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Sep 28, 2008

Paris Motor Show 2008 : Preview

The world’s oldest and Europe’s biggest motor show opens its doors again in Paris at the end of this week. The Mondial de l'Automobile (or Paris Motor Show) will be center stage for the unveiling of this year's most anticipated car and technology reveals. From supercars to superefficient cars, there will be something for everyone who loves cars in Paris this October.

The show comes at a time when the onus is on efficiency enhancement more than anything else. All car makers are trying their best - to go lighter, downsize in engines while upping the performance quotient, cutting down massively on exhaust emissions and yet managing to make that all important move to prune fuel consumption even further.

Here is a quick look at the highlights.

Audi is to show its second A1 concept in Paris, according to reports on the net. This follows the Metroproject Quattro concept revealed at last year's Tokyo Motor Show and will be a stage closer to the production-ready version.

The A1, due for launch next autumn will be built in Belgium and share much of its underpinnings with the next-generation Volkswagen Polo (and ultimately, the Seat Ibiza and Skoda Fabia), but will be positioned much further upmarket with full Audi-style interior to include the MMI control system.

Audi is said also to be planning an A1 convertible, to be launched a year later and even a mini-SUV.

German car maker of fearsome repute BMW will be showcasing the latest iteration of its full-size flagship luxury car, the 7 Series at the Paris Motor Show.

Besides the choice of one diesel and two petrol engines (the most delicious being the 407bhp petrol), the car has a host of tech-packed firsts like a Night Vision system with individual pedestrian recognition, a front side view camera and BMW’s Lane Change Warning system with a heads-up display.

BMW also seems to have big plans for the MINI brand. The company will be presenting a design study for a fourth variant of MINI’s current range.

Citroen and Sony Playstation3 partner Polypony Digital are pouring the teaser marketing hype very thick.

We see the Citroen GT concept flamboyant air intake scoops on the sides as well as the inward pointing trapezoidal exhaust pipe. Also, a small glimpse of the taillight and rear hatch door with its chevron shaped air vent slats undoubtedly indicating a rear engine layout.

Fiat has announced the new PUR-O2 line which will be available on the 500, Croma and Bravo starting this November.

The PUR-O2 line targets low fuel consumption and CO2 emission levels with Eco Drive, the new ‘Start&Stop’ device developed by Bosch and special Eco Packs that include green tyres, low-viscosity fluids, aerodynamic packages and gearboxes with modified ratios.

Seven seats, bold SUV looks and practical family appeal – the Chevrolet Orlando show car promises to be a sign of things to come from General Motors for Europe and the rest of the world. The car features the GM’s 2.0-litre 150PS turbo-diesel engine, the same as that seen in the Chevrolet Captiva sold in India.

Another sign of the changing times at General Motors - the Volt. It is GM’s ambitious electric car project that looks bring eco-friendly credibility back to the company.

This is a car that Honda has held close to its heart for a very long time. The first Insight which came out in 1999 was a two-seater hybrid coupe - the first mass-produced hybrid car to be sold in Europe.

In its latest iteration to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the 2009 Insight is a 5-door family saloon capable of seating five adults. The car takes many exterior styling cues from the FCX Clarity, Honda’s hydrogen-powered fuel cell car. Honda has promised that its pricing will be cutting-edge competitive – lower than that of any other hybrid vehicle in the market.

Hyundai has a trick up its sleeve, and this car is the all new i20 sub-compact that is due to be unveiled officially at the Paris Motor Show. The car holds special excitement for Indian enthusiasts, since it is slated to make its Indian debut at the end of November this year.

Alongside the eye-catching i20 will be the luxurious seven-seat ix55 sports utility vehicle, and Hyundai's eco-friendly Santa Fe as a Petrol-Electric Hybrid concept.

The Korean car makers, in addition to the previously released Soul urban crossover production version, has just announced three more world premiers at next weeks Paris Motor show. With plans to progressively introduce ‘eco-friendly’ technologies across its model range in 2009 and beyond, Kia will showcase their latest developments which include the Soul Hybrid Concept, cee’d Hybrid Concept and cee’d ‘Idle Stop&Go’.

