MotorScribes Magazine - May 2016

motorscribes

MotorScribes Magazine - May 2016

BUGATTICHIRON

ISSUEN0003

MAY2016

RENAULTDUSTERAMT

Renaulthasaddedover1.4Lakhfamiliestothe

Renault Duster caravan since it was first

launchedabout4yearsago.

MERCEDESC250D

Thisisacarthatjustbegstobedriven!

MAHINDRANUVOSPORT

The NuvoSport features Mahindra’s Micro

Hybrid technology to enhance in-city fuel

economy.


CONTENTS

06BugattiChiron

10

Renault

DusterAMT

12

Mercedes

C250D

launch


13

Mahindra

NuvoSport

launch

15

VolvoS60

CrossCountry

launch

18

SkodaSuperb

firstdrive


TEAM

MuntaserMirkar

WordProcessor

Insomeotherlife,Muntaserwouldhavebeen

designingcars,butinthisone,he'saseasoned

Motoring Journalist with a decade of

experiencebehindhim atpublicationslikeCar

India&BikeIndia,ZigwheelsandZeegnition.

Curently in charge ofshaping contentat

MotorScribes,hepreachestheartofsarcasm

when atplay and totaldedication when at

work.

Vikram Gour

MarketingMan

The second cog in the editorialteam at

MotorScribes,Vikram Gourhashadtenyears

ofautomotivewriting experienceaswel(in

thesamepublicationsasMuntaser),buthis

skilsgowaybeyond.Anemphaticoratorand

aloverofalthingsthatgoof-road,Vikram is

theGo-Toguyforbuildingbrands.Whennot

atwork,he'sgeneralygetingorderedaround

byhis2-yearolddaughter!

GovindKumar

CreativeGenius

Advertising professional par excelence,

Govind is responsible for al the visual

wizardryyouseehere.Hiscreativeskilsare

unquestionable,butareonlysurpassedbyhis

loveformotorbikes–curentlyrevvingitup

onaYamahaR3.BasedinChennai,heisalso

anavidadventuresportenthusiastandevery

sesecond thathe'snottoiling awayatdesign,

he's probably scuba diving in an ocean

somewhere.

ManuGour

TheNumbersGuy

ManuisalabouttheBusiness–he'stheone

to go to ifyou wantto talkaboutrunning

thingsatMotorScribes.Healsogetstohandle

theotherwise-mundanetasksofdealingwith

legalities,paperworkandgovernmenttaxes!If

itwasn'thisloveforfood–bothconsuming

andcooking,he'dprobablyjustbetalkingin

Mathalhislife.OK,sohelovestotraveltoo!

PraveenRaja

BehindtheScenes

In today's day and age,no team can do

withoutaTechGuruandthat'swhatPraveen

is.Heletshisworkdoalthetalkingwhichis

pretyevidentontheMotorScribeswebsite.

While he'sone ofthe bestin handling the

OnesandZeroes,hisbiggesttalentprobably

lies in interpreting the absolute

non-programming-gibberishfrom therestof

theteam intoprogrammablereality.

B2-103TuscanEstate,nearRaddisonHotel,Kharadi,Pune411014

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4


TheJourney

Welcometoawholenew wayofenjoying alyourfavouritestoriesfrom

MotorScribes.Forthoseofuswhostilliketoreadstructuredstorieswith

great visuals,we proudly present to you the second edition ofthe

MotorScribesmagazine–what'smore;it'sfreeandit'sviewableonalyour

devices.We kickstartthisissue with a quick look atsome ofthe best

automobilestohavelaunchedinIndiarecently.

Fornow,sitbackandenjoythisissueoftheMotorScribesmagazineaswe

promisetobringyoumoreinnovationsinthedigitalspaceaswelassomeof

the bestautomotive stories foryourreading pleasure.Thank you for

downloading,andcheerstothepetrolheadinusal!

TEAMMOTORSCRIBES

5


BugattiChiron

6


1,478horsesandalmost1,600Nm ispretymuchtherealm ofbespoke,purpose-tuned,

one-ofperfomance-moddedmonsterracecars,butBugatihasmanagedthoseinthe

productionChiron.Agreed,theChironhad somemassiveshoestofilwhenitwas

announcedasthesuccessortothelegendaryVeyron,andBugatihavedonewel–at

leastfrom whatthenumberssay.ThefirstVeyronmade‘only’1,000bhpandthatseems

solesscomparedtowhattheChironismakingatitsdebut.Ashistoryhastaughtus,

thosenumbersareonlysettoriseasBugaticomesupwithevenpowerfulversionsin

thefolowingyears.Fornow,theChironisalimitedproductionrunof500andifyou

werewonderingwhointheirrightmindshaseitherthemoneyortheb*lstobuythis

£1.9milion(approxRs18crore,beforetaxes)monsterofacar,therearealreadyover

100buyerswaitingfortheirChironstobedelivered!

“There’sstildividedopinionabouttheChironoutthere–wel,notaboutthecaritself,

butmoreaboutitsexistence.”

There’sstildividedopinionabouttheChironoutthere–wel,notaboutthecaritself,

butmoreaboutitsexistence.Thequestionbeingraisedissimple–what’sthepointof

the Chiron anyway?Ouranswerissimple –it’sa showcase ofbrute automotive

engineeringprowess.Andit’smakingBugatiandtheVolkswagenGroupsomemoney

in the process.And further,there’s a biggermotive here.While mostsupercar

manufacturersaretryingtosolvethepuzzlethatdeterminesconvertingbuyersoftheir

competitorstotheirbrands,Bugati’svisionwiththeChironissimpleenough.Theyhad

theVeyronanditsmanytuned-upvariantswhichforobviousreasonsgotmanybuyers.

ForBugattithequestionwasn’tabouthow togetmorebuyersfrom othercompetitors

butaboutgivingexistingVeyronownerssomethingbetertomoveupto.Indoingso,

they’vecreatedtheperfectexpressionofpure-bloodedautomotiveperformanceand

thatwilatractothersintheprocessaswel.

IfyouaskuswhatmakestheChironsospecialintoday’stimesthough,theansweris

evensimpler.Lookaroundyou–theworldisbeingtakenoverbyelectrictechnology

regardlessofwhetherit’spureorhybrid.Nothingwrongwiththatrealy,butwhilethat

hasbecomethebuzzwordforalmosteveryhigh-performancecaroutthere,theChiron

keepsitclean(oxymoron,Iknow),bystickingtoabsolute,unadulteratedpetrolpower.

It’sathrowbacktothedaysgonebyandinthatsenseithitsanemotionalchordwithin

everyoneofusinawaythatnohybridcan–wearequitehypocriticalthatway,aren’t

we?Soalofthose1,500horsesaretheresultonlyofcombustionineachoftheChiron’s

16cylindersthatmakeupthatmassive8-litreW16powerhouse.Ifthatwasn’tenough,

therearefourturbosforce-feedingtheengine–twostayonatlowerrevsandtheother

twoswitchonwithhigherthrotleinputs,keepingthingsinterestingthroughoutand

endingupcutingdownturbolagbyahugeamount.

“While‘hybrid’hasbecomethebuzzwordforalmosteveryhigh-performancecarout

there,the Chiron keeps it clean (oxymoron,Iknow),by sticking to absolute,

unadulteratedpetrolpower.”

CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

7


CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

8


Needlesstosay,theperformancefiguresarestaggering–0-100km/h(asifthatevenmaterswiththesecarsanymore)

comesupinunder2.5seconds,200km/htakes6.5sand300km/hisamere13.6secondsawayfrom whenyouwereat

standstil!Topspeedisanyone’sguessandwhileBugatisaystheChironwilbreach270mph(435km/h),productionChirons

havebeenlimitedto261mph(420km/h)inthenameofsafety.Right.Thisisalsotherighttimetoletyouknow thatthe

speedometerontheChironreadsalthewayupto310mph,whichisinfactthatmagicfigureof500km/h–soanyoneelse

waitingforBugatitotakethisbeasttoBonnevile,orNardo?

Onceyougetovertheaweoftheperformancefigures,itmakessensetounderstandhow Bugati’sengineersevencame

closetomakingtheChironbehaveinanythingbutastraightline.TheChironhasthetorsionalrigidityofanLMP1racecar–

andthat’squiteafeatinitself,becauseitmeansthatthisbehemothwiltakecornersratherweltoo,thankstoawholenew

electricsteeringsystem andsuspensionthatisboltedstraightontothemonocoque.Itwouldalsobeimportanttoiterate

thefactthateachChironisactualyfivecarsinone–thankstosomeveryneatdrivingmodesbuiltin–Lift,Auto,Autobahn,

HandlingandTopSpeed.

Tokeepitsimple,Liftiswhenyouhaveabunchofspeedbumpstonegotiateandthismodestaysactiveonlytil50km/h–

fortheslow stuf.AutogivestheChiron’scomputersfulauthoritytodecidewhichmodesuitsthecurentdrivingcondition

thebest.Speed up to180km/hand thecarwilautomaticalyshifttoAutobahnmodekeeping thingscomfortablefor

high-speedcruising.SwitchtoHandlingmodewhenyouwanttohitthetrack,ofcourse.Auto,AutobahnandHandling

modesrestricttheChiron’stopspeedtoabout380km/handthenifthatdoesn’tsatisfyyouandyouwanttogoaltheway

upto435km/h,youneedtheTopSpeedmodethatcanbeactivatedonlywithaseparatesetofkeys.Thisiswhenthespoiler

extendsoutaltheway,thecarsitslowerandthespeedoswingsasfarasitisalowedto.

There’slitledoubtthatBugatti’sengineerswental-outwiththeChironinano-holds-baredmatchagainstthelawsof

Physicsandaswe’veseenmanytimesinsuchtechnology-heavycrusades,designersoftengetlostinthebrief.Wel,that

doesn’tseem tobethecasehere–notentirelyatleast.IftheproductionChironcomesacrossasafamiliarfacetoyou,then

you’reprobablyright‘cozwe’vealseenthiscarmanytimes.First,theoveraldesignismoreofaprogressionfrom wherethe

BugatiVeyronleftofandthemajorlinesandcurvesontheChironaretestamenttothat.Then,theVisionGTwasthemiddle

ststepbetweentheVeyronandtheChiron–whichmeansalotofcuescaryforwardfrom thatconceptcreatedforvideo

games.

WhatrealydidimpressthoughisthatlitlefinrunningdownthecentreoftheChiron’sspine–notquite2012Formula1(as

ontheVisionGT)asmuchasitisashoutouttothelegendaryAtlanticType57SC.Apartfrom thatthough,theChironisjust

marginalylongerthantheVeyroninwheelbase(1mm almostdoesn’texist),butdecentlywiderandslightlytaleraswel.

Form folowsfunctionfolow form isquiteevidentwithaltheairintakesdesignednotonlyasaerodynamicaidsbutalsoto

satisfythemassivecoolingrequirementsthattheChiron’spowertrainandbrakessodesperatelyneed.Evenontheinside,

theChironisalaboutthe‘Bugatiline’andaboutkeepingthedriverfocussedondrivingandnothingelse.Performanceis

everything.

Sojustincaseyou’retheeternalcynicandarewonderingifalthatmoneyiswelspentwhen

alyougetisacarthathasthepotentialtogorealyfastbutalmostneverwilinreallifeatthe

handsofitsowners,thenhereareafew funfactsforyou.TheBugatiChironhasagreatmusic

system withfourtweeters–eachofwhichhasaone-caratdiamondmembrane.Thenew 3D

Bugatiemblem onthegrileitselfismadeofenameland solid silver,and ithasacooled

glovebox!Forthemorematerialisticpeople,thatshouldbeabitofareliefbutwhenyoubuya

Chiron,you’remoreofasuper-rich,worth-bilions-of-dolarskindofenthusiastthatmakesthe

rerest of the world cringe with envy on Instagram

and this latest harbinger of

ridiculous-top-speedistheperfectsteptothenextlevel.Forothermeremortalslikeourselves

though,theBugatiChironiswhatiskeepingthepetrol(andlotsofit)intheterm ‘petrolhead’

forafew moreyearstocome!

9


WhentheRenaultDusterwasfirstlaunchedafew yearsago,itdiditsbittoshakeupthemarketand

givebuyersagreatproductfortheIndiandrivingconditions.EveryyearsinceRenaulthaslaunched

theDustertheyhavecontinuedtoaddgreatfeaturestoit.WerecentlygottodrivetheAWD andthe

newestavatar,theDusterAMT.

