Friday, September 26

Scorpio 2014: The affordable SUV leaps a generation

The Scorpio next gen from Mahindra and Mahindra

From UV to UV+comfort to UV+comfort + 4x4 + AT, Scorpio was still UV deep inside. And It was time for a total redesign. 

Reborn: 2014 Scorpio Next Gen

The 2014 Scorpio is almost entirely a new model excluding the side door panels while it retains some features that connects with the older models. (Mahindra is still lazy at times or is it to keep that Scorpio feel intact)

Mahindra sought to go ahead and built a platform with help from specialist engineering shops and resulted in an all new Modern chassis suspension framework that meets international safety specs. 

For 2014 Scorpio, Mahindra chose to retain its m-hawk engine while mating it to a tweaked Xylo's gearbox, better tyres, wider and longer wheel base and some weight reduction. 

On the exterior, 2014 Scorpio as always, keeps its aggressive tall stance. But honestly speaking, the its front is an overworked mashup of.all recent SUVs, Sides remain almost unchanged and the rear is seems to be a puzzle for M&M. All together it still maintains its mean beast looks. Hope the projector lamps and DRLs are better than XUV 5OO

The interior is a whole different world. Mahindra has addressed all the negatives of previous model with a beautiful modern dash and console, some tech and good seats. But the rework did introduce a new set of niggles but bearable considering its a Scorpio.

The real change and the best thing is its ride quality. Gone are the wobbles, passengers tossed upon and the body roll. it now offers a near sedan like comfort on highways and  more adept on curves while retaining its original charector of taking on all type of terrain effortlessly. 

The Scorpio is now a true blood SUV. Moving up from being a UV dress-up. 

The 2014 Scorpio takes bad roads in a composed way, run that gravel or country trail at 50kmph without being tossed around, go 4x4 crossing the stream, run over the dunes, cruise the highway and take you back to work after that weekend adventure. 

To my disappointment, 4x4 is available only as optional extra, limited to s4 and s10 variants. 

It is a market reality that the Indian SUV concept is about having a huge UV or Truck stance with such intimidating looks that other cars will move aside giving you the right of passage. Much of the 20+ lakh SUVs never leave the Tarmac. Toyota even introduced a 4x2 soft variant of Fortuner upon customer feedback. 

2014 Scorpio next Gen will be the most affordable 7seater SUV* in Indian market and yet remain the most capable among them. 

*7 seater : its a compromise between in cabin luggage or seating. But Scorpio can take the 3rd row passengers better than many of the MPVs available on Indian market
Image courtesy :


Since the time Mahindra moved on from their soft top UVs based on the old Jeep, Scorpio has been their poster boy. Since the 2000's Scorpio has been the best seller UV and propelled M&M to the mainstream Car market. 

A fresh and successful rebranding strategy, the Mahindra Rise campaign, along with customer engagement programs and off-road events, Scorpio soon found favour among the off-road enthusiast city dweller. Thus came a range of tweaks and feature add ons, trying to meet both ends of the spectrum. 

By the last update which brought in the m-hawk engine, Scorpio became the best affordable SUV option and the first diesel 4x4 AT option. Feature add-ons were like after market job with electronics for newly added features being placed below the front seats. The engines did get better no serious effort was put on quality of make.

After initial spike in XUV500 sales, Scorpio returned to be the SUV of choice for its top end models from the new urban India. But, The Innova, Xylo lot offered a better highway people mover option carving out a part of Scorpio sales. The new set of faux MiniSUVs started to carve off a major chunk of Scorpio sales as a 4x2 soft roader and Scorpio now appeared ancient relic.

Wednesday, September 24

Renault Duster : All Wheel Drive muscles

Duster AWD, wading stream - Slow shutter photography

Finally, Duster can flaunt its muscles off-road in India too!

Renault Duster AWD coming with an on the fly switch between 2WD, AutoAWD and manual 4WD is the best news for the urban car / weekend fun segment we call as compact SUV/mini SUV. 

