Hyundai’s smallest sedan, the Xcent is due for a full-model change and we have the first spy shots of the second-gen car being extensively tested in Europe, a year before its global debut in India.
The big news is that Hyundai will most likely drop the Xcent name in a bid to shake of the taxi image that has stuck to the current car. The Xcent name is synonymous with app-based cab operators and, in fact, 50 percent of Xcent sales are in the fleet segment. However, it’s this perception of a taxi that is hurting sales in the personal car buyer segment, which is why Hyundai wants to launch the new Xcent with a different name altogether. Also, the current car is likely to be upgraded and continue to be sold alongside the new model, exclusively to serve the fleet and taxi market.
The first set of spy shots reveal quite a bit about the new-gen compact sedan. The overall shape of Hyundai’s new sub-4m sedan remains quite similar to the outgoing car, but the styling seems to be completely new. Up front, the new sedan gets the latest iteration of Hyundai’s ‘cascading grille’ – one that is even taller and wider than the current model’s, and comes with honeycomb inserts. The front bumper merges with the grill seamlessly and also comes with a wide chin and a separate intake. The fog lamp inserts are vertically placed – similar to the ones seen on the Elantra facelift – with two plastic slats and round fog lamp units. Interestingly, the new Hyundai compact sedan’s test mule features two boomerang-shaped LED daytime running lamps placed on each side of the grille. It also gets headlamps (standard halogen units) that look similar to the outgoing model’s. Higher trims could get LED projector headlamps seen on its arch-rival, the Maruti Suzuki Dzire.
Moving to the side, the new Hyundai compact sedan gets a typical three-box silhouette despite its compact dimensions. The new car will get large wraparound lights (with LED elements) extending into the boot lid. Going by the design trend of newer Hyundai sedans, like the Sonata and facelifted Elantra, the Korean brand might move the license plate mount to the rear bumper, with the car’s name taking centre stage on the boot lid; something seen previously on the Hyundai Venue.
On the inside, Hyundai’s next-gen Honda Amaze rival will share most of its interior bits with the upcoming Grand i10 and is also expected to get the same steering wheel as the recently launched Venue. What can be confirmed from the spy shots is that the new car will get a large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system similar to the one seen on the Venue. This system will come with multiple features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and also Hyundai’s BlueLink connected car tech. Additionally, Hyundai is expected to offering different colour options for the seats and better quality materials, along with a rear armrest and separate headrests for second row passengers in order to differentiate between the compact sedan and its hatchback sibling.
Under the hood, Hyundai will offer BS6-compliant versions of the 1.2-litre Kappa petrol engine as well as the U2 1.2-litre diesel motor. The petrol variant will get an AMT gearbox option, replacing the current model’s 4-speed torque converter, in order to offer keener pricing as well as better fuel economy.
Key rivals to the new Hyundai compact sedan will include the Maruti Suzuki Dzire, the Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and the Tata Tigor in the Indian market.
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