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Old 26th March 2007, 12:28   #1
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Thumbs up It's raining cars this summer

The promise of 2007 as the year of the car is getting fulfilled. There are no less than six automotive launches in the next four weeks.
Mercedes-Benz fired the first salvo by unveiling their gorgeous looking CL-Class in Mumbai on Friday alongside the diesel variant of their mothership, the S-Class. The CL 500 is a large sporty and trendy coupe built around S-Class mechanicals and will retail for a whopping Rs 1.2 crore (Rs 12 million) plus in India.
Detractors may say that despite the price, the CL comes only with two doors, but those in the queue know the sheer value of exclusivity that the big coupe promises.
After all, almost every other CEO has got the bread-and-butter Rs 70 lakh (Rs 7 million) S-Class, right? But if you are not in that league and still covet an S-Class experience, then the newly launched S 320 CDI is for you. Order it without badges and no one is going to believe that you bought an S-Class but still covet fuel economy.
The sophisticated, third generation common-rail engine that powers the S 320 CDI is ultra-refined, mighty powerful and can still return a neat 10 km for every litre of sticky fuel that you put in.
At the end of this month, BMW will inaugurate their plant near Chennai which will roll out the BMW 320i and 325i petrols and the 325d diesel. BMWs are supposed to be built around drivers and these machines will add a new dimension to the entry level luxury motoring segment in India. Petrol and diesel versions of the bigger 5 Series will follow at a later date.
Expect the 3 Series Beemers to give a run to the highly successful Mercedes C-Class. Prices will start from Rs 26.95 lakh (Rs 2.695 million) onwards. But the all-new C-Class is making a debut in India later this year.
In the first week of April, the Ranjangaon plant of Fiat will go on stream. The greenfield plant was built with assistance from Tata but the first cars to roll out will be the face-lifted Fiat Palio hatchbacks with a 1.1 litre engine that will help Fiat price the car aggressively.
The Palio and the rest of Fiat's A178 platform-derived cars have had a horrid run in India after a relatively successful launch back in 2002. With the large network of Tata now handling after-sales and service the plucky Fiat meant for developing markets might have a successful second coming.
The new engine is supposed to be much more economical and is expected to return 14 kpl in city driving conditions. The new Palio faces stiff competition from the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Chevrolet U-VA and the new Hyundai Getz Prime.
The Getz Prime is also ready for launch in the first week of April, and it will feature the 1100cc engine borrowed from the Santro Xing. All these cars were not present in the market when the Palio made its debut in India.
Also on the comeback trail is the Daewoo Matiz, now christened Chevrolet Spark. Sure, the price of used Matizes are known to double when sold with a full tank of fuel, but the erstwhile 'Daewoo Project M' cars that wear a new look is currently being sold in Europe and feature a larger heart (a 1000cc four-cylinder engine instead of the 800cc three-cylinder unit that powered the Matiz).
The little Daewoo challenged the Suzuki Wagon R and Hyundai Santro in its first outing, and in the rejuvenated Spark attire, it has the updated versions of the competitors as well as a fresh challenge from the Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo to counter. General Motors chief Rick Wagoner will be flying in to unveil the Spark to the Indian masses on April 19. Expect aggressive pricing from GMI for the smallest car in their line-up.
But the car that has everyone's curiosity perked up is the Mahindra Renault Logan, which will make its India debut in April. The Logan, developed by Renault along with their Romanian subsidiary Dacia, is meant for emerging markets, and has been engineered to that end.
The Logan will get two petrol engine options (1400cc and 1600cc) and a 1500cc turbodiesel motor, which promises to be quite frugal. It is expected to take the battle into the Tata Indigo territory. Yes, this summer is going to be pretty hot in the automotive front for sure.



Story : It's raining cars this summer

Last edited by navdeep : 26th March 2007 at 12:30.
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Old 26th March 2007, 12:38   #2
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Two questions here:

1) Are any of these small cars e.g., new Fiat, Getz Prime, and for that matter even the soon to be launched Swift Zdi, going to be equipped with automatic transmission. Because tis a shame that none of the cars in this segment offer the AT even as an option if not standard.

2) Any news about the launch of the new Scorpio with the 2.2 Ltr CRDe (Eagle) engine?

Lets not forget the new Skoda Fabia too - expected sometime in the second/third quarter of 07.

regards,
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Old 26th March 2007, 12:48   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSV View Post
Two questions here:

1) Are any of these small cars e.g., new Fiat, Getz Prime, and for that matter even the soon to be launched Swift Zdi, going to be equipped with automatic transmission. Because tis a shame that none of the cars in this segment offer the AT even as an option if not standard.
not sure ..

Quote:
2) Any news about the launch of the new Scorpio with the 2.2 Ltr CRDe (Eagle) engine?
by year end..


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Lets not forget the new Skoda Fabia too - expected sometime in the second/third quarter of 07.
not before Jan'08... or may be even later.
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Old 26th March 2007, 12:59   #4
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Yup yup yup!!! Exciting times ahead especially with the Spark and Logan coming up. Cant wait to drive them as also see how the market accepts them. The BMW vs Merc fight will also be fun to watch.

