About Me

I am a guy with petrol running in my blood and a V12 in my chest cavity. i have a dog with an attitude problem and my girl frnd is convinced that i am having an affair with my Scorpio. I will try to offer you best advices on how to maintain your SUV, and how to save this world :) bleh.

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Analysis and Review of Mahindra Xylo If you are someone who has been surfing the web and is interested in auto, it will be hard for you to miss the buzz .........Read more:

Tata nano: a point of view / review


Well the people's car is here. Dressed in yellow, this light-on-the-pockets car is available for a preview at most of the Westside and Croma outlets in the city. It claims to accomodate 5 passengers, this car is a rear engine drive and has a bootspace of 150 litres (which is in the front, where conventionally engines are supposed to be). Also, it satisfies the frontal crash test demands and is hence labelled as a ‘safe drive’. It’s a 624cc drive and has a 33bhp engine. Priced at less than Rs. 2 lakh (yes, the on road price reaches so far) is something which is bold and commendable. Impressive enough.
But I guess what Mr. Ratan Tata failed to notice are the factors that turn this dream car of the common man into a nightmare. Mr. Tata advised that this is not meant for highway drives and also that the petrol engines might turn out to be a bit noisy!! When he was asked about the emission which is not safe, he easily changed the topic by saying that its a vehicle which fulfills the massess right to have an individual transport. This fact is, essentially, something to be appreciated… but the product which fulfills the fact is definatly not.
With so many different companies in the market producing the best of products, installed with different gizmos and reasonably priced, the expectations of an Indian buyer has increased. Compared to its competitors, Tata Nano seems to be outdated as it is not equipped with the latest techs available in the market these days. In fact, if I compare it with the yesteryear cars like Maruti 800, it will have a hard time competing with them as well. With its 800cc power, Maruti 800 used to have constant hiccups while going through an incline. Nano, with its 4 bhp low would, I guess, go on a permanent strike while performing the same act. The wheels of the car seem to be stolen from an autorickshaw and will never be able to hold on to the road at a bend. Unfortunately Indian roads are not smooth and bend more. In my opinion Tata Nano, at best, is a car for people who have never tasted better and will get easily overwhelmed with the ‘cute’ and ‘chik’ looks of this one.
In the end I would say, Tata Nano is a like a Yash Chopra movie. Acceptable emotionally but definitely does not work in reality.

The Senseless Indian Auto Market

Ok, so there are two car companies who will soon be coming out with a model each. The first one is Honda. They are launching a small car named Jazz. It is going to be the most expensive small car in the segment with an expected price tag of Rs. 7 Lakh (Delhi)!! It will have all the safety features of a sedan or an SUV along with a 1200cc VTEC petrol engine. It’s interesting to note that the competitors in terms of price, for this small car are: Ford Ikon, Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio!!
The other company is BMW. They are on the other extreme end of the spectrum with their plans to launch the coupe Roadster Z4. The price range for this, if anyone wants to know, is a staggering 50-60 Lakh. The Roadster has a hard-folding top and can run at speeds of 250 kmph.
Now the reason for the title of this article:
Why should I spend Rs. 7 Lakh on a vehicle (Honda Jazz) that has an engine displacement which around half of my current vehicle (Mahindra Scorpio) when it is costing the same?!
Also, why should I pay around 8 times the cost of my current vehicle to buy a car that I won’t even be able to use to half its capacity?!
This is one issue that I absolutely can’t understand. If anyone is spending Rs. 7 Lakh then why do it on a small car that stuffs 5 people inside? Or why pay Rs. 60 Lakh for a sports car that you can’t drive to its full potential simply because there are no roads to drive them on? Wouldn’t it be infinitely wiser to pay Rs. 7 Lakh and buy a stylish, comfortable SUV like, say, Mahindra’s Scorpio, that lets 7 people sit inside comfortably and can go anywhere in this beautiful country… irrespective of the fact whether there are good roads, bad roads or no roads!!

