Hyundai will launch a new small car in 2018. It has been spied testing for the first time on Indian roads. The car will be a hatchback designed to challenge the Renault Kwid 1.0. It will be priced above the Eon but below the Grand i10, in the space that the erstwhile Santro and i10 used to occupy.
Hyundai may call the new car the Santro although the company is yet to confirm the same. The Santro badge is likely as a lot of Indians has fond memory of this car and the name has tremendous brand recall among car buyers here. The South Korean automaker is expected to officially reveal this car at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo.
The market launch will happen in the second half of the year. Other details we know about this car includes that it’ll be slightly larger than the original Santro, and will use a modified version of the Grand i10 platform. Hyundai has internally code-named this car AH2 and it will also debut Hyundai’s first automated manual transmission (AMT). This AMT will eventually be used on many other Hyundai cars sold in India such as the Grand i10 and the Xcent.
Hyundai has been very successful in the Grand i10 segment upwards but below this segment, the company has found the going tough after the discontinuation of the Santro and i10 hatchbacks. The Eon, although a decent seller, isn’t able to even match a new entrant such as the Renault Kwid.
The upcoming AH2 code-named hatchback will seek to change this and make Hyundai more competitive in the big volume segment. A petrol engine is likely, with manual and AMT options. We expect the car to be very attractively priced and loaded with features. Interiors are also expected to be significantly better than what the competition offers.