Mahindra Scorpio-N headlines the July 2022 issue of evo India, along with Citroen C3, Maruti Suzuki Brezza and Porsche Macan
It's rare for an SUV to be on the cover of evo India magazine but the Mahindra Scorpio-N turned out to be such a deeply impressive machine, that it deserved the hero shot. There’s so much to talk about with the new Scorpio — the fact that it remains body-on-frame, its epic 4x4 ability, the improved ride comfort, the fact that it goes around corners, the refinement and performance of the engines, the comfort and space it offers — it is so far evolved from the old Scorpio, and is all the better for it. Sitting in one of the most hotly contested segments in the market, the Scorpio-N stands tall amongst its competition for remaining an authentic SUV, without the traditional compromises of one. Our cover story gets in to the thick of the details — telling you everything you need to know about the new Scorpio-N! We have followed it up with a technical deep dive to give you a better understanding of the engineering behind it, and what makes it drive the way it does.
Also in this issue, we have reviews of the Citroen C3, facelifted Hyundai Venue, the new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga CNG and the updated Maruti Suzuki Brezza. We have also driven the last nat-asp V12 car from Lamborghini, the Aventador Ultimae. We’ve gone on some epic road trips — taking the Porsche Macan to the MMRT, the Innova Crysta to Goa, the Nissan Magnite to north India and the Hyundai i20 turbo to Kolli hills in Tamil Nadu. On two wheels, we’ve compared either end of the ADV spectrum by putting the BMW R 1250 GS against the Hero Xpulse 200 4V, ridden the new KTM RC 390 on track, experienced racing on the TVS one-make bikes and ridden through a deluge-hit Nepal on TVS’ 125s!
All this and a lot more in the July 2022 issue of evo India
The Mahindra Scorpio-N is finally here! This is a whole new generation of the Scorpio — new frame, new engines, new everything — and it feels wonderfully different from before. We won’t give you any spoilers here, check out the full story in the magazine, but we will say that this is a legitimate body-on-frame SUV without all the compromises that you would traditionally associate with one. With a proper 4x4 system and low ratio, it is incredibly capable off-road as well, as we found out on the slushy trails in the western ghats.
Mahindra Scorpio-N: Under the skin
We sit down with R Velusamy, the head of Mahindra’s global product development to understand what went it to making the new Scorpio. One may think that a body-on-frame SUV is crude and therefore easy to engineer but the depth of engineering is simply staggering. We understand what has gone in to the construction of the new frame, the BIW, the updated suspension, how the balance between ride, handling and off-road ability has been achieved and also what makes the Scorpio-N crash well.
Porsche Macan on race and rally tracks
The Macan may be an SUV, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bubbling with character inherited from its sportscar cousins. We take the Macan on a road trip on some typical Indian highways, ending up at the MMRT where we bang in some hot laps on the track, and go sideways on the rally track. The Macan proves to be incredibly capable, and explains why it is the most popular Porsche around at the moment!
Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae
Lamborghini’s lineage of pure nat-asp V12s is coming to an end with the Aventador, and the last of the Aventadors is the Ultimae. Making more power than ever before in a series production Lambo, the Ultimae is a celebration and a homage to the V12 before electrification takes over. With two roadsters and one coupe of this limited edition already on our shores, we get behind the wheel to say goodbye to a legend.
After establishing itself with the C5 Aircross, Citroen’s second product for India is the C3 — a compact car that blurs the lines between B-segment hatchbacks and compact SUVs. Based on the C-Cubed program which involves cars being developed in India, for India, it gets a brand new platform developed together with engineers from Tata Consultancy Services. It gets two engine options including a 1-litre turbo-petrol. This is a small car that is focused on comfort and usability. Can it make a dent in this crowded space? We drive it to find out!
Hyundai’s sub-4m compact SUV gets a mid-life update — with updated styling, fresher interiors and more features. The styling is more in line with the upcoming Hyundai Tucson, while it gets a number of features including electrically adjustable seats, reclining rear seats, multiple language options on the infotainment and the inclusion of drive modes on the automatic variants. The engines and mechanical package remains largely unchanged. Has the Venue raised the bar for what we can expect in this segment once again?
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga CNG
With fuel prices soaring, Maruti Suzuki is getting more aggressive with its CNG strategy and the latest is the Ertiga CNG. It gets the same 1.5-litre engine as before, along with a 5-speed manual, but is now on offer in the ZXi and Vxi variants. How different does this feel from the regular Ertiga? Are there compromises in terms of performance and space? Find out in our review of the updated Ertiga CNG!
