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new bmw m4 v jaguar

#010 | July 2014 | ` 125

M3 replacement battles F-type

Twenty20 effect

Go-faster cricket meets go-faster Audis Audi RS 5 & RS 7 on road and pitch

Ferrari v McLaren But is the Porsche GT3 the real winner at half the price?

First test 458 Speciale v 650s v 911 GT3 Plus

ken block exclusive the hoonigan speaks

Also RIDDEN Harley street 750 v hyosung aquila pro bmw s 1000 r

Ed Speak

Editorial Telephone +91 20 65270059/60 Email Website Golden Sparrow Media Works Pvt Ltd 814 Demech House, Law College Road, Pune - 411004, India

ISSUE 10 July 2014

Editor Sirish Chandran Managing editor - online Tushar Burman Asst managing editor Abhay Verma Senior correspondent Abhik Das Correspondents Rivan R S Benjamin Gracias Ken Sunny Chief photographer Gaurav S Thombre Principal designer Jitendra Chillal Chief copy editor Sudheer Gaikwad Technical editor Byram Godrej Consulting editor Aniruddha Rangnekar Photographer Vikrant S Date

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Golden Sparrow Media Works Email: Chairman & CEO Rohan Pawar EA to the chairman Vijaya Shinde VP - Business development Ranjeet Jagtap Head - HR & finance Pranali Godbole Executive - HR & finance Sugandha Deshpande The publisher and editors make every effort to ensure accuracy of content. However no responsibility can be taken for any effect from errors or omissions and for any investments or decisions taken on the basis of the information provided herein. All material published in evo India is copy right and unauthorised reproduction is expressly prohibited. Except as expressly and otherwise indicated in any specific material or editorial content, this magazine is published under license from Dennis Publishing Limited. All rights in the material, title and trademark of this magazine belong to Dennis Publishing Limited absolutely and may not be reproduced, whether in whole or in part, without its prior written consent Printed and published by Rohan Gajendra Pawar on behalf of Golden Sparrow Media Works Pvt Ltd, 814 Demech House, Law College Road, Pune 411004, Maharashtra, India. This magazine includes 180 pages including covers. Cover price `125.00 Editor: Sirish Chandran

Road fatalities continue to rise. Not just for the lack of safety equipment or enforcement. We just don't care.


I Couldn’t believe what I read in the papers the other day. Due to ‘large scale protests’, the Kerala government revoked the transport commissioner’s circular, mandating that passengers travelling in cars fitted with front and rear seat belts should wear them. Because, as an esteemed member of the legislature put it, enforcement was causing ‘difficulties to the public’. Are we that bloody stupid? It will always remain a matter of conjecture whether Union Minister Gopinath Munde’s life could have been saved had he been wearing a seat belt but even the remotest possibility is reason enough for everybody to buckle up. Yet we worry more about our kurtas and shirts getting creased than ending up in the back of an ambulance. This utter disregard is breathtaking and an abject reminder of why we have amongst the most appalling safety records in the world. We just don’t care. We’d rather drive against oncoming traffic, on a highway, at speed, than drive 500 metres to hang a U. And even though helmets are compulsory, we will never wear them unless the cops start relieving us of cash. Which, despite it becoming compulsory in Pune, is yet to happen and so nine out of ten choose not to wear a lid. We have to put a stop to this. Already the new government is talking about implementing stricter crash safety norms (which, however, will not come into force before 2017). What’s equally pressing is education, so that children will chide their parents for sneaking into a one-way. And fear of the law, fear that your car will be impounded and a notice will be in your mailbox the next time you jump a light. Let not Munde’s and the other 1.3 million deaths go in vain. Safer roads – now that will rank amongst his lasting legacies. L

Sirish Chandran Editor |


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evo Worldwide editors-in-chief UK Nick Trott Argentina Pablo Perez Companc Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov Croatia Branimir Tomurad Czech Republic Petr Ehrlich Egypt Omar Khalifa France Stéphane Schlesinger Italy Maurizio Mozzali Malaysia Chris Wee Middle East Bassam Kronfli Singapore Sheldon Trollope Slovenia Matjaž Korošak Thailand Chettha Songthaveepol Turkey Burak Ertam Ukraine Igor Kravtsov

