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Revealed: Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin

Revealed: Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
In 2014, the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin prototype caused quite a stir at EICMA, in Milan. It was Japan’s answer to the BMW R1200GS – a motorcycle that has pretty much dominated the adventure-tourer segment across the globe. Why did this come as big news to enthusiasts, you may ask. Well, that’s because the production of Honda’s last twin-cylinder adventure bike, the XRV750 (or the old Africa Twin), was halted well over a decade ago. But, since displaying the concept, it appears the lads back in Japan have been at it night and day to see this 1,000cc, parallel-twin beaut through to production. And boy, hasn't this gone well.
Honda has revealed that there will be multiple versions of the CRF1000L on offer, differentiated by the number of features. Nestled in the new steel semi-double cradle frame is a compact 998cc, parallel-twin motor that pumps out 74bhp and 98Nm of torque. Another talking point with this motorcycle is the choice of gearboxes: you can have a six-speed manual transmission, or a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with on- and off-road riding modes. The Africa Twin's wet weight is rated at 228kg, 232kg for the ABS model, and 242kg with the DCT. While the base model comes with minimal electronic aids, the top-end versions will come strapped with tech like the three-level Honda Selectable Torque Control System (HSTC), an ABS system that allows the rider to switch off ABS for the rear wheel. Also, the DCT boasts of incline detection technology, where the gear shift pattern adapts to the degree of an incline to provide optimum control.
Just like the old Africa Twin, the new CRF1000L is designed to balance high-speed stability with genuine off-road tractability. Inspired by the likes of the Honda CRF450R Rally bike, the Africa Twin uses 21/18-inch front and rear wire-spoke wheels, wearing 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 rubber. Dual headlights maintain the original’s signature presence and the seat can be raised or dropped by 20mm to 870mm or 850mm. A large 18.8-litre fuel tank – coupled with the fuel efficient engine – provides the 1000L with a range of up to 400km.

The Africa Twin will be available in four colour options: CRF Rally, Tricolour, silver and black, but the best part about this bike is that its asking price of €12,100 (around Rs 9.24 lakh) is significantly lesser than its main rival (abroad) from the Bavarian stable, the BMW R1200GS.

Courtesy : BBC Top Gear

Jul 31, 2015
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Mahindra U301 compact SUV to be called TUV300

The TUV300 will be launched mid-September; to get a new engine called mHawk80.
Mahindra has officially revealed the first details of its upcoming compact SUV, so far known by its codename – U301. The SUV will be badged TUV300 (pronounced three, double-O), and will be launched mid-September this year.
Built on an all-new platform, the TUV300 will measure less than four metres in length. Sketches of the TUV300 point to an SUV with an upright stance, minimal front and rear overhangs and a tailgate-mounted spare wheel. The whole concept behind the design was to impart an image of ‘toughness’ and for this purpose, Mahindra designers are said to have taken inspiration from battle tanks – something that can be seen in the TUV’s rather angular form. Interestingly, Italian design house Pininfarina (Mahindra’s bid to take it over fell through recently) was also involved in the design and styling process. There is a hint of the Bolero at the front but Mahindra executives clarified that the TUV is not a replacement for the Bolero. Rather, the TUV300 will be an addition to Mahindra’s line-up of SUVs and will be pitched as a compact SUV for city based customers.

Mahindra didn’t provide details on the cabin but going by the spy pics we have with us, the TUV300 will be well equipped with features such as a touchscreen infotainment system likely on top-spec cars. What’s also uncertain at the moment is if Mahindra will offer the TUV300 with the option of seven seats. The Quanto has been available with two jump seats aft of the rear bench and it’ll be interesting to see if Mahindra uses a similar setup here as well.

As for the mechanicals, Mahindra also announced that the TUV300 will use a new engine. The unit will be based on Mahindra’s mHawk motor and has been christened mHawk80. Expect the engine to displace just under 1500cc to help the TUV300 qualify as a small car and correspondingly, a lower rate of excise duty. Mahindra will launch the TUV300 in two-wheel drive form but company insiders said a four-wheel drive version is theoretically possible on the new platform.

Mahindra will reveal full details of the TUV300 closer to the model’s launch in September.

