2015 Dakar: Eight MINI ALL4 Racing to compete in the 2015 Dakar Rally

MINI ALL4 Racing
MINI ALL4 Racing

Less than two months ahead of the start of the 2015 Dakar Rally (3-17 January) X-raid, supported by MINI, has revealed its line-up for the 37th edition of the world’s most famous long-distance rally. A total of eight MINI ALL4 Racing with driver crews from ten countries will take on the ultimate motorsport adventure of the Dakar Rally. Defending Dakar champions Joan “Nani” Roma (ES) and co-driver Michel Périn (FR) will lead the Monster Energy Rally Raid Team while the experienced driver pairings Orlando Terranova (AR)/Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue (AR) and Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR) complete the line-up. There will also be five customer driver pairings in MINI ALL4 Racing cars built by the German-based X-raid GmbH.

MINI ALL4 Racing
MINI ALL4 Racing

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2015 FIA World RX Rallycross Championship calender revealed

2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar revealed
2015 FIA World Rallycross Championship calendar revealed

The FIA and World RX Championship promoter IMG Motorsports have revealed  a draft calendar for next year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy. The provisional calendar will consist of 12 events including a new round in Barcelona, which will be staged at the F1 circuit from 18-20 September. Some of the existing events have also been given a reshuffle to help improve logistics for the teams. Building on the success of 2014, the FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX) for Supercars will continue to run at five of the World RX events (Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain and Italy).

Press Release:

The FIA and World RX Championship promoter IMG Motorsports have jointly agreed on a draft calendar for next year’s FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy.

The provisional calendar will consist of 12 events including a new round in Barcelona, which will be staged at the F1 circuit from 18-20 September. Some of the existing events have also been given a reshuffle to help improve logistics for the teams.

World RX of Belgium will form round two of the season and will be held one week prior to the British round at Lydden Hill, which will resume its regular slot over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend (22-24 May). Other changes include Germany RX which will take place three months earlier in June, and the Norwegian RX round which will move to August. Turkey and Italy will swap places in next year’s calendar as the Italian RX race is set to form the penultimate round of the season. Argentina will stage the Championship season-closer at the end of November.

Building on the success of 2014, the highly-coveted FIA European Rallycross Championship (Euro RX) for Supercars will continue to run at five of the World RX events (Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain and Italy). Following the model of the Supercar championship and after consultation with competitors, the Super1600 and TouringCar championships will also run over fewer events in 2015. The Super1600 championship will feature six events (Portugal, Belgium, Sweden, France, Spain and Italy) while TouringCar has five rounds (Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway).

The supporting RX Lites Cup will be made up of seven events: Portugal, Great Britain, Sweden, Norway, Spain, Turkey and Italy.  The RX Lites cars will also be present in Canada in the standalone Intercontinental Cup event.

Martin Anayi, World RX Managing Director at IMG Motorsports, concluded: “After a hugely successful inaugural season in World RX, we have received a steady flow of interest from venues across the globe which we have considered carefully over the past few months.  We’re conscious that we wanted to keep costs to a minimum and grow our Championship gradually so made the decision to retain 12 key events but changed the running order to make logistics better for the teams.  We have also included a new round at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.With a population of more than 1.6 million, Barcelona will likely grow to become one of our biggest events and it is very encouraging that prestigious motorsport venues are now building purpose built RX tracks.”

2015 WORLD RX CALENDAR*

ROUND COUNTRY LOCATION DATE
1 Portugal Montalegre April 24-26
2 Belgium Mettet May 15-17
3 Great Britain Lydden Hill May 22-24
4 Germany Estering June 19-21
5 Sweden Holjes July 3-5
6 Canada GP3R August 7-8
7 Norway Hell August 21-23
8 France Loheac September 4-6
9 Spain Barcelona September 18-20
10 Turkey Istanbul October 02-04
11 Italy Franciacorta October 16-18
12 Argentina San Luis November 27-29

For a web version of the 2015 World RX calendar, please visit: http://www.rallycrossrx.com/2015_calendar

*Calendar subject to confirmation by the FIA World Motor Sport Council next month.

Google to launch Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 starting at INR 44,000 & INR 28,900 resp in India

Google Nexus 6 smartphone
Google Nexus 6 smartphone

After the successful debut of its affordable Android One devices, tech giant Google is all set to launch its premium Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet in India in next few weeks. The devices are priced at Rs 44,000 and Rs 28,900 onwards, respectively. The device will be rolled out to the market via Google Play Store and Flipkart by the first week of December.

Nexus 9 tablet
Nexus 9 tablet

Developed by US-based Motorola, Nexus 6 was launched globally last month, along with Nexus 9, which was developed by Taiwanese major HTC. Nexus 6 had a rollicking start in the USA. The pre-order service, which went live on 29 October at Google Play store, ended in just few hours. Nexus 6 has been listed on Google’s Play Store for Rs 44,000 (32 GB), while the 64 GB variant will be available for Rs 49,000.

