Auto Expo 2014: Renault KWID, Honda NSX Concept, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz grab eyeballs on day 1

Written by Car Dekho | Updated: Feb 6 2014, 04:22am hrs
Auto Expo 2014Renault's Gilles Normand, Senior V-P, at the unveiling of KWID at the Auto-Expo. PTI
Beauty, performance and sheer design brilliance. This is the crisp feedback of the Auto Expo 2014. Day 1 in the event was filled with some of the most innovative designs, striking aerodynamics and most importantly, some of the most prominent launches in recent times. India is an emerging market for the automobile industry and no company is ready to sit back and enjoy the show. Companies are putting their best foot forward to survive and are getting their hands all greased, trying to create the perfect fleet of cars to impress customers, investors and practically everyone directly or indirectly associated with them. Times have changed and it is no longer just a few players enjoying success. While Maruti and Tata still get hearty welcome from the consumers, international players too, are making their presence felt by bringing in their innovative designs from an international arena and some even playing up the designs made by the Indian agencies.

More from Auto Expo 2014

Case in point, Renault. The concept SUV, KWID unveiled internationally for the first time, in India, is said to be designed by a design studio in Mumbai. The SUV looks rugged, stylish and is reminiscent of some sci-fi fantasy. With the grey shade and yellow outlines, the compact vehicle scores the most with its scissor doors. The car also has an interesting front fascia with rather smoothened headlamps, blending in like bug eyes, the pouted bumper which has the grill over it and the company logo embossed on the layer joining the headlamps. The front grille is also yellow in colour. The main element thatll catch attention however, is the amazing monster truck style tyres. Undoubtedly it can be an all terrain vehicle. The company suggested that it is a Dunny Bunny inspired design. Undeniably the wizard of mid range automobile beauty, Renault launching such a vehicle for the international audience with India as a venue, just shows how important the country turned out to be for the automobile manufacturer. Renault had its highest recorded sales last year, in India.

Another significant concept vehicle displayed in the Auto Expo was the Honda NSX Concept. It was recently unveiled internationally at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This vehicle is a sheer beauty. Though the ground clearance isnt apt for the Indian roads as of now, the car features one of the best designs brought by Honda. The car seems to be out of some James Bond flick. The sleek design, prominent design elements in the front fascia, and the futuristic alloy wheels all in all, make it an object of pure desire. The concept features direct injected V6 engine which has the Acuras innovative Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive system. The exteriors are made with basic materials and the carbon fibre reinforced plastic. This choice helps the vehicle maintain its weight and successively the performance since the aerodynamic drag is reduced. The NSX concept is one of those rare breeds of automobiles which look both classy and elegant as well as sporty. The headlamp is just worth being put on some of the other models of the Honda family at least. Designs like these are waiting to come on the roads.

Maruti Suzuki too came up with an interesting concept car. The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Concept is clearly Marutis attempt at cracking the luxury sedan class. The luxury sedan class is the only segment which is heavily dominated by the international players. While the budget and comfort is searched for in the domestic vehicles, luxury is something people long for from foreign manufacturers. Maruti already tried entering this segment once with its Kizashi but it wasnt well received with many questioning its high price. To avoid any such issues, Maruti Suzuki is switching from CBU imports, like Maruti Suzuki Kizashi to domestic production. The car is positioned to challenge Honda City, Hyundai Verna and other vehicles trying to conquer the luxury sedan segment. The company is clearly serious about this goal since it came up with a concept car thats an absolute treat to the eyes. If theres one thing that differentiates Honda City from the lot, back when it was launched, it is the beauty of the vehicles curves. Without ripping off the design elements from its competitors, the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is refreshing and impressive for many reasons. Be it the striking, brilliantly lit tail lamps, the artistically concealed exhausts or the slight concave design on the side section of the vehicle, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a design classic. The car features best-in-class design as well as performance parameters.

The inside version of the car however brings back memories of Swift, though not prominent. The vehicle has the highly accepted 1.4 litre K14 petrol engine. This can also be seen to be the heart of the Ertiga. Provided in diesel variants too, the car is expected to feature a 1.6 litre Fiat Multi-jet diesel engine.

Honda came up with its long awaited entry into the compact SUV market with the Honda Vision XS-1 Concept. The vehicle features an innovative design and it is ready to compete with the likes of Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster which have a significant market share right now. The new concept is a clear winner in terms of looks though. Featuring futuristic front fascia that gives a unique pair of fog lamps, the car makes things interesting. The interiors are also impressive, complementing the exterior hype.

Other than these concept cars, there are several cars launched right now from the same manufacturers, mostly. Isuzu MU-7 and D-Max, Renaults updated Fluence and the domestic Maruti Suzuki SX4 S Cross, Hyundai 3rd generation Santa Fe are some of the cars, ready for production, launched today in the Auto Expo. While these are impressive in their own right, its the concept cars that give a glimpse of how the company is planning to deal with the changing automobile market. Some plan on giving eco friendly cars while some offer high tech gadgetry; whichever the choice, the customers are definitely winning. Irrespective of the makers, interesting things are ready to happen on the Indian roads.

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz