The weekly roundup of the the automotive industry news is here, in a two-part form, called IAB Retrospect. Click on the pictures to read the corresponding stories.
1. Chevrolet Trailblazer and Spin MPV announced for India
GM India has announced that the Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV will be launched this year. The 7-seater SUV was earlier showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo, but the car maker has taken a year to gauge the vehicle for the Indian market. Measuring a tad under 5 metres, the Trailblazer is powered by either a 2.5-litre diesel or a 2.8-litre diesel in the Thai market. Its specifications for the Indian market are yet to be announced.
Not only that, GM India also confirmed that the Chevrolet Spin MPV will also reach the Indian market, but a year later, in 2016. The 4.3-metre long vehicle was spotted on test in Gujarat, and would be positioned as a premium alternative to the existing Enjoy.
2. Skoda Superb
Skoda has unveiled the 2016 Skoda Superb. To be showcased at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show starting on March 3, the flagship sedan offers sharper looks, a bigger interior, and more features. Engine options are 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. Said to be up to 30 percent more fuel efficient than the outgoing car, the vehicle is 75 kilos lighter too.
3. VW Jetta facelift launched
VW India has launched the 2015 VW Jetta (facelift) at a starting price of INR 13.87 lakhs, ex-Showroom, Mumbai. Mechanically it remains unchanged, with a 1.4-litre TSI engine and a 2.0-litre diesel being the engine options available for the sedan. The changes include new bumpers, new grille, LED taillamps, a new blue color, etc. On the inside, it gets a new 3-spoke steering wheel, a new instrument panel, cruise control as standard across the range.
4. Auto Expo 2016 dates announced
The schedule for the 2016 Auto Expo has been announced. The Motor Show will take place between February 5 to 9 at India Expo Mart in Greater Noida, while the Components exhibition will be at Pragati Maidan, from February 4 to 7. Expected launches/showcases include the Maruti YBA Compact SUV, Jaguar XE, a new Toyota Fortuner and Innova, the new Audi R8, 2016 Skoda Superb, Tata Nexon compact SUV etc.
5. BMW i8
BMW India has launched the BMW i8 hybrid supercar at a price of INR 2.29 crores, ex-showroom India. The hybrid powertrain (a 131 hp producing electric motor and a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder 231 hp engine) makes 362 hp and enables the vehicle to do a 0-100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds, and reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h.
The car maker also showcased the smaller BMW i3. The vehicle won't make it to the Indian market this year, but BMW says its launch is dependent on the popularity of pure-electric vehicles in the country, the government's incentives under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, and the i8's market performance.