Japanese car manufacturer Honda forayed into India's diesel car segment with the launch of its much hyped Amaze sedan on Thursday.

The all new Amaze sedan is launched in both petrol and diesel variants and is aggressively priced in the market. The base petrol variant comes for ₹4.99 lakh and the top two variants are priced ₹6.62 lakh and ₹ 7.5 lakh. The middle variants of petrol model are priced ₹5.62 lakh and ₹6.60 lakh. The diesel variants of the car are priced between ₹5.99 lakh to ₹7.60 lakh.

"Amaze has been developed keeping in view the Indian customer's needs. It is Honda's answer to Indian customer's longstanding demand for a Honda diesel and should have a strong acceptance," said H Kanayama, president & CEO at Honda Cars India.

The petrol variant is powered by a 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine and is expected to give a fuel efficiency of 18 km/litre. The diesel variant comes with a 1.5 i-DTEC engine, developed specifically for the Indian market. This model is expected to give a fuel efficiency of 25.8 kmpl, making it the most fuel efficient diesel car in the Indian market.

The sub 4-metre sedan sedan is believed to be a real challenger for Maruti Suzuki's Swift DZire. Initial reviews of Honda's new offering hint that Amaze is likely to cannibalize the sales of Maruti's Swift DZire. If this rings true, India's most trusted car maker, Maruti, will lose home ground to Honda as Maruti Swift is one of the best selling models of Suzuki in India. Swift and Dzire models contribute over 40-50 percent to Maruti's total sales.

The Amaze vehicle comes with more leg and cabin space than Swift Dzire. Also, the engine and design of the vehicle is developed keeping in mind the competition in the market. Honda seemed to have taken note of all factors that concern Indian consumers when it comes to engine, mileage and most importantly cost of the car.

Honda, which started accepting bookings for Amaze a few days ago, will now begin sales at 150 of its retail outlets in 97 cities.