Renault’s new Logan

Renault’s romanian subsidiary has unveiled revamped or facelifted version of logan. New Logan comes with a more contemporary design as well as a more attractive and more comfortable interior. New logan shares few components from Sandero (Renault’s popular hatchback). The whole objective of this facelift is to make the boxy look logan an elegant and an upmarket vehicle.

The new logan gets a new grille plus a chrome upper trim. The new front bumper is flush with the bodywork for a more integrated, harmonious feel, while the headlights are bigger and the fog lamps come with elegant carbon colour surrounds. The rear design of new Logan has been updated, too. The design of the new boot lid, which can be trimmed with a lower chrome strip, is more streamlined and its lines have been carried over to the revised rear lights. The new logan also gets a refreshed rear bumper. The rear bumper is now flush with the bodywork and incorporates reflectors and a towing hook complete with concealing cap. When this new logan comes to India, Mahindra Renault may also add new colours for the logan variants.

The new logan gets a new functional but stylish dashboard. While the design of the door panels also contributes to the cabin’s modern feel thanks to their more practical pull handles and elegant trimming (depending on version). The driving environment itself has been made even more comfortable and driverfriendly thanks to a new driver’s seat adjustment control and a height-adjustable steering column. Rear visibility has been improved through the fitment of a comma-type central rear headrest and large format door mirrors.

New Dacia Logan will be introduced across the majority of Western European markets from July 2008. Dacia said that prices will remain unchanged. In India, expect this logan sometime in 2009 and Mahindra Renault may follow the strategy of the Dacia by keeping the prices same, making it a more appealing proposition than ever.

Maruti Suzuki launches Dzire sedan

Maruti Suzuki launched the dzire sedan in Chennai on 27th March. Maruti Suzuki which becomes a leading player in A3 segment hopes to earn customers with the new swift dzire. Swift Dzire replaces the esteem and it comes in both petrol and diesel variants. Last year Maruti Suzuki launched the SX4 and with its new Dzire and upcoming Kizashi Maruti Suzuki wants to shed the image of being a small car maker. Million of Indians own compact cars. With growing income and better lifestyle, many of them want to operate a sedan. The Dzire offers all this at an attractive price,” said Srivastava Commercial Business Head, Maruti Suzuki. The swift dzire is priced aggressively as an introductory offer. The petrol variant Swift Dzire has been priced Rs 4.20 lakh to Rs 5.61 lakh while the diesel variant is priced between Rs 5.10 lakh to Rs 6.41 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai). Swift Dzire is available in seven colours including Arctic white, silky silver, clear beige, midnight black, bright red, azure gray and sovereign blue.

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Maruti Suzuki’s new dzire

Maruti Suzuki’s new swift Dzire which will replace the esteem will hit the market in March. Maruti Suzuki’s swift dzire (not dezire) a three box version of swift comes in a G-series 1.3-litre petrol and a 1.3 litre DDiS multijet diesel engine versions. To give a different appeal visually, Maruti Suzuki has given the new swift dezire a new grille, new fog lamp insert and the tail lights with horizontal turn indicators. But what is going to make the swift dzire functionally different from the swift hatch is the spaciousness. Cramped interiors (especially the rear seats) is the only sore point with the swift hatchback. Maruti Suzuki has improved the interiors without making any change in wheelbase. Maruti has increased the shoulder room and head room at the rear. Also, Swift dzire’s new notchback style boot enables it to offer 400litres of boot space. The top end variant of swift Dzire will also come with class leading luxury features like Auto Temperature Control, new integrated DIN Stereo and an all new 6 spoke alloy wheels. Similar to the recently launched refreshed swift, audio controls is mounted on the steering wheel and Maruti will offer height adjustable steering wheel in the new swift dzire. Swift dzire will also come with ABS and twin airbags.
Swift Dzire which may not qualify small car tax sop but will come at an aggressive price to bring back the Maruti Suzuki’s dominance in the entry level sedan segment. Swift Dzire might be prices in the range of Rs4.7lakhs to Rs6lakhs. Maruti is targeting sales of at least 3,000 units of the swift Dzire per month. Seems like Maruti Suzuki is getting ready for an another blockbuster with the new swift.

Ford makes Fiesta more attractive

Ford India introduces the Fiesta Pace Petrol series for 2008, the new series line-up that will offer customers tremendous performance and driving dynamics on their cars, available in three variants – the 1.4 EXI, 1.6 ZXI and 1.6 SXI .

