The beginning of every year is marked by brands bumping up the cost of their cars. Tata is not far behind in this race and most recently, the brand has announced a price hike. As always, the increasing input costs are blamed for this increase and the ongoing chip shortage is only making it worse. Tata Motors has announced a marginal price hike on its passenger vehicles and buyers should be ready to see an average increase of 0.9 percent depending upon the variant and model, effective January 19, 2022.
At the same time, the Company has also taken a reduction of up to Rs 10,000 on specific variants, in response to feedback from customers. The company claims that it is absorbing a significant portion of the increased costs, the steep rise in overall input costs has compelled it to pass on some proportion through this so-called minimal price hike. The only positive attribute that comes along with this hike is the fact that the company has decided to offer price protection to all its customers. It Assures no impact on Tata cars booked on or before January 18, 2022.
Tata Sales and EVs
Last year brought many laurels for Tata Motors, and in December the brand even became the Number 2 top-selling brand of the month by defeating Hyundai. Even though none of the auto brands could manufacture at full capacity, Tata registered a 49.92 percent YoY Growth. Tata’s sales in the domestic and international market for Q3 FY22 stood at 1,99,633 units as compared to 1,58,218 units during Q3 FY21 which adds up to be a 26 percent growth. While the brand did report an overall growth in all vehicle categories, the EV category registered bonkers growth rates. The brand sold 2,255 EVs in December 2022 as compared to 418 EVs in December 2021 these figures result in a 439 percent YoY growth. At the same time, the brand registered a 345 percent YoY growth in Q3 FY22.
Most recently, Tata has released the much-awaited, Safari Dark Edition and the car is bound to gain some traction. Next up, the brand has a new CNG lineup planned with the Tiago and Tigor CNG. The Punch CNG variant has also been spied testing alongside Tigor and Tiago CNG variants and it could make its arrival soon. The new EV subsidiary called ‘Tata Passenger Electric Mobility’ or ‘TPEML’ could mean that we will get to see some new electric offerings from the brand.
At this point, it was pretty much expected of the market leader to increase its prices just like every carmaker is doing these days. Maruti Suzuki has hiked the prices of all its cars from the Arena and Nexa range. Unsurprisingly, this is due to the rise in input costs for the manufacturer. The price hike for Arena models is from ₹10,000 to a substantial ₹30,000 for cars like the WagonR. The Nexa range sees a hike between ₹15,000 and ₹21,000. With the price hike aside, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming cars from the Indian carmaker:
This compact family car has been one of the most famous Maruti of the Indian market. The low cost, compact design, good economy, and decent comfort make it the best daily commuter for people living in crowded areas. The new-generation Alto has been spied testing. Though camouflaged, we could still see certain similarities in design with the present gen Alto. The rear seems to be slightly different and the interiors could also get the new Celerio like look. It could be powered by the same 800cc engine which is available as a petrol or a CNG or we could also see the entry of a 1.0L variant.
The facelifted Baleno offers a lot of changes. The front looks wider thanks to the new fascia. There’s a new grille that is much larger and it has a mesh design to it. There is also a brushed aluminum belt that runs across the grille and merges into the headlights which are much sharper now and get a projector set up. In terms of powertrain, it is offered with a 1.2-liter DualJet VVT engine that produces a maximum power output of 89 bhp and 113 Nm of peak torque. The other engine is a 1.2-liter naturally-aspirated VVT engine which produces 83hp and 113nm of torque. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a CVT.
The new Brezza gets radical design changes. The front features an upright bonnet and a new grille with chrome detailing inside it. The headlights are all-new projector LEDs and they feature two L-shaped strips which double up as the LED DRLs. It also gets a silver skid plate and new 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels.
The next-gen Vitara Brezza will be powered by the same 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated K15B petrol engine that produces 105 PS and 138 Nm of peak torque. This engine may get upgraded to a 48V mild-hybrid unit as is seen on the new S-Cross.
The demand for cleaner fuel is at its peak. Pollution levels are increasing beyond control, so much so, that the streets are engulfed in smog posing a great threat to the environment and thus, our health. Automobiles are the major contributors to air pollution, and although the industry is transitioning to EVs, we still have a long journey ahead of us. But this ride can indeed be made cleaner and cheaper, by the inclusion of CNG.
Driving a CNG to Reach EVs
While CNG might not be the answer to enthusiasts, it is most definitely one that will lead us to a bright and less polluted future. While it is true that CNG or Compressed Natural Gas is also a fossil fuel, when burnt it produces nearly zero emissions. Back in the day, CNG was only used in three-wheelers and that is one of the reasons for its unpopularity in the market. Today most of the leading automobile brands of our country are releasing CNG variants for their cars.
