The 11th Auto Expo witnessed the launch of many cars ranging from hatchback cars to SUVs to sedan cars. Here is our pick of the biggest car launches, which will hit the Indian market soon.
Mercedes Benz has launced an open top vehicle, SLS AMG Roadster, that comes for about Rs 3 crore. The open top SLS AMG, with an eight cylinder V8 engine, can go from 0-100 km per hour in under four seconds and has a top speed of 317 km per hour.
DC Design unveiled India's first ever sports car - the DC Avanti. This is not a concept car, in fact it is a road worthy prototype which is expected to hit our roads by 2013. The DC Avanti is a big deal for India as this is the first sports car designed by an Indian firm. The production for the Avanti is believed to begin in 2013. The Avanti will be powered by Ford's EcoBoost engine technology.
Audi India unveiled their India bound Audi Q3 at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Q3 is billed to be the cheapest car that Audi will have for India, on the same lines of BMW X1. The Q3's direct competitor will be the BMW X1. While we will reserve our comments on which one is the better automobile, as of now, Audi definitely have a strong contender on their hands. What remains to be seen is how Audi prices the Q3. The BMW X1 starts at Rs 22 lakh and Rs 23 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi for the petrol and the diesel variants respectively.
German car-maker BMW launched its M5 luxury sedan at the 11th Auto Expo in India at an ex-showroom price of Rs 95.9 lakh. The new model can be now ordered as a completely built-up unit (CBU) across more than 20 dealerships in the country. The BMW M5 comes with a 4.4-litre V8 engine with M Twin Power Turbo technology, producing a maximum output of 560 HP.
Mercedes Benz launched a luxury SUV - M-Class - at the Auto Expo in New Delhi, which is priced between Rs 58-60 lakhs. The M-Class (M 350 CDI) vehicle has been built with the ECO start-stop function, which reduces fuel consumption and emissions by automatically switching off the engine during traffic jams or traffic signals.
Peugeot announced that the Peugeot 508 will be their first offering in India as a locally produced car by 2014, at the 11th Auto Expo. The 508 will be offered with only a diesel option. It will have a 2.2-litre HDI common rail diesel engine. Once this vehicle is established, Peugeot plans to increase the brand awareness by bringing in cars like the RCZ through the CBU route.
Nissan India Private Limited (NIMPL) has unveiled their MPV, the Nissan Evalia at the Auto Expo 2012 in Delhi. Known world-wide as the NV200, the Evalia is Nissan's answer to Mahindra's Xylo and Toyota’s Innova. Pricing is yet to be declared for the Evalia.
Bajaj launched their first car, the RE60, at the 2012 Auto Expo. Contrary to speculation they are not billing this four wheeler 'car', instead Bajaj had clearly stated that it's a commercial vehicle and an upgrade or replacement for a three wheeler auto rickshaw. It is definitely an upgrade to a three-wheeler people transport vehicle. The price has not been revealed but could end up being around the Rs 1 lakh figure.
BMW India launched the Mini brand at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Mini variants which were launched are Mini Cooper at Rs 24.9 lakh, Mini Cooper S at Rs 27.9 lakh, Mini convertible at Rs 29.99 lakh and Mini Countryman at Rs 31.99 lakh, ex-showroom. The most affordable of the lot will be the Mini Cooper at Rs 24.9 lakh ex-showroom Delhi.
Maruti's multi purpose vehicle, the Ertiga has been unveiled at the 2012 Auto Expo. The Ertiga is India's first three-row MPV and will be launched by end of March or early April 2012. This seven seater MPV with three rows of seats will have an option of 2, 3/4, 5 and seven seats. It will have a twin air-conditioner unit. In terms of safety the Ertiga gets dual airbags and ABS.
Japanese car maker Toyota launched a new version of its hybrid sedan Prius in India that is priced between Rs 27.39 lakh and Rs 29.41 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The new Prius will have solar ventilation system in addition to the exiting battery technology.
The company also showcased a new version of Sonata priced in the range of Rs.16-17 lakh which is expected to be launched by February-end. The sedan is powered by a 2.4 litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) petrol engine.