Friday, July 6, 2007

5 Point Great one.

I have been smitten by the BMW bug. Every time! There's no hiding the new stallion in their armour, the MIND BLOWING 5 series is any exception. Built to hilt like a typical Bimmer, this car is the very one to gun for. What's more amazing is the fact that this is the most exciting car I have ever driven anywhere and the best handling 5 metre saloon in my life till date. Lets look on:

Design: Do I need to rate this Monalisa in Metal?

It’s an extreme car, not for everyone, but serious drivers need look no further.: One of the new-age BMW designs, the wild, swoopy Five has not been universally appreciated, but it looks amazing in the flesh. As with all new BMWs, the lights grab your attention first. Very aggressive and distinctive, the ‘eagle-eyed’ headlamps look great. The double-barrelled lamps also have the decorative, ultra-cool ‘rings’ of light. In between the new lamps sits a modern, inflated version of BMW's kidney grille, with the blue-and-white propeller badge atop.What gives the car a fresh look is the so-called ‘flame surfacing’. Underneath, there’s a super-stiff chassis, tuned for an involving driving experience. Using specially prepared sheets of steel and aluminium, its 1580kg kerb weight is relatively low for a 4.8-metre-long car. It’s a maelstrom of technology, including ‘active’ steering and a raft of safety features, and it’s tried hard to address its predecessor’s lack of passenger space.

Interiors: Utterly- Clutterless fabulous.

Open the light doors and you're greeted by a classy cabin; a blend of sporty themes and traditional wood-and-leather, it looks brilliant. A wide band of wood spans the dash, the wheel is beautifully finished, the high-contrast white-on-black dials look as purposeful as those in an aircraft cockpit, and the buttons function beautifully.BMW's iDrive screen-based control dial may need you to stop before you select functions. It may not be as intuitive as a button, but it does make for a clean central console without the clutter of a myriad buttons. Unlike Merc's E, the 5-series shuns chrome on the inside, replacing it with slivers of sportier brushed aluminium.Comfort at the rear is also pretty impressive. There is generous legroom, and great support. The front seats are superb too, and the seat grips you once on the move, to provide better support while cornering.

Engine and Gearbox: Makes you feel Schumi on wheels.

The 5-series, for now, uses only a 231bhp straight-six petrol, chosen for its incredible smoothness and linear power delivery. It’s happy to rev up and blast off, with plenty of torque at the bottom end, and a velvet-coated punch at the top. It works very well with the six-speed auto. Paddle shifting SMG is superb and slick, let me say you I almost felt like a Formula driver on the long straights.

Ride/Handling: Ayrton Senna is back in metal.

As good as the rest of the car was, its dynamics are the best bit. The Five is supremely agile, making any road a joy to drive. Its body control is impressive, and the steering is super-sharp and accurate.The brakes, boosted with ABS and EBD, are brilliant as well. The car rides on run-flat tyres, which make the ride very firm, but even so, you’ll be tempted to fire the chauffeur. The Five is, without doubt, one of the best luxury cars in the world, all the more so because it drives like a sports car.

Economy: Bending the Physics.

For it's performance and 1700 kg kerb weight, it gives an average of almost 9 kpl in combined driving condition. Thta's almost as good as the Honda Civic Auto with three times the performance and drive. That's what I like about the engineers of BMW- the Einsteins of Modern Automobiles.
Verdict: Import Car of The Year 2007. Need i say More guys?
Now it's made in India. And it's damn well priced too. More moolah than the nearest competitors for much less money.

I told my parents the other day that if any car happens to find room in my dream garage after the Honda Civic S Auto(yet to own it haha! :D), it has to be the 5 Series. Utter automobile revolutionary evolutions. Stories like these seldom happen in our market, and when they do, they send back rivals scurring for cover and some even back to drawing boards. You may argue on this fact, but you have to see it in real to believe it. I don't know about the recent controversy surrounding the flame surfacing and design signature of Chris Bangle's designs, but if this is the outcome, neither do i need to care. Nor will i care.

