Mercedes Benz AMG C43 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz India has added one new model to their lineup today and it’s none other than the C43 AMG Coupe. This is their 13th product which is launched in the year 2016 and this new car will be positioned below the existing AMG C63 AMG sedan.The car was first showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor show for the first time and now it is already launched in the Indian market. This new model joined the C-Class family this year and is a part of plan of the auto manufacturer to extend their product portfolio. Although this may not be as powerful as the C63 variant but the C43 AMG carried forward all the AMG genes as well as some GT characteristics as well.The Affalterbach-based development teams had decided to fit the 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine which is paired to the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission which promises smooth shifts. The coupe with its powerful drivetrain, 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and new and improved chassis technology surely promises to provide high agility and exhilarating dynamics.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

This is most certainly not a car to buy if you’re interested in being seen. We’ve called the C 63 design subtle and the C 43 is even more so. The face is straight off the standard C-Class, and only the real enthusiasts amongst you will notice that the air dams in the bumper are more flared – not as much as the 63, but more so than the standard car. The bigger giveaway is the small AMG badge nestling in the diamond-style grille that’s also on the CLA but different from the twin-slat design on the C 63 S. What you won’t see upfront are the trademark flared fenders or AMG-style gills. At the side, you’ll notice the sporty 18-inch wheels embracing big and purposeful brakes, but the eye also catches the small ‘biturbo’ badging on the fender, hinting at the firepower under the hood. The rear is finished with small boot-lip spoiler and the signature AMG quad muffler tips. And of course, there’s the AMG badge on the bootlid.

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

Inside the car gets multifunctional flat bottomed steering wheel finished in Black leather and red contrasting top stitching which helps it look good. The dashboard looks premium wrapped in high quality leather. The AMG instrument cluster delivers plenty of relevant information about the car. The instrument cluster consists of two round dials along with a 4.5 inch multifunction colour display along with a Racetimer and 280 km/h scale completed with a chequered flag.

The driver seat too now gets improved lateral support and wrapped with Artico man made leather while there is also option of DINAMICA microfibre upholstery. The safety belts too also gets red coloured contrast stitching as well while the floor mats are finished in Black gets some red edges.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Mercedes-AMG C43 gets the 3.0 Litre V6 Twin Turbo unit which is capable of producing about 367 Hp of peak power and 520 NM of torque. The AMG powerplant is easily recognised by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover. The technical advancement which includes a modified power booster has helped the engineers to increase the engine power and torque output as well.

The engine for all your information is paired to a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission which sends power to the four wheels of the car via the 4MATIC four wheel drive system. Mercedes claims that they were able to reduce the speed of the shift times of the new transmission system. The quick multiple downshifts helps give the AMG C43 short burst of speed. If we talk about performance then the Coupe is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h mark in 4.7 seconds while it has a top speed of 250 km/h mark.

The car further gets the AMG Dynamic select transmission modes as well which consists of “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual” modes. The Sport Plus mode in particular promises to deliver an impressive hallmark AMG Dynamics. While the engine being part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz is also fuel efficient at the same time because it gets ECO start/stop function and the ’sailing’ function which helps reduce fuel consumption.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The C43 features AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension. Towards the front the coupe gets four-link front axle which gets all the components optimised in terms of rigidity, the rear profile gets multi-link rear axle. All these setup helps the cars overall agility and also improves the dynamics as well. The driver will also benefit from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration and better traction. The driver can further select the automatic adjustable damping system’s three suspension modes which includes “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes. The driver also further gets assists of the speed-sensitive sports steering.For stopping the Coupe relies on a internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated towards the front which has a diameter of 360 mm, while the rear gets 320 mm discs.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The braking system of C-Class AMG C43 4MATIC features adaptive brake system with anti-lock braking system and brake assist system with servo brake assistance for emergency braking. The safety features offered include front and side airbag for the driver and co-passenger with thorax protection, window airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags for the rear seat occupants. The passenger seat occupant detection, Pre-Safe system with reversible belt tensioners, glove compartment with emergency lockable key and electronic immobilizer are featured for safe usage and prevention against theft attempts.

VERDICT ;

Middle ground is a space appreciated by a lot of folks. Not everyone wants extreme performance, but many aspire for more than the ordinary. The C 43 AMG straddles this space well, especially in an age where a C 63 AMG costs over Rs 1.7 crore on-road in Mumbai (Maharashtra takes about 25 per cent of your luxury car’s value, but we’re not quite sure where it’s being spent, but it certainly isn’t on the roads). Similarly, the C 43’s enticing ex-showroom price of Rs 73.6 lakh shoots to Rs 98 lakh on-road in Mumbai. Nevertheless, at this price, you get a sports sedan that is far more luxurious and refined than a CLA 45 AMG but also costs a lot less than a full-on super saloon. It’s not the ultimate driving machine, but on the right road it’s a proper laugh, and aside from the Audi S5 Sportback, there isn’t much else at this price point.

 

Audi A8L Engine & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

In early 2016 our paparazzi spotted a longer-than-usual Audi A8 somewhere in snowy Sweden. The limousine had six doors instead of four and looked awfully similar to the vehicle that was delivered to Harald V, the King of Norway, earlier last month, but the German license plate suggested the car in question was a test vehicle. Three months have passed since then and Audi confirmed that it has began producing a six-door variant of its full-size sedan.

Dubbed A8L Extended, the ultra-long, luxury model was conceived as a special one-off for an unnamed “European customer” and development took almost a year. Having received further requests for the custom sedan, Audi is launching the A8L Extended as a bespoke, limited-edition model that will rival offerings from Mercedes-Maybach.

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

On the styling front not much has changed, a minor nip and tuck (the facelifted model is 13 cms longer) here and there (read as more appealing hood, bumpers, head and tail lights along with new exhaust pipes with a trapezoidal finishing) keeps the A8L all trim and muscle but the real highlight on the exteriors is the introduction of the new Matrix LED headlights. Audi’s hefty focus on light technology has made the four ringed brand become the centre of attraction on the aesthetics front but its competitors have caught up by offering equally attractive LED lights. Taking a step in an entirely different direction, Audi has opted to go one up with what they like to call Matrix LED headlights. Basically what Matrix LED lights does is, it frees you from the headache and turmoil of operating the headlight’s intensity as everything is done automatically, dimming individually each one of the 25 LEDs as per the need when an obstacle is sensed, using the on-board cameras. It activates at speeds of over 30 km/hr and group of 5 LEDs shine through one reflector. In other words, these lights are superman cool as you never have to worry about blinding oncoming traffic while getting the best possible visibility in dark situations. Think of it as automation of the intelligent kind, only one which gives equal importance to function as much as it does to form, a big thumbs up. However, this is part of optional kit, still cool though.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

The Audi A8L is an aesthetically designed car, it looks equally ravishing from inside as it looks from outside. The Audi A8L has the best and most luxuriously appointed cabins. Elegance and Luxury are at their prime and have been implemented on the fullest in here. An array and mix of finest wood inserts, metal inserts and best hand crafted leather is what the dashboard of the Audi A8L is made of. The 4 spoke steering is a joy to grip and comes with wood inserts spread on it as well. The steering is also equipped with all the controls for multimedia and also has paddle shifters.Elegantly laid out Speedo. Console also doubles up when the night assist system is in work to display the road ahead. An analogue clock is placed on the centre of the dash. The AC vents are in typical Audi style with chrome inserts around it. Between the centre AC vent is the 7 inches long LCD screen that can be stacked inside the dash when not needed at just a press of a button. This screen displays all the various settings, parameters showing all the functions and also doubling up as a reverse camera while parking.

The centre console is full of buttons and dials and easily resembles an aircrafts cockpit. There is an engine start stop button, the AC control for the front climate setting, the multimedia interface (MMI) control stack, a scroll pad that uses the black panel technology where you can input an alphabet to search your phone book when you connect it to the Audi A8L and gear shifter that is shaped like an aircrafts throttle joystick. Wood inserts is used in abundance all around the centre console and on the gear shifter.Passengers at the rear can also access the music system via the MMI controls that are also placed at the rear. The Audi A8L is equipped with the latest Bose music system, which comes standard; this system is able to deliver about 600 watts from the 14 speakers that are spread across the cabin. The buyer can also opt for the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 19 speakers utilizing 1400 watts.

