Category Archives: Auto Reviews

Get Set Redi-Go!

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Datsun after their GO and GO+ are now ready to rock the Indian roads with the latest offering Datsun redi-GO. A unique fusion of compact crossover & urban hatchback, offering the best of both worlds.

I had seen the car’s details when I clicked on SnapDeal online booking and for your information the easiest way to book is with just INR 10,000/- and the nearest dealer would get in touch.

I really liked the design of the hatchback and the presentation of the front grill makes for a large car feel. The looks are for real and makes it a mix of a sedan like feel and a hatchback rolled into one.

So for the three reasons now why I want to take it for a spin:

The exterior first.

The Japanese YUKAN design looks pretty compact and sleek added with lean and dynamic sidelines. Think Aero and it fits the design and its got a bit of silver that makes its more attractive. The high stance of the exterior and the high ground clearance makes it the cross over that you always wanted in its class. It looks more hot with the iconic headlamps and well styled rear lamps.


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Second reason: Class of a sporty Interiors.

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Spacious look and feel that will take your entire family for an outing, the dashboard with digital tachometer provides a modern touch, and the drive computer keeps you informed of your current fuel economy. The power windows and an excellent audio system makes for the right music on road.

Third Reason: Safety

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Right from performance augmented brakes that give you the short braking distance to the reinforced crash protection shell plus the best in class visibility with higher eye point. Add to this the superior suspension system which gives stability and cornering performance. Then there is the force absorbing bolster support in the seats. The adaptive electric power steering and the aribag are all a part of a common thread making it safe, secure and reliable.

Bonus reason: Performance

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The iSAT engine automatically adjusts spark timing in response to fuel quality and power requirements. The performance from the 799cc engine is peppy and exhilarating; besides being easy on the pocket with a great mileage of 25.17 kmpl.

A great package if you can call it and it will be great to see them on road. And going by the young and the next gen, this is an on the go hatchback the real crossover.

Fun. Freedom. Confidence. The ultimate Urban Cross - Datsun redi-GO – the capability of a crossover with the convenience of a hatchback.

One more reason I want to drive this car around is to attract eyeballs for sure as I drive on the road.

So now where do I want to go with this car for a drive that’s going to be memorable. I have two places in mind.

1. Kari Motor Speedway is the race track in Coimbatore the cradle of Indian motorsports where I can check the car for its speed, and handling ofcourse enroute it would be checked for its ground clearance, the roads are famous for its high humps. We could even test the fuel efficency at varying speeds on road and under test conditions. The shortest braking distance will also be put to test.

2. To the Queen of Hills, Ooty. A scenic place to drive the car uphill and down hill to test its perseverance and drive amidst the nature. The car will be tested on its endurance for sure, I know the steering will be responsive through many a hair pin bends and the mileage will be tested averaging the drive up and down the hill. With its tall seating we will be enjoying the drive overlooking the scenic mountains and cloudy hills.

With its cool design and ultimate manoeuvrability the city rides are going to be more fun when you can make a full turn-around with just a 4.7-metre turning radius, no more getting caught in a tight spot.

Now waiting to drive this beauty of a car when it arrives on road. Looks like Datsun has a winner in redi-GO and going by the words from auto enthusiasts its going to rock the Indian auto world for sure.

Senthil

Images courtesy: https://www.datsun.co.in/redi-GO.html

The Future and the #SmartTrucking phenomena

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Indian roads have come of age and ever since the Golden Quadrilateral took shape the highways have had it the best of times and that meant the automobile drivers had easy task at hand and could deliver better vehicles and concentrate on making it more driver friendly.

The look and feel of the trucks got a makeover and today they are as customer savvy as much as they sell cars. We have seen the likes of many a brand and even the Mercedes, Man Trucks, and  Benz making their presence felt here.

The race to be the best had begun and there is no stopping them now. Mahindra with its #SmartTrucking concept has now started delivering some of the best in class truck options for the sauve consumer.

Some of the features that get a hands up includes great fuel economy, mileage, lesser breakdowns, service guarantee at breakdown point etc. Well technically there is this unique modular cylinders for engines that is responsible for low maintenance and repair cost.