The Italian car-marque has been tight-lipped about this new car and the only images that is available for the press to see is the one you see right here. This mystery Lamborghini model that is set to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show has been an interesting affair.

Going by the predictions of industry analysts and people in the business, this could be a completely new body-shell and a next-generation sportscar to challenge likes of Bugatti Veyron and Aston Martin One-77. Or instead it could be a the much-awaited 4x4 off-roader. Whatever it is, we have no choice but to wait till the show begins...

Maserati has unveiled a new hardcore GranTurismo coupe called the GranTurismo MC Corse which will preview a racing version ready to compete in international GT events.

Based on the GranTurismo S, the power output on its 4.7-litre V8 has been upped by 20bhp to 450bhp. The car's overall weight has been reduced by using composite body panels, synthetic Lexan in place of glass for the windscreens and windows, and by stripping-out all superfluous interior equipment.

Mercedes-Benz has finally announced official production plans for the new S400 BlueHybrid. The S400 uses Mercedes 3.5L V-6 gas engine combined with the 20kW electric motor/generator. Unless someone else jumps in first, the S400 will be the first production automotive hybrid in the world to use a lithium ion battery.

The combination of a modified V6 petrol engine and a compact hybrid module gives the S 400 BlueHYBRID a combined figure of 13 kmpl making it the world's most economical luxury saloon with a spark-ignition engine.

Mercedes has given us a glimpse into its future and it looks fascinating. Called the Fascination Concept, what we have here is basically the next generation E-class due out in production guise at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The concept is not due to make it into production but its main purpose is to give off hints as to what to expect from the new E-class range.

Peugeot has just released a group of teaser images of the new concept it will be unveiling at the Paris Motor Show in October. The RC whose full name will be revealed at the Paris Motor Show is a four door, four seat coupe that features a hybrid powertrain.

Peugeot's second concept car at the Paris show is the Prologue and, like the RC coupe, it's a hybrid. The Prologue's powertrain develops 200bhp yet emits just 109g/km of carbon dioxide, and can also run in fully-electric mode.

We have already seen half of the line-up Renault are set to unveil at the Paris Motor Show in the Megane Hatch, Laguna Coupe and Ondelios Concept Car. But there are three new arrivals on the way. Two of these models will be new production cars – one of which will be a third variant of the Kangoo range but details of the other model are being kept firmly under lock and key.

Saab is all set to debut the 9-X Air BioHybrid concept at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The car is a follow up to the 9-X BioHybrid coupe, first shown at this year's Geneva show. The convertible swaps the coupe's fixed roof for a "unique canopy top," but leaves most of the original's styling and shape untouched.

The powertrain consists of the 1.4-litre Saab BioPower engine running on E85 ethanol fuel. The engine delivers a sporty 203 PS and does the zero to 100 km/h sprint in 8.1 seconds with projected CO2 tailpipe emissions of just 107 g/km over the combined cycle.

Set to make their Show debuts on 2 October, the Cupra and Ecomotive are highly significant additions to the sharp-looking new Ibiza range becoming the greenest and meanest versions of SEAT's supermini.

The Cupra features a 180 PS 1.4-litre petrol engine, featuring not only a turbocharger but also a supercharger benefiting both power delivery and fuel efficiency. Furthermore, this compact yet potent powerplant is mated to a seven-speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission, complete with F1-style steering wheel shift-paddles.

In case of the Ibiza Ecomotive the performance is measured in kmpl rather than km/h which has one of the lowest official carbon dioxide emissions figure of just 99g/km amongst any internal combustion engined-car.

As Subaru celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is the right time for the company to come at the forefront once again and this time it plans to stay there with its much-acclaimed diesel Boxer engine.

Subaru will unveil the new Forester SUV with the revolutionary 2.0-Litre Boxer diesel engine at the Paris Motor Show. The Forester 2.0D will produce147 PS and 350Nm of torque at 3,600 rpm and 1,800 rpm, respectively.

The highlight at the Suzuki Motor Corporation hall will be the debut of its all-new compact car, the A-Star. The new car is based on the A-Star concept showcased by Suzuki during the 2008 Auto Expo held in New Delhi early this year. This will be the new generation Alto for Indian market and the car will is scheduled to be launched in India sometime next month.

