2010 Hyundai I10 diesel Preview


India’s second largest car manufacturer, Hyundai Motors, has aspirations to be the number 1 manufacturer in India. Overthrowing Maruti from the top position means a herculean task. Hyundai has been recently giving face-lifts to all of its existing model. Starting with the flagship Sonata to the Verna and now even the best seller I10. It gave it an upgrade in engine technology and slight exterior changes. The interiors were also revamped. The queues outside Hyundai’s showrooms means all these changes have been welcome with the Indian customers.

Now to make the I10 more value for money and to take the fight to Maruti’s camp, Hyundai are planning to launch a New Hyundai I10 diesel. It would be a 1.1 liter CRDi engine. Judging by the success of diesel powered automobiles, we can say that Hyundai already has a winner in the pits. The 1.1 liter will give out 64 bhp and 133Nm of torque. It is been touted as the most efficient small diesel in the country, even overshadowing the famous 1.3 liter multi jet from the Fiat stables and been used in across 10 cars in the Indian scene now.

Hyundai I10 diesel

Changes would be made to the front shock absorbers to accommodate for the diesel engine’s weight. Also NVH would be of prime importance and expect the diesel car to have the same NVH as the petrol powered one.

The 1.1 liter CRDI motor would be a marvel in itself. It would have 4 valves per cylinder however we are awaiting more details from Hyundai on this one. Hyundai will use their Chennai facility to make these diesels however reports have also filtered though that Hyundai would be directly importing the engines from Korea. The diesel variants would differ from their petrol counterparts in the vein that they would sport a CRDi badge at the rear and also a particular color scheme available only for the diesel.

How Hyundai India prices the car is to be seen. Going by Hyundai’s past records, they would definitely price the car bang in the Ford Figo price range. This should be a tough fight in the small car diesel car segment and the one to watch out for. The Hyundai I10 diesel India launch will be probably by May 2011.

Toyota India Etios models preview

Toyota’s brand image as the number one in reliability may have been eroded big time with the recalls regarding the sudden acceleration reports, world-wide. However in India, the case has been so very different. People still perceive quality with Toyota. This has boosted the manufacturer’s ego and they are planning to launch a slew of automobiles in India within the next 2 years. Of prime importance is the fact, that they would officially bring in the full Lexus as well as their Daihatsu sourced small cars.

Of prime importance would be the small cars for which the demand is very high in India. They would be built on an all new platform for India, however these platforms as well as cars are been sold elsewhere in the middle east as well as North America under different names.

Toyota is currently the world’s largest manufacturer however in India, the scene is far from true. Toyota sell only premium cars and hence to gain a good market share of the booming Indian market, Toyota have taken a plunge into the small car market. From the look of the cars at the Delhi Auto Expo 2010, it was evident that Toyota have already won half the battle.


Both the cars bring a welcome refreshment to their segments as far as looks are concerned. The front end looks imposing yet  has the subtle Toyota corporate image. This is evident from the two tiered chrome grill. The headlamps are of the pear shape and feature multi reflector lights. They also incorporate the same headlamp assembly as the new Corolla Altis, which means they would have legal HID kits. The air dams are a big deal by Indian cars standards. As opposed to the segment norm of having fog lamps fitted into the air dams, the Etios differs by having them on the front bumper. There is also a prominent front spoiler which gives it the look of a tuned Japanese car. Unfortunately the sedan doesn’t feature the spoiler but has the same looks of the hatchback viewed from the front. The bonnet is also a long affair in both the sedan and hatchback in India.

The sedan features side indicators embedded into them whereas the hatch back makes do without them. The wheels were the 15 inch types on both the body types. A flowing crease runs from wheel to wheel. The roof of the hatchback blends smoothly into the Hyundai I10-like rear end. The tail lamps are of the elongated types. The less said the better about the rear end of the sedan though. It looks like the cross of the Indigo Manza and that of the Renault Logan. The tail lamp structure for both the sedan and hatchback are different. Both the cars have a thick strip of chrome at the rear. A rear roof-line spoiler on the hatch back makes it one of the best looking rear for an Indian car. The tail pipes are conspicuous by their absence in both though.

The alloys on both the cars are different. The one on the Toyota India Etios sedan were of the subtle 6 spoke alloys, first seen on the first generation Corolla whereas the ones on the 5 door variant looked jazzy.

Overall, both the hatchback and sedan, from a distance, look like the Volkswagen Polo and Vento respectively.


The interiors of both are as different chalk and cheese. For the hatchback, the steering wheel is a two tone affair, one sporting red on the sides and ivory on the straights. It also features audio controls on one side. The upper side of the dash is black and the lower end is ivory. The music system looks space age and probably has navigation controls as well. The instrument cluster is centrally placed and has a Yamaha FZ-like instrument cluster. Though not totally digital, it has that look for sure. The ac vents are of the circular type and one which is adept at directing air flow towards rear passengers as well.

The Toyota India Etios sedan has a more conservative cabin. It looks sort of built to a price thing and the hatchback’s high quality interiors are totally absent in the sedan. The sedan like the outside, also on the inside looks like the Mahindra-Renault Logan, bare basic. It is even devoid of steering audio controls.

Whichever body style you choose, the Toyota wouldn’t disappoint you with its interior space. The sedan has a humongous boot pegged at 450 liters and the hatchback at an impressive 370 liters.

The flat floor at the rear helps in getting a 3rd passenger stuffed easier.

Handling and ride quality

Though we couldn’t take the Toyota India Etios sedan or hatchback for a spin, we can judge by the GOA chassis that both would be safe handlers as also give a good ride. The sedan with its wider foot print would shine more in the ride department than the handling part. Toyota India’s cars aren’t known for their handling but for their ride quality.

As of now, both body types would be offered with a 5 speed manual with an auto tranny on the periphery later.

The 75/65 R14 and 185/60 R15 tyre sizes are at par with the competition and give the car a planted feel.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The engine for the hatchback is a segment comparable 1.2 liters but one producing 80bhp. It is a 16 valve petrol without the VVT-I technology. Toyota has assured us that the Etios wouldn’t feel out of place without this technology as they have made internal revisions to the engine components to compensate it. The sedan boasts of a 1.5 liter petrol which churns out 102 bhp. Couple this with the 800kg for the hatchback and 920 for the sedan, it should spell some potent performance from both the engines.

The braking for both, would be discs upfront and drums at the rear. However for the higher variants, you can specify discs at the rear as well. Safety features would be at segment par, with two airbags, ABS and traction control. Toyota may offer parking aids as well on the sedan.

Fuel efficiency for the hatchback should be around 13-14 kmpl in city and 18-20 kmpl on the highway. For the sedan, it would be 11-13 in city and 16-18 on the highway. This would be at par with competition. Toyota could do well to shoe-horn the 1.4 liter diesel from its Corolla sedan into both the Etios hatchback and sedan.


Toyota Kirloskar India has been long synonymous in India for high quality, highly engineered and good resale value cars. Their car designs may not be the best in the world but they do give you a sense of solidity like none other. The Etios hatchback and sedans are bound to change the feeling of the staid designs, the hatchback noticeably so more than the sedan. Couple that with the expected at par with competition fuel efficiency and probably a killer pricing considering the use of local components to a high level, you cannot go wrong with this sedan-hatchback twins.

Expect the hatchback to start from Rs.4,50000 to Rs.5,90000 for the top end version. The sedan should start from Rs.6,10000 to Rs.7,20000 for the higher variants.

Toyota India Etios specifications

Displacement: 1200cc 16 valve DOHC
Overall Length: 3995 mm
Rear Wiper and alloy wheels
Overall Width Length: 1695 mm
Overall Height Length: 1490 mm
Gears: 5 speed Manual
Ground Clearance: 173.00 mm
Seating Capacity: 5 persons
Front Brakes: Disc
Rear Brakes: Drum

Tata Prima Preview

Tata motors have established a name for themselves in the automotive industry world-wide. They started out with been truck manufacturers{they still do} and been a desi company, thought of launching their first car. Their efforts bore fruit and the Indica was launched amidst much fanfare on 30 December 1998. There were many gripes with the earlier car which was subsequently ironed out in the V2 version launched in 2003. Tata motors have come a long way from that time and now have launched much modern cars like the Indica Vista, Indigo Manza and the new Tata Aria crossover. They also gave the world its own wonder car which sells for as less as Rs.1.30 lakhs and that is the Tata Nano.

Not content with all this laurels, the Indian car maker has been eyeing the luxury car segment. They displayed the Prima sedan first at the 2007 Geneva show. Since then Tata have been hounded with requests from the car buying public to put the Prima into production. Tata has now heeded to this requests by announcing that the Prima would be produced and marketed by mid of next year. Having acquired Jaguar and Land rover, Tata have used their know how and engine technologies in the Prima. The Prima would compete against the likes of Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze.

It has been designed this time not by IDEA house{which designed the Indica} but by Pinnafarina. He, who of Ferrari fame, has given a coupe like silhouette to the sedan. It looks a bit like the Grande Punto from Fiat stables{when viewed front on}. The biggest attraction in the front is the LED lights and they have a blue hue about them. This would make it one of the most sought after car for all those night jaunts. It has a big honey comb grille and has a smiley of an air dam set up lower. The wheels are of those 15 inch types and the C-pillar{a Pinnafarina trademark} has been given a low roofline akin to a coupe. It integrates smoothly to the big but stylish boot. The boot is a masterpiece with LEDs staring out of it.

The interiors would also be high-tech with lots of gizmos to please the geek headed young executive who has been just promoted to the status of Jr.Manager. As with all Tata cars, interior packaging would be top notch and it can seat 5 in reasonable comfort. The choice of engines has been boiled down to a new 1.6 or 1.8 liter petrol or a 1.8 liter diesel. Both the engine types would incorporate Jaguar’s technical know how and would be very efficient in their class. The Tata Prima India has a wheel base of 2.72 metres. The Tata Prima launch in India would have Mcpherson strut with stabilizer at the front and Four link Coil spring as the rear suspension. Remove the Tata badge from the rear and stick on a BMW one and the car would very much be mistaken for a BMW. At this point, we can dare say that this is the best looking car from the Tata Motors stable so far.

Safety has also been taken care of with the base versions offering 4 airbags alongwith Rain-sensitive wipers, night sensing lights, Adaptive cruise control, reverse camera and energy crumple zones.

Braking is handled by advanced disc brakes all round with 4 channel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution {EBD} and traction control {TCS}  as standard. Higher versions would get cornering lights, bejeweled effect fog lamps and reverse parking sensors.

The Prima gets a twin silencer effect and the silencers are similar to the one found on Jaguars. It has been embedded neatly into the rear bumper.  This lends it an overall sporty stance. The driving pleasure for this car would also be highly enhanced if Tata sources are to be believed.

Tata Prima price would be in Rs11- Rs.13 lakh. This would be one of the most expensive Tata cars to be on sale alongside the Tata Aria and expect a launch around October 2011.

Tata Prima price

Maruti Suzuki Kizashi – Preview

India’s largest car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is known more for its small cars and when they try to launch a staid but competent product like the Baleno and price it close to its competitor, Honda City’s territory, it was bound to fail. But then Maruti realized their mistake and got out the SX4. It was priced lower than the Honda City, but had features as well as engine comparable to the Honda. It sold like hot cakes and still does. Buoyed by its success, Maruti decided to launch a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry competitor. Now, this may seem a rash decision and one that will certainly spell the doom for Maruti however the Suzuki Kizashi, was launched earlier in Japan and North America to check the customers reaction. The car literally stole the limelight in all the markets that it was launched. This seems to be a good start and now Maruti looks set to change its image in the Indian consumers minds. The name would be carried across to India and there would be strange responses from all your colleagues asking you to repeat the name of your car.


The Maruti Suzuki Kizashi in India would be the flagship model of the Suzuki family and it carries the corporate grill for the family face. Its Audiesque grill looks familiar to the Swift and the SX4. It is split by the bumper cladding and below, it houses the air dam. The face somewhat resembles a U shape. The air dam is also split by the U. It carries two diamond shaped fog lamps in it. From the very stance of the vehicle or even the name{it means “upto something”}, it screams aggressive. Strangely, the fog lamps are placed just above the fog lamps, something which is new to the Indian as well as foreign markets. The head lamps are a piece of work having multi-reflectors and clear lens. They would, by far, be the most powerful units in their class and also first in their class to have day time running LEDs.

Moving on to the side profile, it is devoid of any quarter glass except for the rear window. The car somewhat shrinks from the side view. However its sporty multi spoke alloy wheels look stunning and scream sporty and subtle at the same time. The wheel arches aren’t flared and this shows its conservative nature. Maruti are probably trying to hide sportiness with the conventional family sedan looks. The wing mirrors are also huge but don’t have the indicator lights embedded in them.

The rear is the most interesting part of the Suzuki Kizashi. In the past, we have noticed Maruti’s with good looking faces but the plot seems to be lost when they come to the back side. The Maruti Suzuki Kizashi begs to differ. It seems to be derived from the new BMW 1 series. The stop lamp is not placed atop the rear window but above the boot lid. The boot lid sports a spoiler like bump. Overall, the Kizashi looks hewn from a single sheet of metal. The Tamburini pipe like silencers, coated in chrome look every part from a sports car. Mind you, there are two separate pieces. The use of side skirts all around also help in the sporty theme of the car.


The low slung interiors would welcome you and the seats would hug you like an old lover. The interiors are unlike any Maruti in the country and this is to be expected, as this is the flag ship model. Even the quality of materials used is un-Maruti like. Everything has a premium feel to it and not one plastic looks out of place. The US and European spec cars sport leather seats but this may be ditched from the Indian market scene as leather seats get very hot in our climate. A more useful polyvinyl Leatherette would be used. A high end feature of the Kizashi is that it would come standard with keyless entry as well as keyless ignition.

Driver’s as well as co-passenger’s seats are heated and have a 10 way adjustable and programmable memory. The steering wheel is a three piece unit and looks similar to one from the Volkswagen Jetta. It is though bigger than the Volkswagen unit. It houses the usual audio, Bluetooth and cruise controls. The only let down that we felt, was in the dials of the car. They look too simple and a bit out of place with the sporty interiors. A more A-star like pop out rev counter would have helped. Other data like fuel efficiency, tripmeter, distance to empty details are shown by the digital interface housed between the rev counter and odometer.

The rear seats is which, is another disappointing feature. The rear passengers have their individual aircon controls. It has a center tunnel intrusion which makes life bit difficult for the middle passenger. The rear seats recline nicely and offer good under thigh support but it is best suited for only two passengers. Three upright would be quite intimate. This even though the Kizashi been wider than its competition. There are many cubby holes around the cabin as one would expect from a big sedan. The boot space is Camry rivaling at 525 liters. It has less suspension struts intrusion and has a lower loading lip. Plus factor in that the rear seats split and fold down completely to reveal about 1237 liters of space.

Handling and ride quality

The Kizashi is based on the Suzuki Swift platform and that isn’t a bad thing to start with. The Indian Swift handles like a dream, not to mention the numerous awards it has won world-wide. Expect the Kizashi to handle similar to its smaller cousin.

Across the globe, the Kizashi is said to have a handling which is in between the class leading Accord and the Mazda 6. Now, that is speaking volumes of its handling. Its ride is between that of the Camry and the Accord. This means that it rides well over all surfaces but the ride is a bit jiggly around the corners. The suspension is said to be more sophisticated than its competition and it upfront sports a Macpherson strut with coil springs while a Multi-link suspension does duties at the rear. Globally, the Kizashi is available in FWD and AWD but in India, it may sport only FWD.

The NVH has been taken care of by Maruti Suzuki making it one of the vehicles with the lowest NVH in its class. Automobile journalists across the world have applauded the near silent ride of the Suzuki.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Kizashi would be launched in India with the only engine option that it is available world-wide with, the 2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine. It produces 185 hp at 6,300 rpm and 177 nm of torque at a low 3,800 rpm. It is a DOHC unit having 16 valves and an aluminium piston block head. This makes it a light engine and hence more powerful and fuel efficient. The gearbox used would be a sweet shifting 6 speed manual or a CVT transmission. Both the options would be available. The 3,240 pound sedan is said to cross the 0-100 kmph barrier in under 8 seconds. Now this speaks volumes of the engine’s tractability and powress.

Been a Maruti, expect fuel efficiency to be top notch. The Kizashi is touted to give 11 kmpl in the city and about 16 on the highway. Couple that with a 56 liters fuel tank and this gives you high range. This is  simply the best figures for a sedan in its class. Bringing in a diesel power plant may help bring the fuel bills down. Maruti may plonk in the 1.9 liter multi jet engine from Fiat into this car. Performance may be blunted but the upside is the running costs.

Braking is handled by discs all-round. The vented ones at the front with the solid ones at rear have a 4 channel ABS, EBD and traction control assisting them in retarding the motion of the car. Safety is also in a class of its own with 8 airbags been offered alongwith Rain-sensitive wipers, Adaptive cruise control, reverse camera and energy crumple zones.


Suzuki have ventured into the premium luxury segment and this foray should be a marked success seeing the Kizashi’s capabilities. The very fact that it was shown in the Delhi Auto Expo 2010 says that it would be launched in India very soon. It has fuel economy to boot for, decent interiors, good safety and other features and above all a Maruti badge meaning that maintenance costs would be the lowest in its segment. The ride and handling is supposed to be the best in its class. The only factors working against it would be the Maruti badge, price point it would be pegged and the rear seat been not comfy enough to admit three.

The Maruti Suzuki Kizashi price might be between Rs.14-16 lakhs. Here are some Maruti Suzuki Kizashi specifications :

Technical specifications

Displacement: 2400cc, 4 Cylinder 16 valve DOHC

Engine Type: Petrol

Maximum Power: 185 Bhp

Maximum Torque: 177 Nm


Length: 4660 mm

Width: 1910 mm

Height: 1460 mm


Seating Capacity: 5

Tyre Size: 18″ Alloys

Suspension: Macpherson strut with coil springs at front and Multi-link suspension at the rear

Steering: Tilt and power assisted

Brakes: Front Ventilated disc and rear, solid disc

Gears: 6 Manual, CVT

Hyundai H800 Preview


Hyundai, the second largest car manufacturer in India and the largest exporter has been on a roll with launching many cars in India recently. Earlier on, they launched the I20 and then the refreshed version of the Sonata and Verna. Recently they launched the new Santa Fe as well as the i10. All these cars are running successfully. It would be just a matter of time before Hyundai takes the pedestal as the top car manufacturer in India. To realize this goal, Hyundai understands that they need to have a volumes player and tap the market of the migrating bike riders to car buyers public. This segment that is the A segment is dominated by the Maruti Alto, Chevrolet Spark and the segment leader Tata Nano. There is still some time for the Ultra Low Cost{ULC} car from Nissan and Bajaj-Renault alliance.

Hyundai has plans of releasing their small car code named H800 in India by mid of 2011. The car will slot below the Hyundai Santro Xing. It will have a 800cc engine. It is likely to produce around 50 bhp and 63 Nm of torque. This should make it the most powerful in its class, save for the Alto K10. It would sport a 5 speed manual gearbox for starters. It is rumored to have space similar to the Santro Xing but will be missing out on many key standard items as part of cost cutting. Expect the interiors to be also low rent than the Santro Xing. The Hyundai H800 price in India would be around Rs.2 lakhs for starters.

Depending on demand, Hyundai may as well put in a diesel power plant or even a hybrid version. But meeting costs is the meaning of the ULC and putting all of those aforementioned technologies will mean cannibalization for its Santro and I10 range. The New Hyundai H800 is said to incorporate the fluidic design concept adopted by Hyundai and will also have a fuel efficiency similar to the Nano’s.

Image Courtesy indianautosblog

Honda CR-V diesel Preview

Honda has had a long stint in India and still do have with their petrol powered cars. They make highly refined, elegant, comfortable but not value for money cars. Oh, lest we forget, they make only petrol cars. Honda always had this problem and they give the reason that the Indian fuel would harm their diesel cars. Even after the advent of many such premium brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes, and all having diesels in their line-up, Honda still stood their ground. Their dominion on the petrol powered motors still was strong in the soft roader segment. That did change recently with the advent of the  Hyundai Santa Fe, Chevrolet Captiva and the Toyota Fortuner. All the aforementioned cars are soft roaders and are available with a diesel power plant. This explains their high sales figures whereas the CR-V had to make do with a lone 2.4 liter petrol motor that isn’t the best in terms of fuel efficiency and moreover had a similar or more asking price than the diesel power plants.

Honda have recently announced that they would shoe horn a diesel power plant into their car-like soft roader. Yes, you read it correctly. Honda have felt the heat from the competition and want to be numer uno in the sales chart again. They have developed a new diesel mill and it is rumored to be a 2.2 liter common rail engine producing 134 Bhp @ 5,500 rpm and a high 347Nm of torque @ 3,300 rpm. This power is less than what the Fortuner and the Captiva or for that matter even the Santa Fe offers but the torque more than makes up for it.

Look-wise the New Honda CRV diesel will look the same as its petrol motored cousin. The only difference would be at the tail of the car which would sport a diesel tag or whatever nomenclature Honda chooses for their diesel. The interiors would have a big difference with the materials used now sporting a very rich and premium feel than the existing one. Minor styling changes would include changes in the alloy wheels design, sturdier front shock absorbers and redesigned bumpers to absorb crash energy at low speeds. The gear box would be revised and would now feature a 6 speed auto transmission. More use of sound deadening material would be used inside the cabin and under the hood to mask the diesel clatter. The diesel is slated to be one amongst the most fuel efficient in its class. It will give an average of 12 kmpl in the city and about 19 kmpl on the highway.

The New Honda CRV diesel would continue with the ride and handling of its petrol brother and this means a good pliant ride and handling like a car. The CR-V is the easiest soft roader to drive in its class and the diesel would carry this image forward.

The biggest point is that Honda CR-V petrol retails at Rs.24 lakhs and the diesel would be pegged at Rs.30 lakh. This would put it squarely in the soon to be launched BMW X1 and the Mitsubishi Montero. Most of the buyers in this segment would be more focused on brand image and that the BMW dolls out in plenty. Worth considering would be its rivals who at about Rs.8 lakhs less, are similarly reliable, have more equipment and also have a good brand image. The Honda CRV diesel in India would be launched in October 2011 and shortly after that, the same engine would be used in the Honda Accord.

Technical Specifications of the Honda CR-V diesel

Name: CR-V Diesel

Car Body Type: SUV

Segment: D Segment

Top Speed: 180 kmph

Fuel Consumption{ Highway}: 19.00 kmpl

Fuel Consumption{ City}: 12.00 kmpl.


Displacement: 2200cc, common rail diesel, 4 Cylinder

Engine Type: Diesel

Maximum Power: 134 Bhp

Maximum Torque: 347 Nm


Length: 4620 mm

Width: 1790 mm

Height: 1720 mm


Seating Capacity: 5

Steering: Power

Brakes: Front ventilated Disc, Rear solid Disc

Gears: 6 speed automatic

Ground Clearance: 187.00 mm

Kerb Weight: 1635.00 kgs.

Maruti SX4 diesel – Preview

Maruti started their diesel car operations by shoehorning a diesel power-plant into their small Zen car and then later the Esteem sedan. This diesel was sourced from Peugeot but had limited appeal due it not meeting emission norms and not having a good name for reliability as well. Since then Maruti has refrained from using a diesel engine. This was until the Fiat-Suzuki alliance happened and Maruti got the much acclaimed 1.3 liter multi jet from the Fiat stables. They fitted it into the best selling Swift some years back. And the rest as they say is history. The Swift petrol which already had a long waiting period had company in the Swift diesel. Then came the Swift Dzire model. The same diesel engine was put into the Dzire as well and now, it faces the same fate of having long waiting periods.

Seeing this popularity, Maruti has decided to give its now flagship, the SX4 with a diesel engine. This seems logical following on the footsteps of launch of the CNG model SX4. The SX4 petrol was losing out on an average fuel economy as compared to other models in its class. A Diesel should offset that. However Maruti have plans to introduce its own version of the Multijet. It wouldn’t be the 1.3 liter fitted with a turbo charger{one doing duties in the Tata Indigo Manza and the Fiat Linea but a new 1.6 liter DDIS pumping out 120 bhp with an incredible 220Nm of torque. The fuel efficiency would approximately 13 kmpl in city and a high 20 kmpl on the highway, with the diesel engine at the helm.

A few visual changes are guaranteed for the diesel sedan. This is going to be similar to the changes which were made in the Corolla diesel sedan. It is to distinguish the petrol and the diesel sedans. The New Maruti SX4 diesel will sport a DDIS tag at the rear for sure but minor changes would be there on the grill as well. The diesel would also have uprated suspension components upfront to negate the weight of the diesel engine. The transmission would the same 5 speed manual as found on the petrol version however its gear ratios would be altered to accommodate the additional torque. An automatic would also be offered much later, but it would still be within the price range of the base Honda City.

The same gum ball size tyres would be present on the diesel version as well but with a different alloy design. The New Maruti SX4 diesel would give the best performance in its class alongwith sufficient NVH. It is touted to be the next diesel rocket in its segment, the other one been the Hyundai Verna CRDI.

Maruti SX4 diesel in India would be launched in the first quarter of 2011. As with all Maruti’s the pricing would be spot on and expect the base diesel to go for Rs.8,90000 to Rs.9,70000 for the top end Zdi. The automatic would push up the price by another 50k. It would then be bang in the Chevy Cruze and Toyota Corolla segment.

Technical specifications of the SX4 diesel
  • Engine: 1597 cc (Diesel)
  • Power: 120 bhp
  • Ground Clearance (mm): 190
  • Length (mm): 4490
  • Width (mm): 1735
  • Height (mm): 1570
  • Torque: 220Nm
  • Wheel Base (mm): 2560
  • Boot space (litres): 485

New Fiat Bravo in India – Preview

New Fiat Bravo in India has successfully now established. However its road to success was not lined with roses. More so it had all thorns and then some more. Its resurgence started when it aligned with Tata Motors for its sales and after service. Fiat India haven’t looked back since. First they launched the Italian beauty, the Fiat Linea. This was welcomed by the Indian car buying public inspite of apprehensions about Fiat quality and service. Then came the Fiat 500 at a steep price of Rs.16 lakhs. Fiat didn’t expect volumes out of it as it was meant only as brand building exercise.

Next came the Fiat Punto. It was also lapped up by the Indian car buying public. Not satisfied with this, Fiat launched a 90bhp version for the Punto. It now carries the tag of hot hatch on it. This was just a precursor to another hot hatch- Fiat Bravo. The Bravo is one of the Fiat’s big super-minis across the world. Built on a similar chassis like the Fiat Punto and the Linea, the Bravo promises world class handling and ride. Ride on all the Fiats in India is well sorted. The Fiat Bravo is offered in 2 engine trims. A potent petrol and a competent diesel power plant. The diesel is the one of contention in India though. It is a 1.9 liter engine offering 150 bhp at 3800 rpm and torque of 305 Nm at 2000 rpm. The petrol on the other hand will sport the T-jet turbo motor from the Linea. It will put out 115 bhp and about 200 Nm of torque. The top speed of the Fiat Bravo diesel is estimated to be 190 Kmph and fuel efficiency is about 12 kmpl in the city. Truly hot hatch territory.

The Bravo is built on an extended Punto platform and hence this amounts to liberation of space for the rear passengers as well. Look-wise it is the best amongst the big hatches. It even surpasses the Honda Jazz on looks. It has a bold and planted stance. It can be related to the Punto with the placement of the head lamps and all. It also has all the creature comforts even for the base version. Fog lamps, Blue tooth and me, 16 inch alloy wheels, 4 way driver adjustable seats, Anti Braking Stability {ABS}, 2 airbags, climate control and a 2 din music player are some of the standard fare. The boot also offers 403 liters of space and the rear seats completely fold down like the Honda Jazz to liberate more space.

The bone of contention is that the Bravo would be priced at around Rs.10-11 lakhs. This is more than what the Jazz is priced for however at this price point, you get a formidable and very competent machine. It is expected to be launched at around March 2011. Its main competitors would be the Hyundai I20, Skoda Fabia, Chevrolet’s long forgotten Optra SR-V and the competent Honda Jazz.

Technical specifications of the Fiat Bravo diesel

Height: 1520mm

Width: 1760mm

Length: 4021mm

Engine location: Front

Engine: 1910cc, turbocharged multijet engine

Max. Power: 150bhp @4000rpm

Torque: 305 Nm @ 2000 rpm