It’s been more than a fortnight since our first visit to the 2016 Auto Expo. And while there were some great car and bike exhibits, a couple of cars expected at the biennial event didn’t show up. We look at a few of them:
First displayed at the 2014 Auto Expo in the concept form, the smallest Datsun is based on the same platform as the Kwid. The vehicle could have made it to the Auto Expo in the production guise but it could not. The Kwid on the other hand moved a level further by adding a 1-liter engine and AMT gearbox to the line-up.
We expect the redi-GO to turn up later this year, and if Economic Times’ sources are telling the truth, the vehicle can get a 1.2-liter petrol engine, too, rather than the smaller units from the Kwid. Maybe that’s why it was delayed in the first place.
Mahindra Quanto Facelift
Mahindra might have got all the eyeballs with the XUV Aero Concept, but a lot of us (journalists, enthusiasts – whatever you want to call us) were waiting for the facelifted version of the Quanto. Not that it’s the most interesting thing on the planet, but we were eager to see if the company had rounded off the rough edges. The competition in the segment is going to be strong, and while the TUV essentially is an improved Quanto, the presence of test mules kept our hopes high.
Hyundai Hexa Space
While Hyundai might be stronger than ever in the compact SUV and premium hatchback segments, but the carmaker is yet to offer something in the MPV segment. And that makes the absence of the production version of the Hexa Space concept troubling. The vehicle, when it goes on sale, is expected to be powered by the 1.4- and 1.6-liter petrol and diesel engines.
The company instead showcased a sub-four-meter SUV concept (Carlino) which, according to a recent report, can go on sale as early as 2018. The increased importance (and priority) given to the small SUV is justified if you see the current market condition – the said segment is booming with new and upcoming products and Hyundai’s absence won’t do the carmaker any good. On the other hand, the MPV market isn’t certainly as lucrative, is it?
Maruti Suzuki Vitara
While the Vitara Brezza made a rather amazing appearance at the Expo, we wished the bigger SUV was also present. You see, the latter can sit perfectly atop the S-Cross and offer the buyers in the segment a great alternative to top-spec compact SUVs, Mahindra XUV500, and even the Skoda Yeti. Considering Maruti knows how to market its products well, we won’t be surprised if the carmaker lets the Vitara Brezza do the brand-building and then launches the namesake (without the ‘Brezza’) and attracts more buyers to NEXA.
The full-size SUV market could have regained its momentum had Isuzu, Toyota, and Mitsubishi launched their respective products in the segment, especially with Ford done so with the brilliant new Endeavour. While it was almost certain that both the new Fortuner and the new Pajero Sport will take longer than an early 2016 appearance, the MU-X’s absence was felt. You see, the MU-7 might be a good product but it feels old and with new products expected to reach the segment soon, Isuzu could have made an early start with the MU-X. What made its absence more evident was the presence of the new D-Max pick-up truck, which looks amazing and could have complemented the SUV’s presence.