What I'll do is head straight to a BMW showroom and draw out a cheque book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Give My Little Friend Back To Me.

My emotions are outta control after all these pics! The Govt is busy with SEZs, MEGA MALLS AND CONSTRUCTIONS , ARMS DEALS and ALL UNNECESSARY NECESSITY YOU CAN THINK OF!

These are heartening pictures of some victims of Machkhowa bomb blasts in Guwahati at 5 PM.

A 5 year old child battered in the blast!

See his mother ask for justice and her child's life. Will anyone listen?

Victim's mother and sister!

Tucked away far into the NE corner of thiscountry is a nature's paradise called ASSAM. Its a heavenly abode for nature lovers, a home for one horned rhino in the entire world, Tea planters heaven, nation's largest producer of rice, crude oil, natural silk, green vegetables and of course tea! Does anyone know that?

NO? Yes I knew that will be the answer! Why would you care? All you know is that its a land of flat faced semimorphed humans similar to the Chinese, referred to the blog world commonly as CHINKIES!

More than that it boils my blood down when someone claim Assam is the land of ULFAs, Maowadis(Since when, assholes?). Yes, we have subject to terrirorist targets since the 70s! The govt has emplyed the BHEJALESS Army in the region, who of late have been a major headache to people of the state due to their eve teasing with girls, trying to be forceful to them and ease their physical desires, torturing the public unnecessarily with 3rd degree measures like pin stapling your ear if you are doubling on a bicycle, dominating the people with the trusted powers the govt has entrusted them na dthis list is endless!


We dont have any state quota in our own state when all other states have; we dont have any one to give us employment when my native district is one of the highest producers of board exams , IITians, Doctors and great sportsmen all across the country. We have the previlage to host the most premier institutes of the nation, and Dibrugarh is the richest district of entire Asia in terms of resources. We still dont have someone to sort out issues with the peacemessers so that even we can have s few industries entering here and setting up industries . The locals here are very co-operating. Any industry can offer jobs to locls to run their organisations here, but they wont!


Their is deadly flood going on as I write this blog! No aids, no food to the affected. The news is more focussed to Bihar, Kerela, Andhra and oh yes, Mumbai floods! People die here more than the combined deaths of Andhra and Kerela. No news.


India is a land of agriculture. History is evidence to the fact that all nations who have boosted and stuck to originals have been more Singapore for its infrastructure and civil engg, US for its witty brain and politics, UK for the same, Germany for its engineering, Australia for dairy farming, Italy for its Food, China for its Self belief on all fronts and now is a looming danger on our heads! Also Pakistan is prudent with its religion. We Indians have forgot that agriculture is out bete noire...rather than focussing on that front, we are more healthy promoting townships and malls.



Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Rather than being more precise and crisp, this time lets be more realistic! Audi has designed its most gracious car in all years(barring the R8 of course) here, courtesy former Alfa-Romeo designer Walter da Silva!

A5 is a tantalising coupe with clear design input from both the TT(Interiors+Engine+Silhoutte) and the Phenomenal R8(LED+profile). At an OTR of 77 lakhs for the 3.2 litre V6, this Quattro drive is as much fun as a night out with Gisele Bundchen! The car boasts of 6 airbags, all traditional audi A6 equipments and even better like massaging seats(optional), satnav and Bang & Olufsen 13 speaker AWESOME PIN DROP sound! Man havent heard of this company before, but i bet BOSE would run hard for cover! Atleast here!

The Engine was tweaked to handle more power, hence the car was more eager, more revving and definitley much fun! The front end is so cool, it seems as if the car s hugging the road and aiming the fist at anyone IN YER FACE! This is a left hand drive, so expect a right hand drive sooner or later when it lands on our shores in very near future(Got confirmation from Audi officials). Forget the TT, this car has actually gone the length and copied Bimmer's rearset engine(Engine set faar back from the front axle, leaving an exposed frame visible)! Pirelli PZero shod car is extremely sticky on the road! The H-gated gear lever is very comfortable to be accustomed, but a tad harder than the TT. Steering is well weighted, but light in slack positions. Driving comfort is unparalleled to anycar in it's class.

