• A little car, but a soaring presence nationwide... Indian automobile history witnessed a dramatic change on a chilly December morning in 1983 when the first Maruti 800 was rolled out of a factory in Gurgaon. Indian roads have never been the same ever since. Now, Maruti has brought the curtains down on the iconic 800, which has always remained a mainstay of personal mobility for the masses. This decision is sure to leave a lot of Maruti 800 fans emotional, and some even watery-eyed.

    Harpal Singh, the owner of the first Maruti 800 in 1983, poses with the car in New Delhi in 2010 (Getty Images)

    Remarkably, the Maruti 800 is the second longest Indian production car, next only to the Ambassador. The 800 alone has contributed over 29 lakh units since its launch. Constant technological upgradation of components not only helped masses of car buyers freak out with fuel-efficient, zippy and very reliable Suzukis, the Indian component industry got a massive shot in the arms as the marque's localisation juggernaut rolled on.

    The Maruti 800 was a joint effort between Maruti and Suzuki Motor Co of Japan. The

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  • Photos by Clint Thomas
    I am drafting this review as I sit in one of the finest and most luxurious places in the world – the rear compartment of the new S-Class. I believed, until today, that reading in a moving vehicle is an unhealthy practice. But, as I flipped through the stunning 160-page S-Class magazine, it never occurred to me that I was sitting in a moving car. Why? Because with the new S-Class, the outside world stays exactly there - outside.

    As I kept my laptop on the foldout tray table and started typing out some thoughts, I felt like being in a fantasy office workstation, thanks to the 24-speaker Burmester sound system, ambient lighting that bathes the cabin in a spectrum of colors, an energizing hot stone massage function with six different programmes – all integrated into an immaculately crafted interior.

    The new S-Class literally coddles you in the lap of luxury. But there’s much more to the story that tells why the S-Class is the ‘best car in the world’. Let’s discuss that in detail.
    Design

    The

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (S500)
  • Photos by Clint Thomas
    Just when we thought 2013 was full to the brim with fabulous new models, in drives the all-new Honda City with the biggest surprise of all – a mileage of 26 kilometre per litre. Yes, you read that right; the Honda City finally has a diesel engine under the hood, and now, the iconic car is also the most fuel efficient car in India.

    Well, if mileage is the need of the hour, City now offers the most of it. But there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Let’s discuss in detail.
    Design

    Although every body panel has gone under the knife, the fourth generation City looks very familiar.  Perhaps, Honda didn’t want to tamper with an already perfect design. But a closer look at the car reveals some remarkable design choices. The three-slatted signature grille has given way to a larger, chrome-heavy grille linking sharper headlamps. Two bold creases run down the bonnet, seamlessly converging into the grille. Thanks to the sportier and forward-reaching bumper styling, the new City looks poised to

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: The All-New Honda City
  • Ab Dilli door nahin?

    A Delhite ruminates on AAP’s victory from far away and reflects on the possibilities it holds for the future.

    Aam Aadmi Party workers celebrate after good result of AAP party in the 2013 Delhi Assembly election at party office Hanuman Road on December 8, 2013 in New Delhi, India. A beaming Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal termed his party's phenomenal success in the Delhi polls as One of the stories of the Tughlaqabad fort is known to many a Delhite. As election results kept coming in on Sunday, this story came back to me - a Delhite now in Bangalore. The story goes - Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq was so furious with the Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya that he wanted to have him beheaded. When Auliya heard this, his followers wanted him to hide, save himself, but he is said to have uttered, “Hunooz Dilli door ast,” which roughly translates as It’s a long way to Delhi.

    Before Tughlaq could kill him, he himself was dead. The saint lived, the monarch perished. Centuries later, Subhash Chandra Bose rephrased this while taking on the British as ‘Ab Dilli door nahin’

    It came to be used across time, as a positive call, a rallying cry to march on power. To crush any oppressive force  etc. For in the physicality of living in Delhi, you can get different dynasties on

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  • Probably, the name car enthusiasts heard the most in 2013 is Polo. The buzz was sparked by Polo GT TSI in April, followed by the Cross Polo in August and the Polo GT TDI in September. The blissful combination of the 1.2 litre turbocharged engine and DSG gearbox made the GT TSI very desirable. Volkswagen also listened to the clamour for a punchier diesel variant by dropping the Vento’s 1.6 litre diesel engine into the Polo GT TDI. Now, with the disparity between petrol and diesel prices fast shrinking, the carmaker is extending the 1.2 litre TSI to Vento as well.

    The best way to learn about these cars’ capabilities is to drive them in a controlled environment. I recently drove the Vento TSI and Polo TDI back to back at the Buddh International Circuit to find out what makes them completely different animals.

