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Rolls Royce Ghost Engine & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The Ghost is a Rolls to take when the parking is tighter and the chauffeur’s got the day off. Smaller, in the same way a tanker is to a supertanker, the Ghost keeps Rolls-Royce’s imperious manner but with slightly more bluff edges and not quite as aggrandising a front grille. coming from a company that still refers to its products as ‘motor cars’ the Ghost retains old-world charm and luxury despite being largely based on a BMw 7-Series’s gubbins.Now in 2017 Series II guise, the Ghost is closer than ever before to its big brother – the venerable Phantom. Every single panel on the front of the car has been changed. There’s new LED headlights, some new interior tech’, and even a satellite-aided gearbox.

EXTERIORS ;

The new Rolls Royce features a fine redesign of the original Ghost. The front LED headlights with beautiful day time running lights is the main eye catching feature. The front is slightly raised and various visual tricks are applied to make it look wider than Series I. This includes the new design of the indicators and larger front air intakes. The redesigned Series II looks closer to the Phantom when talking about the visual presence on the road. Further design elements are a new waft line along the side of the car that leans further forward and creates a stronger dynamic when viewed from the side. Though the rear of the car is unchanged. It also comes with 21 inch five spoke wheels.

INTERIORS ;

The car comes with exquisite interiors, and you can get the leather of your choice in this one. Visit their official website and try to configure a Ghost II and you will surely be spoilt for choice. The buyer will decide the colour of interiors and wood used on the dashboard. Behind each front seat, there are monitors that can be used for entertainment. Steering mounted buttons could be used to control the audio system, and a smart screen on the dashboard controls various mechanism of the car. The driver is aided by a heads-up display system that gives a mirror reflection of the dashboard on the front window. Ventilated and massage seats come as an option, and there is an exclusive analoguenear the steering wheel. Ghost II has been equipped with an infrared camera that can detect any pedestrian up to 300 m; also, the exterior cameras give a 360-degree view. The interiors of any Rolls-Royce car is what other luxury car makers take inspiration from, but no one has been able to it better than the folks in Goodwood.

PERFORMANCE ;

This is where the Ghost Black Badge becomes even more interesting, as Rolls-Royce increased the output of the massive 6.6-liter V-12 by 40 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque. As a result, the mill now sends 603 horses and 619 pound-feet of twist to the wheels, making the Black Badge the most powerful Ghost ever created. It’s worth noting that this is the second Bespoke model to receive a power boost after the Wraith St. James Edition, and the most significant engine update in years.Rolls-Royce also meddled with the eight-speed ZF transmission for quicker shifting and 20 percent less heft on the throttle during downshifts. Under braking conditions, the transmission downshifts a few rpm sooner, delivering a more spirited drive. Other upgrades include revised suspension and steering systems, new drive shafts, and enhanced Intuitive Throttle Response. Like any other Ghost, the Black Badge benefits from Rolls-Royce’s already iconic Magic Carpet Ride.Performance figures have yet to be released, but the extra 40 horses and 44 pound-feet should shave a tenth-second off the standard Ghosts 0-to-60 mph sprint. Expect the Black Badge to hit the benchmark in 4.6 seconds, a stunning figure for a vehicle of this size. Top speed likely remained unchanged at 155 mph.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Drive along a lightly rippled road, or one with wavy undulations, and the way the Ghost floats along is both comforting and comfortable. Yet, throw in a sharp-edged ridge, or deeply excavated pothole, and it clobbers over it in an unruly fashion. This probably has much to do with the standard run-flat tyres but, either way, an S-Class on the smaller of its wheel options, or even a 7 Series, can be less jarring.Around corners, the Ghost feels every bit its two-and-a-half tonnes. Comparatively, an S-Class or 7 Series feels nimbler and sharper through turns, while the Ghost is more ponderous and leans acutely if you attempt to press on. The light steering is at least direct and accurate, so be measured with your corner-entry speeds, and it’s an easy car to place.The steering does suffer from a lot of kickback and vibration over rough surfaces; something you might wish for in a sports car but not in a limousine. Yet, despite appearing to have the aerodynamics of a small bungalow, the Ghost does an excellent job of isolating you from wind noise on the motorway, along with tyre noise, too.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

A vehicle with this immense a build, and this extraordinary a performance ability, is not to be let loose without the firmest safety. The company seals the high end build of this machine with the best of safety features put together. It is equipped with tight seatbelts, keeping the passengers strapped in always. Also, well cushioned airbags give them ample protection at all times. Furthermore, the body format of this vehicle is a mighty, impact resistant one, meant to absorb collisions to the maximum extent possible. Aids for driving and handling further raise the safety quotient. The night vision feature, along with the heat detection of pedestrians outside, together ensures that everything is kept under the tightest control for the driver, and that mighty performance and elegance are wrapped up with the finest safety qualities possible.

