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2014 Fiat Linea Facelift Spotted Again : Launch Early next year

2014 Fiat Linea Facelift Spotted Again : Launch Early next year

Petes Xpress Garage Opened In Calicut

Petes Xpress Garage Opened In Calicut

India Bike Week 2014 Annoounced

India Bike Week 2014 Annoounced

PREVIEW : 12th Auto Expo 2014

PREVIEW : 12th Auto Expo 2014

Monday, 22 September 2014


The Italian car maker Fiat had been one of the most trusted and most opted brands in the Indian market till recent times. However the recent days saw the company struggling for existance with declining sales, despite all those (silly) refreshes they had given their models- both the Punto and the Linea. The hard times were mostly due to the pop up of more 'upmarket' , feature rich models at competitive price tags.
However the company began to regain hope as the facelifted Linea (2014)  managed to attract crowds pretty well.  And now, with the facelifted version of Punto- one of the ever time favorite Fiats of the Indians, hopes are sky high and the company hopes to regain its lost glory in the near future. The Punto has been a dreamboat for the Indians ever since its Indian debut. But like anything else, timely changes were essential for Punto too. But in India, we must say, these changes took a long while to happen, something which retarded the sales of this super-hot Italian beauty. Anyway, the wait is over. The facelifted Punto- now badged as the PUNTO EVO has finally hit our roads.
And we chose to test the top of the class , most powerful , 90HP model for all the driving enthusiasts out here.... and here is what  we felt...

The new PUNTO EVO looks really sporty and musculine.The front has changed drastically.The headlamps have been redesigned, they are now larger and visually more appealing. For normal EVOs,  the headlamps get chrome strips inside them whereas the 90HP variant has them smoked.The new grille looks great. The FIAT logo now sits on the hood.The air dam has a very interesting design. The fog lamps has a new design and get chromium lining. The creases ( character lines ) on the hood enhance the sporty character of the car. A mere glance of the front of the car is enough for an instantaneous hike in the adrenaline count.

The sides haven't changed much, except for the new set of alloys. The door handles are chrome plated, though it does not go hand in hand with the overall sporty character of the car. The new 90 HP EVO rides on 195/55 R16 Wheels. The normal EVO (EMOTION) gets diamond cut alloys whereas the 90 HP variant  gets a sportier set of alloys. The lower trims get full wheel covers.

The new Punto's rear looks smart and refreshed. The 90 HP model gets an integrated rear spoiler., that adds to the sporty nature of the car. The clear lens tail lamps have an interesting design. The redesigned bumper now hosts rear reflectors and rear fog lamps, neatly lined by chromium. The chrome strip that runs between these reflectors adds to the elegance of the rear.

To sum it up, the new PUNTO EVO is well designed , looks hot and has all the potential to lure the customers. Kudos to the design team...


The new Punto EVO gets dual tone beige- black interiors for the normal trims and all black interiors for the 90 HP trim. The seats have a black -grey fabric. The dash has been completely redesigned and is well organized now. The plastic quality has been improved ( still it cannot be called the "best -in - class"). The ambient lighting on the dash , the fabric trims on doors , all add a premium feel to the interiors. The driver's seat is height adjustable.

The steering wheel has been retained from the previous model, but now has a better finish. The wheel is chunky and offers good grip. The wheel has audio and telephony controls and also voice command controls mounted on it.

The instrument cluster has an appealing design. The speedo and tacho are well arranged with maximum visibility
. All the major gauges are analog. However there is a DIS integrated into the cluster, which gives all the essential information like trip meter, DTE, external temperature,real time mileage, digital clock etc.

The in-car-entertainment system in the new PUNTO EVO needs special mention. The system hosts a CD/MP3 player,with bluetooth telephony. It also comes with Microsoft powered  Blue & Me technology that also offers the convenience of voice commands.Another interesting feature is the SMS readout function , which is very helpful during drives. The music player offers a USB and AUX IN ports for added entertainment.

The new PUNTO's air conditioning is of above average quality. The top variants get automatic AC and climate control. The rear AC vent adds to the comfort of the rear passengers.

The company has provided a number of storage spaces and cup holders to suit the customer's convenience. The gear knob gets a silver ring instead of chrome, which suits the design well.

The rear seats are cozy and offer ample thigh support. However they are meant to seat two comfortably. You wont feel comfortable if there is a third person. And there is a central tunnel too, which hinders the comfortable seating of the third person. The seats are 60:40 split seats and lacks an armrest.

The rear seat passengers also get the convenience of a faster cooling... Thanks to the rear AC vent...

The drive...

So now its time to find out how good the new Punto is on the tarmac...
To start with, the insulation of the cabin cannot be called perfect. A fair amount of noise and vibration seep into the cabin when you start the engine and also when you play a bit rough.The engine with its 93 HP  of power and 209 Nm of torque does its job quite well .But, even though the car has 90HP under its hood, dont expect it to be something that offers a sudden surge of torque. The power delivery is pretty much linear. The engine has been tuned to be a more practical one rather than a sporty one. Since it is a diesel, the 90HP Punto has a fair amount of turbo lag.However it does not actually let you down while overtaking. The car is heavy enough and offers good stability at high speeds. The steering is well weighed (or rather a bit over weighed) and offers good response. It may be noted that even the new generation does not host an EPS ( Electronic Power Steering ). The hard steering can be a boon and bane for the driver, at the same time. You feel real confident at high speeds and while cornering. But it can give you hard times when taking a hard turn at low speeds or when driving amidst the tiresome city traffic. Then you wont get the comfort and convenience of an EPS. The car has ventilated disc brakes in the  front and drum in the rear. And these do their duty pretty well... The braking is precise. The 5 speed manual transmission is precise. However the shift is not as smooth as in its rivals like i20.

To sum up, the new PUNTO EVO 90 HP is a quite practical car to drive, with ample power and decent performance.

The PUNTO EVO offers a comfortable ride, both for the front and rear passengers alike. The suspension is neither too soft, nor too hard and offers good ride quality to the occupants.The performance of the air conditioning system is average.The speakers offer impressive sound quality. The rear legroom is ample ( but cannot be compared with rivals like i20)  while the front seats get a whole lot of it.. The car provides a pretty good amount of head-room for all the occupants.
To sum up, the car offers a cool, comfortable ride for four.

 The new PUNTO EVO comes with all the necessary safety features like front airbags with early crash sensor,ABS, EBD,3 point ELR seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters,Fire Prevention System (FPS) etc. The height of the front seat belts can be adusted to suit the convenience. The car also hosts a passenger airbag deactivation system, which can be of great use during  solo drives.
All these make the new EVO a fairly safe car to hang out with.

 The Punto Evo 90HP diesel is not at all a "Thirsty" car. It offers 20.5 kms per litre which is an impressive figure for a car so powerful. To put it simply, the new PUNTO is "more horses turned pocket sized".

The tag:
The PUNTO EVO 90 HP diesel bears a price tag of Rs. 7.43  lakhs (Ex. showrom, Kochi)

  • Impressive design.
  • Good stability and handling at high speeds.
  • Wide range of features on offer.
  • Safety features like ABS for added safety.
  • Good fuel efficiency.
  • Rear AC vent for faster cooling.
  • Affordable price.
  • Fair amount of turbo lag.
  • The overall plastic quality is good , but some areas still need to be improved, like the small portion between the steering wheel and the dash , the rear AC vent etc.   
The new PUNTO EVO 90 HP proves itself to be an impressive, pocket- friendly and reliable family car with its comforts, features, above average performance, good efficiency and the superior build quality and reliability of Fiat. No wonder if one calls it a value for money product.

Vehicle Provided by: HYSON FIAT, Palarivattom
For bookings, contact: 9562232200

Drive and report: Neeraj Padmakumar
Photo Courtesy: Akhil Raj J

Thursday, 21 August 2014

3 Yamaha FZ-S V2.0 Review

Yamaha is one such brand which has always paid attention to the latest motoring vogue of the youth. The RX series and RD series show this concern for the tastes of the youth. The FZ has always been an important model in the company's product line up. First introduced in 2008, the bike turned out to be an instant crowd- puller with its sporty "naked sport" styling, superb performance and impressive drivability . As times changed and many of the rivals turned up, having undergone mere plastic surgeries Yamaha has now given FZ a new avatar with considerable changes - both in the design as well as in the engine. Here is what we feel after having had a test ride of this new macho boy.

The company has retained the basic design of the bike. The new version sports a redesigned headlamp , which looks magnificent with its new angular design. The front mud guard is carved out of fiber. The new FZ sports air scoops on either side, which give it a sporty appeal.

The design of the 12 L tank has been left untouched and it now gets a two-tone color scheme and new 3D graphics. The entire body gets a catchy two- tone color scheme.

The rear has been tweaked and now looks even more "sporty" with the new tail lamp. The rear wheel gets full cover mud-guard which makes the bike even more practical. As a part of the weight-losing strategy, this mud guard has been made out of fiber.The exhaust pipe has also been redesigned. This new design of the rear as well as the exhaust pipe give the bike a surprisingly different look.

