March 2015 is when Hyundai India will launch a brand new iteration of the Elite i20 Hatchback, in the form of the i20 Active Crossover. Even as we’re weeks away from the official launch, uncamouflaged images of the crossover are now out in the open, showing the design details of the vehicle. As is with the case of all crossovers based on hatchbacks, the i20 Active is a more butch version of its hatchback sibling, with body cladding allowing the car to play the toughie part.
New front and rear bumpers with inserts, a new front grille that ditches the honeycomb design for a five slat affair, new fog lamp housings at front and reflectors at the rear and roof rails are the visual changes. Hyundai also seems to have packed the i20 Active with extra ground clearance, a feature that’ll come in very handy on less than perfect Indian roads. Reverse parking sensors and a parking camera is standard on the top-end variants.
Where an Elite i20 driver will have to slow down and take it gingerly with the fear of bottoming out, the i20 Active driver can just stay committed and take the obstacle, say perhaps a speed breaker or a pothole, at a higher speed. Then there’s the better street presence that a taller car entails. Hyundai is also said to have stiffened the suspension up on the i20 Active, to make for a more flatter riding car that also holds its own on imperfect roads.
All in all, the i20 Active seems like the more practical version of the i20 Elite hatchback, with a mild price premium that puts it well under the upcoming iX25, Hyundai’s first big stab at the compact SUV segment in India. Under the hood, the i20 Active is expected to continue operating with a 1.2 liter Kappa2 petrol motor with 82 Bhp-115 Nm and a 1.4 liter CRDI turbo diesel engine with 89 Bhp-220 Nm outputs.
The 1.4 liter diesel mill with the 6 speed manual gearbox will be the pick of the lot, for its punchy performance and near turbo-lag free performance, not to mention the higher fuel efficiency it delivers. The petrol engine will strictly for those who prefer the sedate to the spirited. The 1.2 liter petrol engine is paired with a five speed manual gearbox. No automatic option is likely to be on offer. The starting prices of the i20 Active could be pegged at 5.65 lakh rupees and 6.75 lakh rupees, for the petrol and diesel variants respectively.
Spyshots courtesy Rushlane