The helter-skelter run of auto enthusiasts from one stall to the other at the Auto Expo is a usual sight. Considering the hysteria created by car makers, this is much expected. If the last Auto Expo 2010 had automobile lovers drooling over Kizhashis, Camaros, and of course the Beetles, this year manufacturers have upped the ante. The scene at Auto Expo 2012 is nothing short of a mela with more than 70000 people descending to Pragati Maidan each day to get a glimpse of the eye-candy automobiles that will soon set the Indian roads on fire. This year, even before the auto expo began, showstoppers were already being talked about. And topping the charts were the legendary Minis, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Sonata, Renault Duster, Mahindra Rexton and more!
Ford EcoSport – Ford India, post the success of the Figo and the new Fiesta has become quite aggressive. Ford unveiled its compact SUV, which will be produces from the plants in India and Brazil and will be sold at 100 markets worldwide at the on-going Auto Expo. It will have two engine options – a 1-litre, 3-cylinder turbo, direct injection petrol engine. EcoSport is the second of eight products the company plans to bring to India by mid-decade. The company did not specify the expected time of launch and price of the car, however, it is expected to be in the sub Rs. 10 lakh category to get tax exemptions.
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BMW MINI – Even before its launch in India, the car that made its debut in an english movie ‘The Italian Job’ was already a legend. After Volkswagen brought it’s legendary ‘peoples car’ (albiet it’s not affordable anymore) to India, it was only a matter of time before Mini made its entry. Born British, Mini was brought over by BMW in 1994 and since then has undergone many a design changes, although the silhouette remaining the same. Mini comes with a 1.6 litre engine and is priced at Rs25 lakh onwards. The car will come in both petrol and diesel versions (automatic). The highly sub-compact car will face stiff competition from Volkswagen Beetle who probably is the only competitor for Mini at this point of time.
Hyundai Sonata – Hyundai had a blockbuster 2011 with its Verna and then the Eon. Both cars received rave reviews and was much appreciated for the fluidic design it chose for its new cars. Going forward from there, the South Korean car makers have unveiled the new Sonata with the same fluidic design that sport the Verna. The new Sonata with a 2.4litre petrol engine under its hood and a price tag of Rs 17-20 lakh could prove to be a tough competition to Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana and Volkswagen Passat. The new Sonata has already caught the attention of probable buyers and hopefully this time around Hyundai comes out of the jinx of not being able to make a mark in the big car category.
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Renault Duster – Even though Renault didn’t make quite an impression on the Indian minds in its earlier avatar, this time around, they have gone aggressive. Renault showcased its no-joke tough off-roader Duster to the Indian masses. The SUV is expected to come with two engines – a 1.6-liter petrol engine and a 1.5-liter dCi engine, available in two sets of tunes for the performance oriented.
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Mercedes- Benz SLS AMG Roadster – With a dwindling market share after the onslaught of luxury cars in India, Mercedes Benz used the Auto Expo very intelligently to showcase its new styling Mercedes products to the masses. Among the array of display, it was the SLS AMG Roadster that got the most eyeballs. The Roadster is powered with the V8 four cylinder engine that has a displacement of 6208cc. It takes merely 3.8 seconds to go from 0 to 100 and has a top speed of 317.
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Mahindra Rexton – Mahindra had a stupendous 2011 with the success of XUV500. The company has since then been in the news for its sub compact Xylo but the officials had another surprise in mind when it came to auto expo. Mahindra unveiled the Rexton with a 2.7 liter turbocharged common-rail diesel engine. Rexton is based on the same platform Mercedes M Class and has integrated the same Ssangyong experience. The SUV is expected to be launched during the Diwali time year and is expected to be priced above the XUV500.