The Evalia didn't get the job done for Nissan in India, and that naturally shifts all the expectations towards its badge engineered sibling, the Ashok Leyland Stile.
The Ashok Leyland Stile, which was showcased at last year's Delhi Expo is basically a stripped down Nissan Evalia targeted at the commercial market. Two of our ardent readers spotted the marginally camouflaged test mule in Chennai. Ashwin Ram spotted the mule being parked near Marina beach yesterday while Shree Ganesh caught the vehicle on the move, near Avadi early this morning.
The Stile adopts a slightly different front fascia and that explains the camouflage to the nose. The rest of the car is a replica of the Evalia. The reflectors in the tailgate that look like the extension of the tail lamps, are missing in the Stile. The interior is expected to be basic with black or grey color treatment opposed to Evalia's dual tone finish.
There were reports that the Ashok Leyland Stile could be powered by the 1.5 litre three cylinder engine from the Dost, however, according to our sources, the people mover will continue to use the 1.5 litre K9K diesel engine found in the Evalia, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
[The Ashok Leyland Stile was showcased at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo]
The Ashok Leyland Stile will be catering mainly to the taxi segment which is now dominated by the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo. It also emerges as an apt candidate for ambulance and staff van applications.
The increased spotting of the mildly camouflaged test mule suggests that the launch date for is not far away. Dr. V. Sumantran, vice chairman of Ashok Leyland, had told Times Of India earlier a few weeks ago that the launch of the Stile was scheduled for late 2013.
Known around the world as the Nissan NV200, the car has earned widespread acclaims for its commercial vehicle traits. The NV200 is selected to be the next London Black Cab and New York Taxi which is a testament to its people ferrying attributes.