Ford Motor Co.â€™s Lincoln luxury brand will begin production next spring for the 2015 MKC, a premium small crossover aimed at the fastest-growing segment of the American car market. The vehicle will go on sale by summer.
The country’s leader in the two-wheeler segment, Hero Motocorp, has a few reasons to worry about in the second quarter of this year. Having already posted record sales last year, Hero Motocorp has its hands full as its competition in India looks to get their share of the attention.
With manufacturers like Honda, TVS, Bajaj, Yamaha getting into the groove to launch some new products, we take a look at what they have to offer and what Hero Motocorp has to look out for.
Let’s start with Honda. At its 13th Annual business meet in Japan, HMSI announced its business plan for the 2014-15 and said that they would add two more motorcycles to its portfolio. While one will add to its Dream series line-up, the other is expected to be a 160cc motorcycle which will be targeted at the youth.
TVS too has some interesting things up its sleeve. Having already launched the Star City+, to take on the likes of the Splendor, the company plans to make an even stronger statement by launching the new Victor and the Apache in the 2nd quarter of this year.
Bajaj will further strengthen its portfolio with one more addition to the Discover series and the more successful Pulsar range which will hit the Indian markets this festive season.
Yamaha too is gearing up for a crazy line-up and it is likely to be the 250cc powered YZF-R25 that will take on the Honda CBR250R, Ninja 300 and also Hero HX250R.
The battle will continue in the scooter segment as well with the Honda Activa 125, whose market response is yet to be seen. Hero did launch the New Pleasure ‘facelift’ last month and TVS Jupiter also has made an impressive debut. TVS is expected to bring out the Scooty Zest next month and that will make things interesting. Hero Motocorp has its hands full and it will be a closely fought battle for top place this year.
Mercedes-Benz, which became the country’s leading luxury carmaker in the first quarter, hopes to maintain its position in the market through the rest of the year as it hopes to continue 40 per cent sales growth. Furthermore, the German carmaker is confident that the luxury car space will outgrow the overall industry growth by a huge margin; with over 20 per cent growth this fiscal.
The company recently rolled out the locally assembled GLA-Classand added new assembly line at its production facility Chakan, Pune. With this new addition the Chakan plant is now the only such facility under the Mercedes umbrella across the world to have flexible assembly line under which it can roll out all the 6 models currently assembled locally.
Mercedes-Benz hopes to touch 40,000 units this year, clocking 21 per cent growth over the last year. However, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures (SIAM) expects only a moderate growth this fiscal.
Eberhard Kern, Managing Director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, said, “You have seen our numbers in the March quarter when our sales grew 40 per cent. The first two months of June quarter have been better than previous three months. And I hope this momentum continues going forward.”
Mercedes regained the top spot after 5 years, beating Audi in the March quarter. It sold 3,566 units with a growth of 40 per cent year-on-year, while Audi sold only 3,181 units, up 10 per cent. With that being said, one must note that Audi continues to be the top luxury brand for the financial year 2015, though its lead over Mercedes has been reduced to just 79 units. In FY15, Audi sold 11,292 units, up 11.51 per cent over FY14, while Merc sold 11,213 units, up 17.5 per cent. As far as BMW, which lost its no. 1 position to Audi in 2012, is concerned – the Bavarian carmaker reportedly sold around 7,000 units in the past fiscal.
Mercedes-Benz India’s plans for this year include 15 launches and about 83 sales outlet by December.
A large quadricycle rather than a proper car, the Twizy is one of the most convincing electric vehicles to make it onto the market so far.
Italian bike builder Vyrus (pronounced Vee-rus) specializes in novel engineering designs, and their Ducati-powered creations start at a mere â‚¬29,080… but move all the way up to their 987 C3 4V V (Volumex) model, and you’ll be looking at a â‚¬75,835 premium– or, $103,769 at today’s exhange rate.
Powered by a supercharged 1,200cc Ducati engine that produces 211 horsepower, this bike weighs in at only 350 pounds. The motorcycle pictured here was ordered by a customer for racing, yet wanted the crash-friendly Alutex fairing replaced with carbon fiber– which ran the price up to â‚¬84,000– or roughly $115,000!
