital radio, in-dash 6-DVD/CD changer, in-dash SD card reader and the list goes on and on and on

The S class has more gadgets than a normal person would buy in his/her entire life…Its kind of too much becoz one starts to wonder whether this was supposed to be a car or some NASA control center? and add to that the driving dynamics which these days are all electronic and no mechanical (EBD, BA and some 50 more abbreviations)

Also has that braking regenerative system (remember the KERS thing which caused the biggest confusion in Formula-1 history)

Now , i dont even find it necessary to type all the things this car has, cos its got everything man has developed till date for cars and comfort.. so dont bother, the S-class has everything

Now , the point is – is the car worth all the fuss??

Answer:- Actually you can buy a Smart ForTwo along with a regular S class , and trust me u’ll save more fuel that way. But if you are here to prove that you care for nature the grand way, then probably the S-400 Hybrid is the only one for you…….so get it

Audi TT 2011

This is the new 2011 Audi TT

Welcome to the world of wild cats…(kind of)

We all remember how the TT brand was created by Audi as the cute little 2 seater for people who wanted to look good and go fast (at-least pretend to go fast)

Now, Audi TT is moving fast for real and still looking good

The new 2011 TT is here

Looks:-  Basic design lines are the same as the 2nd gen TT which was first revealed in 2005, but the stance is more aggressive this time. The shoulder lines and the wheel arches are more prominent

Engine: 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder with the new Audi Valvelift System, 211 bhp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Pretty impressive considering an upgrade of 11 bhp and 51lb-ft o f torque from the previous engine

Transmission: There is just one drivetrain on offer , the tried and tested S Tronic dual-clutch six-speed automatic, which will transmit power  to all four wheels via Audi’s standard Quattro all-wheel-drive system

Overall the car looks more promising than the previous one and has some extra power but still lacks the appeal that one would expect from the likes of Mercedes SLK300 and BMw’s Z4..

Audi hasn’t announced pricing for the 2011 TT as of yet, but with so few changes to the car, the price is not expected to climb much beyond current model

And this should give Audi some breathing space as the Merc SLK and BMW Z4 are significantly expensive, and if Audi positions the new TT properly, its just a matter of time when it starts clocking significant sales…

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