Launches expected in the coming months

Nearly fifty new cars were unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo. A lot of them are slated for launches in the next couple of months. Here, we focus on the cars that will likely be launched in the first half of 2012.

In the SUV space, expect the Renault Duster to debut in June. In the MPV segment, Maruti Suzuki’s much awaited Ertiga MPV will likely be launched by the end of March. In the premium sedan segment, Hyundai will most likely launch the Sonata in March.

Among small cars, Hyundai’s volume driver, the i20 facelift and Chevrolet’s Sail hatchback are expected. In the sub-10 lakh sedan segment, Ford will launch the Fiesta automatic in March. Let’s take a quick look at each upcoming model.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga – March 2012

The Ertiga was unveiled at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo. The Ertiga was based on the extended Ritz hatchback platform. It is a compact 7-seater MPV and targets large family buyers.

Launches expected in the coming months


Looks: The Ertiga’s front looks like a buffed up Ritz, which is evident as the Ertiga is built on the Ritz platform. The rear of the Ertiga has Honda Jazz like tail lamps and a bland boot door. The interiors have a dashboard of the Ertiga has a Swift inspired design. The central console, AC vents, steering wheel, gear knob are all carried over from the Swift.

Performance and Mileage: The petrol variant of the Ertiga will be powered by a 1.4-litre K-series motor that makes 98 bhp of power and 130 Nm of torque. The Ertiga diesel will be powered by 1.3-litre DDiS super turbo that makes 90 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. Mileage wise, the Ertiga petrol has ARAI-certified fuel economy of 16.2 kmpl.

Variants and Prices: Maruti Suzuki may likely launch the Ertiga in the price range of Rs. 7 lakh – 9 lakh.

Hyundai Sonata – March 2012

Hyundai showcased the new Sonata at the Delhi Auto Expo. Dealers have confirmed that prices will likely be announced soon ad the launch is expected during the first week of March.

Launches expected in the coming months

Looks: The new Sonata boasts of Hyundai’s global ‘fluidic’ design language which is also seen on the Hyundai i10, the new Verna and the Eon. The smart curves and crease lines give it a dynamic yet elegant look. The car’s rear gets side swept tail lamp cluster, chrome tipped dual exhausts and a chrome strip on the boot lid too, giving it a premium look.

Performance and Mileage: he India-bound Sonata will be powered by the 2.4-litre GDI (Gasoline direct Injection) petrol motor with Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-VTVT). The engine puts out 198 bhp (201 PS) of power and 250 Nm of torque. The engines will be mated to 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Expect the mileage to be in the range of 10 – 14 kmpl.

Variants and Prices: The new Sonata will be offered in both manual and automatic variants. This luxury offering from Hyundai is expected to have a price tag of around Rs.18 lakh. This will allow the Sonata cut under the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry which are priced well above Rs. 20 lakh.

Ford Fiesta automatic – March 2012

Ford will launch the automatic variant of the Fiesta in March 2012. The automatic variant, however, will only be offered for the petrol version and may be priced at around Rs. 80,000 more than the manual variant.

Launches expected in the coming months

Looks: The Fiesta automatic will look exactly like the Fiesta manual variant. The Fiesta’s kinetic design theme including the inverted-trapezoidal grille and headlamps looks futuristic. However, the boot section looks a little out of proportion when compared to the car’s overall structure.

Performance and Mileage: The Fiesta automatic will be powered by 1.5-litre, Ti-VCT petrol motor that puts out 110 bhp of power and 140 Nm of torque. The Fiesta automatic features a six-speed twin-clutch gearbox.

The dual clutch mechanism is advanced when compared to the traditional auto box (torque converter). It allows the Fiesta automatic pick up much faster without compromising on mileage. The Fiesta automatic returns a claimed mileage of 16.97 kmpl which is very close to the mileage of manual variant (17 kmpl).

