Lots of exciting new models launching this month – right from a powerful hatch from Maruti Suzuki to the Lexus brand coming to India
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS
Maruti Suzuki rocked the 2016 Auto Expo by unveiling three new offerings – Vitara Brezza, Ignis and the Baleno RS. While the Vitara Brezza and the Ignis have already been launched, the focus is now on the Baleno RS. This punchy hatch from Maruti Suzuki will be launched on March 3. At the heart of it is an engine that makes 100bhp and 150Nm from Maruti Suzuki’s 1.0-litre BoosterJet unit. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The beauty of this car is that it tips the scale at just 950kg. To ensure that the RS version has its distinctive identity, it comes with a sporty body kit. While the overall silhouette remains identical to the Baleno, the RS version restyled bumpers with a larger lip, sporty side skirts and option of 15-or-16inch wheels. Much of the interior too will remain unchanged except for the leather upholstery and the ‘RS’ emblem on the seats. In the Indian scene, the Baleno RS will lock horns with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and the Fiat Punto Abarth. Expect the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS to be priced around the Rs 8.5 lakh mark.
Lamborghini Aventador S
Aside from the Baleno RS, the Lamborghini Aventador S will also be launched on 3rd March. This is no ordinary Aventador – it is capable of doing the 0-100km/h dash in just 2.9 seconds thanks to a motor that is tuned for 740 horses and 690Nm. To get the bump in the power and torque figures, Lamborghini has tweaked the engine’s valve timing and increased its rev limit to 8,500rpm. Like you’d expect from any Lambo, this one tips the scale at just 1,575kg which give it a power-to-weight ratio of 469bhp/ton. Other changes on the Aventador S include updated pushrod and suspension setup and a reconfigured software for the electronic stability control system. The new Lamborghini Aventador S adds a new Ego mode to the existing three driving modes Strada, Sport and Corsa. While the standard Aventador in India is priced at Rs around Rs 4.7 crore, we expect this one to be around Rs 5 crore.
Although a bit late to join the party, Honda Cars India Ltd. will finally launch a compact crossover – WR-V. Although it is based on the Jazz, it is longer, wider and taller than its hatchback sibling. Needless to say, the larger dimensions result in more space on the inside. The WR-V borrows its engine from the Jazz, which means it comes with a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel powerplant. The petrol motor makes peak power of 89bhp and 110Nm and comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The diesel, on the other hand, pumps 99bhp and 200Nm and comes mated to a 6-speed manual. As far as features are concerned, the Honda WR-V will come equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen, cruise control, keyless entry, button start, ABS, airbags and more. The WR-V is likely to go on sale on 16th March. Expect it to be priced between Rs 6.5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh and at that price, it will compete against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai i20 Active, Volkswagen Cross Polo, Toyota Etios Cross and the likes.
After endless rumours, Toyota is finally set to bring in its luxury brand, Lexus, to India towards the end of the month. The Japanese luxury brand will commence operations with the launch of three models – RX450h SUV, ES300h sedan and LX570SUV. Recent reports suggest that bookings for the Lexus models have already commenced but we will only get a realistic date about the deliveries during the launch. Toyota will set up its first set of dealerships in major cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru with other major cities like Chennai, Chandigarh and Gurgaon to follow soon.