Way back in 2006, the Indian government introduced a policy for the 4 wheeler manufacturers informing that they could earn excise benefits if they can duck their cars under the 4 meter scale and plonk petrol engines not exceeding the cubic capacity of 1.2 liters and diesel engines not exceeding the cubic capacity of 1.5 liters. However, what the government suitably failed to add that the resulting cars should be all hatchbacks. This oversight by the government has now resulted in a whole lot of auto makers scrambling for the sub 4 meter mark sedans, Yes, you read it right, SEDANS. These days or rather from 2006, manufacturers are scrambling for sub 4 meter sedans so that they can entice the car buyers and give them a sedan for the price of a hatchback. We all know that in India, a sedan is considered as a status quo thing. Hence the need for this article highlighting all the upcoming new sub 4 meters sedans in India. It all started with the Tata Indigo CS with CS standing for compact sedan. Here is a list of the new cars under the 4 meter mark which would be making their debut in the Indian market scene shortly in 2011 or 2012. Hell, there are even a few UVs also in here.
Honda Brio saloon :
Honda has been long delaying the Brio small car, which is touted to be its volumes model in India. Though Honda isn’t keen on releasing a date for the Indian launch, various sources say that Honda has secret plans of bringing in a CS version of the Brio hatch. This CS version of the Brio would actually bring in much more roomier interiors, better features and also a boot (just better than the Brio). Engine options would be the 1.2 liter petrol one from the Jazz with slightly lower power figures while the diesel engine (yes, you read it right, a diesel engine) would be displacing 1400 liters and would make for a fun to drive proposition. It would be rev happy and have decent pace. This on, however, would be coming around only by 2013. The Brio CS is even now been touted as the most fuel efficient petrol sedan in India, way ahead of its launch. Prices would start from around the Rs 5.5 lakhs mark.
2012 Swift Dzire CS :
Though, initially, the first car that came with a boot tacked onto a hatchback was the Indigo, it was the Swift Dzire which set the sales charts on fire. This new Swift Dzire would be based on the new Swift (God knows when it would be launched here). However, unlike the current Dzire, it wouldn’t have a tacky add-on boot but an even more tackier compact boot. This would actually make the sedan look like someone dashed against it from the rear. Though the overall length of this car would be under the 4 meters mark, it is said to be more spacious than the new Swift and there would also be more goodies on offer. But the problem would be the positioning. Already, there isn’t enough gap between the regular Dzire and the Swift hatchback. The current DDiS and K series engines would most likely be tuned up for more power, provided Fiat allows Maruti to tinker around. The Maruti Swift Dzire CS price in India would approximately be Rs 35-40k more than the hatchback.
Tata Manza CS :
Though Tata Motors started the first assault on the market with the Indigo CS, it lost its steam midway. However, it is most likely given the current sales performance of its models that Tata would bring in a Manza CS. This Manza CS, however wouldn’t have the same interior features as its bigger brother but would definitely carry a bigger boot than the Vista. It is a dig at Vista customers to upgrade and go in for this CS sedan. The legendary space inside the cabin would obviously be more than that of the Vista but a tad less than the Manza. The Tata Manza CS price in India would be approximately Rs 30k more than the Vista. Its debut would be towards the end of 2011 or probably in mid 2012.
Mahindra Verito CS :
The Verito CS has been long in testing, however, it seems that Mahindra are still uncertain about the pricing part of this car. It already makes for a good big car but with a smaller boot, it would be all the more alluring to customers buying cars on a budget. Though, initially, it was supposed to be a Renault Logan CS, Renault didn’t readily give into the idea and hence Mahindra had to make do with prototypes keeping in mind the impeding split off. Since Mahindra doesn’t have any small car (read hatchback) in its portfolio, so the Mahindra Verito CS would be a perfect sales chart topper for Mahindra. Its look may also be altered for this very purpose and the car may become somewhat rounded. Its pricing would be Rs 25k less than the full size Verito. The engine choices would be the same and no detuning would be done on both the petrol and diesel engine. But then the petrol engined variant wouldn’t get excise benefits and maybe Mahindra may bring in a 1.2 liter petrol engine built from the existing block of the 1.4 liters Verito petrol engine. It would be launched in 2-3 months or towards the end of 2011.
Volkswagen Bulli :
MQB is the new platform which has been built by VW recently and the all new car which would be built on this platform is the VW Bulli. The VW Bulli would be a people mover and would feature 6 seats, all configured together in a 3.99 meters length. The seat design is on the flatter side to allow for the best utilization of space inside the cabin. The car’s design would remind one of the original VW van, but just in a stylish avatar. It is said that VW intends to shift almost all its models to this new platform and this would start with the all new VW Polo. Heavy localization would make this people mover a viable option for the Indian car buying populace. Expect this car in India the earliest by 2014. Price would hover around the Rs 5 lakhs mark.
HM Ambassador CS :
The HM Ambassador CS has also been caught testing many times and more so in the southern states of India. The spy pics do remind one of the earlier Landmaster car. However, the question is “Who is interested in an Ambassador CS?”. Not the politicos for sure. However, in a bid to keep its bread and butter rolling in, HM is desperately trying to flap its wings. It is rumored that there would be a 1.5 liter diesel motor under the hood and also a 1.2 liter petrol engine to take care of the excise duty benefits. The HM Ambassador price in India would start from Rs 5 lakhs(expected). This car would make its debut here by 2012.
Mahindra Mini Xylo :
Though Mahindra couldn’t be innovative enough as Tata to make it to the mini sedan concept first, they are definitely trying to etch their credentials on the mini MPV segment. The mini MPV would be the Mahindra Mini Xylo. Yes, the Xylo would also come with a chopped rear and 5 seats option. It would look no better than the compact SUV, the Premier Rio. The Mini Xylo guarantees the best possible space for 5 and their luggage as also an elevated driving position. The utility of an MPV is an added bonus. Mahindra are also keen on introducing this MPV with only a diesel engine and it would be a modified version of the Verito’s 1.5 liter engine. Its cost would be almost Rs 1 lakhs lower than the base version of the Mahindra Xylo. It would be out towards the end of 2011.
Mahindra S101-S102 :
Compact SUVs seem to be ruling the roost with Mahindra coming up with more SUVs than anyone else in the market now. After their acquisition of Ssangyong Motors, Mahindra have got more than enough armor for their attack on the Indian car market. The S101 from Mahindra would be a compact SUV from Mahindra and believe it or not, Mahindra have set a target of Rs 3 lakhs as the sticker price for this SUV. A front wheel drive, monocoque construction would be the order of the day for this SUV. The 1.2 liter engine from the Verito CS would be used for this SUV and it should make around 70-75 Bhp of power. Its expected to come only by 2013.
VW Up saloon :
The Volkswagen Up has been already previewed here (Volkswagen Up preview). Now, VW has other plans of getting in a compact sedan based on the Up to India. This car would be a tad bit more costlier than the Up hatchback, but it would be cheaper than the VW Polo. Moreover, it would be front engined and front wheel driven car. Space would be more than the Polo, however, the Polo’s engines wouldn’t be used and infact, a new 4 cylinder 1.2 liter engine would be introduced as a new addition. This would be specific to the Indian market scene and also, there would be a 1 liter 3 pot diesel motor which would prove very economical to run. A two cylinder 800 cc engine which would be fed via petrol is also in the offing. This engine is said to be supercharged and would make 52 Bhp of power. VW’s sister concern Skoda would also be making their own version of this car and labeling it as a CS one. More details would be released by 2012 and this includes the price point that this cars would be pegged at.
Ford Eco Sport :
With almost all the major manufacturers claiming a pie of the CS slot, it would be but imperative that Ford Motors also take advantage of the norms factor. The CS from Ford Motors would be the Ford Eco Sport and it would be borrowing the new Fiesta’s platform. It would be a mini SUV and would compete against the likes of the Mahindra mini SUV and Premier Rio. It would be a soft roader and would most likely be powered by detuned versions of the Fiesta’s engines. Expect it to have a sticker price slightly lower than the current Ford Fiesta Classic. This vehicle, however, can be expected to be in the Indian market by 2013. A smaller Endeavour at half the price would definitely be a win win situation provided Ford markets it properly.
All these cars here mean that the Indian customer would be spoilt for choices and many manufacturers would be pulling at your purse strings at the same time. Moreover, the trend is catching on to build more and more cost effective cars which would not only look good but also satiate the enthusiast without burning a hole in the pocket. Many of this Compact Sedans or CS versions would actually give you the economy of hatchbacks and the prestige of full fledged sedans. It all remains to see how the companies plan on marketing these cars and how soon.