Ashok Leyland has yet again unveiled the Stile MPV, keeping an event in Chennai where Nissan Chairman and CEO, Mr. Carlos Ghosn was present. The company had already unveiled the Stile MPV at the 2012 Auto Expo and we fail to understand what was this new unveil all about. Contrary to reports, Ashok Leyland hasn’t launched the Stile in the Indian market yet, which will only go on sale in the festive season (around October 2013). The Stile will be the second vehicle in Ashok Leyland’s LCV range, the first being the Dost.
The Ashok Leyland Stile needs no introduction, after all it’s a doppleganger of the failed Nissan Evalia. Both cars use the same platform but Ashok Leyland has tweaked the styling to give the Stile it’s own unique identity. Last month Nissan sold a paltry 36 units of the Evalia in the Indian market and we are not quite sure as to how Ashok Leyland will manage better sales numbers. The company might undercut the Evalia’s pricing by a significant amount, aggressively positioning it in the commercial segment.
Just like the Evalia, the Stile will be manufactured at Renault-Nissan’s production facility at Oragadam, near Chennai. Ashok Leyland will offer the Stile with the option of second and third row of seating, thereby fitting into requirements of commercial sectors. Ashok Leyland states in the press release that the Stile was designed to take care of tasks such as hotel shuttles, ambulances, taxis, courier services, panel vans, etc. We all know Nissan designed the Evalia and the Stile is just badge engineering. So how did the Japanese company position the Evalia as an urban class utility vehicle when it’s nothing but a van.
The Ashok Leyland Stile is underpinned by a monocoque chassis and the diesel engine is being called DIET. Better known as Nissan’s dCi, the 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 85 HP of power and 200 Nm of torque, coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The ARAI certified mileage of the Evalia is 19.3 km/l and the Stile should match it. The company will also offer a CNG version of the vehicle. Sliding doors and low floor makes the Stile an excellent alternative as a people and goods mover. The Stile gets sliding second row windows instead of butterfly type ones, captain seats in the second row with AC blower, closed glovebox and rear wiper, washer and defogger. These features are missing on the Nissan Evalia and are expected to be offered in the updated model due later this year. Prices of the Ashok Leyland Stile will be announced at the time of launch.