The new top end SXI variants in both Fiesta’s Petrol and Diesel offerings, now has a driver-side Air Bag and classy Turn Indicators on Outside Rearview Mirror [ORVM].  The Ford SXIs also have ABS [Anti-Lock Braking System], making Ford Fiesta one of the few manufacturer’s amongst the segment players offering ABS as a standard fitment.

In addition to these value-added enhancements, the Ford Fiesta SXI series boasts of attractive features as standard fitment:

* 6CD in dash with 6 speakers
* Leather upholstery
* Leather-wrapped steering wheel
* Keyless entry
* Electric boot release
* Driver side height adjust

The new Fiesta ZXI series with enhanced value adds, offers customers following features, as standard fitment:

* 1.6 Petrol 16V DOHC engine / 1.4 8V SOHC TDCi Durotorq Engine
* Full chrome ‘jewel effect’ twin headlamps
* Metallic painted finish centre console
* Intelligent Rear defogger
* Foldable rear seats with adjustable rear head rests
* Distance to Empty [DTE] computer which indicates how many kms the car can travel before refueling
The Fiesta’s Pace Petrol variants are available at an extremely competitive price range of Rs. 5.93 lakh, Rs. 6.20 lakh and Rs. 6.90 lakh. [Ex- showroom Delhi], for its 1.4EXI, 1.6ZXI and 1.6 SXI range respectively. In addition to the Pace Petrol series, in the new 2008 line up, customers can choose three Fiesta Duratorq (Diesel) variants, the 1.4 EXI being offered at Rs. 7.03 lakh, the 1.4 ZXI at Rs. 7.49 lakh and Rs. 8.09 lakh for the 1.4 SXI – all prices ex- showroom Delhi.

Auto Expo: Volkswagen to launch jetta in India

Volkswagen which showcases ten new vehicles including Tiguan SUV says that it will launch the Jetta sedan in india in 2008. Highlighting their plans for the Indian market, Jochem Heizmann, board member for vehicle production, Volkswagen Group, said: “Starting in 2009, Volkswagen wants to deliver 110,000 cars per year in India.” Volkawagen’s 110,000 unit manufacturing plant in Chakan near Pune is expected to be operational by 2009, and would put together a variant of Polo and Fabia that are scheduled for introduction in 2010.  Jetta, on the other hand, would be assembled at the Skoda unit at Aurangabad, while Phaeton would be imported. Volkswagen is also studying the market for introduction of SUV ‘Tiguan.’ Volkswagen already sells Passat and Touareg in the Indian market.

Auto Expo: Tata’s new Indigo CS

Tata Motors today launched the new Indigo CS (known as Indigo Compact). Tata Motors has cutdown the length of exiting indigo sedan to avail the tax benefits of the small car for the Indigo CS. Tata Motors dubs the new Indigo CS as the first “sub-4 metre Sedan” of the world. The new Indigo CS would have two engine variants 1.2 litres petrol and 1.4 litres diesel. Tata Motors will soon announce the price for Indigo CS. With the new Indigo CS, Tata Motors is looking at a substantial increase in the sales of the Indigo series.” Currently, the company sells 2,400 units of Indigo a month.

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Update: Tata Motors today launched the Indigo Compact Sedan (CS). Tata terms Indigo Compact Sedan (CS) as the world’s first sub four-metre sedan. Tata will position as the first car for young professionals. Indigo Compact Sedan (CS) carries forward the cabin seating comfort and space package, that is now closely associated with the Indigo range and a capacious 400 litre boot. Clever and efficient design has made it possible to encapsulate this Compact Sedan (CS) within the four metre length, making this car a complete package to address the combined demands of space and manoeuvrability in our congested cities. The Indigo Compact Sedan (CS) sports a stylish new tail light cluster in the rear embedded in a smart new rear profile completed with a new, trimmer rear bumper. The front of the Compact Sedan (CS) has also been visually differentiated with a new front grille and new headlamps.

