Hyundai will debut its ‘i45’ luxury sedan in India during the second-half of 2011. According to India Today, the company will likely stick to the ‘i45’ name instead of rebranding it as the new ‘Sonata’.
Test mules of the i45 have already been caught on celluloid by the media and spy images of the i45 are aplenty on the internet. The i45 test vehicle had a GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) badge at the rear which indicates that Hyundai may use a 2.4 litre petrol engine that produces 198 hp of maximum power at 6,300 rpm and 250 Nm of maximum torque at 4,250 rpm. The car will sport a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission and Hyundai claims a mileage of 12.6 km/litre. Related: Hyundai i-45 seen testing
Since there is a good demand for diesel luxury sedans, Hyundai may consider launching the 2.2 litre CRDi engine that produces 197 bhp of maximum power at 4,000 rpm and 420 Nm of maximum torque at 1800-2500 rpm. It has to be noted that Hyundai’s 2.2 litre CRDi engine already serves its purpose in the Santa Fe SUV, which the company launched in India December last year.
Hyundai i45 boasts the brand’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language evident from the smooth flowing lines that give a luxurious yet sporty character to the car. The headlamps have dusk-sensors which automatically turn on the headlights when daylight begins to fade. The rain-sensing wipers control the wiper speed to ensure a clear view for the driver, making those rainstorms a breeze. Also read: 2011 Hyundai Verna bookings open
The rear-view mirrors have LED turn-indicators which can be electronically operated from the inside. The i45 has reverse Park Assist with ultrasonic sensors that warns the driver when the car gets too close to any object while driving in reverse and a graphic display on the dashboard helps the driver know the car’s position on road. The climate control system is easily adjustable and has rear air vents as well.
On the inside, the i45 has driver-oriented console layout. It has push button start, steering mounted audio controls, sporty dual gauges and a fluorescent display helps read all the information being displayed in a quick glance. The steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters add to the driver’s convenience and enhance the overall experience of driving. The instrument cluster also houses a multi-function trip meter. The seats are plush and there is ample leg, head and shoulder room for 4 passengers to travel in blissful comfort. The I45 has a segment leading 523 litre boot making those weekend getaways easier in terms of luggage lugging.
With regard to safety, the i45 features dual front airbags, front seat-mounted side-impact bags and front and rear side curtain air-bags. Besides the car’s body is made of ultra-high tensile steel and has side impact beams, integrated front & rear crumple zone (to reduce damage to passengers during accidents). Active Safety features aboard the i45 include ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), ESC (Electronic Stability Control) and TCS (Traction Control System). Further, the i45 is loaded with Hill-Start Assist control (HAC) and Brake Assist.
Hyundai has left no stone unturned and has provided in-car entertainment and navigation equipments like, Bluetooth streaming capability, 6.5 inch WVGA touch screen, 8GB of flash memory and sound system besides auxiliary inputs/iPod/USB ports. Whether all or some of the above features will be available for the India-bound i45 is known only to Hyundai but we expect most of the features to trickle down the Indian variant as well.
When launched, the i45 will be the third model in Hyundai’s i-series in India. All those goodies come with a pricey tag of Rs. 19 -20 lakh and will compete with current segment leaders like the Skoda Superb, Maruti Suzuki Kizashi, Volkswagen’s Passat, Honda Accord, Nissan Teana and Toyota Camry.