• 31 Mahindra XUV 5OOs, 8000 kilometres, 22 days, 9 countries… ASEAN countries and India are gearing up for an adrenaline-filled experience as the 2nd edition of the ASEAN-India Car Rally is all set to kick-off on 26 November 2012. On the occasion of the 20th commemorative year of India-ASEAN relations, the rally will be flagged off from Yogyakarta, Indonesia and wind its way through 8 of the 10 ASEAN countries before finally ending in New Delhi, India.

    Senior Union government officials and representatives from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Auto Car India have already chalked out the possible road routes for the rally. The convoy will traverse through ASEAN countries Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar and then enter India from Moreh in Imphal.

    The rally will pass through Guwahati on December 17, when economic ministers of ASEAN countries will meet in the principal business city in northeastern India. The flag down of the rally in Guwahati and the

    Read More »from ASEAN-India Car Rally – A curtain raiser
  • I sack, therefore I am

    This devil doesn't wear Prada! The trademark stubble, digital watch and disheveled looks...all these cheat you from believing that he is the 53rd richest person on the planet. So when Roman Arkadyevich Abromovich - a 36-year-old Russian tycoon purchased a debt-ridden Chelsea in 2003 - he didn't fit the picture quite well. It was not easy to associate a young, unshaven Russian billionaire in the stands, with the game of football. But then, with money, you can even buy faith. His fat pocket paid off the club's debts, brought star players to Stamford Bridge, and took Chelsea to the heights within a matter of year.


    The 'misfit' soon turned into a 'messiah' with the Blues winning their first English Premiere League title in 50 years with the most number wins (29) by conceding the fewest goals (15) in a season. Abromovich didn't have to wait too long to silence his critics; just as his phenomenal rise to glory. After all, patience is not a term you can associate with him. This man hardly Read More »from I sack, therefore I am
  • The R8 is the slowest car Audi has ever built! You might now be thinking I have gone off the rocker. Not really. I am referring to a tongue-in-cheek slogan Audi designed to bring attention to the time it takes to build an R8. Unlike other Audis, the R8 is meticulously hand-assembled in small numbers. It's a slow and lengthy process, but what it loses in time, it gains in craftsmanship.

    The performance figures tell a very different story. Powered by a 5200cc V10 engine that develops a whopping 525 PS and 530 Nm of torque, the R8 rockets from 0-100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 313 km/h. Needless to say, these numbers make the R8 the fastest road car Audi has ever built.

    Driving an Audi R8 on a race track has two advantages -- it certainly is the best way to appreciate this scrupulously crafted machine, and it's a great opportunity to polish your driving skills. Audi has designed their Audi Sportscar Experience (ASE) programme in such a way that the participants get

    Read More »from Audi R8 Sportscar First Drive Impressions
  • Beware, 'Big Brother is watching you'

    If I could ever go back in time and change something, wish I could disallow the infamous 'Hand of God'. In the history of football, there had been many such instances where the legitimacy of a referee's judgment was called into question. Those decisive moments happen in the blink of an eye, often making it impossible for human eye to descry,  the latest being Manchester United-Chelsea match where referee Mark Clattenburg's erroneous decisions changed the outcome of the match.

    The controversial match saw Clattenburg sending off Torress for simulation, after he seemed convinced that the latter's fall was exaggerated. Soon after, Chelsea, with their two men down, succumbed to a 3-2 defeat  as Javier Hernandez netted the ball in the 75th minute. Later, the replays showed Chicharito in offside position, but Clattenburg awarded Red Devils their winning goal.

    The otherwise thrilling match thus had an unfortunate end owing to refereeing fallacy. Clattenburg, on the other hand, is no stranger to

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  • Honda has published an official teaser image of the Brio Sedan on its Thailand website. Contrary to some despicable 'rendered images' put out by some Indian automobile websites, the Brio sedan has a very futuristic design, with cues taken from the Honda City.

    The company hasn't divulged any information beyond the above photo. However, what we can clearly see are the i-VTEC badge on the car's rear and '1.2' written on the image. These clearly suggest the car will be powered by the Brio hatchback's 1.2 litre i-VTEC motor.

    Rumour has it that the Brio Sedan will also get a scaled down version of the 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. Although there's no official word on this yet, expect a 1.5 litre diesel Brio sedan by April 2013.

    Being a sub-4metre car, the Brio sedan will take on the Maruti Dzire, Tata Indigo eCS and the Mahindra Verito CS that will be launched by March 2013.

