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India-bound test mules spotted in December 2017

India-bound test mules spotted in December 2017

Tuesday 02 January 2018, 18:22 PM by Nikhil Puthran

Last month a wide range of India-bound cars were spotted on test. The upcoming car list ranges from the humble Suzuki Jimny Gypsy (Maruti Suzuki Gypsy) to the premium Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Here below is a brief description on the list of cars which will be launched in India.

Mercedes-Benz GLS

Mercedes-Benz GLS has been due for an update for a while now. The SUV will be built on the new MHA platform that was developed for the new GLE. The India-spec model is expected to ger panoramic sunroof, four-zone climate control, 360-camera and all other bells and whistles as standard. As for the powertrains, the 350d will be the mainstay across the globe as well as in India with the possibility of the hybrid powertrains joining the regular petrol V6 and the V8 engines.


BMW will be launching the all-new X5 in 2018. Codenamed G05, the SUV will be based around the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) which is lighter, stiffer and more flexible than today’s platform. Under the hood, a huge range of engine options will be available from the start: four, six and eight-cylinder engines will offer power up to 700bhp. Like its older siblings, the new X5 will be built in the Spartanburg factory in North Carolina, USA.

Audi A6

The next-gen Audi A6 was spotted on test in the international market and has been built from ground up. The vehicle carries forward the same design language set by the A8 followed by the A7. Based on what can be seen, the vehicle gets sleeker headlamps and gaping cascading grille. As for the rear, the vehicle gets new LED lightning signature. There is no information on what will power the new A6 but we believe that the sedan will borrow its powertrain from the other two Four Rings. So you could expect an option of a turbocharged four-cylinder to up to a 3.0-litre V6 under the hood channeled through a seven-speed DCT. The 48-volt mild hybrid system might also be on offer.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce Cullinan had been spotted on test in December. Earlier this year Rolls-Royce confirmed development of an all-new aluminium architecture for the Cullinan. Reports indicate that along with an all-wheel-drive system, the vehicle will also get an all-new suspension system. In its press release Rolls-Royce says that the Cullinan is officially set to be "assessed on public roads in various locations around the world". The testing phase will ensure the SUV still "delivers Rolls-Royce's trademark 'magic-carpet' ride on a variety of surfaces and that it is resilient to extreme weather conditions".

Mercedes-Benz GLE

German car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz will launch the GLE next year. Reports indicate that the entry-level GLE will weigh less than two tons and might skip the AWD setup. The company claims that the new engines are going to reduce the consumption all over the range by up to twenty per cent and owing to a sharper and edgier design, better aerodynamics will lower the drag co-efficiency value from today’s 0.32 to 0.30. Post launch, the vehicle ill compete against the likes of BMW X3 and the Audi Q5.

Range Rover Evoque

The new Range Rover Evoque has been spotted on test on British roads. It is believed that the company might tinker little with the current car’s formula and will maintain the distinctive coupe-style profile that helped define a segment. Reports indicate that even after six years into production sales of the Evoque have never dropped below 1 lakh units annually. Reports further claim that the new Evoque might be the first JLR model to get a new mild-hybrid drivetrain. This combines a new three-cylinder 1.5-litre Ingenium engine with a small electric motor, backed up by a 48V electrical architecture to power ancillaries including air-con and the water pump.

Suzuki Jimny

A prototype of the fourth generation Jimny was recently spotted testing in Spain. The upcoming model gets fresh cosmetic upgrades along with better technologies to outdo its predecessors. There are no concrete powertrain details available as yet. However, the new generation would carry forward the 1.3-litre four-cylinder VVT petrol motor. Suzuki’s newly developed 1.0-litre Boosterjet is also on the cards but there is no information regarding the diesel powerplant for the Jimny as yet. Transmission option would be a manual but expect an automatic unit as well. It will come with its standard AWD layout with a low-range gearbox but can also be had with a rear-wheel-drive option. The two-door variant spotted o test is expected be joined by a larger four-door variant at a later date.

Audi Q3

Audi has reportedly been working on a upmarket and practical Q3 for 2018. As stated by the company the new model will weigh less, offer more space and also introduce a plug-in hybrid technology. The current model’s cluttered dashboard and centre console design will make way for a far slicker and more ergonomic layout, inspired by the larger Q5. The powertrain is expected to comprise a 1.4-litre TFSI engine and an electric motor.

VW T-Cross

Volkswagen T-Cross had been spotted undergoing cold weather testing in northern Finland. The upcoming vehicle is underpinned by the MQB platform and is based on the Polo. It is believed that the vehicle will borrow design cues from both the Polo and the larger T-Roc SUV. Although VW hasn’t disclosed the engine details, sources safely assume that it will use the Polo’s engine line-up, thanks to it being based on the latter. Not to forget that while the base variants will have front-wheel-drive, there’s a probability that the range-toppers may be equipped with an optional 4WD too.

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