From Maruti to Hyundai to Tata to Mercedes-Benz, car-makers will take the wraps of new products and new concepts for the Indian market; and will range from across segments. We take a look at the top 10 cars to watch out for at the 2018 Auto Expo.
More than 20 car and two-wheeler manufacturers will showcase new products for the Indian market at the biggest automobile event of the country. The Auto Expo 2018, now in its 14th edition, will see more than 24 launches and close to 100 unveils over a period of six days from February 9-14. From Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Tata Motors to Mercedes-Benz, car makers will take the wraps off new products and concepts for the Indian market ranging across various segments. Clearly, there’s lots to look forward to and we will be bringing you all the action from the ground from February 7, 2018, itself. But, before we dive into all the action, let’s take a look at the top 10 cars to watch out for at the 2018 Auto Expo.
1. KIA Sorento SUV
We start off with the newest member to join the Indian automobile sector. In April last year, South Korea’s second largest carmaker Kia Motors, announced its plans to enter the Indian car market. The company will start its India operations from its new brand new manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, and will take on the likes of Maruti and parent company Hyundai in producing low-cost vehicles for the Indian market. For this, KIA has invested close to ₹ 7,050 crore and leading the charge for the company will be Kia Sorento SUV, which was recently spotted testing on Indian roads.
KIA Sorento SUV shares its underpinnings with Hyundai Santa Fe and takes on the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Skoda Kodiaq. The Sorento SUV will take the place of the now discontinued Hyundai Santa Fe in the full-size SUV segment. The Sorento SUV has an urban appeal to it, with butch design to go along. It comes with a variety of features such as the LED headlamps with DRLs, LED fog lights, touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, start-stop button, cruise control and much more. Moreover, it also comes with gesture open boot, electrically foldable seats and even 360 degree camera.
Under the hood, the Kia Sorento SUV will be available in both petrol and diesel engines with three powertrains to choose from. A 2.0-litre diesel engine churns out 147 bhp, while 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel unit produces 193 bhp. The 2.4-litre GDI petrol motor will produce 192 bhp of maximum power. The engine will come mated to a manual and an automatic gearbox with AWD function on all.
2. Maruti Suzuki Swift
Next on the list is the most popular hatchback in India. The all new Maruti Suzuki Swift will officially launch in India at the Auto Expo. While we drove the new generation Swift recently, only the price will be announced next month. Maruti expects the Swift to take the legacy of the hatchback to new milestones. Rivaling the new Swift is the Hyundai Grand i10 and Ford Figo in India. Expected to be priced between ₹ 5 lakh to ₹ 8 lakh, the new generation Swift come with cosmetic changes while continuing with the same engine under the hood.
The new generation Swift is based on the HEARTECT platform, and also gets new design language. The new Swift has grown in dimensions from its predecessor, and also boasts of extra space for the passengers. Another feature that adds to the new gen Swift is the new bold single-frame grille flanked by bug-like headlamps, projector units, LED DRLs and LED taillights. It also gets sporty alloy wheels, floating-style roof design with blackened B-pillar, along with new front and rear bumper. It also gets a new infotainment system, but that is only for the ZXi variant.
Powering the new generation Swift will be the tried and tested 1.2-litre K-Series petrol and 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motors. However, this time, Maruti has introduced the AGS as well to the Swift along with the manual gearbox.
3. Hyundai Santro
The next big icon to be showcased at the Auto Expo is the all new Hyundai Santro. Making a comeback of sorts, the Santro started its Indian journey way back in 1998 and was a runaway success for the company. After running on Indian roads for almost 16 years, it was discontinued in 2014, with the company stating that the entry-level car had run its course. However, in 2016, reports surfaced on the internet that the iconic Santro is making a comeback and we have enough proof now that it is indeed coming. Spotted testing on Indian roads and also in Europe, the new gen Santro will take centre-stage for Hyundai at the Auto Expo 2018. It will replace the i10 in Hyundai’s India portfolio.
