Tata Nano : Test Drive & Review

The 2012 Tata Nano has been launched in India at a price of 1.40 - 1.96 Lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• Uniquely cute & cool styling. A car that will make you smile
• Innovative packaging results in spacious interiors for 4 adults. Generous legroom & headroom
• Peppy performance at speeds <80 kph. Engine offers good urban driveability too
• Small footprint & tiny turning radius make it immensely chuck able within the city
• Powerful air-conditioner will chill you to the bone
• 2012 Nano sees a lot of customer feedback being incorporated
• A proper car starting at a price of 1.40 lakhs only

What you won’t:

• Struggles on steep ghats (inclines) with passengers onboard. Will give up in some stop-go hilly conditions
• Missing essentials (no glove box, openable rear hatch, front disc brakes). Boot has a limited 80 liter capacity
• Low cost nature & quality are glaringly obvious
• Very heavy steering at parking speeds. Even top-variant doesn't get power steering
• Image of the "cheapest car in India / the world"
• Niggling problems as reported by existing Tata Nano owners
• Tata's sub-par after sales service experience

Tata engineers have tweaked the Nano's engine & transmission for the 2012 model. The familiar 2 cylinder petrol motor now makes 3 more horsepower & Nm of torque (each). This engine is rated at 37 BHP (@ 5,500 rpm) and 51 Nm of max torque (@ 4,000 rpm). While Tata hasn’t confirmed the same, I am dead sure that the rpm limit has gone up a notch as well. The gearing has been made taller in the interests of fuel efficiency. That probably explains why the ARAI rating has increased to 25.4 kpl (earlier 23.6 kpl).

Rouge Red

Ivory White

Buick Regal GS, 2011


Buick Regal GS, 2011

Buick revealed the production version of the 2012 Buick Regal GS, an even sportier expression of the Regal sport sedan that went on sale in 2010 and has attracted new buyers to the Buick family. Powered by a high-output, exclusive Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the GS delivers an estimated 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque for a 0-60 mph performance of less than seven seconds (estimated). Buick's Interactive Drive Control System is standard on the GS, allowing drivers to customize the driving experience by changing the suspension settings and steering sensitivity between three modes: standard, sport and GS.

The highlights:
  •  Exclusive Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged and intercooled engine rated at an estimated 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb-ft of torque (400 Nm)
  •  Six-speed manual transmission, with six-speed automatic with Driver Shift Control to be offered later
  •  Interactive Drive Control System with GS mode
  •  Four-wheel independent system with HiPerStrut front suspension
  •  High-performance four-wheel disc brake system with Brembo front calipers
  •  Standard 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tire and optional 20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires.
The exterior design features unique front and rear fascias, with the front fascia incorporating prominent, vertical air intake slots and specific grille treatment - with the vertical elements accented in a satin-metallic finish. The rear fascia has a pair of integrated, satin-metallic trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Rocker panel extensions and an integrated rear spoiler are also woven into the design. The GS cuts a sportier stance, too, with a slightly lower ride height than other models and aggressive 19-inch, 5-Twin Spoke alloy wheels and all-season tires (20-inch, 5-Twin Spoke polished alloy wheels with performance tires are optional).

Inside is a racing-inspired, flat-bottom sport steering wheel and metal sport pedals, along with leather-appointed 12-way power-adjustable sport driver and front passenger heated seats, which include four-way power lumbar. The GS-specific black interior is accented with satin-finish elements on the instrument panel, steering wheel and console, while the instrument panel glows white when the driver engages the GS mode of the Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS).

Standard amenities for the Buick Regal GS:
  •  Passive keyless entry with push-button start
  •  Standard XM Satellite Radio with three-month trial service
  •  Harmon/Kardon premium 320-watt sound system with nine speakers
  •  Bluetooth phone connectivity
  •  Leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel with audio controls
  •  Leather-appointed sport seating
  •  Heated driver and front passenger seats, with 12-way adjustable driver and front passenger seats - including four-way lumbar adjustment
  •  120-volt accessory power outlet
  •  Power windows with express up/down feature in the front and express down in the rear
  •  Front and rear ultrasonic parking assist
  •  Bi-xenon HID headlamps
Turbocharging and HiPerStrut
Power for the Regal GS comes from a high-output version of the Ecotec 2.0L turbocharged DOHC VVT engine with direct injection technology. It is based on the engine that will be available on Regal CXL later this year, but the engine and turbocharger are tuned to deliver greater boost pressure in the GS. The output is rated at 255 horsepower (190 kW) and 295 lb.-ft. of torque (400 Nm). A three-inch-diameter exhaust system provides reduced back pressure, resulting in higher engine power

Direct injection technology helps the engine deliver more power through increased efficiency, while maintaining fuel economy and lowering emissions. That means less fuel is consumed and lower emissions generated - including a 25-percent drop in cold-start hydrocarbon emissions. Variable valve timing optimizes power, efficiency and emissions across the entire rpm band.

