There has been a spate of new launches in the market of late. Riding on increased sales, auto makers are keen on keeping the momentum going. But unlike last year, what’s interesting is the number of new two-wheelers on Indian roads: TVS has introduced Wego, a 110 cc engine scooter. And there is the 110 cc Jive, the first executive commuter with an auto-clutch.
Enfield’s Classic touch
But the one that really gets my attention is the new Royal Enfield Classic. The quintessentially Indian retro bike has gone modern, but it has retained its charm. This means it has new power and technology, as well as the charisma and chrome. There are two variants, the 350 and 500, but it’s only the latter that has fuel injection, the first time ever for a Royal Enfield.
Gentle brute: There’s plenty of grunt in the Enfield Classic
The bike is in many ways typically Enfield in terms of its overall feel and handling. It is certainly smoother than its predecessors. Its power is not sporty—it’s not meant to be. But there’s plenty of grunt in this baby.
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The Ghost glides in
A smaller Rolls Royce, or a baby Rolls as many call it, was on the cards for some years. Since BMW took over the Rolls Royce car lines in 1999, the company was clear on moving towards a smaller, more mass car. Of course, it is all relative when you say both “smaller and mass” in the Rolls Royce sense. The Ghost is not only Rolls Royce’s way of bringing in a second model line for the first time, it is also a huge step for a brand that doesn’t really deal in volumes.
It’s a gorgeous car at first glance. So there are more flowing lines, and generally more musculature on the Ghost, and I like the fact that it doesn’t look slab-sided like its sibling. The interiors of the car are extremely well-appointed and you can choose from the most exotic wools, leathers and suedes, coupled with deep polished Malabar wood, sourced from India.
The Ghost has a four-way independent air suspension, which makes for a plush ride. The emphasis remains on comfort, but with the Ghost, Rolls Royce also wanted to also attract the buyer who wants to drive his or her car. It is a massive V12 engine, with 563 horses. The ZF 6 speed auto gearbox is standard. The Ghost is meant to be agile yet elegant, swift yet stately, and it is. It achieves that by sharing its platform with the recently launched new generation BMW 7 series. But that doesn’t mean that this is a 7 series with a new outfit. While a lot of the underpinnings and electronics are common, the two cars share just about 20% of the components.
Nothing eerie: The Ghost’s four-way independent air suspension makes for a plush ride
At about Rs2.5 crore, it is one of India’s most expensive cars. But given the boom in the luxury car space, and Rolls Royce’s plan to double volumes with the Ghost, we sure are going to be haunted by these on our roads soon.
The author is editor, (auto), NDTV.
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