The biennial event, Auto Expo, will have more than 80 new launches/unveils, which is quite something, considering it’s yet to achieve the ‘global’ status that other shows like Paris, Frankfurt, Geneva, etc. enjoy. However that will soon change, considering there will be quite a few global debuts of new vehicles in India, in about a day from now. We look at vehicles which will be presented to India before anyone else, hence helping improve India’s presence on the global automotive map, and the show more of a global event.
Based on the same platform as the Renault Kwid, the Datsun redi-GO will be present at the 2016 Auto Expo, in a production-ready version. While it will share the mechanicals, it’s likely that the design will be closer to other Datsuns and will certainly draw inspiration from its namesake concept. With the Kwid likely to be making a global appearance (a test mule was caught recently), the redi-GO could follow suit as well.
Chevrolet Beat Cross
Apart from halo products like Corvette and Camaro, the American carmaker will also be bringing something within reach of the everyday car buyer. The company released a teaser image of what appears to be a crossover version of the next-generation Beat (known globally as Spark), and it’s headed to the Auto Expo. With the newfound love the Indian market has for everything rugged, it’s almost certain that the Beat Cross will attract a lot of eyeballs.
Tata Zica-based sedan/Sway
Both the Tata Zica and a compact sedan based on it will be present at the Auto Expo, it’s going to be the latter which makes an appearance for the first time. The Zica will go on sale soon after the show and the sedan – rumoured to be called ‘Sway’ – will be added to the line up later this year. Given that it will replace the Indigo eCS, and sit below the Zest, expect very competitive pricing for this one. Engine options will be shared with the Zica hatchback.
Chevrolet Beat Essentia Compact Sedan
The sub-four-meter segment is lucrative, both for customers and manufacturers, and Chevrolet appears to be ready for it as well. Early reports suggest that the company will bring out a Beat-based ‘Essentia’ compact sedan at the 2016 Auto Expo. While it’s going to be the concept making an appearance first, expect the production version to reach the market in a year from now.
Like Chevrolet, Volkswagen will also be entering the sub-four-meter sedan market, but unlike the Essentia, the VW Ameo is expected to be ready for production. As it’s based on the Polo, the Ameo will use the same engine options as the hatchback, but more details will be out at a press conference on the eve of the Expo. Given how solid the Polo feels, and the way it drives, the Ameo could go on to become the most enthusiast-oriented compact sedan in the country.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
The Baleno isn’t the only moniker that MSIL brought back, as the company will launch a new compact SUV called Vitara Brezza at the 2016 Auto Expo. The vehicle will be sub four meters in length, and will rival other compact SUVs like the Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300. Further details will be out soon, but a new report claims that a 90 hp diesel engine will power the vehicle. Considering the company has made enough advancements in manufacturing to ensure their cars stay light, the Vitara Brezza could be good to drive as well.
Showcased first in 2014, the Nexon is going to be Tata Motors’ first compact SUV. Tata Motors needs to widen its portfolio, and with the introduction of products like the Zica twins, the Nexon, and the Hexa, the company will have a line-up full of desirable products. The Nexon is said to be based on the same platform as the Bolt, so expect the same 1.2-liter turbocharged petrol and 1.3-liter diesel engine choices. AWD is out of question, but with neat styling and good interior, the Nexon could be a good contender in the compact SUV market.
Hyundai’s sub-four meter SUV
The company already has the very successful Creta compact SUV (not sub-four-meter) and the Active i20 positioned below it, but that gap is quite huge. And considering the latter is more of a hatchback than something that could compete with the EcoSport and the TUV, it becomes all the sense to introduce a product in the segment. Pricing will be crucial as Hyundai can’t afford to lose the Creta’s sales. We are in for a surprise!
Mahindra XUV Aero Coupe
The SUV Coupe segment has seen incremental growth, but all that is in the premium market (X6, GLE Coupe, Evoque Coupe etc.). Mahindra is expected to use the same formula but in a couple of price brackets lower. The XUV-based Aero Concept will showcase the firm’s idea, and while the production plans might not be out now, given how popular the XUV is, this one’s going to be a show-stopper.
The Aria replacement will also be debuting in production avatar at the 2016 Auto Expo. The vehicle will be powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine that makes 156 PS and 400 Nm of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard while an optional six-speed automatic is also expected. But more importantly, early pictures and spy shots of the vehicle have showcased what could be the most imposing vehicle in Tata’s line-up.
[Note: Photos of Chevrolet Spark and Hyundai Creta used for representational purposes only. Volkswagen Ameo photo courtesy of Motorbeam.]