Auto News ; Bajaj, Toyota, Yamaha, TVS, Porsche, & More

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Bajaj plans to expand its lineup in India with several new models, including its first CNG-powered motorcycle. Spy pictures of the Bajaj CNG bike suggest it may have comparable performance to the Platina 110, despite needing a larger displacement due to CNG’s lower power density. The bike features an extended, flat saddle to accommodate the CNG cylinder, with a panel gap on the fuel tank for refilling. It is expected to have a monoshock, telescopic front forks, rear drum, front disc brakes, single-piece seat, grab rails, and road-biased tires on 17-inch wheels. Market reports suggest it will be available between April and June for around Rs 80,000. In February, Bajaj Auto saw significant year-over-year growth in both domestic and international markets, with 42% and 8% increases, respectively.


In August 2023, Toyota launched the Rumion, a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, in India, which has since become popular among MPV buyers, leading to long waiting periods. The Rumion comes in petrol and CNG variants (S, G, and V) priced from Rs 10.44 lakh to Rs 13.73 lakh (ex-showroom). The petrol variant has a waiting period of 7 to 8 months, while bookings for the CNG variant are closed. It features a 1.5-liter K-series petrol engine with Neo Drive (ISG) technology, offering a fuel efficiency of 20.5km/l for petrol and 26.11km/kg for CNG. The design includes a new front grille, alloy wheels, and changes to the bumpers, with a seven-seater version available. Interior features include faux wood inlays, cruise control, automatic climate control, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless connectivity. Safety features include side airbags, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and ESP. Competitors include the Maruti Suzuki XL6 and Ertiga.


Yamaha has filed a patent for an electric motocross bike, focusing on developing a transmission that meets motocross competition requirements with greater torque and traction. The patent suggests the bike may feature a carbon fibre monocoque chassis like the TY-E trial bike, which provided insights into generating rapid torque. Unlike the TY-E’s direct drive, the motocross bike uses a new solution with a torsion damper in the gearbox. This damper, with two coaxial rotors connected by springs, offers instant power and better throttle responsiveness without increasing size or weight. Yamaha has not disclosed battery or bike characteristics yet, but more information may be available when the prototype is unveiled. Yamaha has no plans to sell dirt bikes in India, so the availability of the Electric Motocross there remains uncertain.


TVS Motor has filed trademarks for E-XL and XL EV, indicating the development of an all-electric version of its popular XL moped. The electric XL is expected to compete with the Kinetic e-Luna and will likely use a familiar design with minor aesthetic changes compared to the petrol-powered XL100. The electric variant is expected to feature a battery pack powering a hub motor through a belt drive system, positioned beneath the central tunnel. Unlike the petrol version, the XL Electric will not have pedals. The pricing is expected to be higher than the current XL100. TVS reported a 34% increase in total sales in February 2024, selling 3.56 lakh two-wheelers, up from 2.67 lakh units in February 2023.


Porsche plans to introduce four new or significantly revised models in 2024, including the third-generation Panamera, the new Taycan, the second-generation Macan (as an electric model), and the 911 Hybrid. The Porsche 911 Hybrid will feature a retuned twin-turbo six-cylinder engine with an electric motor powering the front wheels and a battery pack, expected to deliver over 465bhp. The hybrid system includes a new 400-volt electrical system, an integrated starter-generator, an electric motor, and a battery. The Porsche 911 Hybrid will also receive exterior updates such as revised bumpers and redesigned headlamps, along with software upgrades in the interior. Additionally, Porsche plans to introduce e-hybrid variants for the Cayenne and Panamera models.


The Audi A3 has undergone significant upgrades for the global market, including an all-new allstreet variant with crossover and off-road aesthetics, featuring 30mm more ground clearance and a higher seat position. The exterior boasts a redesigned grille, bumper, and headlamps, while the interior includes a revamped gear selector, center console, and ambient lighting. The A3 will initially offer 1.5-liter mild-hybrid gasoline and 2.0-liter diesel engines, both producing 148bhp, with plans to introduce a plug-in hybrid variant later in the year. Audi has not yet confirmed if the updated A3 will return to the Indian market, where it previously competed with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 2-series.


