Hyundai launched the all-new Santro a couple of weeks ago in India, but the South Korean automaker continues to test the entry-level hatchback. It’s likely that the Santro on test could be a LPG powered variant or even perhaps a smaller engined model designed to replace the Hyundai Eon. Hat tip to CarToq reader Satish Rawat.
We’re leaning towards a smaller engined Santro because the factory dispatches of the Hyundai Eon have been falling drastically. In fact, Hyundai shipped out just 5 units of the Eon to dealership stockyards last month, which means that there’s a good chance that the car is being put on the chopping block.
In the run up to the all-new Hyundai Santro, there were rumours about the automaker culling the Eon. Close to the launch though, top officials at Hyundai revealed that the Eon will still be made. However, these comments will have to be taken with a pinch of salt as officials often make such statements to ensure that the leftover stock of a certain car gets exhausted prior to discontinuation. Moreover, engineering the Hyundai Eon to meet new safety and emission norms will be quite expensive considering that the car is at the end of its life cycle.
With the Santro, Hyundai has an all-new car that’s future ready, which means it will meet both safety and emission norms that will soon go into effect. It makes more sense for Hyundai to offer a lower priced variant of the Santro, with the Eon’s 814cc petrol engine rather than re-engineering the Eon. For now, there’s nearly a Rs. 60,000 price gap between the entry level Eon and Santro trims. However, there’s significant price overlap between the higher variants of the Santro and Eon. This is an area we expect the smaller engined Santro to be positioned at.
While the Santro sold in India gets a 1.1 liter-4 cylinder petrol engine with 69 PS-100 Nm on tap, the Eon is offered with 55 Bhp, 814cc and 67 Bhp, 1 liter petrol engines that feature 3 cylinder layouts. It makes no sense for Hyundai to offer so many different engines on its entry level cars, which is another reason why a smaller engined Santro is quite probable.
Coming to the LPG trim, the Santro with this option could cater to wide swathes of the country that don’t yet have CNG dispensing outlets but have well established LPG distribution networks. Such a variant would make the Santro better placed to take on its chief rival – the Maruti WagonR, which gets an LPG-Petrol dual fuel option. The coming months will reveal more.