Auto Expo 2020: Show stars, as voted by the evo India team
It’s the last day of Asia’s largest motor show, the Auto Expo 2020. Over the first six days over one lakh visitors flocked to the Expo to check out the 14 halls packed with concepts like the Tata Sierra and Mahindra Funster; cars that are going into production shortly like the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Creta and MG Gloster; Great Wall Motors’ Haval and GWM EV offerings; Mercedes-AMG’s fastest 4-door ever; and their massive push towards electric vehicles.
The evo India team have spent the entire week pounding the show floors at the Auto Expo and here they bring you their show highlights. Do you agree? Send us your comments!
Sirish Chandran – Tata Sierra Concept
Has to be the Tata Sierra. Maybe it was the sheer unexpectedness of it — after all we knew the Creta was going to be unveiled, we knew Kia would have a compact SUV and MG a full-size SUV, and we knew there would be electrics on every single stand at the Expo. But the Sierra reborn? Nobody had any inkling whatsoever!
The concept wasn’t merely pandering to our heart strings and rose-tinted glasses. To my eye it was the best-looking car at the Auto Expo. And no, I have not taken leave of my senses. The Sonet looks great but the Sierra looks fantastic. The nose has the Tata Motors’ design language, updated with even more precision and minimalism. The profile has the Sierra’s iconic glass house, but with a sliding rear door on the pavement side to cure the access issues of the past. The cabin is way too concept-y but the thought behind it, ‘digital detox’ as Pratap Bose put it is interesting.
And, most importantly, it isn’t a pie-in-the-sky concept. The Sierra is based on the Altroz’s Alpha architecture so the underpinnings are production ready. While the show car is a full-electric there is space for a conventional engine. It doesn’t have silly-sized wheels. And it is sized precisely to slot into the gap in Tata Motors’ portfolio, the mid-size SUV segment that is doing roaring business. My guess is 18 months, that’s when the Sierra will hit the showrooms to take on the Creta and Seltos. And if past form is any indication, the production Sierra will not be too far off this concept! Definitely my show-stopper.
Adil Jal Darukhanawala - Mahindra Atom
Atom is an electric quadricycle. I had already spotted the test mules and finally, the production EV has been revealed at the Auto Expo. Although no technical specifications are out yet, Mahindra has claimed that it will be powered by Mahindra’s electric drive system on a monocoque body and will feature a 4G-ready connectivity system. I have spoken in great length all about the Atom on the Thirll of Driving podcast.
Aatish Mishra - Volkswagen I.D. Crozz
The highlight of the show for me had to be the Volkswagen I.D. Crozz. I love the soft design language and how inviting it looks. It’s bigger in the flesh than photographs suggest, and the fact that it is built on Volkswagen’s new electric platform makes it hugely spacious inside. I’ve driven a few electric cars and love how unfussy and comfortable they are around town. This would take things to another level.
Abhishek Wairagade - Tata HBX Concept
We spotted the HBX prototype at Tata Motors’ during the Nexon EV drive and I knew that it was going to be a show stealer at the Auto Expo 2020. Well, Pratap Bose and his team didn’t disappoint; the HBX concept (to be called Hornbill) looks like a smaller version of the Harrier. In fact, I think it looks better than the Harrier even which, is already a good-looking SUV. And in a country obsessed with SUVs, the HBX will have won half the battle already because of its SUV-ness. SUV for all!
Afzal Rawuther - Kia Sonet
The showstopper for me was the Kia Sonet concept. It is close-to-production and should be a very good indicator of the design direction Kia will take with its compact SUV. It is in my opinion one of the most stylish cars at the Auto Expo and those red details all over the Sonet, make it stand out. Can't wait for it to hit our roads.
Sudipto Chaudhury - Hyundai Le Fil Rouge
I liked the Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept as it is a modern reimagination of the classic and swoopy lines of a typical 1970s saloon, however the details such as the fastback shape and large wheels prove that the concept team undoubtedly had a sporty intention in mind for it.
Suvrat Kothari - Volkswagen I.D.Crozz
While everyone is jumping around in admiration of the Suzuki Jimny and the Tata Sierra, my show stopper at the Auto Expo was the VW I.D. Crozz. We're an SUV obsessed country that is on its way to be plagued by the contagious EV range anxiety. Many of us also like flashy cars that double up as status symbols. Voilà the VW I.D. Crozz then, with over 500km range and 301bhp (enthusiasts can rejoice too). On the design front, no overly critical journo can be nitpicky thanks to spot on proportions, a funky LED strip uniting with the VW logo upfront and an innovative rear sliding door. Volkswagen, please bring the production version to India!
Kurt Morris - Skoda Vision IN
The Skoda Vision IN is the car that caught my attention from this Auto Expo 2020. Vision IN design language is quite familiar from Skoda but the small details with the illuminated front grille and Skoda logo sold me on this concept that has been designed especially for India. Even the striking burnt orange paint job stood out in the adverts the next day.
Karan Singh - Skoda Octavia RS245
The Skoda Octavia RS245. Yeah sure, it’s not as concept-like as the Tata Sierra or as fast as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63S, but the Octy RS is a proper driver’s car and one that won’t break the bank account. It makes 241bhp, goes from 0-100 in 6.6 seconds and has a vmax of 250kmph. Passersby will never know how fast this thing really is and that sort of makes it a sleeper, aside from the farts on upshift and the vRS badges splattered everywhere. All this in a package with the practicality and usability of a standard Octavia, what more can you ask for?
Aditya G T - Monster Gurkha
I know very little about the engine and car performance. So on the first day, everyone was talking about Gurkha, I know what the Gurkha looks like, but when I saw The Monster Gurkha in all its glory, the huge body, the size of tyres, the big suspension, man it blew my mind. Suddenly I was taken to a different era when I used to see Monster Truck’s jumping and flying on Discovery Channel. For me, The Monster Gurkha is the show stopper at the Auto Expo 2020.
Alameen Merchant, Prathmesh Chouhan and Vernon D'Souza – Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo
It's all trims, cuts and dips for us cinematographers and video editors out here at the HQ, but there are also times when our edits become a little biased based on the car or motorcycle we aim to please. Not that we usually disagree on our tastes in wheels, but this time we weirdly just went 'uff' seeing the Mercedes-Benz V-class Marco Polo. I mean, really... what a car! Apart from ogling on the suave lines, lavish interiors and the minimally layed out kitchenette, we can't just help but imagine what it'd be like editing in it. Only time will let us know... or maybe a good nap (nudge nudge).
Vipul Jain – Suzuki Jimny
The showstopper for me at the Auto Expo 2020 is the Suzuki Jimny. Looks beautiful and practical inside out, and is definitely a head-turner. Can't wait for Maruti to go ahead and bring it to India.
Aslam Kabeer – Tata Sierra Concept EV
If there was one concept car that got my the attention at the Auto Expo 2020, it had to be the Tata Sierra concept. Althought I still prefer the original with its sharp squared off lines. The Sierra concept was on the cover of our Auto Expo Show Daily cover and it looked great on it, so design-wise, it’s the show stopper for me.