Archives October 2019

The ‘Affordable’ G-Wagon is here!

October 22, 2019 / 0 Comments / 667 / Car News

Mercedes-Benz commences its product offensive;

Introduces for the first time in India the iconic G-Class in its new guise- the G 350 d   

On its 40th birthday, the stronger than time G-Class debuts its first ever diesel variant in the country |The most efficient G of all time

  • The G 350 d is powered by the new Euro 6d-TEMP standard compliant engine |2925 cc | 210 kW/ 286 hp | 600 Nm | 0-100 km/h in just 7.4 seconds!
  • The G 350 d is the most efficient version of the G-Class of all time
  • The 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission in the G 350 d has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times
  • The new G-Class only leaves its birthplace (Graz) after around 100 production hours – a journey already undertaken by over 300,000 vehicles
  • G 350 d with unlimited customization options with ‘G manufaktur’ is aimed at lifestyle aficionados who want a highly personalized vehicle
  • The G 350 d comes with Phase 2 of Mercedes me connect
  • STAR EASE service package for G 350 d starts @ INR 79,500 for a period of 2 years
  • Mercedes-Benz G350 d is priced at INR 1.5 crore ex-showroom, all India 

Mumbai: India’s largest luxury car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz today further bolstered its strong SUV portfolio by adding the power of diesel to its iconic, unrivalled legend– The G-Class. The G-Class is a cult performance off-roader, which has set high benchmark for many vehicles. With the introduction of the new G 350 d, the off-roader becomes the most efficient “G” ever. Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India launched the new Mercedes-Benz G 350 d in Mumbai today.

“The G-Class has been unparalleled and unrivalled around the world, since its inception in 1979. It is the benchmark amongst luxury off-road vehicles. Today, Mercedes-Benz offers the fans and customers in India the first ever diesel G-Class, the Mercedes-Benz G 350 d. The G 350 d with limitless customization possibilities is positioned as a lifestyle vehicle for aficionados, who want a highly personalized vehicle, which is an expression of their dynamic personality. The famed off-roading capabilities of the G-Class adds to the dynamic appeal of the vehicle. With a rich history of over 40 years, the G-Class has carved a niche for itself in a rather competitive market segment. We are sure the zealous fans of the G-Class will welcome their favourite luxury off roader in its new guise.” Martin Schwenk, MD and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said at the much-awaited launch.

He added, “We start our product offensive for 2019 today, and there cannot be a better vehicle to make an impression other than with the iconic G-Class. With the new G 350 d, we are glad to offer over 15 specialty and AMG cars for our discerning customers. The G-Class is an outstanding vehicle that combines serious off-roading capabilities combined with daily driving pleasures. The launch of this vehicle further cement our ‘Top of pyramid’ product strategy for India. We have an exciting product offensive lined up for Q4 and we are confident of maintaining our leadership position in the luxury segment.” he added.

Technical specifications of the new Mercedes-Benz G 350 d at a glance

Engine In-line 6 Cylinder
Displacement 2925 cc
Output 210 kW (286 hp) at 1200-3200 rpm
Peak Torque 600 Nm at 2500-3500 rpm
Drive system 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased torque distribution of 40:60
Transmission 9G-TRONIC
Acceleration (0-100 km/h) 7.4 seconds
Top Speed 199 km/h

 

Enhanced agility and traction: 4MATIC all-wheel drive

The new transfer case is flange-mounted directly to the 9G-TRONIC. It is designed to send 40 percent of the drive torque to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear axle. This configuration particularly benefits the handling characteristics on the road. The permanent all-wheel drive ensures maximum traction. The “G”, being the “G”, always has more in store. The low-range off-road reduction gear considerably increases torque at the drive wheels, which makes very difficult terrain negotiable.

G manufaktur:

Over a million possible combinations of G-Class can be created by combining the series and G maufaktur options, resulting in a G-Class, which could be the only one of its kind. The G-Class’ individuality is reflected in the G manufaktur philosophy. The G manufaktur uses only the finest materials: care, craftsmanship and time. The design gene is particularly prominent in the DNA of the G-Class. Equipment varies exclusively for the new G-Class, in which everything is perfectly matched and tailored to the highest level. Over a million possible combinations of the G-Class can be created by combining the series and G maufaktur options.