The all-new Avensis saloon will take centrestage at the Toyota hall along with two other models, the ready to be sold city-car iQ and the compact SUV, badged as the Urban Cruiser. The highlight will be once again on green technology and lower emissions along with enhanced power.

Volkswagen AG's stand will be house to the technological marvel that is the Golf BlueMotion concept vehicle. One of the most efficient models from its range of passenger cars, this Golf will return an efficiency figure of 26.3kmpl while emitting just 99 g/km of CO2.

Significant changes have been made to the drivetrain and the aerodynamics of the Golf Bluemotion concept that will further increase its overall efficiency and performance. The tyres on the car are also designed so that they provide lower rolling resistance and the gear ratios in the five-speed gearbox too have been calculated in order to suit the car's efficient power delivery.

...Well, these are just the highlights of the coming Paris Motor Show, lets see how it actually turns out to be at the arena to catch them Live! , starting from 4th to 19th Oct.

Sep 26, 2008

Honda City enters into Third Generation with a New face!

Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI), leading manufacturer of premium cars in India, unveiled its all-new third generation Honda City with a completely new design. This is Honda's third sedan launch after huge sale of its Honda City(older) and Honda Civic. In a market where looks play a vital role in the success of a product, it was a gamble which paid off.

The new Honda City comes with a 1500 cc i-VTEC engine, with both automatic and manual transmissions. It will be available in 6 colours – Habenero Red Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Polished Metal Metallic, Bold Beige Metallic, Tafetta White and Crystal Black Pearl

The third-gen Honda City is 5mm longer, 5mm wider and 15mm lower than its predecessor. The wheelbase has been extended by 100mm, which means a more spacious cabin and better handling characteristics at higher speeds.

The interiors of the car look very attractive with the advanced looking meter design and soothing color contrasts of the new City promises its consumers with a stylish, spacious and comfortable lounge.

The price tag is of Rs 7.7 lakh and Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Honda hopes that the new City would help the company arrest the ongoing sales decline in the Indian car market and improve sales.

The upcoming Fiat Linea could offer some substantial competition to the new Honda City - but the details and trim levels of that car remain to be seen. And in pure brand name stakes, FIAT does not hold a candle to Honda in the Indian market.

Overall the new Honda City is a great car, priced well, well-specified and launched at the right time to tempt those who were considering an SX4, or even those who were eyeing the recently launched Corolla Altis.

Currently, Honda City is being produced in seven countries and sold in 39 countries across the world. Bookings for the new City have started at all Honda dealers in the country, and deliveries will start in November this year.

Sep 25, 2008

Chrysler goes Electric with Dodge EV !

Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli launched the Dodge Ev along with three other Chrysler group products which have also gone electric (Jeep EV and Chrysler EV). Chrysler LLC is getting into the electric vehicle game and plans to have something on the market by the end of 2010 – the same time GM plans to start selling the 2011 Chevy Volt.

The Dodge EV is a two-passenger, rear-wheel-drive sports car. Although it's powered by an electric motor, the Dodge EV develops 268 hp and a respectable 650 Nm of torque. It has a range between 150 and 200 miles and races to 60 mph in less than five seconds and a 120 mph top speed.

The electric-drive system consists of three primary components: a 200 kW (268 horsepower) electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery and an integrated power controller.

Recharging the vehicle is a simple one-step process: plugging into a standard 110-volt household outlet for eight hours.

Chrysler hopes to bring out EVs that have zero emissions and a driving range of at least 250-300km on one full charge.

Sep 24, 2008

Recent Post Widget

Hi friends, you can create a Recent Post widget very easily. All you need to have is a feed. Read the following simple steps to add the widget :

Step 1:
Log in to your feedburner account

Go to my feeds and select your feed

Step 3:
go to Publicize tab

Step 4:
Add BuzzBoost to your blog by following the steps given at the site and customize it according to your needs.

Step 5:
Activate the BuzzBoost and copy-paste the code in your blog. You are done.

Source : Create Recent Post Widget

Go to Useful widgets

Add text caption to Image

Hello friends you can now, add caption to your images (web/blog). With simple CSS and HTML, you can quickly add text captions to images. Just read the following steps to add this feature to your site.

The image will look something like the pic below.

