New cars for 2018: Upcoming sedans

2nd Jan 2018 11:24 am

Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Rolls-Royce, Lexus and Toyota plan to launch new sedans in India in 2018.

AUDI A8L

Audi is set to take the fight to big, luxurious sedans like the BMW 7-series and the Mercedes-Benz S-class with its brand-new A8. Built on the MLB Evo platform and using Audi’s Space Frame concept, the fourth-generation A8 employs exotic materials like aluminium, magnesium, carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer and hot-formed steel to keep weight low. It’s more tech-laden than ever before and even gets Level 3 autonomous driving technology, which allows the driver to take their eyes off the road while the car drives itself!

While this technology won’t make it to India, what we will get is the long-wheelbase A8 with a full suite of features to pamper the rear-seat passenger. The seats are electrically adjustable, get massage functions, and even the footrests are temperature controlled. The cabin is devoid of too many buttons, with the dual touchscreens being the control centre for most functions. Buyers will be able to pick between a 3.0-litre V6, turbocharged petrol and diesel engines
and a 4.0-litre V8 petrol, all of which will come with efficiency-boosting, mild-hybrid technology as standard.

Coming: Late 2018
Engines: 3.0P, 4.0P, 3.0D
Price: Rs 1.4-1.6 crore

AUDI A7

Stylistically, the new A7 follows the theme established with the first-generation model, but with tauter surfacing and crisper forms. The five-door layout remains; the cabin doors are frameless, while the large tailgate hinges from above the rear window to provide unimpeded access to the huge 535-litre boot. At the rear, there’s an active spoiler element that deploys at speeds above 120kph. The most dominant styling feature, however, are the exquisite full- width tail-lights; each tail-light receives 13 individual elements, joined by an illuminated light bar that stretches across the rear of the boot lid. On the inside, there is a 12.3-inch digital instrument display, combined with a 10.1-inch multimedia infotainment display at the centre of the dashboard facia, and an 8.6-inch display unit mounted at the base of the centre console – both offering standard touch control, with haptic and acoustic feedback qualities. The A7 too will feature hybrid versions of Audi’s 3.0 V6 in both petrol and diesel.

Coming: Late 2018
Engines: 3.0P, 3.0D
Price: Rs 80 lakh

BMW 6-SERIES GT

Think of the 6 GT as BMW’s answer to the long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz E-class. Its distinctive body style is just one reason to be thrilled about the new 6-series GT. Based on the 5-series, but with a stretched wheelbase, this is a car the chauffeur-driven will love. Air suspension will be standard for India and we will also get variable dampers and active anti-roll bars as well. It also gets a lift feature that increases ground clearance by 20mm. On the inside, the cabin is huge and very spacious, and quality levels are even better than those of the 5-series. Like the 5-series, it should be available with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines; a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel will also be offered. BMW will assemble this car in India and will price it competitively.

Coming: February 2018
Engines: 2.0P, 2.0D, 3.0D
Price: Rs 60-70 lakh

HONDA AMAZE

The first-generation AMAZE never quite reached the heights Honda hoped it would and, while it was better than the rest in terms of sales, it always played second fiddle to the Maruti Dzire. A brilliant overall package, it was let-down by its Spartan interiors and evident cost-cutting. Now, with the second-generation Amaze, Honda is aiming to go for a more premium image and the compact sedan is likely to share styling elements with its larger sibling, the City. This means that the new car should look a lot more sleeker and sharper than before. Honda’s famous packaging should also mean that the Amaze is going to be roomier on the inside as well. Expect the same set of petrol and diesel engines to be carried forward to the new car.

Coming: Early 2018
Engines: 1.2P, 1.5D
Price: Rs 6-9 lakh

LEXUS LS

Three decades ago, Lexus became synonymous with luxury, with the launch of the LS luxury sedan. In its latest generation, the LS is packed to the gills with comfort, luxury and safety features. Lexus also claims the new car is the quietest one it’s ever made, and that’s saying something. With a 421hp, 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged engine, this is expected to be a quick luxury sedan. So would you consider this over a Mercedes-Benz S-class?

