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Concept cars catch youth's fancy

Auto majors are showcasing vehicles of the future in all the segments, be it car or bike, reports Deshbandhu Singh.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2006 01:43 IST

While Valentino Rossi's champion bike YZR-M1 04, Suzuki Hayabusa, Honda's Formula One car and the international rally version of the Swift are the main attractions for youths at the 8th Auto Expo, it is the concept vehicles that are making a major draw at Asia's largest auto show.

Several of the auto majors are showcasing the vehicles of the future in all the segments, be it car or bike. While the Tata Motors chairman Ratan Tata unveiled on Friday the first Indian Limousine, with top-of-the-line features and the X-over, a Crossover Vehicle Concept, its new strategic partner Fiat unveiled another concept car from the same platform, Alfa Romeo 8c Competizione.

Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra on the first day of the expo unveiled three concept vehicles - hydrogen-powered three-wheeler HY-Alpha, a hybrid Scorpio and a voice-enabled interactive Scorpio. Ford has also displayed the Dalip Chabariadesigned Ford Fiesta in-Xs. Yamaha pavilion, where Valentino Rossi's champion bike YZR-M1 04 is a major crowd puller, has showcased two concept bikes.

The Tata X-over Concept, a 4.85 metre car, blends the benefit of a family luxury tourer with visual cues of a sport utility vehicle. It uses a rugged frame-based design with large interior space and flexible seating that can comfortably accommodate up to seven adults with ample cargo space.

Configured to be fitted with a range of Euro IV engines, including Tata Motors' own next generation power-trains, it offers traction control, climate control with personalized zones, navigation system, driver-passenger and side air bags, anti-lock braking system and so on.

Fiat's Alfa Romeo, which was showcased in several other motor shows the world over, is an attractive concept car which is as good on everyday roads as on racetrack. It has a six-speed manual rear transmission, that take the prototype to the top speed above 300 kms per hour, accelerating from 0 to 100 kms in just 4.5 seconds.

Ford showcased Ford Fiesta in-Xs, pronounced as 'in excess', is a concept car based on the newly introduced Ford Fiesta, designed by renowned Dilip Chabbria. It has bi-xenon headlamps with eight individul blue LEd's, projector type fog lamps, new horizontal slated raditor grill, lower bumper with wire mesh, rear lamps with twin pod LED, twin exhaut in rear bumper, wider 205 tyres with ten spoke 17 inch wheels, new designed dash board.

and Mahindra has come out with maximum three concept vehicles - Scorpio Lifestyle (Doublecab), Scorpio Hybrid and Alfa. M&M Automotive sector President PawanGoenka said the new concept Scorpio hybrid and the hydrogen Alpha were perfect examples of how the company balanced the need of customers along with environment protection.

"The vehicles on display clearly demonstrate M&M's efforts to become a global cult brand in the next five years and also known as an environment friendly company," M&M Vice Chairman and MD AnandMahindra said.

He said that futuristic hybrids and fuel cell technologies were an important component of the company's growth strategy.

In the bike segment, Yamaha has exhibited two concept vehicles named Gladiator. Yamaha's special exhibition concept model, the Gladiator series, showcases the innovative sporty styling, which Yamaha can bring even on small bikes for Indian consumers.

First Published: Jan 13, 2006 21:13 IST