Variants and Prices: At present the Fiesta   petrol (manual) is offered in the range of Rs. 8.24 lakh – 9.43 lakh. Ford, will likely offer the automatic variant only in the Fiesta petrol top-end trim. Adding Rs 80,000 to the top-end Titanium + will make the Fiesta automatic price to be around Rs. 10.23 lakh.

Hyundai i20 facelift – April 2012

The i20 will get a cosmetic makeover in the next couple of months. Dealers confirmed that the launch will likely happen during April 2012. Bookings for the new i20 has started and dealers are converting bookings for the old model into new model.

Launches expected in the coming months

Looks: The new i20 will have a fluidic front like its siblings such as the i10, Verna and the Eon. The car will also get refreshed rear with new tail lamp cluster. On the inside, expect minimal changes such as revamped AC vents, new instrument cluster and the central console. The overall space and comfort of the new i20 will likely be same as the old model.

Performance and Mileage: The i20 petrol manual is expected to come with a 1.2-litre Kappa2 motor that powers the i20. The i20 petrol automatic will likely come with the same 1.4-litre motor that powers the current model. The i20 diesel will also most likely retain the same 1.4-litre engine. So performance wise and mileage wise, there may not be much difference between the new i20 and the old one.

Variants and Prices: The new i20 is expected to come with same variants such as Era, Magna, Sportz and Asta. Currently, the i20 petrol is priced in the range of Rs. 4.59 lakh – 8.09 lakh while the i20 diesel is priced in the range of Rs. 5.70 lakh – 7.45 lakh. The new i20 will likely be priced a little more than the price of the outgoing model.

Chevrolet Sail – May 2012

The Sail hatchback was initially designed by GM and SAIC, it’s Chinese partner. The Sail sits on the next-generation Opel Corsa platform. The Sail hatchback was showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo, 2012 and will be launched as Sail U-VA replacing the present Aveo U-VA.

Launches expected in the coming months


Looks: The Sail comes with the Chevrolet family bowtie grille at the front and side swept headlamps. The rear design is quite simplistic with high mounted tail-lamps like the Ford Figo and Fiat Punto. The rear hatch looks quite compact when compared to some of the other hatchbacks.

Performance and Mileage: The Sail U-VA petrol will likely be powered by a 1.2-litre motor that puts out a healthy 81 bhp of power. The Sail U-VA diesel will likely be powered by GM’s version of Fiat’s 1.3-litre multijet engine. However, launch of the diesel U-VA is scheduled only in the second half of 2012. It’s too early to gauge the mileage of the upcoming Sail U-VA.

Variants and Prices: The Sail U-VA may come in three trims PS, LS and LT. High local components will help GM India to price the Sail competitively. We expect GM India to price the Chevrolet Sail U-VA in the Rs. 4 lakh – 6 lakh price range.

Renault Duster – June 2012

Renault India will launch the Duster SUV in June 2012. Bookings for this SUV has already commenced and the booking amount ranges between Rs. 50,000 – Rs. 1 lakh.

Launches expected in the coming months


Looks: The Duster looks sturdy and a promising utility vehicle. The Duster has a simple yet robust design. It has traditional SUV looks with large headlamps and a simple horizontal grille. Its rear lacks visual appeal especially considering the small tail lamp cluster which doesn’t extend onto the boot door. Interiors of the Duster has not been revealed yet.

Performance and Mileage: The Duster petrol version will likely be powered by 1.6-litre motor that puts out 105 bhp of power. The Duster diesel may get the 1.5-litre dCI motor that makes 85 bhp of power. The claimed mileage of Duster petrol ranges between 12.6 kmpl – 13.3 kmpl (7.5-7.9 litres / 100 km) and that of Duster diesel ranges between 18.8 – 19.6 kmpl (5.1 – 5.3 litres / 100 km).

Features: The Duster is expected to get dual front airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, keyless entry, rear defogger, rear wiper & washer, electric mirrors, reverse parking sensors etc.

Variants and price details: Expect the Duster to come in front wheel drive version. Renault may price the Duster in the range of Rs. 7 lakh – 11 lakh.