Maruti to launch concept car A-Star in Oct

Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, plans to launch A-star model in the local market as scheduled in October and start exports from December or January, a senior company official said on Thursday.

Initially, the car will be exported to Europe, Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi told reporters on the sidelines of an industry conference, reports Reuters.

With a rivetting design, 1800 to 2000 cc engine, Maruti's concept car, the A-Star, is a hatchback version of the SX4.

Designed by Saurabh Singh and Rajesh Kumar Gogu of Maruti Suzuki, the car complies with all Euro 5 emission norms and is being touted as the global Indian car.

“It’s very eye-catching; if you drive this, you’d be noticed on the roads, even without the flashing lights,” auto expert Murad Ali Baig had said in January at the Delhi Auto Expo where the car was unveiled.

“It’s a larger hatchback,” he said about the A-Star. “You see, in many European markets, even some of the larger cars like the Mondeo and the Astra are in the hatchback configuration – they don’t make small cars.”

At the Auto Expo, the A -Star launch had stolen some of the thunder from Tata's 1 lakh car, but its not in competition.

By 2010, Suzuki plans to export 100,000 units of the new model to Europe, Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Managing Director Shinzo Nakanishi had said at the time.

Maruti has entered into an agreement with Nissan to sell A-Star under the latter's brand name in the US market.

The A-Star, which has generated a lot of interest among auto enthusiast in India, is the first Indo-Japanese collaboration concept car.

Dubbed the global India car and developed by Maruti Suzuki Ltd's research and development (R&D) team in Manesar near Delhi, A-Star is sleek and smart.

Indica Vista

Tata Motors is all set to roll out its new Indica Vista in August 2008. When Tata’s launched the Indica in 1998, it was the first totally Indian Built Passenger car & there was a mad rush to own the diesel compact. Since then its been ruling the Indian roads and has been Tata’s brand builder. The Indica no’s were quite strong in the taxi segment. This to a certain extent hit the overall sales for Tata’s as the Indica slowly got stereotyped. Now,they have come out with a more futuristic version -the Indica Vista, built on the Tata’s all new passenger car platform.

We were quite excited to have its first look at the Auto Expo held in Delhi. The first radical change on the looks are its swept back headlamp cluster. This would really catch everyone’s attention with its wide eyes kind of look. Even the tail has been smartly worked on with giving it a sleek & smoother finish. The bumpers give a wide look & the honeycomb grill adds to the overall appeal.

Built on an all-new platform, the Indica Vista will be slightly larger than the original Indica.

For the first time, the car will feature engines from partner Fiat.

A new 1.2-litre petrol engine called Saffire and the 1.3-litre common-rail diesel called Quadrajet will be part of the lineup, apart from Tata's own 1.4-litre turbo diesel engine.

The interiors, is what stuns every one. Tata’s have quite done their home work & have understood the Indian market finally to give the inside space some class. The main change we would notice is the instrument cluster panel which is centrally mounted. Seats have been improved a lot with good thigh support, 60:40 option & a decent amount of space to have your family travel in comfort. Their dealer support tie up with Fiat will also build their brand image.

Thought Tata’s have their own 1.4 Turbo diesel, this car may sport the new 1.2 Liter petrol & 1.3 Liter CRDi from the Fiat stable and should be a treat to drive. This 1.3 engine is the similar one used in the popular Swift & Dezire variants. Some of the engine options in this new Vista would be as below.

1. 1172cc Petrol Safire
Maximum Power: 65bhp
Maximum Torque: 96Nm

2. 1248cc Quadrajet Diesel (CRDi)
Maximum Power: 75bhp
Maximum Torque: 190Nm

3. 1405cc Turbo Diesel Injection (TDi)
Maximum Power: 71bhp
Maximum Torque: 135Nm