ISSUE 10 July 2014



Ferrari 458 Speciale v Mclaren 650s v Porsche 911 gt3

“When I see GT3 running with Speciale for the first time, it’s a relief it doesn’t just evaporate” 6

evo India | July 2014

ISSUE 10 july 2014



42 Scorpio v Safari Storme v XUV500 v EcoSport v Duster Investigating the popularity of these SUVs among both the politicos and the hoi polloi

052 458 Speciale v 650s v 911 gt3

The current Holy Trinity of supercars stake claim to all the power and glory

064 Hindustan Ambassador

An ode to the car that was India’s automotive milestone

070 BMW m4 v jaguar F-Type V6S

The Jaguar F-type V6S bares its claws in face of the mighty BMW M4 - in Portugal


Driven 018

Mercedes-Benz S 350 CDI


Nissan Sunny







A-Class & B-Class Edition 1

Harley-Davidson Street 750 v Hyosung Aquila Pro

isuzu d-max pick-up

BMW S 1000 R





BMW’s M division reveals India plans, Porsche downsizes future prospects, Tesla allows free use of its battery... and more

038 Columns


Gautam is ecstatic after driving at Spa, Bijoy laments motorsport decline, Bob talks cars and poll campaigning, Gaurav zooms in on rally car tyres




More readers hail the evo gospel, and road safety concerns raise collective ire

Audi rs 5 v rs 7

The fastest Audis in the country lock speedos on a cricket pitch!


The mysterious phenomenon unravelled


lambo aventador


A special encounter with a special car at the Sepang circuit

Karun signs with Mahindra Racing, Formula E, Le Mans, National Supercross, IRC Nashik, JK Tyre Racing Championship

126 Ken block

The DC Shoes co-founder’s love for cars and rallying in spotlight


158 Long-Term tests One Skoda Octavia, our Rally Polos and a Baleno

164 evo knowledge

Buying a used Mazda Miata MX-5, new equipment and gear

178 Art of Speed The Lamborghini Miura’s louvred engine cover is something to behold

July 2014 |

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Mercedes comes with a cachet and history that permeates their products thoroughly. There’s an experience you expect when there’s a three-pointed star up front, and it’s usually delivered. The company tends toward the conservative for their luxury cars and understatement has been the order of the day. This is changing subtly, as is visible in the newest of the German car makers’


evo India | July 2014

products. When we drove the first S-Class to be launched in India back in February, I was immediately impressed by the poise and luxury coupled with the modern aesthetic that the S 500 projected. “World’s best car” didn’t feel like an idle boast. So how do you take the world’s best car and make it even more attractive to the Indian audience? Make it cheaper of course! The minty-fresh Mercedes-Benz S 350 CDI plays checklist checkers with the competition and

comes off pretty well indeed. Diesel engine? Check. Massage seats? Check. Big TFT console and driver info display? Check. Additionally, the car is now assembled at Mercedes’ Chakan facility as a CKD model, thus bringing the price down to a very competitive `1.07 crore ex-showroom. That’s right in the ballpark of the Audi A8 L, the Jaguar XJ L and the BMW 7 Series that’s currently seeing renewed interest thanks to the Modi sarkaar choosing the high security model for our PM. However, since

Every new vehicle that matters, rated

This month Nissan Sunny

7 Series-like rear leg room at one-tenth the price

Mercerdes-Benz A-Class The Edition 1 commemorates a year of the A-Class in India



Mercedes-Benz B-Class

The first special edition for this soprts tourer comes to India


Isuzu D-Max

The Japanese truck maker adds a new dimension to the CV market


BMW S 1000 R

Beemer’s brutal sports naked comes to rule the roost


The test team evo India’s testing team, while enjoying the opulence of the S-Class, looks back at their experiences with luxury cars. Test location: Pune, Maharashtra

Mercedes-Benz S 350 CDI The world’s best car now comes in a package that should be irresistible to the Indian buyer Words by t u s h a r b u r ma n P h o t o g r ap h y b y Gau r av S t h o mb r e


Editor “Wafted to the coast for fish-n-chips in a Rolls-Royce Phantom DHC near Goodwood. Memorable, and then some.”

Byram Godrej

Technical editor “While the RR Phantom didn’t do it for me, the most memorable would be the rear seat of the Bentley Mulsane.”


Consulting editor “The Audi A8, with its host of gizmos and gadgets, provides an experience that best defines luxury.”


