Negative Space in UI Design: Tips and Best Practices

Tubik Studio

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We often think that silence, emptiness or colorlessness is bad for us. We take them for granted without thinking that they are the solid foundation of the contrast. Only silence lets us know the value of the sound. Only empty space lets us understand what we want to fill it with. Only colorlessness lets us feel the colors brighter and deeper when they appear on stage. And only the absence of air lets us know how vital it is. Today we are talking about the air in design. Let’s discuss negative space.

What Is Negative Space in Design? Basically, negative space — or white space, as it’s often called — is the area of the layout which is left empty. It may be not only around the objects you place in the layout but also between and inside them. Negative space is a kind of breathing room for all the object on the page or screen. Not only does it define the limits of objects but also creates the necessary bonds between them according to Gestalt principles and builds up effective visual performance. Due to that, white space is a rightful design element that has a big impact on positive user experience. «White space is like a canvas: it’s the background that holds the elements together in a design, enabling them to stand out» — says Mads Soegaard from Interaction Design Foundation.

Negative space in graphic design is often seen in logos, on illustrations, posters and creative lettering where it becomes an active part of the visual presentation making key objects even more expressive. For example, in the blog illustration below we can see how the background element (moon) plays the role of contrasting negative space making the astronaut look more vivid and dynamic.

In UI design for websites and mobile apps, negative space is a big factor of high usability and navigability of the interface. The negative space around the layout elements is also called macro space whereas the space between them and inside (for letters and stroke elements) is also called micro space. For web design company visit Vivid Designs

What Is the Difference Between White Space and Negative Space? Short answer: no difference. These terms are fully interchangeable.

Why is this phenomenon called in two different terms? It’s easy to answer if you trace the origins. The term «white space» comes from print design since the times when pages were mostly white, so white space was everything around, between and inside the letters or symbols as well as around illustrations. Today, used in design, this term has nothing to do with white color: it’s all about empty space rather than color. The term «negative space» comes from photography: on a photo shot, they define positive space (objects attracting attention) and negative space (background).

What is important to remember that negative space in web design doesn’t have to be only white — you may use any color, texture, even pattern or background image.

Why Is Negative Space Important? Imagine yourself coming into a room fully packed with various staff. Shelves, boxes, bags, piles of books and clothes, the desk cluttered with various things. Will you be able to concentrate on such conditions? Do you really need all those things right now? Will you be able to find what you need and how much time will it take? Well, that’s pretty the same what users feel opening the page or screen without a vital air of negative space.

Both clients and some designers may want to put as many elements and features as possible on one page or screen thinking that it will save the game and will be helpful for clients. But that’s a mistake: in fact, users don’t need everything at once. Even more, too many elements without enough air significantly raise the level of distraction: overloaded with information and interactive elements most of which they DON’T need, users will have to take an effort to find what they DO need. As Aarron Walter mentioned, «if everything yells for your viewer’s attention, nothing is heard».

Among the benefits of a thoughtful approach to negative space in design, we could mention the following:

it supports scannability of the page it enhances visual hierarchy it makes the bonds between the elements visible and naturally perceived without additional means like tables, frames, arrows it provides enough air on the page so that it didn’t feel cluttered it sets user’s focus on core elements and reduces the level of distraction it adds style and elegance to the page. For example, let’s look on the landing page of Big City Guide. Here the designer applies a background photo and it plays the role of negative space on macro level. Even more, the elements of the photo and the lettering of the main copy element are interconnected: it makes negative space an active element of design and gives the page a united harmonic look.

Core Factors Influenced by Negative Space Using negative space properly may have a considerable impact on the following factors of user experience.

Readability and legibility If there’s not enough space between the elements, they become hard to read and demand additional effort. It may be a strong reason for eye and brain tense although many users won’t be able to formulate the problem. A proper amount of negative space, especially micro space, solves this problem and makes the process more natural. So, negative space directly influences the efficiency of typography on the page or screen. In music, pauses play the same role as sounds. In reading it works the same way: empty spaces placed correctly makes the text easier to read. For website development services in Chennai visit Vivid Designs

Branding If you check any logo guideline, you will find that designers define the appropriate amount of negative space around it so that it was perceived correctly. Breaking this rules is harmful to the visual performance.

Nature of the resource Negative space has an impact on the so-called design tone. For example, news resources will have less white space on the home page than blogs to set the mood and understanding that the platform is full of data which appears dynamically.

Attention ratio Enough negative space enhances visual hierarchy and allows users to focus on the key elements.

Based on that, negative space has an impact on visual perception in such aspects as:

copy content graphic content navigation identity. Let’s check a couple of examples. Here’s a home page for The Big Landscape. Without any visual frames and tables, due to the balanced use of negative space, the designer builds up the strong visual hierarchy and allows the user to scan various blocks of content in split seconds. This way design looks organized but light and airy. White background and layout arrangement make it look similar to a magazine page which harmonically informs the reader about the aims and nature of this online magazine.

Another example is a mobile application Upper app: here the negative space is all black, creating the great contrast to the core elements of the interface. For all the screen, only one straight line is used. Nevertheless, all the layout looks organized and highly readable due to enough air and no distractors. It also supports stylist minimalist elegance to favor aesthetic satisfaction.

Pitfalls to Consider 1. Confusing terminology. When you are talking to clients who may be not deeply familiar with design terms, make sure you explain the meaning of negative space before you describe the design solution. It may be hard for a non-designer to understand why «this screen needed more white space» looking at the totally black background as well as negative space may be associated with something bad — which it is not. So, don’t forget to dot all the i’s before using the terms.

2. Wish to reduce negative space to put more on page or screen. It happens not only in UI design: you may hear how an interior designer recommends saving some space to the client who wants 4 bookcases in one room instead of 2, or an architect explains why there is the need of empty space around the building to make it look and serve better. Even more, sometimes re-planning the elements with the better use of negative space creates the illusion of the room or building being bigger than it really is — and the same happens with data you have to put on a mobile screen or web page. Decide what’s more important, what’s secondary and what can be eliminated so that to navigate the user intuitively. Negative space will help to make the harmonic look of the screen or page even if it’s full of information and functions.

3. Poor prioritization. Negative space is not a cure-all if thought-out information architecture doesn’t stand behind an interface. Before you think about the design skin, you have to decide how a user will find the shortcut to his/her goal and solves his/her problem with an app or website. Plan this route before you make the looks presenting it in style; otherwise, even the best balance of visual elements including negative space won’t work effectively.

 

Building the user-centered web

What is a social network?

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I would like to reclaim some language:

Social is an adjective that means relating to human society and its members. A network is an interconnected system of things or people. Therefore, I’d suggest that we can define a social network as just being an interconnected system of people. The audience of this talk is a social network; so are your friends, colleagues, interest groups and so on. Social networking tools facilitate social networks. The universe of social tools certainly includes web applications with social functionality, but it also includes structured face to face interactions, telephone, post, SMS, email. In other words, the web is just one possible tool for this purpose — albeit a very effective one.

If you build it, they will come

You can’t install a social networking tool and instantly expect usage: Field of Dreams is not a good model for community development. The web is littered with ghost sites created using Ning, Elgg and more that have been established in the hope that a user-base will magically appear; however, if your main selling point is the social network itself, nobody’s going to join until that network of people exists and is actively using it. It’s a chicken-and-egg problem.

Therefore, you either need to have an existing network of people to facilitate interactions between (for example, when Facebook launched at Harvard) or compelling functionality that is useful without a network of existing users (for example, Delicious).

If we’re creating a tool that’s useful for the first user who signs up, without a pre-existing social network, then what we’re really talking is a software application that uses the web as an interface, and happens to have social functionality as one of its features.

The web as applications

When the web was conceived, it consisted of documents and pages linked with hypertext: linked words and phrases that, when clicked, would load another, relevant document. Each page had its own Uniform Resource Locator, which allowed you to return to that specific page at any time. Each page could be a destination in itself, and although the sites (collections of pages) could be linked together through hypertext, each one had no need to know about your activities elsewhere on the web. Why would they? Documents don’t have memory; their role is simply to impart information. For Top web design company visit Vivid Designs

Step forward to today, and the web is not entirely made of pages: applications now represent a large amount of the web. (Princeton WordNet defines an application as “a program that gives a computer instructions that provide the user with tools to accomplish a task”; Google Docs, Remember The Milk, Flickr, Delicious etc are all applications by this definition.)

