Snapshot – 2015 is going to see half a dozen path breaking cars getting launched in multiple budget segments. Each one of these cars has the potential of becoming a game changer in the segment it is launched in. If these cars succeed, the Indian car market will be richer for it, and the buyer here will have a larger bouquet of offerings to choose from. Let’s dive right in.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel
Tata Motors abandoned the Nano Diesel project citing unfavourable market conditions. Then there was the rumour that NVH levels were proving to be a bother on the twin pot diesel, prompting Tata Motors to cull the project. Yes, noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels could be a bother on diesel engines, especially twin cylinder, small capacity units. Yet, Maruti Suzuki is taking the uncharted path with the Celerio Diesel, a car that will be powered by a 792cc, twin cylinder turbo diesel motor. This engine’s USP will be the 30 Kmpl targeted fuel efficiency number, which will make the Celerio Diesel the most efficient diesel powered car in this country. And fuel efficiency sells big. The Celerio Diesel will be launched in weeks from now.
Tata Nano AMT
The Nano AMT will be launched on the 19th of May, 2015, in a package that sees the car getting a major facelift too. The hatchback will be the world’s least priced automatic car, with an on-road price tag of about 3.5 lakh rupees. Set to undercutting the Maruti Alto K10 AMT by nearly 2 lakh rupees, the Nano Automatic could finally get numbers going. The car is already at dealerships around the country and bookings for the GenX Nano have commenced. Will the Nano AMT be the big game changer as far as India adopting automatic transmission equipped cars is concerned? The answers aren’t to far away.
DC Avanti Sportscar
The Avanti from DC Design is the country’s first sportscar that has been designed and made in India. The launch of the car will happen soon. The Avanti is built at Talegaon, near Pune and the target is to make about 2,500 units of the car each year. The sportscar is powered by a 2 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged petrol motor sourced from Renault. Transmission is by means of a 6 speed manual gearbox. Featuring a sharp design, the Avanti is a low slung car that turns heads wherever it goes. At a price of about 35 lakh rupees, the Avanti represents affordable performance. The car’s success could spur the launch of more such affordably priced performance car.
Hyundai iX25 Compact SUV
The Hyundai iX25 compact SUV will be launched in a few months’ time. A Hyundai out-and-out, the vehicle is expected to herald the arrival of featured stuffed SUVs, which come in a range of variants, at multiple price points and engine options. Why, the iX25 has already been spotted with multiple transmission options. Also, two turbo diesel motors, in 1.4 liter and 1.6 liter capacities are said to be in the works for this SUV, which will also be exported from here. Hyundai currently holds about 18 % of the car market in India. The iX25 could be instrumental in pushing this number to 20 %.
Mahindra S101 Micro SUV
The Mahindra S101, due later this year, is likely to spawn the Micro SUV segment in India. The SUV will be Mahindra’s most compact ever, with a bunch of unique features that are meant to stun the market. One such feature would be a 3+3 layout. Triple cylinder, 1.2 liter petrol and turbo diesel engines will power the S101, which will use a front wheel drive layout and a monocoque body. The Micro SUV’s performance at the hustings will be closely watched by brands such as Maruti Suzuki and Fiat, who also could consider entering this segment shortly. The S101 is expected to be priced under 5 lakh rupees for its base variant.
Tata Bolt Sport
High performance cars in India’s budget segments form a very niche segment of the market. Tata Motors is an automaker that can be credited with spawning many new segments. The automaker seeks to be a front runner yet again, by launching a new performance sub-brand. The first car under this brand will be the Bolt Sport, a hotter version of the B+ segment hatchback that was launched a few months ago. The Bolt Sport will use the 1.2 liter REVOTRON turbo petrol engine in a high state of tune, in this case 120 Bhp-170 Nm. A close ratio gearbox. modified suspension, revised interiors and a sporty kit will be the other changes on this car.