Though I wish they had introduced it back during the 2012 Duster launch.

A new suspension setup, Smoked out Headlamps, subtle changes to exterior and new forest green dress code. All set for for some dirt and mud. The 2 versions will be at 11.9 and 12.9 lakh (Delhi ex) with the 110ps engine. 

AWD Campaign poster

While Thar will remain the ultimate off-roader compact UV segment, Its pure play off road only. It needs a lot of after market upgrades to gain a respectable urban/highway cruise capability. Even then, its limited by top speed, fit and finish, safety features etc. 

I did expect some side cladding paint protection. The tweaks on bumpers seems to improve the approach descent angles, but whether there is an under body protection for at least the engine bay is not known. As many manufacturers do, Renault must be holding back some things for the next year facelift. 

While in the mean time, Renault Duster AWD is the cheapest compact SUV available in India. Pricing for the 2014 new generation scorpio 4x4 and Duster AWD needs to be compared to confirm, but both vehicles appeal to different customer segments and utility.

Renault has finally given the very capable Duster extra muscle and thus making it the first real compact SUV in Indian Market. 

A Sub 15 lakh Urban daily use car that can dare you on weekends! 

Nissan Terrano with AWD will be announced soon for sure. But Will Ford EcoSport really sport an AWD soon? 

Thursday, September 18

Silly Spec war troll compares iphone6 to Android One - way too crazy fandroids

Worst of Fan war spec comparisons

There was this silly troll comparing iPhone 6 to Android one. Without ignoring that post, i wasted some time commenting on the post. As he won, objective being +1s and comments, I am posting it here, just for some hits in revenge. 

stupid comparison

iPhone 6 and 6+, a bit disappointing at first look

Android one is a great piece of hardware to widen the bottom of smartphone market, penetrating the Rs 6k or sub $100 world. I believe it is the first country specific offering from Google in the smartphone space. Choosing India as the test case is perfect with India's wide feature phone users at the bottom of the pyramid and some decent manufacturers attempting to bring in more people on to smartphone segment and general goodwill for Google in India.

Android One Hardware

But to troll iPhone just for the sake of it cause you are Android fan only devalues Android as such. 

On first look, it seems iPhone6 sports tech specs that Androids introduce 2 yrs back. But there is a big difference. Like all 8mp cameras won’t produce the same quality image or performance of a class 4 vs class 10 flash drive, the quality of components, connectors and even placement makes the difference. Apple offers new tech only after ensuring a perfect hardware - software fit. And we users just admire its slim form and UI that is elegant in both looks and usability, while cribbing on the $600 tag.

To compare hardware to hardware is silly. Does a Ford and Jaguar both having 2.4 ltr engine and matching power ratios perform the same way in the real world?

I respect Apple for their focus on engineering and design, Innovation and tight control over its entire business cycle, saving every dollar possible, while investing in functional Art.

Apple made Android manufacturers look at design efficiency and learn from step 1. From the small box that iPhone 1 came in, Apple taught others that a dollars saved on logistics means multi million$ on a grand scale. Apple also taught others how to build hype and make a tiny improvement feel like a giant leap in technology and make the customer feel special. Now, Apple and Android makers are adopting from each other and a day will come when Android will be tutor on making money.

Android One models
Its good for Android that Google is now giving increased attention on operational efficiency and seamless interface, but its partners still seems to be more thrilled in adding hardware and battery to match, loosing out on profit margins. Android L and Android One are signs of Google wanting to move away from Spec war

Google's main or only goal is acquiring and retaining users for its search and adv. business. The targeted $100 phone users of India will be mostly regional language users and people who are used to single app for each function seen in feature phones. To hook these 400 million people into Google world, it needs simplicity .

Android One is great on its own terms. It opens up a huge market not just for Micromax, but also 3G data usage, small town retailers, regional language usage and more than everything it will bring in a whole new set of users for FB, through Whatsapp, which has really replaced SMS in India." 

