The year of the Auto Expo negates everything that holds carmakers back from launching new cars in India. After a busy first half, 2018 looks set to keep up the momentum and bring new sets of wheels to Indian shores, especially moving closer to the festive season.
Hyundai Creta Facelift
One of India’s most favourite cars received a refresh as this article was being written. The Korean SUV now comes in five trims, three engine options and a choice of two transmissions, starting at Rs 9.44 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new Creta stands out with a larger hexagonal grille, a thicker front bumper and a redone rear bumper. On the other hands, it remains the same mechanically. There’s the same 1.4-litre diesel, 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel engine lineup.
Mahindra G4 Rexton
After a lukewarm response to its predecessor in India, the next-gen Rexton is expected to see the light of the day around the festive period this year. The SUV is likely to be priced at around the Rs 40 lakh mark and even get a new name at the time of its launch. But as we know it till then, the Mahindra G4 Rexton will reportedly be powered by a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 185bhp of power and 420Nm of torque.
With this new polar bear of a car, the Czech carmaker seems to have acted on the wishes of all those who have desired the Kodiaq but were deterred by its price tag. The smaller cousin of the Kodiaq is based on Volkswagen’s acclaimed MQB platform and there is a high possibility of the lower-spec 1.6 TDi engine in order to differentiate from the 2.0-litre TDi family. Expect the car to arrive on Indian shores by the end of the year and carry a price tag in the whereabouts of Rs 20 lakh.
The extension of the Swedish manufacturer’s SUV lineup has given birth to this tinier entry-level offering that occupies the market space around the Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Audi Q3 and the likes. Newly unveiled globally, the XC40 could get the D4 diesel and the T5 petrol four-cylinder Drive-E engine options. Hybrid and pure electric variants are also expected to be rolled out a few month after its debut deep into 2018. Expected price around Rs 40-45 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Facelift
After its blockbuster debut three years ago, the mild-hybrid from India’s leading carmaker is set to get a mid-life update, especially with the upgrades on its rivals. We predict at least the automatic headlamps and/or wipers to compete with the new Hyundai Verna. Under the hood, it will continue to get the 1.4-litre petrol and the 1.3-litre diesel engines mated to five-speed manual gearboxes. Rumours also suggest the arrival of the 1.6-litre Multijet II diesel engine on the car, based on the Suzuki Alivio Pro.
After being discontinued in 2017, the seventh-gen of the German sedan could make it to India via the CKD route. It was revealed earlier this year at the Detroit Motor Show and the big news is that it gets the new MQB platform that also underpins the Audi Q3. An Indian reintroduction in 2019 remains on the cards with the 1.4-litre TSI and the VW 2.0-litre diesel engine as options. Expected price Rs 15-18 lakh.
The growing demands of India’s SUV customers have encouraged Toyota to drive in its C-HR SUV from Europe to India. Expected to be launched by the first half of 2019, the Toyota would feature a 1.8-litre petrol engine mated to the Permanent Magnet Synchronous motor and automatic transmission. Expected price north of Rs 20 lakh.
Mini Cooper S Convertible
Unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show, the 2019 Convertible gets three new colors, optional LED headlights and new LED Union Jack taillights. Tech upgrades include the Mini Connected integration, and the Mini Connected, which offers real-time traffic with 4G LTE connectivity, Apple CarPlay support and automatic emergency calling. Nothing changes under the skin in the form the 2.0-litre petrol mill. The car would land in India by next year, commanding a price of around Rs 35-40 lakh.