After a gap of three years, the Auto Expo is finally back. This year’s event, as always, will see a slew of manufacturers showcasing multiple concepts, future technologies and upcoming models. Here’s the comprehensive Autocar India guide to this year’s biggest automotive event in India. But before we go ahead with the list of cars, here's our guide on all logistics about the Auto Expo 2023.
Like every year, Maruti Suzuki will have a sprawling pavilion at the Auto Expo. The brand will showcase no less than 16 different vehicles, which will include new concepts, existing models and some technology demonstrators.
Maruti YY8 Concept
First up will be an all-new fully electric SUV concept, which will be Maruti’s show-stopper at the event. This will also be the first look into the company’s EV plans for the Indian market. The country’s largest automaker is yet to launch an EV and has been noticeably slow in the fast-developing electric car market in India. Set to be unveiled on January 11, this concept will preview Maruti’s future born-EV SUV that will go on sale by 2025. Internally known as the Maruti YY8, this new SUV will be jointly built with partner Toyota, which will have its own version of this model. Developed for both domestic and international markets, the YY8 will be a global product, and around 50 percent of the production will be for international markets. The YY8 will be manufactured in Suzuki’s Gujarat plant for the domestic market as well as exports.
The second important vehicle display for Maruti will be the much-awaited five-door Jimny. Internally codenamed YWD, the five-door Jimny will most likely be shown on January 12. Essentially an elongated version of the three-door Jimny, the SUV will go on sale only by mid-2023. It will come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine mated to either a manual or an automatic gearbox and will have off-road-ready 4x4 as standard.
Baleno-based coupe SUV
Another global debut for Maruti will be the all-new Baleno-based coupe SUV. This new model, internally codenamed YTB, will be shown in final production-spec, and will be the carmaker’s first all-new vehicle launch for 2023. Expected to go on sale by March or April, this model will serve as Maruti’s entry-level SUV offering for its Nexa outlets. The Maruti YTB is also expected to mark the return of the 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, which was discontinued a few years ago.
MG is set to go all guns blazing for Auto Expo 2023, and will six new cars – the Hector and Hector Plus facelifts, Air City EV, MG 4 electric hatchback, MG5 electric estate and MG6 sedan.
MG City EV Concept
MG’s show-stopper at the event will be the Air City EV that will debut in a close-to-production concept guise. The radically styled two-door EV will be positioned as a premium commuter, and is based on the Wuling Air EV that’s already on sale in Indonesia. Measuring only 2.9 metres in length, it will be among the smallest cars on sale in India. The equipment list won’t be small though, with MG expected to bring features like twin 10.25-inch screens and connected car tech. It will get an LPF cell battery sourced from Tata AutoComp and sources tell us that the compact EV should do between 200-250km on a single charge. It will be launched in 2023, and prices are expected to be higher than the Tiago EV.
MG4 electric hatchback
The next debut for MG at the show will be the MG4. This new electric hatchback has already gone on sale in some international markets, but it’s still being evaluated for India. If launched, it is likely to get two battery pack options delivering a WLTP range of up to 452km. Unlike the Air EV, this is not a small hatchback. It measures 4,287mm in length and has a wheelbase of 2,705mm, which makes it almost the same size as the ZS EV sold here.
Hector and Hector Plus facelift launch
MG will also announce prices for the Hector and Hector Plus facelifts at the Auto Expo. Updates include a new front-end design, plus other cosmetic updates like a new tail-lamp assembly. The more substantial change is on the inside with a completely revised dashboard and a massive 14-inch touchscreen. MG is also adding its ADAS tech with the facelift. However, there won’t be any changes to the powertrain, which means it will continue with existing petrol and diesel engines. The Hector Plus facelift will also get similar updates.
MG5 estate and MG6 sedan
Meanwhile, the MG5 and the MG6 will just be showcases as the company will be gauging customer interest. The MG5 is a Carens-sized electric estate that comes with a 61kWh battery that offers a claimed range of 402km and is powered by a 156hp electric motor. The 5-seater estate is known for its practicality, tech-laden interior and large-sized boot. The MG6 is a Skoda Octavia-sized sedan that’s offered with a sole powertrain option – a 169hp, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine mated to a 7-speed DCT gearbox. The MG6 carries the same exterior and interior design language that was seen on the pre-facelift ZS EV in India.
Hyundai is expected to have a slew of concept cars on display at the event. This year, the brand’s theme will focus on autonomous driving tech and electric vehicles.
