NDTV Profit’s Siddharth Patankar who hosts The Car and Bike Show has managed to spot a Honda Brio car on test in India. Although the out of focus image isn’t clear by any standards, it’s the first such image clicked in India. The image seems to have been re-clicked off a screen, resulting in further deterioration of the quality of image.
Now there is nothing to hide about the shape and details of the Brio as the official pictures of the car have been out for a long time. However, the blokes at Honda have still taped the tail-lamps section of the car for unknown reasons. The distinct shape of the car, gives itself away rather easily though.
Delayed slightly due to the disaster in Japan, the Honda Brio is expected to be powered by the 1.2-liter i-VTEC engine of the Jazz, or a smaller three cylinder version of it. Expected to be positioned in the sub-5 lakh category, the compact will slug it out with the likes of the Swift, i10 and Figo when launched. Brio is Honda’s only hope in these tough times when the sales of the company are dwindling owing to a lack of new launches and increased competition in the C segment where the City was ominous at one point.
The Brio can be expected to be launched in a few months’ time, and should definitely boost volumes for the Japanese carmaker. However, we don’t see any possibility of the new car featuring a diesel engine, an option that almost all the hatchbacks are offering nowadays. Lack of diesel engines in its lineup has emerged as one of the major chinks in Honda’s lineup, and if they don’t allocate some resources towards the development of small and efficient oil burner mills quickly, they may lose a lot of ground in not just the Indian, but international market as well.
Even without the diesel engine, pricing would play a critical role in the success of the Brio. The Japanese company has been offering twin air bags and ABS as standard throughout its range. Putting the goodies as standard on the Brio may push its price up and reduce the volumes. Moreover, Honda has been known to price its products higher than ideal in India. It would be interesting to see how Honda walks the tightrope between keeping the price low and staying true to its commitment of safety to the customers.
Would you be interested in a Brio if it’s priced above, say the Swift ZXI? Do let us know.