Driving innovation forward: Our pick of the showstoppers from Auto Expo 2020
Auto Expo 2020 recently concluded in New Delhi and while several manufacturers stayed away, the event still had quite a few brands participate and showcase some exciting new products that we can expect in the coming years.
From the vehicles on display what we could garner was that: India remains an SUV market. Almost every manufacturer present had an exciting SUV in their line-up.
The market might be witnessing a slow-down which is expected to pick up after April as BS6 norms come into play and judging by the upcoming launches, we are sure that the market will revive and be just as exciting as ever.
Here’s our pick of the showstoppers from Auto Expo 2020. Read on:
Skoda Vision IN
Skoda Auto India showcased their Vision IN Concept that is built on the same MQB-AO-IN platform that Volkswagen will engineer their Taigun SUV on. The Vision IN features sharp styling cues that we’ve seen on the Kodiaq and upcoming Karoq as well. It is smaller than the two, however, it isn’t a compact SUV (sub-4 metre). The Concept is a head-turner as the attention to detail is tremendous. Case in point: The logo illuminated on the bonnet as well as the SKODA lettering illuminated on the rear. The LED lights look stunning and the way the rear lights have been done is a true touch of class! The Vision IN will most likely get the same engines as the Taigun and will debut in early 2021.
Tata Sierra Concept
Arguably the biggest highlight in terms of concept vehicles shown at the Auto Expo 2020 had to be the Tata Sierra Concept. Finished in glossy white, with white leather seats, woodwork and a futuristic touch to the dash, the Sierra got all the eyeballs! What really stood out was the fact that while Tata Motors wanted to capture the essence of the Sierra they still had to make the concept look right for today’s market. The concept came with the characteristic glasshouse at the rear, bold lines that gave it a robust stance and it is much bigger than the old production Sierra in size. Incidentally, the car is built on the same platform as the Altroz and this signifies the flexibility of that platform. Re-imagined as an EV, the Sierra Concept is expected to go into production and should debut by 2021.
The Jimny has been showcased at the Auto Expo to assess the response of Indian customers. As a product, the fourth-generation Jimny is touted to be the world’s toughest compact off-roader. With over 50 years of legacy, it comes as no surprise that it has such a fan following globally. Built as a true-off roader, the compact vehicle offers excellent manoeuvrability and is built on a ladder frame to ensure it has that robust build to handle the rough stuff. The model on display, powered by a 1.5-litre petrol motor, delivers 100 PS of power and 130 Nm of torque. It gets a low range transfer gear, 3-link rigid axle suspension, 4WD with ALL GRIP PRO technology. We hope that Maruti Suzuki takes the plunge and launches the Jimny in India this year.
Great Wall Motors is China’s largest SUV manufacturer and they are coming to India by 2021. At the Auto Expo, the company had a large display showcasing their entire range of SUVs, EVs and a futuristic concept. Amongst these, it was the Haval F7 that caught our attention. Already on sale in China, the F7 is positioned as an artificial intelligence connected SUV and is the first model from Haval to carry the company’s new global design philosophy. It is a sophisticated-looking product that is sleek and boasts sharp lines with a rather premium looking cabin as well. While GWM has been tight-lipped about what all products they will bring to India, we expect the F7 to be amongst the first few to arrive.
Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo
Mercedes-Benz already sells the V-Class in India and now they have launched the more upmarket Marco Polo version. This is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that combines luxury with adventure and comes fitted with a roof-mounted luxury tent, while the cabin serves as a plush ‘living room’ while on the move. The fit and finish is stunning, as is the attention to detail in ensuring you have all the amnesties required to go glamping in absolute style! It has been launched in two variants, namely the Marco Polo and Marco Polo Horizon. This luxury camper will set you back by INR 1.38 crore to INR 1.46 crore, depending on which version you opt for.
Volkswagen India has raised the curtains on one of their most exciting products that are set to hit the Indian market in 2021. While it is a whole year away from launch, the production-ready mid-size SUV proved to be a real showstopper and honestly, we wish it was coming to the market sooner. It sports a chiselled look that carries the same family lines that we see on the Tiguan. The cabin has that typical brand appeal and when it finally does launch, you can expect it to come with all the advanced connectivity systems that are now common in cars of this class. Built on the VW MQB-AO-IN design platform that is India-specific, the Taigun will most likely get two engine options — both petrol. There will be the 1.0 TSI unit and a higher-performing 1.5 TSI unit. Volkswagen is moving away from diesel engines globally, so we don’t expect that as an option.
While Renault had the Twizzy, a KWID-based EV and a very cool looking concept on display, what really got our attention was the new Duster RXZ variant that comes with a 1.3-litre turbo petrol motor and delivers 156 PS of power and 250 Nm of torque! Finished in a stunning blue, the Duster RXZ also benefits from projector headlamps, LED DRLs, sporty red accents that point towards its performance DNA, 17-inch alloys and dashes of chrome to spice up its already good looks. The cabin benefits from a plethora of new equipment including a 6-speaker audio system, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system and climate control. It also comes fitted with dual airbags, ABS, ESP and hill start assist. This Duster variant can be yours for INR 12.49 lakh.
MG Motor India Gloster
Unveiled with a lot of fanfare, the MG Gloster is set to compete in the luxury SUV segment. This full-size SUV boasts massive proportions, a very upmarket fit and finish and it carries a bold, sturdy and reliable look. Named after a British jet-engine aircraft prototype, the Gloster showcases class-leading features, a plush interior cabin and a robust engine that is bound to thrill. It will hit Indian roads a little before Diwali this year. MG is also expected to bring in a full-size MPV called the G10 which will compete against the Kia Carnival.
Hyundai India revealed the all-new Creta at the Auto Expo and it goes without saying that this was their biggest crowd puller. The new Creta sports a bold new design with a 3-D grille and revised futuristic-looking headlights and DRLS up-front. The roof still tapers down towards the end, however, the rear features a wider look and the more pronounced wheel arches give the new Creta a rather sporty appeal. The back has received a fair amount of detail as well and the new-look rear lights are a standout feature. The vehicle is expected to get a plethora of features including some smart connected technologies and will be offered with both petrol and diesel engine options. Expected to launch by April 2020, this SUV ticks all the right boxes!
Kia Sonet Concept
This stunning compact SUV has all the right lines which work to make it look a little bigger than it truly is. Seen here is the almost production-ready concept. The strong character lines, Kia tiger-nose grille and sporty stance are here to stay, however, expect the production model to have some slight changes incorporated. This compact Kia will be offered with several high-end features that include the savvy exterior lights, a 10.25-inch infotainment system, navigation, UVO Connect, a Bose audio system and something that Kia is calling an intelligent manual transmission. Set to debut in the second half of 2020, the Sonet looks like it has what it takes to cut it out in this growing segment of compact SUVs.