Step 1:
Add the following CSS code to an external CSS file or to your blog template under the <HEAD> section.

 <style type="text/css">
.picture { background-color: #F9F9F9;
border: 1px solid #CCCCCC; padding: 3px;
font: 11px/1.4em Arial, sans-serif; }
.picture img { border: 1px solid #CCCCCC;
vertical-align:middle; margin-bottom: 3px; }
.right { margin: 0.5em 0pt 0.5em 0.8em; float:right; }
.left { margin: 0.5em 0.8em 0.5em 0; float:left; }

Step 2:
Now insert the following HTML code anywhere in the web page, where you want to display the image. The process is exactly the same as inserting regular images but we have just enclosed that inside a <DIV> tag.

 <div class="picture left" style="width:278px;"> <img src="google.gif" width="276" height="120" alt="Google Logo" /> <br />Image Caption goes here. </div>

In the above example, we add the file google.gif left aligned and the image has dimensions 276×120.
Replace left with right if you want to right align the image box. You’ll also need to modify the style:width of the <DIV> tag such it is equal to image width + 2.

You can also fiddle with the CSS to change the font name, size, border colors, background, margins, etc.

Source : Add text caption to your web image

Go back to Useful widgets

Sep 23, 2008

A step away : Renault's Stepway

After the Sandero hatchback, which is based on the Logan platform, Renault (French Automaker) has now unveiled the Sandero Stepway, a compact crossover designed for the South American market.

The Renault Sandero Steway is based on French carmaker’s low cost hatchback. It is evaluated for a possible India launch, perhaps by 2009-10.

For now, the Sandero Stepaway will be built at Renault's plant in Curitiba, Brazil, and will go on sale in that country in October this year. The vehicle will also be launched in Argentina within a few months, and later, perhaps in other markets where the Logan is built and sold, including India.

The car gets a solid muscular styling typically meant for any good SUV comes with all new roofbars with an integrated spoiler, exclusive bumpers and grille, raised ground clearance and a chrome finished exhaust pipes.

Sources say that in Argentina it will get a dCi Diesel engine in addition to the bio-ethanol engine. The car can comfortably fit in 5 adults and it comes with a standard three year/100,000 km warranty in Brazil.

Sep 22, 2008

Nissan & Leyland tie-up for LCV plant in India

Indian roads are set for some more of Japanese technology arrive in the form of LCVs sporting the Nissan brand name. It is expected that the car maker would introduce Light Commercial Vehicles in Indian markets in 2010.

The Ashok Leyland, Nissan light commercial vehicle (LCV) project for its new passenger vehicle plant in Chennai, India, expected to begin operations in 2010. The facility will have an annual production capacity of 400,000 and will produce vehicles for export and the local market for both Renault and Nissan. It will employ 4,500 people as direct employees, while another 13,500 indirectly.

Nissan's strategy is to push itself up the order to be the leading player in global LCV market. By year 2010, the LCVs are expected to debut in the markets around India and the United States. Nissan is also planning to start LCV sale in Russia from September 2008.

Nissan lifted the wraps off its second vehicle for India, the Nissan Teana in late April, this year. The price is tagged at around Rs 20 lakh in India.

In India, Nissan aims to sell over two lakh vehicles in the next four years for which it would take leverage from local expertise. Along with alliance partner Renault, Nissan is setting up a plant for passenger cars in Chennai with a capacity of four lakh units per annum.

Sep 21, 2008

Simple Search Widget

I found a wonderfully simple search widget which operates in a similar way to the "Search this blog" feature found in the navbar. You can easily implement this widget into your blog by using the widget installer below:

1. Go to Template>Layout in your Blogger Dashboard.
2. Create a new HTML/Javascript element in your sidebar.
3. Insert the following code into the widget:

<p align="center"><form id="searchthis" action="/search" style="display:inline;" method="get"> <input id="search-box" name="q" size="25" type="text"/> <input id="search-btn" value="Search" type="submit"/> </form></p>

4. Give your widget a title if you like (eg: "Search this Blog"), and click save. You should now have a fully functional search box in your blog's sidebar!

So, your widget is ready to use.
Go back to Useful Widgets

Sep 20, 2008

Top Commentators Widget

Would you like to display a list of the top commentators in your blog? This widget will enable you to do exactly that!

