AutoColumn readers have eagerly been following our coverage of the Auto Expo 2014 via our friends out there in the throng of media persons assembled at the venue. Here are some quick highlights & updates from Day 2. This is again a day all of us have been looking forward to since there were some launches that Team AutoColumn was eager to see happen.
Of particular interest was the Maruti Suzuki Celerio that was launched today. Positioned in such a way that it will challenge the Hyundai i10’s position in the market, we were very curious to see how Maruti was going to price the car. It has now emerged that the base variant will cost 3.9 lakh INR & the top of the line variant will cost 4.96 lakh INR.
We were also looking forward to the launch of the Toyota Etios Cross that was profiled by AutoColumn some days back. Positioned as Toyota’s answer to the others in the compact SUV segment the Etios Cross will be powered by 3 different engines- a 1.2 litre petrol, 1.5 litre petrol & a 1.4 litre diesel.
Audi India also pulled out a rabbit from the hat by announcing a surprise India launch of the A3 cabriolet. More power to the people at Audi. Open top motoring is the way to go. DC design also unveiled an offering called the DC Avanti which surprisingly enough has been positioned as an SUV cum sports car.
Honda also unveiled a concept car with a futuristic bent called the XS1. We somehow feel that the stylists might have gone a tad overboard and “excessively” over-designed it.
Not to be outdone, Mahindra also unveiled their electric sports car concept called the Halo. Hello there, Halo. Mahindra also unveiled the Mojo which we had caught undergoing final testing sometime earlier. As expected the bike looks somewhat different than earlier versions we have seen doing the rounds. Powered by a 295cc single cylinder engine making 27bhp of power and 25Nm of torque, the engine & chassis will be built in-house by Mahindra. Interestingly, the Mojo gets a 21 litre fuel tank which means long rides will require lesser fuel stops.
Nissan on the other hand wowed viewers by displaying a stylish & swoopy concept hybrid called the Friend Me. Good design indeed and good thinking Nissan. Datsun also claimed their spot in the sun by unveiling the Redi-GO design study which is thought of as a crossover between an SUV and a compact hatch. Looks good enough & we hope that some elements do get incorporated in future Datsuns to come.
On the 2 wheeler front, grabbing attention was the launch of the Triumph Daytona 675. Pegged as a poorer cousin of the much more expensive Daytona R, pricing has been announced at 10.15 lakh INR (ex-showroom Delhi). Suzuki also showed off the V-Strom dual sport that will be sold in India for approximately 15 lakh INR.