Let’sbegin bysharing whathasn’tchanged in theDusterbeforewetelyou whatisnew. The

dimensionsandtheengineoptionscontinuetoremainthesame.Bothofthesevehicleschurnout10

PS@ 4000rpm withatorqueof245Nm @1750rpm from a1461ccDieselburner.Whiletheengine

specsaresimilar,bothvehiclesdrivealitlediferentlyduetotheswitchbetweenmanualtransmission

intheAWD andtheAMTtransmission. Todropaquicknotehereforthoseofyoupayingclose

atentiontothesevehicles:TheAMT“doesnot”comewiththeAWD optionatpresent,thoughyoucan

alwayskeepyourfingerscrossed.

A lotofthechangesthatarevisibleareontheexterior.Thenew DustercomeswithWaterfalLED tail

lamps,andHawkeyeclusterheadlampswhichactualylookquitecool.Theheadlampsalongwiththe

Fireflyfoglampsandthenew Kayakroofrailsaddtothecharacterandfurtherenhancetheappealof

thisvehiclegivingitamoreruggedidentity.16inchaloysdressedin215/65tyresgivetheDustera

greatgroundclearanceof210mm furtherensurethatthisvehicledoesn’tonlylookgood;itisableto

tacklethediferentroadconditionsacrossthecountrywithease. WiththeAWD option,Iwould

actualycalthisa“go-everywhere”vehicle.

TherehavebeenalotofinterestingenhancementswhichhavetakenplaceinsidetheDusteraswel.

Whilethecabinwasalwaysspaciousandcomfortablethisavatarhasgotenatouchofclassaswel.

New dooranddashboardpanelingalongwithamorerefinedseatcoveringmaywintheheartoftrue

bluesedanlovers.Thiskindoffinishwaspleasantlyunexpectedinavehiclethatslotsitselffirmlyin

theafordableSUV space.Ifyouheadoutforatestdriveafterreadingthis,youwilfindthatthereis

alotmoretothisvehiclethanjustaesthetics.A longlistoffeaturesinclude:aNew RearView Camera

withguidelines,New AutomaticAirConditioning,New Auto-up/downwindow withanti-pinch,anda

New MediaNavunit.ItgoeswithoutsayingthatABS,EBD withBrakeAssist,DualAirbagsandESP

alcomefitedinboththeAWD aswelastheAMTversion.TheAMTalsocomeswiththeHilAssist

function,whichcanmakedrivinginthehilsalotsaferandtensionfree.

BoththeAWD andtheAMTversionsarefuntodrivehowevertheyhaveaslightlydiferentdriving

experience.TheAWD withthemanualtransmissionpowersupquiteeasilyandgoesthroughthe

powerbandwithease.Witha6speedgearboxitiseasytogetuptoacomfortablecruisingspeed

ofbetween120-150kmph(thoughyouareadvisedtokeepwelwithinspeedlimits).Whileitwas

equalyeasytogetup tosimilarspeedsintheAMT,thedriverand thepassengerswereableto

distinctlyfeelthechangeingearswhilemovingfrom 1stgearto6thgear.Gearchangesfrom 1to3

weremorearticulatedthanfrom 4to6.Ihavetosaythatwhilethegearchangesarenoticeable,it

doesn’trealytakeawayfrom theoveraldriveexperience.Thishasprobablybeenoneofthemost

refinedAMTgearboxesIhaveexperiencesintheIndianmarketsofar.

A few importantnumberstoroundupthestory,justin-casethefeatureshaven’tdonethejobtoenticeyoutoa

dealershipimmediately.TheAWD hasanARAIcertifiedmileageof19.72kmplandanex-Delhipricingof13.57

Lakhs.TheAMThasanequalyimpressiveARAIcertifiedmileageof19.60kmplandanevenmorepocket-friendly

ex-Delhipricingof12.87LakhsforthetopendRXZversion.

10


RenaultDusterAMTfirstdrive

Renault has added over 1.4 Lakh

familiestotheRenaultDustercaravan

since itwas firstlaunched about4

yearsago.TheAWD andtheAMTwil

definitelyhavewhatittakestoentice

manymore.

CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

1


MercedesC250D launch

CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

Mercedes-BenzhaslaunchedtheC 250dinIndiaanditwiljointheexistinglineupofC-Classsedansonofer

includingtheC200andC220d.Itisincidentalythefastestcarinitssegmentanditcomeswiththe9G-TRONIC

transmission,markingthefirsttimethatthistransmissionhasbeenutilizedonaC-Class.

Builtfortheenthusiast,theC250dcomespackedwitha2143cc,4cylinderdieselenginethatgenerates204hpat

3800 rpm andchurnsoutamassive500 Nm oftorquebetween1600-1800 rpm.Itiscapableofgoingfrom

standstilto100km/hinjust6.6secondsandthetopspeedhasbeenelectronicalylimitedto247km/h.Whatis

clearfrom thesefiguresisthattheC250disadieselrocketandastintbehindthewheelwouldtranslateintoan

experiencethatyouwishwouldn’tend!

TheMercedes-BenzC250dcomeswithalthebelsandwhistlesaswelincludingtheLED Inteligentlightsystem,

reversecamerawitha180degreeview,atentionassistandactiveparkassistwithParktronic.TheInteligentlight

system mentionedearlierisaratherbriliantinnovationthatautomaticalyadjuststheheadlampsbasedonthe

prevailingdrivingconditionsinordertomaintainthebestlevelofvisibilityandthusimprovingsafety.Speaking

aboutsafety,theC250dcomeswithABS,BAS,ESP,ASR,HilStartAssist,etc.,asstandard.Youalsogetthe

Pre-Safesystem.

AvailableforRs44.36lakh(ex-showroom,Pune),theC250d ofersalevelofperformancethatsurpassesits

competitorsandthewayweseeit,thisisacarthatjustbegstobedriven!

12


MahindraNuvoSportlaunch

CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

Drivetrain

Mahindra’sfirstlaunchforthisfinancialyearof2016-17isasub-4m SUV.BasedontheScorpioplatform,theMahindraNuvoSport

ispoweredbythelighter,new generationversionofthe1.5-litreMHawkdieselfrom theMahindraQuanto.Maximum power

outputisstila100PSbutthetorqueisclaimedtobebestinclassat240Nm.ARAIfueleficiencyis17.45kmpl,accordingto

Mahindra.

Design

ToaddtothemuscularappealofthecompactSUV,MahindrahasgiventheNuvoSportplentyofbutchbits–theseincludethe

blackunder-bodycladding,thelargefrontbumperandhoodscoop.Thehead-lamps,DRLsandtaillampsareal-new too.Inside,

thecabinisupholsteredinblackandgreyfauxleathertomatchthesportyexterior.Detailslikethealuminium pedalanda

chromeringontheinstrumentclusterhavebeenaddedtolendapremium feeltothecar.

Spaceandutility

ThecompactSUV getsaflexibleseven-seaterconfigurationwithrecliningseatsforthesecondrow.Thesecondrow canbesplit

60:40inordertoopenupbootspace.Bootspaceisagainsaidtobethebestinclass,at412litre,expandableto850litreswith

thesecondrow tumbleddown.Heightandwidtharealsoclaimedtobebestinsegment.

13


Technology

Mahindra has equipped the NuvoSport with a 6.2-inch

infotainmentsystem with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

InteliparkReverseAssistandcruisecontrolarealsoofered.

The instrumentation relays important information like

distance-to-empty,fueleficiency and outside temperature.

Steering mounted audio and phone controls along with

folow-meheadlampscompletethetechnologypackage.The

NuvoSportalsofeaturesMahindra’sMicroHybridtechnology

to enhance in-city fueleconomy.Apartfrom the manual

transmission,MahindraisalsooferingtheoptionofanAMT

forthetoptwovariants.

MahindraNuvoSportlaunch

Prices

Trim

N4

Price(ex-showroom Thane)

Rs7.35lakh

N4+ Rs7.65lakh

N6

N6(withAMT)

N8

N8(withAMT)

Rs8.36lakh

Rs9lakh

Rs9.12lakh

Rs9.76lakh

Safety

Dualairbagsand ABSwithEBD arenotstandard acrossal

variants but the option is available,depending on the

preferenceofthebuyers.Thecarhasbeendesignedforbeter

impactabsorption in theeventofacolision,with crumple

zonesandsideintrusionbeamstoprotectpassengers.