Our review car came with the Bang & Olufsen system which also features a auto closing tweeter on the dashboard that goes in or come out motorized when we switch on or off the player and boy it is one hell of a music system that can put some of the home component Hi-Fi players to shame. The front seats are fully electrically adjustable to 22 settings that include height and lumber settings. Needless to say the seats are very comfortable and very well appointed.You get more comfort at the rear of the Audi A8L in this segment and more than 80% of the people who buy cars from this segment are seen mostly on the rear seat. Audi has incorporated the best of the best in terms of comfort for the rear passenger. Rear seats are super comfortable with electrical adjust on them to heighten the comfort levels. Audi is also offering a special rear seat package that includes seat ventilation, massage seats and a refrigerator that is neatly stacked inside the back of the seat.

At a press of a button the left rear seat adjusts to the best comfortable position while the front left seat moves ahead increasing the leg room and folds downwards, a power adjustable footrest folds out on which the rear passenger can keep his feet and stretch fully attaining the best comfortable posture easily replicating the first class on a first-class airplane. You can also customize the available feature set to suit you better according to the desired comfort level or height.The centre console on the rear between the 2 seats is again styled like an aircrafts cockpit with the climate control buttons, electric seat setting and the MMI control dials. The Audi A8L comes with twin sun/moon roof while the older A8 had just a single opening on the roof. Cubby holes and charging as well as electric output points are all spread out around the cabin. Audi has got rid of regular bulbs in the cabin and used the latest LED instead. Reading lights, cabin lights etc are all in white LEDs. The boot of the Audi A8L has a total volume of 510 litre and can store all your luggage for the long trips. Leg room head room and loads of space all around the Audi A8 L is needless to say looking at the sheer size and the wheelbase of this Luxury sedan. The fit finish on the materials used to build the cabin of the Audi A8L is exemplary and belong to the highest standards of craftsmanship.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The Audi A8L is powered by four engines, a 4.0 litre petrol, a 3.0 litre diesel, a 4.0 litre diesel and a 6.3 litre W12 petrol. The 4.0 litre petrol produces 429 hp of power from 5,100 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 5,000 rpm. The 3.0 litre diesel generates 247 hp of power from 4,000 rpm to 4,250 rpm and 580 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm to 3,000 rpm. The 4.0 litre diesel churns out 379 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 850 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm to 2,750 rpm. The 6.3 litre W12 petrol generates 493 hp of power at 6,200 rpm and 625 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm.

Transmission available for all versions of the Audi A8L sedan is an 8 speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. All versions of the Audi A8L luxury sedan are available with the company’s exclusive all wheel drive Quattro system along with traction control which improves handling over all road surfaces.In terms of safety, the Audi A8L sedan is offered with 8 airbags, ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), hill hold assist, traction control, Audi Multimedia Interface, run flat tyres with tyre pressure monitoring system and Night Vision Assistant.The Audi A8L 60 TFSI petrol has a claimed fuel efficiency of 7.4 kmpl, A8L 50 TDI has 16.77 kmpl, 60 TDI has 7.5 kmpl and the W12 6.3 FSI version has 11.3 kmpl which are reasonable for its segment. The company recommends sulphur free super unleaded RON 95 fuel for best performance and mileage from the Audi A6.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The A8L comes with the adaptive air-suspension, which can be altered for stiffness levels. The driver can choose between comfort and dynamic modes or let the computers adjust the ride height and damping as per the speed and road conditions. The suspension setup works amazingly well on our roads and ride quality is comfortable throughout. The tyres aren’t too low in profile either. The deeper potholes and tall speed humps need to be dealt with care though as scraping the corners of the car or its underbody is quite easy – thanks to the long overhangs and relatively low ground clearance.The mechanicals are mated to the quattro all-wheel-drive system, which not only aids in high speed stability, it also makes sure that this 5.1-metre long limo can tackle and shoot out of a corner with complete composure and a wide grin on its face. While doing so though, the cabin remains as silent as you would expect from luxury car in this segment.

SAFETY

This high end saloon from Audi is the safest vehicle ever designed by the German auto major. This version of A8 comes integrated with highly resilient special aluminum alloys, aramide fabric and a hot formed steel armor that offers highest level of protection. This luxury saloon comes with top safety standards that meet the VR 9 ballistic norms. Manufactured at a top-secret facility, this vehicle is built under the company’s own supervision. The saloon also comes with a few standard safety features including a communication box in the boot, an intercom, an emergency escape system and fire extinguishing system.

CONCLUSSION ;

It is a fact that Audi A8L is a premium luxury sedan that has long wheelbase and powerful make. This car incorporates a 3.0 L solid turbo diesel engine and comes with a mighty price tag. The supportive safety and handling features bring in a great amount of pleasure and comfort to the car owners. This is a lavish car that represents a stunning beauty with intelligence of technology.

 

BMW 6 Series Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

BMW has updated the 6 series range internationally. The 6 Series, which is available only in the Gran Coupe and performance-oriented M6 variant in India, will receive the same update this year. The 2017 update will lend a 6 Series a fresh breath until a proper facelift arrives. The minor facelift comes with design tweaks and more features along with M-Performance upgrades.

The 6 Series update comes with a restyled bi-LED headlamps as seen on BMW sedan family lately. BMW has also given the updated 6 Series a new bi-colour 20-inch M-spec alloy wheels. The sporty wheels feature an M-specific double-spoke design and are wrapped with runflat tyres. The mid-cycle update will also come with a new body paint whereas the interior will get an array of update depending upon package selected. Customers in India can opt for the Design Pure Excellence equipment lines to tailor the design of the car more precisely according to the owner’s personal style and preferences. The Carbon Fibre interior trim can also be made available as an optional extra in India.

The mechanicals of the new 6 series will be retained. Available in the 640d trim, the car will make us e of the same 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine. Which pumps out a healthy 310bhp and massive 630Nm of torque. Power is sent to rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The updated 6 Series is expected in India by the end of this year.

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

There are noticeable changes made to the exteriors of this vehicle, which makes it appear refreshing. It gets a modified front bumper with wider air intake section featuring chrome accents. The kidney bean shaped grille has been pronounced and is treated with a lot of chrome. Furthermore, it is designed with a total of nine slats instead of 10 in the previous version. Its top end version is blessed with an exclusive character package that includes high gloss black decorative moldings in rear bumper and on the radiator grille. The design of the headlight cluster is the same, but it gets LED lamps along with black accents that renders it a bold outlook. Its bonnet also gets some tweaks with redesigned lines that highlights its aerodynamic stance. Its elegant frontage is complimented by the iconic BMW logo embedded above the radiator grille. The design of its side facet remains to be unchanged, but its fenders are now fitted with newly designed rims. Here, it has a sleek window frame, wherein the frames are garnished in metal and the B pillars are done up in high gloss black. It has beautiful ORVM caps that are further integrated with turn blinkers. Apart from minor tweaks, its rear facet remains mostly similar to its predecessor. Its tailgate is now blessed with an improved LED lighting that dazzles this facet. The rear bumper too gets an update with modified lower cladding and exhaust pipes. The tailgate is the same and is embedded with the company’s logo.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Nose gets adaptive LED head lights with four LED daytime running light rings including auto high beam assistance. Front bumper features LED fog lights and air intakes. The BMW individual high-gloss shadow line is available exclusively on the 640d Design pure experience variant.Also the character package is available only on the same trim which comprises of decorative high gloss black moulding in rear bumper, front ornamental grille with kidney grille bars in black with chrome surrounds, black painted front bars of the kidney grille. BMW individual exterior line aluminium is confined to the 640d eminence trim. Frameless side doors equipped on both sides render a sporty flair to the vehicle. Other standard fitments proffered on both the variants are headlight washer, heat protection glazing, exterior mirrors foldable with automatic anti-dazzle function and mirror heating, rain sensor and automatic driving lights. 19 inch star-spoke, V-spoke and W-spoke alloy wheels are available on the 640d Design Pure experience, while the 640d Eminence gets an option between 19 inch Star-spoke and V-Spoke style alloys. Interior: Umpteen comfort features befitted inside up the snug quotient of the coupe. Premium leather upholstery in various colour options is available. Ambient lights with mood lights inset inside look elegant. There are three options for the interior trims which include aluminium fine cutting, fine-wood trim polar grain grey and fine-wood trim Fineline brown. All three trim options are available on the 640d Eminence variant while the 640d Design Pure Experience gets the fine-wood trim Fineline brown trim option. Arm rest is provided in the front seat with storage compartment. Automatic air conditioner with 4-zone control and rear air vents for the passengers sitting at the back ensure curbing the temperature inside the cabin. A centre arm rest is provided in the rear which comes with cup holders and storage compartment. Electrically adjusted sun roof is among the elite equipments embedded in the coupe. Some of the other vital

