Snapshot – Icons in international car markets and hotly awaited in India, four legendary automobiles will make their way into the car market here in the next 12 months or so. Each of these cars will serve as brand builders for their respective brands, while giving enthusiasts a new avenue to invest in the “Joy of Driving”. Yes, that’s what BMW sells its cars with, and a statement that rings true in every enthusiasts’ ears. Here’s a quick wrap on the four iconic cars that will soon be gliding past you.
Fiat 500 Competizione
After multiple delays, May 2015 is when Italian automaker Fiat is likely to debut the 500 Competizione hatchback. Since it’s Fiat we’re talking about here, the emphasis is on likely. The car will also herald the arrival of the Abarth performance sub-brand into India, which will soon be supplemented by two more cars bearing the Scorpion on the hood – the Punto Abarth and the Avventura Abarth. The 500 Competizione will be a completely built unit, imported straight into India. A 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine with 158 Bhp-230 Nm on tap will drive the front wheels of the car by means of a 5 speed automated manual transmission. Finally, the Mini Cooper S will have direct competition. Expect to shell out about 30 lakh rupees for Fiat’s flagship offering.
The Wrangler off roader is a legend in its own right, and one that represents the classic American weekend leisure of overlanding and offroading. It’s only fitting that the American SUV brand Jeep will mark its India entry with the Wrangler. This SUV, along with the Grand Cherokee, is expected to be launched in India by the end of this year. Fiat will bring the Jeep brand to India since the Italian automaker now owns the Chrysler group, which in turn owns Jeep. The Wrangler is likely to pack in 3.6 liter V6 naturally aspirated petrol and 2.8 liter inline four turbo diesel engines. The SUV will arrive through the CBU route given the niche segment of buyers it will cater to. In terms of pricing, the 30-40 lakh rupee bracket is likely for the Jeep Wrangler.
The Volkswagen Beetle’s previous iteration, which was called the “New Beetle” was on sale in India for a couple of years from 2011 to 2013. It’s next iteration, which is sold internationally as the A5 Beetle, will arrive into India later this year. This car now uses the PQ35 platform that it shares with the Volkswagen Jetta. So, the 1.8 liter TSI petrol and 2.0 TDI diesel units are on offer with this car. It’ll be interesting to see if Volkswagen India launch the A5 Beetle with the turbo diesel motor. Doing so would differentiate the car from other iconic automobiles such as the Mini Cooper and the Fiat 500 Competizione. The hatchback will arrive into the country as a completely built unit. An estimated price tag of about 30 lakh rupees is anticipated.
The Ford Mustang muscle car will be the halo car that is meant to make the American car brand even more aspirational than it is currently. Of course the moneyed among the car buying populace will have a new means of expression, which gives them pure American muscle. Earlier this year, Ford began shipping out right hand drive variants of the Mustang muscle car to markets around the world. This step makes the Mustang India-ready. We can only hope the big 5.0 liter V8 petrol motor makes it to the market here rather than the somewhat castrated 2.3 liter-4 cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol unit. A CBU import, the Mustang could be priced close to the 1 crore rupee mark, which will be a shame really, for the car was meant to be an affordable option for the enthusiast in the country of its origin. A launch in late 2015 or early 2016 is likely.