The Ashok Leyland-Nissan Dost LCV has turned into a runaway success for the commercial vehicle manufacturing joint venture between Indian Utility Vehicle major Ashok Leyland and Japanese automaker Nissan. Heady with the success of the diesel powered Dost, Ashok Leyland-Nissan will soon expand the variant line up of the Dost by adding a CNG powered variant. The Dost CNG, first showcased a year ago at the 2012 Indian Auto Expo, has been spotted testing by the folks over at MotorBash, at Pune. Given that it’s over a year since the Dost CNG was first showcased, expect a launch in the next few months.
The CNG powered Dost is expected to mainly cater to the intra-city load haulage while the diesel powered variant is capable of making inter-city trips. The only limiting factor of CNG currently is the fact that CNG dispensing outlets are limited to the bigger cities of India. So, the Dost CNG is expected to sell mainly in bigger cities while the diesel model sells all over the country. The Dost in CNG guise will feature a 120 liter tank capable of holding about 24 kilograms of CNG. So, expect a range of about 250 kilometers per tank of CNG which is a reasonable range for intra city use.
The Dost is also available with a 1.5 Liter-3 cylinder-common rail turbo diesel engine outputting 55 Bhp-150 Nm. This engine is mated to a five speed manual gearbox. The same engine and gearbox combination will be available on the Dost CNG too, albeit with possible differences in power and torque outputs. The Dost comes with a payload of 1.25 tons, which is higher than the likes of the Tata Super Ace and the Piaggio Ape Truk. However, a crucial difference in the CNG powered Dost will be that the payload will be reduced by 100 kilograms, to make for a rated payload of 1.15 tons.
Apart from the CNG powered Dost, Ashok Leyland will also launch the Stile MPV in India. The Stile, which is essentially a rebadged and restyled Nissan Evalia/NV200 will be available with turbo diesel and CNG powered engine options. The Ashok Leyland Stile will be the second vehicle, after the Dost, to roll out from the Ashok Leyland-Nissan LCV building joint venture. The Stile will be positioned below the Nissan Evalia in terms of price and positioning. Both passenger and goods carrying version of the Stile are expected to be launched in India by the middle of 2013.
Spyshot courtesy MotorBash