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DRIVEN : Volvo v40 cross country | audi a7 sportback Vol-3 | Issue-12 | September 2013



Automobile and lifestyle

Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept headed for India

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Hotels promote art in more ways than one

Capsule Handbag Collection by Bentley

News in

Hyundai Grand i10 launched at 4.29 lakh


yundai Motor India Limited (HMIL) has launched the Grand i10 further expanding their compact car portfolio. The Grand i10 sits between the i10 and the i20 and comes with a few segment-first features, such as rear air-conditioning vents, keyless

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entry and push button start. The car will be available in both petrol and dieselvariants, with the petrol variant getting a 4-speed automatic variant as well. The base price for the petrol version starts at 4.29 lakh and for the diesel variant from 5.23 lakh. The major highlight for the Grand i10 is the cabin space in terms of legroom and the headroom, and the car lives up to it. There is enough space for the four passengers, and also for the occasional fifth one. Hyundai has equipped the Grand i10 with an integrated 2-DIN MP3

Shah Rukh Khan shows off his prized KTM 200 Duke

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan revealed his passion for motorcycles when he met fellow motorcyclists in Mumbai and shared his experience of riding his 10 month old KTM 200 Duke motorcycle. Shah Rukh revealed that he is an avid biker and finds time to ride his KTM motorcycle in Mumbai from time to time. KTM, Europe’s largest motorcycle manufacturer was launched in India in early 2012 and in a short span has become India’s No.1 premium motorcycle brand. The brand’s entire product portfolio is priced above 1 lakh.

audio with in-built 1GB memory capacity to store your favourite tunes, again a segment-first.The steering gets mounted controls and the glove box is cooled. Electrically adjustable mirrors fold away when the ignition is turned off. The driver seat will now be available with height adjustment for a comfortable driving position.

News in

Maruti Suzuki Stingray for 409,999


aruti Suzuki has introduced the sporty Stingray. Some of its features include expressive projector headlamps and stylish reflector grille to name some. The expressive projector lamps are first-of-its-kind on a car in this class of vehicles. Stingray will be available in Lxi and Vxi variants (ABS and Driver Airbag are optional in Vxi). The introductory prices (ex showroom Delhi) of the car are: Stingray Lxi- 409,999/-, Stingray Vxi – 437,999 and Stingray Vxi (O)- 466,999. The Stingray is powered by the 998cc three-cylinder K-series engine. The K-10 engine on Stingray delivers a power of 67bhp@ 6200rpm and a high torque of 90Nm@ 3500 rpm. The Stingray will return a fuel efficiency of 20.51 kmpl of petrol (Certified as per rule 115 of CMVR1989). The Stingray has a bold and aggressive front fascia, sporty side skirting, B-pillar black-out strip and stylish rear spoiler. Further it has gunmetal grey coloured alloywheels, chrome plated tail lamps and chrome back-door garnish with ‘Stingray’ prominently embossed on it. All-black ambience with premium upholstery is part of the interiors of Stingray. The designers have played with the piano black finish to add alight reflecting glassy premiumness. The use of chrome on door handles and AC louvers adds a dash of luxury to the interiors. The Stingray blue themed instrument cluster is

all new with multi information display that shows Instant and Average fuel economy, distance to empty etc. The leather wrap steering wheel and steering mounted audio controls, also usually associated with premium models, are for those opting for the Stingray VXi option.

Triumph motorcycles to hit Indian roads by November 2013 After more than a year of procrastination, Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. has finally announced its entry into the Indian market with products slated to hit the roads by November 2013. The company will be assembling some of its models in India in a CKD form at its upcoming facility at Manesar, Haryana. However, it didn’t disclose the models that would be assembled. The Hinckley, Leicestershire-based firm, which had announced seven models priced between 5.5 lakh and 22 lakh for the Indian market at last year’s Auto Expo, said it is currently scouting for dealer partners across strategic locations within India in addition to establishing an after-sales service and spare parts network. It is widely believed that the company will kick off the sales of the Bonneville, Speed Triple 675, Street Triple, Daytona 675 and Rocket III in India and will follow it up with a series of more models. A couple of Asiaspecific bikes (including a 300cc bike) with a price tag under 5 lakh are also on the cards. In India, the company would be fighting a tough battle with HarleyDavidson (which already sells assembled model here), Ducati as well as high-end bikes offered by Suzuki Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Yamaha Motor Co.

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News in

Audi Q 3 S Edition launched for 24,99,000


he Audi Q3 S edition was launched in New Delhi with a price tag of 24,99,000 (ex showroom Delhi). The Q3 S edition is a sporty version of its SUV of the year. It will be available across India through Audi dealerships from end of August 2013. The vehicle comes with a 2.0 litre TDI engine with power output of 140bhp and a six-speed manual transmission. The top end torque is around 320Nm at 1750-2500rpm. The engine delivers a fuel efficiency of 17.32km to a litre of diesel fuel. The first 10 Audi Q3 S editions booked online will win a special off-road style package. “The Audi Q3 is not only the most awarded

luxury SUV in its segment, but also the most successful. We are the market leaders in the luxury SUV segment and the Audi Q3 further consolidated that position for us. Our customer feedback reveals a growing inclination of our younger customers towards a more engaging drive. The Audi Q3 S edition is our

answer to this ever increasing demand for luxury mobility with the thrill of self -controlled driving. We are confident that the Audi Q3 S edition, will be yet another successful edition to our success story in India,” said Michael Perschke, Head, Audi India.

Rolls-Royce Wraith begins India debut 4.6 crore


olls-Royce Wraith has begun its multi-city tour of India, starting with New Delhi. Rolls-Royce’s latest model will be the centrepiece of various events that will be held for customers and media in cities including Mumbai, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. The Wraith pricing will start from 4.6 crore. The Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce in history delivering a peak power of 624bhp and 800Nm of peak torque from 1,500 rpm. It does a 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. At 624bhp the Wraith is the most powerful Rolls-Royce motor car ever made.

