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India-bound Audi A4 facelift revealed

India-bound Audi A4 facelift revealed
Refreshed A4 gets sharper design tweaks and more standard equipment; expected to arrive in India next year.

Audi has given the A4 a minor refresh in its design, and it now comes with an enlarged standard equipment list, though there are no mechanical changes. The facelift for the fifth-generation A4 (the pre-facelift model sells in India) is expected to arrive in India some time in 2019.

Design-based changes include slightly sharper features, bigger side skirts and a new grille design. The top-spec S variant gets a more prominent rear diffuser and larger 19-inch alloy wheels, though lower trims stick with 17-inch or 18-inch wheels. A new Turbo Blue colour is expected to be exclusively available with cars in Black Edition specification.

Standard kit has increased across the range. All trims also now get a 7-inch infotainment screen and satellite navigation as standard. The entry-level variant now comes with a multi-function steering wheel and electric-folding mirrors while the Sport models feature four-way lumbar adjustment for the front seats and auto-folding door mirrors. S line and Black Edition models add high beam assist headlamps to this list.

The current A4 that retails in India is priced between Rs 41.47 lakh and Rs 46.94 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and rivals the likes of the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-class (whose facelift is scheduled to arrive in October this year) and the Volvo S60 (the next-gen model is expected in 2019).

Courtesy: AUTOCARE

Jun 29, 2018
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Audi Q5 petrol launched at Rs 55.27 lakh

The new Audi Q5 SUV is now available with a 252hp petrol heart and two variants - Premium Plus and Technology.

Audi expanded its Q5 portfolio in India by launching the petrol variant of the SUV. The Audi Q5 petrol has been priced from Rs 55.27 lakh for the Premium Plus variant and at Rs 59.79 lakh for the Technology trim. (both prices ex-showroom, India). This SUV is the third new launch from the German brand in India after the Q5 diesel variant and the power-packed Audi RS5.

On the outside, both the petrol and diesel variants of the new Audi Q5 are visually identical. The SUV carries forward the striking single-frame grille and the five-spoke alloy wheels – although we would have preferred a more eye-catching design on the Q5 petrol. The only difference between the new model and the diesel is the ‘45 TFSI’ badge on its rear, representing its petrol heart.

Under the hood resides a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol TFSI motor producing 252hp and 370Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties are handled by the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission seen on the diesel variant. Power is sent to all four wheels via Audi’s signature quattro system. The driver also gets the option to select from five drive modes - comfort, dynamic, efficient, auto and off-road.

On stepping inside, you will be welcomed by a luxurious and premium cabin; as is expected from Audi. The interior of the Q5 petrol is identical to its diesel sibling, including the beige-black dual-tone upholstery. The large 8.3-inch infotainment system is sure to grab your attention; operated via a rotary knob placed on the centre console. The Q5 gets goodies such as Audi’s virtual cockpit, wireless smartphone connectivity compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, three-zone climate control and more.

The Audi Q5 petrol competes against the recently launched BMW X3 xDrive30i, Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 and Lexus NX 300h. The Q5 petrol isn’t the last launch from Audi India for 2018, as it will be launching its flagship sedan – the all-new A8, later this year.

Courtesy: AUTOCARE

Jun 29, 2018
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BMW 630d Gran Turismo launched at Rs. 66.50 lakh

BMW India debuted the second generation of the 6 Series Gran Turismo at the 2018 Auto Expo. Until recently, the car was only available with a petrol engine. BMW has now launched the 630d Gran Turismo, which comes in two trim levels - Luxury Line and M Sport. These are priced at Rs. 66.50 lakh and Rs. 73.70 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively. In addition to the diesel variants, BMW has also introduced the 630i Gran Turismo Luxury Line, which is priced at Rs. 61.80 lakh (ex-showroom).

The 6 Series Gran Turismo is the replacement for the 5 Series GT. It's a 4-door coupe characterized by an arcing roofline, frameless doors with soft close function and a notchback rear end. The front looks similar to the current generation 5 Series sedan and features a twin-kidney grille flanked by twin-pod LED headlights. The rear features L-shaped LED tail lights and a retracting spoiler.

