A host of new SUVs, sedans, performance cars and hybrids are on show in Delhi, with cars from Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Tata, and many more.
This year’s Auto Expo is the biggest in its history, with SUVs and crossovers playing a prominent role as manufacturers display their upcoming cars to the Indian market. These are the main talking points, segment by segment.
Some might say that the compact sedan segment has had its day in the sun, and if that’s so, what’s clearly taking over from it is the compact SUV. Maruti, Hyundai, Tata and Honda each showed off their intent to enter this segment with the Vitara Brezza, HND-14 Carlino concept, Nexon and BR-V, respectively. Then, of course, one of the pioneers of the compact SUV segment, the Renault Duster, was given a facelift and a new AMT gearbox. Maruti also showed the Ignis, and Chevrolet the Beat Active, which aren’t compact SUVs, but are both really attractive ‘cross hatchbacks’.
A little further up the ranks are a couple of more premium SUVs, the Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan X-Trail, all of which aim to find that sweet spot in the Rs 17-30 lakh range, between mainstream and luxury. Hot on their heels, however, is the all-new, more spacious, front-wheel-drive BMW X1 and punching a little higher is Merc’s answer to the BMW X3, the handsome and plush new GLC. But when you’re talking about SUVs, it doesn’t get much more hardcore than Jeep, which is finally launching in India this year, and showed its first two models, the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler Unlimited.
In the realm of ultra-luxury SUVs, you could go one of two ways. There’s the Range Rover SVAutobiography, the ultimate expression of luxury from JLR, or then there’s the Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² with its jacked-up suspension and yellow paint, that simply spits in the face of established luxury. Not left-field enough for you, how about the Mahindra XUV Aero – a concept car that shows us what M&M thinks a coupé-SUV should be.
What is likely to be one of the biggest launches of 2016 – the brand new Toyota Innova Crysta MPV came with a few surprises, namely a more powerful diesel engine option, and the promise of a petrol variant.
Much like Auto Expo 2014, this edition of the motorshow had its share of compact sedans as well. Volkswagen set the ball rolling with the reveal of the nice-looking Polo-based Ameo in the run up to the Auto Expo. The compact sedan that’s been developed for India is expected to be positioned as the premium offering in the segment and will be priced higher than rivals.
On the other hand, we can expect keen pricing for the production version of Tata’s Kite 5. Basically, the sedan version of the soon-to-be-launched Zica hatchback, the Kite 5, at least in concept form, looks rather attractive. The same can also be said of the Chevrolet Beat Essentia which is a sedan version of the next-gen Beat. Designed largely in India, the Essentia that's expected in our market in 2017 will be a crucial car for Chevrolet as it seeks to increase sales.
At the other end of the sedan spectrum, there was a lot from the luxury carmakers. Audi showcased the India-bound latest A4, Jaguar launched the XE and showed the XF and BMW launched the luxurious all-new 7-series.
Leading the pack of performance showstoppers was the Audi R8 V10 Plus which was launched at Rs 2.47 crore, with a 610bhp 5.2-litre V10 plonked on the back. Next up, the Nissan GT-R finally arrived on Indian shores and the carmaker announced that it will launch its flagship performance offering in September this year.
More than 50 years after it was first unveiled, the Ford Mustang made its way into the country with an official launch planned in the second quarter of 2016. The US carmaker aims to create a niche in India by giving the country its first ever muscle car.
Interestingly, Volkswagen has decided to launch the Polo GTI in India in three-door guise. Scheduled to go on sale in September 2016, the hot hatch could be priced above the Rs 20-lakh mark.
Jeep’s entry into the market also included the Grand Cherokee SRT, which features a potent 6.4-litre V8 petrol under the hood making 461bhp and will be out for the BMW X5 following its launch.
The national debate that arose in light of Delhi’s air pollution levels has prompted a strong focus on electric and hybrid vehicles. What makes this newfound emphasis on hybrids especially intriguing is that manufacturers are re-introducing vehicles to the Indian market in hybrid configuration – three of five hybrids unveiled at the 2016 Auto Expo fit this bill.
The Nissan X-Trail, the Volkswagen Passat GTE and the Honda Accord are all coming back to India after hiatuses of varying durations, and all of them get hybrid powertrains, at least in a variant. The X-Trail, back after two years, will come in a hybrid-only configuration while the VW Passat and the Honda Accord will be offered with hybrids as variants.
Homegrown automaker Mahindra was visibly very gung-ho about electric vehicles. Its first move was the unveiling of the revised Formula E racecar, followed by the unveiling of an all-electric version of the Verito, christened the E-Verito, which will go on sale in March 2016. Mahindra also showed a race-spec version of the e2o Reva, called the e2o Sport.
Also unveiled was a new generation of the original hybrid: the Toyota Prius.