The rear seats are good only for kids. Had it got bigger seats, this car was the best tourer I would have voted! Front superb bolstering seats are great! The MMI(Multi Media Interface) is cool, but not necessary, actually never gave a look to it, as i was deeply sunk into the feeling of lusting a test drive of this car very here for first time in India!!!! That should be my personal record for now!

Waiting for other automobile mags to give their shot on this! Its a tequilla ! I bet! You can bet too!


TT wants one more game.

Audi has gone all out to ensure that the second-generation TT can mount a credible attack on the prowess of the BMW Z4 Coupe, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Nissan 350Z and Porsche Cayman.

Audi’s primary target was reducing the TT’s weight, and at 1430kg, this new 3.2-QUATTRO V6-engined car is 60kg lighter than the car it replaces.

Under the clamshell bonnet of the initial range-topping version lurks Audi’s familiar 3.2-litre V6 engine, complete with direct injection and a high 11.3:1 compression ratio. Mounted transversely but slightly lower and further back in the engine bay than before – both in a bid to improve the overall centre of gravity and to ensure sufficient clearance from the bonnet, in line with the latest pedestrian safety regulations – the compact 24-valve unit kicks out 247bhp at 6300rpm, along with 235lb ft of torque between 2500 and 3000rpm.

The defining feature of the new TT’s driveline is Audi’s updated six-speed S-tronic gearbox (nee DSG). Available as a £1400 option above the standard six-speed manual, the double-clutch unit is perfectly suited to the 3.2-litre V6’s flexible nature. It even manages to improve on the previous DSG’s trick of providing that rare combination of smoothness and speed of gearchange.


GOGO(The owner from Haryana) directed me to handle with care when i asked for a drive reluctantly! C'mon, this was the first supercar test I am doing, as ever, only a stopwatch to measure against the traditional VBoxes, and wide streets of Manesar! And how low these cars are, feels you are negoytiating a huge KART! But interior ergonomics are spot-on: The stubby 6 speed gear lever with H-Gate pattern is tricky, but geting used is much easier. All the controls are spot on, instruments in line of view. PerfecTT!!!!With less mass to haul and improved

aerodynamic properties, the TT vroomed to 100 kph from rest in

7.4 secs; 160 in 16.66 secs; 200 in 24.91 secs finally from standstill! And it was 3 in the morning! . Top speedi could muster was 204 ks before i ran out of road! The new TT’s pop-up rear spoiler deploys at the rear at over 100 kph. Braking was even more awe-inspiring, steel discs all around hault the car in less than half the time needed to accelerate!

Straight line stability is a phenomenon in such cars and the TT was a Benchmark. S

imilar to Bimmers! Surely learn a thing or two from your menacing neighbour, if ya gonna take them head on! All thanks to the 4 wheel drive called Quattro(legend).

Over corners, the TT proves more fluid and willing to follow instruction like a Labrador, steering substantially weighted and loads of feedback. A large part of this is down to the more sophisticated suspension and the fact that it’s been tuned with keen drivers in mind. Body control is excellent, with less pitch and roll over undulations and mid-corner irregularities.

The speed-sensitive power steering – an electro-hydraulic system is light at low speeds(60 kph) and offers accurate turn-in.

Should have been a tad longer wheelbase for more directional stability though.

Gogo heartily laughed when i asked him about the mileage. He never cared, why should he(Being able to afford this 60 lakh machine OTR after all). But occasionally he seemed to have cared for and found about 6 kpl in city under sane driving and about 8-9 on the expressways! DECENT Figures if claimed correctly.

VERDICT: Mind blowing F***ing car! Whoa! This was the drive I was looking to post! Sorry once again, until my first salary arrives, all you have to do is believe these words, as i dont have any camera to click the cars. Also I am not paid for this job, Just doing as a pastime needs no serious investment at all! So Dont posts stupid comments about pics and claims.

Man if you have the bucks, go for it! Or just wait for the A5 about to be driven soon! Exclusively from the field of Vrrooom.

Definitely Man!

