PAL Rio mini-SUV to be Launched in India Tomorrow

October 27, 2009, By Atul Roach


Premier Auto Ltd., familiarly known as PAL in India wants to stage a comeback after a gap of many years with its Rio. PAL intends to debut the Rio tomorrow i.e on October 28  but what is still confusing is that no one precisely knows the category to which the Rio belongs. Some experts are even dubbing it as the Terra not Rio and they do not have a reason to explain that. It is being hoped that the Rio will target the small SUV segment which only finds the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy as a part of it but Maruti never bothered to update it so that leaves Rio as the only ‘hopeful’ member.

There is also a chance that the Rio may fall between the small and the mini hatchback category which is somewhere between the Hyundai Santro and the Tata Indica.

As far as the engine is concerned, the Rio will come with a Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine which renders a power output between58 bhp and 65 bhp. The numbers are sad but given the weight of the car, they are good enough.

PAL Rio-image-2

PAL is not manufacturing the Rio in India, indeed, it will only do the assembling job of the completely knocked down kit. The only major investment for PAL would be to manufacture the engine.

The Rio may surface as a 2WD commuter that will have a 4WD shift in difficult situations.  The base model of the Rio will cost 5 akh rupees whereas the top model with ABS and airbags will touch 7 lakh rupees.

PAL will find it difficult to make a mark for itself as there are number of International players who now exist in the Indian market compared to the time PAL first sold its Padmini in India. [via: DWS]

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