Test Drive: 11 top car and bike launches at the Auto Expo 2016
Every alternate year, car and bike lovers across the country are treated to the best of the Indian automotive industry, at the Auto Expo. We get you 2016’s top picks
Without question, the biennial Auto Expo is the biggest event in the Indian automotive calendar. Every two years, car lovers get treated to all that is drool-worthy in the world of automobiles. The Auto Expo 2016 was no different. Here are the vehicles that you just had to see if you had visited the event at the India Exposition Mart in Greater NOIDA from February 5 to February 9.
Audi R8 V10 Plus
Audi also launched the new R8 V10 Plus at a relatively modest R2.47 crore, ex-showroom. The R8 V10 Plus is the German manufacturer’s fastest production car till date and is capable of posting a 0-100 km/h time of 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 330 km/h.
Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
The Auto Expo also saw the iconic Jeep brand make its way to Indian shores. While commercial sales will start in mid-2016, Jeep unveiled three models that everyone is sure to want to get their hands on, including the super stylish Wrangler Unlimited. It incorporates the classic Jeep design, blending it with modern technology to create a package that is at once, timeless and capable.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
This concept has been designed and developed by Maruti’s Indian R&D using a global platform that was created by Suzuki. For now, the company’s 200 DDiS diesel engine has been chosen to power this SUV but a petrol option won't be unexpected.
Honda Project 2&4
If one could ever conceive motorcycling on four wheels, the result could not have been anything but Honda’s Project 2&4. The concept’s aluminium structure is similar to a motorcycle frame. It features bike-sized brakes, adjustable Öhlins damper and even a central fuel tank. Power comes from Honda’s 212 PS 999 cc V4 motorcycle engine – the same that went into Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa’s MotoGP spec RC213V.
Hyundai resurrected the Tucson at the Auto Expo by unveiling the brand new generation of the SUV. While the Korean manufacturer kept all details about the new Tucson at bay, the exteriors of the new vehicle is definitely more contemporary and butch than the old Tucson.
Toyota Innova Crysta
Toyota unveiled the next generation of the ever popular Innova MPV, now christened Innova Crysta. The vehicle is powered by an all-new engine and consumers will also have the option of a six-speed auto transmission. Apart from the styling updates and the inevitable improvements of an updated platform, the Innova Crysta will also offer a whole new list of creature comforts.
British motorcycle marquee Triumph unveiled its latest products in the form of the Bonneville T120, Street Twin and Thruxton R. The 900-cc engine on the retro Street Twin churns out 80 Nm at 3200 revs and is priced at Rs 6.9-lakh (ex-Delhi) and will hit showrooms in March. The more robust T120 hits showrooms in April, and sports a 1200-cc engine producing 105 Nm at 3100 RPM, and is priced at R8.7 lakh (ex-delhi). Finally, arriving in showrooms by July is the café racer inspired Thruxton R also gets a 1200-cc engine only it’s been tuned to produce 112 Nm at 4950 RPM. Triumph is yet to disclose the price.
Yamaha Motor Company launched the brilliant MT-09 at the expo. This new big bike from the Japanese marque was launched by film star John Abraham. Priced at R10.20 lakh (ex-Delhi) this 847-cc motor produces 115PS and 87.5 Nm of torque and weighs just 188 kilos. We were expecting the company to at least showcase the smaller MT range, however, only the MT-09 made an appearance. Apart from the MT-09, Yamaha also had Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP competition bike – the YZF-M1 on display.
Aprilia’s awesome moto-scooter, the SR 150, was unveiled at the Auto Expo, and soon this powerful 150-cc scoot will go on sale in the country. Powered by the same engine as the Vespa 150, the SR 150 is tuned to deliver slightly more power and torque. And, given its racy appearance we are guessing that the power will be in the 12 PS range however, apart from an August launch.
DSK Benelli showcased four new bikes at the Expo, announcing their impending India launch as well. The TnT Naked T — 135, the tiniest Benelli motorcycle, will make its debut in mid-2016. This little wonder looks quite attractive thanks to its Supermoto inspired styling and a 13 PS single-cylinder motor. Next up was a motocross styled bike called the BX 250. Powered by a 250-cc motor that is capable of producing around 25 PS, the BX is an attractive option for the off-road enthusiast.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI)
HMSI was on a roll at the Expo. Their first announcement was the Navi. Now, you may be wondering, what is the Navi? Well, even Honda doesn’t know which genre this cute little thing falls in because it is a cross between a motorcycle and a scooter. Keita Muramatsu, President and CEO, HMSI said that “we leave it to our customers to decide what the Navi is”. Anyway, this little contraption uses the same 110-cc engine and wheels from the Activa scooter albeit in a brand new frame. This fun-looking two-wheeler from HMSI was launched at a price of R39,500 (ex-Delhi), pretty attractive for a cheeky little machine. The second product from HMSI that got the crowds going was the Africa Twin, a 1000-cc parallel-twin powered adventure bike which is simply awe-inspiring. It will be the second big bike from HMSI to be assembled in India. The brand did not give out any details regarding the exact date they plan on launching the Africa Twin. However, we can tell you can expect it by the end of the year.