Carmakers go green at Bologna
Nevertheless, despite the global gloom, the Italian show spread over 230,000 square metres, saw 320 exhibitors (71 of them from outside Italy) showcase their products. India was represented by Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M). Tata made quite a buzz with its Indica Electric Vehicle. The all-electric plug-in car comes with a high-tech polymer lithium ion battery claimed to have superior energy density compared to existing EVs. M&M took the opportunity to display its export model, the Thar.
Also present were other Indian-made small cars. Suzuki unveiled the A-star (as the Alto in Italy). The same model was also present at the Nissan stall, rebadged as the Pixo. And the Hyundai stand had the Indian-made i10 and i20.
A special mention must be made of Innovation Cube. This new exhibition initiative focused on four key factors – eco-friendliness, infomobility, safety and design thus helping the general public understand what is involved in cars today and what holds for the future.
NISSAN NUVO The Nuvo concept was first showcased at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. The concept car is just three metres long and has a unique 2+1 seating layout. This means that occupants get the same comfort as a C- segment saloon. Power for the concept comes courtesy of a zero emissions electric drivetrain, it previews a system set to be employed in the EV Nissan plans to launch in Japan and the United States in 2010. This electric motor is mounted on the rear of the vehicle with all of its power output directed to the back wheels. While the company did not reveal the power and torque figures, it said that the Nuvo will have a driving range of 125km and top speed of 120kph.a
NISSAN PIXOThis car is made in India by Suzuki India, that’s what the Nissan officials said at the press conference. We know the Pixo as the A-star and it is essentially the same car inside and out. The only difference is the completely different face.
RENAULT ZE CONCEPT The ZE Concept was first shown at Paris. Its 3.95m length makes it an ideal town car. This electric vehicle is designed to minimise energy consumption, without forgetting comfort-related refinements. The employment of heat-reflective paint and insulating bodywork featuring large surface areas contributes to the reduction of temperature fluctuations which traditionally prompt the use of climate control or heating systems which are big consumers of energy. Insulation is further optimised by the use of acid green-tinted glass for the glazed areas. The ZE Concept is equipped with a 95bhp electric motor.
ZAVOLI GROUP Zavoli Srl, an Italian company based in Cesena (FC), is a world leader in the designing, manufacturing and marketing of components and systems for the transformation to LPG and CNG of fuel vehicles. The company produces about 200,000 LPG and CNG kits a year. The Zavoli brand is represented in over 30 countries in the world thanks to the widespread presence of agents and distributors. The company displayed a wide range of its products as well as a sports car that was running on LPG (pictured above).
LOVATO This popular brand in LPG conversion kits had one of the bigger stalls among non-car manufacturers with its product range on display. It also had an Infinity FX35 SUV which comes with a V6 engine; converted to LPG, Lovato claimed it returned 5.7kpl in the city and 7.8kpl on the highway. There were also informative cutaways of various parts used in LPG kits.
IVECO CAMPAGNOLA The Campagnola is marketed under the Iveco brand, Fiat’s commercial division, and it’s undoubtedly a proper off-roader. This is partly due to its distant relationship with Land Rover’s earlier products — it was spawned from the Spanish-built Santara 4x4, which originated as a constructor of licence-built Land Rovers. Iveco has combined the Santana’s chassis with its own 3.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel unit, which delivers 176bhp.
HYUNDAI The Korean carmaker launched the i20 in Italy. The car is manufactured at Hyundai’s plant in Chennai and will be on sale in India early next year. The company also displayed the i10 that was driven by Indian journalists from Delhi to Paris. It also showcased its Ix55 SUV, which gets a 3.0-litre V6 CRDi turbo-diesel engine. In accordance with the green theme at the show, Hyundai also showcased its Santa Fe hybrid.
CHEVROLET Chevrolet displayed the Cruze saloon which is all set to make its Indian debut later next year. The company also displayed LPG variants of its entire range, right from the small Matiz (Spark in India) to the Nubira (Optra) saloon.
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