New Hybrid Cars Launching In India Soon

Updated: 29 December, 2016 13:51 IST | |

Two each from Hyundai and Lexus; one each from VW, Toyota And Nissan

With the level of toxic air pollutants rising and reserves of renewable fossil fuel dwindling, the automobile industry is steadily resorting to the extraction of the required energy from an all-electric powertrain. Reasons for this transition are hard to argue with. While using electricity to power the vehicle will produce no harmful emissions directly, an all-electric power-plant will be much more reliable than the conventional combustion-chambers and gearboxes.

However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. The trouble with an all-electric setup is that it requires a robust infrastructure for consumers to accept it. While many countries around the world have started working towards developing the required tech to support all-electric vehicles as daily means of transport, India is far behind. Having said that, just like US, UK or even Norway, India will eventually join the list of nations that are working to update the infrastructure to support an all-electric vehicle. But it will take a few years for India to be completely ready.

To help reduce the transition period, several automakers offer cars with hybrid powertrains. India will see a surge in such vehicles in years to come. We compile a list of hybrid cars which are expected to land on Indian shores next year, via CBU (completely built unit) route, and will help customers be a lot more environmentally friendly on the move.

Nissan X-Trail

Nissan is all set to relaunch the X-Trail marque in India in 2017. This time around, it will be available in a hybrid avatar only. Powering the SUV will be a 2.0-litre petrol engine, tuned to produce 144PS of power and 200Nm of torque. This engine will be mated to an electric motor, which will extract its juices from a pack of lithium-ion batteries to produce 41PS of power and 160Nm of torque. A CVT (continuously variable transmission) will join the equation to transfer the power to the wheels. Moreover, to ensure that there is minimal loss of energy, Nissan has injected a torque converter unit as well.

Expected Price: Rs 30-35 lakh

Expected Launch: March 2017

Claimed Mileage: 20.6 Km/l

Toyota Prius


The Prius was the first car out of Toyota’s stable that showcased the benefits of a hybrid powertrain. The previous-gen Prius was launched in India back in 2010. Only a handful of customers found it appealing with its sky-high price-tag and an average performance. Now, though, with Toyota finding many customers for its Camry Hybrid, the Japanese auto giant will launch the all-new Prius next year. It will be powered by a more responsive and more efficient version of the current Prius’s 1.8-litre petrol engine, which churns out 98PS of power and 142Nm of torque. The oil-burner will be coupled to an upgraded electric motor which produces 72PS of power.

Expected Price: Rs 45 lakh

Expected Launch: First Quarter of 2017

Claimed Mileage: 40 Km/l

Lexus ES 300H

Lexus is Toyota’s answer to premium car marques such as Jaguar, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. In 2017, Lexus will finally make its way to India. Two out of three Lexus cars, which are expected to go on sale, will feature a hybrid power plant. One of them is called the ES 300H and it shares its underpinnings with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. Just like its cousin, the ES 300H will be powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine producing 160PS of power and 213Nm of torque. The gasoline engine is coupled with an electric motor, which alone churns out 143PS of power and 270Nm of torque. The combined peak power output is 205PS. Lexus will eventually want to assemble its cars in India and the ES 300H could very well be the first one as it shares the same powertrain with the Toyota Camry.

Expected Price: Rs 70 lakh

Expected Launch: February 2017

Claimed Mileage: 17 Km/l 

Volkswagen Passat GTE


The German auto giant stopped the production its Passat luxury sedan in 2013. After a break of more than three years, Volkswagen is now gearing up to relaunch the Passat badge in India. This time though, it will be available with a hybrid powertrain. Called the Passat GTE, it will feature plug-in hybrid tech. This will differentiate it from its main rivals like the Honda Accord Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. Battery packs in both the Japanese cars can only be charged using the on-board combustion engine whereas the one in the Passat GTE can be charged via a regular power socket as well. The German sedan will be powered by a 1.4-litre petrol motor which pumps out 156PS of power. The electric motor, on the other hand, is potent enough to churn out 115PS of power. The combined power output is 218PS and 400Nm. Transmission duties will be handled by a specially designed six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Expected Price: Rs 45 lakh

Expected Launch: First half of 2017

Claimed Mileage: 49.9 Km/l

Lexus RX 450H

The second hybrid offering from Lexus will be an Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC competitor in size and segment. However, the hybrid powertrain will set it apart from all of its competition once it launches in India next year. Powered by a combination of a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and two electric motors, the performance figures are awe-inspiring. A total of 312PS of power is harnessed by an e-CVT and is fed to all four wheels. It can complete the 0-100kmph sprint in just 7.8 seconds, which isn’t bad considering the 2.2-tonne weight of this people mover.

Expected Price: Rs 60 lakh

Expected Launch: February 2017

Claimed Mileage: 19.2 Km/l

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


Hyundai is the second largest carmaker in the country. It has captured many car segments under the Rs 20 lakh mark and with the Sonata Hybrid, it plans to land a punch in the hybrid world of Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and the upcoming Volkswagen Passat GTE. It is one segment that is slowly, but steadily gaining popularity among Indian buyers. Just like its German rival, the Sonata will be offered with plug-in hybrid technology. It will feature a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 156PS of power and 190Nm of torque. Coupled to the gasoline engine will be an electric motor that will produce 51PS of power and 205Nm of torque. The combined power output stands at 195PS.

Expected Price: Rs 30-35 lakh

Expected Launch: Late 2017 or Early 2018

Claimed Mileage: 17.86 Km/l

Hyundai Ioniq

Another offering from the South Korean carmaker will be the Ioniq sedan. It made its world debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show and has three powertrains on offer globally - hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric. India will most likely get the plug-in hybrid variant of this sedan, which will be powered by an electric motor producing 61PS of power and a 1.6-litre petrol engine that is tuned to pump out 105PS of power and 147Nm of torque. Transmission duties will be taken care of by a six-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, powering the front wheels.

Expected Price: Rs 30 lakh

Expected Launch: Late 2017 or Early 2018

Claimed Mileage: 24.66 Km/l

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First Published: 29 December, 2016 12:39 IST

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