Ashok Leyland Dost Express passenger van coming next month?

Ashok Leyland has tasted big success with the Dost mini pick up truck, which the Indian utility vehicle maker developed in collaboration with Japanese automaker Nissan. Emboldened by the success of the Dost and the steady growth that the mini pick up truck/passenger van market is witnessing in India, Ashok Leyland has planned new variants of the Dost.

Note: The renders used in the images are speculative in nature. 

While the CNG powered version of the Dost is in the works, Ashok Leyland is likely to launch the passenger van version of the mini pick up truck, as early as next month. Dubbed the Dost Express, the passenger van version of the Dost will seat no less than 14 adults, giving it a much larger capacity than both the Tata Ace Magic and the Mahindra Maxximo.

Notably, this seating capacity will mean that the Dost Express could rival the Tata Winger, although the former could feature a lower price tag than the Winger. Ashok Leyland, by offering the Dost with a 1.25 ton payload, has positioned the pick up truck above the likes of the Tata Ace and the Mahindra Maxximo.

A similar strategy could be adopted with the Dost Express, with the passenger van sitting above the likes of the Ace Magic and the Maxximo van, but below the Tata Winger. This strategy makes eminent sense given the fact that Ashok Leyland will launch the Stile MPV in October, a product that will undercut the Nissan Evalia in terms of pricing.

Notably, the Stile MPV is a badge engineered version of the Nissan Evalia. The 1.5 liter-triple cylinder, common rail turbo diesel engine that powers the Dost pick up truck is expected to make it way into the Dost Express too. This engine outputs 58 Bhp of peak power and 157.5 Nm of peak torque.

Like the Dost pick up truck, the Dost Express is expected to use a five speed manual gearbox that will drive the rear wheels. Both BS3 and BS4 versions of the Dost Express are expected to be launched, with a CNG option likely to be added to the variant mix as and when Ashok Leyland launches such an option for the Dost mini pick up truck. 

A power steering and air conditioning are likely to be the creature comforts offered on the top variant of the Dost Express. The Dost Express will be built at Ashok Leyland's Hosur facility, alongside the cargo variant. 

Source RohinNagrani on Twitter

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