INRC - 2013, Round - 1 | Team SLIDEWAYS INDUSTRIES to Debut VW POLO | Official Press Release - Team SI

Two 1.6 Polos to participate in 1600cc and JINRC classes


Pune, March 20, 2013: Pune-based rally team, Slideways Industries, is all set to debut the Volkswagen Polo 1.6 in the Indian National Rally Championship at the AVT Premium South India Rally in Chennai this weekend. The Polo is the first all-new car to debut in the INRC in over six years and the first hatchback in the rally championship in over a decade. And it comes with first class pedigree, the WRC-spec Polo having just won two of the last three rounds of the World Rally Championship.

Team Slideways Industries, backed by Pune-based Pinnacle Group, will enter two Polos in the South India Rally driven by Sirish Chandran (co-driver Nikhil Pai) in the 1600cc class and Rohan Pawar (co-driver Nitin Jacob) in the Junior INRC class. The cars have been built to FIA Group N regulations by Chettinad Sporting in Coimbatore under the guidance of Team Slideways Industries’ technical director Byram Godrej. The car is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that develops over 110 horsepower thanks to revised ECU mapping and modified intake and exhaust and drives the front wheels via the standard five-speed gearbox. The only change permitted to the transmission as per regulations is the inclusion of a limited slip front differential. The suspension retains the standard layout and geometry but the dampers are high-spec three-way adjustable units made by renowned European manufacturers Ohlins and Reiger.

The team completed an extensive test session in Coimbatore last week to fine tune the suspension setup and check the reliability of the car. “Over two days we drove the Polo hard and fast and despite hitting everything we could find the car didn’t breakdown, which is a very encouraging sign for a car that hasn’t been rallied till now”, says Sirish Chandran. “Being able to survive such punishment is a testimony to how well built and incredibly tough the standard road-going Polo is.

The team also enlisted the help of seven-time national rally champion Naren Kumar to fine tune the suspension and at the end of the test session he declared himself happy with the performance and setup. “The suspension is very good, nearly as good as the N+ suspension we used to run on the Cedias”, says Naren.

Safety has been given utmost priority and the roll-cage has been designed to the highest international safety standards while also increasing the strength of the shell. “The Polo is an inherently tough car and the torsional rigidity of the shell is unbelievable, so much so that this is the first rally car I’ve worked on that doesn’t even need strut braces”, says Byram. “On the handling and reliability front the car is now sorted, what we need to work on is the engine but we will do that after the first rally in Chennai. Inherently the engine is very torquey and that will help us immensely in tight stages, particularly the hairpins where the Polo is sure to make up time over the other cars.

Under Group N regulations the gearbox ratios cannot be altered but the Polo’s shorter ratios will prove to be an asset, making up for its heavier body shell compared to other cars on the grid. Another big advantage the Polo has is its compact dimensions and hatchback body shell which makes it more nimble and chuckable.

“We are hugely excited to debut the Polo in the INRC”, says Rohan Pawar, team principal, Slideways Industries. “The car is fast, reliable and crucially exciting to watch. You can’t expect rally fans to come out and watch cars which have long since ceased production in India; they have nothing to relate to. With the Polo rally enthusiasts can now look forward to a contemporary car which looks great while being driven fast and I am sure it will be a game changer for the INRC, especially with the factory support of Volkswagen Motorsport.

Team Slideways Industries has received extensive support from Volkswagen Motorsport in terms of spares, technical know-how, performance parts and logistics support. VW Motorsport has in fact dispatched a truck-load of spares including a spare engine and gearboxes to the South India Rally to support not just Slideways Industries but any competitor who runs a Polo in the INRC.

The Polo runs on 195/60 R15 ZDM2 rally tyres made my MRF Tyres which have been developed not just in India but in the Asia Pacific Rally Championship where MRF Tyres won the title last year. The tyres are a big contributor to the performance and handling of the car, both on tarmac and gravel. The team will also run two Balenos, for Byram Godrej (co-driver Prajval Pai) and Aniruddha Rangnekar (co-driver Harrish Kumar) in the 1600 class. “We have concentrated our resources on running two Polo s' and making sure both are reliable; after all to win you have to first finish”, says Aniruddha who was instrumental in forming the team. “By round three we hope to have all four Polo s' ready and by the time we get to our home rally in Nashik I am sure the car will have made the headlines everywhere.

Slideways Industries is also proud to welcome Maui Jim as the official eye wear partner for the team. All the team drivers, co-drivers and technical personnel will be seen sporting Maui Jim eyewear throughout the season and fans following the team on its website www.SlidewaysIndustries.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SlidewaysIndustries) and Twitter (@SlidewaysInd) will stand to win exciting merchandise throughout the season.

IRC / INRC Calendar for 2013
Round 1: 22-24 March: MMSC Chennai (Gravel)
Round 2: 12-14 April: Northern Motorsports, Bhuj (Gravel)
Round 3: 17-19 May: Kolkata , RRPM (Gravel)
Round 4: 07-09 June: WISA, Nashik (Tarmac)
Round 5: 25-27 October:  K1000, KMSC Bangalore (Gravel)
Round 6: 29 Nov -01 Dec: MSCC, Chikmagalur (Gravel)

[ Pre-Event Press Release : Aniruddha Rangnekar, Press & Communications, Team SI ]
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Mahindra e2o finally up for grabs, rolled out from its Reva plant!


Mahindra finally launches the much anticipated electric-car named e2o from its plant at Reva Electric Car company, which Mahindra had acquired a few years ago. An all-new design of its elder sibling (NXR) was showcased in the recent Auto-Shows & was much talked about its good looks and elegant design of the overall car. 

Mahindra Reva, being the pioneer in electric vehicles in India, part of the USD 15.9 billion Mahindra Group, unveiled its all-electric, zero-emission ‘Mahindra e2o’ at a ceremony held at India Gate in New Delhi in the present on the occasion were Dr. Farooq Abdullah - Hon. Minister for New and Renewable Energy, Mr. Praful Patel - Hon. Minster, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises and Mrs. Sheila Dixit -Chief Minister of Delhi, together with Mr. Anand Mahindra - Chairman, Mahindra Group and Dr. Pawan Goenka - Chairman, Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles Pvt. Ltd.

Mahindra e2o is  a manifestation of Mahindra’s vision of what it calls as ‘Future of Mobility’, which encompasses the ’5Cs’ framework of Clean, Convenient, Connected, Clever and Cost Effective vehicle technology. Which the company believes that it could well redesign the way people commute in this 21st century. The Mahindra e2o is slated to go on sale with immediate effect at select Mahindra dealerships, though across nationwide will be in a phased manner. The e2o is priced at Rs.5.96 lacs (on road Delhi, post state subsidy).

e2o, powered by next generation lithium-ion batteries and a 3 phase induction electric motor; the car is fully automatic and designed for city driving. It has a very small turning radius, that makes to drive with ease in the urban roads. It also features the unique hill-hold feature similar to the premium Mahindra cars, which frees you of any anxiety when driving up inclines. The specially made composite ABS body panels impregnated with the body color, make it dent and scratch resistant and is also environment friendly without any paint coatings right from the factory itself.

e2o has enough interior space to accommodate upto two adults with ample legroom in the front and 2 more at the rear, though the legroom is a very less. It has a driving range of 100 kms per charge, which is enough to satisfy the needs of the urban commuters that can be recharged fully in a short span of 5 hrs. To do it customers can now literally plug in their Mahindra e2o’s to charge, like they would their cell phones, laptops or tablets on to any 15A power socket available in any home. If that was not enough it has its REVive® technology that has regenerative braking feature, which pumps energy back into the car’s batteries and charges them every time you slow down or apply the brakes.

e2o features an intelligent Connected car technology, that has a unique synthesis of energy, mobility and connectivity, which has multiple industry leading firsts to its credit. It is the new intelligent brain of this car which provides a feature rich control interface for the vehicle, which can be made available on any smartphone device by downloading its application. This application then gives the customer the power to remotely manage several functions of the Mahindra e2o. Brillant!!

e2o comes with a 15.5 cm (6.2 in.) touch screen, with factory fitted GPS Navigation System, Radio, DVD, Bluetooth and I-pod connectivity with 4JBL speakers & 2 tweeters makes. Now locating a place for directions to the nearest charging point is at your finger tips. It also features a full digital cluster, electrically-operated ORVMs, Keyless Entry, Start/Stop button,  Projector head-lamps, LED tail-lamps, even a reversing-camera, that rich-ens the features-list of the Mahindra e2o, when compared to most high end cars.

e2o will be made available in six attractive colours – Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, Eco Green, Oceanic White, Spanish Red and Sunfire Yellow.

Now coming to Key Safety Features, it has:
  • High strength steel space frame construction that cocoons the occupants
  • Colour impregnated, dent resistant polymer body panels
  • Batteries under seat, ensuring a low center of gravity
  • ISOFIX child seat mount with ALR seat belts
  • Hood designed for pedestrian impact safety
  • Adjustable head rests for all 4 seats
  • Large front crumple zone
  • Dual side impact beams
No Petrol, Gas, or any of those tail-pipe emitting and wallet poking fuels is going to haunt you. With all these features, it only needs one service per year, that too at your own doorstep by Mahindra's engineers.

If this is not enough for that mere Rs. 5.96 lacs, then what else?

[pictures courtesy, zigwheels and more..]

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