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

So many engines, so little time. Every 6 Series model features a potent engine that has ample power for every driving situation, but there are also several twin-turbocharged V8s to choose from if you want to do more than just get from point A to point B. On the other hand, sticking with the base engine will get you the best fuel economy.The base 6 Series (the 640i) features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 315 horsepower. This is the least powerful engine in the lineup, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad powertrain. Even with the base engine, the 6 Series is quick off the line and has enough power for most driving situations.The 650i features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 445 horsepower. That’s plenty of power, even when moving a large car. With this V8, the 6 Series can go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The 640i and the 650i both feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. It pairs well with either engine, delivering silky shifts and downshifting willingly when you want more power.The high-performance M6 features a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 560 horsepower. This extra power makes the 650i feel slow. The M6 comes standard with your choice of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Either way, it delivers outstanding performance, going from zero to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.Your final option is the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 600 horsepower. You’ll need deep pockets to buy this baby – it has a starting price of $122,500. But if you shell out the requisite cash, you’ll drive home in one of the fastest cars in the class. The Alpina goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and its top speed is 200 mph.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

While the 2016 BMW 6 Series is understandably not as sharp and agile as BMW’s smaller and sportier models, its massive grip and composed nature should meet most drivers’ expectations. The steering is reasonably precise, although it doesn’t provide much in the way of feedback. This detail won’t even register with most drivers, but if you’ve owned a BMW before, you might find the current 6 Series less engaging as a result.

In any case, ride comfort is excellent, and the 6 Series remains quiet and composed at virtually any speed. The 650i’s passing power is simply stunning, though the 640i is no slouch. Standard paddle shifters enhance driver engagement for those so inclined, and the transmission matches revs on downshifts, which is a particular pleasure in the 650i with its refined V8 rumble.

SAFETY ;

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 BMW 6 Series includes antilock disc brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard are the BMW Assist emergency communications system (providing automatic crash notification and on-demand roadside assistance) and BMW Remote Services (including remote access via smartphone app and remote door unlocking via BMW’s call center). Pop-up roll bars come standard on the convertible.Optional safety equipment includes active lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, a surround-view camera system and a night vision display. Bundled with the adaptive cruise control option (which requires the Driver Assistance Plus package) is a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking capability.

CONCLUSSION ;

At this point, we haven’t seen enough of the new 6 Series Convertible to really draw an accurate conclusion, but if BMW expects it to live on and not suffer another discontinuation, it really needs to step up its game or drop the price a bit. Comparable models from Mercedes and Audi are significantly cheaper and offer very similar power with just a minor drop in performance. The new 6 Series could benefit from a little bit of the BMW i8’s interior DNA and could end up with a more aggressive look in the front and rear. Hopefully, that will be the case, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In the end, it will always be cheaper to go with an E-Class Cabriolet or an S5 Convertible, but there is also something about driving a BMW that you just can’t duplicate in any other model. Maybe it’s the overall feeling of the soul and pride that goes into building the car, or maybe it’s that everything seems to fit and feel just right. I can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain, you have a tough decision to make if it’s truly a toss-up in your opinion.

 

 

Mercedes Benz B Class Transmission

OVERVIEW

The latest B-Class is a practical Mercedes five-door hatch you might actually want to buy. Which is a big improvement on the undesirable original one. It’s been designed to feel more like a big Merc, rather than an underdeveloped afterthought: its platform and interior is also used by the excellent new A-Class plus future models including a small coupe and mini SUV.

Unlike the A-Class, it’s not really a looker, but is fine in silver and on the right wheels. The body side crease hints at the CLS, which is good, and it generally looks a lot less apologetic. It’s also impressively aerodynamic: in full beardy Eco trim, its drag coefficient is just 0.24. Almost implausible for such a practical-looking car.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

The test car came with a sports package that includes low-profile tyres on 18-inch rims and a lowered, sports suspension. The launch car comes with what Merc calls a comfort suspension, which offers higher ground clearance, softer suspension settings and more practical 16-inch wheels on the base petrol variant, while the B 180 Sport gets 17-inch wheels.

The sports kit no doubt adds to the ground-hugging looks of the B-class, but look past the eye candy and you’ll see what looks like a shrunken R-class. There’s that low bonnet, steeply raked windshield and high roofline, and despite the unusual shape, it won’t take long for even untrained eyes to tell it’s a Benz. Every current Merc styling cue is present – the oversized grille with the huge three-pointed star in the centre, the clamshell bonnet and the bumper with its integrated LED lamps all point to Stuttgart.

Viewed in profile, your eyes are drawn to the sharp upswept kink that runs along the flanks and the unusually long space between the front and rear axles – yes, the wheelbase is a massive 2699mm. The rear is pure Merc too – it’s the most uncomplicated part of the design. Also impressive is the extremely slippery shape – the B-class’ drag coefficient is a low 0.26.

Under the skin, the new B-class (W246) retains its predecessor’s – the W245’s – front-wheel-drive architecture, but ditches the old car’s complex and expensive ‘sandwich structure’ chassis for a more conventional monocoque. The advantages of the less complicated setup (aside from a cut in manufacturing costs) are a liberation of interior space and lower seats that are easier to slide into. Not that the B-class is very tall – with its 1557mm height, it fits in somewhere between a soft-roader and a saloon. The suspension is independent all round, with a MacPherson strut, wishbone setup up front and a four-link, wishbone setup at the rear. Brakes are discs all around and the steering is an electrically assisted rack-and-pinion system. The spare wheel is an inflatable space-saver and the B-class comes with an electric tyre inflator. All in all, the B180 weighs a hefty 1425kg.

INTERIOR AND CABIN

Inside the cabin, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e offers decent headroom for anyone who isn’t taller than average. There’s also adult-sized legroom in the backseat, which is not something a lot of compact EVs can claim. The seats are a little too firm for us, and this might ultimately make you glad this car has only 80-some miles of cruising range per charge.

The noticeably hushed passenger cabin features the stylish good looks you’d expect from a Mercedes. Nevertheless, the abundance of hard plastics is disappointing, though this can be remedied by opting for the available leather upholstery and genuine wood trim. The screen for COMAND system that is perched atop the dash looks like a last-minute “where can we put this?” addition rather than something carefully integrated into the existing design.

One strong suit is the size of the cargo hold, with a generous 21.6 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats. Fold down the rear seatbacks, and the available space more than doubles to a very healthy 51.4 cubic feet

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The engine in the B180 is from an all-new engine family (engine code: M270). It’s an all-aluminium 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine that sits transversely over the front axle. The direct-injection system runs a pressure of 200bar and uses piezo injectors that handle upto five injections per cycle. The engine weighs just 137kg and part of this weight saving is down to the hollow crankshaft.

The B-class always starts in Eco mode, and that means the seven-speed auto upshifts early and the quick-acting stop-start system is eager to cut in every time you come to a stop at a red light.

To get the best out of the engine, you need to switch Eco mode off, put the transmission in manual mode and use the well-finished paddles behind the steering wheel. Do so and it will hit 100kph in 10.2sec and will go on to a top speed of 192kph – very impressive figures for a car that weighs over 1.4 tonnes and makes a modest 121bhp.

Around town, the engine is smooth and adequately responsive. The specs say the peak torque of 20.39kgm kicks in at 1250rpm, but the real grunt is only when the engine is spinning closer to 3000rpm. In fact, the mid-range is particularly punchy and the engine pulls strongly all the way to 5000rpm. Rev it past this and it does get a tad vocal, and it isn’t particularly enthusiastic near its 6300rpm redline. You sometimes wish it had a little more low-rev grunt – the transmission doesn’t downshift readily and you have to occasionally force it to do so by hitting the kickdown switch.

This being a Merc, the seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox doesn’t have the jerkiness usually associated with this kind of transmission. Set the gearbox in Economy mode and it will shift up smoothly and early in the rev range, and will mostly disobey commands from the paddle-shifters. In Sport and Manual modes you get more control through the paddles and it’s fairly responsive and quick acting. The B-class is a pretty good cruiser too and, again, there’s always sufficient grunt for highway duties. Overtaking is quite easy thanks to the strong mid-range and this makes the B 180 feel even quicker than it actually is.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The same goes for ride and handling, which aren’t really sporty but firm enough to remain flat around quick corners. The good thing is that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class retains the older models’ increased ground clearance and suspension setup revised for India. And adding to the comfort, the B200 CDI runs on higher profile 16-inch wheels, which also improves the ride quality to a certain extent. But since the setup still is on the firmer side, some severe bumps tend to thud through the cabin and it even feels bouncy over bad patches of road.

SAFETY FEATURES

Mercedes Benz B Class has an integral safety system that is designed to avoid accidents and provide ideal protection for the driver and passenger on the road. It has a drowsiness detection system that observes the movement of the driver on the steering wheel and monitors its details to detect signs of loss of concentration on the road, especially in the night time. In case of a high collision impact, the security system triggers special airbags in two different stages. The front airbags for the driver and passenger are first triggered accompanied by the side airbags for front and rear passengers and knee airbags for the front driver and passenger to avoid collision of the knee joint with the dashboard.

CONCLUSSION

The new B-Class is set to be in Mercedes’ showrooms from March 11. There is more equipment on offer now, it looks better and has a refined powerful and frugal engine. Aside from a couple of things like more storage spaces and addition of cool looking alloys, the B-Class has everything that a thinking luxury car buyer wants from a car. But this was always the case with B-Class buyers and the facelift only manages to offer them more value for their money than before.

 

 

Mercedes Benz AMG GLA 45 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Performance and SUV are two things which were never spoken in the same sentence but times have changed and so have people. The craze for crossovers and SUVs is soaring so high that enthusiasts too want their go-fast machines to have a crossover or SUV body style. This trend has emerged because sedans don’t offer the practicality that an SUV does. The latest performance crossover to hit our shores is the Mercedes GLA45 AMG, yet another offering from the Stuttgart automaker’s mad and speed crazy performance division. Brought in via the CBU route, the Mercedes GLA45 AMG does end up costing quite a bit, yet it’s among the more affordable of AMGs offered in our country

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The modeling beauty of a company like this is destined to stand through time. This series is perhaps one of the most exquisitely structured machine to see our time. It has flawless metallic skin that is seamless and pure on every nerve. The entire body structure is wrapped under the classic 2:1 proportion of wheel to body height, bringing the most refined touch that only this car maker has preserved when crafting vehicles. The new design of this vehicle adds more focus and edginess to the build of this machine. The robust and hefty build gives it a flavor of dominance and power on the roads. Its front portion is wide and imposing, meant to give it the toughest bearing on the road. On both sides, wide and rectangular shaped headlights rest over the bonnet. They are integrated with LED headlights, framed by day-time running lights. This imposing look is further sharpened with a well sculpted bumper. The chrome finish on the lower grille tops off the exquisite feel of the front portion. Aluminum roof rails sit atop the vehicle. Sharpening its grandeur from the side are AMG side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey and “TURBO AMG” lettering on the front wings. Further accentuating the side profile of the car is a highly trimmed body shape, with well designed door lines and large, prominent fenders. It has 19 inch AMG 5-twin spoke design alloy wheels, further enhancing its side profile for the finest look possible. The hefty rear portion of the machine is loaded to the fullest glory with a AMG performance exhaust system in two chrome-plated twin pipe design.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

You know its business as usual at Mercedes-AMG when you make your way inside the cabin and are surrounded by red seatbelts, body-hugging sports seats and drilled aluminium pedals besides the executive level appointments. The cabin design and layout of materials in here nearly mimics the regular GLA but with a tinge of more toys and luxury as standard. The Recaro designed sport seats do a much better job of holding you in place than those found in the regular GLA thanks to bigger bolsters. Plus, they are covered in leather with beautiful contrasting stitching, making the cabin that extra bit special to be in. What comes as a surprise though is that they do not sacrifice much in terms of seat comfort. Being an AMG, the GLA 45 comes with all the goodies imaginable in a car of its size. There’s the COMMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, reversing camera, a panoramic sunroof, electric seats with memory function, bi-xenon headlights with daytime running LEDs and what not. The real purpose of this car, of course, is to be found only after getting behind the wheel. The sporty, three-spoke steering wheel with red contrasting stitching and the aluminium paddles shifters indicate the business end of things. With a variety of adjustments for both the driver’s seat and the steering column, finding the ideal driving position is fairly easy. The trim on the instrument panel is finished in brushed aluminium and in tandem with the stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasising the sporty character of the car.The cabin, otherwise, is identical to that of the regular GLA and that can only mean one thing – it is a bit short on space. While the seats themselves are very comfortable, there isn’t much space to move around, especially at the back. Visibility all round, too, is compromised by the thick A-pillars and the tiny rear glass. All things considered, the cabin is decently practical for urban commutes or a short weekend getaway although I suspect getaways in this car will be much quicker than those in the regular GLA.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Here is where the fun really comes in. The GLA 45 AMG is powered by a hand-built, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger that puts out 26.1 pounds of boost. The combination is good for an impressive 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.The engine is mated to Mercedes’ seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. It offers three selectable modes: Controlled Efficiency (or comfort), Sport, and Manual. The shifts come quickly, especially when in Sport or Manual mode and the generous amounts of throttle are being used. The shifts are followed by a snappy pop and burble as the sport exhaust belts its loud song. Accelerating is a joy both physically and audibly.

Mercedes includes its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system to keep the power under control. The system uses torque vectoring that will send up to 50 percent of the power rearward when the extra grip is needed. While that doesn’t sound impressive, the GLA 45 AMG will happily wag its tail in oversteer around corners. Under normal operation, the 4MATIC system sends the majority of power to the front wheels in an effort to conserve fuel.Speaking of that, the EPA rates the GLA 45 AMG at 23 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. My heavy foot and thirst for hearing that exhaust crackle proved that the EPA numbers were more of an aspirational goal than a realistic target. I saw roughly 24 mpg combined over my 400-mile week. Keep it in Eco mode and stay off the throttle, and the SUV’s average does climb. Eco mode provides an automatic start/stop function for stop and go traffic, so by leaving that engaged and the lower-gear-holding Sport mode off, the mpg numbers do improve.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Despite being a SUV that by definition is supposed to give a commanding view of the road ahead, you sit fairly low in the GLA 45 AMG. The seats can be adjusted so you sit higher, yet even at its highest point, your line of sight isn’t high enough for an SUV. That said, you don’t need to get into a neck stretching exercise unless you are driving on broken patches. When you are though, the GLA 45 AMG impresses with its passable ride quality for such a sporty car. The suspension is not as stiff as in the CLA 45 AMG according to Mercedes, and as the GLA is higher off the ground, it is a far more usable car. AMG’s sports suspension setup also ensures you don’t lose out on the dynamics front. The front struts are fitted with stiffer steering knuckles, you get bigger anti-roll bars and the multi-link rear axle is newly developed for this car as well for a surefooted ride at all times. Compact dimensions and quick acceleration make it a very easy car to drive in traffic – it’s just point and shoot kind of a car, and it does that every time you demand of it without any drama whatsoever.

Walk around the rear of the GLA 45 AMG and you see the 4Matic badge pasted on. The otherwise front wheel drive MFA platform built SUV in this AMG guise transforms itself in the handling department. Power still goes to the front wheels all the time until the rear wheels demand torque and when they do, up to 50 percent of it is made available for precise control all the time. Aiding in the precision is the directing steering. It is such an easy car to drive fast, it can get addictive.And pushing the GLA 45 AMG is easy, knowing that the brakes are there to fall back on. The vented, cross-drilled brakes offer fantastic bite as does the grip from the 235/45 R19 Continental rubber. AMG hasn’t gone overboard with wider tyres than those on the lesser models in the GLA lineup and that seems to be a wise decision. While the GLA 45 AMG is majorly about performance, it is also going to be a everyday car and that requires acceptable levels of efficiency as well.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The GLA 45 AMG is the top of the line GLA. It’s got all the features of the GLA that includes Bi-Xenon headlamps with DRLs, aluminium roof rails, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, sat-nav, 7-inch screen, reversing camera, paddle shifters, infinitely adjustable electric sports seats with memory function, a panoramic sunroof, all that you need. The AMG bits like the gear lever with the AMG stamp embossed on the leather and the AMG instrument cluster are unique to this car among other GLAs, as is the steering wheel. The only issue is a slightly dated looking screen and the clutter of buttons on the centre console, that don’t quite gel with the overall interior design.Disc brakes in front and rear along with anti-lock-braking system, brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution conclude the proficient braking system befitted in GLA 45 AMG. Adept safety features available on the AMG variant of GLA SUV include power door locks, central locking, child safety locks, driver airbag, passenger airbag, side front airbag, rear seat belts, side/front impact beams, traction control, vehicle stability control system, keyless entry, engine immobiliser, crash sensor, rear camera and anti-theft device.