Friday, September 12

Update: Royal Enfield Cult: not just men, even insects go crazy

Update: royal Enfield cult: even insects choose an Enfield 

This is madness. 

My dear friend, the Unidentified yellow black flying stingy Insect didn't loose hope. Even after breaking its attempt to make a nest on my Royal Enfield thrice, it chose to rebuilt it from start and succeeded this time. 

Yesterday after breaking the mud nest, I sprayed some polish and perfume, hoping that it won't to able to locate the spot again based on scent . 

But that wasn't the case. Morning, I saw it starting to rebuild from scratch. With total surprise and some pitty for the insect, I choose to use my car instead of breaking his fourth attempt. 

By afternoon ,on my return it had completed the job making a beautiful pot shaped nest with an egg too. 

Why it chose the bike and that location baffles me is its never there, except early mornings. 

Why does it wait till next day for the bike to return next day, and start from scratch? 

Why not the car, or some garden furniture that remains stationary most of the time ! 

Does an insect love #RoyalEnfield so much? 

Reminds me of the spider web story, Try try and try until you succeed. This insect finally won over me. 

I Decided to let my favorite #REcontinentalGT bike rest until that egg hatches and a new life begins.

10 best quotes teasing social: via Rick Ramos consulting

Best jokes on Social Media. Content via :

My personal favorite is the Jay Leno one. 

"Sometimes Social Media can be a bit wacky, especially when it’s part of your job. Here are 10 great social media jokes to make you laugh:

“A new study found that more than 11 million people have quit Facebook in the last three years. And unfortunately, none of them were your parents.” –Jimmy Fallon

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a press conference to announce that if you post one more picture of your cat sleeping, they’re going to delete your account.” -Jimmy Kimmel

“Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. Facebook is exactly like that except you’re not really famous and your 15 minutes goes on forever.” –Craig Ferguson

“Facebook has revealed their estimated net worth — $96 billion. That’s almost as much money as businesses lose every year from their employees wasting time looking at Facebook.” -Jay Leno

“Facebook has been redesigned and it now contains a real-time news ticker. Every update says, ‘Breaking news: You’re screwing around at work.’” -Conan O’Brien

“I have Twitter so I can tell people what I want them to buy and they give me money.” - Louis CK

“You Post All Of Your Drama On Facebook… Then Get Upset When People Judge You ? You Must Be A Special Kind Of Stupid.” – Bill Cosby

“I didn’t know what Facebook was, and now that I do know what it is, I have to say, it sounds like a huge waste of time.” – Betty White

“People do that on Facebook and it’s the dumbest thing in the world. I don’t care what your dinner looks like. Stop cluttering up the Internet with pictures of your dinner.” - Seth MacFarlane

“Facebook: What’s on your mind? ..Twitter: What’s happening? … Myspace: Where did everybody go?” – Will Ferrell

Bonus Joke:

“The funny thing about social media and trying to portray yourself as something you’re not, is that the people who know you in real life know you are full of shit.” – unknown"

Rick Ramos has some interesting reads on social and Internet as such.

:Content belongs to RickRamos

Wednesday, September 10

Royal Enfield Cult: not just men, even insects go crazy

Update: the insect continues its relentless effort and this time it won over me.

Can insects be this choosy? This yellow black flying sting has been trying to make his nest/home on my bike on the same spot since last three days. Each time I knock it of before completion. 

This time he nearly finished it while I watched him do it. 

Admire the determination of that creature but its a idiot too to choose the wrong place where he failed twice already. Each time rebuilding it from scratch. 

Next time , if he try's again , maybe I ll let it be there and carry his home as I ride along. 

Does it got anything to do with even Insects love "Royal Enfield. Made like a Gun". A Cult following among insects to nest on a Royal Enfield. This one tried thrice as this is a Royal Enfield Continental GT, rare and pricy possession, it must be a matter of pride to have a nest on a RE GT. 