The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission will be available later.

The Buick Regal GS rides on a relatively long wheelbase of 107.8 inches (2738 mm), which delivers refined, well-balanced vehicle dynamics. It also features a four-wheel-independent suspension, with a unique High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension design. The HiPerStrut system helps reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering; the driver experiences reduced torque steer, improved grip and increased cornering power, along with crisper handling, steering precision and feedback.

The four-link independent rear suspension is designed to minimize unwanted toe and camber effects during spirited driving maneuvers, enhancing vehicle stability. Both front and rear dampers incorporate active Computer Damping Control (CDC), continuously changing damper characteristics to maintain optimal vehicle ride control over varying road surfaces and profiles. More aggressive, performance-oriented damping characteristics can also be selected by the driver through the Interactive Driver Control System.

Braking power comes from a large diameter four-wheel disc brake system featuring Brembo front calipers. A standard, four-channel anti-lock brake system is tuned to reduce stopping distances over varied road surfaces and conditions. An electronic parking brake is actuated via a center console-mounted control. The Buick Regal GS also features standard StabiliTrak stability control system with integrated, full-function traction control.

Interactive Drive Control System
The Buick Regal GS is also equipped with Interactive Drive Control System (IDCS) chassis technology (also offered on other Regal models with the 2.0L turbo engine). It delivers enhanced vehicle stability and greater driving safety. The driver selects among three operating modes - standard, sport and GS - that change the suspension settings, and steering sensitivity through the variable-effort steering system.

A sophisticated driving mode control module continually monitors driving style utilizing yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering wheel, throttle and vehicle speed. It defines the dynamic vehicle state, including acceleration, braking and cornering, to optimize chassis reactions. It also executes all of the IDCS driver selections. All four dampers are electronically controlled and continuously adapt within milliseconds to the prevailing road conditions, vehicle movements and individual driving style.

Selecting GS mode optimizes the car for dynamic driving, tightening the suspension and steering response. "Standard," or the default mode, is the setting for all-around use. The sport mode provides a level of performance between standard and the GS modes.

Ford Fiesta, 2011


Ford Fiesta, 2011

The Ford Fiesta is the next milestone under the ONE Ford plan to design and develop vehicles that meet the differing needs, wants and expectations of customers around the world. More than 500,000 Fiestas have already sold to customers in Europe and Asia.

When developing the new Fiesta, Ford conducted extensive global customer research. Findings clearly indicated the need for style topped the list of customer desires everywhere in the world. In Europe, across North America and in the Asia Pacific region, customers are looking for a distinctively designed small car that offers world-class quality, convenience, comfort and connectivity.

The anticipated new Ford Fiesta arrives in North America with strong consumer awareness, thanks to the Fiesta Movement program. With 100 social media mavens chronicling their experiences of driving European market Fiestas on American roads, Fiesta has generated more than 675,000 Flickr views and more than 5.5 million YouTube video views.

Kinetics and aesthetics
Kinetic design imparts a sense of movement - even while standing still - harmonizing character elements to reflect global Ford identity, enabling Ford Fiesta to project its own air of confidence, style and individuality. Fiesta targets a youthful "design progressive" mind-set, a consumer group that values style and diversity as worthy assets.
Up front, Ford Fiesta sports the global Ford face, centering the Blue Oval badge on the grille over the signature inverted trapezoid lower grille opening. These subtle cues engender familiarity across the portfolio, providing aesthetic linkage between the distinctive new Ford Taurus, the fuel-efficient midsize Fusion and the bold Fiesta.

The Ford Fiesta face are sweeping, elongated headlamps that frame and connect the hood to muscular, sculpted front fenders. Available in sporty five-door hatchback or four-door sedan body styles, Ford Fiesta provides ample space for occupants and their gear.
The Ford Fiesta design is further enhanced with a choice of nine vivid new colors. From Bright Magenta through Lime Squeeze to Blue Flame, Fiesta's broad color palette - more available colors than any other segment competitors - instills vibrant individuality.

The Inside
Ford Fiesta is as dramatic on the inside as it is on the outside. Boldly sculpted surfaces, contrasting colors and comfortable, supportive materials make the interior as individual as the driver.
The instrument panel centerstack - focal point of the new Fiesta interior - was designed to feel as useful and familiar as the keypad on a mobile phone.

The North American Ford Fiesta features first-row bucket seats with a 60/40 split second-row seat. Cloth or leather seating surfaces vary by trim level offering comfort, style and individuality. High series Ford Fiestas also offer leather with sporty contrast accent color piping.
Soft, sculptured surfaces and the centerstack layout provide the Ford Fiesta with a sense of harmony. Intuitive switchgear placement, comfort zone seating and available ambient lighting allow a driver to maximize the mood with seven complementary colors - switchable among three levels of intensity - for interior accent lighting.