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News in

Toyota launches the Camry Hybrid


oyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has launched the new Camry Hybrid, which is the brands first locally produced hybrid vehicle. Camry Hybrid is powered by a 2.5 litre beltless petrol engine which is combined with an electric motor. The combined power produced by the engine and electric motor is 202bhp. The engine is mated to a CVT gearbox for convenience and enhanced fuel efficiency. The new Camry Hybrid returns a fuel efficiency figure of 19.16kmpl and is priced at 29.75 lakh (ex showroom Delhi). The car runs on the concept of Hybrid Synergy Drive which senses when to switch between the petrol engine and the electric motor. The other job that the motor does is act as a generator to convert the moving vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity, which then charges the battery. For interior comfort the Camry Hybrid gets powered rear seats and 3-zone climate control. The new Camry Hybrid will be manufactured at Toyota Kirloskar Motor’s second plant in Bidadi, near Bangalore, in Karnataka. Bookings and deliveries have already started.

Jaguar’s exclusive event with Playboy


s a celebration at the Pebble Beach Automotive Weekend, Jaguar held an exclusive cocktail reception with Playboy Magazine at a private estate in Pebble Beach, California. The high performance models, the 2014 F-Type, the XJR sports sedan and the track ready XKR-S GT, of the British manufacturer were displayed at the event. Gal Gadot, actress and model, and DJ/Violinist duo Mia Moretti and Caitlin Moe were present for the evening. Other notable guests included Cooper Hefner and the 2013 Playmate of the

Year, Raquel Pomplun. Gadot participated in a caravan of red, white and blue Jaguar F-Type vehicles and drove through the streets of Monterey, Calif. Television host and famed car enthusiast, Jay Leno, made his appearance in the Jaguar Project 7 Concept, the full aluminium bodied

roadster which is based on the 2014 Jaguar F-Type. Jaguar will feature all its products at the Pebble Beach Automotive Weekend throughout the weekend.

September 2013 / 9

News in

2014 Jaguar XJ

gets enhanced performance

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News in

September 2013 / 11


aguar’s luxury sports saloon will get more comfort and technology in its 2014 avatar. The 2014 Jaguar XJ will be offered with diesel and supercharged petrol 3.0-litre V6 engines as well as two supercharged 5.0-litre units putting out 503bhp, and in the XJR, 542bhp. All these engines are coupled with an 8-speed automatic gearbox with a broadly spread ratios for smooth shifting and efficiency. The transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kick down request. The XJR is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100kmph in 4.6 seconds and on to an electronically restricted top speed

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News in of 280kmph. The rear passenger compartment of the 2014 XJ Long Wheel Base version gets two individual ‘airline style’ reclining seats which both feature cushion and squab adjustment, three massage and two memory settings for each seat. The rear cabin will be getting enhanced luxury features. The optional Rear Seat Entertainment package comprises two 10.2 inch highresolution screens mounted on

the back of the front seat headrests. The Meridian Reference Audio System incorporates two speakers and one tweeter set in the rear of the each of the front seats; this combined with the speaker drive unit upgrades delivers a concert-like experience for all occupants.

News in

September 2013 / 13

News in

Audi A8

gets upgraded

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News in

September 2013 / 15


udi’s flagship luxury sedan, the A8, gets new features and more powerful engines. The new Audi A8 has an Audi Space Frame (ASF) design. The sedan’s body is made almost entirely constructed of aluminium and weighs in at just 231kg. Dimensions of the A8 remain unchanged; however the A8 L gets 13cm

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News in added in terms of both length and wheelbase. All variants will be coming with LED headlights as standard, and Audi will also be offering Matrix LED technology as an option. Matrix LED comprises of 25 individual light-emitting diodes per unit that can be switched on and off or dimmed individually depending on the situation. The A8 will get two petrol and two diesel engines for the German market. These are the supercharged 3.0 TFSI with 310bhp, the V8 twin-

turbo 4.0 TFSI 435bhp, the highly efficient 3.0 TDI clean diesel with 258bhp and the high-torque 4.2 TDI diesel, which produces 385bhp and 850Nm. The 4.0 TFSI now accelerates the A8 from 0 to 100kmph in 4.5 seconds. Also under partial load, the Audi cylinder on demand (COD) system deactivates four of the eight cylinders. The Audi S8 sports sedan now produces 520bhp and accelerates from 0 to 100kmph in 4.2 seconds.

News in

September 2013 / 17

News in

BMW unveils the new

5 Series in Singapore


MW has showcased the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo with enhanced design and dynamics. More features have been added to BMW ConnectedDrive technology further increasing the functionality of the system. The signature kidney grille gets added contoured lines and the air intakes sink lower. The rear is underlined by an extra crease in the apron and slimmer tail lights. The new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo has a modified front

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News in

apron exuding presence and the redesigned rear end creates a longer and lower-to-the-ground impression. All models will be equipped with adaptive LED head lights as standard. The Control Display of the standardfitted iDrive operating system is bordered in the Sedan by chrome trim and the storage compartments and cup holders have increased in capacity. Engines powering all these models are faster, produce lesser emissions and are more fuel efficient. The standard fitted BMW EfficientDynamics technology now also includes a coasting mode (which disengages the power train), to help further improve fuel economy.

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News in

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News in


Mercedes Benz GLA, progressive on all fronts

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News in


rogressive in design, versatile and with impressive off-road capability, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA aims to set new benchmarks in efficiency as it mixes practicality with surefooted 4MATIC capability. The compact premium SUV with dimensions (length x width x height 4,417 x 1,804 x 1,494 millimetres)

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is equally at ease on country roads and on the motorway. The GLA is the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to be optionally available with the newgeneration permanent all-wheel drive system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution in the UK. The GLA has a flexible and variable interior. The rear seat backrests can not only be folded down completely, but are also adjustable for angle

if required. The generous luggage compartment (421 – 836 litres) is well-presented and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low sill and the wide tailgate, which opens automatically as an option. Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 156hp in the GLA 200 to 211hp in the GLA 250. The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding

News in

efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI develops 136hp and maximum torque of 300Nm and has a displacement of 2.2 litres. It emits only 114g CO2 per kilometre (provisional figure). The GLA 220 CDI likewise has a displacement of 2.2 litres and develops 170 hp and 350 Nm. The GLA will celebrate its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt (September 12 to 22, 2013).

