Hyundai-Kia's New 1.6-litre Diesel Engine Could Power Creta, SP Concept & Others

Modified On Mar 06, 2018 12:06 AM By Raunak

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The new 1.6-litre U3 diesel comes with more power and significant torque boost over the existing 1.6-litre U2 CRDI 

Hyundai 1.6-litre U2 Diesel

Hyundai-Kia has revealed the next generation of its 1.6-litre diesel engine, the 1.6-litre U3 CRDI. It will be offered for the first time in the updated Optima (Kia’s version of the Hyundai Sonata), which will make its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. The new engine will replace the Optima’s ageing 1.7-litre CRDI. The 1.6-litre U2 CRDI, which currently powers cars such as the Verna, Creta and the Elantra in India along with a few more in Europe and other countries, is also expected to be replaced with this new engine.

Hyundai 1.6-litre U2 Diesel


1.6-litre U2 (Old)

1.6-litre U2 EuroVI*

1.6-litre U3 (New)




136PS (+8PS)




320Nm (+60Nm)

Max torque range




*specs of the Kia Stonic (compact SUV)

Kia promises that the new engine has been designed to go beyond the current striker Euro 6 emission norms and employs Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) for cleaner emissions. It is expected to be coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic on the Optima, like the engine it will replace.

India has been the production hub for the 1.6-litre U2 CRDI, which made its global debut with the first-gen i20 in Europe in late 2008. Presumably, the new U3 will also eventually make its way in India, where BSIV emission norms will make way for BSVI norms in 2020. The current U2 is also EuroVI/BSVI-compliant, but there’s a significant drop in power compared to the BSIV version.  So, there’s a possibility that Hyundai and Kia might shift to the new U3 motor globally. 

Kia SP Concept

We expect Kia’s SP concept, which will form the base for a new compact SUV for India, to be powered by this new generation of the 1.6-litre diesel engine, which is also BSVI-compliant. The Korean carmaker recently told us that the engines of the production SUV based on the SP Concept will conform to BSVI standards. 

Since the SP concept is based on a reworked Creta’s platform, we expect both the cars to share their underpinnings and engines as well in the future. So, this should be the same engine that might power the Creta and other Hyundai vehicles like the Verna, which currently get the outgoing generation 1.6-litre unit.

Hyundai Verna

Jeep is also expected to launch the Renegade, which will rivals SUVs such as the Creta and the SP,  in India soon. It is likely to be powered by Fiat’s 1.6-litre Multijet diesel (120PS/320Nm). The torque boost that the new motor has received would certainly help the SUVs from Hyundai (probably the next-gen Creta) and Kia fend off the new Jeep better.

Besides this, there's also a possibility that Hyundai and Kia might develop a slightly downsized version of the same engine since currently, the 1.6-litre attracts relatively higher taxes. Both the Verna and the Creta are considered luxury cars due to the 1.6-litre motors, while their rivals, the Honda City and the Renault Captur, are powered by 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.  

Check out: Top 5 SUVs At Auto Expo 2018: Tata H5X, Mahindra Rexton And More

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