Monday, December 10, 2012



    Honda Amaze sedan that will be launched in India next year. Already launched in Thailand, the Amaze is expected to make it to Indian shores by April 2013. Powered by a new, 1.5-litre, four-cylinder i-DTEC diesel engine derived from the 1.6-litre Earth Dreams, the Amaze returns 23-25 kmpl. Prices could start from Rs 5.2 lakh for the basic petrol to Rs 7.3 lakh for the top-end diesel.

   Even without turning a wheel, there’s a sense that Honda has got it right, yet again. And this stems from the fact that present among us for the very first drive of this new car are the engine and product development heads. And as our interaction reveals, they aren’t very cagy either, which is quite a departure from typical Japanese officials at Honda.
  But, before we jump the gun here, it must be said that the odds aren’t exactly stacked in Honda’s favour. It’s not every other day that the company makes a diesel engine, after all. Hitherto, it only had two – the 2.2-litre diesel which has been around for a really long time and the 1.6-litre engine that is too new to be regarded as legendry.
   The second challenging bit is the car itself. Unlike most other car makers who design a hatchback with a sedan in mind, Honda’s Brio was thought of only as a hatchback. Clearly, the work to produce a sedan on the same platform would be not just more challenging but with high probability of getting things wrong.

  The good news though is nothing of the sort has happened. In fact, having to design the sedan from the scratch (well, almost) has actually allowed Honda added flexibility to go the distance most other compact sedan makers haven’t even considered travelling. We are of course talking about the Amaze, a sub-4m sedan designed on the Brio platform but with enough alterations to make it more than just a hatch with a boot. 
  Unlike the Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dzire for instance, the Amaze actually sits on a longer wheelbase compared to its hatch sibling. The only other car to have done this is the Sunny; but then, it isn’t exactly a sub-4m offering. Moreover, the Amaze has been redesigned with new body panels B-pillar backwards. It is wider at the hip and with it the shoulder room at the back has increased. The roof too has been re-profiled and has liberated more head room compared to the Brio. 

  But, it is the kneeroom that’s truly outstanding, period. The room at the front of course continues unchanged compared to the Brio, but at the back, there’s more usable kneeroom in the Amaze than even the likes of the Chevrolet Cruze and the Hyundai Elantra. As far as the rear head room goes, the Honda is equally matched with the Dzire, but it offers more shoulder room making it a much more spacious car overall than the Maruti. 
  And, yes, the boot is more usable too. We don’t have the official figures on its luggage capacity, but as our measurements reveal, the Amaze’s boot is deeper and taller and though it’s not as well shaped as the Dzire’s in terms of width, it can comfortably hold a lot more luggage.

   Honda hasn’t bothered to tinker with the interiors much; the dash is identical to the Brio with the Amaze only sporting a different set of instrumentation. The seats at the front continue unchanged as well and are comfortable to be in. At the rear, the seats have been redone. These have a bigger, more supportive seat bottom and the seatback is more reclined as well.
   Things are quite the same from the driver’s perch too. But, when you begin driving the differences compared to the Brio are a lot more obvious. The steering for one is heavier, and in a good way – it’s not uncomfortable but more wholesome. The clutch continues to be light to operate but the feel and progression isn’t great. The shifts again are precise with short throws but are not chier than we would have liked.

  The Amaze’s performance truly impresses. The 1.5-litre four cylinder diesel is smooth and linear in its power delivery without sudden bursts of shove coming in with the turbo at full boost. It has good grunt in the low and mid range too which should make it an easy car to drive around in the cities. Plus, the gearing is well sorted - it is on the shorter side which helps cut the turbo lag immensely. So much so that even in 5th gear, the engine gets from 1000rpm to 1500rpm is no time. It is noisy though, particularly at higher rpms. 

   This made for India 1.5-litre, four cylinder diesel is based on the new 1.6-litre diesel engine which Honda recently introduced in Europe. Everything from the construction to the materials to even the bore measurement of the engine is the same. It is an all aluminium engine designed to be the lightest in its class. It uses short skirt and light weight pistons along with high strength narrow crankshaft in order to bring down friction which, incidentally is only as much as Honda’s own 1.5-litre petrol engine. 

For India, Honda has worked on increasing fuel economy and low and mid range driveability. It has also been tweaked to handle our fuel quality better. The engine uses a small fixed geometry turbo which should help it develop between 85-90bhp. The same engine will be used in the Brio MPV as well as the new City due in 2014 but with higher power and torque figures courtesy a reworked ECU. Honda is also considering a VGT for this engine for higher outputs in the future.

   The Amaze when launched in April next year will be priced at a slight premium over the Dzire. Expect the price for the diesel (a petrol with the 1.2-litre engine from the Brio will also be on sale) to start at a little over Rs 6 lakh for the base and going up to almost Rs 8 lakh for the top of the line trim. At this price and given what the car and the diesel engine together offer, the Amaze makes a fantastic case for itself. As we see it, Honda certainly has delivered a winner here.

Friday, December 7, 2012



TVS Motors India has launched all-new 125cc commuter bike christened as ‘Phoenix 125’. The company unveiled the bike at ‘TVS Storm Ahead’ event held on 17-18 August in Bangkok. From the first photos leaked all over the net, it was clear that Phoenix 125 has modern looks featuring stylish fuel tank with huge sticker of ‘Phoenix’ on it. This bike is placed a notch above the TVS Flame and will compete with the likes of Hero Ignitor, Bajaj Discover 125ST, Yamaha SZ and Honda CBF Stunner.


TVS Phoenix 125 is powered by 124.6cc petrol engine, which generates maximum power of 10.5 Bhp at 7500 rpm and develops maximum torque of 10 Nm at 6000 rpm. The engine is mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.

TVS Phoenix 125 Mileage

As per the claims made by the company, Phoenix 125 returns mileage of 67 kmpl under standard test riding condition. Expected real-world mileage figures are somewhere around 45 kmpl in city and overall mileage of 55 kmpl.

Instrument Console of TVS Phoenix 125

The instrument cluster of Phoenix 125 is all-digital including a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, trip meter, clock and other tell-tales.

Most Prominent Features

  • Twin LED pilot lamps
  • Petal disc brakes
  • Aircraft inspired decals
  • Black alloy wheels
  • Duel spring suspension
  • Fully digital instrument console
  • Hazard lamps
  • Engine kill switch

Price of TVS Phoenix 125

TVS Phoenix 125 is priced at INR 51000 (ex-showroom Chennai) for the drum variant and INR 53000 for the front disc/rear drum variant.

Shades Available

Phoenix 125 is available in five eye-catching dual-tone shades:
  • Moroccan Red
  • Alaskan Green
  • Helsinki Black Silver
  • Belgian Black Red
  • Oxford Grey

    Maximum Power:10.5 Bhp @ 7500 rpm
    Maximum Torque:10 Nm @ 6000 rpm
    Gears:4 Speed
    Cooling Type:Air Cooling




    Electrical System:NA
    Headlamp:12V - 35W/35W Halogen
    Wheel Type:Mag Alloys
    Wheel Size:90 x 90 - 17", 100 x 90 - 17" mm
    Colors:Moroccan Red, Alaskan Green, Helsinki Black Silver, Belgian Black Red and Oxford Grey.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Mini-Aria Is Tata Motors’ Next SUV?

              Mini-Aria Is Tata Motors’ Next SUV

                    less than 4-metres in length


   The mini-SUV / MPV market is hotting up. When concept versions of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Ford ECOSPORT were shown to the world, they generated tremendous interest. Much was said about the practicality, value for money and multi-purpose utility for the Indian market. Especially because Indians love the SUV image, extra ground clearance help with bad roads and of course more space is always welcome! Maruti Suzuki and Mahindra moved quickly and introduced the Ertiga and Quanto.

      The sales charts are witness to the success these companies are enjoying.
Ford is yet to launch the EcoSport and Tata Motors completely ignored the hoopla that surrounded the Mini – SUV / MPV segment. Tata Motors is struggling with sales due to the outdated old Safari and extremely overpriced Aria. In spite of Aria being very technologically advanced, spacious, with a great engine and amazing features it failed to sell well due to high pricing strategy. So now Tata Motors are convinced that their latest project, the mini-Aria will help them get more piece of the action.

      The compact version of the Tata Aria should be less than 4-metres in length. The boot will become smaller and the last row of seats may become slightly cramped. Also it may be stripped of the awesome technological advantage that the Aria has. As developing a new platform and chassis is very expensive, Tata Motors can use the Aria or even the Safari Strome chassis and platform as a base. As they are already using the Fiat’s 1.3-litre Multijet engine in other cars, they have a good option of using it for the mini Aria as well.

   However all Tata cars are quite heavy (Aria being 2.2 tonnes), the Multijet engine may be quite underpowered for this purpose. Developing a new engine from scratch is an option but will add tremendously to the cost of the car. The engine has to be under 1.5–litres for tax benefit, so using the 2.2 engine is out of the question. Tata Motors has to buckle up, get their game straight and develop a very well thought out product to be able to compete against the already brilliant Ertiga, Quanto and even the yet to be launched EcoSport. They have to especially price it competitively to make it value for money. Otherwise it may end up with the same fate as the Aria.

  Tata Motors is also said to be working on a compact version of the Sumo Gold, which might hit the market as soon as next year. It will be sub 4-metre in length, giving it excise benefits. The mini-Sumo will be priced around Rs. 5 lakhs. The vehicle will have 7-seats (last row will be jump seats similar to the Quanto). It remains to be seen if there is acceptance for a compact utility vehicle in the Indian market.

Friday, November 23, 2012


                               A BIG IN SMALL PRICE TATA' ARIA'

    When it comes to SUVs in India, the Tata Aria, it's said that there’s a beast under the hood. The 2.2 DICOR engine has Variable Turbine Technology, generating 140 PS Power & 320 NM Torque. Putting the reins in your hands is the new Gearbox (Mark II) that’s perfectly synchronized with the engine, offering smooth power delivery, and crisp gear shifting. Then there’s the Dual Mass Flywheel that makes vibrations a thing of the past, maintaining a peaceful calm inside the cabin. A boon on Indian roads, we think. Stuck between buying a hatchback or a Sedan, just go for a SUV instead.

   Now there are two facets to luxury. One is class and elegance; the other, comfort and convenience. And they both exist in the TATA Aria. The in-dash Satellite Navigation System shows you the way to anywhere through a simple interface and unparalleled coverage. Rain Sensing Auto Wipers switch on instantly with the slightest drizzle. And as the sun sets and the light dim, the Darkness Sensing Auto Headlights come to life. Then there’s the Auto Climate Control to keep you cool at the desired temperature. And of course, a Reverse Guide Camera, to help you park without worry or hassle. And it doesn’t end there. As you acquaint yourself with the luxury trappings of the TATA Aria, you will find a host of features that are both splendid and thoughtful.

    With 140 PS Power & 320 NM Torque, the Tata Aria is always ready to be ripped on any open road. This seven-seater SUV is often mistaken as a Multi-Utility vehicle. With the Aria's extensive range of feautre, it cannot be argued that the Tata Aria is a Value For Money SUV. Starting with the safety features, this SUV fares really well in all safety tests. ABS with EBD, all disc brakes and more importantly Electronic Stability Control along with Traction control keeps the vehicle in complete control and on-track even in an accidental situation.

     A range of airbags with tough built body on frame construction acts as the passive safety features of this SUV. All the doors get unlocked, once the Aria detects an emergency. The dual AC, GPS SatNav technology, rain sensing auto wipers and darkness sensing auto head lights, Infotainment system, roof centre bone utility bins, glove box chiller, etc serve as the premium features inside this 7 seater SUV. The Tata Aria runs on a smooth suspension setup which absorbs all the undulations of road. Also, don't let its big size fool you as it has the best handling & maneuverability all thanks to its special 5 link rear suspension that is mounted below the back end of the chassis.What else would you want?
4x2 Variant Description

    The best of the two disparate worlds have collided when it comes to SUVs in India. Presenting the newly launched Tata Aria 4x2 variant. Here the elegant poise of a Sedan and the rugged exuberance of an SUV come together. This launch is off a vehicle that's been bred to suit your every need. You can drive it with smooth stealth through the city roads. And you can venture out on roads less travelled with equal ease. In the Tata Aria you will find a host of features that are both splendid and thoughtful.

Tata Aria SUV Price Description

Tata Aria Price

Tata Aria Variants Price

Variants New Delhi      Bangalore   Mumbai     Chennai      Pune           Hyderabad   Kolkata
Pride (Diesel) 16,56,890 16,73,415 16,95,198 16,81,979 16,54,177 16,83,733 16,93,014
Pure 4x2 (Diesel) 11,61,000 11,98,601 12,13,086 12,05,085 11,84,618 12,06,840 12,15,735
Pleasure 4x2 (Diesel) 12,61,000 - - - - - -
Prestige 4x2 (Diesel) 14,26,000 - - - - - -
LX 4x2 (Diesel) 9,95,000 9,94,896 10,14,495 9,94,014 9,90,908 9,95,015 9,96,300
AT (Diesel) 15,00,000 - - - - - -

The TATA Aria is built on the premise that convenience isn’t a luxury, but a necessity. Class, elegance and comfort, they all exist in the Tata Aria. As you acquaint yourself with the features and the luxury trappings of this SUV, you will realize that the cost of this SUV is indeed a small price to pay. An eclectic mix of features that assure safety, deliver performance and define luxury. To make sure that wherever you are, on-road or off, you’re never out of place in a TATA Aria.