Hyundai's Santro Replacement Caught Testing, Launch In 2018
Unlikely to be called the Santro, the hatchback will be displayed at the upcoming Auto Expo with an expected launch in the second half of 2018
Hyundai Motors is a busy player in the Indian automotive market. Its key launches of 2017 included the new Verna, Xcent facelift, Grand i10 facelift and the Hyundai Tucson 4WD, besides special editions of the Creta, Eon and the Elite i20. Hyundai is likely to add another string to its bow by launching an all-new hatchback, which is said to be the model that will replace the Santro, sometime next year. The hatchback was caught testing on Indian roads recently for the first time. The car appears production-ready and is likely to showcased at the next year’s Indian Auto Expo in February.
The Korean automaker discontinued the Santro back in 2015 to free up space at its production facilities for manufacturing newer models like the Creta, Elite i20, Grand i10 and the Xcent. The automaker went a step further and pulled the plug on the Hyundai i10 as well. This time it was to pave way for its upcoming ‘family-oriented hatchback’.
The new small car from Hyundai will be a complete departure from its spiritual predecessor, the Santro. The USP of the Santro – its tall-boy design – will be swapped for a more contemporary one. Barring the height, the small car is expected to have bigger dimensions, which should translate into a more spacious cabin. The car is expected to be powered by an 800cc or a 1.0-litre petrol engine or might offer a combination of both, just like the Kwid and the Alto. The car is also likely to feature an indigenously-built automated manual transmission (AMT).
Moreover, with the government’s mandate to have ABS on all new models launching after April 1, 2018, the upcoming small car from Hyundai will have it as standard too. When launched, the hatchback will rival the Tata Tiago, Renault Kwid, Maruti Celerio and the Maruti Wagon R. The price of the upcoming small car is expected to fall in the vicinity of Rs 4 lakh – Rs 5.50 lakh.
Recommended read, 2018 Hyundai Santro: 5 Things To Look Forward To