The benefits are tangible: you can access an application’s functionality from any web-compatible device, anywhere in the world. You’re no longer bound to the software you happen to have installed on a particular machine, and you no longer need to worry about whether you’ve remembered to save a particular file onto a particular drive. Because of historic resource limitations, web applications tend to be easier to use, and entirely bypass the need for IT departments, which have unfortunately earned a reputation for being obstacles to productivity in many organizations.

This change of web usage has been reflected in the ongoing development of HTML, the markup language that all web interfaces are written in. The first four versions were largely orientated towards documents; however, HTML 5, currently in development, is the first version that explicitly contains functionality to support web applications. That includes offline storage and usage, sessions, and more advanced interface features. However, aspects of the document-orientated model remain.

Silos of information

Each application is its own atomic destination with its own URL, and is by default only aware of data created within it. That means we need to register for each application we want to use, fragmenting our accounts over potentially hundreds of products and company data centers, and that the documents, files and data we create within them can’t easily be shared with other applications. On my desktop, I can write a document in Word and open it in OpenOffice, or take a Paint doodle and load it in Photoshop, but there’s no easy, generic way to take my bookmarks from Delicious into another bookmarking tool, or to take my Google Docs and open them in Acrobat.com.

Currently, each web application is like a silo: they exist on their own, and if they interoperate at all, it’s through specific links between applications that have to be individually developed. Certainly, data created in an application stays in that application; sometimes you can check your GMail address book for contacts in order to find existing friends on a service you’ve just signed up to, for example, but it’s rare that you can actually export data fully into another product. As many of these services are free, a significant portion of their business models revolve around being able to control user-contributed data, keep users coming back, and sell user-generated activity data for marketing purposes. (One has to question whether the market for personal details will continue to be profitable, or whether, like the web advertising market before it, it will saturate and crash.)

In a social networking tool, the site model means that your contacts, the information you share and any detailed access permissions all relate solely to the application they were created in. However, collaborative spaces in social web applications are like documents: they’re one of the currencies of the social web. Just as I need to be able to use my wordprocessor of choice to edit a document, I need to be able to use my social tool of choice to collaborate with others.

Turning the model upside down

Right now, we have to register with each application we want to use. What if we required each application we used to register with us, in digital identities under our own control?

What if, using these identities, anyone could connect to anyone else, and anyone could store their data anywhere as long as the storage provider followed the same broad standards?

The web itself would become a social networking tool.

This is far more flexible, and future-proof:

Your ability to collaborate is not subject to a single company’s success: social functionality and application infrastructure are inherent in the web itself The possibilities for collaboration are not subject to technology beyond common open standards, which can evolve A wider range of application possibilities is ensured, because web applications gain the ability to interoperate in a general way Privacy and user control are established by allowing a person to determine which application has access to which data By establishing a general standard for social application interactions, the services and technologies used to make connections become less relevant; the Internet is people, one big social network, and users no longer have to worry about how they connect. We can all get on with communicating and collaborating rather than worrying about where we connect. For Web designing  services in New Delhi visit vivid Designs

User-centered identities

Under this model, providing the software that hosts your digital identity becomes big business. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the main service providers, and they’re already fiercely competing to be your identity on the web:

Facebook wants your central identity to be a Facebook account (and arguably have made the user-centric model for the web part of their strategy for a very long time) Google wants it to be a Google account Twitter wants it to be a Twitter account Microsoft wants it to be a Live ID OpenID want it to be any OpenID-capable URL Because I use all of these services, the result is a very complicated identity space. These are a subset of my profiles:

For identities to be usable as a generic standard, you should be able to use any of these — or all of them. Nobody has just one facet (or persona) comprising their identity; everyone has a collection, representing the different parts of their lives. Ben Werdmuller the web strategist for hire doesn’t need to be connected to Ben Werdmuller the Doctor Who fan, who in turn doesn’t need to be connected to the Oxford resident. They can be connected if I choose to make them, but separating parts of your life is part of a user’s control over their identity.

However, that needs to be context-specific, not application-specific. Currently, for example, my Facebook account tends to be personal, while my Twitter tends to be professional. That doesn’t make sense: in order to write personally on Twitter, I either have to accept the collision of those two parts of my life, or I need to create an entirely separate, fragmented Twitter account. Wouldn’t it be better to be able to control who sees which interactions, and choose tools based on the functionality they add to a conversation? Otherwise you have the situation I present above: one identity per communication context per application. That will quickly become unmanageable, and the web will be littered with dead profiles.

Conversely, I believe the future of the web is in atomic digital identities based on permissive, open standards, linked together as an application framework.

How do we make this work?

Problem to solve: user control

First and foremost, the framework for decentralization must be established — in other words, the actual social mesh standards that will make it possible.

Technical mechanisms need to be established for controlling access to a resource or collaborative space, which should be easy to use without removing any of the flexibility of the platform, and should allow for the maintenance of multiple personas.

Another part of access control is allowing a resource to expire gracefully. It’s important to know when to lose data: sometimes documents, resources, spaces, personas or entire identities may be transient and only required for a certain length of time. There’s no need for everything on the web to exist indefinitely; currently, rigorous indexes like Google ensure that much of it does.

Finally, the tools and standards we create must be permissive of goals, content and structure that we might not have thought of. There certainly doesn’t need to be an overarching structure or taxonomy between individual identity spaces, and constraining the technology to a rigid set of activities and data types would limit the scope of the platform.

Problem to solve: ownership

Existing web applications tend to have a single-ownership model for resources. However, Silona Bonewald rightly pointed out to me that this isn’t always the case, and in a free-flowing social mesh, multiple ownership needs to be represented. For example, all collaborators on a resource should have ownership access, unless they explicitly choose to rescind that right.

In a company environment, a user’s employer may have shared ownership (or full ownership, with author access available to the employee). The same may be true with students in a university environment. On sites like Facebook, the service owner may in reality have some ownership rights over the content.

How can we maintain this granularity, but also retain user control?

Problem to solve: privacy & transparency

There is a very public attitude of “when you put something online, it’s published” in some parts of the software development community, which is a useful concept that gives developers carte blanche to share data freely. In a fully user-controlled environment, this public-or-completely-private binary situation can no longer be the case; a resource may have been published to a few select people. Ignoring this trait disallows the platform’s use in important environments like enterprises or public bodies.

When you sign up to a service, you agree to that service’s terms and conditions and privacy policy. However, your data may be farmed out to a collection of other, secondary services via APIs, without your knowledge or consent.

An important aspect of user control is knowing how your data is used and where it is transmitted by the applications you use, so I propose a simple, human-identifiable and machine-readable mark that:

Applies permissions to how my data can be used by applications (like Creative Commons does for shared content) Tells you in a visual way what happens to your data when you visit a site Incorporates multi-ownership It may be that these issues are addressed within the terms and conditions of a service. However, it’s very unlikely that a user will actually read the full contract. Therefore, a simple graphic icon with a link to a plain-English description, with an underlying microformat for machine-readable use, would be a welcome addition to the user experience. As the web becomes more mesh-like and data moves around more freely, conveying what happens to data owned by less-technical end users will become more and more important.

Problem to solve: platform

Finally, while it’s great having a conversation about this, these ideas aren’t useful to anyone unless someone goes ahead and builds it.

There are some existing projects and thinkers who are on these tracks:

The Diso Project is turning the WordPress open source blogging tool into a decentralized digital identity through an array of open standards, and the project’s Chris Messina has a lot of wise things to say about its development. Laconi.ca is a decentralized microblogging platform, whose Open Microblogging standard may be adaptable into a more widely-scoped technology. The Open Stack is a set of developing technologies that address some of the issues. Marc Canter’s Open Mesh treatise goes into detail on many of the issues. All of these are important contributions that strongly address some of the issues; however, we’re still a long way away from the vision of an open, social web.

Conclusion

I believe strongly, for the reasons stated above, that a decentralized, user-centered model for the web is the best way to advance it as an application platform.

Needless to say, I have my own ideas about how to actually build the platform, based on my Making the most of the web principles. However, it has to be a collaborative process: there’s no sense in building an open collaborative standard by yourself. My main concern is that the platform is created and works in an open, lightweight, flexible, easy-to-develop-for way while remaining secure and yielding control to the main user. The result will be an entirely new kind of platform, and presents a unique opportunity for anyone who wants to jump on board.

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Service Oriented Architecture

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Application development has come a long way from developing inter-dependent components that serve the cause of a single application to building several independent modules, extending interfaces that can be called by any client, which communicate using asynchronous messaging protocols. Service oriented architecture constitutes of latter components.

Service oriented architecture or SOA essentially consists of various services that communicate with each other, usually in asynchronous fashion. These services are not bound to any particular language or technology and can be implemented by various means. They either communicate using exposed interfaces or some messaging model.

Some of the earliest acquaintances with SOA were using technologies like DCOM and CORBA. DCOM or Distributed Component Object Model was designed for use across multiple network transports. It is based on RPC or Remote Procedure Call and primarily works on Microsoft Windows. CORBA or Common Object Request Broker Architecture was developed keeping inter-operability in mind. A CORBA-based program from any vendor, on almost any computer, operating system, programming language and network can interoperate with another CORBA-based program from any vendor on any computer, operating system, programming language and network. For Web development company visit Vivid Designs

These technologies, however, haven’t been very popular with vendors for SOA-based applications because of their complexities and inefficient platform support. This is where Web Services comes into picture.

Web Services is an industry standard interface and connectivity technology. WSDL or Web Services Description Language, the interface description language used by Web Services, is self-describing and SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol, its messaging protocol, is based on XML data interchange. It has fulfilled the long-awaited wish of enterprise application developers by truly separating the interface from the implementation and, because of its widespread adoption over the years, has become synonymous with service-oriented architecture. Its simplicity, openness and wide-spread use has changed the landscape of Enterprise Application Integration giving traditional EAI companies a run for their money. For Web development company in Mumbai visit Vivid Designs

Many companies all over the world are phasing their existing applications to service oriented architecture to make their business applications accessible to the clients and business partners, and to improve information sharing.

SOA has changed the way enterprise applications are built, with the lines between application development and application integration gradually fading.

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You got the client, now it’s time to set your web design schedule

In Part 2 of the PMGEP (Project Manager’s Guide to Extraordinary Projects) we covered the contract process and the importance of having a signed agreement in place before any work begins.

Now that the contract has been signed its time for you and your team to get to work! However, before you start churning out wireframes and comps all nimbly bimbly, you need a plan of attack in the form of a web design schedule.

Developing and maintaining a schedule is the single most important function of a Project Manager’s job and plays a HUGE role in the success of a project. If you don’t take the time to plan out and set the project’s milestones and delivery dates, it will no doubt lead to confusion between you, your team, and the client. But not to fear! I’m going to show you the process that I use to get every project off on the right foot.

Start with what you know Before you start throwing random delivery dates on to a calendar, let’s first start with what you know about the project. When is your client’s desired completion date? Most clients have a timetable in mind for their project and it’s likely that date was made clear during the contract phase.

Once you have that date, you now know two very important pieces of information that you’ll need when building a schedule; when you start (when the contract was signed) and when you stop (upon completion). Now you just need to fill in the gaps!

If you don’t take the time to plan out and set the project’s milestones and delivery dates, it will no doubt lead to confusion between you, your team, and the client. By now, you probably have all of the requirements in hand since the majority of these (if not all) should be written in to the agreement between you and your client.

However if you’re still unclear as to what the client is expecting, now is the time to get the requirements solidified.

Assuming you have these things in place, you should have the information you need to begin planning out your web design schedule. As I think most would agree, a single page contains many layers that need to be addressed before moving on to development.

A page needs to be brainstormed, wire framed, designed, and signed-off on before it can be coded. And since a home page design then typically dictates and influences the look of subsequent interior pages, it’s likely that you’ll be able to plan the secondary pages shortly there after. f you are looking for Web development company check Vivid Designs

Simply thinking your way through the requirements and mapping out how to get from A to B will help you put deliverables in the proper order on your project schedule. Once you’ve outlined the order of events, you can then begin filling in delivery dates for each item. But how long does it take to complete each of the tasks you’ve put on your schedule?

Getting your web design ducks in a row Trying to allot the proper amount of time per task is important since there are many variables that could possibly affect completion time. You need to factor in not only time spent doing the work, but also time for client feedback and subsequent revisions.

We’d all love it if we nailed a design on the first try, but you can’t expect that to happen every time. We’d all love it if we nailed a design on the first try, but you can’t expect that to happen every time. You have to allow time for dialog between you and your client and build in extra hours to make changes to your work based on those conversations. If you’re not sure how long a particular task will take you, heck even if you do know, try and add in more time for completion of that deliverable.

Believe me, your client won’t be upset if you over estimated and deliver early, but you can bet you’ll be getting an earful about it if you miss a deadline that YOU set!

The client impact Even though your team will be responsible for most of the deliverables, it is important that you don’t forget to assign your client their own “homework” as well.

If they take a look at your project schedule and don’t see their name anywhere, they might be more likely to go into cruise control mode thinking that your team has it all covered.

A client needs to know that the success of a project depends just as much on their involvement as it does yours. Timely feedback, project priority checks, and constant communication are all responsibilities of a good client. If they fail to meet a milestone assigned to them, they need to understand that it could negatively impact a deliverable scheduled down the line; which could potentially push back their desired launch date and completion.

Keep in mind that if you don’t assign your client any action items and they fail to provide the feedback you need, you will have a very difficult time trying to explain that the deadline you missed was anyone’s fault but your own.

Review, review, and review some more At this point you should have a pretty concrete schedule outlined, but you aren’t quite ready to send it over to your client. Even though you can become quite familiar with how long a given task usually takes the team, it’s always important that you review your schedule internally before unveiling your timeline to the client.

It’s important to review your schedule internally before unveiling your timeline to the client. Your team of web designers and developers may be more familiar with the intimate details of a deliverable and can point out that it may take significantly more time to complete than you’ve allocated. Take this juncture to collaborate and make necessary adjustments since it will be far much harder to backtrack once the project schedule has been finalized.

Also, now is not the time to forget about your other clients! Many firms carry more than one client at a time and many have the same resources working on both projects. Be sure that you review your other project’s schedules to make absolutely sure that you haven’t “double-booked” your teammates by giving them two major action items that are due on the same day. For Web development company in Bangalore visit Vivid Designs

Spacing out delivery dates between projects can not only lessen the stress levels of your team members, but can give you a slight cushion if something goes wrong on one project and you need to temporarily shift your resources to another project.

The web design schedule for all the world to see Once you’ve dotted all of your i’s and crossed all of your t’s, it’s time to send your schedule to the client for review and sign-off. They may suggest additional edits which could send you back to the drawing board, but their input is vital to forming an extraordinary schedule that will put your project on the fast track to success.

When everyone agrees on the final schedule, I recommend putting the milestones and delivery dates on to a calendar that everyone can access. Whether you use something like Basecamp or a Google Calendar, having the schedule in a central location will allow everyone to check up on the project if they have a question about when something is due or what’s next on the agenda.

I also recommend that you review the schedule at various points throughout the life cycle of the project. Just because everyone can access the schedule doesn’t mean they actually read it!

Typically I like to review the project schedule in detail on a kick-off call at the beginning of the project, and then after each major milestone. That way there is very little chance that something will be missed or that someone isn’t aware of what is expected of them.

Be like water There is a famous quote by the legendary Bruce Lee that reads, “If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.” In short, what he’s saying is that you have to be willing to adapt to situations and environments if you want to succeed.

“If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.” — Bruce Lee This kung-fu metaphor speaks volumes of the importance of maintaining your schedule once it has been put in place. Things happen over the course of a project that can throw your carefully laid plans out of whack. Requirements change and unforeseen snags can take longer than expected to resolve. While it is important to stick to the schedule and drive toward your goals, you can’t be afraid to rework your schedule if the project landscape changes.

If this happens, be sure to set a new schedule that fits the new requirements. Don’t just start plugging away at the old deliverables knowing that the dates are no longer valid. Wash away the confusion by being proactive and make the necessary adjustments the project requires. Be like water.

And another one… Hopefully this article has given you some good advice on how to set your next project schedule. While everything most likely won’t go according to plan, the important thing is that you are constantly thinking about the plan and working towards set goals.

But remember, a web design schedule is just the road map, you still have to stay behind the wheel and steer. It’s up to you to do your best and put your team and the project in a position to succeed. That’s right, now drop and give me 50!

P.S. Check out Part 4 of the PGMEP where we’ll take a look at time tracking and how starting to watch the clock now can help you and your team on future projects!

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Jeep Compass Facelift Review

Jeep Compass Overview

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after a long delay finally made their India debut back in 2016 with two exciting products which included the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Both these SUV’s were sold in the Indian market via the CBU route and thus were expensive and well above the reach of many. However, that is all going to change now because Jeep has decided to launch a new SUV which is well within reach of buyers. Check for Jeep models On Road Price in Chennai at CarzPrice

Jeep has unveiled the Compass SUV in India today, and the good thing is that the compact SUV is made in India product which also means that the new product will also be priced quite aggressively as well. The brands new product will be locally assembled at their Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra from June onward. The new Jeep Compass replaces the old Compass and Patriot SUV in the International market, and apart from the Indian market, the same SUV is also produced in some other Countries as well. However, the good news is that India will be mother hub for right-hand drive Compass SUV from where it will also be exported to some other right-hand drive markets as well. For all your information the Compass SUV is offered with 17 engine options for different markets of the world.

Jeep Compass Design & Style

At first glance it is easy to see what inspired the designers of the Compass – its bigger brother, the Grand Cherokee; this is especially obvious when you look at it from the front. But apart from that, the Compass has its own identity.The Jeep Compass looks tough but also premium, sophisticatedly brawny almost. At the front, the highlights include the wide swath of black that stretches from one headlight to the other – including the modern take on Jeep’s iconic 7-slat (chrome lines) grille. The headlamps have a white element in them which help them pop out – an almost animalistic ‘eyes’ look, according to Jeep’s lead designer Mark Allen. They also contain LED guide lights, these are not DRLs – the actual DRLs actually sit on the bumper, just above the fog lamps. The clamshell hood is sculpted, with a slight power bulge in the middle, but the lines on it are not harsh – Jeep wanted the Compass to look more inviting. The Jeep logo sits on the bonnet, just above the grille. A small horizontal slat-like grille on the painted part of the bumper helps break the huge swath between the main grille and air dam, it also directs air towards the radiator. The air dam is as wide as the main grille and taller – it adds to the muscular look at the front. A chrome lip at the bottom of the air dam adds a bit of bling.The bulk of the Compass is actually hidden well thanks to the use of a thick black cladding that goes all around the car. The Jeep-signature trapezoidal wheel arches contain the 17-inch silver alloy wheels shod with Firestone 225/60 section all-weather tyres; it feels like larger wheels could have made the Compass look even better. Surface detailing like the lines over the wheel arches, the prominent line that passes through the door handles onto the taillamps etc. make the compact SUV exciting to look at. Prominent ‘Compass’ badges are placed on both the front doors. The crowning jewel of the design here is the chrome line that separates the contrast-painted roof from the rest of the body – this line goes all the way from one outside rearview mirror (ORVM), over the windows, swoops down under the rear windshield, up over the windows on the other side to finally end at the other ORVM. The roof line seems to flow down towards the rear, while the windowline rises up, adding a kink at the very end of the windowline and the C-pillar looks like – according to Jeep – a shark fin! The roof rails and the spoiler do not stand out too much.At the rear, the design of the Compass becomes a bit sedate. Highlights here include the wraparound rear windshield with the chrome line running across its base, a two-part taillamps which consists of a prominent LED guide-light (mimicking the units in the headlamps), a slightly recessed number plate holder and a two part bumper with integrated fog lamps. The Jeep logo sits on a carved out recess just below the windshield, a unique touch.Look all around and the Jeep Compass feels solid, the panel gaps are consistent and the paint quality is impressive. The Jeep Compass is offered in five colour options – Exotic Red, Brilliant Black, Minimal Grey, Vocal White and Hydro Blue (the colour of the car you see in the pictures).

Jeep Compass Comfort & Space

The Jeep Compass India gets dual tone interiors with black and sky grey colours. The instrument panel design is neat and it does stand out. There is a three-spoke steering wheel with controls, a twin dial instrument cluster with driver information system. Fiat was the first brand in its segment to offer driver information system in the Linea and even the Punto. Jeep is also setting new standards.

Jeep Compass – Rear Seats (2)The centre console has a 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Then there is the climate control followed by the off-road hardware. Controls to move into different modes. Then there is the electronic parking brake, which can be seen on all the models. The space on offer is good enough. The front seats offer very good bolstering and are comfortable. There is more than sufficient head room and knee room for tall persons too.

Jeep Compass Rear MotionSlide into the rear seats and you won’t be disappointed either. There is more than sufficient space for tall occupants even at the rear. The boot size is also large enough making it more than sufficient in size to carry luggage for an entire weekend. Whats more the seats fold 60:40 making it a lot more flexible too. In terms of safety, two airbags and ABS will be offered as a standard feature.

Jeep Compass Performance

The diesel version we drove comes powered with Fiat’s new generation 2.0-litre Multijet II engine that debuts in India on the Compass. It makes 173PS of power at 3750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. The torque is available from 1800rpm onwards below which there is noticeable turbo lag. The narrow, winding roads of Goa didn’t quite allow us to accelerate hard but the motor did feel like the power delivery could have been punchier. The engine is smooth but sounds clattery at idle and is a tad noisy even on the go, especially after 3500rpm.

Interestingly, the diesel version of the Compass will not be offered with an automatic transmission and will only come with a six-speed manual transmission. There will be a 7-speed automatic on offer as well, but only with the petrol version powered by the 1.4-litre Multiair engine. That said, a new 9-speed automatic is expected to be offered in the diesel by the end of the calendar year. The manual gearbox feels slick to use though, and gear changes have a precise feel which makes shifting up or down a delight when driving enthusiastically.

Jeep Compass Drive & Handling

Jeep has impressed us in this department by offering Frequency Selective Damping suspension. The Compass is dynamically rich both on and off-road, having such equipment such as Dynamic Steering Torque (DST), Selec-Terrain and Jeep Active Drive. The ride is fantastic that filters out the bumps and potholes very well. The suspension is well damped and it’s only on huge craters that you feel the thuds filtering inside the cabin. There is some amount of body roll when you push around the bends but the steering feel and feedback is quite impressive for an SUV of this size. The Compass handles corners cleanly maintaining its line very well, thanks to the grippy all weather tyres and the AWD system.

The AWD system comes with four modes Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud. The power is front wheel biased and when it feels the need, the rear wheels come to action. We had an off-road session with the Compass in Goa in slippery and muddy conditions including water fording and a couple of steep inclines and declines. The baby Jeep proved to be quite capable in the rough terrain and it can handle some serious off-roading. The ground clearance is good but still, the front lip panel manages to touch the ground. The brakes are quite effective and offer strong stopping power.

Jeep Compass Safety

There are six airbags on the Limited variant, though lower variants could get fewer. Fog lamps get cornering function, and ABS, EBD, ESP are obviously there, along with electronic rollover mitigation. The showstopper though is Jeep’s trademark SelecTerrain system. The Compass is primarily front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is engaged full-time in auto mode and the system can power the rear wheels whenever it detects a slip. It also offers modes like snow, sand and mud with a mere twist of the rotary knob placed behind the gear lever. There’s hill hold too, and it worked excellently on inclines.

Jeep Compass Price

Jeep Compass Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 15,15,393/- (Compass Sport 1.4 Multi AIR Petrol) to 21,36,870/- (Compass Limited 4X4 O 2.0 Diesel). Get best offers for Jeep Compass from Jeep Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Compass price in Hyderabad

Jeep Compass Bottomline

The Compass is a seriously impressive SUV that seems to take full advantage of Jeep’s experience with SUVs. In fact, look deep into its headlights, past that seven-slot grille, and you can see the years and years of know-how shining through. Prices for the Compass diesel start at a very competitive Rs 15.45 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), with this top-of-the-line Limited (O) 4 X 4 going for Rs 20.65 lakh. What you get for your money is real off-road ability, strong dynamics and plenty of luxury and comfort on the inside. Sure, the touchscreen isn’t really what’s expected of a car in this class and there are important bits of kit missing, like a sunroof; and those interested will have to contend with Fiat’s less-than-fantastic dealer network. Rear seat comfort could have been better for this segment, and those looking for a diesel automatic SUV will be disappointed as the Compass will get that only at a later stage. But this SUV’s fundamentals are so strong, it’s difficult not to compare it to cars from a class above, like the Volkswagen Tiguan which is a lot more expensive at where it stands today. And that’s the real kicker – the Compass may just be the value luxury SUV you have been waiting for.

Volkswagen Polo GT Facelift Test Drive & Performance

Volkswagen Polo GT Overview

Volkswagen recently launched the facelifted versions of the GT TSI and the GT TDI. The top end GT Polo’s are the go faster versions of the regular Polo. The company first launched these cars in 2013. Volkswagen first launched the Polo GT TSI with a 1.2 litre petrol engine mated a DSG transmission. Then later they came out with Polo GT TDI that came with a diesel engine taken from the Volkswagen Vento.

These cars soon become some of the best hatchbacks available and were soon called “warm” hatchbacks. For the Indian petrol head, these cars are a boon. With power outputs of around 105 PS, they are some of the most powerful hatchbacks available at a decent price.For the facelifted model, the company launched the GT TSI and the GT TDI together but they were launched a month after the regular Polo. So what has changed with the newer cars? From the looks of it, not much actually. Check for Volkswagen cars On Road Price in New Delhi at CarzPrice

Volkswagen Polo GT Exteriors

The exterior styling of the Polo GT TSi isn’t very different from that of regular Polo. The changes are very minor and the easiest way to determine the difference is by spotting the GT and GT TSi badges around the car. The other difference on the GT TSi are the new alloy wheels, black-colours wing matters and the black-coloured spoiler. The Polo GT comes in multiple colours, though the best one is the red that has been retained from the first-launched Polo. That is the best colour we will recommend to get the Polo in. The Polo GT looks a lot more sporty than the regular Polo.

The Polo still looks fresh in design and with its new chrome additions, it still looks upmarket. The German automaker’s paint quality just makes the Polo look so good and adds to the premium-ness. The red colour that our GT TDI came in, is not available on the regular Polo. The Polo doesn’t fail to appeal to us. The regular Polo looks premium in styling, and looks best in the blue colour. The alloy wheels add some more styling to the Polo.

Volkswagen Polo GT Interiors

On the inside though, there are quite a few changes. The seats now get sportier black and grey fabrics with contrast stitching, the Polo GT TSI gets the climate control system from the Vento as well as a new 2-DIN audio system that incorporates USB, Aux-in and an SD card reader on its faceplate. Sadly, sound quality isn’t all that great. Plastic quality and fit and finish are good, but not exceptional like on the bigger VW’s and space and comfort are exactly the same as you would find on a regular Polo.

Volkswagen Polo GT Performance

It is an entertaining engine and gearbox combination. Peak torque kicks in at a low 1400rpm and post this, the engine has a strong midrange. It will also pull happily up to its 6000rpm redline, but it does get a bit thrashy after 5000rpm. It isn’t as smooth as say, the TSI motor in the Laura when you rev it hard.Still, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Once you get past that initial tiny bit of lag (the DSG tries its best to hide this) there’s a smile-inducing grunt and the car will get to 100kph in a reasonably quick 11.34sec, which is 0.28sec quicker than the Polo 1.6 (0-100kph in 11.62 sec). Throttle response is reasonably linear and the car feels peppy thanks to peak torque being made all the way from 1500rpm to 4100rpm. Despite that, the lack of sheer displacement can still be felt, especially when you get to around 140kph where the rate of acceleration slows down. VW’s ARAI-tested fuel efficiency figure for the car is 17.2kpl.

Now, because the car is called the GT, you might expect a sporty suspension setup, but that is not the case here. Sure, the GT TSI has its own specific setup – but ground clearance remains the same as the other Polos in the range and the spring and damper rates have clearly been tuned with comfort in mind. That’s not to say that the car is soft and wallowy and it is, in fact, quite the opposite. Push it hard through corners and the Polo GT will stick with you most of the time. There’s decent body control, the steering is direct and accurate enough (it lacks any real feedback though) and there’s good grip from the 185/60 R15 tyres (the same as on a regular Polo Highline). This, combined with the engine’s enthusiasm makes for a car that is fun to punt down your favourite twisty road. Push it to the limit however and it will show its limitations in the form of some understeer and bobbing over undulations.

Volkswagen Polo GT Ride & Handling

If roads are smooth with very small bad patches then it behave like leech just stick to road no matter what is the speed. If there are worse roads then you will hear some unpleasant noises from suspensions. Really not happy with suspensions on bad roads though there is not any problems to pessangers but this is small flaw.Steering connects you with road directly.and easy and light. Really quite in cabin.no noise protrude in cabin.i don’t want to take any competitors names but this car is way ahead in this department from it’s all competitors. For information on contact details of Volkswagen car dealers in Mumbai visit volkswagenprice.in

Volkswagen Polo GT Safety Features

Safety equipment on the Polo GT includes electronic stabilization programme, hill-hold control, dual-front airbags, ABS and front fog lamps with cornering lights. The exterior profile gets several styling elements like dual-beam halogen headlamps in black finish, chrome application on air dam, GT badge on front grille and GT doorstep garnish. Cabin packs sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel with controls for audio Bluetooth and voice command.

Volkswagen Polo GT Price

Volkswagen Polo Gt Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 9,17,792/- (Polo GT TSI) to 9,32,555/- (Polo GT TDI). Get best offers for Volkswagen Polo Gt from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Polo GT price in Hyderabad

Volkswagen Polo GT Verdict

The price tag of Rs 8.08 lakh is slightly on the higher side, considering the fact that the only major change is the bigger engine. But then it is actually not Volkswagen’s fault – the 1.6-litre engine means it does not qualify as a small car as per the Indian tax regime and you have plenty of options that are bigger and yet fit the bill at the price point. The top-end Maruti Suzuki Dzire and Honda Amaze with extra boot space are available for a lower price tag, but neither would match the GT TDI in performance and handling. And that is the reason why it has been launched as a sort of a limited edition model. This is not for those looking for the biggest car their money can buy, but for those looking at a quick, convenient hatchback with benefits of a diesel

Audi Q3 Engine & Transmission

Audi Q3 Overview

When it was launched in 2012 the Q3 was Audi’s shift in focus from distinguishing itself in a new market to boosting its sale numbers and targeting a new, younger customer over your regular 45+ something Indian millionaire/billionaire. At just a couple of lakhs over the price of the entry level A3 sedan, the Q3 still isn’t far away from the entry ticket (A3 sedan) into the Ingolstadt marque’s luxury club. It’s been facing some stiff competition from the BMW X1 and the GLA of late and the next generation update is still about a year away. Can a new frugal petrol engine, and an also new, frugal and more powerful diesel mill encourage you to put your money on the four-ringed contender? Check for Audi cars Price, Review & Specifications at CarzPrice

Audi Q3 Design

The Q3 cuts a handsome figure and the silhouette remains the same in the 2017 Q3 as well. The updates include a redesigned bumper, large faux air dam and some more plastic cladding. The cladding on the doors features streaks that look distinctive and much better than featureless plastic on the sides of the door. The update also includes standard 17-inch alloy wheels as well as LED headlamps and tail lamps as standard across the range. The Q3 also gets dynamic turn indicators, which is steadily turning out to be a signature Audi feature

Audi Q3 CAbin

There are no major changes to report in the cabin. The Audi Q3 carries forward with the same neat dashboard and generally user-friendly interior. Quality is up there with more expensive Audis and though the seats are not real leather but leatherette, the ambience inside is what you’d expect in a premium SUV. You sit reasonably high up in a Q3, the front seats are generous in size and support and even the rear seat is spacious enough for two adults to sit in comfort.

With the update, Audi has streamlined the variants on offer. The 30TFSI and 30TDI can only be had in Premium trim while the 35TDI is available in Premium Plus and Technology trim too. What is nice is that even the Premium variants get much wanted goodies like a panoramic sunroof and electrically adjustable front seats. The Premium Plus trim doesn’t get more features but adds in richer aluminium-look inlays. The top-spec Technology variant is pricey but your money does get you paddle shifters, SD card-based navigation, a reverse camera and a colour multi-info display in the instruments binnacle among other features.The Q3 runs Audi’s MMI infotainment system. It is easy enough to use but the interface doesn’t look as slick as that in the newer Audis and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support either.

Audi Q3 Engine & Transmission

The smooth, 1.4-litre TFSI petrol motor in the Q3 develops 150PS at 5,000-6,000rpm and 250Nm between 1,500-3,500rpm. While the figures may seem paltry for the price of an SUV, it’s a pleasant surprise to discover that the petrol Q3 never feels as if it’s run out of breath. This is evident in the 9.5s it took to cover the 0-100kmph dash. The 6-speed, dual-clutch transmission also does a brilliant job of keeping the Q3 in the power band at all times. The Q3 gets four driving modes – Efficiency, Comfort, Auto and Dynamic, each altering the steering, acceleration and shift points. Comfort and Auto is ideal for commutes in the city, but if you are in the mood for some fun, the Dynamic mode offers quicker acceleration as the shift points moves to the redline, making full use of the engine’s power.

