A pandemic hit year, but the automotive industry delivered nonetheless. Here is a brief look back at the important launches from all the Indian carmakers.

2020 has not been the greatest year for the automotive industry, but despite the COVID-19 pandemic taking over the world and all industries. But the auto manufacturers though massively hit by the pandemic worked tirelessly to keep manufacturing and releasing new cars, and India saw many new cars from local as well as foreign manufacturers being launched in 2020. So here is a brief recap of the new cars we saw this year.

Kia Motors is the one to be mentioned here, since taking the Indian market by storm with the Seltos, the Korean automaker launched the Sonet and the Carnival this year. The Sonet is currently one of the top contenders in the sub-4-metre SUV segment, and comes with three engine options with automatic as well as an intelligent manual option. The Carnival is a luxury van, which comes with a range of comfort features, like 7-seat options which provides business-class luxury seats with recline, and leg support, three-zone climate control and other opulent features. The Carnival is priced from INR 29 Lakhs to 39 Lakhs and is competent to the entry level luxury sedans.

Toyota had three important launches this year, the new Innova Crysta, which has been updated with a new blacked out grille and updated interiors. The Urban Cruiser which is part of technology transfer with Maruti Suzuki based on the Vitara Brezza, and features better quality and features compared to it. The top of the line Vellfire which competes with the Mercedes-Benz V-Class in the luxury van segment, it features premium leather upholstery on the executive seats which offer top-of the line luxury. The Vellfire is also a self-charging hybrid vehicle with electric motors, which makes it a very environmentally friendly vehicle and improves the acceleration and comfort. The Vellfire is priced at INR 83 Lakhs and competes with the best luxury vehicles in the market.

Mahindra had one very major release this year, and that is the Thar– the iconic off-roader based on the American Jeep but with an Indian make. The car has been comprehensively updated, keeping the original formula for the Thar intact and building up from there, it is now bold and muscular. There are three roof options, a Hard top, a Soft top and a convertible each offering a different sensation to the passengers as they drive through the toughest of terrains. It comes with both petrol and diesel options both producing the same power, and advanced technology like digital instrument cluster and Thar smartphone app. It is priced from INR 11.4 Lakhs to 17 Lakhs. The new Bolero was also released, with updated cosmetics featuring a new headlamp design and grille.

Tata Motors also launched the Nexon EV, which is India’s first indigenously built EV and is also the highest selling one, beating out cars from other manufacturers.  The Nexon EV is powered by a 30.2 Kilo watt hour battery which can be charged in an hour to 80%. Tata used its various industries like Tata Chemicals, Tata Electricals to amalgamate the tech in Nexon. It is priced from INR 13.7 Lakhs to 16.25 Lakhs. The other notable release from Tata is the premium hatch-Altroz, which comes with several class leading features and advanced design that make it one of the best buys in the segment. Tata also introduced facelifted versions for the Harrier, Nexon, Tigor and Tiago this year.

Hyundai launched several cars this year, including the new Creta which comes with a new design and new features, the car is the undisputed leader in its segment. Matched only by its Korean sibling the Creta has somewhat of a legacy now, especially now with the panoramic sunroof and pedal shifters. The new i20 was also launched, it features a new design which is in tandem with Hyundai’s global design language, the Aura sedan was also launched in January and competes with the VW Ameo and Suzuki Dzire. The Tucson SUV also got a visual update.

Maruti Suzuki did not have any new launches this year but they did introduce facelifts for the Vitara Brezza, Dzire and the Ignis. The Brezza gets new cosmetic changes with new LED DRLs. The Dzire and the Ignis also got visual upgrades for the year, Maruti remains at the top of the sales charts in the country, beating out a lot of others combined. The Brezza is at the top of the sales chart for the sub-4-metre SUVs beating out rivals like Hyundai Venue and Kia Sonet.

German automaker BMW launched the new X1 this year, it is bigger, longer and more powerful than before. The Beamer sets the benchmark for the entry level SUV amongst the luxury carmakers. Also the 2 Series Gran Coupe was launched, which is now the smallest sedan in BMW’s portfolio, it is powered by a 2 litre 4-cylinder engine that makes 188 horsepower. The M8 was also launched in India, which is powered by a 4.4 litre V8 twin-turbo that pumps 591 hp and 750 Nm of torque which gives it blistering performance. The X5M and the X3M were also launched, which are more powerful versions of the SUVs from BMW Motorsport. The M8 is priced at INR 2.5 Crores.

