Upcoming cars in India 2014

In 2014, the Indian auto market has witnessed a slew of launches from various auto manufacturers and many of these have been appreciated. The last few months of the year will see the release of more cars in the industry which include the following.

Datsun MPV

This is set come with similar type of design as another Datsun offering, the Datsun Go. It will come fitted a 1.2 L or 1.5 L K9K diesel engine that can generate a peak torque of about 104 Nm and a maximum power of 67 bhp. The engine will be paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and will offer mileage in the range of 17 – 19 kmpl. It will come with smart wipers, bench-like front seats, Audio system with mobile docking and follow-me-home headlamps among other features.

BMW Mini Cooper

This is a 4-door hatchback which will have a gorgeous exterior and it will also be fun to ride in. The car will have black bumpers and roof top of matching color. The curvy and compact exterior will have contrasting external rear view mirrors. The vehicle will be equipped with a 122 bhp 1.5 L petrol engine. It will be capable of generating a peak speed of 203 kmph.

BMW X6

The latest entrant from BMW India is set to be a perfect combination of design, agility, performance and style. Following the launch of the X6 in 2008, this will be the first time it will be receiving such a major upgrade. You can get the car in variable engine options and the top petrol version will have a peak power capacity of 450bhp. It will come with fluidic exteriors, sport LED lighting system and premium safety and comfort features. It is set to have a more or less spacious cabin with enough head, shoulder and leg space. The BMW X6 onroad price in india is around 1,04,90,000 Rs*.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

This next-generation sedan will replace the existing C-Class model and it will be a competitor of the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4. The new C will initially be launched with a petrol engine and will later be made available with a powerful diesel engine. Its design will borrow a leaf from the book of the baby S class. At present, this sedan is in its third generation and it is going to be offered in 3 diesel and 2 petrol options for giving more choice to buyers. All of the petrol versions will be fitted with an in-line 1.8-litre engine which can generate a peak torque output of 285Nm and a maximum power of 185bhp. The diesel variants, on the other hand, will have a 2.2-litre engine under the hood. This engine will be paired with a 7G Tronic seven speed AMT (automatic transmission gearbox).

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JCB to close its German plant and shift production to India and UK

JCB has announced its plans to relocate the production of compaction equipment from its Gatersleben plant in Germany to facilities in India and UK. This would mean the closure of the German plant.

The leading construction equipment manufacturer says that the move is to improve its competitiveness in the compaction equipment sector which has recently witnessed structural changes in the global market conditions. According to the company, the compaction equipment business is enjoying increased demand globally but the majority of the volume comes from emerging markets.

As a result, by the end of June 2014, the production of the entire series of VM Compactors and two VM Tandem Rollers – VMT380 and VMT430 will be shifted to JCB’s facility in Pune, India. Production of walk-behind models and Tandem Rollers VMT160 and VMT260 will be relocated to the JCB Attachments factory in Uttoxeter, England. The 403 Wheeled Loading Shovel will move back to JCB Utility Products unit in Cheadle, England, where it had been made untill 2011.

Commenting on the production shift, Vipin Sondhi, MD and CEO of JCB India stated:

Toyota to launch automatic Etios and Etios Liva in 2015

The perspective for automatic transmission equipped cars is no more the same it was some 5 years ago. Nowadays, the cars with auto boxes are perceived more as soothing means of transmission with an affordable reach, rather than enjoying the trait of being a premium feature in selective cars. The recent success of Maruti Celerio and Tata Zest and increase in growth of automatic vehicles, especially in the sub-10 lakh segment shows the escalating trend of automatic transmission. The recent automaker to get influenced by this ideology is the Japanese giant.

Toyota Etios Liva

In a recent report, the Senior Vice President of Toyota India, N. Raja has stated that the company is contemplating on the automatic versions of Etios sedan and Etios Liva hatchback, which will bear the fruit within a period of next 10 months. Currently, except these two cars and Innova, every other offering from Toyata comes equipped with a standard or optional torque converter. It is expected that Toyota will be plonking a 4-speed or 5-speed torque converter in both these models, and not a CVT or AMT which is seeing a rapid growth in budget segments.

Toyota Etios

If Toyota goes this way of equipping both the cars with a torque converter, expect a premium of Rs. 60,000 to 80,000 over their respective manual variants. Recently, both the Etios and Etios Liva received a mild facelift, with which Toyota made dual front airbags as a standard fitment across all the variants of both the cars. Currently, the Etios Liva ranges between Rs. 4.76-6.97 lakh, while the Etios is priced between Rs. 5.74-8.17 lakh.

