Ed speak

SIRISH CHAN­DRAN

Evo India - - CONTENTS - [email protected]­ub­lish­ing.com @SirishChan­dran

ARE WE AT THE END OF THE MO­TOR SHOW ERA? Go­ing into the Auto Expo there was this mas­sive scare around the coro­n­avirus, which added a fur­ther pall of gloom with par­tic­i­pants hav­ing dropped sig­nif­i­cantly and not a sin­gle bike man­u­fac­turer of con­se­quence mak­ing it worth their while to at­tend. Al­though, the Expo went off swim­mingly in any event. We saw cars that mat­tered and didn’t waste time over non­sen­si­cal con­cepts. Okay, we were forced to cast an eye over con­cepts whose only pur­pose was to pre­view an al­leged fu­ture de­sign di­rec­tion, but hav­ing fewer halls to run be­tween meant we could poke around cars that ex­cited the 8-year-old in us. Like the Tata Sierra that made fan boys out of sup­pos­edly hard­ened jour­nal­ists. Off-road­ers like the in­sane Gurkha con­cept with Un­i­mog axles that lifted it al­most to the roof. Fruits of the sizeable in­vest­ment into the VW Group’s re­vival in In­dia: the Creta-fight­ing Skoda Vi­sion IN and Volk­swa­gen Tai­gun. And of course, Hyundai fight­ing back with the new Creta. Bizarrely its doors were locked so, like 8-yearolds, we cupped our hands and rubbed our noses against the glass to get a good look in­side while, next door, Kia had the doors locked but the glass com­pletely blacked-out to keep the Sonet’s cabin a mys­tery. Hate to break to it them, but there’s only so much ex­cite­ment we will be able to muster when the in­evitable in­te­rior re­veal hap­pens. I thought Hyundai missed a trick by not do­ing some­thing big with the N brand, the up­com­ing turbo-petrol Grand i10 Nios hid­den away in a cor­ner. They do need an in­cor­ri­gi­ble petrol­head driv­ing the agenda for their go-faster brand in In­dia.

At Great Wall Mo­tors my ears perked up at the planned 1 bil­lon US dol­lar in­vest­ment buoyed, no doubt, by MG’s ini­tial suc­cess that they will be build­ing on with the For­tuner-ri­valling Gloster and In­nova-ri­valling G10. Mercedes made a GLE do the bhangra to a Pun­jabi-pop track (I’m not jok­ing) and then pulled the wraps off of the most pow­er­ful car of the Expo, the one you see thun­der­ing across this is­sue’s cover. The 4-Door GT 63 S is an In­dia exclusive, though we’re not in the busi­ness of mak­ing a song and dance about ex­clu­sives. And fi­nally, af­ter we were back home to nurse our aching feet, Maruti Suzuki put the Jimny on their stand, per­haps to save them­selves from jour­nal­ists ha­rangu­ing them over the one car they’d ac­tu­ally put their own money on.

En­joy our Auto Expo spe­cial and brace your­self for a flood of new cars and bikes in the months to come.L

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