Hyundai is busy testing the all-new i20 of its official launch next year. The all-new i20 was recently spied testing in Europe, at the Nurburgring race track, leading to speculation that Hyundai is also developing a high performance, N version of the new car. As far as the Indian market is concerned, the i20 Elite will be offered in regular trims. The third generation i20, which will be known as the i20 Elite here, is expected to be a petrol-only car thanks to the upcoming Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms making diesels too pricey for small cars. The car is expected to be an evolution over the current version, in terms of looks, features and mechanicals. Here is a speculative render that shows what the third generation Hyundai i20 premium hatchback’s N variant could look like. The overall design of the new i20 and the N variant will be similar.
Render courtesy Kleber Silva
As the render indicates, the all-new Hyundai Elite i20 N will get a new front end inspired by the brand’s new design language that gives prominence to the waterfall front grille. The headlamps are likely to get sharper with LED projectors on offer. The render does not show this detail though. The front end of the car will also see a new bumper, revised fog lamp positioning and new DRLs. The car’s profile could also change with the roofline showing specific changes. The rear is also expected to get a complete redesign with a new bootlid, revised tail lamps, new bumpers and revised placement of exhaust tips. Changes are likely to be extensive on the car’s interiors as well.
Under the hood, we expect the new 1 liter-3 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that will first be seen on the Hyundai Venue compact SUV, to be offered on the new i20 as well. While this motor makes 118 Bhp-172 Nm on the Venue, it is likely to be detuned to suit the i20, which will be a lighter car. The car is also expected to gain a new 7 speed, twin clutch automatic gearbox with this engine – a combination that will be seen first on the Venue. A 6 speed manual gearbox will also be on offer. It remains to be seen if Hyundai offers a 1.4 liter turbo diesel engine on the new i20. The Bharat Stage 6 emission norms, whic h come into effect in April 2020, are expected to make diesel engined cars about Rs. 2 lakhs pricier than equivalent petrol engined cars.
At such a big price difference between petrol and diesel cars, buyers are likely to overwhelmingly prefer petrol engined cars. This could prompt most car makers to dump the diesel engine entirely in small cars. So, Hyundai could also follow suit by offering the new i20 Elite as a petrol-only car. The i20’s chief competitor and the segment’s best selling car – the Maruti Baleno – will take a petrol-only approach from April 2020. Another competitor – the next-gen Honda Jazz – will be sold as a petrol hybrid. So, it’s safe to expect that Hyundai will also take a similar approach with the new i20. Also, the car is expected to be ready to accept hybrid and electric powertrains.