The Hyundai i20 has always set the benchmark when it comes to premium hatchbacks in our country. Though the arrival of subcompact sedans and SUVs has diverted the buyer away from the segment considerably in the last few years, cars like the i20, Maruti Baleno and more recently the Tata Altroz have managed to hold fort for the segment. Now Hyundai has launched the i20 in a brand new generation which is made on a new platform, gets a completely different look, has many more features and yes is expensive as well. I recently drove the car in both its petrol and diesel iterations.
The new i20 has definitely become edgier and sharper than before. The parametric jewel pattern grille is finished in black and chrome is missing from here. The car gets LED projector headlamps and LED DRLs, the shape of which could certainly have been more attractive. Projector fog lamps and a raised hood also add to the exterior appeal. On the profile the car gets 16 inch diamond cut alloys and extensive use of chrome on the window line as well as door handles. However like it or not, it is the rear that will attract your attention the most, with Z-Shaped LED tail lamps that are connected with a chrome garnish, being the highlight. The car is now longer and wider than before, though the height is the same.
First thing you notice inside the cabin is the impressive quality on offer. Along with that the fit and finish is quite nice too. You just cannot miss the 10.25 inch touch screen system that actually feels too big for a cabin of this size. It connects to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and with Hyundai’s blue link tech the i20 is also a connected car now. Amongst other things you can also start/ stop the engine remotely, use climate control, and find the car’s location. There are some premium features on offer here like an electric sunroof, an air purifier with air quality indicator and a wireless charger with cooling pad, the latter 2 being first in segment. What you will also like is that the steering wheel is both tilt & telescopic, there’s a Bose 7 speaker system and the car also gets in built navigation with live traffic and compass.
There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to engine and gearbox options on the new i20. First the 1.5 litre diesel engine that comes with just a 6-speed manual transmission and promises 25.2 kmpl. Then there’s the 1.2 litre petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual transmission and CVT options where the fuel efficiency hovers around 20 kmpl. Finally the 1.0 litre Turbo GDi petrol gets 6-speed iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) & 7-Speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) options. Again both will deliver around 20 kmpl. Of these the most powerful is the Turbo engine that churns out a good 120 PS and here the peak torque kicks in at 1,500 rpm which just means that you will have a lot of fun driving around with this engine. With the DCT it achieves a 0-100 kmph time of just 9.9 seconds.
RIDE & HANDLING
The suspension suits the driving needs for Indian road conditions and the ride doesn’t feel bumpy or stiff. The lowered front hood and air curtain contribute to the car offering better aerodynamics. It also inspires confidence when you’re taking corners at high speeds. Hyundai says the new light weight K platform offers enhanced crash performance. Talking about safety the car gets 6 airbags which is the best-in-segment. Features like tyre pressure monitoring system and emergency stop signal have been seen in the segment for the first time.
The new Hyundai i20 does set new benchmarks in the segment. With its looks, features and drivability, it will be difficult to beat the car. But the prices can be termed as anything but aggressive. For the 1.2 litre Petrol, it starts at Rs. 6.79 lakh (ex-showroom) and goes up to Rs 9.69 lakh. For the Diesel prices range between Rs 8.19 lakh and Rs 10.59 lakh. And the Turbo variants are priced between Rs 8.79 lakh to Rs 11.17 lakh which takes the car comfortably in the subcompact SUV territory. You can also choose between 3, 4 and 5 year warranty depending on how much you drive. And yes, customers will also be offered complimentary 3 years’ BlueLink subscription and 3 years’ road side assistance.
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ONEPLUS 9 PRO MAY FEATURE HASSELBLAD-BRANDED CAMERAS
Beijing: Leaked images of the unannounced OnePlus 9 Pro suggest the flagship smartphone will include a Hasselblad-branded camera array, The Verge has reported. As per the outlet, the images shared in a recent Dave Lee YouTube video show four cameras on the rear of the phone. These include wide-angle, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, the latter of which appears to offer up to a 3.3x optical zoom. At this point, it is unclear exactly what this Hasselblad branding could mean for the OnePlus 9 Pro’s cameras. As per The Verge, the Swedish manufacturer, which is majority-owned by Chinese company DJI, is best known for its expensive medium format cameras, and has previously worked with Lenovo on a modular camera accessory for Moto Z devices, as well as Vertu for its Signature Touch smart-phone. The presence of its logo means Hasselblad has provided some real camera expertise to OnePlus beyond just brand cache.
