Since the fuel prices in India are on the surge, car customers are mainly resorting to buying diesel powered cars as it is a cheaper fuel option than petrol. Since the segment of hatchbacks enjoys a considerable market share in India, car makers are curtailing their production to make more and more of diesel hatchbacks. In 2013, prominent companies like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have introduced various models and it is expected that more diesel hatchbacks might soon make their way in the Indian car market. So to assess the future offerings of diesel hatchbacks, a detailed analysis is as follows.
Since the sales of Tata Nano have not picked as the company anticipated, it is being learnt that the diesel version of the car would soon make inroads in the Indian auto market. According to reports, Tata Motors is revving up its plans to introduce a diesel engine in Nano as this could move could be a game changing development for the company. Sources cite that Tata Motors might showcase the diesel variant of Nano at the 2014 Auto Expo, which shall soon follow its launch. As told, the company is working on a low-specification 700 cc engine that will generate a maximum power of 33 bhp and 51 Nm of torque. This low configuration powertrain will be mated to 4-speed manual gearbox that shall further give power to the rear wheels. Industry experts are betting high that diesel Tata Nano might give away an average of 30 kmpl and could be priced significantly lower than the same segment diesel cars.
Maruti Suzuki Alto 800
As far as things for the leading car maker of India is concerned, it is planning to offer diesel engine in Alto 800. The entry level hatchback of the company has enjoyed a successful stint in the Indian car market till now and now with the rumours of diesel version doing the rounds, the competitors will be worrying a lot from this development. As told, the company is developing an 800 cc turbo diesel engine, which shall return superior mileage figures. Once Alto 800 rolls out with a diesel engine, the same powertrain could be provided in WagonR but in different tuned specifications. Presently, the diesel line-up of Maruti Suzuki is based around the 1.3-litre multi-jet engine, sourced from Fiat, which does duty on most of its models but in slightly tweaked configurations.
For Hyundai, its is widely believed that the diesel version of Santro Xing is on the cards to enter the Indian car market. As far as specifications of Santro Xing diesel are concerned, it might get the CRDI engine that will give fuel economy of 23.5 kmpl on different road conditions. This engine would be capable of producing 61 bhp of peak power while giving away 75 Nm of torque. Industry experts are saying that the 5-speed manual transmission might make way in the diesel Santro Xing and the availability of an automatic gearbox remains doubtful. The expected launch date is presumed to be in the second quarter of 2014. In terms of pricing, the car could be offered at Rs. 4 lakh for the introductory variant. However, doubts still remain over the availability of Xing in diesel as the company has not disclosed any information regarding to it.