With the 13th edition of Auto Expo set for February 2016, expect a plethora of cars to hit the Indian roads next year. These range from entry-level hatchbacks like the Datsun Redi-Go to luxury sedans like the new BMW 7 Series and the Jaguar XE.
Earlier this month, Toyota unveiled the next-generation Fortuner, after making significant design changes and introducing a new 2.8-litre engine to the popular SUV.
Reverse camera, seven airbags, hill-start assist control and emergency stop button would be standard across the range, as would be front and rear air-conditioning, touchscreen infotainment screen, and front and rear disk brakes.
LED daytime running lamps, headlamps, 18 inch alloys, reverse, parking sensors and keyless entry, however, would be limited to higher variants.
The Toyota Fortuner is expected to be launched in India next year after minor changes to the International specifications mentioned above.
Nissan’s low-cost brand, Datsun is expected to launch its third car in India next year. Christened as the Redi-Go, the hatchback will take on Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. It will share the same platform as the upcoming Renault Kwid, which means it will have an SUVish look.
Given Datsun was able to price the the Go hatchback competitively, expect the same strategy to follow in the Redi-Go. However, Nissan must be careful when it comes to adhering to safety norms, given the Global NCAP saga involving the Go.
Maruti will try to crack the MPV market with the WagonR MPV next year. The car will try to build on the success of the standard WagonR, which continues to draw people to Maruti’s showrooms.
The WagonR MPV is likely to be priced below Ertiga and will rival the Datsun Go+, which is finding it hard to drive sales numbers, because of relatively unfamiliarity of the brand, among other reasons.
New BMW 7 Series
BMW has decided to give its flagship 7 Series a facelift, with the new model set to hit their Indian showrooms next year.
The new 7 Series makes extensive use of carbon fibre to reduce weight by 86kgs over the outgoing model. At the same time, BMW has managed to increase the strength and rigidity of the passenger cell.
Speaking of the design, the front of the car is predominated by the signature kidney grille, which opens up when there is an increase in cooling requirement. LED technology comes standard in both front and tail lamps, as you would expect from a flagship model.
The 750i variant produces 445 bhp from its 4.4L V8 engine while the 740i variant is capable of churning out 320 bhp from its 3.0L V6 unit.
Jaguar XE is the cheapest car available from the British brand in foreign markets and is expected to arrive in India early next year, the home-country for its parent company, Tata Motors.
A 2.0-litre diesel engine is expected to power the Indian version of the XE, and it would be wrong to rule out a petrol variant in coming years. Internationally, a 8-speed automatic gearbox comes as standard, although Jaguar is expected to fit a six-speed manual transmission instead in the India-spec XE.
Once launched, the Jaguar XE will take on the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C-Class as well as the Audi A4.
New Ford Endeavour
With Toyota giving the Fortuner a revamp, Ford couldn’t afford to be left behind. That’s why the American car maker’s Endeavour is also going under the knife, with the resultant product set to launch in India in 2016.
The Ford Endeavour will come with a terrain management system to fully exploit its off-road capabilities. Inside, a large infotainment system is likely to take central place, equipped with Ford Sync.
Ford has plenty of options to choose when it comes to power units for the Indian version. Hence, it would be fair not to make any speculations on this matter. Although an automatic gearbox variant is expected, apart from those with the conventional manual transmission system.
Toyota is bringing the Vios to India to tackle the mid-size sedan segment, currently dominated by the Honda City.
The Vios will use Toyota’s current design philosophy, as seen in the much-longer and expensive Corolla Altis. The interiors are likely to carry a dual tone, with a touchscreen also a possibility in higher end variants.
Toyota is expected to borrow the 1.5-litre petrol engine that does duty in the Etios, while the 1.4-litre diesel engine from Altis may also be carried to Vios.
Volkswagen displayed the Taigun compact SUV in concept form at the 2014 Auto Expo, with the production version set to be launched in India in 2016.
The sub-4 metre SUV will benefit from reduced excise duty, making it easier to challenge its established rivals such as the Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport.
In concept trim, the Taigun is powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine that produces 110 bhp and 175 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox that powers the front wheels, with top speed estimated at 186 km/hr.
Honda will join the compact SUV/crossover race with the BR-V, which will be displayed in concept form next month in Indonesia.
The BR-V has been developed specifically for the Asian market and will first hit the Indonesian roads. Honda’s Asia-Pacific and Indonesia R&D arms have jointly worked on making this car a reality.
The upcoming crossover is equipped with alloy wheels and utilises a 3-row configuration to offer comfortable accommodation for seven people. A 1.5-litre petrol engine can be found under the hood, with power output yet to be disclosed by the Japanese automobile giant.
New Audi A4
Earlier this year, Audi revealed first images of the A4, with the ambitions of bringing the luxury sedan to the Indian markets by 2016.
The new Audi A4 is 120 kg lighter than the outgoing variant, although design only sees minor changes. It will be available in two trims - the standard A4 and the A4 avant. Both variants will be made available with seven engine options - three TFSI petrol engines and four TDI diesel engines. The A4 Sedan studded with 2-litre TDI engine will produce 150 bhp of power, while the 2-litre TFSI engine will deliver 190 bhp.