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10 stunning cars launched this year

Last updated on: December 4, 2012 09:28 IST

10 stunning cars launched this year

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CarKhabri

H
ow was Year 2012 for the Indian automobile sector? To be honest it was mixed. While sales dropped to record level (18.56%) in August this year, the country also witnessed some great launches. Notwithstanding the high prices of fuel, most of the cars that have been launched so far are utility vehicles.

Let's take a look at the ten cars that were launched in the passenger segment.

Note: Maruti Alto 800 and Tata Safari Storme are not included in the list, as they were upgrades of older/existing versions.

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Mini Cooper - April 5

April marked the foray of iconic MINI marquee in India with the launch of Mini Cooper range that comprises 4 models namely Mini Cooper, Mini Cooper S, Mini Cooper Convertible and Mini Cooper Countryman. India, thus, became the 100th nation where BMW launched MINI.

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This premium lifestyle vehicle launch became an instant 'hit' among young auto freaks those who were in search of somewhat distinct and daring.

All 4 retro-styled versions were powered by 1.6L petrol motor, but offered different power outputs of 122 bhp and 184 bhp along with relative torque.

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Maruti Ertiga MPV - April 12

The most awaited, after its debut at Auto Expo, was compact MPV Maruti Ertiga.

The overwhelming launch left every rival baffled.

Based on the elongated Swift/Ritz platform, it was made available with 1.2L petrol and 1.3L diesel engines that delivered mileage of a hatch along with the required peppiness.

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With continuous mind-boggling sales of Ertiga MPV, Maruti went on to attain the title of second largest UV manufacturer.

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Audi Q3 SUV - June 6

Youngest in the 'Q' line up, Audi Q3, from the premium carmaker arrived in India in June.

The compact SUV carried the sturdy and muscular tradition of big brothers Audi Q5 and Audi Q7. Audi Q3 was bestowed with only diesel mill choice.

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With 2.0L TDi motor, it gives out around 174 bhp of maximum power with greater rpm levels alongside 7-speed S-tronic transmission system ensuring refined drivability.

This mini SUV comes with an option of 'Quattro' that ensures permanent all-wheel-drive (AWD) to take on any terrain, effortlessly.

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Renault Duster SUV - July 4

It was beginning of July, which saw the launch of Renault Duster SUV, the make-or-break vehicle for the struggling French carmaker in India.

Prayers were answered for those looking for imposing yet pocket friendly SUV with suave capabilities.

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Offered in 1.6L petrol and 1.5L diesel choice, the arresting crossover, originally of Dacia badge, got the opportunity to taste success on Indian soil.

Renault Duster offered car-like drivability and amazing fuel efficiency together with pretty spacious cabin.

Moreover, for power-hungry buffs there was 110 PS variant, if standard 85 PS was not enough.

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Renault Scala sedan - September 7

Amid the strong booking hustle of Renault Duster, in September, the company launched its first mass segment sedan Renault Scala.

The premium saloon was a work of re-badged engineering by Renault, as it was developed on the global-alliance partner Nissan's Sunny sedan.

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Although, Sunny sold well under Nissan banner, it failed to sail across in terms of volumes expected by the firm.

Also a premium of nearly Rs 100,000 over Sunny hit Renault Scala badly.

The same 1.5L petrol and diesel powertrains were carried under the hood of aggressive-looking Scala, resulting in similar drivability, mileage and refinement as that of Sunny.

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Mercedes Benz B Class MPV - September 18

'Sports Tourer' dubbed as Mercedes Benz B Class is a revelation in its own class.

The smallest and cheapest Merc has got everything from compactness of a hatch to drivability of a sedan and from swiftness of a sporty vehicle to versatility of a mini MPV.

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This was one of a kind product from any premium carmaker in India till date that proffered every imagined capability.

But since it's available only in petrol mill, it couldn't carry on that spur. However, with diesel engine underway it will likely attain the desired sales.

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Mahindra Quanto SUV - September 20

After the monumental success of Mahindra XUV 500 last year in the same month, it's now time for compact Mahindra Quanto to take the centre stage.

The most affordable mini SUV from the renowned UV maker came in only diesel avatar with 4 variants to choose from.

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The mileage and rugged capabilities were the highlights of Quanto, which was earlier nicknamed as 'Mini Xylo' due to its similar frontal appearance to the former.

The 7-seater was introduced as a perfect weekender by the company and it went on to fetch decent sales for the No.1 UV firm.

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Nissan Evalia MPV - September 26

Nissan Evalia MPV directly challenged established players like Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo.

It not only competed in terms of space and resourcefulness, but also in mileage and price.

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With its trusted and now tweaked 1.5L engine it delivered fuel economy along with refined drivability across city conditions.

Considering the consumer preference for diesel, the company introduced Evalia only in diesel option.

Till now, it has gathered satisfactory response.

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Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton SUV - October 17

Long awaited Ssangyong Rexton finally saw the sun in mid October under the Mahindra banner.

Mahindra continued with its aggressive pricing strategy and Rexton was seen locking horns with premium SUV supremos like Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.

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This under Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) SUV was offered in 2 diesel variants, with manual gearbox available in base variant, while automatic transmission is available in the 4X4 top-end version.

The posture, the performance and exclusive gadget filled premium cabin has made it very likable among upper crest car buyers.

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Chevrolet Sail UVA hatch - November 2

Offered with impressive petrol and diesel motors, Chevrolet Sail UVA hatch returns class-leading fuel economy along with better on-road grip and exceptional drive in traffic-ridden city conditions.

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Its looks, which misses the sportiness, definitely compensates with noteworthy wide stance and space in the interiors, making it practical and at the same time multipurpose.

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