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SCOOP! No AWD for Tata Harrier

Packaging constraints posed by the combination of the Fiat diesel engine and Land Rover platform mean Tata’s flagship will not get an all-wheel-drive system in the near future.

If you're an off-road enthusiast and have been waiting for the launch of the Tata Harrier, we have some bad news for you - Tata's new SUV will not be offered with all-wheel drive, at least not in the near future.

As you may know, the Tata Harrier is based on Land Rover's L550 platform, and will be powered by a Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine. It’s learned that packaging the Fiat engine for an all-wheel drive setup in the Land Rover platform would require major re-engineering – specifically, modifying the position of the propeller shaft. Given the high costs involved with making such a change and the low demand for all-wheel drive SUVs in the segment, Tata Motors has no immediate plans to launch an AWD version of the Harrier.

The front-wheel drive Harrier will, however, get a Land Rover-like Terrain Response controller with multiple modes for the ESP system. Tata has also revealed teaser videos of its SUV being tested in tough conditions, so the promise is that the Harrier will, at the very least, be more capable than its fellow front-wheel drive rivals.

However, at some point during the Harrier’s lifecycle, an AWD version could be developed if there is demand for it, especially in export markets. The most likely possibility is a sporty variant of the Harrier, powered by JLR’s 2.0-litre Ingenium engines, in which case the packaging of the entire powertrain and AWD drive system would not be a problem.

Of the other details we can confirm, the Harrier will get a hydraulic power steering rather than a costlier - if more efficient - electric power steering.

The Tata Harrier will be launched in mid-January 2019, and is expected to cost between Rs 16-21 lakh (on-road).

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 2018
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New Honda Passport SUV revealed

New five-seat SUV slots in above the CR-V; gets a 284hp, 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and optional all-wheel-drive.

Honda has revealed a new five-seat SUV at the ongoing LA motor show, called the Passport. The new model, which revives the nameplate in the US market, will slot above the CR-V in the Japanese carmaker’s range.

Based on a monocoque chassis, the new Passport gets a single engine-gearbox combination – a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine making 284hp and 355Nm of peak torque that is mated to a 9-speed torque convertor automatic transmission. While drive is sent to the front wheels as standard, customers can also spec the SUV with Honda’s i-VTM4 all-wheel-drive system. The all-wheel-drive system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s output to individual rear wheels and comes with four modes including sand, snow and mud. If specced with the standard front-wheel-drive layout, the Passport gets two drive modes – normal and snow.

The cabin of the Honda Passport is claimed to be class leading due to its larger size and five-seat layout. This also means that boot space is excellent with 1,167 litres available, which expands to 2,206 litres with the 60:40 split folding rear seats down.

In terms of features, the Passport SUV is quite well kitted. A 590-watt audio system comes with an 8.0-inch touchscreen (on the higher-spec models), which gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Lower trims get a 215-watt audio system with a 5.0-inch display. Honda has provided a number of driver assistance systems across all variants including emergency auto braking and forward collision warning, lane departure alerts and lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise, cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.

Honda in India has recently launched the fifth-gen CR-V at Rs 28.15-32.75 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The carmaker has not revealed plans to bring the Passport SUV to India.

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 2018
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Tata 45X, Maruti Baleno Rival, Spied Again

To be launched in 2019, the large hatchback is in the final stages of testing
  • The Tata 45X continues to be extensively tested on public roads.
  • New exclusive spy shots show the car with non-production lights and tasty 8-spoke alloy wheels.
  • Like the Tata Nexon, the upcoming hatchback retains many design features shown in its concept form.

A new set of of exclusive spy shots show the Tata 45X hatchback on test near Pune, Maharashtra. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno rival will be launched in the second half of 2019 and is expected to inject a fresh breath of air in a segment which has not seen any updates in a long time except for the Honda Jazz facelift and constant updates to the Volkswagen Polo.

Maruti Suzuki is expected to make things difficult for the 45X by launching a mid-life facelift of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno around the same time. Ford too will put its fighter in the ring with an update to the Figo, with design updates similar to the Freestyle and the new Aspire. An all-new Hyundai i20 will join the melee sometime in 2020.

