Snapshot – Sporty yet affordable. This is a theme that will resound louder than ever before in the Indian car market this year, what with half a dozen such cars getting lined up for launches. From a high performance branding building hatchback to the first electric sports car in the country, this segment will cut across categories. India will also receive its first homegrown sportscar, pitted to be a proud moment for the nation.
Fiat Abarth 500 Competizione
Fiat will unleash the Abarth 500 Competizione into India later this month. First shown at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, this diminutive yet powerful hatchback has taken a while to arrive into the country. An import through the completely built unit (CBU) route, the Abarth 500 Competizione features a 1.4 liter turbocharged petrol engine good for 158 Bhp-230 Nm. A five speed automated manual transmission transmits torque to the front wheels of the car, making the Abarth 500 the first Fiat in the country to get the AMT option. The Abarth 500’s price tag is likely to be close to the 30 lakh rupee mark.
DC Avanti Sportscar
DC Design will launch India’s first homegrown sportscar, the DC Avanti, in the country later this year. The Avanti will also be a relatively affordable option, as far as sportscars go. Built at Talegaon, off Pune, the Avanti will use a 2 liter-4 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that makes 248 Bhp of peak power and 366 Nm of peak torque. A six speed manual gearbox will drive the rear wheels of the mid-engined sportscar, which will also get a higher powered, naturally aspirated V6 motor in the times to come. The DC Avanti is expected to be priced at about the 35 lakh rupee mark, making it good value.
Mahindra Halo Electric Sportscar
India’s first electric sportscar, the Halo, was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo. The launch of this car will happen later this year, and the Halo will sit right at the top of Mahindra Reva’s electric car line up in the country. The Halo is a twin seat car meant exclusively for city streets and the occasional jaunt on an open stretch of highway. The car is powered by an electric motor juiced by lithium ion batteries, which offer a range per charge of about 200 kilometers. Top speed is 160 Kph while the 0-100 Kph run is dispatched in a quick 8 seconds. The Halo’s sticker price is expected to be pegged under the 20 lakh rupee mark.
Fiat Abarth Avventura
Fiat will kickstart its performance foray into India with the Abarth 500 hatchback. The brand will soon expand this foray to include mass market cars. Later this year, an Abarth kit equipped Avventura will make land fall. The Abarth Avventura is likely to gain a 1.4 liter T-Jet turbo petrol motor in addition to the racy body kit. The Abarth Avventura will be Fiat’s answer to Ford India’s EcoSport crossover equipped with the EcoBoost turbo petrol motor. A sub-10 lakh rupee price tag is what the Abarth Avventura is expected to be priced at.
Fiat Abarth Punto EVO
Like the Abarth Avventura, the Punto EVO will gain the Abarth treatment this year. The Punto EVO with Abarth badges will also use the 1.4 liter T-Jet turbocharged petrol engine borrowed from the Linea sedan. This engine is expected to be sold in the 114 Bhp-207 Nm state of tune, with a five speed manual transmission to boot. The front wheel driven Punto EVO in Abarth form will be the quickest ever Punto sold in India. A price tag under 10 lakh rupees will make the Punto Abarth a competitor to the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the GT TDI models.
Mini Cooper S
Mini India launched the 4th generation, 2014 Cooper late last year. However, the hatchback was launched in diesel form. The performance centric Cooper S variant of the hatchback will be launched this year. The Cooper uses a high performance, turbocharged 2 liter petrol engine with outputs of 189 Bhp and 280 Nm (300 Nm on Overboost). This engine gets a six speed automatic gearbox that drives the car’s front wheels. The Cooper S will be the flagship model in the Mini Cooper range of hatchbacks sold in India, what with a price tag close to the 40 lakh rupee mark. Both 3 and 5 door variants are likely to be offered.