Automotive industry in India is slowly bouncing back to life – This week will see 4 new car launches
Operational limitations in recent months has meant launches have been deferred, and revised in some instances. But this week is rife with new car activity with a spate of launches scheduled. Total of 4 new cars will be launched in India this week.
This includes MG Hector Plus, Honda City, Hyundai Tucson, and Audi RS7. In addition to this, there is a global debut of much awaited Ford Bronco SUV this week. Due to current situation, all launches will be hosted online. For those having picked up on activity during Auto Expo 2020, some of the vehicles being launched this week were showcased in Delhi earlier this year.
1 – MG Hector Plus, July 13, 2020
Following a showcase at Auto Expo 2020, the barely new player in India is ready to bring on its latest vehicle. Based on the 5-seat MG Hector, the Hector Plus sports 6 seats. The 3 row setting sports 2 seats a row, with the middle row fitted with captain seats. While the segment isn’t one that does cheap, the utility of captain seats should serve in good stead.
The safe and connected car is a wee bit longer than Hector, having been extended by 65 mm, complete with a revised front and rear bumper. It shares powertrains with Hector. Which are 2.0 liter diesel with 6 MT (output 170hp), and 1.5l turbo petrol with 6 MT or AT (output 143hp). The petrol unit with a 48v mild hybrid (6 MT) will also be offered.
2 – Hyundai Tucson Facelift, July 14, 2020
2020 Hyundai Tucson facelift was also showcased in February 2020 at the Auto Expo. Just like other cars, launch of Tucson FL was also expected to take place in March / April period. However, the nationwide lockdown since last week of March 2020, meant plans were revised.
Changes in design, upfront is an established Hyundai cascading grille design, a revised front bumper with new fog lamps, and LED DRL headlamp setup. The rear setup includes a revision to the tail lamp setup, as well as tailgate and bumper design. The centre console is matched with a floating touchscreen element. The instrument cluster is redesigned, and electronic parking brake included.
Speaking about facelifted Tucson, variants making an entry are GL, and GLS, with the latter being available as a AWD in the diesel spec. Engine specs point to a 2.0-litre petrol unit with output of 150PS and 196 Nm. The 2.0-litre 4-cyl diesel engine output is expected at 185PS and 408Nm.
3 – Honda City, July 15, 2020
Following the launch of BS6 compliant Civic diesel last week, 5th-gen Honda City is getting ready for launch this week. Pre-bookings are being accepted at dealerships, and online. This is one of the most awaited car launches in India. Honda claims that the new gen City is not only bigger than ever before, it is also the best City till date.
Power comes from new 1.5l i-VTEC DOHC engine with VTC in petrol, and a 1.5l i-DTEC diesel engine. Both engines are BS6 compliant. Petrol engine will be offered with manual as well as automatic transmission option while diesel will only be offered with manual transmission option.
Being a modern day sedan, the new City is also loaded with internet connected features, making it the first Honda in India to come with such features. The connected sedan features Alexa remote capability, and Honda Connect with Telematics Control Unit (TCU). New gen City will be sold alongside the old gen City. Expect prices of the new gen City to be on the higher side, compared to rivals – Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz. India might also get the more powerful and sporty variant, City RS.
4 – Audi RS7, July 16, 2020
Audi is getting ready to launch one of the fastest 4 door production car in India – the RS7. Bookings for the 5-seater new Audi RS7 sportback is already underway with deliveries scheduled to commence in August 2020. Its 4.0l, twin-turbo petrol V8 engine returns 600hp and 800Nm, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and Quattro Quattro AWD. This translates into a 0-100 kmph acceleration time of 3.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250 kmph. Though in some markets, the RS7 has a top speed of 305 kmph.
Bonus – Ford Bronco
No, this is not launching in India. But it is one of the most awaited SUVs globally, and is getting ready to make its global debut this week (13th July). 2021 Ford Bronco sport SUV will be made available in two-door and four-door variants. A modern day SUV, it aims to attract Jeep customers. With Wrangler in sight, one can expect customisations galore, including removable roofs, and maybe even doors. With electrification being a key focus area, hybrid variants are expected.