Here's a look at the some of the most striking & impactful Concept vehicles showcased at the Auto Expo 2020...
India's premier biennial motor show – the Auto Expo – gives us an exemplary glimpse of what we can expect over the next few years from the car & bike manufacturers operating in the country. While the vehicles that are launched during the Expo or are shown as production-ready models take centre stage, it's the Concept cars that truly capture the imagination of the crowds and designers alike. Thus, as a homage to this spirit, here are our top picks from a plethora of Concept vehicles revealed at the Auto Expo 2020.
Mahindra Funster EV Concept
The Mahindra Funster EV Concept was one among four EVs shown by the homegrown carmaker. While it isn't going to make it to production, it does serve as a preview to the next-gen XUV 500, in the sense that a lot of of the styling cues used on it will be carried over to the new-gen model of Mahindra's flagship SUV. But do not be fooled by the Funster's quirky roofless design, for it is a fully-functioning Concept fitted with All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) & a 59.1kWh battery pack, which is good for 309bhp. Give it an empty stretch of tarmac and it can dismiss the 100km/h mark in just 5 seconds.
Tata Sierra EV Concept
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting unveils of the Auto Expo 2020, the Sierra EV Concept is based on Tata's new ALFA architecture (which currently underpins the Altroz and the upcoming HBX-based micro-SUV) and not only does it pay homage to the original Sierra SUV of the 90s but it also pays tribute to Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman emeritus of the Tata Group. Tata has not revealed any details on whether the Sierra EV Concept will spawn a production-spec model or not, but some reports suggest that Tata is conducting a feasibility study on it as you read this article. So, fingers-crossed until an official announcement arrives...
Tata HBX Concept
The Tata HBX Concept was revealed at the Auto Expo 2020 as a near production-ready model, a follow-up version of the H2X Concept we saw at last year's Geneva International Motor Show. It previews the brand's smallest SUV yet and will be positioned just below the Nexon in Tata's SUV line-up. Expect the HBX to arrive as a petrol-only model, with the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder power unit as the Tigor & Tiago. It will also be the second model to be built on Tata's ALFA platform (after the Altroz).
Maruti Suzuki Futuro-e Concept
The Futuro-e Concept is said to preview the design of Maruti Suzuki's future mid-size SUV that will compete with the Hyundai Creta & Kia Seltos. The SUV based on the Futuro-e is expected to be powered by the same 1.5-litre K15B petrol motor (from the brand's current engine line-up) and could also mark the debut of the brand's BS-VI diesel powertrains. As the name suggests, the Futuro-e has also been built keeping electric powertrains in mind. While Maruti Suzuki says the sloping coupé-like roofline could be retained for the production model, we can't really place our bets on it, keeping in mind the Kizashi Concept and how it turned out to be!
Skoda Vision IN Concept
The Vision IN Concept represents Skoda's entry into India's booming mid-size/compact SUV segment. Developed specifically for India and other growing markets, the Vision IN is the first car to be built on VW's all-new MQB A0 IN platform (also tailor-made for India). It will also be the first model to be launched under the 'India 2.0 Project.' Expect the SUV based on the Vision IN Concept to share a lot of similarities with the Kamiq SUV (from engine options to styling cues). It's India launch is expected sometime in the first half of 2021.
Kia Sonet Concept
The Kia Sonet Concept represents Kia Motor India's third product (a compact SUV) that's bound to arrive sometime in August this year. In essence, it will be Kia's counterpart of the Hyundai Venue. The fact that the Sonet will make use of the same powertrains as the Venue (1.0-litre turbo petrol, 1.2-litre NA petrol & a 1.5-litre diesel) is testimony to it. However, judging by the Concept's muscular stance and off-road-oriented design, expect the Sonet to have a stronger road presence than its Hyundai sibling. We even caught one testing recently.