Auto Expo 2023 is currently underway and will be open to public audiences from January 13. The auto show was host to a number of releases and announcements in its first two days. Looking at all the showcases, 2023 could be a massive year for the Indian auto sector. With all the activity surrounding the event, we thought we’d bring you all the major announcements, showcases, and highlights from this year’s Auto Expo. In case you missed any news from the event, here is a quick roundup!
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MG Hector facelift launched at Rs 14.73 lakh
The MG Hector facelift got its first public showcase and price announcement at Auto Expo 2023. MG Motor unveiled the new Hector earlier this week. The Hector was due for a facelift for quite some time, as its competition had significantly upped their game in the last couple of years. Prices for the Hector facelift start at Rs 14.73 lakh, with the three-row Hector Plus model fetching Rs 20.80 lakh. The 5-seat variant is available in six trims – Style, Shine, Smart, Smart Pro, Sharp Pro, Savvy Pro. Hector Plus, on the other hand, has been made available in only four trims – Smart, Smart Pro, Sharp Pro, and Savvy Pro.
The Hector facelift gets significant changes in the front and rear profile but remains mechanically unchanged. These design changes include a massive new chrome grille with diamond-shaped inserts, sleek LED headlamps and DRLs, and ‘ADAS’ badging. In terms of feature upgrades, the MG Hector facelift gets a new vertical 14.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with new connectivity features like Digital Key Sharing and more. The biggest upgrade comes in the form of an ADAS package with includes features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.
Maruti Suzuki showcases the eVX SUV concept
Maruti Suzuki had some exciting news for us at this year’s Auto Expo. The automaker kicked off the proceedings by showcasing the eVX concept electric SUV that is expected to be launched in 2025. Maruti has a diverse portfolio of cars in India, and all that was missing from it was an EV. With Tata making significant ground in the EV sphere, Maruti had to step up its game for the future. Maruti plans on building a new platform for its EVs and will be investing up to 100 billion rupees in future tech. So far, what we know about the eVX is that it is powered by a 60kWh battery pack that offers a range of up to 550km. The eVX concept looks like a futuristic version of the Baleno, but it will be interesting to see which design elements make it to the production-spec model in 2025.
BYD Seal EV to launch later this year
Chinese automaker BYD showcased the Seal EV at Auto Expo and confirmed that the electric sedan will get an Indian launch later this year. The BYD Seal rivals Tesla’s Model 3 in foreign markets. The electric sedan’s design is inspired by the Ocean X concept that the automaker unveiled in 2021. The sedan features a split headlamp setup up front, with boomerang-shaped LED DRLs. Inside, the Seal EV gets a 15.6-inch touchscreen infotainment display and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster. The BYD Seal EV comes with two battery pack options – 61.4kWh and 82.5kWh. There are single and dual electric motor options on deck. The former produces a maximum power output of 204hp while the latter churns out 312hp.
Kia unveils the KA4 MPV
Apart from showcasing the EV9 concept, Kia also unveiled the KA4 MPV at Auto Expo 2023. The MPV goes by the name of Kia Carnival in foreign markets. The KA4 MPV is a next-gen version of the Carnival that is currently available in India. The MPV was released overseas two years back but this is the first time Kia has unveiled it in India. The KA4 gets an SUV-like stance and a new ‘Tiger Nose’ grille up front. The MPV is 5,156mm long which makes it longer than the recently launched Toyota Innova HyCross MPV. In terms of equipment and features, the KA4 gets twin 12.3-inch displays, wireless charging, electric-powered front seats, and more. In terms of powertrain, the KA4 will be launched in a single 2.2-litre diesel engine option in India.
Toyota Land Cruiser 300 priced at Rs 2.17 crore
Toyota showcased its newest luxury SUV, the Land Cruiser 300, pricing it at Rs 2.17 crore. Toyota started accepting bookings for the LC300 back in August last year and quickly sold out the first batch. The increasing demand for the LC300 makes sense as it is the first all-new Land Cruiser from Toyota in almost 14 years. While the exterior design stays true to the signature Land Cruiser look, the interior has been upgraded with a new dashboard layout and features like Head-Up Display, a fingerprint authorisation system, and a 14-speaker JBL audio unit.