MICROSOFT WORD’S DARK MODE WILL NOW BE DARKER
Washington: American multinational technology company Microsoft has started testing an update to Word that will color entire documents in a dark canvas. Currently, Word has a dark mode that modifies the ribbon and toolbars, but the canvas stays bright white. According to The Verge, a future update to Word will include the ability to switch the canvas into the dark mode, too. A program manager on Microsoft’s Word team Ali Forelli said, “This has been a long-requested feature from many of Office Insiders and we’re excited to make it happen.” He further added, “With Dark mode, you’ll notice that the previously white page colour is now a dark grey/black.” While the canvas will change it will also adjust the colours in a document. Reds, blues, yellows, and other bright colours will be “shifted slightly to mute the overall effect of the colour palette” and match the dark background.
FACEBOOK TO LAUNCH SMARTWATCH WITH MESSAGING, FITNESS FEATURES
California: The American social networking service company Facebook is building an Android-based smartwatch with messaging, health, and fitness features. According to The Verge, it is unclear whether Facebook intends for the smartwatch to run Google’s Wear Os. Apart from the upcoming smartwatch, Facebook is also working on building its own operating system for hardware devices and future iterations of the wearable may run that software instead. The smartwatch would join Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality headsets and Portal video chat devices as part of the social network’s growing hardware ecosystem. The company is also working on branded Ray-Ban smart glasses expected to come out later this year and a separate augmented reality research initiative known as Project Aria, which is part of the company’s broader AR explorations, which it has been working on for some time now.
APPLE HAS PLANS TO LAUNCH A FOLDABLE IPHONE BY 2023
Washington: Rumours about a folding iPhone have been doing the rounds for a while now but there had been no confirmation about a launch date of the product. If you are one of them who has been waiting with bated breath for the foldable smartphone to come out, then we finally have some details surrounding its launch date. Top Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple has plans to launch a foldable iPhone by 2023, and the phone could feature a screen of around 7.5-inch to 8 inches, as per The Verge. The analyst suggested that the foldable iPhone might resemble that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, though Apple has not officially locked the design. Kuo’s prediction indicated that Apple is not necessarily in a hurry to launch a foldable iPhone as its competitors.
DUST STUDY BY DYSON SHOWS HOW HOMES CAN BE DIRTIER THAN THEY LOOK
Many of us, including myself, took to cleaning our houses ourselves during the pandemic. Most Indians prefer cleaning their homes in the traditional ways and believe that the best way is to sweep and mop. However, many also don’t realise that dust and small dirt particles which can never be seen with the naked eye cannot be cleaned by basic methods. Vacuuming is a good option for that and Dyson has come out with a study to prove the facts.
The study conducted by Dyson was taken by 10,754 respondents from 10 countries around the world. I was also one of them and was surprised to see how much dust was collected from my house. Dyson’s latest V11 vacuum cleaner was used during the study and picked up dust from tough spots like sofas, mattresses, carpets and cars. The tests showed how all houses had dust and other elements which are very harmful for our health in the long run.
The basic objective of the study was to study dust based on 11 parameters like bacterial count, fungal count, pollen, human hair and others. The data was analysed by the FICCI research and analysis centre and the final result attained was very insightful in showing us what kinds of dust elements we usually have in our homes.
The study also explains how vacuuming can keep our homes cleaner and safer. Dyson has a large number of vacuum cleaners in India, the latest of which is the V11. The brand has been researching the technology around moving dust and its particulate matter from homes for well over 15 years. These years of expertise have revealed that the technologies of UVC light and ionisers are effective for the removal of harmful dust.
The way that the last year has been has made us all realise that our health is of the utmost importance and it would be foolish to not see the obvious.
