In the next three months, the Indian auto industry will witness some exciting new launches across different segments
2017 has been an engaging year for the Indian auto industry due to a plethora of new launches and we have previously covered the best yet. Is the big band of launch season ending? Worry not because it isn’t! Over the course of the next three months, manufacturers have indeed lined up more new products and most of them are SUVs.
Aside the new avatar of Ertiga, all other four launches are SUVs showcasing the importance of the segment’s growth to carmakers. Mahindra aims to get back in the fray with its new generation SUVs while Tata and Nissan have their weapon in the armoury to break Creta’s lion share in its segment. Here we analyse them in detail individually:
1. Tata Harrier:
Arguably, the much-anticipated market entry is for the Tata Harrier. The premium SUV will compete against Hyundai Creta and is the first vehicle to be based on the OMEGA architecture while also being the first Tata to come grafted with Impact Design 2.0 styling philosophy.
The Land Rover D8 platform derived Harrier takes forward the majority of the design cues from the H5X concept and is powered by a 2.0-litre Kyrotec engine making close to 140 horsepower and is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed Hyundai-sourced AT with two- and four-wheel-drive configurations.
Expect it to have on-road price of Rs. 16-21 lakh to even tussle against Jeep Compass upon arrival in January 2019 following the global reveal in December.
2. Nissan Kicks:
Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd wants to become a premium brand in India leaving its budget market hopes to Datsun. To achieve success in its revised strategy, the Kicks premium SUV, rivalling Hyundai Creta, Renault Captur as well as Tata Harrier, will go on sale in January 2019 and it was previewed to media on October 18.
Despite being based on the cost-effective M0 architecture as Terrano and Duster, the India-spec Kicks is longer and taller than the version sold in US, Europe and the Middle East. With longer wheelbase compared to the global model, Nissan has emphasised more on interior space for the new Kicks.
As for the powertrains though, there won’t likely be anything specific to our market as the same units from Terrano could be carried over.
3. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:
The MPV segment has against caught plenty of attraction from buyers courtesy of the arrival of Mahindra’s Marazzo which garnered over 10,000 bookings in just 45 days. With competitive pricing of Rs. 9.99-13.90 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi), it does take on top-end variants Ertiga and in response, the top-selling budget MPV in India will get a new generation on November 21.
Having been available on Southeast Asian markets, the second gen Ertiga receives a raft of visual updates and is based on the Heartect platform that underpins the Baleno and Swift. It is dimensionally bigger compared to the outgoing model and will have a brand new petrol engine that debuted in the facelifted Ciaz earlier this year.
The new 1.5-litre SHVS petrol motor is accompanied by the existing 1.3-litre DDiS diesel and is mated to five-speed manual or four-speed torque converter AT.
4. Mahindra Inferno (Y400):
Mahindra & Mahindra has two big launches itching to get go in the coming months. One is the new range-topping Y400 full-sized SUV that will rival Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. Expected to have production name of Inferno, the seven-seater is a rebadged version of the SsangYong G4 Rexton as Mahindra has made necessary changes to the front end to bring it in line with the existing crop of vehicles.
Based on the SsangYong LIV-2 concept, it will be powered by a 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine producing 187 horsepower and 420 Nm torque. Mahindra will sell the Inferno with 2WD and 4WD options, and it is locally assembled via CKD route. The homegrown automaker is planning to undercut segment-leading Fortuner by a sizeable margin to lure in customers.
Launching on November 19, the Mahindra Inferno will have a premium interior with 9.2-inch touchscreen interface, leather seats, electrically operated tailgate, 360-degree camera, etc.
5. Mahindra XUV300 (S201):
Mahindra has had its ups and downs in the subcompact SUV segment and is not giving it up that easy as a brand new SUV is waiting in the wings to go up against Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon and Ford EcoSport.
Based on the SsangYong Tivoli in design, the monocoque SUV will come equipped with several segment first features including dual-zone automatic climate control, disc brakes on each wheel, as much as seven airbags in top-spec models along with Panoramic Sunroof.
It will likely take power from the 1.5-litre diesel engine that featured in the Marazzo making 123 PS and 300 Nm. If that turns into reality, it will become the most powerful SUV in its segment. With the launch expected in early 2019, the S201 or probable production name of XUV300 will boast a premium interior with many standard safety equipments.