BMW M4, Merc E-Class, Lambo Sian and much more driven in the April 2021 issue of evo India
We also get a first look at the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun and swing a leg around Honda’s CB500X in the April 2021 issue of evo India
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Forget the ginormous kidneys of the new BMW M3 / M4, you can’t see it from behind the ’wheel and in any case you will be very busy with the Drift Analyser! This is exactly what we did for the cover story of the April 2021 issue of evo India, driving the new BMW M4 Competition fast and very sideways!
But even with 503bhp, the M4 isn’t nearly the fastest car in this issue. That trophy goes to the bonkers Lamborghini Sian, but if you like to occasionally visit the back seat we’ve also got our first drive in the more luxurious new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That’s not the only new Merc we’ve jumped into this month because the very yellow and the very much made-in-India AMG A 35 is also here!
Along with trying to get the maximum score on BMW’s new M Drift Analyzer we also compare two fun front-wheel-drive sedans — the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe and the Skoda Octavia RS 245 — to see which one deserves the enthusiast’s cash. And we’re back to doing cross-country road trips! Suvrat heads out to Kashmir for a bone-chilling drive in the mountains, Harshit explores the coastal roads connecting Bengaluru to Goa in a slew of Hondas and Karan joins a convoy of Honda H’ness CB350s to explore Arunachal Pradesh. Closer to home, we take the Hyundai i20 for a lap around our favourite roads, discover some of Pune’s hidden French influence in the Renault Kiger and we meet one of the first people to get their hands on the Mahindra Thar to understand what made them buy it. In the pages of the magazine is also an extensive homage to the legendary Audi R8 — don’t miss this! The Fast Bikes India section is headlined by Honda’s CB500X whose price seems to precede its reputation, the BS6-compliant Benelli TRK 502 and the Honda CB350 RS — the ruffian among the royal family.
BMW M4 Competition
BMW’s new M4 Competition has been a hot topic of conversation even before anyone drove it, thanks to the gaping holes on the front-end. But you can’t really spot them from the driver’s seat, and that’s the best place to be in any M car. With 503bhp and 650Nm of torque being churned out from the twin-turbo straight-six and being sent right to the rear wheels, the new M4 makes for a great replacement to caffeine.
BMW M Drift Analyser
Once the road test for the M4 was out of the way, we got cozy with the iDrive infotainment system on-board and found the M Drift Analyser. Points for drifts? Count us in! The M Drift analyser records the angle and length of your drifts and then scores you out of five stars. Any guesses on how many we managed?
To our eyes, the Sian is a throwback to the bonkers Lamborghinis of the past. But with a nat-asp V12 under the hood, helped by a mild-hybrid system that is fuelled by a supercapacitor cell and a 48V electric motor. The result is a mammoth 808bhp, 0-100kmph time of under 2.8 seconds and a top speed of over 347kmph! Perhaps the best bit is that the Sian looks even faster. Photographer Aston Parott has captured some magic here, for your eyes only.
Mercedes-AMG A 35
The fast Germans continue in this issue with the ‘baby AMG’, one that is made right here in India. It packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 302bhp and 400Nm of torque and sprints to 100kmph in less than 4.5 seconds. But does it justify the price tag of Rs 56 lakh? We take it for a hoon to find out.
The E-Class is the bread and butter of the Mercedes-Benz range, here in India at least. And that’s why Merc has been quick to bring in this facelifted E-Class to our shores. The exterior gets a fairly major touch-up to keep it more in line with the new S-Class and the interiors get a few more gizmos and a bit more creature comforts. But with the competition stepping up, is the E-Class still the benchmark?
BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe v Skoda Octavia RS 245
Front-wheel-drive sedans might not seem too special, especially in our country where the majority of cars on the road are in fact, front-wheel-drive. But that doesn’t mean that a few can’t defy the odds and deliver some smiles and we have two that promise to do just that. The Octavia RS needs absolutely no introduction as it pops and crackles off the line while BMW’s 2 Series Gran Coupe brings some Bavarian flair to the equation. But can it match the Octy on the Thrill of Driving? We take ‘em to an empty airstrip to find out what’s what.
