Weekend Ride: The GenX Nano experience

Bright and sunny Sunday. Picturesque lake adjacent to a manicured lawn. Fresh, clean air. And a brand-new car. It was time to #FollowTheGenX.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT preview

It was all happening at the Tata Motors Lake House in Pune over the weekend, as we were introduced to the GenX Tata Nano Easy Shift (thank you Indiblogger and Tata Motors!). Being a car buff, I immediately volunteered to drive the car, especially because I wanted to try the Easy Shift technology or Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT).

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT Sangria Red

My team members Shubham and Lance dubbed ourselves The Nano Knights aka Team D before we hit the road, accompanied by GenX Nano project manager Pranav. As one of the few lucky ones to drive the car before everyone else, I’m grabbed the opportunity to ask Pranav a lot of questions about the car while I drove it around Pune.

First Gear

My first glimpse of the GenX Nano Easy Shift was a mini-cavalcade of red Nanos- they call it Sangria Red and it’s a brand new colour. Then my eyes fell on the front grille, made of tiny infinity loops (called the infinity grille). When I opened the car door and peeked inside, I spotted lots of infinity loops… a very cute symbol.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT grille

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT infinity grille

Since I’ve never been inside a Tata Nano before, the spacious, roomy interiors were a pleasant surprise. The instrument cluster was right in the middle and there were plenty of information and entertainment options (more on that later). And then, the most important thing- the gear box. Being powered by Automatic Manual Transmission or AMT, the gear box is unlike any other I’ve seen before and offers a variety of driving styles in just one car.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT dashboard

Soon, I strapped on my seat belt, adjusted the mirrors and started the ignition while pressing on the brake. (No brake, no start- a smart safety feature in the car.). Then I glanced at my super tall team member Shubham. He’s all of 6 feet 3 inches but sat comfortably at the front (and in the back later) thanks to plenty of leg room.

Small in size, big on features

The GenX Nano is one cute and cool car. It’s got refreshed interiors with additional performance, entertainment and safety features, along with a whole new driving experience with what they call Easy Shift (Automatic Manual Transmission or AMT).

Despite being a small car, it packs in a lot of features, such as AmphiStream™ music system with CD, USB, Aux and radio inputs, Bluetooth, two glove compartments, front power windows, central locking… even the instrument panel is rife with features you wouldn’t expect in this segment, such as distance to empty, current driving mode and gear along with trip meter.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT bluetooth and music system

On the road- How would you like to drive today?

Once on the road, Twitter peeps threw #FollowtheGenX challenges at us. We stopped a few times en route to complete some of them, right from clicking selfies to shooting a dance video to head banging in the car!

I began shooting several questions at Pranav and he patiently answered all of them. Most of my questions were about AMT- the various driving modes and how to use them. I started with Automatic mode and once I got used to it, I switched on Sports mode by simply pressing the S button on the gear box. I immediately felt a very slight “kick” as the ride became peppier, zippier and a lot more FUN. And as I floored the accelerator, I knew this was a great city ride.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT wheels

Then I switched to manual mode to get better control of the driving experience. Now while the GenX Nano has first, second, third gears and so on, you don’t need to move the shift around like you would do in an “ordinary” manual car. All you do is gently nudge the gear shift upward to go to a higher gear and tap it down to go lower.

If you’re confused at any time, glance at the instrument panel. It will tell you what the car is up to, including what mode and gear you are driving at. And if you slow down due to traffic or otherwise, the car switches to a lower gear automatically. Yep, really!

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT instrument cluster

Few of my favourite things about the GenX Nano:

New looks: The Sangria Red is just the perfect shade of red for Nano GenX. It’s close to the colour of wine and hence the name is apt! Also, there are specific matching interiors to go with the various body colours so your car looks classy!

Steering wheel: The smooth responsive accurate steering wheel is hands-down my favourite feature. There just aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe this.

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT steering wheel

Easy Shift: I absolutely LOVED the Sports mode on the AMT and the manual mode was a wonderful delight to drive as well. Still can’t believe I drove “manual” without a clutch. 😀

AmphiStream™ music system with Bluetooth™: Pairing my phone with the car’s system was easy-peasy, and I could make and receive calls and play music, yay!

Creep function: I’ve stopped at a traffic light, and it turns green. Now instead of releasing the brake and immediately pressing the accelerator to get moving, all I did was release the brake and the car rolled forward. Would make driving during Mumbai’s peak hours piece of cake.

Fuel efficiency: 21.9 kmpl (ARAI figure). Need I say more?

Infinity sign all over: The little infinity sign from our high school math makes an appearance throughout the car, like a signature of sorts and adds an instantly smart look to the car. Nope it’s not geeky!

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT infinity seats

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT infinity interiors

Tata Nano GenX Easy Shift AMT rear seat

Bookings are open for the GenX Nano Easy Shift and is due to launch in the next few weeks. Do test drive the car and share your experience!

Formula 1 Fashion: Race day dressing

Formula 1 Fashion: Race day dressing

If you’re as excited as I am about the race at BIC tomorrow, you will either be at the circuit, glued to your TV set, or chilling at a sports bar with friends. Either ways, you gotta dress for the part of a Formula One fan!

So here are my top fashion tips for race day.

What NOT to wear

  • Your favourite LBD (the race is the afternoon, and it’s in Noida not Paris!)


