The 2018 Auto Expo marks the 14th edition of India’s largest motor show. Sure, fewer manufacturers participated this time around but the ones at the Auto Expo did put their best wheels forward. Far-out concepts, global unveils, important launches and even motorsport displays, Auto Expo 2018 had it all.
Here’s a quick run-through of the important exhibits at each manufacturer’s stand.
BMW’s display at Auto Expo 2018 is also its largest at the Indian motor show yet. Showgoers were treated to the sight of the gorgeous new i8 Roadster and also got a chance to see the all-electric i3S in the metal (or should that be carbon fibre?). But the models of real interest were the Mercedes E-class-rivalling BMW 6-series GT that was launched at Rs 58.9 lakh (ex-showroom, India) and the all-new BMW X3 that comes in May 2018. There was a lot for petrolheads too, with the India launch of the new M5 as well as updated versions of the M3 and M4. Oh, and there’s a new petrol X6 that made its India debut too.
Watch: BMW at the Auto Expo 2018 video
Dilip Chhabria’s DC Design always has something of note at the Auto Expo. It was the new DC TCA sportscar that drew eyeballs this year. The body structure is made of titanium, carbon-fibre and aluminium (hence the name TCA) to keep weight down. Power comes from a mid-mounted 320hp, 3.8-litre V6, so you’ll agree the TCA does have some interesting specs to boot. It’s been priced at Rs 42 lakh (ex-showroom) and only 299 units will be made.
Auto Expo 2018 is where the new, second-generation Honda Amaze made its global debut, and the reactions from the show floor suggest greater acceptance of the car’s shape vis-à-vis the original. Its plusher on the inside too, just as we had revealed earlier, but the big surprise is the addition of a CVT option for the diesel engine version of the Amaze. Also, shown at the Expo were the new Honda CR-V and Honda Civic, both of which have been confirmed for launch over the coming financial year. Of the other models on display, the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle and sexy Sports EV Concept caught our eye.
See more images of the new Honda Amaze here
Watch: Honda Amaze first look video
The Hyundai i20 facelift was launched at Auto Expo 2018. Prices start at Rs 5.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and Hyundai says the car is a better value proposition than before. It gets a styling update, courtesy a new front grille, a restyled tail gate and new alloy wheels. The cabin gets tweaks of its own as well as some equipment updates, and, come May 2018, the i20 will be offered with the option of an efficient CVT for the 1.2-litre petrol engine. Hyundai also showcased its green vehicle capabilities with all-electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Ioniq. Also, on display was the Kona SUV that could make its way to India as an EV in the future. Motorsport enthusiasts had the Hyundai WRC car to drool over.
Watch: Hyundai i20 facelift video
See more images of the Hyundai i20 facelift
Hyundai i20 facelift variants explained
The Korean carmaker made its India debut at the Auto Expo 2018 and did so in grand style with the display of the Kia SP Concept SUV. The handsome SP Concept previews the design of Kia’s first SUV for India that will come our way in 2019. In brief, the production version of the SUV will compete with the Hyundai Creta, among other rivals. Also on display was the hot Kia Stinger GT that was one among 12 other models from Kia’s international line-up at the motor show. Of the models of big interest were the Ceed hatchback, the Soul EV crossover, the Cerato sedan, the Sportage SUV and the Sorento SUV.
Watch: Kia SP Concept video
Watch: Kia at Auto Expo 2018 video
From SUVs to EVs, Mahindra had lots to show at the Auto Expo. True to tradition, Mahindra had a wild concept for the motor show this time too, namely the Stinger convertible SUV concept. It’s based on the TUV300 but looks like anything but the donor car. Mahindra executives promised that if the Stinger gets an encouraging enough response, it could be considered for production. The other big SUV unveil was of the SsangYong Rexton with Mahindra badging. The attractive SUV will go on sale in India in the months to come but the Rexton name will make way for another moniker. Mahindra also used Auto Expo 2018 to show its readiness for the electric future. The carmaker showcased its new EV platform, which will form the basis of electric Mahindras in the future, the electric version of the KUV100, the updated e2O NXT, and the Udo personal mobility concept and Atom concept that’s intended for cab aggregators.
Watch: Mahindra Stinger convertible SUV concept and EVs video
Watch: Mahindra Rexton video
The star of Maruti’s exhibit at Auto Expo 2018 was the funky Concept Future S. The design is more SUV than crossover, and points to a high-riding hatchback with rugged cues that will join Maruti’s line-up in the future. Maruti says the car will be big on space, despite being well under four metres in length. Also on display at the Maruti Suzuki stand was the all-electric e-Survivor concept. It’s meant to be a go-anywhere vehicle of the future. Think of it as Suzuki’s version of the lunar rover. Auto Expo 2018 is also where the public at large will get to see the all-new Swift in the metal. The Swift was officially launched with a starting price of Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Watch: Maruti Concept Future S first look video
Maruti Suzuki Swift: Which variant to buy?
Maruti Suzuki Swift: Price checker
Maruti Suzuki Swift variants explained
Mercedes-Benz had, well, a lot of star power at its Auto Expo 2018 exhibit. Starting from the top, the Maybach S 650 and S 560 got their India launch at the motor show. The S 650 sits at the top of Merc’s luxury sedan pyramid and comes with a 6.0-litre V12 engine that makes, wait for it, 1,000Nm of torque! Offering a different take on luxury will be the E-class All-Terrain that will go on sale in India soon. It’s the rugged version of the E-class estate and comes standard with all-wheel drive and enhanced ride height to give it some degree of off-road ability. The all-electric EQ SUV concept was also on display, while the AMG GTR, (formerly) the lap record holder at the Nurburgring, added a very bright shade of green to the Merc stand.
Mini unveiled the new Countryman at the Auto Expo 2018. The largest Mini on offer, the Countryman will officially go on sale in India in June this year and will be offered with the option of two petrols and one diesel engine. The new Countryman will be assembled in India at parent company BMW’s Chennai assembly unit.
Renault did not have any new cars for India on show but there was still plenty of eye candy at its exhibit. The Trezor concept sportscar made quite the impact with its low-slung shape and canopy-like access to the cabin. Of course, there had to be an EV on display too, and that role was fulfilled by the Zoe e-Sport. It’s small and quiet but make no mistake, it’ll outrun many an established sportscar. There was also a cool-looking hatchback concept designed at Renault’s design studio in India. Who knows, it could be a pointer of things to come from the French carmaker.
If we had to pick one manufacturer that made the biggest impression at Auto Expo 2018, it would be Tata Motors. The carmaker took the wraps off the H5X SUV concept and the sleek 45X hatchback concept, both of which give you an idea of what the Tatas of the near future will look like. We liked what we saw. Much closer to launch, however, were the Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP that promise accessible performance, while the much-talked-about Tiago EV and Tigor EV also got their first public showing at the Auto Expo 2018. Tata’s quirky sportscar concept, the Racemo, made its India debut as well, albeit in a fully electric avatar. Also showcased was the Nexon AMT that goes on sale soon, and the Nexon Aero that previews the soon-to-be-introduced personalisation options for the compact SUV.
Watch: Tata H5X first look video
Watch: Tata 45X concept first look video
Watch: Tata Tiago JTP and Tigor JTP first look video
Watch: Tata electric vehicles at Auto Expo 2018
Watch: Tata Nexon Aero first look video
Watch: 360-degree walk through of Tata’s Auto Expo 2018 exhibit
Toyota’s stand at the Auto Expo 2018 was centred around the Yaris sedan, its new mid-sizer for India. The Yaris has its interesting styling bits and will be big on features too. Keen pricing would help the Yaris take the fight to the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Ciaz. The full-size Land Cruiser and the Land Cruiser Prado were also on display at the Toyota exhibit.
See more images of the Toyota Yaris
Watch: Toyota Yaris first look video
Make a note of Uniti. The Swedish EV maker could be onto something for India. The Uniti One shown at Auto Expo 2018 with its two doors and two seats is more mobility concept than car. But there are also talks for a larger five-door version as plans for manufacture in India. Steering is via joysticks and there’s talk of autonomous capability too. Performance from the 22kW motor will be far from electrifying but with the 90 percent charge in just 20 minutes, at least range anxiety won’t be one of your worries.
Which car is your pick of Auto Expo 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.
Auto Expo 2018: Our star cars
Best cars at Auto Expo 2018 image gallery
Best scooters at Auto Expo 2018
Best bikes at Auto Expo 2018
Best cars at Auto Expo 2018