In India, the first round of car launches, updates and facelifts begins around the month of February and goes on till the end of April. New cars and facelifted models of ongoing models are introduced towards the end of the financial year during the months of February & March so that the anticipation is built up among customers and car enthusiasts alike, most automobile companies target the beginning of the new financial year in April to start deliveries of their latest models to customers. The months of February-April are generally very busy for the automobile market, companies drop prices and serve exclusive offers during the tail end of the financial year to meet their targets for the ending financial year. At the dawn of April, new targets for the new financial year are handed out and companies push their latest & greatest offerings to customers.
In 2021, a host of car launches were scheduled to happen during the months of March and April, companies like Audi, Hyundai, Skoda, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz amongst others were expected to launch new models of their outgoing models. Most of these car manufacturers decided to postpone their launches by a couple of months due to ongoing Covid-19 pandemic crisis in the country. This means that we can look forward to a few new launches during the month of May which is generally pretty dry in terms of car launches in India during the years gone by before the pandemic. Here are the top 4 car launches expected during the month of May in no particular order:
- Hyundai Alcazar
The Hyundai Alcazar is one of the most hotly anticipated debuts of 2021. The new 7-seater SUV offering from Hyundai has already garnered a lot of attention during its press reveal during the month of March with the official launch expected to occur in May.
The Hyundai Alcazar will be based on the frame of one of Hyundai’s most sold cars – the Hyundai Creta. The Alcazar will be longer, taller and wider than the Creta but it will carry over the same basic chassis although slightly longer while retaining the same design language and similar exterior as the Creta with some minor detailing and highlights to make the Alcazar look more appealing while increasing its road presence. The Alcazar will go up against cars from rival manufacturers like the MG Hector Plus, Tata Safari and the soon to arrive Mahindra XUV700. The Alcazar is expected to have a host of first-in-segment features along with a comprehensive safety package and luxurious interiors.
The Alcazar will be offered with a petrol and a diesel engine option. The 2.0 litre petrol engine makes around 150 bhp power and 190 Nm of peak torque while the 1.5 litre diesel engine puts out around 113 bhp of power and 250 Nm of peak torque. The engines are expected to be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox with the possibility of a 7-speed Dual-Clutch transmission also on offer.
- Mercedes-Benz GLA
The Mercedes-Benz GLA is a car that is a cross of a A-Class series car which has been enabled for rough use like a SUV. The new GLA from Mercedes-Benz will be the German automaker’s fourth launch in India for the year 2021 after the launches of the new A Class, AMG A35 and the new C-Class models earlier this year. The upcoming GLA was first showcased in India at the 2020 Auto Expo and will soon be open to the public for purchase. The GLA will fit in between the A Class and the C Class models in the Indian market while offering a comprehensive set of entry level luxury class features.
The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLA will be available in 3 options to choose from – GLA 200, GLA 200d and the GLA A35 AMG. The GLA A35 AMG will be offered with the same powertrain as seen in the AMG A35 launched earlier this year, the AMG model will be powered by a 2.0 litre Tubrocharged petrol engine which delivers 301 bhp of power with a peak torque of 400 Nm to the front wheels via a 7-speed automatic transmission. The GLA 200 will be powered by a 1.4 litre Turbocharged petrol engine which gives 161 bhp of peak power and 250 Nm of maximum torque. The GLA 200d is the only diesel option powered by a 2.0 litre diesel engine putting out 147 bhp of power and 320 Nm of peak torque. The GLA 200 and 200d will be on offer with either a 7-speed or a 8-speed automatic transmission.
- Skoda Octavia
The new Skoda Octavia is one of the most awaited launches from Skoda this year, the mid-range sedan from Skoda has been Skoda’s most sold model since their entry in India. The outgoing 4th generation of the Octavia was introduced in 2019, initially the update for the Octavia was supposed to arrive in April this year but was pushed back by a month due to the Covid-19 crisis in India. There is very little competition in its segment and it comes in the form the Hyundai Elantra. The new Skoda Octavia is expected to have better safety features, more interior comfort and a host of technology to aid convenience.
The new Skoda Octavia will be powered by a 2.0 litre Turbocharged petrol TSi engine from Volkswagen which delivers 187 bhp of power to the wheels via a 7-speed DSG gearbox that deals the 320 Nm of peak torque from the engine. The latest Skoda Octavia is already in dealerships for test drives and bookings are open.
- Isuzu D-Max V-Cross
The Isuzu D-Max V-Cross is due to get its BS6 update this year. When compared to its outgoing version, it would receive most significant update to the Isuzu D-Max-Cross is BS6 Compliant 1.9 litre four cylinder diesel engine, this would replace 2.5 litre motor from the outgoing model. The new model is expected to produce 161 bhp and 360 Nm of torque which would be offered with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Isuzu D-Max is an underrated workhorse of a car with strong build quality and all-round capabilities. While it may not have a large market share, it’s owners have not been disappointed and barely have anything to complain about.