Snapshot – The world is flat and more so, the car world. Concepts and showcars that make their debuts many continents apart sell in locales completely foreign weeks later. The ongoing Paris Motor Show is one such major global motor show where many upcoming cars make their international debut. A bunch of such cars eventually make their way into India as well. In Part One of this two part series, CarToq rounds up 9 out of 15 such cars that are due for Indian launches in the 18 months or so.
Mini Cooper 3 and 5 Door Hatchbacks
Later this year, Mini India will introduce the 4th generation version of the iconic Mini Cooper range of sporty hatchbacks. While the 3 door versions of the Mini Cooper and Cooper S made their international debuts late last year, the 5 door models graced this year’s Paris Motor Show. Both cars are likely to land into India next year as they combine sporty with everyday practicality. The 5 door variants of the 2015 Mini Cooper and Cooper S hatchbacks are expected to sit at the top of the model line up in terms of price and positioning, vis-a-vis the three door models.
Early next year, Maruti Suzuki will launch the S-Cross crossover in India. The S-Cross is expected to priced and positioned alongside the Dusters and Terranos of this world. The S-Cross will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engine options in India. Maruti Suzuki is also contemplating a CNG option for its latest crossover, in line with its latest strategy of giving buyers more options in terms of fuel choices. The S-Cross will measure over 4 meters in length, and will therefore not be eligible for a lower rate of excise. On the brighter side, Maruti Suzuki will be able to position the S-Cross as a no-compromise crossover.
Suzuki Swift Facelift
In the next few weeks, the Swift hatchback, a best selling car in its category in India, will receive a mild nip and tuck job. In terms of design, the facelifted Swift will get minor tweaks at the front and the rear. The 1.2 liter K-Series petrol engine and the 1.3 liter Fiat Multijet turbo diesel engines are expected to retained. While 5 speed manual transmissions will be standard on both engines, Maruti Suzuki may offer an automatic gearbox option for the petrol powered model. The Swift Facelift will also get a few additional features on the inside. In terms of pricing, expect a slight upward revision for the facelifted model.
Honda CR-V Facelift
The Euro-Spec Honda CR-V Crossover made its international debut at the Paris Motor Show. The crossover is India bound next year. In terms of looks, the 2015 Euro-Spec CR-V gets tweaks to the front and the rear, with LED DRLs and headlamps being major additions. Mechanically, the CR-V Diesel gains a 1.6 liter all-aluminium turbo diesel motor in 160 Bhp-350 Nm state of tune. A 9 speed automatic gearbox is available with this engine as an option. Honda will also sell the 2015 CR-V with a 1.6 liter turbo diesel engine in lower, 120 Bhp-300 Nm state of tune.
2015 Porsche Cayenne
The high performance Cayenne luxury SUV is Porsche’s best selling car in India. Naturally, the Cayenne is very important to Porsche’s fortunes here. A facelifted version of the Cayenne made its show debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show. The luxury SUV will land in India next year, through the completely built unit (CBU) import route. The turbo diesel engines of the Cayenne gain power while the petrol powered SUV gains is a new, downsized engine. The front and rear of the Cayenne show cosmetic changes while additional features make it to the inside and outside of the luxury SUV.
2015 Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen has stopped selling its range-topping Passat luxury sedan in India. An all-new model, which is being showcased at Paris, is in the works for an Indian launch next year. The MQB platform-based luxury sedan gets smaller in terms of its exterior dimensions but offers more space on the inside due to clever space management techniques and a longer wheelbase. The 2015 Passat also gains a slew of high performance turbo petrol and turbo diesel motor, in what is an all-turbo engine line up. The Passat is also offered with a hybrid option. For India though, expect Volkswagen to offer a single turbo diesel motor equipped 2015 Passat line up. The sharper, lighter and more fuel efficient Passat also gets more features on the inside. Expect pricing to nudge close to the 30 lakh rupee mark.
Mercedes Benz C-Class
Mercedes Benz India has stopped assembling the current generation (W204) C-Class luxury sedan, in anticipation of the all-new W205 model. The W205 2015 C-Class luxury sedan gets larger and lighter than before. The lightness is courtesy the extensive use of aluminium in the car’s construction. The 2015 C-Class borrows styling cues from the larger S-Class luxury saloon. In terms of features, the C-Class gains a raft of safety equipment, while the engines of the car squeeze out better mileage due to the car’s lower weight. Since Mercedes Benz India will launch the CLA sedan in a few months from now, the 2015 C-Class could move up the price spectrum, with even its entry-level variants starting at over 30 lakh rupees.
2014 Honda Jazz
The Honda Jazz B+ segment hatchback will be the Japanese automaker’s major launch for the Indian car market next year. The car will see heavy localization to suit Indian budgets. The localization is also expected to translate into lower ownership costs. The 2014 Jazz will be sold with petrol and turbo diesel engines. Expect pricing to be pegged in between that of the Amaze and the City sedans, in line with how Hyundai has priced the all-new i20 Elite hatchback. The Jazz will be sold as a versatile hatchback that is aimed at buyers looking for practicality, style and reliability from a premium Honda hatchback.
Renault Lodgy MPV
Renault’s next big volume product for India is the Lodgy MPV and the French automaker has already begun testing the MPV in India. With the Lodgy, Renault India will be keen to shake off the one-product wonder tag, which has stuck to the automaker after its solitary success, the Duster. In terms of pricing, the Lodgy is likely to be positioned above the likes of the Maruti Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio, but below the Toyota Innova. Petrol and turbo diesel engines could be offered on the Lodgy sold in India, with manual gearboxes standard on both engine options. The Lodgy will be launched here next year.