If I asked you, which is the only major car manufacturer in India without a diesel powered car? Your answer will definitely be Honda, isn’t it?? Well yes, you are right but that perception is going to change very soon. Read through and we will tell you how.
Honda has long been criticized for not offering a diesel engine. Criticism apart, Honda has suffered heavily due to the lack of diesel engine and Honda cars have lost out to the diesel powered ones from the competitors.
The onslaught from diesel cars have been such that the sales of cars like Civic and CR-V which were once segment leaders have slumped and now these cars sell in very small numbers. Honda though refused to bulge and cited silly reasons such as poor diesel quality in India and delayed the introduction of diesel engine in India.
However it was known that it won’t be too long before Honda realises its mistakes and gives us a diesel powered car. With the huge price disparity between the Petrol and subsidized diesel in India and the fact that the disparity is only going to increase in the near future, it was just the matter of time before Honda got its act together and gave us what we all wanted for a long time now. After much speculation and a long delay Honda finally seems to be doing that.
We have reported in the past that Honda is working on a Diesel Engine for the Brio and the City. Now we have clear evidence that the Honda Brio Diesel is not too far away. Seen in the Video below is the diesel variant of the Brio which was found testing in Gurgoan.
The diesel clatter from the Brio is evident and is easily distinguishable from the sound of the Civic, from which the Video was shot. The engine has a quite loud diesel clatter as evident from the video but the engine seems to have good power as the diesel Brio zoomed past and the car in which the video was taken had a hard time following it.
Watch the Video
We don’t have any confirmation on the details of the engine but Honda had earlier unveiled a 1.6 Litre unit at the Tokyo motor show to power the European Civic. This engine should be a smaller version of the same so that the Honda Brio Diesel Qualifies for the small car excise duty band.
Let me remind you that for a car to be categorized as a small car in India, in addition to being below 4 meters in length, it should also have an engine which is lesser than 1500cc. Thus it can be safely assumed that Honda will not want to miss this mark as the excise duty is 12% on small cars as opposed to 24% on larger vehicles.
Honda is one of the most respected car brands in India and is known for its engine, refinement, quality and reliability. Honda clearly has set its eyes on the small car market and are looking forward towards the huge numbers that the segment is capable of generating.
The rivals to the Brio which are already present in the market are Chevrolet Beat and Maruti Ritz. The other cars like Swift and Micra are priced slightly higher. The Honda Brio Diesel is expected to be launched in the latter half of 2012 and we expect it to undercut the diesel Swift by around Rs 50,000/-.