Piaggio Vespa Elegante showcased before launch

Here’s some good news for true-blue Vespa fans – the elite scooter just got better, as Piaggio has showcased its limited edition version of Vespa in the face of ‘Vespa Elegante’. Designed specifically for the Indian market, the Vespa Elegante has been previewed before its official launch at the Corinthians Club, Pune. The limited edition variant is basically an accessorized avatar of the Vespa VX, and will be produced for a limited run of 3,500 numbers.

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Living up to its stylish name, the ‘Vespa Elegante’ inculcates some added bling in the form of chrome protection bars at front fender and rear body panels, a redesigned octagonal grille on front apron as compared to the circular one in Vespa VX, split leather seats and a limited edition ‘Elegante’ badging on the scooter. Along with these additional jeweleries, the owners of Vespa Elegante will also be given a color coordinated helmet on purchase of the scooter. The exclusive variant is available in two equally elegant color options of Marrone Crete Senesi (brown) with beige seats and Bianco Perla (white) with red seats.

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Other than these minute changes, the Vespa Elegante is the same machine under the skin as other Vespas, which means that it continues to get its pulse from the 4-stroke, 3-valve, air-cooled engine which breathes out 10.06 PS of power and 10.6 Nm of torque. Other mechanical components, such as monocoque frame, front single-sided trailing link and rear coil spring suspension and front disc and rear drum brakes also make their way in the ‘Elegante’. The pricing of the scooter is yet to be known, which will be disclosed at the time of its official launch scheduled somewhere during the festive season.

Hero updates Maestro with new color options

Hero MotoCorp has silently updated it’s male-oriented scooter, Maestro. The Hero Maestro can now be bought in five monotone color options, namely Panther Black, Magnetic Matt Grey, Force Silver, Vital White, Blazing Red and Electric Blue. The scooter is also available in a funky dual tone shade of white and red, which is termed as ‘Groovy Medley’ by Hero. The design changes also include introduction of new body graphics on the side panels of the scooter, which try to enhance the boyish appeal of the scooter.

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Apart from these minuscule cosmetic changes, the Hero Maestro continues to soldier without any mechanical alterations. The scooter draws the thrust from four-stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled, 109cc engine which churns out 8.2PS of power and 9.1Nm of torque, and is mated to a CVT transmission. The suspension unit of Maestro is a combination of bottom link with spring loaded hydraulic dampers at front and unit swing with spring loaded hydraulic dampers at rear. Stopping duties are executed by 130mm drum brakes at both ends.

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Hero has set an aggressive target of selling 6 lakh units in this festive season, due to which it has been revamping it’s product line-up with either face-lifting it’s existing products, or by introducing all new products. The upgraded Maestro is a considerable step in this direction, and with an assistance of the all new Pleasure, will help Hero MotoCorp to garner larger share in the sales in scooter segment. The updated Hero Maestro is still available at the same price tag of Rs. 46,900 (ex-showroom, Delhi), and competes with Honda Activa, TVS Jupiter, Suzuki Access, Yamaha Alpha and Mahindra Gusto.

Hyundai reveals R-Spec HB20 Supermini concept

Hyundai has yet again managed to draw eyeballs at it’s stall at the ongoing Sao Paulo Motor Show, when it lifted off the covers from it’s R-Spec concept of the HB20 Supermini. The car, which is confined only for the Brazilian markets, has been developed in South Korea and gets extra cool design cues and equipments over the standard version of the car. Through this car, Hyundai has also given a hint of how it’s ‘fluidic design’ philosophy will evolve in the upcoming years.

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Coming back to the car, the new Hyundai R-Spec HB20 Supermini showcased was finished in matte blue paint scheme. On the front, the car has got dual projector headlamp set encased in swept-back headlamp casing, which merges onto the sides of the big hexagonal front grille. The front grille, as well as the redesigned muscular front and rear bumpers, door handles and outside rear view mirrors, get silver garnishing to spruce up the looks. The futuristic stance of the car is further complemented by the presence of the side skirts, carbon fiber rear roof spoiler, twin exhausts, daytime running lights (DRLs) on the front bumper, LED tail lamps and 17-inch alloy wheels.

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Hyundai has spiced up the things in the insides too, by equipping the car with Alcantara sports seats, all-black dashboard with piano black surrounds for the AC vents, touch screen for infotainment system on center console and flat bottom steering wheel. Given the addition of the term ‘R-Spec’ to the name of the car, it can be easily predicted that Hyundai has boosted up the performance figures of the HB20 Supermini. Though the company hasn’t refused any official figures for the same.

