Diwali is coming and along with it, is a flurry of affordable cars. These budget hatchbacks will be priced below 10 lakh rupees, and will encompass a wide range of segments. From absolute entry level cars to ones that are aimed at performance enthusiasts, the upcoming hatchbacks pack in plenty of variety. Here’s the lowdown.
Renault has just signed up Ranbir Kapoor as its brand ambassador in India and the first Renault car that the movie star will endorse in a big way is the upcoming Kwid budget hatchback. Officially revealed months ago, the Kwid will make its debut with an 800cc, triple cylinder petrol engine. The car has been extensively localized, and offers a crossover-like stance and ground clearance, in a hatchback form factor. Designed muscularly, the Kwid is also expected to get a larger, 1 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine and an automated manual transmission option in due course of time. Prices of the Kwid are expected to start from below the 3 lakh rupee mark.
Fiat Punto Abarth
The Fiat Punto Abarth will arrive in October, and give hatchback enthusiasts a powerful, sporty new way of getting around. The Punto Abarth will be India’s most powerful budget hatchback, with indications pointing to 145 Bhp-207 Nm outputs. The car will use the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo peytrol engine in a more powerful state of tune. Revised suspension, disc brakes on all four wheels and a cosmetic makeover are the other changes on the Punto Abarth. The car will continue using a 5 speed manual gearbox. Essentially a Punto Evo with a high performance engine, the car is expected to be priced well under 10 lakh rupees.
At the launch of the Figo Aspire compact sedan, Ford India’s Nigel Harris announced that the new Figo hatchback will arrive into India by the end of this year. The car is Ford’s big festive launch/unveil this year. The car is essentially the Figo Aspire, in hatchback guise. The car is expected to share most of its features, engines and gearboxes with its compact sedan sibling. The new Figo will roll out from Ford’s Sanand factory, and will be the second car to do so. The hatchback is likely to be priced slightly above the outgoing variants in the B+ segment. A price tag close to the 4 lakh rupee mark is likely.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Suzuki will unveil the Baleno premium B+ segment hatchback at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show and soon after, Maruti Suzuki is expected to launch this very car in India. The Baleno, code-named YRA and iK-2 will be Maruti Suzuki’s first stab at the premium hatchback category in India. The new car will take aim at the likes of the Hyundai i20 Elite and the Honda Jazz. Maruti Suzuki could use the newly set up NEXA range of premium dealerships to sell this car. 1.2 liter K-Series petrol and 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engines are likely to power the Baleno hatchback. The car will get generous levels of equipment, while safety feature will include ABS and airbags.
Tata Motors will soon replace the Indica with the Kite code-named hatchback. The Kite is expected to arrive during this festive season, as Tata Motors’ first all-new car launch of the year. The car will feature the automaker’s new design philosophy, which bets on sharper, more aggressive looks. Good fit and finish levels all around are anticipated. Under the hood, three cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines are likely. Apart from the regular manual gearboxes, an automated manual transmission could also be offered on the Kite. Prices of the Kite are expected to start from close to the 3 lakh rupees mark.