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A Friend in Need…

This year really just flew by and I am already writing my last editorial for 2020. No doubt it has been a tough year for all of us. The three months of countrywide lockdown made it very difficult for the automotive industry and all of us associated with it. Mention needs to be made of the fact that even during these tough times some of the manufacturers supported us when they were facing difficulties themselves. I would like to thank them all for their support as also our readers for their support when we were not able to print hard copies of the magazine.

This month we have a couple of first drives: the Nissan Magnite and Hyundai i20. The Magnite is ready to take on the likes of the Brezza, Venue, and Sonet. The i20, on the other hand, is your conventional hatchback. It was in 2008 that I visited Hyundai’s R&D centre in Namyang. At that time, I had said, ‘Watch out for this Korean company. It will go places because of the investment it has made in its R&D capabilities.’

Like all the new cars from Hyundai, the i20 is a big improvement on the outgoing one. It is a good-looking car from the outside and its interior is top-class, as expected of Hyundai. What is really very impressive is its performance and driving characteristics. It is like a European car. The performance of the turbo-petrol engine and the DCT gearbox add to the fun factor and there is a diesel variant too. All I can say is that Hyundai have raised the bar once again.

We tested two very special BMWs: the M5 Competition and the M8 Coupé. The best part about the BMWs is that when you select the “Comfort” mode, they are like a comfortable saloon and when you select the “M” mode, they transform into track-day supercars unlike other performance cars that rattle you bones. They make for good cars for daily use and, at the same time, they are capable of delivering top-class performance.


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