The much awaited Honda Amaze compact sedan that is based on the Brio hatchback has been launched in Thailand. At the moment, Honda has only launched the petrol version of the Amaze in Thailand that is powered by its 1.2-litre i-VTEC engine. Available in four variants (two automatic and two manual), the Honda Amaze has been priced between 454,000 THB and 521,000 THB (Rs 8.16 lakh and Rs 9.35 lakh).
The Japanese car maker will be launching both petrol and diesel versions of the Amaze compact sedan in India next year. And judging by the current market scenario the Honda Amaze is expected to be priced between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 6.5 lakh for the petrol variants and Rs 6 lakh to Rs 7.5 lakh for the diesel models.
The petrol Amaze will be powered by the company’s 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol engine that does duty in the Brio and Jazz hatchbacks.
As for the diesel engine, Honda had unveiled its 1.6 diesel engine at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. However, due to regulations in India diesel engines displacing less than 1,500cc bear lower taxes.
Honda is therefore working on a downsized 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine with a shorter stroke and slightly different exhaust treatment that will displace less than 1,500cc. This makes perfect sense since the Amaze is a compact and lightweight sedan.
The Honda Brio hatchback’s spacious interiors, compact dimensions and nippy performance have given the car a good customer base. The Honda Amaze will take the game further by increasing practicality with its boot. And this is where the crux of the matter lies in relation to India.
Even though it has a boot, the Honda Amaze has been designed to be a compact sedan that measures in under the four-metre mark, thereby availing of the tax break given to compact cars in India.
The sub four-metre compact sedan segment is a lucrative segment in India as these cars offer the practicality and prestige of a sedan at the price of a hatchback. And the fact that the Swift DZire is the third highest selling car in the country is proof enough of the potential this segment.
Once the Honda Amaze hits the Indian market in 2013 there will be no looking back for the company. The car will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Tata Indigo eCS. And with its high revving, lightweight diesel motor it is likely that the Amaze will trump its rivals in the performance department.
Needless to say, the Honda badge will have the car’s credentials sealed and the Amaze compact sedan will considerably ramp up sales for the Japanese car maker in India.
That being said, Honda will undoubtedly plonk the 1.5 i-DTEC motor in the Jazz premium hatchback and the City mid-size sedan in the course of time to set its sales charts on fire in the country.
Also read: Honda Amaze : First Drive
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