Asst managing editor “The Rolls-Royce Ghost and Phantom at the same time, when both came for a shoot. Doesn’t get any better, does it?”

ABHIK DAS the 350 follows the top-of-the-line S 500 to market, there have been rationalisations in the equipment provided, which we found to our puzzlement as we spent some time with the car. But on to the driving. The most striking thing about the S-Class on the move is the near-complete silence in the cabin. I thought the Audi A8 L was quiet when I drove it a few weeks ago, but this is on another level entirely. So efficient is the isolation that it’s sometimes hard to hear your own horn

with the windows up. The engine note seems to have been carefully tuned to provide audible feedback, but that’s about it. For a diesel, it’s rather quiet on the outside as well. A refined motor with purposeful performance, as befits this luxury coach. It’s worthy of note that the 3.0-litre V6 in the S 350 is not the most powerful among its rivals, but the package of gearbox, torque and horsepower is such that you never really feel the deficit. At 255bhp, you’d expect moderate performance, but the

Senior correspondent “The massaging backseat of the new S-Class offered a spa session in the midst of a midnight photo shoot.”


Publisher “Rolls- Royce Phantom.The benchmark in luxury and it lives upto the tag. Truly the best”

tushar burman

Managing Editor- Online “The Rolls Royce Phantom. I wanted to roll around on the shag carpet.”

July 2014 |

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Test location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Isuzu D-MAX Space Cab Can the newest entrant to the pick-up arena be a game-changer? Wo r d s b y B e n j a m i n G r ac i a s | P h o t o g r a p h y b y v i k r a n t dat e


evo India | July 2014


Pick-ups are in great demand for their utilitarian attributes around the world, but in the Indian automotive arena they are more sought after for commercial purposes. Rising sales graphs have spawned a new lifestyle pickup segment that caters to those looking for a getaway vehicle that can also serve as a load carrier. These vehicles that can tackle

rough terrain, are loaded with adequate creature comforts for day-to-day use. Indian manufacturers Tata Motors and Mahindra have dominated this segment, with their Xenon and Scorpio Getaway respectively, but sales are nothing to write home about owing to these vehicles’ high price tags. Enter the Isuzu D-MAX, the newest entrant in the Indian pickup arena. Isuzu Motors, a light commercial vehicle

and diesel engine maker, entered India in early 2013 with their MU-7 SUV. Isuzu vehicles are known for their reliability. The latest offering, the D-MAX pick-up is available in three trims, including a single cab, Space Cab, and top-ofthe-line lifestyle variant. Single and double cab pick-up variants are common-place but the space cab concept is relatively new to India. It is an extended version of the single cab, freeing up space behind the seats to ferry goods, in the safe confines of the cabin. The D-MAX has been sold in the Middle East, Thailand and Australia for over a decade, valid credentials for it to fare well here in India. And costing `3 lakh less than the Tata Xenon, will certainly boost its prospects. A test track means limited space, and the lack of vegetation hampers the scope for photography. Therefore what we generally resort to is going around in a loop or between a set of cones at crawling speeds. This in turn restricts the scope of gauging a vehicle's potential. But we are in for a pleasant surprise. We are at the WABCO test track near Chennai. Spread across 200 acres, the track has a highspeed asphalt blacktop with a 1.3km plus back straight. And there are our three test cars parked on the back straight. The Isuzu MU-7 design cues are carried over to the D-MAX, which is a good thing. The large grille has chrome accents on the top-end version, while the base and midvariants feature a black matte grille and front bumper. The vertical trapezoidal headlamps and chrome grille combo are reminiscent of the previous generation Cadillac Escalade, probably a fallout of the platform sharing with GM. The large scoop on the bonnet has more to do with function than form, feeding air into the intercooler flat-mounted atop the engine, to boost efficiency. Fuel efficiency is an ARAIclaimed 13.26kmpl and with the humongous 76-litre tank, gives the D-MAX an impressive 1000km range, adequate to undertake intermetro journeys on a tankful. All three variants get 15-inch steel pressed wheels, with no alloy option. Aside from keeping up with the competition, alloys would have endowed them with an upmarket feel. The commercial variants’ loading bay is a flat deck to maximise space, while the lifestyle variant gets a flush fitting lowloading arched deck, with the wheel wells accommodated inside the bay. Rated payload capacity is 1.2 tons. Vertically tail lamps and chrome tailgate handle make up the rear on July 2014 |

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WO R D S b y s i r i s h c h a n dr a n | P H O T O G R A P H Y b y g au r av S t h o m b r e


evo India | July 2014

Sub `15 lakh SUVs

populi How much mileage can a ‘neta’ get in this motley crew of SUVs, with below `15 lakh price tags?

July 2014 |

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f e r ra r i 45 8 s p ec i a l E v m c l a r e n 6 5 0 s v p o rs c h e 9 1 1 gt 3


evo India | July 2014

WORDS by j e t h ro b ov i n g do n P H O T O G R A P H Y by d e a n s m i t h

They’re the supercars of the moment: the Ferrari 458 Speciale, McLaren 650S and Porsche 911 GT3. We bring them together for the first time to find out which is the pick of the bunch, before putting the Speciale through its paces on track


S p e c ia l e

Holy Trinity v rivals

July 2014 |

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Almost everyone who’s ever owned one complains of regular breakdowns in an Ambassador. But they still love and keep them WORDS by t u s h a r b u r m a n P H O T O G R A P H Y by g au r av S t h o m b r e


evo India | July 2014

Goodwill Ambassadors

July 2014 |

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b m w m 4 v jagua r f -t y p e s co u p e

In the `60 lakh coupe sector, Jaguar’s F-type V6 S has no tougher rival than the new turbocharged BMW M4. Can the British car really take on the might of M? We head to Portugal to find out WO R D S by H E N RY C AT C H P O L E P H O T O G R A P H Y by Pau l har m er

Claws out 70

evo India | July 2014

July 2014 |

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Audi RS 5, RS 7 Sportback

TWENTY20 EFFECT L O C AT I O N: M a h a r a s h t r a C r ic k e t

A s s ociation Sta d i u m , G a h u n j e , P u n e


evo India | July 2014

WO RDS b y s i r i s h c h an d r an | P H O T O G R A P HY b y gau r av S t h om b r e

Two of the fastest Audis in the country, and the game that the country worships July 2014 |

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evo is the world's premier enthusiast car and bike magazine. Dedicated to the Thrill of Driving, evo India puts you in the driver’s seat of the world's greatest performance cars and bikes. The core editorial, photography and production standards of the magazine have set a new benchmark in Indian automotive journalism. With four Indian exclusives in eight issues we are the first to get our hands on the finest cars to reach our shores, be it the Aventador Roadster or the 911 Turbo or the 458 Spider. And evo India gives you a real insight into the world of driving the best performance cars and bikes on the planet. From Bugatti Veyrons to Rally Polos and from 'Busas to Dukes evo India covers them all with extensive drive stories, travel features, comprehensive road tests and technology insight. Don't miss out - subscribe now to receive the only magazine dedicated to the Thrill of Driving delivered straight to your door.

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Audi RS4 Avants

avant WORDS by J E T H RO B OV I N G D O N

P H O T O G R A P H Y by S T UA RT C O L L I N S


Over three generations, the Audi RS 4 Avant has become famous for its blend of brute force, all-weather ability and estate practicality. But which is the best model? We take all three to the challenging roads of south Wales to find out


evo India | July 2014


Lifestyle. A word that has been claimed by people who work in marketing and talk a lot about ‘moving forward’. Or magazines that tell you the only life worth living involves daily trips to Savile Row, long weekends perusing markets in obscure cities just a threehour flight and two-hour donkey ride away (what better way to soak up the culture?) and many, many spa treatments. It is a word not much used around here. But today I’m going to use it, because I reckon the Audi RS 4 might just be the ultimate lifestyle vehicle. Strip away all that fluffy marketing nonsense lazily spooned on to every product ever devised and get to the nub of the L-word, and you get a product that facilitates the way we go about our lives. And whose life wouldn’t an RS 4 slip seamlessly into and enhance every single day of? I bet each and every one of us has, at one time or another, quietly recognised that we ‘could really do with an RS 4’. So we all need an RS 4. But which one? Today – grey, cold, damp, Welsh, perfect – we’ll find out. The Audi RS 4 story started in 2000 with the B5 version and it set a template that remains as compelling now as it was over a decade ago: sure-footed quattro drivetrain, relentless performance, a quietly sinister aesthetic and the sense that 100 years from now, this car will still perform with the same deadly combination of speed, stability and sheer grip. In an inspired move, the original RS 4 was only available as an estate, and when you see its flared arches, gorgeous nine-spoke alloys (which at the time had a reputation for bending at the mere sight of a pothole) and clenched-fist

