This festive season will see a flurry of cars being launched. While a few compact and luxury SUVs will be thrown in for good measure, the real movers and shakers of the market, in other words, hatchbacks, will dominate launch proceedings. From the Renault Kwid to the Fiat Punto Abarth, the budget hatchback buyer in India will be spoilt for choice this festive season. Here’s a full list of what’s coming up.
The Renault Kwid is one of the most important launches for the French automaker in India, both in terms of domestic sales and exports. For the buyer, the budget hatchback is exciting due to its baby Duster styling, high ground clearance and of course the price tag that promises to be very sharp indeed.
The Kwid will debut with an 800cc, triple cylinder petrol engine and a 5 speed manual gearbox. A 1 liter, 3 cylinder petrol will be added later, and so is the case with an automated manual transmission (AMT). A sub-3 lakh rupee price tag for the base variant of the Kwid is where the expectations are at.
Fiat Punto Abarth
The first mainstream, budget hatchback to crack the 10 second barrier in the 0-100 Kph sprint, the Fiat Punto Abarth will also be the most powerful car in its class, with 143 Bhp-211 Nm outputs from the 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine. The car will get stiffer suspension, and will sit lower to the ground in line with its sporty appeal.
Disc brakes on all four wheels will improve braking while ABS and airbags will be standard. A sub-10 lakh rupee price tag where the Punto Abarth is likely to be positioned at. The car will be Fiat’s most powerful offering in India, and also the priciest hatchback that the automaker has ever sold in the budget categories.
Pic: Figo Aspire
The production of the first generation Figo has ground to a halt at Maramalainagar, and its replacement’s production has already begun at Sanand, Gujarat. The car will be launched in about a month’s time, and will join the Figo Aspire as Ford’s second big car launch of the year. The new Figo hatchback looks more contemporary and gets more powerful petrol and turbo diesel engines.
Ford is likely to carry over the engine and gearbox line up of the Figo Aspire to its hatchback namesake. What this also means is that the Figo hatchback will now be peppier than even before. If Ford loads up the same kind of equipment, and plays the value pricing card, the Figo could get off to a very good start.
The Frankfurt Motor Show will see Suzuki unveiling the Baleno premium hatchback, a car that’s India bound. Codenamed the YRA/iK-2, the Baleno has been on the testing circuit for a while now, and Maruti Suzuki is expected to launch the car by the end of this year.
In India, the Baleno will take aim at the likes of the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20, as Maruti Suzuki’s most expensive hatchback. The car is expected to feature 1.2 liter K-Series petrol and 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engines. At a later date, the 1 liter BoosterJet turbo petrol engine may be introduced.
Tata Motors is readying up the Indica-replacement, which is code-named the Kite. The Kite is an all new effort from Tata Motors, and one that gets a complete stylistic makeover. The car is expected to bet big on triple cylinder power to maximize fuel efficiency. 3 cylinder petrol and turbo diesel engines with 1.05 liter capacities are likely, and so are AMT options.
Five speed manual gearboxes will be standard fare though. The car will sit in between the Nano and Bolt in terms of price and positioning. Spacious interiors with good fit and finish levels, and a comprehensive set of features are likely to define Tata’s latest hatchback.