Photos Retouch: Karthik Nair
Name the car that I would buy just for the spine-tingling sound track…
Well, if only I was as rich as the Arab next door who owns a private island…
Will I survive? On an enclosed motorway, a raging bull streaks away from the scorching sun, vice-like grip on the steering wheel, heartbeat rising every second, right foot twitching as the speedo sweeps around 250, 270, 290. . .the numbers pile on relentlessly. I could see my co-driver sitting beside fighting the scariest moment of his life he has ever experienced! My only confidence lay in the carbon ceramic brakes along with my concrete grip on the steering wheel plus the enclosed straight stretch! In a blink of an eye, I missed a few numbers as the speedo has already crossed 310 and is soon approaching 320kmph! In a fraction of a second, the display showed 321kmph and there I am - almost at the end of the motorway – working hard to reduce the speed with the same pace by downshifting and braking at the same time! 321kmph! All you got to do is stop the car and soak in that feeling! That glee on your face because you just got your life back!
So far so good! The Huracan Spyder LP610-4 is the successor of the Gallardo Spyder which was the best-selling open top model from Lamborghini. The LP610-4 is the third model in the Huracan line-up after the LP610-4 and LP580-2 coupes. Lamborghini describes the Spyder as the ‘lifestyle’ model in the Huracán range, whereas the four-wheel drive coupe is the ‘performance’ model, the rear-wheel drive coupe is the ‘fun-to-drive’ version.
Driving the Huracan around the Dubai city isn’t very satisfying. It will sure grab the crowd’s attention but you will be looking forward to drive this baby supercar in an enclosed territory. The Huracan Spyder is exciting to look at from all angles. Design elements are the same as that of the coupe except the opening soft top. The roof is available in three different colours: black, brown and red.Our test car came with a silver body shade, which Lamborghini calls Bianco Monocerus along with a brown soft top. Why would someone choose a colour like that for a Lamborghini? Seriously uncool! While it would be lovely if our car came with contrasting colours like Red, Green or Orange, I would be dancing away if the test car came with a lime green colour! Coming back to the soft top, it opens via a button positioned on the central tunnel in just 17 seconds, up to a driving speed of 50 km/h. The best design element that I liked in the Huracan is the 20 inch forged rims that look dope. The rims are so good that even after 10 years, it would look like a brand new design.
The interiors are typical Lamborghini-ish. There is nothing new to specify. But for and as a first timer, this is something more than a dream! Lamborghini’s have the most kickass start engine button in a car ever. Step inside and you would mistake it for a fighter jet’s cockpit. All the toggle switches look as if they have borrowed it from the F-22 Raptor. Be it the drive mode selector or the roof opening button. Lamborghini has borrowed the 12.3 inch TFT virtual cockpit from parent company Audi. There is a droppable rear window to make the V10’s cracks and pops more audible in case you are battling UAE’s typical weather. Lamborghini has done a great job in managing the airflow around the cabin by fixing a number of fins and vents which divert air and release pressure when the roof is down.
The Huracán is built around an ultra-stiff aluminium and carbon fibre chassis. Removing the roof does, of course, compromise structural integrity, but Lamborghini engineers have been able to maintain a good level of torsional stiffness – in fact, the Huracán Spyder is 40 per cent stiffer and offers 50 per cent more down force than the Gallardo Spyder. The Coupé is 120kg lighter, 0.4sec faster to 62mph, but the customers wouldn’t even consider these facts as Lamborghini says the Huracan Spyder is a lifestyle car.
The best part of the car is the naturally-aspirated, long stroke 5.2-litre V10 which is the same unit available in the Audi R8 V10+. The 5.2-litre mill generates a peak power of 610bhp at 8250rpm and 560NM of torque at 6500rpm. In the era of downsizing and turbocharging engines, this is a great deal in the modern performance car engine fraternity. The car comes with three driving modes as available in other Lamborghini models: Strada, Sport and Corsa. In the basic Strada mode the car is very well mannered around city with a low-spirited exhaust note, a reasonably pliant ride, light steering and a refined gearshift while the cabin remains calm and quiet enough at speed with the roof down.
The Strada mode will be perfect if you are taking your girl for a romantic outing with the roof down on a Friday evening while you wish to hold a conversation during the drive. Post the dinner, on your way back (if you are wild enough as me), I suggest you use the Corsa mode which would offer a very sonorous sound track from the quad pipes and lighting fast gear shifts that will take you to your destination in no time. Make sure your girl doesn’t faint.
