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Top 5 concept cars at 2016 Auto Expo

Top 5 concept cars at 2016 Auto Expo
Sagar Bhanushali Sagar Bhanushali Friday 05 February 2016, 13:27 PM

The ongoing 2016 Auto Expo is home to several hot debuts and concept cars from both local and global manufacturers. While the production-spec cars are bound to hit the showrooms sooner or later, the striking looking concepts, all decked up under the show lights, give a good glimpse at the future of several manufacturers.

Here’s our list of top concept cars that managed to draw plenty of crowd at the 2016 edition of the Auto Expo.

Mahindra XUV Aero: Starting with one of India’s leading car manufacturers, Mahindra this year has shown heavy focus on electric mobility solutions, what with the unveilings of the e2o Sport, the Verito Electric and more importantly, the GenZe smart scooter. That being said, the brand hasn’t shied away from exploring its designing capabilities by venturing into bold new body styles. As a result, what we have here is the new XUV Aero, a coupe crossover concept that has been designed in-house at the Mahindra Design Studio in Mumbai.

While we have already seen this body style divide opinions first with the BMW X6 and more recently with the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, it is interesting to see Mahindra coming up with the XUV Aero which has been designed along similar lines. The XUV 500-inspired fascia may look familiar but from thereon, the design is different all together. The side profile is flanked by the massive alloys and the BMW X6-like sloping roofline which merges onto the boot-lid. The XUV Aero is only a concept for now though interestingly, Mahindra has announced that they are open to feedback from the public and depending on the reactions, will take a call on production prospects for this new concept.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis: The Maruti Suzuki Ignis concept, on the other hand, is indeed headed for production. The production-spec model, in fact, will hit the showrooms in India during the festive season. As one would expect, the styling seen on the concept will be toned down a bit and Maruti will also make a few changes to the car to make it apt for Indian buyers’ preferences.

When launched later this year, the Ignis will be offered with a choice of petrol and diesel engine options. There could even be an AMT gearbox option on offer. Globally, the Ignis is currently available with a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a CVT gearbox. Like the S-Cross and the Baleno, the Ignis will be sold via Maruti’s premium line of Nexa dealerships.

Hyundai HND-14: Hyundai’s showstopper for the Auto Expo may have been the new Tucson, but there’s another crossover that’s busy grabbing the headlines. The crossover in question is the HND-14 which previews a future compact crossover from the Korean carmaker. At less than 4m in length, the HND-14 falls under the same category of models as the Ford EcoSport and the Maruti Suzuki Brezza. The latter is also being shown for the first time at the ongoing Auto Expo.

In terms of styling, there is very little in common with the HND-14 and Hyundai’s latest range of cars. The upright, boxy stance and the straight creases are new for a Hyundai SUV. The HND-14, in essence, is a design study and we are certain that the production-spec model will feature a more curvy design with quirky detailing that we have come to expect from Hyundai. Either way, the HND-14 will pave way for a future compact SUV from Hyundai which will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Brezza and the Ford EcoSport.

Renault Eolab: Renault and quirky-looking concepts go hand in hand. The French carmaker is known for designing cars with a flair that is somehow missing in their German or Japanese counterparts. With a body designed to slice through air efficiently, while featuring movable devices such as an active spoiler and lateral vanes, the Eolab concept is no different.

The Eolab not only previews technology that is destined to be introduced on production Renaults from now until 2020 but also the vision of a range of affordable small cars that will appear within 10 years. It is however designed with efficiency as key priority. This explains Renault’s bold claim of the Eolab covering 100km of distance using just a litre of fuel. This has been made possible by minimising weight, refining aerodynamics and using the brand’s Z.E. hybrid technology during everyday use.

Mahindra e2o Sport: Let’s face it: the regular Mahindra e2o is not a fun car in any way. Yes, it’s kinder to the environment and cheaper to run compared to conventionally fuelled cars but it’s hardly a speed machine. The e2o Sport, however, is quite different compared to the regular model. For starters, the e2o Sport sits lower on its racier suspension and features a wide body kit and a rear spoiler as well. It also gets fatter tyres and on the inside, racing bucket seats with six-point harnesses and a race-spec steering wheel.

The mechanicals have also been heavily beefed up, with the electric motor in this particular car developing 140bhp of power and 180Nm. Thanks to the instant torque delivery that is usually associated with electric motors, the little e2o can accelerate from 0-60kmph in 4 seconds and hit 100kmph from standstill in just 8 seconds. What sweetens the deal further is the lithium ion battery which offers a driving range of 200km on a single charge. Now this is one concept we can’t wait to see being turned into production


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