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Tata has given its Punch micro-SUV a price revision after hiking the prices of its other models. The “Pure” and ‘Pure Rhythm” variant which is available only in manual transmission has seen a price hike of ₹16,000. While the other variants have seen a price hike of ₹11,000. The Top Spec variants which are “Creative” and “Creative ira” that are available in both manual and automatic transmission options are now cheaper by ₹10,000. Tata Punch is in very high demand due to which customers have to wait 5 to 9 months for their SUV to arrive. Customers who have booked Tata Punch on or before 18th January 2022 have been excluded from this price revision

Punch: A recap

The Tata Punch has a tall SUV stance with bold design lines all around the micro-SUV. It is based on the Alpha architecture and follows Tata’s Impact design language. It gets split DRLs and headlamps like the Harrier and the Safari and the humanity grille runs across the front of the car. To keep the SUV appeal going, it gets a large front bumper with the tri-arrow design for the air intake flanked by fog lamps on either side. The side profile has butch wheel arches with cladding that extends from the front to the rear bumper. The large 16-inch alloy wheels fill up the wheel arches fairly well. The taillights leave a comet-like trail extending to the sides. The illumination in the taillights comes from tri-arrow LEDs which look rather youthful. The boot-lid sculpting will remind you of the Tata Nexon and sits above a large bumper.

On the first look, it is clearly evident that the interiors have stayed true to the HBX concept just like the exteriors. It gets a dual-t0ne black and white dashboard. It gets rectangle A/C vents which get blue surrounds. The steering wheel is a flat bottom unit that gets audio, telephone, and cruise control buttons. The Punch borrows the semi-digital instrument cluster from the Altroz. The center stage is taken up by the Harman-developed touchscreen infotainment system which will be compatible with android auto and apple car play. The Tata Punch is loaded with features such as auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, push-button start with keyless entry, automatic climate control, cooled glove box, 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone compatibility, a reverse parking camera, a 7-inch semi-digital instrument cluster, iRA connected car technology, selectable drive modes, cruise control, puddle lamps, and traction pro mode.

The Punch scored an impressive 5 stars for adult occupant protection and 4 stars for child occupant protection in the Global NCAP crash test. The Punch uses extensive high-strength steel throughout its chassis. Standard safety features include dual airbags, ABS, EBD, CSC, brake sway control, and ISOFIX child mounts. The Tata Punch is powered by the same 1.2 L naturally aspirated Revotron petrol engine that powers the Altroz. Tuned for the Punch, the engine puts out 86 PS and 113 Nm torque. The engine can be paired to a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed AMT gearbox.

The way time flies is an unsolvable mystery. In 1972, Kawasaki released the very first of the Z-Series motorcycles; the Z1. The bike was and still remains a Japanese legend. But just like that, it’s been 50 years to the Z1 glory and Kawasaki is honouring it by releasing a 50th Anniversary Edition for its Z-series bikes. Earlier the special edition was announced only for the Z900RS but was later elaborated to include the Z650RS as well. The company took to its social media account and launched a teaser for the two bikes. Although the Z900RS has not been brought to our country yet, the Z650RS does adorn the Indian roads. And soon we will get to see the launch of the anniversary edition Z650RS.

What’s New?

While there are no mechanical changes to the bike, it gets a new colour scheme with special decals. It gets a special Red and Brown paint finish which is being called the ‘Candy diamond Brown’. Kawasaki has come a long way from this colour, so much so that the brand is known as Team Green. But there was a time when This red and black combination was the most demanded option on almost all Kawasaki motorcycles. The bike carries a dark shade of brown as the base coat with the red infills on the fuel tank and the rear panel. It also gets a ‘Z 50th’ decal on the fuel tank. The previously seen golden multi-spoke alloy wheels make their way into the limited edition as well and neatly complement the overall look.

Performance

The bike is powered by the same 649cc 2-cylinder 4-stroke DOHC, Liquid-cooled engine, that puts out 65Nm of torque and 67BHP of maximum power. The bike gets massive 300mm dual brake discs at the front with twin-piston callipers. The rear gets a 220mm single brake disc. The bike comes loaded with tech-like assist and slipper clutch, dual throttle valves, Dual channel ABS and horizontal back-link gas-charged mono-shock of the rear and telescopic forks up front with 4.9-inch travel.

The bike offers a slightly lower and relaxed riding position. Although Kawasaki has not made any official announcements regarding the launch of this Anniversary Edition bike in India, we expect to hear from them soon. This colour scheme and badging will definitely add to the price of the bike, moreover, it will either be limited by number or produced only for a limited time.

The semiconductor chip shortage is a nightmare for carmakers and consumers. The shortage has caused huge waiting periods for many cars leading to lots of losses for the brands. Now, the shortage has caused manufacturers to delete features as well. Skoda and Volkswagen have deleted the auto folding mirror function from the Kushaq and Tiguan. However, there hasn’t been any change in the prices and we’re not sure if the features will be introduced again in the future.

Skoda Kushaq recap

In terms of design, the Skoda Kushaq offers a very sharp and edgy look all around. The traditional butterfly grille is now thicker and gets a piano black finish. The headlamps offer a contrasting look to the grille with their slim and edgy design. The bumper is plastic clad and gets a silver scuff plate. The side profile is rather simple, with a single character line that starts from the badge on the fender and runs to the rear of the car. We get to see wheel arches as well, which neatly complement the alloy wheels.  The Kushaq gets the new Skoda interiors with the twin-spoke steering wheel and a 10” touchscreen infotainment system. The leather seats are ventilated and the cabin has a premium feel to it. 

The Kushaq offers two petrol TSI engine options. A 1.0L TSI engine that puts out 115PS of power and 175 Nm of torque. This unit is coupled with either a 5-Speed manual transmission or a 6-Speed torque converter. On the other hand, there’s a 1.5L TSI engine that puts out 150PS of power and 250 Nm of torque. This unit is mated to either a 6-Speed manual gearbox or a 7-Speed DSG

Volkswagen Taigun recap

The Taigun features a typically understated design like other Volkswagens. The front features an upright face with a chrome grille featuring horizontal slats. The headlights are LED projector units with LED DRLs. The front bumpers get extensive chrome treatment and a silver skid plate. The side features 16-inch steel wheels and 16 inch or 17-inch alloy wheels depending on the variant. The rear features LED taillamps and a horizontal ‘infinity’ LED element running across the boot.

Other details include shark fin antenna and silver roof rails. The interior is again understated with minimal cuts and creases It gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system with 6 speakers and wireless smartphone connectivity. Top-end variants will also get an 8-inch virtual cockpit. Other features include wireless charging, cooled glovebox, USB C type charging ports, rear A/C vents, electrically foldable mirrors, automatic climate control with touch-sensitive controls, and Volkswagen’s new three-spoke flat-bottom steering wheel. 

The Taigun features two petrol engines and no diesel engine. The entry-level engine is a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder TSI engine that produces 115ps and 178 nm of torque. It comes mated to a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

With the Urus, Lamborghini had made it plenty clear that a performance-oriented SUV-cum-off roader is very much possible. Back in 2019, the brand aimed at outdoing itself by showcasing an off-road supercar concept. This concept was for a Huracan-based Sterrato off-roader. The images from 2019 have now converted into spy shots, as this Huracan Sterrato has been spied testing in the snow. The car carries an obvious resemblance to the standard Huracan but some key new elements guarantee that one shall never mistake it for a pure sports car. Although the brand has not made any announcements regarding the launch or production of the Huracan Sterrato, we suspect that this car could be released in mid-2022 alongside the new iteration of the Urus.

Design

The first thing that you notice is the lifted suspension. This prototype sits nearly 47mm higher than the standard Huracan giving it more confidence while off-roading. It gets a big skid plate at the front and also gets a bar light on the hood. We also get to see black roof rails. The rear also gets a fat skid plate, while the rest of the design remains the same.

Coming to the side, this test mule does not get the same bolt-on flared wheel arched as were showcased by the brand. It could be that they are added at a later stage in the production process or are offered as an option. The wheels are down-sized to 20-inches to increase the profile and also get a 40mm wider track. The concept images also boasted a rooftop bar light, but the same was not seen on the spied vehicle. This could be because of the intake tube as the light would disrupt airflow.

Performance

The Huracan Sterrato will be powered by a mid-sized 5.2L naturally aspirated petrol engine. While a turbo would have solved the oxygen feeding problem, Lambo is going for that straight-line power output.

The car gets two intake air vents on both sides to calm this powerful engine. The actual power figures are not known yet, but we can give the benefit of the doubt to the company. Other than the engine, the car is all-wheel-drive mated to a 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission.

Bajaj Auto recently trademarked the “Twinner” nameplate in India. There is no news or any indication about the future plan with this name but there are speculations at the moment. Bajaj already has a partnership with KTM which proved to be quite successful for both companies. Looking at this, the partnership with Triumph could also be fruitful by spawning a new bike. The “Twinner” name could be used for a twin-cylinder bike but there is no official news to claim this. We think Bajaj would develop this bike with Triumph as part of their deal. The two firms revealed that the Bajaj-produced Triumphs would span 200-750cc models and would hit the streets sometime in 2022. 

Bajaj and Triumph Collaboration

Miles Perkins, Triumph’s Head of Brand Management, had this to say about the development “I have seen the development motorcycles and the prototype for those, it’s all on track. We haven’t yet confirmed exactly what the bikes are and exactly when we will launch them but the news is forthcoming soon.” Triumph hasn’t revealed what kind of motorcycles are under development but there’s one thing for sure, that they are planning to release the small-capacity motorcycles globally. The new small-capacity lineup wouldn’t solely be limited to Asian countries only.

Both the companies are bound to take advantage of each other’s expertise. Because that is what relationships are for, right? This isn’t Bajaj Auto’s first outing with an International bike maker as the company is still in a very healthy state of affairs with KTM and has partnered with Kawasaki in the past. Perkins too has reassured Triumph fans about the collaboration by handing out this statement “The working relationship is strong, the design development is completely Triumph, these are Triumphs and the partnership is building it and selling them around the world. What Bajaj brings is phenomenal in terms of the ability to develop quality in this volume, especially in the lower capacity range.”

Bajaj won’t be launching the motorcycle under its own tag but will assist Triumph in manufacturing the motorcycle at their plant in Akurdi, Pune. That means the upcoming motorcycle will bear the tag of either Street, Bonneville, or Tiger. Chances are, it could turn out to be something else entirely!

The Toyota Land Cruiser needs no introduction. It is globally known for its indestructible quality and reliability. Recently, the new generation Land Cruiser broke cover after more than a decade. Now, the Land Cruiser commands a waiting period of 4 years! The company states that it is not because of the supply chain or semiconductor crisis and refused to state the real reason behind these delays.  We reckon this is because of the rising cases of omicron variants because of which many companies had to cut down their productions and the existing supply chain and semiconductor crises. Due to this, the India launch might also get delayed. 

Official statement

This delay was confirmed on Toyota’s website. It says “As Land Cruisers are very popular, not just in Japan but around the world, we apologize it is expected to take a long time before we can deliver the product. There is a possibility it could take up to four years if you order now. We will continue to shorten the delivery time and we appreciate your understanding”

Land Cruiser LC300: Quick recap

It might have retained the body-on-frame structure but the new Land Cruiser is based on a new platform. The TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform also underpins the 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Another major overhaul which the Land Cruiser has received is in its engine department. To please the environmentalists around, Toyota has dropped the V8 engine and now the LC300 can be had in just two engine options.

The first one is a twin-turbo V6 3.5-liter petrol unit that can generate 409 horsepower and a peak torque of 650 Nm This new engine actually has 30 more horsepower and 80 Nm of more torque than the older engine. There is also a diesel engine option with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo unit. It is capable of churning out 305 horsepower and an impressive torque of 700 Nm. Coming to the updated cabin now, it gets a new 12.3-inch touchscreen floating infotainment head-unit with connected car technology, heated and ventilated seats, a digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, adaptive cruise control, and various other features.