Coming: Early 2018
Engines: 3.5P
Price: Rs 1.5-2 crore

MERCEDES-BENZ CLS

The first-generation CLS introduced the ‘four-door coupé’ body style and looked quite stunning with its sloping roofline. Soon afterwards, rivals BMW and Audi followed suit with their iterations of the body style, the 6-series Gran Coupe and the A7 Sportback, respectively. The third-generation CLS will continue with the same theme as its predecessors in terms of styling and will be built on the E-class platform. However, its engines, driver assistance systems and other interior options will be from the S-class.

Coming: End 2018
Engines: 3.0P, 3.0D
Price: Rs 80 lakh

MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS FACELIFT

For decades, many have christened Mercedes’ flagship sedan as the ‘best car in the world’ and for good reason too. Seldom does a carmaker get the fundamentals of luxury so right as this one does. The current generation has been a bestseller since its launch and now the Stuttgart-based luxury car manufacturer will launch the model’s facelifted version. Styling gets slight revisions, including a new pair of headlamps and tail-lamps, a slightly refreshed grille, revised bumpers and more chrome all around, but overall, it still remains unmistakably an S-class. On the inside it will offer more in terms of tech, creature comforts and safety. The facelift will also usher in a brand-new set of engines that will be more fuel efficient. So, by the looks of it, Mercedes seems to have done enough to keep the car’s bestselling status intact.

Coming: March 2018
Engines: 3.0P, 4.0P, 3.0D
Price: Rs 1.2-1.6 crore

ROLLS-ROYCE PHANTOM

“A Phantom is a Phantom is a Phantom.”These words really ring true here as it is near impossible to find its peer in the automotive realm. Rolls-Royce refers to the Phantom as more of ‘luxury good’, just like a yacht or private jet, and has gone the whole nine yards to appoint this car with new technologies. It hasn’t deviated too much from its predecessor in terms of style. Inside, it exudes luxury, from the deep-pile carpets, the trim fine-grain wood, to the soft leather seats, the starlight roof and to the all-new ‘Gallery’, which allows owners to showcase works of art in their car. The Phantom gets its power from a 6.75-litre turbocharged V12 motor and is capable of 100kph in a scant 5.1sec. It is expected to cost Rs 8 crore before options.

Coming: Early 2018
Engines: 6.75P
Price: Rs 8 crore

TOYOTA VIOS

In spite of ticking most of the right boxes for the India market, the Vios’ arrival in India has been long overdue. This is Toyota’s answer to the Honda City and is expected to replace the Etios when launched. Styling is in line with Toyota’s ‘keen look’ design philosophy and the car shares some visual cues with its larger sibling, the Camry, especially in the front. It will get a spacious, premium interior and come with features like climate control, steering-mounted audio controls, and a touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone connectivity. Higher-spec variants are likely to get a colour-coded trim on the dashboard and door pads. However, the Vios’ USP will be safety and Toyota’s bulletproof reliability. It will be powered by stronger versions of the Etios’ 1.5-litre petrol and 1.4 diesel engines.

Coming: End 2018
Engines: 1.5P, 1.4D
Price: Rs 8-12 lakh

TOYOTA CAMRY

Toyota has been desperately trying to shed its image as a maker of staid cars, and with the new-generation Camry, this seems to be finally manifesting. Gone are the boring straight lines and in its place are cuts, curves and creases all around. The Japanese carmaker launched the ASEAN-spec Camry earlier this year and that’s the model that will make it to India. Style-wise, there is an aggressive new front bumper, with prominent air vents and a large central air dam. The bumper gets inserts and splitter elements finished in black, while the grille is separated from the air dam with a body-coloured surround. Its side silhouette gets a sleeker profile with the roofline neatly flowing into the boot lid. The cabin comes with a V-shaped centre console, a large touchscreen infotainment system and a colour display in the instrument cluster. Expect the same 2.4-litre petrol engine with an option of hybrid powertrain as well.

Coming: End 2018
Engines: 2.4P, 2.4P + electric
Price: Rs 30-40 lakh

Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.

Tell us what you think.