The very thought of the truck is that ‘long drive’ perhaps getting things to people from one part of the country to another. The truck perhaps is a brand ambassador in quite a few places and when we discuss long drives, it has to be without any breakdowns at all, forget lesser break downs.

The long drives make for such an adventure, and when you know you have help at hand you get more confident and enjoy the driving across the terrain of the national highways. The drives have become more picturesque these days and the drivers have become more responsible in a way, and the #SmartTruck is one of the reason, they feel pampered. So #SmartTrucking has you covered when it comes to delivering goods which in turn is delivering happiness, delivering responsibly and delivering trust. And a break down is not just an incident, but reflects on the overall scheme of things and that when you have help at hand. #SmartTrucking doesn’t have break down points but then when there is the most unfortunate thing which happens inspite of you being a responsible driver, well that’s when you appreciate the lesser breakdown and help at hand!

The #SmartTrucking is a travel that is akin to our life journey that we have on this earth. There are places to stop, to reduce the speed, enjoy the road while it lasts and yeah keep looking into the mirror only when needed and yes bring on the better roads as we keep going ahead.

We will love the drive and the way the roads converge and how they look inspiring to lead the way to our destination. The long drives have always have had the philosophical bent of mind.

One of the basic aspects of being inside a truck is the ability to see things far and near. You get to have a view of things in your own style. #SmartTrucking today symbolises the most wonderful way to help those who help us by driving some of the biggest trucks.

Kudos to Mahindra for changing the way Trucks are see, built and deliver.

“I’m writing this blog post for the MTBD #SmartTrucking activity at BlogAdda.”

Senthilkumar

 

The ‘Fantastico’ feeling with Tata Zica at Goa!

The cars and Goa have an innate connection with my life and driving those charming drives in Goa is only too exciting. Another chance, another TATA car and you could not have asked for more.

This time with Indiblogger and Zica the new hatchback which will debut in the market early next year from the Tata stable. Of late with the introduction of Zest and the automatic version from the Tatas they have been making a serious effort to redefine the brand imagery that they have built from their first ever Indian Car – the Indica.

Here too the Zica is a short version of Zippy Car, which we soon found out that it lived up to its name. Zippy Car.

My travel perhaps to Goa was the longest or the lengthiest in relative terms which was a flight from hometown Coimbatore to Bangalore a day earlier on 4th and then joining the Bangalore buddies at the Bangalore Airport on the 5th early morning. Not to mention a flight missed getting back and then again Bangalore to Coimbatore.

Having a cousin in toe was nice. Arunraj, now an entrepreneur was also making his impact felt on the blogging scene and it’s nice to see him a part of the 60 lucky bloggers to drive the Zica.

The Indiblogger team left no stones unturned to make it a special trip right from the moment we got down at Goa to the time we got back. All those moments were special thank you so much Indiblogger and Team Tata Motors

The Zica a product of three year Research & development at the Tata Motors will be a defining moment for them. The classic Tata Grill has got a make over this time all black finish and a chrome logo and looks like a a bit of Jaguar impact on the front. The gleaming lines which take you to the sides and the headlamps all have been worked to a perfect drill.

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The colours are a treat to the eyes and I can foresee these gleaming beauties parading across the streets in the days to come.

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Ok let me make a confession this is going to be very exhaustive review. Like they did the ZEST as a platform, Tata Motors have come in with Zica as a Platform. A new challenger in the mid entry segment it boast of features that are on par with high end models. We will wait on the pricing and that would do the trick.

So this Zica is a passionate team work of three years as I had already mentioned, with inputs from their Italian counterpart, Tata was only willing to sport the international look that redefines the Tata stable.

Design Next

The classic example is the redesigned and revamped front grille, giving you ample sturdy and communicative look and adds to the aerodynamic stature of the car. The hexagonal imprint is very nice on the car. The head lamps, the parking lamp and tail lamps have been spruced up to make for a impact of a big car. This is as expressive as it can get greeting you with a confident and agile stance, talking of which I answered agile when asked about Messi in one word.

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Drive Next

And now the heart of the matter, er the car, in two fuel variants petrol and diesel have nice set of engines which will get you the power in the city’s traffic and also the fuel efficiency that matters to every Indian. The car which we drove came up with 30 kmpl on the Instant Fuel efficiency on the dashboard.