Courtesy : Autocar

Jul 31, 2015
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Mercedes-Benz S500 Coupe, S63 AMG Coupe and G63 AMG in ‘crazy’ Orange colour launch today

Two door Coupe versions of the S-Class sedan, the S500 Coupe and S63 AMG will offer performance and luxury of the highest level. Mercedes will also introduce a ‘crazy coloured’ G63 AMG
The pinnacle of Luxury gets a lot sportier with the launch of the S500 Coupe and its AMG version the S63 AMG today. Mercedes-Benz expands the S-Class range with these two door Coupes. The S500 Coupe is powered by a 4.7-litre twin turbo V8 engine developing 461PS of power and 700Nm of torque. With a wheelbase of 2945mm, the Coupe is 5027mm long, with a width of 1899mm and a height of 1411mm. Besides all the luxuries you’d expect in an S-Class, the S500 Coupe is a sporty car and gets flaps in its exhaust system to entertain with its rumbling V8 exhaust note as it is controlled pneumatically depending on its engine speed.

If the S500 Coupe isn’t sporty enough for you, the thunderous S63 AMG Coupe will stir your soul. Up front is the larger 5.5-litre twin turbo V8 boasting of 593PS of power and a colossal 900Nm of torque. Not just engine performance though… You get Mercedes-AMG’s 4Matic all-wheel drive for excellent traction at all times, AMG Sports exhaust system and the AMG Speedshift 7-speed MCT gearbox. Top speed is limited to 250kmph and 0-100kmph comes in 3.9 seconds.

Design of the S-Class Coupe is pure elegance. Long body, curves at all the right places and no over the top garish element makes it’s a design that will age well. It is arguably the best fake watches uk sale designed Mercedes in the current lineup. Streamlined body meets flowing lines culminating into a beautifully plunging rear. It looks athletic too with that wide squat stance and bulging wheel arches, multispoke alloy wheels and that slight bulge on the bonnet. The S63 AMG Coupe has muscular bumpers, larger tyres and a different set of sportier alloys that make it that slight bit more menacing than the fake watches uk for men standard Coupe.

In addition to the S Coupes, Mercedes will also launch the G63 AMG SUV in a ‘Crazy Colour’. 

Courtesy : Zigwheels

Jul 30, 2015
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Mitsubishi to cease production in the US

Japan, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia declared Mitsubishi's major manufacturing sites.
Mitsubishi has confirmed its plans to stop production in the United States. After announcing the end of its run at the Illinois factory, company head Tetsuro Aikawa declared Mitsubishi's most important production sites to be Japan, Russia and Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which include Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia.

Focus on Asian and other developing markets is not surprising as sales of Mitsubishi’s pick-ups and SUVs have seen improved growth in these regions; on the other hand, sales in the US have been dwindling. The Japanese carmaker's Outlander Sport was manufactured at the Illinois plant, but will now be shifted to Japan. This will make Japan one of Mitsubishi’s export hubs, other than Thailand where it has three manufacturing set-ups. An added advantage here is that, the yen being weaker against the US Dollar, will allow the carmaker to save on manufacturing cost.

As for the Illinois facility, Mitsubishi is looking for a buyer that will retain the current employees. Aikawa believes that finding a buyer shouldn’t be difficult considering the growing American car market.

Courtesy : Autocar

Jul 30, 2015
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Official: Hero to acquire assets of EBR for $ 2.8 million

Hero MotoCorp has announced that it will acquire the assets of its bankrupt US -based technical partner, Erik Buell Racing. As part of a settlement agreement with court-appointed receiver, Hero MotoCorp subsidiaries HMCL NA Inc and HMCL Americas Inc will take over certain tangible and intangible of EBR free and clear of all encumbrances, for a consideration of $ 2.8 million.

HMCL entities and the receiver have also agreed to resolve all disputes and fully give mutual release in terms of settlement agreement for all subject matters which is in any way related to EBR entities. The agreement is contingent upon the approval by the Circuit Court and the approval of the board of directors of Hero MotoCorp authorising its joinder as a direct party to the settlement agreement on or before August 10, 2015.

EBR was founded in 2009. In 2013, Hero MotoCorp acquired a 49.2% stake in the company for a sum of $ 25 million. In 2012, the Indian company had entered into an agreement with EBR to source technology for high-end bikes.

Courtesy : Team BHP

Jul 29, 2015
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