July 2014 |

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WORDS by R i c h a rd m e a d e n P h o t o g r a p h Y by d e a n s m i t h

DOWN FORCE demystified

Armed with a Lotus Exige V6 Cup R, a track and a team of technicians, we study exactly how downforce keeps cars glued to the road at seemingly impossible speeds


evo India | July 2014

d ow n f o rc e d e m yst i f i e d To those of us grounded in the world of mechanical grip, downforce is that most magical and mysterious of things. Strap yourself into a bewinged racing car, or any of the modern breed of road-going hypercars, and you quickly find downforce can be the unsettling vanishing point where science and philosophy meet. Just because science tells you it exists doesn’t mean your brain and right foot are ready to believe it. Right? It’s the ultimate Catch 22. Without the belief, you’ll never summon the commitment, without the commitment you’ll never go quick enough to generate the downforce, and without the downforce you’ll remain trapped in a loop of doubt and trepidation. However, if you can force yourself to make that leap of faith you enter a driving realm of untold corner speed and neckstraining G-forces. At least that’s what we’re told by those who’ve been there. To understand more about it and feel it in action for ourselves, we’ve enlisted the help of our friends at Lotus Motorsport. With an Exige V6 Cup R fitted with a full data acquisition system and the Hethel test track at our disposal, we’ll systematically work through every conceivable combination of the standard aero package’s settings, plus some more extreme settings for greater contrast. With Stephane Cottin making the set-up changes, Gavan Kershaw offering advice and Louis Kerr interrogating the data, we’ll see what effects each setting has on lap time, and more intriguingly how the interplay between drag and grip can be used to tailor the car’s dynamics to specific circuits and driving styles. Together with subjective feedback from yours truly, we’ll attempt to discover which settings generate the best balance of confidence, pace and feel. If only science lessons had been this much fun when I was at school…


July 2014 |

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DOWN FORCE demystified

WO R D S by R ich a rd me a den P hoto g r a ph Y by M a lcolm Griffiths

u lt i m at e f o rc e Having experienced downforce in a mild form, Meaden now gets strapped into a championshipwinning sportscar to find out what it’s really capable of – if he dares push hard enough…


evo India | July 2014

d ow n f o rc e d e m yst i f i e d

Wings. Everywhere you look on this Alpine A450 LMP2 car there are wings. And flips and flaps and fences and dive planes and Gurneys and diffusers and venturis and every kind of aerodynamic device you can think of. All are precisely positioned to nudge, tease, cajole and persuade the air to flow under, around and over the car with maximum effect. Paint it in camouflage and it could pass as a weapon, such is its obvious – and intimidating – singularity of purpose. Last year, this very car won the European Le Mans Series (ELMS), taking the Alpine name back to the forefront of endurance racing. The LMP2 class is somewhat overshadowed by the mighty LMP1 factory efforts from Audi, Toyota and Porsche, but be in no doubt that the cars are fabulous, (relatively) affordable and foster intense battles. The driver line-ups often feature wealthy amateurs, which makes it the most accessible route to top-end racing and major-league downforce. Constructed by Oreca, the A450 is built around a strong, lightweight carbonfibre tub and requires ballast to hit the minimum class weight of 900kg. Propelled by a Nismo-built VK45 4.5-litre V8 race engine – the motor to beat in LMP2 – is has 550bhp and 580Nm of torque. That makes for an impressive, but not head-scrambling power-to-weight ratio, at least in the context of road-legal hypercars like the LaFerrari and McLaren P1. However, where an LMP2 car gets really serious is in its emphasis on downforce and a deliberate surfeit of aerodynamic grip over grunt. As a driver, if you can’t make that critical leap of faith on which unlocking the secrets of downforce relies, you have no business sitting in an LMP2 car. Unless you’re a journalist, in which case you simply have to commit as much of The Racing Driver’s Book of Excuses to memory as humanly possible. At least that’s what I keep telling myself as the Signatech mechanics pull down the shoulder straps of my harness and wave me out on to the featureless tarmac of the Lurcy-Lévis test track. Situated in a swampy field in central France, the track is defined by a long runway and a hair-raising, apparently endless right-hander that tightens until it coils back on itself, plus a tricky hairpin and some ballsy transient curves. There are no barriers to hit, which is good, but a wild ride (and the guillotine!) still awaits should turn-in speed exceed talent. So, while it’s one of the better venues to boldly go in search of big downforce, it’s not without risk. And as Excuse Number One concisely states: "Journalists are not expected to go fast, just not to crash." At 4.6m long, 2m wide and a little over 1m high, the dazzling blue and orange A450 looks like a huge, flat tropical fish. Mercifully, once you climb over the sidepod, step on to the seat and wriggle your way down into the open cockpit, that intimidating sense of size diminishes with your peripheral vision. With your chin on your chest, shoulders and pelvis clamped into the moulded seat and your forward view dominated by the yoke steering wheel and exposed arcs of carbon bodywork, it’s an utterly no-nonsense driving environment. As is the norm these days there are buttons and switches everywhere, though this being an endurance racer the labelling and ergonomics are spot-on. The most frequently


