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Lexus NX300h SUV India launch on November 17, 2017

Bookings for the Lexus NX300h are now open at Rs 5 lakh; will come with a 196hp petrol-hybrid engine.

Toyota's luxury arm, Lexus, is all set to bring in its fourth model for its India range. This time, the company will launch its smallest offering globally, the NX300h SUV, in India on November 17, 2017.

We will get the facelifted version of the Lexus NX SUV which was revealed at the Shanghai Motor show earlier this year. The India-spec Lexus NX will be available with only one powertrain option, the Lexus NX300h, equipped with a 196hp 2.5-litre petrol-hybrid configuration, similar to the one seen on the Lexus ES300h sedan.

On the inside, the Lexus NX300h will come with high-quality leather interior with soft-touch materials and a 10.3-inch infotainment screen. Two variants will be offered for our market ­ the entry-level ‘Luxury’ trim and the top-spec ‘F-Sport’ variant ­ which will get unique exterior bits and paddleshifters as well. Lexus will also equip the NX300h for our market with a heads-up display system. Unlike the larger RX300h, the NX300h will come with navigation system as standard. 

Lexus will, like its other models, sell the SUV in India as a fully-imported unit. The NX300h is a direct rival to the locally assembled Mercedes GLA and the Audi Q3, but thanks to high import duties, it will be priced way above the competition. Dealers tell us that prices for the Lexus NX300h are likely to start at Rs 74 lakh for the entry-level model and going up to Rs 78 lakh for the top-spec F-Sport trim. The SUV is open for booking at Rs 5 lakh. Deliveries are being promised sometime around March next year.

Courtesy : Autocar

Oct 30, 2017
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Honda PCX Electric showcased at Tokyo

The Honda PCX Electric scooter is set to go sale in Asian markets in 2018.

Honda has taken the wraps off an all-new electric scooter at the Tokyo motor show, called the PCX Electric. The scooter is meant for urban environs and is 1,923mm long, 745mm wide and 1,107mm tall.

The electric scooter is powered by a 1.33hp electric motor and gets a detachable lithium-ion mobile battery pack named Honda Mobile Power Pack, which has been developed independently.

The Japanese two-wheeler brand also had the PCX Hybrid on display at the motor show. It possess an independently developed hybrid system that uses a high-output battery and ACG starter to assist the internal combustion engine.

Both the PCX Electric and Hybrid are expected to launch in Asian markets including Japan in 2018.

While there is no official confirmation from the bike maker, both scooters could find a place at the upcoming Auto Expo in New Delhi, where electric mobility is the theme of the hour. 

Courtesy : Autocar

Oct 30, 2017
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Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride unveiled at Tokyo

The S-class rivalling concept showcases Toyota’s next-gen fuel cell tech that is expected to deliver 50 percent efficiency gains and cost savings.

Toyota has revealed its Fine-Comfort Ride concept at the ongoing Tokyo motor show. The premium sedan comes with the company’s next-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology that could make production between 2025 and 2030.

While the brand’s executives are tight-lipped about the details, they did confirm that the next-gen fuel cell is more compact, lighter, more efficient and affordable to produce than the one used on the only current Toyota production car that features the technology, the Mirai. Kiyotaka Ise, head of advanced R&D for Toyota, said he wanted to cut costs and enhance performance by about 50 percent with every new generation of the powertrain. On the Japanese test cycle, the car is said by Toyota to have a range of 1,000km between refills, from a 6kg capacity tank.

The compact powetrain has helped to maximise interior space with the wheels close to all-four corners, each having its own electric motor. The Fine-Comfort Ride concept is 110mm wider than the current-gen S-class.

Inside, as the car’s name suggests, the focus is on comfort. The seats can be adjusted according to posture (including a fully reclined sleeping position), the numerous digital displays and projection screens are built around occupants and the seat layout can be altered to aid conversation or create personal spaces. Notably, the rearmost seats are in a sofa-like bench configuration, while the front two rows are made up of individual seats.

Although Toyota chiefs have refused to confirm the Fine-Comfort Ride has been designed with autonomous driving functions in mind, the ability for front seat passengers to swing their seats round and talk to rear-seat occupants suggests this is likely.

As with current hydrogen-powered vehicles, Toyota says the Fine-Comfort Ride can be refuelled in around three minutes.

Courtesy : Autocar

Oct 30, 2017
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Renault to launch a compact MPV in India

Three-row seven-seater MPV will be based on the low cost CMF-A platform.

The MPV market in India may be shrinking but Renault aren’t giving up. A recently revealed slide (part of the manufacturer’s ‘Drive the Future’ mid-term plan from 2017 to 2022) indicates a compact MPV lined up for our market, though no date is given. The silhouette shows the Dacia Dokker, essentially a shortened Lodgy that’s sold in a few international markets.

However our sources tell us the vehicle (code RBC) will be an all new MPV specifically developed for India and based on the low cost CMF-A platform that also underpins the Kwid. A source in know of the companys plans said “It has to be an all new vehicle as we have tried the route of modifying an existing one but had little success” hinting at the GO Plus.

The MPV will have three rows of seats with seating for seven and our sources also tell us that it will sit below the current best seller Ertiga. The company is quite bullish on the achieving Kwid like success as unlike the vans in that price bracket, Renault’s MPV will have a prominent nose structure lending it a better image and acceptability in our market. The nose structure is important as the new vehicle will also need to pass the stringent crash norms which would be difficult with a van like flat front.

The MPV segment in India has proved to be a tough market to succeed in; sales are shrinking and most manufacturers have either discontinued their models or have dropped plans to introduce new ones. Renault too have had little success with their Lodgy MPV that currently only sells about 400 units per month but the company believes there is still potential in the segment. 

Courtesy : Autocar

Oct 23, 2017
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2018 Ducati Monster 821 unveiled.

The updated, Euro 4 Monster should make it to India after the international launch.

Ducati’s mid-sized Monster gets some design and equipment upgrades for 2018. The updated 821 borrows its headlamp from the Monster 1200, but one of the bigger upgrades comes in the form of a colour TFT instrument cluster. This is a feature that more expensive siblings like the Multistrada 950 and SuperSport don't get. Completing the visual changes is a new slimmer design for the tail section. The 2018 Monster 821 also ships in a lovely new shade of yellow, in tribute to the original Monster 900 that turns 25 this year.

The 821 continues with the same 821cc, 90 degree V-twin but it now makes slightly less power and torque on account of becoming Euro 4 compliant. Peak power is now 2hp down to 110hp while torque drops from 89.4Nm to 86Nm. Braking is handled by dual 320mm front discs slowed by powerful Brembo M4.32 callipers. The Ducati Safety pack continues to offer three levels of ABS, eight levels of traction control and three riding modes. However, the six-speed gearbox now gets a bi-directional quickshifter like we experienced on the SuperSport S.

Ducati was due to launch a BS-IV spec version of the Monster 821 by October in India. However, we have now discovered that India will get the latest-spec Monster 821 instead and you can expect it to be launched here after international sales commence. 

Courtesy : Autocar

Oct 23, 2017
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