Hyundai’s new hatchback for India has been caught testing once again, this time in Delhi. The car is expected to go on sale by Diwali this year and, as we had reported earlier, the hatchback could be named the Santro.
Like the original Santro, the new model (codename: AH2) will have a high-roof (a.k.a ‘tall boy’) design. The Santro was quite roomy for its small footprint and the new Hyundai hatchback could also put vertical space to good use. In terms of styling, the new model will carry the latest Hyundai styling cues; it will be interesting to see how design elements like the ‘cascading grille’ will be incorporated on the small car.
This new hatchback might be a replacement for the Eon but will not be based on its low-cost PA platform. Rather, the car will be built on the first-gen i10’s more robust HA platform, which will help it meet upcoming crash test norms. Dual airbags, ABS and rear parking sensors as standard are expected to be part of safety kit too.
Like other Hyundai hatchbacks, the new model too promises a high degree of fit and finish on the inside. Dual-tone interiors will be standard and sources in the know of the project also tell us that the new Hyundai AH2 will share a lot of interior bits with the larger Grand i10, such as the steering wheel, seats and gear knob. Also, like the Grand i10, the gear lever will be positioned on the dashboard to liberate more storage space.
The new Hyundai will use an updated version of the original Santro’s ‘Epsilon’ four-cylinder petrol engine. A manual transmission will be standard, but in a first for Hyundai, the new model will also be offered with the option of an automated manual transmission or AMT. Prices are not known as yet but it is learnt that Hyundai is aiming the new hatchback squarely at the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and Tata Tiago.
The original Santro was a phenomenon in India and also the car that established Hyundai in the country. The new Santro, if it is indeed called that at launch, could just take the story further.
Image: Anurag Kakkar via Twitter