FZ FI sports wide split seats which offer ample support and comfort and split grab rails which add to the style quotient of the bike too apart from offering ample comfort.

The new rectangular LCD digital meter cluster hosts speedo, tacho , fuel gauge, odo and trip meters. The various warning lamps and indicators are all neatly arranged around the instrument panel (display). Something needs a special mention here. The new FZ comes with an "ECO" warning lamp which helps in making the rider ride in such a way so as to get the maximum out of every drop of fuel. the plastic quality is above average. The rear view mirror retains its old design.

The overall dimensions of the new bike have changed too. The length, breadth, height and wheel base of the new FZ are 1990 mm, 70 mm, 1050 mm, 1330 mm. A 160 mm ground clearance and 2.6 m turning radius make the new FZ a practical bike.

 The bike has telescopic fork in the front and  mono-shock, box section swing arm in the rear.

Mileage was the biggest (and may be the only) drawback of the previous gen FZ. But the new model does away with this defect. The new 1409 cc 4 stroke "BLUE CORE" single cylinder engine gives out the peak power of 12.9 bhp at 8000 rpm and the peak torque of 12.8 nm at 6000 rpm. The engine is mated to a 5 speed transmission. The engine uses"Fuel Injection " technology.

You can actually feel the difference right from  the moment when you start the mill. The entire thing is now butter- smooth.The new technology uses a fuel injector instead of a carburetor and sprays petrol into the cylinder. Thus maximum combustion of the fuel takes place and hence you get the maximum power at you fingertips.The engine is now even more refined. Since more combustion occurs, the emission gets reduced considerably. The FZ FI is built in accordance with the BS4 emission norms.
The new FZ FI offers good throttle response. The power delivery is almost linear upto 6000 rpm. The vehicle responds accurately to your fingers. The throttle can go for a head to head fight with Apache RTR which boasts of a "Racing Throttle Response" technology. The gearshift is smooth and precise. The vehicle does the 0-60 kmph dash in about 5.2 seconds.

The ride is smooth. You dont feel a bit of vibration, even at high speeds. The stability needs a special mention. You don't lose your confidence due to air resistance at high speeds. The bike stays in hand even at 3 digit speeds. You feel confident in cornering at high speeds. It is interesting hat the company has slightly decreased the power of the new FZ, but still it performs better than the old one. Thanks to the weight losing strategy that has made it almost 3 kg lighter now. As said earlier, the bike performs impressively up to 6000 rpm. But you really feel the lag after 6000 rpm. The brakes do their duty well, making the FZ a safe bike to roam around with. The bike gets 267 mm disc for the front and  drum for the rear wheels. Yea yea... Yamaha could have provided rear discs , at least as an option. The FZ FI proves itself to be a good street bike with its impressive low and mid range performance.
The new FZ gives you 45-55 kmpl

  • Interesting design
  • Better efficiency
  • Impressive ride and handling
  • Reduction in weight
  • Appealing color combos
  • Good throttle response and power delivery ( up to 6000 rpm)
  • ECO indicator


  • Absence of rear discs
  • Lag in response after 6000 rpm
  • The plastic quality of the rear mud guard could be improved.

 Rs. 78,250 (Ex showroom, Delhi)

The new FZ Fi is a good street bike with its appealing design, good efficiency and impressive performance.

Vehicle for test ride provided by: Shinrai Yamaha, Kundannoor

Test Ride and Report: Sudheesh Kumar
Pic courtesy: Akhil Raj J           
Edits: Neeraj Padmakumar

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

0 Tata launches ZEST sedan at 4.64 lakhs

Tata Motors, on tuesday launched their all new compact sedan ZEST at 4.64 lakhs. The company had unveiled the car earlier at the 2014 Auto Expo. The ZEST was designed at the company's studios in Pune, Turin and Coventory. Tata calls the new design philosophy the Design Next.

The ZEST looks sportier and younger than all other Tata models. The black grille and the projector headlamps give the car an aggressive look. The car also gets DRLs which are wisely placed alongside the fog lamps. The side profile looks upmarket too. The car gets a new set of 15" alloys. The rear looks really appealing with those wrap around tail lamps. The ZEST is not too "compact" and measures 3995*1695*1570 metres and has a wheelbase of 2470 metres.

The interiors of the car is what really surprises the buyer. The dash is designed in favor of the driver and is angled towards him. The dash has an interesting design and the plastic quality has improved a lot. The ZEST gets a new infotainment system developed in partnership with HARMAN, called the Connect Next which hosts bluetooth connectivity, smartphone integration etc.The car gets ABS as standard in all variants while the higher variants get airbags too.

The car is available in three engine options- the 1.2 L Revotron (turbocharged petrol mill) putting out 85 PS and 140 Nm and a 1.3 L multi jet diesel mill giving 90 PS and 200 Nm (This diesel mill offers a choice of a 5 speed Automated manual transmission (AMT) ) or a 75 BHP variant of the multijet.

The prices are:
(Ex showroom, Delhi)
XE - 4.64 lakhs
XM - 5.25 lakhs
XMS - 5.43 lakhs
XT - 5.99 lakhs
75 PS XE - 5.64 lakhs
XM - 6.27 lakhs
XMA (AMT) - 6.99 lakhs
XMS - 6.45 lakhs
XT - 6.99 lakhs

0 Hyundai launches the new ELITE i20 at 4.89 lakhs

The Korean car-maker Hyundai on Monday, launched the latest avatar of one of their most popular models - the i20, in the Indian market. The previous generations of the car were all very popular and well accepted ones. And all of them were real "bench marks" in the segment. Now the company has come up with the next generation i20 in to the Indian market.

The 2015 i20 is based on the company's Fluidic 2.0 design philosophy. The car got itself sketched by the designers at Hyundai's Motor Design Centre in Germany and Russelheim. So obviously the design has the "German" elements in it.

The new i20 gets a thorough change on the exteriors. The front fascia looks totally new with the new headlamps, bumper, fog lamps and redesigned bonnet. the new "BIG" honeycomb grille adds some serious feel to the front. The side profile really makes the car look big (The car actually  is big as it is almost 4 metres long ). The blackened C pillar makes the side profile sportier. The rear has now become more elegant. The new bumper and the "Boomerang" shaped tail lamps add a sporty feel to the rear. The car also gets an integrated spoiler.

The new i20 comes with minor changes in the dimensions. The company has decreased the length by 10 mm. However the interior is still spacious as the wheelbase has now been increased by 45 mm. The width also gets a hike of 24 mm. The car offers a boot 295 L boot capacity. The car comes with an interior that can be called "Best in class", which is finished in a brown - beige color scheme. The car has a long array of features on offer, like  a 2DIN music player with 1GB internal storage, infotainment controls on steering wheel etc of which the seatbelt pre-tensioner and smart pedal need special mention. The car has a new set of 15" diamond cut alloys and DRLs.

The engines remain the same in the new i20 too. The 1.2L Kappa petrol mill mated to a 5 speed manual transmission gives out 83 PS and 115 NM of torque.The diesel variant has a 1.4 L CRDi engine mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox puts out 90 PS and 220 NM. The fuel tank has a capacity of 45L. The petrol variants are certified to give 18.60 km per liter while the diesel mill gives 22.54 km per liter. The car is available in 7 colors.

The prices* are: 


  • Era - 4.89 Lakhs
  • Magna- 5.49 Lakhs
  •  Sportz- 5.93 lakhs
  • Asta-6.46 lakhs

  • Era-6.09 lakhs
  • Magna-6.61 lakhs
  • Sportz-7.13 lakhs
  • Asta- 7.66 lakhs
(*: The prices are introductory and ex showroom, Delhi)

The pre-booking of the car had begun on August 1 and since then the car has been getting promising reports regarding the the number of bookings done. However, the company has officially announced the number of bookings so far to be 4600 (2600 for petrol and 2000 for diesel). Thus chances are high for the second gen to become a block buster like its predecessor.

Monday, 11 August 2014

0 Fiat lays high hopes on luxury cars.

   The luxury car segment has been having a boom for the past few years in India. Nowadays, more people are into spending on sportscars and luxury saloons. Even Lamborghinis and Bentleys are not rare sights on our roads, especially in the metros.

The Italian car maker Fiat can now no longer keep their eyes shut to this surging demand for luxury cars. Hence the company is now planning to launch their high end sports car brand Maserati in the Indian market. The discussions are in progress. Reports also say that a team from Maserati headquarters had visited India in the recent months and has had meetings with potential dealers. It is heard that the company is planning to open exclusive company owned outlets , initially some 2-3 big size dealers in the metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore and later in other major cities too.

However Mr. Nagesh Basavanhalli,president and MD at Fiat Chrysler India said it is "too early to comment" on Maserati India's launch. "We are under lots of discussions to bring out exciting stuff from our international portfolio, though we are yet to freeze our plans." said Mr.Basavanhalli in an interview given to a popular daily.

