India's most important event, the Auto Expo 2020 comes to an end today. The attendees witnessed the showcase of numerous four and two-wheelers from both established automobile manufacturers as well as all-new brands entering the market. In addition to some of the expected showcases such as the updated Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, MG Hector Plus and the Kia Carnival, the Auto Expo 2020 also had many surprise additions, be it in the EV space or the display of BSVI ready vehicles that will soon be launched in the country. Here are the top ten highlights from the motor show.
1) All-electric Tata Sierra SUV Concept:
This has to be biggest highlight or the showstopper of the Auto Expo 2020. Tata Motors has decided to revive the Sierra brand by retaining the SUV form. The highlight of the SUV is its powertrain, which will be electric. The company did not confirm on any details on the mechanicals of the Sierra Electric, neither did it mention of a timeline for its launch. Presently, the Sierra electric concept is purely a design study which should take two to three years to take production form. Also, Tata Motors did confirm that the Sierra electric will be based on theÂ adaptable ALFA platform that is also seen in the recently launched Altroz as well as the upcoming H2X SUV.
2)Â GWM India entry
One of China's largest automobile manufacturers,Â Great Wall Motor Co Ltd (GWM) announced its India entry with Haval range of SUVs. The company showcased the Haval Concept H along with the Indian debut of the concept vehicle Vision 2025, both of which showcase the potential of the Chinese automobile brand. The unfortunate Coronavirus did dampen the spirits of the Chinese officials who were mostly not present at their respective pavillions, but then the Haval range of SUVs do look promising to take on popular SUVs like the Hyundai Creta, Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Harrier. More details here.
3)Â Kia Sonet compact SUV
Kia Motors showcased the Venue based Sonet Compact SUV concept that will take on the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and the Mahindra XUV300. The company will be launching the SUV in the second half of this year, which we believe should be in the festive season. We expect theÂ Kia Sonet compact SUV to offer the same set of petrol and diesel powertrains as the Hyundai Venue SUV. Further, Kia Motors also launched the Carnival MPVÂ at Rs 24.95 lakh. That's the price of the base version while the top-spec Limousine trim will be available at Rs. 33.95 lakh. The price of the 8-seater premium trim is Rs 25.15 lakh, 7-seater; Rs 28.95 lakh and Rs 29.95 lakh for the 9-seater Prestige trim. Additionally, Kia Motors also showcased the Seltos X-Line concept, without disclosing its launch interior or launch timelines. More details on the Kia Sonnet here.
4) All-new Hyundai Creta
The all-new generation Hyundai Creta was showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo, without revealing its cabin and the list of features. While the platform is shared with the Kia Seltos, Hyundai has made sure the Creta does not look similar to the former. Even though the silhouette largely remains unchanged, the new-gen Hyundai Creta does remarkably different from the previous offering. The SUV was unveiled by Hyundai's brand ambassador and Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan. Hyundai also showcased the updated Tucson that will be launched in a month or two. The company also brought theÂ Le Fil Rouge (HDC-1)' concept, Kite - a two-seater dune buggy concept vehicle that converts into a single-seater jet ski and also theÂ Hyundai walking car concept, Elevate. More details on the Hyundai Creta here.
5) Maruti Suzuki Futuro-e concept
India's largest car manufacturerÂ Maruti Suzuki showcased theÂ Concept Futuro-e, which is primarily a design study that showcases the design language of its future offerings. It is believed to be the new global design language for the SUV segment from the company. Maruti Suzuki did not reveal any details on the segment that the production version of theÂ Futuro-e concept will be positioned in. Maruti Suzuki also unveiled the Vitara Brezza facelift that will be offered with a petrol engine along with the new Ignis and the Jimny SUV. The Jimny was previewed by the company to gauge customer reaction for the SUV and if it is feasible to be launched in India. More details here.
6) MG Marvel X, Gloster and G10
MG Motors showcased the Gloster at the Auto Expo, which is sold as the Maxus D90 in China. It measures 5,005mm in length, 1,932mm in width and 1,875mm in height. Also, the wheelbase measures 2,950mm. The suspension set-up in the India-spec MG Maxus D90 includes dual helix independent in the front and 5-link integral in the rear. In terms of safety, the Maxus D90 has been awarded a 5-star rating in the Australia NCAP crash tests wherein 70 per cent of the body is made of steel and nine per cent is made of thermoformed steel with a strength of 1,500Mpa. Further, the brand also showcased the G10 MPV that will go against the Kia Carnival. Also, on display was the MG ZS SUV facelift that could be launched in India sometime next year. More details on the MG Motor Line-up here.
7)Â Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan and Marco Polo
German car major Mercedes-Benz launched the Marco Polo based on the V-Class MPV at Rs 1.38 crore, ex showroom, for the Horizon version while the Camper comes in at Rs 1.46 crore.Â The Marco Polo has a yacht-themed interior wood panelling and finish, a collapsible table and seating for four. The rear seats fold flat into a double bed, and can be completely isolated with blinds. The electric roof extension with a built-in foldable tent also provides a sleeping compartment for two more. The brand also unveiled the A-Class sedan and the GLA, both of which are set to be launched in June later this year. The prices of the A-Class sedan are expected to start from Rs 40 lakh ex-showroom and the GLA will be priced around Rs 43 lakh.
8) Skoda Vision IN/VW Taigun
Skoda Auto showcased their forthcoming mid-size SUV concept called the Vision IN. Built on the MQB AO IN platform, this is a modular platform that will spawn a whole series of vehicles for a focussed onslaught by the Czech manufacturer in India. The Vision IN is apart of a Skoda's Strategy 2.0, a plan that intends to not just kick off a series of vehicles for Indian consumers, but also looks at expanding their network, enhancing customer experiences and cost of ownership. Additionally, Volkswagen showed its Taigun SUV, the first product built on the MQB A0 IN platform. This SUV will be powered by Volkswagen's TSI technology engine combined with a DSG gearbox. More details here.
9) New-generation Force Gurkha
Pune-based Force Motors (India's largest van maker) showed three new platforms and also displayed a 100 per cent electric variant on their flagship Traveller platform. What really caught the eye though was the modified version of the Force Gurkha. A vehicle that has always been one of India's most capable off-road machines, the customised Force Gurkha for the adventurous off-roading type, features a lifted and substantially raised suspension, large wheels and tyres, roll bars that support a big roof carrier, side glass protection, extra driving lights, etc.
10) Suzuki Motorcycles
Suzuki unveiled the new Katana at the Auto Expo. The Katana has a rich history as Suzuki had first launched the motorcycle with the same name in 1981 and was the fastest production motorcycle in the world then. Years later, the manufacturer revived this moniker and the new Katana was born. The Katana is powered by Suzuki's K5 engine, similar to the GSX-S1000.
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