CONCLUSSION ;

The GLA45 AMG addresses all the shortcomings of the fabulous CLA45 AMG. While the CLA45 looks more purposeful as an AMG model, the GLA45 offers more practicality, thanks to its better ground clearance and more interior room. While the CLA45 is still the entry-level AMG model from Mercedes in India, the GLA45 is just a couple of lakhs more which is completely worth it for the ease of use it offers while also being as fast and fun as the CLA45. However, at its current on-road price, one can get two regular GLA’s for the price of one GLA45 AMG, making it quite expensive although it is undeniably a performance meister.

Toyota Etios Liva Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

For increasing the number of sales in the car market, the Toyota India has launched the facelifted version of its flagship hatchback, Etios Liva in the country’s car market. It will compete against the likes of Hyundai Grand i10, Renault Pulse, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Fiat Punto EVO, Chevrolet Sail Hatchback and others in this segment. Now it is available with quite a few updated exterior and interior features that will certainly attract the buyers. It is being offered with both petrol and diesel engines in several trim levels. Among them Toyota Etios Liva G is the mid range variant. The internal cabin gets a greige color scheme, which is complemented by new fabric upholstered seats and door trims. It is also incorporated with dual front SRS airbags and driver seat belt reminder notification as standard features. In terms of exteriors, its frontage is designed with a revamped radiator grille and it gets a lot of titanium grey insert. On the other hand, there are no changes to its technical specifications. This variant is fitted with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine under the hood. It can displace 1197cc and can churn out 78.9bhp and 104Nm of power and torque respectively. This hatchback is being offered with a standard warranty of 3-years or 100000 Kilometers, whichever comes first. Check Ex Showroom Price of Etios Liva

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

Toyota Platinum Etios is a compact sedan with a sharp appearance that is marked by a stylized front grille and radiant headlamps. Intermittent wipers adorn the front windscreen. The upper grille is chrome treated and the lower grille is black in colour. White fog lamps are fitted on both ends of this black lower grille. The bumpers, door handles and Outside Rear-View Mirrors (ORVMs) are of the same colour as the body, and this makes the sedan look extremely elegant.

The side protection moulding comes with chrome insertions and the B-pillar is blacked out. The four 12-spoke alloy wheels are dressed in full wheel caps. Platinum Etios comes with a roof-mounted foldable antenna and the rear end of sedan is embellished with triangular tail lamps. The chrome garnish on its boot adds to the sophistication. Dimensionally, Toyota Etios is 4.27m long, 1.7m wide and 1.51m high. The wheelbase of the sedan is 2550 mm and it provides an incredible ground clearance of 170mm. The turning radius of 4.9m makes it easy to handle. Get deals on Etios Liva

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

With the exteriors done and dusted, let’s check what the Etios Liva has to offer once you step inside the cabin. In all honestly, there is not much. You continue to get the same simplistic and basic cabin layout, which is a bit of a turn-off as there was indeed quite a lot of scope for improvement.

First its the steering wheel, which ergonomically feels a bit to large to handle; however it does get mounted controls for the 2-din music system. Talking about the music system, this piece in itself feels outdated, especially if you were to compare it with the ones available on the competition. The dial for operating the air-con control module are very basic while the ones for door locks, exterior mirror adjustment and headlamp leveling feel a bit awkwardly placed.

With the update, Toyota has now revamped the centrally mounted instrument cluster and now it gets a digital tachometer, in addition to the back-lit speedometer, which now looks significantly better than the earlier one. Ergonomically, the Etios Liva’s cabin offers decent storage space, comfortable seats with good shoulder and under thigh support. To sum it up, the interiors of the Etios Liva are a love it or hate it affair, they have been designed not to look good but to work well, which they will for sure.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

There was a lot of talk of the Liva getting the big 1.5-litre engine from the sedan, but anyone who knows the Indian market would know that the hatch would be looking to exploit the maximum benefits of the excise duty concessions that the Indian government has on offer for small cars. That means that under the Etios Liva hood is a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine (Read :Engine & Transmission). On paper, it isn’t all that bad, 80PS @ 5600rpm and 104Nm @ 3100rpm. In fact the figures are pretty close to most of the competition and better than some as well. Coupled with the Liva’s approximately 900 kg kerb weight, it should also make for a great power-to-weight ratio to score high on performance. But somehow, that’s not the case because the Etios LIVA’s brief seems to be rather straight forward – better efficiency. With the gear ratios matched to make life in the city easier, the car does feel peppy enough at low revs and accelerates cleanly off the line, but the excitement tapers off much too soon and you really need to work the engine to get past 120km/h.

Our instrumented tests did see the car cross the 150km/h mark but it took a lot of patience and even more stretches of empty roads to get there. The 5-speed manual gearbox may be the culprit here with gear ratios more conducive for city driving rather than highway cruising. But that does have a rather positive effect on its fuel efficiency. The ARAI certified stat reads 18.3kmpl cumulative but real world conditions should see you get about 14.3kmpl in the city and 16.1kmpl on the highway. Considering the prices of petrol today, that’s a welcome proposition indeed! All through the test, the Liva’s gearbox provided positive feel and slick shifts all the way to fifth. Predictably, the Liva didn’t scorch the acceleration runs, taking over 17 seconds to cross the 100km/h mark.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride comfort of the Etios Liva is very good. It doesn’t feel stiff on bad roads. The suspension absorbs most of the road shocks to give a comfortable ride. However at high speeds, it does feel a bit bouncy if your tyre pressures are incorrect. The handling is good enough. It doesn’t have the alacrity like its European competition, but it does a good job. The steering wheel too is light in weight and convenient to drive and park. The driving dynamics are how you get in a Toyota, there is absolutely no compromise

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Provisions on the new Liva for the safety of occupants include dual SRS airbags and ABS with EBD standard across variants. It also gets immobilizer, keyless entry, adjustable front headrest, child restraint system ISOFIX, fog lamps in front and reverse sensors

CONCLUSSION ;

Considering all of the above and the price (Toyota Etios Liva pricing revealed) tag that the Etios Liva sports, it sure seems like a quiet revolution in the small car segment. While most people might not be able to appreciate the car’s importance and value immediately, those who do will remain eternally happy with their decision to buy it. The Etios Liva is a big car in a small package and coupled with legendary Toyota reliability and quality, it should offer quality service to its owners who will revel in its roomy interiors and comfortable seating. This is certainly not the car for someone looking for a super fast mile muncher. But in the context of your monthly running bills, the Liva will definitely bring on the smiles. Maybe that’s what Toyota meant when they said that the Liva was a happy faced car then!

 

Toyota Etios Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW

Just as Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with luxury and BMW with sportiness, Toyota has established itself as a byword for quality and reliability. For years the Japanese automaker has churned out a range of well put together cars. Get behind the wheel of one and straightaway you’d be under an impression that it’s a thing that will probably last forever.

Oddly enough, it’s the knack of endlessly producing functional and reliable products that makes Toyotas of today (except for the utterly brilliant GT-86) rather dull and soulless appliances. Take the Etios for instance. On sale in the Indian market since 2010, the car has come under heavy criticism for its uninspiring design and low-rent interior. So when we heard that Toyota was bringing out a facelifted version, our first thoughts leapt to visions of a refreshing new Etios that is far more impressive to look at and sit in, compared to the earlier model. Check Ex Showroom Price of Etios

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

The Toyota Etios seems to derive certain cues from the Corolla though it has been designed suitably for the desired price range. The first look however is somewhat underwhelming. The car lacks curves, sleek shaping of bonnet etc.

