The by gone year would be remembered for the London Olympics, Delhi Auto Expo, Sebastien Vettel, the Arab Spring among other events. For us Indians the unstable fuel prices would top the list of events that changed every motorist’s fuel budget for good. With petrol price boiling to over Rs.80 per litre, the second most popular go-juice that is diesel soon got to the #1 spot.
Car makers responded to this by reducing the production of petrol engines and switching to diesels instead. This trend is expected to continue as we head into the next year. While some manufacturers cashed on the diesel rush others like Honda chose to tread carefully. That said, we will see Honda debut their diesel engines in India, finally. Here are some of the hottest diesel cars that will be launched in India next year.
Tata Nano Diesel
Tata Motors took the world by surprise by launching the world’s cheapest car in the form of the Tata Nano. It soon earned recognition as the “People’s car” of India. Powered by a 624 cc twin-cylinder engine, the Nano offers spacious interiors and excellent fuel economy. One car that most Indians will be looking forward to next year is the Nano diesel.
The diesel engine under the Nano’s lightweight body is expected to deliver over 30 kmpl (!) The oil burner has been designed from ground up and would a twin-cylinder unit with direct-injection making it the world’s smallest diesel motor. Prices are expected to be higher than the petrol variant by at least Rs. 50,000-60,000.
Honda will launch their first diesel in India in the form of the Amaze sedan. The Honda Amaze shares its platform with the Brio hatchback and will be powered by a 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine with about 80 odd horsepower packed in. A petrol variant will also be on offer along with the oil burner. The 1.2 litre petrol will be the same one which powers the hatchback.
The Amaze will take on the Maruti Dzire, Indigo eCS, Mahindra Verito, Ford Classic etc. With the new diesel engine on-board one can expect the Honda Amaze to draft a success story of its own. Other classic Honda characteristics like immaculate build, good ride and handling etc. will remain unchanged.
Chevrolet Sail sedan
General Motors India would be betting big on the upcoming Sail sedan which will join the Sail U-VA hatchback that has been already launched. The sedan version of the Sail is expected to replace the aging Aveo which might face the axe soon. The car will be powered by the same 1.2 litre diesel engine from the Sail U-VA. This motor churns out 78 PS of peak power and 205 Nm of useful torque.
The interiors are expected to be similar to the ones found on the hatchback with a rather competitive price tag that will see it competing with cars like the Ford Classic, Tata Manza, Toyota Etios and the likes.
The Ford EcoSport has to be the hottest launch scheduled for 2013. This all-new Ford compact SUV is expected to be launched in the first quarter with prices that could undercut the recently launched Renault Duster. Ford has been hard at work preparing the EcoSport after its global unveiling that took place on the side lines of the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo.
The Ford EcoSport would be offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engines. That said, the diesel motor is what most customers would be looking for. The 1.5 litre diesel engine that is supposed to power the EcoSport could produce close to 100 PS of power and torque upwards of 200 Nm. Being a soft-roader, the EcoSport won’t get a tricked-out all-wheel drive system, though.
Chevrolet is looking at the MPV segment along with other products that they've already lined-up for India. The Enjoy was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo which will be launched come next year. The main rivals for GM would be the Nissan Evalia considering the price range in which it has been placed. That said, there are a few chinks in the Evalia's armour which GM would be looking to exploit. The Enjoy will also rival the Mahindra Xylo.
Powering the car would be a very familiar diesel engine. The 1.3 Multijet from the FIAT family is destined to go under its hood. This engine puts out 90 PS of peak power and has been the weapon of choice for most Indian car makers. In fact, this very engine in one form or the other features in cars from Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki etc.