Ioniq 5 launch
The radically styled Ioniq 5 will be launched at the Auto Expo and is expected to be Hyundai’s hero product at the event. The locally assembled Ioniq 5 is expected to be priced cheaper than its Korean cousin, the Kia EV6, which is sold in India as a fully imported unit.
Taking the EV theme further, Hyundai will also bring its recently unveiled Ioniq 6 EV sedan to the Auto Expo. This new sedan with its swoopy styling is Hyundai’s answer to the popular Tesla Model 3 overseas, and essentially a production version of the Hyundai Prophecy concept that was on display at the previous Auto Expo. Both the Ioniq 5 and the Ioniq 6 share Hyundai group’s E-GMP skateboard platform, which makes them Born EVs, and this in turn allows for a more spacious cabin.
Hyundai will also showcase the Nexo fuel-cell electric vehicle (FCEV) SUV at the event. This is the third time Hyundai will be showcasing the FCEV model in India, having previously shown in 2018 and 2020. Positioned as a mid-size SUV, the Nexo’s power is a fuel cell stack which means its powered by hydrogen. The Nexo’s three hydrogen tanks have a combined capacity of 156.6 litres, enabling a 666km range in the WLTP cycle. More impressively, it can be topped up in just 5 minutes. It is powered by a front-wheel mounted electric motor that makes the equivalent of 161hp and 395Nm.
Hyundai Ai3 Concept
While Hyundai has not confirmed it, the brand may show another concept previewing its future sub-compact SUV that will go on sale in the second half of 2023. Codenamed Hyundai Ai3, this new vehicle will be a direct rival to the Tata Punch and the Citroën C3, and will sit below the Hyundai Venue.
Toyota’s show-stopper at the event will undoubtedly be the recently launched Innova Hycross. The brand will have multiple units of the new MPV on display. The Innova Hycross is a new MPV from the grounds up and features a petrol-hybrid powertrain, instead of diesel, with a claimed fuel efficiency figure of 23.24kpl. The new Hycross is larger, more stylish and better equipped than before, and will be sold alongside the Innova Crysta.
The new Land Cruiser 300 is also expected to be on display at the Auto Expo. While the SUV remains sold out for the time being, Toyota will not miss the opportunity to display its flagship at the Auto Expo in order to gather more consumer interest. The new Land Cruiser is based on the GA-F platform that’s based on TNGA, while retaining the body-on-frame construction which has been one of the SUV’s USPs. Internationally, the Land Cruiser gets two engine options – a 3.5-litre turbo petrol and a 3.3-litre diesel. The one in India, however, only gets the diesel.
GR Corolla hatchback
For performance enthusiasts, Toyota will also showcase the Gazoo Racing (GR) Corolla. However, there are no plans for the model to be launched here. The GR Corolla uses a single-scroll turbocharged 1.6-litre three-pot engine, also used in the acclaimed GR Yaris, but with power hiked up substantially to 304hp and torque boosted slightly to 370Nm. It is based on the latest-gen Corolla hatchback, which is sold overseas.
Apart from the Innova and the Land Cruiser 300, Toyota will also showcase its range of strong hybrid models, a plug-in hybrid, a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) and a flex-fuel hybrid. Additionally, Toyota will also display pure EVs along with hydrogen concept tech. Toyota hasn’t mentioned exactly which cars it will showcase, but we could see the new Prius, the Mirai FCEV and the Corolla flex-fuel hybrid, which Toyota had brought to India just a few months ago. Toyota could take the Auto Expo as an opportunity to launch the Urban Cruiser Hyryder CNG, bookings for which are already underway for a token amount of Rs 25,000.
BYD or Build Your Dreams, the EV-only brand from China, will be showcasing the all-new Seal for the first time in India at Auto Expo. The BYD Seal is the brand’s answer to the popular Tesla Model 3 in markets like Europe and China, and is a born-electric sedan. It is related to the Atto 3 SUV, which is already on sale in India. The Seal continues the ocean-themed nomenclature in BYD’s EV range, like the Dolphin, and features radical details like an all-glass roof.
The Seal is overall longer and has more space between the wheels than the Model 3. It uses the brand’s Blade battery tech, which will be seen in more and more EVs gradually in India and overseas. Apart from the Seal, BYD will display the Atto 3, which is priced from Rs 33.99 lakh in India, and the e6 MPV, which is priced from Rs 29.15 lakh.
