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Arjun_M last won the day on October 19 2013

Arjun_M had the most liked content!

About Arjun_M

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  1. For weekend drivers who prefer enthusiastic sprints or long journeys, surely VW/Skoda is a better choice? How do we manage service intervals and costs then?On maintenance costs, how do Honda City, Chevy Cruze and Ford Fiesta compare?
  2. The excess of the black panels won't do much to make it look better. The looks will definitely catch a few off guard, but I guess a darker coloured model would look far better than this plain white one. That still can't fix the little blue patch on the tail lamp. A Malaysian automobile blogger once criticised the Scorpio holding nothing back, for reasons including wide panel gaps. This one looks relatively tight.
  3. VW has made some effort in giving us safer cars, so that's a start. They still need to offer us better cars for the price. VWs are overpriced and loaded light, so you get the idea they're not taking us seriously- and it shows in their sales, too. For VW, it is simple- sell the same cars in India as they do in the UK, Australia and NZ. Unusually, VW's European competitors Fiat and Renault are not listed in these tests. Maruti, I feel, is the most hypocritical company in the Indian automotive industry. They constantly advocate road safety, safe and sane driving, and have a very elaborate driving training programme, but it counts for nothing when they continue to peddle unsafe cars with poor build quality, poor brakes, poor gears and a tendency to catch fire and lock the occupants inside with no escape. The more I read about Maruti and their safety issues, the less I like them. The Tata Nano was a poor choice as a consumer car, and the NCAP test show it still is. You can't be safe on any road in something built at a dirt cheap price. If people are buying this car only for price and mileage, they're better off walking or riding bicycles. Hyundai's poor scores just reconfirm they're paper/plastic copies of European cars, although the ratings for cars in higher classes will be a little better. Most of these cars don't sell in Europe, or UK, or the Americas, or ANZ. We find several offerings by VW, Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Seat, Alfa and other companies with a reputation of building safe cars. We want them to sell their cars here in India. That can do its bit in making our roads safer. The Government should also step in, and do its bit towards making our cars, and our roads, safer. First, ban all cars that do not score four stars in NCAP. It not only takes care of safety, but also reduces traffic on roads. Then, provide incentives to cars that score better in NCAP, so that all car companies are compelled to create safer machines.
  4. I'm surprised at that. Very low attendance even amongst cars? And few took to the roads? I remember, when I covered my first car club parade in 2006, at the VCCCI rally, I found several cars parked and waiting, including a Ferrari 308 and a Ford Model T. The organisers said they were not 'roadworthy' and were just put up for show. Was there any such instance this year? I didn't notice reckless driving on the road this time, as I did last time, where cheap non-super cars tried to compete with the supercars on speed, and accelerated and swerved dangerously. There were, however, plenty of people in jeeps, SUVs and not-so-cheap cars standing through sunroofs and hanging out of windows, taking photos, and I photographed a few of those too. All the cars on the parade were the new generation models. What happened to the old classics? Like the 512TR? I saw a few old gems in my first and second trip to the SCI parade. Were there any issues from an organiser's point of view?
  5. I had it easier in other trips to the Autocar events and motor shows, and Stuttgart, than I did here, I guess. Hopefully I'll have a DSLR for the next event. Or maybe a video, but I'm often confused what's better- video or photo. Until then, I'll need to know when supercar owners (forum members included) take their machines out for a ride on weekends- hopefully they'll pass Bandra (Kalanagar, BKC) sometime, although I don't mind a trip to Marine Drive/Nariman Point either. Will be ideal preparation for the next year's event.
  6. Here are a few images I have taken from the Skywalk at Bandra, near Kalanagar, as the cars from the Parx Supercar Show came in. Parx Supercar Show - View from the Skywalk Now, the story behind it. I used to turn up with my best/biggest camera (first, a Canon PowerShot A85, then a Canon PowerShot SX30) at every car show, when the cars were parked, and take a few photos of each car, but after my trip to Meilenwerk in Stuttgart, and the visits to the Porsche and Mercedes museum, the novelty of seeing stationary cars up close wore off- unless a new car joins the party, or is launched. So this time, like last year, I thought I'll catch them on photo, instead of video, while they are in motion, at the turning point of the course. So I headed to the skywalk at Bandra, instead of Mantralaya, where they start and finish. The map suggested a route into Bandra-Kurla-Complex, which is reasonably supercar-friendly, but it wasn't so, when I walked all the way from Bharat Nagar to the skywalk at Kalanagar. Another enthusiast with a far superior camera told me that they'll turn here itself at the skywalk. And he was right. Taking photos was incredibly difficult, due to the difficulty in taking telephotographs. Timing kept going off, and also focus, and the bright sunlight overhead only made things tougher. My Canon PowerShot SX30, bought for taking telephotographs, was out of its depth in image quality, as these photos will suggest- I could take much better photos on my Nokia N8, at a smaller size, as my Meilenwerk and (coming soon) Mercedes-Benz and Porsche Museum photos will show. I saw very few supercars, and wasn't aware of any incident. The cars were often lost in the traffic. This time, there were no instances of stupid, crazy driving by cheap car drivers, but plenty of sunroof gazers were visible. Very surprisingly, there were only three individuals on the skywalk watching the rally, not counting me, a massive drop from the thirty-plus crowd at Sahara Star last year. Most of the cars were there from the previous lineup. To sum it up, it was a slighty-better-than-average experience (last year's was much better), taking photos was a lot tougher than getting a decent video (like last year) and I need a DSLR with a massive resolution- from which I can then crop for faraway subjects.
  7. Good thread. This should be a critical factor in a buying decision.
  8. Fan-shaped. Shark-tooth. Some call it 'dental issue'. I wonder, why does Mahindra's front grill pattern not get much love? Yes, the design is a little too in-your-face and brazen, but it seems to give the product line its image and identity. While the Jeep-inspired seven-slat-vertical design isn't completely original, it's moved a fair distance away from the original, and looks distinct, unlike, say, Hyundai's face for the i20, which looks too much like the VW Polo, or the Fiesta-inspired previous-generation i10 and also the Tata Vista. Mahindra vehicles are not trying to come across as family-friendly, soft urban machines, but more action-oriented, and the grill seems to be part of that image, so why change it? Maybe on the Verito cars, it would need a change, as it looks a little out of place, but the product line, albeit dated-looking, isn't the ugliest in the market right now.
  9. @ra4 - What is your aggregate running in kilometers a day/week/month? The quote of 48 lakhs seems decent for an imported car, and though pre-owned, is in almost new condition. I'd like to know your record/experience of importing- how you purchased it (online/UK visit), the buying process, the form-filling, the customs interaction, picking it up at the harbour/airport and registration within India. There was a TV show on Star World called Top Drive, where Tunvy Gogia had one segment on one episode where she explained how to import a car. I don't remember much of that piece. I don't remember if the erstwhile Auto Show on CNBC or the current UTV Autocar show have covered it lately.
  10. Looks good. Hope you have a good time with it. There's always the important query- can you run us through the process of importing? There are quite a few cars in other countries we'd love to get here, but can't, because car companies in India don't wish to get them- Ford Focus, for example. Besides, you may get a better car from abroad. Anyone who wishes to import can follow these steps you've followed.
  11. Folks who've been to Stuttgart and some other German cities may have heard of the company/concept known as Meilenwerk. This is a museum for supercars, vintage cars and classic cars, but they may even be rented out for a brief period, and I guess some sales have been made here. I've seen cars from different eras in this place, from the 1930s, the 50s, the 80s, and the present age. This place even has a couple of airplanes. It started off as a hangar, but is now a museum of cars, a few planes, and also has a library and some super-expensive cafes. I've taken loads of photos here, on my Nokia N8, and keep uploading to this set on my Flickr page.
