2014 has passed in a blur of launches, updates and most importantly the biennial Auto Expo which saw all manufacturers in India put their best foot forward and display their wares. This is the first time we have had growth since 2012. As with all things that move in a loop, the year has drawn to a close and now we must look ahead to 2015. We believe that it will be a great year for the industry as there is expected to be positive growth, increase in volumes and most importantly some great cars arriving on our roads very soon.
Here is part one of our list of hotly anticipated cars for 2015. It extends across both price range and body styles. To get complete details of each vehicle visit our upcoming car section.
The largest budget offering from the Datsun stable, the GO+, is an MPV with 7 seats, three rows and a little more but all under four-metres! In the most basic of design parlance, it looks like the GO hatchback with a boot but thanks to the low roofline it stands apart from its hatch sibling. The interior is exactly the same as the hatchback and under the hood is the same 1.2-litre three-pot petrol mill. It will be priced in the range of Rs 5.7 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh.
Competition - Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Chevrolet Sail sedan and the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire
The Mercedes-Benz CLA will hit the Indian market in early 2015 and will be the new entry- level sedan from the German automaker for the Indian market. It carries the looks of the Three- pointed Star’s MFA underpinned cars, but thanks to the low slung design, gives off the impression of a four-door coupe. We expect that Mercedes-Benz will offer a host of design packages and body parts when the car is launched.
The Tata Bolt will be the second offering from the Mumbai based automaker under its new range of cars as well as the HorizonNext programme. What do we know about the Bolt? It will be offered with one petrol and diesel engine and in seven variants at the time of the launch. An AMT- spec model is expected to arrive sometime next year. It shares much of its external and internal design with the Zest CS and is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 4.20 lakh to Rs 6.60 lakh.
Competition- Maruti Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, Honda Brio and the Chevrolet Sail hatchback
The BMW i8 is a sporty representation of what the future will look like. A two-door plugin hybrid sports car, it brings to life all the new technologies developed by BMW and is the second vehicle in the newly created i range of cars. We in India will probably be able to relate to this vehicle thanks to its cameo in the movie Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol where protagonist Tom Cruise drives the concept car down the streets of Mumbai while chasing the villain.
The i8 is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-pot motor that produces 228bhp/320Nm of torque. This has been mated to a 7.1kW that produces the equivalent of 129bhp/250Nm of torque. Their combined output is 357bhp and 420Nm of torque. The petrol engine gets a six-speed AT while the electric motor has been mated to a two-speed gearbox. It is expected to arrive through the CBU route in limited numbers and will cost at least Rs 75 lakh more than its flagship 7 Series.
Maruti Suzuki Ertiga facelift
How do you add numbers to what is already the top- selling model?, Simple- Give it a mid-life refresh. The Maruti Suzuki Ertiga has been on sale since 2012 without any major updates. Now as a midlife update it gets a revised facia and most likely a bit more chrome.
We, however, believe that it will get at least two “+” variants like the Ciaz, with them having the same feature list as the sedan. The engine and underpinnings are expected to remain unchanged from the current car. It is expected to be priced Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 more than the outgoing equivalent model.
Maruti Suzuki SX4 S-Cross
Maruti Suzuki has been a roll to move its image up from a manufacturer of small hatchbacks to one that also produces premium vehicles. Its first entrant was the Ciaz sedan which by the look of it has been a major success. Its next entrant is the SX4 S-Cross which will be a D-segment competitor and the first five-seater crossover to enter this segment. The car is already on sale in most European markets and has been spotted on test in India on multiple occasions.
The European- spec car is being offered with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and 1.6-litre diesel mill which is what we expect they will bring to India. However, there are also reports suggesting that there may be a base version which will be offered only with the 1.3-litre Mutijet diesel engine in the 90bhp state of tune. We expect that it will be priced in the range of Rs 8 lakh to Rs 12 lakh.
Competition: Skoda Octavia, Toyota Corolla, Renault Scala and the Mahindra XUV500
Ford Figo CS
The Figo Compact sedan was unveiled just ahead of the 2014 Auto Expo and is expected to be the American automaker’s foray into one of India’s hottest segments. It marks the second time that Ford has had to improvise a model specifically for India to garner volumes. We already know what the car looks like both on the inside and outside, thanks to it already being on sale in the Brazilian market.
On the engine front, we believe that the 1.2-litre, 1.0-litre EcoBoost and the 1.4-litre diesel mill will power the Figo CS. It is expected that this model will be offered with a five-speed manual as well as an AT option on the second highest petrol model.
Competition: Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze, Tata Zest, Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Chevrolet Sail sedan