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The biennial Auto Expo is back! Gaurav Nagpal brings you the best of the cars that India awaits at the 2020 edition

Come February 2020 and all roads will lead to the India Expo Mart at Greater Noida, on the outskirts of New Delhi. For it is here that anyone who either works in the automobile field or is an enthusiast with octane in his or her veins, heads to marvel at the wonders on wheels displayed at the biennial confluence of all things automotive – the Auto Expo. So whether it is luxury on wheels or exciting technological concepts that wow you, we have the five most-awaited cars for you to drool over!

Porsche’s first fully-electric sports car

Porsche is known for iconic, petrol-fuelled sports cars, and many a car nut has dreamed of owning one someday. The Porsche Taycan goes totally against the first part of the description but, in all other aspects, this, the first all-electric all-wheel-drive sports car from the marque, fully lives up to its reputation for high performance. A package of aggressive styling, precise handling and incredible acceleration, its twin electric motors push out 522-750 hp, and it can do the 0-100 km/h dash in an estimated 2.6-3.8 seconds (depending on the variant). Launch Control gives you the thrill of peak power for a 2.5-second burst! The door handles automatically extend outward and the driver has the pleasure of a 16.8 inch curved instrument display. And it has nearly 500 litres of storage space!

All-electric SUV from Mercedes-Benz

Its name is derived from ‘emotion’ and ‘intelligence’, values that the three-pointed star hold dear. The EQC is the first electric vehicle in India from the brand, and what a car to point the way to the future! This luxurious all-electric, all-wheel-drive sport utility vehicle (SUV) is driven by twin electric motors whose 408 hp (horsepower) peak power can push it to the ton from rest in just 5.1 seconds! ARTICO man-made leather cloaks the supremely comfortable seats; the ENERGIZER package adjusts lighting, fragrance and other features; and the Burmester surround sound system envelops you in concert-like audio. The ‘EQC Edition 1886’ tag takes pride of place on the seat backrests and the centre console. And you can charge it off your regular home wall plug – or with a purpose-built Mercedes-Benz Wallbox at thrice the speed – for a range of over 400 km. The SUV is slated to be launched in April 2020.

Volkswagen’s concept all-electric SUV

The concept all-electric vehicle with which Volkswagen returns to the Expo is the I.D. Crozz, a halo product for future SUVs that the brand will bring to India. It is a zero-emission automobile with a four-wheel-drive powertrain built as much for urban commutes as for unpaved tracks or weather-beaten roads. The twin electric motors offer a combined power output of 300 hp, and it can reach a maximum speed of 180 km/h, along with an estimated range of 300-500 km. The rear-facing cameras in place of conventional wing mirrors are a cool touch! The front doors are the conventional front-hinged type; the rear ones, though, are cantilever-style sliding doors. An augmented reality head-up display projects information like speed, navigation instructions and more onto the windscreen. Plus, it boasts over 500 litres of storage!

Kia’s luxury MPV

With its ‘Extravagant by Design’ tagline, Kia’s Carnival is here to make its place in the luxury multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) space. The electric rear doors slide back with just a touch, and you can gaze skyward through the dual-panel electric sunroof. Middle-row occupants get VIP treatment with Nappa leather captain seats, a rear seat entertainment system and calf supports for a comfortable ride. All seats up still leave over 500 litres of boot space, so you can pack your house! Use the UVO (Your Voice) system to connect your smartwatch with the Carnival, and breathe in fresh air courtesy the air purifier. A smooth 2.2-litre diesel engine puts out 197 hp, channelled by an eight-speed ‘Sportsmatic’ automatic transmission. And in case you are caught in a static position on an uphill road, Hill Start Assist Control stops the car from rolling back.

Skoda’s superfast SUV

It is the fastest seven-seater around the hallowed Nürburgring, and that is some serious performance from the Kodiaq RS! You cannot miss the 20-inch alloy wheels of this stunning SUV, the iconic vRS badge on the grille or the chrome-tipped dual exhausts. Inside, the carbon-fibre weave, Alcantara leather and contrast stitching remind you of its RS roots. Twin turbos mated to a two-litre diesel engine put out 236 hp of power that gets it from 0-100 km/h in under seven seconds. It sounds even more powerful with the manufactured exhaust tone from the Dynamic Boost System – you might think you are behind the wheel of a V8! A seven-speed DSG automatic with paddle shifters combines with all-wheel-drive to ensure it handles like it is on rails. This could well be among the most affordable performance SUVs in the country!

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