Fuel efficiency
The Ford Fiesta's flowing sculpted hood covers a 1.6-liter DOHC I-4 engine with an estimated 119 horsepower and 109 ft.-lbs. of torque. Spirited performance and fuel-efficient economy are signature attributes with the Ford Fiesta expected to deliver best-in-class fuel economy at 40 mpg.

Ford Fiesta's advanced 1.6-liter engine features Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) allowing the engine to be downsized for fuel economy while continuously optimizing camshaft phasing for throttle response, performance and flexibility.
Big results from a small package are possible with several new technologies in this new global engine, including an advanced new front end accessory drive (FEAD) belt with stretchy dynamics to improve the engine's thermal dynamics. The elasticity in this new drive belt eliminates the need for a belt tensioner and contributes to overall fuel economy.

Ford Fiesta features a standard five-speed manual transaxle with gear ratios selected to offer spirited off-the-line performance and exceptional fuel economy for drivers who desire three pedals and a stick shift to maximize driving experience.
Specially tuned front struts, bushings, dampers, stabilizer bars and a rear twist-beam axle keep Ford Fiesta sure-footed and firmly planted. Sporty, European driving dynamics prevail.

Power steering conserves fuel
For confidence-inspiring on-road dynamics, Ford Fiesta features Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) which reduces complexity while saving weight and fuel. This advanced system is speed-sensitive - providing optimized assist based on speed, cornering forces and acceleration or deceleration.
The Ford is aggressively moving to EPAS across its product lineup. The system already is available in several Ford, Lincoln and Mercury nameplates, and by 2013 nearly 90 percent of Ford's lineup will offer this fuel saving technology.

Strength, safety, quality and quiet
More than 50 percent of Ford Fiesta's welded body structure is made from high-strength steel, with ultra-strong boron steel used in several critical areas. This rigid body shell contributes to Fiesta's confident road-holding, best-in-class occupant safety and quiet composure.
The Ford Fiesta safety is enhanced by an array of features including dual-stage first-row air bags, a class-exclusive driver's knee air bag, side air bags and side curtain air bags. AdvanceTrac® with ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is standard on Ford Fiesta, along with seat belt pretensioners, rear door child safety locks and a Safety Canopy® system.

Fiesta NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) control is taken to a new level of quiet for this segment, helped in part by a specially laminated, class-exclusive windshield that was chosen to help absorb and contain noise. Engine noise is subdued by a hood blanket, with enhanced door seals keeping wind noise minimized.
Special padding behind the instrument panel and foam baffles mounted inside the pillars keeps Ford Fiesta quiet. Even the headliner material was specified for its sound-deadening qualities.
Much of Ford Fiesta's sound-absorbent materials are comprised of recycled content, helping to conserve resources as it preserves peace and quiet. In addition, Ford Fiesta aerodynamics contributes to both NVH control and fuel efficiency.

Features and functionality
From class-exclusive automatic climate control to a standard aux input, Ford Fiesta offers customers a number of standard and available features that increase convenience and add connectivity. Among them is Ford SYNC®, integrating a driver's mobile phone with Fiesta's onboard, voice- activated communications and entertainment system.
Ford Fiesta offers keyless entry and push button start, a feature unique within the segment. Drivers of all sizes can adjust the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel to suit their individual preferences. Reflecting Ford Fiesta's versatility and adaptability, adjustable cup holders can accommodate Red Bull cans and Big Gulps along with every container size in between.

Ford Focus Estate, 2011


Ford Focus Estate, 2011

The stylish next-generation Ford Focus Estate makes its global debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show alongside the sporty Ford Focus 5-door, appearing for the first time in Europe.

The next-generation Ford Focus Estate is the fifth vehicle to be revealed from Ford Motor Company's new global C-segment platform that will underpin at least ten vehicles around the world and account for two million units of annual production by 2012.

Revealed so far are the new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX models at Frankfurt 2009, the next-generation Ford Focus 4-door and 5-door cars at the 2010 North American International Auto Show, and now the Estate at Geneva.

At Geneva, Ford is also confirming that a global performance vehicle will be developed as part of the next-generation Ford Focus range, and that it will be powered by a version of the 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine family.

The Ford Focus Estate Targets Major Customer Base
The attractive next-generation Ford Focus Estate is a crucial model for the European market in particular, as around one third of all Focus customers choose this bodystyle. In some markets, such as Italy and Germany, the estate derivative represents more than half of all Ford Focus cars sold.

With its rakish appearance, the new Ford Focus Estate also makes a design statement and provides the ideal balance of dynamic looks and functional practicality. Full-length integrated roof rails enhance the estate's attractive kinetic design, while the tailgate has a self-closing function and neatly incorporates a compact roof spoiler.

