Maserati’s MC20 headlines the February 2022 issue of evo India, along with every Ford sold in India
The February 2022 issue of evo India is headlined by the Maserati MC20, an all-new supercar that may be walking in to a lion’s den with the likes of the McLaren Artura, Lamborghini Huracan Evo, McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo to contend with. But get behind the wheel of the Maserati and feels like a breath of fresh air — a properly useable supercar that is highly engaging at every speed. Also on the cover is our Tribute to Ford. With the Blue Oval halting sales in India, we brought together every Ford sold in the country over the last two and a half decades to celebrate everything it stood for. With legends like the Ikon, EcoSport, Endeavour, Figo and Mustang (just to name a few) all in one story, this is not a story the Indian automobile enthusiast will want to miss.
Also in this issue are reviews of the Porsche Mission R concept, Kia Carens, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 330Li M Sport and Tata Tiago iCNG. We continue on with the adventures from the 100th issue, this time taking the Maruti Suzuki Alto to the Himalayas on an epic road trip where the editor recreates his very first rally, the 2003 Raid-de-Himalaya. We also set a lap record with the Camry Hybrid, pit the new X3 against the new Q5 and taken a closer look at the upcoming Skoda Slavia. On two wheels, we get astride the wild Ducati Streetfighter V4, the new Yezdi motorcycles, Benelli TRK 251 and Pure EV ETrance Neo.
Maserati’s all new mid-engined V6 supercar stands out from the crowd with how comfortable it is, without compromising on its core abilities of being a driver’s car. It is agile, malleable, adjustable and that promises a very unique driving experience, one that is rewarding at low speeds or when being pushed.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Ford
With Ford having exited India, we pay homage by bringing together nearly car and SUV that it sold here. We have everything from the Ikon to the Mondeo, EcoSport, Fusion, Fiesta, Figo, Aspire, Endeavour and even the Mustang — a proper celebration of everything Ford stood for in India.
The Maruti Suzuki Alto is, by far, the most popular car in the hills of India and is so for a variety of reasons — it is compact, light, frugal and deals with the harsh terrain with ease. In this story, the Editor Sirish Chandran takes the Alto up to the Himalayas to retrace the routes of his very first rally, the 2003 Raid-de-Himalaya that he, incidentally, won in the Reliability class.
BMW X3 vs Audi Q5
A battle that has raged through the years has resurfaced, with both the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 receiving facelifts. With fresh styling, updated interiors and with drivetrains that meet the latest emission regulations, these SUVs are more evolutions of their previous versions rather than revolutions. Both SUVs bring plenty of luxury to the table but which one should be your pick?
Porsche Mission R
Most concept cars are show pieces. But not this one. Porsche has created a track car with an electric drivetrain, and is letting us get a taste of the future of motorsport with it. Many call it a prelude to the next Cayman, though this really is a showcase of what motorsport could look, and sound like, in the future. And it be honest, it is actually very impressive.
Kia’s fourth product for India is a 7-seater that sits somewhere between an SUV and an MPV. The Carens promises practically, space and a useable third row. It shares a lot with the Seltos including its drivetrains, but Kia has styled it distinctly and made it its own thing. How does it stack up against the slew of 7-seater SUVs that have flooded the market? We get behind the wheels of the turbo-petrol and diesel variants to find out.
The best car in the world — now made in India. Having first been brought in as a CBU, the new generation S-Class is now available as a CKD and has received a price cut of a massive Rs 60 lakh in the process. However, it also misses out on certain features, makes less power and does away with AWD on the diesel variant. Does the S-Class still shock and awe like it did before? We drive the S 350d to investigate.
BMW 330Li M Sport
The BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine is supposed to be the longer, more comfort-oriented variant of the 3 Series. However, BMW have gone and slapped on the M Sport kit on to it. With more aggressive styling, a gorgeous blue paint scheme and upsized wheels, this brings sportiness to what was otherwise a car designed for luxury. And we like it!
Hybrid Lap Record
The Toyota Camry may be a bonafide luxury car but that doesn’t mean it can’t to performance. The hybrid drivetrain brings together the electric motor and ICE to deliver a good turn of pace, while it has the chassis to match. In this story, we drive it down to the Kari Motor Speedway and set the lap record for a hybrid car around this track!
Tata Tiago iCNG
The Tiago is available with a CNG kit straight from the factory! It gets the same 3-cylinder Revotron engine, and while power does drop slightly in CNG mode, it doesn’t hamper performance in any significant manner. Worth noting though, is the fact that it costs about Rs 1 lakh more than the standard car. Is the iCNG an effective alternative if you want to save on running costs?
Volkswagen Tiguan and Taigun
There’s no denying the familial link between the Volkswagen Tiguan and Taigun. From the crisp lines, sharp interior and TSI power — there’s a lot that the two share. In this story, we look at this link between the SUVWs, how the Taigun, when distilled to its essence, is a shrunken Tiguan and how the traits that are recognisably VW run through its veins.
Skoda Slavia preview
The Slavia is right around the corner, and we take a look at what you can expect from Skoda’s latest sedan. With the longest wheelbase in its class, punchy TSI engines, premium interiors and sharp styling, the Skoda Slavia is set to redefine what we think of premium mid-sized sedans!
ICON: Porsche Boxster
We look back at the 986-gen Porsche Boxster that was first launched 25 years ago. A flat-six with modest outputs, combined with a sweet-handling chassis, makes it an icon all these years on. This was a car that should have threatened the 911s very existence but Porsche has intelligently evolved both lines such that they don’t eat in to each other, while remaining incredibly successful.
Be The Better Guy
In a bid to promote road safety, together with Hyundai India, we conducted a social experiment where we approached youngsters on the road and asked them to set off in a car in a ‘safe manner’. Looking for things like whether they wore their seatbelt, adjusted their seat and steering wheel, checked their mirrors and more, we scored each of them and in the process educated them on how to set off safely in a car.
Ducati Streetfighter V4
A Panigale V4 for the streets — the Streetfighter V4 takes the explosive power and combines it with the every day usability of a street naked. Top shelf suspension and brakes, winglets and over 200bhp of power make this one of the most exhilarating street bikes we have ever ridden.
Yezdi Roadster, Scrambler and Adventure
Yezdi makes a comeback under the Classic Legends umbrella with three new motorcycles — the Roadster, Scrambler and Adventure. They may share an engine but Yezdi has taken the effort to ensure that they are vastly different motorcycles. They get differentiated styling, bespoke suspension and even have different power and torque outputs suited to each motorcycle. Can these bikes make a dent in our market?
Benelli TRK 251
Breaking in to the entry level ADV space, Benelli has launched the TRK 251. With a single cylinder 249cc engine that makes over 25bhp, this ADV promises to bring modern technology and that ‘big bike’ feeling to users at a strong price. Can it stand up to established rivals like the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the KTM 250 Adventure?
Pure EV ETrance Neo
A relatively affordable electric offering that won’t set any benchmarks in terms of performance, but will certainly ensure practicality with the range that it offers. Should this be a consideration for you if you’re looking for something simple, affordable and effective for your daily commute?
TUNED: Audi TT
Not too many people daily a sportscar, but this Audi TT has the distinction of being one. There are a couple of tasteful mods, a bigger turbo under the hood that ensures proper performance from the four banger, and a heavily upgraded sound system. Bronze wheels are the only indicator that this car has had work done to it!
TUNED: Volkswagen Vento
The Polo may be a favourite amongst the tuning community in India, but this Vento has been making the waves. The ECU had been flashed to make more power, wheels have been changed, the suspension has been upgraded, it runs stickier tyres and has a Borla muffler. Very cool car, this.