The petrol version sports the Revotron 1.2 L engine with first in segment multi drive modes on City and Eco giving us a peppy drive around the city and furl economy.

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The Petrol version is powered by the Revotron 1.2 L engine delivering a power of 85PS and torque of 115Nm @3500 rpm. All aluminium makes it light and fuel efficient.

The diesel version is an all new 1.05 L Revotorq engine indigenously developed in-house deliver s optimum power of 70PS  and I must add it’s an aluminium engine which delivers a refined superior engine.

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Advanced dual path suspension gives you enough leeway to go over the bumps and potholes that our Indian roads are famous for and 9th gen ABS is a standard with corner stability control for safer driver around the corners.

Connect Next

And talk of interiors and a fantastic job again here, the dashboard is very very chic with a body coloured lining in the sides sporting awing like feature and use of space to accommodate everything you wanted to get inside the car. Water can, a Pepsi can your iPad the way it should be taken up and a 240 litre space to boot.

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You have the Connect – an integral part of Tata these days with their navigation system powered by Mapmyindia and a new music system of hotspots with a Juke Car app. Now everyone in the car becomes a DJ and put the next song on the line.

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So that was about the car in simple words… now to the event.

We all reached Goa, checked in to the Aliva Diwa, a beautiful place in its pristine beauty, red brick structures giving it an enamoured look.

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Post registrations and refreshments and lunch, we started the day on a serious note going to the beach, white sand beaches and they had para gliding happening and it was a sight to watch.

Playing by the waves and some action filled football game later we returned back to the hotel around 5 pm. The game had its share of excitement and injury time, courtesy yours truly trying to save a goal and failing and crashing on the goal post. Roshan was summoned immediately  and he went into a doctor mode with some fine dressing on the toe.


The evening started off with some discussions on the fellow bloggers on how blogging is all happening and things like that. Some cool questions were laid to rest on the participation of food bloggers at an auto event.

The real event was the invite from Tata Motors to go to the Locker Room and find it an awesome place. We had a tshirt decked properly with our name card and a bit of information booklet the file a pen and the cute little pendrive. There was the nice water sipper too.

It was a beautiful scene to watch as everyone found theirs and were looking in awe, selfies and photographs were being clicked incessantly.

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As this was on, they announced the arrival of the coach – Cyrus Sahukar, who came in with a whistle and lo the party began in all earnest in the dressing room.

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The story of how Messi became the brand ambassador for Tata Motors and the reason why they took to Messi was shared fascinatingly by Delna Avari the Head of Marketing and Communications, Tata Motors. Then it was followed by the techno analysis and a passionate presentation of the car and its highlights by Prathap and Sunil.

Then the car was unveiled right in the middle of the field. And the whole team was there who were an integral part of the team Zica.

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We got to ask question and got answers to how Zica is set to redefine the way the people look at the cars.

The evening then was led by the DJ and fellow bloggers taking to the stage not to mention Cyrus Sahukar also making it happen. A great end to an exciting day if you thought the advernture was yet to begin. Well the cars were to be driven tomo.

There are things which happen on a Sunday like a 5.45 am alarm from your hotel staff, that they were so duty conscious. Never mind some folks had slept a few hours before or may an hour before.

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Team D4 : Vaishaki Mishra, yours Truly and Arun Raj

 

And we got ready to set out to drive and explore the countryside too we did really explore we will tell sometime later. We got a diesel car and it was nice, they already had a predetermined the route map.

They also had all the media one pen drive, one set of songs on the phone etc so we can use all the functionalities. The bottle holders were a sight to see.

In  one of the discussion with the teams they said its actually minor details that makes a lot of difference. One such minor alteration in the placement of partking brake handle gave a lot of space for one more bottle holder. Makes sense, Zica Sense.

The steering and the drive platform was almost the same as Zest, having tested the one it was nice. Very responsive and the turning radius was awesome you could cut corners without any hassle. The dashboard sported a nice look with instant fuel efficiency being marked as you drive.

The suspension didn’t disappoint it could take on large craters on the road, for a small car like this. The ride on the diesel was good on the long one and the switching between the City and Eco has an a telling impact in the way it responds with the bit of earnestness in City mode.

