Hatchbacks marked significance importance in lending a giant leap to the automotive horizon of India. Since the bridging gap of price between SUVs/compact SUVs and premium hatchbacks taken the tug of war on front foot, the latter segment has turned a bit sour on the part of excitement that used to be delivered during those earlier days. The expected hatchback launches of 2015, inclusive of compact and premium both, will give an insight whether the other segments like entry-level sedan and those SUVs/compact SUVs will bite in more than they are needed. Or the compact would stretch farer than they deserve to. Scroll down to spill the beans…
Tata Nano Twist Active
Tata Nano “Twist” was the major change to the world’s cheapest car after its launch, but another leap to it is expected to arrive soon as the sales results is showing no remorse for the changes made and investment pumped. Going with the “Active”, Nano will show up with tail gate opening and a mild facelift with an automatic (AMT) gearbox for urban buyers. However, the cosmetic makeover will sure-footedly make the model expensive than before. But to be precise about it, likewise to the tag of world’s cheapest car the automatic will also be the world’s cheapest automatic available. And, the possibility of a diesel version is ruled out for present. So, this model may have to wait for some more years to deliver the max from single litre of fuel. With an expected price of Rs 2.5 lakh Nano Active don’t derive an exact rival but Maruti Alto 800 pose to be the nearest.
Tata’s another effort in the league to patch up those rugs of bad past is strewn with numerous mass selling products designed to also cater the lifestyle buyers (but for a very acute chance). Another one in the list after new Nano is “Kite”, which will lock horns with the likes of Maruti Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon. There is also an extension for it to rage against the Chevrolet Beat, Hyundai i10 and Celerio if planted rightly in the band. Likewise to the other Tata cars, this one wouldn’t be an exception in offering acres of spaces inside the cabin. The good news here is that 1.4-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol will make way under the hoods. The speculated price for being tied around its neck will be in the range of Rs 4 and 5 lakh.
Just don’t be fed up, this is the last Tata car in the list. A premium over the rest, to be pitted against the likes of Honda Jazz, Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20 Elite and more, it was previewed at Delhi Auto Expo 2014 and would be based on the similar designing language of the sub-4 metre sedan Tata Zest. The 1.3-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol to be on the list, and that AMT gearbox too will make the way here. Pricing expected to be in the vicinity of Rs 5.5 lakh and above.
New Ford Figo
Ford’s most promising and appealing car after EcoSport is the new Figo, meant to fetch number of footfalls to the showrooms. This model is reported similar to the one that was launched in Brazil named as Ford Ka. Over this new hatchback, the Blue Oval Logoed carmaker seemed planning a more upmarket image with level and numbers of equipments going to be provided for the expected cost of Rs 4.5 lakh and above. Sync infotainment system is one such example to name for now. The drivetrain of 1.5-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol both shall be present in the market.
Honda’s offering Jazz is the only one left in market, after Ford Figo, for the makeover. But not too late to the party, new Jazz launch during the 2015 will make better provision for Japanese automaker of foraying deeper in the veins of this country. On-board the 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel and 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol both, automaker is confident to count endless number of sales which since it is been missing due to the lack of diesel engines. Likewise to other Honda models this one too will make a pricier statement against the likes of Volkswagen Polo GT, Hyundai i20 Elite and many more.
Fiat Punto EVO Abarth
Fiat’s new hatchback called as Punto Evo is speculated to go under the knife of performance department called ‘Abarth’; means if happened it will be the only hatchback in the segment that would be most powerful throughout the country rolled-out from the specialists – company’s official performance department. The Volkswagen Polo GT will be dethroned and even the Ford EcoSport with EcoBoost will get a good blow since bound to be thwarted in the estimated price band of Rs 9.5 lakh. And to make that possible, the 1.4-litre T-Jet petrol engine from Linea is lined to do the job of raking an immense 140bhp.
Maruti Celerio Diesel
Celerio of Maruti has garnered enough response for automaker to take an affirm decision of bringing a diesel version to it. The AMT gearbox which released a fresh trend amongst the carmaker at the time of launch was expected to see the same transmission in the diesel too, but sadly there aren’t such concrete reports doing rounds of the wire to claim that. The fresh lease of technicalities with this car is going to be its engine which will be manufactured by Maruti itself measuring 800cc with two-cylinder. However, the equation doesn’t look to be so powerful, but it would be affordable and efficient – after all it will be the first car to see the small diesel engine of Maruti.
New Volkswagen Beetle
New Beetle has made us waited quite long. Looking to the inputs from buyers and its life spent in the country, Volkswagen must be in the urge to roll-in a new Beetle from the sleeves. Evident from the lifestyle buyers taste, despite being too expensive (approx Rs 28 lakh), it still holds the year long waiting period and the reason for it being pricier is VW import it as a completely built unit so a heavy downpour of duties and taxes are obvious. This time, the changes are expected to be done majorly on the nose, and cabin to held just minute nip and tucks. Against the line to 1.4-litre turbo petrol and 2.0-litre turbo petrol engines there aren’t options of diesel mentioned. Mini Cooper and Fiat 500 Abarth found to be its nearest rivals.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Fiat 500 made way to India years back but failed to make a stand against the Volkswagen Beetle and MINI Cooper due to the lack of popularity. Earlier, it was only 1.3-litre diesel engine going the duty for it here. Now, the game is going to change as this Italian carmaker has planned to launch the 165bhp version being pumped out by a 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. Hopefully, it will only make way to the platters of niche audience. The pricing, approximately Rs 25 lakh, if done rightly will bring fortunes from the repertoire and would also set the game for its performance-brand Abarth in India.
Nissan ailing dreams of reaching the masses without harnessing its own image is fulfilled with the Datsun GO. The next step to it will be the MPV GO+ which will then be followed by Redi-GO hatchback honed with crossover-type looks and the stylish cosmetic gimmicks. The concept Redi-GO unveiled at Delhi Auto Expo 2014 was eye-appealing as well as generous on space. And if that is to go by for the production version, which looks possible, then the final product will be a stylish name in the category of under Rs 4 lakh. Power to it will come from a 800cc petrol engine and all new platform where both will be shared by the Renault due to an alliance between both of them. Hyundai Santro is the exact car to look for drawing the rivalry at, and Maruti Alto 800 too don’t fall out of the context yet.
New Renault Small Car
Renault’s upcoming offering will be similar to that of the Nissan and would be based on that affordable Common Module Family (CMF) platform (of Renault), called as CMF-A. The twist in this story is Renault will be the first to bring it to the market as decided in the papers of alliance. There shall not be disappointment as the duos always thrived to bring up a different model to the plate even after sharing the same platform, for e.g. Micra-Pulse, Sunny-Scala or Duster-Terrano. Hence, its prices are expected to be near to Rs 3 lakh and it shall rival likes of Hyundai Eon as well Maruti Alto 800, with the same aforesaid 800cc petrol engine under the hoods.