  • The G 350 d comes with special NAPPA LEATHER
  • Be it the exterior or interior, many details of the new G-Class are hand-crafted
  • A total of at least 100 hours is required to build the G-Class
  • Experienced artisans pay attention to every detail when making the seats. The result is highly exclusive collector’s items fashioned by the hands of craft masters

 

Stronger than time

The G-Class is the top model among luxury off-road vehicles in the Indian market today. It is not the only passenger car model series with the longest production run in the history of Mercedes-Benz, but also the forefather of all SUVs bearing the three-pointed star. A torsional rigid ladder-type frame of high-strength steel and a mounted body of composite construction provides the basis for the enormous off-road capabilities of the new G 350 d. This design is considerably more robust and suitable for off-road operations than a uni-body construction. The body shell consists of various grades of steel while the wings, bonnet and doors are made of aluminium.

 

The new Mercedes-Benz G 350 d is priced starting at INR  crores ex-showroom, India

Mercedes-Benz GLE

October 5, 2019 / 0 Comments / 621 / Upcoming Cars

The best is about to get better.

Brace yourself, as the German luxury car manufacturer, Mercedes-Benz, revealed the new GLE SUV at the Paris Motor Show held in October 2018. Set to go on sale in the US in the first quarter of 2019, Mercedes-Benz India has now confirmed that the new GLE will be headed to Indian shores in 2019 itself.

The new-gen GLE is longer, wider, taller and has a longer wheelbase than the older model and can also be had with seven seats, a first for the GLE. While the GLE’s exterior has been completely redesigned, its rear-end still reminds of the older model. Read about the looks and cabin design of the new GLE here.

As far as engines are concerned, Mercedes has revealed two new diesel engines that conform with BSVI specifications. One of them is a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four engine that produces 245PS and 500Nm of torque, which will be available underneath the bonnet of the GLE 300 d. The other engine is a 3.0-litre inline-six that churns out 330PS and 700Nm of torque and will be available on the GLE 400 d. We expect these engines to come to India as well. The current-gen GLE sold in India is also offered with a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine. The new GLE also gets the same petrol unit, which is also available with a 48V electric system that features an integrated starter generator that can control electric functions of the car and even the turbocharger. We expect the new GLE to be offered with a petrol engine in India as well.

Mercedes’ new MBUX infotainment system will also make an appearance in the new GLE. The ‘Energizing Coach’ function, which automatically fine tunes the seating posture and gives different types of massages, is also present in the new GLE. It also gets the company’s E-Active Body Control, which allows onboard computers to individually control each damper and spring. This not only restricts body roll, but also controls the pitch and squat of the SUV. It remains to be seen if these features make it to the Indian model as well.

When it comes to India, the new GLE will go up against the Audi Q7 and BMW X5. Currently, the GLE sold in India is priced from Rs 67.15 lakh to Rs 1.02 crore (ex-showroom New Delhi). Expect the new car to be offered in a similar price bracket.

Maruti Suzuki brews its Mini SUV S-Presso

October 5, 2019 / 0 Comments / 660 / Car News
s presso suzuki

DESIGN – A true symbol of ‘Make in India’, S-PRESSO with strong SUV appeal to strike a chord with youth

SAFETY – Suzuki’s 5th Generation HEARTECT platform makes the S-PRESSO strong, rigid and safe with more than 10 safety features

TECHNOLOGY : BS6 compliant 1.0L K10 engine with a fuel efficiency of 21.7 km/l. Smartplay Studio infotainment system

New Delhi : Maruti Suzuki today launched its much-awaited Mini-SUV S-PRESSO. The S-PRESSO is conceptualized and designed in India for India and the world. It stands out with its bold and powerful SUV stance. Built afresh on acclaimed 5th generation HEARTECT platform, it uses 40% high tensile steel that ensures stronger, safer and sturdier structure.

S-PRESSO will be sold countrywide through the extensive ARENA retail network and is packed with more than 10 safety features and is compliant with all safety regulations. Maruti Suzuki will offer several best -in-its class features to customers with S-PRESSO.

