In my mind
I am totally irritated at the fact that the Indian media has lost the art of appreciating things. Yes, I am talking about the Bandra-Worli Sea Link in Mumbai. One newspaper condemned the project for being late. Another was worried at the cost that went up way over the initial projection. And then many wondered why it was named after Rajiv Gandhi. Hey guys, relax! Chill! We completed the project. Take a deep breath and clap. Enjoy the moment. There will be flaws; there will be some politics... after all, ours is a free democracy. Let there be more bridges!
In my garage
Drove the Honda Jazz to the Sunday morning press conference to launch the Jaguar – Land Rover brands in India (and you thought we motoring scribes had a charming job!). The little Honda continues to amaze me with its mature dynamics and space. The tiny 1.2 litre i-VTEC engine is a gem in city driving conditions. Those in the market for a sedan (Honda City, Suzuki SX4) should take a second look at the Jazz – in all probability it is all the car you need. BTW, the light-metallic-blue Jazz was at Srini’s garage after the road test – the man cannot have enough Hondas in his life!
Car of the week
I am tired of telling Hyundai Santro owners not to replace their trusty car with another, er…Santro! Even after months of owning a new Hyundai i10, my father in law complains about the ‘dead pedal’ or the lack of it in the new car. Of course, his Santro had it! And he still thinks his Santro ‘was the right size’. My mom in law agrees, ‘it was easier to get in and out’. Last week I forced the landlord of our office to try out a Suzuki Ritz and he came back saying that his current Santro was better. I guess it is time to accept the fact – the Santro is a very good small car package indeed, but I still cannot understand back-to-back car buys – unless we are talking of iconic cars like the Mercedes 300 SL (if one gets destroyed in a fire ...)
Yamaha FZ16! The little runabout with a fat rear wheel and a Ducati Monster profile (alright, make it YZ6 if you are way into tuning forks!) is spreading like common flu on our roads. I love the way it looks (not the dual-tone version, ok?) and don’t miss an opportunity to admire it whenever I can. Going by the sales figures, this naked number is giving nightmares to competitors too. So why is it a success story? Yamaha studied what Indian buyers wanted out of a Yamaha and realized that they wanted a fat rear wheel, a fat bike and decent mileage – that is exactly what the FZ16 is. Now why don’t I have one in my garage? Ahem, I am waiting for a FZ25… please, pretty please!
Question of the week
Can you name a 1000 bhp per tonne road car?
Well, the upcoming Ariel Atom, with a 500 bhp V8, promises to be one. Blades and Gixxers watch out… this one is expected to do 100 kph in 2.7 seconds.