Variants

TheNuvoSportisavailableinthreebasicvariants–thebase

N4,N6 and N8.Butthe combinationswith AMT and dual

airbags/ABS brings the trim countto six.The additional

optionsincludetheN4+trim whichgetsairbagsandABS,and

the AMT-equipped N6 and N8 trims.There are six colour

optionsavailable.

14


VolvoS60CrossCountrylaunch

CLICK HERETO READ THEFULLSTORY

VolvoAutoIndiasurelyknowshow tomakeastatement.Thistimearound,theSwedishcarcompanyhasroledouta

sedanonstilts!Sayhelotothealnew VolvoS60CrossCountry–asedanthatboastsofa201mm groundclearance

(whichputssomeSUVstoshame)!It’sfinalyhereanditcomespackedwithfeaturestoo.

Asthenamesuggests,itisessentialytheS60sedanwitha‘CrossCountry’look.Theincreaseingroundclearanceisonly

partoftheparcel.TheS60 CC sitsniceandhighonneat18inchaloys,it alsogetsahoneycombgrile,wheelarch

embelishmentsandpianoblacksideandrearview mirorcasings.Thedetailsmayseem limited,buttheydochangethe

appearanceofthesedantogiveitamoreruggedavatar.

Theinteriorsremainplushandclassy.A lotofatentionhasgoneintothedetailsandtheuseofauthenticwoodandleather

dolendthecabinalotofclass.Tosetitapartfrom thesedan,theS60CCgetssportsseatsthatcomewithacontrast

stitchingreminiscentofsportscarsanditplaysitsroleinremindingyouthatthisisadiferentbeastandcandomorethan

justdriveonniceroads.

Powering the S60 CrossCountry isa190 hp dieselengine thatchurnsout420Nm oftorque.Italso comeswith

Al-Wheel-Drive(AWD)plusalthebelsandwhistlesincluding,ElectronicBrakeDistribution,ElectronicBrakeAssistance,

HilDescentControl,HilStartAssist,DynamicStabilityandTractionControlaswelasAdvancedStabilityControl.As

comparedtothesedan,thechassishasbeenraisedby6.5cm inordertogettothatamazinggroundclearance.

15


VolvoS60CrossCountrylaunch

Iam goingtointeruptthisstoryrighthereandaskyouonequestion.AreyouthinkingwhatI’m

thinking?Haveyouhadyoureurekamomentyet?Wel,Ididandalthatcametomymindwasone

simpleword.Raly.Now wouldn’tthatbesomething?A raly-specS60CC!Iknow right!Orbetteryet,

maybeVolvoIndiawillistentome!

Alright.Sobacktobusiness.TheS60CrossCountryhasbeenlaunchedataveryreasonablepriceof

Rs38.9lakh(ex-showroom,Mumbai).ThisisbeforeOctroi,butitdoessoundlikeasteal,especialy

whenyougothroughwhatalthiscarpacksingreaterdetail!

16


KeyFeaturesoftheS60CrossCountryinclude:

BasicAlarm withInteriorMovementSensor(IMS)

PersonalCarCommunicatorwithKeylessDrive

HomeSafeLighting

PowerChildLock,RearDoors

WaterRepelentFrontSideWindows

CruiseControl

ParkAssistCamera

ParkAssistFront&Rear

RainSensor

TyrePressureMonitoringSystem

Navigation

CitySafety(Upto50km/hr)

2StepAirbag,Driver/PassengerSide

PassengerAirbag

SIPSAirbags&InflatableCurtains

Isofix–OuterPositionRearSeat

InteligentDriverInformationSystem

17


SKODA SUPERBFIRSTDRIVE

18


TheL&KSuperbalsogetsa12speakerCantonSoundSystem

thatofers impeccable sound quality and is the perfect

companiononalongdrive.

MydaywiththeSkodaSuperbstartedearly.Icaughta6:00am flightfrom PunetoBangalore.