July 2014 |

evo India


Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4


Ther e a r e Mondays when you wince at the thought of getting out of bed and heading to work. And then there are some when you don’t mind a 5:00am wake up call, even while nursing jet lag. The latter is only reserved for something very, very special. Like the Monday following the season opener of the 2014 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia Series, that was held at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. That Monday, Lamborghini gave select Asian motoring journalists, including me, the chance to thrash the Aventador coupe at the circuit as part of its Lamborghini Esperienza, a track event that introduces aspiring customers to the brand. I didn’t mind flying to Malaysia instead of lazing at home on a Sunday for this, nor did I mind waking up way earlier than I do the next morning and heading to the Sepang International Circuit bleary-eyed. A Lamborghini Aventador at a circuit like Sepang makes it all worthwhile. The collective rumble of six V12 engines warming up in the paddock was what did the trick for me. It sure is a very special sound – it’s music created by a symphony orchestra from automotive heaven. And that’s even before I feast my eyes on the striking design, a design language like no other. The Aventador needs no introduction, being one of the most lust-worthy supercars ever. Despite being loaded with state-of-the-art technology, it remains an old school supercar at heart – massively wide, low, and sporting an insanely powerful, naturally aspirated V12 engine. Just like the Countach did, forty years ago. The raw appeal of the car was too much to resist, and I found myself going berserk with the camera, capturing in its sights, the Aventador with its scissor doors open, closed, the transparent engine cover, close-up shots of the F1-style pushrod suspension et al. I had seen the Aventador in the flesh earlier, at the BIC when the car was the star feature of our inaugural edition. Sirish was behind the wheel of the orange Aventador, its exhaust note ricocheting off the empty grandstands each time it romped across the main straight. The car looked like some futuristic supersonic monster and the manic grin on Sirish’s face after the drive said it all. Today it was my turn to sport that loony face. The V12 engine has great heritage and legacy,


evo India | July 2014

All hell breaks loose when the V12-engined Lamborghini Aventador is unleashed on a world-class F1 circuit WO R D S by ab h ay verma | P H O T O G R A P HY by lamborg h i n i

pa n d e m o n i u m

July 2014 |

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Harley-Davidson Street 750 v Hyosung Aquila Pro

WORDS by a b h ay v e r m a P H O T O G R A P HY by g au r av S t h o m b r e

Harley’s Street 750 is one of the most promising entry-level cruisers yet. Can it outshine Hyosung’s capable Aquila Pro?



evo India | July 2014

July 2014 |

evo India


Brand name model name


evo India | July 2014

BMW’s long awaited sport naked, the S 1000 R is finally here. Is it licensed to thrill? WORDS by abhay v erma

