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Harley-Davidson announces Ultimate Test Ride competition.

Harley-Davidson has kick-started the Ultimate Test Ride competition which gives prospective clients to win their very own Dark Custom motorcycle designed and styled by the Harley-Davidson senior industrial designer – Dais Nagao
At the unveiling of the 2016 Dark Custom models, Harley-Davidson has announced a special Ultimate Test Ride competition for prospective clients. Winners of the contest get a unique opportunity to customise their dream bike. The Ultimate Test Ride competition will be an Asia Pacific wide competition. To enter this contest, all one needs to do is login into h-d.in/testrideandwin to locate your nearest Harley-Davidson dealer and book a test ride. Competitors will have to test ride any of the new Harley-Davidson Dark Custom range of motorcycles that includes the Street 750, Forty-Eight and Iron 883. One lucky winner will get the opportunity to build and design their custom Dark Custom Harley-Davidson bike. Making it more special is the fact that the bike will be styled and designed by Dais Nago, senior industrial designer at Harley-Davidson and the man behind the Iron 883. 

The winner will be flown to Milwaukee, USA, the home of the Harley-Davidson and at the headquarters Dias will design the bike with the lucky contestant. Once the design is finalised, the custom Harley-Davidson bike will be built at the local dealership. Other goodies in store for the winner includes a tour of the Harley-Davidson Museum, tickets to local sports or music events and a camera to record the memorable moments. If the winning entrant has already bought a Harley-Davidson Street 750, Iron 883 or Forty-Eight, after their test ride and during the promotion period (September 14th to December 31st 2015), Harley-Davidson will fully refund their purchase and Dais Nagao will customise their original bike.

Courtesy :  Autocar

Sep 12, 2015
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Tata Anniversary Edition Zest launched.

Available only in the XMS trim, the Anniversary Edition Zest offers the option of a petrol or diesel variant.
Tata has launched a special-edition Zest to celebrate the first anniversary of the compact sedan. The Anniversary Edition Zest comes just in time for the festival season, and follows in the footsteps of Skoda, Honda and Renault that recently launched special editions of select cars.

Available only in the XMS trims in both petrol and diesel, the Anniversary Edition Zest gets minor cosmetic additions like a new white paint shade, body coloured front bumper, new wheel covers, wing mirrors finished in glossy black, special anniversary decals and badging.

On the inside, the anniversary edition gets a remote-operated rear windshield curtain, bottle holders and 'Anniversary Edition' embroidered on the upholstery.

The petrol variant of the Anniversary Edition Zest is priced at Rs 5.89 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the diesel variant costs Rs 6.94 lakh.

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 11, 2015
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Mahindra TUV300 vs Ford Ecosport: Specifications comparison.

A look at how the new Mahindra TUV300 matches up to the Ford Ecosport in terms of specifications.
Mahindra has just launched its new compact SUV, TUV300 (pronounced ‘three double oh’) at a starting price of Rs 6.90 lakh (ex showroom, Pune). With this launch, the carmaker has once again forayed into the compact SUV segment, after the Quanto failed to sell as per its expectations. The TUV300 has found a direct competitor in the sub-four metre Ford EcoSport, which has had a great run in the country. Since its launch in June 2013, the EcoSport has found more than 1,12,000 buyers in India. The TUV300 created quite a storm when Mahindra revealed sketches of the car some weeks prior to its launch. Mahindra says it has a winner on its hands in the compact SUV space this time around and is looking to expand its market share in the utility vehicle segment. The TUV300 has been made on a completely new platform and has an upright, rugged-looking stance. We compare the specifications of the TUV300 and the Ford EcoSport to see which one makes for the best value proposition.

Under the hood

Powering the TUV300 is Mahindra’s updated mHawk engine christened the mHawk80. The engine, which will only be offered in a diesel guise, displaces 1,493cc, which helps the TUV300 qualify as a small car and hence, a lower rate of excise duty. The mHawk80 engine churns out 82.85bhp at 3,750rpm and 23.45kgm at 1,500-2,250rpm. On the other hand, the 1.5-litre diesel unit in the Ford EcoSport, which also does duty in the Ford Fiesta, puts out a higher 90bhp at 3,750rpm and a torque figure of 20.8kgm at 2,000-2,750rpm. So while the TUV300 gains in the torque category, the EcoSport edges ahead in terms of power output.

Ford is also offering the EcoSport with two petrol engine options; a 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine making 123bhp at 6,000rpm and a 1.5-litre motor good for 110bhp at 6,300rpm. However, for the purpose of a fair comparison, we will consider the diesel unit here. The TUV300 will be available only in two-wheel drive for now. However, the carmaker said the new platform is capable of spawning a four-wheel-drive version as well.
Space on offer

In this category, both the cars measure close in terms of length. The TUV300 is 3,995mm long while the EcoSport measures 3,999mm. Both the cars are just short of the four-metre mark in order to take advantage of the ‘small car’ regulations in India that provide cost benefits to cars of sub-four-meter length.

However, Mahindra’s offering is much spacious in all other aspects and comes with a larger wheelbase, is broader and sits higher as well. The TUV300 has an overall width of 1,835mm, a height of 1,839mm and the space between the front and rear wheels measure 2,680mm. On the other hand, the EcoSport has a wheelbase of 2,520mm, an overall width of 1,765mm and a height of 1,708mm.

Mahindra has focussed on giving the TUV300 a tough stance and claim styling cues have been borrowed from a battle tank. The compact SUV has high ground clearance and an upright stance. Moreover, details like the cladding on the sides, a prominent bumper, a squarish signature grille with chrome borders and a tail gate-mounted spare wheel add to its rugged appearance. Interestingly, Italian design firm Pininfarina was also involved in the styling process. 

The EcoSport also boasts of ‘SUV-like’ cues under its belt. At the front is a massive octagonal grille, a high bonnet and beltline, black plastic cladding on the sides along the lower part of the body and also features the tailgate-mounted spare wheel. The EcoSport also boasts of a slightly higher ground clearance of 200mm, as against 190mm on the TUV300.

However, what sets the TUV apart from the EcoSport and other small SUVs in the passenger vehicle segment in India, is the fact that it comes with a seven-seat configuration, thanks to a jump seat on each side behind the second row. The arrangement is similar to the one seen in the Quanto.

So essentially, in terms of specifications, the TUV300 is the most spacious of the two and also has the largest exterior. Besides, talking about boot space, the TUV300 scores here as well with 400 litre of space (with jump seats folded up) as against the 362 litres in the Ecosport.

Courtesy : Autocar

Sep 11, 2015
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Vespa 150cc VXL, SXL review, first ride.

Here are our first impressions from behind the handlebars of India’s only 150cc scooters today; the Vespa VXL and SXL.
You’ve already met Vespa’s earlier LX 125, VX 125 and Vespa S, 125cc gearless scooters boasting instantly recognisable retro styling with a generous sprinkling of Italian seasoning.

The winds of change are billowing at Vespa in India, visible in renewed energy injected by parent Piaggio India’s savvy new managing director, Stefano Pelle, and the new Vespa VXL 150 and SXL 150.

The VXL and SXL offer refreshing styling, in a range of attractive, bright colours as expected. There’s a choice of matte shades too, for those that don’t subscribe to a glossy finish on their scooter. The VXL and SXL show off smart alloy rims, with single side suspension front and rear. There are hints of chrome here and there on these well-equipped scooters. The palm grips are comfortable to hold, and the VXL and SXL scooters come with top-quality switches and chrome body mirrors, these easily adjusted and offering good vision. There’s a city light facility offered, along with a smooth functioning, spring loaded, push-to-cancel indicator operation switch. A set of machined alloy front and rear brake control levers look good as well.

The VXL and SXL share digital instruments consoles, with analogue speedometers. You get a clock, tripmeter and fuel gauge as standard with the new Vespas. There are handy storage cubbies below both handlebars, as well as under the long, well-padded riding saddle. The VXL and SXL offer ribbed footwells, with a raised central section your feet may take time getting used to fitting around; a small price to pay for these scooters' true-blue retro style.

Other subtle differences between the VXL and SXL are the S losing a grab bar at rear, and offering different seat lining, darked out wheels, a rectangular headlight and mirrors.

The VXL and SXL feel like top-quality scooters, with excellent paint lustre and an impressive level of fit-and-finish.