Presenting the all new S-PRESSO to customers, Mr. Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “At Maruti Suzuki, we believe in the philosophy of ‘customer first.’ We continue our endeavor to provide Indian customers with high quality cars backed by affordable pricing. Today’s global launch of S-PRESSO stands testament to our commitment to offer best in design, technology and safety to our customers. I am happy to share that S-PRESSO joins our BS6 range, as the 8th vehicle compliant with new emission norms. We are confident that S-PRESSO will bring excitement in its segment, attracting the ever evolving young customer.”

S-PRESSO– STRONG AND SOLID ROAD PRESENCE

S-PRESSO comes with a distinct SUV character with a bold design statement

The upright A-pillar and back door design give it a solid SUV presence. The proportions are carefully crafted with modern glass to body ratio and sculpted volumes to give a bold look.

The lifted door-sill underlined by a higher ground clearance, exhibits confidence and bold stance. The sturdy character is reinforced by the squared wheel arches with R14 tyres.

The single aperture head lamp and grille graphic gives it a distinct and commanding bold look. The wide C-signature tail lamps are packaged higher-up to give a dominant presence and an instantly recognizable design character.

*Equipped with accessory parts

 

INSIDE S-PRESSO : FIRST OF ITS KIND UNIQUELY POSITIONED INSTRUMENT CLUSTER

The S-PRESSO comes with a unique and exciting interior giving it a distinct style. All the energy originates from a dynamic centre console inspired from tough sports watches to appeal the young customer. Together with trendy infotainment system and digital speedometer, it adds to the car’s iconic style and a seamless blend of new technology and bold design.

S-PRESSO has high seating layout that offers a commanding driving position. This also enables easy ingress and egress with ample leg room. The large cabin space with intense sporty black colour scheme accentuated by bright pop out accents brings excitement for young customer.

S-PRESSO is loaded with conveniently located utility spaces in front and rear. It offers plenty of storage options like open tray, glove box, door trim and door console pocket to keep smartphones.

TECHNOLOGY – A FEATURE LOADED THRILLING DRIVE EXPERIENCE

S-PRESSO offers first in its class Steering mounted audio and voice controls. The advanced Smartplay Studio ensures that music, entertainment and navigation are always available with a touch. It has a user friendly and vibrant graphic user interface, compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other Smartplay Studio Apps.

Under the hood of the S-PRESSO is a proven 1.0 L K10 engine with BS6 compliance. Equipped with both Manual and AGS (Auto Gear Shift) options, it delivers a peppy performance and great fuel efficiency.

SAFETY & AUGMENTED STRENGTH : ALWAYS BY YOUR SIDE

S-PRESSO is a result of continuous and consistent effort to reinforce the passenger and pedestrian safety. Built on Suzuki’s 5th Generation HEARTECT platform, S-PRESSO is compliant with all the latest Indian safety regulations including frontal offset crash, side impact and with pedestrian safety. The HEARTECT platform gives better impact absorption and energy dispersion power to the body structure to ensure passenger safety.

S-PRESSO boasts of safety features such as dual airbags, ABS (Anti-Lock-Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), seat belts with pre-tensioners and force Limiters, driver/co-driver seat belt reminder, rear parking assist system, high speed warning alert and reverse parking sensors.

 

BMW 330i M Sport: Luxury meets Performance

October 2, 2019 / 0 Comments / 506 / ROAD TEST REVIEWS

If you want a car that you can spin on a racetrack on a Sunday and take it to office the next day, you are limited with options especially if you don’t want to burn a very deep hole in your pocket. We had the legendary Octavia vRS which was limited to just 250 units. We have the Polo GTI but it suffers from being highly impractical in its 2 door avatar.

The Indian automotive industry is more dynamic than ever. Every manufacturer is coming up with a facelift of their cars and BMW did not want to be left behind in the race. For that, BMW just brought in the all new  7th gen 3 series to our shores.

The first 3 series was born in 1975. So technically, Its way older than me. Since then the car has been a sensation worldwide for its ultimate driving pleasure and BMW sold over 50 million units  of it worldwide. It’s impressive to see how the 3 series has grown over time while still maintaining its driving dynamics.

Also, 1 out of every 3 cars sold worldwide happens to be the 3 series. What makes people fall for this car?

A big thank you to Deutsche Motoren, Bangalore for review car. 

Before we get into the car let’s find out how this 3 series is different from the previous one.

