Audi Launches its Q3 model in the Indian market

The German luxury car manufacturing company, Audi today launched its compact luxury sport utility vehicle, the Audi Q3 in India. It is the youngest member in the company’s lineup was originally revealed at 2012 Auto Expo this year. It is one of the most awaited vehicles to hit the roads of India in recent times. Featuring an efficient and powerful 2.0 TDI engine, it is available for the price of Rs. 26,21,000 onwards for base trim level and Rs. 31,49,000 onwards for higher variant. It will be offered at 19 Audi dealerships across India.

The Audi Q3’s introduction is in line with the automaker’s top down strategy for the country; it’s immediately recognizable as a youngest member in the company’s lineup. Each and every aspect of Q3 glass cases Audi technology –the drivetrain, the body, the multimedia and assistance systems and the chassis. Mr. Michael Perschke, Head at Audi India stated that currently, just 500 Audi Q3 models will be offered for initial booking and are certain that it will be repeating the success of Audi Q7 and Audi Q5 and further consolidate their leadership position in luxury sport utility vehicle class.

Audi Launches its Q3 model in the Indian market

The Audi Q3 is an efficient, versatile and sporty urban vehicle and its positioning of start young clearly describes the segment which the company is targeting.

Features – Base Grade:

  • Radio remote control
  • Front centre armrest
  • Rear parking aid
  • Cruise control

Infotainment

  • Passive speakers
  • Concert radio
  • Audi music interface
  • Driver information system
  • Bluetooth Interface
  • Voice dialogue system

Features – High Grade (additional over Base Grade)

Infotainment

  • Audi sound system
  • Driver information system with colour display

Independent Options (Available on both grades)

  • Storage package
  • Panoramic glass roof

Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

It is news for those who have been looking up to Tata since a long time as the much-hyped CNG version of people’s car aka Nano will be rolling out most probably by March 2013. The car was showcased by Tata at Auto Expo 2012 held in Delhi in January, 2012. The response that the car got at the Auto Expo was overwhelming which made Tata initiate serious talks about launching the car in the next fiscal. In a recent revelation, Tata gave out a statement confidently announcing the release of Tata Nano CNG fuelled version by the next fiscal.

The price of fuel in India has been sky-rocketing since a long time and owing to the recent Rs.7.50/- hike in the price of petrol, more and more people are opting for diesel and CNG powered cars rather than petrol. Thus, analyzing the situation, it is somewhat plausible that the release date of Tata Nano CNG might be pre-ponedas the eagerness of the arrival of Nano CNG in the market is increasing day by day. Presently, only the petrol variant of Nano is there in the market but it is being said that the price of the new upcoming CNG model will probably be around 15-20,000 rupees more than that of the present petrol model.

Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

Coming to the configuration of the car in the market, the new Nano CNG will have both petrol as well as CNG fuel operands in it. The driver can easily switch between both of the fuels and all that h needs to do is push a button that has been placed on the dashboard. CNG presently is much cheaper than petrol and the upcoming Tata Nano CNG will probably go on to become one of the cheapest CNG cars available to the people of India. Initially, following the Auto Expo 2012, there were several enquiries from people who were keen on the diesel variant of Tata Nano. Presently Tata has not given any statement regarding it but probably it has a chance of making its way into the market next year after Nano CNG is launched.

The new Tata Nano CNG will be powered by a twin-cylinder 624cc engineand this engine will be tuned up to a 4-speed manual transmission system. Tata has worked a lot on the CNG version of Nano in order to reduce any sort of power loss while the car is in motion. Thus, CNG is pushed into the engine in a sequential manner which safeguards the engine and other components. Thus, on the basis of the thesis, we can ascertain that the deliverance of the torque as well as the power of the Nano CNG will be ideally similar to that of the ongoing petrol variant of the car. The new Tata Nano CNG will be having a petrol tank of 15 L capacity and a CNG tank of 35 L. It will also be equipped with an integrated leak detection system built to monitor gas leaks.

Tata Nano CNG to roll out by March 2013

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Tata Motors showcased the Safari Storme at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi and it is about time the rugged SUV hits the market. The second generation of Safari Storme is expecting a launch in June end or early July.

Though its not the most handsome Tata car, the Safari Storme loses weight and grows bigger than the current generation Storme. Meanwhile, there is subtle change to the design of the car, which will avoid the cannibalization of the current model, as it will continue to serve further.

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Featuring a hydroformed body-on-ladder chassis, the upcoming Tata Safari Storme will be platformed alongside the Aria. Although the model will grow in size overall, it will take sharper cuts with 5.4 meters turning radius in comparison to 6 meters turning radius of the current runner. It features wider track-width at the front and opts for double wishbones suspension instead of the torsion beam. This will make it very efficient in urban traffics as well as out on the trail.

