Every once in two years, we automotive enthusiasts get our hopes high for the biennial event called the Auto Expo. And while nothing stops manufacturers from bringing new products every year, it’s platforms like the said show which offer a better visibility for the new cars, bikes, SUVs, trucks…
We look at five products which look promising enough to challenge the existing segment leaders and maybe dethrone them, too. Here’s the list:
While Datsun’s first products, the Go and the Go+, didn’t bring the kind of attention that the company must have expected, it’s the RediGo which appears to be slightly better prepared for the job. First, like the Renault Kwid it shares its platform with, it’s going to be more cost-effective, and will challenge the segment leader Alto directly. Also, the crossover-like styling (if that is brought over from the concept) will work wonders, too. And if the early rumours of Datsun bringing the AMT gearbox are true, then we are in for another successful product from the Renault-Nissan family.
Advantages: Frugal 800 cc engine, AMT (expected), crossover styling, and competitive pricing
Apart from the service-related issues and the recent ‘dieselgate’ related negative press, VW has a decent reputation in the country, especially in terms of build quality and brand appeal. Now taking it forward, if the company brings a product that sits somewhere between the Polo and the Vento, takes advantage of the sub-four-meter rule, and offers its customers a worthy alternative to other compact sedans, then VW surely has a winner in its portfolio. And that’s exactly what the VW Ameo is.
Advantages: Strong engine line-up (shared with the Polo), VW build, fit and finish, and chances of being the best enthusiast-oriented compact sedan
Based on the same platform as the Bolt, the Nexon compact SUV will be Tata’s first product in the sub-four-meter SUV/crossover line-up. Engine options will be shared with the Zest and the Bolt, and while it’s likely to skip AWD, the styling of the concept looked very promising indeed. Tata desperately needs products that help the company break free from its image and old designs. Thankfully the Zica and the upcoming Nexon will be fit for the job.
Advantages: Good engine line-up (Fiat-sourced diesel and Tata’s own turbocharged petrol), AMT, and Tata’s new designs look impressive indeed
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Maruti might be one of the oldest and the most well-established players in the market but there’s nothing in the compact SUV line-up from the company. The Vitara Brezza is going to change that, and from the limited exposure it’s got till now (via spy shots and teaser images), it’s clear that MSIL has been following the Indian customer closely. It will be available with the same engine options as the Swift and will rival other sub-four-meter SUVs/crossovers.
Advantages: Solid design, Maruti’s brand value, Fiat-sourced diesel engine
Tata Aria was a clear improvement over the Safari back in the day, but it failed to monetise on that. And while the Safari Storme moved ahead, the premium crossover from Tata lagged behind. Now with the Hexa, Tata looks to change all that. To start with, the Hexa looks rugged yet classy at the same time. Under the bonnet, it has a 156 PS, 400 Nm producing 2.2-liter diesel engine which comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. And to make it more desirable (and widen its appeal), the company is expected to offer an optional GM-sourced automatic gearbox, too. Should the competition be worried? We think so!
Advantages: Torquey engine, Good looks, Hugely improved interior
[VW Ameo image courtesy Motorbeam]