Hot wheels

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 6 2014, 20:56pm hrs
Mahindra Compact SUV

The Quanto may not have lived up to Mahindras expectations, but theres a new compact SUV that the carmaker is working on, which is codenamed S101. The S101 is built on a new, car-like monocoque platform. Unlike most conventional cars that have two bucket seats upfront, the S101, it is reported, has a single drivers seat with a wide two-seat passenger bench alongside (similar to the front seats of Datsun Go).

Tentative price: Rs 5 lakh

Engine: 1.5-litre diesel

Hyundai compact SUV

Hyundai is developing a compact SUV that is expected to be launched in 2015. The compact SUV will be based on an all-new platform (codenamed GC) and will be the first vehicle from Hyundais stable to carry an India-specific name. Hyundais compact SUV is unlikely to duck under the crucial four-metre mark to avail of tax benefits. The good news is Hyundai is looking to price this new car quite competitively, at under R10 lakh.

Tentative price: Rs 8-10 lakh

Engine: 1.6-litre diesel, 1.5-litre petrol

Mercedes-Benz GLA

The GLA-class is the latest model to make use of Mercedes front-wheel-drive MFA platform. It will be the companys first proper rival to the likes of Audi Q3 and BMW X1. The front end features perhaps the most modern treatment yet of Mercs new design language, with just two chunky bars of metal on the front grille with a big three-pointed star at its centre. Overall, the GLA looks almost coupe-like.

Tentative price: Rs 30-40 lakh

Engine: 1.6-litre petrol, 2.1-litre diesel

Tata Bolt

The launch of Tata Zest is around the corner, but before the end of this year, the Pune-based car maker will also launch its new hatchback that is basically Zest without the boot. Based on Tatas X1 platform that underpins the Indica Vista hatchback, Bolt features an all too familiar silhouette, but is a whole new product in terms of features and overall design philosophy. It will, in all probability, be offered with Tatas new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol mill, as well as the 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel engine.

Tentative price: Rs 5-6 lakh

Engine: 1.2-litre petrol, 1.3-litre diesel

Audi A3

The A3 is Audis answer to Mercedes-Benz CLA and the BMW 1 Series. But it could also hit the sales of segment-size bigger cars such as Toyota Camry and Skoda Superb. Audi A3 made its Indian debut at the Auto Expo 2014. It will slot in below the A4 as one of the entry-level models for the German marque. Expected to be launched in August, A3 will get both petrol and diesel engines1.8-litre TFSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI diesel.

Tentative price: Rs 25 lakh

Engine: 1.8-litre petrol, 2.0-litre diesel

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz

Maruti Suzuki has recently discontinued the SX4 sedan and it will soon be replaced by a new executive sedan called Ciaz. Showcased at the Auto Expo 2014, Ciaz could be launched before Diwali. Because it is Maruti, expect aggressive pricing of R8-10. The potent 1.4-litre petrol engine that powers the Ertiga is expected to find its way into Ciaz and Maruti should retain the 1.5-litre DDiS diesel also.

Tentative price: Rs 8 lakh

Engine: 1.4-litre petrol, 1.5-litre diesel

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Jeep calls it the most awarded SUV of all time, and the Grand Cherokee makes a strong case for itself in a market dominated by German luxury SUVs. It competes pretty much head-on with them in terms of price, but theres a lot more equipment and a whole lot more off-road tech. Sure, many Grand Cherokee owners may not take their cars off-roading, but if they do, this car is more than capable of handling serious rock climbing.

Tentative price: Rs 60 lakh

Engine: 3.0-litre diesel

Porsche Macan

The Audi Q5-based Macan is Porsches entry into the luxury compact SUV segment and will be positioned below the Cayenne. It could be launched in three formsthe Macan S, Macan Turbo and Macan Diesel Sand will compete against BMW X3 and Volvo XC60. Macan S is powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine producing 335 bhp. Macan Turbo gets a bigger 3.6-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that develops 394 bhp. However, its the 254 bhp Macan S Diesel, with its 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, that is likely to make up most of the sales in India.

Tentative price: Rs 60-80 lakh

Engine: 3.0-litre diesel, 3.0-litre petrol

BMW i8

For quite some time now, BMW has been developing its i range of electric and hybrid cars. The first car of the lot was the i3 pure electric car and then the i8 hybrid. The i8 hybrid, in fact, was a show-stopper at the Auto Expo 2014 and was unveiled by Sachin Tendulkar. Expected to be launched by the end of this year, i8 is a plug-in hybrid and will be for a discerning few. Priced over Rs 1 crore, the i8 will be powered by a 1.5-litre three-cylinder twin scroll turbo engine and an electric motor.

Tentative price: Rs 1 crore-plus

Engine: Petrol-electric hybrid