Quote:
But if you are not in that league and still covet an S-Class experience, then the newly launched S 320 CDI is for you. Order it without badges and no one is going to believe that you bought an S-Class but still covet fuel economy.
Not everyone buys a CDI for economy; driveability and reliability could also be valid reasons.
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Old 26th March 2007, 13:26   #5
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Its nice to know universally mature cars launching in India is becoming the norm, compared to the not-too-distant past.
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Old 26th March 2007, 13:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSV View Post
Two questions here:

1) Are any of these small cars e.g., new Fiat, Getz Prime, and for that matter even the soon to be launched Swift Zdi, going to be equipped with automatic transmission. Because tis a shame that none of the cars in this segment offer the AT even as an option if not standard.
HSV, you gave word to my thought. I think this is where Car manufactures need to concentrate as there aren't many auto transmission option in this segment. I'm sure it has a potential to suceed with growing bumper to bumper traffic and lady drivers whose priority is driving ease and comfort over anything else (no offense meant to lady drivers). I was thinking that Zen Estilo would have one such variant but there it isn't.
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Old 26th March 2007, 13:55   #7
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Hi all

Spoke to Prerana motors in Bangalore. Spoke directly with showroom manager itself. He told me launch date for new palio will be 1st/2nd april for sure. He also confirms that its the 1.1 and is named Palio Stile as we already know via the photographs here. The 1.6 sport and adventure will be retained in the old look as well. As usual no talk of diesel MJD
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Old 26th March 2007, 14:12   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navdeep View Post
The new Palio faces stiff competition from the likes of Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Chevrolet U-VA and the new Hyundai Getz Prime.
The Getz Prime is also ready for launch in the first week of April, and it will feature the 1100cc engine borrowed from the Santro Xing.
Story : It's raining cars this summer
Isn't the Getz Prime a bigger, heavier car than the Santro Xing? If so, does not look like an attractive proposition to me, unless substantial improvements have been made to the engine. Wonder how the 1.1 L Palio and Getz Prime can compete with the Swift; maybe fuel economy, rather than power, is the main criterion.
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Old 26th March 2007, 14:31   #9
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Originally Posted by rks View Post
Isn't the Getz Prime a bigger, heavier car than the Santro Xing? If so, does not look like an attractive proposition to me, unless substantial improvements have been made to the engine. Wonder how the 1.1 L Palio and Getz Prime can compete with the Swift; maybe fuel economy, rather than power, is the main criterion.
matching fuel efficiency, more space and attractive prices thats what they will be banking upon.
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Old 26th March 2007, 14:36   #10
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Quote:
Isn't the Getz Prime a bigger, heavier car than the Santro Xing? If so, does not look like an attractive proposition to me,
Very true. The Getz has average performance, and the 1.1 will surely make it sluggish. The Palio 1.2 was no speedster either.

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matching fuel efficiency,
Could be the contrary. An over-worked engine never became fuel-efficient.

Last edited by GTO : 26th March 2007 at 14:40.
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Old 26th March 2007, 14:50   #11
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Hyundai and Fiat should try to build good value (performance AND fuel efficiency wise). Seems like they want to take Maruti on the fuel efficiency front. They will lose on both fronts (don't fight the Japanese on the fuel efficiency front, PLEASE).
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Old 26th March 2007, 14:56   #12
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The two cars I'm eagerly waiting for are the Spark and Logan, as I'm looking to replace my car with one of these two model. Just hope the complete package (price, performance, service, looks) is up to the expectations
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Old 26th March 2007, 15:41   #13
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Please get me the punto and FIAT dont touch the bumpers.... I won't mind paying 8% extra to havethe same looks and lines as the european model. And yes MJD tooo....
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Old 26th March 2007, 16:27   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nispatel View Post
HSV, you gave word to my thought. I think this is where Car manufactures need to concentrate as there aren't many auto transmission option in this segment. I'm sure it has a potential to suceed with growing bumper to bumper traffic and lady drivers whose priority is driving ease and comfort over anything else (no offense meant to lady drivers). I was thinking that Zen Estilo would have one such variant but there it isn't.
Yes, infact I had read somewhere in one of the team-bhp forums where they hada discussion about Maruti having initial plans to offer an AT version of Estilo - however it didn't come eventually - or may come later, dunno.

I read about the Fabia having a 6 speed tiptronic - which got me excited, however dashed me hopes when the article mentioned that its unlikely it would be introduced in India.

Frankly speaking I am disappointed! I wanted to buy a compact auto for me wife - dont really care about the torque/bhp - however was more inclined towards a premium hatch - i.e., great interiors, SAFE (dual SRS, ABS, etc) and Auto - say somewhere in the 5-6 lac segment. However there is NONE. And its a nuisance to drive in Delhi with a manual.

Only hope the new Getz, Swift Zxi/Zdi, Fabia, Punto etc come out with an option of auto.

regards,
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Old 26th March 2007, 16:51   #15
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Quote:
and for that matter even the soon to be launched Swift Zdi
Who said that?? Any source of news about it?
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