At the front, the head lights on the wide front bumper and the chrome lined Toyota emblem give the confidence of Toyota brand. However, the head light size seems on the large size, and though positioned well, it certainly feels that it could have been improved much. The positioning of the windshield is in par with aerodynamics and adds to the aesthetics of the front portion. Black radiator grill and fog lamp add to a good impression of the car. Request test drive for Etios in Cazprice

Toyota has used a good quality of body panels which is indicated by the sturdy feel of the front fender, front door, rear door and quarter panel.The rear side of the Etios is decent and has been covered with big tail lamps, and a somewhat lumpy dickey. The car from the back somehow reminds of the Mahindra Logan.

INTERIORS AND SPACE

The Etios diesel’s interiors are unchanged from the petrol sibling and you get the same airy and spacious cabin. The front and rear seats are both big and wide, offering excellent back and thigh support. There is plenty of leg and headroom around as well. Since the Etios is almost as wide as a Camry, sitting three abreast at the rear is quite a comfy affair. And making life easy for the middle passenger is the flat floor and well designed backrest. However, what these seats lack is good lateral support and passengers do slide around a bit on the flat and firm surfaces if you corner hard.

There are no proper headrests in the rear and no central armrest either. However, the spacious seats, the perfect backrest angle and the ‘hip’ point translate into a comfortable sitting posture. It’s not just passenger space that’s class-leading. Storage space is phenomenal too. Apart from the massive cooled glovebox, there are lots of useful cubbyholes, generous door pockets and seven bottle-holders! To top it off the Etios has a 595-litre boot which can easily swallow the luggage of five passengers on a long holiday. The quirky dashboard design does take some getting used to, but once you get accustomed to the new layout, the change is actually quite welcome. Surprisingly, for all the chopping and changing, the functionality of the cabin is brilliant. The chunky steering with its dimpled finish feels terrific and the white semi-circular speedo and tachometer are quite distinctive, especially when lit up at night.

However, there are plenty of low-rent bits as well. The dashboard plastics don’t have a quality feel, the air-con controls look like they have been lifted from an old Maruti, and the cable-type headlamp height adjuster looks tacky. Then, the carpets are very basic and the sun visors look cheap too. Why Toyota has painted many bits in lipstick red is anybody’s guess. It looks too loud and is at odds with the conservative nature of this car.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Now it is time for the engines. First is the 1.2-litre petrol, which will be the most selling engine today as the fuel prices have seen a major dip and petrol has seen a major jump in demand. The engine is quiet and this engine produces about 80bhp of power. Most of the power is available at higher revs, so you need to downshift for an overtake, especially while driving on an highway. Most of the drivers prefer relaxed type of driving then this engine will perfectly suit this requirement. The power produced by the engine is sufficient for city driving and it even returns a decent figure of 12 km per litre in city driving and with highway, the mixed figure is close to 14 km/litre. The five-speed transmission is smooth and has short throws.

The diesel engine of the Etios Liva is a gem. This is a 1.4-litre engine that churns out 67bhp of power. Let us not go by the numbers, once you get behind the wheel you realise how good this engine is. Be in almost any gear, the engine pulls without any hesitation. This is what Toyota’s are known for, and this diesel engine has the typical Toyota characteristics, which makes the Japanese auto giant one the best sellers in the world. The oil burner is a bit noisy, however it is highly fuel-efficient too. In city, the Etios Liva returns about 16km/l with ease, while on the highway, the figure is between 19-22km/l depending on your driving condition.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The ride quality on the Etios is very good but the suspension is stiffly sprung and hence some sharp bumps filter in the cabin. However, the car never loses composure and always remains stable irrespective of road conditions. The steering offers brilliant feels and feels great to operate. The car feels eager to dive into corners but on heavy cornering, the tail slides out due to the rear end of the car being a bit too light. Braking performance is also good and confidence-inspiring.

SAFETY

The list of safety aspects include dual front SRS airbags, driver seat belt warning light with buzzer , engine immobilizer, keyless entry, headlamp-on warning as well as door ajar notifications that adds to the safety quotient

CONCLUSSION

There is no doubt that the new Toyotra Liva hatchback definitely has received some worthy upgrades especially if we talk about the safety side. The changes to the exterior have certainly given it a more sporty appeal which definitely will attract much attention, while the refreshed interior too adds a premium touch to the hatchback as well. Although there are no mechanical changes but all those above mentioned changes has made this hatchback worth every penny.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW

Maruti Suzuki had one of the hottest exhibits at the 2016 Auto Expo, where they showcased the Ignis. The off-beat styling with a crossover-esque design grabbed a lot of eye balls. After waiting for a year, the Ignis has been finally launched with a range of engine and transmission options along with highly customisable trims. The Indo-Japanese carmaker is targeting the millennial youth audience with the Ignis and retailing it via their premium NEXA dealerships across the country. What’s the hype all about? We find out in our test drive in Chennai.. Check Ex Showroom Price of  Ignis

EXTERIORS AND STYLE

The biggest USP of the Maruti Ignis is its distinct styling that immediately catches attention on the road. The crossover silhouette makes it a tall boy while the modern design language separates its identity from the regular lot of Marutis. The front profile is clean yet attractive with the wide grille extending towards the headlamps. The LED DRLs are wrapped around the projector headlamps that illuminate the road very well, there are no halogen lights. The bumper looks sporty integrating the fog lamps in chrome housing.

The side profile is dominated by the pronounced wheel arches with cladding and contrasting black alloys. Furthermore, the straight bonnet along with a high roofline and flat rear profile makes it look like a pseudo SUV. The C-Pillar gets a very distinct kink with stylish indents that might remind you of the Adidas logo, it looks sporty. Now the rear profile of the Ignis has got a “love it or hate it” design. Though looks are subjective but we like the classic touches of the squared out tail lights and the heavily cladded rear bumper. The Ignis also comes with dual tone colours like the Vitara Brezza. Also, you can customise the roof with different wraps. Request test drive for Ignis in Cazprice

INTERIOR AND SPACE

The interior layout is also in keeping with the exterior design. Maruti has cleverly used black and off-white interiors to enhance the sense of space in the cabin. That said, the lower portion of the dash and the door pads are prone to getting soiled too easily and it’ll be quite a task to keep these clean. The plastic quality too in these areas feels like its from the budget end of the parts bin.

The Ignis AMT is available in the Delta and Zeta variants only. The latter is what you see here and it loses out on goodies such as LED headlamps, DRLs, a touchscreen infotainment system, climate control and the cool toggle switches on the centre console that you get in the top-end Alpha variant. I also have a gripe with the music system in the Zeta variant. The sound output is average; the speakers seem like they are from a car in the ’90s. An aftermarket system, hence, is highly recommended.

Cabin space, as Rahul rightly pointed, is adequate to seat four adults only, so let the ‘based on the Baleno platform’ sales pitch not fool you into believing you’ll have space equal to that car. What you do get, however is generous knee and head room at the rear. The front seats are pretty comfortable and the generous bolstering offers great support, which I think is great for a reason that I’ll come to later.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

There’s a telling difference between the on-road performance of the petrol and diesel versions. The petrol is quiet, refined and linear in its power delivery. The diesel in comparison is noisy and a bit unruly. There’s also that turbo lag this 1.3-litre Fiat designed diesel engine is infamous for. The lag is less obvious in the automatic version compared to the diesel manual, but it is still there. The diesel however makes for easier overtakes once the turbo is spooled up. And it is clearly the more fuel efficient of the two.

In AMT or AGS or automatic guise, the diesel Ignis makes for a relaxed commuter till the time you don’t ask much of the throttle pedal. There’s some shift shock, yes, but it isn’t uncomfortable. That is till you start getting hard on the gas. Because once you do, the gearbox likes to tie itself in knots. It’s not sure what gear to pick, especially when downshifting. It invariably picks a gear too low causing excessive head bobbing. The ‘box struggles to make smooth transitions between shifts as well.