Two-wheeler makers also put their best wheel forward at the 2016 Auto Expo with a few notable unveilings and launches dominating proceedings. Leading the charge was the Akula 310 concept sportsbike from TVS. The Indian motorcycle manufacturer also unveiled two other concepts – the RTR-based X21 and the Entorq 210 motor scooter.
Also notable was the launch of classic British café racers, the Triumph Bonneville and Bonneville T120. Priced attractively at Rs 6.9 lakh and Rs 8.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), respectively, Triumph just might be onto something here. The Bonneville Thruxton R was also revealed, though its launch will take place only in a few months.
Yamaha launched its middleweight streetfighter sportsbike, the MT-09. However, the adoption of the CBU route makes it pricey, at Rs 10.2 lakh.
Benelli unveiled four India-bound motorcycles: the Tornado 302, the TRK 502, the BX 250 and the TNT T 135. Honda finally raised the curtain on its mystery-shrouded Navi. A mix between a motorcycle and a scooter, the curious Navi shows Honda's creative side. The Japanese manufacturer also unveiled its Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin, a widely popular adventure tourer, and announced that it will be brought into India in CKD form.
The SR 150 scooter from Aprilia was also a mix between a scooter and a motorcycle, but not in the way the Navi is. It combines the performance of a motorcycle with the convenience of a scooter, and aggressive styling.
The BMW G 310 R was a silent unveil, but it created ripples nevertheless. The essence of the unveiling of the G 310 R is that it brings brilliant BMW technology to more people.
UM finally made its India entry with two entry-level cruisers – the Renegade Commando and the Renegade Sport S. Hero, Suzuki, Indian and Mahindra Two Wheelers were at the 2016 Auto Expo too.
Show report by Gavin D'Souza, Nikhil Bhatia, Nishant Parekh and Siddhant Ghalla
And that draws to a close our live coverage of the 2016 Auto Expo, but stay tuned for plenty more news, galleries and videos to come from us.
1530 - The Toyota press conference is underway, and the fourth-generation Toyota Prius is on show to the public. Managing director Naomi Ishi has used the press conference to reveal the manufacturer's impressive target of reducing CO2 emissions by 90 percent by 2050.
1445 - More on those Triumph bikes, our reporter Siddhant Ghalla said that a third bike was unveiled without actually being there. The original plan was to fly it to the Auto Expo, but it's been held up in customs.
1400 - Triumph has launched two bikes: the Triumph Bonneville Street Twin and the Bonneville T120. Prices have been announched, too, and they're cheap. The iconic British Cafe Racers cost Rs 6.9 lakh and Rs 8.7, respectively. Tempted? Take a look through our full bike gallery.
1330 - Although Maruti has said the Baleno RS will go on sale this year, the model on show is still described as a concept car.
1315 - And here's the detals: Ignis and Baleno RS due during the festive season this year via Nexa dealerships.
1245 - The Maruti press conference is underway; the Ignis concept and Baleno RS are set to be showcased.
1130 - Roland Folger, Mercedes-Benz CEO, has been talking to our reporter Nishant Parekh. He spoke about diesel, BS-VI, and the market for AMG models. More to follow.
1100 - Fiatis showing a host of new metal, including a Punto-based crossover that will go on sale in the third quarter of this year. At the Mahindra stall, the SsangYong Tivoli crossover - already on sale overseas - is being shown.
1000 - And the covers are off! A big reveal from Mahindra as the XUV Aero makes its debut, and the manufacturer has hinted it could actually make production: "With your help we can launch this car; we need your feedback."
0930 - Gavin D'Souza is one of the early birds hanging around the Mahindra stall, and he's snapped this picture of the XUV Aero under cover.
"It seems Mahindra's decided to do its own X6. At least as a concept. Wraps off soon," he says.
0900 - We're back for the second media day and it promises to be another big one. It's still very cold in this press room, but Scania and JBM press conferences will get us nicely warmed up, before a scorcher from Mahindra & Mahindra.
MEDIA DAY ONE:
1900 - Audi and BMW draw proceedings to a close, but not before we get an eyeful of one of the most popular cars at this year's show; the new Toyota Innova.
We'll be back tomorrow morning from 9am to bring you all the action from every press conference.
1820 - Such is the scramble to get the best picture here, one of our reporters saw someone scrambling on top of an A3 Cabriolet's bonnet to get a shot of the Audi stall.
1815 - Sachin Tendulkar is set to unveil the BMW 7-series, which is priced from Rs 1.1 crore to Rs 1.5 crore. The X1 has been shown, too, get full details of it here.
1730 - More on those Kwid concepts now, with the Climber and Racer showing off-road and performance-focussed versions of the hatchback. There's also a chance that some of the feautres seen in both concepts could make it into future production models.
1715 - Away from new cars, our editor Hormazd Sorabjee has spoken to Maruti Suzuki president and COO Toshihiro Suzuki who had some interesting things to say about the challenges of making low-cost small cars return big profits. Read what he had to say here.
1515 - Two very interesting Kwid concepts have been on display. Full details to come. And India's very first indigenous hot hatch is strutting its stuff at the Tata stall. The Bolt Sport gets 108.5bhp (let's call it 109bhp) and can cover 0-100kph in 12 seconds. India-made hot hatches still have a bit of work to do, but then, you have to start somewhere.
1400 - Our man Gavin D'Souza is at the Honda stall awaiting the unveiling of the BR-V, which is a "crossover utility vehicle" rather than an "SUV". Whatever that means.
1345 - There's a few cars actually launching today, including the Jaguar XE which will enter the ultra-competitive executive sedan segment. It's on sale in India now, priced from Rs 39.9 lakh, click here for full info.
1315 - Mercedes is taking the time to show off an eclectic collection of its range, the most eye-catching being the G 500 4x4². The most important for India, though, is the GLC SUV which is making its debut in the country. More information to follow.
1245 - Honda, meanwhile, has shown an electric variation of the most popular motorised vehicle ever sold. The Honda EV Cub is based on the Super Cub and previews an electric scooter with a detachable battery to allow users to take it out and charge at home - nifty.
1230 - Plenty of bike news coming thick and fast. DSK Benelli have shown four models all set to reach India. Read about them here.
1200 - It's lunchtime, so sit back and watch our video coverage of the Auto Expo. Click here to see the Vitara Brezza.
1105 - More on the Honda Navi (which stands for New Additional Value for India. Catchy, right?). It's priced from Rs 39,500 ex-showroom Delhi and has been designed entirely in India, read more about it here.
1045 - Get involved and ask our reporters any questions you have on the new metal on show. Use the comments section on this article, tweet us @autocarindiamag or get in touch on Facebook.
1030 - Lest we forget, it's not all about cars at the Auto Expo, there's also a load of two-wheelers being shown for the first time. Check out our picture gallery on the Honda Navi - a mix between a motorcycle and a scooter, according to our reporter Siddhant Ghalla who was at the press conference.
1000 - SUVs, SUVs, SUVs: there's a pretty clear theme developing from this year's Auto Expo. Now Hyundai has unveiled a concept hinting at a future production SUV model to join its line-up. Click here for more on the HND-14 Carlino.
0800 - The first press conference of the 2016 Auto Expo is underway and Maruti Suzuki has taken the covers off one of the biggest cars at the show: the Vitara Brezza compact SUV. Click here for full details on it.
Mahindra XUV Aero concept
The concept car previews a future XUV500-based SUV with coupe-like styling to pitch it in a class dominated by high-end luxury offerings like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
A production version could be Mahindra’s flagship model, positioned above the XUV500, and the concept car will show a new infotainment system to be used in future models.
The Maruti Vitara Brezza SUV, the carmaker's first compact SUV, is set to be positioned below the S-Cross in its range. It borrows features of its styling – like its sloping roofline – from the bigger Vitara SUV, which is sold overseas. The Vitara Brezza will be under four metres long and is likely to be be powered by Maruti’s 1.2- and 1.4-litre petrol engines, as well as the 1.3-litre diesel. The Vitara Brezza SUV will face competition from the Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300 in the segment.
The small crossover was unveiled at the 2015 Tokyo motor show and will make its debut in India at the Auto Expo as a thinly-veiled concept form. It features a large grille with LED headlamps and flared wheel arches, and a production model could be launched later this year, but there’s no official confirmation yet.
New Mercedes GLC SUV
The all-new GLC SUV closely resembles the C-class sedan from the outside and inside, where the GLC gets a luxurious cabin with rotary air vents and a touchscreen infotainment system. It will enter the Indian market with two variants of the 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel engine – the 168bhp 220d, and 201bhp GLC 250d. Mercedes GLC250d review
The previous generation of X-Trail was discontinued in India in 2014 because of low demand, but Nissan is bringing back the SUV with sleeker styling and a plusher cabin and will price it around Rs 32-35 lakh. The SUV will be powered by Nissan’s 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to a CVT gearbox. There’s a lot of interest in this segment, and the X-Trail faces competition from the cheaper Hyundai Santa Fe and Honda CR-V.
Renault Duster facelift
The popular Duster is set to receive a facelift and new AMT gearbox option, and it’s already been spotted testing in India ahead of its debut at the Auto Expo 2016. The Easy-R AMT gearbox was chosen over the DCT gearbox available outside of India because it proved to be significantly cheaper for the buyer. Cosmetic tweaks are expected to include a reworked bumper and grille as well as modified headlamps. The launch is expected sometime around March or April.
