Porsche’s finest — the 718 Cayman GT4 RS driven on Indian roads for the February 2023 issue of evo India magazine
The Porsche Cayman GT4 RS is a melting pot of some epic ingredients — the sublime mid-engined chassis of the 718-gen Cayman, the unhinged motorsport-derived 4.0 flat-six engine from the 911 GT3, lightweighting and aerodynamics from the hallowed GT department. Together they deliver a driving experience that is near incomparable to anything else out there. Launched in India late last year, we have driven a highly specced example on Indian roads in an attempt to find out if it is the greatest Porsche, nay the greatest sportscar, off all time. With incredible numbers, but more importably, incredible sensations delivered to the driver — this car truly delivers on the Thrill of Driving.
Also in this issue, we have brought you all of the updates from Auto Expo 2023 including Tata and Maruti Suzuki’s big announcements, we review the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Citroen E-C3, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios, MG Hector facelift and Force Urbania. We head out on epic road trips in the Kia EV6 GT, Honda City Hybrid and McLaren 765 LT Spider. We also bring you in-depth coverage of everything that went on at Dakar 2023. On two wheels, we have reviewed the new Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650, Ultraviolette F77 and Hero Xoom 110 just to name a few.
All this and more in the February 2023 issue of evo India!
Auto Expo roundup
We bring you all of the action from Auto Expo 2023! We’re talking about the new unveils from Tata including the Sierra, Curvv, Harrier EV, Altroz Racer, Safari and Harrier updates along with the new gasoline engines. Maruti Suzuki came in strong with the global unveils of the Jimny 5-door and the Fronx, along with the EVx concept SUV. We also bring you news of the Ioniq 5 launch, the Kia KA4 and EV9 unveils, Lexus’ unveils.
Hyundai Ioniq 5
Hyundai’s Ioniq 5 was launched at Auto Expo and we’ve gotten behind the wheel of it! Based on the E-GMP platform shared with the Kia EV6, it is an EV that was always designed to be an EV. The Ioniq 5 gets a 72.6kWh battery with a motor that puts out 214bhp. And it is exclusively available in a RWD layout. The fact that it is brought in to India as a CKD has also allowed Hyundai to price it really competitively against its Kia rival.
We’ve driven Citroen’s first electric car for India! The E-C3 is based on the C3 hatchback and promises to be an affordable in-road to electric mobility. Its only direct rival is the Tata Tiago EV, and while it does get a bigger battery at 29.2KWh the outputs a lower with a moderate 56bhp and 143Nm on tap. Does it have what it take to make EVs mainstream?
Hyundai Grand i10 Nios
This Nios gets a facelift with updated styling, a cool-looking lighter at the rear and also small updates to the interior, chief of which is the new MID in the instrument cluster. In addition to these changes, the Nios also loses its turbo-petrol engine leaving only the 1.2 nat-asp petrol around. Is the Nios now better poised to take on the Swift? We put it through the paces to find out.
MG Hector facelift
MG has given the Hector a life cycle update a few years after its launch and the changes include reworked styling that is more in-your-face, but also more palatable to the Indian buyer. On the inside, the changes are focussed around the tech in the car with the 14-inch screen making headlines. Do these changes make it a more appealing prospect in the crowded mid-size SUV segment?
The Force Urbania is a premium van from Force Motors, looking to make the people-moving segment a little more upmarket. This isn’t the usual metal you’d see in the pages of this magazine but it caught our eye with its monocoque platform, spacious interior and the attention given to the driving experience. It is a revelation.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4RS
It has finally happened — Porsche has stopped pulling its punches with the Cayman. It has always lived in the shadow of the 911, but not any more. The mad motorsport department has shoehorned the spectacular 4.0 flat-six from the 911 GT3 in to the mid-engined 718 chassis, honed the aerodynamics, gone to town with the lightweighting and you’re left with this — the 718 Cayman GT4 RS. This is peak Porsche. Heck, this is peak sportscar. The greatest of all time? You’re going to have to read the story to find out.
Powering up in the Kia EV6 GT
The Kia EV6 just won the Green car of the year award at ICOTY 2023, impressing with its incredible levels of sophistication and performance. Halfway across the world, we take Kia’s most powerful variant of the EV6 — the 577bhp GT for a blast Mont Ventoux in the Alps, and realise that the future of the automobile, now matter how silent it might be, still has the potential to be incredibly fun!
