INNOVA’S BIG BROTHER IS HERE : TOYOTA ALPHARD 2018
Recently, it came to light that the Government is planning to relax import norms for premium EVs, cars, and motorcycles. By doing so, it will pave the way for many high-end vehicles, like the Toyota Alphard, to launch in India. As per the current norms, homologation-free import of only cars that cost at least USD 40,000 (approx Rs 27 lakh) is allowed. This has kept Toyota away from launching the Alphard in India. The relaxation in this rule will finally enable Toyota Kirloskar Motor to launch the high-end MPV in India. For the uninitiated, the Toyota Alphard is a bigger and more premium MPV than the Innova Crysta.
The relaxation in norms will enable Toyota to import 2,500 units of the Alphard every year without getting the homologation done. The Alphard comes across as a more spacious and more luxurious alternative to the highly popular Toyota Innova Crysta. The MPV will come to us via the CKD route. In India, the Alphard is expected to cost in excess of Rs 50 lakh, which will make it a really high-end offering.
It’s not the first time that Toyota Kirloskar Motor has considered launching a premium MPV in India. Earlier, the company planned to bring the Hiace to our country. Akin to the Alphard, the Hiace is a large MPV that has been successful in markets like Singapore. The Hiace was expected to come to us via the CBU route, which would have resulted in a rather stratospheric price tag. The CKD assembly for the Alphard should ensure that prices remain justifiable.
Unlike the Hiace, the Alphard doesn’t have a diesel engine. However, it’s a much more modern and premium vehicle. The long list of features that the Alphard comes with includes – audio system with 12 JBL speakers, navigation system, wireless smartphone charger, airbags, reverse guide, air conditioning with nano-e, 3 zone automatic climate control, back monitor with corner sensors, front seat ventilation system, power sunshade for rear windshield, power recline rear seat, LED headlamps, auto folding and reverse linked ORVM’s with memory, vehicle stability control, and hill-start assist control.
The MPV also comes with a hybrid powertrain – 2AR-FXE 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder petrol combined with the 2JM front and 2FM electric rear motors. The gasoline unit develops power worth 152PS against 206Nm of torque, and the front and rear motors are good for 143PS with 270Nm and 68PS with 139Nm respectively.
We feel that it will be pretty interesting to see how the high-end MPV buyers react to the most luxurious people-mover from Toyota.
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