Overall, the C-car segment in Europe remains relatively stable and accounts for around a third of total car sales with roughly five million C-cars sold annually. Although many premium manufacturers have also moved into the segment in recent years, it is among the volume makers that the competition is most fierce.

The market has seen significant fragmentation in the last decade thanks to the development of new bodystyle derivatives beyond the traditional four-door sedan, five-door hatchback and estate models.

By 2012, six bodystyles will cover 85 per cent of customer requirements in the segment in Europe - the four-door sedan, the five-door hatch, the estate, the five-passenger MAV, seven-passenger MAV and the small SUV.

The Ford Focus Estate will initially launch only in Europe, it has been designed to share the wide range of technologies, fuel efficient powertrains, great driving quality and high levels of craftsmanship that all of Ford's new global C-cars will deliver.

The Ford Focus Estate debuts in the same vibrant Candy Red body colour which was first shown to great acclaim on the new Ford Focus five-door model unveiled at the North American International Motor Show in Detroit.

6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie

6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie
6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie

I just run into the most awesome Mercedes 300SD ever in the history of Mercedes Benz. Its a 6, count them 6 wheeled monster Off-Road Mercedes mutant vehicle beast built for the long awaited Mad Max 4: Fury Road, that is going into production next spring in Namibia.

Its basically a 80's Mercedes mounted on semi truck frame and if that's the future to come then I am going to start making preparations to convert my Mercedes Pens Art Car into it's close cousin.

I am guessing this 6-Wheeled Mercedes beauty belongs to some war lord, head honcho, bad guy who loves to ride in luxury while ordering his mutant henchmen to kill people and destroy small enclaves. It also looks like it has enough gas tanks to last a while since there aren't many places to pull over and get gas in the future. I am definitely looking forward to seeing this movie just to see this Mutant Vehicle in action. Art Car Central is proud to display and report on such exuberant mutations of Mercedes Benz cars and certainly puts this 4x4 Mercedes to shame. Recipient of The Mutant Vehicle of the Month award.

6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie
6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie
6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie
6 Wheeled Monster Off-Road Mercedes Mutant Vehicle in New Mad Max 4 Movie
via bleedingcool

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car and the Rocking Alhabib Ejaz who Painted it

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car on the Road to Paris

About Vincent Loos and His VW Art Car Foxy Shahzadi

Vincent Loos is a 39-year-old Frenchman who finished a three year stint at a hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was with "Doctors without borders" and the owner of a 25 year old Volkswagen Beetle wreck, found at the bottom of an Islamabad street waiting for a final trip to the scrapyard. He hired an intensive care specialist who restored the car to full health, and then hired Alhabib Ejaz, an artist to paint in the local style known as "truck art".

His Dream was to travel to Paris by road with a beautifully painted VW art car covered in a psychedelic array of flowers, waterfalls and the faces of famous Pakistanis. He wanted this 6,000 mile trip to be a way to show the world the "softer side" of Pakistan.

So he embarked on his art on wheels tour, a trip that took about two weeks fully equipped with a roof rack and plenty of spare parts to make the grueling trip across that part of the world. For more info you can check out his blog

Traveling by Foxy, as Beetles are affectionately known in Pakistan, Loos payed homage to a local motoring cult. Dozens of well-maintained Beetles ply the streets. (His, a cool grey, a Betsy, a proud 1967 model.)

The Beetle came to Pakistan in the 1950s with army officers and bureaucrats returning from postings abroad. The appeal has endured – Mubashir Hasan, a finance minister from the 1970s, still drives his around Lahore. Romano Karim of Islamabad's VW club estimates about 500 "Foxies" travel Pakistan's roads. "Cute, quirky, cheap spare parts – it's the ideal car," he says.

About Alhabib Ejaz

Alhabib Ejaz was the local truck artist who was hired to transform Foxy Shahzadi into one of the most beautiful VW art cars in town for its long journey to Paris. Alhabib Ejaz is an artist who has devoted his entire life to painting those amazing Pakistani art trucks with crazy paint jobs and doilies hanging from the windows and as you can see he did ana amazing job on Foxy. What I like the most about Alhabib is the fact that he rocks the social media scene with flikr, a youtube video and two facebook accounts to promote his amazing art. This whole thing happened back in 2009 but it deserves a big mention here on Art Car Central. Please check the Alhabib Ejaz's video below.

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car and the Rocking Alhabib Ejaz who Painted it

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Eyes

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Rear

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Rear

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Front

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Hood

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Rear Door

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Hood

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Hood

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car Hubcaps

Alhabib Ejaz artist who painted Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car in the Media

Foxy Shahzadi VW Art Car and Drivers

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