These factory-fitted CNG vehicles have better power delivery and also offer better mileage. We even get to see commercial vehicles being powered by CNG, like the Bajaj Maxima. Another factor pushing the case for CNG is the rising petrol and diesel cost. CNG still ranges between ₹60 – ₹80/ Kg, which is far less than traditional fuels. It also offers a better mileage of close to 30Km/Kg depending upon the car and the CNG kit fitted.
CNG Vs Electric
It is a fact that the future will be dominated by electric vehicles, but as of now, the EV industry has several hurdles to overcome. From building trust to building infrastructure, the transition from ICE to Electric is bound to be tricky. CNG on the other hand has already come a long way. This near-zero-emission fuel has been spread across the entire country and one can easily find a CNG pump in his/her vicinity.
The initial cost is also a major concern, as EVs are still quite costly. CNG variants of cars will also cost more than gasoline variants but they are way cheaper in comparison to EVs. Variety is another front where CNGs push EVs down. The EV industry is in its infancy, which means that it does not offer a wide range of vehicles unlike CNG, which has a bigger range for the buyers to choose from.
Pune-based startup company Tork Motors is gearing up to launch their flagship electric motorcycle Kartos. Tork Motors will launch Kartos on 26th January 2022 and will also start with the booking on the same day. At the time of its reveal, the T6X was set to be priced at ₹ 1,24,999. This can change subject to the subsidies applied by each state.
Tork Kratos: a recap
The company has also raised funds from ancillaries major Bharat Forge and Bhavish Aggarwal (Founder of Ola cabs), the company has attracted funds from Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons. The much-admired industrialist has invested an undisclosed amount. It took 7 years of research and development for Tork Motorcycles to build their fifth prototype which has finally been made to the production line. The T6X will be rolled out of Tork’s manufacturing facilities in Chakan. The company plans to sell around 5,000-10,000 units each year for the first three years.
Tork Motors is about to introduce indigenously developed electric vehicles which are Made in India and their first product is built as a culmination of years of extensive research and development. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the T6X, an electric motorcycle, is engineered to travel at a top speed of 100 km/h, and runs 100 km on a single charge. The battery can be charged up to 80% in an hour. It features their signature TIROS (Tork Intuitive Response Operating System), an AI system that will power the T6X.
Apart from analysis and compilation of data for every ride, power management, real-time power consumption, and range forecasts, TIROS also likes to learn how you ride. It also updates and incorporates new features automatically via cloud connectivity. Other features include a 4.3″ TFT display with app connectivity and navigation, an IP67 certified Lithium-Ion battery pack with a quick-charging function. The T6X rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with tubeless tires.
The ride is assisted by a DRL, ABS with CBS, anti-theft, geo-sensing, along with front and rear disc brakes. At the moment there are six public charging stations set up by Tork in Pune and Lonavala. There are further plans to increase public chargers in other cities.
The Royal Enfield is the clear favourite when it comes to 350cc cruiser bikes and they have been dominating this segment for the past few years. However, Yezdi recently made a comeback with not one but three new bikes! The cheapest and the most accessible bike in Yezdi’s lineup is the Roadster 350 which will go up against the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. So how do these bikes compare? Let’s find out!
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is priced between ₹ 1.78 lakh to 1.93 lakh whereas the Yezdi Roadster is priced between ₹1.98 lak to ₹ 2.06 lakh. The Meteor 350 is significantly cheaper than the Roadster with a hefty difference of almost ₹20,000.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350 specifications, it is powered by a 348cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine with 20.2BHP and 27Nm of peak output. On the other hand, Yezdi Roadster is powered by a 334cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with DOHC which puts out 29.7PS of power and 29Nm of torque. On paper, we can clearly see Yezdi roadster has more power and torque.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with 41mm front forks with 130mm of travel and twin-tube emulsion shock absorbers with a 6-step adjustable preload at the rear end. The Yezdi gets sprung on Telescopic forks and a gas-charged twin rear shock shocker with preload adjustment. The braking duties on Yezdi are performed by a 320mm Brake disc at the front and a 240mm disc at the rear. The Meteor 350 gets 300mm front and 270mm rear discs and dual-channel ABS.
In terms of seat height, the Meteor 350 gets a seat height of 765mm. The Yezdi Roadster get a higher seat height which comes it at 790mm which is much higher. The Meteor gets a larger fuel tank of 15 liters as compared to 12.5 liters on the roadster. A big fuel tank means a longer range and so the Meteor can achieve a longer range.
