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From the smallest MG Air EV to the highly anticipated Jimny, here are the most expected cars of 2023

A new year means new cars, so here’s a list of what to watch out for if you’re not happy with the current selection in the Indian market.

November 30, 2022 / 02:20 PM IST
It’s never too early to talk about new cars coming to the market. So, while we’re still about a month away from the new year, this seems as good a time as any. We’ve compiled a list of eight cars you could soon see in India. We’ve left out facelifts and luxury names and focused on potentially affordable cars.
It’s never too early to talk about new cars coming to the market. So, while we’re still about a month away from the new year, this seems as good a time as any. We’ve compiled a list of eight cars you could soon see in India. We’ve left out facelifts and luxury names and focused on potentially affordable cars.
Maruti Suzuki Jimny | We’ll start off with something that almost everyone is waiting for. As most of you know, the Suzuki Jimny is something of a cult phenomenon, and while the 3-door variant has already been launched internationally, the SUV is yet to make it to Indian soil. This will change soon as Maruti has been testing the 5-door variant here. It may not be the legendary Jimny we want, but that, too, will come. Design-wise, except for the extra set of doors and new alloys, nothing seems different. Powering the Jimny will be Maruti Suzuki’s K15 petrol engines, churning out 100 hp of maximum power and 130 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties will come from both a 5-speed manual as well as an AMT gearbox option. A 4WD with a low-range transfer case could be offered on the higher trims. The 5-door Jimny has already been spotted testing multiple times in India with the latest spy shots hinting at seven seats rather than just five. Currently, the only rival to the Jimny is the Force Gurkha because of the number of doors, however, Mahindra is also working on its own 5-door Thar, which we will also talk about in this list. (Representative Image)
Maruti Suzuki Jimny | We’ll start off with something that almost everyone is waiting for. As most of you know, the Suzuki Jimny is something of a cult phenomenon, and while the 3-door variant has already been launched internationally, the SUV is yet to make it to Indian soil. This will change soon as Maruti has been testing the 5-door variant here. It may not be the legendary Jimny we want, but that, too, will come. Design-wise, except for the extra set of doors and new alloys, nothing seems different. Powering the Jimny will be Maruti Suzuki’s K15 petrol engines, churning out 100 hp of maximum power and 130 Nm of peak torque. Transmission duties will come from both a 5-speed manual as well as an AMT gearbox option. A 4WD with a low-range transfer case could be offered on the higher trims. The 5-door Jimny has already been spotted testing multiple times in India with the latest spy shots hinting at seven seats rather than just five. Currently, the only rival to the Jimny is the Force Gurkha because of the number of doors, however, Mahindra is also working on its own 5-door Thar, which we will also talk about in this list. (Representative Image)
MG Air EV | The smallest car India will see is the MG Air EV. This 3-door city car measures just 2.9 m in length, beating out the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800’s 3,445 mm length and the old Tata Nano’s 3,099 mm. The Air will effectively be only a city car, but don’t let its size fool you. If what we’re hearing is correct, the Air will be priced at least near the Rs 10 lakh mark and this is because of what MG plans to do. For starters, despite its tiny size, the Air will be powered by a 25 kWh battery and 50 kW motor, giving it an effective range of around 200-300 km on a single charge. On the inside, too, we will get to see features that you mostly see on premium cars such as a dual 10.25-inch digital display for the instrument cluster and infotainment centre and connected car tech. The only thing remaining is advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) on the highest trim. All of this will make the Air EV a premium compact hatchback, the likes of which do not have a direct rival yet in India. (Image Source: Wuling Motors)
