Automotive news for January 2018

It seems like yesterday that 2018 started. But January is already over. And the amount of time I got to sit and write blog posts in the first month is very evident. In order to make the best of this situation, I am starting with this monthly automotive news summary series. So, here is a summary of all the interesting things that happened in the month of January 2018 (in case you missed it).

New Cars Launched In India

Kwid Special Edition

The Renault Kwid Special Edition was launched at the starting price of Rs 2.66 lakhs ex-showroom. It has some lime-accent graphics and highlights. One of the best parts of this Special Edition is that it comes with Reverse Parking Sensors as standard irrespective of the variant you choose.

Photo via Rushlane

New Audi Q5

The 2018 Q5 was launched at the starting price of Rs 53.25 lakhs ex-showroom. It has grown in dimensions and now mimics the design of the larger Q7. It comes with the same 2.0L TDI engine, but mated to a new 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission. It does 0-100 kmph in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 218 kmph. ARAI claimed fuel efficiency is 17.01 kmpl. There are no plans for a petrol-engine Q5 for now. Direct competitors for the Q5 are the Mercedes-Benz GLC, Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X3 and the Volvo XC60.

Datsun redi-GO AMT

Datsun launched the AMT variant of its small car redi-GO at the starting price of Rs 3.80 lakhs ex-showroom, but only with the 999cc 3-cyl petrol engine. In terms of pricing, it is cheaper that Kwid AMT. This version claims a fuel efficiency of 25.17 kmpl.

Lamborghini Urus

The first Super SUV, Lamborghini Urus was launched here in India just 38 days after its global unveil at the price of Rs 3 crore ex-showroom. The Urus comes with a 4.0L Twin Turbo V8 engine, in the front of the car. The engine produces 641 bhp and 850 Nm of peak torque. This performance SUV can do 0-100 kmph in just 3.6 seconds and then 200 kmph in 12.8 seconds. It has the top speed of 305 kmph, which also makes it the fastest SUV in the world. It is based on the MLB platform, which is also the base for the Bentley Bentayga, Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7.

Configured close to what I would get the Urus as!

Lexus LS500h

Lexus’s flagship luxury sedan LS500h was launched in India at the starting price of Rs 1.77 crore Ex-showroom. It is powered by a 3.5L V6 petrol engine combined with a 310.8kV Lithium ion battery, delivering 15.38 km/litre in a BS6 compliant vehicle. The LS 500h goes up against the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series, Audi A8 L and the Jaguar XJ L and in fact is here at a great time considering both Mercedes-Benz and Audi are planning to launch their updated flagship sedans in 2018.

Isuzu V-Cross 2018

The 2018 Isuzu V-Cross was launched at Rs 14.26 lakhs (Standard variant) & Rs 15.76 lakhs (High variant), ex-showroom. While the powertrain remains the same, it is marginally expensive than the previous version. This is the first major upgrade which includes a host of new cosmetic changes, features and equipment on board. It gets LED DRLs instead of Fog Lamps, LED taillights and a redesigned tail-gate. More upgrades are in terms of safety – ABS as standard, Electronic Stability Control & Traction Control System are available on the top-end ‘High’ trim. Also a new Ruby Red exterior color has been introduced along with the previous Brown, Black, Silver, Grey and White options.

Range Rover Velar

The Range Rover Velar was launched at Rs 78.83 lakhs ex-showroom. It is positioned between the Range Rover Evoque and the Range Rover Sport. It competes with the BMW X6 and the Porsche Macan. Globally, the Velar has received a great response – it has pre-booked till March 2018 and the deliveries were supposed to start January 2018.

Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition

The Range Rover Evoque Landmark Edition marks the model completing six years in India. It is priced at Rs 50.20 lakh (ex-showroom). The ‘Landmark Edition’ is based on the SE variant of the Evoque and gets minor exterior and interior updates. It will be offered in three exterior paint colours (including the Luminescent Moraine Blue you see in the photo below). Also part of this limited edition are gloss-black 18-inch alloy wheels, a new body kit and body-colored lower door cladding. There is also a graphite finish for the grille, a Carpathian Gray finish for the fender vent and tailgate lettering and the Contrast roof.

On the inside, the Landmark Edition gets grained ebony leather seats with light lunar stitching in contrast; with the centre console finished in dark satin-brushed aluminium. It is comes equipped with a gesture-operated powered tailgate, along with all the other features of the SE variant.

The Evoque Landmark Edition is available only with the 180hp, 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine; it’s not offered with the 240hp 2.0-litre petrol motor.

Mercedes S350d BS-VI edition

India got its first BS-VI (Bharat Stage 6) complaint vehicle – the new Mercedes-Benz S350d. It complies with the Emission standards which all automobile manufacturers need to comply by 2020. The S 350 d features the most powerful diesel car in Mercedes-Benz history.

Maserati Levante

Maserati also launched its first SUV, the Levante at the starting price of Rs 1.75 Crore ex-showroom. It comes powered by a 3.0L V6 diesel engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This engine develops 275PS of power, enough to do 0-100 kmph in 6.9 seconds. The Levante has a claimed top speed of 230 kmph. And yes, it can go off-road as it has an all-wheel drive system. The Maserati Levante competes with the Jaguar F-Pace, Porsche Cayenne and the BMW X6 in India. All of these come powered with a diesel engine and are priced upwards of Rs 1 crore.

Maserati Levante

What Next?

It is February already! And next up is India’s Auto Expo 2018

The Best CAR Blog Ever is going to be there and we’re going to have some fun! Wait and watch! Follow me on Instagram @thebestcarblogever and Facebook Page /thebestCARblogever to get notified about everything from the Auto Expo first.

I’ll be there to bring you the details first on February 7 – 8, 2018. Auto Expo 2018 is open for the general public from February 9 to February 14, 2018 at the India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. For more information visit the official website. And to book your tickets, go to Book My Show.

#AE18xTBCBE coming soon!

Celebrating Bertha Benz

Bertha Benz, a woman that has all my respect and praise for her work and the role she played. If she had not done what she did, we would not be living in a world full of cars, let alone reading about some fast cars on my blog.

We all know about Dr Carl Benz, how he in 1886 patented the world’s first automobile vehicle. The Patent Motor Wagen was a horseless carriage powered by a single cylinder motor. Carl unveiled his invention to the world in 1886. But contrary to his expectations, it failed to create any interest and people didn’t want to buy it.

Carl Benz kept on making improvements to the Motor Wagen and identified each iteration with a number. He made the Benz Patent Motor-Wagen No 3 in 1888. But by this time, Carl was losing his patience and did not want to continue working further on this.

Bertha had fallen in love with Carl when he explained his early drafts and plans of building such an automobile to her. She was interested in locomotives from an early age, thanks to some exposure from her father. So this idea had not just blown her mind but took her heart too. She wanted to support Carl with his vision and when Carl was about to give up, Bertha decided to do something herself about the situation.

This was a time when women were not treated equal and given the restricted to just doing household chores and bringing up kids. She decided to show the world what an automobile could do. In August 1888, together with her sons Richard and Eugen, and without the knowledge of her husband, Bertha Benz took to the road with the Benz Patent Motor-Wagen No 3. She was undeterred by the fact that some stretches of the roads, which were normally used only by horses and carriages, were anything but suitable for the automobile. Lack of fuel, clogged valves or wiring chafed-through to breaking point – she found a solution to every difficulty on the journey. She resorted to a garter, a hat-pin, and plundered the ligroin stocks of pharmacies along the route. When the fuel ran out completely outside Wiesloch, the Motor Car had to be pushed for several kilometers. Bertha got down herself to help.

Because of her persistence and this long journey, the Motor-wagen gained attention. And finally Carl made a total of 25 of these and sold them between 1886 and 1893. It also gained a title of being the world’s first mass production automobile.

Bertha Benz Memorial Drive & Treasure Hunt

Mercedes-Benz Shaman Wheels had organized a drive and treasure hunt event on Sunday, August 20, 2017 for women to take part and win exciting Mercedes-Benz Collectables. This was organized for the first time in India.

The event details
The event details

About 8 to 10 teams had participated in this wonderful adventure, in spite of heavy rains that day. Here are some photos from the event:

More about Carl & Bertha Benz

There is a lot to know about these two of the many legends of the automobile world. Here are a few good links if you are interested to read more.

