Auto Expo 2020: Top Ten Highlights Of This Year's Edition
While this edition of the Auto Expo may not have generated the kind of excitement and buzz as earlier ones, there have still been some highlights and here is our pick of the "10 Best".
Kia Motors India unveiled their third offering in India, the Sonet compact SUV, that is based on the Hyundai Venue SUV. The Kia Sonet will rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, the Ford EcoSport and of course the Hyundai Venue.The Kia Sonet SUV will be launched in the second half of 2020 and is really striking looking. It has the most prominent tiger nose grille yet, and it's sure to growl at the competition. If you thought the Kia Seltos is good looking, then the Kia Sonet is even more smashing.The features list includes 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment, Bose audio system and an intelligent manual transmission. Kia says the Sonet will offer best in class interior space and features.
Tata Motors showcased the Sierra concept, an electric SUV and takes its design cues, especially the rear windows and the boxy design from Tata Sierra - one of India's pioneering SUVs in its time. A big change is that the concept has three doors compared to the Sierra that only had two doors. In the new Sierra concept there is one door on the right hand side and two doors on the left, so as to facilitate easy entry for the rear seat passengers.It seems like Tata has heeded to the calls of the customers of the old Sierra, who always wanted more than two doors. The concept is based on the modular and adaptable ALFA platform which Tata recently debuted with the Altroz premium hatchback. No technical details have been given out for now.The sleek LED headlamps and wrap-around LED tail lights make the concept look young and modern. The boxy profile and prominent all black cladding gives a sense of strength to the styling- welcome back, Tata Sierra!
The Hyundai Creta was launched in 2016 and this compact SUV became a spectacular success and has sold over 6.5 lakh units till date. Now Hyundai has revealed the completely new second-generation Creta and it looks set to replicate its earlier success. Based on the same platform as the Kia Seltos, which also happens to be its biggest rival, Hyundai designers have worked hard to distinguish it from its sister company's SUV, the Seltos.The completely new Hyundai Creta which was unveiled by Hyundai's brand ambassador and Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan at the Auto Expo today, has a three-dimensional cascading grille, a sharply sculpted front bumper with a faux pax skid plate and deep crease lines on the long bonnet. The combination of separated boomerang shaped LED DRLs, LED headlamps and cleverly positioned fog lamps, give the front a funky look.The all-new Hyundai Creta also has prominently flared wheel arches that house R17 diamond cut alloy wheels. A new flying C-Pillar garnish adds an additional dose of smartness to the design. The illumination package at the rear is also extensive with LED tail lamps, and LED high mount stop light. The rear bumper also has a skid plate to complement the one at the front.The all-new Hyundai Creta retains its smart profile, but with all the new styling changes and design elements, it's ready to take the fight to its rivals, especially the Kia Seltos, the SUV from its sister company which upstaged it recently.
Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo
Mercedes Benz India launched the Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo at the Auto Expo at Rs 1.38 crore, ex showroom, for the Horizon version while the camper comes in at Rs 1.46 crore.The Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo (we just love this name!) is the flagship of the V-Class line-up, sitting above the V- Class Elite.The Marco Polo has a yacht-themed interior wood panelling and finish, a collapsible table and seating for four. The rear seats fold flat into a double bed, and can be completely isolated with blinds. The electric roof extension with a built-in foldable tent also provides a sleeping compartment for two more. The top-spec version even has a mini kitchenette with an LPG gas cylinder and a proper washbasin and sink. There is also an exterior awning and a foldable table and chairs for outdoor seating. To further enforce itself as a long-distance travel solution, the MarcoPolo has a 38-litre water tank and a 40-litre one for waste water.As you can see, the Marco Polo camper van is loaded to the brim with equipment to make long-distance travel a luxury affair. And of course one could always go glamping in it. The Marco Polo is aimed at high net worth individuals like industrialists who might want to go on field trips or on pilgrimages with the family. Celebrities can also use it as a vanity van. And outdoor enthusiasts can use it to explore the wilderness.The V-Class Marco Polo carries the same mechanical package as the V-Class Elite and comes with the BSVI compliant 2.0-litre 4-cylinder OM 654 diesel engine in its 165PS and 380Nm iteration. This, as in the latest C and E-Class, is now paired with the brand's 9G-Tronic 9-speed torque converter automatic.
Piaggio Vespa Elettrica
Vespa showcased the Elettrica electric scooter with a riding range of 100km in one full charge with a claimed full charge time of 4 hours using a 220v outlet.Vespa has not mentioned any plans to bring this Euro-spec Elettrica but confirms that the company is working on launching an EV in the Indian market. The peak power output of the Vespa Elettrica is 4kW while the continuous power output will be 3.6kW. Aprilia mentions that the Elettrica makes use of a lithium ion battery and Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).
