Hyundai’s i30 has been spied testing in India near Chennai recently, leading to speculation about what the hatchback is doing here. Here’s what you need to know about the i30:
Is it an Elantra hatchback?
The i30 is a premium model that was first unveiled at the 2016 Paris motor show. It slots in above the i20 in Hyundai’s international line-up and rivals the likes of the Honda Civic and Volkswagen Golf, in hatchback form. It is also available in coupé and sedan body styles. For India (and for the US), the Korean brand sells the model as a sedan, known as the Elantra.
What about engines and power?
The Elantra sedan is one that we’re familiar with; the i30 hatchback shares its underpinnings with this sedan, as well as most of the mechanical bits. The powertrain, however, differs for every market. The Elantra in India gets the 152hp, 2.0-litre petrol and 128hp, 1.6-litre diesel engines; both of these get six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions. Based on the badging, the i30 hatchback that was spied in Chennai was powered by a 1.6-litre diesel engine.
It looks sporty. Is there a performance version, too?
International markets also get a more extreme version of this car – the i30 N hot hatch. Hyundai’s performance arm has taken the i30 hatchback and changed its exterior to make it look faster. The carmaker has added wider intakes, a rear diffuser, twin exhaust pipes, N-labelled brake calipers and 18-inch (optional 19-inch) alloy wheels. The front-wheel-drive hot hatch is powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol motor, which is available in two states of tune – 250hp and 275hp. In its former state, 100kph is reached from a standstill in 6.4sec, while its latter state shaves 0.3sec off that time.
What about the technology it comes with?
The standard models and the i30 N are all typical of the brand; they are quite feature-rich. While the India-spec Elantra is just at par with its rivals in the segment in terms of features, the hot hatch gets also gets a gamut of safety features beyond the usual six airbags, ABS and Isofix seat mounts. Driver-assist features include autonomous emergency braking, driver attention alert, lane keep assist and high beam assist technology. The car can also recognise road signs and display them in the car’s TFT instrument display cluster.
Is it coming to India?
Hyundai has not confirmed (or denied) plans to bring the i30 to India – there’s a high chance the car spotted was just a test mule to test components. The fact that the Elantra (and even the Creta) shares certain components with the i30, adds weight to this assumption.
If brought to India, the i30 would be pricier than the current lot of sub-4-metre hatchbacks and would actually cost as much as mid-size sedans and SUVs. Then again, Hyundai did pioneer the premium hatchback segment in India in 2008 with the launch of the original i20; so don’t be surprised if Hyundai does decide to bring the i30 to India, in the future.
Should Hyundai launch the i30 in India, and would you buy a premium hatchback for SUV or sedan money? Let us know in the comments section below.