BIG TYRES.....WOW..that was my first thought on seeing the SX4 ZXI first in white robes. Armed to the core with leather seats(optional), Climatronic, ABS, Airbags...all for 7.12 lakhs INR ex-showroom Dibrugarh. Man is Maruti joking? Or seriously are we gonna see more SX4s than 1.4 Fiestas ? Or Esteems for that matter.....Lets be a bit more Inquisitive and see how much this Man amongst the lasses have the balls!


Run Honda Run! Like the City (Jazz) and the Fiesta (Fiesta), the SX4 is derived from a hatchback platform (Swift). Those who are familiar with Fiats will recognise the front end treatment first seen in the Sedici 4x4 crossover and the Suzuki SX4 hatchback. Very proportioned surfaces and finishing; the quarter-glass kink which makes the car easily distinguishable from a distance. The ZXi gets manly 16-inch wheels with 205/60 rubber, while the VXi gets 15-inch wheels with 195/65s. . Despite the long overhang at the rear, the SX4 has the profile of a notchback . Colour schemes are good and vibrant in dressing, but SX4 looks pretty flamboyant in Arctic White.

Interiors: Honda is safe!

Similar to Sedici again, very functional and swooping. Finally an integrated stereo with steering-mounted controls , adjustable steering wheel, automatic climate controland extremely comfortable seats. Two plasto-chrome strips line the centre console and mild beige two tone interiors, adding to the ‘expensive and sporty’ look. Dials are Swiftly Orange and clear. Lots of parts shared witht the Swift, means some parts are out of place in a car like this, notably the mirror controls and the . While the rear room is more than adequate, the elbow room for the driver and front passenger is left wanting. A very agreeable place to spend time in and the tall stance means getting in and out is easier too.


Settle in the comfortable seat, adjust the mirrors, fire the motor and you are in for an audible surprise. Unlike the previous Suzuki engines, this one makes its presence felt. You can pick up the valve gear and other mechanical noises. The new 16-valve M16A motor displaces 1586cc and it generates 102 bhp at 5500 rpm and 14.5 kgm of torque at 4200 rpm.

Under hard acceleration , the SX4 managed to dismiss 60 kph in 5.13 seconds and did a 100 kph run in 12.6 seconds. It is quicker than the 77bhp City ZX but nomatch to 100 bhp City VTEC. But surprisingly, the SX4 motor is quicker in the 100-140 kph run compared to the VTEC. Max speed garnered was 166 kmph on odo by me as Agra roads are devil's paradise!. The Gear lever from Swift(Again) feels substantial, but needs hard shove to slot in. Gearing is tall...2nd good for upto 96 kph! But Honda excels in the driveability, as seen in previous tests, and overall performance figures are in the difference of 1-2.4 secs max.


190 mm ground clearance, large profile tyres; means this is a highway star! The UPSIDC roads which have huge pimples on their surfaces brought out the fact that this car can take any thing at high speeds, but at lows and mediums, this can prove quite handful, tossing you about in the cabin.

Good cornering comes naturally for cars from the Swift platform. The SX4 hatch is about to be unleashed into the WRC circuit early next year too. Similar JK Vectras and soft tuning meant decent cornering abits and great straight line stability.

EFFECIENCY: Combined for both: City- approx 8.5 kpl; Highway- approx 13.6 kpl!

VERDICT: Surely Go For This one! Its got a lot of character, cheaper than even the Gxi trim City, and better service network means effortless ownership experience. The new car did creep up with a few out of the place rattles, common to all Maruits, but thats not a deterrent to refrain from this technological safety tour de force.

P.S: Honda, Get ABS+Front twin aribags soon! Or prepare to lose your Kinghood!

Kindly Note: Pics Sourced: Still not purchased that much needed cam! Need sponsors :D

1 LOVE !

‘The 1-series is not a space miracle. It’s not intended to be – that would sacrifice too much driver appeal.’

Exactly. In his neat summary, Gerd Schuster, project leader for BMW’s new baby, perfectly captures the essential point of 2004’s most intriguing new Focus/Golf-class car.

