Snapshot: The 2014 Auto Expo didn’t see too many all new cars. Yet, the motor show had enough spice and glamour to ensure that the Indian car market and show goer alike got their doses of excitement and anticipation. In this two part series, CarToq brings to you the 10 game changer cars from the Auto Expo, cars that could turn out to be the most influential market movers in the next year or two.
Tata Zest compact sedan
When it comes to featuring a design to kill for, compact sedans aren’t exactly the hottest lookers given their awkward proportions. So, when Tata Motors managed to seamlessly integrate the stubby boot onto the Zest’s sub-4 meter length, the car struck all the right chords in design terms.
Why is the Zest a potential game changer?
The Zest will be the first diesel powered car in the entry level C-segment sedan space to feature a 5 speed semi-automatic gearbox, also called the automated manual transmission (AMT). This feature combines the frugality of a diesel car with the convenience of an automatic gearbox, at a price that’s much lower than the Verna Diesel Automatic’s 12 lakh rupees.
1.2 liter REVOTRON turbo petrol (80 Bhp-140 Nm) and 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel motors (90 Bhp-200 Nm) will be the two engine options on the Zest, which will get a manual gearbox as standard. The Zest will also be available with a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Zest will be launched in the second half of 2014, with a sub-5 lakh rupee price tag for the base model.
The Hyundai Xcent marks the South Korean car maker’s maiden attempt in the sub-4 meter compact sedan space globally. With Hyundai pricing the Grand i10 hatchback sharply and enjoying immediate success, the Grand i10 based Xcent compact sedan is also likely to be priced equally sharply.
The Xcent could be a game changer in its segment not only for its sharp pricing but also for its class leading features such as the most capacious boot in its class and rear AC vents. The Xcent will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options. Expect the Xcent’s pricing to undercut that of the Honda Amaze and the Maruti Swift Dzire. The car will be launched next month.
Fiat Punto-based Avventura
The Avventura is Fiat’s crossover styled hatchback that will use the Grande Punto’s underpinnings and powertrains. However, the crossover styled hatchback is the most butch of the lot as it adds a tail gate mounted spare wheel apart from a generous 200 mm ground clearance.
With these features in tow, the Avventura could become the first real success in the crossover styled hatchback segment, whose other occupants include the slow selling Volkswagen Polo Cross and the insipid Toyota Etios Cross, due for launch shortly. The Avventura will be launched in the second half of the year, with pricing and positioning above the Grande Punto.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz/YL1 Concept
Maruti Suzuki has never tasted success in the C-Segment sedan space. The Ciaz/YL1 concept – based on the Suzuki AuthenticS – better be Maruti’s best attempt yet. From the looks of it, the Ciaz has everything going for it, from its low slung, modern design to the tried and tested Ertiga underpinnings.
The Ciaz will be sold with 1.4 liter petrol and 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engines. The car will feature manual and automatic gearbox options too. Said to come with the best fit and finish levels on a Maruti Suzuki car priced under 10 lakh rupees, the Ciaz concept might turn out to be Maruti’s first real success in the C-Segment sedan space. Expect the car to made its debut in India during the fag end of the year.
Audi A3 sedan
Audi is officially India’s number 1 luxury car maker. This position could be further bolstered in the coming months with the launch of the most affordable Audi car in India, the A3 sedan. The Audi A3 sedan is based on the MQB platform and will be powered by 1.8 liter TSI turbo petrol and 2 liter TDI turbo diesel engines. Transmissions will be 6 and 7 speed DSG dual clutch gearboxes.
The A3, is launched with price tag close to 20 lakh rupees, will be the cheapest luxury sedan in India. A horde of eager, well heeled Indians could jump onto the Audi brand due to the A3 bringing down the entry threshold to unseen levels. The A3 is likely to be CKD assembled at Audi’s Aurangabad factory, allowing the German automaker to price the car very competitively. In a nutshell, the Audi A3 could be your passport into the hallowed world of German luxury cars.