If you install this widget, a list of the top ten people who have commented most in your blog will be displayed with along with the count of comments they have made.

This is a great way of thanking readers who comment regularly and is very easy to add to your blog layout using the one click widget installer

Adding this widget is really simple. Just follow the given steps :

1st Step :
Go to your template - Add page element - Add HTML element

2nd Step:
Copy - paste the following code in the HTML element

<script type="text/javascript">
function pipeCallback(obj) {
 var i;
 for (i = 0; i < obj.count ; i++)
 var href = "'" + obj.value.items[i].link + "'";
 var item = "<li>" + "<a href=" + href + ">" + obj.value.items[i].title + "</a> </li>";
<script src="" type="text/javascript"></script>

Changes :

change  to your blog name, for e.g 
change num=10  to the number of comments you wish to show, for e.g. num=5 
change filter=yourName to filter your name out of the top commentators, for e.g filter=@_raj 

After performing the necessary changes, save the widget and then your template. Now view your blog, you can see the list of top commentators along with the number of comments they have done on your blog.

Go back to Useful Widgets

Sep 19, 2008

Toyota iQ - The Future Automobile


The Toyota iQ is an Earth-friendly micro concept car, first unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. The car was designed by ED2, Toyota's design studio in southern France. The iQ is called a 3+1, meaning it is capable of carrying up to three adults along with a child or luggage in comfort.

The iQ concept is equipped with miniaturized technology to help free up interior space. The design is intended to place emphasis on low fuel consumption, maneuverability and environmental friendliness. It also features a panoramic glass sunroof.

Production will begin in Japan in late 2008 and is believed to be the first model in a series.

iQ will be offered with a choice of two petrol engines and one diesel. The engine details : 998cc 3cyl, 67bhp, 67lb ft @ 4800rpm. and 0-100km/hr 14.1sec. iQ has been designed to meet Euro NCAP’s top five-star safety rating.

A newly developed differential allows iQ to have a more compact engine compartment and front wheels placed at the very corners of the car, with very short overhangs.

A flat under-floor fuel tank has allowed shorter rear overhangs to be developed, helping reduce the car’s overall length.

The pushed-forward dashboard features temperature controls with an LCD display, as well as a 5.8-inch screen for satellite navigation system.

The size of the heater/air conditioning unit has been significantly reduced, without sacrificing performance. As a result, the front passenger area can be moved forwards towards the base of the windscreen, freeing up additional cabin space.

UK sales are scheduled to start in January 2009 with an estimated £10,000 price tag. Europe and Japan are the intended markets, but the iQ is being whispered for U.S. sale as a 2010 model. Toyota expects to sell 100,000 units of the iQ in its first year of production globally.

Sep 18, 2008

Moving Images Widget

You must have noticed the Featured Posts section on my Home page. This section consists of a group of link images scrolling from right to left. In this posts I will show  how you can also add this feature.

1st step:
Create a division like this :

--- code ---

at the position you want to place the widget.

If you are having a <table> format in the template, then you can create a new table like this :

--- code ---

2nd Step:
After you have created a division(div) at your desired place, you need to paste the following code :

<MARQUEE behavior='alternate' id='marquee2'>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>

behavior values can be : alternate(as on my blog) , slide , scroll
href : it is the blog link to which you want the image to refer.
src: it is the source of the image (picasa,flickr or your own web space)

3rd Step:
Now to add multiple images just add more of the following :

<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>

between the <LI> tags. Like this:

<MARQUEE behavior='alternate' id='marquee2'>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>
<a href='your image url'><img height='90' src='your image source' width='120'/></a>

Change the height and width according to your need.

Done : After adding all the images between the <LI> tag, you are DONE. Save the template and view your blog to see the changes.

Making Small Cars Profitable - A Challenge !

Small may be beautiful, but U.S. automakers are more worried about making it profitable.

As high gasoline prices have American car buyers ditching their cavernous sport-utility vehicles in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient sedans, the three Detroit automakers are faced with a problem: They can make small cars, but haven't always been able to make much money off of them.

