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Tata introduces hybrid car ‘Prius’ in India

Posted by autotran on January 7, 2010

Japanese car major Toyota on Thursday launched the availability of its latest generation hybrid car ‘Prius’ in India, besides launching the CNG version of its popular sedan Corolla Altis.

Priced between Rs.26.55 lakh and Rs.27.86 lakh, the third generation Prius, which became the world’s first mass produced hybrid vehicle in 1997, com

Prius Plug-in Hybrid

BEAUTY ON FOUR WHEELS: Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada demonstrates during a photo session of its "Prius Plug-in Hybrid" on Dec. 14, 2009 in Tokyo: File Photo: AP

es with 1.8 litre petrol engine with a battery of 60 kilowatt.

This will have three driving modes

  1. Power mode,
  2. Eco mode and
  3. Electric vehicle mode (battery).

Prius, which in Latin means ‘to go before,’ is ‘equipped with the latest version of its pioneering technologyToyota Hybrid System II (also called Hybrid Synergy Drive) — that has achieved world-leading fuel efficiency.

“Through the launch of Prius, Toyota is keen to demonstrate its commitment to offer the latest eco-friendly automotive technology to its customers in India. Prius today is the most successful hybrid in the world with cumulative sales of nearly 15-lakh. We will continue to popularise environmental-friendly vehicles in India to further our efforts to help save the environment,” said Toyota Kirloskar Motor Deputy Managing Director Sandeep Singh.

“Prius will be imported as completely built-up unit from Japan. We have ordered 200 units for India that will be sold during March-December 2010, while the bookings have already started. Prius will be available only in 10 cities, including the metros and smaller cities like Chandigarh, Pune and Ahmedabad, while the waiting period for the hybrid will be about two months” Mr. Singh said.

Source: http://beta.thehindu.com/business/companies/article76987.ece?homepage=true

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Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Posted by autotran on December 21, 2009

The Interwebs have discovered some additional images of the Geneva Motor Show-bound Alfa Romeo Giulietta. Although there is a full-on rear shot, these are more about details and lighting elements than taking the entire car in. The new hatch won’t suffer from any lack of LED’s, with an array of four in the headlights and a basket full of them in the rear taillights and third brake light.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Some new images of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta

Fiat’s aims to sell around 100,000 units per year, and with five engine choices on offer at launch, the company is doing its best not to leave any potential customer out. If we’re lucky, that pool of potential customers will include Americans that aren’t ex-pats… Have a look at what’s coming in the gallery of high-res images below.

Source: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/12/21/more-pics-of-the-alfa-romeo-giulietta-appear/

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Driven: 2010 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan at price $24,515

Posted by autotran on December 15, 2009

Heated leather seats, a nav system, voice-activated Bluetooth, a moonroof, and XM satellite radio, all on a Honda Civic? Are you kidding?

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

If you’ve known the Civic as a source of inexpensive, economical transportation in the past, it’s easy to think that on first glance at the feature set of our test 2010 Honda Civic EX-L Sedan—and its price tag: $24,515.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Although that’s certainly not pricey for a vehicle today (the average price of a new vehicle lands a bit below $30k), the level of equipment is surprising, because—probably like you—I tend to associate the Civic either with frugality and basic transportation, geeky maximum fuel-efficiency (Civic Hybrid) or edgy tuner-style performance (Civic Si).

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Go for the top-of-the-line EX or EX-L and you’ll end up with a bit of a different experience. For starters, you get the same curvy yet slab-sided exterior and odd dual-tier instrument panel that had shoppers quite polarized on introduction. But it’s accented with a few more soft-touch surfaces, upgraded trims, and perforated leather steering wheel trim. The center console has a padded, sliding armrest, while back-seat passengers get a pull-down armrest with integral cupholders.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The EX-L feels completely loaded, with those things aforementioned plus power everything, keyless entry, cruise control, a USB audio interface, nice 16-alloy wheels, and upgraded ventilated disc brakes. All the safety bases are covered, too, with stability control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist part of the package.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

