Many car-makers showcased their upcoming cars in the Auto Expo 2020. These cars were supposed to be launched inFebruary and April, once the Auto Expo 2020 was over. However, that never happened because of the global Covid-19 or Coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 forced the manufacturers to postpone their launches or to opt for a silent launch through their websites.
Some big launches from big manufacturers like MG Motors, Honda and Hyundai were scheduled, which now have been postponed indefinitely.
Here we have compiled a list of launches that were scheduled:
MG Hector Plus
MG Motors was supposed to launch the six-seater version of Hector in April. As shared by RajeevChaba, the President &MD, MG Motors India, the launch of their third vehicle in the line-up- The Hector Plus was supposed to be a surprise.Now the launch of Hector Plus has been delayed until June 2020. Hector Plus boasts of some exterior changes than the regular Hector. It comes with a different LED Daytime running lamps and headlamps and the grille is also piano black. At the rear, the red stripe between the taillamps has been removed making the taillamps sleeker. All of this helps the Hector Plus to look premium and posh than its 5-seater version. The new SUV will continue to offer the same engine options as the regular Hector which means that there will be 2.0-litre fiat sourced diesel engine (170 PS/350 Nm), 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine (143 PS/250 Nm) and a mild hybrid version of the petrol engine. Once launched in June, the Hector Plus should start around at Rs. 14-15 lakhs ex-showroom.
The baby Karoq was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020. It was supposed to be launched in April. However, now the launch of the Karoq has been pushed to the end of May. The production of the SUV is limited to 2,500 units a year because it will be a CBU unit that Skoda will import in India without the need for homologation. Just like the Kodiaq, Octavia, Tiguan and other VW group cars, the Karoq is also based on the MQB platform. There is only one fully loaded variant available in India which offers a panoramic sunroof, 12-way electronically adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, LED headlamps and taillights, virtual cockpit, 9 airbags and much more. The touchscreen infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 150 Bhp and 250 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a brilliant 7-speed DSG automatic gearbox. Though the launch of Skoda Karoq is pushed to the end of May the dealerships have already started accepting bookings for Rs. 50,000. The Karoq is expected to be priced around Rs. 20 lakhs ex-showroom.
The Gravitas is the 7-seater and bigger version of the Harrier. The SUV was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 and it was supposed to be launched in April. The SUV boasts of subtle exterior changes such as a different coloured front grille, different tail lamps and a raked rear windscreen. The interiors are kept similar to the Harrier but instead of a black-brown cabin,it comes with a black-beige cabin. The 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system has been carried over from the Harrier and it comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is cruise control, electrically adjustable driver seat, semi-digital instrument cluster and much more. It will be powered by the Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine that produces 170 Bhp of power and 350 Nm torque. The engine will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The pricing of the flagship SUV from Tata is expected to start from Rs. 15 lakhs ex-showroom. The launch of the Gravitas has been pushed to second-half of 2020.
Mahindra XUV300 Sportz
Mahindra revealed its new turbocharged mStallion range of engines that come with direct injection. The new 1.2-litre engine was supposed to debut on the Mahindra XUV300 Sportz variant. This new engine produces 130 Bhp and 230 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful compact SUV in the market. The XUV300 itself has not received any major changes. The Sportz variant comes with “Sportz” decals, red brake calipers and body graphics on the exterior. The interior will come with a sporty black cabin with red stitching and red inserts in the cabin. The XUV300 is one of the SUVs that offer the most features in its segment. It comes with all four disc brakes, 7 airbags, front parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, heated ORVMs and TPMS. The Sportz variant is expected to cost around Rs. 12.2 lakhs ex-showroom and will be launched later this year.
Honda WR-V facelift
The WR-V was due for a facelift for a long time and when the Japanese carmaker teased it, the Covid19 pandemic broke out and a national lockdown was initiated by the government. The launch was officially planned in April. The facelift will come with LED projector headlights with LED Daytime-Running Lamps and some styling tweaks here and there. Honda also features cruise control and a sunroof. The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine is expected to continue in BS6 avatar. The petrol engine produces 88 bhp and the diesel produces 98 bhp of power. The bookings for the WR-V facelift were commenced in March 2020 for Rs. 21,000 and the facelift should be priced around Rs. 8.20 lakhs ex-showroom.
The 2020 Honda City was supposed to be launched on March 16 which has now been cancelled due to the lockdown. The new Honda City is longer and wider than the outgoing one which means that the new car should offer more cabin space. The current generation was known for its back-seat comfort and we expect that the new version will only enhance that comfort. The sedan will come with 6 airbags, electric sunroof, semi-digital instrument cluster and a lane watch camera. At the exterior, there will be new LED headlamps and tail lights with Daytime running Lamps and also a thick chrome slat joining the front headlamps just like the new Civic. As of now, the launch date remains undeclared by Honda. The price of the base variant is expected to start from Rs. 10 lakhs ex-showroom.
Skoda Rapid 1.0
Skoda Rapid 1.0 was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020. Skoda commenced the bookings for the Rapid 1.0 on March 16. The changes to the sedan were only mechanical and there were no cosmetic changes. However, the Rapid now does come with an updated new touchscreen infotainment system. Skoda introduced their new 1.0 TSI petrol that produces 110 Bhp and 175 Nm of torque. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission. The same engine is also on duty with VW Vento and Polo. The delivery and launch of the sedan were supposed to happen in mid-April which now has been delayed. The booking amount decided by the Skoda is Rs 50,000 and the booking was opened from Mar 16. However, there is no confirmed date of the new launch date for the Rapid 1.0.
The new Tucson comes with new front and rear bumpers, new headlamps and sleek alloy wheels. The interior has been upgraded with a new floating touchscreen infotainment system, BlueLink connected tech and ventilated seats. The engines are now BS6 compliant for stricter emissions. The petrol motor pumps out 150 bhp & 192 Nm while the diesel produces 182 Bhp & 400 Nm. The diesel engine will now come with an 8-speed AT instead of a 6-speed AT whereas; the petrol engine will continue to use the 6-speed AT. Hyundai was supposed to launch the new Tucson by the end of March. Due to the lockdown, the launch has been postponed and the new date has not yet been shared by Hyundai but we do expect the new pricing to start from Rs. 20 lakhs ex-showroom.
No one was expecting that Renault will introduce a new engine for the Duster at the Auto Expo 2020. Duster is always known for its SUV presence, feel and ruggedness. But as the competition got stiff, Renault decided to introduce a much powerful turbocharged petrol engine for the Duster. Currently, the Duster is sold with a 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine that comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. This engine produces 106 PS and 142 Nm. However, the new engine is much more powerful than the current one. The 1.3-litre petrol engine produces 153 bhp and 250 Nm of torque which is significantly more than the 1.5-litre engine. As per the rumours, the current engine will continue to be offered on the lower variants. The new engine will come with a 6-speed manual transmission or a CVT. There may be some cosmetic upgrades such as new graphics, new alloy wheels and red accents on the exterior and interior. The current Duster offers LED DRL’s, push-button start/stop, automatic climate control, cruise control and much more. The SUV should have been launched in April but the launch date has now been pushed forward to August. Renault Duster is expected to be priced at Rs. 13 lakhs ex-showroom.
These are some of the car launches that got postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, unfortunately. The automotive industry was already not in good shape and the lockdown has worsened it. Once, the lockdown gets over, COVID-19 is under control and economy starts to recover we can expect the automotive industry to start recovering. Having said that many exciting launches are happening shortly.