HungaroundattheBangaloreInternationalAirportforacoupleofhoursandthenboardeda

tinyATR whichtookmetoMangalorewhereIwasfinalyreceivedbytheSkodacrew and

promptlyescortedtoaneatVIPareasetupintheparkinglotforusjournalists,tograbaquick

cupofcofeeandgetabriefingaboutthealnew Superbbeforethekeyswerehandedover

forthedrive.Ifinalyfoundmyselfinthedriver’sseatat2:00pm andthecaratmydisposalwas

thetopofthelineLaurin&KlementversionoftheSuperbpoweredbya1.8litreTSIpetrol

engine.Mydestination,asthePRteam informedme,wastheVivantabyTajinMadikeri,Coorg;

a160kilometredrivefrom Mangalore.

ForthoseofyouwhohaveseenthepreviousgenerationSuperb,you’ldefinitelyremember

how thecarlookedlikeastretchedOctavia.Theproportionswerealwaysalitleofwiththat

oneandwhenIwasinformedthatthenew versionisactualyalitlelongerandwiderthanthe

previousone,Ihonestlydidn’tgetmyhopesupalthathigh.Skoda,however,havemanaged

todoabriliantjobwiththedesignofthenew Superbanddespitetheincreaseindimensions;

theyhavegiventhecarbeterlinesthatactualydisguiseitslength.Itdoesn’tlooklikea

stretchedsedananymoreandhasaneat,almostcoupe-inspiredstance.Theproportionsare

alrightandthecharacterlinesworktheirmagictogivethisluxurysedananicesportyappeal

aswel.Itssharp,preciseandangularlinesarefurthercomplementedbythetreatmenttothe

frontgrileandextremelysexylookingheadlights.TheSuperbsitsnicelyonthoselarge18-inch

aloysandtheentirepackageisavisualtreatforsure.Iknew I’dgetmychancetoadmirethe

carinCoorg,butittookjustafew secondsattheMangaloreairportparkinglottoimmediately

falforwhatIwasgoingtobespendingtherestofmydaywith.

BeingthetopofthelineL&Kspecversion,theSuperbIhadatmydisposalboastedalthebels

andwhistles.Theplushairycabinhasbeencraftedfrom qualitymaterialsandyoujustcan’t

ignoretheatentiontodetail.Thesteeringisnicetogrip,theinstrumentclusterhasanicely

integrateddigitaldriverinformationdisplayandthereisalsoaneatlyintegratedhighend

infotainmentsystem atyourdisposal.TheL&KSuperbalsogetsa12speakerCantonSound

System thatofersimpeccablesoundqualityandistheperfectcompaniononalongdrive.The

centreconsoleboastsafineblackfinishandwhileitdoeslookclassy,itisalsoreminiscentof

whatyouwouldfindonanAudiorVolkswagenPassat(theyarepartofthefamilyandit

shows)!ThehighendL&Kversiongetsanicelargesunroofaswel,howeverIonlygottoenjoy

thatfeatureinMadikeri–wheretheweatherwasjustrighttokeepitopenandenjoythecool

airofCoorg.

Skoda’smarketing mantraoftheSuperb being ‘SimplyClever’stemsfrom theamountof

thoughtthathasgoneintocateringtoyoureveryneed.Thereisoodlesofstoragespacewithin

the cabin foryourknick-knacks,botle holders,a cooled glove box,a jumbo storage

compartmentinthecentrearm restbetweenthefrontpassengers,afolddownarm restfor

therearpassengerswithbotleholdersandangledfootrestsfortherearpassengers.

19


Thelargenotchbackcanbeopenedbyswipingyourfootundertherearbumperandyouhaveaccessto625litresof

bootspace,whichcanbeexpandedto1,750litreswiththerearseatsfoldeddown.Thebootalsogetstheserealyneat

hookstosecuresmalpiecesofluggage–verythoughtfulindeed,especialyifyouarecaryinggrocerieshomefrom

work,orinmycase,itwastheperfectwaytosecuremycamerabagfrom bouncingaroundasImademywayupthe

twistiestoMadikeri.TheSuperbalsogetsthree-zoneclimatecontrol,keylessentry,electronicalyadjustablefront

seseats(plus‘boss’butonsonthesideofthefrontpassengerseattoalow thebossatthebacktomovetheseatforward

forevenmorelegspace.A wordofadvice,don’tusethesewithafrontpassengeralreadysitingthere)!Ifalthis

wasn’tenough,Skodahasnow equippedtheSuperbwithtwoumbrelas!That’sright,theearlieronecamewithjust

oneumbrela,however,thenew Superbgetsoneineachfrontdoor.A welcometouchandifyouthinkit’sagimmick,

waittilthemonsoonsandyou’lseealotofhappySuperbowners.

