Our biggest story of the year — eCOTY — headlines the December 2021 issue of evo India
The evo Car of the Year issue is here where we, where we bring together the finest enthusiast cars that we have driven over the year, and hit the road for the ultimate test. We have an incredible line up of contenders this year — there’s Italian exotica in the form of the Ferrari SF90 and Lamborghini Huracan STO, the best sports cars from 2021 including the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition and Porsche 911 GT3 make it to the list, BMW comes in strong with the M5 CS and the new M3 Competition, while hot hatches like the Honda Civic Type R and the Hyundai i20 N round things up. These cars may not compete with each other directly – there’s no way an i20 N will keep up with a Ferrari down a fast road — but this isn’t a story about outright performance. It is about which car delivers that mercurial sensation that is the Thrill of Driving, and there can be only one winner. Which one is it? You’re going to have to read the magazine to find out!
There’s more packed inside this issue — we’ve driven the Ferrari Portofino M in Dubai, got our hands on the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S at NATRAX, and we’ve driven Maruti Suzuki’s latest small car — the Celerio. We’re also gotten our hands on Volvo’s latest mild hybrid cars, the XC60 and the S90, to see what sets them apart from mainstream luxury cars. We take the Hyundai Alcazar on to the snow-clad Himalayas to explore some great driving roads, while we get aquatinted with the new 5-seater Tiguan that has just launched in India.
On two wheels, we’ve got reviews of two of the sportiest scooters in India — the Aprilia SR160 Carbon and the Yamaha Aerox 155. We’ve also brought you all the action from IBW, spent a weekend at the racetrack with the Continental GT-R 650 and delved in the TVS Racing’s off-road racing history.
All this and so much more in the December 2021 issue of evo India!
evo Car of the Year is the ultimate test — with eight jurors picking apart eight of the finest cars launched over the last year to decide which gets to wear the crown for 2021. This 48-page-long feature will indulge you with some incredible visuals and the most incisive, yet descriptive writing that will put you right in the driver’s seat. There’s an incredible line-up of cars stretching from the attainable stuff like the Hyundai i20 N and Honda Civic Type R, to the absolute cutting edge of performance cars with Ferrari’s first hybrid, the SF90. The Lamborghini Huracan STO makes an appearance, while BMW fronts two entries with the M5 CS and the M3 Competition. Of course, Porsche couldn’t be left out and the 911 GT3 walks in a favourite, while Aston Martin’s Vantage F1 Edition attempts to shake things up. This is not a story you want to miss.
Ferrari Portofino M
This may be the ‘entry-level’ Ferrari but it is still packing over 600bhp — what a world we’re living in! The Portofino goes under the knife and gets the the Modificata treatment, with updated styling, but key changes include more power (who doesn’t want that?), a new 8-speed DCT gearbox and more driving modes including a Race mode. In a convertible! Have the learnings from the Roma trickled down to the Portofino? Certainly looks like it, and the Porto is all the better for it.
Mercedes-AMG A45 S
India finally has a bonafide hot hatch! For too long we’ve had to make do with ‘warm hatches’, halfway steps to the real deal. But no more. Mercedes-AMG has brought the A 45 S here and let us have a go at the NATRAX high speed test track. With over 400bhp from the world’s most powerful series-production turbo 4-cylinder engine, a trick AWD system that gives it a Drift mode and the full AMG visual treatment, this is easily one of the most fun cars we’ve driven this year!
Maruti Suzuki Celerio
This is the first new car from Maruti Suzuki in a long time! Boasting a headline fuel economy figure of 26.68kmpl, the Celerio is India’s most efficient car but there’s a lot more to it than just that. It gets updated styling, completely redesigned interiors, more features and critically, more space. It also gets an updated engine, and is based on the new Gen 5 Heartect platform. Is this another best-seller from India’s biggest carmaker?
Volvo XC60 & S90
Volvo has always done things differently, and the recently launched XC60 and S90 are no different. They may compete with mainstream German carmakers in their respective segments, but they come as a breath of fresh air. In this story, we attempt to get under the skin of these Volvos and understand what sets them apart and why someone should even consider them when there are sportier, and more comfortable competitors.
The 5-seater Volkswagen Tiguan is back! Now a CKD model unlike the Allspace, the Tiguan brings to the table fresh styling, a refreshed interiors and new features. In this story, we explore everything that is new on the Tigaun — right down to the smallest details. Highlighting bits like the Matrix LED headlamps, the new infotainment screen, the digital cockpit, and even the new 2-litre TSI engine, this story gives you the low down on everything you can expect with the new Tiguan.
Alcazar to the Hampta Pass
As a part of our Greatest Driving Roads series, we take the Hyundai Alcazar to Manali, exploring a luxury hotel in a castle (incidentally, Alcazar also means castle), tackling the hill climb up the Hampta Pass which was used on the recent Rally of the Himalayas, and even setting up a barbecue under the shade of the snow clad mountains.
Easily one of Yamaha’s most desirable launches in a long time, the Aerox is here to ruffle feathers in the sport scooter segment. A combination of an underbone chassis and the R15’s 155cc liquid-cooled engine gives this scooter some genuine sporting pedigree, and that translates to the road as well. Quick, nimble, but most importantly fun, this may be one of the best scooters we’ve ridden all year!
Aprilia SR160 Carbon
Right in time to deal with the threat from the Aerox comes an update to the incumbent, the Aprilia SR160. However, the changes are only superficial. We’ve tested the Carbon variant that sits in the middle of the range, and it continues to be the enthusiastic scooter we know and love!
India Bike Week
IBW is back after a year’s break! Held at Aamby Valley instead of Goa this year, IBW saw a great turnout with plenty of OEMs making their presence felt. Harley-Davidson launched the new Sportster S at the festival, while Honda launched a special edition H’ness 350 and showcased the upcoming CB300R. Kawasaki’s Z650RS made its public debut for the first time, while Hero was there as well. There was plenty to do at the festival — from the Hero X-Trails experience where people could experience the Xpluse 4V off-road, the Biker’s mart that had accessories, merchandise, gear and more, and the Vintage Bike show that had some cool classics on display.
Continental GT Cup
We spend a weekend at the racetrack as a wildcard entry on the Continental GT Cup. The GT Cup is a one-make series that runs race-spec Continental GT 650s, and as a part of the weekend, we rubbed shoulders with some of the best racers in the country — taking part in practice, qualifying and the two race sessions over the whole weekend. It was a weekend of learning, growth and improvement, which is exactly what you want when you hit the racetrack.
Tuned: GLS + Esteem
The Tuned section of our magazine features a Mercedes-Benz GLS that, on the outside, has been kitted out to look like a very angry GLS 63, but the inside is doesn’t have a hint of sportiness too it. Instead, it’s all luxury. Meanwhile, we’ve also featured a slammed Maruti Suzuki Esteem that really set our hearts on fire!