The new Compact Sedan (CS) is available in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol variant of the Compact Sedan (CS) is equipped with a multi-point fuel injection engine powered by a 32bit microprocessor and churns out a maximum power of 65PS @ 5200 rpm. The diesel variant of the Compact Sedan (CS) comes with the turbo-charged intercooled engine that generates 70PS @ 4500 rpm. The petrol variants will have beige interiors, while the diesel variants will have black interiors. The Indigo Compact Sedan (CS) will be available in two trim levels – a basic AC model & an AC, power steering model. It will be made available in an exciting new Scarlet Red colour, apart from the existing range of Indigo shades. Priced attractively, the car goes on sale mid-January 2008.

Maruti Suzuki’s dezire to replace esteem

Dezire to replace esteem:

Maruti Suzuki India has drawn curtains to one of its most successful models on Indian roads – Maruti Esteem. Maruti which started a scheduled plant shutdown for maintenance and will resume production on January 2. But no esteem will be produced in the new year. Esteem will pave for the Maruti Suzuki’s new dezire or swift sedan. Media reports indicate “The company has taken a decision to stop the production of mid-size sedan Esteem. The car would be replaced by a sedan variant of Maruti’s popular hatchback Swift (called dezire),”. Maruti Suzuki is likely to roll out the new dezire or Swift sedan on Indian roads by March 2008.Maruti Suzuki would initially launch a petrol variant of Swift sedan or dezire sporting a 1.3 lt engine and is likely to introduce a diesel powered version later in the year.Maruti is already facing capacity constraint for the swift diesel hence launching a diesel Swift sedan or dezire would not make sense at this time. Maruti Suzuki has a manufacturing capacity of one lakh engines per annum at its Manesar plant which is being increased to three lakh engines.

About Esteem:

Maruti Suzuki’s Esteem has been on Indian roads since 1994 and in 2006 it won the JD Power best entry-sedan award.. Maruti Suzuki’s first-ever sedan on Indian roads was the Maruti 1000 which was given a higher engine and rechristened as Maruti Esteem in 1994. Maruti Suzuki was in the process of gradually cutting down Esteem production from the beginning of this fiscal but has built up an inventory to meet the demand for the model going forward. Esteem production was cut from an estimated 1,533 units in April, to just 497 units in November. The production for the model was, however, increased to 1,903 units in August to build up an inventory.The company is offering a discount of up to Rs 57,500 on Esteem.

Maruti swift’s new avatar – the dezire sedan

replacement for esteem- the Dezire:

Long expected sedan version of Maruti’s swift will be making its world premiere at the delhi auto expo. Maruti’s new swift sedan is likely to be christened as ‘dezire’ and will replace the esteem as SX4 did with the Baleno. Take a popular hatchback,attach it with a boot and sell it is as a new sedan. If you don’t like this concept, here is a fact which is sure to bring you back into the article. Maruti has already launched the SX4 with a killer price and its new dezire will be priced below the SX4. That means Maruti would price the dezire at a rock bottom price to knock down logan and Indigo is on the line. Maruti Suzuki would launch Swift in the price range of 5 – 6.5 lakh rupees. Also to keep the check on the input cost, Maruti has sourced most components for the dezire from the swift hatchback. Hence attractive pricing is for sure.

Dezire notchback

Coming to the design, Maruti has given the swift not a regular boot but an integrated one. This kind of design was used in cars of 1950’s and 60’s and now it seems to evolve agains. Few weeks back we reported you a similar story that Tata is making a compact indigo i.e. indigo notchback to avail the tax benefits. Similar to Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki is making a notchback (sedan without a definite boot) as this kind of design would give more space inside the car. Even after two years of launch Swift’s design continues to be fresh and nearly unchallenged, hence Maruti is no necessity to work much on the design, the dezire is a lookalike of swift barring the stubby boot. Maruti may give some minor changes such as a new grille and a slightly different foglamp insert to make the dezire afresh. But the real area where Maruti engineers worked hard to convert the swift to a dezire is at the back. The chunky C-pillar is moved towards the back and rear quarter glass has grown in size. Ok what about cramped interior space of the swift? Maruti has extended the rear doors and hecne the seats are pushed to the back to give more legroom for the rear passengers. The effect of this repositioning is to be analysed? Chrome has been biggest hit among indians and now a Maruti car gets that. The boot lid of the dezire is a chrome strip connecting the two vertical tail lamps. The boomerang tail lamp gets a new horizontal type turn indicators. Similar to the SX4, the dezire gets fog lamps and reflectors integrated bumper.

