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    Thread: Mi10’s "SCARECROW" – S Cross DDIS 320; Now Remapped by Code 6

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      Mi10’s "SCARECROW" – S Cross DDIS 320; Now Remapped by Code 6

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      Index


      Prologue: The Last Ride

      Chapter 1: Requirements Elicitation

      Chapter 2: Selection Process

      Chapter 3: Ownership Report (On Going)
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      Me Likiee already!
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      Prologue - The Last Ride

      Day 0 (Tue, 1st Dec 2015)

      It had rained hard the previous night (30th Nov). I woke up to the clattering of rain drops over our window. I looked out and the streets had already started accumulating water. I had a busy day ahead with calls starting from 9 AM onwards. I got ready, however with rain pelting down without respite, I was skeptical to reach office on time. Hence I planned to take the 9 AM call from Home. At that time I was still able to see the roads outside my house, with only large puddles here and there. In a matter of 2 hours, the roads were completely submerged! With about half feet of water running through the streets, and the sky determined to ravage through rest of the day, I quickly sent out notice to my Office for work from Home option. As I watched in silence the fury of rain, pelting out with force on everything exposed, my thoughts back tracked one week before. Similar scenes, and similar situation, as Déj* vu swept past one side of my brain, the other side got ready for bracing the odds, again!
      I quickly asked my wife and kids to get ready. We were losing time, it was already 12:00 noon and water level outside was slowly on the rise. Some of our adjoining streets were at a lower level than us. In order to hit the main road, we would need to navigate through them. My wife quickly read the tension in my words, and packed up everything for their departure in quick time.

      As I opened the main door, as always, my eyes fell upon the ever smiling front grill of The Penguin. I quickly, dusted off her windshield, as I very well know that Wiper’s will be on overload for that day. My crank was greeted by familiar noisy, crude, Diesel Clatter. There was less time to lose, and hence, I hurriedly reversed the car. As my family got in, I splashed through my streets out towards the main road. One stretch before the main road was extremely bad, with water flowing over bonnet. Somehow, penguin wafted out its way through. The wet clutch gave judders, sending panic wave across the occupants. (little they know about mechanics). The Streets bore deserted look, except for some critical sections where Traffic was overflowing. There were some areas where, water was literally running across the roads. Somehow I managed to wade car get my family to my in laws place. I promised to call them back after I return to my home. While coming back the Penguin got locked up in an extremely busy road junction with heavy water logging. Rapid has a stock GC of 165 mm. However Penguin had a 205/55 section tyre, and slightly lowered stance. This which made me extremely nervous, whenever I was standing in still water. As I revved her back to my street, water level had gone up, the Penguin splashed its way out of it like a True Champ. I came back at 2:30 PM; after the customary call to wife, sat down for Lunch. As I was having it, I felt something wet my feet. I looked down to see water flowing from the side door. I fastened my Lunch and my family got together in trying to wane off the impossible.

      Fresh from our learnings in last week floods, we quickly made all the smart moves. All portable electronics like Televisions, Desktop, Speakers, Stabilizers, moved to 1st floor. Scavenged wood from the furniture’s lost in previous floods, were used to elevate the existing furniture and Large home appliances. Inverter, Battery elevated with large chairs. All Electrical connections unplugged. All items, from lower shelves, Gas stove, Cylinders, Drinking Water were all moved up. Water in overhead tank completely filled, Motors tied with Bubble wrap etcc. My neighbors place, which was recently done up, sat about 2 ft higher than our own Parking Lot. I spoke to them and decided to have the Penguin parked there. With Rain pelting around like there was no tomorrow, the visibility inside car was zilch. I carefully reversed her, climbed the steep ramp and parked her. I put the car on Gear and avoided using the Hand Brake. Ensured all Windows, were closed, tied in a Plastic sheet around the exhaust, turned around and walked. Three steps and I paused, the rain was still striking hard, I was fully drenched, with water dripping down by eye lashes, I saw her, she was gleaming (Thanks to the rain).