Maruti Suzuki Brezza
Another sub-4m SUV with an update! The Maruti Suzuki gets a name change — dropping the Vitara moniker — but with it, it gets updated styling, a modernised dash, a slew of new features including the in-demand sunroof, and an updated drivetrain with the new K15C engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Prices have also increased, making the top-end Brezza one of the more expensive cars in this class.
Long term test: Audi e-tron
Can you live with an EV? That’s the task the editor set himself, spending the last couple of longish with the Audi e-tron full electric SUV. Not only did he use it as his daily driver but also as a support car on all our shoots, on multiple Pune - Mumbai - Pune runs and much more. Read the issue to find out why he’s convinced the time for EVs is here.
Volkswagen Taigun and Virtus
The India 2.0 project has seen the Taigun and the Virtus launch in India, and these two cars blur lines where there were usually very strong boundaries. The Virtus has been engineered for Indian roads, with properly high ground clearance that is actually SUV-rivalling. Meanwhile the Taigun’s dynamics have been honed to a point where this SUV corners like a car. With blurred lines like these, customers today are spoilt for choice as the obvious flaws of each body-style have been addressed.
Toyota Urban Cruiser road trip: India’s Grand Canyon
We drive the Toyota Urban Cruiser to Gandikota, fondly called the grand canyon of India. The Urban Cruiser proves to be a comfortable mile-muncher, with its refined petrol engine and great ride quality. Its SUV credentials also mean we can get up close and personal with the canyon. This is one of the most beautiful road trips we have been on in a while.
Hyundai i20 road trip: Kolli hills
Nestled in the eastern ghats in Tamil Nadu, Kolli hills is a fearsome hill climb — over 70 hairpin bends snaking up a mountainside, featuring perfect tarmac and a wide variety of corners. We attack it in the Hyundai i20 turbo. A peppy engine and a quick-shifting transmission, combined with the sorted dynamics of this car made it a drive to remember. It truly goes down as one of the greatest driving roads we have seen in India!
Toyota Innova Cyrsta Road trip through Goa
The Innova Crysta remains a popular choice for road tripping, as we found out in this road trip where three friends drove down to Goa in one. With plenty of space, a comfortable ride, strong engines and a slew of features, the journey was just as nice as the destination. The sights and sounds of Goa were that much more vibrant from behind the wheel of the Crysta!
Nissan Magnite: Big Bold Beautiful
This edition of the Big Bold Beautiful drive takes us to north India! The Red Fort is nothing short of a symbol of boldness, a fortress that served as the Mughal capital in India and the place where the Indian flag was raised on August 15, 1947. From there, we head down the Yamuna Expressway, a massive engineering feat and in Agra, we pay a visit to the beautiful Taj Mahal.
BMW R 1250 GS vs Hero Xpulse 200
What ADV suits you best? We get two examples from either end of the ADV spectrum — the Xpulse 200 at the entry level and the R 1250 GS at the absolute other end. They’re separated by engine capacity, size, power, price, nearly everything but they both are built for the same core reason — to be able to get you anywhere you want. How do these two square off against each other? Find out in the magazine’s latest issue!
KTM RC 390
KTM’s track-bred racer gets a significant update — a new frame, updated engine, comfier ergonomics and fresh styling. Have these changes made it go soft? Are its track credentials intact? We ride it hard at Bajaj Auto’s test track in Chakan to find out!
TVS Race experience
The Young Media Racer programme is back, with budding automotive journalists from around the country battling it out on track over the course of a whole racing season! Our man Mandar headed down to Coimbatore for the first round in Coimbatore, and managed to stick his bike on the podium! He tells us all about his experience in this story.
TVS road trip: Nepal
To celebrate the success of TVS’ 125s, we headed to Nepal to ride the Raider and the Ntorq through the mountains. It turned out to be an adventure and a half with torrential rain lashing the country, causing monster landslides and consequently massive delays. The boys stuck at it though, and managed to get their bikes all the way to Pokhara after a gruelling day on the road.
This month’s tuned section features an Omni that has been chopped to look like a pick-up, and has then been stanced and made in to a drift machine. The other car featured is a tuned C 43 AMG — an aggressive body kit and some fettling has led to it putting out over 500bhp. Being AWD, it has also embraced its capabilities as a drag strip hero!