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Tata Motors may have a slew of SUVs on its portfolio, not to mention owning Land Rover , but the Indian-based automaker is finally ready to dive into the crossover market with the launch of the Aria.

The crossover is powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that produces around 140 horsepower. It also comes with a number of features including traction control, ABS, ESP, six air bags, and a higher ride height that makes it look more like an SUV than what’s classified as a crossover.

The Aria’s interior is also chalk-full of high-end features including power mirrors, rain sensing wipers, a GPS nav-sat system, automatic climate control, height adjustable seats, glove box chiller, and Bluetooth. The features seem fitting for a vehicle Tata describes as a “luxurious creation with the finesse of a sedan and the muscle of an SUV all blended in one car.”

Tata has yet to release pricing and availability of the Aria crossover, but according to the brand, the car will most likely be sold in India exclusively.

Now here’s something you don’t see in your newspapers everyday.

Volkswagen has a new and ingenious advertising ploy, one that involves a newspaper, an audio chip, and a voice recording. Yeah, we’ve never seen this one before.

The German manufacturer recently teamed up with Indian newspaper, The Times of India, for a pretty unique advertisement that allows you to listen to a voice-recorded message while looking at a whole page ad for Volkswagen.

Talk about a morning jolt, huh? Apparently, the voice-recorded spiel begins talking when you open the page to where the advertisement is as shown in the video. The message isn’t all too clear, but it’s unmistakably a promo message for the new Volkswagen Vento.

We don’t know a good deal about how Volkswagen and The Times of India were able to make this work, but according to the people of Wired, the ad apparently uses a photodiode – it’s an object that controls an electric current depending on the presence of a light source - on the audio chip. The message is then activated whenever a reader opens to the page where the advertisement’s ad and stops as soon as he leafs through to another page.

That’s a lot of electrical information that just passed in on one ear and came out the other, but if you want to see how the ad works, you can do so by checking out the video.

Source: Wired

We featured Jon Olsson’s Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce a few days ago and wondered why he had to put a ski rack on top of it. Never mind that he’s a ski superstar and the owner of nine Winter X medals, we kind of thought that he could have put the ski rack on another car that isn’t an LP670-4 Murcielago.

Kind of ruins the whole aesthetic bad-assness of the Murcielago, don’t you think?

Either way, we found a video courtesy of his own videoblog of the very same car with Olsson –obviously - sitting behind the wheel. Not only does he demonstrate the unbridled power of the SuperVeloce but he also takes the
time to talk about the car he calls his prized baby.

Hey Jon, if we had a car like that, it’d be extremely ‘prized’, too. We just
wouldn’t put a ski rack on top of it.

Far from the circus that is Formula One, retired-F1 driver David Coulthard recently made the news after he was given a speeding ticket worth over $33,000 for driving a Red Bull F1 car along the streets of India.

Sounds insane, right?

David Coulthard flagged for speeding in India...for driving a Red Bull F1 car out on the streets

The thing is the whole shindig was part of an F1 demonstration on a closed-off part of a busy road. Apparently, organizers of the event were given strict directives by the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation for DC not to exceed the 62 mph speed limit at the Rajiv Ghandi Sea Link. Either DC forgot about the whole arrangement or he was too busy delighting the crowd, but the Scot ended up going 162 mph at the area and, as a result, was unceremoniously flagged for ‘super-duper’ over speeding.

We can’t blame Coulthard for the sudden lapse in judgment. After all, F1 drivers are wired to be faster than fast. But unfortunately, the MSRDC was none too pleased about their warnings going by the wayside.

As a result, the MSRDC will not return the organizer’s deposit of around $30,000 as payment for the super-duper speeding infraction DC incurred.

According to an MSRDC official, "We respect David for helping put the Link on the global map. But he crossed the speed limit and we will have to recover the penalty. We will not return the organisers’ deposit”.

Source: Autosport

The great American automaker, Ford, is invading their competitor’s markets by introducing the new Figo into the Indian market. The compact Figo is an all new car that features a fresh, contemporary shape that offers a distinct alternative to the traditional offerings in the city car segment with a shape that exudes the spirit of energy in motion with its bold fender flares and swept back headlamps.

Ford Figo

Like all of the blue oval’s new car, the Ford Figo was designed with their consumers in mind. The all new body features lots of fresh fun elements like a large mouth front bumper, sporty alloy wheels pushed to car’s four corners, squared off rear end and subtle rear spoiler. Despite its compact size, the Ford Figo has a spacious interior with plenty of room for both passengers and cargo thanks to its taller roofline and more upright stance. Ford feels that this is the perfect car to combat the ultra affordable Tata Nano that is produced in the developing nation. The Figo’s size makes it the perfect car to navigate the narrow stretches of the Indian bazaars and markets without scarifying an ounce of style.

With Ford planning on bringing the equally compact Fiesta to the U.S. in the near future, the question that remains is whether or not Americans will have a soft spot in their hearts for a more spacious city car offering.

Press release after the jump.

