evo India sets the Indian national record for the longest drift with the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S. Also headlining the November 2022 issue is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Range Rover vs S-Class and more
The November issue of evo India has the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S fully sideways — not an uncommon sight on the cover of this magazine but this is different. This isn’t any old sideways shot, but this is the A 45 S on its way in to the India Book of Records for holding the longest drift by a 4-wheeler in the country. With editor Sirish Chandran behind the wheel and running on Vredestein tyres, this little AWD monster put its drift mode to good use, sliding constantly for a whole 10 minutes and 23 seconds to set this new national record. A record like this isn’t a piece of cake though, and we had to overcome challenges to both man and machine to set it.
Also in this issue are reviews of plenty of new cars — the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Lamborghini Urus Performante, Mercedes-Benz EQB that’s soon to be launched in India, Mahindra XUV300 TurboSport, Lexus RC-F very sideways at the Chennai race track and Aston Martin DBX 707. We’ve also pit the new Range Rover against the S-Class in a bid to see which is the best car in the world. Additionally we get under the skin of the BMW M2 and Aryton Senna’s 1991 McLaren Formula 1 car. We also dig deeper in to what allowed the Skoda Kushaq and VW Taigun get the coveted five-star G-NCAP crash safety rating. On two wheels, we headed to the Thailand round of the MotoGP championship, ride the Hero Vida and get talking with the CEO and founder of Tork Motors, Kapil Shelke.
New drift record in the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S
It’s official. Team evo India has set the national record for the longest drift on four wheels with the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S, shod on Vredestein tyres! Set at the NATRAX wet skid pad with an adjudicator of the India Book of Records at hand to validate the record, editor Sirish drifted the A 45 S for 10 minutes and 23 seconds to clinch and seal this new national record. It wasn’t easy though — holding a drift for so long takes an incredible amount of skill and there were plenty of unknowns making things harder than they needed to be!
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
The 992 generation GT3 RS is here, and its more race car-like than ever before. The GT department has left no stone unturned, honing the aero to a point that it has eclipsed Porsche’s endurance 911 RSR prototype in mid-downforce trim. The engine has been dialled up slightly, but it is the chassis and aero where the big changes have been made. We drive it around the Silverstone track and are blown away.
Range Rover vs S-Class
The new generation Range Rover is finally here with an eye-watering price tag, but with the luxury to match and it also looks like a million bucks. Additionally the tech it packs is plenty and the luxury on the inside is amped up. It has the potential to genuinely lay claim to the title of the best car in the world. We brought along the S-Class to see what the current best car in the world has to say about that!
Lamborghini Urus Performante
The Super SUV has its wick turned up — more power and consequently more performance. It gets more aggressive aero, drops the air suspension in favour of steel springs, loses some weight and now gets a rally mode. We get behind the wheel, right before the India launch of this car. Is the Urus in its ultimate form?
The Mercedes-Benz GLB gets electrified! The EQB promises high levels of practicality, with its three rows of seating and seven-seats. It is expected to be priced under the Rs 1 crore mark, making it the most affordable electric Merc. Can it taken on the others in this space including the likes if the Volvo XC40 Recharge and BMW i4?
Mahindra XUV300 T-GDI TurboSport
The Mahindra XUV300 gets an upgrade — the 1.2 turbo petrol gets direct injection, and bumps power up to 128bhp making it the most powerful compact SUV. There are tweaked styling bits and interior trims to go with its sporty intentions as well. With provenance from the Mahindra rally programme, can the XUV300 make a dent in the growing market of enthusiasts?
Aston Martin DBX 707
With close to 700bhp the 707 it takes the regular, already fast DBX, and increases power, torque and hones the aero even further. Performance is ballistic, but what remains even more impressive is the way the chassis is balanced. Is this really the peak of the performance SUV? We get behind the wheel to find out!
While BMW M strays further and further away from its core with products like the XM performance SUV, it still continues to make products that appeal to its very core like the BMW M2. The generational upgrade is significant. In addition to the polarising styling, it borrows plenty from the current M3 /M4 and that makes it a potent piece of kit. We dissect everything that this car is about and try to make sense of it!
Lexus RC-F, sideways
The RC-F is old school. It has a nat-asp 5-litre V8 engine, a rarity in this day and age, and an engine worthy of a proper send-off. We took it to the MMRT for some proper action on track. Lap times were not set, and instead big smokey drifts were indulged in.
Anatomy of the greatest Formula 1 car
Getting under the skin of Aryton Senna’s 3.5-litre McLaren F1 car. This Formula 1 racer from the early 90s followed on from the mad turbo era of the 80s, and was one of the most technically advanced cars of its time. We try to make sense of the aero philosophy, engine and the rudimentary electronics that began to make an appearance around this time!
Tata Soul Iconic North East drive
We join a bunch of adventurers on an exciting drive to the North East in a convoy of Tata Harrier and Safari SUVs, exploring the plains of Assam and the mountains of Arunachal Pradesh. From the wildlife in Kaziranga to the Bum La pass on the Indo-China border, the Northeast presents us with stunning visuals and experiences.
VW Taigun anniversary celebrations
To celebrate the VW Taigun’s one-year anniversary, we head to the Aamby valley airstrip to check out the new anniversary edition, while putting the SUV through a whole load of dynamic tests that showcase its ability on road. We also caught up with Ashish Gupta, head of VW cars in India to understand what the last year has looked like for the brand and also what the new safety ratings mean for Volkswagen.
Skoda Kushaq scores 5 stars in crash tests
The Skoda Kushaq is now the safest made-in-India car! With a five star rating for both adult and child occupants, it has scored more than any other car tested by G-NCAP so far and more impressively, it has scored this under the new, more stringent GNCAP rules. We get under the skin of the Kushaq to understand what went in to engineering such a safe car!
Hyundai Great Driving Roads
Heading to the hinterlands of Maharashtra, looking for a great road to drive on? The road between Gargoti and Patgaon, around 70km from Kolhapur is a newly built road that will connect to the western coast of the country. It is off the traditional Pune-Goa run but worth a detour for the experience that it offers!
Riding with the boss
We head out on a ride with Kapil Shelke, the founder and CEO of Tork Motors, an electric motorcycle start-up based out of Pune. Kapil tells us his journey, right form the time he took an e-motorcycle to race at the Isle of Mann through to his start-up journey with the challenges he has faced in getting Tork off the ground, and where things stand today after the launch of their first product, the Kratos.
Hero finally jumps on to the e-scooter bandwagon with the Vida! In terms of specs and features, it seems fairly well kitted out — it has a good range figure of up to 165km, and comes with features that are on par for the course. It is expensive though, and we ride it to try and understand whether it can take on the established players in this segment.
Our man Karan heads to Buriram in Thailand to witness the spectacle that MotoGP is, even getting exclusive access to the paddock where he met some absolute legends. Watching your first MotoGP race is always special, and Karan finds just the right words to describe that feeling!