Ashok Leyland reveals the Stile...again
This time, Ashok Leyland has handed out some very important details about its new MPV. No, really
Remember that dour-looking version of the Nissan Evalia shown at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo? Yes, that one. The second product to have come out of the Ashok Leyland-Nissan JV after the 'Dost' pick-up. If you've forgotten about it, allow us to bring it back to your attention, because Ashok Leyland has done the same by unveiling it, yet again.
This is the Ashok Leyland Stile, and as you can see, it is a Nissan Evalia with a face that spells 'LCV'. Ashok Leyland is aiming at the commercial end of the market with the Stile - it can be a hotel shuttle vehicle, an ambulance, a panel van, a courier service van and also, if you didn't think of it, a cab!
To the differences. You've got new headlamps, a new grille, a curvier front bumper, redesigned wheels and of course, the Ashok Leyland badge slapped onto the nose. Inside, it will again be very similar to its Nissan counterpart (without a few goodies like a reversing camera and so on), and will offer seating for five, seven or eight people, depending on whether you want to cram in more hotel guests or cargo boxes. It also gets a proper sliding window for the second row, not that butterfly-type business that the Nissan offers.
It will be powered by the same 1.5-litre K9K diesel motor found on the Evalia, mated to the same five-speed manual 'box found on the Evalia, but Ashok Leyland won't tell us if the motor makes the usual 85bhp or lesser. Let's just say it should have sufficient grunt to lug your many essentials. Oh, and if you're the thrifty type, Ashok Leyland will also offer a CNG variant. A CNG tank will eat up into crucial cargo space, but you lose some to save some, remember?
Since this is the budget version of the Evalia built for commercial purposes, it will be positioned lower than Nissan MPV in terms of price with completely stripped-down variants on offer. It will be produced at Nissan's Oragadam plant in Chennai, and will be launched this festive season. Should it be a commercial segment price-warrior only, or would you actually like to buy a cheaper, barebones version of the Evalia for yourself?