Here are 10 car launches that have been delayed due to the Coronavirus outbreak. We can expect these cars to hit the markets soon…
I need not say a word about how badly the Coronavirus pandemic has hit us, you and I have been suffering for quite some time now. COVID 19 has shattered almost all businesses worldwide. It has taken a great toll on the automotive sector as well. As you know, automotive manufacturers are currently keeping their plants shut and are more into COVID relief measures across the world. Here are some of the key upcoming cars whose launches have been deferred.
The new Honda City tops our list of delayed launches. The car had been scheduled for an April launch here. The official media drive and unveil were to happen on March 16. All these got messed up with the pandemic outbreak. The drives were cancelled and the launch date postponed. While we are yet to get clarity on the revised launch date, we do know that the new Honda City will feature the BS6 guises of the 1.5L petrol and 1.5L diesel engines. There would be a thoroughly revised design and a revamped equipment array to the new car. The prices are expected to start at INR 10 lakh.
Skoda Rapid 1.0
While time still remains for the carmaker to bring in the next generation Skoda Rapid, the sedan is about to get a key update in the country. The Rapid would soon get a 1.0L turbo petrol engine good enough to let out 110 horses. The car, first showcased at Auto Expo 2020, would have the mill borrowed from the newly Launched VW Polo and Vento. There will be a six-speed manual and six-speed torque converter type automatic boxes on offer as well. Skoda has pulled the plug off on the diesels with the BS6 norms kicking in. The Rapid 1.0 was expected here in April, which now seems to be unlikely owing to the current situations.
The effect of the pandemic on the upcoming Hyundai cars had started with the new Creta. Though the car was launched in a fair manner, the sales and deliveries have been struggling to stabilize from the day one. The new Hyundai Verna suffered a worse plight. The car was launched silently in the country, and I doubt if it has had the traction it deserves here. And for the Tucson, Hyundai India has not yet revealed as to when the SUV will arrive here. It was earlier expected to have a March launch here.
The update gives the Hyundai Tucson minor nip and tucks in the overall design and a revamped interior. The inside of the car gets an 8-inch free-standing touchscreen unit along with many other pieces of equipment. The SUV will get a 150hp/192Nm petrol engine and a 182hp/400 Nm diesel engines on offer. The diesel will come with a new 8 speed AT replacing the 6-speed box of the current car.
Skoda had started taking in bookings for the Skoda Karoq back in March. The SUV would most likely see its market launch once the lockdown ends. The Karoq was seen showcased at the previous Auto Expo and would come to India as CBU units. The SUV will get 150hp, 1.5L turbo petrol engine mated to a 7 speed DSG. There will be just one variant on offer, which would come feature packed. We could also expect the carmaker to go for a soft launch, similar to what Volkswagen had done with the T Roc.
Mercedes Benz EQC
The Mercedes Benz EQC, first unveiled in Jan 2020, was being readied for an April launch here when the pandemic messed things up. The EV would be brought to India via the CBU route and hence would be on the pricier side. Packing an 80kWh Li ion battery and 408 hp motors, the EQC will go against the upcoming Audi E Tron and Jaguar I pace in the future.
Mahindra XUV300 Sportz
Essentially a beefed-up version of the regular Mahindra XUV 300, this vehicle was also being prepped for an April launch here. The car comes powered by an all new 1.2L turbo petrol mill letting out 130 hp over the current figure of 110. If launched, the XUV 300 Sportz will be the most powerful sub-4 SUV of the lot.
The HBX was one of the most sought after models of the Tata pavilion at Auto Expo 2020. Built on the ALFA architecture, this concept was later announced to be close to production-ready. We have all been waiting for the production-spec version of the HBX to surface ever since. A likely- competitor for the Mahindra KUV 100 and Suzuki Ignis, the HBX would be powered by the same 1.2L petrol from the Altroz. An AMT transmission is expected in addition to the manual box. The HBX was expected to start production by the second half of 2020, which now seems to be delayed further.
The Gravitas, or the 7 seater Tata Harrier was hoped to hit the markets sometime in between April and September 2020. Owing to the pandemic, we cannot expect the Tata Gravitas launch to happen anytime south of the last quarter of 2020. Built on the same architecture as the Harrier, the Gravitas gets slightly longer and wider proportions making room for the third row. The SUV will borrow its engine and mechanicals from the Harrier.
Honda WRV Facelift
Honda is readying a facelift for the WRV. Originally expected here in April, the WRV facelift now seems evidently delayed due to Coronavirus outbreak. The new WRV gets a new front grille, LED projector headlamps with LED DRLs, LED front fog lamps, LED tail lamps etc. The mechanicals will remain unchanged with the 1.2L petrol and 1.5L diesel mills still doing the job.
Renault Duster 1.3
Renault is bringing in a Duster with a 1.3 turbo petrol heart! The vehicle would have a whopping 155 hp on tap against the puny 105 hp of the outgoing model! The Duster 1.3 would have a 6-speed manual and a CVT on offer. The SUV was to hit the markets in April. We are now expecting the launch to happen as and when the lockdown lifts….