Undoubtedly the biggest car launch of the year 2018 will be a brand new generation of India’s most popular car, the Maruti Swift. Based on the all new HEARTECT platform by Suzuki the new Swift will be revealed at the Auto Expo in February. The new platform will make the car lighter and therefore more agile than before. The new car is miles apart when it comes to looks when compared to the previous generation. Expect a host of engine and transmission options on the car, from Petrol to Diesel and from manual to very popular AMT. Maruti could also launch a more fun to drive RS version of the Swift just like they did with the Baleno. The car will come with a lot of updates in terms of features and prices for this new generation could start around Rs. 5.5 lakh.
Volvo XC 40
Swedish car maker Volvo is making rapid strides in the Indian car market by launching a slew of impressive products, last of which was the new XC 60 which came just last month. Next will be the more affordable XC 40 which could launch in the middle of the year. The XC 40 will in fact be the most affordable SUV from the brand and will take on the likes of the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1 in the market. Volvo’s new compact modular architecture or CMA platform made for all cars in the 40 series from the brand will be seen for the first time on the XC 40. As is the case with all cars from Volvo expect a long list of safety features on the car including some that have never before been seen in the segment.
A lot of action will happen in the luxury car space in the country in 2018 and it will begin with the launch of the new generation of the Audi Q5 in January itself. This second generation of the Q5 made its global debut at Paris motor show just a few months back and Audi has wasted no time in getting the SUV to India. When compared to the previous generation the looks have changed and feature list has grown longer. Based on the MLB Evo platform the Q5 now looks more similar to its elder sibling the Q7. It now has a longer wheelbase, is higher and is also lighter by around 100 kgs. The exteriors get Matrix LED headlamps while the interiors get a Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. There could be both Petrol & Diesel engines on offer along with the famed Audi Quattro drive system.
Range Rover Velar
Finally another Luxury car from Europe that will be launched in the first month itself is the much awaited Velar from Jaguar Land Rover. It will be the fourth model in the Range Rover family and will sit between the Evoque and Range Rover Sport. With the Velar the company is promising an unquestionable design pedigree along with a new dimension in refinement, technology and performance. The SUV will be available in three power train options:2.0 l Diesel, 2.0l Petrol and 3.0 l Diesel. While the launch is still a few weeks away the company has already announced the prices start from Rs 78.83 Lakh for the SUV. Deliveries of the New Range Rover Velar will begin from end of January 2018.
Yes the very popular Santro brand name will make a comeback this year with the Korean car maker launching a brand new family car. The Santro will be slotted between the Eon and the i20 and will take on cars like the Tata Tiago and the Maruti Celerio and WagonR. It can also be termed as a potential replacement to the Hyundai i10. The look of the car has been kept tightly under the wraps but a few test mules have been spotted driving around. The new Santro could get the 800cc or 1,000cc engines used on other cars from the brand in India. It is still not clear if Hyundai will offer Automatic or AMT variants of the car. More details will only be revealed closer to the launch which could happen in the middle of the year.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars