Editorial Note

Editor’s Note July issue 2022

SOME CARS ARE MEANT FOR SPECIFIC ROADS ONLY!

Last month, I went on a road trip from Los Angeles to Ensenada -the wine valley of Mexico.
Jeep Wrangler Rubicon gave me company and munched over 1000 + Km in a three-day trip and then immediately after that drove the Mclaren 720S Spider in Dubai for another three days. If the cars were reversed, then it would be a disaster, especially having the road-hugging sports car that too in eye-popping Papaya Spark colour. READ MORE

 

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note June issue 2022

Hybrids need some taxation respect!

India charges 43% tax on Hybrid vehicles, including GST. That’s a bummer, whereas, on EV, GST is just 5%, no road tax or registration, and you get tax incentives under section 80 EEB. Nothing wrong with it, but where the adoption of EVs is far from mainstream and EV charging infrastructure still appalling. Unless you can have a dedicated wall-mount charger in your society, forget about buying an EV, you will live a deplorable life. On the other hand, Hybrid cars, which return twice the fuel efficiency, thus reducing the carbon footprint by 50%, should at least have half the EV benefits, if not more. READ MORE

 

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note May issue 2022

CAR LAUNCHES OF THE MONTH

Some months are busy, and then some months where we are literally scorched. Last month with the mercury at its peak and back-to-back First Drives. It was like a relay race with all the runners’ potential to become Norman Pritchard of the respective brands.Marut XL6 running from Bangalore, Volkswagen Virtus from Amritsar, Jeep Meridian from Chandigarh, Honda City e:HEV retaking us to Bangalore, BMW F 850 GS & F 900 XR in Kerala and finally the race got cooled down in Mussoorie with 2022 Mercedes C- Class. READ MORE

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note April issue 2022

IT’S BURNING

Amidst all the chaos in the world, amidst all the challenges in the automotive sector, we continued to sail and delivered great automotive content. It’s time for retrospect and thanksgiving, and it all starts with you, our readers. It swells our chest with pride and the same feeling behind cranking a V12 every time we see our growing #TGCLAN and subscribers. Thank you. To all our advertisers and partners, a big Thank you. To my young team for continuously chasing the sun, burning rubber, gasoline and sleepless nights in search of great content. Cheers, and don’t stop till you can drive to the moon! . READ MORE

 

 

 

 


 

 

BBC TOPGEAR MAGAZINE INDIA 2.0 TURNS 2!

Amidst all the chaos in the world, amidst all the challenges in the automotive sector, we continued to sail and delivered great automotive content. It’s time for retrospect and thanksgiving, and it all starts with you, our readers. It swells our chest with pride and the same feeling behind cranking a V12 every time we see our growing #TGCLAN and subscribers. Thank you. To all our advertisers and partners, a big Thank you. To my young team for continuously chasing the sun, burning rubber, gasoline and sleepless nights in search of great content. Cheers, and don’t stop till you can drive to the moon! . READ MORE

 

 

 

 


 

Editor’s Note February issue 2022

All About Electric Cars!

Exactly one year ago, we took four EVs – the Tata Nexon EV, the Hyundai Kona , the MG ZS EV and the Mercedes-Benz EQC on a 150+ kilometre run, which felt like a monumental deal back then. But we decided to one-up ourselves and take six EVs on a 300+ kilometre journey, and our cavalry included the Tata Tigor EV, Hyundai Kona , MG ZS EV, Jaguari I-Pace, Audi e-tron and the Mercedes Benz EQC. . READ MORE

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note January issue 2022

Happy New Year!! | 2022

2021 is a piece of history now, a year that hasbeen difficult for many at the same time. It’salso the year that gave India the highestnumber of Unicorns and startup founders.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the automobile industry has been unfurled with supply-side issues, and most manufacturers are not able to meet their customer demands resulting in more extended waiting periods. READ MORE

 

 

 

 


 

Editor’s Note December issue 2021

Good Bye 2021!!

We drove the Audi e-Tron GT, 2022 Volvo XC60, Facelifted Audi Q5, Mini Cooper S, Mercedes AMGWe have still not digested 2021 completely, and 2022 is just here in a little over a month. With skies opening up and the economy gearing up to rev into full throttle, expect firecrackers ahead. GLE63 S Coupe all in the luxury space, sales of which peak either in December or January. This month makes the car a year older or a year new in terms of resale value, and you can extract the last pound of flesh with huge discounts from the dealers in any December month. READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note November issue 2021

Firecrackers Season Ahead!

