Talking to the Financial Express recently, Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Sales, Hyundai India acknowledged “…we also believe that above the i20, there is room for a very premium hatchback.”
Yummm…if you know what I mean. It’s about time somebody started hot-hatching in India. One would have hoped for the gutsy little Mégane from the house of Monsieur Renault, but a hotter i20 from Hyundai would do admirably for a start.
The launch of this new premium hatchback “above the i20” would mean differently to different people. I, personally, would like to see something very close to the i20 WRC, but the word premium makes me think Hyundai has an altogether different idea for its upcoming product – perhaps a plusher, more blinged out hatchback with a distinctive nomenclature and identity.
So, a luxury hatchback anyone?
Hyundai has on sale in Europe the i30 in 3-door, 5-door, and wagon guise. Needless to say, in India, the 5-door (4,300 mm overall length) and the wagon (4,485 mm overall length) will get more clicks. The 3-door model shares its dimensions with the 5-door version of i30, but needless to say for an enthusiast driver it provides the most rigid body amongst the three i30 models.
All three variants of the i30 are fine drinking petrol and diesel and the max bang is provided by the 1.6L gasoline direct injection (GDi) at 135 hp and 157 Nm. The diesel performer of choice would be the U2 1.6L delivering 128 hp with nothing less than 260 Nm of push.
The i30, as could be expected, comes loaded with toys and trims to one’s heart’s desire and has been well received by public. If like me you fancy the i20 WRC, perhaps the 3-door i30 with 1.6L petrol could be the next best thing.
However, this also has another connotation to it. What happens to the Next-Gen i20 which is already on tests in India?
So, there is also this possibility of Hyundai launching the Next-Gen i20, which already appears slightly bigger, under a different brand name and continue selling the current-gen i20 in India. This report has definitely worked up the game. At the one end we have this Hyundai’s premium hatch and at the other we already have speculations of Maruti’s upcoming new premium hatch ‘YRA‘!
Mr. Srivastava of Hyundai says, for that to happen we shall have to wait till this Diwali. So, save up.