In terms of interiors, the car gets plenty of plastic trims in the fittings and panel gaps. There is no change in the seating arrangement and the Safari Storme comes as a seven-seater featuring 2X3X2 configuration. We are going to miss the rear hanging spare wheel, as Safari Storme opts for under-frame spare wheel mounting.

Tata Safari Storme interior

Power will be drawn from the 2.2-liter DiCOR engine also doing duty in the Aria. This common rail diesel engine punches out 140 bhp peak power and 320 Nm torque. It features a variable geometry turbocharger for improved fuel economy at low speeds and groundbreaking performance at high speeds. Mated to the powerful diesel unit is a G-76 five-speed manual gearbox with iterated gearing ratios. For improved off-road capabilities, the Tata Safari Storme features Borg Warner transfer case for shifting from two-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive on the go.

In terms of safety, Tata has employed 4-channel ABS with EBD, all 4 discs, a new rack-and-pinion steering system with collapsible steering column, improved crumple zones, side intrusion beams on all doors, dual SRS airbags and engine immobilizer.

Tata Safari Storme expecting a June-July launch

Pricing of the Tata Safari Storme takes a massive leap form the current Rs. 7-9 lacs range to Rs. 9-12 lacs range. The SUV will eat into the sales of Mahindra Scorpio and upcoming Renault Duster.

Fiat Punto 90 hp Sports to launch on 18th May

The Punto is one of our favorite hatchbacks in the country, with spacious interiors, great drivability and Italian styling. It did not do greatly in India, due to availability of other hatchbacks at a more competitive price. Fiat does not have a widespread network of dealerships and service centers across the country, which subtracts customers from its list. However, now that the Italian carmaker is spreading its foothold in the country, it is confident on taking bolder and more powerful steps. Matter at hand is the launch of Fiat Punto 90 hp, which is scheduled for 18 May.

This will be the third product by Fiat in the 2012 calendar year. It previously launched the Fiat Punto and Linea at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi and revealed no other plans for the year. However, the Italian automaker did announce its plans to expand the dealership network in India, and has only recently established independent networks.

Fiat Punto 90 hp Sports to launch on 18th May

Dubbed, the Grande Punto Sports, is set to roll out on 18th May, sources reveal. Under the hood is a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel motor variable geometry turbocharger, which is good for a 90 hp, 209 Nm output. This makes the Punto Sports, the most powerful diesel hatch in its segment.

As a part of the Sports version, the Punto is also expected to feature some race-specific features like body decals, blackened roof, restyled alloys and race stripes. The sporty guise is expected to follow inside with red stitches on leather seats and chrome inserts dashboard. With revised excise duty by Union Budget, you may have to shed Rs 60-70k extra for the Punto Sports.

With the launch of the Punto 90 hp Sports, Fiat will also take the opportunity to launch the Fiat Caffe in Koregaon Park Pune, its second in country. Stay tuned for official launch coming Friday.

Chevrolet Cruze facelift coming in June

GM India offers the muscular Cruze in the entry-level D-segment sedans. Competing against European rivals, the Cruze has done fairly well in the Indian market. While the facelift version was expected to arrive at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi, the delay was rather displeasing for the Chevy fans. The wait is over, and the Chevrolet Cruze facelift will be introduced in India coming June.

While the outgoing model was one of the best-sellers in the segment, the facelift is total knockout. Not only does it grow in terms of styling and charisma, there is a new Z-Series engine under its hood. As seen on the previously debuted Chevrolet Cruze estate, the facelift sedan gets wider chin on the front, restyled headlamps & fog lamp clusters and sportier air-dams. On the side profile, the lines are similar to the outgoing model, but there are freshly reworked alloy wheels, while sleeker taillights finish the work at rear. The upgrades on the interior are minor with the new ‘MyLink’ smartphone app debuting in the Cruze facelift.

Chevrolet Cruze facelift coming in June

GM offers more exciting power plant for the Chevrolet Cruze facelift. The current model is powered by a 1991 cc VM-Motori petrol engine that thumps 148 bhp peak power. For the facelift version, GM offers a 1998 cc Z-Series engine that adds extra ponies with a final output of 161 bhp and 360 Nm torque. Not only is it quicker and faster, but GM claims that the new motor is more refined and gives superior drivability. With an improved turbocharger, the Cruze facelift has reduced turbo-lag with improved fuel-efficiency and emission figures.