Google Nexus 6 smartphone
Google Nexus 6 smartphone

The 16 GB Wi-Fi variant of Nexus 9 will be priced at Rs 28,900, while the 32 GB LTE version will be available for Rs 44,900. However, the date of availability of these devices is yet to be disclosed.

According to IDC, India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the world with over 44 million devices being sold last year alone and players are competing head-on to capture a bigger share of the pie.

Last month, Google had also launched its first set of Android One smartphones here. India was the first country of launch for the Android One smartphones in partnership with handset makers Spice, Micromax and Karbonn. Google has indicated that many more firsts could come from India in the future.

Featuring a 5.96-inch display, Nexus 6 will come with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. Weighing 184 grams, the device has a 13 MP rear and 2 MP front camera.

Key 7 features of the Nexus 6 smartphone

  • Google has come out with bigger, more expensive version of its Nexus phone to attract more of the affluent consumers who faithfully buy each new generation of Apple’s iPhone.
  • The new smartphone, called the Nexus 6, boasts a nearly 6-inch Quad HD display, eclipsing the 5.5-inch display on the iPhone 6 Plus that Apple began selling last month. 
  • The Nexus 6 smartphone runs on a new version of Google’s Android operating system. The latest software is called ‘Lollipop’ in keeping with Google’s tradition of naming its Android upgrades after treats.
  • The Nexus 6 smartphone becomes the newest and largest of the Google-branded handsets, and is produced by Motorola, which Google bought in 2012 and is in the process of selling to China’s Lenovo. 
  • This aluminium frame device has a 13-megapixel camera. The camera comes equipped with optical image stabilization. It also has a 2MP front-facing camera.
  • The phone boasts of dual front-facing speakers which according to Google are meant to provide immersive stereo sound.
  • Nexus 6 also comes with a Turbo Charger, so that users can get up to six hours of use with 15 minutes of charge, says Google. 
  • The phone runs on a Snapdragon 805 quad-core 2.7GHz processor. It has a 3220 mAh battery. The device comes in 32 GB and 64 GB memory options.

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Maruti Y9T LCV spied with cheap looking Full Deck and Bull Bar

Maruti Suzuki LCV (Y9T) spy pic
Maruti Suzuki LCV (Y9T) spy pic

Maruti Suzuki’s first LCV- the Y9T pick up has been spotted again by folks at Gaadiwaadi.com. The Y9T pickup seen here features a cheap looking full deck cargo bay and bull bar which possibly is an after-market fitment.

The Y9T LCV is a reworked Suzuki Carry 1.5 that is available in the Indonesian market.  We at Technwheelz are interested in the  Y9T LCV’s  800cc diesel engine which is rumoured to be capable of producing 35 PS. and will later find its place in passenger cars.

The 800cc diesel engine is the smallest diesel engine within the Suzuki family. The CNG version will carry a only CNG specific engine of around 1200cc. The CNG engine is not new as Maruti Suzuki has converted the 1.2 liter petrol engine that powers the Eeco to run on CNG.

The company is targeting to enter the 14,000 units a month strong mini truck segment.  The Y9T  mini truck by Maruti will be built at the company’s oldest plant in Gurgaon plant.

Maruti Suzuki is set to launch the mini truck next year, which would be priced close to India’s best selling mini truck Tata Ace.The new pick-up will be launched in diesel and CNG variants.

Sources also hint that the price of the Y9T will be around Rs. 3.2 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Maruti Suzuki LCV (Y9T) spy pic
Maruti Suzuki LCV (Y9T) spy pic

Maruti won’t sell the Y9T from its car dealerships. Instead the car maker will set up new dealerships that will sell the Y9T pick up truck and possibly more commercial vehicles from the brand in the future. Even the servicing facilities for the Y9T will be separate from the car service centers.

Since Maruti Suzuki has a huge number of car dealers and service centers around India, it should not be difficult for the company to quickly set up a large number of dealerships and service centers to sell and maintain the Y9T pick up truck.

Hyundai USA launches Genesis Smartphone app- Hyundai Blue Link 3.0

2015 Hyundai Genesis
2015 Hyundai Genesis

Snapshot:  Hyundai Motor America has launched its Genesis Intelligent Assistant smartphone app using Blue Link technology.  The Genesis Intelligent Assistant is so smart that it will remind owners to start their engine with an engine timer (1-10 minutes), remote stop, search for nearby gas stations- all through their smartphone. In addition, the new Hyundai Blue Link 3.0 smartphone app now allows users to remotely control their car’s climate control settings.

Hyundai Blue Link 3.0 also boasts a new user experience, faster navigation and innovative new features. Google Android and Apple iOS users can download the app from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

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Microsoft to launch Nokia-less Lumia phone on November 11

Microsof teases its first non Nokia Lumia
Microsof teases its first non Nokia Lumia

Microsoft has posted a teaser on Facebook which hints at a new Lumia announcement coming on November 11.

The teaser includes a close up of a front-facing camera and the date 11.11.2014. Along with the image, the Nokia Facebook page cryptically states ‘Big on experiences. #MoreLumia’.

