Speed Times

Mercedes Benz has re-opened the bookings for its all-electric EQC SUV in India. The second batch of the car will reach Mercedes dealers in October and the bookings can be made at these dealers across the country. Powering the EQC is an 85kWh lithium-ion battery coupled with two 3 phase AC motors making 402bhp and 765Nm of torque. The EQC claims an electric range of 400km, and the battery can be charged in 21 hours using a 3.4kW domestic socket or in 10 hours using a 7.5kW wall-box charger provided by Mercedes Benz. The Mercedes Benz EQC is priced at Rs.99.30 lakh and is available across 50 cities and 94 locations in India.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has added an option of connected car technology to its Arena line-up, which was earlier available with only Nexa cars. The ‘Suzuki Connect’ can be added as an option to the Alto, Wagon-R, Swift, Dzire, Ertiga, and Vitara Brezza. The connected car tech is available at a price of Rs.11,900 for a 3-year subscription. With the Suzuki Connect, customers get features like security alerts, geofencing, vehicle status, and driver behavior analysis. 

MG Motors will reveal the Astor for the Indian market on September 15. The MG Astor will be positioned below the Hector in MG’s SUV range, making it the least expensive MG model on sale in India. Once launched in India, the MG Astor will lock horns with the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun. MG Motors recently revealed that its upcoming mid-size SUV, the Astor will be the first Indian car to get an in-car AI assistant. Additionally, the Astor will be the first car in its segment to come with Level 2 autonomous driving technology with Advanced driver Assistance System or ADAS. 

A 2012 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder LP 550-2 is available for sale on Luxury Ride. The car is listed at a price of 1,25,00,000 and is available in Dehradun. The LP 550-2 is Jharkhand registered and has an odometer reading of 14,000km. About the Gallardo Spyder LP 550-2, the car comes with a 5.0-liter V10 engine making 550bhp with a 0-100kmph time of 3.9 seconds, a convertible rooftop, and all-wheel-drive. In terms of features, the Gallardo Spyder LP 550-2 gets a keyless engine start/stop, 19” black alloy wheels, front and rear ventilated disc brakes, and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. 

Subaru has revealed its all-new 2022 WRX for the International markets. Popular for being a rally car, the Subaru WRX comes with an all-wheel-drive system and performance updates with the new generation model. Coming straight to the powertrain, the 2022 Subaru WRX replaces the 2.0-liter unit with a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which now makes 3hp more at 271hp and a similar 349Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed CVT or Subaru Performance transmission. The CVT transmission features an eight-speed manual mode, with quicker downshifts, controlled by steering-mounted paddle shifters.

Volkswagen has introduced subscription plans for the Polo, Vento, and T-Roc in India. The subscription plan starts at Rs.16,500 for the Polo, Rs.27,000 for the Vento, and Rs.59,000 for the T-Roc, all inclusive. The Volkswagen subscription plan is available with a duration of 24 months, 36 months or  48 months. Volkswagen has partnered with Orix Auto Infrastructure Services Ltd., providing 100% on-road financing, periodic maintenance, insurance cover, and an option to upgrade or return the existing car at the end of the subscription plan. The subscription service will be available at 30 outlets across India

Ford India recently announced that the American brand will stop its manufacturing operation in India, and will limit its line-up to CBU models only. Ford has now confirmed that it will bring its Mustang Mach-E all-electric car in India, alongside the Mustang GT. With the arrival of Mustang Mach-E and Mustang GT in India, Ford will continue its India operations with a smaller dealer network, which will sell existing Ford models too till the stocks last. Ford will, however, continue its after-sales service, warranty coverage, and customer support in India without any changes. 

Suzuki’s mid-size SUV for the international markets, the Vitara has been spotted in India, at Maruti Suzuki’s Gurgaon plant. While there is no official confirmation, test mule of the Suzuki Vitara is being used for testing the powertrain of the Vitara facelift. The car spotted can be seen in a shade of black. The Vitara is roughly the same size as the Hyundai Creta or Kia Seltos. The new generation model is expected to be slightly longer than the current car, with more upmarket looks, a hybrid powertrain, plethora of features, and Adaptive Driver Assistance System or ADAS. The car is expected to arrive in India in 2024.