The interiors are similar to the new 5 Series as well. It comes with a leather-wrapped dashboard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with gesture control and iDrive Touch, BMW Apps and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a 3-spoke multi-functional steering wheel and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Rear seat passengers get two 10.2-inch screens. Other features include 4-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, launch control, air-suspension, panoramic sunroof, automatic tail gate, BMW Display Key, Parking Assistant with 360-degree camera, remote control parking and wireless charging among others.

The 630d Gran Turismo is powered by a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder diesel engine that develops 261 BHP @ 4,000 rpm and 620 Nm of torque @ 2,000-2,500 rpm. It is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and has 5 driving modes - Sport, Comfort, Comfort+, Eco Pro and Adaptive. The 6 Series GT also gets features like engine start/stop, Active Air Stream Kidney Grille and brake energy regeneration. The Luxury Line variant gets 18-inch alloy wheels, while the M Sport variant rides on 19-inch M light alloys shod with 245/45 R19 and 275/40 R19 tyres in the front and rear respectively.

Some of the standard safety features include ABS with Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Braking Lights, airbags, active headrests, Attentiveness Assistant, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction control, ISOFIX child safety seat anchors and run flat tyres.

The 630d Gran Turismo Luxury Line is available in 4 colour options - Mineral White, Glacier Silver, Mediterranean Blue and Royal Burgundy Red brilliant effect. The M Sport variant comes in 3 colour choices - Mineral White, Carbon Black and Bluestone.

Courtesy:- TEAM BHP

Jun 21, 2018
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Mahindra TUV300 Plus launched at Rs. 9.60 lakh

Mahindra has launched the TUV300 Plus in India at prices starting from Rs. 9.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The SUV is offered in 3 variants - P4, P6 and P8.

The TUV300 Plus is a stretched version of the standard TUV300. It measures 4,400 mm in length, 1,835 mm in width and 1,812 mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,680 mm, while its boot space is rated at 696 litres. The P8 variant comes with folding second row seats. With the seats folded, the luggage capacity is increases to 888 litres. The vehicle has a fuel tank capacity of 60 litres. 

The TUV300 Plus has a similar front fascia as its sub-4 meter sibling. The front end features a 5-slat grille flanked by sweptback headlamps. The front bumper has a rectangular air dam with rectangular fog lamps on either side. The vehicle rides on 16-inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels shod with 215/70 section tyres and the rear features a set of new tail lamp clusters and a tailgate-mounted spare wheel.

On the inside, the TUV300 Plus features a dual-tone dashboard finished in beige and black. The centre fascia has a piano black finish and houses a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which has features like navigation and voice messaging and Bluesense App connectivity. Further, it comes with a 3-spoke multi-functional steering wheel and a twin-dial instrument cluster with a central MID. The seats feature faux-leather upholstery. The power window switches are placed between the front seats, which have separate centre arm rests. The vehicle has 2 side-facing seats in the third row giving it a total seating capacity of 9.

The TUV300 Plus is powered by a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine that produces 120 BHP @ 4,000 rpm and 280 Nm @ 1,800-2,800 rpm and comes paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. All three variants get Mahindra's Micro Hybrid Technology with brake energy regeneration and ECO Mode. The air-conditioning system also has an ECO mode. 

Safety features like ABS with EBD and driver and passenger side airbags are only offered on the P6 and P8 variants. There and 5 colour options to choose from - Majestic Silver, Bold Black, Dynamo Red, Molten Orange and Glacier White.

Variant-wise ex-showroom prices:

P4 - Rs. 9,59,001

P6 - Rs. 9,95,000

P8 - Rs. 10,98,600

Courtesy:- TEAM BHP

Jun 21, 2018
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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-class facelift review, test drive

What is it?

It’s been four whole years since this generation of C-class has been around, but it doesn’t feel that long, since the car, for the most part, has aged so well. Sure, newer rivals have taken the game forward, particularly in the technology and infotainment departments, but it’s the classic design and solid luxury values that have kept the C desirable. An update, however, is rarely a bad thing, and that’s what we will be getting, in India, in October 2018. We’ve been driving the mid-cycle refresh of the C-class in Luxembourg and Germany, and there’s quite a lot to report.

