When Honda Arranged A Dream Ride For Me

Ever since I learned how to drive, I had a recurring dream about racing on a Formula One (F1) track. Last Saturday Honda made that dream come true for me.

A group of 80+ top bloggers from across India, including yours truly, attended the pre-launch event of the all new Jazz, the latest hatchback from Honda Cars India Ltd (HCIL), a subsidiary of Honda Japan for production, marketing, and export of passenger cars in India. The event was aptly named Hangout with Honda.

The Chosen Ones

For someone like me who has never been on an F1 track earlier, you can imagine the level of anxiety and excitement. And it DID turn out to be a Dream Ride.

A Dream Ride

Here's an account of how the Hangout with Honda event unfolded on July 4, 2015.

Hangout with Honda

8.30am: We were picked from our doorstep by a chauffeur driven car and taken straight to our first pit stop, Radisson Blu Hotel Noida.

11am: On reaching the hotel, we were welcomed by the extremely courteous Honda staff at the registration desk. We were asked to fill out a form with our personal details and hand over a copy of our Driving License.

[PS] The license was mandatory to drive on the F1 track. We were also made to sign an indemnity form later at the F1 circuit.

12 noon: The Honda staff handed over a personalized name tag and a blue jersey with the Jazz logo that we were required to wear before leaving for The Buddh International Circuit.

The Buddh International Circuit

[PS] The Buddh International Circuit is an Indian motor racing circuit in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, where the Honda Jazz pre-launch event took place.

Sporting Our Jazz Jerseys

Once the registration formalities were complete, it was time to chit-chat with - who else but - bloggers. It is always a pleasure to meet new and old faces at such events. I spent a couple of hours catching up with them, clicking selfies, and updating SNS about the event activities.

The Blogger's Table

The official hashtag for the event was #JazzAtBIC and live updates were posted on Honda's SNS like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The All New Honda Jazz

Special mention about the following bloggers who made the conversations light and meaningful that evening: 

1pm: A sumptous lunch was served to all the guests, courtesy Radisson Blu Hotel Noida. The lunch was a melange of Indian and continental food, followed by mouth-watering desserts.

2pm: Post lunch, we were asked to wear the blue jersey with the Jazz logo and proceed towards The Buddh International Circuit via cabs arranged by the organizers.

The Jazz Men in Blue

[Trivia] Did you know that the 5.13 km long circuit was designed by a famous German architect and racetrack designer by the name of Hermann Tilke? 

3pm: After reaching The Buddh International Circuit, we were asked to assemble in a conference room for a Hangout with Honda. It was a surreal experience being on the same circuit that has served as the venue for the Formula One Indian Grand Prix.

A Hangout with Honda

Host Yudi of Channel V fame welcomed the attendees, including the Honda staff and guest bloggers. He then handed over the dais to the new President and CEO of Honda Cars India, Mr. Katsushi Inoue (#KatsushiInoue).

Moi & Pooja with VJ Yudi

Yudi also hosted the Honda Hangout Twiz, where bloggers were required to tweet their answers to @HondaCarIndia using #JazzatBIC.

5pm: This was the hour we had all been waiting for. The bloggers were divided into small groups and asked to proceed towards the driving zone in the order of priority.

[PS] The priority was set based on the color of the personalized name tag that bloggers were given. 

It was time to test ride the all new Jazz, which is owned by 5.5 million owners across 75 countries.

All Set to Ride the Jazz

We were first given a briefing by the Honda staff about the dos and the don'ts while driving on the F1 track.

F1 Control Room

Post briefing, we were asked to choose from a manual or an automatic (CVT) transmission Jazz car. I chose the latter.

Get, Set, Vroom the All New Honda Jazz

The circuit is known for high speeds and corner-to-corner flows typically seen in a natural terrain. It was absolute fun driving downhill and uphill, with the elevation creating more drama. Felt like a roller coaster ride.

Blogger's Wall of Fame

What I like about the all new Honda Jazz:

  • It's a car specifically made for the Indian roads and audience.

The All New Jazz - Perfect for Indian Conditions

  • I've always had problems with rear parking, especially during the nights. Rear Parking is a cakewalk with the ‪#‎AllNewJazz, since it is powered with Multi View Display and Guidelines to assist as soon as you approach a parking spot.

Rear Parking in All New Jazz

  • I loved the Auto AC Touchscreen Control Panel in the new Jazz. It is so easy to maintain the ideal car temperature now.

Auto AC Touchscreen Control Panel in All New Jazz

  • Honda believes that the i-DTEC engine deployed in the new Jazz is the Best in Segment. And we have reasons to believe them. I prefer a fuel efficient car anytime for longer drives. Jazz runs on a 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that boasts of 88.8 hp and 5-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission system. That's not all. If you prefer a diesel variant, Jazz comes with a 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine that renders a mileage of 27.3 kmpl via a 6-speed manual gearbox. Unarguably the best mileage car in the hatchback segment.

i-DTEC Engine in All New Jazz

  • I can't think of a car that does not have entertainment features, especially music. With Jazz, you can easily shuffle between different tracks or radio stations. This is made possible through their new Advanced Integrated Audio with Touchscreen.

Advanced Integrated Audio with Touchscreen in All New Jazz

  • The monoform bullet cockpit design ensures that you drive in speed with better control.

    Monoform Bullet Cockpit Design in the All New Honda Jazz

    Honda has always carried forward its philosophy of Man Maximum Machine Minimum. With Jazz, they are taking the philosophy to a new level by combining beauty, space, and comfort. I strongly urge you to keep your eyes on the new Jazz.