MG Air EV | The smallest car India will see is the MG Air EV. This 3-door city car measures just 2.9 m in length, beating out the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800’s 3,445 mm length and the old Tata Nano’s 3,099 mm. The Air will effectively be only a city car, but don’t let its size fool you. If what we’re hearing is correct, the Air will be priced at least near the Rs 10 lakh mark and this is because of what MG plans to do. For starters, despite its tiny size, the Air will be powered by a 25 kWh battery and 50 kW motor, giving it an effective range of around 200-300 km on a single charge. On the inside, too, we will get to see features that you mostly see on premium cars such as a dual 10.25-inch digital display for the instrument cluster and infotainment centre and connected car tech. The only thing remaining is advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) on the highest trim. All of this will make the Air EV a premium compact hatchback, the likes of which do not have a direct rival yet in India. (Image Source: Wuling Motors)
Tata Altroz EV | If there is one car people have been waiting for from Tata stable it is the electrified version of the Altroz. After the Nexon EV and the Tigor EV came the Tiago EV, and now, the Altroz EV has been spotted testing under heavy camouflage and is expected to make its debut sometime next year. The hatchback was first showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo, suggesting minimal changes to the car’s design. The only visible changes were an EV-specific grille, which means no vents and new alloys for better aerodynamics. The engine powering the Altroz is expected to be the same as the one in the Tata Nexon. A 30.2 kWh battery pack provides power to a 129 hp electric motor. On the Nexon, these figures translate to about 300 km in driving range. The interiors may be a little more specced out compared to the ICE variant with connected car tech and other premium features. Price-wise, it could be somewhere around the Rs 10-11 lakh mark or even higher considering the Tata Tiago’s introductory price of Rs 8.49 lakh. As for rivals, the Altroz doesn’t have any direct competition save for Tata’s own Tiago. The MG Air EV, however, will directly rival the Altroz in terms of price, but a like-to-like comparison cannot be made since the Air is a much smaller car. (Image source: Tata Motors)
Tata Altroz EV | If there is one car people have been waiting for from Tata stable it is the electrified version of the Altroz. After the Nexon EV and the Tigor EV came to the Tiago EV, and now, the Altroz EV has been spotted testing under heavy camouflage and is expected to make its debut sometime next year. The hatchback was first showcased at the 2020 Auto Expo, suggesting minimal changes to the car’s design. The only visible changes were an EV-specific grille, which means no vents and new alloys for better aerodynamics. The engine powering the Altroz is expected to be the same as the one in the Tata Nexon. A 30.2 kWh battery pack provides power to a 129 hp electric motor. On the Nexon, these figures translate to about 300 km in driving range. The interiors may be a little more specced out compared to the ICE variant with connected car tech and other premium features. Price-wise, it could be somewhere around the Rs 10-11 lakh mark or even higher considering the Tata Tiago’s introductory price of Rs 8.49 lakh. As for rivals, the Altroz doesn’t have any direct competition save for Tata’s own Tiago. The MG Air EV, however, will directly rival the Altroz in terms of price, but a like-to-like comparison cannot be made since the Air is a much smaller car. (Image source: Tata Motors)
Mahindra XUV400 EV | When Mahindra unveiled the XUV400 EV, it wasn’t their first. The e20 came earlier but is not available anymore. This is the first in the lineup of new Mahindra EVs to come out, including an eKUV100 and three new EVs on an all-new platform. The XUV400 is, in essence, based on the XUV300 and as such shares many similarities with the ICE model. The differences, however, do make the EV stand out. For example, it is longer than the 300, gets copper accents across the car and gets more premium features on the inside. Powering the XUV400 is a 39.5 kWh battery pack mated to a 150 hp front axle electric motor. Mahindra claims a total range of 456 km on a single charge and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.3 seconds. Official prices for the Mahindra XUV400 are set to be announced in January but test drives are going to start as early as December, giving you enough time to try out the car before you find out how big the hole in your pocket will be. (Image source: Mahindra and Mahindra)
