July was an exciting month for SUV enthusiasts, and August promises to be just as thrilling with several major carmakers gearing up for big launches. Let’s take a closer look at the seven models that will take the stage this month:
1. Citroen C3 Aircross
Citroen is all set to launch the C3 Aircross, its fourth offering in India. Loosely based on the same platform as the C3 hatchback, the C3 Aircross will come in both five- and seven-seater layouts, with removable seats for the third row in the latter.
Under the hood, the SUV will be powered by a 1.2-litre turbo-petrol engine, similar to the one used in the C3 hatchback, but possibly with a higher state of tune. The engine is expected to produce 110PS of power and 190Nm of peak torque, and it will be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission initially, with the possibility of an automatic transmission option in the future.
The C3 Aircross will come packed with features such as a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay support, a digitized driver’s display, and manual AC. In terms of safety, it will be equipped with dual airbags, hill hold assist, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Expected to be competitively priced from around Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom), the Citroen C3 Aircross will compete with other popular compact SUVs like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Volkswagen Taigun, Skoda Kushaq, MG Astor, Maruti Grand Vitara, and Toyota Urban Cruiser Hyryder.
2. Toyota Rumion
The Toyota Rumion, a rebadged version of the Maruti Ertiga, is likely to hit the Indian market in August. While it will share many similarities with the Ertiga, the Rumion will feature minor styling tweaks to the front profile, upholstery color, and alloy wheels to give it a distinct identity.
Powering the Rumion will be the Ertiga’s 1.5-litre petrol engine, generating 103PS of power and 137Nm of peak torque. While the South African version of the Rumion offers a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed torque converter automatic, the Indian variant is expected to come with a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission option.
In terms of features, the Rumion will boast a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, cruise control, automatic AC, dual front airbags, ESC, hill hold assist, and a rear parking camera.
The Toyota Rumion is likely to be priced from around Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom).
3. Mahindra XUV e8 (XUV700 EV)
Mahindra is all set to host a grand event on August 15, where the production-ready version of the XUV e8, or the XUV700 EV, is expected to be showcased. This electric version will share the stylish design of its internal combustion engine (ICE) counterpart, with distinctive elements such as a new front nose, different alloys, and bronze accents. Inside, subtle tweaks and additional features are anticipated.
As for the pricing, the Mahindra XUV e8 is expected to retail at around Rs 35 lakh (ex-showroom). The event may also witness updates on the progress of the other four electric SUVs that were showcased alongside the XUV e8.
4. Tata Punch CNG
Tata Motors is likely to introduce the Punch CNG, its fourth CNG offering, in August. Showcased at the Auto Expo 2023 alongside the Altroz CNG, the Punch CNG is set to offer a generous amount of boot space, making it stand out in the segment.
The Punch CNG will be powered by a 73.5PS 1.2-litre petrol-CNG engine, boasting a claimed fuel economy of around 25 km/kg. In terms of features, buyers can expect an electric sunroof, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, automatic AC, cruise control, dual front airbags, and a rearview camera.
The expected pricing for the Tata Punch CNG would be around a lakh costlier than its corresponding petrol variants, putting it in direct competition with the Hyundai Exter CNG.
5. 2023 Mercedes Benz GLC
Mercedes-Benz is set to launch the 2023 version of the GLC on August 9. The updated SUV has undergone a generational update, resulting in a more premium and sharper appearance.
While the exterior changes are subtle, the interior will see significant updates with a C-Class inspired layout featuring a vertically-stacked 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.
The GLC will be powered by 2-litre petrol and diesel engines with 48V mild-hybrid technology. Transmission duties will be handled by a 9-speed automatic unit.
Expect the new GLC to be priced from around the Rs 60 lakh mark, putting it in competition with other luxury SUVs like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Volvo XC60.
6. Audi e-Tron And e-Tron Sportback Facelift
On August 18, the facelifted Audi e-Tron and e-Tron Sportback will hit the market, carrying the ‘Q8 prefix. While there will be minimal changes to the styling inside and out, the main updates will be related to range and performance.
Both models will be equipped with bigger 89kWh and 106kWh battery packs, with the latter offering a claimed range of up to 600 kilometers. The e-Tron will continue to feature an all-wheel drivetrain with a dual-motor setup, while the Sportback will have three electric motors, providing a powerful performance of up to 503PS and 973Nm.
The expected starting price for these updated Audi e-Tron models is around Rs 1.1 crore, making them formidable competitors to other luxury electric SUVs like the BMW iX, Mercedes-Benz EQC, and Jaguar I-Pace.
7. Volvo C40 Recharge
In August, Volvo will introduce another electric vehicle in the form of the C40 Recharge. Essentially a coupe version of the XC40 Recharge SUV, the C40 Recharge will come with updated technology under the skin while sharing similar styling and features with its SUV counterpart.
Equipped with a 78 kWh battery pack, the C40 Recharge boasts a driving range of 530 km on the WLTP-cycle. It will support fast charging capabilities of up to 150 kW, allowing the electric coupe-SUV to be charged from 10 to 80 percent in just 27 minutes.
The C40 Recharge will be equipped with features like a 9-inch vertical touchscreen infotainment system, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, electrically adjustable front seats with heating and cooling functions, panoramic sunroof, seven airbags, and an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS).
Volvo is likely to price the C40 Recharge from around Rs 60 lakh (ex-showroom), making it a strong contender against other electric SUVs in the market like the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, BMW i4, and its sibling, the XC40 Recharge.
With these exciting launches scheduled for August, car enthusiasts and buyers have much to look forward to in the world of SUVs. Whether you’re interested in conventional internal combustion engines or electrifying electric vehicles, there’s something for everyone in this diverse lineup.