Year-end review - India’s Top Luxury Car Brands - Segment 1
As this particularly unprecedented year draws to a close, we take a look back at reviewing India’s top luxury car brands. Despite all the challenges posed, brands seem to now be gaining their momentum back with a “business as usual” mindset. Here is a list of some of India’s top luxury car brands and their key launches that have taken place.
Audi India has had a relatively quiet year in terms of launches, a clear indication of the pandemic and perhaps a revamp of their line-up. Perhaps looking forward to a fresh start in 2021 as well. Having said that, models were introduced at both sides of the spectrum to the Indian market - namely the entry-level Audi Q2 SUV and their flagship performance SUV Audi RSQ8. The 2020 Audi S5 sportback is expected before the year ends with an entire line-up expected before the end of 2021.
A much-anticipated model for the Indian market, rumours of the Q2 entry has been on for a long time now. Finally, the entry-level model made its appearance this year, using Audi’s newer design language elements. A fairly purpose-driven look (as SUVs go) with Audi’s signature exterior elements including its large octagonal grille, high shoulder lines and conservatively recognizable proportions can be seen. On the inside, the SUV presents plenty of technology with its new MMI interface that optionally also translates to a virtual cockpit where a host of information can be seen. This includes Navigation, music, fuel range and engine speed and rpm amongst other parameters.
Powering the small SUV is a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder turbocharged petrol unit. Impressively, this implies a 0-100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds and a maximum power output of 187 hp. Top speed 228 km/h can be achieved.
Pricing for the Audi Q2 in India ranges right from INR 34.99 lakh (ex-showroom) all the way up to INR 48.89 lakh (ex-showroom).
Luxury Motor Press thinks:
The features, dimensions and new design language supports a strong case for the Audi Q2 in India. However, being an entry-level model topping out at INR 48+ lakhs does seem a bit much.
Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.
With the rise in added performance to luxury SUVs, Audi joins the club with this flagship bearing RSQ8. Taking the existing family SUV Q8, Audi drizzles its RS performance division magic to create their quickest SUV yet. Numbers you ask? 600 hp, 800 Nm of torque and 0-100 km/h in an incredible 3.8 seconds! This comes courtesy of its 4.0l twin-turbo V8 petrol engine shared with its Volkswagen siblings, Bentley and Lamborghini. Not a bad thing, obviously. Transmitting this much power is an 8-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels with its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Adding a touch of efficiency is its 48-volt hybrid unit that allows for cylinder deactivation for improved fuel consumption.
An appropriately sporty exterior and interior matches this high performance SUV with a range of customization options. This super performance SUV launched in India at a price of INR 2.07 Crore (ex-showroom).
Luxury Motor Press thinks:
Performance luxury SUVs seem to be trending and it is refreshing to see a serious contender from Audi. A bold move to launch this given the year that has been.
BMW India has launched an impressive number of models and kept very busy, despite the challenging year it has been. Model launches ranged from the 2-Series Gran Coupe to the 8-Series as well as X1, X3 M, X5 M and X6 SUVs.
2-Series Gran Coupe and 8-Series Gran Coupe
All-new entrants, the 2-Series Gran Coupe is a four door sedan with a coupe silhouette while the 8-Series Gran Coupe began as a coupe and later offered in convertible and four-door variants.
Known for its driving characteristics, BMW brings the 2-Series Gran Coupe as its entry-level car offering at a starting price of INR 39.3 lakhs (ex-showroom). Frameless doors, access to a virtual assistant and modern interior are just some of its highlights. Initially, only a diesel variant is available using a 2.0 litre four cylinder unit producing 190 hp.
The 8-Series Gran Coupe is a sporty alternative to the flagship 7-Series sedan currently available. A much sleeker profile with the ability to carry the whole family, offering a way cooler performance, practical option. Utilizing a twin-turbo 3-litre 6-cylinder engine, this stylish sedan produces 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque. Prices start at INR 1.32 Crore (ex-showroom).
X1, X3 M, X5 M and X6
The clear popularity of SUVs is evident with the launch of a host of SUVs, namely the entry-level X1 to special X3 M and X5 M edition models right up to the sporty X6 coupe shaped SUV.
Here is a list of the starting prices (ex-showroom) of each:
- X1 - INR 36.5 lakh
- X3 M INR 99.90 lakh
- X5 M - INR 1.94 Crore
- X6 - INR 95 lakh
The luxury brand from Stuttgart had a busy year as well. A varied product portfolio was seen across its launches. From the fleet of cars launched, Mercedes-Benz presented its performance AMG C 63 Coupe + and AMG GTR supercars. On a global level, the most significant launch was its flagship S-Class luxury sedan, which sets technological benchmarks for the decade ahead. Additionally in keeping with the popularity of people movers is a range of SUVs, namely - made in India GLC Coupe, AMG GLC 43 4Matic, the GLE Long Wheel Base, GLE 53 4Matic + and all-new GLS full size SUV. Easily the most interesting was the introduction of an all-electric EQC model SUV.
Rounding up Part 1 with the range from German luxury is Porsche with their launch of the 718 Spyder and Cayman GT4 models respectively. They both use a 4.0 litre boxer engine producing 414 hp which mated to its six-speed manual gearbox reaches 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds. Top speed figures suggest somewhere close to 300 km/h.
The Porsche 718 Spyder has a starting price of INR 1.59 Crore while the Cayman GT4 starts at INR 1.63 Crore (both ex-showroom).
Despite an obviously challenging year, the German car manufacturers presented a number of new entries to India showing their confidence in the market. This also solidifies their confidence going forward with the likes of electrification from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. It will be interesting to see how 2021 pans out as Audi intends a slew of new entries stiffening the competition further.
We continue this series with our next segment of launches soon.
Which of the above cars made it to your favorite list?
Let us know in the comments below.
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