Hyundai appears to have woken up to the lucrativeness of the compact sedan market in India, but it just doesn’t have a car that measures up to under 4 metre in length. So then it has to consider the next best thing, another sedan that can slot in under the Hyundai Verna and just above the Hyundai i20 hatchback.
That’s just what it might do considering the Hyundai HB20S (the sedan version of the HB20 hatchback sold in Brazil) recently rolled out in Brazil. This car shares a lot of its underpinnings with the Hyundai i20 and is essentially an i20 with a boot. The styling is all too familiar, keeping the Hyundai fluidic design theme going. The front looks somewhere in between an i20 and a Hyundai Verna and very soon it’s going to be really difficult to make one car out from the other in passing within the Hyundai family. Also read: Hyundai to launch small car, compact SUV and MPV in India
Hyundai won’t really be able to avail of excise benefits that come with cars under 4-metres in length (these cars pay only 12% excise duty, against 24% for cars that exceed this length). So it would be tough to price the car extremely competitively against the likes of the Maruti Dzire and the upcoming Honda Amaze. However, Hyundai is likely to do what it does best – load the car up with enough features to make the neighbours jealous. Also read: Upcoming small diesel cars to launch in 2013
The car is more likely to be about the same size as a Chevrolet Sail, but will have an advantage in boot space – which apparently is in the region of 450 litres, enough for one extra suitcase over what a Honda Amaze can handle.
Engine choices are likely to be a 1.4 litre diesel with a six-speed manual transmission – the same diesel engine that is in the Hyundai i20, which puts out 89 bhp of power and a 1.2 litre petrol putting out 84 bhp of power.
This would help the car effectively compete in the entry sedan segment against the Toyota Etios, Chevrolet Sail, Honda Amaze and Maruti Dzire. Prices will overlap with the top-end Hyundai i20 variants and the base variants of the Hyundai Verna in the region of Rs. 5.5 lakh to Rs. 8.5 lakh if and when launched. And going by Hyundai’s track record in India, it is likely to launch a number of variants that will crowd out the competition.Also read: Five upcoming Hyundai cars in India
The car may be launched in India by the end of this year, just after Hyundai’s new hatchback in the festive season.