January is here, and car makers are dusting off the memories of a slow December, both in terms of launches and sales. While we’ll know about sales only next month, the launches are already on at full clip. In the next couple of weeks, no less than five new cars will be launched in India. Here’s a quick wrap.
On the 16th of January, Mahindra will directly take on Maruti Suzuki. Yes, the KUV100 micro SUV wants a slice of hatchback action, and this vehicle could well be priced at a point where both the WagonR and Swift get threatened. The KUV100 uses newly developed triple cylinder petrol and turbo diesel engines with 1.2 liter capacities. The vehicle will offer ABS as standard, and twin airbags as an option. Another interesting feature is a six seat layout, with the front bench complementing the one on the rear. If Mahindra manages to price the KUV100 at a starting price close to 4 lakh rupees, the cat could well be set upon the pigeons.
13 years is a long, long time. Well, that’s what the production span of the outgoing Endeavour was. The new one, therefore has to make up for lost ground. From what we’re seeing, reading and hearing, Ford seems to have a contemporary luxury SUV in the new Endeavour, which will be launched on the 20th of January. The butch 7 seater will take aim at the Toyota Fortuner. To help it bring buyers to showrooms, Ford has loaded the vehicle with class leading features, and powerful turbo diesel engines with 2.2 liter-4 cylinder and 3.2 liter-5 cylinder layouts. 6 speed manual and automatic transmissions will be on offer, and so will be a terrain sensing 4 wheel drive system.
It’s been more than half a decade since Tata Motors came up with an all-new hatchback. Well, that hatchback is now here, in the form of the Zica, which will be launched on the 21st of January, and that’ll replace the Indica. The Zica is a very important car for Tata Motors, not just because it replaces the Indica. The new hatch will roll out from Sanand, seeking to use up vacant production capacity. It’ll be sold with a brand new 1.2 liter-4 cylinder petrol and 1.05 liter-3 cylinder turbo diesel motors. The exterior design is sharper, while the interiors are better appointed. The Zica offers plenty of features, while a 5 speed gearbox is standard. It’ll take on the Maruti Celerio and sit below stablemate Bolt.
Fiat Punto Pure
Fiat wants to give the Giugiaro designed “original” Punto a new lease of life, a-la-Linea Classic. The Indian car market has seen its share of recently discontinued cars making a comeback, and the Punto will soon join that list. The car’s likely to be launched by the end of January. While some reports suggest that nearly all variants of the Punto will be made available under the Pure badge, others say that the Pure variant will be a cut-price entry level model shorn of many features, which will available only on the Evo variants. The latter makes more sense. Nevertheless, a new affordable in both petrol and diesel trims will be on sale soon in the form of the Punto Pure.
Mercedes Benz C-Class 250 CDI
Not-so-long ago, Mercedes Benz put its latest, W205 C-Class on a diet. The car came out lighter, faster and more frugal. Now, it’s time to give the car some more pep, says Merc. The German luxury car giant is expected to kick off the 2016 launch blitz with the 250 CDI variant of the C-Class. The 2.2 liter turbo diesel engine will get the 204 Bhp-500 Nm state of tune, with the 100 Nm of boosted torque being the talking point really. The car will get a 7 speed automatic gearbox driving its rear wheels. A price increase is also on the cards. A launch by the end of January is anticipated.