Efficiency, as the name suggests, optimises the aforementioned parameters to deliver the best possible fuel economy. The gearbox, in this mode, shifts to the next gear just under 2,000rpm and if you lift off to coast, the revs drop to 800rpm, thereby saving every drop of fuel. Which is why there’s no surprise that petrol Q3 returned 10.7kmpl in the city and 15.8kmpl on the highway, which is actually quite impressive. The figure, however, I presume, could have been even better if Audi would’ve not skipped the 1.4 TFSI’s Cylinder On Demand feature. The system shuts off two cylinders while cruising between 90-125kmph or at low speeds (25-40kmph) and this feature is available in the 2017 A3 sedan.

While the petrol is really good, the 35 TDI engine is the one that takes the cake. What hits you first is the sheer refinement of this motor, and the way the tacho needle races to the redline.And then there’s the performance. The 184PS, 380Nm engine propels the Q3 from 0-100kmph in just 8.1 seconds, and our tests revealed that in-gear acceleration too is quicker than the petrol Q3. While performance has improved, fuel efficiency surprisingly remains pretty much the same as what the previous Q3 returned. At 12.9kmpl in the city and 18.1kmpl on the highway, the diesel Q3’s efficiency is also at par with its segment rivals.

Audi Q3 Ride & Handling

The ride quality of the Q3 is on the firmer side when compared to its silky smooth Q brethren – the Q5 and the Q7. That said it’s still perfectly composed over any obstacle you will encounter in town. From small to large bumps you remain quite isolated and comfortable. There is also very little vertical or lateral movement from uneven surfaces too. There are some differences in the way the petrol and diesel behave on the road and out on the highway the petrol tends to feel a little flighty, due to some unnerving bouncy vertical movement at high speed, and this may be down to its lighter kerb weight; the diesel on the other hand with a heavier kerb weight and four wheel drive is unsurprisingly more planted on the highway. For information on contact details of Audi car dealers in Hyderabad visit Audiprice.in

The steering is quite light and this is excellent when navigating through city traffic and parking in tight spaces, but when you up the pace through a set of corners you’ll soon find it lacks any feedback. The chassis is quite nice when pushed, with the suspension handling any challenge our bumpy roads care to throw its way. There is a little bit of body roll when you push the car but this too is controlled and soon you can learn to trust the front and let the suspension handle the rest. The petrol engine with its gruff rumble and desire to rev is quite nice when your evil twin shows up behind the wheel, but it’s again let down by the lack of pedals that would have allowed better use of the gearbox while keeping both hands on the wheel. The diesel with its smooth spread of 380Nm of torque is again the more fun of the two even when you’re hooning around.

Audi Q3 Braking and Safety

Audi Q3 is equipped with plenty of braking and safety features for driving control and passenger protection. The primary braking of the wheels is operated by the Ventilated Disc front and Solid disc rear brakes. Moreover, this luxury compact SUV is also equipped with advanced braking features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electric Braking System (EBS), Traction Control and Electronic Stability Programme.

Audi Q3 Price In Hyderabad

Audi Q3 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 33,40,000/- (Q3 30 TFSI Premium AT FWD) to 41,54,250/- (Q3 35 TDI Quattro Technology). Get best offers for Audi Q3 from Audi Dealers in Hyderabad.

Audi Q3 Verdict

With the introduction of the new petrol engine and by skimping on some features like a reverse parking camera, paddle shifters and the higher resolution instrument cluster screen, Audi has managed to keep the low entry price for the Q3 range similar in the hopes of attracting a few more buyers. But really the pick of the bunch is the new diesel. It’s a much more pleasant driving experience, is quattro equipped and also doesn’t skimp out on features that the petrol misses.If you feel that the badge on the car is worth sacrificing some creature comforts for, and you’re sure you will never feel the urge to mash that throttle pedal, and with no one wiser that your pride and joy is slightly lacking in displacement, the petrol (five lakhs cheaper than the diesel) may make enough sense.

Mercedes Benz AMG GT Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is just another masterpiece from the German luxury carmaker. Unveiled at the Paris Auto Show 2014, this sports car has finally arrived here in India. For now, only one variant is launched, which is the AMG GT S. It is the fifth AMG model by Merc and is last but one in the company’s 15-car launch plan for India this year. It is only the second sports car after SLS AMG, which is designed and developed wholly by the manufacturer. Under the hood, there lies a 4.0-litre, bi-turbo petrol engine. It propels this GT S to an electronically regulated top speed of 310 Kmph and clocks 100 Kmph mark from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds. This sports car represents the next level of build quality in the auto industry. It comes with the latest design language featuring almond shaped LED headlamps and a signature grille with company’s star embedded on it. The overall exterior design looks flawless and there is no wonder it if its gets your attention at first sight. The same is the case with its interior design, thanks to the use of premium leather upholstery. Also, glossy black and chrome accents insides adds a bit more sophistication to the cabin. As a standard feature, it comes with ‘Designo headlining in black dinamica microfiber’ that renders it an exclusivity.

EXTERIORS ;

Design is its highest talking point and why not as it won the Red Dot Award for the innovative design. Bonnet is long and wide, marked by the sculpted wheel arches that penetrate into the edged of the engine hood. Exterior styling isn’t very elaborate and that is what makes it even more classy and interesting. Bonnet gets subtle lines, up front, the large black radiator grille with chrome treated Mercedes emblem and sleek chrome line running across the grille appears elegant. Air intakes are large too, adding aggression to the front profile. The lower grille is also finished in black. Coming to the LED head lamps, these have been carved intricately; it features a couple of elements that looks upmarket. The bonnet is so long that the windscreen appears short; the all black wing mirrors go well with the black roof. Side profile is chic, all thanks to the large black finished 19 inch wheels in front and 20 inch wheels at rear. Rear gets extremely lean LED tail lamps, Lift-back style trunk lid, dual chrome tail pipes, reflectors and the roof cascades beautifully into the rear. Window frame is petite and curvy featuring black outlining. Yet another interesting fact is that chrome work is minimal, instead the vehicle gets more of black finishing that for some reason looks posh.

INTERIORS ;

The interior section is just a continuation of its exterior design language. It comes with a blend of classy theme and extreme sporty characteristics that makes it stand-out amongst others. As we can see there is an extensive use of leather inside the cabin highlighted by glossy black and chrome accents. Its floor console has an impressive design and is housed with dial type control switches along with push buttons. Also, it features a touch controller along with a shift knob. The seats are of AMG sports design and covered with premium grade leather upholstery. We can also see the door panels with this upholstery, which only elevates its exclusivity. The steering wheel has a specific three-spoke flat bottomed design. However, it is wrapped with a combination of leather and velvet upholstery making the cabin look even more exclusive. The instrument panel has a twin-tube design, but also has a color screen that displays all the informatics. All the air vents inside have a chrome garnish, which further boost the regal stance of the insides. The central console is mounted with an infotainment screen that is integrated with touch controls. As for the conveniences, we can see a few facilities like a glove box, inside mirrors, cabin lights and much more. The cabin is designed to accommodate only two occupants along with luggage at rear section.

Currently, this vehicle from Mercedes Benz comes only in one variant. Unlike other sports cars, it features better equipment and facilities, which only offer luxurious traveling experience. As a standard feature, it comes with a specific AMG package including performance steering wheel, instrument cluster, sports seats, ambient lighting and floor mats with AMG lettering. As for the comfort, this vehicle comes integrated with a reversing camera along with PARKTRONIC system that aids driver while parking in tight corners. Also, it has a cruise control system that eases the efforts while driving on highways. This variant is also packaged with features like memory package along with heated front seats, KEYLESS-GO package, windscreen wipers with rain sensors, mirror package and illuminated AMG door sills in brushed stainless steel. The manufacturer is also offering a list of features as optional package for the buyers. Those include AMG performance seats, carbon fibre package and other such features.

PERFORMANCE ;

The same engine that powers the C63 AMG S is also found under the hood the Mercedes AMG GT-S. The 4.0-litre, V8, Bi-Turbo engine puts out 510 horses and 650 Nm of torque. It comes with the 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission. The engine is far from tame and it can be best described as a wild animal. Power delivery is instantaneous right from stepping on the gas and what is turbo lag?! Baby the throttle and the AMG GT-S will potter around smoothly with a light burble from the exhaust. Go full out on the pedal and the car will simply take off and reach 100 km/hr in less than 4 seconds.

