The hottest cars of 2011

Chevrolet Corvette

When: April 2011
How Much: Rs 50 lakh approx

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette that will be introduced in India will be based on the upgraded model from 2008, where improvements were made to the exterior styling, interior design and engine specifications.

The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette is one of the fastest sports cars around and packs a mammoth 6.2 liter, V8 engine under its hood. The V8 powertrain uses some of the most advanced technologies in an engine that allows it to produce a maximum power of 430 horsepower and impressive 424 Nm torque. The Chevrolet Corvette is mated to a 6-speed manual and also comes with the option of a 6-speed automatic gearbox that does all the work of the driver and in my opinion is the less fun version to drive. There is a dual exhaust system available with the Chevrolet Corvette that gives it an increased power of 436 horsepower as well as improved torque of 428 Nm.

Ford Mondeo

When: April 2011
How Much: Rs 14 lakh onwards

Global Automotive company Ford Motors has decided to re-launch Ford Mondeo which was released in India in 2002. The new Mondeo is looking to compete with the likes of the Accord, Sonata & Camry.

The Mondeo will be packed with a powerful 1999cc, 16 V Duratec engine in petrol with refined sequential Electronic Fuel Injection System that has the competency to offer a spectacular performance on any road condition. It has the calibre to generate the utmost power & torque of 142.7 PS at 6000rpm & 185Nm at 4500rpm respectively.

Nissan NV200

When: May 2011
How Much: Rs 7 lakh onwards

Nissan plans to manufacture the NV200 in a joint venture with defence and commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland.

The Nissan NV200 is built on the modified Renault-Nissan B-Alliance platform and will have the 1.5dCi engine (the same engine block used on the Renault Logan). However, the NV200 will produce more power than the Logan. This MPV could compete with the Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo.

Nissan Qashqai

When: May 2011
How Much: Rs 21 lakh onwards

The Nissan Qashqai has seen a lot of makeovers in the recent past and it is now available in both petrol and diesel engine options in overseas market; both have two variants each. The diesel engine range comprises of of 1.5 dCi and 2.0 dCi while the petrol variants are powered by a 1.6 litre and a 2.0 litre engines. One can also get a 4X4 drive top end variant with both the engines. The company had launched a larger seating capacity variant of Nissan Qashqai globally that is christened 'Qashqai+2' and has a 7 seater option while the older version is only a five seater.

Volkswagen Golf

When: May 2011
How Much: Rs 8.5 lakh

There are a good number of engines and trims of the popular Volkswagen Golf world over, but in India the most anticipated variant is Volkswagen Golf GTD. This model of the Golf is powered by a 2.0 litre, TDI powertrain that churns out a top power of 170 hp at 4,200 rpm and a peak torque of 350 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The hatchback comes with standard six speed manual transmission while you can opt for an automatic 6 speed gearbox as well. The stylish four wheeler covers 0-100 kmph in 8.1 seconds, you can speed it up to 220 kmph.

Chevrolet Orlando

When: June 2011
How Much: Rs 10 lakh approx

General Motors introduced the Orlando, a concept MPV, at the Paris Motor Show, 2008; the production version of the MPV was showcased at the 2010 Paris Auto Show and reports say that it will commence sales in early 2011. The concept version was a seven seater affair and possessed a crossover like build. The Orlando shares the same platform of Chevrolet Cruze.

If media reports are to be believed, the Chevrolet Orlando is supposed to replace Chevrolet Tavera. After discontinuing the Tavera in most of the BS III cities, there remains a void from Chevrolet side. The Orlando will be competing with the likes of Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and other India bound mini MPV like Maruti R3, Nissan NV200, Hyundai ic25 and Ford B-Max. This yet-to-be launched Chevrolet MPV would be loaded with a 1.8 litre petrol mill and a 2.0 litre diesel powertrain. The 1.8 litre petrol engine is expected to produce a top power of 141 bhp while the 2.0 litre diesel engine would churn out maximum power of 131 bhp via either a 4 speed automatic, 5 speed or 6 speed automatic gearboxes.

Ford Kuga

When: July 2011
How Much: Rs 16 lakh approx

The Kuga looks bold and intimidating and is marked by sharp lines all through its body. The engine that will make most sense for India will is a 2-litre TDCi engine that breathes through four valves per cylinder and produces a healthy 136PS and 320Nm of turning force. This 4-pot turbo engine sees the Kuga reach 100 clicks in less than 11 seconds while the top whack should be a shade less than 200kmph. The all-wheel drive system will ensure that it is capable enough to handle the rough with aplomb, like the Endeavour. The Kuga could undercut the 20 lakh mark by a fair margin.

Hyundai Genesis

When: Mid-2011
How Much: Rs 35 lakh

Hyundai is all set to bring the Genesis to India. Voted "North American car of the year 2009", "Canadian car of the year", "2009 car of the year award" by china's Autoworld magazine, "top 5 luxury car for 2009" by the U.S. National Autombile Dealers Association, and "2009 ward's best engine award", the Genesis will be a great buy.

The new Hyundai Genesis coupe is expected to offer two engines the base 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder and 3.8L lambda V6 petrol engine, the variant of the car will be equipped with the engine which has a maximum power of 210bhp with a maximum torque of 302Nm.

Nissan Murano

When: Mid-2011
How Much: Rs 35 lakh onwards

The name 'Murano' originates from the region of Venice, Italy which is known for hand blown glass production. The Murano was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award for 2003 and even named the best premium mid-size SUV by AutoPacific. The Murano, when launched, will be one of the most unique crossover designs ever sold in India. The Murano has a powerful 3.5litre V6 engine that produces a potent 245bhp. The car is a front wheel drive (FWD) vehicle and is available with all wheel drive as an option. The Murano is the largest vehicle to have a CVT (Continuously variable transmission).
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