After the many new car launches and facelifts during the festive season, the automobile industry is gearing up for year-end and early-2016 launches. There are many models in every segment while the small car segment seems to have more members waiting to enter. We have compiled a list of the top five small cars launching soon in India.
Codenamed Kite, the replacement of Tata's ageing Indica underpins the X0 platform and is expected to get a fresh styling, unlike any other current Tata passenger cars. From the video starring Tata's new global brand ambassador, Lionel Messi, it appears the hatchback will get a signature front grille with smoked headlamps and a fresh rear-end styling.
Tata Kite is likely to include a new 1.05-litre three-cylinder common-rail diesel motor that can churn out 64.1bhp and 140Nm of torque, and an all-new 1.2-litre petrol engine. The Kite is speculated to get an e-clutch system similar to AMT that allows drivers to use manual transmission for the first gear without using the clutch. The global unveil is scheduled in the first week of December 2015.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis
Maruti Suzuki Ignis, the model based on the Suzuki iM-4 concept that was first seen at the Geneva Motor Show in March earlier this year, is expected to get Suzuki's new 1.0-litre three-cylinder BoosterJet petrol motor. The sub-four-metre Ignis compact SUV will come with the four-wheel drive system. Rumours are also doing the rounds that a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine with the SHVS mild-hybrid system mated to a CVT gearbox could also features in the compact SUV. The India unveil is expected during the 2016 Auto Expo, and estimated prices revolve around the Rs 4.5-lakh mark.
Maruti Suzuki Alto Diesel
Maruti Suzuki tasted immense success by employing a small diesel engine in its Celerio hatchback. The same engine is likely to debut with its workhorse, the Alto hatchback, as well. The 793cc two-cylinder diesel unit develops 47bhp power at 3,500rpm and 125Nm of peak torque at 2,000rpm in the Celerio. The engine will be carried over without tweaks. The fuel efficiency is expected to be higher than the Celerio's 27.62kmpl in Alto. The launch is expected by the end of 2015.
Datsun Redi-Go, the third offering of Nissan's low-cost brand after Datusn Go and Go +, will go on sale in the country by March 2016. Redi-Go, which is based on the CMF-A (Common Modular Family) platform, will be powered by a three-cylinder petrol engine with five-speed manual transmission and with reports of an automated manual transmission (AMT) variant as well. French car-maker Renault's recently-unveiled Kwid is also built on the same platform.
The new Datsun small car is likely to be priced under Rs 3 lakh in the country and will be competing against the likes of Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. The model is expected to debut at the Auto Expo 2016 in February.
In terms of price, the Beetle cannot be considered a "small car". However, being a compact car, Volkswagen's bug car is part of this list. German auto-maker Volkswagen has officially confirmed the arrival of its new Beetle in India. To be pitted against MINI Cooper S, Mercedes A-Class Fiat Abarth Punto and the BMW 1-Series, the new Volkswagen Beetle will be brought to India as Completely Built Unit (CBU).
Beetle is expected to be powered by the 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine that also does duty in the Jetta sedan. The engine is expected to churn out a maximum power of 158bhp and peak torque of 250Nm. The car is likely to be priced at around Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom).