Wednesday, November 21, 2012

“New Car Launches In India In 2013” plus 9 more Motorbeam

“New Car Launches In India In 2013” plus 9 more Motorbeam

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New Car Launches In India In 2013

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 06:11 AM PST

Although the slowdown has hit the Indian market, car manufacturers are betting big on new vehicle launches to create momentum and increase sales. Just like the past few years, next year too, we will see various cars being launched in the Indian market. Some launches are all new vehicles while others are facelifts and updates to existing products. Either way, prospective buyers have a lot to look forward to in year 2013. All price estimates are ex-showroom, Delhi are are indicative only (actual price may vary).


2013 Suzuki A-Star Update

Maruti Suzuki A-Star Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 3.5 – 4.5 lakhs
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: Styling changes with minor price revision to boost A-Star sales.

2013 Chevrolet Beat Facelift

Chevrolet Beat Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 3.5 – 5.5 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: Cosmetic update to keep things fresh.

Liva TRD Sportivo

Toyota Etios Liva Sport
Expected Price: Rs. 7.2 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: Body kit with Etios sedan’s 1.5-litre engine producing 89 BHP of power.

2013 Volkswagen Polo Spied

New Volkswagen Polo Engines
Expected Price: Rs. 9 lakhs
Launch: May 2013
What to expect: More powerful 1.2 TSI and 1.6 TDI engines to make Polo a hot hatch in the real sense.

2012 Fiat Punto Front

Fiat Punto Evo
Expected Price: Rs. 5 – 7 lakhs
Launch: June 2013
What to expect: Stunning Punto gets even more attractive. New powertrains could debut.


Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Expected Price: Rs. 19.5 lakhs
Launch: May 2013
What to expect: The stunning A-Class has huge potential if priced right.

2012 Volkswagen Beetle

New Volkswagen Beetle
Expected Price: Rs. 30 lakhs
Launch: June 2013
What to expect: Vastly improved Beetle in most areas.

MINI Cooper Diesel India

MINI Cooper Diesel
Expected Price: Rs. 30 lakhs
Launch: July 2013
What to expect: A frugal MINI with adequate performance.

2014 Hyundai i10 Hatchback

Second Generation Hyundai i10
Expected Price: Rs. 3.5-6.2 lakhs
Launch: October 2013
What to expect: Bigger and roomier, the next generation i10 will get a diesel heart.

VW CrossPolo

Volkswagen Cross Polo
Expected Price: Rs. 10 lakhs
Launch: November 2013
What to expect: Stop gap measure to compete in compact SUV space till Taigun arrives.

2012 BMW 1-Series

BMW 1-Series
Expected Price: Rs. 18 lakhs
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: Locally assembled 1-Series will be the most affordable BMW.

Tata Nano Spied Mumbai

Tata Nano Diesel
Expected Price: Rs. 2.5 lakhs
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: The most frugal car in the country by a mile.


2012 Mahindra Verito News

Mahindra Verito Sub-4m
Expected Price: Rs. 5 lakhs
Launch: February 2013
What to expect: Sub 4-metre Verito to benefit from lower excise duty.

2013 Honda Brio Sedan

Honda Amaze
Expected Price: Rs. 6-8 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: First Honda vehicle in India with a diesel engine.

Tata Manza CS
Expected Price: Rs. 5.5-7 lakhs
Launch: September 2013
What to expect: Sub 4-metre Manza to fill the gap between the Indigo CS and regular Manza.


Chevrolet Sail Sedan

Chevrolet Sail Sedan
Expected Price: Rs. 6.5-8 lakhs
Launch: January 2013
What to expect: Splendid ride quality and class leading interior room.

Nissan Sunny - Exteriors

Nissan Sunny Automatic
Expected Price: Rs. 9 lakhs
Launch: January 2013
What to expect: CVT gearbox to appeal to petrol buyers.


Jaguar XJ Ultimate
Expected Price: Rs. 1.2 crore
Launch: February 2013
What to expect: An even more luxurious XJ.


Skoda Superb Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 20-30 lakhs
Launch: February 2013
What to expect: Minor facelift with cosmetic changes only.

Renault Scala Automatic
Expected Price: Rs 10 lakhs
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: CVT gearbox for stress free driving.


Audi S6
Expected Price: 65 lakhs
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: Performance version of the A6 with usable power in regular conditions.


Mercedes-Benz E-Class Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 40-60 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: Styling changes to keep things fresh until next generation model arrives in 2014.

New Honda Accord
Expected Price: Rs. 18 lakhs
Launch: May 2013
What to expect: Only a 4-cylinder petrol engine on offer, no diesel yet.

2012 BMW 7-Series

BMW 7-Series Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 1 crore+
Launch: September 2013
What to expect: Locally assembled 7-Series to be most expensive car going the CKD route.

2013 Fiat Linea Wallpaper

Fiat Linea Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 7-9 lakhs
Launch: October 2013
What to expect: Minor changes to keep the Linea in contention.

2013 Fiesta Sedan

Ford Fiesta Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 8-11 lakhs
Launch: November 2013
What to expect: A Fiesta which invokes mixed reactions due to its Aston Martin inspired front.

2012 Jaguar XF India

Jaguar XF 2.2 Diesel
Expected Price: Rs. 42 lakhs
Launch: November 2013
What to expect: Entry level variant of the XF to take a dig at the Germans.

2013 Skoda Octavia Design Process Teaser.

Skoda Octavia III
Expected Price: Rs. 15-18 lakhs
Launch: November 2013
What to expect: Return of the Octavia brand in India, first Skoda vehicle based on MQB platform.

2012 Honda City Facelift India

Honda City Diesel
Expected Price: Rs. 9-11 lakhs
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: With a diesel heart, the popular City becomes an all-round package


2013 BMW X1 Facelift

BMW X1 Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 25-35 lakhs
Launch: January 2013
What to expect: The much awaited facelift is mostly cosmetic with a new gearbox.

2012 Honda CR-V Road Test

Honda New CR-V
Expected Price: Rs. 28 lakh
Launch: February 2013
What to expect: It'll look like an evolution of the current car both inside and out. Engine options: 2.4-litre petrol and 2.0-litre petrol, no diesel engine option.

Red Ford EcoSport

Ford EcoSport
Expected Price: Rs. 7.5-10 lakhs
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: Aggressively priced and feature-laden compact SUV.

Audi SQ5 TDI Diesel

Audi Q5 Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 38-48 lakhs
Launch: February 2013
What to expect: Mid-life minor upgrade with slight tweaks to engines.


Fludic Hyundai Santa Fe
Expected Price: Rs. 25 lakhs
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: Powerful engines and stunning looks.

Volvo V40 Cross Country

Volvo V40 Cross Country
Expected Price: Rs. 28 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: Volvo’s compact SUV which will rival the X1 and Q3.

Force Gurkha

New Force Trax
Expected Price: Rs. 5-6 lakhs
Launch: April 2013
What to expect: Sub 4-metre Gurkha to rival the Thar.

Land Rover Freelander 2 Facelift
Expected Price: Rs. 35-40 lakhs
Launch: May 2013
What to expect: Minor changes both inside out.

Renault Duster Test Drive Review

Nissan’s Duster Based SUV
Expected Price: Rs. 9-11 lakhs
Launch: June 2013
What to expect: Duster inspired with X-Trail styling with a Nissan badge.


New Mahindra Thar
Expected Price: Rs. 6.5 lakhs
Launch: July 2013
What to expect: Vastly improved Thar with better interior quality and a new engine.

2012 Ford Ranger

New Ford Endeavour
Expected Price: Rs. 20 lakhs
Launch: September 2013
What to expect: Improved Endeavour has much better quality and styling all around.

Jeep Grand Cherokee India

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Expected Price: Rs. 40 lakh
Launch: October 2013
What to expect: Powering the model for India will be a 3.0-litre common-rail V6 diesel engine mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox.


Maruti Suzuki XA-Alpha Production Version
Expected Price: Rs. 8 lakhs
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: Maruti’s entry into the compact SUV space, powered by acclaimed petrol and diesel engines.

2012 Renault Duster Variants

Renault Duster 4WD
Expected Price: Rs. 13 lakhs
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: Compact SUV with the hardware to go off-road.



Chevrolet Enjoy
Expected Price: Rs. 7-9 lakhs
Launch: January 2013
What to expect: GM’s spacious rival to the Maruti Ertiga.

Ashok Leyland Stile MFV

Ashok Leyland Stile
Expected Price: Rs. 7-9 lakhs
Launch: May 2013
What to expect: Re-badged Evalia which looks appealing.

Mercedes Viano India

Mercedes Viano Based Force MPV
Expected Price: Rs. 15 lakhs
Launch: October 2013
What to expect: A re-badged Mercedes developed by Force Motors


Hyundai Hexa Space Production Version
Expected Price: Rs. 7-10 lakhs
Launch: November 2013
What to expect: People carries from Hyundai, which will be feature loaded.


2013 Audi R8 Facelift

2013 Audi R8
Expected Price: Rs. 1.3 crore+
Launch: March 2013
What to expect: Minor cosmetic changes further enhance R8′s appeal.

Jaguar F-Type
Expected Price: Rs. 1.15 crore+
Launch: June 2013
What to expect: Gorgeous sports car with performance to match.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700 4 Roadster

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
Expected Price: Rs. 4 crore+
Launch: December 2013
What to expect: The most stunning Lamborghini ever.

Porsche Records Best Monthly Sales In India

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 06:00 AM PST

2013 Porsche 911 Carrera

The official partner of Porsche cars, Porsche India has commenced its retail operation with a record breaking performance in October with sales of over 117 cars in a month. Porsche India became a division of Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited earlier this year and October 2012 was the first month of retail operation for Porsche in India. Before the formation of this division, Porsche cars were sold through an importer, Precision Cars India, which is currently fighting a case against Porsche Middle East for termination of importer agreement and making Volkswagen Group as the sole importer.

The German sports car maker has also introduced the new seventh generation Porsche 911 Carrera and the new Porsche Boxter S for the Indian market after announcing the record breaking numbers. The 911 Carrera Coupe comes with a price tag of Rs. 1.14 crore, the 911 Carrera S Coupe is priced at Rs. 1.33 crore and the new Boxter S is priced at Rs. 81.72 lakh. Porsche India is thrilled with the pace of their network expansion and new model launches in the country. Their first full month sales result in October has been in excess of 100 units which is the best ever for the brand here.

Porsche sold 312 cars in the calendar year 2011, with Porsche Cayenne making up for 84 per cent of its overall sales, with Cayman, Boxter, Carrera and Panamera all making up for 4 per cent each. Porsche India is expecting that both new models will add even more momentum to the increasing interest in the brand by customers and fans alike. 

The Carrera 911 is powered by a 3.8-litre, 6-cylinder engine churning out 400 HP of power and accelerating from 0 to 100 km/hr in just 4.3 seconds. It comes with an optional Sport Chrono package that improves acceleration to 4.1 seconds delivering a top speed of 302 km/hr. The new 911 Carrera is mated to the world’s first 7-speed manual transmission and the automatic 7-speed PDK transmission.

2013 Porsche Boxter

All New Range Rover Launch On 30th November

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 05:49 AM PST

Land Rover will launch the all new Range Rover on the 30th of November 2012. The launch happens in less than two months of official unveil, which is truly remarkable as the Mk4 version of the Range Rover is yet to go on sale in most parts of the world. The 2013 Range Rover is the flagship vehicle in the JLR line-up and is brought to India via the CBU route. Thus this premium luxury SUV requires no homologation, helping in the speedy India launch.

