Hyundai India raised more than a few eyebrows when it launched the i20 Elite a couple of days ago without an automatic transmission option. While the previous/1st generation i20 offered an automatic transmission on the 1.4 liter petrol engined model, this engine is currently absent on the i20 Elite. However, Hyundai has definite plans to offer an automatic gearbox on the petrol powered i20 Elite in the near future.
The South Korean automaker hasn’t confirmed the petrol engine that it would mate the automatic gearbox with. The previous-generation i20 used the 4 speed automatic gearbox on the 1.4 liter petrol engine. The engine could make a comeback on the i20 Elite, with the new 4 speed automatic transmission. A cheaper alternate would be mating the 1.2 liter Kappa petrol motor with the 4 speed automatic gearbox and Hyundai even offers this combination on the Grand i10 and Xcent cars.
Hyundai India has bagged 4,600 pre-bookings for the i20 Elite and the petrol powered variants have edged ahead of the diesel powered variants, with 2,600 and 2,000 bookings respectively. Given the increasing demand for petrol powered cars as the gap between petrol and diesel fuels have reduced greatly, adding an automatic option for the petrol engined i2o Elite is imperative if Hyundai seeks to bag more sales.
The Grand i10 Automatic starts at 5.62 lakh rupees and the Xcent Automatic, at 6.29 lakh rupees. Expect the Hyundai i2o Elite with the 1.2 liter petrol engine-4 speed automatic gearbox to be sandwiched between the Grand i10 and the Xcent Automatics. However, if Hyundai decides to go with the 1.4 liter petrol engine-4 speed automatic gearbox combination, the price of the i20 Elite is very likely to exceed that of the Xcent Automatic as the i20 Elite Automatic would no longer qualify for a lower excise duty due to its 1.4 petrol engine exceeding the Indian excise duty regulations for sub-4 meter cars.