Maruti Suzuki launched Celerio B-segment hatchback and Ciaz C-segment premium sedan this year as brand new offerings. Further down this year, Maruti will unleash Alto K10 facelift (with AMT and CNG) and Swift facelift (with DRL and cruise control). So what’s left for 2015 is S-Cross and new Wagon R (with AMT).
Maruti S-Cross – India’s largest carmaker’s answer to popular compact Crossover segment is S-Cross, launching in early 2015 (probably February). It will compete with Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra Scorpio in Rs. 8 to Rs. 11 lakhs price range. Measurements of Maruti S Cross are 4,300 mm x 1,765 mm x 1,575 mm (length x width x height) and 2,600 mm wheelbase. It will be powered by petrol and diesel engines, latter to be a 1.6 litre unit, possibly Peugeot DV6 HDi engine with VGT (Variable Geometry Turbocharger) churning out 110 hp max. power.
Maruti Wagon R AMT – Maruti will launch the fifth upgrade for Wagon R next year, and highlight will be Automated Manual Transmission, similar to the one seen in Celerio and to be seen in new Alto K10. Wagon R was first introduced to the world by Suzuki in 1993. In 1999, Maruti Suziki India launched Wagon R in India. It received four upgrades then, in 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2013. Fifth iteration of Wagon R will receive cosmetic updates, while engine will be the same K10B petrol unit producing 68 PS and 90 Nm, with 5 speed manual gearbox option. Currently, it is available in four variants, three petrol and one CNG, and has got 2 new body colours and dual tone interiors.
Hyundai launched Elite i20 here this year and some time back, 1.0 litre Kappa version of Eon B segment hatchback and Xcent compact sedan based on Grand i10. Next year, they were expected to launch sub-4 metre version of ix25 compact crossover, but it seems they will be taking an alternate route (if not parallel), by launching i20 Cross first. Latter will not be competing against what ix25 is capable of, but still Hyundai seemingly wants to crash the increasingly popular pseudo-SUV segment by giving Elite i20 some lower body cladding and roof rails. It will compete with Fiat Avventura, Volkswagen Cross Polo and Toyota Etios Cross.
Whether or not Hyundai will launch ix25 in India is a different subject now. Given they have i20 Cross to experiment on, ix25 may take a little more time, say in late 2015 at the earliest. It may not be a sub-4 metre model and it would have all bells and whistles to compete with Maruti S Cross, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, Ford EcoSport and Mahindra Scorpio.
Another launch will be Hyundai Verna facelift, expected in first quarter of 2015. It has made its debut and started selling in Russia as Solaris. New Verna will be seen with both cosmetic and mechanical updates, including new front fascia with projector lamps, two bar chrome grille and modifications to front bumper to include LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Rear end of new Verna receives LED lamps, new reflectors and black underlip on bumper. Interiors remain unchanged. Verna facelift will not get any changes in powertrain department, will continue with same 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol and diesel engines.
Tata Motors launched Aria facelift, Nano Twist (with power steering), Movus SUV, and Zest compact sedan this year; they have reserved Bolt hatchback for next year (expected in January 2015). Then, they will bring out Kite hatchback and a notchback based on the same, replacing Indica and Indigo eCS.
Tata Bolt – Hatchback sibling of Zest is expected to launch in early 2015 (possibly in January), to compete with Maruti Swift, Hyundai Elite i20, Fiat Punto Evo, Volkswagen Polo and Toyota Etios Liva, in Rs. 4.50 to Rs. 6.75 lakhs (ex-showroom) price range. It will be equipped with 1.2 litre Revotron turbocharged petrol engine churning out 90 PS max. power and 140 Nm peak torque, mated to 5 speed manual or Automated Manual Transmission. Diesel version of Tata Bolt will house 1.3 litre Quadrajet mill generating 90 PS and 200 Nm, coupled to 5 speed manual transmission (AMT is less likely). Feature highlights of Zest will be included in Bolt as well, like LED DRLs, Harman touchscreen Infotainment system, MapMyIndia GPS and voice commands. Bolt will additionally feature orange coloured dashboard.
Tata Kite – Venerable Indica and Indigo eCS will be discontinued next year and their places will be taken by Kite and its notchback version. Built on XO platform, Tata Kite gets styling lessons from Bolt. It will be powered by 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine and all-new 1.05 litre three cylinder diesel motor producing 64.1 bhp maximum power and 140 Nm peak torque. Both engines will be mated to five speed manual gearbox, AMT is a possibility.