Making smaller vehicles a more appealing business will take two things
  • Simplifying production lines. The first step is for automakers to find ways to use the same parts in more of their fleets.
  • Secondly, to observe if expensive fuel will nudge Americans to become more like European car buyers (willing to pay a premium for feature-packed small cars).
One other way automakers can make smaller cars profitable is by persuading shoppers that not all small vehicles are bare-bones econoboxes.

Small-car profitability hangs on balancing the feature set : putting in enough that buyers see a premium in the car, but not more than they are willing to pay for.

Ford Motor Co's Chief Executive Alan Mulally already sees the shift happening, in the form of pleas to start offering its new Fiesta...currently for sale in its home country.

"With fuel prices going up, we can't get them here fast enough," he said. "I get two to three e-mails a day saying, 'I just saw the latest picture, can we get it here tomorrow?'"

The shift in demand played out dramatically as U.S. gasoline prices notched new record highs above $4 per gallon, leading Americans to buy more cars than light trucks !

That strong shift to small cars, in my opinion, is, perhaps a temporary phenomenon as people are overreacting to the price in gas because they don't know where it is going to end!

Sep 17, 2008

Recent Comments Widget - Customized

Usually Blogger's feed widget is used to display recent comments but it is slow and sometimes unable to display your recent comments. Also we can only show very few words of the comment (too few to comprehend) and upto 5 comments only.
Now we have a solution that allows the blog author to customize both these. You can see the new widget in my footer, showing selected comment within alphabetic range.

With this widget,
1. You can specify how many comments you want to display in your blog (defaults to 10)
2. You can specify the maximum number of letters that should be displayed in each comment (defaults to 100).

Here is how you add this widget to your blog.

Step 1: Goto Template --> Edit HTML tab. Find the "</head>" tag in your template and add all the code given below before it and save the template.

<script type='text/javascript'> function commentDisplay(json) { for (var i = 0; i &lt; numcomments; i++) { var entry = json.feed.entry[i]; var alturl; if (i == json.feed.entry.length) break; for (var k = 0; k &lt;; k++) { if ([k].rel == 'alternate') { alturl =[k].href; break; } } alturl = alturl.replace("#", "#comment-"); if (entry.content) { comment = entry.content.$t; } else if (entry.summary) { comment = entry.summary.$t; } var re = /&lt;\S[^&gt;]*&gt;/g; comment = comment.replace(re, ""); document.write('&lt;a href="' + alturl + '"&gt;' +[0].name.$t + '&lt;/a&gt; commented:&lt;br/&gt;'); if (comment.length &lt; numchars) document.write(comment + '&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;'); else document.write(comment.substring(0, numchars) + '...&lt;br/&gt;&lt;br/&gt;'); } } </script> 

Step 2: Goto Template --> Page elements tab and click on "Add a page element" in your sidebar. Choose HTML/Javascript element. Give an appropriate title and copy/paste this code.

<br/><script language="javascript">
var numcomments = 10;
var numchars = 100;
<script src="

You need to change the blog URL to yours. You could also change the number of comments/letters per comment to whatever fits your blog. Then, save the changes and move the widget to wherever you want. There, you have a customized recent comments widget!!

The widget is originally designed by hackosphere.

Back to Useful Widgets

Sep 16, 2008

Ambassador Remade - AMBIEROD !

For all those Ambassador lovers, Ace Car Designer Dilip Chabria of DC Designs has re modeled our very own Ambassador to the all new AMBIEROD.

This Masterpiece was launched at this years' Auto Expo in New Delhi

If it goes into production, it’s expected to come in Rs 4 crore (US $1 million) price range. Ambierod is going to be the most expensive designed car ever been showcased at the Auto Expo and the Manufacturers claim that it can reach Speeds upto 309 Kms/Hr.

The luxury car is equipped with an automated instrumental panel backed by satellite navigation system, rear vision camera, three LCD televisions, internet and videoconferencing-enabled flat bed and multi-coloured mood lighting.

It’s being hyped as an intelligent, retro-futuristic car that has been designed from the iconic Ambassdor. The looks of the concept roadster are said to be inspired by the American Hotrods and beyond.

And Finally…………………….

I believe the very first man to own it………………Our very own 'Sanju Baba'!!!

