Wheels 2018

Lamborghini Urus

  • Published 31.12.17
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Lamborghini Urus

The Urus is Lamborghini’s first crack at the SUV segment since it stopped making the LM002 a quarter of a century ago and the supercar maker is calling it a super SUV! The Urus hits 100kmph from standstill in just 3.6 seconds and does a top speed of 305 kmph, making it the world’s fastest SUV.

The Urus is powered by a 4-litre, V8 twin-turbo engine that delivers a peak 650hp and massive 850Nm of torque. Tipping the scales at 2,200kg and with all that power, this super SUV would be quite the screamer. Going into production in February 2018, it’s expected to cost upwards of Rs 3 crore in India.

Tata Q501

We hear that Tata Motors is working on an SUV, code-named Q501, based on the now discontinued offroader Land Rover Freelander 2. The Q501 is expected in both five- and seven-seater configurations. It’s still being developed and engines haven’t been specified. But with the right price tag, it just might spring the biggest surprise of 2018.

Mahindra small SUV

SsangYong has been part of Mahindra for a while now, but there has been little apparent influence of the Korean SUV maker on Mahindra’s lineup. Now that is set to change with, reportedly, the Indian parent working on a crossover vehicle based on the compact Tivoli. It is tipped to have a five-seater, sub-4m version and a longer seven-seater as well. The two should cover the market from the entry-level SUV/crossover to those a segment up. The Tivoli has been expected in India since it was shown a couple of years ago. Looks like it will make it at last.

JAGUAR E-PACE

This is Jaguar’s entry-level SUV. Stubby and swoopy at the same time, it’s a five-seater equipped with all-wheel drive. It looks taut and is spacious inside, and the roofline and side glass areas are throwbacks to the styling of Jaguar sports cars. Its Adaptive Dynamics proactive suspension set-up is designed to give it sporty handling. There are two-litre Ingenium turbo petrol and diesel engines on offer that can be adjusted to five configurations to produce between 150hp and 300hp. Expected to cost Rs 45 lakh upwards.

NISSAN KICKS

With compact crossovers increasingly finding favour with buyers, the chances that Nissan’s new Kicks will make it to India are quite strong.

The Kicks is a practical vehicle that is also funky in some ways. It looks interesting with its ‘floating roof’ design and two-tone paint jobs. The underpinnings are the same as the Terrano’s. The petrol and diesel engines are likely to be the same as well. The Kicks is on the ball as far as vehicle connectivity goes; it’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible too. Prices should start around Rs 9 lakh.

Jeep Renegade

Jeep is preparing to roll out the Renegade. Smaller than the Compass, which has found a lot of takers, the Renegade would retain Jeep’s all-terrain capability. It would be the smallest, lightest and most fuel-efficient model in the lineup.

The company is expected to continue with its aggressive pricing. So expect the Renegade to start around Rs 10 lakh. That would be a deal as it is likely to come with solid off-road cred and compete with Mahindra Scorpio, Renault Duster and Hyundai Creta.

RANGE ROVER VELAR

This one slips into the gap in the Range Rover luxury SUV lineup between the Evoque and the Sport with an ex-showroom starting price of Rs 79 lakh. It’s the result of what the company calls a “reductionist” design which keeps lines clean and does away with most things that aren’t absolutely necessary. It will come with four engine options. There will be two-litre, four-cylinder motors, a petrol and a diesel. There will be three-litre, V6 motors, a petrol and a diesel again. But it will have Range Rover’s all-wheel drive system, air suspension and other goodies. Goes on sale in the beginning of 2018.

BMW X3

The X3 was a bit of a rush job when the first model was rolled out. But the third model has many improvements, and is set to roll out in India.

In typical BMW fashion, it has near-equal weight distribution over the front and rear wheels to make it balanced. And despite its bluff-like front end, it manages to keep air-resistance low. It has a range of engines starting just under two litres. It will also have an M variant with 360hp. Expect prices to start around Rs 50 lakh.

SEDAN & HATCHBACK

Audi A8 L

Nobody quite wins the battle of the luxury sedans. Each new one appears to have the last word in pampering the  passengers. Then along comes the next one to take the game a couple of notches higher. The new Audi A8 L will do exactly that, beginning with a design that made its first appearance in the company’s Prologue concept of 2014.

It would be offered with two three-litre V6 engines — a 340hp petrol and a 286hp diesel. For the first time, the Audi A8 will come with an electrified drivetrain as standard. Expect a base price of Rs 1 crore-plus.

Maruti Suzuki Swift

The latest generation of Suzuki’s Swift was launched at the tail end of 2016. And while Maruti Suzuki launched the Dzire with similar styling, the new Swift itself is yet to roll out. That is expected to finally happen in 2018.

It appears that the car will be offered with the current 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel, but there could also be a one-litre turbo petrol as well. Along with the exteriors, the interior design, too, will be new, but will probably still be black. Prices should remain in the Rs 5 lakh-Rs 8 lakh range.

Lexus LS 500

Across the world, the Lexus LS has managed to take on the German luxury car manufacturers and often spoil their party. And it is set to come to India. That will be the Lexus flagship’s latest fifth-generation model that has a strong but uniquely Japanese identity and approach to luxury.

Powering it is a 3.5-litre, twin-turbo, V6, petrol engine that makes 415hp and 442Nm of torque. It is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that would make it super smooth. The LS is famed for its quietness and the current one is supposed to be the quietest ever. Could be yours for upwards of Rs 1 crore.

Mercedes-Benz CLS

This is one of the instantly-recognisable shapes of the automotive world. The CLS now comes with a smoother body with fewer lines and edges. Its grille is also wider like those on other sporty Mercs.

We wonder what Mercedes puts under the bonnet in this one. It had downsized for the last model. Outside India the current model is being sold with an inline six-cylinder, three-litre motor that makes 362hp and gets an additional 21hp from its electric motor. There’s likely to be a three-litre diesel engine option as well. Price is expected to start around Rs 85 lakh.

— Abhijit Mitra

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