Dezire petrol and diesel:

The engines for the dezire will be the same 1.3L peppy petrol engine developing 88bhp and 1.3L frugal DDIS engine developing 76PS. Suspension has been retuned for the dezire to bear the additional weight. To be more upmarket, interiors will be refreshed for the dezire with the contemporary beige upholsteries and an integrated single DIN stereo. As usual, top of the line variants will get ABS and twin airbags.


Volkswagen polo and jetta to hit india in 2009

Betting big on India:

Volkswagen has revealed its future model plans for India, but it packs many surpises. Contrary what we believed and what Volkswagen officials already told (“Andreas Prinz, managing director, Volkswagen India, told Business Standard the mid-size car would be priced competitively, aligned with the likes of the Honda City. This places it in the Rs 7 lakh to Rs 9 lakh bracket, which has models like the Hyundai Verna, the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the Ford Fiesta”) volkswagen will bring three new models before 2010 and a microcar based on UP! concept in 2011. According to the statement, a slew of models could see Volkswagen producing as many as 240,000 units a year in india by 2012.

Polo hathcback, polo sedan and jetta sedan:

Key to Volkswagen India plans are two mass-market models that will be produced in large volumes in the company’s upcoming factory in Chakan. The first is the sixth-generation Polo (A06) hatchback that is under development and is expected in 2009. The Polo will be positioned in the premium-hatchback segment alongside the Skoda Fabia and Honda Jazz. A sedan version of the Polo is also a possibility that would put it smack into Honda City and Suzuki SX4 territory. The next-generation Jetta, which will be spun off the future Golf platform (A6), is expected in India sometime in 2009 soon after its global launch. This three-box sedan will compete with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Skoda Octavia.

Up at Rs3lakhs

The bigger-selling model will be an all-new small car based on the up! microcar concept that Volkswagen revealed in September at the Frankfurt auto show. Volkwagenwill build a four-door hatchback off this new platform (code named MHB) which, like the Tata super-low-priced car, follows a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Dubbed the A000 in VW’s platform hierarchy, the new microcar will be built in three different markets of the world from 2010. Production of the new microcar in India could begin by 2011. With a length of only 134 inches, the microcar is shorter than a Suzuki Alto, but a longer wheelbase is under development. Volkswagen has set an aggressive price target of under $7,500, but a lot depends on the level of localization and cost management of the program. Volkswagen has been in talks with Indian companies including Bajaj Auto to help develop the car. Vlokswagen(VW) has ditched the unit injector of Pumpe Duse technology the current Passat and Skoda Laura come with. All the new Volkswagens will come with state-of-the-art direct-injection gas engines and a new range of common-rail diesel engines still under development.

Volkswagen (Jet)ta set go

Volkswagen has launched the Jetta on 16th July visit the following url to know about the price and pictures.  http://www.vicky.in/blog/volkswagen-launches-jetta/

To read the latest report on Volkswagen Jetta visit http://www.vicky.in/blog/volkswagen-to-launch-jetta-in-india/

Jet Set go ..

India will receive the fifth-generation car currently in production in Germany as well.Based on the A5 Golf platform (also the basis of the Skoda Laura), the Volkswagen Jetta is a Golf hatchback with a boot but with better quality interiors and trim. The name Jetta is inspired by “jet stream” and has been in production for 27 years. Volkswagen which recently rolled out its passat sedan in India, is currently testing the Jetta sedan.  The jetta will start its Indian journey next year here’s a preview on ‘Volkswagen’s jetta’.

Engine and Transmission:

Volkswagen proposes to provide both petrol and diesel engines with the Jetta. Volkswagen Jetta may be powered by a 1.6L engine with FSI(Fuel Stratified Injection). 1.6-L FSI engine has an output of 81 kW (109 hp) at 5800 rpm and a maximum torque of 155 Nm  at 4500 rpm. Engine management is via a Bosch Motronic MED7. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. Twin-clutch “DSG” six-speed gearbox, which operates either as an automatic or can be shifted manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddles is offered internationally but it will not be offered in Indian version. Since, Jetta weighs not only more than a like-sized Corolla, but also slightly more than the midsize Toyota Camry. Unless volkswagen tweaks chances are heavy that India will get a underpowered jetta. If this happens performance lovers in india will keep away from the car.

For diesel engines, volkswagen might borrow the 1.9-litre TDI engine from Skoda, as found in its Octavia model in India. The Euro III ready engine will allow Volkswagen to price the car competitively and keep it on a par with the likes of the Hyundai Verna CRDi and Ford Fiesta.

