The made in India Baleno and India-bound Ignis are in contention for the World Car of the Year awards. Both the cars have been selected under a common category of World Urban Car of the Year. The winners of the WCOTY awards will be declared at the New York International Auto Show on April 13, 2017.
The criterion to be nominated in the urban car category is that the car should be less than four metres, and must be on sale in at least two continents by the end of the fiscal year. The premium hatchback Baleno measures 3,995mm to qualify, whereas the crossover Ignis has an overall length of 3,700mm. The Baleno is on sale in India since last year and is exported to Japan and many European countries. The Ignis is already on sale in Japan, it was showcased in Paris Motor show in its Euro-spec where it will be launched early next year, and at the same time will make its debut in India.
Competing for the honours in the urban car category along with these two, are BMW i3, two Citroens – the C3 and the E-Mehari, Ford KA+ (which is Ford Figo for India), and the Smart Brabus range. The WCOTY awards are administered by a non-profit association, under the guidance of 73 pre-eminent automotive journalists from Asia, Europe, and North America and will consist of series of tests, drives, and voting all over the following five months.
Talking about the cars, the Baleno is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre petrol generates 84bhp of power, while the diesel is powered by a 1.3-litre engine which generates 75bhp of power. Both the engines come mated to a five-speed manual transmission, while the petrol is offered with a CVT as well.
The new Ignis will be powered by the 1.2-litre K12B petrol engine or a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. Maruti Suzuki’s SHVS mild hybrid technology could be offered as well. The five-speed manual will be standard on all variants, with the option of an AMT gearbox for the petrol as well. When launched in India next year, the Ignis will go up against Mahindra KUV100 and therefore we could expect it to be priced between Rs 5-7 lakh.