Toyota Hilux Coming to India

Without much hooplah, Toyota dealerships in India have quietly started to accept bookings for the Hilux pick-up truck, with a booking amount starting from as little as `50,000. We’re expecting the macho pick-up truck to be launched in January 2022. The Hilux is going to be the first-of-its-kind for Toyota in the Indian market, making it a niche product. It’s only competitor will be the Isuzu D-Max. Official bookings are yet to begin.

The Hilux is based on the Fortuner, so it’s likely to share its engine, transmission and 4-wheel-drive system with the SUV. Toyota’s pick-up truck is expected to get the Fortuner’s 2.8-litre diesel, sending power to all four wheels. Exact gearbox details for the India-spec model haven’t been revealed yet, but it’s definitely being equipped with an automatic transmission. The Hilux will come with a double-cab body styling. Up-front, it looks intimidating enough to scare away sedans and hatchbacks. What completes its profile is the pick-up truck rear-end. The cabin will get all the bells and whistles, with ample room on offer too.

Audi Q7 Facelift Launch Confirmed

Audi recently confirmed it was going to launch the updated, 2022 Q7 SUV for the Indian market. The Q7 had been discontinued in India earlier this year since it did not meet BS6 emission standards. However, its comeback in January will bring plenty of changes on the outside and inside.

The exterior is typically that of modern-day Audi, but its elongated profile is the same. The styling updates, however, do give it a sharper look; it sports a bigger single-frame grille, new Matrix LED headlights, sportier-looking bumpers, new tail lamps and a restyled rear bumper. Also new are the alloy wheel patterns. The inside is all-new – it features Audi’s twin-touch screen MMI infotainment system, comprising a 10.1inch main screen and a smaller, 8.6-inch screen, giving you access to climate control. Features include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, plus it gets piano black, brushed aluminium and chrome accents around, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a panoramic sunroof among other goodies. The updated Q7 will be a 7 seater, like the previous model was.

Audi will launch the new Q7 solely with a petrol engine: a 3.0-litre, turbocharged V6, making 330bhp and 500Nm of torque, with power being sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Expect a smaller 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine to be offered at a later stage.

BMW iX Launched & Sold Out in India

Despite its hefty price tag of `1.16 crore (ex-showroom, India), BMW’s all-new iX all-electric SUV has been sold out after its recent launch in Delhi. This model is BMW’s first-ever fully-electric offering in India, and the reason behind its price tag is the fact that it’s a CBU import. It is built on the electric-only architecture and is considered as the company’s ‘technology’ flagship.

BMW’s iX xDrive 40 makes 321bhp and 630Nm of torque. The SUV can go from 0-100kph in 6.1 seconds and manages a top speed of 200kph. The SUV comprises one motor on each axle, making it all-wheel-drive, and the AWD controller distributes torque between the front and rear axles. The iX 40 is equipped with a 76.6kWh battery pack, and depending on the driving style, the iX will cover a range of 425km. Standard kit includes a 2.3kW, single-phase charger and a 11kW AC wallbox charger, but this is only an introductory offer. The battery can be boosted to full charge in 36 hours with the 2.3kW charger, while the wallbox charger can complete a full charge in 7 hours.

The iX is undoubtedly a design from the future, and there are lots of EV bits that hint at it being all-electric. The kidney grille is massive and self-heals if it gets mildly damaged; and behind the plastic radiator grille, it gets lots of cameras, sensors and radar needed for driver assistance systems. No corona lights anymore; instead, you get sleek headlights, and tail lights as well. The M Sport version is slightly sharper to look at.

It’s roomy inside, as we found out, having flown down to the Capital for the official launch. Natural materials have been used for the upholstery while certain bits inside have been made from recycled plastics. We liked the hexagonal steering and the huge, curved display that can be used as a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment display. The interior is minimalist, thanks to the absence of buttons. The interior is lavishly finished in leather, crystal details and wood chrome. Features include BMW Virtual Assistant, soft-close doors, reversing assistant, an 18-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and lots more.

Kia Unveils New Carens for India

Kia’s new Carens made its global premier in India recently. It is Kia’s fourth offering for our market, and is expected to launch sometime early next year. The Carens has been designed with a three-row seating capacity.

With the Carens, it’s clear Kia’s goal is to address large families, thanks to its spacious and tech-laden cabin. The Carens looks like an MPV, but has some butch SUV design cues too. The slender grille and split headlight design give it an identity of its own. Up-front, the Carens gets Y-shaped LED DRL signatures, while the actual headlight is placed below it. You’ll find some chrome treatment on the nose too. It gets wraparound tail lights at the back that sync with a slender LED strip. The interior is loaded with features like a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, roof-mounted AC vents, a fully digital instrument cluster, multi-function steering, 64-colour ambient lighting, ventilated front seats and an 8-speaker Bose sound system. The 7-seat version will come equipped with captain seats in the second row.

The Kia Carens will be sold with two petrol engines: a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated unit, making 113bhp and 144Nm of torque and a 1.4-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged unit, producing 138bhp and 242Nm of torque. Even a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine is being offered. Gearbox options include a 6-speed torque converter automatic ‘box, a 7-speed DCT auto ‘box and a 6-speed manual.