Ola Electric planned to commence the online sales of its S1 and S1 Pro scooters from September 8, 6 pm. But due to some technical errors with Ola’s website, the company announced on social media that the sales of the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro will begin on September 15, 8 am. According to Ola, the website for the Ola electric scooters faced some technical issues, which could not handle the online sales process of the scooter. Ola has also mentioned that delivery dates and preference will not be affected because of the new date of sale. 

Ford has revealed that it will be closing its manufacturing facilities at the Sanand and Maraimalai plants. The Manufacturing of models in India will stop immediately, while the export manufacturing will stop by Q4 2021. Ford will sell its existing models in the country based on their current availability with the dealers, while the American brand will continue its operations in India by focusing on niche CBU models like the Bronco, Mustang, and electric vehicles. Ford will continue its customer support operations, after-sales services, warranty coverage, and part availability in India. 

Ducati has launched the SuperSport 950 in India at Rs.13.49 lakh for the Standard variant and Rs.15.49 lakh for the S variant. The Ducati SuperSport 950 is powered by a 937cc BS-6 compliant Testastretta twin-cylinder engine generating 108.6bhp @9000rpm and 93Nm of torque @6500rpm, mated to a 6-speed transmission with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS). Standard equipment for the Ducati SuperSport 950 includes Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), full TFT color display, Power modes, adjustable windscreen, and Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) EVO. 

Ultraviolette Automotive, a Bengaluru-based start-up revealed its first electric motorcycle concept named F77 in 2019. The electric vehicle brand has revealed that the production of its first bike will commence in Q1 2022 at its new manufacturing and assembly facility near Electronics city, Bengaluru. The brand aims to start sales of the bike starting March 2022. The F77 claims to be a powerful electric motorcycle, with a top speed of 174kmph and a 0-100kmph time of 7.5 seconds. In terms of performance, the F77 will generate 33.5hp and 90Nm of torque, with a 130-150km electric range. 

According to reports, Toyota will launch the Yaris facelift in Q3 of 2022. The Yaris facelift will be a new model based on Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA), which will be launched in Thailand and Indonesia first. The car is also expected to get a new hybrid powertrain which will include a 1.5-litre petrol engine and an electric motor.The Yaris facelift is unlikely to make it to the Indian market. In India, Toyota will soon launch a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, to be replaced with the ‘Belta’ moniker.

Audi India has opened the bookings for its upcoming electric sedan, the E-Tron GT. The booking amount for the car has been set to Rs.10 lakh! The E-Tron GT will be the third electric vehicle by Audi in India, after the E-Tron and the E-Tron Sportback. The car is expected to be priced at around Rs.2 crore, making it the flagship Audi electric model. Internationally, the Audi E-Tron GT is available in two variants- S and the RS. The E-Tron GT will be launched in India on September 22.

Ola Electric revealed its first electric scooter for the Indian market, with claims on making electric mobility more accessible in India. The Ola S1 and S1 Pro will go on sale today from 6 pm, for all the customers who have booked the electric scooter from the company’s website. Ola will prioritize deliveries of the scooter based on the dates of booking. Ola has partnered with various banks to provide financing options, with an EMI of Rs.2,999. The booking amount for the scooter was set to Rs.999.

MG Motors recently revealed that its new mid-size SUV, named Astor will come with segment-first Level-2 autonomous driving technology and a first in India built-in in-car AI assistant. MG Motors has also revealed that the Astor will come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity as standard across the range. This means that even the base variant of the Astor will get a touchscreen system with Bluetooth connectivity and smartphone integration. The Astor will compete with the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun, and Nissan Kicks in the Indian market.

As another month passes by, car manufacturers register growth in sales numbers after the lockdown and global semiconductor chip shortage. Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) achieved the top spot in the sales chart, with 1,03,187 units. Hyundai was at the second spot with a total of 46,866 units sold for the month of August, with the Creta being the best-selling car for the Korean brand. Tata Motors has shown YOY growth and was at the third spot at 28,017 units. The Tata Nexon was able to beat its competition except for the Vitara Brezza, to be the highest selling Tata car with 10,006 units sold in August. 

