Kia Motors, a South Korean automaker part-owned by Hyundai, is readying up for its Indian foray. The automaker has just put out a couple of sketches indicating what the compact SUV could look like. The sketch of the front end reveals the Tiger Nose inspired grille, a wide stance and overall butch looks of the SP2i SUV. A the the rear, the SUV looks like an Audi save for the badging. The rear also has a wide stance. It remains to be seen as to how much the design elements shown in the sketch translate into the final, production version. Kia has already showcased the SP Concept, and most people who’ve seen it have been quite impressed with the design that combine butch and sleek lines.
The SP2i SUV will be the first vehicle from Kia for the Indian market, and it’ll be based on the Hyundai Creta. The Kia SP2i will share its platform with the Creta, and this will give the SUV attractive cost benefits thanks to local sourcing and part commonization. However, the engines offered on the Kia SP2i SUV could be 1.5 liter petrol and turbocharged diesels, which are different from the 1.6 liter units offered on the Hyundai Creta presently. In fact, the 1.5 liter petrol and diesel engines will eventually be offered not just on the Hyundai Creta post the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms but also on the Verna C-Segment sedan. 6 speed manual and torque converter automatic gearboxes are likely to be offered with these engines.
While the Kia SP2i compact SUV will be based on the Hyundai Creta, it will be built in a brand new factory that Kia Motors has set up at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. The automaker has already begun trial production of the SP2i, and the SUV will be launched in the coming months. The production version of the SP2i will have a different name, possibly Tusker. Kia Motor is yet to confirm this though. The Kia Tusker will be priced higher than the Hyundai Creta. We expect prices to range between Rs. 12-16 lakhs, which means that the SUV will rival the likes of the Tata Harrier and Jeep Compass on the higher end, and the Hyundai Creta on the lower-end. Don’t expect an all wheel drive mode though. A front wheel drive layout will be standard.
The SUV is expected to be feature packed. Expect 6 airbags, ABS, traction control, ESP, hill hold, reverse parking camera, cruise control, ISOFIX child seat mounting points and speed alerts as key safety features on the SUV. As for creature comforts, an electric sunroof, dual zone automatic climate control, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers, a touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, push button start, keyless entry and various ‘connected car’ options are likely to be offered.