Snapshot: CarToq profiles the all-new and facelifted hatchbacks that will be launched in India during 2014.
2014 is just weeks away and the new year will bring with it a deluge of car launches in the movers and shakers segment. Yes, we’re talking about the big volume hatchback segment of the Indian car market. Make no mistake, 2014 is not 2012, in that the car market is a lot duller than it was a couple of years ago. While the car launch deluge will be a little retrained – if a deluge can be called that – there’s a still a lot to look forward to in 2014. Here’s a quick round up of the all-new and facelifted hatchbacks that will be launched here next year.
Tata Falcon (Vista Facelift)
The Falcon, in other words a heavily revamped Indica Vista, will be the first major product aimed at scripting a turn around for Tata Motors. The Falcon will be more aggressively styled, will get better fit and finish, and better quality interiors. A lot of engineering is said to have gone into the car to improve driving pleasure. A little birdie tells CarToq that the Falcon hatchback will arrive at the same price as the existing Vista variants, albeit with the Indica and Vista badges dropped off from the facelifted car altogether. The X1 platform though, will remain unchanged. Expect to see the Falcon in Tata showrooms during February 2014.
Based on the Nissan Micra platform, the Go hatchback is the first low cost car that low cost brand Datsun will launch in India. Scheduled for a March 2014 launch, the Datsun Go will be a petrol-only model powered by a 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol motor mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The base variant of the car will cost under 3.5 lakh rupees. From the initial impressions, the Go could serve as a spacious, practical alternate to the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Alto and the Hyundai Eon. The Go will come with innovative features such as a bench type front seat, stereo player that plays out of a USB drive and a dashboard mounted gear shifter.
Maruti YL7 (A-Star/Estilo replacement)
Both the Maruti Suzuki A-Star and Estilo hatchbacks are market duds. A course correction will come in early 2014, in the form of the YL7 hatchback. Known as the new Suzuki Alto for global markets, in India the car is likely to fill in for the recently discontinued Estilo. A 1 liter K-Series petrol engine (67 Bhp-90 Nm) and a 5 speed manual gearbox will be carried over from the Estilo, along with a tall-boy design. With an Auto Expo launch likely, expect the YL7 to be Maruti Suzuki’s in-house alternate to the hot selling WagonR. We expect the car to be launched during the 2014 Indian Auto Expo.
Maruti Suzuki Swift Facelift
India’s best selling B+ segment hatchback will get a makeover in the first quarter of next year. The makeover, largely a cosmetic one, will involve a new front bumper and grille, LED daytime running lights and new alloy wheels. On the inside, the Swift facelift is likely to benefit by the addition of new features. The 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engine, along with their 5 speed manual gearboxes will be carried over to the new model. Expect a price hike of about 50,000 rupees for the facelifted model of the Swift equipped with new features.
Chevrolet Beat Facelift
The Beat’s sales have been slipping for a while now and General Motors needs to throw the hatchback a helpline. The facelifted version of the India-spec Beat hatchback will borrow cues from the South African-spec version. The facelift is likely to be comprehensive, beginning from exterior changes such as new front and rear bumpers, revised head lamps and tail lamps, refreshed alloy wheels, and turn indicators integrated onto the wing mirrors. On the inside, the facelifted Beat is likely to get new fabric trim and revised center console. The 1.2 liter-4 cylinder petrol engine with an LPG option, and the 936 cc-triple cylinder turbo diesel engine are likely to be retained, along with the 5 speed manual gearbox.
Tata Nano Diesel
The Nano’s last big hope is the diesel engined variant. While Mr Karl Slym has projected a March 2014 launch for the Nano Diesel, the car could get delayed yet again as CarToq sources reveal that the diesel powered variant is not quite launch ready. However, expect the diesel powered Nano to roll onto Indian roads in the second half of 2014, as the most frugal hatchback in the country, cutting across fuel choices. The Nano Diesel, with a projected on-road price of under 3 lakh rupees will also be the least priced diesel car in the world. Will sales volumes pick up? Time will tell.
All-new 2015 Hyundai i20
The i20 will hop onto an all-new platform next year, one that endows the car will larger dimensions. While engines and gearboxes are expected to be retained, the 2015 all-new i20 is likely to get larger, both internally and externally. Apart from the larger size, expect the 2015 i20 to be outfitted with class leading features as the car will now have additional competition in India, in the form of the 2014 Jazz. The price of the car could also inch northwards. We expect the car to make its Indian debut by the end of 2014.
All-new 2014 Honda Jazz
The biggest story around the 2014 Jazz is the hatchback’s 1.5 liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine. Likely to be suitably localized to make for a competitive price tag, the 2014 Jazz, sold in petrol and diesel versions, will be Honda’s renewed stab at the B+ premium hatchback segment in India. The car is larger than the previous generation model, suggesting a high degree of practicality and versatility. The Jazz will be Honda’s last big launch of 2014, sometime in the fag of the year.