Sep 15, 2008

General Motors Corp's 100 years Journey

In its 100 years in business, General Motors Corp has sold nearly a half-billion vehicles across the globe. It emerges as top sellers, as GM approaches its 100th birthday on September 16, 2008.

While Henry Ford gets credit for standardizing assembly-line production of automobiles, GM founder William (Billy) Durant largely gets credit for how America sells them: by giving consumers an array of brands, models and colors from which to choose.

In a little more than a year after starting GM on Sept. 16, 1908, he added Oldsmobile, Cadillac, AC Spark Plug, the Oakland Motor Car Co. (which later became the Pontiac brand) and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Co. (now known as GMC).

Alfred Sloan took over as president and CEO in 1923, and remained at GM until 1956. He has since been credited with leading the corporation through some of its most dominant days. Some call Sloan the grandfather of the U.S. corporate bureaucracy.

In the 1950s, GM had a string of breakthroughs, including the automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and fuel-injected engines as it rolled out exciting cars such as the Corvette and Bel Air.

By the 1970s, a 67-day national UAW strike, an oil embargo and stricter emission rules took their toll on the U.S. auto industry. The energy crisis pushed many Americans to smaller, more fuel-efficient foreign cars, prompting GM to institute massive layoffs. GM's decline continued through the succeeding decades with extensive plant closings, huge job losses and deteriorating financial performance in North America.

Heading into its second century, GM is still losing market share at home, its stock price is perilously low and management can't reliably promise profits.

And yet it is widely seen as the strongest of Detroit's automakers.

It has award-winning crossover vehicles and sedans to complement its pickups, SUVs and Corvette. Chevrolet is the nation's best-selling brand. And GM is selling more vehicles overseas than at home as it stretches the Chevy bow tie across China, India, Europe and elsewhere.

Did You Know :

In 1903, it was a time of market instability. William Durant, a director of the Buick Motor Company, was the man behind the merger. Durant believed that the only way for the automobile companies to operate at a profit was to avoid the duplication that occurred when many firms manufactured the same product. General Motors Corporation was thus formed, bringing together Oldsmobile and Buick in 1903, and joined by Cadillac and Oakland (renamed Pontiac) in 1909.

Sep 13, 2008

How Emotions Affect Driving

Every time we roll out on the road, we encounter different situations and each time we have different moods, behind the wheels, to drive our way out.

Things like drinking and mobile phone have an adverse affect on your driving. But little consideration is given to other factors that can be even more distracting. Fatigue, stress, and our emotions have a serious effect on driving, causing serious impairments that we may not even be aware of.

If you are worried, upset, frightened, depressed, or even happily excited, your driving skills can be as negatively impacted as they would be if you were engaged in an intense phone call or after having consumed several alcoholic drinks.

Many times we do have to drive after facing an emergency, for example, after being notified of the sudden illness or death of a loved one; or even after a confrontation with another person, such as a particularly upsetting incident at work.

If you find that you must drive after your emotions have surfaced, here are a few things you can do to manage the emotion and make your driving safer for yourself and others on the road:

  • If you are angry or upset or otherwise annoyed, pull over or off of the road. Take a few moments - close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and relax. If the emotion is particularly strong, take a short walk, or go get something to drink (non-alcoholic, of course); just stay off of the road until you have time to settle down.
  • If you find yourself drifting into worry, depression, or if you are thinking too closely about something that has happened, make a concerted effort to put it out of your mind until you stop the car. Some people find that making a hand gesture of dismissal to themselves helps, as does the distraction of music. Use the energy to instead focus on your driving, and give yourself time to sort out the troubling issue when you do not have to drive.
  • If it is a matter of feeling rushed, hurried or just generally impatient, give yourself a bit of extra time before you start out. Allowing for extra time means you won't be as likely to start speeding. Also, remember to always, no matter how rushed you are, stop at railroad crossings and NEVER drive around the gates or try to beat an oncoming train.

