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India Bound At Geneva

First held in 1905, the annual International Geneva Motor Show has hosted almost all major internal combustion-engined models in the automobile history, along with benzene- and steam-powered cars from the beginning of the century. These years the show exhibits exotic supercars, concepts, prototypes, world production debuts and also the future of mobility. Ammar Alvi checks the 2014 show and throws light on the India-bound cars showcased in the Swiss city.

Published: 16th March 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2014 05:14 PM   |  A+A-

NISSAN INVITATION

At the Geneva salon, Japanese auto giant  Nissan unveiled the Invitation hatchback which, like Micra and Sunny, has been cleverly built blending cutting-edge styling, practicality of a small car and the joy of a powerful engine. Expect a lot of features, powerful yet very efficient engines and an interior space that will pose a threat to the competitors. The Invitation is to be launched in the UK this year, and will be manufactured at Nissan’s Sunderland Plant alongside one of its popular B-segment crossover, the Juke. India would be next on the target and expect it to be priced between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 7 lakh.

FORD WILDTRAK

The lifestyle pickup truck segment has a huge potential in India. At Geneva, Ford introduced its Ranger Wildtrak for India. The pick-up has the same base as the Endeavour’s and is built in Thailand so bringing it through the CKD channel shouldn’t pose a problem. The new Ranger Wildtrak series that is offered in three body types with an option of a 4x4 or a 4x2 drivetrain is mated to the new Dagenham-built, 2.2-litre, 150PS diesel mill. While there is a 3.2-litre option as well, the prospect of the three-litre guzzler reaching the subcontinent is improbable. Expect it to be launched in 2015 and at a price range of Rs 12-14 lakh.

VOLKSWAGEN POLO 2014

Volkswagen unveiled the facelifted Polo with a larger 1.5 TDI engine. This means, the regular Polo diesel will get the much-needed power and since it is a 4-cylinder unit, better refinement as well. The updated Polo will also receive cosmetic tweaks like a new front bumper with new fog lamps, Xenon headlamps with daytime running lamps as an option. It may also get LED tail lamps and a revised interior that includes a new centre console. The updated car will be launched after Volkswagen sets up a new engine manufacturing facility in India. Expected starting price: Rs 5 lakh.

FORD B-MAX

With the Figo’s and EcoSport’s success Ford is planning B-Max, a mini-minivan which has been showcased at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show. Based on the Fiesta platform, the B-Max’s practical design makes it a promising product in the Indian context as well. It’s compact but has a deceptively large cabin that’s good enough to carry five people in comfort. Among the B-Max’s most ingenious features is the rear sliding doors that enhances ease of access tremendously. It’s also equipped with the revolutionary 1-litre EcoBoost engine with 120PS on tap in the petrol model and 75PS in the diesel specs. In European markets, the B-Max will be available in a Powershift automatic trim version as well. We expect the price to be around Rs 7 lakh to Rs 9 lakh in India.

LAMBORGHINI HURACAN

With a total volume of 14,022 cars produced, the Lamborghini Gallardo has been the most successful Lamborghini ever and, in its 10-year lifecycle, lifted the Lamborghini marque to a whole new level. Its successor, the new Huracán, has been developed from scratch down to the very last detail and, like the Gallardo and most other Lamborghini models, derives its name from the world of bullfighting. Unveiled at the Geneva salon, it comes with innovative technology and absolute performance, redefines the super sports car experience has a pure and powerfully dynamic design language. It comes with a new V10 with 610 hp, acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds, with a top speed of over 325 km/h. It will be sold in India with prices starting Rs 1.8 crore.

MERCEDES-BENZ C CLASS 2014

The all-new Mercedes-Benz C-class is set to be here for a while, because Mercedes isn’t planning on replacing this fifth-generation car for another seven years. It’s a touch bigger than before, both inside and out, but, crucially, it’s also between 70kg and 100kg lighter than the previous model. The car will be available in petrol, diesel and C 250 BlueTec diesel. The engine is a 2.1-litre four-cylinder that produces 201bhp at 3000-4200rpm and 50.87kgm at 1400-2800rpm, giving it a 0-100kph time of 8.1 sec and a top speed of 250kph. Starting price: Rs 27 lakh.

JEEP RENEGADE

All-new 2015 Jeep Renegade marks the brand’s entry into the small SUV segment. Renegade Trailhawk model delivers best-in-class 4x4 Trail Rated capability with class-exclusive Jeep Active Drive Low, which includes 20:1 crawl ratio and Jeep Selec-Terrain system. It is designed to expand the Jeep brand globally; the all-new 2015 Renegade combines the brand’s heritage with fresh new styling to appeal to youthful and adventurous customers. Renegade displays a powerful stance with aggressive wheel-to-body proportions, plus the freedom of two My Sky open-air roof systems. Renegade’s all-new interior exudes an energetic appearance with rugged and functional details, crafted in high-quality materials and inspired colours. All-new ‘small-wide 4x4 architecture’ combines best-in-class off-road capability with world-class on-road driving dynamics. With 16 fuel-efficient powertrain combinations and the world’s first nine-speed automatic transmission in a small SUV, it’s designed for global markets. Renegade will offer a best-in-class combination of fuel efficiency and off-road capability. It is loaded with up to 70 available advanced safety and security features and is designed in America, crafted in Italy. It will be available in India later this year.

VOLKSWAGEN AMAROK

Volkswagen is getting ready with the Amarok to fill in the pickup segment in India. The Amarok is a mid-size pickup truck that is available in both diesel and petrol engines with power outputs ranging from 122PS to 179PS. It is available in rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive variants along with the option of single cab or double cab. The Amarok comes with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Offered in three trim levels—the base version, the Trendline variant  and the Highline variant. Expect it to be priced around Rs 13 lakh range.



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