      A Saying flashed my mind "If you don’t look back at your car after you park it, you’ve bought the wrong car

      Little did I know, that was the last time I could drive her. One Last Drive, in the rain, so that the tears couldn't be seen at all


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      ---
      Acknowledgement

      During these unfortunate times, my friends and fellow Gearhead members stood by me. They offered comforting, convincing and confidence boosting words. I have no words to thank you all. I was completely bowled over when they ensured, I only got tuned machines as my ride – what more can you ask for as a Gearhead. The list I was driving for the last one month
      riyaz_cobra ‘s #code6 tuned and exhaust reworked Figo TDCI
      yoge_007 ‘s #code6 tuned Swift DDIS
      Prithvi ‘s #Pete ’s box Scorpio
      shiva’s Stock tuned KTM 390
      CDK #code6 tuned Swift DDIS

      All the rides with Tank filled up and clear instructions not to fill Fuel. Is there anyone here who is more gifted than I?
      Last edited by Mi10; 4th Jan 2016 at 14:37. Reason: Fixed Tag
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      Thats a sad sad picture Mi10.

      This has gotten me thinking - about possible ways to save our cars in such flood situations.

      One option would be to build your house at a much higher level than the road. If you have space create a ramp to the terrace and the car can be parked there (A very common sight in Kerala in the hilly areas where the house is below the road height. Another alternative - more practical and way cheaper - would be to invest in a car lift. The only thing to ensure is that your car porch has the height! Added advantage of coming in handy while doing a LOT of DIY maintenance. You will notice that a car lift is a common feature in many houses in the US. (not for any flood considerations though)
      Last edited by kb100; 28th Dec 2015 at 18:50.
      A closed mouth gathers no feet.

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      Quote Originally Posted by kb100 View Post
      Thats a sad sad picture Mi10.

      This has gotten me thinking - about possible ways to save our cars in such flood situations.
      Got me thinking as well! We can continue the discussion here:

      Mi10's Skoda 'Rapid' Fire Roulette - Now REMAPPED by CODE 6 Tuning - Page 161
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      Chapter 1: Revamped Requirements

      Day 16 (Thu, 17th Dec 2015)

      By this time, it was ascertained that Penguin was a Total Loss. We needed a car quickly, however was also skeptical of the fact that most yards in Chennai were flooded hence the chances of getting a Flood ravaged car were high. Hence I kick started the hunting process all over again. In a way, my confusion in last two months with regards to booking and cancelling made me quite aware of most cars and their ongoing offers.

      Due to the floods, I was hit by heavy financial losses; hence I had to compromise on few things in my car buying decision. For starts, any petrol car, however good they may be, was de-scoped. Any Life Style / Weekend vehicle like the Thar or Gurkha were also scrapped. My Requirements shrunk, so did my options. Also, being a primary car, it had a different set of requirements unlike the ones I had previously imagined. Finally decided to be extremely clear on what I really need, so that I don’t end up getting confused again.

      Thing that i really care:

      Power – No point, going down on what I have already tasted. It had as to be equal or more than the 1.6 TDI mill, anything else, will be duly chopped off the list

      Safety Kit – ABS, Air Bags, EBD Must, however anything more like TCS or more Airbags are welcome if they manage to create a reasonable value proposition.

      Space – With Kids growing up, the need to prioritize Space became quite significant. I need a car that can seat 5 comfortably.

      Handling, Dynamics & Ride Quality – Should be above average, if possible, on par with VAG group. Willing to sacrifice few points on Handling and Dynamics for above average Ride Quality – Should be better than Rapid at least
      Boot Space – Didn’t mind losing few liters’ of Boot space for Good Rear seat space and comfort. Anything more than 300 Liters should be ok, the more the better

      GC – Ground Clearance became the talking point for entire Chennai enthusiasts during the Floods. Also, most of the roads, save the main ones are completely devastated due the rains. The car should have more than 175 mm of GC, more the better, as long as the car doesn’t look like it is on stilts

      Mod Potential – Can live without believing in God, but can’t live without manifesting a Mod! No point in investing in a car which is not remap-friendly or on the one that doesn’t have after-market support.