The petrol comes with an AMT ‘box too. And it is fantastic in comparison to the diesel setup. The shifts are smooth, the throttle response is crisper, and the power delivery is alert and linear from the word go. Add to it the quiet nature of the petrol engine and the sporty note it takes on as the revs rise, and you have a car that’s certainly more in line with an enthusiast’s want.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Ignis is based on a new platform that has been derived from the Baleno’s B-platform. Structural rigidity is thus improved from previous generation cars that the company has manufactured around these dimensions. This has allowed the engineers to offer generous window area with slimmer A and B-pillars without compromising on safety. Maruti Suzuki Ignis

The Ignis offers great all-around visibility for parking and manoeuvring in tight spaces. It is easy to get used to the proportions of the car but the slower steering rack is a letdown as it makes these manoeuvres difficult. The suspension is set up for urban conditions so they do a good job of absorbing undulations and potholes and it gets better as speeds climb. At slow speeds, the damping is a bit harsh but nothing that the well bolstered and slightly soft seats can’t handle.

We were mostly on fast, straight stretches of highway during our drive and the Ignis felt confident and quick there. The car is possibly the lightest setup that the engines have been applied to and the suspension does a good job of keeping the car stable and planted at highway pace.

SAFETY

It is one aspect where Maruti has truly excelled. Maruti Ignis specifications include dual front airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioner and force limiter (PTFL), and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) as standard fitments. In addition, ISOFIX Anchorage – a child seat restraint system – is also offered as a standard feature with the entire Ignis variant lineup.

CONCLUSSION

This isn’t your typical Maruti. It isn’t value for money in the true Maruti sense, its styling steers away from the safe path, and it will polarise people into ‘love-it’ or ‘hate-it’ camps. If you find yourself in the ‘love-it’ group there is very little to turn you away from the Ignis. The AMT gearbox isn’t all good and at this price point, it would be fair to expect a smoother shifting unit. Also, the steering is quite lifeless, particularly the petrol, but that apart, the car has a lot going for it. It’s cool and funky, it’s loaded with equipment not seen in this segment like LED projector lamps, a touchscreen system and auto climate control. There’s also a lot of space inside. Both engines are rewarding to drive, especially the peppy petrol and did we mention it’s really funky? So, in a positive manner of speaking, this is not your typical Maruti. And then again, it is one! Many components are shared with its stablemates, so maintenance costs will be minimal, and it’s backed by the carmaker’s wide service network.

Audi A6 Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW

Audi’s success and sales volume in India are reflective of its tremendous consumer centricity, strong product line and visonary implementation of its goals of the flamboyant Mr. Michael Perschke, Head of Audi India.However, Audi is not the kind of entity to get complacent with their hard earned success. The company has brought in the special edition A6 to take forward their lead and build upon its volume of 6000 A6 cars sold in IndiaThe Audi A6 maintains the title of the most awarded business luxury limousine in addition to winning Asian Car of the Year and World Car of the Year. The Audi A6 is packed with features like Adaptive Air Suspension with Audi Drive Select, 4 Zone Deluxe Air Conditioning, Bose Surround System and many other self spoiling features.

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

The new A6 looks every inch an Audi, with many design cues similar to other vehicles from the German car maker’s stable. While the latest generation model is all new, it does have quite a few design cues from the old model, making the A6 unmistakably an A6. While the Audi A6 is quite long at 4.92-metres, it’s shorter than its predecessor and lower too. However, Audi has increased the wheelbase and the width of the A6, which gives it a very sporty appearance. The most striking aspects of the Audi A6 are the long engine hood, short overhangs and sweeping roof.

By far the most interesting part of the exteriors are the new headlights, which features an intricate design and extend towards the fenders. The day time running lights consist of a multitude of LEDs (60 to be precise). These headlights are not only attractive but sets the Audi’s apart from the rest. Aided by Xenon Plus and Adaptive Lightning, not only does the A6 offer splendid vision in the night but it also consumes very little power (just 40 watts per unit). The daytime running lights also double up as turn indicators and fog lights are in built in the headlight rather than being placed on the bumper.

The single frame grille is finished in high gloss black color and merges neatly at the front. The Audi A6 has well designed soft and hard lines dominating the side view, which reveals the generous dimensions of this vehicle. The windows are surrounded by high gloss package along with anodized aluminum chrome detailing which further accentuate the visuals of the car. The 10-spoke 17-inch cast aluminum wheels look very good and the side profile merges well with the rear part of the car, where the heavy influence from the A8 is immediately apparent. There is an integrated boot spoiler and the bumper is quite low with an exhaust pipe on each end. The trapezoidal tail lights are all LED units and look the part.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT

If you have been spending generous time in meetings, playing the hard and busy boss and playing golf is how you relax, the Audi A6 will be an equally comforting extension with its supreme interiors. The interiors seem crafted painstakingly precise and screams of the brand philosophy.The interiors are designed in the most comforting and soothing way possible. The beige seats to begin with wrap around the passengers very delicately. The supports hugging the passengers are very firm. The front row seats can be electrically adjusted and the auto memory can save upto two positions. The co-passenger seat can be electrically pushed forward with the help of a button mounted on the following rear door trim. The Valcona leather surely leaves a positive feeling.

Since this is a long limousine, the legroom is grand for the rear passengers. The interiors are designed in such a way that the rear passengers have their own individual zone in the second half of the vehicle. The rear headroom is decent. Audi claims the A6 makes you feel at home. Apart from the fact that such cars are as expensive as real houses, the company claims the comfort is way too luring.It has unique four zone deluxe air conditioner. Inside the A6, there is a sun sensor which gauges the intensity and position of Sun and accordingly adjusts the cabin temperature. Rear passengers get pillar mounted AC vents which are indeed effective.

The instrumental panel has been designed in a crisp way with sporty dials. It displays host of information like distance to empty, fuel consumption, cruise control etc etc. The different options on the instrumental panel are very easily accessible and can be controlled with the help of steering mounted controls too.On the central panel occupies the most important, MMI Touch which is a new way to control the Multimedia interface. The MMI can also be operated with a remote by rear passengers. If the interiors and fabrics were too luring, perhaps the 14-speaker Bose Surround System can be a real kicker pushing the mood into something heavenly. It also comes with an optional 6 CD/DVD changer. The information on 7inch color display is very lucid.

The Audi A6 has the elegantly draped interiors. It has a very roomy cabin and is synonymous to premium and uber luxurious feel. With so many features and comfort options, there are no options left but to willingly surrender.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

Audi A6 sedan comes with four engine options for Indian consumers. At the heart of the 2.8 FSI variant of the car lies a powerful petrol engine, which delivers a power of 204 PS @ 5500 rpm and a torque of 280 Nm @ 3000 rpm. The car’s top speed is 243 km/h and it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. The second variant of A6 is 2.7 TDI, which is equipped with a diesel engine that churns out 180 PS @ 3300 rpm of power and a torque of 380 Nm @ 1400 rpm. With a top speed of 230 km/h, the car accelerates from rest to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds. The 3.0 TDI Quattro model of Audi A6 is propelled by a diesel engine, which generates a power of 233 PS @ 4000 rpm, with a peak torque of 450 Nm @ 3250 rpm. Its top speed is 247 km/h and it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. The fourth variant offered to the Indian consumers is yet another diesel model – 3.2 FSI Quattro – that churns out 256 PS power at 6500 rpm and a maximum torque of 330 Nm at 3250 rpm. It promises to deliver a top speed of 250 km/h and provides an acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The A6 Matrix comes with three drive modes: Comfort, Dynamic & Automatic. Best used when commuting within the city, the A6 in Comfort mode feels pliant enough, at low speeds. But there’s this ‘floating’ feel to the ride and though the car soaks up bumps adequately, you do feel the need for a slightly more ‘taut’ and sporty ride. The ‘Dynamic’ mode provides just that, as the steering loses its vagueness and becomes a bit weightier in the hand. While the comfort mode is good and the Dynamic mode improves things a bit, you do find yourself wishing for an easier option, and that’s exactly what Audi have provided with the ‘Auto Mode’. Here, the computer wizardry gets into the action and varies the ride, handling and steering feel between the two modes, as per the changing road conditions.

SAFETY

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Audi A6 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags, rearview and top-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, a blind-spot warning system and a night-vision camera system are optional.

The standard Audi Pre Sense system can sense when a collision is imminent and warn the driver, tension the seatbelts and close the windows, while Pre Sense Rear flashes the brake lights as a warning to rearward traffic. The optional Pre Sense Plus system (available via the Driver Assistance package) will also fully tighten the seatbelts and automatically apply the brakes full force to avoid a forward collision or mitigate crash damage if one is unavoidable.

CONCLUSSION

It is very hard to go wrong with the Audi A6. With all its additional gadgetry, it is genuinely a good luxury car especially if you are going to be chauffeured around in one. Is it a good driver’s car? Not really. What it is though is a good package for the affluent Indian customer who wants one part style, one part flashiness, one part badge and one part luxury all embodies in a sensible package. Yes, the interior could have certainly been a lot more dramatic and the drive experience a bit more engaging, but again, as a whole, the new Audi A6 isnt poorly placed at all. So how does it compare to the Jaguar XF, BMW 5 Series and of course, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class? Well, stay tuned to zigwheels.com for that answer soon.

 

 

Maruti Suzuki Swift Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Maruti Suzuki Swift is one of the most easily spotted cars running on Indian roads. Launched in 2005, Swift has been here for more than ten years. Like most of the Maruti cars, Swift price is positioned competitively with entry level variant priced at Rs 5.96 lakh and the top-of-the-line variant available at Rs 6.3 lakh. Clearly the most contemporary looking hatch in MSI’s clan until Baleno came Swift has had an easy run amid rivals topping the popularity chart. During its product cycle, Swift has undergone one comprehensive facelift in 2011 followed by a couple of mild overhauls and various limited editions. Prepping to take a leap into the next generation, the new 2017 Maruti Suzuki Swift will receive vital changes to the exterior and interior. Dimensionally, it will be 50mm longer implicating more space inside the cabin. The new Maruti Suzuki Swift will underpin the new global platform used in Baleno and Ignis, implying lighter body as compared to the 3rd gen-model. Launched first in 2005, Maruti Suzuki Swift was a runaway success and its popularity continues in B segment. Check for Swift price in Hyderabad

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

The next generation Maruti Swift shares great resemblance with its predecessor, but the new design alterations have added a sporty charm to the vehicle. With its curvy and elegant body, the Swift is definitely one of the most beautiful cars ever seen in its segment. The new Swift looks bigger with extended dimensions, stylish front grill, large headlamps, ORVMs with integrated blinkers, chrome-finished logo and fog lamps. The coloured door handles, thin window glasses, mirror cowls and alloy wheels further enhance its aggressive look. Its rear looks quite refreshing with body-colored bumper and chic LED tail lights. Maruti Swift has all the crunchy features that have made it a game changer in the Indian automotive industry.

The mid variants of Maruti Swift are available with 14-inch steel wheels, whereas its top variants are equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, adding extra elegance to this premium hatchback. With an aim to offer comfortable and sporty drive, the new Maruti Swift comes with puncture-resistant tubeless tyres. The 165/ 80 R14 and 185/ 65 R15 are the standard tyre sizes for 14- and 15-inch steel wheels, respectively. The tyres are highly efficient and offer better grip over the rough Indian roads

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

Step inside the Swift, and you’d notice the interiors have received a major overhaul. There’s practically nothing that looks similar to the older generation, which we think is a big plus right off the bat. Most importantly, levels of quality have also gone up a notch. Yes, it isn’t in the league of the Hyundai Grand i10, but it does get pretty close.To aid the ‘sporty’ positioning, there’s no trace of a light colour in the cabin. Everything from the dashboard to the upholstery is engulfed in black. To break the monotony, Maruti has cleverly used matte silver accents around the centre-console, the door pads, and the steering. While the all-black theme does look good, it robs the cabin of its sense of space. The dull grey headliner and the black upholstery makes the cabin feel claustrophobic. This is especially prominent in the rear, where the small window amplify the feeling.

The front seats are among the best in the business, and can be adjusted for height, reach and tilt. They have the right amount of cushioning on the side, and there’s ample lower back and underthigh support as well. The steering, sadly, only adjusts for tilt – there’s no reach adjust on offer. That said, the steering is placed at a neutral distance from the dash and you’d rarely have a problem. It is just the right size, and feels nice to hold. In the top-spec variants, it also gets controls for the audio and the calls. Behind the steering lies the updated instrument cluster. It does look nice, and we especially like the silver outline it gets for the speedometer and the tachometer pods. There’s a monochrome MID sandwiched between the two, that reads out information such as the trip efficiency, time and distance to empty over and above the standard trip and odometer.

It scores very high in terms of ergonomics. The positioning of switches, the air-conditioning controls and even the cubby holes is right where you’d want them. The centre-console gets the waterfall theme kickstarted yet again, and houses a 2DIN audio system (with Bluetooth, USB and AUX inputs) and the automatic climate control interface. Air-conditioning works pretty efficiently, and cools the cabin down quickly. One will feel the lack of rear AC vents, though, especially since the all-black cabin doesn’t do much to keep in-cabin heat low.The Swift is a driver-oriented car, and there’s no denying the fact the driver’s seat is the seat to be in. This is made evident the moment you hop onto the rear bench. While Maruti claim an increase of 22mm in legroom, it still isn’t a comfortable place to be in – especially over long distances. The headroom isn’t all that great thanks to the sloping roofline, and the width barely manages to accommodate three abreast.Summing up, the Swift’s cabin is definitely a good place to be in. There’s a good blend of practicality and feel-good creature comforts to make it a rounded hatch for the city.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Maruti Suzuki has come under a lot of pressure as newer cars in the segment were boasting of more mileage, thus both the engines had to be re-tuned for improved efficiency. The 1.2-litre K-Series mill now produces 2.7 PS less power, thus is outputs 84.3 PS at 6000 RPM while the torque has increased by 1 Nm to 115 Nm at 4000 RPM. This has been achieved by increasing the compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 11.0:1, the vehicle now returns an ARAI mileage of 20.4 km/l against the old car’s 18.5 km/l. The petrol mill has good mid and top-end performance and loves the redline, the changes made to the powertrain aren’t very apparent when you drive the car as it still moves with the same punchiness as before.

Coming to the famous diesel engine of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the 1.3-litre Fiat motor, it hasn’t been tuned, thus it generates the same 75 PS at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm at 2000 RPM as before. The company has made tweaks to the ECU while also reducing friction to improve the mileage which is now rated at a stellar 25.2 km/l (the old car was claimed to return 22.9 km/l). The oil burner is fun to drive on the open road but there is considerable low-end lag which makes it difficult to drive the vehicle in stop-go city conditions. But once the turbo spools in full flow, the mid-range punch is extremely satisfying, still not as good as the last generation Swift which gave a kick in the pants feel like no other. Both the petrol and diesel engines are married to a 5-speed manual gearbox and there is still no automatic on offer, not even on the petrol model. Want an automatic only, get the DZire or so is what Maruti feels.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Maruti Swift 2016 is one of the few Suzuki that we pick when it comes to handling. The chassis of this hatchback is responsive and changes directions without much of a hassle. It is agile and it does well around bends. This is one of the strong points of the Swift. This chassis has been built to handle Swift Sport’s power, hence with this engine it does a good job. The ride on the Swift too is composed. It is a bit stiff, but that to improve the handling. The Maruti Swift 2016 certainly has a great package when it comes to the ride and handling aspects. The other strong point for the Swift is its steering wheel. It is light at low speeds and it weighs as you gather momentum.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

For the safety of the passengers inside the new Japanese spec Swift hatchback gets seven airbags, ABS with EBD, Rear defogger, Reverse parking camera with sensors, ESP and Hill Hold Assist (RSt variant), LED DRLs while there is also an Optional Safety Pack (which comprises of Dual Camera Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, and speed limiter).

CONCLUSSION ;

Overall the newL Swift takes the evolution of the Swift brand to a new level. Everything about the car is more crisp and essentially you get a feeling of being offered a lot more car than before and that is a boon considering the changing market dynamics. In 2005 when MSIL rolled out the Swift it set a benchmark for the premium hatchback segment. Now with competition having grown so much, the Swift was definitely getting old in the tooth, but it possessed immense brand value and had a strong fan following. The new Swift retains those values yet manages to take the game more than just a notch higher.From the looks of it, the new Swift is here to reset the benchmark and the competition might as well start planning their arsenal. With the ability to rule the roost, the only factor that will seal the new Swift’s fate as kingpin of the premium hatchback segment is its pricing. Maruti has been known to price its small cars extremely aggressively and we hope to see that with this car as well.