6 car & SUV surprises to look forward to in 2016

2016 is here, and we’re weeks away from the biggest automotive show that India hosts once in every 2 years – the Auto Expo. The Auto Expo is a place of surprises, where cars hitherto unexpected get unveiled. In many cases, the unveils also come with launch plans. Here are half a dozen car and SUV surprises to look forward to in 2016.

Mahindra Halo

Mahindra Halo

Days ago, a tweet showing the Halo in bright yellow brought back the focus on Mahindra Reva’s electric sportscar. First showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo as a concept, the Halo’s production variant is likely to be ready this year. The car’s expected to go on sale in Europe this year. Now, we’re not sure if the Halo would be introduced in India as well. But as a brand builder for Mahindra Reva, there’s nothing better than an electric car that has a 0-100 Kph timing of 9 seconds, a 160 Kph top speed and a 200 kilometer range/charge.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson

The Tucson could be Hyundai’s third SUV for India, nicely slotting in between the Creta and the Santa Fe. The Tuscon is a 5 seater, and comes with petrol and turbo diesel engines globally. For India, a 2 liter turbo diesel engine with 182 Bhp and 400 Nm should do nicely. An unveil at the Auto Expo is likely. It remains to be seen whether Hyundai would manufacture, or assemble the Tucson in India. The CBU import route doesn’t make sense though.

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

Ford just imported the latest generation Mondeo into India. The luxury saloon, which rivals the likes of the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, has been a big success for the American car maker globally. The car could be showcased at the Auto Expo. Ford’s been tightlipped about its plans for the future. Apart from the Endeavour, there’s not much known about Ford’s future products for India. The Mondeo might well be one of them.

Ford Kuga

Ford Kuga

The EcoSport is a sub-4 meter offering, which now has plenty of competition to contend with. The Endeavour sits right at the top of Ford’s SUV line up. So, there’s a lot of space between these two SUVs. Enter the Kuga. Ford just imported a Kuga into India. The import could either be for display, at the Auto Expo, or for something more spectacular, read India-launch sometime in the future. We’d like the latter to happen as the Kuga could be a good foil to the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Mahindra XUV500.

Nissan X-Trail Hybrid

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan’s going to surprise a lot of people. The X-Trail, a comeback SUV, will not be served with a diesel engine option. Instead, what we’ll get is a petrol-hybrid option. Yes, and Nissan will take the CBU route for the X-Trail, which makes it a brand builder at best. Nevertheless, more choice is always a good thing for the car buyer in India, and the all-new X-Trail represents just that, more choice.

Skoda Octavia vRS

2015 Skoda Octavia vRS

Skoda’s flew out a few journalists from India, to sample the Octavia vRS. Now, reports say that the automaker is still undecided on launching the vRS here. But the marketing activity around the car suggests otherwise. Given that Volkswagen has plans of launching the Polo GTI in India, a car that shares its engine with the Octavia vRS, Skoda not launching the vRS here doesn’t make sense, as both cars will be brand builders anyway. So, keep an eye out for the vRS at the Expo.