Snapshot – Budget hatchbacks are what move the Indian car market, bringing in the big numbers for mass market automakers. Budget hatchbacks also give a large number of Indians an affordable option of getting onto four wheels, which is also why they’re so popular. Cars in this category are not just affordable, but are also extremely reliable and fuel efficient. The popularity of the budget hatch segment continues to see an upward swing, even as more and more automakers seek to capitalize on the larger disposable income of a growing mass of Indians. CarToq lists out five upcoming budget hatchbacks to watch out for.
The Tata Kite hatchback will be launched later this year, as the automaker’s Indica replacement. Considering the fact that the Indica was one of the most important cars that shaped Tata Motors’ destiny as a passenger car maker, its replacement has a lot riding on it. The Kite will be a new product from ground up, both in terms of design as well as the platform used. The car will be sold with petrol and diesel engines, and will roll out from Tata Motors’ Sanand manufacturing facility, at Gujarat. Prices of the Kite hatchback are expected to start from under 4 lakh rupees.
Renault’s growing ambitions for the Indian car market is reflective of the slew of mass market cars that the French brand is intent on launching here. While the Lodgy MPV will be the first of the volumes bagger to hit the Indian market this year, the later part of 2015 will see Renault launching the XBA/A-Entry codenamed hatchback. The A-Entry will use a 800cc-3 cylinder petrol engine developed by the Renault-Nissan Technical Center at Chennai. The CMF-A platform based car will be heavily localized and could also feature an automated manual transmission. A sub-4 lakh price tag will make the XBA the least expensive Renault car in India. A big thrust on exports is also on the anvil for the XBA.
Tata Nano AMT
Tata Motors will soon equip the Nano with a 5 speed automated manual transmission. Apart from this new feature, refurbished interiors and a facelifted exterior is what the world’s least priced car will receive. New features will include a larger fuel tank and an openable hatch lid. The 624cc, twin cylinder petrol engine of the car will be retained, along with the rear wheel drive layout and 37 Bhp-51 Nm outputs. The Nano AMT represents Tata Motors’ attempt at repositioning the slow selling hatchback as a smart city car, one that marries convenience and compactness. The car is likely to be launched within months.
Nissan is having a hard time in India, what with its cars not doing well at the hustings. The brand’s foray into the low cost car space with Brand Datsun has also not worked well, with fortunes of both the Go and Go+ tanking. At this juncture, the Datsun brand needs some radical moves to keep it from irrelevance. The i2 codenamed car, first showcased as the RediGo budget hatchback will be Nissan’s third attempt to bag big numbers through the Datsun brand. The RediGo will be based on the CMF-A platform that the car will share with the Renault XBA. It will also share its engine and mechanicals with the XBA. In terms of pricing though, the RediGo will undercut its Renault badged sibling and will be Datsun’s least priced car in the world. A launch in the festive season of 2016 is likely.
Tata Motors’ Nano repositioning will get into top gear with the Pelican code-named hatchback, which is based on a modified Nano platform, dubbed the X302. The car will retain the rear wheel drive-rear engine architecture, albeit with larger petrol and turbo diesel engines powering it. Late 2016 is when the Pelican is expected to make its Indian debut. Like the Nano, the Pelican will roll out from Sanand, ostensibly to utilize production capacity better. The car’s prices are expected to start a little under 3 lakh rupees. The Pelican will sit in between the Nano Twist and the Kite hatchbacks.