Since all the power is sent out to the rear wheels, there is a lot of wheel spin and the car twitches a lot under hard acceleration too. The engine has so much punch that it just goes on and on right up to the 7000 RPM redline with a very loud growl. The powerplant never feels strained out and the speeds it can do in a matter of seconds is mind boggling! At extremely high speeds, the AMG GT-S feels raw and it transforms itself into a missile. The driver gets a lot of feedback from the car and the fun factor that you get feels very unadulterated. The supercar also comes with a rear wing which pops out at different speeds depending on the driving mode chosen, but you can always choose to pop it up manually too.

You get different modes to choose from – Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race. In the first 3 modes, the exhaust noise gets a little tamed down while performance remains good but not as ballistic as the latter 2 modes. In Sport+ and Race, the exhaust comes up at full volume and performance is also top notch, while the chassis feels much more tighter. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT gearbox is splendid and does its job very nicely. Fuel efficiency is something that should just not be discussed while talking about performance cars. But for those who are still curious, well, the Mercedes AMG GT-S will probably churn out 3-5 km/l if it’s driven the way it’s meant to be driven.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Driving the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT is an event. Whatever engine you choose, acceleration is instantaneous yet controllable, and the turbocharged V8 feels as if it’s even more powerful than its lofty specs would indicate. When fitted with the performance exhaust (optional on the GT, standard on the GT S), a bypass valve opens that amps up the V8’s full-throated roar and sends a shiver down your spine. The neighbors may be less impressed, however.

Most cars these days have electric power steering, but the GT’s old-school hydraulic setup is gloriously direct, responsive and characterized by a class-leading amount of feedback. Together with its superb suspension tuning, excellent brakes and sharp transmission, the GT is an effortlessly fast sports car. Whereas earlier AMG offerings had all the delicacy of a chainsaw when carving up a back road, the GT feels like a far more precise instrument when you’re pushing hard. Driven more sedately, it’s a pretty civilized beast, but its ride quality is certainly on the firm side. In particular, watch out for the AMG Dynamic Plus package’s stiffened suspension. Even with the adaptive dampers on their most supple setting, impacts are transmitted through the seats with an un-Mercedes-like harshness.

SAFETY ;

On the safety front, the Mercedes AMG GT-S comes equipped with ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Brake Lights, AMG high performance composite brake system, PRE-SAFE, ESP, TPMS, Automatic Child Seat Recognition and front, knee, side (thorax and pelvis) airbags for the driver and co-driver apart from windowbags. Mercedes also has one of the best after-sales service among the premium marquees.

VERDICT ;

The AMG GT opens a new era for Mercedes-Benz and AMG, as the Germans now have the tools to go against the Porsche 911, the benchmark for all sports cars. With the SLR McLaren and the SLS AMG as its spiritual predecessors, the Mercedes-AMG GT has some big shoes to fill, but it seems AMG has reached a stage where it no longer focuses on brute power alone, but on a package that brings lightness, force, and fuel efficiency under the same roof. It remains to be seen whether or not the GT has what it takes to give the 911 a run for its money, but the preliminary details suggest Stuttgart is about to host an epic battle. Needless to say, the AMG GT has that classic front-engine sports car appeal that many manufacturers fail to obtain.

 

Mahindra TUV300 Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Compact SUVs, they come in two sizes – S and XS, the latter getting the crucial excise duty advantage and yet we have very few options. Mahindra quite literally started the sub 4-metre compact SUV segment (the highly outdated Premier RiO aside) by taking a big saw and chopping off the backside of its Xylo MPV, OK, there certainly is more than what meets the eye but I digress. The MPV based Quanto faltered on many fronts and new entrants in the segment lead to sales dropping drastically. Time for a new SUV for the UV specialist then, only thing being, the TUV300 isn’t the successor to the Quanto but we at MotorBeam feel it fills those shoes till the updated model is launched. After driving it on the Mahindra test track, we quite liked the product but time for a detailed road test to judge the real character of this “Tough Utility Vehicle”. Check for TUV300 price in Kolkata

EXTERIORS ;

Taking inspiration from the ‘battle tank’, TUV300 has been shaped in a rather boxy manner which may or may not go well with the customer, reason being that some may find it tough and rugged while others may think that it is too plain jane to stand competition like Hyundai Creta, Maruti S-Cross, Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. Mahindra TUV300 pictures of the outside testify the company’s attempt to come up with a rugged vehicle, but what really works for the SUV is that despite its small size it manages to appeal customers and is not mistaken for an oversized hatchback. Despite its sub-four meter length, the SUV does not seem petite or compressed, probably because it is not feature clad on the outside, the unnecessary styling to make it look sporty has been skipped which works well for it. Front is bold, the engine hood is short and front apron is unusually wide. Radiator grille is reminiscent of Jeep and a hint of chrome is evident around the rectangular openings. Head lights are designed in such as way that fits well with the bold front end. Body coloured lower bumper gets square shaped fog lights featuring chrome surrounds. Air inlets are again wide that add to the aggressive stance. Wheel arches are rather rectangular than round, side view is simple, the black treatment around the window frame, dual tone power adjustable ORVMs, body painted outside door handles and window beltline altogether lends a suave look. Rear too has been designed in line with the rest of the body, a set of simple tail lights and mounted spare wheel are equipped on the tailgate. And the black painted roof rails have been atop appear sport. Get deals on TUV300

INTERIORS ;

The cabin of the TUV300 is a mix of beige and black, with some dull silver thrown in. While it isn’t the best quality from the Mahindra stable, it does just fine for the price point. The space is enormous, and the cabin proportions felt exact. Taller/heftier members of our team had little to complain about during the drive.The all new dashboard layout is marvellous in our opinion, and Mahindra has perfected its beige-black combination with this particular model. The centre region is coloured in black, while the upper and lower halves are beige.The black design stretches all the way into the front console, extends around the instrument cluster and envelops the steering wheel as well. The centre console is laid out in a simple yet, eye catching manner. We personally feel that it is one of the best looking fascia designs in a Mahindra. The piano black finish for the console adds some zest to the look, and the silver garnish looks nice as well.

Positioned at the top of the console are two AC vents, and right below them is the 2 DIN audio system that comes with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity. The buttons to the radio are spread around the small screen.At the bottom of the fascia, you have three large AC knobs with chrome surrounds. A 12V power socket along with a USB and AUX-In port have been integrated in front of the gear lever, and resting between the front seats are cup holders and other storage options. Power switches for all four windows are also hosted in the console area between the seats, while a small storage pocket is present behind the hand brake. We personally felt that these small pockets wouldn’t hold anything substantial, but you could find them useful for keeping spare change or your keys.

Look up at the roof and you’ll find a cabin light console that resembles that of the Scorpio. Also included here are swivel lamps and a Bluetooth mic. Talking about the inner comfort, we were quite satisfied with the ergonomic build-up of the seating. The front passengers get the benefit of the individual armrests, while headrests for all of the seats further ramp up the comfort. The vinyl and fabric mixed upholstery quality is acceptable. The steering wheel inherits the standard Mahindra design that you can easily spot in other vehicles of the brand including the Scorpio and XUV500. The shiny emblem of the company rests at the focus of the wheel, and audio controls have been incorporated at the left.

The chunky steering wheel is nice to hold. For the top end variants, there is a silver garnish on the lower side of the wheel, which adds an upmarket touch. In front of the steering wheel, the instrument cluster houses the tachometer and the speedometer, and when you take a closer look, it feels as though the company never falls short of chrome. The dials have a chrome touch too.

PERFORMANCE ;

Mahindra offers the TUV300 with a 1.5-litre diesel engine. But, it comes in two states of tune. First being the mHawk80 which has a power of about 84bhp, while the second engine is the mHawk100, which produces close to 100bhp of power. Both these come with a five-speed manual transmission and the powerful engine has AMT option too. The powerful engine comes only with the top variant T8, with 100bhp. This an improvement over the 80 bhp version.

Engine refinement is good, and there is very limited vibrations at low speeds. It is at high speeds that the engine becomes noisy. The engine has good power. There is good enough torque at almost any engine speed. The boost that one gets from a diesel engine seems to be missing on the 80bhp. The 100bhp is a tad quicker, but nothing that one can speak off. The 100bhp engine is more suited for the AMT version and has ironed out a lot of issues that came up with the 80bhp version.

