An assemblage of 55 vehicles undoubtedly makes this our megaest (there’s that word again!) test ever. We give you the best new bikes and cars that 2017 had to offer – each of them tested in the most thorough and transparent way possible.
Once again, we’re at the BIC. Why? (Is that even a question?) Well, because we enjoy fun cars and bikes as much as anyone else. That’s one reason. There’s another – because it offers a controlled environment to test and evaluate newly launched cars and bikes . . . well, at least the ones that we manage to get our hands on anyway.
So, what’re we testing? Not just the speed of a machine but also its quality, ride, comfort, design, handling, practicality and drivetrain – in short, all and every aspect of a vehicle. And while we do it, we try to be as transparent, objective and scientific as possible. But that doesn’t mean that there’re no subjective factors. For instance, there’s X-Factor, worth 20 points in the case of cars and 15 points for bikes, which is that something special that a car or a bike brings to the table. To put things in perspective, the Jeep brand, for instance, has X-Factor in abundance, given its heritage.
Now, in our market, the most valued aspect of a car or a bike is its Value for Money, and that’s why it’s worth the most point. But that doesn’t mean that the most inexpensive machine will get the most points, for the idea is to look at what the machine offers relative to its competition.
Lap Time is another factor, but unlike X-Factor, it’s completely objective. In fact, it’s the only factor without any tinge of subjectivity. It offers us a uniform method to virtually test every dynamic factor of a vehicle – power, high-speed stability, handling, braking, etc. And, since, we exist to drive and ride, this one is very important to us.
Amongst the cars we tested, the fastest of the bunch was the Nissan GT-R and the slowest was the Isuzu MU-X. They were separated by 17.6 seconds and 15 points – that’s .9 points per second. It was our Editor (and part-time racer), Dhruv Behl, who set four-wheel lap times since he's lapped more cars around the BIC than any other person alive, while professional racer Sarath Kumar set our two-wheel times.
The idea is not to demolish lap records but merely to set consistent and representative lap times over a couple of days. It creates a fair scoring system, taking into account all aspects of a vehicle’s strengths and weaknesses. Our team of experienced road testers evaluate every vehicle on different parameters before averaging final scores to make sure they’re without any bias. Once again, we strive to be as transparent and objective as one can possibly be!
To scorch the track on two wheels, we roped in the incredible skills of professional bike racer Sarath Kumar...read more