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News in

BMW Concept M4

CoupĂŠ at Pebble Beach

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News in


MW has unveiled the Concept M4 Coupe at the annual Pebble Beach/Monterey automobile weekend. The M4 Coupe would be a combination of hardcore motor racing technologies with everyday practicality. The face is classic BMW with the double kidney grille and twin round head lamps which feature LED technology. The M gills on the BMW Concept M4 incorporate Air Breather which combines with the Air Curtain, within the front apron, ventilates the wheel arches facilitating airflow. The bicoloured

20 inch M alloys are exclusive to this model along with the ‘Aurum Dust’ paintjob. Extensive use of CFRP (carbon fibre reinforced plastics) in the roof, front splitter and rear diffuser keep the weight low down and the centre of gravity low. The flared wheel arches and a wide tail section give the M4 a stable stance and further lowers the visual centre of gravity. “The design provides a taste of what can be experienced with each model, power, precise control and superior handling. An unforgettable driving experience on the racetrack as well as on the road,” said Adrian van Hooydonk, head of BMW Group Design.

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News in

Spyker B6 Venator

Spyder Concept headed for India in 2014

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News in


uxury car maker Spyker of the Netherlands has introduced the Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept and the car is headed for India! The Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept will begin production in late 2014 for key markets including Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and India, followed by the US in early 2015. The Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept is the eagerly awaited

convertible execution of Spyker’s compact, 2-door mid-engine sports car. This comes just five months after unveiling the B6 Venator Coupe Concept to rave reviews at the 83rd International Geneva Motor Show. Chief Executive Officer Victor R. Muller chose The Quail as the site for the Spyker B6 Venator Spyder Concept’s worldwide premiere because, “It is the car’s natural habitat. Car enthusiasts from around the globe descend upon exquisitely beautiful Pebble Beach for the

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News in

Concours d’Elegance weekend, and The Quail Motorsports Gathering is the most exclusive event of all.” The rear-mid mounted V6 engine produces a maximum power of 375+ bhp. Exterior highlights include: The trademark radiator grille’s mesh is V-shaped, referencing Spyker models of the previous century. The 1903 Spyker logo harkens back to an era when Spyker built racers such as the amazing

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60HP. The headlights, equipped with LED light rails, give the car an aggressive stance. The 3D LED rear lights are akin to the iris-type after burners of a jet engine from a modern fighter aircraft. The brake light has been sculpted into the rear panel design to ensure smooth, flowing design lines. Elegantly aggressive 19” Turbofan wheels are shown in mirror polish finish.

News in

September 2013 / 29

Cover Report

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Cover Report

Ferrari 458 Speciale debuts with a new V8

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Cover Report


he latest Ferrari, the 458 Speciale, will debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show to be held in September 2013. Ferrari has now built its most powerful naturally aspirated V8, and mid-mounted it in the Speciale. The new engine now produces 596bhp of maximum power, which is the highest ever

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from a road legal naturally aspirated engine. The Ferrari 458 Speciale takes 3.0 seconds to reach 100kmph from a standstill, and 200kmph is achieved in the next 6.1 seconds. Much of the technical details are being applied for the very first time in the 458 Speciale, including its advanced active aerodynamics, and will become a standard feature on all new Ferraris in the future. Another highlight of the 458 Speciale is the Side Slip angle

Control system (SSC) which makes it easier to achieve car control on the limits of adhesion. The car’s development also includes Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres which were specifically honed for it in an intensive collaboration programme involving numerous track test and simulator sessions. The 458 Speciale has the fastest response time (0.060 seconds) and highest lateral acceleration (1.33 g) ever achieved by a car in the Ferrari range.

Cover Report

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Motor Sport Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix

Vettel takes home the Belgian crown


rom the moment the race started, it was Sebastian Vettel of Infiniti Red Bull-Renault at his best as he overtook Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes in the opening lap of the 2013 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on August 25, 2013. Hamilton who started on pole position was unable to thwart the fast paced Fernando Alonso of Ferrari who pushed his car from ninth on the grid to second place. Hamilton, however, held on for third for a podium finish as he edged out his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg. Rosberg in turn had Mark Webber of Infiniti Red BullRenault snapping at his heals but the Australian could not go past Rosberg. Jenson Button of McLarenMercedes who at one point was racing well, slipped back to sixth place in the final run. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa finally overcame LotusRenaullt driver Romain Grosjean on the 40th lap to claim seventh, as a great run from Adrian Sutil earned Sahara Force India-Mercedes two more points. Besides Paul Di Resta of Sahara Force India and Charles Pic, whose

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Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium after winning the Belgian Grand Prix at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 25, 2013 in Spa, Belgium.

Motor Sport

Caterham faded early, the only other retirement was Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus-Renault. The Finn’s run of 27 consecutive points finishes ended with an apparent brake problem. It was mixed fortunes for Sahara Force India as Adrian Sutil raced to ninth place in the Belgian Grand Prix, while Paul Di Resta failed to finish after being hit by Pastor Maldonado of Williams-Renault on lap 27. Said Adrian after the race, “An interesting and exciting race, and it’s good to come away with two points. At the start I didn’t make the best getaway and lost a few places, but after that I settled into the race and was able to get ahead of a few cars and move

into the top ten. I always enjoy driving here at Spa and I had some exciting overtaking moves Race winner Sebastian Vettel (2nd right) celebrates alongside today,which second placed Fernando Alonso (left) of Spain and Ferrari, felt very nice. third placed Lewis Hamilton (right) of Great Britain and The two-stop Mercedes GP and Michael Manning (2nd left) of Infiniti Red Bull Racing on the podium strategy was the best way to go a couple of tough races.” In the and it worked constructors’ stakes, Red Bull have out well because I think we achieved 312 points to Mercedes’ 235, Ferrari’s the maximum that was available 218, and Lotus’s 187, while McLaren to us. We are still in a close fight move back ahead of Force India with with McLaren so it was important to 65 to 61. get back in the points today after

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Motor Sport

Five exciting races in Round 2 of JK Tyre Racing Championship 2013


he concluding day of Round 2 of the 16th JK Tyre Racing Championship witnessed five exciting races, two each in the JK Racing India Series and JK Tyre VW Polo R Cup and one in the Formula LGB 4 class, at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Fresh after the previous day’s scintillating victory in the first race, the JK Racing India Series’ second race witnessed pole position holder Vishnu Prasad leading the pack of drivers by a margin that kept widening after each round. The young driver had a dominant race that he attributed to a lightningfast opening lap, proving just how decisive the first few laps are. He was followed by Bangalore boys

Drivers of the JK Racing India Series race in action, on Day 2 in Round 7 in Coimbatore

Akhil Rabindra and Arjun Maini for the first few laps before Maini gave up his position to the Kohlapur based Chittesh Mandody. The trio held onto their positions until the end and Prasad took the chequered flag with a margin of six well-made seconds. Towards the end, an event involving Karminder Singh and Maini helped Hyderabad’s Akhil Khushlani

Race winner Sarosh Hataria of the Formula LGB 4 Category in action on Day 2 in Round 2 in Coimbatore

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to register a fourth place finish with a total time of 17:00.389. The final Race 3 of the Formula LGB 4 class was undoubtedly the most exciting contest of the day. Mumbai’s Rayo Racing driver Ameya Bafna was the pole starter followed by Tejasram Caveripakam (Meco Racing) and Advait Deodhar (Dark Don Racing). Chennai’s Saran Vikram and Sarosh Hataria (Dark Don Racing) were fourth and fifth on the grid respectively. In a magnificent display of talent and expertise, the Coimbatore based Hataria made his way up the order and battled it out with Bafna, who was going strong in first place. In September, round three of the six-round JK Tyre Racing Championship 2013 will once again offer drivers and spectators the finest racing action in the country.

Motor Sport JK Tyre VW Polo R Cup

Jeffrey Kruger wins Round 2


n an exciting Race 2 of the JK Tyre VW Polo R Cup, Jeffrey Kruger edged past Race 1 winner Prashanth Tharani to win the first place on the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Yatin Magu took the 3rd place on the podium. This happens to be his 1st ever podium finish. Rahil Noorani had crossed the finish line in 1st place, but was penalised with 20 seconds due to a jump start and thus ended

up in 7th place. With the reverse grid for Race 2, additional element of excitement is always guaranteed. Race 1 winner Prashanth started from 8th while 2nd finisher Jeffrey Kruger started from 7th. Having finished 3rd in Race 1, Rahil Noorani took off from 6th place and tried an aggressive start. He went from 6th place to 2nd on lap 1 and went into lead by

the 2nd lap. However, he received a 20 seconds penalty for a jump start which pushed him down to 7th place. This automatically brought Jeffrey, Prashanth, Yatin and 3 others up by one place each. While Prashanth and Jeffrey have been regularly finishing on podium, it was the first one for Yatin Magu.

JK Tyre-FMSCI National Rotax Max Karting Championship 2013

Nayan, Kush & Pradyumna win round 3


ayan Chatterjee of Rayo Racing (Senior Max), Kush Maini of Dark Don Racing (Junior Max) and Pradyumna Vipul Danigund of Mohite’s Racing (Micro Max) won the Round 3 of the JK TyreFMSCI National Rotax Max Karting Championship 2013 in at Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore on August 18, 2013. The championship’s 36 racers in three categories - Micro Max (7 to 12 years), Junior Max (13 to 16 years) and Senior Max (15 and above) competed at Kari Motor Speedway - the fastest karting track in India and displayed their excellent driving skills. In the Senior Max category, Nayan won the toughest race of the Round after beating top racers

such as defending champion Ameya Bafna of Rayo Racing and Vishnu Prasad of Meco Racing. With this victory, Nayan toppled Vishnu in the championship table with 255 pts, just one point ahead of Vishnu (254 pts). Ameya Bafna is at third position with 244 pts In the Junior Max, Kush Maini of Dark Don Racing dominated both Final and Pre-Final races and was way ahead of rest of the karters. He was chased by Krishnaraaj D Mahadik of Mohite’s Racing, who attacked Kush in last few laps but Kush handled the pressure well and didn’t allow him to overtake. Defending champion Pradyumna V Danigond of Mohite’s Racing won Final and

Pre-Final Race of the Round 3 in Micro Max category and maintained his lead in the championship table. He received a tough competition from Yash Aradhya of Meco Racing. Yash claimed the 2nd position in PreFinal race but he was beaten by Paul Francis in the Final and he finished at 3rd podium in the Round 3.

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We Drive

Volvo V40 Cross Country Stunning Scandinavian Report: Abhijeet Singh, Photography: P. Tharyan

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We Drive



Max Power

Max Torque

Kerb Weight

1984cc, D3 5-cylinder Turbo diesel

6-speed Automatic

150 bhp@ 3500rpm

350 Nm@ 15002750rpm

2010 kgs

Suspension: Front/Rear

Brake: Front/ Rear

Fuel Tank Capacity

Tyres: Front/ Rear


McPherson Spring Strut/ Multi-Link


60 litres

225/50 R17

28,50,000 (ex-showroom Delhi)


verybody likes a change. Whether it is food, climate, holiday destinations, or many such variables, change is necessary. Cars play a very important role in this changing cycle. Well not earlier, but now with a range

of so many vehicles from around the globe, they have become an integral part of life. Volvo is a brand which got less attention from Indian customers, which is unfair. In the sea of the usual German and Japanese brands, Volvo adds exquisite Swedish essence to the buffet. The Volvo V40 Cross Country has entered the Indian

market as a bold statement urging people to try new flavours.

