The last few editions of the Auto Expo have witnessed the debut of some exciting concept models from various mainstream car manufacturers. While some of these concepts have already spawned their production-spec iterations, others are yet to make it to the market. Regardless of their current status, we have compiled a list of 20 bodacious concept vehicles from the past Auto Expos, and this is the first instalment -
With a monthly sales average of 5,413 units (between June-November 2018), the popularity of the Renault Kwid is second only to the invincible Maruti Alto 800. The concept avatar of the Kwid made its debut at the Auto Expo 2014, where it enthralled the show-goers with its electric opening doors, LED lighting, and a vertically-mounted TFT touchscreen display that acted as the dashboard. The design of the Kwid concept was based on the 'Explore' petal of the company's design strategy. The Renault Kwid Concept was powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine that is mated to a dual-clutch transmission.
The Mahindra XUV Aero concept, which has been reportedly green-lit for production, debuted at the Auto Expo 2016. The fascinating concept has been styled in-house by Mahindra after receiving inputs from Pininfarina. The coupe-crossover draws design cues from the 'Cheetah-inspired' XUV500 but features a slightly different lighting setup, hood vents, a sporty body kit, and larger alloy rims. The highlight, however, is the steeply raked roofline that gives the car a dynamic design. The XUV Aero concept is powered by a re-tuned version of the company's 2.2-litre mHawk engine that benefits from an advanced combustion system and low-pressure EGR. It outputs 210 hp and is capable of propelling the Aero concept from 0-100 km/h in under 6 seconds.
The Tata H5X concept, which debuted at the Auto Expo 2018, has spawned the Tata Harrier, a Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass rival that will go on sale on 23 January 2019. The H5X showcases the company's IMPACT 2.0 design theme and easily boasts the most striking aesthetics ever seen on any Tata model. The Harrier looks mostly similar to the H5X concept and rides on the JLR L550-based OMEGA ARC platform. It is powered by a 140 hp version of FCA’s 2.0-litre MultiJet II diesel engine.
The Kia SP Concept is another design study that debuted at the Auto Expo 2020 to preview a Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass adversary. The SP Concept features a large Tiger Nose grille, slim headlamps, sleek ORVMs with dynamic turn signals, flush door handles, a set of silver skid plates. The production version (codename - SP2i) will retain most of the design cues of the concept version. With the company's first manufacturing facility, situated at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, all set to commence trial production in early 2019, the new model should roll out soon after the advent of the next financial year. Underpinned by the next-gen Creta's platform, the new model will be available with turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
Along with the Tata H5X, the company brought out the Tata 45X design concept at the Auto Expo 2018. The 45X previews a Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Elite i20 rival that will go on sale between July and September. The 45X is the first hatchback to be designed as per the ‘Impact Design 2.0’ theme. It rides on the Advanced Modular Platform (AlphaARC), and the production-spec model will mark the debut of a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine that will come paired with a mild-hybrid system. While the 45X concept measured 4,253 mm in length, the production version will be a sub-4-metre model. The dimensions featured by the concept is a showcase of the platform's ability to underpin cars measuring up to 4.3 m in length.
The Tata ConnectNext Concept debuted at the Auto Expo 2018 and can be best described as an electric car with Cloud Connectivity features. The concept can accommodate five occupants and features floating-type seats with side-mounts. It even features an individual occupant cooling system instead of the conventional HVAC to reduce power consumption. Other features are projected touch centre stack at the back, head-up display, integrated screens on front seat backs, wireless headphones, and an iPod-inspired controller on the front centre armrest. The rear occupants can conduct video conferences and stream video online on the entertainment screens.
Maruti Suzuki unveiled the Future S concept at the Auto Expo 2018. The company insists that the concept is a precursor to its future compact vehicles for the Indian market. The Future S features SUV-like proportions and minimalistic interior design. Designed in-house by Maruti Suzuki, the Future S will reportedly spawn a Maruti Zen reincarnation (codename- Maruti Y1K) that will launch in the festive season of 2019. Powering the Maruti Y1K could be a BSVI-compliant version of the K10B 1.0-litre petrol engine from the Alto K10. Transmission options are likely to include 5-speed manual and 5-speed AMT units.
The Maruti XA Alpha debuted at the Auto Expo 2012 and spawned the hot-selling Maruti Vitara Brezza (avg. monthly sales between June-November 2019 - 13,800 units). It took Maruti four years to bring the XA Alpha to its production form. During this transition, it lost many of its styling elements, including the small and chunky grille, C-shaped fog lamps, and the pillar-less design of the doors. Furthermore, the stylish alloy wheels made way for a more conventional set, while the L-shaped taillights were replaced with a standard looker.
The Honda Vision XS-1 Concept made its global debut at the Auto Expo 2014. The Vision XS-1 previews a compact three-row MPV with a seating capacity of seven. It's based on the company's 'Man Maximum Machine Minimum' philosophy. Reportedly, Honda plans to push the Vision XS-1 into production, which is in stark contrast with the company's initial plan of not having a mass-production version of the concept. The production-spec Vision XS-1 will be slotted between the Honda Vezel and Honda XR-V.
The Hyundai Carlino sub-4-metre SUV concept debuted at the Auto Expo 2016. Its aesthetics were penned at the company's Namyang-based design centre in South Korea.
The concept model spawns the Hyundai Styx, a Maruti Vitara Brezza-challenger that will go on sale in March 2019. That said, the design of the Styx won't be much like that of the Carlino. Instead, it will feature the company's latest cascading grille and the Composite Light two-tier lighting setup. The production model will be underpinned by the Verna's platform, and the engine options for the India-spec model will include a 1.0-litre T-GDI direct-injection turbocharged petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel motor.