March 2015 turned out to be quite busy and important month for Indian car sector as we witnessed many car launches and new announcements such as Tata launched new top XTA variant, Volkswagen with Vento Magnific limited edition, Skoda introduced Zeal edition of its lineup (Rapid, Yeti, Octavia and Superb). The luxury car makers like Porsche and Mercedes too joined the race by launching new and performance variants of their vehicles. Mercedes came up with updated A and B class hatchbacks and new E400 cabriolet and new CLS class. The German carmaker Porsche launched Cayman GTS and Boxster GTS at the price tag of 1.17 Crore and 1.15 crore respectively.
Hyundai expand its line up by entering into the crossover segment with i20 active which is the cross version of Elite i20 hatchback. Carmakers like Chevrolet and Renault launched Captiva and Duster with minor changes. Apart from car launches Ford India inaugurated its new Plant in Sanand, Gujarat under the presence of Anandiben Patel, the chief minister of Gujarat along with other officials of the Government. Let’s review the month of March in a short peek.
After the launch of Bolt hatchback, Tata has added a new variant to its product line up in the form of Zest XTA top spec variant featuring the same 1.3L Multijet diesel engine. New Top of the line XTA variant is packed with features such as Projector headlamps with DRLs, reverse parking sensors, Harmon Kardon infotainment system and many more at the ex showroom price of Rs. 8.07 lakh.
The Mid sedan segment is one the toughest segment in the market today in which cars like Honda City, Maruti Ciaz, Skoda Rapid and Volkswagen Vento giving cut throat competition to each other. In order to keep the competition spicy and refresh Volkswagen launched Vento Magnific limited edition at the price of Rs. 8.57-10.42 lakh. The Magnific is available only in highline and Comfortline trims that feature 7-inch Blaupunkt infotainment system with navigation system, sporty alloy wheels, dual front airbags etc.
Skoda Zeal Edition- (9 March 2015)
Skoda has launched Zeal limited edition which will available for Rapid, Superb, Yeti and Octavia. This Zeal edition boats various for each car such as Rapid gets rear Parktronic sensors, Alcantara seats, Navigation system with rear view camera while Octavia, yeti and Superb packed with new features like Black dashboard, Black Alcantara leather seats, black interiors etc.
Mercedes Benz A-class and B-class: (10 March 2015)
Mercedes-Benz has launched B class facelift with some cosmetic changes and a new engine at the price of 27.95 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). Mercedes also updated A-class hatchback with powerful new diesel fitted in new B class and a panoramic sunroof as standard. Both the cars now get 2.1L diesel mill developing 134bhp power and 300Nm torque. Mercedes new A-class petrol variant to cost at 26.53 lakh and its Diesel would come at Rs. 28.45 lakh.
In March 2015, Renault India updated its product lineup when they launched refresh duster or new GEN duster at Rs. 8.30 and goes up to 13.62 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). New Duster now gives more fuel efficiency and carries more comfort and safety features while mechanically it remains same. New Duster gets smoked headlamps, electrically adjusted OVRMs as exterior updates while interior gets major chunk of updates such as new soft touch dashboard, sporty instrument cluster, new fabric upholstery for seats and many more features. In safety department new Duster sports rapid deceleration warning, dual front airbags and many more.
MINI has launched the powerful version of its Hatchback Cooper S in India at Rs. 34.65 lakh (Ex-showroom Pan India) available only in a three door variant. Cooper s flaunts honeycomb grille, S logo at front and rear side. Cooper S is powered by 2.0L petrol engine that churns out 192bhp power and 280Nm of peak torque and can make 0-100 Km sprint in just 6.7 seconds with 233 km/hr top speed. These figures make Cooper S the fastest hatchback in the country.
Updated Chevrolet Captiva: (15 March 2015)
Chevrolet has no big launches lined up for 2015 so they decided to put in fresh feel to Old models as they did with Captiva SUV. New Captiva comes in both 4×2 and 4×4 models and manual as well as with automatic transmission. Manual variant is available at Rs. 25.13 lakh while automatic variant would cost Rs. 27.36 lakh. Chevrolet is offering some of the features as standard equipments such as three 12V power sockets, eight way adjustable driver seat and tinted automatic windows and it now gets new instrument cluster and cluster ionizer to purify cabin interiors as new features.
Hyundai launched its first product of the year with the introduction of Active i20 the crossover sibling of popular Elite i20 at Rs. 6.38 Lakh. I20 active carries full body black plastic cladding, circular fog lamps, projector headlamp units with DRLs, roof rails, skid plates; improved ground clearance completes the rugged look of the car. Interiors, safety elements and engines remain almost same as the stylish and stunning Elite i20 hatchback.
Locally assembled Range Rover Evoque: (23 March 2015)
The More affordable SUV from Range Rover Evoque was launched which will further strengthen JLR’s position in the market. Land Rover has started assembling Range Rover Evoque at its Pune plant and as a result prices have gone down as compared to previous model. Range Rover Evoque Pure variant now starts at Rs. 48.73 lakh while the top comes at Rs. 56.21 lakh.
Porsche Boxster GTS and Porsche Cayman GTS: (24 March 2015)
Porsche has introduced performance based GTS variants of Boxster and Cayman priced at Rs. 1.15 crore and 1.17 crore respectively. Both cars gets powers from same 3.4L Petrol engine but yield different outputs. Porsche Boxster GTS churns out 325bhp power and 370Nm torque while the same engine produces 10bhp and 10Nm more power and torque in Cayman GTS i.e. 335bhp power and 380Nm torque. Both cars can accelerate 0-100 in less than 5 seconds with over 275 km/hr top speed.
Mercedes-Benz CLS and E400 Cabriolet:
Following the 15 in 15 strategy Mercedes-Benz India continues with the spree of launches in the month of March as well. Mercedes came up with new E400 Cabriolet and CLS 250 CDI; both the cars will be sold as CBU in the country. Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet is a halo product for the company and based on E class sedan launched at Rs. 78.5 lakhs. E400 sports a fully automatic roof top which can be opened or closed at the speed of 40 km/hr within 20 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz also introduced CLS 250 CDI replacing the petrol version at Rs. 76.5 lakh and sporting a new bumper, Multi-beam LED head lights, large air intakes and Merc’s conventional front grille. It is powered by turbocharged diesel engine which is rated at over 200bhp power and 500Nm torque.
|Comparison of Hyundai i20 Active|
|Comparison of Hyundai i20 Active variants|