Hybrid-V6 Ferrari 296 GTB headlines April 2022 issue of evo India
India-exclusive test drive of the Ferrari 296 GTB headlines the April 2022 issue. This is a landmark sports car for Ferrari — the first ever prancing horse road car with a V6 engine, the most powerful rear-wheel-drive sports car in the world, and with the hybrid boost it also has the highest specific output of any powertrain in the world. The 296 still makes an eye-watering 819bhp and 740Nm, all while being able to drive at speeds of up to 135kmph in electric-only mode. And the wheelbase has been shortened with the goal to make it the most fun to drive in its segment. A blast through the brilliant Spanish countryside and a very sideways track session with an Assetto Fiorano-spec 296 reveals an absolutely astonishing sports car that redefines Fun to Drive.
Also on the cover is our record-setting 24 hour challenge of getting from Sand to Snow in the Mahindra Thar — a proper real-world endurance test of both man and machine.
We stopped the press to make sure we included a detailed walk around the Tata Curvv EV Concept, an SUV-Coupe that is set to go into production in two years with both an electric and ICE powertrain.
We’ve done plenty of fun stuff starting with racing an EV, the RS e-tron GT, against ICE cars at the BIC. This month’s big road trip is with the Tata Safari where we revive our Reclaim Your Life series. First drives include the Lexus NX 350h, Tata Altroz DCA, MG ZS EV, new BMW X4 and the Volvo XC40 Recharge. On two wheels, we have gotten you a real-world road review of the Triumph Street Triple, ridden the RE Scram 411 both on road and off-road, reviewed the Suzuki Avenis.
Catch all the action in the April 2022 issue of evo India
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Ferrari 296 GTB
Ferrari is breaking new ground! The 296 GTB is an all-new sportscar — a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive Berlinetta that features a turbo-V6 powertrain mated to a plug-in hybrid. The outright focus of the 296 GTB is clear — Ferrari wants it to be ‘fun to drive’ and the chassis, engine and aero have been honed for precisely that. Downsizing, electrification, are these logical if not inevitable steps for the performance car? We head down to sunny Spain to drive the car on road and at the Monteblanco circuit to find out!
Tata Curvv EV Concept
The path-breaking and stunning concept forced us to stop the press! Slated for production in two years this will be among the first, if not the first, SUV-Coupes to be made in India. And Tata Motors have confirmed the 4.3-meter long SUV will launch with the electric powertrain first and then internal combustion engines. We speak to managing director Shailesh Chandra and head of global design Martin Uhlarik to bring you this detailed walk around of the most important Indian concept car unveiled since the 2020 Auto Expo.
We’ve gotten in to the habit of setting records and its time for another — the fastest time getting from sand to snow in under 24 hours — in India, of course. We set off on this epic adventure in two Mahindra Thars, driving from the vast expanse of the Thar desert in Rajasthan to the snows beyond Manali. An attempt like this needs a solid team, so we roped in some very experienced drivers in Gaurav Gill, Suresh Rana and Madan Choudhary to partner with ed Sirish Chandran. The Thar, meanwhile, shone — unbothered by the difficult terrain at either end, while proving to be a properly capable mile muncher throughout!
Supercar game changers
With the 296 GTB redefining what the performance car could look like, we take a look back in history to when supercars redefined the segment. Starting with the Lamborghini Countach all the way up to the Mclaren MP4-12C — with legends like the Honda NSX, Ferrari F40, Porsche 959, McLaren F1 and Audi R8 as well.
EV vs ICE drag race
The Audi RS e-tron GT is the one of the fastest EVs on sale today. We head to the Northern Motorsport drag race at the BIC to smoke petrol-sipping supercars and prove that EVs can be incredibly effective (and fun) at a proper motorsport competition. Especially when it involves stunning the otherwise smug competition.
Reclaim Your Life
We take the Tata Safari to its namesake — to the national parks in Gir and Velavadar for jungle safaris — and Tata Safari owners join us for the ride. We set out from Ahmedabad with 3 enthusiastic owners and their families, head to Gir to spot lions, drive an epic off-road trail through the jungle, spot Blackbucks from the comfort of our own SUVs and so much more. There’s truly no better way to #ReclaimYourLife than a good road trip!
Volkswagen has unveiled the new Virtus and we get under its skin. We bring your the low down about everything from the styling, features and interiors to the drivetrains. In addition to the standard car, there’s also a tasty looking GT variant to perk the enthusiast’s fancy! We speak to Ashish Gupta, the director of Volkswagen Cars in India and understand exactly where this sedan sits in the premium sedan space, why is the GT brand so important to VW, which engine he thinks will generate more interest, and so much more.
Lexus NX 350h
Here’s a refreshing alternative to the slew of European SUVs that have taken over our market! The Lexus NX 350h rivals the likes of the the GLC, X3, Q5, XC60 and F-Pace. There’s plenty going for it — its unique styling, the hybrid drivetrain that promises performance and good running costs, impressive driving dynamics and a lot more. Would you pick it over a German?
Tata Altroz DCA
The Tata Altroz finally gets a DCT transmission! Called the DCA in Tata-speak, this new automatic transmission will be available as an option on the nat-asp petrol version of the Altroz. By undercutting DCT rivals like the Hyundai i20 by a fair margin, the Altroz DCA does certainly make a case for itself as a relatively affordable runabout, though it doesn’t really deliver on the performance front. Is this a hatchback that should be on your shortlist? Find out in the issue!
MG ZS EV
The popular MG ZS EV gets an update and the changes go deeper than just the facelift. In addition to a fresh face, updated interiors and a more comprehensive feature list, the ZS EV also gets a bigger battery and more power for 2022. These changes improve the range and performance and make the ZS EV even more desirable than before, making it the best EV under Rs 30 lakh on sale in India right now.
Volvo XC40 Recharge
Volvo is set to go full electric by 2030 and here’s a taste of what is to come — the Volvo XC40 Recharge is after all, Volvo’s first ever EV. Based on the ICE XC40, this Volvo looks and feels very similar to the standard car with the major change being to the drivetrain. It gets a large 78kW battery which promises nearly 400km of real world range, a total output of over 400bhp from two motors, and blisteringly quick performance.
BMW is back with a new X4 and while plenty might be gawking at that coupe-SUV styling, what we’re more interested in is the 6-cylinder, 3-litre diesel engine — a rarity that you don’t see in too many cars any more. With diesels being phased out across the country, that BMW is choosing to stick with a big diesel is refreshing! Does the performance do the X4’s chassis justice? We find out in the latest issue of the magazine.
Royal Enfield Scram 411
The Royal Enfield Scram 411 is an interesting proposition — it is essentially a Royal Enfield Himalayan that has been modded to be more of a Scrambler. It gets different styling, a smaller 19-inch front wheel, a new instrument cluster and a new seat. It is positioned as a motorcycle that can deal with tarmac more effectively, without compromising on trail ability and looking cool all the while.
Triumph Street Triple RS
Back when it launched, the Street Triple RS became the benchmark for middle weight nakeds. Having impressed us on the track, we bring it to the road to see if it is just as good. Are the uprated brakes, suspension and power worth the extra money for the streets, or should you stick to the R instead?
This month, we speak to Harith Noah on his journey so far. Competing at the highest levels of motorsport cannot be easy, and we get a behind the scenes look at what it takes to become a motorsport icon.