With 2015 having brought some much needed cheer to the Indian automotive industry, carmakers will be looking to carry forwards their momentum into the new year. The general sentiment in the industry is a positive one, especially since the initiation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India campaign which aims at increasing foreign investments in India. As a result, more and more foreign automakers are spending big in India which should see localisation, productivity, job opportunities and export figures soar. The Auto Expo saw record footfall and a host of upcoming vehicles were displayed which indicates that the thriving Indian auto industry is set to grow in leaps and bounds over the next couple of years despite tighter emissions regulations coming in to play in order to combat the alarming pollution levels.
2015 did end on a blip as the automotive industry was rocked by a series of emission scandals both in India and internationally. This includes Volkswagen’s use of emissions cheating devices in its diesel offerings sold all over the world as well as the ban on sales of diesel cars with engine capacities more than 2,000cc in New Delhi. Nevertheless, carmakers are surging ahead with their launch plans to ensure that 2016 is as successful if not more successful than 2015. Here’s a list of the top 10 upcoming cars expected to launch in India this year.
1. Tata Zica / Tata Zica Sedan
The Tata Zica (codename: Kite) is an exciting new product that is scheduled to be launched in March by the Indian carmaking giant. The car was first unveiled in January and ran into some unforeseen trouble with its name as the name Zica, derived from ‘Zippy Car’, bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the ‘Zika’ virus that continues to spread across the world. Tata has announced that in order to avoid compromising the brand’s image by going forwards with such a controversial name, the Zica will in fact be renamed before it becomes available for purchase. The new name is likely to be one of the following three: Adore, Civet or Tiago.
Tata Zica Hatchback
The car’s contemporary design and well thought out interiors seem to tick all the right boxes, especially if launched at a competitive price point. A subcompact sedan version of the hatchback will also arrive in India this year. The Tata Zica Sedan was showcased at the Auto Expo 2016 bearing the codename Kite 5. Tata’s new hatchback will slot in between the smaller Tata Nano and larger Tata Bolt hatchback whereas the Zica Sedan will sit below the Tata Zest in the company’s product line. Both cars are expected to share powertrain options. The Zica will be available with a choice of 3-cylinder petrol and diesel engine units. The 1.2-litre petrol Revotron engine, also used in the Bolt and Zest will pump out 83bhp and 114Nm of torque whereas the 3-pot, 1.05-litre diesel unit can make 67bhp and 140Nm of torque.
The Tata Zica Sedan (codename: Kite 5) was showcased at Auto Expo 2016
The Tata Zica will come fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission although an AMT version is also likely to arrive in the future. The hatchback will compete with the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Celerio andHyundai i10 and should cost between 3.5 lakh and 5 lakh. The Tata Zica Sedan will rival the upcoming Volkswagen Ameo, Ford Figo Aspire, Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire, Honda Amaze, and Hyundai Xcent and should cost 4.5 lakh – 5.5 lakh.
Tata Zica Launch: March, 2016
Tata Zica Expected Price: 3.5 lakh – 5 lakh
Tata Zica Sedan Expected Launch: October, 2016
Tata Zica Sedan Expected Price: 4.5 lakh – 5.5 lakh
2. Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza subcompact SUV made its highly anticipated global debut at Auto Expo 2016 and is expected to arrive in showrooms by the end of this fiscal. The Vitara Brezza has witnessed a very good market reaction upon its unveiling owing to its contemporary styling. The subcompact SUV will enter a very popular segment that currently features the Mahindra TUV300 andFord EcoSport. The EcoSport in particular will be its main rival given the immense success that it has enjoyed thus far.
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza made its global debut at Auto Expo 2016
The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza will arrive with a solitary powertrain option. The car will be powered by a 1.3-litre diesel engine goof for 88.5bhp and 200Nm of torque. The car will initially arrive with a 5-speed manual gearbox although an AMT offering is also a possibility. In terms of cost, the car is expected to come bearing a ballpark figure of around 6 lakh to 9 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Expected Launch: April, 2016
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Expected Price: 6 lakh – 9 lakh
3. Renault Duster
The facelifted Renault Duster is all set to be launched in India this upcoming March. The new car hasn’t undergone too many major visible changes barring the addition of a twin slat chrome front grille, hawk eye cluster headlamps, a silver skid plate and bullbar-like setup at the front. The side profile remains relatively similar and features flared wheel arches, new gunmetal-finish alloys, kayak roof rails and electrically adjustable ORVMs with turn indicators. The rear too maintains the old car’s shape and proportions but the addition of new waterfall LED tail-lamps make it look more premium.
The New Renault Duster Facelift with AMT was showcased at Auto Expo 2016
On the insides too, the new Renault Duster facelift has been updated with the addition of soft touch materials, anti-pinch power windows, a navigation equipped infotainment system, automatic climate control, and redesigned seat covers. In terms of electronic aids, Renault has fitted the car with a cruise control system with a speed limiter as well as an ECO mode for improved efficiency during city commutes.
Also Read: Renault Duster Facelift to Be Launched in India in March 2016
Mechanically, the powertrain options have remained the same which includes a 1.6-litre petrol unit and a 1.5-litre diesel engine available in 2 states of tune; an 84bhp/200Nm version as well as a 108bhp/245Nm variant. The big announcement though has been that the diesel variant will now be available with an EasyR AMT gearbox. AS yet it is still uncertain as to which state of tune of the diesel engine wil come mated to the new EasyR autobox. Prices are expected to remain relatively unchanged although the AMT version may cost around 1 lakh more than the manual version.
Also Read: Renault Duster AMT vs Hyundai Creta AT vs Mahindra Scorpio AT: Spec Comparison
New Renault Duster Expected Launch: March, 2016
New Renault Duster Expected Price: 9.5 lakh – 15 lakh
4. Volkswagen Ameo
In an event prior to the Auto Expo, Volkswagen globally unveiled its made-in-India, made-for-IndiaVolkswagen Ameo subcompact sedan after which the car was showcased at the German manufacturers pavilion at Auto Expo 2016. Based on the Polo hatchback, the Ameo is the company’s first compact sedan offering in India and also boasts of the highest percentage of localisation in Volkswagen’s Indian product portfolio.
Volkswagen Ameo subcompact sedan
In terms of looks, the car is very similar to the Polo, particularly at the front. The square tail-lamp clusters at the back are similar to those found in the Polo and new Vento. Engine options are the same as those found on the Polo which includes a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel option. The gearbox too has been carried forwards from the Polo as the Ameo will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox and a 7-speed DSG autobox which will be available on the diesel variant.
Also Read: Auto Expo 2016: Volkswagen Ameo Subcompact Sedan Makes Global Debut in India
Volkswagen Ameo Expected Launch: August, 2016
Volkswagen Ameo Expected Price: 5.5 lakh – 8.5 lakh
5. Skoda Superb
Czech carmaker Skoda is launching the new-look Superb in India on 23 February, 2016. Updated features include Skoda’s new look butterfly grille, a more angular design language, sharp crystalline shaped head-lamps with DRLs, and LED tail-lamps. The cabin has been worked on as well with the addition of an improved audio system, high-quality plastics and more interior space thanks to its 28mm longer wheelbase.
The all-new Skoda Superb
The new Skoda Superb is based on Volkswagen’s MQB platform resulting in the car weighing 75kg less than its predecessor. Visibly, the car takes a bunch of design cues from the Skoda Vision C concept which was showcased at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The Superb is likely to arrive with the same engine transmission options as the Octavia i.e., a 1.8-litre petrol unit that makes 177.5bhp and a 2.0-litre diesel unit that churns out 141bhp.
Skoda Superb Expected Launch: 23 February, 2016
Skoda Superb Expected Price: 22 lakh – 28 lakh
6. Tata Nexon
Tata unveiled the production ready iteration of its upcoming Nexon subcompact SUV at Auto Expo 2016. Developed on the X1 platform, the good looking and well proportioned car will be positioned between the Zest and Safari Storme in Tata’s range. The car’s design both on the inside and outside, borrows heavily from the Zica hatchback.
Tata Nexon Subcompact SUV
Upon its launch, the Tata Nexon (codename: Osprey) will compete with the likes of the Ford EcoSport, Mahindra TUV300, and upcoming Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The car was initially thought be powered by a Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre diesel unit that currently powers many other hatchbacks like the Swift, although new reports have suggested that Tata is planning on fitting it with a more powerful 1.5-litre diesel unit. This punchy new engine is good for 108bhp and 260Nm of torque and will likely come mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. A 1.2-litre Revotron petrol option will also be available. The engine currently features on the Tata Zest and churns out 89bhp and 140Nm of torque.
Tata Nexon Expected Launch: October, 2016
Tata Nexon Expected Price: 7 lakh – 10 lakh
7. Tata Hexa
Tata is all set to create chaos in the people carrier market when it launches is Innova Crysta competitor called the Tata Hexa. On the outside, the car looks to be a heavily reworked and better styled version of the Tata Aria. Upon its launch, the Aria replacement will sit above the Safari and will become the Indian manufacturer’s flagship model in India.
Tata Hexa Tuff Concept
The Tata Hexa features a muscular design template, Tata’s signature honeycomb mesh front grille, a redesigned air dam, and projector head-lamps. The sporty element to its styling is further accentuated by its horizontal LED tail-lamp clusters, huge wheel arches with rubber wrapped 19 inch alloys sat inside them, and blacked out door pillars. The cabin features a host of intelligent driver aids, an intelligent media system, premium quality materials as well as 2 individual bucket seats in the middle row. The 6-seater Hexa SUV comes equipped with ESP, ambient lighting, 6 airbags, auto head-lamps, and rain-sensing wipers.
Power is derived from a 2.2-litre diesel unit sourced from the Safari Storme VARICOR 400. The engine makes 154bhp and 400Nm of torque and is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Tata Hexa Expected Launch: Mid-2016
Tata Hexa Expected Price: 13 lakh – 18 lakh
8. Toyota Innova
The 2016 Auto Expo saw the long awaited new-look Toyota Innova Cryst break cover in India. The updated model is based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform and is lighter than the outgoing version. The Toyot Innova Crysta features a completely re-done front end with swept back head-lamps, a new front grille, LED DRLs and new fog-lamps while the rear end gets a new bumper along with updated tail-lamp clusters.
New Toyota Innova Crysta
Inside the more premium cabin, the new Toyota Innova will include a host of bells and whistles including an intelligent touchscreen multimedia system with inbuilt navigation. Power will be provided either by a 2.0-litre petrol or a newly developed 2.4-litre diesel engine unit, the manual versions of which put out 137bhp/183Nm and 147bhp/342Nm respectively. A 6-speed automatic gearbox will be available on diesel variants in which torque has been upped to 360Nm.
Toyota Innova Expected Launch: May-June 2016
Toyota Innova Expected Price: 10 lakh – 16 lakh
Also Read: Toyota Innova Crysta: 11 You Need to Know
9. Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Auto Expo 2016 saw Maruti Suzuki unveil its upcoming Ignis subcompact crossover-SUV. Set to compete in a relatively new segment of sub-4 metre SUV-styled cars, the Maruti Suzuki Ignis will maily compete with the recently launched Mahindra KUV100. The car features tall proportions and a heavily stylized front fascia which includes large U-shaped LED DRLs in the head-lamp units that are infused with the front grille.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Based on the details obtained from the Japanese-spec model, the Ignis’ SUV-like traits should include flared wheelarches, a 180mm ground clearance, and Suzuki’s All Grip AWD system. Electronic features will include a USB and Bluetooth equipped media system, Suzuki’s adaptive Dual Camera Braking System (DCBS), lane management system, hill decent control, and camera equipped front and rear parking sensors. ABS and EBD will be available as standard as will dual front airbags. Power will be sourced from its 1.3-litre engine although a 1.2-litre offering may also be in the pipeline. Transmission duties will likely be performed by either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT unit. At the expo, Maruti Suzuki confirmed that the Ignis was likely to arrive during the festive season.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis Expected Launch: October, 2016
Maruti Suzuki Ignis Expected Price: 4 lakh – 5.5 lakh
10. Honda BR-V
Japanese manufacturing giant Honda showcased its compact SUV contender called the BR-V at Auto Expo 2016. The Honda BR-V will be launched in India sometime around June, 2016. The BR-Vs form is visibly based on the extended Brio platform and features multiple design elements borrowed from Honda’s current range of vehicles such as the Mobilio, Jazz and City. Capable of seating 7, the compact SUV will compete against the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and Maruti Suzuki S-Cross.
Honda BR-V compact SUV
The Honda BR-V is powered by the same set of engines that drive other Honda offerings like the City and Mobilio. Engine options include a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol and a 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel unit mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic transmission box. The petrol unit makes 117bhp and 146Nm whereas the diesel puts out 99bhp and 200Nm of torque. Its features list will include dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD, Vehicle Stability Assist, and Hill Start Assist.
Honda BR-V Expected Launch: September, 2016
Honda BR-V Expected Price: 9 lakh – 13 lakh
The idea of introducing a big brother to the BMW X5 was abandoned after the financial crisis in 2008. Keeping with the trend of downsizing, BMW thought it was wiser to spend on projects like smaller cars such as the Active Tourer, plugging product gaps with the 2- and 4-Series carlines, releasing a new crossover X4, and introducing successors of current vehicles.
BMW announced that it would produce the X5â€²s bigger brother at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, USA. To be branded â€˜X7â€² the all-new crossover would be exclusively manufactured in the USA and exported worldwide.
According to a report published on Automobile Magazine, the BMW X7 would be launched in 2017. Sources tell the French publication that the SUV would measure over 5 m long and have generous space for seven passengers and their luggage. Its main rivals would be the Mercedes GL Class and the Audi Q7.
On the mechanical side, the SUV would draw power from six- and eight-cylinder engines, signalling its priority markets â€“ USA, China and Middle East.
BMW said last week that it was investing one billion dollars (Rs 5.98 crore approx) towards expanding capacity from 300,000 to 450,000 vehicles annually by the end of 2016 in Spartanburg. One part of the expansion is to manufacture the BMW X4 while some of it would be to accommodate the X7.
The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is a supercar manufactured by Aston Martin since 2001. It rose to fame after being featured as the official James Bond car in Die Another Day, the twentieth James Bond film. In the film, the Vanquish has the usual Bond film embellishments, including active camouflage which rendered the vehicle virtually invisible. The Vanquish is powered by a 5.9 L (5935 cc) 48-valve 60Â° V12 engine, which produces 343 kW (460 hp) and 542 NÂ·m (400 ftÂ·lbf) of torque. It is controlled by a fly-by-wire throttle and a 6 speed ‘paddle shift’ or semi-automatic transmission. A special V12 Vanquish S debuted at the 2004 Paris Auto Show with the power upped to 388 kW (520 hp) and 577 NÂ·m (426 ftÂ·lbf).
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS hot hatchback has officially been launched in India. The Baleno RS has been priced at ₹ 8.69 lakh and is available exclusively through the Nexa outlets. Available as a single variant model, the new Baleno RS gets a 1.0 litre BoosterJet petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The turbo petrol Baleno RS makes 101 bhp and 150 Nm of peak torque. There is no automatic variant on offer yet neither an AMT nor a CVT.
Check out the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS in images here.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno has been one of the most popular cars from the Indo-Japnese carmaker. In fact, from the 1st of April 2016 – 31st Jan 2017 Maruti has sold 1.38 lakh units of the Baleno premium hatchback. This alone tells us that a more powerful Baleno RS will surely manage to woo a large number of buyers.
The Baleno RS gets a slightly altered exterior look as compared to the standard Baleno. It has a new front mesh grille with a chrome bezel and a larger and sportier front bumper too. The front bumper also gets a lip spoiler/splitter, which has been finished in satin black. The car also gets a satin black side skirt and a set of 16-inch wheels that are identical to the standard car but painted in a shade of black. The rear bumper is also completely different with the lower half reminding us of the sporty Japanese hatchbacks from the late 90s and 2000s. The Baleno RS also gets a new and slightly larger spoiler as compared to the standard car. All four wheels get disc brakes – 14 inch at the front and 13 inch at the rear. And as the weight has increased by 60 kg, Maruti has tuned to suspension for better handling as well.
The new Baleno RS does not get any updates to the interior though. You still get the all-black interior package with the brushed aluminium centre console. The large touchscreen in the centre comes with built-in navigation and Apple CarPlay.
The Baleno RS will go up against the likes of sporty hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI, Ford Figo 1.5 and the Abarth Punto Evo. The car will be manufactured at Suzuki’s new plant in Gujarat, which has already commenced the production of the regular Baleno. In fact, over 1000 units of the Baleno hatchback have already rolled out of the facility.