Design and Engineering:

Exteriors:

The most striking design element is the aggressive thrust and slope of the car’s snout. Compared to some other recent nose-forward designs, however, the composite headlamps and various inlets and grilles are well integrated into the Jetta’s raked rearward flow. A striking vee, created by the slant of the headlamps and sloping hood lines, is carried strongly toward the rear by the steeply raked windshield and character lines running along the flanks. The rear window is carried deeply into the well-defined C-pillar, accentuating the designers’ quest for a coupe-like sweep to the rear quarters. Flares at the four wheels blend into well-defined side skirts and, at the rear, into a lower valance panel accentuated by twin chrome-tipped tailpipes.

The car’s tail is a significant departure from previous Jetta styling. The whole structure appears longer, but the larger taillight clusters, now divided between the trunk and rear fender, help widen the proportion of the car’s hindquarters in relation to its height, giving the car a more substantial, less boxy-looking stern. Also helping to integrate the increased bulk of the trunk into the fenders is the coupe-like sweep of the C-pillar and the extensive rear window, which slants deeply into the trunkline.

Exposed windshield wipers were a pet peeve of former VW chairman Ferdinand Piech, and so he ordered that all future VWs would have hidden wipers. To aid in this design, a cowling now sits along the base of the windshield and cuts off some of the view over the nose of the car. It’s not a safety issue, but former VW owners will notice the difference right away. To Piech’s credit, the hidden wipers do indeed lend a more upscale look.

Jetta’s trunk seems larger than it is possible in a compact sedan (16 cubic feet). When you open the trunk lid it will rise to a completely vertical position, out of the way of any loading or unloading. Jetta’s trunk is completely carpeted and also has a storage cubby wall with four tie hooks. A glow-in-the-dark release handle in case anyone gets trapped inside.

Interiors

Front-seat passengers enjoy 38.5 inches of headroom and 41.2 inches of legroom, while rear riders get 37.2 and 35.4, respectively. The exterior and interior dimensions are near-matches for those of the Toyota Corolla, though the Jetta has notably greater trunk space.

Build and Quality:

Solidness is in the DNA of volkswagen family, we all love the skoda’s build quality, the same can be expected in the jetta. Volkswagen invested a large part of the investment in the Jetta towards increasing structural integrity. Jetta’s stronger structure forms not only a more solid grounding for suspension and drivetrain components, it also helps in reducing the unwanted noise from being transmitted into the cabin.

Jetta features fully independent suspension, with a multi-link rearend and struts at the front.  Volkswagen Jetta has a electro-mechanical power steering system that’s supremely accurate,  Jetta’s steering automatically corrects the car’s direction when external forces such as crosswinds threaten to move it off track. How indian customers is going to welcome this feature is to be seen, since this system is novel it will be disconcerting for drivers atleast intially.

Safety and special features:

Volkswagen might adopt different trim models with top-end versions of petrol and diesel featuring anti-lock braking system and airbags as standard. Jetta’s occupant safety is taken care not only by additonal safety features like anti-lock braking system and airbags but also while building the car too.

Three-point safety belts with emergency locking retractors are provided for all five passengers, and each position has an adjustable headrest. Jetta’s front seat belts also have pre-tensioners with load limiters for a more effective reaction, and the front headrests are active, automatically moving up and forward if the occupant’s torso is pressed back in the seat, as happens in many kinds of collisions. To help reduce leg injuries, the pedals get away from the driver in the event of a front-end collision.

Price and the launch:

Though Volkswagen solid engineering will help the jetta to fly on Indian roads easily. Jetta’s take off won’t be eas, it has tough roads to go, while 50% market holder Maruti Suzuki is moving up in the ladder chain (its SX4 rules this segment). In 2007 alone this entry level sedan segment received two new cars SX4 and logan, next year Honda will come with a new city, Tata will launch the new indigo and Toyota may launch its yaris sedan. Hence jetta’s way won’t be hurdle free also indians view skoda as a luxury car maker to get into the mass segment, volkswagen has to break the wall. Lastly Volkswagen has to get its dealer network ready before the launch of its products. Initially, Volkswagen will use its skoda’s aurangabad plant until its own plant start production in 2009. Jetta will be priced between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 9 lakh.