The gear lever on the Mahindra TUV300 is tall but it easily gets slotted. The clutch pedal too is light and it makes it easy to drive. The AMT is a bit sluggish in shift, but is good enough for city use. There have been issues with this transmission, however now it the problems have been fixed.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The TUV300 will be Mahindra’s first SUV which will actually sit on the new body on frame chassis which has been developed for recently for the new generation Scorpio. The advantage of this new chassis is that it weighs much less than its earlier ladder on frame chassis, although the length of the Chassis will be actually shorter than that of the Scorpio for obvious reasons. For that reason expect the new TUV300 to also handle better than the compact SUV Quanto

SAFETY ;

The TUV300 is offered with dual front airbags and ABS as optional on the T4 variant while the T6 variant gets ABS as standard. Airbags and ABS with EBD are standard offerings on the T8 variant. This is quite a good step taken by Mahindra since safety is quite a norm now and most customers have finally realised the importance of these features. In terms of service, well the automaker has a lot of service stations across the length and breadth of the country and there are service centres located in remote areas too. Hence, TUV300 buyers need not worry much when it comes to servicing their vehicles.

VERDICT ;

The Mahindra TUV300 is a refreshingly good product from Mahindra with appealing looks, a very well made interior that is also well designed. It is spacious, doesn’t cost the earth and has a pretty good ride and handling package too. If only the TUV300’s engine was more powerful and more responsive, it would have been an even more potent vehicle than it is today. That said, we are sure that the TUV300 will be a runaway success for Mahindra as most of its customers do not really care how powerful it is and are more wooed by how nice this compact SUV actually looks on the outside and insides and of course, how fuel efficent it is.

What is important to note here though is the fact that the TUV300 will not only take on the likes of the Ford Ecosport but also the likes of the premium hatchbacks like the Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz along with compact sedans like the Ford Aspire and the best selling Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, and that is when its value for money quotient will really make sense.

Mercedes Benz AMG G63 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz G-Class G-63 AMG Crazy Colour Edition has exclusive luxury and comfort features with distinct exteriors. The exteriors have a new AMG radiator grille, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lightsand the panoramic sunroof with electric tilt/slide adjust. The comfort features of thermatic automatic climate control system, and the infotainment system with Harman surround sound system and touchscreen display with navigation feature deliver perfect entertainment for the occupants. Mercedes-Benz offers five distinctive colour options, such as Tomato Red Metallic, Alien Green Non-Metallic, Galactic Beam Metallic, Solar Beam Metallic and Sunset Beam Metallic, for this variant.

EXTERIORS ;

The G63 AMG carries old-school design elements that were found way back in the earlier G-Wagen. While Mercedes-Benz has added a lot of modern touches to the styling, the overall design still remains old-fashioned and it does suit the car’s personality. The headlamps are big and round while the turn indicators are placed on either side of the bonnet. The front bumper is flanked with LED DRLs and a chrome bull bar which looks quite macho. The side profile is pretty much straight-forward and those who do not know about the G63 can easily mistake the car for a modified Mahindra Bolero or something like that. The 20-inch alloys look massive and that matte black finish adds that sporty touch to the SUV. Peep between the spokes of the wheels and you notice the bright red brake callipers. Moving to the rear, the same rugged styling is carried over. The spare wheel is mounted on the boot in a body-coloured cover.

Stuff like the rubber insulation for the windows and windshield, rubber+chrome trim on the side profile and the bull bar are just some of the things that remind us that even though the G has grown modern, it still doesn’t miss out on its roots. The G63 AMG Crazy Colour is offered in three shades – Alien Green, Solar Beam and Sunset Beam. The vehicle gets an AMG sports exhaust system with two exhaust outlets mounted below the rear doors on either side. The SUV also gets bi-xenon headlamps with headlamp washers and headlight range adjustment. The LED DRLs are said to be brighter than the side lights and yet they consume lower power than the low beam headlights.

This model also gets a Stainless Steel package which includes side running boards and the spare wheel cover. Talking about road presence, the regular G63 AMG as well as the previous G55 AMG have always had loads of it. We have mostly seen these SUVs in white, black or silver and while they look uber sexy in those colours, the Crazy Colour variant takes things to just another level. The Alien Green shade looks quite bright in real and the SUV commands attention wherever it goes. We saw lots of kids looking at the car and smiling while their parents took out their phones to click a random picture of the car.

INTERIORS ;

We’re still in the dark about the upcoming G-Wagen’s interior. No spy shots or leaked insider information gives us a clear picture of what Mercedes has planned. However, rumors suggest the G-Class will use a similar layout and even share parts with the E-Class sedan. We certainly expect Mercedes to move the G-Class up market in terms of fit, finish, materials, and design.

Selecting the AMG G63 option box will surely bring a bespoke interior worthy of the AMG logo. Expect heavily bolstered seats, a sports steering wheel, carbon fiber accents, and perhaps red contrast stitching throughout the cabin. Alcantara and leather will likely be very prevalent.

The G-Class will come with Mercedes’ latest infotainment system from the E-Class. That means the small, outdated screen on the outgoing G-Wagen will be no more. We’re also hoping Mercedes redesigns the center console in a effort to incorporate better cup holders. The rear seats will likely have better legroom thanks to the slightly stretched wheelbase.

PERFORMANCE ;

For something as big as a one bedroom flat and about as aerodynamic and heavy as a bank vault, the G63 AMG is fast. Very fast. 0-100kph comes up in a claimed 5.4 seconds and top speed is limited to 210kph. The crazy performance is possible thanks to that monster of an engine under the bonnet. It’s a 5.5-litre, twin-turbo petrol V8 unit that makes 536bhp at 5500rpm and a mad 77.5kgm between 2000-5000rpm. The engine comes linked to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with permanent four-wheel drive there to transfer all the power to the four wheels; power that is literally available on call, at all throttle openings and across the rev range (that culminates at about 6200rpm). It actually verges on the funny what the AMG engine and modern gearbox can make this ‘distinguished’ (read: old) SUV do.

You’ll also break into a laugh each time you hear the G63’s exhaust note. The quad exhausts (two each ahead of the rear wheels) are always up to some mischief. They let out a deep burble at low speeds, a louder growl in the mid range and a full-blown African lion roar at the top-end. The G63 is the best-sounding of the turbo AMGs and one best heard in a tunnel.But as fast as the G63 is in a straightline and as dramatic it sounds, it’s not the AMG you’d want to show up in at a track day. The G63 just doesn’t like to corner. There’s a lot of slack and general vagueness to the steering and body movements around the bends are exaggerated too. Truth is, you wouldn’t want to push the G63 on anything tighter than long sweeping bends. High speed ride is also quite lumpy. Ride comfort is better and more than acceptable at low speeds but the suspension, in general, feels rudimentary in the way it tackles bumps.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

No surprises here, the G63 isn’t going to be agile by any stretch of imagination. Sure it’s an AMG and sends power to all four wheels but rigid axles and stiff suspension is necessary to keep 552PS/760Nm in check. The steering is on the heavier side, which is good as you don’t want to make large inputs. Weight transfer at high speeds is unnerving and attacking tighter corners is best avoided. It’s not meant to be a corner carver though. What the G63 is meant to do is dart fast on a highway to reach your offroad trail and we did just that. It’s here where the G63 comes into its own. Few SUVs offer three diff locks, and the G is one of those. You can either lock the front axle, rear axle or even the centre differential to send power to any desired wheel that finds traction. If not for the ludicrous price tag, we’d be happily mud plugging in this brute.

SAFETY ;

Talking about safety, well the G63 AMG is loaded to the gills. It is equipped with front, side and pelvis airbags for the driver and front passenger and side airbags for all passengers. The SUV also gets upfront and rollover sensors, NECK-PRO, ABS, BAS brake assist with brake servo assistance, Electronic Traction System 4ETS, Acceleration Skid Control, ESP, AMG high-performance braking system, Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Brake with hold function, TPMS and anti-theft alarm. In terms of after sales service, Mercedes continues to be excellent and the company has always had a good reputation in this regard.

VERDICT ;

The G63 AMG in its crazy colour is a crazy SUV. If you are out in the market to spend about Rs 2 crore, then you are already wild enough to buy something. So, do not think a bit and pick the G63 AMG. You won’t regret as there is nothing in the market that give you joy like this one. A supercar might have better on-road manners than this but the G makes a stronger case for itself. You do not have to worry about speed-breakers or bumps with this Wagen. The idea of having a highly capable off-roader with a twin-blowing V8 didn’t impress us, until we got behind the wheel and claimed it to be the best vehicle money can ever buy.