      After Sales Service – After done and dusted with Skoda and after the numerous stories on VW, decided this also needs to be relatively hassle free and cheap. Also, it became imperative that the brand of car have more than 2-3 dealerships to reduce my risk in terms of parts availability!

      Waiting Period – Needed a car as quickly as possible, at the same time, I was willing to give some time to get the car that appeals to my heart. Hence was willing to wait for a period of max 1 month

      Size - Didn’t prefer the vehicle to be too big, as parking in my current place would be real job! Was ok with any class of Vehicle – Hatch or Sedan or Crossover or Mini SUV or MUV as long as it is less than 15 ft in Length and 6 ft in Breadth

      Budget – Was looking at something between 10L - 12L OTR, Chennai. +/- 1L was ok. Not really keen on pre-owned stuff.

      Things that didn’t matter


      All Interior Features / creature comforts – Stock Music System, No. of speakers, Navigation, Rear View Camera, keyless entry, Leather Upholstery or Chrome Door Handles !

      AC – As long as it is an Air Conditioner that can provide me some respite from Chennai Heat, I was ok. Didn’t really mind it being Manual or Auto or Dual Zone

      Exterior Looks and Appeal – Didn’t mind as long as it didn’t kill anyone.

      Interior Quality – Beggars cannot be choosers!

      Gearshift – Didn’t mind getting cars with notchy, rubbery gear shifts. Although I love shifting gears, I left this part under the compromise booth


      Pretty simple and straight forward set of requirements, at least I feel so. However when I went to the market, I found it hard to believe that my options were limited to just 4 Cars when we are looking at 12 Major Brands doing business here !
      Last edited by WildWeasel; 30th Dec 2015 at 08:11.
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      Chapter 2: The Contenders

      Day 17 (Fri, 18th Dec 2015)

      Based on the above Filters my list narrowed down to four cars, apparently they all belong to the Compact SUV / Cross over genre.

      Ford Ecosport 1.5 TDCI

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      Power – The All new Ecosport sported a improved Power delivery along with some changes to the Gear ratio. This made the 99 PS 1.5 TDCI mill seem very linear and quite peppy.

      Safety Kit – Top end had everything on offer including 6 airbags along with ABS + EBD.

      Space – The Front seat we good, they had nice hugging seats along with good leg and head room. However the rear seat was extremely cramped with 3 adults. The Sloping window line made a claustrophobic feel when seated in rear

      Handling, Dynamics & Ride Quality – Ford does know to make a thing or two on suspension! Hands down the best compact SUV when it comes to Handling and Dynamics. The Ride quality is reasonable but not really something like a Duster or a Creta !

      Boot Space – 346 Liters and expandable to 750 L. Sufficient, considering that they have managed to build this under 4M length. However I would have preferred a better rear bench space by dropping few liters in Boot

      GC – 200 mm and it does manage to put up a very elegant and urban look. Good Job !

      Mod Potential – My earlier conversations with #code6 folks revealed the PITA aspect of remapping the 1.5 TDCI ECU. I don’t think this new Eco sport is an exception. Also, the after-market support for aesthetic mods aren’t huge with regard to a Ford

      After Sales Service – With the Chennai plant producing Ecosport, I don’t think Parts availability will be an issue. From my earlier experience of owing a Fiesta 1.6 S, I should say Ford Service in Chennai is above average. At least not as bad as a Skoda!

      Waiting Period – 30-45 day waiting period, depending on color and Trim

      Size – Compact, and easily fits my garage.

      Budget – Well under Budget, probably can spend on sprucing up the looks also



      Duster / Terrano DCI 110 ps

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      Power – Decent power with good lag. Didn’t really feel fast enough – even if I compare the Stock Rapid.

      Safety Kit – Top end had standard package dual airbags along with ABS + EBD.

      Space – The Front seat were broad and looked like a mini sofa. Very relaxed position with respect the way the seats are shaped. The Rear has good space for 2 adults, however when the third one entered, the middle seat space was intruded by the rear AC vent panel. The middle passenger simply couldn’t sit there without hitting the legs of the other two passengers.