PoweringtheL&KSuperbatmydisposalwasthe1.8TSIpetrolmotor.Skodadoesofera2.0TDIdieselversionaswel,

however,sinceIdidn’tgetmyhandsonthat,I’lbetelingyouaboutthepetrolversion.Firstof,it’sarocket!A 1.8litre

engineforacarthissizemightsoundalitleof,butyougetthatmotorgoingandswitchtosportmodeplustossin

thefactthatyoucanmanualycontrolthegearshiftsusingthoseneatpaddleshiftsbasicalytranslatestoyouhaving

ablastbehind thewheel!The1798ccmotorpumpsout180PS ofpeakpowerbetween 4,000 –6,200rpm and

generatesadecent320Nm ofmaximum torquebetween1,450–3,900rpm.Powerisdriventothefrontwheels and

the slick7-speedDSG complementstheengineperfectly.Justsoyouknow,Skodadoesoferthe1.8TSIwitha

6-speedmanualgearboxandthedieselversionisonlyavailablewitha6-speedDSG.Havingsaidthat,the1.8TSIisa

gem ofanengineandpowersupbriliantly.It’srathereficientaswelandwhiletheARAItestedmileageis14.12kmpl,I

averagedahealthy12.5kmplonmydrive–andthatincludedthelongdriveinthehils,acoupleofslow stretcheson

mywayoutofMangaloreandsomefaststretchesinbetween.

20


SkodaSuperbfirstdrive

PamperedinthecomfortablecabinoftheSuperb,Iwasalsoimpressedbythewaythecarhandles.Despiteitslength

andincreasedwheelbase,thecarisajoytodrive.Ifoundmyselfpushingitthroughtheghatsatabriskpaceandnever

didIfeelthatthecarwouldstepoutofline.A journalistfrom anotherpublicationwhowassharingthecarwithmeatthe

timedidsaythathefoundtheridequalitytobealitleonthehardside,butIthoughtitwasactualyverygood.Ilikethat

typical‘German’suspensionsetupandhonestlyhadnocomplaints,buttoeachhisownright?Iwashappierhavingacar

ththathandledlikethat,andIguesstheotherjournalistwouldhavebeenimpressedwithawaftierridewhichwouldhave

sacrificedthevehicle’shandlingabilities.However,Iwasdrivingandhavinganabsoluteblast,sotherewasnowaythatI

wasgoingtocomplainaboutthecar’shandlingandridequalityatthetimeanyway.

BeingtheflagshipproductforSkodaalsomeantthattheSuperbcamepackedwithalthesafetyfeaturesyou’dexpect.

ABS,EBD,numerousairbagsincludinglargecurtainbagsforalroundprotectionarepartofthepackage.Iobviouslyhad

nointentionoftestingthis,butitfeltgoodtoknow thatIwaswelcocoonedinthatcabin.Itinstilsasenseofconfidence

thatonlyaluxurycarcanofer.

BuiltontheMQBplatform,theSkodaSuperbisoneoutof12currentmodelsintheVW Groupfamilythatutilizesthisnew

ageplatform anditstandstogainalotfrom thistoo.Theuniform designalowsforalotofsharingofcomponentsand

engineswhichhasresultedinSkodabeingabletokeepthepricedowndespitehavingdeliveredaproductthatissuperior

toitspredecessorineveryway.ThereisnodoubtingthefactthattheengineersanddesignersatSkodaputalotofwork

intoensuringthattheSuperbdoeseverythingrightpluspossessesthataddedlayerofcharismathatwilleaveyou

charmed.Everythingaboutthecarisjustsoright–itlooksgreat,drivesgreat,hasgreatfeaturesandispricedgreattoo!

From apureproductstandpoint,it’sawinnerandforthoseofyouwhoareworriedaboutserviceandspares,Ididmy

homeworkandIhavewordfrom noneotherthanMrSudhirRao,chairmanandmanagingdirectorSkodaAutoIndia,that

thingsarealreadychangingforthebeterandSkodaisdoingtheirverybesttoensurethatcustomersremainhappy

throughtheentireownershipcycleofaSkoda.

21


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