Mercedes-Benz had multiple launches in 2020, the GLS which is the top-tier SUV from the German marque and pitted against the Range Rover Sport and the BMW X7, featuring top-of-the line specs and comforts(INR 1.2 Crores). The GLE which is placed below the GLS and is in essence a toned down version of the bigger car, the AMG GLC 43 Coupe which is a heavily tuned SUV. The AMG GT R which is the top model for the brand here also got a facelift, it is powered by a massive 4 litre V8 which makes 577 hp and 700 Nm of torque, this supercar is priced at INR 2.9 Crores. AMG also launched the GLE and the GT 4-Door in India this year, which is powered by the engine from the GT-R, and is priced at INR 2.8 Crores.One of the major releases from Mercedes this year was the EQC electric vehicle, it is the most expensive EV in India right now priced at INR 1.15 Crores and comes with a 80 KWh battery and advanced interiors and technology.

Skoda released the Octavia VRS, which has a 245 hp engine mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission, it is priced at INR 40 Lakhs. The Karoq SUV was also launched, to provide the segment majorly dominated by the Fortuner with an option which is focused more on comforts rather than power. The Superb facelift was also introduced.

Ford released the updated Endeavour with the new grille and added features, and a majorly blacked out theme.

Honda’s shining point was the release of the new City sedan, it is bigger, bolder and loaded with much more tech than before. The facelifted versions of the Jazz and the WR-V were also released, which now come with LED headlamps and taillamps.

British Automaker Land Rover related the much awaited Defender to the Indian shores, which comes in two and four door options and is absolutely loaded to the brim with technology to make your beyond the road travel plans a success. The reincarnation of the Defender is powered by a 2 litre engine that produces 296 hp. It is priced from INR 85 Lakhs to 1.05 Crores.

Nissan launched its Magnite sub-4-metre SUV, which aims to rekindle the Japanese automakers fortunes in India. Loaded with several segment first features and a quirky design it is an impressive vehicle with price undercutting.

Morris Garages/MG launched the Gloster, which is perhaps the most technologically advanced vehicle in its segment and above. The Hector Plus which is an essentially larger, more seat version of the Hector. The Gloster is priced at INR 35 Lakhs for the 2WD variant and 41 Lakhs for the top end 4WD variant.

Audi launched the Q2 SUV here, which is pitted against the BMW X1. The top SUV Q8 entered India, the RS-Racing Sport Q8 is a sportier version of the car, Q8 is priced at INR 1.15 Crores while the RS Q8 is INR 2.4 Crores. The A8 L sedan was updated and so was the RS7 performance sedan.

Volkswagen launched two vehicles this year, the T-Roc which is a premium SUV launched at INR 20 Lakhs and features premium comfort and dynamic features. The Tiguan Allspace full-size SUV also came to India, matched against the Honda CR-V, priced at INR 33 Lakhs.

Italian manufacturer Lamborghini released its latest Huracan EVO which shares its engine and other driving dynamics with the Huracan Performante. As before it is powered by a V10 that makes 631 hp, and accelerates to a hundred in 2.9 seconds. The Lambo has 4WD and comes with intelligent torque vectoring and exhaust noise.

Datsun updated the redi-GO, featuring a sharper design and added features.

British Luxury marque Rolls-Royce launched the new generation Ghost sedan, and is priced at INR 7 Crores. New Ghost is also powered by a huge V12 engine but it has now become all-wheel-drive. Based on Architecture of Luxury platform, new Ghost has improved ride quality and also focus on being a drivers car.

Isuzu launched the new D-Max utility vehicle for commercial purposes.

Toyota’s luxury arm, Lexus launched the LC 500 h sports car, it is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 that makes 354 hp and is designed by taking inspiration from the legendary Lexus LFA supercar.

Porsche released the new 911 and Cayenne Coupe which is powered by a V6 as a sportier alternative to the bigger SUV. The new 911 gets updated design with the new full width tail lamps, and is powered by the I6 engine. The Cayenne Coupe is INR 1.4 Crores while the 911 starts at INR 1.9 Crores.

Ferrari launched the 812 GTS which is the most powerful convertible in the world with a V12 that makes 789 hp. The F8 Tributo which is an iteration of the 488 was also launched in India, featuring a twin-turbo V8 which makes 710 hp, and can accelerate to a hundred in 2.9 seconds. The F8 Tributo is priced at INR 4 Crores while the 812 GTS is INR 5.75 Crores. The most eye popping launch was the SF90 Stradale at Rs. 7.39 crore, the first car in whole of Asia. India is truly progressing in terms of cars!

Anagh Bhaskar

Anagh Bhaskar

I am a journalism grad who has always had a passion towards machines, especially cars and war machines, the sheer competitiveness of the industry which works with the same enthusiasm everyday without fail is what fascinates me. Favourie Car: Nissan GT-R R35 Quote: What you do in life echoes in eternity- Russell Crowe, Maximus, Gladiator