Kia Motors is setting up a factory at Andhra Pradesh, and the first vehicle to roll out from this manufacturing facility will be the production version of the SP Concept SUV. The Kia SP SUV will be launched in India later next year. Manohar Bhat, the vice president of marketing at Kia Motors India, has revealed that the new compact SUV will be priced similar to the Hyundai Creta.
He has also given a ballpark for pricing of the SUV. The Kia SP Concept SUV’s production version will be priced between Rs. 10-16 lakhs, ex-showroom. This pricing will pit it directly against the Hyundai Creta, Nissan Kicks and Renault Captur. Other SUVs that will be indirect competitors will be the lower variants of the Mahindra XUV500 and the upcoming Tata Harrier.
Production of the SUV will happen early next year. Expect it to hit roads before the middle of the year. Kia will have a separate sales and service network from that of Hyundai although both brands will share parts and platform. Kia dealerships are likely to come up in most big cities of India from early next year, in the run up to the SP SUV’s launch.
The Kia SP SUV will borrow the platform from the Hyundai Creta. While the gearboxes are likely to be the same as those available on the Creta – 6 speed manual and automatic units – the diesel engine in expected to be different. The Kia SP SUV is expected to debut a new, 1.5 liter turbocharged diesel engine that will eventually makes its way into Hyundai cars and SUVs.
This diesel engine has been developed with the upcoming Bharat Stage 6 emission norms in mind. The next generation Creta and Verna will use the new diesel engine. In case of the petrol engine though, the same 1.6 liter unit that powers the Hyundai Creta currently is likely to be used on the Kia SP SUV. This motor makes 121 Bhp-151 Nm in its current state of tune on the Creta, and a similar tune is likely on the Kia.
The monocoque bodied SUV is likely to be front wheel drive-only, just like the Hyundai Creta. As for interiors and styling, both aspects will be totally different. The Kia SP gets a front end that resembles the Tata Harrier, and looks very different from the Hyundai Creta. It’s likely to be larger than the Hyundai Creta but only slightly. It will be a five seater.
There are a slew of new SUVs all set to hit India’s compact SUV segment. The Tata Harrier will be the first off the block, with its launch slated for early January. The Nissan Kicks will follow soon after, and the Kia SP will arrive sometime during the middle of the year. So, for prospective buyers, the middle of next year would be a good time to go shopping as that would give them a clear picture on what to opt for.
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