    Visually, both cars don’t imply what they actually capable of doing. Just like its petrol sibling, the Polo TDI gets GT badging on the grille and the boot lid, but not on the C

    Read More »from Track Test: Volkswagen Vento TSI, Polo GT TDI
  • Tisha Srivastav recalls moments where her life has been inspired by Mandela and what he means to her. A personal journey of an ordinary Indian who never met Madiba or stepped under South African skies.


    Some people touch your lives, I think because they have reached out and touched their own depths. Both of suffering and of possibility.

    And brought to light what a human can be.

    Nelson Mandela is one such. As much for his politics, as for his rebellion. As much for his personal strength, as for his leadership-in-exile.

     
    As a kid in the 70s flying to Africa, (when a large number of Indian Railways folk began to help African countries build their rail systems and that included my dad) I used to look at my diplomatic passport which said ‘All countries except those under the Pretoria regime.’ Now you tell a kid to NOT go somewhere, that is exactly the land which will fascinate. Especially because through the 80s, very little information would get out. But being in Africa, what would reach us Read More »from Mandela - An ordinary Indian remembers
  • Mobilio, the third car to be built on the Brio platform, marks Honda’s entry into the MPV segment in India. After unveiling the Mobilio at the Indonesian Motor Show in September, Honda invited a handful of journalists to Tokyo to examine the car up close. So keeping in mind that this isn't a complete test drive review, here are my first impressions of the MPV.

    Design

    If you said MPVs cannot be sporty, eat your words. Agreed, the Mobilio’s face is nigh-on identical to the Brio but move to the side and rear, sharp lines and chiseled facets give the car a sporty attitude. What I liked the most about the Mobilio’s design is the beltline that kinks downwards at the B pillar. This simple but clever design touch yields an airy greenhouse and a feeling of spaciousness. The large, wraparound tail lamps gel neatly with the styling and the Mobilio is best appreciated from the rear three-quarters.

    Many interior elements, especially the dashboard and the seats, are carried over from the Brio. The car

    Read More »from First Look: Honda Mobilio
  • In a major setback for the Samajwadi Party, the criminals in Uttar Pradesh have vowed to never vote for Mulayam Singh Yadav in future as his party officially bought rights to Billy Joel's hit song, 'We didn't start the fire' instead of stealing it proudly.

    Speaking to media, Bullet Babu, a popular mafia gangster lamented that this was a perfect opportunity for the party to gain international fame but blew it away meaninglessly by officially buying a song's rights, a concept for them unheard of.

    Bullet Babu feels the party is doing this just to boost its image ahead of the elections and not worried about the pride of criminals in the state. Bullet compares this move to the party giving free laptops to students - as part of a scheme launched by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in 2012 - and termed it as yet another 'popular move'.
    Mulayam persuading criminals that he didn't mean to hurt their feelings.
    "Free laptops for students!" Bullet lost his cool as he pointed at yet another 'administrative failure' of SP. "Do they know how much effort it takes to steal

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  • Honda has unveiled the production version of its compact SUV Vezel at the Tokyo Motor Show. A new vehicle that belongs to a completely new category, the Vezel will go on sales in Japan on 20th December.

    The Vezel has been designed by fusing together the dynamic qualities of an SUV and the practicality of a minivan. It belongs to India’s hot-selling compact SUV segment and will certainly outshine the likes of Duster and Ecosport once launched. However, Honda’s next launch in India will be the new Honda City, followed by Jazz and Mobilio, so Vezel won’t make it to India before early 2015.

    Design

    Vezel has got a striking design, taking cues from its siblings. Front profile is reminiscent of the CR-V and has the sturdy stance of an SUV. In profile, the Vezel flaunts sharp character lines and the sleeker roof profile of a coupe above the window line. The interior is designed to create a high-quality space and overall, it looks great. The steering wheel is similar to the CR-V’s while the

    Read More »from First Impressions: Honda’s compact SUV Vezel
  • The cricket officials have taken the idea of honouring the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar –playing his final Test match for India – to a bizarre new level.  A man was promptly asked to leave the Wankhede stadium for not cheering the Indian batting great on day one of the second Test match between India and West Indies.

    The security officials caught the fan on one of the cameras not cheering Tendulkar for five minutes during the day’s play. The officials said a few cameras were installed for the special occasion of Tendulkar’s 200th Test, only to catch such ‘culprits’.

    “We wanted to ensure every Indian in the stadium cheers for the batting maestro,”said one of the security officials. “If anyone is caught not expressing support to Tendulkar, then he or she will be asked to leave as we consider such people to be a threat to the overall lively atmosphere in the stadium. Their nonchalance might spread to others and eventually will kill the great occasion.”

    The man evicted from the stadium,

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