May registers largest number of car launches in 2018
Dhruv Saxena, Mechanical engineer trying to find his place in the world of automobile journalism.
May 2018 witnessed the highest number of car launches so far this year. In all, there were 17 launches that took place last month including all-new models, new variants, special editions, and facelifts of existing products.
Tata Nexon AMT
The popular compact SUV from Tata Motors gained automatic variants around 7 months after its launch took place in September 2017. The Tata Nexon XZA+ petrol and diesel variants come equipped with a 6-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) priced at INR 9,41,350 and INR 10,38,830 (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively. The dual tone variants cost around INR 20,000 more. The Nexon AMT introduced new Etna Orange and Etna Orange with Sonic Silver roof exterior colour schemes. Tata plans to add cheaper XMA and XZA grades as well.
BMW launched the second generation MINI Countryman in India on May 3, 2018. The crossover based on the same platform as the BMW X1 is offered in Cooper S, Cooper SD, and Cooper S JCW Inspired variants priced (ex-showroom) at INR 34.90 lakhs, INR 37.40 lakhs, and INR 41.40 lakhs respectively. The petrol Cooper S and Cooper S JCW are powered by a 2.0 L engine producing 192 hp and 280 Nm while the diesel employs a 2.0 L 190 hp and 400 Nm unit. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+
MBIL launched the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S in India last month. Priced at INR 1.5 crore (ex-showroom), the super saloon uses a twin-turbo V8 petrol that churns out 612 hp and 850 Nm. Transmission duties are taken care of by a 9-speed gearbox. Power is sent to all four wheels via Mercedes' 4MATIC+ setup. The Mercedes E63 AMG rivals like the BMW M5 that was launched earlier this year.
Nissan Terrano Sport Edition
Nissan hasn't launched a new product in India for years now. However, the company has managed to constantly keep its existing products in the news by introducing special editions. The latest is the Nissan Terrano Sport introduced last month. Highlights of the 'Sport' special edition pack include body decals, black roof and pillars, wheel-arch cladding, hood, fender, rear bumper, and front and rear door stripes, and crimson-stitched seat covers and floor mats with crimson highlights. It is priced at INR 12.22 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
Maruti Vitara Brezza AMT
The country's best selling UV gained an automatic variant in May 2018 in the form of Maruti Vitara Brezza AGS. It uses a 5-speed AMT that pairs with the 1.3 L DDiS 200 diesel engine. Power and torque outputs remain the same as the manual variant at 66 kW and 200 Nm. Along with the launch of the AMT variant, the Vitara Brezza received other updates including a new Autumn Orange colour (also available as a dual tone option with an Arctic White roof), glossy black alloy wheels for the top-end grades, and chrome finish for the grille and boot lid garnish as standard.
Maruti Ertiga Limited Edition
The Maruti Ertiga Limited Edition was re-introduced in May. It features cosmetic enhancements to the exterior and interior. Additions include chrome body side mouldings, chrome fog lamp bezels, alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and a 'Limited Edition' badge. The cabin gains faux wood trim on the dashboard, centre console and door pad along with maroon seat upholstery, centre armrest for front passengers, two-tone steering wheel cover, and white ambient light. Exquisite Maroon, Silky Silver, and Superior White are the three colour options. Prices haven't been listed on the official website.
Ford Ecosport S
Ford launched the EcoSport S reintroducing the 1.0 L EcoBoost petrol engine that powered the pre-facelift model. The Ford EcoSport S features a dual tone look with a black roof and sporty black exterior elements. It also gets HID headlamps, 17-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels, and a sunroof. Inside, the new variant features Satin Red highlights and an updated instrument console with a 4.2-inch MID. Engine choices include the aforementioned 125 PS and 170 Nm 1.0 L EcoBoost petrol unit and the 100 PS and 205 Nm 1.5 L diesel engine. The petrol and diesel variants of the EcoSport S are priced at INR 11,37,300 and INR 11,89,300 (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively.
2018 Honda Amaze
The second generation Amaze was launched on May 16, 2018. The compact sedan features a new exterior designed from the ground up as a sedan. The cabin is more spacious and gains new features. It packs 1.2 L petrol and 1.5 L diesel engines that mate with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT. The 2018 Honda Amaze retails for INR 5.60 lakhs - INR 9.00 lakhs (ex-showroom India).