Proper sporting cars are rear-wheel drive; BMW set out to build a smaller BMW. That – good (mostly very good) and bad – is exactly what they’ve achieved. The 1-series was never going to be anything other than front-engine, rear-drive – the layout that clarifies Schuster’s description.

The 1-series’ total character – the way it drives, the body’s proportions, the tight rear-seat compartment – all stem directly from the longitudinal positioning of the engine and the decision to adopt rear-wheel drive on a hatchback. To find another ‘new’ small car that goes against the (until now) universal trend to transverse-mounted engine/front-drive layout, you must go back to the first Mazda 323 from the late ’70s.

This is BMW being BMW: confident that, in a class that sells 12 million cars a year globally, there are sure to be 150,000-plus buyers delighted to compromise packaging efficiency for the sake of intense driver appeal. Especially in a car wearing a premium badge.

As Audi discovered with the A3 (seen by Munich as the 1-series’ closest rival, along with high-end VW Golfs and Alfa’s 147) price is comparatively unimportant on compact prestige models. When the 1-series goes on sale across the world on 18 September, there are going to be plenty of customers prepared to pay well over 20 grand for the privilege. The humble 114bhp 1.6-litre 116i starts at £15,690 (£180 over the equivalent A3), the 120i Sport tested sells for £20,170 and the 120d SE £20,800, all without dipping in to the extensive, too-often essential, options list.

Still, to the person behind the wheel, it’s a no-brainer concept. You won’t find any front-drive rival with the same level of chassis poise (no, not even the Ford Focus), the same consistency of weighting of major controls and, best of all, steering that is as pure, as linear, and utterly unscathed by torquesteer. Simply because there is no torquesteer. Impossible. ‘The axle that steers should not have the burden of also powering the car,’ says Schuster, ignoring for a moment that BMW is also responsible for the front-drive Mini.

Achieving BMW’s traditional 50/50 weight distribution meant moving the engine rearwards, almost behind the front axle line, and shifting the battery to the boot floor, where the spare wheel normally sits. Except there isn’t one: all 1-series were conceived around run-flat tyres.

The cabin is long, the roofline extending the rear overhang well beyond the hatchback norm. The 1-series gets the longest wheelbase – 2660mm (up 80mm on the new Golf, and just 65mm shy of the 3-series) – in its class. Likewise, the overall length (at 4227mm, 23mm longer than the Golf), but the long-bonnet styling and an intrusive transmission tunnel eat into rear-seat space and restrict the fuel tank to a marginal 50 litres.

The 1-series doesn’t set out to be a Golf or a Focus. But the appeal of a BMW hatchback that drives like a more refined, more agile 3-series adds a new dimension to a class that’s become moribund in terms of technical innovation and choice. Expensive or not, the One changes all that to instantly become the driver’s choice in the class.

Now there's no point discussing performance figures and driving characteristics-its a Bimmer remember? But my aim here is to point out why these fabulous cars are not heading here.

India's rich masses are very image conscious. Whatever its like, a Rotating Propellor , the Union Rings or a even 3-pointed star will outsell every other car in its price range and category! Being a die hard fan, given the budget, I'll def deal for this piece of affordable ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE rather than a tinny Japanese model. C'mon, everyone desires that prestige badge. And dad just thought his young MBA son needs an identity for himself, so this is the best car to mark the same! Or maybe Yer Highnesses' Madamoussile needs a softer car to drive to parlour! Can you name a better car here?

Point or no point, there's a huge market potential for these hot hatches here! We Indians love hatches, and with a status logo atop the bonnet, we'll flaunt it more than Mallika Sherawat does with her assets! With marginally less space at the rear, its the perfect family car for couples with kids and holiday hunkies! Add to the fact that these are hoots to drive, very predictable, German engineered and hugely safe, the pie just got sweeter.

BMW, we want ONE! Are you listening?

Fabia-licious Skoda!

A few days back i happened to see the blue Fabia vrooming on the sub-urban Mumbai streets. Nothing could mistake the sparsely disguised super hatch from my eyes as it was cruising at high speeds. Unfortunately and very likely, I dont have a camera to support my thoughts(No Budget maam). But thank God i am a human , able to convert those feelings into useful words here.

