Recently, it came to light that the Government is planning to relax import norms for premium EVs, cars, and motorcycles. By doing so, it will pave the way for many high-end vehicles, like the Toyota Alphard, to launch in India. As per the current norms, homologation-free import of only cars that cost at least USD 40,000 (approx Rs 27 lakh) is allowed. This has kept Toyota away from launching the Alphard in India. The relaxation in this rule will finally enable Toyota Kirloskar Motor to launch the high-end MPV in India. For the uninitiated, the Toyota Alphard is a bigger and more premium MPV than the Innova Crysta.
The relaxation in norms will enable Toyota to import 2,500 units of the Alphard every year without getting the homologation done. The Alphard comes across as a more spacious and more luxurious alternative to the highly popular Toyota Innova Crysta. The MPV will come to us via the CKD route. In India, the Alphard is expected to cost in excess of Rs 50 lakh, which will make it a really high-end offering.
The Alphard offers eight seats and is powered by the same 2.5-litre petrol-hybrid powertrain that is found in the Camry. The petrol engine runs on Atkinson’s cycle. Overall, the petrol-hybrid powertrain offers 202 bhp of maximum power. The motor comes mated to an e-CVT. The Alphard has been critically acclaimed for its really high levels of refinement and occupant comfort. The cabin is made up of high-quality materials along with top-notch fit and finish.
It’s not the first time that Toyota Kirloskar Motor has considered launching a premium MPV in India. Earlier, the company planned to bring the Hiace to our country. Akin to the Alphard, the Hiace is a large MPV that has been successful in markets like Singapore. The Hiace was expected to come to us via the CBU route, which would have resulted in a rather stratospheric price tag. The CKD assembly for the Alphard should ensure that prices remain justifiable.
Unlike the Hiace, the Alphard doesn’t have a diesel engine. However, it’s a much more modern and premium vehicle. The long list of features that the Alphard comes with includes – audio system with 12 JBL speakers, navigation system, wireless smartphone charger, airbags, reverse guide, air conditioning with nano-e, 3 zone automatic climate control, back monitor with corner sensors, front seat ventilation system, power sunshade for rear windshield, power recline rear seat, LED headlamps, auto folding and reverse linked ORVM’s with memory, vehicle stability control, and hill-start assist control.
We feel that it will be pretty interesting to see how the high-end MPV buyers react to the most luxurious people-mover from Toyota.