The new Range Rover (codenamed L405) is vastly improved in almost all directions. The vehicle uses a lighter D4u platform, which enables a weight saving of 400 kgs. The monocoque platform also gives the Range Rover better dynamics while at the same time the vehicle doesn’t loose its splendid off-road capabilities. The new Range Rover will be available with both petrol and diesel engines, which offer splendid performance.

While the pricing of the all new Range Rover is still a mystery, one can expect it to go up to Rs. 1.70 crore. A long-wheelbase version is being developed for the Chinese market and could also find its way into India. The new Range Rover doesn’t move away from its iconic design and continues to have a similar body structure as the original. The interiors take heavy inspiration from the Evoque and have improved space and luxury by several notches. Expect a waiting period on the new Range Rover, with demand being higher than supply.

Hero MotoCorp Confirms 250cc Bike Launch In 2014

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 01:54 AM PST

2011 Karizma ZMR

Hero MotoCorp is developing a new 250 cc sports bike which they will unveil at the 2014 Auto Expo at Gurgaon. The company says they will be using the most cutting edge technology, sophisticated testing and futuristic styling for this powerful performance bike. It will most probably boast a 250 cc single-cylinder engine with a power rating of about 25 BHP. The bike is being developed in partnership with American company Erik Buell Racing (EBR) at their technology centre in the States.

Many top level engineers from Hero MotoCorp are working for designing and initial stages of development of this 250 cc motorcycle. The later part of development and production will be shifted to India. The bike will be available in the market later in the later half of 2014. The top bosses associated with this product said that this bike will showcase their expertise and capability to produce high tech and competent products independently.

The MD and CEO of the company, Pawan Munjal is giving personal attention in this project and has given a deadline of the 2014 Auto Expo to complete this project. After parting ways with their earlier partner – Honda, in 2010, this will be one of the first products to be built by Hero MotoCorp. They have many upcoming products ranging from commuter bikes, scooter and bigger performance oriented bikes. These products are intended for Indian as well as foreign markets that the company plans to enter.

Hero MotoCorp is taking huge steps to develop bespoke technology and products to make their mark again in the Indian two-wheeler market. The biggest challenge faced by the biggest Indian bike manufacturer is matching performance and quality levels of the Japanese rivals as well as maintaining reliability, value for money and great service that they are popular for. Given the ambition and commitment shown by the company, we can hope for great products from Hero in the future.

2011 Karizma ZMR Red

Source – Economic Times

Audi Q8 Crossover Gets The Green Light

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 01:46 AM PST

2014 Audi Q8 Crossover

The Audi Q8 is being planned for quite a while until it got a thumbs up from the top officials of the Ingolstadt based luxury carmaker recently. A few weeks ago, Audi trademarked a series of new names for their future line-up of cars. This time its an even series of names for their SUVs' which will hit the roads in the future. The first model to be approved is the Audi Q8, which is basically a luxury crossover SUV coupe.

Planned to serve a notch above the Q7, Audi will probably launch the Q8 as their flagship SUV model. The odd-numbered SUV's will be tweaked to be even more on the rugged side with higher ground clearance, bigger wheels and a go-anywhere attitude. On the other side, the new even range of SUV's will be an altogether new design, sporty, sleek and mainly inspired by coupe's.

The new Audi Q8 will be based on Volkswagen MLB (Modular Longitudinal Matrix) platform, which could as well be the platform for the future Q7 and the Porsche Macan, a potential crossover SUV. The Q8 will also benefit from recent studies done for the future Q7 to make it a tad lighter. Thus the Coupe SUV will comprise of about sixty percent of steel and remaining of aluminum and other weight saving materials.

Applying its lightweight aluminum centered studies and researches on heavier vehicles, which was otherwise used for cars like the R8, Audi may ensure that the 2014 Q7 can shed about 300 kgs from its overall weight. This should also directly benefit the Q8.