It’s 76mm longer, 16mm wider, taller by a millimetre and lighter by 55 kgs. There are lot of aluminium bits in doors and bonnet  It has plethora of changes to it. Some cosmetic while some are injected in its racing DNA. The new 3 series is based on a completely new platform called the CLAR, the cluster architecture which is shared with the 5 series and 7 series.

The test car that we see here is not just the vanilla 3 series, it is the M sport trim of it. Which means this car screams sportiness everywhere possible.

The front looks very aggressive, especially with the M sport package the car looks meatier than ever before.

The headlamps are laser lights, the blue strip running inside helps you in identifying them.

The fog lamps are LED’s which is not surprising at this price point.

The grille is finished in black surrounded by the contrasting chrome.

The best part about the kidney grille is the flaps open up to breathe in fresh air when they need, just like your lungs.

However, the flaps close when they do not intake any air in order to provide better aerodynamics and lesser drag.

The striking bumper does a perfect job in distinguishing the M sport from the rest of the breed.

Open the hood and the Twin-turbo engine brings a wide grin on your face. The engine pumps out a massive 258 bhp of power and 400 nm of torque which is more than enough to satisfy your vitamin drive or pump in some some adrenaline rush when you take it to the Madras Motor Race Track or the iconic Buddh international circuit. If you take her, make sure you rev all the way till 7000 rpm! Not a cuppa of every car.

Moving to the side, the first thing that strikes are those magnificent alloy wheels. The rubber is nicely wrapped with short sidewalls and wider profile to give you that racing inspired confidence on the corners.

However the biggest turn off this side is that a car costing half a crore misses out on passive keyless entry.

I wish BMW could do something about this because cars costing half of this get one.

You cannot ignore the fact that the rear of the car has undergone a massive makeover. Probably, the design team at Germany spent half of their bandwidth in this part of the car. Some might go overboard and mistake it for a Lexus. The LED tail lamp add to the final touch of elegance. Nostalgia hits you hard when you spot the shark-fin antenna.

The chrome tipped dual exhausts are here to remind you that you have bought a M sport trim, in case you forgot.

Open the boot with the electric release and you are greeted by a massive 480 litres of boot space, on papers at least because the space saver spoils the party for you by eating up a lot of space which leaves you with just enough space to stuff in a big suitcase and a duffle bag.

The build quality of the 3 series feels very sturdy. BMW has used aluminium components for the doors and bonnet to achieve the – 55 kgs weight figures but that does not make it feel any less solid.

So, does the BMW 3 series stick to its legacy by being the best-in-class sedan to drive? Let’s find out.

Interior:

Wow!  Looks like I got into the right place. That was an easy entry, thanks to the doors that open wide enough.

There is an ambient strip of light running across here. don’t get me wrong, fortunately, its not as bling as the club lights of Kia Seltos. The door handles have buttons for memory seats. Incase you aren’t aware of it memory seats help you come back to your desired seating position. The electronically adjusting front seats get adjustable side bolt rings to keep your body hugged to them when you are cornering on the racetrack.

It’s time for me to buckle up and unleash the power behind that twin turbo powerhouse. The seat belts are here to remind you that you have treated yourself with an M sport edition, in case you forgot.

The steering offers excellent grip with dedicated thumb contours and the BMW logo is proudly placed in the centre, The volume control stacks feel very premium as expected. Once your eyes are set on the instrument cluster, you would be disappointed for 2 reasons. One being that the good-old iconic analog speedometer is replaced with the one from the spaceship of interstellar. The other being the complicated tachometer which takes a toll on the ergonomic design and takes some time to get used to. I did not like it in the Hector, I dont like it here, either. The A/C vents are surrounded with chrome to give the extra premium factor in case driving a BMW wasn’t enough. You also get the headlamp leveller here.

The centre console is however old school. Its the most simplest design you would ever see in a BMW. Not only because of the way it looks, its because of the way it functions.

For example the temperature control is done by rather old styled buttons when most of the car makers are moving to a touchscreen panel. Also I seriously feel BMW should have provided the heads-up display, at-least for the M sport. This would have made a whole world of difference when you are on the racetrack. Also the first thing that I would do if I buy the 330i is that I would replace this silver texture with a carbon fibre, because this seriously feels out of place on a luxury sedan like this. The glove box is big but not deep enough. There are 2 cupholders and a 12v charging socket too. The gear lever looks extremely stylish.

