The Indian festive season, the period from September to Diwali in late October, is the harvesting season for automobile companies. We can expect a flood of new models, facelifts and limited editions that will woo customers. Here are some of them.
Renault Kwid is the French manufacturer's foray in to India's entry-level hatch back segment. This is the first product of the Renault's new CMF-A platform, which will underpin more cars of the Renault-Nissan and Datsun Alliance. The Kwid is also expected to kick start a new mini crossover segment in India. It will be more spacious. Under the hood, the car is likely to get 800cc three-cylinder petrol engine developing 57bhp mated to a five-speed gearbox. The company might also introduce an AMT version. With 98 percent localisation, Renault will be able to price the Kwid in the range Rs 3 lakh to 4 lakh making it a compelling case in the segment, which is the domain of Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. Launch is expected in mid-September.
Tata Kite Hatchback
Tata Motors has launched the Bolt and the Zest under the Horizonext program to regain the falling sales in the domestic market. The next is the Kite hatchback pitted against Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. Spyshots indicate that the model will take inspiration from the Bolt and will have a low slung stance. The petrol variant of the Tata Kite is expected to pack a three-cylinder 1.2-litre unit, while the diesel motor will be a three-cylinder, 1.05-litre unit, both mated 5-speed manual. An automated manual transmission (AMT) will also be on offer. The Kite is expected to be on sale in the festive season with a price tag of around Rs 3.5 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno
The Baleno moniker is coming back to India not as a sedan but as a premium hatchback. Slated to unveil at the 66th Frankfurt Motor Show starting on 15 September, the car will sit above the popular Swift and is likely to be the second product to be sold through the Nexa dealerships. Showcased as the iK-2 concept earlier at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, the Baleno will use the Suzuki's newly-developed 1.0-litre Boosterjet direct injection turbocharged petrol engine. Reduced engine displacement will help the car to attain better fuel efficiency. The diesel variant might get the same 1.3-litre engine. As a premium product, Baleno will be costlier that the Swift. The price would be hovering around Rs 7.5 to 9 lakh.
Previously known as the U301 compact SUV, the Mahindra TUV300 is the launch of Mahindra for the festive season. The compact SUV will feature typical boxy design and SUV attributes such as raised shoulders, high front nose, flat roof and high ground clearance. TUV300 will be built on an all-new platform. It has been designed and developed in-house by the Mahindra design team and will come with a new mHawk80 engine, which is expected to be an updated version of the Quanto's 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel motor. It is safe to assume that the compact SUV would be priced around Rs 6.0 lakh to 7.5 lakh. The launch is expected in mid-September.
2015 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
India's largest car manufacturer is expected to launch its popular people mover in an updated avatar. The new Ertiga will be a pure cosmetic upgrade and will carry on with the 1.4-litre K Series petrol engine producing 94bhp, 130Nm. The 1.3-litre Fiat sourced multi-jet diesel engine can develop 89bhp and 200Nm of torque without any change. Both the engines will be mated to 5-speed manual transmission. An embossing three-slat grill with the redesigned bumper are the changes at front while the rear gets a horizontal chrome slat above the registration plate and a set of reflectors. The MUV also sports a newly-designed twin-spoke alloy wheels. Expect it to be a little costlier than the current model. The launch is expected in the first half of September.
Land Rover Discovery Sport
Land Rover India will launch the new entry to their SUV line-up, the Discovery Sport on 2 September. The SUV is the first entrant to the new Discovery family and will replace Freelander 2 in Indian market. The USP of the Discovery Sport would be the 5+2 seating configuration where most of its competitors have the seating capacity of five. The SUV will have a 2.2-litre diesel engine with two power outputs - 147bhp and 187bhp. The engine will be mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission sending power to all four wheels. A price bracket of Rs 50 lakh to 65 lakh is what markets estimate.
Chevrolet India will end the new car launch draught over the past two year with the full-size Trailblazer SUV. A seven-seater, the Trailblazer is expected to be powered by a 2.8-litre diesel engine developing 180bhp and 470Nm of torque mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The manufacturer will take the Completely Knocked Unit (CKD) route to keep the price in competition with rivals such as Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and Ford Endeavour. The new SUV is likely to be priced in the range of Rs 20 lakh to 25 lakh.
Mercedes-Benz will launch the updated M-Class christened as GLE according to the new nomenclature. The face-lifted version get a redesigned front design that is in line with the new brand design language as seen on S-Class. Indian models will be the GLE 250D and GLE 350D. The former is powered by the 2.1-litre 203bhp diesel unit and the latter comes with a 3.0-litre, 255bhp, V6 engine. The GLE will be pitted against the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the upcoming Land Rover Discovery Sport. The price is expected to be around Rs 60 lakh.