The Q8 is speculated to be powered by a V6 petrol engine with power options of 230 BHP and 300 BHP. Also, a 250 BHP 3.0-litre V6 TDI and a 400 BHP 4.2-litre V8 TDI are expected among the diesel engines. A top of the line RS version will also be on offer, which derives its engine form the Audi A8, powering it with a 550 BHP, 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 engine. The Q8 is just at the beginning stage of its development. Now that it has a go-ahead signal, it should be officially unveiled in concept form within a few months. The Audi Q8 can be expected to roll out of its plant by 2014.

Source – CarMagazine UK

Fiat To Pause Punto Production In Italy

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 12:53 AM PST

Fiat Punto Sports Performance

Fiat will stop production at its Melfi plant in southern Italy for more than 20 days in December and January. The car maker will place 5000 workers on a temporary layoff scheme on December 17 and from December 21 until January 13 in Melfi, where it produces the Punto. Recently union officials said that the company is planning to extend production breaks by two weeks from November 26 at its southern Italian plant of Pomigliano, which produces the Panda mini car. Fiat has placed workers from many of its Italian plants on temporary layoff schemes this year.

Fiat's Italian car plants are currently running at 50 per cent capacity as the automaker experiences overcapacity and falling demand in Europe, a market on which it is heavily dependent for sales. This year, Western Europe’s car market has fallen by 7.3 per cent. Among the hardest hit countries are crisis-hit Greece, Portugal and Italy, where demand is heading for a 33-year low. In the first 10 months, deliveries of Fiat Group vehicles in the EU and EFTA markets fell 15.9 per cent. With the European new car-market as a whole dropping 7.8 percent from January to October and Fiat’s traditional markets such as Italy (-19.7%), Spain (-11.9%), Greece (-39.9%) and Portugal (-38.3%) recording double-digit declines, Fiat is feeling the pressure more than any other automaker in the region.

Fiat will complete separation from Tata Motors in sales operations in India by March next year and plans to have 80 dealers of its own as the company embarks on yet another revival journey. The company’s wholly-owned Indian arm Fiat India Automobiles Ltd (FIAL) is also in the process of hiring about 100 people for customer facing roles. Besides strengthening of the sales network, Fiat India will also be reinforcing its workforce.

Fiat Grande Punto Sport

KTM To Hold Orange Day In Pune Soon

Posted: 21 Nov 2012 12:20 AM PST

KTM Orange Day Nov 2012

KTM has already held quite a few Orange Days in India and plans to continue holding them. Orange Day is a KTM activity where any Duke owner can participate. It is held on a Sunday and there are quite a few activities lined-up. There would be theory and practical classes followed by track racing. The best riders would be identified and will get a chance to race. Needless to say, spectators will get a chance to see stunts being done on the Duke 200.

The upcoming KTM Orange Day is taking place in Pune. Dates are yet to be announced but it should take place in early December. On 2nd September, KTM had held an Orange Day in Pune, which was organized at the Downtown Racing track in Kharadi. One needs to arrive at 6:45 AM at the venue and gear is mandatory. KTM also rents out riding kits for a nominal Rs. 500/- (does not include helmet and riding boots).

Participant needs to own a KTM Duke and can bring along any one person along with him. At the Orange Day, KTM also has a service camp where owners can get a free check done on their bikes. If you are a KTM owner living in Maharashtra, there is no reason why you would want to miss this. KTM is sure to organize more such Orange Days in other parts of the country. With the company all set to launch the Duke 390 in March 2013, expect more such KTM activities in the future.


Next Generation S-Class To Be Tech Laden

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 11:48 PM PST

2014 Mercedes S-Class front

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always been the pinnacle in automotive technology ever since its launch. The most revolutionary technology, safety features and toys always made their debut in this flagship Mercedes-Benz sedan before they are used in any other car, ages later. This was the first car ever to have crumple zones (1959 W111), ABS (1979 W116), SRS Airbags (1981 W126) and Night View Assist System (2005 W221) and the list goes on.