Exterior Styling is one of the strongest points of V40. The 5-door hatch looks absolutely beautiful from any angle you ogle at it. The smooth curves

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We Drive

flow all around the entire body. The honeycomb grille at the front and the vertical fog lamps give a sporty and distinct look to this Volvo. The rear bumper with built-in plastic skid plate and the sill extensions give it a rugged look. Another likable detail is the use of gloss rather than chrome, thus lending elegance and class to the Cross Country. Then there are the roof rails which add a bit more height to the car and further enhance its crossover image.

round. However it must be noted that the rear seats are for two people only, as it is a squeeze for the third passenger. The switches and buttons feel tough and surely will last ages. The floating console gets copper coloured finish and has a small storage pocket behind it. Another

beautiful feature is the frameless rear view mirror, which also automatically dims glare from headlights at the rear of the vehicle.

Interior Step inside and you feel that the quality and the fit and finish are at par with more expensive stuff you can buy in the segment. The flowing lines of the exterior are not carried in here. Instead you get smooth clean lines with decent aluminium inserts lending a classy look to the cabin. The gear knob is the only shiny bit and is illuminated notifying the driver of the mode which is been selected. The seats are very comfortable and supportive all-

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We Drive Engine and Performance The V40 Cross Country comes equipped with a 2.0 litre 5-cylinder diesel power plant which develops a meaty 350Nm torque. It sprints from 0-100kmph in 9.3 seconds. Torque is available from as low as 1500rpm which means you are in the torqueband almost all of the time. The steering connects to the driver only when pushed hard, other times it is pretty normal. You may push the V40 Cross Country to the limits,

but it feels that it does not like it because at nearly 2.0 tonnes this Volvo is in fact very heavy. Volvo cars are widely considered as the safest vehicles in the entire automobile industry and the V40 is no exception. Numerous driver aids like Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC), Laser Assisted Automatic Braking, Intelligent Driver Information System, and many more keep the occupants safe in case of an accident. The car comes equipped with side airbags, driver knee airbag and whiplash protection (WHIPS)

enabling it to receive 5 stars in the Euro NCAP collision test. The Volvo V40 Cross Country is a fun hatchback which really cares for its occupants. It has a frugal diesel which will return nearly 19km for a litre and with 150bhp on tap is not exactly a slouch. The ride is comfortable and it eats up uneven surfaces with ease and plaint. Yes it may be bit expensive but consider this, with a host of so many safety technologies taking care of you and your loved ones. It is a cool bargain really.

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We Drive

Audi A7 Sportback Genteel artistry Report: Abhijeet Singh, Photography: P. Tharyan


hat do you get between hot and cold, sweet and bitter, fast and slow? You get something which is just-right. The Audi A7 Sportback sits between the luxurious

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A6 and the powerful A8. The recipe for the A7 is simple, take the underpinnings of the A6, create the interior as beautiful as the A8, and finally garnish it with that gorgeous body. And yes, give it the brilliant Audi 3.0 litre TDI engine as the cherry on top. We have to say the recipe is absolutely crowning.

Exterior There is nobody who will not give a second glance to the A7, even though it whizzes past you. This thing looks stunning. The long low slung body is quiet racy in appeal with the sharp nose and the sloping roofline. The muscular bonnet

We Drive Engine


Max Power

Max Torque

Kerb Weight

2967cc, V6 Turbo Diesel

7-speed S tronic

245 bhp@ 4500rpm

500 Nm@ 14003250rpm

2320 kg

Suspension: Front/Rear

Brake: Front/ Rear

Fuel Tank Capacity

Tyres: Front/ Rear


Five-link wishbone/ Trapezoidal link axle with wishbone

Ventilated Disc/Disc

65 litres

255/45 R18


swoops down to the trademark Audi grille and the LED headlamps. The nose is quiet low and you fear you might snag it on a curb, but the A7 handles them with ease. And if you do happen to come across a large curb, thanks to the air-suspension you can always raise the nose at the push of a button. One thing that will never lose its charm is the pillar-less doors, which just make you go wow every time you open them. Other spectacular features include the

retractable spoiler, 18� alloy wheels and the slick brake light mounted high on top of the rear windscreen.

Interior Audi makes one of the best interiors in the business, and the A7 happens to the best of the best. Everything is beautifully appointed, right from the switches and knobs to the leather and wood. Then you get the infotainment screen and the optional

Bang and Olufsen twitters which rise up from the dash when the ignition is switched on. The seats are very comfortable in the front and you set them up in a million ways to suit individual preferences. The front seats also get massaging feature with different modes and intensities, which is rather an indulgence rather then a necessity, but is very alluring. The rear seats are relaxing but suffer in terms of headroom because of the low roofline, but we presume

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We Drive

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We Drive

everybody would be more keen to be in the driving seat.

Engine and Performance We have mentioned time and again that the Audi’s 3.0 litre TDI is a gem of an engine, the same powering the A7 Sportback. Add the updated 7-speed S tronic and the Quattro and it becomes a match made in heaven. The ton marks is achieved in 6.3 seconds, and the A7 runs into the electronic buffers at 250kmph, very impressive when you consider that it is 2.3 tonne car carrying four people in comfort. Then is the safe-keeping of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system which just grips and grips. There is no way the A7 will misbehave in terms of handling characteristics. It just does not let go off the back end, only a hint of safe understeer when you push it to the limit. Enthusiasts will love the A7’s performance, and to top that it is even better and safe when the roads are wet. The only tiny problem is the suspension, which communicates every bit of the road surface to your back when left in the Dynamic mode. Best way around is to just leave it in Auto or Comfort. The Audi A7 is the lovely blend of luxury and performance, and a good quantity of style to go with it as well. And atop this it returns a fuel efficiency of 16kmpl. Then are the safety measures, such as Audi pre sense and night vision assist to name a few, which means Audi is very concerned about passengers and wants them to have fun while making sure they are safe. And at the end you will never get bored A7 happy face staring at you from the driveway, urging you to go for a spin.

