OnCars India Buzz: 11 October 2012

- The world's oldest surviving Ford Motor car in the world - a 1903 Ford Model A is up for sale and will be looking for a new owner at this year's RM Auctions at the Antique Club of America event in Hershey, Pennsylvania. This particular Model A was ordered on July 13th, 1903, by Herbert L. McNary, a butter maker from Iowa and it has only had a total of five owners in its 109 years in existence. It is powered by a two-cylinder engine, which displaces 1,668cc, putting out 10PS. The car has two forward gears, and a reverse, and was capable of reaching a top speed of 45 km/h. This car is even more interesting, considering the fact that it predates the adoption of Henry Ford’s most well-known addition to the automotive world: the moving assembly line, having been built in a large assembly hall at the Mack Avenue plant. This particular example is expected to fetch somewhere in the region of 300,000 to 500,000 U.S dollars. 


- In an OnCars exclusive, the first images of the 2013 Force Gurkha SUV have been snagged doing test rounds near Pune. Based on the older Mercedes Benz G-class platform, the Gurkha has been a well known, hardcore off-road SUV is expected to launch in India sometime early next year. We are speculating the starting price of the 2013 Force Gurkha to be in the range of Rs 6.75-7 lakh, which puts it head-on against the Mahindra Thar. 


- Within three weeks of its launch, Mahindra’s latest utility offering, the Quanto has bagged over 5,000 bookings. Launched on 20 September, the Quanto has garnered quite a following. With over 2 million hits on its official website and being the No. 1 search on Google within 2 days of launch; the Quanto has evoked a reasonably positive response from the crowd.


The Indian auto sector continued its downward trend in September, producing 6 per cent less than what it did last month last fiscal, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said. The cumulative production data for April-September 2012 shows production growth of only 2.44% over same period last year and shows production of 1,672,797 vehicles in September 2012 as against 1,773,154 in September 2011.


- Lamborghini is testing the roadster variant of their flagship super car Aventador. Featuring a hard-top made of Carbon Fibre, it's reported to be launched at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.


- Monisha Kaltenborn, earlier the CEO of SauberF1 is now the Team Principal. She's the first ever female team principal in the entire history of Formula One. A good day for Indians indeed.


- Mercedes is all set to facelift the E-class in 2013. Caught testing on the Nurburgring was the hotter E63 AMG, powering which will most likely be the same twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8.


- Basecamp, an Indian adventure travel accessories company has introduced two imported caravans in India, the Hymer Sporting Style 465 and Dethleffs Newline 410tk, priced at Rs 22 lakh and Rs 16 lakh respectively (excluding taxes.) There is a 40 per cent plus import duty over the sticker price of these caravans. Hymer is one of the largest caravan and motorhome manufacturers in Europe, while Dethleffs is one of the biggest caravan providers in Europe.


- Exciting times are ahead for Formula 1 enthusiasts as the second ever Indian GP gets nearer by the day. While the season ticket prices aren’t what you would call cheap, the organizers over at Buddh International Circuit have hatched an alternative for those looking to experience the adrenalin and thrill that can only be experienced on a race day. The organizers have now put single day tickets on sale alongside season tickets. With the cheapest and the most expensive tickets going for Rs 2,000 and Rs 12,000 respectively, the race day tickets are a bargain when compared to season tickets. 


- Bentley and Lamborghini's plans of developing ultra-luxury SUVs may be put on hold in order to save cash for the parent Volkswagen. This seems to be a clear sign that the Euro crisis is beginning to bite even the German auto giant. 


- After Honda and Maruti Suzuki, it’s the American carmaker General Motors that have hiked the prices of their entire lineup of cars ranging from Rs 8,000 to Rs 20,000 depending on the model. And as was the case with the other two companies, GM has raised the prices to make up for the rising input costs and unfavorable economy.  


- Renault has tied up with HP (Hewlett Packard) to provide support for in-car electronic services which will be offered in the upcoming range of electric cars by the French auto giant. When connected, the electronic vehicle telematics will enable drivers to check the car’s battery, its charge rate and the location of the nearest charging station, as well as provide live traffic updates and cloud computing based applications like pay-as-you-drive insurance.


