Quick flashback: Feb top stories and launches

With a minimum of 2 new launches every week, February has been a great month for the automotive scenario this year. From a basic two-wheeler (New Honda Dio) to a luxurious sedan (New Volvo S80 D3), February seems to have covered it all. Here’s a round-up of all the launches that the automotive industry has witnessed this month:

New MS Dzire:The month started with one of the most important launches for this year. Maruti finally launched a facelift for its Swift-based sedan, the Dzire. Despite being criticised for a sheared boot, the Dzire managed to fetch a respectable number of buyers. The Diesel variant already has a 3-month waiting period in some of the cities; however the Petrol is readily available.  We won’t be able to comment on how good it really is, as we haven’t driven it yet. But with that said, expect a review soon.

New Honda Dio:It seems HMSI (Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India) has set its eyes on the youth for now. After launching a 250cc sports bike in December last year, Honda has now launched a facelift for its sports scooter, the Dio. The Dio is powered by the same 110 cc motor that the most of us are familiar with from the Activa. Initially, Honda had started with only the bookings for the Dio, but with the month coming to an end, deliveries have also begun.

Mercedes Benz GL Class (Grand-Edition):

Following its global debut in 2011, Mercedes Benz India has nowlaunched the GL-Class Grand Edition in the Indian market. It is available in two trim levels, the GL Grand Edition Executive and the GL Grand Edition Luxury. Both are priced at Rs 60.99 Lakhs and Rs 65.50 Lakhs respectively.

The vehicle continues to be powered by the 3-liter V6 diesel engine that pumps out 224hp and 510Nm of peak torque. Paired to a 7-speed automatic transmission, the GL comes with the eco-friendly Blue Efficiency. Similarly, Mercedes had also launched a Grand Edition for the GL’s sibling, the M-Class just 8 months ago before it got a facelift. We wonder if Mercedes has similar plans for the GL too.

Yamaha R15 Fiery Red Edition: On its 50th Anniversary, Yamaha launched two limited edition variants of its popular sports-bike the R15. The limited edition is available in two colour options; the white Anniversary Edition and a Fiery-Red. The Anniversary Edition gets an extra set of stickers, on a white base-paint whereas the Fiery-red gets flare-patterned graphics on a red base-paint. The mechanicals remain untouched, and with that the changes are just cosmetic. Both the limited edition’s cost an extra Rs. 7000 over the regular models, and hence we wonder why would someone pay an extra 7 grand for a bunch of stickers?

Harley Davidson Softail Slim & Seventy-two: Iconic motorcycle manufacturer, Harley-Davidson has now introduced two new models for its Indian catalogue. Both the bikes are mid-year additions to its line-up and have been put-up immediately on sale. The Sportster Seventy-Two has a hint of the old Sportster Custom while the Softail Slim as the name suggests, looks very much like a 1950’s Softail that has been put on a diet.Good things don’t come cheap, and in this case this statement is more than true. The Sportster comes at a price tag of Rs 13 Lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) whereas the Softail costs almost twice as much, i.e. Rs 23 Lakhs.

Chevrolet Tavera Neo 3: After unveiling it at the Auto Expo, Chevrolet has quietly hurled in the updated Tavera in the market. The Tavera now comes with a 2 litre TCDi motor that has been borrowed from the ICML Rhino Rx and follows the current BSIV emission norms. The BSIII variant with the previous engine hasn’t been phased out, and will still be available in second-tier cities.The car gets added features andtweaked styling over its predecessor which makes the car look more contemporary. Prices start at Rs. 6.72 lakhs for the base BS3 variant and go all the way up to Rs. 10.30 lakhs for the top end BS4 variant. Even the top-end variant is poorly equipped and hence we think another make-over will be required soon enough.

New Mahindra Xylo: Mahindra has launched a refreshed version of its premium MUV, the Xylo. The company has improved the MPV in key areas, and has now given it a more up-market look.Although the complete model line-up has been upgraded, the maximumnumber of changes are seen on the new top-end variant, the E9. With the E9 variant stepping in, Mahindra is clearly targeting the Xylo at the well-off families in India. The E9 even comes with the M-Hawk engine from the Scorpio, hence making it much better to drive than its predecessor. Other than that, the E9 comes equipped with Voice Command Technology that allows the driver to give away commands to the car without taking his hands-off the wheel. Priced at Rs 7.37 Lakhs, the Xylo sticks to its VFM tag and makes off as a great buy in its segment.

Volvo D3 variants: Despite the German dominance in the Indian luxury segment, Volvo hasn’t given up on its hopes for India. The Swedish car-maker recently launched its cost-down variants of the S60, S80 and the XC60 models. The Smart-move has helped Volvo price all its cars aggressively for India and hence we can expect more buyers walking towards its showrooms.

The entry-level variant, the S60 is now priced at Rs.23.9 Lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), whereas the XC60 loses on its all-wheel drive and now comes at a price tag of Rs. 33.9 lakhs. The S80 luxury sedan which is a due a facelift some-time soon has also got a new variant, which makes its entry level model worth Rs. 31.9lakhs. All these cars come equipped with a new 2.0 liter D3 engine, which is not only efficient but is also surprisingly good to drive. Volvo is offering extra discounts on all these cars till the end of March; however the two-year free service package has been withdrawn for all these models.


Ford Fiesta Powershift Automatic: Ford may have been working on the EcoSport all this while, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from making upgrades to its line-up. Ford has now launched an automatic version of its newly launched Fiesta Sedan. The car comes with a segment first, Dual-Clutch transmission that promises faster gearshifts and better fuel-efficiency figures.

Sadly, the Automatic variant is only available on the Petrol variants and hence we think it’s a missed opportunity. However with the speculations of an added-duty on all Diesel cars, this may have been a well-thought move. The Automatic is only available in the base trim and the top-trim levels, and with that the prices start at Rs. 8.99 Lakhs. The Top-end gets an extra bunch of features such as hill-launch assist etc.  and is priced at Rs. 9.7 Lakhs. We’ll soon be getting our hands on this one and hence expect a segment-comparo soon.

For sure this month has been very exciting for the automotive industry this year, but the launches don’t end here. March has a lot more coming up, and hence here is a list of what you can expect during the upcoming weeks:


Audi A4 (Facelift)

Audi Q3

Audi S6



New VW Touraeg

VW Passat Petrol



Chevrolet Captiva (Facelift)

Chevrolet Sail (Hatch/Sedan)



Hyundai ix45 (New Sonata)

I20 (Facelift)

Hyundai Elantra



New Pajero Sport

Force Motors:

Force One 4X4

Maruti Suzuki:

New Ertiga MPV

Ritz (Facelift)


New M-Class (Facelift)


New 3-series


New 911

New Boxster


About The Author

Abhinav Suri is an automobile enthusiast and is currently studying Arts at a junior college in Mumbai. He follows Formula 1 religiously and has been a die-hard Michael Schumacher fan since he first saw the German in action almost a decade ago. He currently owns a Ford Fusion. Other interests include watching Family Guy and South Park, and his dream car is the Nissan GT-R.

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