      Handling, Dynamics & Ride Quality – Handles like a Large Hatch, wasn’t too impressed, coming after the Ecosport TD. The Ride quality was both Supple and pliant. It soaked up bumps like there was nothing! Superb Ride quality! ‘Thank you’ said, my spine

      Boot Space – With 475 litres boot space, this was almost on par with the Rapid. Had enough room for anything you throw at it. It is also easy to load and unload. However it doesn’t have 60:40 split seats, which I feel every compact SUV / crossover should have!

      GC – 205 mm and makes full use of it. Wades in and out through most places where you’d think with a sedan ! Exceptional!

      Mod Potential – Remap Friendly and Being old in the market, makes the job easy for me. Event he Duster Explorer Edition was very good looking and appealing with subtle mods. Was even contemplating a Snorkel and a lift kit

      After Sales Service – Hearing lot of not so great stories about Nissan and Renault. However don’t have any first-hand experience at it. However there were only 3 dealers for the entire city and only one in near proximity was an area of concern

      Waiting Period – 1-2 week Delivery period. No issues. However, I was skeptical that lot of dusters and Terranos were staying put in Yard due to lull in sales recently. Hence chances of Flood affected cars was high.

      Size – Looks bulky and almost resembles a Bear ! However no problems with respect to overall size; easily fits my garage.

      Budget – After discounts it did come under my Budget.


      S Cross 1.6 DDIS 320

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      Power – Almost as fast the stock Rapid. The tune however was more towards the mid and top end. The Downside however is the turbo lag and some average performance in lower revvs.

      Safety Kit – All variants had dual airbags, ABS + EBD and all wheel Discs. The 1.6 Version also has Ventilated Discs for the front ! Me likey 

      Space – The Front seat were very good, good lumbar and thigh support and ample space to have your toddler in your lap ! The Rear seat was above average however was much better than Ecosport and Duster. However, the Transmission tunnel runs in eroding into the leg space of the rear middle passenger very much like the Rapid.

      Handling, Dynamics & Ride Quality – If there was one Suzuki which I love for Handling, it has to be this one! Sudden Maneuvers were handled very well. Mature and quite close to VAG level dynamics. However still has a long way in catching up with Fords and Fiats ! The Ride quality on low speeds is below average, however the suspension soaks up bumps pretty well post 50 kmph. I think the suspension is reasonably stiff!

      Boot Space – 353 Liters and expandable to 810 L. Although less for a car of this size and price, it had good squarish design and no unwanted cervices or wheel arches intrusion. However, if you are using the parcel tray, then the area above it becomes literally unusable and hence overall boot space can be called just average !

      GC – 180 mm only and not really even close to the 200 and 205 mm being offered by Ecosport and Duster ! This makes the car look like an overgrown Hatch than a Crossover or a Mini SUV. While the good side is that it can handle close to a sedan, the obvious question of treading the middle ground (not a hatch not a cross over) will always be topic of discussion

      Mod Potential – We have seen enough 1.3 MJD in DDIS trim being remapped at will. My only question to Digital Vampire was is it possible to remap the 1.6 MJD alias DDIS 320? With a positive response from his end, the next thing was aftermarket support. Suzuki and Aftermarket parts are like Idly and Chutney for south Indians! I will leave it at that

      After Sales Service – With Maruthi opening excusive NEXA outlets for its so called premium cars, I feel there will be some respite in the usual fish market like scenario in MUL service centers. Jokes apart, there are 4-5 key dealers for Maruthi in Chennai; all of them proven, and huge in their own way. At least, I don’t have to depend on one dealer to assist me in terms of contingency!

      Waiting Period – Immediate Delivery depending on Color and Trim, New stocks to arrive only in Feb. It was very clear that there was a stock clearance that needs to happen on Dec.

      Size – Marginally bigger than the rapid by Breadth; Marginally shorter than the Rapid by Length and Marginally Taller than the Rapid my height.

