The second half of 2023 will kick off with two very important car launches and one debut, all lined up in close proximity. There’s also a major launch in the luxury segment later in the month. Kia is all set to give its midsize SUV a major mid-life update, Maruti is going to enter the Rs 20 lakh-plus price range for the first time with a premium MPV, and on the other side of the price spectrum, Hyundai will launch its smallest and most affordable SUV yet in India. So here’s a brief run-down of all the upcoming cars.
1. Kia Seltos facelift debut – July 4
The Seltos facelift, which has been around globally since June 2022, is set to debut in India this month, and the much-anticipated facelift brings a raft of cosmetic and feature upgrades as well as a new powertrain. It will have a majorly revised front fascia and rear end along with an all-new interior with twin connected infotainment screens. The most important update to the equipment list will be the addition of the ADAS suite. And while the 115hp, 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines will be carried over, the new 160hp, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol motor from the Verna and Carens will also be making its way under the hood of the new Seltos.
2. Maruti Suzuki Invicto launch – July 5
Image Source: Motorbeam
The Invicto will be a badge-engineered Toyota Innova Hycross, but Maruti will be going the hybrid-only route for its flagship MPV. The Invicto will, therefore, only use the 183hp, 2.0-litre petrol hybrid powertrain and skip the lower-spec 172hp, 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. Spy shots have revealed very minimal cosmetic changes on the Maruti derivative, and the interior will be carried over largely unchanged, too, although there will be new colours for the trim and upholstery. Interestingly, Maruti is also likely to skip the ADAS suite and a few other high-end features in order to competitively price the Invicto.
3. Hyundai Exter launch – July 10
TheExter– which shares its underpinnings with theGrand i10 NiosandAura– will be positioned as a rival to the likes of theTata PunchandCitroen C3. Although it’s going to be the brand’s smallest SUV, the Exter boasts of typical SUV styling attributes, such as an upright and boxy stance and prominent body cladding all around. The dashboard design has been carried over from the models it is based on, but it uniquely gets an all-digital instrument cluster and even a dashcam. Powertrain options will also be shared, which means there will be an 83hp, 1.2-litre petrol engine with manual and AMT gearboxes, and there will also be a factory-fitted CNG kit with the same engine.
4. Second-gen Mercedes-Benz GLC
Although a specific date is yet to be confirmed, Mercedes will launch thesecond-generation GLCin India this month.Bookings are already underwayfor a token amount of Rs 50,000. Sources tell us that Mercedes will launch the GLC 200 with a 2.0-litre petrol engine and the GLC 220d with a 2.0-litre diesel, and overseas these produce 204hp/320Nm and 197hp/440Nm, respectively. Both variants will come equipped with a 48V integrated started motor, which provides an additional 23hp.
The new GLC is larger and features a more luxurious and techy interior. The styling is an evolution of the outgoing model, with smoother lines and new detailing. The interior, which is near-identical to the new C-class, is dominated by two screens, one 12.3-inch unit for the instrument cluster and one 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen for the infotainment.
However, that’s not all. There will be a slew of more SUVs in the months ahead – the midsize SUV segment is going to see two new entrants with theHonda Elevateand theCitroen C3 Aircross. Tata has major updates lined up for all its three SUVs – theNexon, Harrier and Safari – and later in the year, we are also likely to see theForce Gurkha 5-doorand thePunch CNG.