Ashok Leyland Captain 2523 Tipper unveiled

The new Captain series of trucks from Ashok Leyland have been designed with a well rounded approach that accounts for high durability that gives the trucks a lifespan of 10 lakh kilometers, greater fuel efficiency, increased vehicle uptime and faster turn around time. But that’s not all, Ashok Leyland has gone to great lengths to create a well laid out ergonomic cabin design to ensure that the driver and co-driver have a comfortable working environment.

The first model of the series that was unveiled, namely, the Captain 2523 Tipper, will be available in Tippers, Tractors and Haulage body styles. The Captain series will also be made available in 16 tonne (gross vehicle weight) to 49 tonne (gross trailer weight). The engine options will include power outputs from 162PS of power to 365PS of power. Gearbox options include 6, 9 and 16 speed manual units with also option of an automatic gearbox. The 2523 Tipper that was showcased was equipped with a 9 speed manual gearbox.

Ashok Leyland states that the Captain series is completely indigenously developed apart from some electrical systems that have been sourced from elsewhere.

The Ashok Leyland Captain series of trucks will be available in three trim levels and will have options of a Day cab, Sleeper cab and a High roof cab for those looking for enhanced comfort during long distance transport.

The Captain series will be available in BS III and BS IV guise while they will also be capable of being modified to BS V and Euro 6 grade fuel and emissions norms. The trucks will come with 3 year full warranty and four year warranty on the driveline. Ashok Leyland has stated that the trucks will come with a 15 day accident repair warranty with 475 workshops across the country being equipped with body shops. Ashok leyland will also be availing annual maintenance contracts for the Captain series of trucks.

During the course of 2014 Ashok Leyland is going to launch 18 variants of it’s Captain Series of trucks with prices expected to range from Rs 22 lakh to Rs 35 lakh.

“It is a matter of great pride for Ashok Leyland to have delivered an indigenously designed product that meets international standards in ergonomics, design principles and performance standards. As against adapting an existing cab design we have designed and developed a new cabin family in-house that is specifically suited to customer needs,” said Vinod K Dasari, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland.

New Volvo FH16 truck range to make its international debut in mid-2014

The new Volvo FH16 long haul truck range is all set to be launched in Europe by spring 2014 as per the Swedish giant’s recent announcement.

The 2014 FH16 series of trucks will be powered by new generation of 16-Litre diesel engine which comply with the strict Euro-6 emission standards while improving on performance and productivity. The Euro-6 standard has been achieved by significantly reducing the nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions.

The engine is available in three different states of tune – 750 HP/ 3,550 Nm, 650 HP/ 3,150 NM and 550 HP/ 2,900 Nm. All the engine variants are mated to Volvo’s I-Shift automated transmission. In addition, the 550HP version is available with a manual gearbox but produces a lesser torque of 2,800 Nm.

Kristin Signert, Long Haul Segment Manager at Volvo Trucks said, “We are proud to have succeeded in meeting the Euro 6 requirements while at the same time retaining the best driveability and performance on the market. Fuel consumption also remains highly competitive.”

Volvo has announced that the sales of FH16 range with Euro-6 engine would commence in March 2014. As far as India is concerned, the Swedish CV maker sells the FH long haul truck only with the 520 HP 13-litre engine. The FH range is one of the leading models in the heavy haulage segment and the FH16 could make it to India if Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles senses enough demand for the flagship truck.

Tata Motors celebrates I&LCV Trucks and Buses Freedom Campaign

Tata Motors celebrates I&LCV trucks and buses “Freedom Ride”by offering host of new service for its Light and Intermediate commercial vehicles on occasion of the Indian Independence Day. The new services include; 3 Year / 3Lakh kms warranty, 24×7 Tata Alert service, attractive Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) rates, increase in engine oil drain interval and Triple Benefit Insurance.

Commenting on the introduction of the “ Freedom Campaign “ , Mr. R. Ramakrishnan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Vehicle Business Unit, Tata Motors, said, “Tata Motors’ commercial vehicles have been an integral part in the nation’s economic growth wherein the Intermediate and Light Commercial Vehicle Range of Trucks and Buses have played a pivotal role – be it inter and intra-city goods transport, specific applications or passenger transport. Our customer-centric and innovative offerings promise high up-time and low maintenance, and in these challenging economic circumstances, help enhance the business proposition for the vehicle owners so that they may run their businesses with “Freedom from all worries” about their Tata vehicles in the fleet.”

By virtue of this campaign, Tata Motors brings industry-leading value-added service offerings, and new product improvements for enhanced product ownership experience to celebrate its customer’s “Freedom of Choice” and the company’s promise to give them “Freedom from Worries”.