Gautam Gambhir unveiled the new Bolero stinger

Mahindra and Mahindra unveiled its new Bolero Stinger which is an upgraded model of its classic model Bolero. Gautam Gambhir was present at the ceremony of unveiling of Bolero Stinger.
"I am extremely delighted to own the Mahindra Bolero Stinger and thank the team at Mahindra & Mahindra for this special gesture. With its stylish looks and power packed performance, I think the Mahindra Bolero Stinger is the perfect choice for anyone who thrives on the thrill of the open road and has an adventurous attitude. The Mahindra Bolero Stinger has everything I’ve ever wanted in an offroader and I'm really looking forward to driving the vehicle both in the city as well as on long road trips." said Gautam Gambhir while receiving the keys to the vehicle from Vivek Nayer.
The interiors of the new Bolero Stinger are color co-ordinated and also feature customised floor carpetting and leather suede upholstery for added glamour. The new Mahindra Bolero Stinger comes with same 97 bhp engine and is a customized version of plain vanilla CRDe Bolero. It also has a new MP3 player, leather seats, and reverse camera are available to increase the appeal of this lifestyle off-roader. The company has started using its new Haridwar plant in Uttrakhand as the second manufacturing unit for Bolero along with its Nashik facility.

Mercedes benz to launch SUV in India

Mercedes Benz announced the launch of its new SUV Mercedes M Class in India. "The new M-Class offers best of both the worlds—the highest levels of luxury, comfort and on-road refinement combined with excellent off-road capabilities and best-in- class safety standards," Mercedes-Benz India's CEO and Managing Director, Wilfried Aulbur, said in a statement in Mumbai. "We have maintained the same price for this product despite significant enhancements of equipment, features and performance...thus making the best value for money offering in this segment," he added.The new M class will be available in two engines – ML 350 CDI and ML 320 CDI. ML 350 is would be available at a price tag of Rs. 53.77 lacs, at the same time ML 320 CDI is priced at Rs. 54 lacs.Mercedes also plans to increase its R&D head count in India. It intends to India its key research and development hub within the next few years. The company is looking to hire as many as 700 new engineers in the next few years for its R&D operations in Bangalore, which is slated to become its second biggest research hub globally after Germany.

General Motors to file bankruptcy??

As the speculations come to an end, the Obama administration and the President himself are contemplating options to let General Motors go ahead and file bankruptcy. The new plan comes as "controlled bankruptcy" plan which falls somewhere between pre-packaged bankruptcy and court chaos.

What Happens Now?
The government and the company are discussing a probable bankruptcy plan which spells into quickly forming another company. The new company will hold most of the profitable part of the parent company. Other units which are actually not-so-profit-making lie under longer government bankruptcy control. General Motors also has a word with the United Auto Workers Union before filing the bankruptcy that may probably be filed by June 2009. Although, automakers are still fighting to prevent the probable chance of filing bankruptcy but advisers at General Motors are working towards a common aim to preserve the best parts of the company or sell them off at the best price.
The basic aim of the whole plan is to show the consumers, tax payers and the government is that the new General Motors can still hold its ground in the auto world and survive on its own.

How Does It Happen?
The big brains at General Motors are thinking hard to shape up a new company and give a new face to the age old American auto giant. Old components such as Saturn and Hummer would definitely not form a part of the new company. They would be definitely under longer bankruptcy period and would be ultimately sold or dissolved.
The new company shall coordinate with the new company for some time and share some operational activities such as accounting and insurance until it eventually becomes independent.
Who Gets Affected?
Shareholders, bond holders, workers, trade unions, government and just about everyone associated with the General Motors does get affect. We are also talking about TCS here in India which will be badly hurt if General Motors goes bankrupt.
General Motors has already begun discussions with the United Auto Workers and has already won deep concessions on health care and entry level wages. However, the obligations to 775,000 retirees stills looms large over the company that is a major issue that still needs to be addressed. As the company still negotiates for certain retiree benefits, the union is asking for stake in the new GM, cash from sale of the new GM and any other sources of funds. Bondholders may have to accept a debt-for-equity swap to reduce the $27 billion in corporate debt they hold over General Motors.
Tata Consultancy Services in India may also face grave set back and biggest impact amongst other companies. Other auto component manufacturers may also face grave consequences who have been exporting to General Motors in the US. Many auto component manufacturers had increased their production capacities in the wake of constant demands. These auto component manufacturers also feel the heat of bankruptcy being discusses by the company. Many of the auto component manufacturers have already reduced their shipments to the company as they fear delayed payments and witness fall in fresh orders.
The Last Laugh….
Who has the last laugh…? Apparently no one! The bigger you are the greater is the fall…so the saying goes. General Motors has enjoyed the number one of position for as long as one can remember. If General Motors files bankruptcy then it would be something similar to the Italian diary giant Parmalat SpA which entered bankruptcy in December 2003 due to the accounting scandal. Most of the bad assets were liquidated but lawsuits between the company, creditors and lenders lingered until 2007.
Now the whole world watches with attention as the Obama administration asks General Motors to file for bankruptcy!
news source:cartrade

