Snapshot – The budget end of the car market in India is where all the action happens as thousands of first time buyers step into the fold of four wheeled mobility, and into the upwardly mobile class in the country. Every mass market automaker worth its bearings aspires to make it big in the great Indian small car market. While some succeed, many fall by the wayside. Yet, the fear of failure does not deter car makers who are focused on getting a foothold into the Indian market. CarToq picks out six upcoming budget hatchbacks for 2015.
The RediGo hatchback will be Datsun’s lowest priced car yet, with a starting price tag in between the 2 lakh and 3 lakh rupees mark. The RediGo will use the CMF-A (common module family) architecture that will underpin all new budget hatchbacks from the Renault Nissan group, including the new Micra and the Renault A-Entry cars. The RediGo will have extensive inputs from the Renault-Nissan Technical Center at Chennai. The 800 cc, 3 cylinder petrol engine that the RediGo uses is under development in India. The car will be heavily localized to achieve the stiff target that Datsun has set out to achieve.
Tata Nano Refresh
Tata Motors plans to give the Nano a new dimension in 2015 by adding a range of creature comforts. The effort from Tata is to position the Nano as a smart city car, much at odds with the “lowest priced car in the world” title that the car was originally built for. While remaining affordable, the refreshed Nano will pack in a 5 speed automated manual transmission, a larger fuel tank, openable hatch lid and more aggressive styling. The engine on the refreshed model will continue to remain the tried and tested 623 cc, twin cylinder petrol unit. More powerful engines are in the works in the times to come.
The Datsun Go+ 7 seater is a new body style of the Go hatchback. Even as the car uses the same Nissan V platform as the Go, the additional room for the passengers will put the Go+ in people mover/MPV territory. The Go+ is expected to retain the mechanicals of the Go hatchback to keep costs in check. This means that the 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol engine and the 5 speed manual gearbox will be staple offerings on the 7 seat hatch. In terms of pricing,expect the Go+ to duck under the 4 lakh rupees mark, considering its sub-4 meter length and the savings that accrue.
Renault will launch the XBA/A-Entry hatchback in India next year. The A-Entry/XBA will share its CMF-A platform with the Nissan RediGo. The Renault small car will also share its 800 cc, triple cylinder engine with the Datsun hatchback. The XBA will be the least priced Renault hatchback to be sold in India, with a price tag well under the 4 lakh rupee mark. However, the A-Entry/XBA will be pricier than the RediGo. Renault is looking to capture big volumes in the Indian budget car space with the A-Entry, which is also likely to be exported from India.
Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel
The Celerio Diesel from Maruti Suzuki looks almost production ready, what with the car’s uncamouflaged images leaking onto the interweb at regular intervals. The Celerio Diesel will be Maruti Suzuki’s least priced diesel powered car. In terms of price positioning, the car is likely to slot in under the Chevrolet Beat. The Celerio Diesel will use a twin cylinder, 800 cc turbo diesel engine, which is the smallest such motor operating in a passenger car sold in the country. The diesel powered Celerio could be the forebear of a slew of small capacity turbo diesel cars from Maruti Suzuki. Expect a first half 2015 launch and a starting price of under 4.5 lakh rupees for the diesel powered Celerio.
The Kite hatchback is touted to be Tata Motors’ replacement of the Indica hatchback. A lot is riding on the Kite considering the budget segment that the car operates in and its volumes potential. The Kite could use turbo petrol, in addition to turbo diesel power considering Tata Motors’ new found enthusiasm for turbocharged petrol engines. Tata Motors has already begun testing the Kite hatchback in India. The car will make its debut next year. A compact sedan based on the Kite is also in the works for the Indian car market.