The biggest Indian Automobile Carnival is live and what a feast it is turning out to be. There are numerous launches on day 1 and day 2, including cars, SUVs, Crossovers and two wheelers. If we need any more proof that we as a nation are crazy for SUVish looks, look no further than this Auto Expo – Every other car worth their salt is decked up and paraded in 'Cross' avatars, from the humble Beat \ Datsun to Hexa Tuff.
Among all the models launched, there were few stunning launches which grabbed the eye balls of the visitors – multinational giants like Mercedes, Jeep, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ford, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Chevrolet and our Indian Brands like Maruti, Mahindra and Tata were at full force and wooed the audience with the unveilings.
Jaguar chooses to showcase the stunning XE and the charismatic F Pace SUV during this Auto Expo. The company launched Jaguar XE at a starting price of 39.30 lakh INR (ex-showroom, Delhi). This is Jaguar's answer to Mercedes C class and BMW 3 series and Audi A4, and offers strong competition.
The most affordable Jag on sale currently, the XE, boasts high levels of tech and comfort features and is based on an all new moonquake platform, made majorly of lightweight aluminum.
The F Pace was also displayed, which will be pitting against other premium SUVs from Porsche, Mercedes, BMW and Audi. The F Pace is based on the new iQ aluminum platform, which it shared with Jaguar XE and new Jaguar XF. While the launch date is not announced, company has confirmed that F pace will go on sale later this year in India.
Jeep used the platform to unveil its offerings to Indian Public. The Jeep assault will be led by Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel and Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a PURE AMERICAN MUSCLE CAR clad in Jeep form and comes with a monstrous V8 HEMI, displacing 6.4L.
The diesel model is powered by a comparatively sane 3.0 Liter V6 and transmission duties are done by an 8-speed auto box with paddle shifters. 4X4 is standard in both the models (no surprise there, after all, it is a JEEP) and the models are loaded to the gills with features. The features offered in Indian version are akin to the Summit version sold in US, thus it is the MOST PREMIUM VERSION on offer.
The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited is a tough-as-nails SUV, rooted firmly in old school, but with a modern touch wherever needed, without really diluting the character. The SUV is powered by a 2.8L 4 cylinder Diesel mill belting out around 200bhp of power at peak, mated with an automatic tranny. It also features many rough and tough looking bits and pieces that add to the muscular charm of the Jeep as well as modern comforts like an up-to-date infotainment system with a subwoofer.
BMW unleashed a trio of new launches at this year's Auto Expo. The company roped in Sachin Tendulkar to launch the all-new 7 series, which is one of the most important cars for the company. The other launches were the X1 and X5.
The BMW X1 is launched in four different flavors and the price starts at 29.9 Lakhs INR (Ex-showroom) and goes all the way to 39.9 Lakhs INR for the top-of-the-line Xdrive 20d M Sport variant. The new X1 looks butch and SUV-ish and sheds the estate-ish looks of the previous gen X1. This alone should garner some interest since the market is ready to accept the SUV-ish designs more.
The new X1 has grown in size and is based on the new UKL1 front wheel drive platform. The X1 is offered in both front wheel drive and all-wheel drive and all the versions have LED lighting. The M sport version is kitted with 18 inch wheels, bigger iDrive screen, M sport suspension, heads up display, etc.
The X5 30d M Sport was also launched by BMW and it is priced at 75.9 Lakhs INR (ex-showroom). This is the top-of-the-line variant and gets all the goodies like heads up display, comfort seats at front and 19-inch wheels and M sport specific suspension package.
The most important launch for BMW is the all-new 7 series, which was unveiled by none other than the GOD of CRICKET – Sachin Tendulkar. The flagship sedan of BMW starts from 1.1 Crore INR (ex-showroom) and goes all the way to 1.5 Crore INR (ex-showroom) for the M Sport version.
This new generation 7 series is based on the BMW CLAR platform and is lighter than the previous generation 7 series.
One of the most anticipated launches was the Ford Mustang, which earlier was rumored to be unveiled ahead of the Auto Expo. The iconic American muscle car is finally unveiled but the launch date and price will be revealed later.
The car is powered by a V8 displacing 5L and churning out 420bhp and 529Nm of torque. The car rides on the 19-inch wheels and is shod with Pirelli PZero rubber for high-speed stability. This will be launched more as a halo product and will not be targeted to garner much number of sales.
Ford also showcased the all new Endeavour, which it believes will bring back the sales crown from the aging Toyota Fortuner. The SUV is priced between 24.75 Lakhs INR and 27.36 Lakhs INR (ex-showroom).
The car is available in both 2 wheeldrive and 4 wheeldrive forms, mated either to an automatic tranny or a manual tranny.
The main attraction at the Toyota stall was the all new Innova called The Innova Crysta. Though at present it is not clear if the Crysta will replace the previous generation Innova or Toyota will sell both side by side, the latter is, no doubt, a huge leap ahead of the old Innova.Other than heavily redesigned exterior, the Crysta gets a redesigned interior that is much modern, and offers spacious and well-appointed seats.
Other than heavily redesigned exterior, the Crysta gets a redesigned interior that is much modern, and offers spacious and well-appointed seats.
Perhaps the most anticipated launch this year was the Maruti Brezza – a new sub 4M SUV from the stables of Maruti. The price is yet to be announced but going by the looks and features, Maruti sure has a winner at hand.
The car is powered by the famed 1.3-liter diesel mill from FIAT, churning out 90bhp of peak power. A petrol model will be launched later the year and so is an automatic.
The car looks contemporary in design and the interior looks swanky and spacious. The car has many nifty comfort features and comes with a touch screen HU and space to seat 5.
Tata sure pulled out a couple of rabbits from its hat. The Indian giant unveiled 4 new models – Zica (the name will be changed soon) hatchback, Kite 5 sub 4-meter sedan, Nexon SUV and Hexa.
Tata Zica and Tata Kite break the mold from the usual TATA design and come with clean lines and understated design. On the other hand, the Kite 5 is arguably the best looking sub 4-meter sedan in India and the boot integration is just perfect.
Nexon looks futuristic and, according to Tata people, the car it displayed is production ready. The car stands out in a crowded market place and offers much needed jazz in styling. The interior is also classy and gains a floating touchscreen, like seen in premium luxury sedans.
The Hexa looks butch but not overdone and is loaded with features. The interior is classy and clutter free and seats are wide and offers ample support.
Tata is planning to take the fight to Innova with the Hexa and we are expecting a sub-20L price tag for the Hexa.