The mass market segment in 2015 saw a few launches and a lot of reveals. While the market leader in this segment, Maruti Suzuki, launched its much-awaited hatchback, the Baleno, Tata also is not too far behind giving the Tiago its final touches before launch. So, what does the upcoming year have in store for us; let's take a look.
Yes, it is confirmed! To compete with the likes of Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Abarth-powered Punto, Maruti Suzuki will be launching the Baleno RS. And if you think it's a mere sticker job, think again. This lightweight hatchback would be powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged Boosterjet motor capable of churning 111 PS of power and hopefully meaty low-end torque. The car will get a very involving five-speed manual transmission, which'll also help keep the MRP contained. Considering the power to weight ratio, this hatchback will be a hoot to drive. New bits over the stock Baleno would be the blackened out alloy wheels and a sporty body kit to keep the aerodynamics in check.
It's expected to be available for sale this festive season with a price tag of around Rs. 8.0 - 9.0 lakh.
Read more: 2016 Auto Expo: Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS revealed – it’s not just a sticker job
The Ignis from Maruti Suzuki is going to replace the aging Ritz and will be the new practical choice in the category with acres of headroom courtesy of its tall boy design. The car will get a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is likely to come with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle System) technology to further boost its already impressive 'kitna deti hai' figure to over 28 km/l.
The SHVS system will enable it to gain some tax benefits beyond what it'll enjoy for being under four metres long. The car will come with an India-friendly 180mm of ground clearance to tackle non-existent roads. Its design is a departure from the Ritz' and it bears muscular lines all over. The shark gills on the quarter panel too add to the car's aggressive appearance. The launch has been confirmed for early in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Ignis' chief competitor is Mahindra's KUV100 and it's likely to be priced in the Rs. 5.0 - 8.0 lakh range.
Read more: 2016 Auto Expo: Maruti Suzuki Concept Ignis unveiled
Kwid 1.0 Easy-R
The entry-level hatchback and first-time car buyers are warming up to the idea of an automatic transmission in their first cars, thanks to Maruti Suzuki Celerio. Now that it has been established that the AMTs are just as fuel efficient and reliable as manual transmissions, it's creating a new space of entry-level automatics. The Tata Nano and Maruti Suzuki's Alto K10 serve these convenience lovers and Renault is joining the party with the hottest small car of the season. The French car maker will not only be adding the AMT gearbox to the Kwid but also mating it to a more powerful 1.0-litre engine. Renault is calling it the Kwid Easy-R (pronounced as 'easier') as it aims to aid new car drivers. The transmission controls are mounted as a rotary knob on the dash with three options; R, N and D, which stand for Reverse, Neutral and Drive. For a first-time car buyer, driving couldn't get any 'Easy-R'.
The car is expected to hit showrooms around the 2016 festive season with a price tag of Rs. 4.0 to 4.5 lakh.
Read more: 2016 Auto Expo: Renault Kwid AMT – intersection of convenience, affordability and looks
Punto, as we know is popular for its distinct Italian design, great build quality and a fun-to-drive characteristic, courtesy of a hydraulic power steering and a stiff chassis. The Punto Pure is your Punto with only the most lovable features in its 'purest' form. Fiat isn't kidding calling it Pure. Black door handles and mirrors, missing music system and remote locking and lack of ABS and airbags will make sure you remember you're sitting in the 'purest' Punto money can buy. The car gets rake-adjustable steering and follow-me-home headlamps in the name of noteworthy features.
It comes powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.3-litre four-cylinder diesel engine. The petrol motor makes 68 PS and 96 Nm while the oil burner pumps out 76 PS and 197 Nm. The car is available in black, red and white shades only with an ex-showroom (Delhi) price tag of Rs. 4.49 lakh for the petrol with a barely-six-digit premium for the turbocharged diesel. This one takes swords against the Maruti Suzuki Swift, Honda Brio and Hyundai Grand i10 but has only enough armour to take on their base variants.
Read more: 2016 Auto Expo: Fiat Punto Pure launched at Rs. 4.49 lakhs
The Tiago is a Tata product with a distinct design language; Impact is what they're calling it. Call it whatever you want, what matters is that it looks good. It gets a pair of brand new three-cylinder engines. There's a 1.2-litre petrol engine making 85 PS of power and 114 Nm of torque and a 1.05-litre diesel engine makes just about adequate 70 PS and 140 Nm. The feature list of the Tiago is going to include a ConnectNext infotainment system developed by Harman, which really sounds outstanding for its class. The head unit is capable of displaying navigation directions from a connected Android smartphone running MapMyIndia app. There are a lot of storage options and damped glove box lid and door pull lever really add a premium feel to the car. Tata is betting big on it and has roped in football legend Lionel Messi for promoting this zippy car. Pricing is still under wraps but could end up in the Rs. 4.0 - 6.0 lakh range rivaling the Chevrolet Beat, Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Hyundai Grand i10. Tata is busy giving the Tiago final touches before a launch, which could happen around mid-2016.
The car is getting its name axed though as it sounds like a virus and Tata is taking suggestions on its Facebook page.
Read more: 2016 Auto Expo: Tata Motors unveils value for money products