However, the looks don’t account for much of what’s new. The exterior is largely the same, with only minor changes to the grilles, bumpers and wheels to report. There are new configurations for the full-LED headlamps, however, the more basic setup offering two rows of LED units one atop the other, and the more advanced ‘Multi-Beam’ setup using a large projector unit that is capable of shooting its light beam 650 metres down the road. Nice! There’s also a new LED pattern in the tail-lamps and the AMG C 43 models now get round tailpipes as a differentiator.

Inside, the big change is to the screens. You now get an optional 10.25in central screen for the COMAND infotainment and a 12.3in screen replacing the analogue dials – both options we hope Mercedes ticks for India. The steering wheels are the same as in the S-class – a more elegant one for the standard car and a sportier flat-bottomed one for AMG models – and both now feature more controls, including the dual touch-pad interface for the infotainment. Other than that, it’s worth noting that Mercedes, listening to feedback on the existing car, has introduced more matte wood (rather than glossy) trim options and darker leather colours, which we hope make it to India to replace the somewhat-passé black and beige.

What’s it like to drive?

All of the engines are either all-new or updated. The 200 petrol, for instance, is now a 1.5-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged unit, rather than a 2.0-litre (although the power output is the same), the 300 petrol in the cabriolet is now up to 258hp, the 220d is the new 2.0-litre (code: OM654) unit we saw on the E-class (the 2.1-litre OM651 is no more), and the twin-turbo 250d is replaced by the 300d, which is a more powerful version of the 220d’s 2.0-litre motor. The AMG 43 motor is the same twin-turbo 3.0 V6 as before, but power is now up 23hp to 390hp. We drove the C 300d and the AMG C 43.

The new C 300d makes the same 500Nm of torque as the C 250d, but power is up from 204hp to a solid 245hp! Do you feel the 41hp bump immediately? Not quite, because the 250d was a strong engine to begin with, and because the 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox did (and still does) such a stellar job of delivering the power. But yes, it is evident that you always have a strong reserve of power at your disposal, and this is particularly felt when you’re overtaking at high speeds. It’s also more refined than the old 2.1-litre unit, but there’s still quite a boomy noise when you open it up a bit. The gearbox, too, is seamless for the most part, but can fumble slightly when kicking down hard for sudden acceleration.

The big caveat when it came to evaluating the ride and handling (other than Europe’s fantastically smooth roads, of course) was that our C 300d sedan test car had air suspension and AWD – neither of which will be available on the Indian version. The ride quality, as a result, was really nice and cushy, and we’ll have to wait and see how they calibrate the passive steel springs when the car comes to India; the current car, for instance, is set up a bit too firm for our market. Secondly, because of the AWD and the air suspension, the steering felt nowhere near as sharp or connected as the one we have in India, but instead felt a bit slow and soft.

We also drove the AMG C 43, but interestingly, we drove it in the Coupe body style, as Mercedes is likely to bring this version to our market as well. As before, it gets 4Matic AWD, but now it has a 23hp power bump too. This car feels more or less the same as before, although – and this may be because driving through a German forest is like driving through an echo chamber – it seems even louder this time. It still feels a bit heavier and more tied down than the standard cars, and all the settings on the adaptive dampers feel a touch firmer too.

The last piece of the experience is the suite of Level 2 Autonomous or self-driving tech that debuted in India on the facelifted S-class, which worked really well in the C-class on our test drive. But Mercedes says, save for a few small sub-features, this won’t be coming to India, simply as it would upset the model hierarchy – the E-class doesn’t get it, so the C cannot.

Should I buy one?

Certainly, if you were already considering a C-class, the deal has only gotten sweeter now, but that’s the case with most updates, isn’t it? Moreover, it just feels like a more modern car this time around. Some interesting questions do arise though. Will the Indian market take to a downsized 1.5-litre motor? Will Mercedes bite the bullet and spec the car to the max with the high-resolution screens (a bugbear of the current car is its small and dated infotainment unit)? Will they get the suspension for India right this time? Will India accept a coupe body style, even if only for the high-end AMG variant? These are all questions that will be answered in October, but they’re also a good sign, because that means the segment has evolved, and you can be sure Mercedes has been listening to feedback and will evolve with it. What is in no doubt, though, is that this one model range has so much diversity to offer. With a number of engines and body styles to suit a number of buyers and budgets, the facelifted C-class will certainly have something for everyone.

Courtesy:- AUTOCARE

Jun 21, 2018
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