This Auto Expo, like the 2008 edition, will be yet another small car special. With five new small cars from three new entrants in the field being shown, either in concept guise or production form, there is a lot at stake for more than one manufacturer. The 2010 Auto Expo will also play host to over two lakh visitors and promises to be bigger and better than before. We take a look at what will make a buzz this year.
Maruti might be under attack in the small car space, but don’t think India’s largest car manufacturer is going to stay laid-back. It will bring five important cars to the show - the production Suzuki Kizashi sedan, the R III MPV concept, the Eeco MPV, YR9 small car and the Y3 small car concept. The Kizashi is Suzuki’s first attempt at a D-segment saloon and it looks like a winner, with its styling as well as build quality. Powered by the same 2.4-litre petrol engine from the Grand Vitara, but with more power and a six-speed sequential auto, the Kizashi might be here in India by late-2010/early-2011 at a price that would wean a whole lot of Honda Accord and VW Jetta buyers away. The Eeco is nothing more than a Versa facelift, with a Euro-IV ready 1.2-litre K Series engine. It will be priced around Rs 4 lakh and offers better value than the outgoing Versa. Another MPV concept is the R III, which will be an all-new MPV to take on the likes of the Mahindra Xylo. Based on the SX4 platform, the R III will boast of a 1.3-litre Multijet diesel and a 1.4-litre K Series engine when it goes on sale in late-2011. The YR9 is the Wagon-R replacement that is wider and more comfortable on the inside, with better quality interiors and a 1.2-litre petrol engine. The YR3 is Maruti Suzuki’s first indigenous product to be designed, developed and manufactured here. It is being designed as an 800 replacement.
Ingolstadt-based Audi is using its growth trajectory in India to launch even more vehicles. With the A7 concept turning into reality, it promises to bring the production version into India by 2011, just weeks after its global launch. The A7, like the Mercedes-Benz CLS, is a four-door sports coupe and boasts of a low-roofline and powerful engines. The other big displays will include a vintage Horch, the Audi R8 and other Audi cars currently on sale in India.