While the Novel Coronavirus continues to keep the world on lockdown, many car manufacturers haven’t lost their focus to provide the best to their customers. Indian car manufacturers are no different and are eager to begin the recovery of the Indian automotive industry.
Moving beyond the damage already caused by the pandemic, 2020 has proven to be a great year for car lovers as well as the Auto Industry. With the Indian car sales witnessing a much awaited rise in the initial months of 2020, car manufactures like Hyundai and Tata Motors did not fail to impress with their top-notch launches such as the all-new Hyundai Creta 2020, Hyundai Aura and Tata’s premium hatchback; the Tata Altroz. While the BS6 norms replaced the BS4 regime, car lovers were greeted with attractive sales to clear up the pending stock.
And now, even as car manufactures face difficult times, their spirits haven’t lost the zeal. The year 2020 still has a variety of classy, sporty, elegant and powerful vehicles, which are ready to make their way into the Indian Market. In this article, we will have a look at 4 of the most promising upcoming vehicle launches that are slated to take place in the near future.
Mahindra E2O NXT
[Expected Mid May to Early June 2020**]
Electric vehicles have taken the auto industry by storm. And the year 2020 looks even more promising. Showcased back at the Auto Expo 2018, the e2o Plus NXT was a clear cut showcase of what Mahindra was planning for the future.
The e2o NXT showcased back in 2018 was designed with a touch of white both inside as well as the outside. Although the overall silhouette of the car remains recognizable, there are quite a few intelligent and stylish design cues that give the vehicle a true Mahindra touch. One such addition is Mahindra’s minimal grille design that is integrated as a black plastic piece adorned with a small Mahindra grille and some blue backlighting. The head lamps given are double barrel with projectors and DRLs, a design that features a lot on the Mahindra’s concept cars.
In terms of the rear design, the tail lamps on this vehicle are in the shape of vertical LED units with a large piece of grey plastic adorning Mahindra badging. The rear also features 2 hexagonal blue-lit lamps placed where the exhaust system usually is.
The dimensions, layout and elements of the cabin is much like any other Mahindra vehicle, but what surprises the most is a massive touchscreen display as well as a fully digital instrument cluster. The side profile of the car has been given a sporty look with a large and scooped in rear windows that also integrate the rear door handle.
The e2o NXT will feature the Mahindra Electric Scalable Modular Architecture and will get a 3-Phase Induction Motor delivering 40 Ps of max power and 91 Nm of peak torque. With a direct drive transmission for channelizing power, the vehicle will also get a 72V battery to return an impressive range. And now with electric vehicles making their way into the market, it’s indeed a perfect time for Mahindra to launch its much awaited offering. Expected for a mid-May to Early June 2020 launch, the e2o NXT could come with an expected price tag of somewhere between 7 to 12 lakhs.
[Expected Mid June 2020**]
Tata Motors has redefined the sizeable SUV segment with the Harrier. By launching premium and modern vehicles one after the other since the Tiago, Tata is in the big league once again. With consumer expectation at its peak, Tata Motors is all set to enhance the SUV segment with its top-notch seven-seat version of the Harrier, The Tata Gravitas.
Recently showcased at the Auto Expo 2020, the Tata Gravitas has been engineered on the much refined Land Rover platform and will be slotted above the Harrier in terms of both pricing and segmentation. In terms of overall design, the Gravitas is essentially a Harrier but with a catch; a third row of seats, making it a premium 7 seater SUV.
The car showcased at the Auto-Expo was designed with Tata’s typical lines and the signature “smiling face” front which is the perfect balance between the Nexon’s appeal and the Hexa’s aggression. The muscular silhouette, flared wheel arches and a rising shoulder-line, the Gravitas looks as sporty as it gets. Compared to its sibling Harrier, the Gravitas gets major C-pillar changes including an extended overhang, larger quarter glass area and new a new tail lamp design. In terms of interiors, the Gravitas gets an edge over the Harrier with captain seats for the second row, an e-parking brake, and, obviously, a third row of seating.
The Gravitas will be powered by a BS6 compliant, 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that also powers the updated Harrier. The engine delivers 170PS of max power and 350Nm of peak torque making it one of the most powerful machines in the segment. The turbo-diesel will be paired to a 6-speed automatic/manual transmission.