SsangYong Tivoli crossover
The Mahindra-owned manufacturer could unveil the Tivoli crossover at the Auto Expo ahead of its India launch. Already on sale overseas, the Indian model will get Mahindra’s new engine family from the KUV100 compact SUV, with a 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel, but the price is yet to be confirmed. This vehicle was recently seen in India on tests.
Tata Nexon-based Osprey compact SUV
The compact SUV, known internally as Osprey, has been spotted testing and is based on the Nexon concept showcased at the Auto Expo in 2014. The production version is thought to draw heavily from the styling of the Nexon and will see the introduction of Tata’s 110bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine. The launch is not expected before the end of this year.
Tata Zica-based compact sedan The Zica-based compact sedan will replace the Tata Indigo eCS and could be priced around Rs 4 lakh when it goes on sale this year. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and 1.0-litre diesel engine will be carried over from the Zica, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, and other features from the hatchback version of the Zica such as Bluetooth, sat-nav, dual airbags and ABS are expected to be carried over. When launch, it will face competition from other compact sedans such as the Honda Amaze, Maruti DZire, Hyundai Xcent and Figo Aspire.
Volkswagen Passat GTE The all-new Passat will reach India later this year and Volkswagen is showcasing the car as a plug-in hybrid version. It has a 50km electric-only range, and with its 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine, a combined range of 1,001km.
Being jointly organised by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), the latest edition of the Auto Expo will be held at the India Exposition Mart Ltd (IEML) in Greater Noida from February 5-9, 2016.
We had reported in October than SIAM was preparing enclosed permanent structures at the venue to increase the total air-conditioned permanently covered floor space. The total floor space has been increased by 37,240 sq. metres (six new halls) over and above the already available eight halls, taking the total floor space to around 79,000 sq. metres.
The Auto Expo 2016 is expected to see an increase in visitors with SIAM calculating a 20 percent rise compared to the previous edition. The number of exhibitors for the event has also risen to over 65 exhibitors from last year's count of 55.
The major automotive brands to be present at the Auto Expo 2016 will include Ashok Leyland, Audi, BMW, Datsun, Fiat, Ford, General Motors, Honda cars, Hyundai, Isuzu, Jaguar Land Rover, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault, Scania Commercial Vehicles, SML Isuzu, Tata Motors, Toyota Kirloskar Motors, VE Commercial vehicles, Volkswagen India and more. From the two- wheeler industry, the major brands to be present include Hero MotoCorp, Yamaha, Mahindra Two-Wheelers, Piaggio Vehicles, Suzuki Motorcycles, Triumph Motorcycles, TVS Motor Company and more. There will also be new entrants such as Abarth, BMW Motorrad, Jeep, DSK Benelli, Indian Motorcycles and many more. However, Bajaj, Volvo and Harley-Davidson will not be participating in the expo this year.
The 2016 Auto Expo will also exhibit high-end bicycles, tyres and tubes, products from oil companies, Automotive Design and Technology, Engineering and IT for automobile companies, institutions, universities, auto insurance companies and media and auto portals/magazines.
In addition, there will be a pavilion dedicated to classic cars and areas for activities such as safety riding and driving simulators.
The venue will be accessible through six entry points with CISF handling the security. There will also be free shuttle services available from the nearest metro station, which is the Botanical Gardens, Noida city centre and Pragati Maidan with as many as 160 DTC busses being pressed into service. Furthermore, there will also be an smartphone app available to help navigate through the various exhibits at the venue.
The venue will provide Wi-Fi and internet coverage along with telecom companies having being asked to provide special towers to avoid network congestion at the venue.
Tickets and timings
Ticket bookings for the expo are already open on the Auto Expo’s official website www.autoexpo-themotorshow.in and www.bookmyshow.com. The tickets are priced at Rs 300 for general public hours during weekdays (1pm - 6pm), and Rs 400 for weekends (10am - 7pm). For visiting during business hours on weekdays (10am - 1pm), tickets cost Rs 650. However, business hours ticket holders will also be able to enter the venue during public hours, until 6pm.
Free home delivery is offered on bookings of 3 to 10 tickets made before December 31, 2015. Otherwise, home delivery charges of Rs 75 per booking will be levied. Home delivery will not available for tickets booked online after January 25, 2016. Delivery starts from January 15, 2016, or the tickets can be collected from counters located at parking lots near the venue.
The Auto Expo will also have a food court which gets an extra 1,000 sq. metres over the one at the previous expo. The food court will hold 60 food stalls, 20 kiosks and multiple food trucks offering an assortment of cuisine from international brands and prominent local restaurants and outlets. Two restaurants run by the Taj and Radisson Hotels have also been arranged for at the venue.
Like in 2014, this year's Auto Components Show – one of the biggest exhibitions of automotive components, technology and services – will take place from February 4 -7, at Pragati Maidan.