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Auto Expo: Cars that will make you DROOL!

Last updated on: January 5, 2012 10:31 IST

Auto Expo: Cars that will make you DROOL!

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CarDekho.com


Auto enthusiasts can look forward to 50 new launches and a flurry of other activities at the 11th Auto Expo that starts in New Delhi on Thursday.

The exhibition, which will be open to the public from January 7 to 11, will be spread across 1.15 lakh square metres of space, compared to 1.25 lakh square metres in 2010.

With over two million visitors at the 2010 Auto Expo, the organisers had claimed India's auto show was the world's second-largest after the Shanghai auto show.

So here are some of the great cars that will be showcased at the Auto Expo. So fast your eyes on them:

Volkswagen

This could be the best Indian Auto Expo so far for German car manufacturer, Volkswagen, with three interesting products up for display.

Two revamped versions of the existing models, the new Volkswagen Beetle and an all new Volkswagen Touareg SUV apart from a new concept XL1 will be showcased by Volkswagen India this time.

The new Volkswagen XL1 concept is for sure going to break a couple of hearts this time. The sharp cut design lines of the XL1 concept are enough to leave one gaping at the car.

On top of that the hybrid engine to deliver a phenomenal fuel efficiency of 111 kmpl is simply unbelievable with the help of a low capacity 48 Bhp 1.0 L two-cylinder TDi engine.

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The electric engine delivers a 27 Bhp additional power to make it one super-efficient car from Volkswagen. Concepts have always been the centre of attraction which usually gives an insight as to what a future model from a car manufacturer is going to be like.

But, this time around, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is likely to take the cake. The small car has always been an eye candy with its cute form factor and an enormous 2.0L petrol engine under the hood.

But, one the high price and the other, lack of diesel engine could have been the reason for its unsatisfactory sales. 

However, the new Volkswagen Beetle will wipe out all the inefficiencies in one go.

The 1.4 L petrol engine with 158 Bhp peak power and a 138 Bhp 2.0L diesel engine will be offered to keep both the petrol and the diesel car consumers happy.

New Volkswagen Beetle price is something left for speculations. The auto major has decided to spruce up its only SUV in its India product line-up with an all new Volkswagen Touareg.

The revamped Volkswagen Touareg will come powered by a 3.0 L V6 engine with an amazing 205 Bhp peak power.

The auto major hints of a possibility of a 3.0 L petrol-hybrid version as well in near future, but does this information hold any importance to the Indian market is yet to be seen.

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Tata Pixel

There are a couple of interesting news from Tata Motors, while one could be a good news, the other is going to disappoint many. 

Let us begin with the favourable one, the leading Indian car manufacturer Tata Motors will display a new Pixel concept car at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo.

Tata Pixel is a small compact car more like Tata Nano in an electrifying outfit. From the images, it is clearly evident that the compact car offers a seating arrangement for four, but will come with a single wing-shaped door which opens upward on either side.

This compact car will be propelled by a 1.2 L three pot diesel engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox.

Some high fuel efficiency figures can be expected where the auto major claims to have 35 kmpl on the board along with being extremely frugal on emissions.

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As low as 89 gm/km emissions are expected from this high performing diesel engine.

Whether the Pixel concept is intended for an India launch is still far-fetched for the moment at it is going to be a while before the car will go into the production.

Furthermore, the car is more targeted at international markets than India with its supremely good looks matched with some hi-tech gadgetry.

However, the downside is the most-anticipated Tata Nano diesel is not likely to make it to the 2012 Auto Expo. The diesel variant was hotly anticipated for once again the promising mileage of 32-35 kmpl.

Probably, the diesel variant launch is postponed for some later time until then we can brood over the Pixel concept which is nothing short of an eye candy.

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Tags: Pixel , DROOL , India

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Nissan Leaf EV

Nissan Leaf EV, the fully electric car, is the hot topic in car industry these days. Japanese car manufacturer Nissan will display the car at the Auto Expo.

Nissan India is one of the car manufacturers willing to take the risk of bringing an electric car to India. Obviously, like any car manufacturer Nissan might be looking for the public appraisal before taking any bold step.