The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 comes with features like- a Digi-analogue instrument cluster with 8 tell-tale lights and an analog speedometer with kmph and mph markings. The bike’s digital screen will display information like a service reminder, a much-needed fuel-level bar, a clock, a gear indicator, and an eco indicator, to name a few.
Besides the speedometer, Royal Enfield has also added another color TFT screen, which is called as Tripper Navigation Display Unit. This feature will allow the rider to pair their smartphone via Bluetooth, to see turn-by-turn navigation in both day and night modes. This navigation feature has been developed in association with Google Maps and is being offered as a standard feature across all variants.
Yezdi offers many modern elements. The LED headlight, an LCD instrument console, multi-spoke alloy wheels, and a dual-tone paint finish, all bring the bike up to speed with today’s time. The bike is offered in five colors and two schemes. You can either opt for the Dark tone, wherein the engine, clutch cover, side panels, mirrors, and mudguards are all covered in black, or the chrome trim which gives the engine cover, mirrors, and exhausts a chrome finish, while the mudguards and side panels are body-colored.
Yezdi is also offering many accessories with the bike such as a headlamp mesh and a larger windshield. The Roadster gets slightly raised handlebars and center set footpegs. This combination results in a commanding position for the rider, giving him all the control over the bike. It gets a single-piece seat, but even still the pillion seat looks decently sized. The pillion also gets a backrest for added comfort and safety.
The newest launch from Maruti Suzuki now gets a new powertrain option. Maruti Suzuki India Limited, today announced the launch of the CNG variant of its All-New Celerio. The Celerio now gets the S-CNG technology which not only offers enhanced safety but better performance as well. The Celerio was crowned as the most efficient gasoline car on the Indian roads and the CNG variant is also breaking records of its predecessors. Adding to all this is the price. This compact feature-rich CNG vehicle is priced at ₹6,58,000/-. Let’s take a closer look and see what else does this CNG variant offer.
The car does not offer any design changes neither on the inside nor on the outside. The only way to distinguish this car from its gasoline counterpart is the CNG badging at the rear. The interior is the same as what was seen on the VXi variant of the petrol-only Celerio. The features are the same and the car gets, the same HVAC, central-locking, power windows, and electric ORVMs. Safety features are also the same with 2-Airbags, ABS, and parking sensors.
Coming to performance, the CNG variant is powered by the next-generation Dual Jet, Dual VVT K-Series 1.0L engine and has a CNG tank capacity of 60L. In terms of power output, the car offers 56HP and 82.1Nm of torque in CNG mode as compared to 64HP and 89Nm in gasoline mode. Celerio CNG is highly fuel-efficient and the company claims that the car gives a mileage of 35.60 Km/Kg.
Maruti Suzuki S-CNG Technology
Maruti Suzuki factory-fitted S-CNG vehicles are equipped with dual interdependent ECUs (Electronic Control Units) and an intelligent injection system. Vehicles are specially tuned and calibrated to deliver optimum performance and enhanced drivability across all kinds of terrains. S-CNG vehicles are also designed for safety, engine durability, convenience, and great mileage.
The launch of Maruti Suzuki’s S-CNG vehicle range is aligned to and complements the Government of India’s vision of reducing oil import and enhancing the share of natural gas in the country’s primary energy mix from 6.2% now to 15% by 2030. While the Government is working to rapidly increase the CNG fuel pumps network in the country, Maruti Suzuki has many more CNG offerings ready to hit the market.
Hyundai Motor India Ltd. today announced their new campaign Under the aegis of ‘Beyond Mobility’ which features the Alcazar, featuring Shah Rukh Khan and the 4 Indian Women Cricketers – Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniyaa Bhatia, and Shafali Verma. The TVC captures the journey of Smriti, Jemimah, Taniyaa, and Shafali with Shah Rukh Khan in the Alcazar.
Commenting on the launch of the new campaign, Mr. Tarun Garg, Director (Sales, Marketing & Service), Hyundai Motor India Limited, said,” As a brand that is driven by the vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’, Hyundai has transcended different dimensions to give customers meaningful and innovative messages, be it for our products, services or new initiatives. As India’s leading SUV brand of 2021, our products offer customers experiences that go ‘Beyond Mobility, exceeding their aspirations through Intelligent Technology, Innovation, and Sustainability. With our latest campaign, Hyundai has engaged its young and inspiring Corporate Brand Ambassadors – Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Taniyaa Bhatia, and Shafali Verma along with Shah Rukh Khan, to showcase the many unique and aspirational elements of ALCAZAR in thought-provoking series of events. As a youth-centric brand, the new campaign showcases millennial preference for innovative new-age technology and Hyundai’s commitment to delivering the best through its world-class products.”
