The biennial Auto Expo is back! Gaurav Nagpal brings you a sneak peek of the most awaited cars from this edition of automotive nirvana
Once every two years, all roads lead to the outskirts of Delhi. For it is at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida that the biennial automotive jamboree, the Auto Expo, takes place. To be held from February 9-14, 2018, the event marks the coming to fruition of the efforts of three automotive industry bodies – the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – and of automobile manufacturers, component suppliers and numerous other entities. Their combined strength means that some drool-worthy cars are on show, getting possibly more eyeballs than even some blockbuster movies! Read on to know the top five cars to look out for this year:
Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ
First showcased at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz Concept EQ represents the future of mobility as visualised by Mercedes-Benz, and is the forerunner of EQ, its new global product brand for electric mobility. This fully electric SUV-esque car has a range of up to 500 km, with the twin electric motors putting out upwards of 400 hp, which allows a sub-five-second timing for the run from zero to 100 km/h. Interesting features include windscreen wipers concealed under the bonnet, digital cameras instead of outside rear-view mirrors (ORVMs), aerodynamically-designed wheel spokes and the absence of traditional door handles.
BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
A five-door ‘liftback’ model, the 6 Series Gran Turismo (GT) will enter the BMW line-up for India as the second GT model from the brand, with its trump card of space and comfort for its passengers. Of course, since the brand believes that every car it makes is ‘the Ultimate Driving Machine’, there will be no compromise on driving dynamics. Highlights include adaptive LED headlights, an active aero spoiler, support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a fantastic Bowers & Wilkins audio system. As with all BMWs in this segment, the car will be packed with equipment and luxury features.
Kia Niro EV Concept
This could be another very interesting exhibit. Unveiled very recently at the CES 2018 electronics show in Las Vegas, USA, the Kia Niro Electric Vehicle (EV) Concept uses a next-generation electric vehicle powertrain with a 64 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack that powers a 201 PS electric motor. Kia claims the EV will offer a hard-to-believe 383 km range, more than enough for intra-city commuting, inter-city jaunts, and then some. Its Active Pedestrian Warning System (APWS) alerts the driver to the crossing of pedestrians. The car could also have a more affordable, hybrid variant.
Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain
A segment-first for the venerable three-pointed star, the E-Class All-Terrain is a raised estate/ stationwagon model in the E-Class line-up. 4MATIC all-wheel-drive, air suspension and higher ground clearance bring it into mild off-roading territory; the driver can adjust the ride height when driving off the tarmac. Exterior highlights include beefy bumpers, SUV-style body cladding and plastic underbody protection, while on the inside, you have exclusive aluminium-carbon parts, sports pedals and “All-Terrain” engraving on the floor mats.
The Stinger is the performance sedan model from Kia, and represents a grand tourer as imagined by the brand, with a near-three-metre wheelbase. Sporting Kia’s signature tiger nose grille, its coupe-esque stance is accentuated by a long, swooping bonnet, a short rear end, and an overall low-slung look. The car is likely to debut with three turbocharged engine options (both petrol and diesel), all offering quick 0-100 km/h runs; the top model is likely to be a V6 petrol that hits 100 from rest in under five seconds. It could enter India via the completely built-up (CBU) route.