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Shraddha Inn

Soulful retreats Jyoti Balani

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n the past, whenever one wanted to travel to religious places, the options to stay in a branded hotel were very few and most travelers had to make do with simple guest houses or mom-andpop accommodations. But not anymore says Jyoti Balani! The Indian hospitality industry seems all set to tap the perennial

pilgrimage tourism sector in our country. With millions of travelers visiting religious places each year, from movies stars (to pray for the success of their upcoming releases), to entrepreneurs and young professionals, the demand for big brands in the hospitality industry has shot up. Religious destinations have always formed a major chunk of domestic tourism in India and lately hotels want to cash in on this.


For instance, Keys hotels managed by Berggruen Hotels Pvt Ltd is coming up with new hotels this year in Amritsar, Shirdi, Haridwar and Vrindavan. “Religious travel is becoming an important segment for hoteliers as more and more mid market and upscale travelers prefer branded, clean and hygienic hotels when they travel. This business is year round and not susceptible to downturns of business cycles.

Keys Hotels opened its first hotel in Trivandrum. Now more known for the Padmanabhaswamy temple, it was always a transit point for visitors to Sabrimala. Kochi where we have recently come up with a new hotel is also a transit point for Sabrimala and other religious locations around Kerala. Our hotel in Chennai is also close to Mahabalipuram,” informs Partha Chatterjee Advisor Berggruen Hotels Pvt Ltd. There are as many as fifty two pilgrim destinations that are visited by Indians and the top ten receive more than eighty million devotees each year. Some of the topmost pilgrim destinations being targeted by hotels are Tirupati, Shirdi, Vaishno Devi, Amritsar, Nasik, Ajmer, Mathura, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi. “India is a country where

spirituality is not restricted to one religion; there is probably more diversity of religions and sects in India than anywhere else on the planet. As a matter of fact religious tourism has a big future in our country that beholds a plethora of ancient holy sites, pilgrimage locations and religious festivals” says Saibal Sengupta, General Manager Shraddha Inn in Shirdi which is managed by JHM Interstate, the company that also manages Ramada in Amritsar. Such hotels go beyond the regular facilities offered and enhance the pilgrimage travel experience by offering services such as a special desk that gives guidelines on the rituals performed along with timings at temples. Some also provide amenities required to perform rituals within the premises of the hotel

Ambrosia Sarovar Portico, Haridwar

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Hyatt Amritsar Exterior

Keys Hotels - Trivandrum

Hanging BellsShraddha Inn, Shirdi

and offer shuttle services to transfer guests to the pilgrimage site. With a unique design, one that is very Indian and gels with the spiritual essence of Shirdi, Shraddha Inn epitomizes the peace and serenity that is characteristic of this temple town for spiritual enlightenment. True to the spirit of the temple town, the hotel is strictly vegetarian.

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Lobby-Shraddha Inn Shirdi ‘Naivedya’ 24 hour Coffee Shop and ‘Rajbhog’, the multicuisine vegetarian restaurant are named to resonate with the spirit of assists guests who wish to visit the Shirdi. Other facilities include an ‘ temple by organizing car services at Ayurvedic Therapy Centre’, ‘Tapasya’ all hours of the day. a meditation room, where morning Luxury hotels in areas of pilgrim and evening aartis are performed interest were unheard of until now; every day. Located only 500 meters brands like Hyatt and Radisson from the Samadhi Temple, this hotel have changed all that with their


Guest Room at Ambrosia Sarovar Portico, Haridwar

Sarovar Portico, Badrinath

presence in Amritsar and Haridwar. Strategically located in the heart of the city, just ten minutes from the Golden Temple and Jallianwalla Baug, Hyatt Amritsar offers

contemporary accommodation in an enviable location. “We are pleased to introduce the Hyatt brand to the historic and culturally rich city of Amritsar. Hyatt has a long tradition

of embracing the local culture and ethos of its locations, and we are looking forward to making a pilgrim’s stay a memorable one in our hotel,” says Bhagwan Balani, General Manager of Hyatt Amritsar. Although the Golden Temple is the most popular pilgrimage destination for Sikhs, there are several Gurudwaras and other shrines to visit in this city. Radisson Blu Hotel in Haridwar offers magnificent architecture, uber chic décor, a well equipped spa with wellness centre and state of the art amenities which add up to create a luxurious vacation for travelers while on a pilgrimage. Surrounded by prominent places like Haridwar Maha Kumbh, Sapt Rishi Ashram, Neel Dhara Pakshi Vihar and Maya Devi Temple, this hotel has an excellent location that makes it easy for pilgrims to access a lot of temples and pilgrim sites. The Sarovar group of hotels and resorts has come up with elegant hotels in pilgrim cities of Haridwar and Badrinath. Sarovar Portico in Badrinath is located just 2 kilometers from the pilgrim site. Elegant rooms and suites, central heating, an Ayurvedic centre, its location amidst snow-capped Himalayas and an excellent view of the Badrinath temple make this hotel an ideal retreat for pilgrims. Ambrosia Sarovar Portico in Haridwar is just a kilometre away from Patanjali Yogapeeth- an institution developed by Swami Ramdev for scientific research and treatment in yoga, spiritualism and Ayurveda. Hari Ki Pauri, the most popular ghat on the banks of Ganga is 16 kilometres from this hotel in Haridwar. Also known as ‘the Gateway to the Gods’, the holy city of Hardiwar opens to other four important pilgrimages - Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath and Yamunotri.

