After a tumultuous 2020, which saw the world grind to a brief halt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, carmakers are ready to come out all guns blazing in 2021. For a prospective car buyer, there will be no shortage of choice next year, with a barrage of new sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks, MPVs and performance cars in the pipeline, along with a battery of EVs (pun intended). Here’s a look at what 2021 has in store for us.
New Maruti Suzuki Celerio
Originally set to arrive in 2020, the second-generation Celerio will now be launched in early 2021, replacing the current car. It is expected to sport a different design altogether, which will be more in sync with Maruti Suzuki’s current design philosophy.
The Celerio will also be new on the inside. Its cabin layout is set to be different, and is expected to get the latest SmartPlay Studio infotainment system with a fairly large touchscreen.
The second-gen Celerio will be based on the ‘Heartect’ platform that also underpins the Wagon R, Swift, Baleno, Ignis, Dzire, Ertiga and XL6. With a new platform, expect the Celerio to grow in size. It’ll likely have a longer wheelbase, as well as a wider, more spacious interior than the current car. Like the Wagon R, Maruti Suzuki will likely offer the new Celerio with two petrol engine options – a 68hp, 1.0- litre, three-cylinder engine, and a more powerful 83hp, 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. Gearbox options are likely to include a 5-speed manual and an automated manual transmission (AMT).
COMING: February 2021
ENGINES: 1.0 P, 1.2 P
PRICE: Rs 4.5–6.5 lakh
New Maruti Suzuki Baleno
Since its launch in 2015, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno has proven to be a hit with premium hatchback buyers in India, and has cemented its place in the list of highest-selling cars in the country. Six years on, the current Baleno will be succeeded by a new-generation model. Maruti Suzuki is likely to focus on retaining the current car’s strengths and look to provide a plusher, more premium feel inside and out with the new Baleno, which will also be made in India for global markets.
ENGINES 1.2 P
PRICE Rs 6–9.5 lakh
Hyundai i20 N Line
Hyundai will give India its first taste of the performance-oriented N brand with a spiced-up version of the new-gen i20. The i20 N Line, not to be confused with the full-blown 204hp i20 N, will feature a number of new styling elements inspired by Hyundai’s performance arm. Changes on the outside are expected to include a new bumper, a black grille with a ‘chequered flag’ pattern and a prominent N Line badge, a new rear bumper, triangular fog-light housings, a chrome double-barrel exhaust and 17-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. On the inside, expect plenty of N badging and red stitching throughout, sport front seats, a bespoke steering wheel and metal pedals. The engine under the hood of the i20 N Line will be the 120hp, 1.0-litre turbo-petrol. Along with the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, Hyundai could also look at providing a proper 6-speed manual option with the N Line. Tweaks to the suspension, accelerator response and exhaust note are also on the cards, which will help differentiate the N Line even more from the regular i20 1.0 T-GDi.
ENGINES 1.0 P
PRICE Rs 11–12 lakh