With the festival season closing in carmakers and buyers are gearing up for a slew of new launches. While carmakers hope to boost their sales, buyers are looking forward to newer technologies resulting in better performance, safety and comfort. We've rounded up the key vehicles that are going to be launched this year. Take a walk through our gallery to know what to expect from these cars and how much would they weigh in on your pockets.
New Audi A4: The present Audi A4 is the oldest in its segment and understandably the one with lesser features when compared with the facelifted BMW 3 Series or the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The new A4 is set to be launched towards the end of August and features significant improvements across multiple areas. Using more aluminium, the new A4 is lighter, larger, more spacious, has more features and will be more efficient. The new A4 is expected to be launched with a 2.0 L diesel engine, developing 190 hp. The car could be offered with a 1.4 L petrol engine developing about 150 hp as well. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is expected to be offered as standard and we expect the price range to start from just under Rs 40 lakh, putting it right up there with its remaining German competition.
Hyundai Elantra: Set to replace the present Elantra, the new model moves away from the present one's fluidic design approach and adopts a more aggressive and sharper design profile. Expect more space inside, a segment-leading list of features and improved handling from the new model. The new Elantra is lighter than the outgoing model yet stronger. This is down to the chassis being reinforced with 53% advanced-high-strength steel in comparison to the 21% on the existing model. The additional stiffness of the chassis, partly due to usage of a new adhesive is also claimed to be better than the outgoing model. The model is expected to be launched with a 2.0 L Nu MPI petrol engine generating about 150 hp. This Atkinson engine also marries multi-port injection, making it unique in its segment of engines, globally. This engine will be mated to an EcoShift 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which along with the claims of improved handling should make the Elantra a good car to drive. We expect the car to be introduced at a starting price of Rs 16.5 lakh, sometime in early September, 2016.
Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS: Since its launch, the Baleno has been a runaway success and has kept the production teams busy with formulating plans to reduce the waiting period. Maruti Suzuki wants to encash further on the successful acceptance of Baleno by consumers as a premium hatchback and wants to expand the appeal to enthusiasts. This is where the Baleno RS comes in and it will be powered by the 1.0 L Boosterjet engine, developing about 110 hp. Being a light car, the more powerful yet light Boosterjet engine should be able to give the Baleno's performance a shot-in-the-arm increment from the present level. We also expect the car to feature some additional exterior bits and interior badging to differentiate the RS variant from the standard one. Since the Boosterjet engine will be imported and there will be some additional features on the Baleno RS, we expect it to be priced at around Rs 8 lakh and go on sale closer to the festival season.
Maruti Suzuki Ignis: Showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo, the Ignis compact crossover was well-received by the visitors at the show. This will be the first compact crossover by the company and was earlier expected to be launched to coincide with the festive season but production backlogs due to heavy demand for the Baleno and Vitara Brezza could possibly cause delays. The Ignis is expected to be introduced with a petrol engine and later with a diesel engine. The car will be offered with a five-speed manual and an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), already found on other Maruti Suzuki cars. The car is expected to be priced at between Rs 5 lakh and 7 lakh.
Toyota Fortuner: Toyota's Fortuner has ruled the premium SUV segment since its launch and such has been the dominance that no other SUV has ever come close to dethroning it. Sometime early next year, Toyota will launch the all-new Fortuner, which similar to the recently launched Innova Crysta will be positioned and priced higher than the existing version. Fortuner is based on Toyota new-generation architecture (TNGA), which is the same platform that underpins the new Innova. This platform is claimed to be lighter yet stiffer than the one underpinning the present Fortuner. The new Fortuner will also be larger than the present version and offer more space inside the cabin. Fortuner in its new avatar is expected to be powered by a 2.4 L and 2.8 L GD-series of engines, which will offer higher power output and fuel-eff iciency than the present unit. We expect the new Fortuner to be priced at a considerable premium over the present model, pushing its positioning further up.
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