Transmission options include a six-speed manual and automatic version. Pricing will also see a marginal update, with 3-4 percent more pegged for the new Cruze sedan. This will put the ex-showroom prize tag at Rs 13.5 lacs  in the Cruze manual, while the automatic trim will be offered at Rs 16 lacs. Looking at the upgrades on the new Cruze, it is worth waiting a little longer until the product hits the showroom.

2012 Mercedes ML350 CDI launch scheduled for May 15

Following the hike in excise duty proposed in Union Budget 2012-13, several automakers were compelled to offer steeper prices on their models. On the other hand, several car launches were delayed, eyeing a possibility of re-pricing the vehicles. One such anticipated launch was of the Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI. Debuted at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi, the SUV was scheduled for an April launch, which is now slated for May 15 in New Delhi.

The first batch of Mercedes Benz ML350 SUVs will be bought to the shore via CBU unit, inviting an excise duty of 75 percent. However, the assembly will commence at Chakan facility in Maharashtra from September 2012, which will certainly shrink the aggressive excise duty attracting more potential customers.

2012 Mercedes ML350 CDI launch scheduled for May 15

Power for the new ML class will be drawn from a 3.0-litre V6 diesel unit that thumps out 258 bhp peak power and 620 Nm peak torque. Transmission option is Merc’s brilliant 7G-tronic transmission that can pull the SUV from 0-100 kmph in 7.4 seconds, while boasting a 224 kmph top speed, which is as stunning for an SUV.

For the later phase, Mercedes could also offer a smaller and more fuel-efficient, 2.2-litre diesel motor. In the market, the Mercedes Benz ML350 CDI will go up against premium class SUVs like the Audi Q5 and BMW X3. Watch out this space for the official launch.

Nissan India sales up by 187% in April

Nissan Motor India Private Ltd (NMIPL) registered a total sales figure of 3,467 units for previous month, recording a spectacular growth by 187 per cent in comparison to the previous year’s figures.

The Japanese auto giant has managed to reach the heights thanks to the recent launch of its flagship sedan, Sunny that sold over 2,012 units in the month of the April 2012. Launched back in September 2011, the Sunny sedan sales has reached up to 16,173 units in past eight months.

In the hatch segment, Nissan Micra is doing extensively well, selling over 1,435 units in April 2012. This is a 19 per cent growth over the last years figure in April.

Nissan Micra in India
The Nissan X-TRAIL lifestyle SUV, Teana premium sedan and iconic 370Z sports car comprised the remaining sales.

Thought the diesel variant of the flagship sedan, Nissan Sunny arrived much after its launch in September 2011, the car has contributed to major sales of the company. After the launch of the diesel trim, the sales figure just boomed immediately.

Mr Ishida Takayuki, Managing Director of Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd said: “Our sales in April have been very impressive and reflect customer trust and confidence in our products. The Nissan Sunny has received an overwhelming response from the market and we are confident that we will continue to excel this year and propel growth for all our products.”

Mr Dinesh Jain Chief Executive Officer, Hover Automotive India (HAI), Nissan’s sales and marketing partner in India, said: “Our aggressive initiatives have enabled us to acquire the market acceptance and this coupled with our aggressive dealer ramp up on a National level have been contributing factors towards the success of the brand Nissan today.”

Nissan X-TRAIL in India
The speedy increase in sales forms part of the upward thrust that the Japanese automaker has created in India following the introduction of fresh models within the period of 18 months. Its high-tech manufacturing facility at Chennai facilitates the production of local and export models of Nissan. The Company is already planning a third launch shortly. Meanwhile, Nissan showcased its urban utility vehicle, Evalia at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi with Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor taking the wraps off the vehicle.

Nissan has expanded its country-wide dealership network to 47. The flagship model, Nissan Sunny is pegged at Rs 578,000 for its XE base variant, Rs 688,000 for its XL mid variant and Rs 768,000 for top XV variant (as per ex-showroom prices).

As part of Nissan’s total commitment to its customers, the Company offers the Sunny with a standard manufacturer’s warranty of 2 years/50,000kms (whichever is earlier), and an extended purchasable warranty of 2 years/30,000 kms.

In addition, Nissan also provides after sales support to the prestige customers with round-the-clock assistance and a portfolio of customer care and service schemes including Extended Warranty and Roadside Assistance for all its products.