Rumors are heard that Maserati's flag-ship sedan- the Quattraporte, Gran Tourismo Coupe,  Ghibli sedan,and Grand Cabrio convertible will be available in the price range of 1.5-3 crores (Ex. showroom, Delhi). These will go for a head on battle with Lamborghinis and Bentleys. These models are much hoped by the company to help them regain their lost prosperity in the Indian market.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

0 Audi A3 launched at 22.9 lakhs

The German car maker Audi today launched their entry level premium sedan in the Indian market, thereby creating the segment. The price starts at Rs. 22.9 lakhs. The .The car was earlier unveiled at the 2014 Auto Expo. The car is based on Volkswagen's MQB platform. the length, width and wheelbase are 4456,1796,and 2637 mms respectively.

The basic design itself proclaims the car to be an Audi. The car gets the company's signature grille and well designed headlamps with projectors and LEDs. The design of the sides and rear show much resemblance to the higher model A4. the rear with its LED tail lamps  look magnificent and the boot offers an ample space of 425L.

The interior is well crafted too. The company has maintained its standards in the fit and finish. The most attractive part of the dash is the pop-up infotainment display. The MMI system comes with handwriting recognition too. the interior also sports a panoramic sunroof, milano leather, LED lamps,and Audi Sound System.

A3 offers two engine options- a 1.8 petrol ( 180 BHP, 250 NM) mated to a 7 speed S Tronic gearbox and a 2.2L diesel (143 BHP, 320Nm)mated to a 6 speed S-Tronic transmission. Attraction, premium, Premium Plus and technology are the available variants , of which only premium plus comes with the choice of a petrol heart.

The Prices are:

A3 40 TFSI Premium plus (P) : 28.5 lakhs

A3 35 TDi Attraction (D): 22.9 lakhs
A3 35 TDi Premium (D) : 25.95 lakhs
A3 35 TDi Premium Plus(D) : 29.95 lakhs
A3 35 TDi Technology (D): 32.66 lakhs

 Being the segment opener with no direct rival at present, the car has immense scopes of becoming an instant hit.

0 Fiat delays the launch of JEEP in India

Fiat India delays the launch of the JEEP brand in India. the company still doesnt feel it the right time for the launch despite being on the track of come back. With the two successful models -the PUNTO EVO and the updated LINEA, the company has now began to regain its lost popularity. The next launch is confirmed to be the AVVENTURA which is a cross over SUV based on the new EVO and has all capabilities to beat its rivals-the cross polo and the Etios cross straight to the ground. So for now, the company will focus on these models.

The company had earlier announced that the JEEP brand would make its Indian debut by the end of this year. But Fiat now finds the economic conditions not up to the mark to price the models well. Now, it is said that JEEP is going to launch the WRANGLER and GRAND CHEROKEE in India. The launch will commence next year with the WRANGLER being launched first- by the middle of next year and GRAND CHEROKEE towards the end of 2015. The WRANGLER will be imported as CBU unit while the GRAND CHEROKEE will be locally assembled. Expect these to be aggressively priced, to stay in the competition. 

Fiat has plans to launch the 500 ABARTH early next year.The car was earlier showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo. Initially the car will be imported as a CBU unit and according to the demand, the company may start assembling it locally. The PUNTO ABARTH is also expected to hit the Indian roads next year.

Fiat has plans of extending the dealership network immensely and plans to reach 150 towards the end of this financial year. The JEEP products will use Fiat's dealerships to reach the customers. But of course the company will open separate dealerships for the brand as well.  


The new 2014 Toyota fortuner model is out.It comes with various changes also.The front bumper of the new fortuner has changed,It has got a new stylish bumper and the front grille is also new with toyota logo attached  in the middle.The headlamps and fog lamps of fortuner is bigger and also very attractive.Toyota fortuner has indicators on the side view mirrors.There is also attractive roof rails on the top and the rear of this car is also attractive with stylish spoiler with brake lights fixed on it.The rear brake lights has also got a good designing and there is vipers in the rear of the car.


  • Bold new styling along with an aggressive stance, much like its present day variant.
  • Major additions to its exterior, interior and technical features, in order to give it an enhanced appeal.
  • Overall enhancements in terms of drive train

  • Additional Features:

    Typical driver aids such as Traction Control, Adaptive Cruise Control, Steering Damper, Lane Departure Warning and Hill Climb Assist, are available on request. These enhance the general aesthetic feel about the 2015 Fortuner, although you need to pay a hefty sum, in order to get these installed.

Toyota has not come up with final pricing, as of yet, although we expect them to unveil the price, along with launch dates, quite soon. The 2015 Toyota Fortuner should enter production within the next few months, while formal unveiling should be done much in advance. Experts however are looking at a premium price tag, which could be quite higher than its present generation model, although a price hike is justified, due to various factors.