Who hasn’t heard the name LML? The brand has been a household name as one of the most dependable and trusted two-wheeler manufacturers in India. While to us and our previous generation, LML stood for the ‘Vespa’ geared-scooter, the coming generations might get to know it as an electric two-wheeler manufacturer. LML has announced a strategic partnership with Saera Electric Auto, one of the largest auto two-wheeler producers formerly manufacturing for global major – Harley Davidson.

What to expect

Saera has a state-of-the-art facility located in the auto hub of Bawal in Haryana. This facility is now set to produce the most disruptive range of the upcoming LML Electric vehicles. The manufacturing plant spans 2,17,800 square feet and has a capacity of 18,000 units per month. Saera’s advanced infrastructure and competence in manufacturing backed by LML’s historic presence in the two-wheeler market will develop an anticipated EV range of products. As a first of many steps, LML intends to build a future-ready manufacturing facility using Saera’s technology and processes to help the brand transition into a 100% ‘Make in India’ company by end of 2025. LML is in talks with global manufacturing entities seeking futuristic collaborations in product design and engineering innovations. Its brand is already being approached by a wide array of design and engineering firms from Europe to Japan.

Official Statements

Dr. Yogesh Bhatia, CEO of LML, says, “We are very pleased to announce this important collaboration with one of the most reputed manufacturing names in the two-wheeler and auto segment. Saera was our first choice because the company holds unparalleled expertise and reputation with some of the world’s premier auto brands. At LML, we hold a strong vision with this alliance as we aspire to create a brand that is 100% localized and has an impeccable quality assurance that is world-class.”

“We foresee an immediate need for automakers to reduce their dependence on imports and build an infrastructure that is designed and capable to address the rapidly growing demand in India and the world over. We are confident that this partnership will be a stepping stone in our vision to redefine and reimagine the future of EV manufacturing in India to bring the country at par with global manufacturing standards.”, he further added.

Earlier, we reported that homegrown E-mobility brand Nexzu Mobility is looking to ramp up localization efforts and focus on developing complete EV mobility. The brand focuses on developing 100% ‘Made in India’ EV mobility with its manufacturing units based in Pune while seeking suppliers based in the country who can produce and supply export quality products at competitive prices and short lead times. Nexzu Mobility today launched their long-range daily commuter’s e-cycle – Bazinga. 

What is it?

The production launch ceremony was organized at the brand’s manufacturing plant at Chakan with active participation from all the team members across India through a live Zoom meeting. The event also witnessed an in-depth explanation of all the features that these cycles. The Bazinga e-cycle is priced at ₹49,445 whereas the Bazinga Cargo e-cycle is priced at ₹51,525. It included a lamp lighting ceremony followed by ribbon cutting and the bicycle roll out from the production conveyor belt. Transforming the EV experience for customers, an in-house designed and developed unisex e-cycle, the Bazinga comes with an extended range of 100km with a single detachable Li-ion battery.

It also boasts a solid and sturdy designed new cargo carriage with a 15 kg load capacity. The e-cycle is ergonomically designed for effortless hop-in and hop-out for riders, while the excellent aesthetics with digitally designed decals give it a new feel and look. The brand will officially launch the product in February 2022. However, customers can start pre-booking these e-cycles through the Nexzu Mobility e-commerce website and its social media handles.

The deliveries for pre-orders will commence post product launch. In a bid to make the adoption of these fitness-focused e-cycles more seamless, an EMI alternative with Zest Money and easy payment options are also available for customers.  Nexzu Mobility already expanded its dealerships network across India in cities like Madurai in Chennai, Gurugram in Haryana, Vijayapura in Karnataka, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Ballabgarh in Haryana, Medchal Malkajgiri in Telangana, and Chhattisgarh.

Consumers can also purchase the product directly from the companies’ e-commerce platform Nexzu. for doorstep delivery across India. Nexzu currently has over 100 dealer touchpoints across the country, its own online store, and an established presence across multiple e-commerce platforms.