Maruti launches the 5-door Jimny and Fronx compact SUV
The highly anticipated 5-door Jimny got a grand unveiling at Auto Expo 2023. The Baleno-based Fronx SUV also made its debut at the event. The Jimny was present in its popular ‘Kinetic Green’ avatar and boasted the signature look that the audience has come to associate with the lifestyle SUV. Apart from rear doors and a quarter window at the back, the 5-door Jimny is similar to its 3-door counterpart in terms of exterior design. Inside, it gets an all-black interior theme along with a 9.0-inch touchscreen Smart Play Pro+ infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and an Arkamys surround sound system.
The Maruti Suzuki Fronx is the automaker’s entry in the hotly contested compact SUV segment that is currently dominated by the likes of Tata Punch and Nissan Magnite. The Fronx sports a split headlamp setup up font, similar to the Grand Vitara. It also gets the NEXWave grille and NEXTre crystal block. The bodywork of the compact SUV also resembles that of Vitara. In terms of features, the compact SUV gets a 9.0-inch Smart Pro Play+ infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Head Up Display, wireless charging, and a 360-degree camera.
Lexus makes its first appearance at Auto Expo with the LX500d
As hard as it may be to believe, this year marked Lexus’ first appearance at Auto Expo. The automaker showcased its luxury SUV LX500d which was launched in India last month. LX500d is underpinned by the same platform as Toyota’s LC300 and is essentially a more premium version of Toyota’s luxury SUV. What sets the Lexus apart is its remarkable exterior design, highlighted by the signature chrome grille along with unique LED headlights, fog lamps, and air vents. The rear profile is highlighted by a newly designed pair of LED tail lamps connected by a light bar.
Inside, the Lexus LX 500d gets a dual touchscreen unit. The upper 12.3-inch touchscreen functions as the infotainment system, while the 7.0-inch touchscreen below it displays the off-road data and climate control functions. Rear seats have been equipped with two 11.6-inch touchscreen entertainment systems as well. Under the hood, the Lexus LX500d is powered by a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine that can generate a maximum power of 305hp and 700Nm peak torque. Lexus also confirmed an Indian launch for the LM 300h MPV.
MG4 EV gets a showcase, no word on launch yet
MG Motors showcased the MG4 electric hatchback at Auto Expo, but did not confirm whether it will get an Indian release. The MG4 draws heavy inspiration from the Cyberster roadster concept and is nothing like the MG hatchbacks we’ve seen recently. The sharp front end is highlighted by even sharper LED headlamps, with the rear getting a full-width LED light bar. The bottom of the doors is fixed with tough cladding and the hatch lid features a split-design rear spoiler. The MG4 comes in two battery options, a 51kWh battery pack with a range of 217 miles (350 km), and a 64kWh battery pack with a range of 280 miles (450 km).
Tata takes the next step in EV mobility
Tata Motors was perhaps the busiest player at Auto Expo this year. The automaker already has one of the biggest EV portfolios in India, with the Tiago EV carrying the title of the most affordable electric car in the country. At this year’s Auto Expo Tata announced two new electric SUVs – Harrier EV and Sierra EV and also displayed the Curvv and Avinya concepts. The Harrier and Sierra EVs would be the first ‘big’ SUVs in Tata’s electric fleet. We could see Tata Harrier EV hitting the market next year, while the Sierra EV is expected to launch in 2025. Tata also unveiled the Altroz ‘Racer’, although it is unconfirmed whether the hatchback will be greenlit for launch.
Read Also: Kia EV9 Concept showcased for the first time in India at Auto Expo 2023
These are all the biggest highlights from Auto Expo 2023! While Tata Motors may have stolen the headlines, there were great showcases and releases across the board from different auto manufacturers. Which automaker do you think had the best showcases this year? Let us know in the comments!
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