The most fascinating feature of the 3 series is the park assist. It is not just a normal park assist that you would see in most of the cars which would help you in assisting in tight parking spaces. But what makes this different? Check this out.

Also the start stop function of this car is more intelligent than I have ever seen. Traffic and real stop defferentiation.

Also Voice commands are here to help you out with functionalities like the AC control. Activation word. AC, Tired

The infotainment system seems to be the most busiest person in the car.

Park assist feature explain

The rear doors are solid and open wide enough to make the entry and exit seemingly less painful.

Moving to the rear of the car, you will be happy with the legroom on offer Thanks to the longer wheelbase in the 7th gen and scooped out front pockets. In fact the wheelbase of the 7th gen 3 series is longer than the previous gen and this is very evident here. The seats are very supportive too, although I wish they could recline more. You also get the centre arm rest and some storage space for your cappuccino. But don’t bother much about the rear because this is definitely not going to be your favourite seat in the the 3 series, at least in the 330i.

You also get the AC vents and 12 v charging socket.

The electric sunroof is slightly bigger than a normal sunroof but a panoramic sunroof is sorely missed Which has become more of a norm these days in cars costing this.

Driving:

Push this button and the car screams to life. The 330i is powered by a twin-turbo petrol which churns out 258 bhp @ 5000 rpm and 4000 nm torque at 1550 rpm all the way upto 4400 rpm, which sprints to 100 in 5.8 seconds and guess what? Its a rear wheel drive! This sounds like a driver’s delight.

The car is mated to a 8 speed ZF automatic gearbox which does the job perfectly right. There is absolutely no lag whatsoever. The gearshifts are excellent, there is not even one instance where I feel the car is in a gear lesser or more than what is required.

There is also an option of the manual mode the best part is its not a pseudo manual mode where the car will automatically shift after a certain rpm, the gearbox will never upshift until you decide to do so. Not to forget, the 330i comes with paddle shifters too. The refinement levels are as premium as you would expect in a car of this price bracket. The engine is very silent ticking all the right boxes for a luxury sedan. BMW has used a lot of damping material to keep the noise insulation very good. But, wait, did I just say I am driving a M Sport? So where is all the vocal drama that we expect from it?

Let’s switch to the Sport mode.

Wow!! This is absolutely phenomenal. I love the way this car just sprints on the tap of the accelerator. Although I miss the pure hydraulic steering, the electric power steering does the job perfectly well. Its light at parking speeds and weighs up steadily as we gain triple digit speeds. Its very very sharp. Finally, I am delighted driving a car that actually connects with me. A little movement in the steering wheel actually turns the car. There are 3 driving modes to choose from, The Eco pro, comfort and Sport mode. The engine, gearbox and steering are altered in each of these modes.

The car rides on 18 inch Michelin tyres, surprisingly, they do a better than expected job of manoeuvring through the potholes. BMW has decided to omit the adaptive dampers for India, for the good. Because, the adaptive dampers are not exactly suited for the Indian roads. The chassis is now stiffer and this makes the handling just perfect. Its as precise as you would want the 3 series to be. The COD is reduced to 0.23 from 0.26 in the previous gen making it the most aerodynamic 3 series ever. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 kmph. This makes it one of the best cars to burn the rubber on a racetrack. However, if you are more interested in burning less fuel than burning more rubber, the claimed fuel efficiency of the car is 16.4 kmpl. Of course, there is noway you would achieve it in normal driving conditions.

Power and torque consumption. The car feels great in the lower range, however the party starts once you move to the mid-range, there is enough and more torque for you and your neighbouring car too.

The car redlines at 7000 rpm. Did you just hear that? Its 7000 rpm! And that’s what differentiates the 330i from rest of the breed.

So, is it the best 3 series BMW has ever produced?

Undoubtedly, yes! Not only it’s bigger than the previous gen in every dimension, but the driving dynamics make a whole world of difference. To go back to where we started from, if you are looking for a car that you can spin on a racetrack on a weekend and take it back to office the next day, looks no further than the BMW 3 series, more so the 330i. However there are some shortcomings like the absence of passive key less entry and the cabin could have slightly been a better place to live in. All that vanishes off your mind when you slot into the sport mode and rev this icon all the way to 7000 rpm!

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