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2012 Auto Expo: Luxury segment heats up!



The M5 badge has generally meant great driving dynamics and maybe some extra power over the regular 5 series, but with the coming of the F10 (internal code name) M5, that has gone for a toss!

The flagship of the 5 series range, priced at Rs. 97.9 Lakh, now makes a completely bonkers 552 bhp of peak power from a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 engine. If those stats are not enough here’s a look at the performance numbers of the new car. 0-100 kph time of 4.4 seconds, 0-200 kph in only 13 seconds heading towards a top speed of 250 kph (300 kph if you’re insane enough to order the M pack!). With vitals like that, the new M5 is decidedly in supercar territory.



Volkswagen put on a good show at the 2012 Auto Expo with three unveilings to their credit. The 2012 Beetle, which is India-bound, was rolled out and showcased for the first time to the Indian audience. The 2012 Beetle will be launched in the second half of the year and

while details haven't been disclosed, we expect the 140 bhp 2.0 TDi motor (same as on the Jetta/Yeti) to be the primary motor on sale with, perhaps, a spicier petrol motor as an option. Prices will be announced at the time of launch.



Toyota's show-stealer, however, was the unveiling of the all-new Camry! The new Camry looks much smarter and has got much sharper edges. In fact it resembles the Honda Accord quite a bit, especially when viewed head-on. It's got a 2500cc, 4-cylinder dual VVT-i petrol motor that produces 178.5 bhp@6000 rpm and 23.55 kgm@4100 rpm. The motor is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox - a safe choice for a car of its segment! On the features list is a touchscreen (bluetooth/dvd enabled) media interface and the audio unit is the same as on the new Innova/Fortuner. The new Camry also boasts of dual-zone auto air-conditioning (with rear a/c vents), steering-mounted controls for the media player and other real-time car info, an engine start-stop button, HID headlamps with auto-levelling and six-way electric adjust for the driver and passenger seats.

The new Camry will be launched in the third quarter of 2012 and CKD operations will begin by mid-2012. Prices will, of course, be announced at the time of its market launch. We'll keep you posted on more from Toyota!



French automotive giant Peugeot is finally here. Well, not really, they are in the process of setting up a plant in Sanand and the first car to roll out of that factory will be in 2014. So for now, you won’t be able to go out and buy a Peugeot. The earliest that you can do that

will be in 2013, possibly through the SKD or CBU route, and even that isn’t confirmed. Meanwhile, Peugeot is busy setting up dealerships in 12-15 cities. That covers about 50% of the market. Once the dealerships are set-up, Peugeot may then consider bringing in the 508, RCZ and 3008 as CBUs till the factory is fully functional.

At their stand, err, stands a beautiful 508 sedan, shown here for the first time. This is a car that will compete in the Accord and Passat segment. It will come with a 2.2-litre HDI common-rail diesel engine and will be the first to come out of the Sanand plant. Globally, the 508 has racked up good sales figures, at 120.000 units, and should fare well here too.



Hyundai made an important announcement today at Auto Expo with the launch of the Sonata sedan, but that’s not all they’re up to though. Though they aren’t launching them at the moment, they’ve also brought the new Elantra sedan, Veloster coupe and a concept MPV called the Hexaspace.

The Elantra, which might make it to showrooms soon, carries the same ‘fluidic’ design language that is present on the new Verna. Internationally, it is available with a 1.8-litre petrol engine and a 1.6-litre diesel engine options. If it makes it here, it will have the

same engine options. The Elantra name is not a new one in our country, a model two generations behind the one being shown here was sold here but was later withdrawn from our market. The established names in the segment, like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, will have something to worry about if the Elantra makes it here because during the time it took a hiatus from our market, huge improvements were made to the model.



Hyundai has completed the global launch of its new Sonata at the Auto Expo. The Sonata now follows Hyundai's design philosophy - the fluidic design.

The car will come powered by a 2.4-litre GDI engine that makes 201 PS@6300 rpm and 25.5kgm@4250 rpm and dual VTVT. The Sonata is now a what is being touted as the best in segment and Hyundai says the design of the car has been inspired by the effect of gravity on an orchid, which explains the car's flowing lines.

The car will come with a six-speed manual transmission as well as an automatic tranny.

The new Hyundai Sonata also comes with a full set of safety features like six airbags, ABS, ESP. In addition there is front and rear seat ventilation, rain sensing wipers, parking sensors and a camera. The car also comes with Xenon lamps, paddle shifters and cruise control.



The Mini brand, once under British ownership, is now part of the BMW group and under them managed to make quite a reputation for itself. The brand has finally made it to our shores with the launch of four models and three dealerships.

BMW is setting up a completely dealership network for the brand and have already finalised three dealerships. Deutsch Motoren and Bird Automotive in Delhi and Infinity in Mumbai with more on the way in other cities.

Four models were launched today starting with the bog standard Mini Cooper at Rs. 24.9 Lakh, the Cooper S at Rs. 27.9 Lakh, Convertible at Rs. 29.99 Lakh and finally the Countryman crossover at Rs. 31.99 Lakh. Engine choices include 1.6-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesels mated to automatic transmissions. Manual transmissions, unfortunately, will not make it here.

Regardless of the transmission, get ready for some driving fun!



At Auto Expo 2012, Fiat showed the recently launched Linea sedan which receives a minor face-lift and revised prices. The updated Fiat Linea comes priced at Rs 6.83 lakh going up to Rs 7.81 lakh. The diesel Linea comes priced at Rs 7.84 lakh for the base variant going up to Rs 8.84 lakh, while the Emotion variant costs Rs 9.19 lakh. With these revised prices and refreshed looks, Fiat has a better chance of taking on the competition.