VERDICT ;

This one is for the businessman who is most of the times accompanied by a chauffeur but sometimes likes to take the steering wheel in his hands. One of the most comfortable cars that the world currently has and also one of the most expensive, the car seems to be a little over priced. But, Rolls-Royce has put a ₹ 4.70 crore price on this one because they know their potential customers very well.

 

 

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Honda WRV Price & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

The Honda WR-V is a newcomer to the hatchback-based crossover segment, taking on the likes of Hyundai i20 Active, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Fiat Avventura. But unlike its competition which includes merely beefed up models with plastic cladding and faux silver trim, the WR-V is a result of Honda India going all-out to create a legitimate crossover based on the Jazz hatchback.We aren’t big fans of hatchback-based crossovers as they often tend to appear and feel like the cars they are based on. Happily, the WR-V bucks this trend, with vastly different styling, some additional new features and tweaked internals as compared to the Jazz. Here’s how the newcomer fares as an urban friendly crossover. Check Ex Showroom Price of WRV

EXTERIORS ;

Look at the WR-V from the front and you’ll be forgiven to think that it’s an all-together new car. Honda has done a fine job of endowing it with a beefier ‘SUV’ look, a raised bonnet line, a thick chrome grille, a contrasting scuff plate and a sculpted bumper. The headlights come with daytime-running LEDs and look attractive. The rear end too is unique to the WR-V with its L-shaped tail lamps, revised bumper and a fairly revised tailgate design that now sees the number-plate slot positioned lower than in the Jazz.

The car’s sides are where you can draw the most visual similarities with the Jazz, with familiar bodyline and glasshouse. There are some unique bits too, with the WR-V getting thick plastic cladding, chrome door handles, roof rails and larger 16-inch alloys wheels that ride on wider 195 mm rubber. Find best offers on WRV

The WR-V is 44mm longer, 40mm wider and 57mm taller than the Jazz; surprisingly its 2,555mm wheelbase is 25mm longer than the Jazz, (Honda says, it is due to revised suspension mounting points). The WR-V will be offered in six colours, including a new ‘Premium Amber’ shade.

INTERIORS ;

There are less significant changes in Honda WR-V in terms of interiors, over the Jazz that it is based on. Interior is themed in black plastic and black fabric with a few dashes of grey and silver in the corners and trims.Seats are well bolstered around the thighs and back and feel much more supportive for long drives this car is aiming to be used for. There is a central armrest for front row passengers with an openable cubby space, which can easily house a phone and sunglasses.

Rear seats however are a surprise. They are flat and fixed and also have integrated headrests, which aren’t helpful for people who are about 6 feet tall. Rear seats are less supportive but cushioning is pretty soft. Leg room perhaps is the ultimate selling point for WR-V. With a standard driving position in the front seat, there’s space at the rear to stretch your legs or even accommodate a camping bag between the knees and front seat base.

The infotainment system is a new upgraded Digipad recently seen in the all new Honda City. The infotainment system operates on new gen Navigation software, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The touch screen has noticeable lag and it takes patience to get used to it on the move. Honda’s party trick in the WR-V is the installation of a one touch sunroof in the top end trim to add to overall opulence of the otherwise dark cabin.The top end diesel variant gets cruise control to adds to the convenience of long highway expeditions. 363 litres of boot space without the rear seats folded down is sufficient to carry large suitcases and an ice box for the weekend.

PERFORMANCE ;

The Honda WR-V is offered with a choice of two engines – 1.2-litre i-VTEC and 1.5-litre i-DTEC. The petrol engine churns out 90 PS at 6000 RPM along with 110 Nm at 4800 RPM. The engine is offered with a 5-speed manual transmission but this is a new gearbox and not the one on the Jazz and other Honda cars. Honda isn’t providing the CVT gearbox with the WR-V. The petrol engine is very refined and feels eager to rev. The low end is underpowered and feels disappointing but the mid range feels strong and there is a lot of action near the redline. The new gearbox has smooth shifts and the clutch is light too. Expect the petrol engine to give out 12-14 km/l in real life conditions while the ARAI-claimed figure is 17.5 km/l.

The diesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. It produces 100 PS at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm at 1750 RPM. The oil-burner is really noisy across the rev band. There is some turbo lag but once you cross it, power delivery is linear right up to 4000 RPM. The engine feels very responsive in the mid range and it actually makes the car fun to drive. Gear shifts are smooth on this one as well and a real life fuel efficiency of 17-20 km/l can be expected, with the ARAI-claimed figure being 25.5 km/l.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The most significant mechanical update in the Honda WR-V is the suspension. The new set-up and the larger tyres raise the ground clearance to 188mm from the Jazz’s 165mm. Ride quality certainly feels more supple than the Jazz, and it absorbs potholes quite well without any thuds. That’s also got to do with the larger-profile tyres. Damping is neither too soft nor too firm, so the car doesn’t feel bouncy or jumpy over undulations.But around the bends, the car does tend to roll a little when you start to push it. However, at normal driving speeds, the Honda WR-V feels safe and confident. For reference, it feels around 30 per cent less stiff than Maruti’s Vitara Brezza and therefore a little less nimble too. The electric steering offers good feedback but feels quite vague. But it’s neither too light nor too heavy and weighs up well at higher speeds.

SAFETY ;

All variants of the Honda WR-V get dual front airbags and ABS with EBD as standard. It also gets a rear camera with multiple viewing angles, but like the City and Jazz, you don’t get rear parking sensors.

VERDICT ;

The WR-V is more of a lifestyle choice than a no-nonsense city runabout. It certainly looks the part, has a versatile cabin with loads of space and a pair of tried and tested engines. That said, it doesn’t come off well as an enthusiast’s choice but that’s passable because it’s not what Honda was looking to make here. The WR-V is all about efficiency and practicality and you get plenty of it. As for the all-important pricing, we will have to wait until March 16 because that’s when Honda India will officially launch the WR-V.

 

 

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Fiat Abarath Punto Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

The Abarth Punto is a blessing for us enthusiasts as we held back tight eagerly waiting for the hot hatch since its announcement at the 2014 Auto Expo. Well, killing time for almost two years wasn’t easy but the Scorpion is finally here and we have 145 reasons to shout hurrah! Yes, those magical number of ponies under the hood gave us goosebumps. Fiat is locally manufacturing the Abarth Punto in India to keep the price under Rs. 10 lakhs that was speculated to be a tad higher. We came up with our initial impressions of the performance hatch as soon as it had launched. Now we spend a good while behind the Scorpion badged wheel to examine if it is exactly what we dreamt of all this while?

EXTERIORS ;

In terms of styling, the Abarth Punto does look a lot different from the Punto Evo in terms of styling. It gets the Abarth decals and then all the Fiat badges are replaced by Abarth’s Scorpions. The Abarth Punto also has the 16-inch Abarth alloy wheels that are drool-worthy and the tyres are also 195/55R16 tyres also. The fog lamp surrounds are now red in colour and not the chrome that could be spotted on the Punto Evo. Then there is also the new Abarth red stickering. The Abarth Punto can be easily spotted in parked amongst multiple Puntos. The Abarth Punto will be coming in Pearl White and Hip Hop Black. Then there is also the chrome exhaust tip that we had seen on the Linea T-JET as well.

INTERIORS ;

This “hottest hatch” of India (as stated by the company), can certainly impress customers with its attractive interiors. The manufacturer has chosen a sporty all black color scheme for its insides. Furthermore, there is an ambient lighting given on the dashboard that compliments well with the insides. Its cockpit has a contemporary design featuring metallic finish in few areas that brings a rich appeal. There is a three spoke steering wheel, which has tilt adjustment facility. Also, it is wrapped with a fine quality leather and have a few switches mounted on it. The ‘Abarth’ instrument cluster is one of its highlights and design of its center console also matches with the entire setup. Seating arrangement is quite good and comfortable too owing to its ergonomic design. They are properly cushioned for added comfort. What makes it look different from others is the combination of contrasting red and yellow stitching on the seat covers. Aluminum foot pedals, inside rear view mirror, accessory socket and power operated windows are some of the utilities.

