Posted on May 9 2011 - 7:34am IST

Skoda RapidAfter SRK envisioned the Skoda Rapid, TheophilusChin has also brought forward a renderings of his vision of the Skoda Rapid. This version is heavily inspired by the Vision D – a design concept that was revealed by Skoda at this year’s Geneva Autoshow.

This rendering is also heavily influenced by the Vento which is probably not the right way forward. Right from the wheels to the side profile to the front fascia, everything screams VENTO!

The reason why we say that it is not the way forward is because although Skoda and VW essentially share the same platforms, their design cues are very different. Thus every Skoda looks different from its VW counterpart. This relationship can be observed in Polo-Fabia, Jetta-Laura and even Passat-Superb.

Clearly, if Skoda and VW start sharing the design cues as well, it will mean that we are buying exactly the same products at different price points. The Skoda Rapid should look completely different to its counterpart Vento. It should also be priced below the Vento so as to not eat in the sister’s marketshare.

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With petrol prices skyrocketing, it’s no wonder that majority of people are opting for diesel cars. With modern technology, majority of diesel cars have become refined and pack a punchy performance. What’s more is that they combine strong performance with amazing fuel efficiency figures and are thus are lighter on your wallet. Now a study […]

Posted on May 8 2011 - 1:56am IST

2012 BMW 7 SeriesWith the 2013 Mercedes S class flaunting itself while being tested, you just know that BMW is not going to sit around and do nothing. Here we have a spyshot of the BMW 7 Series which is expected to get a minor facelift and debut late this year or by 2012.

The new 7 Series is will feature a new set of headlights including an LED strip indicator. The headlamps will be on the similar lines of the 1-Series and 3-Series prototypes. Because, this is one of the first spyshot, details are very hard to come by.

Indian Autos Blog readers will be aware of our speculation on the 7 Series LCI from March and its local assembly plan. With the new CKD definition, BMW might defer it until the local factory is equipped to assemble engines.

Posted on May 5 2011 - 6:11pm IST

Honda Brio sedan rearA compact sedan on the Honda Brio platform is expected to make an appearance in two years time, PaulTan.org has reported. This is not a shocking development to IAB readers as our image rendering specialist Shoeb R Kalania illustrated a souped-up sedan variant using the Brio with a redesigned front-end and plenty of chrome last month.

The Brio sedan is a no-brainer – Honda uses platforms for more than one model. In India ready examples are the City and Jazz, and Civic and CR-V. Strapping a small diesel engine to the Brio sedan is compulsory as the Toyota Etios will on top of its hit list.

If you feel the i10 is small and the i20 is expensive, fret no more. Noticiasautomotivas has caught a test mule of what it calls “i15″ (codename – HB) being tested in Brazil.

Hyundai HB frontHyundai HB rear

The idea is that there is a viable segment between the i10 and i20 for those who are looking for more space and functionality at a lesser price point than the i20. This vehicle may not be launched in India but Brazil and India are grouped as developing markets with striking similarities and common trends.

Hyundai is working on a small car below i10 with a 814cc 3-cylinder petrol engine internally called “HA.” The “HB” could be an magnified HA, but we’ll have to see the car undisguised to deduce commonalities. In the next two years Hyundai’s next generation i10 diesel project will reach completion, possibly under the codename “BA.”

Hyundai HB should have should have a range of engines starting from the basic 1.0-liter petrol to 1.6 16v engine for a price a notch below i20.

Do you think Hyundai India should conduct a feasibility for a local launch or do you think a small sedan will be a better option to sandwich the “i” hatches?.

Ford Figo DashboardJust like the sales of new cars, used cars sales are also on the rise. Many players such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and even Mercedes India have a dedicated channel though which they sell used cars. It contributes to a substantial portion of their revenues.

Looking at the rising demand, Ford has also entered the used car business with the brand – Ford Assured. This will be a multi-brand sales outlet which means that you can buy pre-owned car from various brands (not only Ford).

You can be assured that they are in top notch condition because Ford is going to recondition all cars in its inventory by Ford trained and experienced technicians. You also get a one year warranty on all cars purchased through Ford Assured.

Ford India Marketing Sales and Service, Executive Director Nigel Wark -

The demand for used cars has grown in India following the rising aspirations of the rapidly growing middle income customer group. Ford Assured allows us to offer our world class services to those who aspire to upgrade their vehicles.

Currently Ford Assured outlets are located in Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune and Kochi.

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Just yesterday, Mercedes India made it official that they would bring the smaller cars – A and B Class from their portfolio to India. But they also made it quite clear that these smaller stars will be here in 2013.

2012 Mercedes B Class

But by 2013, the current generation of A and B Class will be obsolete as Mercedes is already working on the latest generations of these models. The company has already showcased it’s A-Class Concept at the Shanghai Auto Show but being a concept it was quite outlandish to look at. So clearly, the A the B Class, being Mercedes, will be slightly conservative than the Concept A Class.

Here we are have a rendering of the Mercedes B Class from Jean-Francois Hubert of Auto Zeitung, a German Auto magazine. As we can see, the B Class will be have sporty looks, but will retain the space and comfort of the existing model.

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Posted on May 5 2011 - 5:34am IST

Tata 207 pickupFord F150 Raptor SVT

Left – A done-up Tata 207 pickup truck sporting a 2,000cc, 4-cylinder in-line diesel engine that manages 90bhp of power. The vehicle has evolved and is sold with a bigger, torquey engine in the current generation.

Right – A stock Ford F150 Raptor SVT with a humongous 6,200 cc V8 petrol engine delivering a class-leading 411hp. The vehicle is a part of the legendary F150 pickup truck brand which is the highest selling automobile in USA.

Thanks Pappu Hatela for sending in the customized Tata 207 image!