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Size of things to come

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If you happen to visit the ongoing 10th Auto Expo 2010 in New Delhi, you will not find even the remotest traces of recession. Looking at the explosive growth of the Indian car market, every major automobile company is looking to capture it. A lot of cars were launched at the Expo, a majority of them compact cars and also some high-end luxury cars.

Maruti Eeco: Maruti launched their EECO – a Versa look-alike with five and seven-seat option, with a 1196 cc petrol engine churning out 74ps@6000 rpm. This utility vehicle is priced between Rs.2.59 lakh and Rs.2.89 lakh. Maruti is also planning to launch a luxury car named KIZASHI by the end of this year or early 2011 with a 2.4 litre,184 bhp engine. It looks like a bigger version of the existing SX 4 and will be priced above Rs.10 lakh.

Chevrolet Beat: This is Chevrolet's answer to the Maruti Ritz. This compact car has a 1.2 litre, 80 bhp engine under the hood. It will be placed above the Spark and below the U-VA. The price starts at Rs.3.5 lakh.

Volkswagen Polo: The most awaited small car at the moment, initially the car will come with a petrol engine. A diesel-powered car will also be launched soon. The base petrol model is competitively priced at Rs.4.6 lakh and will be available by March 2010.

Toyota Etios: This Auto Expo saw the much-awaited small car from the Toyota stable – the Etios hatchback which made its international debut in New Delhi. The wait for the car looks worth it. The company has emphasised on rear seat comfort and the ride quality too is expected to be exceptional.

Honda New Small Car: The look of the car is breathtaking. Powered by a 1-litre engine, the car is expected to hit the roads by early 2011.

Skoda Yeti: This is an off-roader that was seen missing from the Skoda range of cars in India. It is powered by a more refined 2,000 cc diesel engine. The car offers remarkable comfort with high seats and a high roof.

Tata Aria: This car from Tata resembles the Toyota Innova and is of similar size. The headlights and the grill enhanc the look of the car and also differentiate it from the Innova. It is supposed to hit the roads by the end of the year. In the luxury car segment auto majors launched some high-end cars, including the likes of BMW 5GT, BMW X1, BMW Z4, Mercedes S500, SL 63 AMG, GL 350 CDI, Mercedes AMG (with gull wings), Jaguar and Range Rover.

S.M. AAMIR

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