  1. Bertha Benz on the Mercedes-Benz website
  2. Bertha Benz on the Bertha Benz Memorial Route website
  3.  A short movie ‘Carl & Bertha’ was made by Mercedes in german language to honor them. You can view the making of the film here. The movie is only available in german language with no english subtitles so I am not linking it here. If you find one do let me know, I’ll update it in this post.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Shaman for inviting me to this event! I had a good time at this event. I also got a chance to spend some time with this particular beauty, the SLC43 AMG:

I’ll share more photos with the SLC on my Instagram, so don’t forget to follow me @thebestcarblogever. There are also photos from when I had visited Mercedes-Benz Shaman Wheels at Kalina, Santacruz before.

The Sea Monster – Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6

A wild Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6, yes you read that right! 6×6! It was spotted in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This G63 AMG 6×6 is the work of “My Car“, a car custom shop at Jeddah.  The SUV is owned by @baa_bader, who also has an amazing car collection (the other cars in the pictures). What you’ll get to see now are the images from the photo shoot of the Sea Monster carried out by @hosamalhamdi! Less talk and more visual, see the photo to know how appropriately it is called the Sea Monster!

Its glorious and huge! Its perfect and excess at the same time! Its wonderful and wonderfully expensive too!

First the Images:

And the short video:

All of the cars are in my favorite color – Blue!! The G63 AMG 6×6 will surely remain a unicorn vehicle. It’s a unique machine that’s produced in low numbers and sold in a few markets. It’s certainly great to see one being driven more aggressively than being used as an Office-to-Mall-to-Home transport shuttle.

Do you like it?? Let me know what you think in the comments below! I’ll reply! Promise! 😀 🙂

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Mercedes Benz India lauched A-Class & B-Class #Edition1

Limited Editions are the best ways to #CelebrateSuccess . Taking these words seriously, Mercedes Benz India launched the A-Class #Edition1 & the B-Class #Edition1 on June 25, 2014.

Mercedes A-Class & B-Class Edition1 Launch Event
Mercedes A-Class & B-Class Edition1 Launch Event

Lets get to know the A-Class #Edition1 first.

The A-Class #Edition1 is based on the current A-180 CDI, with a few exterior and many interior changes (rather, additions). Exterior changes include:

  • New alloys
  • Edition1 Decals (Stickers, developed in India and not available on overseas #Edition1 cars)
  • Gloss black finish on the Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVMs)
  • A new Panaromic Sunroof

The most important change is the revised Ground Clearance, which is a result of feedback from the customers who bought the A-Class.

On the inside, there are a number of new features:

  • Electrical seat adjustment for the passenger seat
  • Reverse Camera
  • An armrest for the rear passengers
  • Edition1 badge on the inside (near the sunroof button).

The engine is the same as the standard A-Class : 2.2Litre Diesel engine, which produces 109 bhp & 250 Nm of torque, mated with the 7G-Tronic Automatic Gearbox.

The B-Class #Edition1

The B-Class still has no competition in the market, because when it was launched back in September 2012, it created a segment of its own – “Compact Sports Tourer”.

The B-Class #Edition1 has similar exterior changes like its smaller sibling, the A-Class #Edition1:

  • New 17-inch alloys
  • Revised Ground Clearance
  • Gloss black finish on the ORVMs (Exterior Mirror Housing)

Additions on the inside are also the same as the A-Class #Edition1:

  • Rear passenger seat center armrest (with Two cup-holders)
  • Entertainment package (includes the two LCD screens, DVD drive, headphones and remote control)
  • Edition1 badge
  • Reverse Camera

Both the cars are available in three colors: Cirrus White, Polar Silver and Jupiter Red (which is a NEW color for the B-Class). Only diesel variants of the #Edition1 are available.

The A-Class #Edition1 starts at Rs 26.17 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai), while the B-Class #Edition1 starts at Rs 28.7 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai).

If all the above features excite you and you really like the A-Class or the B-Class, go buy them NOW! Only 100 A-Class #Edition1 and 100 B-Class #Edition1 will be available. (Remember, I told you they were “Limited” Editions!).

Let me know in the Comments if these Cars have impressed you and if you will actually buy one of them and why. Looking forward to your views.

Images Source

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