Here's the complete brief of the model thats slated to be launched by sep:

Design/Engineering: Based on the new-gen platform , the fabia is just the model skoda needed to make it's presence felt here. At 3992mm, its very clear Skoda wants to take clear benifits of the excise norms here, so it seems justified postponing the older version.

The new edition draws heavily on the outgoing car (including an identical wheelbase, very similar dimensions and some closely related engines), but packages them into a taller, roomier, bolder body style reminiscent of the Suzuki Swift from some angles. Like the original Fabia, the 2007 edition is first in the VW supermini family to adopt a platform which will go under a yet-to-be launched, new-generation VW Polo.

The ’07 Fabia’s basic structure has been re-engineered in key areas for better crash performance and to support a new body whose main dimensional difference is another 50mm (two inches) of overall height. Launch cars are five-door hatchbacks, but a five-door estate is slated internationally in a year’s time. No chance of it making to India.

ENGINES/GEARBOX: There are 7 engines to choose for europeans, only two for us! But thats better coz there's no use having a long array of confusion! Also excise benifits rem? So starting with the gasoline junkies, the 1.2 ltr 3 cyl 70 bhp thugger is a sprightly unit, eager to rev high, and reportedly good low and medium speed response. High speed range is reported sluggish! But this is the best motor reported to have been tested internationally by all riders across the world for its great combination of response and modulation! Coupled to a sleek synchromesh g5 speed manual, this si the one to gun for if u look for better spirits!

For the econo-heads, 1.4 ltr 70 bhp pumpduse engine(Basically the Laura engine with an extra cylinder chopped off, meaning vibrations and balancing issues) is the one to gun for. Surely the hot seller for our market, this motor is reported to be very gruff in higher rpms though smooth and torquey! Expect great mileage from this one!

As ever the gear box is fnantically smooth and precise, but to keep up with the traffic, u need to stir it up quite a lot! An 80 bhp version of the same is also available, which does away with the turbo lag! There's an option of a six speed auto DSG mated to a 1.6 ltr petrol, no chnces of making it here. But pray ernestly for the RS version slated for launch by 2008!

INTERIORS: The petrol will have an all beige interior, as pictured here! Damn, lots of clothing needed to our dusty conditions! The diesel gets somewhat better grey and white interiors! But nothing comes close to the quality of interiors offered here, atleast in hatch class! Just take a look at the fit and finish and u know how optimistic I am! Though most of the

high end features like bluetooth phone connector, satnav, heated mirrors etc will be removed for our market, but at the same time features like parking sensors will be retained across the range! At 2462 mm, its got equal legroom to the Fiesta! Luggage space of impressive 3 00 ltrs can be boosted to 1300 ltrs with folded seats, and with the front seats fully backed, there wont be any issues with three six footers at the back! The first thing that strikes you about any Fabia is its extra height: like most of its peers it’s a four-metre car now, and tall with it. That leads to impressively enhanced interior room.

RIDE/HANDLING: The Fabia dealt well with coarse bitumen and rutted conctete roads reportedly, so reminiscent of India’s, and on any decent surface it will run quietly, with a pleasant “rubber-footed” sensation over bad bumps.

The steering is lower geared than most in the class and the steering wheel is quite big, too, but there’s a faithfulness and accuracy about it which makes pressing on a pleasure. Body roll is there, and its nowhere the go-kart type as in Swift, but still the car is confident around corners and surefooted on any tarmac. Making it highly justified for nationwide launch!


VERDICT: We are seriously looking at the probable Car Of the Year 2008! This is a model with all attributes of the saloon and novelities of a macro hatch! Cash strapped families need something big and novel concepts like this can go to fulfill their desires to a big extent. My source close to Skoda Aurangabad says the car is expected to be in the 6-6.5 lakhs range initially with costs coming don as localisation increases. Rest upto you to decide what to do or not!

In my case, I would deal a cheque for this CHECH!