We drove the Audi e-Tron GT, 2022 Volvo XC60, Facelifted Audi Q5, Mini Cooper S, Mercedes AMGWe have still not digested 2021 completely, and 2022 is just here in a little over a month. With skies opening up and the economy gearing up to rev into full throttle, expect firecrackers ahead. GLE63 S Coupe all in the luxury space, sales of which peak either in December or January. This month makes the car a year older or a year new in terms of resale value, and you can extract the last pound of flesh with huge discounts from the dealers in any December month. READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note October issue 2021

“SEMICONDUCTOR” has busted the party!

XUV700 had 25,000 bookings in 57 minutes, which eventually crossed 50,000 bookings, and share prices of both Tata Motors and M&M have seen a spike and gone upon an average of 25% in 30 days. MG Astor has also got a good response, and overall there is a lot of buoyancy in the automotive trade. There are not many discounts and waiting periods are usually months for most manufacturers. It’s euphoric time then, and should there be firecrackers outside all Auto Industry corporate offices? This is where a nuke called “Semiconductor” has busted the party.  READ MORE

 

 

 


 

Editor’s Note September issue 2021

Ford Joins General Motors and attains NRI status.

The story of Ford exiting India is the most significant case study in itself, and for management trainees, it might be a chapter from Peter Ducker. How can an iconic American company like ford, which pioneered the auto industry, wind up after 25 years of its existence in one of the most prominent and growing automotive markets in the world – India? It’s a story that directly affects its 1 million customers and is a black spot in the glowing Indian automotive space. I am sure the decision will be painful for Ford after 2 billion dollars of operating losses, even after having hero products like Ecosport, Ikon & Endeavour.  READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note August issue 2021

Off the Road.

Monsoon is on its way out and we had to get ourselves dirty and go offroading, and that we did with the two most capable yet premium SUVs for the job – Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and Land Rover Defender. The feeling when you cross obstacles, water wading, and glide over those impossible terrains is surreal and sometimes chest-thumping. We also invited F4 Racer Mira Erda to join us for the offroading adventure and leave her comfort on the tarmac.

READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note July issue 2021

June 2021 can be hailed as the most action-packed month in the last 365 days.

The Factory to dealer dispatches has registered 148 percent growth over June and sits on
255,674 units which should bring a wide smile to all of us. Yes, there was a huge pent-up demand over the lockdown month of May, but this is undoubtedly a good sign. The month of June was busiest ever since the 1st wave had descended upon us with high key ticket launches like Hyundai Alcazar, Skoda Kushaq on one side through the Jaguar I-Pace Audi e-Tron in the EV Space to the S class, GLS Maybach, and Ferrari Roma on the top of the power band.   READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note June issue 2021

Finding New Hope

Restart, Reboot, 2.0, Unlockdown 3.0, all these terms have become the new normal, the last two included. Finally, the covers are coming off from the second strike, and the nation is opening up. This time we well prepared the auto industry with everyone having a digital ecosystem to keep the buzz. There was also an attempt to keep queries alive and an end-to-end process of order fulfillment without the need to step into the showrooms. Mercedes Benz has taken this head-on and swung it 360 degrees with a direct-to-customer model. It’s a bold move nevertheless – How this plays out and keeps the interests of the dealers aligned and how well it is executed that eventually will unfold.  READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note May issue 2021

Good News!

The month of April 2021 saw an estimated 30% decline in sales from the Indian automobile industry, two-wheelers included. After a great bull run which started on September 20, it was all set to pick up more speed when the huge speed breakers in the formless shape of the second wave braked their upward trajectory. With most states on lockdown and daily cases still high, this downward spiral will continue in May as well, hopefully, to improve from June again. Auto manufacturers are coming forward and doing their bit with oxygen concentrators and other Covid relief material. In times like these, everyone has to come together. After all, if roads are dug up, then even the best shock absorbers with the highest engineering of adaptive suspension in the world can’t give you a smooth ride. READ MORE

 


Editor’s Note April issue 2021

Finding Hope In The New World.