100kmph comes in 3.4 seconds and 200kmph comes in 10.2 seconds. This is something terribly scary and more than what you can expect from a ‘Lifestyle’ oriented baby supercar. Deploying the throttle needs immense care and make sure that the road ahead is empty for the next 3kms. To experience the raw power, we headed to an enclosed motorway and oh boy, this is blistering fast! Put it in Corsa mode with ESC completely turned off. Left foot on the brakes and right foot on throttle; at 4200 RPM, the dash will read “Thrust Mode Possible” and that’s it. Let go of the brake and that’s when you notice your co-passenger crying to the Almighty for mercy!
Overall, the engine is a joy with massive performance, spine tingling sound track and razor sharp throttle response. The major shortcoming in the Huracan in terms of driveability is its optional dynamic steering. Lamborghini says it will continue to develop and hone the system which reduces the steering effort needed at low speeds for easier manoeuvring; the steering still needs a little more tuning especially while attacking the corners.
The roof mechanism is located ahead of the firewall and it kills a bit of cabin space. In fact, at six-foot tall I found I couldn’t get the driver’s seat as far back as I’d have liked. I usually extend the steering wheel out as far as possible in every car I drive, but in the Spyder I could only set it at half extension.The seat itself is set too high, which means I was short on headroom when the roof was in position, and slightly uncomfortable over longer journeys. Taller drivers would be well advised to try out the seating position before committing to a Spyder purchase.
But no matter what, you will love the Spyder for the glorious 5.2-litre V10. You, your passenger and everyone else in a five kilometre radius are in appreciation for the baleful snarl of an engine. The only thing that bothers me is the head room for my 6ft tall body. And Ireally don’t care much about the Rs. 3.89 crore price tag, nor the mileage of 5kmpl.
Because hey, it’s that sort of car, for those sorts of buyers.
SpecificationsBrand: Lamborghini Model: Huracan Variant: Spyder LP610-4 Price: UAE: AED 982,730/- India: Rs. 3.80 Crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai) Engine Type: Naturally Aspirated 5.2 litre V10 Fuel: Petrol Power: 610bhp Torque: 560NM Performance Acceleration (0-100kmph): 3.4 seconds Top Speed: 324kmph(Limited) Transmission Layout: All-Wheel Drive Type: 7-speed LDF Dual Clutch Automatic Love?
Photos: Nithya Rubini B
There is a hefty growth in the adventure seeking community in India: the reason for an increase in the number of Decathlon stores around the country. We all love to visit Decathlon’s store, not to buy the goodies we want, but just to explore the various options they have to offer. We do have similar adventure stores around the country, but not as big as, and neither do their offer a wide product portfolio as good as Decathlon. We go around and find out that the Rockrider 340 is the best entry level MTB.
Despite the fact that Rockrider 340 is an entry level MTB, it holds a strong mid-level frame with two extra reinforcements in the areas where the upper and lower tubes meet the head tube. The Rockrider 340 looks pretty good and strong from all angles, but still the 540 which we saw from the store is strikingly good. However, you will mistake the 340 for the 540 at times, but a closer look at the frame will help you to differentiate.
The frame is made from reinforced 6061-T4T6 aluminium that combines durability and low weight and is painted with 3 coats of paint, and varnished designs for long-lasting protection comes with a life time warranty as well.
The 36 spoke wheels hold 26”x1.95 tyres, which is not bad for an entry level MTB. However, we feel changing it to 26”x2.00 all-terrain tyres would suit it better for off-road riding. We have a quick release option as well for easy maintenance and transport.
The gear ratios in this bicycle will be useful for beginners on trails, including the lowest gear. The Shimano Tourney derailleurs themselves work well, but not accurate, nor fast. Even if it takes the chain to the requested gear the lag is evident and will take a pedal or two to feel the speed shift. SRAM offers the MRX 21 twist grip shifters, featuring analogue indicator that shows the gear you are currently using, something also useful for rookies. While we are on the decline grip shifter usage, these grip shifts from SRAM are clearly one of the most comfortable shifters to use in terms of length, padding and rotational smoothness. There are no complaints in gearing as long as you have good knowledge on how and when to shift.
Our Rockrider 340 features a 600 mm-wide handlebar, which enhances control on descents, while ensuring a relatively comfortable position while climbing. However, we suggest you try out the best suitable size from the store before you finalize your purchase.
The front suspension is adjustable, while there is no suspension at the rear. You will complain a bit about the hard saddle on long rides, but eventually you will get used to it.