Yamaha has launched the Ray ZR 125 Fi Hybrid and Street Rally 125 Fi Hybrid in India at Rs.76,830 each. The scooters come with Yamaha’s Smart Motor Generator (SMG), which provides extra acceleration in situations where extra power is needed or going uphill. The Ray ZR and Street Rally are powered by a 125cc, single-cylinder air-cooled engine that makes 8bhp @6,500rpm and 10.3Nm of peak torque @5000rpm. The scooters feature an LED headlight, an LCD instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity and the Yamaha Connect X app.

Volkswagen has revealed its ID.Life Concept, a small electric city car that aims to make electric cars more accessible. The production version of the concept will arrive in 2025. The small city car is built on the MEB platform which underpins small cars, with front-wheel-drive. The car gets a 57kWh battery pack with an electric motor, which generates 231hp and 290Nm of torque, with a 0-100kmph time of 6.9 seconds, and a top speed of 180kmph. The ID.Life supports DC fast charging which gives it a 163km range in just 10 minutes.

Renault has taken the wraps off its first electric crossover called the Megane E-Tech. The Megane moniker is not new at all, which has been used since 1995, but it is the very first time it is being used for a crossover, that too electric. The Megane E-Tech will be the first model to use the new Renault logo. The heart of the Megane E-Tech is a 40/60kW battery coupled with an electric motor with an output of 130hp and 250Nm in lower variants, and 215hp and 300Nm in the higher variants. As for the electric range, the car will be able to clock 300km and 470km with the 40kW and 60kW batteries respectively. 

Kawasaki has launched the 2022 KX range in India, starting at Rs.7.99 lakh for the KX250 and Rs.8.59 lakh for the KX450. The KX100 is available in India too at Rs.4.8 lakh. The KX range focuses on hard-core off-roading enthusiasts. The updated bikes get a new frame, suspension, and mechanical changes. The KX250 is powered by a 249cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine which now makes 1.4bhp more than the outgoing model, with added hydraulic clutch, self-starter, three engine maps, and launch control for both the bikes. The flagship model of the KX range is quite similar to the smaller KX250, except for the 449cc four-stroke liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine. 

Daimler and Geely owned Smart has unveiled its Concept #1 electric concept car at the IAA Mobility Show. The Concept #1 is a city-sized, crossover that is roughly the size of a Mini Countryman, measuring 4.29m in length, 1.90m in width and1.70m in height. The Concept car will be built on Geely’s Sustainable Experience Architecture (SEA), which can be modified to accommodate three-row seats, indicating that Smart could launch bigger vehicles in the future. The concept features 21” wheels and a massive 12.8” touchscreen inside.

In the Dutch GP, held from September 2-September 5, Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing finished first, scoring a total of 25 points, with a total of 224.5 points for this season. Verstappen was followed by both the Mercedes drivers, with Lewis Hamilton finishing second with a gap of 20.932 seconds, and Valtterri Bottas finishing third with a gap of 56.460 seconds. Max Verstappen led the first 21 laps, overtaken by Bottas till lap 29, and then regained the lead till lap 72. Lewis Hamilton achieved the fastest lap time of 1’11 minutes.

Hyundai recently unveiled its small crossover named Casper, for the Korean markets. According to reports earlier, the Casper was expected to arrive in India. But recent reports have confirmed that Hyundai is not planning to bring the Casper to India anytime soon, and will be sold only in Korean markets. The Casper is made keeping in mind the light car regulations of Korea, where cars under 3.6 meters get tax benefits, similar to what sub-4m cars in India get. The Casper is offered with a 1.0-liter petrol and a 1.0-liter turbo petrol engine.

Mercedes has revealed a more powerful version of its flagship luxury electric sedan EQS, the AMG EQS. In its race start mode with AMG Dynamic Plus package, the car makes 751hp and 554Nm of torque. This results in a 0-100kmph time of 3.6 seconds. The standard output of the AMG EQS is 649hp and 516Nm of torque, while the 0-100kmph time for the standard mode hasn’t been disclosed. The car gets two motors,  AMG all-wheel-drive system, and a 9 degree rear axle steering system. In terms of design, the front gets a new piano black panel, 21” and optional 22” wheels with optional red brake calipers, and aggressive front and rear bumpers. 
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