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2018’s biggest debuts will be a range of dreams on wheels

S Muralidhar | Updated on January 08, 2018

New Audi Q5

New Maruti Suzuki Swift

Sedan credentials underlined TheBMW6GT’s design is very coupe-like

The year promises to be huge for car lovers with some fascinating models coming their way

If last year was a landmark with the number of new car launches, 2018 promises to be even more so with a huge line-up of models due for launch. There is a clutch of new vehicles due out across segments and categories, and at almost every price point too.

Another interesting development is how quickly many of the cars are making it here, though this is the Auto Expo year.

By far the most popular segments — the hatchback and compact sedan — will see a big bunch of replacements and refreshed models. In addition to Maruti Suzuki rolling out the Swift, Wagon-R and Alto, Hyundai will also bring in the face-lifted i20 and the new Eon. Honda is expected to launch the new Amaze and Tata could unveil the Tiago Sport and Ford the Figo Cross.

There is going to be a big round of additions to the SUV segment too this year ranging from the Lamborghini Urus, to the new Range Rover Velar, the Audi Q8, BMW X2, the Jeep Renegade, Volvo XC40, the Skoda Karoq and the face-lifted Creta to the new Nissan Kicks.

Here are the profiles of four significant new vehicles that will be launched this year:



Lamborghini Urus



The Urus was a name that had already swirled around the air surrounding super sports car fans. And Lamborghini’s imminent entry into the sports utility segment was known. Yet, when Lambo pulled the wraps off the Urus super sports utility vehicle (SSUV), as the Italian supercar-maker would like to call it, there was a collective gasp of surprise that rose from the brand’s fan base.

The Urus will make its India debut just over a month after its international unveil. That is remarkable and reaffirms the fact that Indian luxury car buyers love SUVs. The Urus’ design shares a number of features with models of the past, including inspirations that have been drawn from iconic models like the Miura, Countach, the Aventador and the LMoo2. There may be a few purists who may not be entirely happy with the Urus’s design, but the four-litre V8 twin turbo petrol engine and the vehicle’s dynamics may more than convince them about its Lambo DNA. Top speed is 305 kmph and it can do 0-100 kmph in 3.6 seconds, making it the fastest SUV today.



Audi Q5



One of the first luxury cars to be launched this year will be the new Audi Q5. One of the best sellers for the brand in India, the second generation of this sports utility vehicle gets sharper edges and lines, with much more aggressive front design, though its overall proportions seem to be very close to the previous gen. The new bonnet grille and the curved, strongly undercut shoulder line are two of the most distinctive design features.

The new Q5 cabin gets a more pronounced horizontal orientation to emphasise the width of the car. There is a lot more equipment in the cabin and there are optional additions and adjustments for the seats. Powertrain options could be the 2.0TDI diesel and the 2.0TFSI petrol, both of which will now be more powerful and yet more fuel efficient too. Audi India is also expected to bring in the new A8L saloon, the Q8 and the 2018 A7 Sportback by the end of the year.



BMW 6GT



The market for estates has been subdued in India, but though BMW’s GTs aren’t exactly in the same category, the German car-maker has managed to create quite a fan following for them. The big debut from BMW this year is likely to be the 6GT, the successor to the surprisingly successful 5GT.

Being as wide as the 7-Series with cabin appointments that are almost as plush as in the flagship, the new 6GT will attempt to also satisfy the cravings of the value-conscious buyer with more space for occupants and luggage. Boot space is a humungous 610 litres; and there will be customisation options too. The 6GT’s design is a lot more elegant and coupe-like than the predecessor. The powertrain that is most likely to make it to our shores would be the three-litre turbo diesel. BMW will also be bringing in the new X3, X2 and the M5 later this year.



Maruti Suzuki Swift



The most awaited hatchback of the last two years — the Maruti Suzuki Swift — will roll into showrooms later this month. We have already got a taste of the new Swift’s design in the Dzire, which was launched last year. The new Swift will have a similar front design with minor changes to the grille and front fender elements. The squat rear with prominent haunches and a more modern interpretation of the tail-lamps will really make this hatch much more hotter than the previous generation.

New materials and sportier trim element in the cabin will make the Swift even more exciting to be seated in. Powertrain options will include the 1.2-litre petrol and the 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engines. A nice addition could be the one-litre BoosterJet engine that is currently offered in the BalenoRS.

Market leader Maruti Suzuki could also be most busy manufacturer during 2018 with one of the biggest changes and expansions of its portfolio. Some of the other models that will be replaced with new generation models or facelifts could include the new Wagon-R, the new Alto, next-gen Ertiga and possibly even a petrol engine variant of the Vitara Brezza.

Published on January 04, 2018

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