Apart from the Nissan Leaf electric car, the Japanese car manufacturer will also display Nissan GT-R sports car with the fame of the Nurburging race in Germany.

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The two cars will be the show stealers from the Japanese car manufacturer's stable who is also expected to bring its entire line-up in India right from the localised Nissan Sunny and Nissan Micra hatchback to the completely manufactured imports-Nissan Teana, Nissan X-Trail and Nissan 370Z sports car for display at the 2012 Auto Expo.

It is the first time the auto giant is bringing the Nissan Leaf EV car to the Indian shore which has already made its point in the other car markets like the US and Europe, apart from its stance in its home country Japan.

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BMW

BMW India will launch the all new M5 sports sedan at the Indian Auto Expo. Now, the revamped BMW M5 sedan has undergone a change in the ergonomics side of the car more than anything else not to mention the substantial change in the all-petrol engine it is offered with. 

One needn't say much on the new generation M5 sedan as it carries the same streamlined powerful exteriors packed in the compact form, but the change is all there in the increased performance of the car.

The all-new 4.4 L V8 engine will replace the V10 motor under the hood. This accounts for an enormous increase in the peak power output and more so in the maximum torque output.

A 10 pre cent increase in the power can be observed in the new sports sedan to deliver 552 Bhp from 503 Bhp before, while the torque sees a steep rise by 30 per cent to 69.4 kgm.

The sedan can race at a top speed to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in 4.4 seconds. Some strong changes can be observed on the M-tuned Servotronic steering wheel that also comes with the paddle shifters needless to less that dual clutch gearbox is what we are talking about. 

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The 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox accompanies the new petrol engine.

The paddle-shifters on the steering wheel comes with the M Drive button with two drive options open for the user which went missing on the earlier version. This allows the user to store two different drive systems where it used to allow the user to drive on a single variant.

Coming to the new BMW M5 price, its more or less in the same range at Rs 99 lakh (Rs 9.9 million).

There were enough rumours about BMW bringing the diesel variant of this high performing sedan moreover that 2012 Auto Expo is where the German luxury car manufacturer could position the launch.

The M550d is expected to live up to the image of the petrol variant with a well-matched acceleration of 0-100 kmph in 4.7 seconds.

The fuel efficiency is the factor which could be something to boast about with an unbelievable 19 kmpl in this sports diesel saloon.

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Fiat Linea, Fiat Punto

Fiat India has launched the all new Fiat Linea sedan and Fiat Punto hatchback just a while back with the promised superficial makeover in New Delhi.

With a slight raise in the new Fiat Linea price and the new Fiat Punto price, the facelifts are more feature rich than before shying away from the mechanical makeover of the car.

The new Fiat Linea price for the petrol variant is tagged at Rs 6.84 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and the base model of the diesel variant has been priced at Rs 7.84 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

Similarly, the company has upped the price of Grande Punto hatchback, the base model of petrol variant is tagged at Rs 4.81 lakh(ex-showroom Delhi) and the base model of diesel variant comes with a price tag of Rs 5.48 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

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The 2012 Fiat Linea gets the new pair of rain sensing wipers and auto on/off headlights as a standard for all its variants.

Coming to the diesel variants of Fiat Linea, the 1.3 L multi jet engine is tweaked further for some better performance and endowed with the 16-inch alloy wheels sporting the turbine blades which were until now offered in the high-end Fiat Linea T-Jet petrol variant.

Apart from this, Fiat India has introduced a whole new colour option Oceanic Blue as an addition to its wide range of colour ensemble.

The Fiat Linea gets the much required ground clearance of 185 mm upped from the 180 mm to enhance the suitability of the sedan on Indian roads and an improved air conditioner with better quality air flow is also a new addition across all the Fiat Linea variants.

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Maruti Concept SUV

The news of a compact SUV concept from Maruti India has been doing rounds, but what is this Maruti SUV concept all about?

To steer away any more doubts on the subject, Maruti Suzuki India has introduced the teaser images of the SUV concept in the automobile section of their website. 