The Hyundai Creta N Line, the sportier version of the Creta, has been launched in India with significant cosmetic changes, a retuned suspension setup, and mechanical upgrades. This is Hyundai’s third N Line model in India, following the i20 N Line and Venue N Line. The i20 N Line and Venue N Line have seen strong sales, comprising over 20% of Hyundai’s overall turbo-petrol powertrain sales, with cumulative sales exceeding 22,000 units. The Creta N Line is Hyundai’s most expensive N Line model, priced between Rs 16.82 lakh and Rs 20.30 lakh (ex-showroom). It features 18-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, dual-tip exhaust pipes, a larger roof-mounted spoiler, twin 10.25-inch screens for infotainment and instrumentation, 70+ connected car features, dual-zone automatic climate control, Level 2 ADAS, and a new 1.5-liter turbo-petrol engine producing 158bhp and 253Nm of torque. The Creta N Line is available in two variants: N8 and N10.


The Tata Nexon and Nexon EV facelifts now offer a Dark Edition variant, completing the Dark Edition lineup for Tata’s SUV models, excluding the Punch. Priced from Rs 11.45 lakh (ex-showroom), the Nexon Dark Edition features a unique Oberon Black exterior paint, blacked-out details, and interior elements like black leatherette seats with Dark badging. Variant-wise features range from height-adjustable driver seat and TPMS in the Creative variant to additional features like cruise control and a 360-degree camera in higher variants. The SUV retains its engine options, including a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel, with transmission options including manual, AMT, and DCT. Competing with Hyundai Venue N Line and Kia Sonet X Line, the Nexon Dark Edition is priced between Rs 11.45 lakh and Rs 15.80 lakh (ex-showroom).

Mahindra & Mahindra

Mahindra & Mahindra has trademarked several names for its upcoming electric SUVs, including the XUV 7XO, XUV 5XO, XUV 3XO, and XUV 1XO. These SUVs are expected to be launched starting December this year, with the BE.05 SUV slated for October next year. These models will be developed on the INGLO platform and are likely to feature battery packs ranging from 60kWh to 80kWh. The XUV 7XO and 5XO might offer both single-motor and dual-motor AWD options, while the XUV 3XO and 1XO may have a single electric motor. The range for these SUVs is expected to vary, with the XUV 1XO offering 200-250 kilometers and the XUV 7XO, 5XO, and XUV 3XO offering 400-450 kilometers. Additionally, Mahindra’s overall sales for February 2024 were 72,923 units, up 24% YoY, with the XUV700, Thar, Bolero, and Scorpio N being top-performing models.

In Other News

Fabio Quartararo expressed dissatisfaction with Yamaha’s 2024 MotoGP bike, stating that Yamaha is significantly behind its rivals. Despite receiving concessions and recruiting new engineering talent, Yamaha has made little improvement, leading to their first winless campaign in 20 years last season. Quartararo and teammate Alex Rins struggled in the Qatar Grand Prix, with Quartararo finishing eleventh due to issues such as tyre wear. Quartararo criticized Yamaha’s current situation, highlighting the gap between them and their competitors. Despite improvements made by Honda, both Japanese manufacturers have failed to match the performance of their European competitors in MotoGP.

Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
A recent Instagram video has sparked excitement among motorcycle enthusiasts by showcasing a heavily customized Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 designed to resemble the legendary Yamaha RD350. The custom build features extensive modifications, including a body package inspired by the RD350, giving the Interceptor 650 a striking visual similarity to the iconic RD350. The design includes a halogen headlamp, round bulb-shaped turn signal indicators, chrome accents, an RD350-style elevated handlebar, and a redesigned tail section. Despite the visual changes, the Interceptor 650’s 648cc air/oil-cooled parallel-twin engine remains unmodified, maintaining its performance and efficiency. This creative reimagining pays homage to the RD350’s legacy and showcases the craftsmanship and appreciation for motorcycles’ history and design.

Bharat Mobility Global Expo 2025
The Bharat Mobility Global Expo, after a successful inaugural season in February 2024, is set to return next year from January 17 to 22, 2025, at various locations in Delhi-NCR. These include Bharat Mandapam (Pragati Maidan), Yashobhoomi (India International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Dwarka), and India Expo Mart (Greater Noida). The 2025 expo is expected to be larger, with increased global brand participation, showcasing a range of vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles, construction equipment, auto parts, tyres, batteries, and storage components. The event will feature new product launches, business conferences, CEO conclaves, media encounters, and other activities, supported by industry associations like Invest India, CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, NASSCOM, ICEMA, ATMA, IESA, EEPC India, and SIAM. Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the importance of India’s mobility sector, stating that the expo would significantly enhance India’s mobility ecosystem. The inaugural expo in 2024 saw participation from major automakers like Hero MotoCorp, Kia, Skoda, Maruti Suzuki, Royal Enfield, and Tata Motors, showcasing innovative concepts and models.

Source: autoX News – The one stop for automobile news

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