The Vespa VXL and SXL scooters come with four-stroke, 150cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled and carburettor-fed engines, that run three-valve heads. Power output is 11.5bhp at 7,000rpm, while maximum torque is a healthy 1.17kgm at 5,500rpm. CVT transmission systems allow seamless, hassle-free riding on the road, and worked perfectly throughout our short test ride.

Crucially, the new enhanced-capacity 150cc engine works to make a big difference on the road, experienced in the nippy manner both, the VXL and SXL accelerate, with strong grunt as you start off from a halt at low revs and a more robust feeling mid-range. Cruising at speeds of up to 70kph is a breeze, and feels more relaxed as compared to other smaller engine-equipped Indian scooters. There’s also excellent refinement and unblemished smoothness, just as expected and available with every Vespa scooter sold in India today.

In addition to these larger capacity powerplants, Vespa is also offering the VXL and SXL in 125cc, similarly three-valve engines.

The VXL and SXL come with monocoque steel frames, as all Vespas sold in India. This helps the latest Vespas feel solidly put together, with a nice, rigid feel when riding, more so when zipping around two-up, with a pillion. Riders are seated in a comfy, upright position that is roomy enough. The VXL and SXL’s single-sided, hydraulic shock absorbers front and rear work well to provide plush ride quality, never feeling too firm or overly soft.

To match their bolstered performance, the VXL and SXL come with lower profile, tubeless, Maxxis tyres that grip the road better, and allow easy handling with a quick flickability other Indian scooters struggle to match. Then you have 11-inch rims in front, resulting in quicker turn in. 200mm rotor-equipped front disc brakes, coupled with 140mm drum brakes at rear work well to provide effortless stops, with progressive bite at the levers. 

The VXL 150 and SXL 150 make sense in India, for riding them convinces us these new Vespas do now pack in the value to back up the premium pricing. How so? By delivering solidly on the key aspects of style and overall quality, being well equipped and walking the extra mile in terms of a peppy, stronger performing, refined engine that outdoes other Indian scooters.

Courtesy : Autocar.

Sep 11, 2015
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Yamaha inaugurates third manufacturing unit in India

The newest Yamaha plant in India is located on the outskirts of Chennai and is the third manufacturing unit after Surajpur in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad in Haryana.

India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd. (IYM) has inaugurated its third manufacturing facility at the industrial park in Vallam Vadagal situated at the outskirts of Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

The new factory will be the first in the Yamaha Motor group to have a vendor park in its vicinity. Spread across 177 acres, the new facility covers an area of 109 acres for IYM and 68 acres for vendor partners.

The company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu in May, 2012 to construct and operate the two-wheeler factory in the state. The new facility will join the currently operating factories of IYM at Surajpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Faridabad (Haryana) to meet the rising demand for two-wheelers in India. With the new Chennai factory and the company’s plants in Surajpur and Faridabad, IYM will have a combined two-wheelers production capacity of 2.5 million units by 2018.

On this occasion, Hiroaki Fujita, Chairman, India Yamaha Motor Pvt. Ltd., said: "We plan to invest a total of Rs. 1,500 crores in phases till 2018 when the new plant is expected to have a capacity of 1.8 million units.The company has sold 7.4 lakh units in 2014 and we are eyeing double-digit sales growth in 2015. The company is also targeting a significant increase in the domestic market share in the coming three years."

Yamaha manufacturing plant in Chennai

The vendor park has 9 vendors who plan to invest Rs. 1,000 crore and will employ around 3,000 people by 2018. The facility will bring together the production operations of main external parts suppliers, enabling complete synchronization of external supplier parts production as well. This system will reduce losses in the areas of production management and distribution to extremely low levels in the overall engineering and manufacturing process, and make the new production base a highly-efficient and profitable plant.

The Chennai plant incorporates state-of-the-art infrastructure and advanced technologies for Zero-water discharge and recycle/ reuse of waste water and maximum use of sunlight. The building is compatible to solar power system installation. All common utilities are located in the centre to minimize distribution loss and centralized management.

To begin with, Yamaha will produce the new 125cc Saluto motorcycle and scooters including new Fascino, Alpha, RAY & Ray Z at the new plant, which will have an initial annual capacity of 450,000 units. The plant employs more than 2,000 people currently and will have 3,900 employees by 2018, out of which about 40 per cent will be women workers.

Courtesy : Zigwheels

Sep 10, 2015
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