Royal Enfield , strong and reliable, ageless timeless motorbike , the insect might have seen it as a pretty secure place  to build a home !!! 


Apple iPhone 6 - nothing new, yet d harmony in design is alluring

Best thing of Apple is it doesn't really introduces any new far reaching game changers other than design, it takes existing tech already introduced by other manufacturers into real compelling and incredibly usesble functions. 

Add this thoughtful simple usable design with iOS and we have a game changer. Coupled with the AppleWatch, we may have a revolution. 

From the upsize in screen which has been around in market for near 2 years to video stabilisation, Apple havnt brought anything new. It jus made em worthwhile. Just the way it turned 3G video calls compelling to use when it's FaceTime. 

ISight has done the same, turned already claimed or introduced tech like image stabilisation to create a compelling usable and worth sharing videos and pictures . 

Loved their focus on selfies and introduction of more features in built in camera app, though nothing new compared to Android peers. Apple it is, so it will work for sure, as our 8yrs of experience have shown 

On design and obsession for being thin, Apple have indeed worked real hard. Bumping performance by 50% on an already super fast 5s is no easy task. 

Experience is the differentiator for Apple. 

I am dissapointed that iPhone6 is 720p but then that is more than enough for human eye and display tech sure makes up for the shortcoming in spec fight. So dissapointment is just that it isn't HD or 2xHD though my eyes will never make out. 

 Further disappointed that its 4.7 inch, may suit west's big hands but single hand operations for smaller Asian hands will be difficult. Maybe 4.5 would have been better. 

Having a 5.5 iphone6+ is great and most wanted by this media hungry generation

While others have moved to qHD, Apple is busy bringing real to life displays with awesome frame rates in HD with content packed along in an array of games. 

it is going to be a tough case for IPhone this time as Android has really improved and Nexus line up is value for money . 

It's interesting that it has introduced its own range of covers in silicon n leather. While iPad covers had function, these are merely protective. So Apple seems to be interested in making money selling these at a premium or Apple is pushing its accessory makers to come up with better ones.  

Apple watch is the game changer here. 

Wondering what would be the iPad line up, now that iPhone itself is a phablet. 

Apple Watch - it's not iWatch !!!

Apple watch is suprisingly not called an iWatch. 

That's a turn in trend. Or a brand trademark issue which Apple normally wiggles through. 

Or simply Apple wants it to be seen as a Watch which is smart too. But  Watch first! 

Apple Watch is the most personal device we've ever created - Tim Cook

Apple Watch is indeed awesome. They have addressed the key issues of why one would need a smart watch. 

More than fitness part, I loved the personalisation and then feeling connected with your loved ones. A tap and your loved one feels it. Gentle subtle reminder that yes, I am thinking of you, no matter where I am. 

Touches the emotional cords so well that now I too want suvh a device, Just for that Tap to my mom and my dear friends across the sea, that I m here, yet I am there with you. 

It's like Apple gave real feel to Facebook's forgotten Poke. 

Apple under Tim Cook have shown his critics that they can create new devices that are compelling and desirable and make the new product catogery relevant. 

They made a watch that is smart, unlike others who tried to shrink a smartphone into a watch size. The UI navigation is as innovative as Apple. The crown, Why didn't others think of it. 

Loved the numerous options to match all tastes 

Yes, Its time for getting a smart watch, no, an AppleWatch.

Saturday, September 6

iPad : Apple prep to announce next generation of iPad Air / Mini soon

Apple prep for a back to back release of iPhone n iPads 
Have been getting fresh promo mails for iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina and many more great deals on online stores. 

So the next generation of iPads are ready and will be announced possibly along with iPhone 6 itself. 

Wonder what will the call IPad this time. iPad Air 2 or IPad vaccum! What's more lighter than Air? 

Or would Apple return back to 'the All new iPad'. 

But one thing is sure, 

Apple needs to fix the customer's difficulty or confusion in choosing between the 7.9" or 9.7". A much more compelling differentiator that could help the buyer make the right choice. 

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