JLR is known to bring evocative (no pun intended) concepts to the auto shows all across the world. However, when it comes to production form, JLR (and most other manufacturers) shy away from important characteristics of the very same concept. So we thought would be the destiny of concept LRX, an urban SUV by Land Rover. Little did we know that Land Rover was thinking otherwise.

Evoque

Concept LRX was conceived by Land Rover to average their CAFÉ ratings. Unlike other Land Rover products, it was designed to be a city runabout and was inspired by various successful cities all across globe. Having showcased the model, Land Rover did not have enough money to put it into production.

On 11 March 2009, the UK government announced a £27 million grant to be made available to Land Rover for the production of the LRX. And thus was born the Evoque, Land Rover’s idea of a bold fashion statement.

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Don’t ask us if Fiat is planning the 2012 Palio for our market, because we don’t know. The last we heard from Fiat was on the postponement of the small car launch to 2013 leaving time for independent dealerships to go operational.

2012 Fiat Palio front-end2012 Fiat Palio interior

The next new product is said to be smaller than Punto with a 1-liter petrol engine. A diesel option is compulsory, a scaled-down derivative of the 1.3 Multijet is viewed as a good choice. New products such as the Uno, Panda and the Palio shown here are ready to use for Fiat India.

We’re doubtful of these three as there could be a fourth small car built exclusively for BRIC nations. Could it be smaller than the Palio to reach into the segment guarded by the Hyundai Eon and Maruti Alto?

2012 Fiat Palio rear2012 Fiat Palio front fascia

Fiat is taking its time with new products and with independent outlets, customers while making decisions will not confuse their offerings with Tata’s counterparts.

Here at IAB, we have a very soft corner for cars that rescue their manufacturers from the sink hole of bankruptcy. Indeed, the Chevrolet Cruze is one such savior which brought GM back to life. So you can only imagine GM’s jump for joy when they sold 1 millionth Cruze on the day Chevrolet completed its 100 years of existence. It’s almost like a superhero movie script!

Chevrolet Cruze 2-liter diesel engine

Yes, Chevrolet is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and the Cruze just sold its 1 millionth unit worldwide

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Auto manufacturers tying up with the entertainment industry to promote their product is not a new habit. Mahindra, Volkswagen and even Tata Motors has done this before. Now, Nissan India has also joined the bandwagon. The company has launched a limited edition X-Trail to commemorate the launch of a new reality adventure show called ‘X-Treme Trail’.

Nissan X-Trail-Limited EditionNissan X-Trail-Limited Edition rear

The concept of the show is to showcase the various techniques of off roading through the journey of the 8 contestants on the show. The contestants will battle the rough topography of the dunes of Rajasthan, the dense jungles of Rajaji National Park to the trans-Himalayan ranges in Himachal and Ladhak in a Nissan X-trail.

Coming back to the car, it’s a typical special edition marketing trick – a little add on features, some decals and a slight bump in the price. The features included are:

  • Touchscreen GPS Navigation System powered by MapMyIndia
  • Rear spoiler
  • Door visors
  • X-treme Trail decals
  • Rear scuff plate
  • Cargo drawer
  • Kicking plate with LED
  • Side mouldings
  • Floor mats
  • Rear bumper protector

And the price for all this malarkey, you ask. It’s Rs. 22.78 Lakhs Ex-showroom Mumbai. The mechanicals are untouched in this limited edition. It is the same 2-litre CRDI engine with 150 BHP coupled with a 6 speed automatic transmission.

Posted on Nov 6 2011 - 2:17pm IST

Skoda Rapid variantsNovember 16th will see Skoda India’s entry in the already crowded C market. The Rapid, which is completely developed by the Indian subsidiary for the domestic market, will be Skoda’s answer to Ford Fiesta, Nissan Sunny, Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Fiat Linea et all.

Developed on the same platform as the VW Vento, the Rapid will be available in both petrol and diesel variants. Motorbeam has revealed a variant wise feature list of the the Skoda Rapid. The Rapid will be available in 3 variants – Active, Ambition and Elegance.

The base model (Active) will feature 14 inch steel wheels, Front and Rear power windows, rear windscreen defogger, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, power steering, height adjustable front seat belts, front center armrest and an engine immobilizer.

The mid variant (Ambition) will feature all the goodies of the Active plus ABS, front and rear foglamps, central locking, body color mirrors and door handles, driver airbag, height adjustable driver seat, rear center armrest and a rear reading lamp.

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On the evening of the Day 1, people behind Renault’s electric vehicle project conducted a presentation to enlighten us on this technology. The electric vehicle has been around in India since the early 2000’s through the form of REVA, which until Renault’s entry was the world’s largest selling electric car.

Renault Fluence ZE

Over 3,000 examples are on roads today, but the REVA is what karting is to motor racing – its very basic, its sold as a quadricycle in some markets. It uses Lead Acid batteries and the passenger and luggage space seem like an afterthought.

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Posted on Nov 4 2011 - 4:35pm IST

Skoda CitigoOn the Car And Bike Show Facebook fan page, the program show’s host Siddharth Vinayak Patankar wrote today that the Skoda Citigo, many of us loved and hoped to buy (in green), isn’t making it to India.

Here’s the update in SVP’s words –

Skoda clarifies on Citigo. Ain’t coming anytime soon folks. Won’t even be shown at Auto Expo says Skoda India boss.

CnB shares a healthy relationship with Skoda and this is as good as an official announcement. It is believed that SVP posted the message from a Skoda event where he met members of the Skoda India management.

This also means that Skoda isn’t getting into the B segment market anytime soon. Skoda does not have a car smaller than the Fabia in its international range to voyage into the land of the Maruti Wagon R and Chevrolet Beat. The starting point is going to be the Fabia for a good few years.

Will you miss the Skoda Citigo?

Ford Fiesta AT shifterThe cat is out of the bag – Ford India’s next launch is the automatic transmission guise of the Fiesta. Having sold in limited numbers the company is exploring new variants to fill up pockets in the range and drive up sales. The Fiesta hatch rumored to be in the pipeline is still some time away and the B-Platform will bear at least one more body style (2012 EcoSport with the international premiere in China next year).

Our longstanding reader Gurudatta Nayak posted these pictures from a dealer stockyard. Interior shots show that paddle shifters are absent meaning the 6-speed dual clutch transmission (PowerShift) sold in the United States isn’t the candidate in question.

For our cost-conscious buyer, the 4-speed AT is better suited. IndianAutosBlog.com will be testing the vehicle next week so wait for the exact details.

There are hardly any notable visual differences compared to the manual model. The AT badge on the trunk lid is one difference. The automatic variant is not going to rocket the Fiesta to the top of the ladder but thoughtful positioning will lead to increase in sales. For the Fiesta variant, the two biggest threats at this time are Vento AT and Verna AT.

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