Feb 07, 2013, 11.45 AM | Source: Overdrive Magazine
New cars for 2013 in India
Unlike the Amaze where the highlight is the all-new diesel engine, the EcoSport's talking point is the brand new petrol Ecoboost engine under the hood. The tiny 1.0-litre three cylinder is a technical marvel that uses a small turbo and Ford's Ti-VCT (twin independent variable camshaft timing). The result is a robust 125PS and 170Nm. The best bit is that all that torque is available at an incredibly low 1400rpm, barely above idle. Ford will also offer the car with the 1.5 diesel from the Fiesta and that will still account for a majority of the sales. There's also a possibility of a dual clutch automatic box. We expect the EcoSport to begin at around Rs 7 lakh.
The A-Class has a lot going for it - it's a smartly designed car and is good to drive as well, as we found out when we drove it in Slovenia earlier this year. The A-Class despite being smaller than the B-Class is still 4.2 metres long and offers generous interior space along with a gorgeously designed and feature rich interior that complements those exuberant exteriors.
The A-Class should arrive with both diesel and petrol four-cylinder engines mated to the dual clutch gearbox from the B-Class. Built on the same MFA platform as the B-Class, the A is driven by its front wheels with a MacPherson setup at the front and a multilink rear. We expect the A-Class to hit our shores by early 2013 but that's not the end of it. Mercedes also plans to launch a sedan version (based on the CLA concept). The sedan however is still some time away. The sedan and hatch will both follow the CKD route. Prices for the hatch should be in the 18-20 lakh rupee range while the sedan should be priced between Rs 20 and 23 lakh.
The 1 Series offers the purity of rear wheel drive and BMW levels of ride (yes they've gotten better at that too) and handling. The 1 Series is based on the 3 Series platform and this car runs a similar MacPherson strut and multi link front and rear suspension set up. Dimensionally, the car is similar to the A-Class with a near identical 4.2-metre overall length.
The 1 Series is offered with a pair of 1.6-litre direct injection turbo petrol engines good for 136PS(116i) and 170PS(118i). There's also the 2.0-litre diesel from the 3 Series/X1/X3 that produces power from 116PS to 184PS depending on the model. Unlike Mercedes, BMW won't have a sedan version ready in the near future. We expect BMW to price the 1 Series somewhere between Rs 17 and 20 lakh where it should take the Merc head on.
The interiors have been thoroughly upgraded with a keyless entry system, touchscreen infotainment system and more. Safety has been given a high priority with multicollision-braking,automatic brake actuation, automatic park, adaptive cruise control, intelligent light assist and nine airbags. Prices haven't been announced yet and nor is Skoda confirming which engine options will come to India. We expect Skoda India to launch the new Octavia sometime in the middle of 2013.
The big news, even bigger than the car itself, is the brand new diesel engine under the bonnet. The 1.5 litre unit is based on the 1.6-litre Earth Dreams engine that Honda showed off earlier this year but has been downsized specifically to meet India's small car excise duty norms.This engine will debut on the Amaze but will power many more Indian Hondas by the end of 2013. No official figures have been announced but from our drive experience we estimate 100PS,200Nm.
Both petrol and diesel models will be offered in three variants each. Honda will officially enter the entry-sedan market with the Amaze early this year and we expect them to price it very competitively against the Dzire.