A serious distraction. Research has proven that human beings in the grip of negative (and sometimes positive) emotions have exhibited a distraction level even more serious than those experienced by cell phone users. Such emotions can cause otherwise excellent drivers to:

  • Experience dimmed or otherwise impaired observation and reaction times.
  • Fail to recognize situations, such as an abrupt slowing of traffic or debris in the road.
  • Get to the point that they are unable to predict or to determine what the other drivers around us are doing.
  • Make risky maneuvers and risky changes, such as cutting across several lanes of traffic to take an off-ramp, suddenly change lanes, or even to drive on the freeway shoulder.
  • Lose the ability to perform driving skills that require precise timing or other subtle skills.
  • Make a driver feel as though he or she is detached from the other drivers, vehicles, and conditions on the road

Dealing with road rage. It's become all too common these days. Road rage has been responsible for many accidents and even bodily injury, mainly due to an overreaction and personalization of driving situations. If something happens to make you believe that you could become the victim of another driver's rage, here are a few things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Remain in your car, and if approached on foot, roll up the windows and lock the doors.
  • Even if you're just talking with a passenger, avoid making gestures that another driver could interpret as hostile, rude, or otherwise negative.
  • If you accidentally do something that annoys or upsets another driver, make overly-exaggerated expressions of regret, hold hand in a prayer gesture, mouth the word "sorry," make a silly grimace―anything that will send the message that you acknowledge an error. This works very well to diffuse a situation.

A few things you can do to prevent road rage. Driving an automobile has become increasingly personalized, with many drivers feeling that the actions of other drivers are directed at them personally, rather than taking another's driving errors in stride. It has been found that about 85% of the drivers who were surveyed said that the flash of anger and personalization brought on could be defused and settled if the offending driver had simply acknowledged the error with a gesture of apology.

Keep your eye, mind, and thoughts on the road. Keeping emotions in control makes a huge difference in driving skills. But there are other things many drivers do that take their attention away from driving - refrain from eating, reading, map consulting, Internet surfing, applying makeup, or holding our pets while you are driving.

If you use a cell phone and find that you must talk, use a hands-free device while you are driving and keep the calls short and at an absolute minimum.

As long as you are moving, your attention should be on the road and traffic at all times―not diluted by distractions or strong emotions.

Sep 11, 2008

Toyota Altis Launched in India

The much awaited Civic fighter from Toyota, the Corolla Altis was launched in India today. The new Corolla Altis was formally launched at the Noida Expo ground and will be soon available at your nearest Toyota dealership.

The new Corolla Altis retains the previous versions 1.8 litre engine but produces more power at 132 bhp at 6000rpm (against the old versions 125 bhp). The Altis will come with a manual 5-speed and a 4-speed automatic transmission. A diesel Altis variant is also coming in 2009.

The new Corolla Altis looks bigger and is roomier on the inside too. Infact the Altis looks like a smaller sibling of the Camry. Two new tech gadgets have been introduced, an electrochromatic inner rear view mirror which reduces glare and an automatic headlamp washer.

The Altis comes in three variants - 1.8G manual (base model), 1.8GL manual and the 1.8VL automatic. The new Corolla Altis is priced between Rs 10.83 lakh - Rs 12.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Toyota plans to sell about 2000 of these each month.

I think it will be a tough ask as the new Altis is not even half as exciting as the Honda Civic. But buyers may appreciate Toyota's improved rear seat which is better than the Honda's and the ride is more pliant too. Other than that i don't see the Altis overtaking the Civic. What do you think?

Hyundia India celeberates Its 10th Anniversary !

It's been ten years since Hyundai entered India. It's first introduction the Santro was a runaway success with small car buyers who were till then starved from the lack of choice in the segment.

Hyundai's subsequent introductions, the Accent and the Sonata both got a very good reception and became leaders in their respective segments. Since then Hyundai has been racing ahead and has now also become India' largest vehicle exporter.

To celebrate it's 10th Anniversay Hyundai has launched the "10 Year Celebration Offer" under which it is offering free 24 carat gold coins, MP3 players and insurance to those purchasing Hyundai cars in 2008. The scheme is valid on all Hyundai cars and a free gold coin will be given on the purchase of each car (except i10 AT and Getz 1.5L CRDi).

In case you want to trade-in your old car (any make) there are exchange bonuses of Rs 15,000 on the purchase of Santro GL/GLS and i10 and of Rs 10,000 on the purchase of Getz 1.1L/1.3L, Accent GLE and all variants of Verna.

So Hurry up! Grab your Gifts and be a part of Hyundai family.