The Indian auto market is set to witness an exciting turf war between the 2013 BMW X1 facelift trim and soon-to-be launched Audi A3 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz A-Class models. The upcoming face off amid the three German automobile operators is creating ripples in the hearts of domestic car enthusiasts, who are eagerly awaiting arrival of their favourite models in the country. The Indian arm of BMW introduced the 2013 X1 revamp recently and the stylish compact Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) is expected to continue the stupendous past success of its erstwhile model. Evidently, the German auto major removed the petrol powered variants of its X1 brand from the Indian auto market, owing their waning sales in the second half of 2012 calendar year. The base trim of 2013 BMW X1 carries retail pricing around Rs. 28 lakhs, while the top models X1 X Line and X1 Sport Line are offered to domestic car enthusiasts at a price tag of Rs. 32.5 lakhs (all prices in the ex-showrooms of New Delhi).
At present, BMW is the undisputed champion in terms of sales recorded in the luxury automobile segment of the Indian auto market. Closing on the heels of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz are the second and third sellers of premium cars in India. Hence, both of them will be hoping to snatch limelight away from the newly launched 2013 X1 model, by introducing their own products in the country. The Indian arm of Mercedes-Benz has short listed its big European hit A-Class, whereas Audi has revealed intentions to bring its A3 Sportback model, in order to counter the sales of BMW X1 in the country.
Evidently, BMW X1 is a pure bred compact SUV, whereas Audi A3 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz A-Class are hatchbacks. Hence, off-roading cannot be a strong suit of A3 and A-Class, while swift manoeuvring in city traffic could become slightly hectic in case of X1. The BMW compact SUV appeals to the powerful performance oriented Indian car enthusiasts, while the upcoming A3 Sportback and A-Class will be preferred by those who wish to have an easy-to-drive model in their garages.
Coming to under-the-hood specifications of the 2013 BMW X1 facelift, the stunning compact SUV is powered with a tweaked version of the 2.0 litre 4-cylinder diesel powertrain, which churns out a peak power output of 181.5 bhp. Further, the engine assembly now comes mated with the much fawned upon 8-speed automatic transmission system. Most important of all, the new X1 models come with an EcoPro mode and a brake energy recuperation systems as standard features, which the company claims delivers enhanced fuel efficiency ratings.
Speaking of engine performance and specifications of upcoming X1 rival, the Audi A3 Sportback is anticipated to see Indian daylight with three different engine options- 1.4 litre TFSI petrol, 1.8 litre TFSI petrol and an economical 2.0 litre TDI diesel motor. The power outputs of the 1.4 litre and 1.8 litre TFSI petrol engines are rated at 120 bhp and 177 bhp, respectively. The 2.0 litre TDI motor pumps out a maximum power close to 150 bhp. The engine assembly will be mated to 8-speed S-tronic transmission system. Further, Mercedes-Benz is expected to launch its A-Class in both petrol and diesel powered guises, thereby ensuring the range to appeal to a greater clientele in the Indian auto market. The petrol trim of A-Class will incorporate a 1.6 litre engine that will produce a peak power output close to 150 bhp and a maximum torque around 250 Nm. The A-Class diesel is expected to come fitted with a 1.8 litre motor, which could churn out power and torque equations around 140 bhp and 250 Nm, respectively.
Accordingly, BMW X1 compact SUV comes out as a clear winner in terms of engine performance as on comparison with Audi A3 Sportback and Mercedes-Benz A-Class premium hatchback. However, it must be noted that unlike the X1 model that is offered in only diesel option, the A3 and A-Class will be launched in both petrol and diesel guises in the Indian market. The pricing is expected to play a major role in determining the future of aforementioned BMW X1 rivals in the country. Sources suggest that the stylish Audi A3 Sportback could see Indian daylight with a sub-Rs. 20 lakhs price tag, whereas the Mercedes-Benz A-Class Is expected to come within an introductory price band of Rs. 17 to Rs. 20 lakhs.