We bring you the weekly wrap-up of major automobile news from around India as well as globally. There has been significant news like dual airbags being made mandatory from April onwards. Few launches took place in the country this week. Biggest of them were the introduction of Ford EcoSport SE, TVS Apache RTR 160 4V and Renault Triber in the Indian market. BMW India launched the M340i xDrive at a price of Rs 62.90 lakhs (ex-showroom), Other important launches and news are covered in this weekly wrap-up.
Dual Front Airbags Mandatory from April in Cars in India
In a new move, the Government of India has made the front passenger airbag mandatory for all passenger cars. This is a welcome step as it will ensure proper safety for the co-passenger alongside the driver in a four-wheeler. This week, the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) issued a gazette notification in regards to airbags. With this new regulation coming into play, few companies might have to increase prices on their entry-level models. Expect the price of the cars to increase in the region of Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000 once this order is implemented.
Volvo XC40 Recharge EV was unveiled in India on March 9, 2021. The all-electric SUV bookings will start from June later this year with the deliveries slated to begin from October 2021. The new SUV is part of the Swedish manufacturer’s ambitious plans to sell only electric cars from 2030. Volvo XC40 Recharge rivals are Mercedes-Benz EQC and Jaguar I-Pace in India. No details about its pricing have been revealed so far but expect Volvo XC 40 Recharge EV to retail around Rs 60 lakhs (ex-showroom, India). It is coming to the Indian market via the CBU (Completely Built Unit) route. Volvo XC40 Recharge EV houses a powerful dual-motor powertrain with 150 kW electric motors on each axle. The SUV is expected to deliver 408 bhp of maximum power output and 660Nm of peak torque. The manufacturer claims the SUV has an electric range of 420 km on a single charge. It can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in just 4.9 seconds.
MG is building quite a portfolio in the Indian market, it is planning to launch ZS Petrol in the coming months. The SUV has been spotted testing in heavily camouflaged form. First unveiled at the 2020 Auto Expo, the SUV might be sold under a different name. MG Motor India had patented the name ‘Astor’ which could become the name of the upcoming ZS petrol SUV in India, later this year. This would be the fourth product from MG after Hector, Gloster and ZS EV in the Indian market. MG ZS petrol rivals are Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and Nissan Kicks. Positioned below MG Hector, it is expected to be priced around Rs 10 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Globally, MG ZS Petrol would come with 2 turbo petrol engine options apart from the 1.5-litre naturally aspirated motor. In India, MG ZS petrol will be powered by a 1.5-litre naturally aspirated motor and a 1.3-litre turbocharged unit. The former will belt 104 bhp of maximum power output and 141Nm of peak torque while the latter will produce 162 bhp of power and 230Nm of highest torque. Both engines are expected to offer transmission options namely 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic unit.
This week, Ford India has launched the EcoSport SE at a starting price of Rs 10.49 lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi) in the Indian market. The new model is based on Titanium trim and comes in both petrol and diesel fuel trims. Ford EcoSport SE comes with the same set of powertrains as the other variants in the SUV line-up. Mechanically, Ford EcoSport SE is powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder TiVCT petrol engine and a 1.5-litre TDCi diesel mill. The former delivers best-in-segment 121bhp and 149Nm while the latter belts out a power output of 98.5bhp and peak torque of 215Nm. The engine comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard.
BMW India has launched the M340i xDrive variant of the 3-Series this week in India. The new model from German manufacturer retails at a price tag of 62.90 lakhs (ex-showroom). The sedan will be sold in limited numbers in the country. The new BMW M340i xDrive will be sold in three colour options namely Sunset Orange, Dravit Grey Metallic, and Tanzanite Blue. The BMW M340i xDrive is powered by a 3.0-litre, in-line, six-cylinder petrol engine. The premium sedan will generate 385 bhp of maximum power output and 500 Nm peak torque. The engine is coupled to a 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic gearbox. The new M340i xDrive comes loaded with additional features like M Sport rear differential, M-specific chassis tuning, and M Sport brakes.
2021 TVS Apache RTR 160 4V arrived in the Indian market at a starting price of Rs 1.07 lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi). The bike will be offered in three colours namely Racing Red, Knight Black and Metallic Blue. The 2021 TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is available in two variants: Drum and Disc. The latter gets a price tag of Rs 1.10 lakhs (Ex. Showroom, Delhi). TVS Apache RTR 160 4V rivals are mainly Yamaha FZS V3, Bajaj Pulsar NS 160 and Honda Hornet 2.0 in the country. The bike is powered by a 159.7 cc, single-cylinder, 4-valve, oil-cooled engine. 2021 TVS Apache RTR 160 4V belts out 17bhp of maximum power output @9250rpm and peak torque of 14.73Nm @7250rpm. The engine is paired to a 5-speed super-slick gearbox.
2021 Renault Triber has been launched in the country. The MPV is priced in the bracket of Rs 5.30-7.82 lakhs (ex-showroom). The new model is priced at a premium of up to Rs 15,000 over the outgoing model. The French automaker introduced a new dual-tone colour options just with the top-spec RXZ trim. 2021 Renault Triber is sold in five paint shades namely Metal Mustard, Electric Blue, Moonlight Silver, Ice Cool White, and the new Cedar Brown. The 2021 Renault Triber is powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. The model belts out 71 bhp of maximum power output and 96 Nm of peak torque. The engine comes with two transmission options namely 5-speed manual gearbox and a 5-speed AMT gearbox as an option.
Land Rover Defender was launched in October, 2020 with only a petrol engine. Now, the British manufacturer has launched a diesel model in the country. It will come in both 90 (three-door) and the 110 (five-door) variants. Land Rover Defender diesel 90 range price starts from Rs 94.36 lakhs (ex-showroom, India) while the 110 lineup comes in a price bracket of Rs 97.03 lakhs to Rs 1.08 crore (ex-showroom, India). Land Rover Defender diesel houses a powerful 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged under the hood. The SUV delivers 298 bhp of maximum power output @ 4000rpm and 650Nm of peak torque between 1500 - 2500rpm. The engine comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission.