600hp Super Sedans, Skoda Kushaq and new Tata Safari headline February 2021 issue of evo India
February 2021 issue of evo Indiaevo India

600hp Super Sedans, Skoda Kushaq and new Tata Safari headline February 2021 issue of evo India

Plenty more inside including Mahindra Thar vs Kia Sonet, Tata Altroz i-Turbo vs Volkswagen Polo TSI and BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

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Headlining the February 2021 issue of evo India are India’s fastest sedans — the Audi RS 7 Sportback, BMW M5 Competition and Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe. With supercar-rivalling performance and family car practicality, these three make for the ultimate one-car garage. Sharing space on the cover with these Germans is the homegrown 2021 Tata Safari, reimagined for the new decade. The question we are asking is — is the new Safari worthy of its badge? And to answer that question, we’ve brought along the older generations of the Tata Safari along with their owners to find out.

We’ve got plenty more in this issue, including the wild Lamborghini Aventador SVJ taking on the Nissan GT-R Nismo, driving the last of the Bentley Mulsannes, pitting the Thar versus the Kia Sonet to see which SUV is best for you, driving the mental AMG GT R at the Speedfest track day and a deeper look at Indian EVs with the Ather 450X and Tata Nexon EV. We have also reviewed the a prototype of the upcoming Skoda Kushaq, stretched our legs in the BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine, pitted the Tata Altroz i-Turbo against the VW Polo TSI and poked around the 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Audi RS7 Sportback v BMW M5 Competition v Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe

Who wouldn’t love a big family car with a stonkin’ 600hp V8 under the hood and capable of 300kmph? The Germans do it best and we’ve got three such specimens on sale in India right now. They aren’t direct rivals — with a Rs 1 crore price gulf between the M5 and the GT 63 S, with the RS 7 sitting smack in the middle — but they have been built to a similar brief. From shredding tyres to attacking apexes up our favourite driving road, we tell you everything you need to know about these cars. Yes, we talk practicality and comfort as well!

The ultimate fast saloon comparo
The ultimate fast saloon comparoAudi RS7 Sportback v BMW M5 Competition v Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4-Door Coupe

2020 Tata Safari vs Tata Safari Dicor and Storme

Tata has launched the 7-seater version of the Harrier and have christened it the Safari. But unlike the SUVs that it follows in the tyre tracks of, this one is perfectly modern with a monocoque chassis while missing out on 4x4 capabilities. In this story, we tell you everything you need to know about the new Safari — what it looks like, the quality of interiors, space, and what it is like to drive. But we also answer the burning question of whether it is worthy of the Safari badge. We bring along three older Safaris — a 3-litre Dicor, 2.2-litre Dicor and the 2.2 Varicor 400 Storme— along with their owners to find out.

The new Tata Safari meets its parents to find out if it is worthy of the Safari badge
The new Tata Safari meets its parents to find out if it is worthy of the Safari badgeTata Safari

Skoda Kushaq

It’s only the start of the year but we have probably driven not only the most important but the most impressive car of the year. We got a short spin in a heavily camouflaged pre-production prototype in Goa and are mighty impressed with the ride and handling of the Kushaq, as well as the performance of both the 1.0 and 1.5 TSI engines. This is one test drive you don’t want to miss.

A quick drive in the pre-production prototype Kushaq to get a taste of what's in store for us in the future
A quick drive in the pre-production prototype Kushaq to get a taste of what's in store for us in the futureSkoda Kushaq

BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

BMW have stretched the 3 Series by 110mm to deliver the long wheelbase Gran Limousine, the first LWB car in this segment. With nearly the same driving thrills as the 3 Series, only a marginal price hike and enormous rear seat knee room does this have the potential to absolutely shake up the segment?

We drive the stretched out 3 Series to find out how better it is than the standard 3 Series
We drive the stretched out 3 Series to find out how better it is than the standard 3 SeriesBMW 3 Series Gran Limousine

Tata Altoz i-Turbo vs VW Polo TSI

Joining the turbo-petrol hatchback party is the new Tata Altroz i-Turbo. It gets a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol unit and also gets the iRA connected car features. But can it deliver on the Thrill of Driving? We're pitting it against the benchmark for thrills in that segment, the Volkswagen Polo TSI, to find out.

newbie vs benchmark battle in the hatchback segment
newbie vs benchmark battle in the hatchback segmentTata Altoz i-Turbo vs VW Polo TSI

Mahindra Thar vs Kia Sonet

In the market for a new SUV? Can’t decide between the practical Kia Sonet and the extremely desirable Mahindra Thar? We’re here to help! With the Thar’s update, it has been modernised and made more comfortable and can be considered as an alternative to more traditional compact SUVs. From practicality, to ride quality, city and highway driving, and even road noise — we tell you everything you need to know about these two SUVs so you can pick the one that suits you best!

We pit the Sonet and the Thar against each other to find out how different yet similar they are
We pit the Sonet and the Thar against each other to find out how different yet similar they areKia Sonet vs Mahindra Thar

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ vs Nissan GT-R Nismo

These may two may not be at the bleeding edge of the supercar scene, with both high-performance variants based on cars that debuted years ago. And yet, they manage to provide thrills like few other supercars today. They have vastly different approaches — the Lambo is low slung and aggressive with a wild nat-asp V12, while the GT-R is more approachable but has a beastly twin-turbo V6 with equally mental performance. A fast drive through the night helps us make sense of them.

Two very extreme machines take to the streets in the night for some proper game-like action photos
Two very extreme machines take to the streets in the night for some proper game-like action photos

Bentley Mulsanne

It’s the end of the road for the legendary six and three-quarter litre V8 engine that has been doing duty on Bentleys for more than half a century. The engine has been doing duty in Bentley’s luxury sedans right from 1959 and has been continually updated through the years, but the Mulsanne will be the last car to feature it. With 1100Nm, it is a force to be reckoned with and feels like nothing else on the road today, as we find out from our time behind the wheel.

A goodbye drive in the Mulsanne, which will be the last car to feature the legendary six and three-quarter litre V8 engine
A goodbye drive in the Mulsanne, which will be the last car to feature the legendary six and three-quarter litre V8 engine Bentley Mulsanne

The Speedfest

We head out with the members of the Speedfest club, a collection of enthusiasts with some of the most desirable cars in the country, to the Buddh International Circuit for a weekend of adrenaline and thrills. In this story, we explore the rise of the track day culture in the country and speak to enthusiasts who visit the track regularly. We also join them in chasing down lap times, from behind the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

High-speed adrenaline rush with supercars in the Speed fest
High-speed adrenaline rush with supercars in the Speed festSpeed Fest

Ather 450X v Nexon EV

EVs may still be in their nascent stage in India, but that hasn’t stopped Indian manufacturers from engineering and delivering some world-class products. We bring together the Ather 450X, a product of a Bengaluru-based start-up and the Nexon EV, from automotive giant Tata Motors to see where we are headed. Can these EVs replace the conventional vehicles we’re used to?

Homegrown EVs in a test to see if they can replace conventional vehicles
Homegrown EVs in a test to see if they can replace conventional vehiclesTata Nexon vs Ather 450X

In conversation with Volkswagen India’s new head Ashish Gupta

As we close in on the VW Taigun’s launch, we get chatting with Ashish Gupta, brand director of Volkswagen India about what we can expect from this mid-size SUV. He talks about everything from the tech to localisation, improved after sales and service costs, motorsport, the return of the T-Roc and the upcoming sedan that is rumoured to be the Vento’s replacement.

An insight into Volkswagen India and their plans for 2021
An insight into Volkswagen India and their plans for 2021volkswagen India

Trippin’ with Lemon Tree

We head from Delhi to Narkhanda via Dehradun and Chandigarh for the latest edition of Trippin’ with Lemon Tree

Last edition of Trippin' with Lemon Tree
Last edition of Trippin' with Lemon TreeLemon Tree

Tuned

This month, the Tuned section features RaceJazz, a Honda Jazz that has been heavily worked on with a Honda Accord engine under the hood and plenty of chassis upgrades to match. We also look at the most powerful Ford Fiesta in the country, a new cafe-cum-workshop for car enthusiasts in Mumbai and tell you everything you need to know about upgrading your car’s brakes.

Leading the tuned section is the RaceJazz! We even have the most powerful Ford Fiesta and everything you need to know about brakes
Leading the tuned section is the RaceJazz! We even have the most powerful Ford Fiesta and everything you need to know about brakesHonda Jazz

Triumph Trident stars in free Fast Bikes Booklet

The Trident is Triumph’s most awaited motorcycle of 2021, as it will lower the barrier of entry in to premium bike ownership by being the brand’s most affordable motorcycle yet. It headlines this month’s Fast Bikes India booklet as we have exclusively ridden it and can give you a comprehensive review of what to expect when it launches next month! We have also set the national record for the fastest quarter mile wheelie on the Bajaj Pulsar NS200 — the full story on how we attempted it is in this issue. Plenty of Dakar coverage in here as well, from Hero’s bittersweet outing, to Harith’s mammoth feat of finishing in the top 20 and Ashish Raorane’s steely determination in the Malle Moto Class.

In the Fast Bikes India supplement, apart from the Trident, we bring you Harith Noah's Dakar journey, India's fastest quarter-mile wheelie attempt and more.
In the Fast Bikes India supplement, apart from the Trident, we bring you Harith Noah's Dakar journey, India's fastest quarter-mile wheelie attempt and more. Fast Bikes India Supplement
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