The teaser itself doesn’t give us too much information – we can only see a corner of the smartphone which also holds the front-facing camera. Soucres hint that the phone is expected to have a 5-inch screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM and a 5-megapixel rear camera. Perhaps, the phone will be a souped up version of the Lumia 630.

Microsoft is in the process of dropping the Nokia namefrom its Lumia phones, and it looks like this will be the first handset to be branded as a Microsoft Lumia.

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Foldable smartphones, tablets getting close to reality

Samsung Foldable Display
Samsung Foldable Display

Tablets that collapse into phones, smartphones that fold up like wallets. Those are coming and a Japanese company has the goods to prove it.  At a recent event in Japan, Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL), demonstrated a display that can be folded in three.

It’s not hard to see how this kind of technology could cause a sea change in device development. Products will expand and collapse at will. Open a device as a tablet at a coffee shop then fold it into a smartphone on your way out the door.

This is a big step up from the curved displays available today from Samsung on its Galaxy Note Edge or LG on its G Flex.

In a video, SEL shows the display — based on OLED or Organic Light-Emitting Diode technology, widely used in smartphones today — laying flat in tablet mode.   Then it is folded in three (what SEL calls “tri-fold”) into a smaller size that would be suitable for a smartphone.

SEL Trifold Display
SEL Trifold Display

Samsung has been vocal about this technology for a couple of years.  It demonstrated a bendable display back in 2013 that was made of “extremely thin” plastic, instead of glass, that won’t break when it’s dropped.  Like the SEL display, it can be flexed at will.

When we will we see real devices?  Samsung has been talking about 2015 to introduce products with foldable displays.

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Mahindra working on quadricycle- C101 for 2017 launch. Rival to Bajaj RE60

Mahindra Gio Compact cab for representation purpose only
Mahindra Gio Compact cab for representation purpose only

Mahindra & Mahindra has started works on a quadricycle code-named C101 which is likely to hit the market in 2017. The C101 will be built on an all-new platform and will take at least 24 months to develop, posing possibly the first competition to Bajaj’s RE 60, which is almost ready to hit the market.

According to the sources, the C101 is likely to be powered by a 200-300 cc petrol engine, which is expected to be available in both single cylinder and twin cylinder options.

M&M is investing about Rs100-150 crore on the C101 project and is expected to be produced at Zaheerabad facility.The company is hoping to add 15,000-60,000 units to its incremental sales volumes over three to five years.

Bajaj Auto, on its part, has already produced some test mules and the certification agency ARAI is shortly expected to give homologation certificate for the vehicle to ply on Indian roads.

Quadricycles, which have a hard top and doors, are largely expected to replace the auto-rickshaws. Nearly 4 lakh three-wheelers are sold in the country every year, mainly as auto-rickshaws. While Bajaj Auto claims the quadricycle is a safer alternative to three-wheelers, some others in the industry believe it is an unsafe mode of transportation.

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Lenovo launches Vibe X2 with 2GHz 4G LTE True8Core @ INR 19,999

Snapshot:  Lenovo launches a new smart phone named the Vibe X2, what the company calls a layered phone at Rs 19,999 and will be available on Flipkart from November 10.

Lenovo Vibe X2 layered phone
Lenovo Vibe X2 layered phone

Over the past few months,Lenovo is bringing in devices which stand apart in the crowded Android market while trying to create a niche for itself. Now, Lenovo has launched a new smart phone named the Vibe X2 at priced at Rs 19,999 and will be available on Flipkart from November 10.

The layers are apparent in the design, which is made of three distinct layers in different colours. This slim layered design makes the device look young and vibrant, and that is the segment the phone is aimed for. But the layers don’t end there.

Lenovo Vibe X2 layered phone
Lenovo Vibe X2 layered phone

Lenovo will be selling extra battery and JBL speaker layers to be clipped on to the phone. The extra battery will make the phone thicker and heavier, but it also doubled the battery life from the original 2300 mAh.

With a five-inch display, the smartphone has Android KitKat operating system, 13 MP rear camera and 5MP front camera and 2,300 mAh battery

The phone also stands out for its processor which is the MediaTek 6595m 2.0 GHz 4G LTE True8Core processor.

Specification Chart
Processor: MediaTek 6595m 2.0 GHz 4G LTE True8Core
Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
Dimensions (WxTxH): 68.6mm x 7.27mm x 140.2mm
Weight: 120g
Battery: 2300 mAh (Li-polymer), embedded
Dual SIM
Rear camera: 13 MP auto-focus with LED flash
Front camera: 5 MP fixed-focus
System Memory: 2 GB RAM
Built-in Storage: 32 GB ROM
Connectivity/Radios
4G Network: LTE FDD Band 1/3/7, TDD B40 or LTE FDD Band 1/3/7/30
3G Network: 2100/900 Mhz or 2100/900/850 Mhz
2G Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 Mhz
Speed: HSPA+ 150 Mbps (DL) / 50 Mbps (UL)
WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi hotspot. (For 5G Wi-Fi, Band 2 is not supported)
Bluetooth: Bluetooth® 3.0 + 4.1 LE
Display: 5-inch FUllHD (1920x1080p)

 

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