Snapshot – The months of July, August and September promise to bring India a flurry of car and SUV launches. Most of these launches are aimed at budget car and SUV buyers while one is an international unveil of great importance. We fill you in on what you can expect in the next three months.
On the 8th of July, 2015, Honda Cars India will unleash the Jazz. In its second coming into the country, the Jazz will see heavy localization, a turbo diesel engine and a CVT automatic option on the petrol. In its second generation as far as the Indian market goes, the Jazz will be positioned as a premium B+ segment hatchback.
Versatility and fuel efficiency will be major selling points of the car. Refinement and reliabililty are two givens as it’s a Honda we’re talking about here. Pricing will make or break this car, which has tough competition to contend with, in the form of the Hyundai i20 Elite and the upcoming Maruti Suzuki YRA.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is primed for a July 2015 launch, what with the media drives of the crossover already on. While we’ll be able to give you a better picture about the car on Saturday, after we get behind the wheel of one, the S-Cross is the torque king of its segment. It will also be the most feature loaded Maruti Suzuki car available.
The crossover also promises stonking performance with a 0-100 Kph sprint timing of 11.3 seconds for 1.6 liter diesel engined variant. The S-Cross doesn’t look like an SUV though and this could be its greatest undoing. The Maruti badge on the bonnet and the automaker’s mammoth dealer network could still make it a success.
The Hyundai Creta seems to be the flavour of the month for two reasons. 1. It belongs to the compact SUV segment. 2. It’s a Hyundai car that’s big on feature, sharp on styling and is likely to be competitive in pricing. The Creta will be launched in India on the 21st of July.
Production of the compact SUV has already begun at Hyundai’s Sriperumbudur factory, and here’s our initial driving impressions. The Creta is feature loaded and comes with 1.6 liter petrol, and 1.4 liter and 1.6 liter turbo diesel engines. If Hyundai can get the pricing right, here’s one compact SUV that has winner written all over.
Mark your date. July 17th is when the all-new 2016 Toyota Fortuner luxury SUV will make its global debut. The unveil will happen at Thailand, and the big, butch Toyota will be in India early next year. There’s a lot going for the new Fortuner, for it packs in a new IMV platform, new engines, refreshed looks and new interiors.
In terms of features, the 2016 Fortuner is expected to catch up with rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and the new Ford Endeavour, who have stolen a march over the current Toyota SUV. The GD range of turbo diesel motors that the new Fortuner will pack in are said to the most efficient diesels ever.
Ford Figo Aspire
The Ford Classic is on its way out, and will be replaced by a sub-4 meter sedan called the Figo Aspire. Weeks away from a launch, the Figo Aspire will mark Ford’s entry into the compact sedan category, and will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Tata Zest.
Ford is going all out to make the Figo Aspire as aspirational as compact sedans can get. A 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor with a 6 speed twin clutch automatic gearbox could serve as a range topper, while contemporary styling and plush interiors are likely to do their bits to make the Figo Aspire click. The Figo Aspire could be the most involving compact sedan in the country, and that’s something driving enthusiasts would be looking forward to.
Maruti Suzuki YRA
Uncamouflaged spyshots of the Maruti Suzuki YRA are already doing the rounds of the interweb, indicating that the premium hatchback is just around the corner. The YRA will be Maruti Suzuki’s homegrown rival to the likes of the Hyundai Elite i20 and the Honda Jazz. A launch in August/September is on the cards for Maruti’s new flagship hatchback.
The new hatchback will be sold through Maruti’s premium NEXA dealerships. A 1 liter-3 cylinder turbocharged motor based on the K10 K-Series mill is a hot new feature. The YRA also promises to be the most luxurious Maruti hatchback ever, with a slew of features and spacious interiors. The car will also be the most expensive Maruti Suzuki hatchback ever built and sold in India.
[Images courtesy Team-BHP]
Fiat Punto Abarth
The Fiat Punto Evo is one of the best riding and handling cars in the country. Fiat now wants to make this car the fastest and most involving to drive. To do this, the Abarth badge will be stuck onto the Punto Evo. Along with the badge, stiffer suspension, a powerful turbo petrol engine and a stylistic makeover is in order.
The Punto Abarth’s claim to fame will be the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol motor tuned to make a hefty 135 Bhp-207 Nm. That will make the hatchback the most powerful petrol car in the sub-10 lakh rupee segment. We can already sense enthusiasts drooling for this hot, Italian beauty.
SUV giant Mahindra needs to mount a fightback and do it quick. The S101 Micro SUV will lead Mahindra’s charge into segments hitherto created, leave alone explored. The S101 codenamed vehicle will spawn the Micro SUV segment, at pricing levels that aim to give B-Segment hatchbacks sleepless nights.
While Mahindra disrupted the D-Segment sedan applecart in 2011, it now seeks to do something similar with the S101, albeit in the big volume, budget hatchback space. The S101 will be big on features, seating and ground clearance. What it won’t be big on, is pricing. This is an exciting new vehicle that can change the way an average car buyer looks at SUVs.