As always, the Auto Expo is a fertile ground for concept cars and SUVs, and some of this stuff is eventually put into production. Today, we round up half a dozen concept cars and SUVs that will hit Indian roads in due course of time. Some of these are months away from production, while others will take a couple of years at least.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
The Baleno RS is one concept that’s almost production ready. Maruti Suzuki said that in as many words through their press release for this concept, which mentioned a Diwali 2016 launch. The reason isn’t hard to see. The Baleno RS is essentially a sporty version of the recently launched hatchback, and will feature the 1 liter-3 cylinder BoosterJet turbo petrol motor that puts out 120 Bhp-170 Nm. Now, this very engine will grace export versions of the Baleno. With India being the car’s export hub, it’ll be a straight forward thing for Maruti to put this engine in an India-spec Baleno.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
The Ignis is another concept that’s likely to hit production line by the end of this year. The Micro SUV will rival the Mahindra KUV100. While test mules aren’t out yet, expect major action on this front very shortly. Internationally, the Ignis gets a 1.25 liter DualJet petrol engine and the SHVS hybrid system.
For India, the 1.2 liter K-Series petrol and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet diesel motors are likely to be staples. The Ignis is all set to be Maruti’s least priced “SUV”, sitting under the Vitara Brezza in terms of price and positioning. Why, this Micro SUV could even undercut the Swift hatchback in terms of pricing.
Datsun needs a winner in India, and that could come with the RediGo budget hatchback that’ll be launched later this year. For next year though, the Japanese low cost car brand from Nissan will launch the Go-Cross compact SUV here. While nothing much has been revealed about the Go-Cross’ engine and gearbox options, we expect petrol and turbo diesel motors under the hood. The Go-Cross promises to be the priciest vehicle in the Datsun’s line up. Given the brand’s low cost appeal though, the vehicle could still be a compelling value proposition, getting slotted well under the Ford Ecosport.
Tata Bolt Sport
The slow selling Bolt wants to get up and running. The Bolt Sport is that answer. Like its name suggests, the sportier variant of Tata’s B+ segment hatchback has gotten J.Anand to massage the 1.2 liter Revotron turbo petrol engine. The result in a 108 Bhp peak power rating and 170 Nm of torque. Tata claims that the Bolt will go from 0-100 Kph in just 12 seconds. While this isn’t Punto Abarth beating performance, word suggests that the Bolt Sport could just be about 30-35 thousand rupees pricier than the regular Bolt. Now, that’s tremendous value. It’ll be up to Tata to convince enough buyers to see that.
Mahindra XUV500 Aero
The Aero coupe crossover concept, based on the Mahindra XUV500, wants to go into production. Even Anand Mahindra hinted just this, and Pawan Goenka went a step ahead to suggest that a call on the Aero’s viability for production would be taken in 3 months’ time.
Even if the Aero gets greenlit, don’t expect it to be in a Mahindra showroom near you in under 2 years. Yes, 2018 is when you can expect the production version of this concept. We only hope that the concept’s 210 Bhp output from the mHawk turbodiesel mill doesn’t get the heave-ho while the transition happens.
Hyundai quickly put together the HND14/Carlino concept for the Auto Expo 2016. This sub-4 meter SUV comes at a time when Toyota bid goodbye to the Scion, and in general boxy cars. Hyundai, on the other hand, is embracing boxiness, and that’s what the HND14 is all about.
A rival of the Mahindra TUV300, both in literal and design terms, the boxy Hyundai is said to be marching towards production in 2019. Knowing the speed at which the South Korean automaker operates, we won’t be surprised if this concept arrives onto Indian roads a year ahead of schedule.