A quick recap
The Alcazar has the same tri-beam LED headlamp setup as the Creta but the Alcazar gets a slightly different chrome-studded cascading grille. The rear overhang seems longer than before and that has been done to accommodate the extra row of seating. The profile of this SUV is quite similar to Creta except that it’s visually longer, thanks to 2,760 mm of wheelbase, which is 150 mm more than that available on the Creta. The increased length is further reinforced by the step-board and the new design for the 18-inch alloy wheels sets the Alcazar apart from its five-seater sibling.
The cabin oozes premium and in a typical Hyundai fashion, is loaded with features. It is evident that the interior is a huge upgrade from the Creta’s and packs in more features as well. For starters, it features a lovely Dual Tone Cognac Brown shaded interior as opposed to the black and beige theme we have seen in the Creta. Hyundai has been stressing the fact that the Alcazar will boast of many segment-first features and that stands true. It gets a 10.25-inch multi-display digital instrument cluster that is still a novelty in its segment. Hyundai has paid special attention to making sure that the Alcazar comes out as a luxurious people-hauler.
The Alcazar is available with a choice between a 2.0-liter petrol engine and a 1.5-liter turbocharged diesel power plant. The petrol unit is a third-generation Nu 2.0 unit that puts out best-in-segment 157 bhp and 191 Nm of peak torque. The 1.5-liter diesel engine, on the other hand, develops 113 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque, which is the same as in Creta diesel. Both the power plants are available with a choice between a six-speed manual gearbox and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Kia Motors India opened pre-booking for its upcoming MPV, the Carens, on 14th January 2022 via its website and via any of the authorized dealerships for a booking amount of INR 25,000. The MPV is all set to launch in February and it is highly awaited by many. Now, the Carens has achieved 7738 bookings in just 24 hours. This is the highest number of bookings achieved in 24 hours by any Kia in India.
Tae-Jin Park, the Managing Director, and CEO, Kia India, said,” We are delighted with the overwhelming response that Kia Carens has received from customers, within the first 24 hours of starting the pre-bookings. It is the highest first-day booking we have received for any of our products in India. With the Carens, we offered a choice of multiple engines and transmission options, coupled with the standard Robust 10 High Safety package and many first-in-class features, to ensure it suits the requirement of anyone who wants a sophisticated and safe family mover. It is heartening to see the faith of our customers in brand Kia and this response from them is a testimony to the rising popularity of our latest offering in the country.”
A quick recap
The look is bold and edgy. The front is divided into two parts. The lower portion houses a big mesh grille which is surrounded by chrome inserts. The fog lamps are placed next to the grille and have a triple light set up. The LED headlights also get a triple beam setup, and the DRLs are split from the main lights. A slat of black connects the two DRLs and gets an embossed design. Looking from the side, we see a straight roofline, and bold character lines running across the fenders.
The plastic-clad wheel arches and side plates add to the bold appeal. Being an MPV the rear stretches farther back, but the wider stance, sharp taillights, and the chunky diffuser with chrome lines neatly cover the estate look of the Carens. The interiors offer a beautiful look, with a wrap-around dashboard and a flat-bottom steering wheel. The seats are finished in Indigo and Beige, while the dash is covered in high gloss black. Not just the front seats but the cup holders are also ventilated.
We no more see a single piece of glass, and now get a separate 10.25-inch infotainment system and a fully digital display. The car is equipped with an air purifier and the 2nd row also gets seatback tables. The car is available in 6 and 7-seater models. In both cases, we get one-touch electric tumble seats for easy access to the 3rd row, and the rear doors also get spot lamps. Both second and third rows get AC vents. The spacious cabin gets 64-colour ambient lighting, a skylight sunroof, and a Bose sound system with 8 speakers.
The Carens is offered with three powertrain options;
- 1497cc four-cylinder petrol engine, that put out 115HP and 144 Nm of torque. This unit is coupled with either a 6-Speed MT.
- 1493cc four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, that puts out 115HP and 250Nm. This unit is coupled with a 6-Speed MT or a 6-Speed AT.
- The most powerful offering is a 1353cc four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine, that puts out 140HP and 242 Nm of torque. This unit will come alongside a 6-Speed manual or a 7-Speed DCT.