Steven Spielberg couldn’t retain the magic. Harrison Ford wasn’t his perfectionist best. Even the glorious Cate Blanchett couldn’t work her charm. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull just couldn’t match up to Raiders of the Lost Ark, or, for that matter, Temple of the Doom. Its success at the box office notwithstanding, the follow-up act, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull didn’t carry the larger-than-life drama of the Indiana Jones series preceding it. Ditto for Oceans Twelve (and Thirteen), Martix Reloaded, The Godfather III, Speed 2 and a whole lot of others. My point is – follow-up acts are, most of the time, rubbish. And this can hold true for the motoring world as well. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine the soft rays of the sun filling your windows as you wake up to realize the sheer beauty of tall, green trees swaying to a soft breeze, and charming white clouds in the sky that look like heaps of cotton, which you simply want to jump onto – a perfectly gorgeous day, in short. And the perfect way to spend it would be to take a really long ride on an all-consuming highway with mountain stretches to boot. Sounds absolutely brilliant, doesn’t it? Well, this was, in reality, the brief given to a 5-member team of designers (an American, a European, and three Japanese blokes) who were responsible for shaping the Honda VFR1200F. Read the rest of this entry »

The Maruti Suzuki Swift – when this ‘sporty’ little hatchback was launched back in 2004, the motoring world went crazy. Everyone hailed the Swift as a brilliant product. In fact, some motoring scribes even declared it the best Japanese compact car ever! The Swift was, as a design exercise, a departure from what was available in India at the time. It was radical and path-breaking. The design was so ahead of its time that even now the Swift sells like hotcakes – owing primarily to the way it looks (and of course because it’s a Maruti). Moreover, I firmly believe that it won’t become what you’d call passé, even in the next five years or so. Read the rest of this entry »

Almost seven years – that’s the duration separating the present day from the day I almost settled in the lap of the Almighty. Young and foolish, I took to biking as if I’d been riding since I was 3 years old and knew what I was doing. Obviously, I didn’t – in hindsight. With an intention of being race-ready in no time, I used to ride with an overdose of gusto. And while fooling around one lovely evening, the inevitable happened. I fell – big time. Read the rest of this entry »

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I am not sure how many of you reading this are aware of the fierce PR battle going on between Mini and Porsche over something that I think is quite silly. Mini threw a challenge to Porsche for a race and the latter politely rejected the offer. Then the top guys at Mini went about creating some ridiculous videos that taunted the cult 911 maker. Let me give you a quick brief on what really happened.

Jim McDowell, chief of Mini, USA, came out with a video stunt featuring him inviting Detlev von Platen, CEO of Porsche in North America, to a race between Mini and Porsche. I don’t quite know what went wrong with you there, McDowell. I can only take a wild guess that you were perhaps desperate to be on TV or swamp the media with your antics to get some eyes on you. Read the rest of this entry »

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I loved Transformers – the movie. Though Michael Bay didn’t manage to create the numinous aura that his earlier films – Armageddon and Pearl Harbour – flaunted; Transformers still was an amazing visual treat just because of the plot, the concept, graphics and, of course, the vehicles that featured in the movie. I couldn’t use the term ‘cars’ since there were not just cars in it, but trucks, a jet fighter, a tank – everything, all the jazz! Read the rest of this entry »

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Move over the dreary advertisements that Hyundai have been giving us. The so called ‘performance’ by Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan is much of overkill instead. This time round, Hyundai have gone all Top Gear, er… Top Deer, that is. Sorry for the mix-up.

Top Gear’s trio of power-obsessed Jeremy Clarkson, the-man-with-best-hair, James May and resident teeth-whitening-freak, Richard Hammond are perhaps the most famous motoring journalists the world knows today. Read the rest of this entry »