Full show report; pictures; major launch details
8 January 2010

Small affordable cars were the central theme of the Delhi motor show.

The pandemonium caused by the Tata Nano's unveiling last time out may have been missing, but the plethora of small cars and concepts on show made up for that.

Click here for a picture tour of the main Delhi motor show launches

Hilton Holloway blog - Return of the mega car company

The most significant launch was of Toyota's hatchback, the Etios, which made its global debut in Delhi. The all-new car will share its platform with a saloon.

Power will come from a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.4 diesel motor, and the car will be priced around Rs 4.5 lakh (around £6000), pitting it against the current segment leader, the Suzuki Swift. The Etios goes on sale in India in January 2011.

Not to be left behind was arch-rival Honda, which displayed its own small car concept. When - not if - it makes production, this will be Honda's smallest car yet. It will be under four metres long and come with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, similar to the one found on the Jazz hatchback. Honda's small car goes into production in 2011 and will be priced below Rs 5 lakh (£6800).

Toyota's and Honda's new hatchbacks will be the smallest and most affordable cars in their portfolio anywhere in the world, and the fact that they chose to launch these at Delhi is a clear sign that global car makers are acknowledging India's potential.

Chevrolet's all-new Beat (the new Spark in Europe) was also a big hit with audiences. Its mix of striking looks, good internal space and competitive pricing (starting at around Rs 3.30 lakh - £3400) seems to be popular with Indian car buyers already.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Audiences also got a first look at VW's new hatchback, the Polo, which goes on sale in India in March this year. The car comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.4-litre diesel engine.

However, missing in action this year were Nissan and Ford. Both companies also plan on introducing new hatchbacks into the Indian market this year, the all-new Micra and the Figo respectively.

Indian car maker Tata Motors showcased the Aria. Built on an all-new platform (codenamed X2), the Aria will be Tata's most expensive and luxurious model. The Aria will sport the same 140bhp 2.2-litre DiCOR engine currently used in the Safari SUV. It is the first Tata to be offered with an ESP system.

The Aria has an impressive interior, with good space. It also has an in-dash GPS sat-nav, a state-of-the-art infotainment system, multifunctional steering wheel, dual-zone air conditioning with automatic climate control, and cruise control.

Expected to be launched in the next few months, the Aria is being positioned as an upmarket people- mover, Tata's answer to the hot-selling Toyota Innova.

Since Aria is positioned above the Safari, expect the prices to be in the region of Rs 12-13 lakh (£12,000).

Overall, car makers are realising that affordability and not cheap pricing is the key to success in India - and that's true across all segments.

Ashish Masih - Autocar India

Delhi motor show launches:

Honda reveals low-cost city car

Suzuki MPV concept unveiled

'Most expensive' Tata unveiled

Tata concept by Pininfarina

Tata Magic Iris to replace bikes

Get your Tata Nano in pink

Toyota Etios launched

VW Polo racer shown off

Twitter - follow autocar.co.uk

Join the debate


5 January 2010

Shows how Central-Asia is becoming an important world market for the car makers...Amazing how a decade can see so much change within regions and there wealth and growth!

9 January 2010

Sounds like Britain in the fifties, with Asian manufacturers replacing the Americans.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week