Mahindra XUV400 EV | When Mahindra unveiled the XUV400 EV, it wasn’t their first. The e20 came earlier but is not available anymore. This is the first in the lineup of new Mahindra EVs to come out, including an eKUV100 and three new EVs on an all-new platform. The XUV400 is, in essence, based on the XUV300 and as such shares many similarities with the ICE model. The differences, however, do make the EV stand out. For example, it is longer than the 300, gets copper accents across the car and gets more premium features on the inside. Powering the XUV400 is a 39.5 kWh battery pack mated to a 150 hp front axle electric motor. Mahindra claims a total range of 456 km on a single charge and a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 8.3 seconds. Official prices for the Mahindra XUV400 are set to be announced in January but test drives are going to start as early as December, giving you enough time to try out the car before you find out how big the hole in your pocket will be. (Image source: Mahindra and Mahindra)
Hyundai Ioniq 5 | The Ioniq 5 is set to be Hyundai’s second electric car in the Indian market after the Kona EV. While the official date hasn’t been announced yet, Hyundai took the Kona out on a drive visiting the seven wonders of India. The EV is based on the same e-GMP platform as the Kia EV6, but the Ioniq 5 will be brought to India as a CKD (completely knocked-down) unit, which means prices will be lower. Internationally, the Ioniq gets two battery options, a 58 kWh pack and a 77.8 kWh unit, which is claimed to cover 507 km on a single charge. Motor options include a rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, but we will have to see which one, if not both, makes it to india. In terms of design, the Ioniq could not be more different from the EV6. Where the EV6 sports a more conventional design, the Ioniq has elements that give it a slightly old-school vibe with its square headlamps and flattish roof. Competition will come from a number of EVs, including the Volvo XC40 Recharge, BMW i4 and obviously, the EV6. One thing that is a little weird is that we still don’t know whether to classify the Ioniq as an SUV or a hatchback and that may be what’s appealing about the car. (Image source: Hyundai)
Hyundai Ioniq 5 | The Ioniq 5 is set to be Hyundai’s second electric car in the Indian market after the Kona EV. While the official date hasn’t been announced yet, Hyundai took the Kona out on a drive visiting the seven wonders of India. The EV is based on the same e-GMP platform as the Kia EV6, but the Ioniq 5 will be brought to India as a CKD (completely knocked-down) unit, which means prices will be lower. Internationally, the Ioniq gets two battery options, a 58 kWh pack and a 77.8 kWh unit, which is claimed to cover 507 km on a single charge. Motor options include a rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive, but we will have to see which one, if not both, makes it to india. In terms of design, the Ioniq could not be more different from the EV6. Where the EV6 sports a more conventional design, the Ioniq has elements that give it a slightly old-school vibe with its square headlamps and flattish roof. Competition will come from a number of EVs, including the Volvo XC40 Recharge, BMW i4 and obviously, the EV6. One thing that is a little weird is that we still don’t know whether to classify the Ioniq as an SUV or a hatchback and that may be what’s appealing about the car. (Image source: Hyundai)
Toyota Belta | The next candidate coming out of the Maruti Suzuki-Toyota deal is the Belta. It has already been unveiled in international markets but is yet to make its way to India. While it is expected to come sometime in 2023, we already know most of the details. The Belta is based on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and as such gets all of its underpinnings. It is powered by the same 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 105 hp and 138 Nm. Internationally, it is only available with a 4-speed torque convertor transmission, but India should get both a manual and an automatic option. Design-wise, just like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Glanza, the Belta remains identical to the Ciaz. The only thing that changes is the badging. The features list, too, remains the same with the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, multi-functional steering wheel and analogue dial with a central coloured MID. One more thing to note is that the Belta offered abroad is a left-hand-drive model and the one that comes to India will have to obviously be right-hand-drive. Toyota had also pulled the plug on the Yaris mid-size sedan last year and the Belta will make for the perfect replacement. (Image source: Toyota)
