2018 has been an exciting year for the Indian automobile industry with several new car launches, facelifts and updates. Mahindra’s Marazzo and Ford’s Freestyle have been the two major launches.Also, Maruti Suzuki updated Ciaz and Ford unveiled an updated Ecosport, bringing back the 1.0 turbo boost engine.
The end of 2018 and 2019 is going to see a host of launches across the entire spectrum, from small cars to SUVs to sedans and more.
We look at 6 eagerly awaited car launches in India:
1. Hyundai Santro
Hyundai’s Santro was a pathbreaker for the Korean company in the 90s and 2000s, winning hearts of customers as well as expanding their footprint in India. The popular car was discontinued after the introduction of the Eon but now Hyundai is bringing back the Santro brand name later this year.
The new Santro will have the original’s tall-boy stance as well as incorporate Hyundai’s fluidic design language. The car will replace the Eon and is expected to compete against Maruti Suzuki’s record-selling Alto and Renault’s Kwid.
Like other Hyundai cars, the car will have a host of features, including Android Auto and Apple Carplay, reverse camera, a touchscreen display to name a few. The car is expected to be a 1000+cc car to compete with the Alto K10, while Hyundai has also revealed that an automated manual transmission (AMT) will be offered as an option, apart from the manual transmission.
The car will most likely be launched in October in India.
2. Nissan Kicks
Nissan’s Kicks SUV will be launched in January 2019 to compete against the likes of Hyundai Creta, Renault Duster and the Mahindra Scorpio.
The version that will be sold in India will be longer and much more spacious than the ones sold internationally, specifically catering to the Indian audience.
Nissan haven’t revealed the engine options that will be offered in India but we should expect something in excess of 1500cc and 100+ bhp. The SUV has a modern and edgy design, which should appeal to a young audience.
Expect the car to be priced around Rs 15 lakh mark.
3. BMW M2
BMW announced earlier this year that they would be bringing one of their sportiest and fastest cars, the BMW M2. The M2 which will be launched in India is the Competition variant, which will push out 405 bhp and 550 Nm of torque, which takes the car from 0-100 kmph in just 4.2 seconds with a limited top speed of 250 kmph.
The 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The car is tailored to go fast and is very good dynamically. The two-door car looks fast at standstill, with a sharp design in the front, diffuser at the back and blacked out alloy wheels.
The M2 will priced between Rs 80 lakhs and Rs 1 crore and will compete mainly against Porsche’s Cayman.
4. Tata Harrier
Tata’s upcoming Harrier SUV was showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo as the H5X concept car. The SUV will be priced in the Rs. 12-16 lakh price range, competing against the Scorpio, Creta, and the soon-to-be-launched Kicks SUV. It will be powered by a 2-litre diesel engine which will make 140bhp and 320Nm of torque.
Automatic and manual transmission gearboxes will be available, while Tata will launch a 5 and 7 seater versions of the SUV. The car is based on the Land Rover Discovery Sport platform.
The Harrier is set to be launched in January 2019.
5. Mahindra XUV700
Mahindra’s XUV500 has been a huge hit since it was launched in 2011 and now the Indian manufacturer is set to launch a bigger version of the car, codenamed the XUV700.
The XUV700 is based on the Ssangyong Rexton G4, and when launched, the car will be the most expensive Mahindra vehicle in India. Ssangyong, a South Korean car company, is owned by Mahindra & Mahindra.
The XUV700 will be a 7-seater car that will compete against the likes of the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, and Skoda Kodiaq, and will be priced at around Rs. 20 lakhs. The SUV will be offered in both petrol and diesel options, while the car is to have an automatic gearbox. The XUV700 will have a host of features to offer great value, including leather seats, sunroof, infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The car will be launched by the end of the year.
6. Honda Civic
Honda will bring back the ever popular Civic to Indian shores in early 2019. A facelifted version of the sedan was launched in the US, which has a quirky and futuristic design, and India may get this same version of the car. The car now features a sharp front end with low headlights, integrated spoiler and a central exhaust at the back and a drooping roofline.
The Civic, when launched, will be offered in petrol and diesel trims, with 1.6 litre petrol and 2.0 litre diesel engines, while a six-speed manual box as well as an automatic CVT gearbox to be offered.
It remains to be seen if Honda will offer Honda Sensing, a driver assistance system, in the Civic in India. The Civic will be launched sometime next year and priced between Rs 15 and Rs 20 lakhs.