The new generation Hyundai Santro will share most of its design cues with the new Grand i10. Although, the spy shots don’t reveal many changes, we do expect it to be new in every aspect. Right from the platform to the design to the styling to the features, Hyundai has gone all out with the new gen Santro. However, as it will replace the i10 in the entry-level segment, don’t expect too much from it.
At the heart of the new Santro will be a 0.8-litre and 1.0-litre engine options, same as the outgoing i10. Transmission duties will be taken care by a 5-Speed manual gearbox, with reports suggesting an AMT version as well. When launched, the new generation Hyundai Santro will take on the likes of Renault Kwid, Tata Tiago, Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Honda Brio.
4. Hyundai i20 Facelift
Next on the list is yet another iconic Hyundai product. The i20 will also receive an update and was recently spotted testing on Indian roads. We’ve been talking about the new generation i20 since June last year and now we have confirmation that it will indeed launch at the Auto Expo 2018. Hyundai’s best-selling hatchback and also an ICOTY winner, the i20 will come with cosmetic changes and feature upgrades, while engine will remain the same.
The changes on the outside include a new cascading grille in a honeycomb pattern, updated headlamps with projector headlamps and LED DRLs for the top-end trim. Although the front bumper is heavily camouflaged, we can expect new set of fog lamps with integrated LED DRLs. It also comes with electrically operated ORVMs integrated with LED turn signals.
At the heart of the new i20 facelift will be the same 1.2-litre Kappa Dual VTVT petrol engine and 1.4-litre U2 CRDI diesel engine. It will also get a 1.4-litre dual VTVT petrol engine. Transmission includes a 5-Speed manual, 6-Speed manual and a 4-Speed automatic torque converter.
5. Maruti Suzuki Concept Future S
The next big thing to watch out for at the Auto Expo 2018 is the new concept vehicle from Maruti Suzuki. Dubbed as Concept Future S, the new concept from Maruti will showcase an all new compact car design language, similar to what the company did in Auto Expo 2016 with the Ignis Concept and Baleno Concept. The folks at Suzuki ‘the Concept Future S breaks away from the conventional proportions of a compact car.’
From the teaser images release by Maruti Suzuki, the new Concept Future S will have an upright stance, higher seating and higher ground clearance. The horizontal hood gives a unique stance to the concept, like almost a butch appeal. The front end of the Concept Future S stays true to the new platform with a bold and upright front, giving the A-pillar a unique treatment. The new Concept Future S will slot in below the Vitara Brezza, which means- yet another sub-compact SUV which is shorter in height than the Vitara Brezza.
While the engine details are still a mystery, we expect the new Concept Future S to be built on the same Heartect platform, which is also on the new Dzire. Engine will most likely be sourced from the Ignis, that is a 1.2-litre K Series petrol and a 1.3-litre diesel motor.
6. Tata H5 SUV
While we are on the topic of new concepts and new products, Tata Motors is not far behind, as the company plans to introduce not one, not two, but 4 new products at the Auto Expo 2018. While the new SUV from Tata had been spotted testing on the roads for quite some time now, the company finally confirmed it with a series of teasers shared on their social media handle. Codenamed H5 SUV, it is one of the two new SUVs to be introduced by the company at the Auto Expo 2018.
That’s not all. The new products from the company will be based on a completely new platform, IMPACT Design 2.0 for passenger cars. The new platform takes forwards the IMPACT design that helped in building the Tiago hatchback, Tigor sub-compact sedan and Hexa SUV. The H5 SUV will be a large-ish SUV, and will come with a 5 seat and a 7-seat configuration.
Tata’s new H5 SUV has been the talk of the town for the past few months, as it was spotted testing with no camouflage. The new Tata H5 SUV will share its underpinnings with Land Rover Discovery Sport’s L550 platform and will source the 2.0-litre MultiJet diesel engine from FCA. This is the same engine that does duty in the Jeep Compass. Knowing Tata, we expect the new H5 SUV to come with the latest gizmos and equipment to give it a luxurious feel to it. We expect to see a host of goodies including multiple driving modes, connectivity options and much more.
