TOI Auto Weekly: TOI Auto Weekly: New Thar in town, Mercedes-Benz EQC almost there – Times of India

NEW DELHI: This week was all about some exciting debuts, and a few automakers dropping teasers to test waters ahead of big launches. Respite to thousands as the Supreme Court allowed registration of BS4 vehicles sold during March. The buzz, however, was around the electric mobility. In this edition of TOI Auto Weekly, we bring you everything from the automotive domain that deserves your attention:
2020 Mahindra Thar finally broke cover after a Covid-induced delay. Thar, the latest in Mahindra Classics lineage, is bigger and more practical, well-equipped and gets brand-new petrol and diesel engines with manual and automatic transmissions. The Thar comes with a retro-modern look and is launching on October 2.

05:362020 Mahindra Thar: The lion roars, again

Ford India expanded the Freestyle line-up with the new Flair variant. The Freestyle Flair starts at Rs 7.69 lakh (ex-showroom) for the petrol variant and the diesel-based variant starts at Rs 8.79 lakh (ex-showroom). The Freestyle Flair boasts the 1.2-litre petrol or 1.5-litre diesel engine under the hood. The Flair variant flaunts an all-new sporty red and black theme and it will also feature the variant-exclusive upholstery inside.
What Hyundai introduced this week in the globally market is a purist delight. Expanding the N line series, the 2021 Elantra broke into the scene with a 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine. The ‘parametric design’ of the sporty car give a very elegant yet sleek look to it. The Hyundai Elantra N Line is expected to enter the Korean market in the third quarter of 2020. After the launch of this car, Hyundai plans to roll out the new Elantra plug-in hybrid and the Sonata N Line.

MG Gloster, the fourth product from SAIC-backed company, was teased, hinting at a festive launch. The SUV is expected to cost around Rs 50 lakh and will be a low volume product in India. The MG tries to club class-leading tech and features like lane departing warning, collision warning system under Gloster’s hood.
EQC was one good news among the many from the world of electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz teased the electric SUV EQC, as you head towards and India-debut during the festive season. The EQ brand of the German automaker had been introduced early this year, however, the launch of the EQC got delayed due to the Covid crisis. The Mercedes-Benz EQC sports a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain with two asynchronous electric motors, one mounted on the front axle, and the other one on the rear.

Toyota revealed the theme of the launch campaign of Urban Cruiser as the bookings are set to commence in August-end. The campaign theme, ‘Respect’, stems from the relatively young target audience’s aspiration for early success in life. The rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is expected to arrive in the upcoming festive season.
We are closer to the new Duster. Renault will be driving in a turbo-petrol variant of Duster shortly. The SUV will be loaded with a new 4-cylinder, turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol engine. The turbo-petrol engine is borrowed from its cousin Nissan Kicks. With this new engine, Renault Duster will become one of the most powerful SUVs in its segment.
EV without a battery: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced that the electric vehicles can now be sold and registered without battery packs. The sudden move is aimed at boosting the acceptance of electric mobility in the country also considering the fact that battery packs account for 30-40% of the total cost. The move has received mixed reactions from the manufacturers. Mahindra Electric MD said, “No country in the world allows registration of EV’s without battery. We will explain the government that this notification has created confusion. Either charging or swapping is post-sale charge replenishing methods. Both can coexist in the framework. The move has not been thought through and the industry has not been consulted.” While the likes of Hero Electric, Okinawa and Ather supported the move.
A timely respite: After pulling up the Federation of Automobile Dealers Association (FADA) earlier, the Supreme Court finally allowed the registration of the BS4 vehicles which were sold in March. According to the reports, around 9,56,015 BS4 vehicles sold from March 12-31 faced the threat of getting their registrations voided.
The power of electric: Hyundai Kona adds another feat to its name by clocking a record range of 1205 km in a single charge. The Kona was tested over a period of 3 days and the electric SUV also recorded the lowest power consumption figures which were well under the standard value determined by the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). “This mission has proven that our Kona Electric offers outstanding electric performance efficiency and battery range,” said Michael Cole, CEO, Hyundai Motor Europe.

Hyundai’s electric jump: Tesla better look out as its rivals are slowly trying to take the top spot in the electric mobility domain. Hyundai is ready with its ‘Ioniq’ line-up, with the Ioniq 5, a midsize EV CUV hitting the market in 2021. Hyundai plans to launch three new models in the next four years in a bid to challenge Tesla. On the other hand, Lucid Motors, from Tesla’s own home turf, will be pulling out its trump card soon. The Lucid Air, the first luxury model from the automaker, will be offering a 500-mile range on a single charge. The Lucid Air is expected to hit the market by early 2021.



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