Check these pic on the modes and I also wanted to test the gears at each of their levels I think 4th gear stood on without much strain as you can see from this pic. Well add this you know which gear you are on on the dashboard!

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The Music System on the Juke app gets connected and you can line up the songs – democratic setup everybody gets to line up their fav. In course of the presentation day before Delna has indeed put this up from the real time experience when you also want to listen to your fav.

Looks like there has been a lot of consumer insights which has gone into the interiors. check some of the offerings:

  • An ipad / tab holder
  • A Cold drink holder where it will remain cold for you to drink, preferably a can that is
  • A place near the steering for the driver to keep things handy
  • Enough and more bottle holders – 7 bottle holders and 2 cup holders
  • Charger on usb mode
  • Parking Ticket holder
  • Speakers on four doors giving you the best entertainment on the go

The AC works fine and is able to get to the back seat and that’s nice given that there are no special vents.

The have two sets of suspensions that take you on the most inimitable Indian roads. Well the boot space is optimum with 240 liters of boot space and there is a separate partition for tool kit.Image 2

Overall a nice package and I must say Tatas are making the strides by leap and they will deliver the punch that the market is so expecting them to in the next few days.

One thing I should mention here is the way the #madeofgreat campaign was brought about and made an impact to take Tata Motors to a different realm, I think that needs a separate blog by itself.

Thanks to Tata Motors, Indibloggers and a whole lot of our blogger friends making this event a fantastico for ever.

I leave you with this video, pardon me for my low voice.

Senthilkumar

LiveLodgycal – the Renault Lodgy review

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Its Goa time, and another blogger meet with another new car!

Its become a habit with Blogadda getting you drive the cars around the picturesque Goa.

So when Harish calls you dont say NO! Who would deny themselves an opportunity to be amongst 40 of the best minds from the country. In a sense these meets have enriched the bond of friendship cutting across the country and have given a different perspective on what blogging is all about and the kind of passion it evokes in each one of us.

Probably I was the first to step out of home, early in the morning given I had to reach Chennai and then get to Goa!

In between the WhatsApp messages and tweets which incidentally was trending for sometime with the #LiveLodgycal hastag, we were getting set to what would be a great event the next two days over the weekend.

I am gonna write about the awesomest gang of the Blogadda in a separate post. Thank you all for such a well planned and well executed eventful meet that we were in. Hmm the prizes were awesome and that was the icing in the cake for those who got them and deservedly so.

So this meet let me tell you was courtesy the Renault India, the car manufacturer with a legacy from France. If you know the SUV which set the market rolling  by the name of Duster then you know who we are talking.

The foreign brands take some time to get to the bottom of Indian mind and heart and so too Renault has captured the imagination of the car lovers with its earlier versions.

This time we got to test the all new Renault Lodgy, well it got to be Lodgycal and turned out to be one.

After reaching the hotel and warm welcome and some unofficial meeting up later we all assembled to listen to what the car or the MPV as it is called is all about.

The evening started on a wonderful welcome note from the teams at Blogadda and Renault India. We also had a wonderful intro session on all the bloggers and the teams present there.

 

I was a part of the Team Fleeting Four – accompanied by the traveler with the name @payaniga Prashanth, the ever funny Doctor @pythoroshan who blogged one of the serious issues in the country about his profession and the ace photographer and blogger Sammy @deckle_edge.

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 (Fleeting Four – Awesome team mates – Prashanth, Dr. Roshan and Sammy!)

Renault Lodgy: The Car with a history!

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An MPV from the house of the 116 year old company that pioneered the Turbocharger, the first Hatch sedan, or the steering mounted controls to name a few has done a marvel in the way they have taken Lodgy to the Indian Market.

First things first. The Renault are the pioneers of the MPV cars and that lends a special significance when you try out the car and there is an ample evidence of that factor. It shows when a 117 year young company does things its own way.

Be it the turbocharger or the first sedan, the steering mounted controls, the first hatch back or the first gear box, there is history and a legacy to live by.