7. Tata X451 Premium Hatchback
Taking the IMPACT Design 2.0 ahead for Tata Motors’ is the X451 premium hatchback, which will take on the likes of Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Hyundai i20 facelift and Honda Jazz. This too, will be based on the all-new Advanced Modular Platform (AMP), and is expected to launch next year. However, the company will start building a buzz around the car right from the Auto Expo, as we believe the still under development car will take centre-stage.
From the spy shots, the Tata X 451 premium hatchback is still in early development stage, but we expect it to receive advanced and stylish features compared to its competition. While the spy shots don’t reveal much about the car, it does reveal part of the C-pillar, which looks like its sourced from Tata Indica.
Engine options are likely to be the tried and tested 1.2-litre turbo petrol mill and 1.5-litre diesel motor sourced from the Nexon. While not much is known at the moment, trusting Tata, the new premium hatchback will be highly appealing in terms of design.
8. Toyota Vios Sedan
It was back in March last year, when we broke the news that Toyota will bring the Vios compact sedan to India to take on the likes of Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz, new gen Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento and Skoda Rapid. While the compact sedan will be showcased at the Auto Expo 2018, expect official launch in March-April. We have already reported that Toyota is testing the Vios extensively in India; the one coming to India is in its 3rd generation and has already received a facelift last year for Thailand and other markets.
Toyota Vios, or Toyota Yaris (as known in other markets), will be company’s mass market offering and will be positioned above the Etios in its portfolio. In terms of design, the Vios shared its underpinnings with the Yaris hatchback, while the design elements are shared from the Camry hybrid sedan. The Vios will come with a large single-frame grille, V-shaped front, projector headlamps with LED DRLs, 16-inch alloy wheels and LED taillights. On the inside, the cabin of the Vios will come loaded with features, such as keyless entry, push button start-stop, auto climate control, touchscreen infotainment system and rear AC vents among other. Moreover, it is speculated that the Vios might also feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Mechanically, the Toyota Vios will come with only petrol engine at the moment with the diesel version to be added at a later stage. Engine options include a 1.5-litre dual VVT-i engine that can produce max power of 105 bhp and peak torque of 140 NM, mated to a 5-Spedd manual gearbox with an option for a CVT as well. We expect the petrol model to be in the range of ₹ 8 lakh – ₹ 11 lakh.
9. Mercedes-Benz EQ Concept
Like many of the motor shows now, prime focus will be on the electric future, as India has announced to go all-electric by 2030. For this, Mercedes-Benz will showcase its EQ Concept, which also made its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. The new EQ concept will give a preview of what to expect from future Mercedes-Benz cars, as the German car-makers have announced its plan to introduce as many as 10 electric cars in its line-up by 2022 which will include SUVs, sedans and hatchbacks. The new EQ concept will serve as basis for its future electric crossovers.
Mercedes-Benz will produce four electric vehicles under the EQ Concept brand, which is based on the new electric vehicle architecture, called EVA. Through the EVA, the new products will be able to contain a battery pack of 400 kg which will supply electrons to either a 300 kW rear-mounted engine or a 150 kW front-mounted motor. This electric motor will, in turn, produce a power output of 400hp and a driving range of up to 500 km on a single charge. The company claims that the EQ concept is capable of going from 0-100kmph in less than 5 seconds.
10. Renault Zoe EV
Last, but not the least, is the electric vehicle from Renault. The French car-makers announced that it will showcase a range of products at the Auto Expo 2018, including electric vehicles, concept cars and a Formula 1 at its pavilion. However, the most exciting product to watch out for will be the hatchback EV Zoe.
It is currently on sale in Europe, and the company plans to introduce it for the Indian market in the coming years. The electric hatchback is powered by a 41kWh battery that offers a range of 400 km and can be charged in 65-80 minutes at a quick charging station. The company aims to showcase its prowess in the EV space with the model and gauge feedback on electric vehicles from the visitors.
Which car are you looking out for at the Auto Expo 2018? Share your thoughts in the comments section.