Hyundai has been on the ball with its launches this year, with facelifts for the i20 hatchback and Creta SUV being well accepted in India. However, the Korean carmaker has more launches lined up for 2018, one of which is a new hatchback codenamed the AH2. Hyundai’s new hatchback has been spied testing in the country repeatedly, generating a great deal of interest. Here are the five most important things to know about the upcoming new hatchback.
Replacement for the Eon
The AH2 hatchback that is expected to go on sale in the festive season this year will replace Hyundai’s now ageing Eon. The Eon has been on sale since 2011, albeit with a new 69hp, 1.0-litre Kappa engine option coming in 2014. Pricing is expected to be higher than the Eon though. As such, the new model will compete with a string of hatchbacks right from the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 to the Tata Tiago.
Hyundai’s first AMT
Powering the AH2 will be an updated version of Hyundai’s 1,086cc, four-cylinder Epsilon petrol engine. Interestingly, this engine first found application on the Santro Xing producing 65hp and 97Nm of peak torque. A five-speed manual gearbox will come as standard though the four-speed automatic that was on offer for a brief period on the Santro Xing will not be making a return. There will be an automatic option, though, in the form of a five-speed automated manual transmission.
It’s going to be safer than the Eon
To better comply with upcoming crash test norms, the AH2 hatchback will not be based on the Eon’s low-cost PA platform but will be built on the previous i10’s robust HA platform. Dual front airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors are expected to be standard right from launch, giving it an edge over rivals such as the Celerio, which gets a single airbag as standard and ABS and an additional airbags as optional extras.
Typically high quality interiors and kit
Hyundai’s hatchbacks are known for their class-leading cabin quality and the new model will not break the mould in any way; definitely a good thing. Dual-tone interiors are expected to be standard on the production-spec model and many interior elements like the seats and steering wheel will also come from the larger Grand i10. A dash-mounted gear lever is another element likely to make it to the AH2 while a touchscreen infotainment system on top-spec trims is almost a certainty.
It could be called the Santro
The new hatchback is known by its codename AH2 for now but there is a high possibility of the car being launched with the Santro name. The Santro singlehandedly helped establish Hyundai in India and nearly two decades since launch, still enjoys great brand equity.
It won’t be the name alone that could link the new hatchback to the original Hyundai Santro. Like the Santro, the AH2 will also be a high-roof or ‘tall boy’ hatchback. The arrangement allows for maximum cabin space within a small footprint. What will be interesting to see is how Hyundai will incorporate styling cues from its current design language (like the cascading grille) on to the new model.
What would you want the new Hyundai hatchback to be like? And should the Santro name be resurrected? Let us know in the comments section below.