TKM held an official launch event for the Toyota Yaris on May 18. Prices were announced back in April, but the event marked the commencement of deliveries to customers. The Yaris rivals the Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Maruti Ciaz, VW Vento, and the Skoda Rapid. It is a petrol-only model powered by a 1.5 L engine producing 109 PS and 140 Nm. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual gearbox and a CVT. It is priced from INR 8.75 lakhs (ex-showroom India).
Hyundai i20 CVT
May saw the launch of the automatic variant of the Hyundai i20 facelift. Armed with a CVT mated to the 1.2 L Kappa petrol engine, the Hyundai i20 CVT is available in Magna Executive and Asta grades. They are priced at INR 7.05 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) and INR 8.23 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) respectively. It is a direct rival to the Maruti Baleno CVT and the Honda Jazz CVT.
2018 Hyundai Creta (facelift)
The Hyundai Creta received its first major update since its launch back in 2015. The 2018 Hyundai Creta brings with it an updated exterior with Hyundai's signature cascading grille, new headlamps and tail lamps, and revised bumpers. The features list gains electrically adjustable driver's seat, sunroof, wearable smart key, wireless charging, and cruise control. New colours have also been added. Engine and transmission options remain the same, however. The Hyundai Creta is priced at INR 9.44 lakhs - INR 15.04 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).
Lexus LX 570
Lexus' flagship offering in the Indian market gained a petrol variant in May 2018. The Lexus LX 570 employs a 5.7 L naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine that makes 362 hp and 530 Nm. It gets an 8-speed automatic transmission and AWD as standard. The LX 570 features a 3-row seating layout, unlike the 2-row LX 450d. The Lexus LX 570 is priced at INR 2.34 Crore (ex-showroom).
Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 RedArt
Mercedes-Benz launched the limited edition Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 RedArt. Changes are purely cosmetic and, as the name suggests, include red highlights all around. It is powered by the same 3.0 L bi-turbo V6 as the regular SLC 43. This engine produces 367 hp and 520 Nm. The limited edition model is priced at INR 87.48 lakh (ex-showroom India). The number of units of the SLC 43 RedArt and GLE 43 Coupe is limited to 25 (combined).
Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 Coupe OrangeArt
Along with the SLC 43 RedArt, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 43 Coupe OrangeArt was also launched. As the name suggests, the limited edition model features orange highlights inside and outside. No mechanical changes so, the 390 hp and 520 Nm 3.0 L bi-turbo V6 continues to power the SUV coupe. It carried a price tag of INR 1.02 crore (ex-showroom India).
2018 MINI Cooper (facelift)
BMW India updated the MINI range with the launch of the facelifted 3-door, 5-door, and convertible variants. The 2018 MINI Cooper range features cosmetic updates. Engine options include a 192 PS - 280 Nm 2.0 L petrol (3-door Cooper S and Convertible Cooper S) and a 114 PS - 270 Nm 1.5 L diesel (3-door Cooper D and 5-door Cooper D). The 2018 MINI 3-door hatch is priced at INR 29.70 lakhs (diesel) and INR 33.20 lakhs (petrol). The 5-door diesel only variant retails for INR 35.00 lakhs, while the petrol only convertible is priced at INR 37.10 lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom.
Mahindra TUV300 Plus
Mahindra finally listed the prices of the TUV300 Plus on their official website. Available only in the P4 grade, the Mahindra TUV300 Plus is priced at INR 9,59,001 (ex-showroom Delhi). It is essentially an extended version of the TUV300 sub 4 m SUV with longer jump seats behind the second row. It can accommodate up to 9 passengers. Power comes courtesy a 2.2 L mHawk120 diesel unit that makes 120 hp and 280 Nm coupled with a 6-speed manual transmission.
2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Porsche started accepting orders for the Cayenne Turbo in May 2018. The range-topping Turbo variant is powered by a 4.0 L twin-turbo V8 petrol engine. This engine produces 550 PS of max power and 770 Nm of peak torque. It can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. This can be brought down to 3.9 seconds with the Sport Chrono Package. The 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo is priced at INR 1.92 Crore (ex-showroom India).