Hatchbacks are hot too in 2017, with Maruti undoubtedly set to lead the pack. India’s largest automaker has big plans for the country with the launch of the new third-gen Maruti Swift and the highly-anticipated Maruti Baleno RS. Chevrolet is set to breathe life back into the Beat with an all-new model, while luxury carmakers such as Volvo and Mini are set to bring in some of their own models.
Featured here are the hatchbacks – new and facelifted – that are heading to our shores soon.
New Maruti Swift
Although it still sells in larger numbers, Maruti’s popular hatchback has lost some steam owing to the bigger, more upmarket Baleno. But next year, Maruti will replace the current model with an all-new car that promises to be even lighter than the bantamweight Baleno. And considering that it will continue with the same engines, its fun factor and fan following are only expected to increase. Suzuki’s 111hp 1.0-litre Boosterjet turbo-petrol from the upcoming Baleno RS could also be among the engine options.
To keep it distinct from the Baleno, the Swift is likely to be similar in size to the current model. Exterior styling is expected to be sportier, with larger air dams, a big hexagonal grille, and the familiar ‘floating roof’ look. Interiors too will receive a major overhaul, and will continue the sporty theme of the exterior. Highlights include a flat-bottom steering wheel and a hooded instrument binnacle.
Coming: Mid 2017
Price: Rs 5-8 lakh
Engines: 1.0 P, 1.2 P, 1.3 D
New Chevrolet Beat, Beat Activ
Part of Chevrolet’s strategy to bring in ten new cars for India by 2020, is the next-gen Beat that’s expected to arrive in 2017. A major upgrade of the outgoing car, rather than an all-new model, the new Beat will get a more modern-looking face and a premium interior with features like Chevrolet’s MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. Engines are likely to include three-pot motors – the current car’s 1.0-litre diesel and a new 1.0-litre petrol.
A more exciting option is the Beat Activ, which is a jacked-up crossover version of the Beat,
replete with big alloy wheels and body cladding. It is likely to be launched after the hatchback.
Price: Rs 4-6 lakh
Engines: 1.0 P, 1.0 D
Maruti Baleno RS
The Baleno is Maruti’s first truly successful premium car. This lightweight hatchback, known for its sprightly manners, will introduce Suzuki’s 1.0-litre, three-pot turbo-petrol engine in India in the RS variant. With 112hp on tap, it’s not a full-on hot hatch, but it will definitely give the Polo GT a run for its money. The added performance and a sporty body kit aside, the RS could get disc brakes on all four corners.
Coming: February 2017
Price: Rs 8-10 lakh
Engines: 1.0 P
India-spec Maruti Ignis details revealed
Maruti Ignis launch on January 13
Maruti Baleno RS launch in February
2017 Suzuki Swift global unveil on December 27
Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017
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