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Cars launching in India, in 2015
A list of the good and the not-so-good ones that will flood the dealerships in 2015. Excited already?
BMW’s hybrid sportscar is expected to hit the Indian market this year. Powering this low-slung, futuristic sportscar are two motors. The rear wheels are driven by 1.5-litre twin scroll turbo engine, which produces 231bhp and 320Nm of torque, and is mated to a six-speed auto. The front wheels are spun by an electric motor, via a two-stage auto box. This motor is powered by a 5kWh lithium-ion battery, which produces an equivalent of 131bhp. The combined total output of 362bhp and 570Nm of torque propels the i8 to 100kph in 4.4 seconds. Price? Nothing less than 2.5 crore.
Out first drive of the BMWi8
Driving the BMW i8 in California
BMW i8 vs Jag F-Type vs Porsche 911
Skoda Octavia vRS
After the success of the Skoda Octavia in the Indian market, the Czech automaker is keen to launch a high-performance version - the Octavia vRS. Slightly sportier to look at, this sedan will probably be powered by the same engines that power the European versions – 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor, producing 220bhp and propelling the car from 0 to 100kph in 6.8 seconds. Also a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel unit that produces 184bhp, and does the 0-100 drill in 8.1 seconds. It should be priced in the Rs 21-24 lakh price bracket.
After tasting success in the compact-SUV segment with the Duster, Renault plans on taking the Ertiga dominated compact-MPV section head-on with the Lodgy. This 7-seater seems to have all the characteristics to be successful in the MPV market – petrol and diesel engines and generous amounts of space. If Renault gets its pricing strategy right, it should cost around Rs 12 lakh. Update: Fresh details on the Renault Lodgy here
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
Maruti will finally launch the S-Cross SX4 in 2015. The front retains the SX4’s look, while the rear is sharp with edgier tail-lights. Expect the interior to be similar to the new Swift. The S-Cross should come in FWD and AWD variants, with two engine options. Though the international car gets a turbocharged petrol and a bigger oil-burner, India will get the K12 petrol and the tried-and-tested MultiJet. It should be priced between Rs 8-12 lakh to compete with the Ford EcoSport.
Gallery: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross
The Honda Jazz, in its new avatar is all set for an Indian return. While retaining a similar profile as the earlier Jazz, the new version looks edgier and more aggressive. At 3.96m in length, it is expected to be even roomier than the older one. Expect two engine options, probably the same mills that power the Amaze – the 1.2 litre petrol engine, producing 85bhp and 109Nm of torque, and the 1.5-litre diesel that produces 98bhp and 200Nm of torque. It will be priced in the Rs 6-9 lakh range, to compete with the likes of the VW Polo and the Hyundai i20.
Our first drive of the Honda Jazz
The Jetta gets minor engine tweaks and visual upgrades, which include a redesigned body to reduce air drag, along with new front and rear bumpers, a new front grille and new tail-lights. The turbocharged diesel engine is to receive an upgrade too. Interiors will sport more features, and a lot of safety-related tech will be made available as purchasable extras. It might cost a tad more than the outgoing Jetta, so expect it to be priced in the Rs 15-20 lakh range.
The refreshed Passat, laden with tech goodies, such as an all-digital instrument cluster, the new VW infotainment system, and 360-degree cameras will hit the Indian market in 2015. Safety features too have been upgraded with systems that adjust car speed in traffic and detect driver fatigue or injury. The new Passat is 79mm longer than the older one, and is likely to be powered by a 2.0-litre diesel which will be tuned to produce 148bhp, 187bhp and a 237bhp using a twin-turbo. Estimated price is Rs 30-35 lakh.
More on the refreshed Passat
The new Endeavour looks edgier and gets all sorts of upgrades to help it perform better on the dirt tracks and on the tarmac. It gets a new ladder-frame chassis, along with a coil-spring suspension at the rear. The car gets AWD and a Terrain Response System to actively manage traction control, torque and power distribution. It has been announced with two engine options – a 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel and a 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel mated to 6-speed ’box. Expect it to be priced around Rs 20-25 lakh to rival the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Toyota Fortuner.
Read more about the 2015 Endeavour here
The success of compact SUVs like the Duster and EcoSport is catalysing the launch of several crossovers, and Hyundai plans to bring the ix25 to the table. The ix25 is likely to be powered by the same mills that power the Verna – 1.6/1.4 CRDI and the 1.6 VTVT, with manual and automatic transmission options. It’s expected to be priced between Rs 8 and 10 lakh.
To replace the ageing Indigo eCS and Indica eV2, Tata will be launching the Kite compact sedan and hatchback. Expect a revamped body, with sleek lines and edgier angles. Though official news is scarce, it is expected to be powered by a new 3-cylinder petrol as well diesel motor. If the Zest and Bolt are anything to go by, transmission options should also include an auto ’box, apart from the usual 5-speed manual. Expect the sedan to be priced at about Rs 4-5 lakh, with the hatchback a shade cheaper.
Porsche Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS
Porsche is all set to increase its Indian line-up with the addition of the Cayman GTS and the Boxster GTS. The GTS versions are essentially the S versions, with engines tuned to produce additional an 15bhp of power and 10Nm of torque. The Sport Chrono comes as standard. Exteriors get a distinctive front and rear end along with blackened bi-xenon headlights. Prices have not been announced, but expect a significant increase in price over the S versions.
TG review of the Boxster GTS
BMW M4 vs Porsche Cayman GTS
Mercedes is ready to take a bite of the entry-level premium sedan market with the CLA-Class. Engine options should include a petrol motor producing 156bhp in the CLA200, and a 170bhp diesel mill in the CLA220 CDI. Both engines will be mated to a 7-speed auto ’box, and the all-wheel drive 4matic system should be an available option. Estimated prices are in the Rs 30-35 lakh range.
The new Volvo XC90 should be coming to India in the first quarter of 2015, powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel motor churning out 225bhp. It is supposed to be more efficient than the outgoing 2.4-litre 5-cylinder mill, and will be mated to an 8-speed auto transmission. The new XC90 is claimed to be the epitome of vehicle safety, and will be placed against the Audi Q7, so expect a hefty price tag in the range of Rs 80-90 lakh.
More on the Volvo XC90
Audi Q3 and Q3 RS
The first thing that you need to know is that the Q3 that will come to the Audi dealership near you is not all new. It’s an update, where the Q3 gets exactly what it earlier lacked. It looks fresher and is a bit more involving to drive. But if you want more from the Q3, Audi will soon get an RS version – it just might cause an accident in your pants. It’s damn quick, and will give the recently launched Merc GLA 45 AMG something to worry about. The refreshed Q3 should be priced similar to the current one, with the RS version costing about Rs 90 lakh.
Our review of the updated Audi Q3
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The Jeep Grand Cherokee is Jeep’s second Indian offering. It is a large urban luxury SUV, powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine producing 237bhp and 549Nm of torque. The Grand Cherokee does not have a third bench, but is designed to deliver a comfortable ride for the passengers. The car features electrically-controlled suspension, differentials and stability programs. It should be priced around Rs 50 lakh, in direct competition with the X3 and Q5.
Our full review
The time we drove the Grand Cherokee around Mumbai