AirCar the new fantasy-will a Hummer buy it ? part 3


The fuel shortage and high-prices are making people look for alternatives to the petroleum fuel everywhere and anything that burns at high temperature minus the pollution is a good option. So far, developments have been made trying to use grass, salt water, hydrogen fuel cells, the people of Bougainville have been using coconut oil in their vehicles… this was the less eye-popping-list. Apart from this, there have been experiments with using, believe it or not, beer, sawdust, solar paint, dirty diapers and dead cats. !!
The world is getting more and more desperate for alternatives, and it is more than visible. As a direct effect, the SUV sales have dropped in countries like U.S.A. but here in India it is not the same. The fuel scenario has not affected the SUV market here because of the earlier mentioned points.

So what if the polar ice caps melt. The Earth is a few degrees warmer and the atmosphere is a little thicker. We lose some animal species, the coasts are more inland, and winter is more tolerable. Do we think that the carbon dioxide atmosphere of Venus is an environmental problem? It is clearly a human problem, not an environmental one. Humanity is scared of being extinct. Maybe the dinosaurs will come back and be happy that the earth is warm again.
Some news source states that "The biggest advances in environmental technology will come from tiny little islands or independent powers like China, India, and Bougainville. Life is an education when we don’t rely on others."
So basically, the world can hit the panic button while we sit back and cruise along in our fuel efficient, nature-friendly, big, bold and most importantly, Indian SUVs like the Mahindra Scorpio.

AirCar the new fantasy-will a Hummer buy it ? part 2

So after some thought here is what i think on the Air car drama(follow up of aircar article-part 1)
The nearest competitor for the air powered engine is the battery powered engine and both still seem impractical to me (we all know what happened to Reva that was launched in India) for the following reasons stated
First let’s kick some air-engine butt
In the enthusiasm we may think that Air-engine might be revolutionary but if you think about it energy has just been displaced. It takes a lot of coal, nuclear or hydroelectric power to compress normal air.
Also the "refueling" process could be elaborated on. The embedded video states the car would be "refueled" by an air compressor at a station. This would mean the air compressor at the station is connected to the electrical grid.
One has to calculate the efficiency of the air compressor to truly understand the operational costs of this system.
This is a link to a PDF about air compressor efficiency:
http://www.p2pays.org/ref/32/31312.pdf
Here is a more in-depth article discussing the associated costs with operating air compressors:
http://www.mntap.umn.edu/energy/82-CompAir.htm
Quoting the above linked article:"Compressed air is one of the most expensive uses of energy in a manufacturing plant. About eight horsepower of electricity is used to generate one horsepower of compressed air."
Just from that one statement I would tend to favor an all electric vehicle.
Imagine one million compressed air cars. Take the tanks from every single one and create one huge compressed air "super tank" and one huge "super compressor" to do the work. Now imagine one million electric cars. Take all these batteries and create one "super battery" and one massive rectified transformer for converting the grid AC to DC for charging the "super battery. Now we have a lumped element circuit model.
Both systems will have heat losses at their energy conversion points. The compressed air system will be noisy yet light, the battery system will be quiet yet heavy.
Also, our supplies of cadmium and nickel are not enough to supply battery-powered cars for the entire earth. So which one will we choose? Hmm.
Follow up on part 3

New 2009 Mahindra Scorpio



Well if anyone was wondering if Mahindra scorpio was going to be replaced by another SUV from Mahindra...Hold on! Mahindra and Mahindra have launched the latest edition of Scorpio and it is a beauty or what! Well actually it’s the classic case of beauty and the beast. It’s a mighty muscular beast which will crush anything that comes its way.