      Budget – With Stock Clearance on, I know this car needs to be negotiated hard. It was well over the budget by at least couple of Lacs even for the base version. Top end was treading into XUV 500 W6 territory


      Creta 1.6 CRDI

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      Power – Extremely smooth and refined power plant. Same engine as the Verna, however it packs the same punch in Creta! The Power is seamless, reasonably linear at the same time, giving you a chance to experience Torque in a refined and polished way.

      Safety Kit – Top end is loaded to the brim with 6 Airbags, ABS+EBD which also has TCS ! Impressive! However the Top end Creta also runs into different competition from a pricing stand point. The SX which was the entry package for 1.6L had dual airbags, ABS+EBD.

      Space – The Front seat were nice and plush, very luxurious and extremely welcoming. However in the rear, the space is lesser when compared to the S Cross or the Duster. It still is better than the ecosport. The Creta actually is marginally broader and also has very less transmission hump, however it still ends up with less than expected cabin space. .

      Handling, Dynamics & Ride Quality – Handles much better for a Hyundai. After the likes of i20, Verna, Creta is definitely an improvement. However Steering feedback is something that is still Hyundaish. The Suspension too is very soft, while it makes good work of bad roads even at low speeds, high speed dynamics is still a lot of uncertainty. The Ecosport is extremely nimble in comparison. The Duster makes up big time in ride quality, the S Cross treads a balanced middle path.

      Boot Space – 400 litres boot space, is just a perfect proposition for a crossover. The Creta hits a sweet spot here, as the design of the boot as well the space offered is very practical and user friendly.

      GC – 183 mm and marginally better than S Cross. Key point to note here. If both S cross and Creta were to take on a extremely bad section of road, with both cars having almost similar GC, the Creta has more chances of hitting the underbody than S Cross ! Why ? Because the suspension in Creta is a lot more sift allowing for more travel. In comparison, the S Cross has a stiffer suspension, making it lot less vulnerable to bumps. However both will be left pale in front of the mighty Duster. Those huge wheel arches can sure swallow couple of boars!

      Mod Potential – 1.6 CRDI and Remap aren’t strangers. Hyundai Diesels have this history of become super-fast cars post remaps. Aftermarket parts for Huyndai is also available locally. The Top end Creta itself looks like an Aftermarket modded Vehicle with 17” Shiney Laser cut alloys!

      After Sales Service – The next best to Maruti in service – Hyundai. My first own car was an Hyundai i10. My experience with the Dealer (DSL) was just about average. However with plants set up in chennai, I don’t have to worry about, parts availability in case things turn awry!

      Waiting Period – This was the shocker for me; waiting period of 3 months. Enquired with another dealer who almost echoed the same timing – 45-60- days waiting period!

      Size – Looks perfect for a mini SUV. Although very comparable to Verna on dimensions (sans the Height), the Creta manages to look pretty unlike the gawky S cross. And, no problems with respect fit in my garage.

      Budget – No Discounts, except paltry corporate discount. Even with that, the Creta SX 1.6 CRDI was easily 1.5L over my Budget
      Last edited by Mi10; 30th Dec 2015 at 13:19.
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

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      Chapter 2.1: Predicament of pulmonary artery

      With only 4 cars and a focused set of requirements to match, the job seemed like a Simple one.

      The Ecosport 1.5 TDCI was straight away rejected; the major reason being a cramped rear bench. The rear space was even lower than the Rapid, which prompted all of us to knock it off.

      The Duster and Terrano, both came in our budget after the discounts (ranged from 50-90k depending on the variant). Here there were three main factors going against it
      1. Too old in tooth: Duster is too old and is due for facelift in Q1 2016. The Terrano although seems like a much better iteration of the Duster, still cannot completely hide its age
      2. The 110 ps version didn’t really feel like 110 ps. I know there was always a remap on cards, however, there should be a certain connect, with respect to engines – stock or remapped wouldn’t change that in a big way. I wasn’t really able to connect with that 110 ps
      3. The ASS was another factor going against it. Only the Guindy and OMR workshops were close by. Guindy one was completely washed out in recent floods (along with Skoda’s) and would take easily 2-3 months to get back to operations!.