Coming to the feature department, the Gravitas, much like the Harrier will offer projector headlamps with LED DRLs, 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 9-speaker sound system, and a 6-way powered driver seat and much more.
The Tata Gravitas is expected to hit the markets, as early as mid-June 2020, and will come with a price higher than that of the Harrier. As per the current analysis we believe that the Gravitas will be launched with a starting price of somewhere around the 15 lakh mark and will rival the XUV 500 and upcoming MG Hector Plus.
New-Gen Honda City
[Expected Mid May 2020**]
The Honda City is the one of the most loved sedans in India. With a consumer base of over 8 lakhs, the City has been one of the hottest selling vehicles in the Honda Lineup. Perhaps this is the reason why Honda is about to turn the tables with its all-new 5th Generation Honda City.
As per the current information, the Indian-spec model of the Honda City will be quite similar to its Thailand-Spec counterpart. Taking a lot of design cues from the Civic, the Next-Gen Honda City will come with a sharper front end and a thick chrome bar on the grille. Additionally, the headlamp cluster has been completely redesigned with an out of the box jewel eye design. With Honda’s signature u-shaped tail lamps and a segment-first full LED headlamps with integrated LED DRLs, the Honda City is sure to be a head turner. In terms of size the upcoming Honda City will be longer, wider and sportier than the current model.
With respect to the interiors and safety features, the Next-Gen City will be the first car in India to offer Amazon Alexa support with connected car tech. The interior of the 5th Gen Honda City will come with a dual-tone soft-padding dashboard and a 20.3 cm touchscreen infotainment system. The Next-Gen Honda City is also said to have a first in class blind-spot monitoring with Honda’s Lane Watch technology. In terms of safety, the Honda City will come equipped with a first in class 6 airbag system, tyre pressure monitoring system and hill start assist in the top-spec variants.
In terms of engine power, the vehicle will be offered with 1.5-litre BS6 compliant petrol and diesel engines. While the petrol i-VTEC engine will return 121PS of max power, the i-DTEC diesel on the other hand will return a 100PS of power. With the 5th Generation Honda City, the company is expected to offer the diesel engine with CVT option as well as a 6-speed MT. The petrol variant, on the other hand, is likely to get a 6-speed MT along with an optional CVT.
The 5th Generation Honda City is expected to be launched with a price range of Rs 10 to 16 Lakhs. (Ex-Showroom) and would take on vehicles such as the new Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Maruti Ciaz, Toyota Yaris and Skoda Rapid.
[Expected June 2020**]
First showcased back in 2017, the Skoda Karoq has been fully unveiled, and is expected to hit the Indian Roads in June 2020. The Skoda Karoq is the Czech automaker’s compact vehicle which is slated as a successor to the Skoda Yeti that was sold in India till 2017. Karoq would be the second vehicle in Skoda’s new SUV line up which will be completely unveiled by the end of 2020.
On the outside, the Karoq seems significantly inspired from its larger sibling, the Skoda Kodiaq. The face of the Karoq gets Skoda’s signature “moustache grille” along with a sleeker headlamp cluster and LED tail-lamps. The side profile too, gets a well-designed and sporty wheel arches along with a forward sloping roofline. The vehicle also gets a strong shoulder line that gives it a true SUV color. It is expected that the Karoq may launch with 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels to complete its SUV stance.
Inside the Skoda Karoq, will be a typical Skoda set-up with features like climate control, 9.2” touchscreen infotainment system with surround sound, electrically adjustable seats with memory function, virtual cockpit, and ambient lighting. In terms of safety, the Karoq will not fail to impress as all its variants are said to have a 6-Airbag set-up as standard, while the AT variant going all the way up to a 9-Airbag set-up along with a stability system as well as a traction control.
The Karoq will be powered by a BS6-compliant 1.5-litre TSI petrol engine that is good enough to return 150PS of max power and 250Nm of peak torque. The engine will come mated to either a 7 speed Manual or a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic.
Entering a competitive segment line, the Karoq could be priced at somewhere between Rs 20-25 Lakhs.
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** Please note: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, all launch dates are expected and tentative.