NANO turns out to be a cure to congestion…

Finally after all the waiting by failures, who haven’t got any money to buy a car and brouhaha from the press, the cheapest car in the world is for sale. Because of that all the Indians who have not been able to buy proper clothes will be able to buy a car. Parking a car has now become easier than eating chips. You don’t need a parking space anymore since you can keep it in your fridge. And because it is efficient, trees have started growing everywhere even in the Rajastan desert. And all the ice caps in the arctic started freezing again.

Everyone is proudly banging on about India’s great engineering achievement of making the cheapest car. And the whole world is going to follow us. It is going to change the way the world is going to look at us. Yeah, right.

And that is exactly what we have been told to believe by some TATA enthusiasts.

On the other side of the problem, there are hippies and communists telling us that the poor little car is going to set fire to all the houses in India by causing congestion and global bloody warming. Because they are afraid the sales will become too high and the roads will be full of that monster with no facial features.

The other day a minister called Mamta Banerjee who is the fattest female politician in the world inadvertently mentioned that Nano is made up of blood. Clearly she was not concentrating on the science classes and she needs a bit of attention.

The truth of the matter is this. Telling the world that we make the cheapest and smallest car in the world is the same as telling your colleges that you are the meanest and you have the smallest genitals. And the world won’t think that we are excellent in engineering. They will think all the Indians are cheap skates.

And when they see Mamta raving on about blood being used to make the chassis and brakes, they will conclude that all Indians are fat, ugly and stupid.

I am not a fan of NANO to be honest and I would rather walk on my knees than owning a car like that.

I don’t agree with hippies either since I believe I can come up with some ideas of making a good use of this mean masterpiece.

All chips sellers, petty shop owners, wizened old men and all loonies are the ones that are rushing to the showroom to buy this after selling their mopeds. Don’t let them in. Those are the ones who spoil the traffic. A goat has more commonsense and traffic manners than them.

I don’t think poor people should drive cars. Let them work hard enough to be able to buy a proper car and if they become civilized after earning money they will drive properly in a civilized way. We can’t allow yokels and apes to do it.

Don’t sell it to the rich either. Because they will keep it in the garage and drive around in the SUVs, behind the tail of another car by a millimeter honking at the traffic jams. And if I were in power and I found a well settled person driving the bloody thing, he or she would be painted yellow and will be thrown into the sea.

Nano, I think can actually make a good commercial vehicle. Really.

In the great land of India, most of the minicabs are OMNIs which like I have told before is the most dangerous car in the world. And auto rickshaws are terrible. And people who drive them are Narcissists.

Instead of talking about global warming the government should create a separate body for minicabs. So that the current cab drivers and auto drivers can no longer steal money from people. Nano would fit in there perfectly as a replacement to both auto rickshaws and OMNIs.

Environmentally also this is advantageous. All rickshaws are filled with a clever mixture of petrol, kerosene, used oil and poisonous urine from the drivers. Nano will be relatively clean and has a downside better top speed than the pope.

It is amazing to think that the car that is set to ruin the roads of India may well be a cure to congestion. What you need is a person with a brilliant idea…

That is not the major point though. All the auto rickshaws have to vanish.

Magic words for my blog

lamborghini alar, crazy looking cars, the best looking modern cars ever, indian traffic jam, lamborghini prototypes

The Multi-jet marvel – Indica Vista

When I think of writing about a car I would probably think of sports cars like Porsches or Ferraris or luxury cars like Rolls’ or Bentleys or crazy American cars that go fast and crash somewhere near the first corner due to understeering or angry rally cars like Subarus. But I made up my mind to write about something practical and reasonably priced and one such thing is Indica. The old Indica was nothing more than a practical car which came with a body and four wheels and that’s it and it had a diesel version. The car never was fast enough to make people reach office on time but it always manages to make them feel they are already inside the factory. Honestly it has the same ambience as that of a factory. The interior was pretty much the same as we would expect, hopeless. Surprisingly it could roll even at speeds as low as pope. Okay, the ride was on par with the competitors and the engine did pull well. But it was never a car that you can take for a fun drive or cruise to faraway places. But it is now made by fiat and TATA; this may be a bit different. What have they done to the car that was considered catastrophically bad in foreign markets?

