With an expected footfall about six lakhs, the 2016 Auto Expo is going to be bigger than ever. The exhibition area has been increased to 68,000 square metres, and more than 65 exhibitors are confirmed for the show already. It will be organised at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida while the component show will be at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Now with that set, here’s the real stuff that car enthusiasts will be looking forward to – the list of luxury cars and SUVs making an appearance at the Auto Expo:
Nissan is set to revive the X-Trail in India with an all-new vehicle making it to the country soon. Unlike the previous boxy-styled versions, the new one looks much better, has three rows of seats, and appears to be a more rounded product. A 2-litre diesel engine will power it while a CVT gearbox will take care of sending power to all four wheels – it’s got an AWD system, too. Prices are expected to be in the range of Rs 25-30 lakhs.
Mercedes Benz GLS
The GL facelift or the GLS (that is what it will be called following the new nomenclature at Mercedes Benz) will also be making an appearance at the Auto Expo. There’s not a lot that’s expected to change, apart from the updated looks, but a nine-speed automatic gearbox and added features will certainly keep the buyers happy.
Mercedes Benz GLC
The new generation GLK, now called GLC, will also be in India soon. While the previous model (called GLK) was limited to an LHD model alone, the latest one is made for a larger audience, and will help Merc snatch some share off the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, and the Evoque. While the Indian audience will get to see the vehicle in the flesh only at the Auto Expo, the vehicle looks like a C-Class on stilts, which is not a bad thing, considering it gets an overall good-looking design and a complementing interior.
Every now and again Tata Motors comes up with models that a lot of fans, enthusiasts, and even market analysts will eagerly await, and the Hexa is one such vehicle. Likely to be positioned as a replacement to the Aria, the Hexa will use the VariCOR 400 engine, a much better interior than any other Tata product, and the kind of road presence that even the Aria could not manage to have. Pricing will be crucial, but as far as the product goes, it looks very interesting.
It’s been a long time coming for the Passat, and it’s finally expected to arrive at the Auto Expo next year. The vehicle will sit atop everything that VW sells at the moment, with only the upcoming Beetle likely to be an exception. Sharper-looking and lighter than before, the Passat is going to be a very interesting offering from VW.
Volkswagen is also expected to have the Tiguan on display too. The vehicle will rival the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mitsubishi Pajero, Chevrolet Trailblazer, etc. Based on the company’s lightweight MQB platform, the Tiguan is larger than before and is thankfully more spacious inside, too.
The next-generation Prius was unveiled recently, and it’s headed to India soon. But before that, the popular hybrid vehicle will make an appearance at the 2016 Auto Expo. While it also looks more radical and polarising, the new Prius is said to be an improvement in almost all aspects. One for the discerning Indian buyer who cares about the environment too? Maybe.
Based on VW’s MQB platform, the new Superb is lighter than before, and with those looks, it can easily change its reserved image that the models that preceded it have made. Powering the car will be the same 1.8-litre petrol and 2-litre diesel engines, and both automatic and manual gearboxes will be available.
Jeep’s entry to the Indian market has been delayed, but before the market just loses interest in the brand, FCA has to bring its iconic products to India. While the Renegade’s arrival is not yet confirmed, the Wrangler alongside the Grand Cherokee are more likely to come to India, as planned earlier. The Wrangler is the more macho, more old-school off-road offering that the Jeep brand is proud of. Enthusiasts love it – it’s no surprise given how many Thar Wranglers exist.
The larger one from the Jeep stable is the Grand Cherokee. It will not look out of place when you park it in the executive parking lot, nor will it look out mud-slugging during the weekends. It has massive road presence, and while not as hardy as the Wrangler, it can easily take on the other full-size rival SUVs. It will be offered with a 3-litre diesel engine.
Jaguar’s only crossover in its line-up, the F-Pace, not only looks good but also somehow looks more appealing than most other offerings in the segment. It will have a wide engine range – from the base 2-litre diesel to the F-Type sourced 3-litre V6 – and the road-oriented all-wheel drive system will allow sending 100 per cent power to the rear wheels.
The new XF might look just like a facelift but the changes are way deeper than that. The new XF is now up to 190 kilos lighter than the outgoing version, and the chassis is about 28 per cent stiffer. Apart from the new Ingenium engines, the engine options remain largely unchanged. And it not just ends there, on the inside, the vehicle now uses the company’s new InControl system, and has a redesigned cabin which is roomier than before.
The list of interesting Jaguars isn’t ending yet. The company will also have the new XE on display, which is expected to go on sale later this year. It marks the company’s re-entry in the segment after a very long time, but this time the contender is strong enough to take on and even beat the rivals. Engine options will include the Ingenium units and a 3-litre V6 for the range topping, enthusiast-oriented offering.
It’s going to be an orgy of revivals, the 2016 Auto Expo. Honda is set to bring back the Accord name to its line-up with the recently facelifted version. While there isn’t a news of the V6 engine, but the 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine can be joined by a hybrid powertrain setup. With that in place, it will be easier for Honda to take on the Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid.
Ford’s eagerly awaited Mustang has been speculated to make an appearance (and a launch soon after that) at the 2016 Auto Expo. The two-door pony is as iconic as it gets, and at the 2016 Auto Expo, the vehicle will surely increase the number of fans coming to the company’s exhibit. Updated recently, the car celebrated its 50th anniversary. And what could be a more fitting time to enter a market like ours!
It has been spotted in India already but the all new Endeavour will be another show star for the American manufacturer at the 2016 Auto Expo. In comparison to the previous version, the new Endeavour has a lot tech wizardry going on including a terrain management system, is vastly improved, and looks sportier, too. And with the competition taking its own time to introduce the respective new versions, Ford can certainly utilise the head-start.
BMW’s move to a front-wheel drive architecture will be marked by the arrival of the new BMW X1 in India, given that both the 2-Series Active Tourer and the Grand Tourer aren’t available in the country. But the good news is the X1 is now larger than before, and makes more sense than the outgoing version. Engine options are unlikely to be changed, and the model is likely to be made available in the AWD version in India.
Loaded with technology to the brim, the next generation 7-Series will also debut at the 2016 Auto Expo. With a strong competition from the Mercedes Benz S-Class, the new 7er isn’t going to land unprepared. The vehicle was reported to be showcased to select clients in Goa recently. When it goes on sale next year, only the long wheelbase ‘L’ versions are expected to be available, in both petrol and diesel guises.
The current generation A4 is in need of a replacement, and the next generation A4 (codenamed B9) is just around the corner. It’s based on the group’s MLB Evo platform, is lighter by more than a hundred kilos, and looks sharper than before. Expect the vehicle to be feature-rich, and don’t be surprised to see a lot of these on Indian roads, once Audi launches it next year.
2016 Audi R8
The second generation Audi R8 continues with the first generation model’s looks but is hunkered down, sharper-looking, and has been upgraded vastly underneath. To start with, it now gets a new spaceframe construction, is only available in the V10 guise, is more rigid (by up to 40 per cent) and lighter (by up to 50 kilos). And it comes with optional laser headlamps. Need another reason to write that cheque?