BMW S 1000 R

P H O T O G R A P H Y by gau rav S thombre


T h e r e wa s a t i m e w h e n litre-class superbikes were in the maximum horsepower war, irrespective of whether riders could handle such power or not. The war has more or less ended, with almost every superbike closing in on 200bhp. However, the war is now raging in the 1000cc sport naked segment, the adage ‘more is never enough’ being the new mantra. The race to offer more and more mental sport nakeds is truly heating up now. And the KTM 1290 SuperDuke R is one of the best examples of this. Who would’ve conceived of a 180bhp naked bike, designed to be ridden on public roads! The Aprilia Tuono R was once considered the craziest sport naked, but now there’s a new machine waiting in the wings, to dethrone the Aprilia from its most manic streetbike pedestal. BMW Motorrad took the litre-class superbike segment by storm with the S 1000 RR. Coming from a manufacturer known for its quirky adventure machines, the S 1000 RR quite literally came out of nowhere, and went on to rule the segment like no other, thanks to its performance, handling, electronics and abilities. Now, four years later, BMW has dropped an R from its name to create the S 1000 R. There is a lethal air in every bit of the motorcycle – and I experienced its ferocity firsthand. In fact, I experienced tangible tension during my first few moments aboard it. I even doubted I would be able to pull wheelies, given the bike’s lethal power delivery. And when photographer Gaurav suggested a power slide, I refused point blank. Happily, once I was acclimatised to the S 1000 R’s power frenzy, I did manage to pull wheelies, for Gaurav’s camera lens as well as for my own happy meter. But the numbers make for headline news. The 160bhp of power, is 30 horses less than the RR. So is the S 1000 R a dumbed-down version of the fully-faired superbike? No. Look at it this way – the RR’s 190 horses aren’t on offer all the time. They’re more or less out of reach unless you’re on a race track, with the engine spinning close to its 14,000rpm redline. But on the S 1000 R, the 160 horses can be unleashed anywhere and everywhere upwards of 4000rpm. Ergo, micro movements of your throttle hand translate to mega dollops of power going to the rear wheel even at relatively low revs. This has been made possible thanks to a revised cylinder head, new camshaft, revised injection and the new exhaust. There’s such abundant, accessible power that I had trouble keeping the front wheel on the ground in the first three gears in Dynamic mode. There is also the Dynamic-pro mode, apart from the saner, relatively mellow Road and Rain modes. Road mode softens power delivery without reducing power, whereas Rain mode reduces output to 136bhp. I need some hairy July 2014 |

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Art of speed

Lamborghini Miura louvred engine cover WO R D S by DAV I D V I V I A N | P h o t o g rap h y by david s h e p h e rd


The Lamborghini Miura, the unsanctioned project of seven young maverick engineers at Sant’Agata that became the sexiest thing on wheels anyone had ever seen, didn’t just create the mid-engined template for the modern supercar, it ignited a trend for black louvred covers that can be stuck to the rear windows of any car. It’s an accessory business that still thrives in some markets, most notably North America, no doubt buoyed by the fact that many subsequent Lambos had slatted rear window/engine covers as a nod to the Miura. As, indeed, does the new Huracán, if so optioned. The functional benefits of the aftermarket variety are dubious at best. evo’s Ian Eveleigh opined, of an Escort XR3i he saw thus equipped, that it might be to cool the filaments in the Ford’s heated rear window. Their makers, perhaps more seriously, claim that as well as improving the ‘performance look’ of any car, they increase privacy (presumably if you’re being tailed by an octocopter drone packing a GoPro) and minimise cabin temperature. Heat was certainly a factor when it came to translating the two-dimensional drawings of an inspired young Bertone employee called Marcello Gandini into

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F e rr a r i

California T 178

evo India | July 2014

a three-dimensional production reality. The Miura P400 appeared first as a knock’em-dead concept car at the 1965 Turin Salon and then, thanks to the sensation it caused, as a work-in-progress prototype at the 1966 Geneva show. As seen, it had a Plexiglas rear screen/engine cover through which the transverse mid-mounted V12 could be easily viewed in all its glory. Great for a show stand, not so wonderful when development continued on the road and the big, highly strung motor quickly overheated. So it was the imperative of necessity rather than aesthetic expression that led to the rear louvres being developed, the six slats being arranged in such a way that they protected the engine and its wiring from the elements (the tiered, full-width slots vented rearwards) while allowing engine-generated heat and noise – and what a noise – to escape. Slats featured on several series Lambos - Urraco P250, Diablo, Murciélago to mention just a few – and numerous Bertone concepts, including the 1967 Lamborghini Marzal and 1970 Lancia Stratos Zero. Their imitative presence became all but de rigueur for the derrieres of US muscle cars through the ’70s and ’80s, too, especially tin-top Mustangs. The Miura must feel sincerely flattered. L

The first new turbo-charged Prancing Horse in 27 years driven

evo india july 2014  
evo india july 2014  

Issue Brief – July 2014 Ferrari 458 SPECIALE v McLaren 650S v Porsche 911 GT3 The current Holy Trinity of supercars stake claim to all the...