AMG GT Black Series and BMW M special star in the March 2021 issue of evo India
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AMG and BMW M headline the March 2021 issue of evo India! Creating thunder on the cover is AMG’s most track-oriented supercar yet — the GT Black Series. An updated V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft and GT3-inspired aero has taken it to the top of the charts for production cars around the ‘Ring, and it is on its way to India!
Over at BMW we have a full test on the first BMW M car to be made in India — and also the fastest car to be made in India — the absolutely fantastic M340i xDrive. And we celebrate M Division’s greatest hits with three of the greatest M cars ever made — the M2 CS, E46 CSL and E30 M3.
Not as fast but equally important is our first drive of the Citroen C5 Aircross, the debutant for Citroen in India, and it has its priorities set toward comfort.
We’ve got a lot more in the March 2021 issue including the first drive review of Renault’s compact-SUV, the Kiger. We’ve been drag racing the Kona Electric and MG ZS EV, getting behind the ’wheel of the stunning 8 Series Gran Coupe and bullying hatchbacks in the new Toyota Fortuner Legender. The fresh metal continues with the new entry point to the Mercedes-Benz family, the A-Class Limousine and there’s an in-depth look at the new Porsche GT3 and the hybrid McLaren Artura.
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Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
If ‘orange is the new black’ was a car, it would be the new AMG GT Black Series. 720bhp. 800Nm. And a new version of AMG’s hot-vee V8, codenamed the LS2. The aerodynamics for the GT Black Series were honed by the same person who did it for the GT3 racer. The result is a supercar that can hammer around the ’Ring faster than any other production vehicle. Will this set the new lap record round the BIC when it arrives on our shores very soon? We also speak to Mercedes-Benz India’s senior management about AMG’s plans for India this year.
Citroen C5 Aircross
Among the recent tidal wave of SUVs coming into the market of all shapes and sizes, most are focused toward one of two things — outright sportiness or off-roading ability. Few are interested in what Citroen is promising — comfort. Armed with the progressive hydraulic suspension and class-leading levels of seat comfort, driving comfort and noise insulation, the C5 Aircross provides a driving experience that takes the stress out of driving. But should you pick it over its more established rivals like the Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass and even the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace? We get behind the ’wheel to find out.
BMW M340i xDrive
BMW has started to bridge the gap between full-blown M cars and the M Sport models with the new M Performance range. And it is kicking off the innings with the M340i xDrive — the fastest car to be assembled in India. It packs 381.5bhp, 500Nm of torque and a big-boy turbocharged straight-six under the hood. Plus the xDrive system sends power to all four wheels with standing instructions to let you slide all the time! Serious fun was had!
BMW M2 CS v E46 CSL v E30 M3
The BMW M2 CS was the winner of the 2020 eCoty, coming out on top among a sea of enormously fast cars like the Mclaren 765LT, Lamborghini Huracan Evo RWD and a lot more. The reason was its distillation of pure driving pleasure. This reminded us distinctly of two other BMWs from the past — the E46 CSL and the E30 M3. And we’ve got these three ultimate driving machines together for an epic test.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class Limousine
At the 2020 Auto Expo, Mercedes-Benz showcased the sedan variant of the current-gen A-Class, with plans to release it sometime in 2020. Long story short, pandemic-related delays pushed back the arrival but now it is finally here and it is an interesting proposition! We were impressed with the ride quality and the space on offer and the cutting-edge tech on the inside. Plus, in this issue we’ve got scoop on Mercedes’ plans for AMG in India — dear enthusiast, do not miss this.
It may share a platform with the Nissan Magnite, but the Renault Kiger is here to make its own mark. It gets similar features, the same powertrains, but Renault has priced it even more aggressively and claims to have clawed out even more space on the inside. We take it out for a spin to find out if it’s worth you hard earned moolah.
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
New BMWs continue to come to the country and this one is perhaps the best looking — the 8 Series Gran Coupe. It is low-slug, fast and carries dynamic abilities that are unnatural for its 7 Series-rivalling length. But it sits in a niche. It isn’t as comfortable or as feature-packed as a 7, nor as versatile or practical as the X7. Yet, at Rs 1.32 crore, it commands similar money.
Toyota Fortuner Legender
The mighty Fortuner finally gets an update to help it get up to speed with the competition. Toyota has thrown in more tech, more features, added more oomph to the engine and brought in a new Legender variant with an angrier face. But has Toyota done enough to fend off rivals from eating its share of the cake?
McLaren has always used the same engine and architecture since its first proper road car of the modern era, the MP4-12C. Now though, the Artura ditches the V8 for a new 3-litre twin-turbo V6 with plenty of electrical assistance. There’s also been a heavy reworking of all the interfaces — screens and buttons alike and the Artura sits in an all-new carbonfibre tub. We get a close look at the 570S replacement to find out what the future of McLaren is going to be looking like.
Tata Safari vs Harrier
Cut from the same cloth would be putting it lightly! There’s no getting away from the fact that the Tata Safari is a stretched Harrier with two extra seats. But there’s actually a bit more to it than just that. We bring the two together to find out exactly what’s different.
Hyundai Kona Electric v MG ZS EV
With petrol prices soaring higher than ever, electric vehicles are starting to make more and more sense. And if you look past the lack of charging infrastructure on highways for inter-state travel, modern electric vehicles can actually be used everyday and they can be fun! We bring the Hyundai Kona Electric and the MG ZS EV together to find out if you should get into the Greenpeace chatroom.
Mahindra Royal Escape
We’re back in the Mahindra Thar and we’re heading back to the Thar desert, this time in a much larger convoy and with some even more breathtaking spots on the way. A journey filled with fun, food and a lot of dune bashing — the Mahindra Royal Escape was simply — “heaven bro.”
Who says enthusiasts don’t drive their supercars in India? We get to the Buddh International Circuit on a cold, foggy day to watch some of India’s fastest cars like the Ferrari 488 Pista, Porsche 991 GT2 RS and some insanely tuned Audis, Mercedes-AMGs, BMW M cars and of course the looniest of Octavias take a dig at each other, a quarter-mile at a time.
Great Driving Roads: Hyundai Creta
We’re kicking off a brand new series in partnership with Hyundai to discover the greatest driving roads around the country. We begin with one that’s right in our backyard — the snaking road up to Lonavala. We know these parts like the back of our hands and we take a spirited drive up to help appreciate the dynamic abilities of the new Hyundai Creta.
This month we feature The Slot, another one of Sarbloh Motors’ crazy off-road builds. First shown at the evo India stand at the Auto Expo this is one of the finest builds for off-road competition in the country today. Joining the slew of BMWs in this issue is a near mint condition E30 316i from Kerala and we’ve got a new space for you enthusiasts to buy and sell cars — say hello to Tuned x STI Classifieds!
Fast Bikes India booklet
In this month’s Fast Bikes India booklet we are celebrating the smashing of a world record. Our testers astride the Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 not only set new national records but smashed the world record for the longest no hands wheelie. We also dive deep in to British icon Norton’s future in the hands of TVS. We get our hands on the lovely BMW R 18, and ride a number of new motorcycles including the new Royal Enfield Himalayan and Classic 350, just to name a few.