The year 2020 is going to very crucial for the Indian Automobile industry. The all- important transition from BS4 to BS6 emission norms will happen in the month of April and companies are gearing up for the same. Before that the biennial Auto Expo will see unveil of dozens of new cars and bikes in the month of February. But for some automakers action will begin even sooner as the first month of the new decade has a lot of new cars lined up for launches. This includes everything from a compact sedan to a luxury SUV and a couple of electric cars.
Korean car maker Hyundai couldn’t see the kind of success in the lucrative compact sedan segment it would’ve liked with the Xcent. Now the car is being replaced with the Aura whichwill launch in the second half of January. The quirky shape of the rear has already got many talking as it is unique in many ways. From the front the Aura looks quite similar to the Grand i10 Nios, the hatch on which it is based. Inside you can expect a lot of premium features including a wireless charger, touch screen system and rear AC vents. There will be two petrol and one diesel engine options on offer including a performance oriented 1.0 litre turbo and a brand new 1.2 litre diesel. All threee mills are BS6 compliant and buyers will be able to choose between manual and AMT gearboxes on the car. With the Aura, Hyundai will be hoping to challenge the dominance of the Maruti Dzire in the compact sedan segment.
Tata Motors will get into the premium batch space this month with the launch of the Altroz. It was first seen as a concept at the previous Auto expo and is the first car to be developed on the company’s all new agile light flexible advanced architecture. As usual the emphases is high on providing a great design and the hatchback is the second product took be designed under IMPACT 2.0 design language. The cabin gets 17.7 cm-touch screen that is compatible with Apple car play and Android auto. It can be customised and Harman tuned speakers make the infotainment system pretty impressive. The Altroz also gets a flat bottomed steering wheel, rain sensing wipers and cruise control amongst other features. Once the car is launched there will be both petrol and diesel engines on offer and both will be compliant with BS6 emission norms. There are Eco and City driving modes and the car also gets an idle start stop system to aid in getting better mileage; however it will be launched with only manual transmission.
Tata Nexon EV
The Nexon electric will be the second product from the stable of India’s largest auto maker to hit the roads this month. The indigenous company is taking the lead when it comes to electric mobility and the Nexon EV is a testimony to that. The SUV is powered by a 30.2 kWh lithium ion battery that churns out an impressive 129 PS and produces 245 Nm of instant torque from standstill. Tata says the Nexon EV can reach the speed of 109 Kmph from stationary in less than 10 seconds and its dust and water proof battery pack meets the strict IP67 standards. There are two drive modes on offer namely Drive and Sport and the car also gets Hill ascent and descent features. According to the company the EV can run for more than 300 Kms on a single charge and a fast DC charger can charge 80% of the battery in less than one hour. This new Nexon will come with an 8 year or 1,60,000 kms warranty and is expected to be priced between Rs 15 and 17 lakhs.
MG ZS EV
There will be more than one electric SUV that will hit the roads this month. In a bold move iconic British car maker Morris garages will launch just their second car in the market and it will be an electric. The ZS is bigger in terms of dimensions when compared to cars like the Nexon EV and the Hyundai Kona. In terms of numbers to the SUV impresses even more. A 44.5 kWh liquid cooled battery makes 143 PS and 340 Nm. It races from 0-100 kmph in 8.5 seconds. The maximum range promised is 340 Kms but it really depends on which driving and regenerative braking modes you are using. MG says you can charge your ZS EV in 5 different ways one of which is through an AC fast charger that comes along with the car and will be installed by the company at a location of your choice free of cost. A 50 kW DC fast charger installed at the nearest MG dealership will charge 80% of the battery within 50 minutes.
A set of wheels that doesn’t care for the environment as much as the cars you just read about. German luxury car maker Audi is all set to launch its flagship SUV, the Q8 on the 15th of January. The 5 seater coupe shaped SUV will give the buyers a new option in the luxury car market. Audi’s focus in India going forward will be petrol engines and the Q8 is expected to launch with a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder mill that makes a good 340 bhp. The SUV is also likely get an 8-speed trip-tronic transmission along with the famed Audi Quattro all-wheel drive system. In terms of design the car gets frameless doors and full-width tail lamps. Just like the recently launched new A6 the cabin of the Q8 will also gets a dual touch screen treatment to give the dashboard a fresh look. When launched the Q8 could be priced upwards of Rs 1 crore.