Upcoming vehicles of Honda in 2013
Honda Cars India Limited, a subsidiary of the Honda Motor Company of Japan, has planned to launch several diesel models in the country in the next few years. Interestingly, all these vehicles would be diesel variants of existing petrol variants. On April 11, 2013 Honda will launch its first diesel car in India, the Amaze. This is the first time Honda has created a product in the entry-level sedan segment in the country. For many years, Honda did not pay much attention to the diesel vehicle category, but now, after losing out to rivals such as Hyundai, Volkswagen and Skoda, it finally jumped into the process of making diesel vehicles. For a vehicle like Honda City, which was quite dominating in her segment, it was hard to imagine losing out to companies such as Volkswagen, Skoda and Hyundai due to lack of a diesel option. As this bitter truth became increasingly evident, Honda had no option but to comply with the demands of the Indian auto market.
Though a petrol version of the new Honda CR-V Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has already been launched in February 2013, a diesel variant is expected to be seen in the later part of this year. This vehicle would be fitted with a 2.2 litre common rail diesel engine, capable of churning out 134 bhp of power at 347 Nm of torque. With this refined powertrain, it is expected to deliver a fuel efficiency of 14-18 kmpl. Despite being a diesel vehicle, the new CR-V diesel would still be capable of fast acceleration. Apart from being smooth on tarmac, it will also be a capable off-roader with several modern features. Being larger than the previous version, this SUV would be more stable at high speeds. Exterior and interior designing should be same as the current petrol CR-V. It is expected to be available in a price range of Rs. 20.43 lakh to Rs. 24.43 lakh. This model would compete against the likes of Mitsubishi Outlander, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara, Chevrolet Captiva and Nissan X-Trail.
In the luxury segment, Honda would be looking to introduce one of its flagship models, the Accord, in a diesel avatar. For an Indian customer, mileage will always play an important role in purchase, no matter how expensive the car is. Prices of this model have not been declared, but experts believe that it would be available from Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 25 lakh. In terms of engine, it will get a 2.2 litre TDCi diesel motor with a maximum power output of 134 bhp at 347 Nm of torque, same as that of the new CR-V. It will be interesting to see how the new Accord takes on competition from the likes of Skoda Superb, Mercedes C-Class, Volkswagen Passat and BMW 3-series.
Similar to the Honda Accord petrol, many new technologies will be included in the diesel version. Drive-by-Wire technology will be used in a 5-speed paddle shit and shift control system, which reduces overall friction due to gears. Both five-speed manual and five-speed automatic gearboxes will be available in this vehicle. A unique programmed Fuel Injection system is expected to be used in the car, which would not only increase mileage but also enhance its performance. On the inside, an infotainment system will be fitted, which would have a 6 CD changer with USB technology and MP3 player. Seats will be highly comfortable with ample legroom and headroom for passengers. The vehicle also gets rear air conditioning vents, which provide effective cooling even for the second row of passengers. However, nothing can be taken away from the class and elegance that is exuded by the Honda Accord petrol, as it is undoubtedly a head turner. Once available as a diesel variant, the Honda Accord is sure to lead the sales chart every month.
In India, Honda's presence has been recognised with the highly successful City sedan. Every month, the City is the best selling car in the manufacturer's portfolio. For the vehicle to sustain its place in the wake of competition from other manufacturers, a retuned version of the 1.5 litre i-DTEC diesel engine is expected to be fitted in this car, to deliver more power than the Amaze. It would be available both in five-speed automatic and five-speed manual transmission variants, delivering a fuel efficiency of 13-17 kmpl. In fact, paddle shift technology, just like the petrol version, is expected to be available in the diesel variant as well. Officially, no specifications about the new City have been revealed by the company. But with new diesel engines from 1.2 litre to 1.6 litre being manufactured by the Japanese auto maker, it will not be long before one of these is fitted in the City. The new vehicle would be able to compete better with the likes of rivals Skoda Laura, Hyundai Verna and Volkswagen Vento.
The new luxurious Honda Civic is ready for making its debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show. As per initial impressions, it looks that the front has completely been changed, with new headlamps and grille. The bumper has been considerably lowered and there are corner lights on the grille as well. On the inside, Honda claims that soft touch materials have been used on the dashboard. Silver accent has been used to lend a sporty feel from the inside. New equipment such as rear view camera, steering wheel mounted audio controls, Bluetooth compatibility and sliding centre arm rest. Industry experts believe that this vehicle will also be launched with a diesel engine by January 2014, from a price of Rs. 12.20 lakh- Rs. 15 lakh. Both manual and automatic versions of this luxurious sedan would be launched in the Indian market. In terms of competition, the Honda Civic diesel would battle it out against rivals such as Toyota Corolla Altis, Renault Fluence, Hyundai Elantra fluidic, Volkswagen Jetta, Chevrolet Cruze and Skoda Laura in India.
Along with larger vehicles, Honda would also be looking to introduce a diesel version of its popular Brio hatchback. This new 1.4 litre i-DTEC diesel engine would be capable of producing 80-90 bhp of maximum power. Experts believe that the price of the new Brio diesel would be Rs. 50,000 higher than its petrol version. A fuel efficiency of 20-22 kmpl should be expected from the new hatch. In this segment, the Brio will continue to compete against the likes of Maruti Swift, Hyundai i20, Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen Polo and Ford Figo. At a price higher than the Brio, Honda is also planning to roll out the premium Jazz by year 2014.
With the Indian auto market already flooded with the new diesel vehicles, it remains to be seen if Honda can create the same magic with its diesel models as previously done by its petrol versions. Apart from the Brio, petrol versions of all other above mentioned Honda vehicles have dominated sales in the market for a considerable amount of time. Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai i20 have proved to be tough competitors in the premium hatchback, with the Swift dominating sales charts, ever since its launch. The new diesel engines are expected to give Honda a much needed boost for holding its ground against other companies dominating in this category.
Upcoming Honda Cars in India
Price: Rs.22 lakhs to Rs.25 lakhs
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Expected: 2013, 41 comments.
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Price: Rs.4.5 lakhs to Rs.5 lakhs
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Expected: Early 2014, 0 comments.
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