Honest and accurate news, reviews and analysis of Asian automobiles. This is our primary aim at Annotorious, to deliver latest car and bike updates in real time with the utmost clarity and detail.
Annotorious is a daily updated automobile portal which contains the latest automobile news, car reviews and bike reviews from the Asian automotive industry. Obsessed with the Asian automotive scenario, annotorious.infomenced operations on 25th May, 2008. We cover everything related to two and four-wheelers including Asian car road tests, bike road tests, video reviews and car, motorcycle comparisons. Over the years, we have expanded our base and have our team spread across the geographical boundaries of the country. We have also started community forums and a monthly magazine.
The Annotorious Story
So how did Annotorious start? Since childhood, automobiles really fascinated me. When I was small, the car I spent most of my time in was a Premier Padmini and a Maruti Esteem although we had an original Japanese Maruti 800 in brown colour before I was born. While the former was rock solid (loved the exhaust note on this), the latter was fast (in those times). The Padmini was bought second hand in the 1990s, was painted light green in colour and was the lucky charm in my family, everyone simply loved it. The Esteem was an icon, a car so good that my parents didn’t buy one but two (at separate times of course). The first Esteem bought by my dad was in 1994, when the car was just launched (replacing the 1000). It was bright red and Rs. 50,000/- of accessories were put in it (it did not come with wheel covers or an audio system). Sadly due to financial circumstances, my dad had to sell off the car within 6 months of purchasing it, however he sold it for more than he bought it so no regrets but I still missed it a lot. Latter on, in 2000, my family bought a golden Esteem (Euro 2 as Bharat Stage wasn’t launched yet). This car was the fuel injected version and produced 85 BHP of power, it was fast and did 100 km/hr in second gear. NVH levels wasn’t the craze in the early 2000s so the Esteem was vocal and I simply loved the sound (others might call it noise).
We had the Esteem for 4 years and just when it was being sold, I started learning driving (I was 16 back then) and I only got to reverse on the car. The Esteem was replaced by a Honda City (silver, dolphin shape) and I learned quite a lot of driving on it, practising parking most of the time. Other real world experience of driving was learned in the chilling winters of Lucknow when my Uncle taught me driving over a period of 10 odd days on his ancient HM Ambassador (1985 make). I learned riding bikes at the age of 17 on a Pulsar 150 UG2 which my college classmate was kind enough to lend and I ended up draining his battery, thumping the electric start all so frequently as I stalled like a million times. Like quite a few people, my first bike was a Hero Honda Karizma, black in colour and bought after years of convincing my parents that I wanted a motorcycle.
Coming back to the Honda City, nobody really liked it much as it lacked power (only 77 HP! from its i-DSI motor). We did love the space inside the car and the quality but then the terrific resale value of the car helped us sell it for a nice amount. In fact the resale of the City was so good, we never searched a buyer, someone came, paid and took it away. The replacement for the City was going to be a Toyota Corolla but a quick test drive made us reject it for average brakes. We even looked at the Innova but my dad was very anti-diesel and thus we wanted a petrol car only. We checked out the Chevrolet Optra and liked the features on offer. The car in 2005 came with sunroof, audio controls on steering wheel, CD changer, 15-inch alloy wheels, etc as standard. With a good discount thrown in, we were sold.
The Optra was fantastic in every way offering a good ride quality, space, features and the like but with a growing family, we needed a bigger car and there was only one MPV which made the cut. The Toyota Innova. So after rejecting it two years back, in 2007 we finally went back and bought an Innova. While the Innova was delivered, we also bought a Swift diesel which offered both low running costs and super fun. We even modified the car a bit with a 90 BHP tuning box, cold air intake with conical filter, 15-inch Lenso alloy wheels, etc. After all these mods and pedal to the metal driving, it still returned 18 km/l in the city. It was at this time when I started my graduation along with which I started Annotorious as a hobby website just to randomly ramble about cars and bikes. Annotorious did not start as Annotorious though, it started as a free blog on Blogger in 2007 with the username ‘busas’, named after my favourite motorcycle. On 25th May, 2008, the domain Annotorious was registered and rest as they say is history. In the past 5 years, I have dedicated majority of my time to Annotorious, even while doing my MBA, ensuring I am actively involved in all the posts which go live, reading every comment and interacting with automobile enthusiasts who like me, eat, drink and sleep cars and bikes – Faisal Ali Khan.