Snapshot – Do you intend to buy a new car in India, in the next three months? We have news for you. The next 12 weeks are likely to see no less than 8 cars getting launched in India’s mass market segments. We’ve put together a list that will give you a brief idea on what to expect from each of these cars. So jump right in to know what’s coming up.
Tata Nano GenX
On the 19th of May, Tata Motor will launch the Nano GenX in India. Essentially, the day of launch will be when the prices of the car will be revealed. The Nano GenX is a facelifted version of the world’s least priced car. From revamped exteriors and interiors, Tata Motors has also added features. The most prominent among the additional features on the car are the automated manual transmission and the openable hatch lid. Our sources indicate that the Nano AMT would be priced at about 3.28 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Mumbai, making for a 3.5-3.6 lakh rupee on-road price tag. All set to be the least priced automatic car in the country, the Nano GenX AMT represents stonking value.
On the 20th of May, the big man at Renault-Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, will fly into India to unveil the Renault Kayou hatchback. The car will feature a tall-boy design with rumours even suggesting a crossover-like design, replete with high ground clearance and a high seating position. Based on the CMF-A platform, the car will be the French automaker’s lowest priced offering, and will use an 800cc, triple cylinder petrol motor for propulsion. An AMT option is also likely to a part of the variant mix on the Kayou, which will be launched later this year. The event on the 20th May is more of a global preview of the car, which will also be sold internationally. The official launch with price announcement will happen in the second half of 2015.
Tata Safari Storme Facelift
The Safari Storme Facelift has already reached Tata Motors’ showrooms around India, and bookings for the 7 seat SUV are already on. In terms of design on the outside, things remain largely similar. A honeycomb grille and a revised bumper are the only significant exterior changes. On the inside, the stereo now gets integrated into the center console, which sees a redesign. The steering wheel is new, and gains audio controls. The clutch is another item that Tata motors has worked on. Under the hood, the 2.2 liter Varicor turbo diesel motor gets a mild power bump up to 148 Bhp, while torque remains unchanged at 320 Nm. A 5 speed manual transmission with an optional four wheel drive system will continue to be offered on the Storme.
Mahindra XUV500 Facelift
The facelifted Mahindra XUV500 crossover will soon follow the refreshed Storme. Mahindra’s flagship crossover will get more than just a mild makeover. Up front, the headlamps, grille and bumper are new affairs. On the inside, the dashboard has been revised with new features added. In terms of mechanical changes, few improvements are likely. The 2.2 liter mHawk turbo diesel motor with 140 Bhp and 330 Nm on tap is expected to continue unchanged, along with the 6 speed manual transmission. In the coming months, an automatic variant of the XUV500 is likely to be launched. The diesel hybrid variant of the XUV500, which was shown at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, is another variant India could do well with.
Maruti Celerio Diesel
The country’s most fuel efficient turbo diesel car is weeks away from making its official debut. The Maruti Suzuki Celerio Diesel represents many firsts. It is the smallest diesel motor that has been produced by the automaker, and is also the most fuel efficient. It is the country’s first twin cylinder diesel motor to power a passenger car. On the whole, the Celerio Diesel promises to add a new dimension to the Indian car market, by offering stunning fuel efficiency at a price that is likely to peg the car as the least priced diesel hatchback in the country. The Celerio Diesel will feature a 792cc turbo diesel motor, said to be good for about 48 Bhp and 125 Nm.
In July, Honda will bring back the Jazz hatchback to India. The car, in its third generation globally, will make its India comeback with a diesel motor in tow. The diesel motor will be the all-aluminium 1.5 liter unit that makes 98.6 Bhp and 200 Nm. This engine, along with a high amount of localization is expected to see the B+ segmnt premium hatchback being competitively priced. The Jazz will also be sold with a 1.2 liter i-VTEC petrol mill (87 Bhp-109 Nm), which will get 5 speed manual and CVT automatic transmission options. The diesel motor will have to make do with a 5 speed manual gearbox.
Media drives of the Hyundai iX25 are expected to happen by the end of June. The compact SUV is expected to make its debut a month later, in July. A hotly anticipated offering from Hyundai, the iX25 will be sold with multiple engine options. A diesel-automatic variant could also be in the mix, making the iX25 a unique offering in its segment. Premium interiors and features are likely on the compact SUV as Hyundai is known for packing its cars with plenty of equipment. The SUV will use a monocoque design and will seat five adults. A front wheel drive layout will be standard fare, and it remains to be seen if a four wheel drive system would be served up as an option. The iX25 is longer than 4 meters and will take on the likes of the Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano.
Ford Figo Aspire
The Ford Classic sedan will soon be replaced by a sub-4 meter car, the Figo Aspire. The first Ford sub-4 meter compact sedan in the world, the Figo Aspire is currently being produced at the American automaker’s spanking new Sanand maufacturing facility in Gujarat. The Figo Aspire compact sedan will precede its hatchback sibling. The car will be offered with 1.2 liter Ti-VCT petrol and 1.5 liter turbo diesel motors. It remains to be seen whether the larger 1.5 liter Ti-VCT petrol motor would be offered on the top-end variant. In terms of equipment, the Figo Aspire promises to be class leading, with top-end variant to feature a twin clutch automatic transmission and 6 airbags.