Upcoming launches in November to watch out for!

Over the next six weeks, (between October and November), six cars are likely to be launched. Among the six cars expected to launch in this period are the Skoda Rapid and the Mini Xylo, Audi Q3, Tata Safari Merlin and the Face lifted Honda City. Let’s see what these upcoming cars have in store for Indian buyers.

Skoda Rapid

Looks: The Rapid has a Fabia like while the rear is inspired by the Volkswagen Vento and its own sibling, the Laura. On the inside too, there are expectations that the Rapid will borrow many bits from the Vento and Fabia. Overall, the Rapid is a conservatively designed sedan with god proportions.

Upcoming launches in November to watch out for!

Performance: The Skoda Rapid will be powered by the same 1.6 litre petrol and 1.6 litre diesel engines that power the Volkswagen Vento. The 1.6 litre petrol engine of the Rapid will make 104 Bhp of maximum power at 5,250 rpm and 153 Nm of maximum torque @ 3,800 rpm. The engine will be mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and an optional 6 speed transmission. Also see: Skoda Rapid images revealed

The 1.6 litre diesel engine of the Rapid will produce 104 Bhp of maximum power at 4,400 rpm and 250 Nm of maximum torque between 1,500 to 2,500 rpm and will likely be offered with only a 5-speed manual transmission. Both the petrol and diesel motors of the Vento are known for inspiring performance and fuel efficiency. Hence, we expect similar driving characteristics from the Rapid as well.

Mileage: We expect the petrol Rapid to return a mileage of roughly 16 kmpl while the diesel Rapid will likely return a mileage of around 20 kmpl.

Features: The Rapid may be equipped with features as in the Vento. Expect features like climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, steering mounted audio controls, rear AC vents, fog lamps, electric mirrors, keyless entry, push-button start, folding rear seats, airbags, ABS and EBD.

Variants and prices: The Rapid may likely be priced in the Rs. 6.5 – 10 lakh range. Essentially, the Rapid will be more affordable than the Volkswagen Vento, as per the two companies’ market strategy in India. For instance, the Fabia is priced slightly cheaper than the Polo.

Mini Xylo

Looks: The Mini Xylo is a shorter version of the Xylo sans the third row of seats and boot. The interiors of the Mini Xylo too are expected to resemble the interiors of the present Xylo MUV.

Upcoming launches in November to watch out for!

Performance: The Mini Xylo will be powered by a 1.5 litre, 3-cylinder diesel motor, but the power and torque figures are not known yet. As per our exclusive first drive of the Mini Xylo, we felt the engine is refined and did not feel underpowered at all.

Mileage: We expect the mini Xylo to return a fuel economy of around 18 kmpl. This we assume based on the feedback given by the people associated with testing the mini Xylo said the vehicle consistently gave them mileage of over 18 kmpl.

Convenience Features: With regard to convenience features, the Mini Xylo will come with power windows, foldable rear seats, driver seat adjust, remote fuel lid opener, rear AC vents and rear wiper.

Variants and Prices: There are no details available about the variants of mini Xylo. But, thinking in the conventional way, we expect three variants, the base with minimal features, the mid with compromise on safety features but with gadgets such as music system, while the top-end may include safety features such as ABS and Airbags. The price of the Mini Xylo is likely to be priced in the Rs. 5 – 6 lakh range. The only competition to Mini Xylo will be the Premier Rio (Rs. 5.25 -5.95 lakh).

Audi Q3

Looks: The Q3 looks a lot like a downsized Q5. In fact, the Q3 is just 20 cm shorter and 7 cm narrower compared to the present Q5. The sharp looking headlamps, large front grille and attractive tail lamps give the Q3 a bold road presence despite its compact size.

Upcoming launches in November to watch out for!
Photo: 2011 Audi Q3

Performance: Audi will likely launch the Q3 in 2.0 litre engines in both petrol and diesel. The 2.0 TFSI petrol motor will likely produce 170 bhp of maximum power and would be mated to a 6-speed transmission and the 2.0 TDI diesel motor will make 211 bhp and will likely be mated to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission. Audi will be launching the Q3 with four wheel drive and this will make the Q3 gain an advantage over its chief rival, the BMW X1 which is only available as a rear wheel drive vehicle.

Mileage: We expect the mileage of the Q3 to be around 12 kmpl. Its chief rival, the BMW X1 returns a ARAI-certified mileage of 11.24 kmpl.

Gadgetry: The Q3 is expected to come with lot of gadgets such as sports seats, storage package, electrically adjustable and heated seats, start-stop technology, keyless entry, on-board computer with fuel efficiency program, an ambient lighting package with LEDs, two-zone AC, tinted rear windows, and 3-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel.

Variants and Prices: Audi may launch the Q3 in three variants, the base petrol, top-end petrol, base diesel and top-end diesel. The base variants may not have Quattro (all-wheel-drive) system while the top-end variants may likely be loaded with all gizmos plus the Quattro.  Prices of the Q3 is expected to be in the range of Rs. 25 – 35 lakh, to compete with the BMW X1 (Rs. 22 – 29.90 lakh).

Tata Safari Merlin

Looks: The new Safari will have redesigned front grille, Range Rover-inspired tailgate and subtle changes on the side profile. The interiors of the new Safari are expected to come with upmarket features. Improvement in fit and finish, plastic quality are also anticipated in the new Safari.

Performance: The new Safari will likely come with a dual mass flywheel that powers the newly launched Tata Aria. The engine will most likely be the same 2.2 litre Dicor that powers the present Safari. A standard or optional 4×4 all-wheel drive will likely be offered on the upcoming Safari, though the company may retain the present Borg-Warner part-time system as well.

The upcoming Safari is expected to adopt the X2 platform on which the Tata Aria is based. Hence, there will likely be improvement in terms of ride quality and handling.

Mileage: The present ARAI-certified mileage of Safari is 13.93 kmpl. The new Safari may have a slightly better mileage of say 15 kmpl.

Comfort features: The Safari is known for its comfort and we expect the new Safari to come with changes that aid in improving the riding comfort further such as redesigned seats, driver-oriented controls on the dashboard, better suspension and overall improvement in NVH (Noise Vibration harshness) levels.

Variants and Price details: We expect Tata to launch the new Safari in four trim levels, three trim levels for the 4×2 version and a top-end trim for the 4×4 version, similar to the present trims. Expect the price of the upcoming Safari to be around Rs.11 lakh.

City Facelift

Looks: The new City will have minor design changes, especially at the rear taillamp cluster and at the front grille. The overall design of the car will remain more or less the same.

Upcoming launches in November to watch out for!

Performance: The new City will most likely retain the same 1.5 litre i-vtec petrol motor that makes 118 PS of power. This motor is rev happy and together with the slick gearbox, makes urban driving hassle free.

Mileage: The Honda City facelift will have the same mileage of the present model. The ARAI-certified mileage of Honda City is 16.70 kmpl

Comfort Features: The new City will likely get sun roof in the top-end variant. There may not be many changes in the features list otherwise.

Variants and Prices: Being a cosmetic upgrade, the upcoming City will likely be offered in the same three trim levels, E MT, S MT and V MT plus an automatic variant, V AT. Honda may slightly up the prices of the City facelift and hence expect the prices to range from Rs. 7.5 – 9.5 lakh.