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Hotels promote art in more ways than one Going by the number of hotels displaying specially commissioned artworks in their premises, hosting art shows and exhibitions these days, this trend is here to stay in Indian hotels says Jyoti Balani.


otels promoting art is a global phenomenon. Stories of guests at the Chelsea Hotel in New York giving up their artworks in exchange for rent abound. Several hotels in Europe commission artists to create a series of paintings to match up to the dĂŠcor and there are some who offer a room in exchange of a piece of art for example: The Clarion Hotel in Stockholm. Hoteliers who understand art see it as the intellectual soul of a hotel not just a part of the dĂŠcor.

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Splurge One of the first hotels in India to encourage artists is the Taj Bengal in Kolkata where artists are given out space in the atrium lounge/lobby free of charge. Bengal is blessed with numerous painters-some young and some older ones who have been struggling for a while as well as famed artists and it is prestigious for them to showcase at the Taj. These exhibitions add value to in house as well as city guests who are free to buy paintings directly from artists (with no stake in it for the hotel). Says General Manager K. Mohanchandran “We are happy to support the heritage of art in Kolkata and provide a platform for young upcoming artists to showcase their work.” Once in a year the hotel organizes for prominent artists to exhibit, for example Jogen Chowdhury has had a show here. An

astounding number of 300 artists have showcased their work till now in the last 6 years at the Taj Bengal. Some hotels are taking this a step ahead by installing art in the most unexpected of ways and challenging guests to think more deeply about their experience. (Le Sutra) in Mumbai is the first Indian art hotel in the world where every room is a virtual canvas. Paintings, artifacts, chairs, inlays and sculptures, each narrate their

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part, showcasing diverse themes and philosophies. Inspired by the art hotel concept, several artists, designers, curators, philosophers and visualisers took on the challenge to create this unique hotel three years ago. Each of its 14 rooms are based on either ‘characters’ (Ravana, Ashoka, Buddha) or ‘characteristics’ (sensuality, love, purification) inspired by Indian mythos. Every room is in itself the metaphorical characterization of a story; more like


a mood board depicting its artwork through designs, paintings and sculptures. Each piece of art either on the floor or the walls or even the furniture is unique and especially commissioned for the theme of the room and each room is itself unique when seen in isolation. The Oakwood Premier Hotel in Pune recently inaugurated The Pune Art Gallery, conceptualised by singer Anaida in collaboration with Sanjay Sethia, a New Delhi based art consultant. Through monthly exhibitions in the Oakwood Premier Pune, TPAG aims to fuel the imagination and kindle the sensibilities of art enthusiasts in Pune. In Revelations I, the first of an annual exhibition, The Pune Art Gallery showcased 47 artists, different styles and mediums from the art scene today. Artists included icons from the Master Artist Group, such as M F Hussain, S H Raza, Manjit Bawa, V Gaitonde, Ram Kumar and many more. The work of these fine artists were showcased alongside young and flamboyant artists whose works encapsulate the constantly shifting paradigms and fresh vision that fine art engenders. In yet another initiative Watermark, an art fundraiser organised by The O Hotel and Ray Art Foundation, was recently held in

Pune recently. In a special exhibition cum sale of paintings to raise funds and bring relief to the drought victims in Maharashtra, 42 popular Indian artists like Buwa Shete, Nitin Nangare, Dilip Kadam, Sudip Roy and Ketki Pimpalkhare, each donated a piece of their art to the fundraiser. The artworks showcased were sold at a discounted price so as to encourage Puneites to support this noble cause. Several hotels specially commission artists to create artworks to align with the décor these days, for example the ITC Grand Chola in Chennai has an amalgamation of paintings by very senior artists. Well known Chennai based artist Thota Tharrani’s major works are showcased in public corridors and on the walls of the hotel. Paramjit Singh’s well known landscapes are displayed in various areas of the hotel. Naresh Kapuria, Sheila Makhijani, Manisha Gera Baswani, Shalini Passi, K Damodaran, S G Vasudev, Shuddhasattwa Basu, Probir Gupta are other artists whose artworks can be seen at many levels of the hotel. A magnificent oil on canvas by M F Hussain and three

serigraphs by him are placed in the reception area. The Oberoi in Mumbai has art displayed at various places in the property. Two abstract paintings by New Delhi-based contemporary Indian artist Mrinmoy Barua, which have been specially commissioned for the hotel can be seen displayed in the lobby, one in Fenix, the hotel’s all-day dining, world cuisine restaurant and in each guestroom hang abstracts by the same artist. In the main lobby hangs an abstract work by Ram Kumar, a highly regarded post colonial contemporary Indian artist.

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Fujifilm interchangeable-lens X-M1 camera Fujifilm India has launched the Fujifilm X-M1, the third premium interchangeable-lens camera from the company. The camera features a 16.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS Sensor as the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Fujifilm X-E1. The XM1 body is priced at Rs 42,999/- while the price of the XM1 Kit (Body + XC16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS lens) is Rs. 47,999/-. The EXR Processor II offers a stress-free photo shoot with a startup time of 0.5 seconds, shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds and a maximum burst speed of 5.6 frames per second. The 3-inch high-definition LCD screen tilts up and down, facilitating ground level shots of flowers and pets as well as high up shots over a crowd of people. It is also suited to tripod-mounted video shooting to broaden your shooting style. The camera features a 920,000 dot high definition tiltable 3-inch LCD for creative and multi-angle shots. The X-M1’s high-precision built-in flash uses Fujifilm’s Super i-Flash technology to regulate the amount of light it fires dependent on the scene. Wireless image transfer allows you to instantly transfer high quality images to a mobile device or computer. The Fujifilm X-M1 is capable of full HD (1920x1080) video recording at 30 frames per second.

iBall Andi 4a Projector Smartphone iBall Andi 4a’ Projector Smart Phone has been integrated with the most advanced projector technology to give sharp and clear picture with superb brightness of 35 Lumens with LED light projection, supporting contrast ratio of 1200:1. The phone is convenient and powerful enough to be beamed on to any wall or even a ceiling. It is bundled with a tripod stand on which the phone can be clipped providing you stability to enjoy your movie or presentation for hours without hindrance. Running on Android version Jelly Bean 4.1, the phone comes with 8MP auto focus camera. With Dual core 1Ghz Cortex A9 processor at its heart, the phone is backed by a 1500 mAh battery, 512MB RAM and 4 GB internal storage expandable upto 32 GB. Priced at 18,999/-