Toyota Belta | The next candidate coming out of the Maruti Suzuki-Toyota deal is the Belta. It has already been unveiled in international markets but is yet to make its way to India. While it is expected to come sometime in 2023, we already know most of the details. The Belta is based on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and as such gets all of its underpinnings. It is powered by the same 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 105 hp and 138 Nm. Internationally, it is only available with a 4-speed torque convertor transmission, but India should get both a manual and an automatic option. Design-wise, just like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Glanza, the Belta remains identical to the Ciaz. The only thing that changes is the badging. The features list, too, remains the same with the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, multi-functional steering wheel and analogue dial with a central coloured MID. One more thing to note is that the Belta offered abroad is a left-hand-drive model and the one that comes to India will have to obviously be right-hand-drive. Toyota had also pulled the plug on the Yaris mid-size sedan last year and the Belta will make for the perfect replacement. (Image source: Toyota)
Maruti Baleno Cross | Maruti Suzuki has been testing its new YTB extensively on Indian roads, hinting at a launch in the near future. While we don’t know the exact date yet, it should happen in early 2023. Now, one has to note that the Baleno Cross isn’t etched in stone and the manufacturer’s codename for the crossover is still YTB. What we do know is that the car is going to be a crossover of the Baleno and will share a number of similarities with the hatchback. However, the spy pictures suggest a smaller Grand Vitara. For example, the split headlamps and a large grille are clearly visible. Also noteworthy is the size of the car; while the length doesn’t seem to be altered, the stance seems a bit wider and more rugged, possibly thanks to plastic cladding around the bottom and the wheel arches. Powering the YTB is expected to be the same 1.5-litre K15C engine that produces 103 hp of maximum power and 130 Nm of peak torque. We hope to get a first glance at the new crossover at the upcoming Auto Expo 2023, when more details will also emerge. (Representative Image)
Maruti Baleno Cross | Maruti Suzuki has been testing its new YTB extensively on Indian roads, hinting at a launch in the near future. While we don’t know the exact date yet, it should happen in early 2023. Now, one has to note that the Baleno Cross isn’t etched in stone and the manufacturer’s codename for the crossover is still YTB. What we do know is that the car is going to be a crossover of the Baleno and will share a number of similarities with the hatchback. However, the spy pictures suggest a smaller Grand Vitara. For example, the split headlamps and a large grille are clearly visible. Also noteworthy is the size of the car; while the length doesn’t seem to be altered, the stance seems a bit wider and more rugged, possibly thanks to plastic cladding around the bottom and the wheel arches. Powering the YTB is expected to be the same 1.5-litre K15C engine that produces 103 hp of maximum power and 130 Nm of peak torque. We hope to get a first glance at the new crossover at the upcoming Auto Expo 2023 when more details will also emerge. (Representative Image)
Mahindra Thar 5-door | Another vehicle that has been spied a lot recently is the Mahindra Thar, with two more doors. The current 3-door variant is doing fairly well for itself and it is no surprise that a 5-door variant is being added to the lineup. In terms of design, like the Jimny at the top of this list, the 5-door Thar will be identical to the 3-door variant save for the two extra doors on the side. The latest spy shots of the SUV also showcase a sunroof, something that the 3-door misses out on. Power for the new Thar should come from the same petrol and diesel options. The 2-litre turbo-petrol produces 150 hp of maximum power and 300 Nm of torque, while the 2.2-litre diesel produces 130 hp and 300 Nm. Like the Jimny, the Mahindra Thar will also go up against the Force Gurkha when it launches next year. The first showing is expected to be at the 2023 Auto Expo. (Image source: TeamBHP)
Mahindra Thar 5-door | Another vehicle that has been spied a lot recently is the Mahindra Thar, with two more doors. The current 3-door variant is doing fairly well for itself and it is no surprise that a 5-door variant is being added to the lineup. In terms of design, like the Jimny at the top of this list, the 5-door Thar will be identical to the 3-door variant save for the two extra doors on the side. The latest spy shots of the SUV also showcase a sunroof, something that the 3-door misses out on. Power for the new Thar should come from the same petrol and diesel options. The 2-litre turbo-petrol produces 150 hp of maximum power and 300 Nm of torque, while the 2.2-litre diesel produces 130 hp and 300 Nm. Like the Jimny, the Mahindra Thar will also go up against the Force Gurkha when it launches next year. The first showing is expected to be at the 2023 Auto Expo. (Image source: TeamBHP)
Stanford Masters Journalist who writes on automobiles
first published: Nov 24, 2022 06:09 pm