    Talk of the town is that Honda will also introduce

    Read More »from Honda teases sleek Brio sedan
  • When Tata introduced the Safari in 1998, it forged a radical new trend for the industry. Soon, India's first 4X4 SUV became a household name and won the hearts of many enthusiasts. But, over the Tata Safari's 14-year life span, there have been hardly any significant upgrades apart from two new engines and minor cosmetic changes. A decade-and-a-half after it was launched, the Safari is still evolving. It finally got the long-awaited overhaul, but will the new Safari Storme be able to regain its past glory? Let us get on with the road test to find out.

    Design

    There's no getting away from the fact that the Tata Safari looks majestic and has massive presence on the road. The new Safari Storme stays true to everything that made the original so fantastic from the beginning. The Storme's exterior is very similar to the Safari and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's the same car in the first glance. But a closer look would reveal that the car has undergone some significant changes. The

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Tata Safari Storme
  • Why it is hard to be Cristiano Ronaldo


    "I think we will never see another player like this. He is the best in the world by far."

    For Barcalona coach Tito Vilanova, Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the 'numero uno' in football. He added that Messi's arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo would have been "more recognised" if his career had not coincided with Messi's. He wasn't downplaying Ronaldo by any means, but again, I wonder how far one can agree to that statement.

    Comparisons can be exasperating, and it can inadvertently feed on the green-eyed monster that fuels animosity; the same time, it could help bring out the best in everyone. In sports, rivalries at top order have always helped players to set their limits higher - be it the Borg - McEnroe rivalry in the late 70s or Federer-Nadal duel of the current era - it draws a larger spectacle to the game without fail.

    Messi or Ronaldo? The question itself is quite ambiguous as Hamlet's age old dilemma "to be, or not to be". The 6 ft 1 petulant, assertive Ronaldo isn’t a popular pick Read More »from Why it is hard to be Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Automatic transmissions have come of age in India. Those who previously sneered at the inefficient, lazy boxes are now considering buying them, thanks to a range of more dynamic automatic transmission options available in the small car segment.

    The Honda Brio has the reputation of being one of the best city cars. Now, Honda has made it even better with the introduction of an automatic transmission.

    Visually, you will hardly spot any difference between the automatic and manual Brios until you step inside the cabin. Apart from the automatic transmission gear stick and the gear indicators on the instrument panel, the interiors too remain pretty much the same.

    The automatic Brio is powered by the same engine, as its manual sibling. The 1.2 litre i-VTEC is a gem of an engine that gets better as it revs towards the redline. Mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, the engine ever-so-smoothly makes light work of urban commuting.

    The Brio gets a conventional five-speed automatic

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Honda Brio Automatic
  • For most of us, Karnataka means the 'erstwhile garden city' of Bangalore, which has now been transformed into a concrete jungle. But beyond the city, there's a pristine, unexplored expanse of countryside spread over the profusely green Western Ghats. Honda's Drive to Discover programme explores such unexposed splendour of India while rediscovering the joys of driving a Honda car. So when Honda invited me to drive the Brio from Goa to Bangalore across the Ghats as part of the Drive to Discover event, I didn't think twice about joining them.

    My tryst with the Brio began with a ceremonial flag off at Coastal Honda in Goa. It was a rainy morning; the party capital still asleep, streets deserted, hymns from nearby churches wafting through the raindrops...what an ambiance to begin the drive!

    Since there was no predetermined route or timetable to stick to, we started sauntering along the coastal highways of Goa in two sticker-clad Honda Brios. As we crossed the Goan border, monsoon clouds

    Read More »from Discovering India, with the Honda Brio
  • Have you been following news on the Assam riots and the North East exodus from the rest of the country to Guwahati? Something seems to be happening, and the disappearance of your Nepali guard was strangely linked with violence in Mumbai. Similarly, the reappearance of the Mizo students next door is linked with refugees returning home from relief camps.

     Relief Camp at Kokrajhar, August 7. Photo : ABP, more at Kokrajhar, August 7. Photo : ABP, more at https://bengali.yahoo.com/Relief Camp at Kokrajhar, August 7. Photo : ABP, more at http://bengali.yahoo.com/

    Here's a snapshot view of events as they happened.

    • Widespread riots between Bodos and Bengali speaking Muslims broke out around July 20.
    • July 25. At least 36 people have been killed and 500 villages torched.
    • By July 30, the death toll had risen and close to 2,00,000 riot victims were living in relief camps.
    • Rumor regarding alleged attacks on North Eastern students in Pune and New Delhi spread in early August.
    • On August 12, protesters gathered in Mumbai's Azad Maidan (apparently students from one Raza Academy) attacked the police force, torched vehicles and damaged the Amar Jawan memorial. Two people were killed and an estimated 54 wounded,
    Read More »from HARD LIGHT : Snapshot View of the North East Issue

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