Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ford India Cuts Price For Endeavour

This new pricing of the Ford Endeavour is a direct result of the announcement made in the Union Budget 2009-10. It has been proposed that the excise duty applicable on cars of engine capacity 2000 cc and above will be reduced from Rs. 20,000/- per vehicle to Rs. 15, 000 per vehicle.

Tim Tucker, vice president, sales, Ford India, said, ”The additional duty reduction has been a welcome step taken by the Government though the reduction is limited only to large cars. We are pleased to pass the benefit of the reduction on the Endeavour to the consumer in entirety.”

The price reduction of Rs. 6,000 will be applicable to all three variants of the Ford Endeavour. The base model (2.5 Litre) of the Endeavour will now be available at Rs. 15, 01,000 (Ex-showroom, New Delhi). The Ford Endeavour is available in two other variants – the 2.5L XLT and the 3.0L Thunder Plus.

Ford Endeavour was rated the No. 1 in vehicle dependability in the SUV segment. Ford continues to maintain its undisputed leadership position in the premium SUV segment. Ford has sold more than 1118 units of SUV through January to June, registering a 29% market share.

Ford Endeavour Automatic

Endeavour is the hardcore SUV from Ford’s product portfolio. The company now plans to launch its automatic version in India. The model currently comes with 2.5L and 3.0L engine option (Thunder+). The new models will sport Ford’s five speed automatic remission system that features an innovative Transmission Control Module (TCM) that can automatically detect and quickly adjust to the changing engine speed and driving condition. The new Endeavour with automatic transmission is also expected to come equipped with Borg Warner’s Shift-on-the-Fly system. The active-Shift-on-the-Fly mechanism will enable you to switch between 2wd and 4wd up to 100kmph. There may be a price hike of up to Rs. 50000 for both the models – Ford Endeavour and Endeavour Thunder+.

Currently, Mahindra offers Scorpio Automatic which falls at the lower end of the segment. Toyota is now ready to launch Fortuner is India built on IMV platform. The new automatic model of Endeavour is likely to fall between these two models.

2009 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai has built a good reputation for manufacturing well-made and economical automobiles, and the 2009 Hyundai Sonata GLS should take it up a notch or two. A roomy and comfortable sedan, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata holds it's own well against the stiff competition of Honda and Toyota, and is a little more wallet friendly in terms of MSRP. With a starting price of $18,700, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata gets great fuel mileage - 19 miles per gallon in the city and 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and is an absolute joy to drive.

The performance package of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata is spectacular, mainly because of the 3.3 Liter, V-6 engine, that has a 249 Horsepower output. With the manual 5 speed transmission, power rack-and-pinion steering and front wheel drive, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata can get through most bad weather easily. The front double wishbone suspension and rear multi-link suspension with a stabilizer bar gives a better than average ride in terms of smoothness. A 17.7 gallon fuel tank means that combined with the excellent gas mileage, you won't have to stop very often for fuel.

On the interior of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata a few very nice surprises await a potential owner. A tilt and telescopic steering wheel that is leather wrapped has audio controls at your fingertips. Power windows and door locks, cruise control, and a very good air conditioning system make for an operational dream. The audio system on the 2009 Hyundai Sonata consists of an AM/FM stereo with a CD player with MP3 capabilities and 6 quality speakers. This adventure of sound is enhanced by a 3 month XM radio service included.

The 2009 Hyundai Sonata has quite a unique appearance, with a sculpted front end, chrome grille, and larger headlights. The 16 inch steel wheels with full wheel covers, solar control glass and fog lights give a classy yet stylish look of a winner. The exterior package is completed by power heated outside mirrors that have a sleek design.

Small is not beautiful

In the last two years, sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have been falling worldwide. According to media reports, the share of full-size trucks and SUVs, which used to stand at more than 18 percent of total auto sales, in US, the largest automobile market in the world, has come down to 11 percent.

The main reason behind this fall is the skyrocketing price of oil, which at point reached an all time high of $146 per barrel, last year. Later, the global economic slowdown, which put a dent on incomes of many households, also prevented potential buyers from investing on these vehicles.

Needless to say, SUVs are known as gas guzzlers. And at times when incomes fall or fossil fuel prices rise, every sensible person tends to cut down on everything that are unnecessary and luxury.

Lately, many responsible citizens worldwide are also reducing SUV consumption for another reason: the pressing green issue. These vehicles generally consume 1.5 times more fuel than normal cars, meaning they also emit more carbon dioxide, which is partly responsible for gradual destruction of our environment and ecology.

Recently, the US government itself tried to control Americans’ appetite for big SUVs by introducing a car scrappage scheme. Under this, the US government started giving car owners vouchers of $4,500 for trading in a car giving 18 miles per gallon (mpg) or less in exchange for a model that gives at least 28 mpg.

This shows the US government is encouraging Americans to embrace the concept of “small is better” -- in a way setting a precedent for other countries.

But the trend seems just the opposite in Nepal. Many nouveau riches of the country, who were earlier driving small cars like Hyundai’s Santro or Maruti’s Alto, now want to sit behind the steering wheels of Hyundai’s Tucson or KIA’s Sportage. Then there are the ultra riches who have never gotten out of the hangover of Toyota’s Prado, Mitsubishi’s Pajero and lately Land Rover’s Freelander and Range Rover series.

The irony is at a time when sales of SUVs are declining worldwide, Nepal’s SUV market grew by around 10 percent in the last fiscal year. According to auto dealers, around 1,000 units of SUVs are sold in Nepal every year.

"This is mainly because of the boom in the real estate business," Sachin Aryal, deputy general manager of Continental Trading, the authorized distributors of KIA Motors in Nepal, told myrepublica.

"If you sell a piece of land in Kathmandu or other urban areas nowadays, you become a millionaire instantly. This gives one enough money to buy a relatively expensive type of vehicle like SUVs."

Another reason, according to Aryal, is the condition of roads, which are filled with pot holes. But this seems to be just an excuse, as one definitely needs to invest some extra amount to be able to drive off comfortably on those adverse street conditions. But where is the money coming from? "It’s the real estate business once again," Aryal said.
And with the introduction of cheap but powerful SUVs like Hyundai’s Tucson, this appetite is only expected to grow.

Looks like the American dream of owning an SUV -- which has received many criticisms like “wasteful excesses” -- is soon becoming a dream of Nepali car owners.

Ford India to launch small car in 2010

US-based carmaker Ford on Friday said it will launch its new small car during the first half of next year and was planning to start exporting the product by the end of 2010.

The company said the sub-B segment car would be made to meet the statutory requirements of having an engine capacity of 1.2 litre petrol engine and 1.5 litre diesel engine.

"Our planned small car will be launched in India in by early 2010. We also plan to export it to markets in Asia Pacific and Africa by the end of next year," Ford India President and Managing Director Michael Boneham said on the sidelines of the Annual Siam Convention in New Delhi.

He said the company was looking at exploring the overseas market for the new car, but did not give details about the number of units planned.

Ford India is also going to launch a new advanced version of its SUV Endeavour within the next two weeks.

Boneham, meanwhile, said that the company has no plans to phase out its existing small car Fusion from India at present.

The company is also planning to start exporting diesel and petrol engines from its Chennai plant by early 2010. The company hopes to maintain a sales figure of 30,000 units this year, similar to last year's figure.

Proton Satria Neo
The Campro CPS engine is finally in the Proton Satria Neo, something that many have been eagerly waiting for. The CPS is essentially a Campro engine with a few updates and a variable valve lift system called CPS as well as a variable intake manifold (VIM) system. These additions help push up power to 125 PS at 6,500rpm and 150Nm of torque at 4,500rpm, figures which are up from the standard Campro’s 110hp and 148Nm.

The car’s front and rear track has also been updated. While the Proton Satria Neo had a front and rear track of 1,470mm for both, the Satria Neo CPS H-Line has a narrower front track at 1,467mm and a wider rear track 1,483mm.

Proton Satria Neo Interior

We didn’t managed to get hold of a Proton engineer to ask this question but we did manage to ask a member of Proton’s Race Rally Research (R3) team who said the change was made because Proton found the standard Neo suffered from slight oversteer, so this change was made to induce a slight understeer to improve handling. Anyway either way as a result of the large wheel arches, the wheels looks kind of lost inside them at certain angles.

As for aesthetics, as you can see there’s a new bodykit and more prominent flared wheel arches that are inspired from the old Satria GTI’s design. The alloy wheels are of the same 16 inch size as the M-Line but feature a different design that looks like a carbon copy of Advanti Racing’s MEDUSA design but without the two-tone design - perhaps it’s licensed or “inspired”. On the interior, the dashboard is now of a darker shade with red lighting on the various air conditioning controls and auto gear position indicators, has a different door trim design, some new trim around the gear shifter area, and leather seats in a black and red combination similiar to the GEN2 CPS.

The following are the prices for the new Proton Satria Neo CPS, available in only two colours which are unique to the CPS - solid white and tranquility black.
CPS is only available for the high line model, so the lite and M-line models retain the regular Campro. Unfortunately this is the old original Campro engine, without the new IAFM systems in the Saga, Persona and GEN2. The CPS system has also been tweaked with this version of the Campro engine, so the high lift cam profile activation point has been revised. However I’m not sure what is the purpose of activating it later.

VIM switches between a long intake manifold at low RPMs and a short intake manifold at higher RPMs. According to Proton, a longer intake manifold is used at low RPMs to achieve slower air flow; this promotes better mixing with fuel. The short intake manifold allows more air in faster. This is beneficial at high RPMs. The CPS system uses a switching tappet and a trilobe camshaft to switch between two different cam profiles, one with low valve lift and another with high valve lift.

