India’s biggest show of cars and bikes, the Auto Expo is missing from the calendar in 2019 as it takes place every alternate year, but the past week gave the biennial event some good competition. As many as five new cars were launched in the Indian car market by different auto makers. Here’s more about the most action packed week you’ll probably see this year in the Indian Auto sector.
New Maruti Wagon R
After around 10 years the darling of the Indian middle class, the Wagon R has seen a generational change. The car has always been known for its practicality but this time Maruti has also tried to make it look more appealing and more fun to drive. The car is built on 5th generation HEARTECT platform which the company says increases safety of occupants through effective absorption of impact and dispersion of crash energy and assures stability. There are two petrol engine options the 1.0 litre and 1.2 litre K series engine borrowed from the Swift. Maruti is claiming a mileage of 22.5 kmpl & 21.5 kmpl respectively on the new WagonR. Along with the manual variants the tallboy has also been launched with AMT options. However, there is no CNG on offer as yet. Inside the car gets a 7-inch touch screen system that is compatible with Apple car play & Android Auto. The rear seat can be folded in a 60:40 ratio and the boot space at 341 litres is the best in class. The range begins at Rs. 4.19 lakh for base manual and tops at Rs 5.69 lakh for 1.2 litre AGS.
The much awaited 5-seater SUV from Tata Motors, was launched earlier this week. It is the first car from the company to be based on the Land Rover Omega Architecture one that will help the SUV take on the tough terrains. Looks also work well for the Harrier and the new Impact 2.0 design theme can be seen both on the outside as well as inside the car. The LED lights on the outside along with the 8.8 inch touch screen are the highlights. The Harrier has come in a diesel engine avatar with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The 4 cylinder 2.0 liter multijet engine has been christened as Kyrotech and churns out 140 PS along with delivering 350 Nm of peak torque. The car gets Eco, City and Sport driving modes and along with that also gets the rough road and wet modes in the ESP system, that help in difficult terrains. Prices for the Tata Harrier start at Rs 12.69 lakh and go upto Rs 16.25 Lakh (ex-showroom).
Rivaling the Tata Harrier is the Nissan Kicks SUV that has been launched starting at Rs 9.55 lakh (ex-showroom). The car gets a V-motion front grille with chrome along with projector lamps with LEDs. The touch screen system inside is compatible with both Apple car play and Android Auto. The highlight here is the 360 degree parking camera, a segment first. The Kicks unlike the Harrier comes with both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.5 liter diesel churns out 110 PS of peak power and 240 Nm of torque. The 1.5 litre petrol is a slightly less powerful 104 PS & 142 Nm mill. The Kicks misses out on an automatic or an all-wheel drive variant. To make the Kicks more appealing Nissan has come out with a unique subscription model where you can use the SUV for starting at just Rs. 11/km.
Adding to its long lineup of SUVs in India, German car maker BMW has launched the X4 in the market starting at Rs 60.6 lakh (ex-showroom). In all there are 3 variants on offer and the Sports activity vehicle has been launched in both petrol & diesel engine options. The most powerful mill is the three-litre six-cylinder diesel engine that produces an output of 265 hp and a maximum torque of 620 Nm. On the outside the striking features are the kidney grille, large air inlets, adaptive LED headlights and the coupé -style roofline that slides into the rear window before dipping down more steeply to the rear. Inside the car gets the BMW iDrive touch with handwriting recognition along with a 600 Watts high-end Surround Sound system from Harman Kardon.
BMW’s main rival India Mercedes too was in the news this week albeit for a car that belongs to an altogether different segment. India’s leading luxury car maker launched the V-class in the market, a car that can move a lot of people in a lot of luxury. According to Mercedes the V-Class will create a new “Luxury Multi-Purpose Vehicle” segment in India. The car combines the functionality of a luxury van with the typical strengths of a Mercedes-Benz saloon, has been a success story in around 90 countries.
The car has been launched in 6 & 7 seat variants and the prices start at Rs 68.4 lacs. It runs on a 2.2 litre diesel engine that churns out 161 bhp & 380 Nm. A host of customisation options too are available with the luxury van.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars