Sunday, August 18, 2013

Upcoming launches and unveilings

There’s a lot to look forward to this month. No less than six car manufacturers are set to launch and unveil new cars here to make our buying decisions just that much more difficult.
Hyundai Grand i10

Fancy a new niche-defining mature hatchback? Then Hyundai’s Grand i10 could be worth a look once it’s launched on September 3. Need something a bit bigger, but still compact enough to be able to drive it in the city with ease? Then the Duster-based Nissan Terrano, to be launched on August 20, could serve as an attractive option. That’s not all, though. Read on to find out what else is slated for a launch.

Audi Q3 S (August 19):
Essentially a new base version of Audi’s smallest SUV on offer, the Q3 S will come with a de-tuned 2.0 TDI engine good for 140bhp as opposed to the 177bhp that the standard Q3 makes. And unlike the standard car, this will come with a six-speed manual gearbox. The car will also be stripped of a few features, including the LED headlights. That said, it will still be decently equipped with features like leather seats, cruise control, climate control and 18-inch alloys among others. Expect Audi to price the Q3 S near the Rs.25 lakh mark, which puts it in the same territory as the Mercedes A- and B-class and BMW’s upcoming 1-series.
Nissan Terrano (August 20):
Nissan’s Duster-based SUV, the Terrano, will be unveiled on August 20, with a launch set for October, 2013. The Terrano will be priced approximately Rs. 50,000-75,000 more than the Duster SUV it is based on, and will come with sheet metal changes to bring it in line with other Nissan SUVs. The interiors, however, will be identical to the Duster’s, save for the Nissan logo on the steering wheel. Nissan has not announced a fixed launch date for the Terrano as of now.
Rolls-Royce Wraith (August 23):
August 23 will see the launch of Rolls-Royce’s most powerful car in India. The Wraith will come powered by a 624bhp V12 engine that can crack 0-100kph in 4.4 seconds. Company boss Müller-Ötvös states that with the Ghost-based Wraith coupe, the company hopes to “attract new, perhaps younger customers”.
BMW 1-series (September 3):
BMW’s new entry-level model, the 1-series, will launch here on September 3. The good news is that the car will be locally produced at BMW’s plant in Chennai, so prices will be in the range of Rs. 20-25 lakh. And with a longitudinal engine layout, rear-wheel drive and 50:50 weight distribution, the BMW 1-series will surely spice up the luxury hatchback segment here and give rivals like the Mercedes A-class something to worry about.
Hyundai Grand i10 (September 3):
Hyundai’s new Grand i10 hathcback, based on the next-generation i10, will launch on September 3 and be positioned between the current i10 and i20. The car is a bit larger than the current i10 and is positioned in a sub-segment higher. It features mature and restrained styling (by Hyundai standards), and will come with a petrol and diesel option. Expect prices to start at Rs. 4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the petrol variant.
Skoda Octavia (Diwali)
The Skoda Octavia nameplate is back, and is all set to launch during the upcoming festival season. The latest-gen car will replace the current Laura when it is launched, and will be offered with two engine options – a 1.8 TSI from the Laura with more power and the familiar 2.0 TDI. However, there may also be a 1.4-litre petrol engine option on offer later. Prices are expected to be in the range of Rs. 14-18 lakh (ex-showroom).

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