Weekly News Cast – Top Stories between 21st to 27th March 2014

Snapshot – CarToq’s weekly new cast curates the top seven news items of the week gone by to keep you abreast of all the latest happenings from the car world. The week between the 21st and 27th March saw the unveiling of the Hyundai iX25 and next-generation Cruze cars at Beijing, rumours suggesting new diesel cars from Maruti Suzuki, an innovative automotive paint finish from Nissan and much more. Jump right in for all the updates. 

Hyundai iX25 compact SUV and 2nd generation Chevrolet Cruze showcased at Beijing 

Beijing 2014 played host to two major car unveils and both cars will eventually land in India. The Hyundai iX25 compact SUV, the first such product for Hyundai in this segment was showcased in concept guise. The iX25 will come to India in early 2015 and will be offered in petrol and diesel flavours.

The 2nd generation version of the D2XX platform based Chevrolet Cruze sedan made its global debut at Beijing. The car is likely to see Indian roads sometime next year. The 2nd gen Cruze looks more Hyundai than Chevrolet and here are more details about the car.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Eeco Diesel variants in the works

Maruti Suzuki and Suzuki of Japan have joined hands to develop new turbo diesel engine. The first of the new crop of turbo diesel motors will be an 800 cc-twin cylinder turbocharged unit. Meant mainly for the Y9T pick up truck based on the Maruti Eeco platform, this motor could be refined further to power the likes of the Celerio and the Eeco.

The Celerio Diesel promises to be the lowest displacement diesel powered car in India and the car could be production real next year. The Eeco Diesel on the other hand, will be aimed at the cab operator segment and seems poised to give the Tata Ace Magic and the Mahinda Maxximo vans a run for their monies.

Tata Indica eV2 replacement to hit the market in 2015

Tata Motors will retire the Indica eV2 in 2015. In the eV2’s place, the Indian automaker will launch a brand new hatchback code-named the Kite. The Kite hatchback will be based on Tata Motors’ Advanced Modular Platform (AMP) and will also share its underpinnings with a compact sedan, due for a 2016 launch.

With Tata Motors going gung-ho on turbo petrol power, expect a variant mix consisting of turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines. While an automated manual transmission would be handy on the Kite hatchback, Tata Motors is playing cards close to its chest for now.

Datsun GO+ MPV primed for second half 2014 launch

Nissan’s second product under the Datsun low cost car brand will be the Go+ MPV. The Go+ MPV is a stretched, 7 seat version of the Go hatchback. Like the Go hatchback, the Go+ uses the Nissan V platform and shares various parts with the Micra hatchback.

A 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine will be standard on the Go+, which could become the least priced MPV in India with a starting price close to the 4 lakh rupee mark. The Datsun Go+ will arrive into India ahead of schedule (Previous launch time frame in 2015), in the second half of 2014.

Honda Mobilio MPV hits the test production line

Honda has begun test production of the Mobilio MPV at its Greater Noida factory. Based on the Brio platform, the Mobilio will be offered with petrol and turbo diesel engines borrowed from the Honda City. With manual transmissions as standard, a CVT automatic gearbox could be offered as a class leading feature.

Honda has conservative targets for the Mobilio’s sales, with the automaker’s projected production of 45,000 yearly units. The MPV is likely to be pegged in between the Maruti Ertiga and the Toyota Innova’s base variant in terms of price and positioning. A July 2014 launch is on the cards.

Nissan wants to drive the car wash into extinction

Nissan wants to drive the car wash into extinction with its latest paint finish that resists dust and grime. A Nissan Note partially painted with the new hydrophobic and oleophobic paint showed remarkable resistance to getting dirty and the Japanese car maker has even put out a video detailing this feat.

While Nissan hasn’t made any announcement of offering the new paint finish on its production vehicles, the car maker has indicated that the paint finish could be offered as an optional extra. In the next couple of years, the dirt and water resistant paint finish could become an industry standard.

Fiat Punto and Avventura may be closer to launch than you expected

Fiat is slowly increasing volumes in India, and the newly established independent dealership network is to be credited. To capitalize on its dealership expansion, the Italian car brand will launch two more mass market cars this year.

The Fiat Grande Punto Refresh and the Avventura Crossover styled hatchback are likely to be launched before September 2014. So, if you’re in the market for a new hatchback or crossover, you’d be well placed to hold out for a few months longer.