Why wait for 2012?: Rs 15 lakh - Rs 20 lakh cars
Expected: Mid 2012, Price: Rs 15 lakh – Rs 40 lakh
Few current cars combine retro-cool, practicality and exceptional driving dynamics the way the new crop of MINIs do. India will finally see these sweet numbers roll in soon. The official announcement has already been made and the MINI range, including the MINI One, the Cooper, the diesel-powered Cooper D and the Countryman will join retro-modern contemporaries, the VW Beetle and the Fiat 500. The BMW-owned brand may be making a late entry into the Indian market, but is looking to do things differently by considering an assembly set-up in the BMW plant near Chennai. If implemented, this should give the MINIs a price edge over the CBU Fiat 500 and VW Beetle. Expect prices to start at Rs 15 lakh for the base models, and go up to Rs 40 lakh for the bells and whistles John Cooper Works models.
Skoda Yeti (detuned)
Expected: Early 2012, Price: Rs 14 lakh – Rs 15 lakh
The Skoda Yeti that was launched last year certainly is rather unique in the Indian market. This smaller, more car-like SUV goes up against soft-roaders such as the Suzuki Grand Vitara and features a highly capable permanent four-wheel drive system. What Skoda has in store for us next year is a slightly more affordable version of the Yeti which will likely feature a detuned version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine that features in the current Yeti which will produce about 110PS of power. In all probability, Skoda will skimp on none of the other features that make the Yeti such an attractive machine, but thanks to the cheaper engine, the cost of the Yeti is expected to drop by around Rs 1 lakh – Rs 1.5 lakh.
Mahindra Ssangyong Korando
Expected: Mid 2012 Price: Rs 14 lakh – Rs 15 lakh
After the successful launch of the much awaited global SUV from Mahindra, the XUV 5OO, Mahindra will launch the mid-sizer Korando with its south Korean partner Ssangyong,. The Korando is expected to be available in the country with a 2-litre, four- cylinder inline with a variable geometry turbo option for a diesel version. The maximum power output of the Korando is expected to be around 175PS at 4000rpm and 360Nm of torque at 2000-3000rpm. Both automatic and manual should be available.
The drive system is expected to be the adaptable four-wheel and a two-wheel drive system like in the Korean models, with ABD with EBD, ESP and airbags as standard. Features may include automatic climate control with dual air-conditioning.