So let me go by what are some of the unique features:

Monococoque : The F1 fan in me was so happy hearing the monocoque contruction of the MPV Lodgy. It adds to the safety by default. Well you need to know Metallurgy well enough to do that monocoque is a single steel construction of the body.

Diesel Only Option: Diesel is standard in two variants one with 85 PS generating a maximum torque of 200 Nm @ 1900 rpm. Another with 110 PS with a maximum torque of 245 Nm @ 1750 rpm and comes with a 6 gear box. It has shown a great flair by going only diesel in Indian circumstances and the mileage is pretty decent if you go by ARAI. Leaves the competition by a mile.

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Pic Courtesy : Sammy aka @deckle_edge

There is a lot of thought which has gone into the design of the car suiting it to the Indian way. The car has a nice front grill with the logo, and head lamps are pretty and fits nice in the view.

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Courtesy: Manjulika taking the picture

The car is nice and just have a look at the interiors and the dont disappoint, class interiors and nice feel of the seats and good feel on the dashboard. The touch music dashboard – and the controls on the steering are easy to use. Well the indicator and wiper are under left right combination as usual Renault style.

So without much of the writing I am thankful to my team mates for recording this video… all the aspects of the car in these videos!

Hmm its one spacious car and well we have to wait and see what the people have to say about the rear, I loved the lamps at the rear but found it very squarish for all the aero styling in the front. But you know they were the first MPV.

The drive was good probably the first two gears need a bit of response but once you get going you are in for a ride. I can understand the first two gears are for the city driving and getting you out to the highway!

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The seat variations and the boot space are very comfortable and India will be all arms wide open welcoming such a family gaadi to their household for sure.

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The touch screen navigation system, the reverse gear on board camera and a host of features will make you feel luxurious on the car.

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Impressions: Very responsive and a value for money car – spacious and you are sure to get travelling at impulse. It doesn’t sound like a diesel car, check out the Lodgy on a test drive you will agree with me.

I was a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive by BlogAdda.com in association with Renault India.

Cheers Senthilkumar

TATA BOLT: The bold statement from TATAs

The Tata’s journey to excellence continues, after the Zestful introductions it’s now to TATA Bolt.

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So it was a pleasant experience to check out the TATA BOLT when it premiered at Coimbatore Brooke Fields under the aegis of SRT Cars the dealers and event managed by Wizcraft. Here I am going to summarise 5 features or combined in no particular order.

Ready to #get bolted

Ready to #get bolted

The front grille looks great with the sexy headlamps and the parking lamps below

The front grille looks great with the sexy headlamps and the parking lamps below

Looks: ( Adorable)
Now first things the colour was striking red and the front grille was pretty TATA style. Overall the car looks huge for a hatchback with a wide chrome grill and the sexy eyes for the head lamps! The lines are clean, distinct on the sides and neatly edges to the rear with a nice and well etched rear lamps. The chrome bar at the back makes a solid statement. The alloy wheels add to the sturdy look.

The car is styled well, look out the refined rear lamp

The car is styled well, look out the refined rear lamp

Alloy wheels add to the sturdy Looks!

Sturdy Looks!

One thing I should also mention is the black matt coated C pillar which makes a nice distinct floating roof, adding a sense of refined finish.

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The Revotron at its heart! (Petrol version)
We have already been introduced to this marvel which is powering the Zestful ride across the country. Here it becomes the first in the segment to offer you a multidrive: the Sport, Eco and City modes and choose them at will and according to the roads you are on. Get on the power mode with Sport, maintain fuel efficiency with Eco and choose the City mode to balance the two! Chances are people will be using this multi drive mode with the kind of traffic we are used to and can be useful in city driving condition.

Revotron under the hood
In case you wanted to know the Coimbatore connection to this, it’s the hometown of Narain Karthikeyan, Indias F1 pioneer who was involved in the design of Revotron – a 1.2 L engine giving you 90 PS @ 5000 RPM.

The Diesel counterpart will have the Quadrejet 1.3 L delivering 75 PS @ 4000 RPM.

Interiors:
Inside you have the best of the collapsible power assisted steering wheel with the music and controls at finger tips.

Steering with Controls

 

Very nicely done dashboard and console with the ConnectneXt touch screen by Harman and ergonomically well appointed seats. Did I miss the MapMyIndia navigation system on smart phone, and the advanced voice recognition systems.

