This, allied to an All Wheel Drive option would just be what the doctor ordered in terms of a car that has enough go to match it’s show. Talking of which, the Kizashi comes loaded to the gills with safety and comfort features that rivals the best amongst the D segmenters.
Now, Maruti could pull off a coup by bringing in a 2 Liter, 150 Bhp petrol engine and assembling the Kizashi through CKD kits.If this does happen, expect the Kizashi to take on the likes of the Civics ad the Corolla Altis’ of the world with a killer price of under INR 15 Lakhs to boot. The other end of the spectrum, which involves the Kizashi being brought in as a CBU at a price upwards of INR 18 Lakhs is one which is pretty grim though
2011 Toyota Etios Liva Hatchback
12,000 bookings in just a few weeks of the Toyota Etios Sedan’s launch is a stark reminder of the immense trust that Indian car buyers have in Brand Toyota. With the commencement of the Etios Sedan’s production, it is time now for Toyota to focus on the next big thing for the Indian market, the Toyota Etios Liva Hatchback. Indians love their small cars and the Indian government does too. How then, can car manufacturers be left behind?
Toyota, though a late entrant to the premium hatchback market, is all set to make major inroads through it’s very first small car for India, the Toyota Etios Liva Hatchback. The light weight Etios Liva Hatchback will offer plenty of space and along with that some frugal performance through the 1.2 Liter, 70 Bhp Petrol engine.
While the quality levels of the Liva hatchback simply cannot match the extremely high standards Toyota traditionally has been delivering in it’s other cars, this is perhaps a sign of just-enough-engineering as opposed to the over engineering Toyota is famous for. While plenty of cost cutting is evident on the Liva Hatchback too, one can’t really complain as all this cost cutting has resulted in a brilliant price of INR 4.3 Lakhs. Meanwhile, a diesel engined variant might join sometime in late 2011 or 2012
The Maruti Suzuki SX4 has been in-the-coming for years now and finally production of the SX4 Diesel is set to commence as soon as the Maruti factory resumes production after it’s annual maintenance break. Powering the Maruti Suzuki SX4 Diesel will be the highly acclaimed, refined, powerful and frugal Fiat Multijet Diesel Engine in VGT guise. So, expect about 90 Bhp of power and 200 Nm of Torque to haul the SX4′s bulk around.
While the power and torque figures might not sound earth shattering, the 1248cc Multijet engine will ensure that the going will be rapid enough to keep all but the hard core performance hungry folks grinning. The other biggest bonus of this reliable engine is the brilliant fuel efficiency it delivers. We’re hoping that Maruti Suzuki rings in the new year with the facelift of the SX4, just like the one the Chinese Domestic Model of the SX4 has gotten itself very recently.
The facelift apart, the SX4 will remain a butch, big sedan with plenty of ground clearance that ensures that it can be driven hard on bad roads too. Meanwhile, the Maruti Suzuki SX4 Diesel is expected to come for about INR 7-7.5 Lakhs Ex Showroom and going by Maruti standards, expect some yawn inducing waiting periods given the fact that Maruti Diesel cars have always had very stiff demand.
Five years ago, the Maruti Suzuki Swift opened to almost no competition in it’s segment and it being an example of a punchy little car that could go around corners as well as it could go in the straight line, quickly earned itself a loyal fan base. The Fiat Multijet diesel version followed after a year and a half, and since then the Swift has consistently been the best seller in the Great Indian Hatchback Market.
This despite, a plethora of challengers, both home grown and foreign, that challenged the Swift for market supremacy, only to be beaten hollow. Only the Hyundai i10 could come close and while Hyundai had to launch constant refreshes to hold on, the Swift soldiered on gamely to sell half a million units in India alone. After half a decade, Maruti comes up with the Swift’s successor and lo and behold, we have another Swift.
The 2011 Swift that will debut in the second quarter of 2011, will be bigger than the older model and will perhaps have a few more features than the outgoing model. Other than this, the Swift remains like the Swift it has always been, fun to drive and fuel efficient. Add to this, bomb proof reliability and Maruti’s after sales service that is simply the best in the business, you’re simply looking at one more best seller.
2011 Renault Koleos Crossover
While the Renault Fluence Sedan will be launched in the first half of 2011, the Koleos Crossover will follow in the second half. The Crossover, that has been jointly developed by Nissan and Renault has been doing duty in the Korean market as the Renault Samsung QM5. While this Crossover hasn’t really set sales charts on fire in other global markets, for the Indian market though, Renault hopes to buck the trend with Koleos Crossover.
Targeted at the Honda CR-V and the Skoda Yeti crowd, this soft roader will arrive with a 2 Liter DCi engine(K9R) pumping out about 150 Bhp. Throw in a six speed manual or a CVT and an all wheel drive option into the equation, you have a nice soft roader that can tackle India’s moonscape like roads with aplomb.
We’re hoping that Renault gets the pricing right on this one and guns for the Yeti’s price rather than the CR-V’s. If that indeed happens, we could see plenty of Koleos’ on Indian roads. The deal breaker, at least for me, is the absolutely Fugly looks of the Koleos. But sometimes, Fugly sells in India and if the Koleos if priced at about INR 16 Lakhs, it could be the next big fugly best seller.