Finally, it’s here in the flesh! The first fruit of the Skoda’s India 2.0 plan is the all-new Kushaq — a compact-SUV set to take on the likes of the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta. Based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, the Kushaq is designed for India, for our market’s quirky likings, and will get 92 per cent localisation! We get a first look at the exterior, interior and take a peek under the hood of this production-ready golden egg for Skoda.
Volkswagen’s SUVW charge
Hot on the heels of the Kushaq, Volkswagen also took off the traps on the Taigun GT — the version that will get the 1.5 TSI engine. We’ve also got the first look at the 2021 Tiguan 5-seater that now gets the 2-litre TSI engine and will be made in India. And VW also have a new Matt Edition of the Polo GT that is being readied in time for the festive season.
Living with the Mahindra Thar
The Mahindra Thar has been one of the most talked about Indian cars in recent times and that buzz meant that demand has been off the charts. So, to find out what has made buyers flock to Mahindra dealerships amidst this pandemic, we speak to some of the early adopters and find out where the Thar fits into their garages — this time around, it shares space with a Mercedes-AMG C 63 S.
6 months with the Tata Harrier
We have lived with the Tata Harrier, for over 6 months driving it back and forth from our home base in Pune to Chennai, then Udaipur, then to the BIC and further up north to the snows of Narkhanda. What’s the Harrier like to live with — both in the city and on the highway? Any quality concerns? And should you buy it? Our long term test delivers the verdict.
Great Driving Roads: Hyundai i20
Last month, we took the Hyundai Creta on some of our favourite driving roads right here in our backyard and this month we’re taking the Indian Car of The Year 2020 — the i20 — up the snaking pass that leads to the infamous Lavasa City. With these roads memorised like the back of our hands and a total lack of traffic in the wee hours, the hills were alive with the smell of rubber burning.
The Renault Kiger has impressed from the word go, with plenty of features, good looks and prominent French flair to it. And what’s France famous for? Aside from the Eiffel Tower - food! So, we drove around our hometown to discover some of that flair in the Kiger.
The last of the snows
Before the summer kicked in good and proper we took a once in a lifetime journey with the folks at Wander Beyond Boundaries to the Shamshabari ridge in the most northwestern part of Kashmir — a location just a stone’s throw away from the border with our noisy neighbours. Snow, snow and more snow was the menu for the 11 day journey, covering 1000km in some of the most remote areas in the country.
Honda Drive to Discover
We head out from one of the most tech-savvy cities in the country, Bengaluru, toward the coast and follow the road all the way to one of the most chilled-out cities, Goa! On the way we get to sample Honda’s entire range of cars and a lot of the local culture.
Icon: Audi R8
We kick off a new section with a sports car that was initially met with some hesitation. ‘An Audi supercar?!’ was the question many asked, but while the R8 did share the badge with the A4, the 4.2-litre V8 wasn’t shared. It was the perfect recipe — the reliability of Audi with the gut-wrenching acceleration of a supercar. And now, almost 15 years later, the original R8 still remains an icon.
Fast Bikes section
The Honda CB500X is under the spotlight in this month’s Fast Bikes India section and for good reason. It is a wonderfully capable ADV that takes biking back to the basics and with 47bhp and 43Nm it’s plenty fast too. But also plenty pricey. We’ve also got on the saddle of the big Benelli — the TRK — and find out if the BS6 update does it any good, find out how different the Honda CB350 RS really is from the H’ness and there’s also Yamaha’s fresh-faced FZ 25 with a bit more equipment and finally we have a scooter that’s out of this world — the TVS Jupiter!
This month’s Tuned section celebrates the diversity each build has, with a matte grey C219 Mercedes-AMG CLS 63 AMG — one of only a handful in India and a Honda Civic that looks right out of an episode of Pimp My Ride! Tuned x STI Classifieds features some tasty cars you can get your hands on for a bargain!