From what we see, the compact SUV concept seems to be more or less similar to the highly successful Suzuki Jimny SUV available in the global markets.

The unique looking grille in the Maruti Concept SUV especially looks like it has been taken right from the Suzuki Jimny.

Moreover, the Indian consumers could use a diesel engine for an SUV and this is exactly what Maruti India might come up with in the new concept.

Of late, the consumers demand in the country is more inclined towards a compact car with good fuel efficiency which can be easily bargained with a diesel engine under the hood.

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So a compact SUV just fits the bill but the tragedy here is, except for the Premier Rio in the country, we have absolutely no other compact SUV in the segment, which again is the only product that has the potential to beat the dominance of the hatchbacks in India.

Ford India will now take the lead with the Ford EcoSport compact SUV soon to be followed by Renault Duster sometime in the mid-2012. 

The Korean car manufacturer is also set to test the waters in the compact SUV segment who already has a concept ready for a display at the 2012 Auto Expo.

Now, these compact SUVs are something we are going to see right in 2012, but we cannot say the same about the Maruti's SUV concept.

Who knows, it might as well take another two years to go into production just as we have seen with the Maruti Ertiga MPV in the making.

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Premier Rio

The wait has almost come to an end for the consumers on a look out for BSIV-compliant Premier Rio petrol. However, diesel fans will have to wait a bit longer.

Indian car manufacturer Premier is all set to pull the wraps off the new Premier Rio compact SUV petrol at the 2012 Auto Expo.

The new 1.2 L petrol engine is tuned to meet the latest BS IV emission norms with a remarkable 75.5 Bhp and 105 Nm peak power and torque numbers to carry itself well this time in the BSIV cities.

However, the auto major has deferred the launch of the diesel variant of the compact SUV for some later time at least not until the mid-2012 by the looks of it.

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The all-new Premier Rio diesel will house Fiat's 1.3 L diesel powertrain under the hood. Consumers can expect a rise in the Premier Rio compact SUV price but should be competitive enough to offer a good fight against the rivals Mahindra Bolero and Chevrolet Tavera in the segment.

So, the facelift is basically more to make it more suitable for the BS IV cities more than anything else. The auto giant with the Premier Padmini fame behind it had launched the Premier Rio sometime back but failed to meet the latest revised emission standards of late.

So the auto major had decided to make up for the gap with the revamped Premier Rio launched recently.

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Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi has not been doing particularly well in the Indian market. However, the auto major seems to be determined to push the sales of its relatively successful model Mitsubishi Outlander with some amazing benefits.

The overall benefits translate to Rs 1 lakh (Rs 100,000) where the car manufacturer claims to bear the fuel costs and the free insurance coverage put together to account for this considerable amount.

From the consumers point of view this is just like any other year-end discount. But, it is more to lift up its own spirits to increase the Outlander sales as the SUV quite unfortunately sold just 9 units in the month of November.

However, Mitsubishi India has announced some tantalizing offers on its other two SUVs Mitsubishi Montero and Mitsubishi Pajero.

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Mitsubishi India offers three SUVs in the India car market, where the Mitsubishi Outlander is the cheapest among the three. When we say the cheapest, even the Mitsubishi Outlander price in India is around Rs 20.52 lakh, while the Mitsubishi Montero costs over Rs 40 lakh.

Contrary to the global car markets, Mitsubishi India decided to let the Mitsubishi Pajero co-exist alongside Mitsubishi Montero in the country. Now it seems that the auto major is right on this one thing as 'old is gold' is the adage that comes into mind when we look at Mitsubishi Pajero sales.

However, the Mitsubishi Montero price is also partially to be blamed for its dismal sales where the SUV just sold 4 units in the month of November, while the Pajero wins the prize with 99 units sale.

Pricing is one factor the Japanese car manufacturer has to really keep in mind where the cheapest product from its India line-up sits above Rs 7 lakh.

While what could have been an ideal car for Indian market, the car maker decided against displaying Mitsubishi Mirage at the 2012 Auto Expo. If the Indian consumers are lucky enough, Mitsubishi might bring the small car in future if not for us, but to save its own skin.

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Audi

German luxury car manufacturer, Audi, is believed to bring a special car, the Audi A8 L Security, the latest version of Audi A8 to the Delhi Auto Expo.

The Audi A8 L Security is a true high security car in every aspect to meet the German ballistics security standards of VR7 thoroughly while the new version does fare up well in some areas to the level of VR9 or VR10.

This heavily armoured car from Audi is a perfect competitor of the armoured variants of the BMW 7-series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

So, what makes the car so special? Let's have a look and find out why. Heavy padding of extra layers on the windscreen and the windows on the car makes it strong enough to take the unprecedented events in a stride.

This alone attributes to an additional weight of 300 kg apart from the inclusion of aluminium plates along the sides of the car for enhanced protection.

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The interiors of the car can be seen with an additional lining of metal sheet to withstand heavy firing, which again adds an extra weight of 720 kg to the armoured car.

Another interesting feature is the controlled door-stop feature on the side doors of the A8 L Security car. The doors are programmed in such a way that the door can be held at any desired position without any physical stopper to hold it ajar. Another 360 kg apparently goes into this mechanism.

While these are the special features to avoid any physical blow like the grenade attacks or a really close gun attacks, the fire security feature is another piece of thoughtfulness.

The fire extinguisher gets into action automatically with the in-built heat sensors which could many a time turn out to be a rather waste when matters will have gotten out of hands by then.

However, the push button option will make up for it, when the user can have the extinguisher functioning in matter of seconds proactively. 

Whether Audi India decides to launch the high security car in India is far-fetched, in either case it is one specimen from Audi to set our eyes upon.

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Chevrolet

General Motors has its own flock of cars for the 2012 Auto Expo and the big surprises for this Auto Expo will be the compact Sail hatchback and the WTCC Cruze race car.

The usual revamped versions of the economic Chevrolet Tavera and premium SUV, Chevrolet Captiva will be all present, but another car we can look forward to is the Wuling MPV spotted couple of times with the Chevrolet underpinning.

The Chevrolet Sail hatchback is something worth the wait until the launch in April next year. Until then, we can just brood over the car we get to see at the 2012 Auto Expo.

Surprisingly compact matchbox type car jointly developed by GM China and SIAC will carry a Chevy Beat's 1.2 L petrol engine to pump out 79 Bhp top power.

If the diesel car lovers are disappointed by the fact, then not to worry, the 1.3 L Mutlijet diesel engine powered diesel variant will follow soon.

A saloon version of the Sail is also expected for the Indian car market sometime in September, but all the same will make it to the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo with a 1.4 L petrol engine under the hood.

The new Wuling MPV is again something General Motors India has managed to pull out from its Chinese partner Wuling's product portfolio.

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The auto major doesn't intend to leave the MPV segment without its stamp and here comes the Wuling MPV CN-100 or what was referred to as Wuling Sunshine MPV just to make up for the same.

A 1.4 L 102 Bhp petrol engine will power the CN-100, while the same 1.3 L Fiat's diesel engine will fill in for the diesel variant.If you want a good kick at the Auto Expo, then WTCC Cruze is the car.

The sports car after a spectacular performance at the Autocar Performance show in November at Mumbai will prance at the Auto Expo 2012 as well with a 2.0 L 285 Bhp engine.

The all-new Chevrolet Captiva with a good part of external makeover will also be seen at the General Motors pavilion.

If one was ever turned off by the softer touch on the SUV, the SUV is expected to carry an outright macho image this time with the same ever powerful 2.2 L diesel engine under the hood.

Alongside Chevrolet Captiva expect the all new Chevrolet Tavera with well-tuned ICL Sonalika diesel powertrain to meet the latest BS IV emission norms apart from some additional power.

The peak power output from the new diesel engine will be nothing less of 100 Bhp a whopping 30 bhp excess from what we have last seen.

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Hyundai Sonata Fluidic

Among the other cars lined-up by Hyundai India for the Auto Expo, the new Hyundai Sonata Fluidic is expected to make a big splash in the Indian car market for the season.

Hyundai India has decided to launch the D-segment sedan to mark the auspicious beginning of the seven day event in India.

There could be two key selling points in the new Hyundai Sonata or i45 which is how the revamped Sonata in known globally as. One the Hyundai specific 'Fluidic' design line which had literally turned around the sales for the mediocre Hyundai Verna, the other is going to be the tweaked new 2.4 L petrol engine.

Hyundai India has played a lot with the engine to incorporate the gas direct injection technology to give a much needed push to the fuel economy and the overall performance at the same time working on lower emissions.

The 2.4 L direct injection petrol motor now delivers a whopping 198 Bhp and a 250 Nm of peak power and torque numbers.

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As always, the new Hyundai Sonata Fluidic price will be such to make its way to the premium sedan segment quite comfortably with a tag to carry around Rs 18 lakh (Rs 1.8 million) and up to sit in direct competition with the upcoming 2012 Toyota Camry, Skoda Superb and Honda Accord.

However, there is likely to be a single pinch as with any good news. The new Hyundai Sonata could feature just the petrol engine dropping the diesel engine option for the time being.

This is going to be a major disappointment than the auto major might have imagined as despite the 2.4L 175 PS petrol engine and a 2.0L CRDi engine, the Hyundai Sonata has been unable to carve a niche for itself in India.

Commonly known as Hyundai i45 in the international markets, the premium sedan sells with just the petrol motor under the hood and the auto major hopes to carry the same sedan to India without the diesel engine option like in the other markets. 

As Hyundai India is quite aware of the demand for the diesel cars in India, the Korean car manufacturer might decide to throw in a diesel motor at a later time.

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Skoda

Skoda's new cars for the 2012 Auto Expo seem to speak volumes of its thorough rally heritage in one or the other way.

Biggest attractions from the car manufacturer would be the Skoda RS 2000 concept, Skoda Monte Carlo and the Skoda Fabia Scout.

Let us begin with the Skoda Fabia Scout which holds more than a good amount of possibility for the Indian car market.

Just as the name suggests, the new Skoda car is built on the Skoda Fabia hatchback. The higher ground clearance and a few deviations where exteriors are concerned are going to put the crossover SUV way different from the hatchback.

The black coloured strip running at the seams is just to offer an extra protection against any possible scratches the dusty roads pose to be.

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The Skoda Fabia Monte Carlo is the car basically meant to mark the Skoda's extensive presence in the sportscar races to enjoy it's 110 years of unparalleled performance in the motorsports.

The special edition Fabia Monte Carlo will carry an all-black exteriors including the roof top of the car and lightweight 17 inch alloy wheels among other interesting features of the car.

The interiors however will come with an ultimate blend of black and red leather upholstery with red coloured stitches to make it even more exciting.

The regular Monte Carlo is offered in seven hot colours matching well to suit its name. Then we have the RS 2000 concept which once again hints of Skoda's indulgance in motorsports. It is basically a convertible coupe surprisingly with two doors on either side highly inspired by the Fabia Super 2000 rally car. The concept carries some eye dazzling features and soon to grab the attention is the all-glass on the upper half of the car. The wind screen and the side windows are blended together to render the half-metal and half-glass look of the car.

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Renault

We see Renault India with three new cars up its sleeve. The Renault Pulse, which already broke the covers soon after the first Indian F1 race; the much-anticipated compact SUV, Renault Duster; and a rebadged version of the Nissan Sunny sedan.

Moreover, the car manufacturer has distributed the launches strategically to have good grip over the car industry.

We, in India, will first get to feast our eyes upon the Renault Pulse hatchback right in next month. To remind once again it is the first phenomenon from Renault on common platform sharing.

Renault Pulse hatchback is built on the same Nissan Micra's V platform, but with just the diesel engine to power the car. The 1.5 L 65 Bhp diesel engine will produce some decent torque of 160 Nm in the new Renault hatchback.

However, Renault India needs to be really careful where Renault Pulse price is concerned. Agreed that there are quite a few upmarket features in the Pulse hatchback as compared to the Nissan Micra and brand value also does speak of something, but Renault wouldn't want to see Pulse with the same fate as Nissan Micra.

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Renault is once again going to test the waters with the rebadged version of its Romanian subsidiary's product Dacia Duster.

Renault might consider a petrol engine for the compact SUV, but the French car manufacturer seems to be more focused on the diesel engine for the moment.

The compact SUV is supposed to be a 5-seater but, better not expect the launch anytime soon, not until mid-2012 at least. We might catch a glimpse of it at the 2012 Auto Expo.

Renault seems to be really high on cross platform concept. A rebadged version of the recently launched cheapest C-segment sedan from Nissan is also on the cards from the French car manufacturer.

As for the timelines of the launch, it could be more towards the end of the 2012. Renault makes it a point to include a diesel engine in its entire line-up, not that Nissan Sunny doesn't have a diesel variant.

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Tata Manza Hybrid

The lack of infrastructure for electric cars doesn't seem to pinch the car manufacturer and the Tata Manza hybrid concept car is a testimony to this.

The Manza hybrid concept is expected to be more in the lines of the Tata Vista electric and the Tata Indica electric concept cars recently showcased by the domestic car manufacturers globally.

But this time, Tata Motors has decided to display the new Tata Manza electric concept at the 2012 Auto Expo in January.

This only shows the extent at which Tata Motors is working to gain the expertise in the hybrid and electric car segment, which is until now dominated by the sole player Mahindra and Mahindra among the domestic car manufacturers.

Now, along with the electric hybrid engine under the hood, one might as well expect a reasonably spruced up exteriors to match the performance of the car.

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However, this unexpected step from the manufacturer doesn't stop one from wondering if its intention is all to compete against M&M in the domestic car market.

M&M has already made its plans well know about the Mahindra Verito electric variant and Tata Motors seems to hang on to each and every step from Mahindra.

The utility car manufacturer is expected to bring the compact sedan version of the Mahindra Verito and Tata Motors is ready with the Tata Manza CS, but one should not ignore that Tata Motors had been mulling about the compact version of the Manza sedan for quite some time now.

Though unsure about when we are going to see the electric hybrid version of the Tata Manza sedan, the Tata Manza CS will definitely make it to the car market in 2012 to compete against Maruti Swift Dzire CS.

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Peugeot

Peugeot Citroen, the French car manufacturer had made their intentions well-known to participate in the 2012 Auto Expo at New Delhi.

They chose to make their presence official in India on the very first day, the January 5th of the Indian Auto Expo that will be held from 5th-11th January, 2012.

The company's managing director Frederic Fabre and the Peugeot India vice president Thierry Poirat will make their presence well felt to mark the beginning of their journey in India.

They might have a couple of products up their sleeve to showcase them at the Expo. The sedan Peugeot 508 seems to be more than a possibility but perhaps, the car manufacturer might bring a 208 hatchback as well.

One might have expected to showcase the Peugeot 207 hatchback instead, as it was caught during undergoing test rounds a couple of times.

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But, remember, it was said even back then that they were just conducting the tests only to check if the product is viable for Indian conditions in the first place. Anyhow, looks like Peugeot 207 is not on their cards as of now.

Coming to the Peugeot 508 sedan which is what the French car manufacturer will bring it to India as a Completely Built Unit (CBU) to begin with.

Going forward, we can expect the localisation of the sedan at the Peugeot's manufacturing plant in Gujarat, however the production is not going to start anytime soon as they have just initialised the process at the plant a couple of months back.

This brings us to a question, how did the car manufacturer conduct the test runs of the Peugeot 508 sedan we have spied upon quite a few times.

Apparently, Peugeot has given this responsibility to a local agency to carry out the testing for the sedan in Indian conditions.

Looks like, they have made enough preparations for the re-entry after a decade into the country to avoid the history to repeat itself.


Photographs: CarDekho.com
Tags: Peugeot , DROOL , CBU , Gujarat , India

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