This brand has always taken care about the passenger comfort in all its models, and this one is no exception. One of the main facility that it comes with is the fully automatic climate control unit featuring a foot level air circulating vents for rear. This helps to spread the air evenly in the entire cabin to make a pleasant environment inside. Also, there might be an integrated audio system that lets its occupants to enjoy their favorite music whenever required. The speed sensing volume controls are also provided inside for added convenience. Not to forget that the seats can provide enhanced comfort and support all through the journey. Moreover, the driver’s seat also has height adjustment facility and lumbar support too. One of the main facility inside the cabin is the advanced instrument cluster with a few functions included. Some of these are digital clock, odometer, trip meter, distance to empty indicator, fuel consumption display, and real time mileage indicator as well. In addition to these, stuff like tinted glasses, storage spaces on door trims, cup and bottle holders, assist grips and vanity mirror integrated sunvisors are also present in this hatchback. Furthermore, the aspects such as electric boot release, large glove box compartment, tilt adjustable steering wheel and electrically adjustable outside mirrors assist in improving the comfort levels to a great extent.

PERFORMANCE ;

Now this is definitely the most interesting part of this first impression review that you all are eagerly waiting for and what it gets under the hood.The Abarth Punto is powered by the 1.4 Liter, 4 cylinder Turbo jet engine which puts up a healthy 145 Bhp of peak power at 5500 rpm and an even impressive 210 Nm of torque. That amount of power can be instantly felt as soon as you push the throttle. Now imagine a regular Punto Evo getting a dose of all that extra juice. A 5 speed manual transmission helps it in keeping all that power in right band.

The power change can definitely be felt as soon as you drive the hatchback and I am talking about some real power here (145 Ps means a lot for this small hatchback). Now in order to cope with the behavioral change Fiat has definitely made some mechanical changes to the standard Punto Evo which includes tighting the suspension springs stiffness and lowering the ride height. While to add more stopping power to the hatch Fiat has also installed rear disc brakes as well and thus it gets equipped with disc brakes on all the 4 wheels.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Punto is known for its sharp handling and excellent high speed stability. While the handling got compromised to some extent with the high ground clearance of the Evo, Fiat has lowered the ride height for better handling and here’s how it feels like. The Abarth is more eager to enter corners at high speeds and maintains its line cleanly. Furthermore, the ugly body roll is now much better controlled and this setup urges you to push the car to its limits every time you see a corner. The hydraulic steering might feel a tad heavy at low speeds to those who are used to electric power steerings of recent times but boy, the steering is feedback rich around bends and very confidence inspiring at high speeds.

After driving over sensitive and lifeless electric steerings you feel totally connected to the road with this hydraulic setup. Quick lane changing and shooting the gaps is a delight on the Abarth Punto with such power on tap. The Apollo Alnac rubber provides decent grip when you throw the car around corners but if you do that too often, we recommend you to upgrade the tyre compound considering the strong power and your love for pushing the Punto to its limits. The lower ground clearance doesn’t end up hitting the underbelly on bumps but you have to be careful with those huge speed breakers.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

This Italian automaker seems to have packed this stunner with some crucial safety function to guarantee a secure ride to its passengers. One of those features are the dual front airbags with early crash sensors, which takes the safety to the next level. It also has the ABS along with EBD, which is important for this kind of a hatchback. Its engine immobilizer with rolling code is also integrated to this vehicle that helps to prevent any kind of unauthorized access. Not to forget, it has a robust body structure with impact protection beams and crumple zones to reduce the risk of injury. The instrument panel too aids in alerting the driver by giving out necessary updates likes seat belt warning light and programmable speed limit buzzer. A few other such safety features are also provided inside like 3-point seat belts, automatic door locks, high mount stop lamp, front passenger airbag deactivation, central door locking, fire prevention system and height adjustable front seatbelts.

VERDICT ;

The Abarth Punto’s price is Rs 9.95 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi) and this buy is more from the heart than mind. It is all about how happy you get when you get behind the wheel and it is certainly a great step taken by Fiat for Indian car market. We can see the hot hatchback market open up and see more cars following up.One of them is Volkswagen with its Polo GTi. The Abarth Punto is a step in the correct direction as Fiat buyers have always wanted more power and this is the hatchback that will be pick for those who need a more powerful hatchback. Fiat has been listening to its customers and this is one of the products that will get delight to Fiat buyers across the country.