There are things in life that, no matter how hard we try, just don’t mix. Hamburgers and wine. Conan O’Brien and slasher movies. Super cars and Third World countries. The last one is worth noting because one of the world’s fastest vehicles – the Ultimate Aero – is somehow making its way to India. Yes, that India.

The Aero’s manufacturer, Shelby Super Car (SSC) will be releasing the car in Mumbai sometime in the coming months, making it the third market after the US and Russia where the Aero will be exclusively sold. The car is expected to go on sale for over Rs 6 crore, which in US dollars would amount to around $1.2 million, thereby making it the most expensive car ever to be sold in the country.

Now forgive us for being sceptical about this but can you imagine the Ultimate Aero, with its maximum speed of 413 kmh, blasting through the tight and bustling streets of India?

Neither can we.

Continued after the jump.

Source: India Times
Posted on by Terence 17

It was just last week when we brought you a Russian R8 owner who was pining for the days of the classic BMW luxury grand touring coupe, so it was quite comical when we came across this modern day nomad who is proud to call his workhorse a BMW , and that doesn’t stand for Bavarian Mule Works.

BMW mule

Aside from all the all terrain, test mule and harmful emissions jokes you have to ask yourself, what would possess a person to do a thing like this? Could it be the allure of owning an import or being able to ride around on a piece of fine German engineering that motivated this man to badge his donkey as a bonfire Bimmer. We guess that at the end of the day the question you have to ask yourself is, how much more is a BMW ass worth than the regular kind?

Perhaps we will find out in Frankfurt.

Source: Jalopnik

It comes as no surprise that we find this golden Audi R8 super car in the oil rich capital of over the top tuning, Dubai Dubai . What sets this particular R8 apart from all the other GT machines that have undergone the King Midas treatment is that instead of blinding onlookers with a brilliant reflective surface, draws them closer to adore the matte-gold super car. This rendition makes the matte-black R8 with its stealth like finish look rather dull.

Matte-gold Audi R8 spotted in Dubai

The new monochromatic finish completely changes the entire attitude of the pride and joy of Ingolsdadt. If before a mere 420 HP seemed paltry compared to 600 HP machines from Ferrari Ferrari , those reservations will fade away quickly after being caught in this Audi’s glow, not to mention the amount of news that the all aluminum super car has stirred up in the automotive journals. Like despite earlier rumors there will be an R8 electric vehicle at Frankfurt . On the heels of the Lamborghini Gallardo Lp 550-2 Valentino Balboni , the German automaker was spotted working testing a rear wheel drive version and the very sheik R8 Convertible was spotted on the set of a major Hollywood motion picture .

Tata struggles with the Jaguar and Land Rover brands

Tata Motors Ltd.’s purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover caught the auto industry by surprise. As far as the water cooler talk surrounding the purchase was considered, a familiar question was repeatedly asked: How can a truck-maker from India end up buying two of the most luxurious brands in the world today?

Now, it seems that the purchase has come back and turned the tables on the Indian truck giant.

For the first time in seven years, Tata has posted a consolidated net loss of over 25 billion rupees ($520 million) from the period of April 2008 up to March 2009. This, of course, is a stark contrast from Tata’s performance a year ago when it made a net income of 22 billion rupees.

The culprits for this unfortunate about-face in company fortunes lies in the plummeting sales of the industry’s luxury car segment as to which both Jaguar and Land Rover are staples. For one, Land Rover sales fell to 120,000 after selling a little under 200,000 units the year before. Similarly, the sale of Jaguar vehicles met a similar fate, falling to 47,000 units from 50,000 the previous year.

Continued after the jump.

Source: Bloomberg
Posted on by Terence 13

So what does it take to get to be number one? For athletes it means a lifetime of disciplined training, for a car company it can mean decades of thorough and consistent work, but in the recently wealthy car crazed tuner scene of the UAE, it’ll run you a little more than $14 Million. Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri recently shelled out 52.2 dirham, the equivalent of $14,300,000 at an auction at the 7-Star Emirates Palace Hotel in Dubai. Don’t feel bad about the money; it’s going to charity that helps accident victims.

When Saeed laid down all that dirham he was buying more than just a metal rectangle with a coat of paint on the front, he is buying a place in society. The oil-rich nations of the Persian Gulf are developing a form of car culture that makes Paris Hilton’s car collection look amateur. All these new funds have made the citizens of Abu Dhabi crazy for custom super cars. If you can imagine what it costs to have a set of rims mounted on your lowly Acura Integra, imagine the cost of milling a custom set of alloys and then mounting them on your Black Series. The UAE’s tuning scene has developed in such a way, that only a handful of these super-tuned machines could stand up to any group of big money collector cars from around the rest of the globe. The Middle East has become a place where your super car is nothing, unless its gold plated or modified to a point that would mean bankruptcy for most.

In this new status-seeking environment it is not uncommon to see a automobile wearing a number plate that is many times more expensive than the car itself. So after all, is Saeed that crazy for spending so much for the right to be first? However this can also be seen as a wise investment, because someone will always want to be number 1.

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