But while some things are different from the basic, frugal Civic you might remember, other things stay the same. For one, the five-speed automatic transmission in the 2010 Honda Civic is a little lumpy, and its shifts aren’t nearly as decisive and smooth as in some rival vehicles. Drive the Civic a little harder and the powertrain seems to smooth out and hit its stride, with letting the smooth engine rev higher and shifting more confidently. The same goes for downshifts; try to be light on the throttle and downshifts involve a slight lurch; step into it more and the downshift is more decisive. Overall, we love the manual transmission that comes with Civics and would highly recommend it over the auto for anyone who’s ever enjoyed a manual.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The overall goodness of the engine is hard not to love. It’s a 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder, making 140 horsepower and just 128 pound-feet of torque, but it feels like plenty for the under-2,800-pound, front-wheel-drive Civic. An aggressive throttle calibration makes it feel perky off the line, and if you pin your foot to the floor it’ll build power all the way to redline and not disappoint. It doesn’t offer the rush of the Si, but most shoppers will love how the standard Civic’s engine doesn’t become raucous and unrefined when you rev it like so many other engines this size. Overall, the Honda Civic feels very peppy, with quick and precise steering especially in low-speed driving. On the highway the steering felt a little too light on center, leading us to make more small adjustments than we’d like. Push it hard and it feels like a more sophisticated, more expensive car whereas most other budget-priced small sedans start to show ragged edges.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The Civic remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars in its class in real-world driving. The EX-L came with EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 36 highway, and we averaged nearly 29 mpg in a week’s worth city stop-and-go and suburban errand running, with plenty of cold starts. If you’re considering the Civic instead of a mid-size model like the Accord, that’s a full 30 or 40 percent better than the 21 or 22 mpg figures we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in mid-size four-cylinder sedans.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

There have to be some compromises, right? Well there are. Try to fit adults in the back seat and you’ll notice the most pronounced difference between the Civic, or for that matter some other compact sedans with slightly less rakish rooflines. Even average-height adults will have to tuck their heads around the door line when entering, and taller adults simply won’t have enough headroom. On the plus side, if you do fit, the cushions back there are nicely contoured and there’s decent legroom.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

In front there are also more than a few disappointments. Ever since this generation of the Honda Civic made its debut, this rather tall driver hasn’t known what to do with his right leg as it rests just beside the hard, sharp handbrake lever. Anyone above six feet tall needs to watch out for this, as it could be a deal-breaker for long trips.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

Don’t expect anything close to luxury-car comfort in the Civic. The leather is very stiff, almost like vinyl, and the front seat heaters didn’t appreciably heat the backrests, just the lower cushions—which seemed to be the case on both sides. And although there were soft-touch inserts for the doors, the rest of the door panels, center console, and instrument panel was covered in rather hard, thin-feeling gray plastic.

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The 2010 Civic is near the end of its product cycle, and a few of its tech features proved frustrating. The nav-system’s screen seems a bit dull and lower in resolution to a number of other systems we’ve seen recently in new models, with an odd, unintuitive menu structure and slow response, while this version of Honda’s HandsFreeLink Bluetooth system completely struck out, failing to pair with two different phones we had on hand. The Bluetooth controls can’t be accessed visually through the nav-system screen or the gauge cluster, and there’s no significant instruction on pairing through the owner’s manual or the so-called Technology Reference Guide, and didn’t have a lot of success with it. An audio help menu starts when you hit the talk button, and we managed to pair one of the phones, then were later told the phone wasn’t found, with the system locking up and muting the sound system (requiring us to turn on and off the ignition to again listen to the sound system).

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

2010 Honda Civic Sedan

The small-car market has changed a lot since the Civic’s last full redesign in 2005 (for 2006). The Civic doesn’t look nearly as cutting-edge in appearance as before, and the competition has heated up with the introduction of excellent, well-equipped and enjoyable offerings like the 2010 Mazda3 and the 2010 Kia Forte. But the Civic’s longstanding reputation for reliability and resale value are hard to overlook and especially in the lower DX and LX trims, the Civic’s level of value is tough to beat.

Source: http://blogs.thecarconnection.com/marty-blog/1040193_driven-2010-honda-civic/page-1

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