      However I loved the GC, Ride quality and the macho presence it brought to the table.

      The S Cross, was completely shot down by my family right form the word go. It lacked visual appeal, Squat and uncanny dimensions didn’t help it either. More than all of that, the pricing proved to be the nail in the coffin. Base 1.6 at 15.1L and you don’t get even a fog lamp! I simply fail to decipher this logic; I mean how much will a pair of fog lamps really cost you ??? Did I mention that the Top end comes to 17.2 L OTR! Another 1L more and you’re already staring down the Cruze LT!
      Although I really liked the engine, the rear space and the mature handling, it was way beyond my budget. When I did enquire on the discounts, they just offered a paltry 50k discount on 1.6 and pushed me to go for the 1.3 DDIS 200.

      The Creta, was obvious choice when it came to looks. Everyone unanimously voted a big yes for the design and the road presence it carried. However Creta pricing was another debacle, only to be superseded by S Cross. The 1.6 SX variant at 14.4L OTR. The Top end goes to 16.8L however, I think it atleast offers plethora of safety features like 6 airbags and ESP. Also the rear bench was not really comfortable to seat 5. There was also not much of discounts and the waiting period was more than 2 months.
      While we all loved the looks, I personally liked the Engine and its refinement levels. Frankly, there is no Diesel motor that could beat the Hyundai CRDI mills in refinement and NVH !

      Exhausted from the days’ work was also mentally drained, as I couldn’t really figure out a car that appealed to my heart. From my past experience, I have evolved to a state wherein, I buy only cars that appeals to my heart – no point in buying off cars for the heck of it and selling it off in a Year ! I made that mistake with the i10 and the Verito and both duly packed off in exactly 1 year ! In controary, the Swift 1.3 Petrol, the Fiesta 1.6 S both lasted 5 years. The Rapid was supposed to be my ride for 6-7 years, before the disaster cut short its life to 2.5 years.
      As I lay down that night, my mind was reiterating on the drive I had with each car. I was searching for the appeal factor. As fate would have it, each car offered me one or two excellent appeal aspects followed by a list of downers.

      I did a mind mapping to get the Top of mind recall aspect for each car.
      Ecosport – Handling and Dynamics
      Duster / Terrano – Ride Quality
      S Cross – Power
      Creta – Looks

      As I thought about the each car, I also imagined me, driving it day in and day out. I thought about my office commute, my visit to relative place, my daughter’s school, a college reunion, the Pondy drive! For a second, my mind went blank. Blurry images of the Fiesta trying to catch up the XUV 500 flashed. Penguin’s speed run in knight drivers meet came up next. Followed it with Remap testing runs in Kolar, and the Hill climb with pack of Cruzes’…a collage of images floated up my eyes finally to dissolve into one single pic of the Penguin standing helplessly in water.

      My mind rehe****d back the Test drives of the day and there was one name that stood up – one awful name that stood tall.
      The S Cross 1.6 DDIS 320

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      Yes, she never appealed to my optic nerve, but she had just begun to strike chords in my pulmonary artery !
      RIP Penguin May 2013 - Dec 2015

    9. #9

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      Nice choice in s-cross. It has got understated looks, but in not ugly at all from any angle.

      Personally, I do not like creta looks. The hatch door in creta is plain ugly, like an afterthought, even uglier than 2015 Scorpio or XUV. I would anyday prefer i20 active over creta, as i20 active is cheaper and better looks.
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      Sad to see the Penguin in that state. Excellent choice on the S-Cross, gives you a lot of options to remap and bring it at par to the Penguin. Waiting for your ICE section though.
      Duster 110 -
      Source - Pioneer 80 PRS
      DSP - Helix DSP Pro
      Amplification
      - Mosconi AS200.4 (Mid Bass & Sub), AS100.4 (Tweeter & Mid Range)
      Speakers - AudioFrog GB60, GB25, GB10, Sub - GS12D4

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