  12. I was there from 11:30AM to 2:05PM. I won't need to link photos here, because most of them are the same as what we're seeing here, but I'll attach them later on my photo blog and Flickr page (where I keep adding photos taken at Meilenwerk in Stuttgart). Here are a few observations in what may be my fifth (?) visit to this event. I am more or less an APS regular, but won't be coming for MIMS, which gets more boring each year. One reason- this show is (actually, both shows are) getting more expensive. Entry fee made me drop the plan of visiting the other show (MIMS) at the other end of New Year's Day. The bright side- I've chosen an Autocar event over a ZigWheels event! More price woes- the scale models of the Scorpio/XUV5Doublo at Rs 220 are overpriced- so I chose a T-shirt. I'm impressed with the finish and fit of the previous Mahindra tee, and hope to have a good experience with this one. The best part was the off-road event. It gets more extreme with every edition. I was in the Thar driven by Mustang, who was once a regular contributor, but he said he's too busy with the magazine- and saw FRG (as I heard it) in the other Thar. I've been off this forum for a long time, so I didn't tell you before I made it. More price woes- the food. Rs 200 for a pizza is an outright ripoff- you could get it a lot less if you walked a bit into the Pizza Hut Delivery at the petrol pump- as little as Rs 65. Word of advice- if you want to eat a pizza/sub, do NOT buy at the exhibition- go to the PHD/Sub at the petrol pump. Prices apart, there are two things I found completely unnecessary- at Daljit's mod stand, you had that chromed Lambo, the Mercedes and the Jag- and one of these cars was making excessive revving noise. It was very disconcerting. I've always looked forward to high-revving activity, and am a serious classic rock/classic metal fan- but this was not nice. Another gripe I have is with the Wheel of Fortune game - I got myself a VIP pass, which is supposed to work at every stall in the event, and can get me close to the blue Ferrari with the white JBL logo stuck on it (where it will be torn)- but I wasn't interested in the blue car. I went straight in- and was not allowed in the Lambo/Aston/Jag stalls. I told some crew members about it, and they were clueless- and told me to go to exhibitors. It was just a plain white chit with "VIP" written on it- hardly convincing. If you're planning a game, at least give prizes that actually work. I liked the KTM stand a lot- and the first thing they did was try to sign me up for a test ride. The DSK folks didn't talk to me at all, and I walked away with one sheet. I got the feel of a BMW 1 series, a VW Polo GT TDi and a Ford Fiesta sedan. Of all of these cars, the one I want most is a BMW 1 series, or maybe a Ford Fiesta (hatchback or Focus hatchback preferred), and a KTM RC 2000 (would still prefer a Ninja). The Polo GT TDi is enticing, but given VW's somewhat unreliable service network, will have to let it pass.
  13. The A-class is a far better-looking hatch, and has more space at the back than the BMW, but since we're so used to smaller cars such as the Swift/I20/Punto/Polo/Figo, it shouldn't be a deal-breaker. Neither are the most comfortable, the Audi is. However, one German long-hatch that trumps all of them on the practicality and performance fronts is the VW Golf. Good sales of both cars should encourage VW get Golf into India. [media=][/media]
  14. I can't comment on Infiniti, as I know little about this brand, and its Indian operations. Of course, there's the stereotype of bulletproof reliability of Japanese cars running in India for a long time. Then again, we have some cars that don't break down as much as others. We have some car companies which have decent service and spares support. With these German/Czech cars, we have neither. Yes, they offer better cars, and better for the money spent, but reliability is an issue as we've noticed in this thread, and in several other VW/Audi/Merc threads, and service ordeals are quite scary. So are unreliable German cars running and selling here because of this arm-twisting? Is it also the cause of the dreadful service records of these companies? Then how come we don't hear such stories about other car companies? Like how a Honda Accord/Civic doesn't break down as often as a 5 series/E-Class? While even a Maruti/Hyundai/Toyota isn't top-notch in service, it's nowhere the horror story that we read in threads such as these.
  15. This whole cost-increased-due-to-excise-on-big-engine calls for the question- how much is VW's profit-per-unit on the Polo? Or a profit percent? I feel there is some amount of profiteering on the whole VW brand here. Surely they can add the 1.6L from the Vento on this car and sell more? The engine is surely better, and mileage is hardly compromised. I feel it's not so much the excise duty on the engine as it is the aim of maximising profit by cutting costs. If they added this engine, VW would have sold a lot more, because their customer base is a lot better informed than your average Maruti/Tata/Daewoo/Hyundai buyer.