  • The office shirt- it’s the weekend, it’s a sporting event, and you gotta chill. 🙂


  • Casual shorts- The race is usually attended by the who’s who, and “beautiful people” from across India and the world. So keep your beach bermudas for your next Goa trip, please.


  • Rock star tee- The Metallica tshirt, really? After last year’s debacle?


  • Tottering heels- Those are for the after party, dahling!


What you could wear

  • Your favourite team or driver tshirt, paired with chinos or jeans (skinny ones for women). Or this classy Delhi Formula 1 polo from Lecoanet Hemant. It’s got the route map traced on it and will take you to the next season as well.

Lecoanet Hemant F1 polo

  • Accessorise with sensible shoes (loafers, moccasins, slip-ons) and sunglasses to beat the mid-afternoon sun. Fendi or Fastrack- it’s your choice!

Street Chic: Which car colour would you wear?

Street Chic: Which car colour would you wear?

In a fashion blog, there’s no chance for car talk. But since I love cars, I thought I’d share my love for them with a fashion twist and share them with Speaking Chic readers. Over the past year or so, I’ve spotted a lot of colour on Indian roads—from deep orange to dark blue to various hues of green. Some look great, some are urgh, and some are just wow. My question is—would you wear any of these colours?

So here are some cars in unusual colours I spotted on Mumbai roads recently. Take a look and tell me which colours are wearable and which ones are just too horrible to look at.

Weird green on Mahindra Xylo:


If there’s one colour weirder than mud green, it’s got to be this one. This green is somewhere between a pastel and a fluorescent, it looks terrible on the car, and would look worse on me!

Two shades of brown in a single look—yeah or no way? (For me—no way, Jose!)


Shiny black all over—great look for the night. (And I’m coveting the Merc too!)


Red cars are popular in India, and most Indian women wear red as a symbol of marriage. But what about maroon? I think a maroon lehenga or sari would look gorgeous on an Indian bride.


Unusual bright colours have made a recent appearance on Indian cars. The green Ford Figo has become popular (they call the colour squeeze), and so has the sunlight orange Nissan Micra (endorsed by Ranbir Kapoor).


Both cars are spunky, and bring a tinge of freshness to Indian roads. What’s more, both colours would be just right for an Indian woman’s spring/summer wardrobe, but she would need a very strong personality and careful styling to carry them off.

Art on cars: Would you sport an Ed Hardy tattoo? Or something similar? I’d never get a tattoo, period!


So which car colour would you wear?

Chic news: Ford Fiesta inspires fashion, Sonakshi joins D’damas

Earlier this week, designer Swapnil Shinde presented a collection in Delhi inspired by a car– the Ford Fiesta. Based on the concept of “Energy in Motion”, the main themes of the fashion collection (and the car, we suppose) were use of strong colour, flowy silhouette with some modern and futuristic elements.

Models with Michael Boneham of Ford India showcasing Fiesta Futuristic Collection designed by Swapnil Shinde

Swapnil explained that through the collection, he translated the car’s bold kinetic design theme into his creations. While that’s an interesting spin, we would also have loved to see a cooler interpretation of the high-tech stuff used in the Fiesta (we hear it’s got voice control!). Like using entwined wires with tech charms as neckpieces or Blackberry-shaped clutches? (Interesting necklaces and odd clutches are hot trends currently.)

BTW, the fashion show was held not in a five-star banquet, but at a mall where the car is on display currently. Here’s a thought: why not let us girls shop at the mall for the collection/ similar clothes and accessories immediately after the show? And that could get us some freebies if we book the Fiesta? Sorry ladies, too much wishful thinking! 😉

Sonakshi Sinha joins D’damas

Speaking Chic is not a Sonakshi Sinha fan— so what, right? It seems plenty others like her, so she’s got yet another big endorsement, soon after the Provogue Spring/Summer 2011 gig. D’damas, a popular jewellery brand, have just signed on Sonakshi as their brand ambassador. The D’damas people believe Sonakshi’s got the qualities that modern Indian women possess (confidence, self-belief, charm and grace). Most importantly, they say—she “exemplifies the true Indian beauty.”

Take a look at the just-released image below and tell us what you think:

Sonakshi Sinha in D'damas campaign

What interests us most is the campaign theme—it’s based on memorable moments in a woman’s life. Like being a bride, celebrating Diwali or just simply enjoying the first rays of sunlight. Frankly, we’re bored of the typical jewellery-celestial-dreamy association, so we’re looking forward to some hatke advertisements from the D’damas people.

Curves are back, and how!

[tweetmeme source=”spkngchic” only_single=false]

I love curves. I heart Crystal Renn, my laptop’s rounded corners are a blessing in disguise, and I prefer dome-shaped structures to unseemly glass buildings any day.

So when I saw some very smooth and sexy curves on the streets over the weekend, I whistled. I lost focus and the model ran through my mind all day.

Stop thinking whatever you are, people! It was a four-wheeled beauty— a Volkswagen Beetle, bathed in red. It’s cute, yet smart. Powerful, but not intimidating. Strong, but curvy. If that isn’t sexy, what is?

As if reading my mind, Volkswagen today announced in a TOI ad: Curves are back.

The timing couldn’t be better. The car’s on my wish list now, and if anyone knows a way to make pots of money very quickly, please contact me offline.

PS—Volkswagen has not paid me for this blog post.

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