The all new Mahindra Scorpio comes in 4 variants - the base LX, the middle SLE and the top end VLX with manual transmission and optional Automatic. The ‘green’ concious among you can buy the VLX which comes with a BC-IV compliant engine already, a year before the norms will be implemented. The Scorpio in the process also becomes the first product in India to offer a BS-IV compliant version.
The front fascia is all new with new grille, bumper, bonnet scoop and new fog lamps. The sides feature new body cladding with embossed ‘Scorpio’. The rear is almost the same save for the new integrated footstep. The changes to insides have been subtle but they all contribute to make the Scorpio more comfortable and luxurious. The seats have been redesigned ergonomically after meticulous ‘body pressure mapping’ according to Mahindra speak but marketing jargon aside the new seats are actually a touch more comfortable than the current version and ‘hug’ you better while you are sitting on the perch. Other changes to the interiors include a new racing inspired gear lever which is easier to grip, an all new dual-din stereo aka Xylo with support for USB and SD Cards and two options for the interior upholstery - black allure and Tan and Beige combination.
Mahindra will also be debuting the micro hybrid technology with the new Scorpio. Mahindra’s radical Micro Hybrid technology allows the engine to intelligently switch into standby mode when not required, thus conserving fuel. A technological innovation developed by the Mahindra Research & Development team with the support of M/S BOSCH, the Micro Hybrid technology is based on the simple principle of not burning fuel when it is not required. It automatically detects moments, during the drive, when the vehicle is idle and switches off the engine. The engine starts seamlessly as soon as the driver depresses the clutch.
The vehicle, thus, burns less fuel, reducing pollution and conserving the environment. The system also monitors health of the battery, safety requirements, engine temperature, etc. for a trouble-free performance.
Micro Hybrid technology will now be available in the VLX and M2DI variants of the Scorpio.
"The Scorpio’s strong value proposition lies in its versatility, its ability to morph and mould itself according to the changing template of customer needs. The new Scorpio remains a true blue Mahindra vehicle at heart and with its macho, stylish looks and amazing go-anywhere capability it will further enhance our domination of the UV Market." said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd.
"Mahindra’s ingenious approach to driving efficiencies and costs have enabled us to provide additional customer value upto Rs 70,000/- The new Scorpio has the ability to expand the market and to appeal to a new set of customers", said Mr. Rajesh Jejurikar, Chief of Operations, M&M Ltd.
"We are especially pleased to be the first company to launch a BS-IV compliant version in India, more than a year before it becomes mandatory. We are also delighted to introduce Mahindra’s revolutionary Hybrid technology on the Scorpio VLX with mHawk," said Mr. Rajan Wadhera, Chief of Engineering & Development, Automotive Sector, M&M
The new Scorpio range is available starting from 7.2 Lakhs for the LX going upto 9.2 Lakhs for the VLX version, all prices Ex-Showroom Delhi.
With the launch Mahindra has also announced two new colors for the Scorpio - Mystique Purple and Toreador Red.

Air Car the new fantasy - will a Hummer buy it ? Part 1

World desperate for alternative fuel: air, grass, garbage, anything!!
SUVs around the world are always criticised for being heavy fuel consumers and hence not nature friendly. Although here, in India, the SUVs that are produced by the likes of Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, etc. give much better fuel economy. I have mentioned this earlier here:
Mahindra & Mahindra, in fact, have come out with the "Micro Hybrid" technology in their ever popular Scorpio that lets it intelligently switch the engine into standby mode when not in use. Thereby conserving the ever expensive fuel and the ever deteriorating nature.
But the world need not worry too much since if everything works out they may be equipped with engines that run on... hold your breath... AIR!! Yes, AirCars are being developed and are almost ready to hit the streets. The basically use compressed air to power the engine and a refill can be done in your garage but a full tank will take around 2 hours although technology is being developed to make refills faster (in up to 2 minutes!). The mileage of an Aircar will be 201 km per fill up and can go up to 110 kmph. It should supposedly cost only 1/10th of what we pay for petrol.
Well you must be sure that this must be some whacko Japanese design but hold it! The surprising part is that this initiative is lead by European and Indian Auto manufacturers.
Here is a Snippet from BBC news on the review of an Aircar

Before you get over-excited and drop all intentions of buying your next SUV because the technology is coming forth, let me tell you that this technology has developed only in small cars, for now. Its graduation into sedans and finally into SUVs may take a couple of years more. Also, there are many questions that seem unanswered. Follow up on part 2

New 2009 Mahindra Scorpio

Well if anyone was wondering if Mahindra scorpio was going to be replaced by another SUV from Mahindra...Hold on! Mahindra and Mahindra have launched the latest edition of Scorpio and it is a beauty or what! Well actually it’s the classic case of beauty and the beast. It’s a mighty muscular beast which will crush anything that comes its way.
The all new Mahindra Scorpio comes in 4 variants - the base LX, the middle SLE and the top end VLX with manual transmission and optional Automatic. The ‘green’ concious among you can buy the VLX which comes with a BC-IV compliant engine already, a year before the norms will be implemented. The Scorpio in the process also becomes the first product in India to offer a BS-IV compliant version.
The front fascia is all new with new grille, bumper, bonnet scoop and new fog lamps. The sides feature new body cladding with embossed ‘Scorpio’. The rear is almost the same save for the new integrated footstep. The changes to insides have been subtle but they all contribute to make the Scorpio more comfortable and luxurious. The seats have been redesigned ergonomically after meticulous ‘body pressure mapping’ according to Mahindra speak but marketing jargon aside the new seats are actually a touch more comfortable than the current version and ‘hug’ you better while you are sitting on the perch. Other changes to the interiors include a new racing inspired gear lever which is easier to grip, an all new dual-din stereo aka Xylo with support for USB and SD Cards and two options for the interior upholstery - black allure and Tan and Beige combination.
Mahindra will also be debuting the micro hybrid technology with the new Scorpio. Mahindra’s radical Micro Hybrid technology allows the engine to intelligently switch into standby mode when not required, thus conserving fuel. A technological innovation developed by the Mahindra Research & Development team with the support of M/S BOSCH, the Micro Hybrid technology is based on the simple principle of not burning fuel when it is not required. It automatically detects moments, during the drive, when the vehicle is idle and switches off the engine. The engine starts seamlessly as soon as the driver depresses the clutch.
The vehicle, thus, burns less fuel, reducing pollution and conserving the environment. The system also monitors health of the battery, safety requirements, engine temperature, etc. for a trouble-free performance.
Micro Hybrid technology will now be available in the VLX and M2DI variants of the Scorpio.
"The Scorpio’s strong value proposition lies in its versatility, its ability to morph and mould itself according to the changing template of customer needs. The new Scorpio remains a true blue Mahindra vehicle at heart and with its macho, stylish looks and amazing go-anywhere capability it will further enhance our domination of the UV Market." said Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive Sector, M&M Ltd.
"Mahindra’s ingenious approach to driving efficiencies and costs have enabled us to provide additional customer value upto Rs 70,000/- The new Scorpio has the ability to expand the market and to appeal to a new set of customers", said Mr. Rajesh Jejurikar, Chief of Operations, M&M Ltd.
"We are especially pleased to be the first company to launch a BS-IV compliant version in India, more than a year before it becomes mandatory. We are also delighted to introduce Mahindra’s revolutionary Hybrid technology on the Scorpio VLX with mHawk," said Mr. Rajan Wadhera, Chief of Engineering & Development, Automotive Sector, M&M
The new Scorpio range is available starting from 7.2 Lakhs for the LX going upto 9.2 Lakhs for the VLX version, all prices Ex-Showroom Delhi.
With the launch Mahindra has also announced two new colors for the Scorpio - Mystique Purple and Toreador Red.