What’s new in the latest spy shots? Apart from a look at what could be production-spec 16-inch alloy wheels, nothing much we haven’t seen before. The 8-spoke alloy wheels have been inspired from the units seen on the concept back at the 2018 Auto Expo.

The edgy design seen on the concept seems to have been carried over on to the production version with compromises made to make it road-worthy. The door handles on the front doors are conventional while the rear ones sit somewhat flush in a quarter panel behind the rear windows. The grille may not be as inset as the one on the concept for functional/safety reason. Finally, the wild looking roof-mounted spoilers have been given a miss, but these could be seen on future test mules or on the final production model.

While engine and transmission details are yet to be revealed, the 45X is expected to get the same engines as the Nexon. These could be offered in a different state and will comply with BSVI emissions norms too. Manual transmissions will be offered on most variants. AMTs or automatic transmissions could be offered if they match the characteristic of the car. We know that Jayem Tata Performance (JTP) will have a crack at making the 45X go as fast as it looks, expect a firebreather of a car to slot in above the Tiago JTP.

More photos and details about the Tata 45X are expected soon. So stay tuned to ZigWheels for the latest updates.

Courtesy : Zigwheels

Nov 29, 2018
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Next-gen Porsche 911 unveiled

The eighth-generation 911 gets more powerful turbo-petrol engines though retains iconic design cues.

Porsche has revealed the eighth-generation of its range-topping 911 range of cars. The 2019 911’s shape is quite familiar though there are a few styling changes. The bulk of the changes, however, are under the bonnet as Porsche has equipped the new model with an even more powerful range of flat-six turbo-petrol engines.

Set to be one of the larger attractions at the upcoming LA motor show, the new 911 is now equipped with tweaked horizontally opposed six-cylinder petrol engines, which feature a new fuel injection process for added combustion efficiency, along with other significant upgrades aimed at increasing its competitiveness against two-door rivals.

The turbocharged 3.0-litre units are traditionally mounted at the rear and now offer slightly more power than their predecessors. The motors can be mated to either a standard 7-speed manual or a new 8-speed dual-clutch automatic.

In the Carrera S and Carrera 4S (that are rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, respectively), the new engine makes 450hp (an increase of about 30hp) and when mated to the new 8-speed automatic, the claimed 0-100kph time has reduced for both models by about 0.4 seconds. Porsche claims 3.7s for the Carrera S and 3.6s for the Carrera 4S. The optional Sport Chrono Package, which adds launch control, revised gearbox software that allows faster gearshifts and a sport response function, further reduces the 0-100kph time by 0.2s. However, top speeds for both cars haven’t changed much, with the Carrera S capable of hitting 307kph and the 4S reaching the 305kph. Claimed fuel efficiency figures are also more or less unchanged.

The new 911, internally codenamed 992, has been re-engineered extensively and now features a new platform structure with a greater amount of aluminium in its rear section, improving weight distribution. Porsche has also provided a revised chassis, which comes with rear-wheel steering for both, the Carrera and Carrera S models for the first time. The German performance brand claims that this addition provides the 911 with added agility and improved high-speed stability.

While the silhouette of the new 911 is the same as its predecessors, a closer look reveals that it has a more muscular appearance, with tauter surfacing and larger rear wings. In a departure from tradition, Porsche will not offer two body structures in differing widths and instead, the new 911 will come with one standard body with rear wings that are said to be slightly broader than those on the older, wide-body 911.

Up front, a new bumper features a more prominent splitter element along its leading edge as well as a trio of larger cooling ducts. These are mounted outboard and feature three horizontal louvres, each to better channel air to the front-mounted radiators. Above the outer cooling ducts, Porsche has fitted new slimline LED driving lights that, like those of the old model, double as indicator units.

The 992 911 also has a longer bonnet with more angular leading edges and a defined indent through its middle section, along with rounder headlight units. The new headlights (some models get matrix LED tech), are mounted within wider front wings. The wing on the right continues to house the filler flap for the front-mounted fuel tank. Further back, the exterior mirrors continue to be housed on frameless doors, but they are larger and restyled slightly. The new door handles now sit flush with the body when the door is closed for added aerodynamic efficiency.