This is a Deja Vu moment; same time last year, we were in lockdown, once again crudely waking us out of complacency. Covid’s second wave came barging in, galloping like hooded marauders. This time it’s more lethal, but we are armed with vaccines and many unanswered questions. How long before we hit the roof? How long before we can drive in an open convertible without masks freely on any roads, in a world that is? All drivers are on hold and roads are sealed. Sentiments are low, and uncertainty has hit with 9000 RPM in the needle. But there is always hope. Even after the third wave of Spanish flu in 1918, which wiped out a colossal 50 million folks from the planet, there was more hope than there is now. The last big launch of the season had to be the Hyundai Alcazar, in its camouflaged version at the iconic Alila Fort Bishangarh, Jaipur. The 6 and 7 seater SUV place has suddenly got It’s very exciting.  READ MORE

 


Editor’s Note Anniversary issue 2021

Setting benchmarks and crossing milestones.

Anniversaries are reminders of milestones. It’s our first since I took over the reins of TopGear India in February 2020. Our excitement was through the roof. We have made plans to create the best automotive content on the best roads with the best vehicles. Then Covid happened, and our first issue of TopGear, which came out of the printing press on 15th March 2020, remained stuck in transit and could not even reach our readers’ hands. Words cannot describe the disappointment. On top of it, some of the team hailed from other cities, and they had to be packed off due to the uncertainties that lay ahead as we gambled with WFH. We didn’t even get a chance to bond as a team, and with one big Covid strike, everything was in shambles.  READ MORE

 

 

 


Editor’s Note February 2021

The suavity of SUVs.

The line between the compact SUV and mid-size SUV space is getting blurred. The whole band between compact size to mid-size as a pie is getting very exciting and confusing. On one end we already have Venue, Sonet, Magnite, XUV300, Urban Cruiser, Brezza, Nexon, and Ford Ecosport. On the other side we have the Creta, Seltos, Harrier, Safari, Jeep, Mg Hector, VW Tiguan Allspace, and coming up in between these are Renault Kiger, Skoda Kushaq, VW Taigun, and Citroen C5 Aircross. Now I can imagine if you are in the market to buy an SUV in the next three months, you will be spoilt for choice. Too much option is good but can render the decision-making process very complicated. READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note January 2021

A Fresh Start!

It’s that time of the year when I, along with my select team, are walking the aisles and hallways of CES in Las Vegas, at the world’s largest stage for innovation in technology across all beats of journalism, including auto. This I have been doing ever since I started Exhibit 14 years ago.2020 has been a year on which apocalypse movie plots can be based. The world has seen nothing like it and humanity has quickly adjusted to what we now call the “New Normal”. READ MORE

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note December 2020

Towards New Beginnings.

2020 is coming to a grinding halt. In fact, the entire human race would have loved to slam a hard brake in April and turn the year to 2021 only if that meant braking the Covid away. For the auto industry in April, the jump from no sales to a resounding sales figures better than 2019 in the last few months has saved the Indian economy from total collapse. Don’t forget, the auto industry is 56% of manufacturing GDP of the country. But what does the future look like? The momentum will continue and exciting models like the Sonet, Hyundai Venue iMT and the luxury brands also dropping their aspirational badges have played a big part.   READ MORE

 

 


Editor’s Note October 2020

GOOD TIMES ARE ABOUT TO ROLL

No one sitting in May 2020 could have imagined that six months ahead in October the automobile sales figure will even beat that of 2019 October. That’s precisely what has happened, and we are not complaining. Automobile industry growth means the Indian
economy bouncing back, and the GST collections going up is again a good sign. After months of turmoil, the uncertainty of the existence or continuance of life in general. It’s like opening up a McLaren at full throttle on long, uninterrupted, and unriddled roads.

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note September 2020

Festivities Ahead, and its Time to Restrain Caution..

We started out this month on a raging bull chasing  0-100 in 3.3 seconds, making the loud engine roar but with restrictions thrown in. Then, we switched to the 3.6 seconds lane with complete liberation, generating sweet engine rumble and mellowed exhaust noise to finally hitting the 5.1 seconds lane discreetly with absolutely no noise. From driving an angry Lamborghini Huracan EVO RWD  in the city where you really can’t go ballistic with this missile to the Audi RS7 Sportback which can speed past traffic police without really waking him up to driving the Mercedes EQC which can earn you medals from the environmentalists, we tried them all. While the Lambo can wake up the town, the EQC can wake up your senses towards a greener world and is a fully capable luxury electric SUV whose ex-showroom and on-road cost would be the same. READ MORE

 


Editor’s Note August 2020

The Silver Lining in the Dark Clouds: India’s Automobile Industry Revs Up!