Dyson as a brand is trying to make us aware about the health hazards which are always around us due to the dust in our homes. Although, changing our usual ways of cleaning might not happen overnight, but the study has been a real eye-opener.
A CAR MADE ENTIRELY BY WOMEN: MG MOTOR LEADS THE WAY
A car made entirely by women would be unthinkable a few years ago, but not anymore. The car in question is the 50,000th unit of the Hector with which the British carmaker began its India innings a couple of years ago.
NEW DELHI: If you think that the Indian auto industry is a man’s world, think again. This International Women’s Day on 8 March, here are some stories that will tell you how the times are changing.
In a development that comes as a testament to gender parity across workplaces, MG Motor India has just had a car made by an all-women crew in its facility in Halol, Gujarat. A car made entirely by women would be unthinkable a few years ago, but not anymore. The car in question is the 50,000th unit of the Hector with which the British carmaker began its India innings a couple of years ago.
The initiative has created a new benchmark while celebrating ‘diversity’—one of its core pillars according to Morris Garages. In this first-of-its-kind development where women led the end-to-end production, women-only teams were involved in panel-pressing of sheet metal and welding to painting jobs as well as carrying out post-production test runs. According to the British legacy automaker, it features an industry-leading 33% share of women in its workforce, wherein female professionals work shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts across all business functions.
If MG is to be believed, it aims to achieve 50% gender diversity in its organisation in the future and pave the way for a balanced workforce. Since its inception, as its core focus area, the brand has worked closely with the local panchayats near its Halol manufacturing plant in the Panchmahal district. Doing so has encouraged more young women to work in a safe and secure environment at the MG plant.
Speaking on the development, Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India, said, “MG has always been a progressive brand with diversity, community, innovation, and experiences as our cornerstones. We believe that it is something that has broadened our perspective as a brand and unlocked efficiencies in every aspect of our business operations. The rollout of our 50,000th Hector by an all-women crew comes as an honour to their contributions and hard work. It also demonstrates that glass ceilings no longer exist even in an erstwhile male-dominated industry such as automobile manufacturing. We believe that it will inspire more women to join the automotive industry in India and abroad.”
Since 2018, MG has hired many female associates in its manufacturing facility via various initiatives. Today, these women are driving core areas of manufacturing at the facility. MG’s manufacturing facility is equipped with Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) for various workshops. RPA is used by the automaker in Body Shop for Robotic Brazing, Paint Shop for Robotic Primer and Top Coating, and GA Shop for Robotic Glass Glazing. According to MG, if trained well, both men and women handle the machinery with equal competency and this approach makes the company more gender-inclusive in an otherwise labour-intensive automotive sector.
CEAT ALL-WOMEN STORE
One of India’s leading tyre manufacturers, CEAT Tyres, has introduced the concept of only women operated stores across India, which are called CEAT Shoppes. According to the company, these all-women Shoppes will be its endeavour to empower women especially in the male-dominated tyre industry. The stores are owned, managed and run by a team of women which will give them equal opportunity to grow and make a mark in the tyre industry. The first of such Shoppes has been opened in Bhatinda, Punjab. This will be followed by the introduction of 10 Shoppes in the next few months across the country.
The all-women CEAT Shoppes include women workforce for all service-related assistance to customers. This also includes manual jobs like wheel changing, balancing and operating various machinery to service a vehicle. CEAT says that it will be investing in providing end to end training to the women running these stores. In all, the company has more than 300 Shoppes in the country.
Amit Tolani, Chief Marketing Officer, CEAT, said: “CEAT recognises the value of gender diversity at the workplace. We have been offering equal and fair opportunity to women in every field including our manufacturing plants. From shop-floor engineers to leadership roles, CEAT has a diversified female workforce taking up challenging roles and growing in their respective fields. The all-women CEAT Shoppe, is an industry first initiative which further reiterates our commitment to allow women to grow and make a mark in the Tyre Industry which is predominantly male-driven business. The initiative will not only provide financial stability to the women but will inspire many others to join this industry as we plan to expand our footprints across India with many more such outlets in the months to come.”
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