Classic elements like the comparatively upright windscreen and shape of the glasshouse are unchanged. The rear sports a wider window with more rounded edges at the top. There’s also a newly developed spoiler that deploys upwards and revised OLED tail-lights that, in a move mirroring other recent new Porsche models’, are now connected in the middle by a full-width LED light band.

Other changes include new Porsche identification, revised model badges that feature the 911 name for the first time and a more heavily structured rear bumper with a wide black valance cover that houses air ducts for the engine bay and large oval tailpipe openings. Standard wheel sizes have not been revealed yet but Porsche says the new 911 will have the same sized wheels as its predecessor – 20-inchers at the front and 21-inchers at the rear.

While the 992 911 is larger in every vital dimension, Porsche has only confirmed that the front track is 45mm wider and that it has a slightly longer wheelbase for improved interior and drivetrain packaging.

The changes on the interior of the new 911 are more significant. The dashboard features a more angular design and comes with a new multi-function steering wheel equipped with the sports response rotary dial, allowing the driver to alter the car’s drive modes.

While the rev counter in the instrument cluster is analogue, all other dials are digital. Porsche has also added a 10.9-inch touchscreen monitor in the centre of the dashboard for the Porsche Communication Management system as standard. The new centre console houses a newly designed gearlever, electronic handbrake switch and a combination of touch-based and toggle-style switchgear for ancillary functions.

Thanks to the adoption of a new 12V electrical architecture, the new 911 gets a range of new driving assistance systems including a so-called wet mode that detects water on the road and re-calibrates the Porsche Stability Management system; adaptive cruise control with automatic distance control; night vision assist with a thermal-imaging camera; and a brake assist system that detects impending collision and initiates emergency braking when required.

So far, Porsche has only revealed the Carrera S and Carrera 4S models though there are definitely more planned. The new 911 range will include a less powerful version of the flat-six in the Carrera and Carrera 4 models, and more powerful variants in future GTS and Turbo models. The brand will also introduce plug-in hybrid versions of the latest 911, though they will only arrive with the facelifts that are expected to come in 2022.

There is no word on when the new 911 range will come to India. The outgoing 991 series model costs between Rs 1.42-3.88 crore (ex-showroom) depending on version. When it does arrive its rivals will include the Mercedes-AMG GT range and the Audi R8.

Courtesy : Autocar

Nov 29, 2018
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More Details About Mahindra Alturas G4 Revealed

Mahindra says the Alturas G4 “would redefine the high-end SUV segment”
  • Mahindra has revealed more details about the upcoming flagship SUV, the Alturas G4.
  • Premium features will include a ‘3D’ 360-degree parking camera setup and more.
  • Exclusive relationship managers will interact with customers at the dealership.
  • Customer experience will be different in the separate high-end space inside Mahindra’s ‘World of SUVs’ showrooms.
  • The Purple Club+ loyalty program should also make the ownership experience feel special.

Mahindra has announced more details about the Alturas G4 in the runup to its launch on 24 November 2018. Mahindra has stated that the Alturas G4 will be priced in the Rs 30 lakh+ SUV segment, which should put it up against the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Skoda Kodiaq and completely gloss over the popular Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner.

Mahindra has announced more details about the Alturas G4 in the runup to its launch on 24 November 2018. Mahindra has stated that the Alturas G4 will be priced in the Rs 30 lakh+ SUV segment, which should put it up against the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Skoda Kodiaq and completely gloss over the popular Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner.

Other details about the flagship SUV have been revealed which includes:

  • 8-way powered driver seat with memory function
  • Dual-zone fully-automatic climate control
  • 9 airbags
  • ‘3D’ (a system also seen on BMW cars) 360-degree surround view parking camera

Apart from the high-end experience which potential customers of the Alturas G4 will enjoy at the special dealerships inside Mahindra’s ‘World of SUVs’ setup, they can also expect a different experience due to two things. Each customer will get a dedicated relationship manager who knows them and their car more personally and a Purple Club+ loyalty program which promises discounts on every interaction between the customer and the brand, and some potential, yet unannounced brand building exercises.

Mahindra is expected to keep revealing details from time to time till it launches the Alturas G4. Stay tuned.

Courtesy:- ZigWheels

Nov 17, 2018
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