Piaggio Micro Car Likely to be Manufactured in India

The Italian automobile manufacturing company, Piaggio is the world’s 4th biggest producing company of scooters and bikes. It designs, develops and markets small commercial vehicles as well. As per the report, the automaker could make India a manufacturing hub for its 3-seater micro city vehicle planned for Europe. Two years ago, it unveiled a vehicle codenamed NT3 that’s 2.4m tall and is propelled by a 350cc powerplant. The Piaggio micro car is likely to be introduced in the year 2015 and Europeans are being attracted towards the micro car’s concept which owing to their petite frame is easily maneuverable in Europe’s the busy streets.

Piaggio Micro Car Likely to be Manufactured in India

At present, the Piaggio micro car category is enjoying the attractiveness with Daimler’s Smart and the Italian automaker wants to shine and rise in this rising market of micro vehicles. Mr. Gabriele Galli, Chief Financial Officer at Piaggio group stated that the most significant aspect of a micro car class is the cost and it’s going to produce a vehicle, which will cost less unlike the Daimler’s Smart.

Piaggio is also planning to introduce this micro car with diesel, hybrid and petrol as powertrain options. The 200cc version of micro car is also on the charts that will be introduced as a competitor of RE60 of Bajaj, a 200cc people mover, which Bajaj introduced at Auto Expo 2012 in Delhi. The famous brand Vespa in India was introduced by Piaggio India at a facility with a capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

Ford EcoSport Production Version Revealed

Ford, a multinational American automaker revealed its concept version of much awaited EcoSport just a day before the beginning of 2012 Auto Expo. This small sport utility vehicle was later introduced at the aforementioned auto expo before heading on the tour of entire nation. Today, at last the automaker unveiled the EcoSport sport utility vehicle’s production version in Brazil, one of the most significant markets for the company. The interior of Ford EcoSport features a dashboard similar to that on B-Max and Fiesta models. Nevertheless, it gains differently designed aircon vents. You will also find a display situated at the center of dash with Ford’s SYNC system.

Ford EcoSport Production Version Revealed

The Ford EcoSport offers comfortable seating capacity for five passengers, alongside abundance of space for cargo. It also features LED lights, while the spare wheel is located on the tailgate. It is based on B2E platform, which was designed and engineered by fused efforts from Mazda and Ford. The Ford EcoSport was designed keeping torsion rigidity and weight reduction in mind. Motivation for this small sport utility vehicle will come from a three-cylinder 1.0 liter DI turbo petrol powerplant. It will ultimately be marketed in almost 100 markets across the world.

Ford EcoSport Production Version Revealed

The Ford EcoSport sports key sport utility vehicle cues, including signature spare wheel located on the tailgate and confident stance. The footprint is small enough for city, yet it is rugged and small enough for trips to countryside or mountains. Designed by the company’s all-new international design language, it fuses high ground clearance with the practicality and agility of a compact vehicle. The wide hood has a refined surface language which suggests a dynamic spirit of energy and honed strength in motion and sweeps into sculpted bodylines. Contemporary, oblique headlights frame a high mounted trapezoidal grille that provides it a signature Ford face and an element of pride. The blacked out B-pillars and steeply raked windshield amalgamate the side glass into one elegant shape, conveying a modern, clean profile, supplementing a shape honed in wind tunnel for efficiency.

Ford EcoSport Production Version Revealed
On the whole, it will be available for the price range of between Rs. 7-9 Lakhs and should redefine the entry level sport utility vehicle class in India.

Mercedes CLC revealed before Beijing debut : Leaked images inside

With just days to go before the 2012 Beijing Motor Show kicks off, the official images of the new Mercedes CSC concept have hit the German website. The Concept Style Coupe (CSC) may roll out as the 2013 version of the CLA that may make it into production

Mercedes is expected to position the CLA below the C-Class in its portfolio as we had reported earlier. On the first look, the CLC has a glimpse of the CLS and the A-Class concept that made debut at the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi.

Mercedes has plans to launch the production variant in North America and China markets, before launching it in India, where it will be launched alongside several other products that will be positioned below the C-Class. There were also reports of Mercedes launching the new A-Class and B-Class for India, to battle for top position as luxury auto manufacturer.

Mercedes CLC revealed before Beijing debut

The CLC will share the fresh MFA platform with the Mercedes new A-Class and B-Class Sports Tourer. We had previously brought you the news of the German automaker launching the SUV, dubbed the GLC on the same platform.

Looking at other entry level cars in the Mercedes lineup, the CLC is expected to be powered from a 2.0-litre inline, four-cylinder turbo diesel, good for a 200 hp. Mated to the motor is a 7G-DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission and the CLC will run on all fours.

Mercedes will employ the Hungary facility for manufacturing the CLC, and it will roll out as the CLA model in the 2014 year. For more from the Mercedes CLC and CLA, stay tuned to this page.