And it continues, rains and lockdown but the dark clouds seemto be getting its tone down towards the brighter side with the automobile industry’s worst nightmare to be behind them. The numbers always speak for itself, where Maruti Suzuki has actually grown 1.3 percent over July 2019 sales figures and has closed its July 2020 books at 97,768 units. The other big boy – Hyundai just dipped 2 percent to 38,200 units in July 2020 over July last year. Overall 1,97,523 passenger vehicles sold in July 2020, compared to 1,99,534 units in July 2019. Shouldn’t we just pop the champagne in that case? This is a great sign amidst the challenges in the production supply chain and with the covid sentiments but the great July figures are also pent up demand over previous months when we were strapped and tied under strict lockdown. The next three-month sales figures will be the real report card. Bottlenecks on the supply side remain another pain point. READ MORE

 

 

 


Editor’s Note July 2020

A Legacy of Soldier with Different Weapons

The frontline – soldiers, police, doctors, nurses, and all those who have no option but to go out to save the world and also fend for themselves and their families, a big salute to them all from TopGear India. My team has been on the ball this month and we’re back in action, having covered and reviewed all major launches along with three supercars, no less. In a way we automotive journalists are also going out and while trying to be safe, being outdoors is indeed a risk. But given of our passion for cars, we all have been waiting for WFH to end. More importantly, though in the form of reviewing cars, we also have a responsibility to say so – help potential buyers make the right choice. READ MORE

 

 

 

 


Editor’s Note June 2020

June 2020 issue is out!

Unlocking 1.0 Speed Breakers Ahead

The Indian automotive industry is finally slotting in a gear, after being stuck in neutral literally for the past couple of months. The Government easing restrictions has meant the wheels of commerce and life are both beginning to rotate again, though the fight is far from over. Previously impossible to imagine, an invisible, unknown virus slammed the brakes of the economy and life hard and has taught us some invaluable lessons. That WFH is possible and can be more productive. That life can be lived with only the ‘essentials’ and that it doesn’t matter who you are in the society – a minister or migrant labourer – you are equally vulnerable. Another lesson COVID-19 has taught us is that the indomitable human spirit cannot be tamed and the show must go on. The world bounced back after the catastrophic Spanish flu 100 years back without any of the technological, medical, media and communication advancements we have today and we are sure to bounce back yet again. READ MORE

 

 

 


Editor’s Note May 2020

BBC TopGear Magazine India

Keep calm and read on!

I hope you and your family are safe and have utilized this downtime to brush up your skills, pick up new hobbies and tank up on family time. To say these are unprecedented times would be stating the obvious, but think of how much more deep can we fall in the pit. The virus is out there, invisibly looking at us through possibly every other person and object, we don’t have a vaccine yet, the world economy is on the verge of collapsing, job losses and salary cuts are at an all-time high, businesses have drilled holes in their cash flows and are mounting losses and we are locked up in our houses. The good bit is food supplies are on and so is the internet and of course, we are inhaling cleaner air. Forcing yourself to staying sane is not going to be easy but that’s the only task we have at hand in our fight against COVID-19. READ MORE

 

 

 


 

Editor’s Note April 2020

TG April 2020

Got V12, but nowhere to go!

The world order has changed. By the time we all come out of the COVID-19 outbreak – and no crystal gazer can circle the date boldly on a calendar – things will be different. For once, people literally might start sleeping in offices after getting tired of WFH (work from home) or corporates could be more relaxed in policies and make WFH compulsory 1-2 days a week! On the positive side this might be the answer to our global climate change battle and will give us empty stretches to accelerate – both in life and on roads. No one in their lifetime – and this applies to whoever is alive now – has seen anything like this. The word ‘pandemic’ was a text book term that has formed the basis for movie scripts, until now that is.  READ MORE

 

 

 


Editor’s Note March 2020

The Lion is Back!

Imagine your boyhood room, the walls of which are covered with posters of some of the most stunning cars in the world. And now imagine you grow up and get a chance to get behind the wheel of these very poster-worthy supercars – that’s a dream. A Super dream that’s turned into reality and the brand you have grown on is in your own garage. Ladies and Gents I am overwhelmed in introducing myself and my very excited team who drinks petrol for coffee for the TopGear 2.0 stint. If you’ve ever followed automobiles even remotely in your lifetime, chances are really good that you would know that TopGear is the most creative motoring media brand in the world today, known for dishing out some of the best automotive content there is.   READ MORE