The Auto Expo 2018 will be a show of strength for the BMW Group, with expansive displays planned for group companies BMW, Mini and BMW Motorrad.
BMW will have its existing range of cars on display but the focus will be on the new models – three of which will be launched at the motor show, itself. Autocar India had broken the news of the 6-series GT’s Auto Expo 2018 launch, a few months ago and the model will be one of the stars of BMW’s display. A five-door liftback that aces on space, the 6GT will be BMW’s weapon to win buyers primarily sold on the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-Class’ roomy cabin. Even within BMW’s line-up, the 6GT’s greater emphasis on comfort will help distinguish it from the more dynamic 5-series sedan. The 6GT is likely to be available with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines as well as a six-cylinder diesel unit. 6GT prices are expected to be in the Rs 60-70 lakh band.
BMW’s second launch at the Auto Expo 2018 will be the all-new M5. The latest iteration of the high performance 5-series promises some serious thrills. Its 4.4-litre, bi-turbo, V8 petrol produces a staggering 600hp and 750Nm of torque. Helping put all that power down is the M5’s MxDrive all-wheel drive system. You read that right – the M5 is all-wheel drive, now. However, power is sent to the front wheels only when there’s a need for added traction and drivers also have the option of an all-out performance mode in which engine power is channeled solely to the rear wheels. The M5 is likely to be priced upwards of Rs 1.8 crore (estimated, ex-showroom).
Taking the glamour quotient up a few notches will be the BMW i8 Roadster. This will also make its India launch at the Auto Expo 2018. What is noteworthy is that the i8 Roadster will go on sale in our market shortly after making its debut at the Los Angles motor show which is presently underway. The i8 Roadster won’t come cheap, though, with an expected price in the region of Rs 2.5 crore.
Also on display at BMW’s stand will be the all-new X3 that is scheduled for a May 2018 launch. The new X3 looks properly new-age BMW and will also bring with it the latest of technology, including gesture control. A 2.0 diesel engine will be the staple of the range, while a 2.0 turbo-petrol and a 3.0 diesel could also be on offer. The X3 will go up against a fairly competent set of rivals in the form of the new Volvo XC60, the new Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLC; so BMW will have to bring in its best. An attractive price would make the job easier.
Of the other exhibits, one will be the i3 electric car. The electric hatchback will be a technology demonstrator for BMW; even more so at a time when electric cars are the newsmakers. However, there are no plans to launch the i3 in India. The high import duties would have required BMW to strip down the car to make it viable in India.
Mini will also be well-represented at the Auto Expo 2018 with the Cooper 3-Door, Cooper 5-Door, Convertible and Clubman on display. The motor show will also serve as the launch pad for the second-generation Countryman in India. Mini’s largest model – the new Countryman crossover – is also the most practical of the Minis, which should be of interest to Indian buyers. While the Countryman looks like a typical Mini, it stands out from the other cars in the line-up for its larger size, beefier stance and squared-out ends. The last-gen Countryman was offered in India solely in front-wheel drive guise even though versions sold abroad can be had with all-wheel drive, as well. The Countryman should be offered with 2.0 petrol and diesel engines with prices starting at about Rs 37 lakh.
The Auto Expo 2018 is also where BMW Motorrad will put its best wheels forward. The two-wheeler maker will have its model range on display but the bikes of real interest will be the G 310 R and the G 310 GS, the latter getting its first Indian showing at the motorshow. However, you will have to wait a while longer before you can get your hands on the India-made Beemers. The G 310 R and G 310 GS will only go on sale in the latter half of 2018. The models confirmed for an Auto Expo launch are the F 750 GS and F 850 GS – both of which made their debut only recently at the EICMA show in Milan. These adventure bikes will be brought into India as full imports.