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Swan Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Fenda Audio has launched a new Bluetooth Speaker. The Swan Portable Speaker is a pocket-sized beauty made for professionals and entertainment lovers. Working on Bluetooth 4.0 and bearing a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, it offers clear sound and seamless connections. The speaker is capable to connect with two Bluetooth devices at once. Egg-shaped and measuring 83mm by 80mm, its open type design lets it breathe light and helps create a 360 degree sound field. Once plugged out of its mini USB recharge slot, the speaker has a battery life of around five hours. The Swan Portable Bluetooth Speaker is priced at 3,990/-.

iBall Serene B4 iBall has launched a newbie in the hi-quality L’OR Gold series headset – the elegant Serene B4. It has built-in high quality FM receiver, Micro-SD play back and is compatible to mobile phone to receive or make calls. You can simply plug in the easy to connect audio wires to your mobile phone (a detachable wire is bundled with the product), PC, laptop or tablet and groove to the heart thumping, crystal clear beats of your favorite music or movies, conveniently. The detachable wire lets you use your mobile phones to receive or call. It also bundles an extra converter to make it compatible to every type of mobile phone with 3.55mm jack. It also provides easy to use control buttons on the ear cup for FM and micro-sd functions.The headphones weigh only 118gms and are priced at 2,599/-.

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Capsule Handbag Collection by Bentley Bentley Motors has launched the Bentley Handbag Collection at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The collection highlights the exquisite design, extremely skilled craftsmanship, immaculate attention to detail of the Bentley brand. Through this collection Bentley has converted the luxury of their cars into accessories that women can cherish. The Barnato and The Continental are the two distinct models of this collection. The Barnato is named after Diana Barnato, daughter of Woolf Barnato and The Continental is christened after Bentley’s famous GT lineup. Huge attention has been dedicated to the execution of the details. The metal furniture with the typical knurled signature finish enhances luxury and the sense of craftsmanship and is unique only to the world of jewellery. Highlighting the unique nature of the handbags each one will contain a metal plaque with an individual number in the limited edition series, with the option to have this personalised to the owner and their car as well.

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Carrera y Carrera Ecuestre collection The Purebred Spanish horse, emblematic, beautiful, proud, dependable, brave, and admired all over the world for centuries. This is the Andalusian horse, an animal with thousands of years of history, and today, the devotion continues stronger than ever. Carrera y Carrera pays tribute to this majestic animal as the protagonist of its new collection, Ecuestre. A collection created for passionate, strong, and sophisticated women, comprised of two sets of impressive pieces in yellow gold with diamonds and vibrant amethysts. Carrera y Carrera has drawn inspiration from the ancestral relationship between man and horse, taming the gold and precious stones to achieve a figurative work of art that brings the animal to life – mini-sculptures full of movement that perfectly portray the spirit, passion and elegance of the horse.

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Maserati drives in the Hollywood stars at the 70th International Venice Film Festival

The evening of August 28, 2013 saw the highly anticipated inauguration ceremony of the 70th Venice International Film Festival. For an event of such calibre, world renowned international stars arrived on the red carpet in the style and elegance that only a Maserati can deliver. Among these stars included host of the event, the stunning Sicilian-born top model and actress Eva Riccobono and the breathtakingly beautiful actress and producer Sandra Bullock, who had all eyes on them as they each arrived in a Maserati Quattroporte. Also to arrive in the luxurious four door saloon and Trident Marque’s flagship, none other than Hollywood’s biggest heartthrob George Clooney and one of the most famous working Italian directors in the world, Bernardo Bertolucci, who is also this year’s Chair of the International Jury for the Competition of the 70th Venice International Film Festival. Following the ceremony guests were chauffeured in a stream of Maseratis to attend the magnificent setting

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and focal point of the Venice Film Festival, The Maserati Terrace, set in the pool area at the Hotel Excelsior. Here main sponsor Maserati hosted a magical evening with the exclusive opening film screening alongside Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The world renowned Academy Award winners both star in this autumn’s eagerly awaited science fiction thriller Gravity, directed by the very highly acclaimed Alfonso Cuarón, best known for his films Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Harry Potter

and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) and Children of Men (2006). The evening marked the beginning of Maserati’s relationship with the 70th International Film Festival of the Venice Biennial as main sponsor of the event, cementing the relationship between the prestigious film festival and the Fiat Group. The main sponsor area, The Maserati Terrace, will be representing the central space and vital part of the Venice Film Festival as it is dedicated to interviews, meetings,

cocktail parties and events. Just a few months from the start of celebrations for its Centenary, Maserati is a company in rapid expansion. With presence in 65 markets worldwide, its role is clearly confirmed as an international ambassador of Italian excellence. This excellence is conveyed every day with passion through products of great charm and outstanding performance seen in the GranTurismo, GranCabrio and the new Quattroporte and Ghibli.

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LG’s premium products at IFA 2013 LG Electronics (LG) unveiled its space-saving Sound Plate (model LAP340) at IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The company is also showcased a host of premium audio visual products at the event, including the highly regarded NB4530A and NB5530A Sound Bars. LG’s Sound Plate has a height of only 35mm and the slim can be placed directly under any 32 to 55 inch television to save space. The new model is equipped with a robust 4.1 channel sound system complete with dual built-in subwoofers. The sleek NB4530A Sound Bar with its stunning minimalist design and black and silver finish makes it the ideal complement to today’s thin-profile premium TVs. Featuring 2.1 channels, 310 watts of output, separate subwoofer and LG’s advanced 3D Surround Processor, the 35mm ultra-slim model produces rich, compelling audio. Other featured products included the advanced BH9530TW home theater system, Smart Blu-ray players, and docking and portable speakers systems.

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