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New car, SUV launches in the coming weeks

Price announcements for the Skoda Slavia, Compass Trailhawk, new MG ZS EV and the Mercedes-Maybach will take place in the coming weeks. Here’s a complete list.

The automotive calendar for India is going to be action-packed over the next few weeks. Kicking things off will be the launch of the new Baleno and the much-awaited Skoda Slavia, followed by the uber luxurious Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. We will also see the reintroduction of the Jeep Compass Trailhawk in a facelifted avatar, along with price announcement of the Toyota Hilux.

We take a closer look at all the new car and SUV launches lined up in the weeks ahead. 

Skoda Slavia – February 28, 2022/March 3, 2022

The Slavia will be the second model from Skoda that’s based on the localised MQB-A0-IN platform, and the one that Skoda hopes will revive the midsize sedan segment. Unveiled in November last year, the Slavia will be one of the larger sedans in its class, promising good interior space. It is also feature packed, including ventilated seats, digital instrument cluster, wireless phone connectivity, six airbags and more. Under the hood, the Slavia will be powered by the pair of 110hp, 1.0-litre petrol and 150hp, 1.5-litre petrol engines, same as the Kushaq.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class – March 3, 2022

Taking the luxury quotient of the standard S-Class a notch above, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class gets a 180mm longer wheelbase and an even more plush cabin. While the interior carries forward the same design as the regular S-Class, it gets Maybach specific upholstery, trim inserts and graphics for the touchscreen and digital instrument cluster. Expect the Maybach S-class to be available in a four-seat layout with the individual rear seats separated by a full-length floor console. Under the hood, Mercedes is expected to offer two engine options – 503hp, 4.0-litre V8, and a 612hp, 6.0-litre V12 – with the former likely to be locally assembled as well.

Volkswagen Virtus – global debut on March 8, 2022

The Volkswagen Virtus, essentially a sibling to the Skoda Slavia, will also be based on the MQB-A0-IN platform, acting as a replacement to the 12-year-old Vento. The Virtus, in fact, has already been on sale in South American markets and it will be the facelifted model that makes its global debut here in India. As a sister model to the Slavia, the Virtus is expected to share some of its body panels and various interior components with its Skoda sibling. It is also likely to be as large as the Slavia, and significantly larger than the outgoing Vento. The Virtus is expected to be powered by the same powertrain options as well – the 110hp, 1.0-litre petrol and 150hp, 1.5-litre petrol engines. Price announcement for the Virtus will take place in May 2022.

Lexus NX 350h – March 9

This will be the second-generation NX 350h to go on sale in India. The new Lexus NX350h gets a completely overhauled exterior and interior styling and a lot more features than before. However, unlike the previous NX, which came to India in 300h guise, the new model will be sold here in the 350h version, powered by a 2.5-litre Atkinson petrol cycle engine that puts out 192hp. The engine is mated to a set of e-motors on the front and rear axles, giving the SUV a combined output of 244hp in all-wheel drive form.

MG ZS EV facelift – TBA

The MG ZS EV facelift will see cosmetic updates that will take it closer to its petrol-powered sibling, the MG Astor, although it will continue with its EV-specific styling bits. On the inside, updates will include a larger infotainment screen, digital instrument cluster, wireless charger and more. The biggest update, however, will be a larger battery and, by extension, longer range. The current model’s 44.5kWh battery will be swapped with a bigger 51kWh unit, improving range from the current models 419km (claimed) to an expected range of close of 480km.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk – TBA

The Trailhawk is an off-road focused variant of the Compass that will come with upgrades such as unique front and rear bumpers for improved approach and departure angles, some new styling accents, a new set of alloy wheels and even an improved four-wheel-drive system. As before, the Trailhawk will likely sit atop the Compass line-up and will come fully loaded with all the bells and whistles the SUV has to offer. Under the hood, it is expected to be offered only with the 173hp, 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to the 9-speed automatic gearbox. Watch out for our review of the Compass Trailhawk on February 27.

Toyota Glanza – late March 2022

Hot on the heels of the all-new Baleno, Toyota will also be launching the heavily updated Glanza in March. This time, however, the Glanza is expected to carry a more differentiated styling than the outgoing Baleno-Glanza pair. It will likely have a unique set of headlamps, different looking bumpers and new alloy wheels. The differentiation on the interior will likely be less comprehensive, although it will be a huge step up from the current model in terms of features and quality. Under the hood, the Glanza is expected to be powered by a sole 90hp, 1.2-litre non-hybrid petrol engine, mated to either a manual or AMT gearbox – same as the Baleno.

Toyota Hilux – March 2022

The India-spec Hilux was unveiled in January this year, with its price announcement now slated for March. The Hilux will be assembled here in India with SKD (semi-knocked down) kits and will be available in two trims – Standard and High. The Hilux will be sold in a double-cab body style and is also a tad bit larger than its only rival in the market – the Isuzu D-Max V-Cross. Equipment levels will be at par with the Fortuner. Under the hood, the Hilux will be powered by a sole 204hp, 2.8-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine from the Fortuner. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox with four-wheel drive as standard.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga facelift – March 2022

Among a slew of new models from Maruti, the Ertiga is also due a mid-life update. Spied test mules of the Ertiga facelift haven’t hinted at any major cosmetic updates, save for a revised grille and possibly new colours. Though we don’t expect any significant changes to the interior, what will be notable on the Ertiga facelift is a new 6-speed torque converter automatic gearbox, replacing the archaic 4-speed unit. The new 6-speed AT gearbox will be mated to the same 105hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine, which will also continue to be offered with a manual gearbox.

Maruti Suzuki Wagon R facelift – late March 2022

The 2022 Wagon R was recently spied during a TVC shoot, although cosmetic updates were only in the form of new colours. The new Wagon R is expected to get blacked-out roof and wheels along with new colour options. No major interior changes are likely, however, Maruti could be swapping the current 1.2-litre K12M engine on the Wagon R with the 90hp, 1.2-litre DualJet petrol engine with mild-hybrid tech. The smaller 1.0-litre petrol engine will likely be retained to continue with a competitive price positioning. Additionally, the 1.2-litre version could also get a CNG option a little later.

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