Test driving the Renault Kwid 1.0 SCE
Encouraged by the success of the 800cc Kwid, Renault has launched its 1,000cc sibling
It was in May last year that Renault unveiled the Kwid and launched it a few months later. The SUVesque small car has been a hit with Indian buyers in the entry-level segment, they set a few benchmarks too. Besides, for the first time, the Indian buyer had the option of buying brand apart from Maruti-Suzuki.
Renault has beefed up the Kwid to a 68 PS 1.0-litre petrol powerplant in this variant. Pics/Sanjay Raikar
It’s muscular looks and interior space with a large boot, puts it a segment ahead. It was the first car in the entry-level segment to have a digital console and GPS navigation. The quality of plastic is decent and the fabric seats are very comfortable and well finished.
The already decent interior has been given additional styling like the orange-piped floor mats
The car was launched with an 800cc three-cylinder engine that gave good bottom-end and mid-range performance. Instead of sitting back and enjoying the Kwid’s success, Renault has now upped the game by increasing the engine capacity from to 1,000 cubic centimetres.
The capacity of the DOHC four-valve engine has been increased by 200cc, with longer stroke, bigger bore, and 20 per cent extra displacement. The power and torque have also gone up. The 800cc motor used to produce 54 PS at 5,678 revolutions per minute and 72 Nm at 4,400 RPM. But the 1.0-litre produces 68 PS at 5,500 RPM and 91 Nm at 4,250 RPM.
Externally, the car looks identical to its 800cc sibling except for a sticker on the door that reads ‘1.0’. The interior is also identical to its sibling except for its Pro-Sense seat belts at the front, for better safety. The build quality is also fantastic.
The suspension has the same setup: MacPherson strut with lower transverse link at the front and a twist beam suspension with coil springs at the rear. The steering is electrically assisted.
Our first drive was from the ITC Chola in Chennai to Mahabalipuram and back. It comprised a good mix of city and highway driving. In the morning there was hardly any traffic but on the return we faced the full wrath of the Chennai traffic. On the highway we were driving comfortably in excess of 100 km/h and was able to see 135 km/h on the digital speedometer, but the car still had a lot more on tap. The beauty of the new engine is the extra grunt that it offers at lower RPM. Renault has also worked on the refinement of the car and that shows, for the NVH levels inside the car were very satisfactory.
The ride quality and handling are very good. Indeed, it was after a long time that we enjoyed driving a small car on the highway. The extra performance on tap with the same gearing and weight has transformed the little Kwid into a fun-to-drive car, one that you can throw around the corners.
Indo-French Artist Creates Kwid Art Car
The Indian-origin French artist Sen Shombit is a highly-respected painter and designer, and has created this one-of-a-kind Kwid to showcase his unique style as part of his exhibition, “Désordre”. Renault’s first Kwid art car is one such creation. Sen established Gesturism Art in 1994, and this exhibition highlights the physical disorder on life in India.
Audi RS 7 performance Launched
Audi has launched an even wilder Rs 7, the “Performance” at R1.59 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi). The RS 7 performance gets a 4.0-litre TFSI twin-turbo V8. It now develops 605 PS together with 700 Nm of peak torque that arrives low at 1,750 revs and stays until 6,000. Driving the quattro intelligent all-wheel-drive system is an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Hero Dawn 125 goes to Africa
Hero MotoCorp has introduced a Dawn 125 at EICMA primarily for the African market, catering to the utility customers. It boasts of improved visibility. The power-plant is a 125-cc, air-cooled, four-stroke, OHC single-cylinder engine. It churns out a maximum power of 9.14 PS at 7,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 10.35 Nm at 4,000 rpm. No, it isn't coming to India any time soon.
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