Aprilia SXR 160
This Italian two wheeler major showcased the all-new SXR 160 scooter. There will also be a SXR 125 that will be launched at a later time. The SXR has been designed in Italy keeping Indian riding conditions in mind. It will be manufactured at the Piaggio plant in Baramati. Aprilia dealerships across the country will start accepting bookings from August 2020 onward.Aprilia says that the SXR 160 will be available with BS VI compliant engines with fuel injection tech. Among its key highlights are LED twin headlights and taillights with DRLs. It will offer a large storage area with USB charging in the front, integrated dark fly screen, large multifunction instrumentation, 12-inch 5 spoke petal machined alloys and chrome treated exhaust.While the specifications of the Aprilia SXR 160 have not been disclosed, it should be in the same state of tune as the regular SR range, both in 125cc and 160cc displacements.
Suzuki Katana 1000
Was showcased at the Auto Expo for the Indian enthusiast - most likely to gauge the response for the Indian market. We expect the Suzuki Katana 1000 to be launched in India sometime in the second half of 2020.The new Katana revives a moniker that Suzuki first introduced in 1981. The original Suzuki Katana 1100S was touted by the company as the fastest mass-production motorcycle in the world. Given that lofty history, and the current trend of retro-inspired motorcycles, it was only a matter of time that a new-age Suzuki Katana made its debut. The 2019 Suzuki Katana 1000 is based on the GSX-S1000 naked motorcycle and if launched, the Katana 1000 will be positioned above the GSX-S1000 in India.Powering the new Katana 1000 is Suzuki's K5 engine, similar to the GSX-S1000. The power is rated at 152PS. The swingarm also comes from GSX-R, and it has upside-down forks and radially-mounted Brembo front callipers. If launched, the Suzuki Katana 1000 is likely to be priced in the Rs 13-14 lakh, ex-showroom price bracket and is most likely to create a niche of its own in the Indian motorcycle market.
Skoda Vision IN concept
Skoda Auto showcased their forthcoming mid-size SUV concept called the Vision IN. It will be built on the MQB AO IN platform, which is a modular platform that will spawn a whole series of vehicles for a focussed onslaught by the Czech manufacturer in India. The Vision IN is a part of Skoda's Strategy 2.0, a plan that intends to not just kick off a series of vehicles for Indian consumers, but also looks at expanding their network, enhancing customer experiences and cost of ownership.The Vision IN is one of two SUVs that will be offered in 2021. The concept is still some ways off going into production but is expected to be launched by June 2021. The MQB AO IN platform will also see an all-new notchback sedan emerging to replace the Rapid.The Vision IN will compete against SUVs like the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos. The design details visible on the concept look sharp and that front face is attractive. The LED graphics though are pretty cool, especially the accents on the Skoda badge on the hood. The wheelbase for the Vision IN is the same as that on the Volkswagen Taigun, around 2.65m with overall length also a similar 4.2 metres.The interiors at this time are too concept like, and don't clearly represent what could be the final outcome. What we can say for certain is that the dashboard will have the floating infotainment screen and probably the layered effect on the dashboard.The Vision IN concept is powered by a 1.5-litre TFSI petrol engine. Output from this is rated at 150PS.Expect both manual and automatic transmissions, especially the DSG (twin-clutch automatic) to be a prominent fixture.
Pune based Force Motors showed a modified version of the Force Gurkha. Always one of India's most capable off-road machines, the customised Force Gurkha for the adventurous off-roading type, features a lifted and substantially raised suspension, large wheels and tyres, roll bars that support a big roof carrier, side glass protection, lots of extra driving lights, etc.This Force Gurkha looks ready to go anywhere and is what macho Indian film stars like Tiger Shroff, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn should be driving in their next action movie. We would love to go around Mumbai in it too as it will be ideal to give the irritating auto rickshaw wallahs a real scare!
Shah Rukh Khan
Normally at the Auto Expo many manufacturers have popular film stars visit their stalls to attract more attention. While this year there were not that many movie stars at the Expo, Hyundai's brand ambassador for 22 years and counting, Shahrukh Khan, was present to unveil the new Hyundai Creta. Bollywood Badshah Shahrukh Khan, never fails to draw massive crowds and with his good manners and friendly behaviour, he always generates a great response. He makes it to this highlights list for not just being one of the best behaved Bollywood stars, but for also being the longest and most successful brand ambassador for any auto manufacturer in India.
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