Overall, the 340 is a good entry level MTB which costs Rs. 15,999/-. The price doesn’t include any accessories. You will need to make purchases – right from the side stand to a heavy list of options we can choose from. Decathlon is offering a 3 month free check-up if you take your cycle to the store and we highly recommend that you check the MTB on a regular basis for smooth running.
Exclusive Rockrider 340 frame with a raised steering position for multi-purpose use.Made from reinforced 6061-T4T6 aluminium that combines durability and low weight. "Sloped" unisex frame geometry is suitable for both men and women. Painted with 3 coats of paint and varnished designs for long-lasting protection.
Suntour XCT fork with 80 mm of travel and a stiffness adjustment dial.
No rear suspension. Weight adjusting front suspension.
Triple-chainring steel chainset (22/32/42 teeth) with a plastic guard.Shimano TY21 7-speed rear derailleur.Shimano TZ30 or Microshift MS22 front derailleur. SRAM MRX21 grip shifters with speed indicators. Shimano TZ21 cassette with 7 cogs, 14-28 teeth.KMC Z51 chain, wide for greater durability.
Front and rear V-brake system with a helical spring for more powerful braking. Aluminium MTB brake levers that require only 2 fingers to operate.
Semi-raised mountain bike handlebar for added comfort while riding. 600 mm wide steel handlebar that combines comfort and stability.
Aluminium stem, 90 mm (XS / S / M) or 110 mm (L / XL), with a 10° angle for maximum comfort.
Aheadset-type headset for greater resistance to impacts and rigidity in turns.B'Twin Sport 300 grips have a soft-touch finish for better grip and to extend the grip shifters.
B'Twin Sport 100 saddle with high density foam for added comfort.
Steel MTB seat post with a 29.8 mm diameter and 350 mm long.
B'Twin Alloy Single Wall 26" wheel with single-walled rims.Wide for longer-lasting durability. 36 spokes for greater resistance to impact. Quick-release on the front wheel for easier maintenance, transport and storage.Lock nut on back wheel to reduce risk of theft.
New Ralson Mountain Bike 26" x 1.95 tyres. High-performance tyres with buttons best suited for on road and short trails.
Flat mountain bike pedals with bearings, made from hard resin for less weight and added safety (less aggressive in the event of a slippery pedal).
14.85 kg in size M without pedals.
If you will need a spare part to be replaced, we have it all at our workshop. You will have to drop by our workshop to get your cycle serviced.
June 22-23: MMSC FMSCI National 4W Drag Championship 2017 Round 1 in Chennai
June 23-25: Mahindra Adventure Monsoon Challenge 2017 (TSD Mangalore- Murdeshwar-Goa)
June 23-25: Formula One Azerbaijan Grand Prix
June 23-25: MotoAmerica Road Race Championship
June 23-25: FIA WTCC Portugal
June 23-25: World Series by Renault V8 3.5 in Spain
June 23-24: Blancpain Endurance Series in France
June 24-25: Blancpain GT Series Asia in Japan
Volkswagen has taken the wraps off the all-new Polo that is set to make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on VW's MQB A0 platform, the new car is now significantly larger.
The new design boasts of stronger character lines, refreshing elements, 17-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler atop the tailgate, LED tail lamps and a honeycomb grille insert - some of which will be found on the GTi. Sold in six trims, it will cater to a large audience, three of which are: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.
Thanks to larger dimensions, the new Polo is now more spacious with increased headroom and legroom, while boot capacity has gone up too, to 351 litres. The cabin is all-new: a chiselled dashboard, a flat-bottom steering, VW's Active Info Display that incorporates digital instruments with a host of connectivity functions that include a wireless smartphone charging pad, and keyless access.
Under the bonnet, the new Polo will be offered with a choice of four petrol engines and a diesel engine in different states of tune. A 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder multi-point injected mill will be available in two states of tune: 75hp and 65hp. Then there is also a turbo-charged 1.0-litre that puts out 95hp or 115hp, depending on the state of tune you've opted for. Also, a newly developed 150hp, 1.5TSI turbo petrol unit will be sold alongside and a 1.6-litre, 4-cylinder diesel motor with 81hp/96hp; however, don't expect the Indian market to get most of these engines. The hardcore GTi variant gets an all-new 200hp, 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol. Gearbox options include a 5 speed or a 6-speed manual, while a 7-speed dual-clutch will be offered too. All models will be front-wheel-drive. A start/stop function will come as standard, along with brake energy recuperation. While sales for the car will begin overseas by the end of the year, we're yet to know more about its foray here in India. Let's keep our fingers crossed.