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Delhi Expo roundup: Renault KWID, GM Beat; Tata Kite

RENAULT is showing two new cars for the booming India market — the Renault KWID Climber (main pic) and Renault KWID Racer — at the ongoing Delhi motor expo.

The company says the Climber is bred for venturing away from the beaten track, while the Racer is more at home on the asphalt of race circuits, providing still more evidence of the potential of this unique model.

The Climber offers a compact footprint, high ground clearance, big bumpers, side protective mouldings, and generous, diamond-effect wheels. Its deep Flame Orange finish underscores the sculpted lines of the body.

The Racer gets a generous dollop of sports inspired styling — 18-inch alloy wheels, low-profile tyres, honed aerodynamics, bucket seats and a roll cage.

Wide air intakes, spoilers and a diffuser finish off the look.

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The totem console in the centre of the dashboard displays the telemetry data so the driver can track his or her performance in real time.

Tightly strapped into a four-point harness in the bucket seat, the driver benefits from a digital rev counter and a leather-trimmed steering wheel which boasts an alloy frame specially designed for racing.

No word on the engines for the pair but Renault did unveil a new 1.0-litre SCe engine for the Kwid along with the Easy-R, an automated manual transmission with five speeds.

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GENERAL Motors has hinted at export plans for its next-generation, Indian-built Chevrolet Beat mini car (above) that broke cover in sedan and crossover concept guises at the Delhi Auto Expo this week.

The Beat-based Chevrolet Essentia sedan and Activ soft-roader were penned at GM Korea’s design studio by a team led by Indian designer Harish Kumar.

Along with a freshly minted five-door Beat hatchback that is still under wraps, the Essentia sedan is slated for production from 2017, initially for India and then other emerging markets.

Under four metres long to comply with Indian tax breaks, the Indian Beat is related to the third-generation Spark that is now being phased out in other markets.

The next Beat is essentially a re-skin of the current Beat, retaining GM’s Gamma small-car architecture that is being superseded in western markets by the new-generation G2XX compact car platform.

Described in automotive design parlance as a new top hat, the move mirrors Ford’ s strategy in emerging markets where vehicles such as the Fiesta-based Figo employ a hand-me-down architecture for affordability.

While GM India today confirmed that the new Beat variants will sit on the “proven” Beat platform, it described the underpinnings as “an advanced version”, suggesting it has made some updates to the Gamma layout.

In its statement released at the Delhi show today, GM India describes the Essentia as a precursor to a new production car “that recognises the need for a traditional but richly appointed notchback”.

GM India was less forthcoming about production potential for the Beat Activ, saying it is “a response to India’s maturing market and aspirational lifestyle”.

According to Indian press speculation, the 2017 Beat is expected to carry over the current Beat’s three-cylinder engine options – the 42kW (56hp)/142Nm 1.0-litre diesel and 57kW/106Nm 1.2-litre petrol.

While the show cars get the latest MyLink2 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they only get two airbags.

The company confirmed its export aspirations for the next Beat range, saying that although the Essentia and Beat Activ had been designed for India, “GM believes they have global appeal”.

Meanwhile local manufacturer Tata unveiled its Hexa SUV and new Kite compact sedan (below).

hexa

kite

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