- With the launch of the much-anticipated Sail U-VA just around the corner, Chevrolet is considering to up the production capacity at its current plant in Talegaon to meet the demand for the upcoming models like the Enjoy MPV. What’s more, the American carmaker has also revealed its plans to introduce up to eight new cars over the next six years to increase its market share here in India. 


- After making its mark in Australia and South Africa, the Mahindra XUV 500 has made its way into the European markets. The popular SUV is all set to go on sale in Europe with a starting price of Rs 15.4 lakh for the FWD variant while the 4WD variant has been priced at Rs 16.8 lakh. While the 2.2-litre mHawk diesel engine is similar to the one sold here in India, the European markets will only get the top-spec W8 variants in front and 4WD configuration. 


- General Motors have recalled a total of 40,859 units including '07 Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent, Saturn Ion and '07-'09 Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 due to a faulty fuel pump. Chevrolet owners can go to their respective dealerships while Pontiac and Saturn owners can go to any GM dealership for a free fuel-pump replacement.


- The much awaited successor to Ferrari Enzo called F70 will feature a 7.3-litre V12 engine and electric power. Engine sits at the centre while behind it is probably the battery pack for the electric motor, together producing in excess of 900PS.


- The striking Audi Quattro Concept is rumored to be kept a concept only and instead Audi plans to produce a Range Rover Evoque rivaling crossover, based on the Crosslane Concept. It could be called Q2.


- Hyundai has finally released some footage of their WRC i20. Under the hood will be a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Although i20 WRC might enter WRC as early as 2014, there are no plans of making a road going version of the same.


- Volkswagen has launched Passat Sport in Malaysia. A 1.8-litre TSI engine mated to a seven-speed DSG powers the car. Available for an equivalent of exorbitant Rs 32 lakhs.


- Jaguar has outed the first drive footage of their latest big product, the F-Type. Prices start at Rs 50 lakh and go till Rs 68 lakh, exclusive of taxes of course. The car showcases the fastest steering system ever fitted to a Jag.


After successfully launching F1 2012, Codemasters have revealed the next big game in their line-up, the GRID2 at the Eurogamer Expo. Going on sale in Summer 2013, the game will be made available across all popular gaming platforms (XBOX360, Playstation3 and Windows).


- Volkswagen has confirmed making the XL1 in limited numbers.  XL1 Concept car is powered by a 2-cylinder TDI engine and an electric motor, producing 49PS and 27PS respectively. It's scheduled to hit the market sometime next year.


- Toyota USA and Microsoft have planned to extend their collaboration. Apart from using Microsoft's cloud service, Toyota will make a hybrid software platform for it's companies overseas. According to their plan, more that 200,000 Toyota employees will be able to access the services co-developed by Microsoft.


- Audi has partnered a number of new energy companies in order to make more sustainable fuels. The companies will produce "e-gas" natural gas, C02-free fuel and diesel biofuels.


- Volkswagen confirms the production of Up! GT. The 1.0-litre  3-cylinder engine will be tuned to develop 110PS of power and 162Nm of torque.  Also an all-electric Up! will make a market entry in 2013 along with the Up! GT.


- General Motors and Ford Motor Company have reportedly joined hands to develop 9-speed and 10-speed transmissions. The 9-speed 'box will be developed for Front Wheel Drive vehicles while the 10-speed will be made for RWDs (Rear Wheel Drive).


- Suzuki is looking for a partner to develop the interesting S-Cross concept showcased at the Paris Motor Show a few weeks back. Since the car's still very much in development, not much information has been released for the same.


- Ferrari showcased the F70's carbon fibre chassis at the Paris Motor Show. In comparison to the Enzo, the F70 stands around 20 percent lighter and 22 percent stiffer. Torsional rigidity is a whopping 27 percent more. Four different types of carbon fibre were used for the chassis.


- According to a report by Car Magazine, a four door Aventador will be shown at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Called the Aventador GT, it will be powered by the same 6.5-litre V12 as the two door car. Along with that, a Spyder and a hotter SuperVeloce model will be launched too.