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New wheels due out this festival season

S Muralidhar | Updated on January 20, 2018

New ride: The Honda Accord is all set to launch this festival season

New ride: Suzuki Ignis is all set to launch this festival season

New ride: Tata Kite is all set to launch this festival season

2016 Audi_A4.jpg

Bursting with freshness, here is a bunch of new cars that have been lined up for the forthcoming Diwali season

The pre-Diwali season is the most auspicious time of the year for us and nobody knows that better than car manufacturers. Any financial transaction is best conducted during this period and the car ranks high up in the order of spends during the year – often next only to the purchase of a home.

Naturally, every major car maker makes sure that it has a launch planned just in time for the festive season. Even if deliveries don’t start, they make sure that at least bookings are thrown open. This year’s festive season is going to witness a flurry of launches across segments. Here are a few of the major launches that are due in before this Diwali.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis

One of the most awaited cars of this season will be the new Suzuki Ignis. Compared to its predecessors, this new generation of the Ignis is much more global product in terms of proportions and finish quality. The production version showcased at the Tokyo Motor Show last year listed a four-wheel drive version as an option.

Featuring a sub-four-metre crossover style body design, with a SUV-like tall-boy stance, the Ignis could be just the addition that Maruti’s portfolio needed. With the Baleno, the S-Cross and the Vitara Brezza already in the NEXA line-up, the Ignis will be an addition that will add more weight to Maruti’s offerings in the premium hatch/ entry SUV category. The Ignis could be offered with the 1.2-litre K12 petrol engine and the 1.3L DDiS diesel engine. It is not yet clear if the CVT automatic transmission, which was showcased in Tokya, will make it to India.

Tata Kite

Tata Motors’ last car was quite literally struck by the Zika virus. The Tiago (earlier christened Zica) had to be put through a whole new rebranding exercise and also faced some production delays. But, it was one of Tata’s best hatchbacks ever in terms of design and production quality.

The Tiago could soon be joined by the Kite 5 (the final moniker could be different). This new sub-four-metre sedan will be one more from Tata Motors, which pioneered the category. But, this one promises to be much better designed and bring a lot of freshness to the quality of the interiors too.

Showcased at the Auto Expo this year, the Kite 5 will be offered with the relatively new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine and the new 1.05-litre, 3-cylinder, direct injection Revotorq diesel engine. The latter engine will be turbocharged and intercooled, and be capable of generating 65PS of power and 140Nm of torque.

Hyundai Tucson

The Creta has been clocking the numbers for Hyundai over the past few months. But, the sports utility vehicle that is missing from the Indian subsidiary’s portfolio – the Tucson – will join in to make it a formidable line up. The trio – Creta, Tucson and Santa Fe – could make it quite the best range on offer for buyers.

The Tucson will be making a comeback, after being pulled out of this market a few years ago. The new third-gen model will be big change over the predecessor. The aggressive new design follows Hyundai Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 language and it looks very much like the Santa Fe from some angles, which is a good thing for this SUV. It could start from a sub-₹20 lakh price point. One petrol and one diesel engine option is likely to be available, with the possibility of the diesel version being launched first. The petrol version could well be the 1.4L, T-GDI turbo-charged mill that Hyundai had showcased earlier this year.

Honda Accord

Honda India’s portfolio has a big hole in the premium and luxury sedans categories, in the absence of the Civic and the Accord. The lack of appropriate diesel engines for these cars has been the reason why they haven’t been brought back. In the meantime rival Toyota has been quite successful in cornering a section of the luxury market with its Camry Hybrid.

After a string of launches in the mid-price category, it is time for Honda to spruce up its premium image and the new 2016 Accord could well be the car that delivers the boost. The new Accord could well make it here in its Hybrid avatar first and like the Camry, could benefit from the Government’s FAME incentives. The Accord Hybrid sports a 2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and an electric motor, with a combined system power of 212HP. The transmission is an e-CVT or electronic continuously variable transmission with sport mode. The new Accord is expected to be offered with a whole rash of safety and premium interior features.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

FCA India is all set to bring in Jeep - the most authentic American off-roader brand. For many of us the Jeep brand is a familiar vehicle and the one model which will be instantly identifiable will be the Jeep Wrangler. The four-door, four-wheel drive Jeep Wrangler Unlimited could be the first of three SUVs that Jeep will introduce here this year.

With its iconic round headlamps, seven-slatted grille and hexagonal wheel arches, the Jeep Wrangler is style and performance icon that is timeless in its appeal. The four-wheel drive SUV will likely be offered with the CRD 2.8-litre diesel engine mated to a 5-speed automatic gearbox.

Audi A4

One of Audi India’s best sellers, the A4 will find its successor rolling in later this year. The new 2016 A4 is key upgrade for the model, with its growing in proportions and in perceived quality. The sedan is now larger outside and inside the cabin, with the key parameters for passenger space getting a bump up.

The quality of the interior gets a serious boost and the dashboard and cabin now feel so much more premium.

The engines on offer when the A4 is finally launched here could be the 2.0 TDI diesel and the 1.4TSI petrol engines. The 3.0TDI, the three-litre V6 diesel engine could come in at a later date.

Published on June 30, 2016

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