Toyota will bring the Lexus brand to an Auto Expo for the first time and it will have multiple cars on display. Starting with its all-new flagship SUV, the Land Cruiser 300-based Lexus LX, which recently went on sale in India. It rivals the likes of the Range Rover and is sold only in the diesel 500d guise in India.
Lexus will also showcase the latest-gen RX SUV in India. The SUV gets Lexus’ new Chapter design language, and emulates the new ‘spindle body’ appearance of the all-electric RZ SUV. Dimensionally, the new RX is slightly bigger than before and gets more of a coupé-like profile. On the inside, the new RX gets a completely revised dashboard with a 14-inch touchscreen and upholstery made from vegan leather. In terms of powertrains, we are likely to get the ‘350h’ strong-hybrid variant making 245hp, and when launched, it will take on the likes of the BMW X5.
Lexus will also showcase the updated LC 500h coupé with minor exterior and interior tweaks. It will continue to be offered with a 359hp, 3.5-litre V6 hybrid powertrain, but, as before, we won’t see the V8 engine or convertible body style in India.
Next-gen Carnival (KA4)
The Korean brand will showcase the new-generation Carnival MPV at the Auto Expo, two years after its international debut, and like before, it is likely to be diesel only. The new Carnival gets SUV-inspired styling and is larger than its predecessor. It also has a longer wheelbase and rear overhang, translating to more space for the rear rows, and, like the current car, expect Kia to offer multiple seating layouts. In terms of equipment, the MPV comes loaded with features like powered front seats, wireless phone charging and ADAS tech.
Kia has also confirmed that it will showcase the EV9 electric-SUV concept at the event. Globally revealed in November 2022 at the LA Motor Show, the EV9 concept previews Kia’s flagship all-electric SUV, which will be almost as large as a Range Rover. The concept features a rugged look and an evolved version of Kia’s ‘Tiger Face’ front grille, which has gone digital and allowed for a new air-vent design at the front. This has helped reduce frontal mass and improve the SUV’s aerodynamic efficiency. Additionally, the front ducts feature solar panels to charge the battery, while the large 22-inch alloy wheels are designed to further improve aerodynamic efficiency. Like the EV6, which we have in India, the EV9 will be based on the firm’s E-GMP architecture and will be equipped with a 77.4kWh battery pack.
Moreover, Kia is likely to additionally showcase the fourth-generation Sorento. It is a large, three-row SUV which competes internationally with the Skoda Kodiaq. The latest-generation model made its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show back in early 2020 and is powered by a range of powertrains, including diesel, strong hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Although the carmaker is showcasing the model, it has no immediate plans to launch it here.
The Tata Punch EV will be one of the most anticipated models from the brand this year at Auto Expo. The all-electric version of the Punch will be the first model based on the carmaker’s Sigma platform that’s adapted for electrification. The model’s launch is expected around the festive season in 2023. The Punch EV is likely to use a similar powertrain set-up as Tata’s existing EVs. Tata is yet to reveal the battery specifications of the Punch EV, but like the Tiago and Nexon EVs, Tata could offer multiple battery pack options. Expect the Punch EV to cost Rs 1 lakh-1.5 lakh more than the top-end Punch AMT. Tata is following a multi-powertrain strategy to maximise the volume of its existing model lines as is evident by the Tiago and Tigor, which are available in petrol, CNG and electric. After the Punch EV, a CNG version is likely to be on cards, and could also be shown at the Auto Expo.
Curvv and Avinya concepts
Last year, Tata Motors showcased the Curvv and Avinya EV concepts, which will be displayed to the public for the first time at the Auto Expo. The Curvv concept is based on Gen 2 of the Nexon EV platform and essentially previews a future midsize coupe SUV – set to go on sale by 2024 – which will come with EV as well as ICE powertrain options. Meanwhile, the Avinya is a grounds-up EV that uses Tata’s more advanced Gen 3 architecture. Looking at its proportions and dimensions, it's clear that the Avinya is nothing but a purpose-built EV which has its styling based on batteries and electric motors placed at far corners to maximise cabin room. It also sees the usage of sustainable materials and also gets a unique aroma diffuser for the cabin.
At the Expo, Tata will also showcase future tech like hydrogen fuel, ADAS technology and updated connected car tech which the brand is expected to introduce on the Harrier and Safari facelifts soon.
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