miltijet treatmentThe new car desperately tries to look angry from the front with especially the badly swept headlamps, the new honey comb grill, but it is a futile effort. The size is more which makes the already spacious car more spacious than a bus, but the back needs a bit of attention. The car is safer than the older one too. Wait, the head lamps resemble that of i10, O dear! But it is not a lipstick on the old car, it is a new platform. The improvements like new tyres 175/65 tubeless, 14 inch rims, better fit and finish though small have been nicely done. But what on earth possessed them not to give alloys! We can’t expect a luxurious interior for this kind of money, but it is better than the old model and is now more utilitarian with a decent two tone theme inside. This time it has better A/C, adjustable seats and steering wheel and other useful gadgets like CD players with USB. Overall build quality has been improved but it does not blow the mind. Sadly 0-100 acceleration time is now 15 seconds which is about three weeks but it works well inside the city, the car has better grip, corners better despite being a bit heavy and steering feels responsive and driver is more poised. So, sad news for old TATA fans, they have stopped making boats. This gets independent front suspension and TATA’s genius twist beam rear suspension which keeps ride quality in check. But we are yet to know the story of its ability as a cruising machine and whether it sounds like a church or an industry inside the cabin. Overall it’s a huge leap in almost all the areas and the best news is still untold which lies under that ugly bonnet. It comes with a 1.3 multi-jet efficient fiat engine. But it only manages 74 horses which is good if the car weighs less than driver. But it churns out a good 190 NM of torque. And with the new cable shift gear box people no longer need a hammer to change the gears. This is far from being a driver’s car but it is not as monumentally bad as the old one. A drive in one of these is nothing short of a breeze, only inside city obviously. But you cannot overtake anyone, the rear of the car looks like a tortoise and the some panels look like I made them. Despite these the fact is that the deal between the two giants seems to work. All these good things come with a price which is the price. It will be sold for nearly five lakh rupees. But again they have won in the game of ‘value for money’. Still it is not a threat to Swift. Complains about looks and interiors are forgiven because this still is a cheap car to buy and more importantly cheap to run. Er, This is important. This is a step forward towards global quality standards taken by TATA. TATA’s were very busy trying to enter the auto-rickshaw segment with their NANO. Still they managed to have come up with this. This is an achievement of the Indian automobile Industry. Only by making things more refined we can make this world a better place to live in. This car along with the new A-star from Maruti has set the wheels in motion. But we can be more proud of that if it is an ‘all Indian car’. Because we make things by tie-ups all cars are losing character. You see the swift, some of the fiat cars, GM cars and now Indica all have the same 1.3 diesel engine. They will all become same and it will become mind numbingly boring to drive any car in the future. That is the problem. We Indians have shown the world how good we are in arts, finance and Education. Why can’t we make it for cars? And why not trucks? Why not trains? For now these questions will remain unanswered. We can wait for more reports on latest Indian cars. But the shape of things to come was never so positive.

Trance Mission!

There are great many stories about the enormous changes that have taken place in this universe. So is human’s desire from time to time. And so are automobiles. There are momma’s boys who sit happily in the back seat of MERCS, there are lunatics who put a huge engine in pick-up trucks and crash, there are rich Rolls Royce owners shouting ‘Hey You Little man! Out of my way!’ and there are people like me who adore some of the insanely fast cars. Today we no longer need cars with a twelve liter W23 engine that is able to move the moon out of its orbit. Simply we put a tiny engine on an ultra light chassis and for that little bit of extra thing we have turbo chargers and super chargers, and drive it back home at a million miles an hour. We have hot hatches and tiny roadsters that give us drawback free motoring. Driving is all about going in a pantaloon. In that world there are no compromises and we are not even ready to waste time in the attempt to shift gears. It seemed that someone had been listening to the cries of the motorists, when the Volkswagen engineers came up with a solution. Direct shift gearbox.

Let me put it like this. If someone wants to use two gear boxes to reduce the shifting time, the idea may sound a bit crazy to you. But the Germans thought the other way. They put the two clutch plates concentric to each other and electronically controlled the shifts. One clutch has first, third and fifth gears; and the second clutch holds the rest. When you are driving first the other clutch is ready with the second gear. When you shift, the clutch is disengaged and the next clutch with the second gear is engaged and all that takes places in a biblical eight milliseconds. That kind of time is genuinely staggering and makes even the sequential manual transmission of the ENZO look old-fashioned. These are already available with all VW owned company cars like Skoda’s, Audi’s, Bugatti’s and Lamborghini’s. In the D-mode all the gears short shift which honestly will appeal only to the executive population, whose life is mind-numbingly boring. For men who want the back of the car coming into play in corners we have S-mode that takes you to the sweet red line every time. And then there is a Tip-tronic mode where you can give your suggestions, but it will do shift on its own anyway.

Coming to why we need such a thing, the answer is quite simple. The shifting is unbelievably fast. Current day sports cars are so obsessed with technology that we simply can not enter in and drive. The gear box indeed saves a lot of time to make up for the time you have lost in playing around with the settings. You put that gearbox in a racing car, it saves a fraction of a second in every shift and finally several seconds may even be a minute. That is exactly more than the difference between Felipe Massa and Adrian Sutil. But that is the upside. All nice things come with a price. The downside is it is expensive and heavy. And it is not easy to make either. But my worries have nothing to do with the cost. All cars are becoming brilliant, that is the problem. They have been losing the sense of craziness over time. They make you feel rich, proud and comfortable but they can no longer make you smile. And all the electronics make the driving feel as good as playing a video game, which means no analog feel, no human feel anymore. One more annoying thing in recent cars is the absence of gear lever itself. The paddles are mounted behind the steering wheels. That floppy paddle non-sense is a brilliant gear box for the rest of the world. But for me it isn’t. The plain old gearbox may not be so brilliant, but is a lot more fun.

Its boring!

Let us talk about Indian cars. When you look into a buyer’s guide of Indian cars you will come across endless boring shapes those seem to have been designed by a Human relations manager. Just have a look at their interiors, it is pretty much as you would expect, hopeless. We are not talking about luxury cars, sports cars, tidy roadsters, super cars or brilliant cars by any means. This is India. Here all the form follows the function. All the cars here do not perform very well, nor are they well made either. If they add buttocks to a hatch and name it an entry level sedan it will sell well, they say. Or they can even shave an SUV and name it a saloon. A box sitting on a suspension with a stupid engine and good efficiency figures is the best car for people over here. Here number of occupants is of more concern than the engine capacity. They do not worry if a car corners like a hippo. They save some money by getting a variant that is not equipped with ABS and Airbags. As a result the Indian roads look something much worse than mind-numbingly boring. There is an advertisement not to mention the firm; the manufacturer claimed the car had cruise control, ABS, traction control and parking sensors. The car was said to be loaded with technology. Some cars in eighties had these technologies. So is it the manufacturers or the customers those can be blamed? Actually both must be blamed. It is not that the engineers do not have brains, they use it differently rather. All cars sold in India are engineered to be sold at a better price, rather than be sold as a better car. Let us put it this way. If you compare a typical car running on Indian roads and a world class car, the Indian car will be half as good but will cost a third or even less. So, why not sell cars here that are almost as good as the best European cars and cost half as much as per that equation. So you get my point. Indian automobile market is brilliant in its own way. What we need to do is scale up things a bit. The reason why other Asian countries are thriving is they sell better cars than Indian companies that are cheaper than European cars. India being a beautiful country deserves much better cars than it has if not better then Europeans. All we now want is cars that are half as well engineered as the Porsches and Beemers, a third as passionate as Ferraris and Lambos, a fifth as well made as Mercedes and Nissans, a tenth as lovable as Mustangs and Astons and priced as good as the Indians. I will be the happiest man if the Indian roads become what they deserve to be.

Concept Car ! !

At last I came up with a new concept car. As you see I am not a good artist. Nowadays a concept car promises biblical performance or on the other end people are talking about battery cars. But this concept is totally based on practicality. A country like India faces problems like Petrol Price hikes, High city Traffic, lack of parking space. On the other hand passengers are keen on safety, Comfort, satisfaction and afford ability and also performance. Many cars score well on one or more aspects but lack on the rest of them too. I think I have got the solution. I am calling this concept ‘hope’. This car has an ordinary front wheel drive layout driven by 1.0 or 1.2 liter aluminum engines. The rear wheels are powered by a 30NM electric motor. Alloys, fuel cut off when braking and deceleration, good aerodynamics and light weight can result in an incredible mileage. The car will just weigh around 650 – 700 kilos. The dimensions will be small as well. The gear box will also be simple, a five speed manual. Brakes will be of disc type. This will feature an independent double wish bone suspension in front and multi link suspension in the rear. Steering will be direct. The car is bound to handle well and ABS is there to save the day. In spite of being nimble and peppy this would still be cheap. This car is a focussed light weight car with no air con and stereos. The interiors can accommodate three adults. The entire money is on the engine and chassis. This kind of car is the only solution to meet the emission norms without sacrificing performance err, by sacrificing things which we do not actually need in a car. This is not exactly a three seater, a fold able seat can be used to seat two persons at the cost of luggage space. A tiny additional luggage space is there though. Many people asked me why I think of such weird concepts. It is clearly practical. Okay! This does not have the passion of a Ferrari or a Lamborghini. But this has got everything an Indian needs. As I have mentioned in the previous post, I thought why there is no affordable coupe. Does an Indian not deserve sporty looking cars? Won’t those type of cars become affordable? Yes, It can. This idea a just the result of my yen for the sporty cars in India. Ratan Tata’s concept has done wonders. But this one I am afraid i gonna stay in my drawing board for ever!

Cars for all

I am not going to talk about Ratan Tata’s idea of “car for all” . When I say car for all, I never mean cars that men with sparse money can afford. We need to look into this problem from a different perspective. Nano is a wonderful piece of Engineering and when cost matters it is in its own class. As a matter of fact, the transmission system alone of a typical European car costs more than the cost of Nano. That is not our problem. Still people don’t get what they exactly need for money they spend. If engineers can design a hatch for such a knock out price why don’t we get a coupe for even ten times the amount. Not that the market is week for sports cars in india, but they are far too expensive for them to buy. Even in the existing cars people can’t find the perfect variant. Manufacturers design the packages for all the variants just focusing the price range. Just give a list of engine options, aesthetic enhancements and other kits. Let us choose each of them independently. Make a fast car cheap with no focus on the gadgets. What if one wants to get nothing more than a powerful car. I just want to spend all the money for the engine, what is wrong with that?