So as the launch of the latest W222 Mercedes S-Class comes closer, in 2014, we have some information on what the latest innovative technology and features are incorporated in this version. The Mercedes-Benz board member, Thomas Weber stated that the latest intelligent assistance systems have a capacity to analyse all the complex driving situations and recognize dangers very accurately and the car almost has a 360-degree vision! This S-Class will be the first car in the world to have full LED lights as standard, with not a single conventional bulb.

Many systems work together simultaneously to keep the car in its lane with steering assistance as well as keep the car following the car in front automatically even in slow traffic! All this new technology along with all the older ones makes this car most comfortable and safe in the world.

2014 Mercedes S-Class Technology -

1) Adaptive High Beam Assist Plus – This camera based system automatically adjusts the intensity and direction of the high beam when it detects oncoming vehicles to prevent dazzling eyes of the driver.

2) Active seat-belt buckle – The tension and slack of the seat belts are automatically adjusted during a collision, moving the occupant away from the collision site, minimizing the injury to the occupants.

3) Active Parking Assist – This system automatically parks the car as well as takes it out of parking position without steering or brake input from driver.

4) Active Lane Keeping Assist – This system automatically maneuvers the car to prevent unintentional lane changing even when there is broken line if there is risk of collision.

5) Active Blind Spot Assist – This system alerts the driver and even self maneuvers the car out of harm's way if a car is spotted in a blind spot during lane changing.

6) BAS-Plus with Cross-Traffic Assist – This system alerts driver and also offers braking assistance if there is a chance of rear-ending car in front as well as colliding with a crossing car at a junction.

7) BAS PLUS And PRE-SAFE Brake – This system alerts driver and offers braking assistance in a chance of colliding with a car or pedestrians in front of the car.

8) Beltbag – The strap of the seat belt is inflatable during collision minimizing injury to the occupant due to the seat belt itself

9) Data Fusion – The data from all the various sensors, radars and cameras are amalgamated by the system to give a more predictable and reliable analysis of dangers.

10) DISTRONIC PLUS With Steering Assist – This system automatically keeps a desired distance from the vehicle in front as well keeps the car centered in the lane, away from cars in other lanes by providing active steering inputs.

11) Infrared Headlamps – Used for Night View Assist Plus, where two invisible infrared lights light up the road ahead

12) Far Infrared Camera – Detects pedestrians and animals at a distance up to 160 metres and shows on screen plus alerts driver.

13) Multi-Level Functionality – Adjusts intensity of tail light to prevent dazzling eyes of following drivers.

14) Night View Assist Plus – This system detects pedestrians and animals in front of the car and shows on screen plus alerts driver.

15) Infrared Headlamps – Long range and short range Infrared cameras and spotlight function that are used by various systems.

16) Near Infrared Camera – Shows a sharp grayscale image of the road in front

17) PRE-SAFE Impulse – In the initial phase of a collision, the occupants are automatically pulled away by their seat belt away from the site of collision and then pressure is slowly released depending on severity of accident

18) PRE-SAFE Plus – Protects the occupants in case of or in a chance of rear-end collision.

19) Radar – This is a sensor that picks up obstacles in front, at the sides and behind the vehicle.

20) Spotlight Function – Flashes the headlamps at pedestrians detected in front of the car.

21) Stereo Multi Purpose Camera – This camera produces a 3D image of the area in front up to 50 metres while monitoring the road upto 500 metres.

22) Traffic Sign Assist – Detects traffic signs on the road and alerts the driver of the various instructions related to speed limits, no-overtaking zones, no entry's etc.

2014 Mercedes S-Class testing

2014 Mercedes S-Class side

2014 Mercedes S-Class testing side

Honda Previews 1.5-litre Direct Injection Engine

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 11:23 PM PST

Honda Fit 1.5 Direct Injection Engine

Honda is sampling a new hybrid system for small vehicles in a Honda Fit. The system is known as Sport Hybrid i-DCD that combines with a 1.5-liter inline-four cylinder petrol engine mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and an electric motor/generator attached to the transmission. The 1.5-litre engine uses the efficient Atkinson cycle and lacks any belts as the water pump and air conditioning are both driven electrically.

The large pulley at the end of the crankshaft acts as a dampener for the engine. When the car is driving on electrical power or braking, the engine can be disconnected from the transmission. Honda is expecting Sport Hybrid i-DCD to use 30 per cent less fuel while offering 15 per cent better acceleration as compared to its current small-car hybrid systems. Honda believes that dual-clutch transmissions makes the driving experience much more thrilling and fun into the otherwise efficiency-minded driving experience.

The Honda Fit prototype is capable of driving at 70 km/hr on electric power alone, for a total of 2.5 to 5 kilometers of all-electric driving range. That increased performance is possible because the new system uses a higher capacity lithium-ion battery, instead of the old nickel metal-hydride batteries in the current Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. The Sport Hybrid i-DCD prototype demonstrated brisk and reasonably smooth acceleration, thanks to the dual-clutch transmission that changes gear seamlessly and smoothly.

The transmission also downshifts with no delay by two gears or more if you put your foot down at cruising speeds. The car feels more responsive and is more interesting to drive than current Honda small hybrids and it's easy to drive gently on electrical power alone. The Sport Hybrid i-DCD is just an engineering prototype and Honda has yet to determine actual vehicle applications.

This system will run future generation small cars and it will replace IMA hybrid system, we expect to see this new hybrid setup in future versions of the Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid and it's probably at least two or three years away. Indian customers are not fond of hybrid cars reason being the price tag, so these powertrains are not expected to hit Indian showrooms if they are not priced reasonably.

Honda is also sampling a Fit with a non-hybrid, direct-injected 1.5-liter inline-four cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. It's one of Honda's first commercial direct-injection engines which falls under the Earth Dreams banner, Honda's name for its fuel-efficient new powertrains. The engine is fuel-efficient and uses special low-tension piston rings, auto stop-start, and has intake ports designed to make the air tumble into the cylinder.

The CVT system has a wider range of ratios, less friction, and lower weight than an equivalent current CVT. Honda says a vehicle with this powertrain would be 10 per cent more efficient and offer 15 per cent better acceleration than a similarly equipped existing vehicle. This is expected to be the standard engine and transmission choice in the next-generation Honda Fit / Jazz, expected to debut by 2014. Let's hope the next-generation Honda Jazz also features this engine and transmission for Indian customers.

2014 Honda Jazz

Renault To Take On Nano With Rs. 2 Lakh Car

Posted: 20 Nov 2012 10:50 PM PST

Renault India News

Renault has recently announced that they are developing low cost cars for developing markets. One of the major projects for India is a small car with a sub Rs. 2 lakh ($3800) price tag to rival the Tata Nano. Not many specifics have been released about this car by the French auto maker, but that it is being developed jointly be the Renault-Nissan partnership. Also in the pipeline is a small car in the Rs. 3 to 3.5 lakh price range to be manufactured in Chennai and unveiled early next year.

Europe is Renault's second largest market currently, but all car makers are facing problems there due to drastic slow down in sales. Renault’s Chief Operating Officer, Carlos Tavares stated that there is growing potential for car makers in the emerging markets, like India, that has tremendous demand for low cost small cars. Thus they are aiming to sell a good percentage of their cars outside Europe. Also they are concentrating on producing cars that are cheaper and smaller than the cars they sell through their budget Brand – Dacia.

This is good news for India because our market will get more and more products that suit our requirements. Due to growing competition in the small car market, we can expect better quality and products with more competitive pricing. This claimed Nano-beater can be highly successful for Renault if they bring out a very well packaged product, price it right and create a good marketing strategy. The Tata Nano did not set the sale charts on fire as expected due to its 'Low cost' and 'Car for the poor' image. Thus if Renault can learn from Tata Motors's mistake we may have a genuine smart ultra-small and fuel efficient car for our overcrowded cities.

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