Dashboard and Music console
Very clean plastics if you ask me and the dash board looks neatly done and is refreshing for a change. You have it all in a package thats gonna floor you down and expect the unexpected from TATAs.

Nice finish!

Nice finish!

Safety:

Think safety you have ABS by Bosch, the corner stability control giving you the ultimate control and add to that twin airbags in the front.

Space:

Then there is ample space in the front and back, there is enough legroom and height for seating tall people also. The backseats are foldable to make for more boot space in case you need it otherwise you have a 210 litres of space to keep things on a long drive. The finish is pretty good and gives an overall look big feel.

Back Seats

Spacious Back seats should easily fit in 3

 

Foldable back seats

 

210 litres of boot space: Can I get in??

210 litres of boot space – Can I get in??

The ride height is around 165 mm and should be good enough, I think with most Indian roads.

Ride Height
I am sure TATA has a winner in BOLT especially riding the success of Zest. In case if they can match pricing expectation as they did with Zest we will be seeing more of BOLT in roads in the days to come.

Boltified for sure! #theboltstatement

Boltified for sure! #theboltstatement

I wish I could do a test drive, well thats for the next week and would give a first hand review on the feel of how it is behind the steering wheel.

Wish I could drive it around!

Wish I could drive it around!

The team at the venue was enthusiastic and gave a patient hearing to all those who had questions and answered them to the full satisfaction.

Posing withe the team which held the audience in attention

Posing withe the team which held the audience in attention

 

Looks like it gets people #bolted

Looks like it gets people #bolted

There was a contest going on. I did answer a few quiz question and received a Bolt Clock as a gift :)

The Bolted for ever - Gift

The Bolted for ever – Gift

There was a corner where you could take picture you know just like that and an app will post it with Narain standing by the side! How awesome!

Just in case you wana test drive check here http://www.tatamotorsbolt.com/brand/

This post is a part of the Get. Set. Bolt. activity at BlogAdda.

PS:

I first saw this contest on Dr. Roshan’s FB timeline and moments later ended up registering for the #GetSetBolt experience and some hours later the confirmation also arrived with a rule to post one of the best blogs since there were lot of entries.

When Hello was the last good bye!

NSDF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have had the best part of my life with the fastest Indian in the world. Well you guessed it right. Narain Karthikeyan is his name. The fastest Indian was the best speed master you could ever watch in action on the track. But come to city roads, especially the normal roads, the master would get to be a normal driver with a sense of responsibility that is reflective of a true dutiful citizen.

I think that was one of the most important way he had a message – Safety begins with me.

With the advent of mobile phones and other gadgets which have become very personal, everybody is ON literally even while driving. Checking updates on Facebook, Whatsapp, and may be on the BBM, and ofcourse a call to disrupt the smooth drive.

Its quite often the instinct that makes us take calls, not understanding the risk that it poses to us and other people around or on the road. The best part is that even in the most sophisticated cars I have seen people holding to the mobile phone and a slanting head talking vigorously on the phone.

I know there are things which will need your immediate attention, but not that to the cost of a dangerous driving. I recall having paid a fine, for taking a call. This happened some 10 years before. I had just answered a single phrase after switching on the phone. “on my way” was all I said, but then I was already in the sight of the police officers as I turned the bike. That was the last time I took a call on a bike or when driving a car. People have got used to the fact that if I am not answering a call – driving could be one of the reason.

I hold myself valuable to the missed call and to that effect I reply them as soon as I get down.

The word initiative in English starts with ‘I’ and so much relevant to anything we would like to start positive. Possibly smile at people on the road and thank them when they are courteous would make a lot of difference. We need that initiative to start from our side so we can make for a better roads to drive and ensure safe journey.

Welcome to NSDF!

Nissan has been championing the cause of safe driving and today has touched over 2 lakhs citizens through the initiative – Nissan Safety Driving Forum.

The program which began as an annual activity in 2012 covered three main Indian cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai – and since then has gradually expanded to several additional cities across India.

This year, NSDF all set to cove 8 new cities in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Vadodara, Nagpur, Chennai, Mangalore and Kochi. The overall reach and engagement levels have phenomenally grown and NSDF has effectively reached close to 2 lakh citizens. It continues to stay committed to its core objective of promoting safe driving behaviour in India.

Did You know you could actually get real action during the event – how safety works?

Through this initiative NSDF aims to make safe driving a priority and also gives knowledgeable insights into driving and other safety features with its interactive activities. This would contribute to a young mobile and vibrant country in the long run.

It would be great if more people came forward to be a part of this initiative and make it happen – reduce fatalities in the roads. Here three cheers to the inititaive

So to achieve a great safe road, some basics that needs to be done irrespective of the fact whether they are mandatory or not, we need to follow these basic rules. Why I used the word mandatory in the previous sentence is because, I hail from Tamil Nadu where Helmet and Seat belts are not mandatory while its mandatory in Kerala and Karnataka! The govt could be least bothered with our lives doesn’t mean we can also be careless. For that matter when has the govt been careful or had worked towards a great roads.

Rule 1. Stick to the right side of the road – In India its the left of the road.

Rule 2: Wear Helmet on a bike and ensure seat belt in a four wheeler.

Rule 3: Never take a call on a ride or a drive.

Rule 4: Don’t exceed Speed limits even if there is on one on the road.

Rule 5: Start early and don’t have to be in a rush.

Rule 6: Follow traffic signal lights – helps everyone especially when the traffic police is not there.

Rule 7: Use headlights judiciously, high beam and low beam only to communicate.

Rule 8: Do not overtake from the left.

Rule 9: Follow all the above and have a great time driving. Life is a journey! Enjoy the drive!

Before I end I leave you with a small video from Think

And also a nice read about a gentleman constable in Bangalore. Click here!

Now to the headline, I thought we need to drive the message that a Hello need not be a start to a conversation especially when driving, it could be the last good bye!

Senthilkumar

Ambassador and the car!

Hindustan_Ambassador

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday while driving near the Race course, I saw a Ford Figo with a board of Central Income Tax Commissioner or whatever in the red board that you are so used to being seen as a sign of those powerful Central Bureaucrat.

But I wasnt amused. the car was so tiny that it fails to evoke the respect forget the fear which would come out later. The charm of a white Ambassador cannot be equaled by any car for sure, its is a sad ending for the car that they will no longer be producing them anytime from now.  But the loss is not just ornamental, its a culture that we will soon see vanishing.

The Ambassador or the amby as it was called was a sign of prosperity those days and people have told me that they had waited anywhere between 8 months and 2 years to own one. I remember only a doctor owning a car in our new locality and that was a white Ambassador some 30 years ago.

The Ambassador was a delight to watch in a convoy and every politician worth his name would have had this car for sure. It gives you the smell of power especially if you happen to have a car with a red beacon on top.

This was the national car if you call it, imagine the Rajpath morning on an Independence day or the Republic Day, the convoy of white red beacon lit ambys make for such a great sight. It was also touted to be one of the safest cars around. If you have any doubt, you should check with Chandrababu Naidu, the present chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, whose car escaped a land mine explosion and he was unhurt too some years ago.

These days no one talks high of bucket seats, those were standard in Ambys.

Some of the trivia on Amby include it being exported to Japan and UK for being a taxi. On the other hand it won hands down in the clash of Indian and world taxis in a shoot out video for Top Gear programme in BBC.

I believe Rajinikanth the superstar and Mammooty the malayalam star use Amby as their regular car. The car which was a part of heritage and history will no longer be around after few years, but the memories it evokes could quite be an emotional one. It was a part of growing up for me.

Big cars, no redesign for over 50 years and ruled the roost as a taxi on some metros and then some cities, now will see them as a nostalgic piece on road.

We will be seeing them on movies in the future if someone is making them in retro, where we can see the collector getting down from a white Ambassador car. Then it will be travelling back in time!

(By the way the title was one I had used earlier and I liked it and so I thought will go with the same.)

One post a day! 27/30

Tata Zest #ZestUpYourLife #tatamotors Auto Review

Tatas are on a roll, literally you would know if you drive the new Tata Zest car. They have upped the game for sure with a lot of first in the segment / class for sure. The car has lot of features which will put a lot of pressure on the competition and for sure this looks Tata’s time of reckoning is here and now. My partner on this drive was the very very enthusiastic Santosh! Fresh from meeting Narain Karthikeyan he was pumped up to test the car to the limits and he did, not to be outdone I also did the same.

Flagoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am amazed by the fact that they have taken on a philosophy of making a car with three distinct practical values in Design, Drive and Connect and being the futuristic and first in class that they are they call these DesignNext, DriveNext and ConnectNext.

Lets look at the appearance, has a great look with the signature TATA logo and a grille actually has a appearance of a ready to go machine.  A stronger shoulder line accentuates it in the side and the rear is well done rounded and has a design to give a very stylish look.

Not to miss are the Projector headlamps, and day time running lamps a first in its class. The LED tail lamps are another attraction and if you are talking about all these the colors are absolutely great and makes the car look pretty and stylish back to front and vice versa. The 15 inch alloy wheels are standard equipment . Has the widest body and lengthier in its segment.

You have a clean and very well thought out interiors, you sink in the seats very comfortably, adjust it and the steerin wheel looks pretty with the controls on the sides.

Tata zest dashboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The steering wheel has all the features which fit in pretty cool and if I may add its about 20 mm lesser in diameter that the rest of its contemporaries. The diameter reduction is compensated using brushless motors and it gives u full control and gets back to its original position without much delay.

You don’t have to take your hands off, and especially in the fully loaded version your voice command can almost get you a song from the phone connected via bluetooth, make a call and more importantly enjoy the drive.

You could even change the temperature of the AC with Voice Control.  We did change the AC two times and it made it happen like a genie! Change songs as much as you want tell the player what you want and it shall be played. All at a touch of button to activate voice control. It was surprising it could understand the songs in HIndi! And add to that 4 Speakers, 2 in the front and 2 in the back with tweeters added to make you not miss a beat.

There was enough leg room and the seats could be adjusted to the hilt. The interior is nicely done and has a charm to it and adds to look and feel of a big car. I think we found a bottle holder missing in its size and was at the front rather almost close to the manual part of the AC and Sporty/ECOmode changers. Talking of which AC is excellent and cools fast and throws in good measure.

It can easily seat 5 people has a boot space pretty well furnished and has a good leg space too which actually is the most cabin roominess in its segment.

We did test the ABS, its works absolutely in the corners and makes it a breeze to cruise without making any difference to the cars stability.

The engine is called Revotron for the petrol version with three modes in Eco / Sporty and City.

Then we have a first of its kind Automatic Diesel with AMT – Auto Manual Transmission. It gives a control of changing gears with just moving it up and down. Awesome isnt it.

Now to the best part of driving the cars! 

We started with the Diesel – A very cool composed car at first impression. On the auto drive mode,  you start the car, the car comes alive but there is not much noise. You slowly press on the gas and it goes zoom as much as you want.  The car zips past the speeds at ease and you have a very lively and engaging steering wheel to support. And then you press the brakes, it goes to a stop like a kitten. No jarring et al.

The ground clearance was pretty good as we tested it around some bumps and it is easy to handle post the clearing the bump on the road. The suspension does a good job, may be if we had some more people it would not effect the back side of the car.

We tried the Manual Transmission which evidently also becomes Auto if you are lazy not to change the gears manually with a bit of sound as it revs up or revs down.

Otherwise it’s  a breeze and it was the first time driving an Auto for both of us it was a great drive no hiccups and getting settled so fast.

We touched a high speed even on small roads and it was great to handle it without much effort.

You have a winner in the Diesel if we are to go by the experience and city drivers will be happy so will be the ladies.

The next we drove the petrol with 1.2 liter engine, with three modes, normal gears and it was also a responsive and was going smooth even in the 4th gear and a slower speed I think this can as they say lessen gear changes and lead to more fuel economy.

Once it changes to sporty you can feel the difference as if they have been refreshed. It goes fast and handles the roads very well.

The gear could be bit more  smoother than it is otherwise this is a clear winner from TATA and look forward to seeing more Zests on the road and people Zest Up their Life as much as we did Zest Up Our life today.

Cheers

Senthilkumar