Anatomy of the Porsche 956
The most iconic sportscar of all time? Quite possibly. The Porsche 956 has six Le Mans wins, three IMSA wins and a whole lot of other race wins and podiums under its belt. It is one of the most successful endurance racers ever made and cemented Porsche’s place in the history books as one of the most brilliant race-car builders of all time. We get under the skin of this Group C racer to find out what made it so good.
Audi Ice drive
Sliding around on ice in a performance car is some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on. However, with the onslaught of EVs, will it remain as smile inducing? We head to Austria and get behind the wheel of some ICE cars and EVs to find out whether the future can deliver compared to the thrills that we have had in the past.
Honda City Hybrid
In this story, we dive deep in to the tech underpinning the Honda City Hybrid. It really is a tour de force in that department, featuring a hugely complicated hybrid system that uses a petrol engine primarily as a range extender. We also put to the test the ADAS features of this car in real world situations, including collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control and the lane departure warning system.
Audi at Dakar
This year, like every year, the Dakar was a proper test of the endurance of both man and machine. The Audi team, entering for the third year running with their RS Q e-tron prototype had a tough outing with a series of mechanical failures ruining their chances of a podium. We got a chance to witness the action from the bivouac and from deep in the desert, first hand.
CEAT CrossDrive AT experience
CEAT has launched a new range of CrossDrive AT tyres for SUVs with a focus adding aggressive looks to the SUV they are on. However, how a tyre looks is irrelevant compared to how it performs especially on an SUV that will have a lot of demands of it. To put it through its paces we shod these tyres on a couple of Thar 4x4s and let them lose on the tricky terrain of Mahindra’s off-road academy in Igatpuri. With automotive influencers behind the wheel talking about how they perform, we really threw these tyres in to the deep end of the slush pit.
McLaren 765 LT Spider road trip
With hybridisation already rearing its head at McLaren, we take one of its purest, most hardcore supercars yet — the 765 LT Spider on a road trip to Death Valley. With endless roads and close to no rules, little else compares to unleashing the full potential of a supercar of this calibre on the street
Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650
Royal Enfield’s third product on the 650 platform is finally here and its a proper cruiser. Christened the Super Meteor — it takes traditional cruiser styling and ergonomic elements and marries them to real world usability. There are tweaks to the engine tune, while the chassis is all new, even featuring USDs on an RE for the first time ever.
A couple of years after riding the prototypes, we have finally gotten out hands on the production spec Ultraviolette F77 electric motorcycles. With the most power of any EV on two wheels, and the most range as well, it seems to have solid potential. But you must also factor in the eye-watering Rs 4.5 lakh price tag!
Hero Xoom 110
Hero has finally launched a sporty-looking scooter, and its called the Xoom. With an X. The Xoom gets a 110.9cc engine — the same as its Maestro Edge 110 and the Pleasure+, It’s a single-cylinder mill churns out 8bhp and 8.7Nm also featuring Hero’s i3s start/stop technology. Its a cool looking scooter, and the first from Hero MotoCorp to get proper sporty styling
TVS Racing Diaries
We catch up with Harith Noah after Dakar 2023 — we discuss the months and the prep leading up to the Dakar, the first couple of days in the dunes of Saudi Arabia and also his campaign-ending crash which injured him with a couple of broken vertebrae. He talks about the confidence he had going in to the rally, and also detail out the crash, how and why it happened, and also the path to recovery.
Tuned: Mercedes-AMG CLA 45
A hardcore build with the previous generation Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 as its base — plenty has been done to this car on the surface to make it look more aggressive but it also gets tweaked internals to put out over 400bhp, with suspension and brake upgrades to match. A proper riot, this!
In conversation with Jehan Daruvala
Kunal Shah, F1 commentator and analyst, speaks to Jehan Daruvala about his career so far and what is to come. They talk about the last few seasons in F2, the potential (or lack of) of a future in Formula 1, on signing with Mahindra Racing and his thoughts on racing in Formula E. This is the most in-depth interview with the normally reserved Jehan around!