Proton Satria Neo
Proton Satria Neo Interior

Proton Satria Neo ReviewProton Satria Neo InteriorProton Satria Neo CarProton Satria Neo InteriorProton Satria Neo Interior


New Honda Civic launched in three variants

Auto manufacturer Honda Siel Cars launched a refurbished Honda Civic sedan with alternations in its design, such as a five-point metallic front grille and a new bumper.

The new Civic is available in three variants that will come in two models - Elegance and Inspire. The car is priced in the range of Rs.11.8 lakh to Rs.14.13 lakh at showrooms in Delhi.

New Honda Civic

The company has also introduced dark smokey headlights and crystalline octagonal tail lights in the car to give it a "contemporary look".

"The new Honda Civic carries forward the legacy of the Civic which is already the most refined and advanced car in the segment," said Honda Siel president and chief executive Masahiro Takedagawa.

New Honda Civic

The car will have an additional colour option of polished metal besides the regular available colours.

"With the new look, we are confident we can revive the sales that suffered a setback due to global meltdown. However, the market will decide how many units we manage to sell," Takedagawa said.

Honda Siel is also offering an additional two-year warranty in addition to the existing two years, and will also offer a 24-hour roadside assistance.

The company plans to expand its dealership from 106 to 112 by the end of current financial year, said Takedagawa.

New Honda Civic

New Honda Civic

New Honda Civic headlight

New Honda Civic Interior

New Honda Civic

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2010 Dodge Caliber interior upgrades

For 2010, Chrysler is improving the Caliber’s worst feature, its interior. After we originally tested our first Caliber, one of our engineers likened it to sitting in an Igloo cooler.

2010 Dodge Caliber Interior

The revised cabin has a new blue backlit instrument cluster, a center stack with a full-color music screen and brushed aluminum surround, and a new, less-angular console with lighted cupholders. While it is difficult to judge the extent of improvements by pictures, the much-improved interior in our tested 2009 Dodge Ram gives us hope.

Last year, Chrysler modestly upgraded the interior of the Caliber’s near-twin, the Jeep Patriot. They also made other improvements that collectively boosted the test score of our 2009 Patriot by 10 points. Even with that considerable increase in score, it falls short of our criteria for recommendation.

As with the Patriot, a new interior won’t solve many of the Caliber’s fundamental problems, such as a noisy engine, annoying continuously variable transmission, and poor visibility. But Chrysler will build Calibers anyway (it just announced it would double production), and some consumers will buy them. At least those customers will ride in a more inviting cabin.

2011 Hyundai Tucson Preview

2011 Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai pulled the covers off its redesigned Tucson small SUV in Korea this week, previewing the second-generation model scheduled to make its Stateside introduction this fall at the Los Angeles auto show. The new Tucson production will begin at the Ulsan, South Korea, manufacturing complex in late 2009.

Expected to again slot just a notch below the Hyundai Santa Fe in size and price, the new Tucson has radically different styling than the outgoing model, with cleaner, more dynamic lines akin to other recent Hyundai vehicles. (The updated 2010 Santa Fe will be available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Production begins late 2009.) The hood slopes down, the fender flares are flattened, and the triangular rear quarter windows taper to a point facing aft.

Interior space is about the same as before, and we expect reasonably high levels of fit and finish. The engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder like that in the current Sonata sedan, where it makes 175 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. (An all-new Sonata begins production in winter 2010.) That engine replaces the outgoing Tucson’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder as well as its fuel-thirsty 2.7-liter V6. Both front- and all-wheel-drive versions will be available. True to Hyundai’s lots-for-the-money marketing strategy, uplevel Tucsons will offer leather upholstery, a navigation system, keyless ignition with push-button start, and other premium touches.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Toyota goes hybrid mad

While some car makers are putting all their efforts into extracting more efficiency from the turbodiesel engine, the Toyota empire is clearly devoted to the petrol-hybrid, as a host of new hybrid vehicles are set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Show later this month.

On Toyota's stand, pride of place will be given to a full hybrid version of the Auris hatchback, the first mainstream model to be fitted with the Hybrid Synergy Drive for Europe. Although the show car is tagged a 'concept', a production model won't be far behind, as Toyota has committed to deploying its hybrid technology across the range.

Toyota HybridAlso on hand will be a plug-in concept version of the Prius hybrid. Although the new Prius can already operate on electricity alone, this variant will be optimised for running on battery power. It will suit drivers commuting short distances each day, as its batteries can be charged overnight by plugging it into the mains - or into an on-street charging point when they exist.

Next year, 150 prototype examples of the plug-in Prius will be leased to select fleet drivers in a bid to assess the car's real-world usefulness.

Over on the Lexus stand (the luxury arm of Toyota), a compact concept will be unveiled, previewing Lexus's answer to the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. In show car guise at least it will be a full hybrid, complementing the revised Lexus GS 450h and LS 600h luxury hybrids also on display.
Toyota Hybrid

Tesla Electric Cars - Electric Powered Cars Sale

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP