Hyundai’s Santro substitute caught testing, launch soon

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Hyundai Motors is a busy player in the Indian automotive market. Its key launches of 2017 included the new Verna, Xcent facelift, Grand i10 facelift and the Hyundai Tucson 4WD, besides special editions of the Creta, Eon and the Elite i20. Hyundai is likely to add another cord to its bow by launching an all-new hatchback, which is said to be the model that will replace the Santro, sometime next year. The hatchback was caught testing on Indian roads recently for the first time. The car appears production-ready and is probable to showcase at the Indian Auto Expo in February, 2018. The Korean automaker discontinued the Santro back in 2015 to free up space at its production facilities for manufacturing newer models like the Creta, Elite i20, Grand i10 and the Xcent. The carmaker went a step further and pulled the plug on the Hyundai i-10 as well. This time it was to pave way for its forthcoming ‘family-oriented hatchback’.

In this new spy photo, we can only see the back 3-quarter of the car, which to an extent mainly look like the Grand i10. This could mean that the new Santro could copy certain design and fashioning cues from the latter. The car still carries its characteristic tall boy stance, and the car also gets larger window panes, which means the cabin will have a bit of a spacious feeling. Also, the test mule is seen with full wheel cover on steel wheels, now this could be one of lower variants and top-end model might get alloys, or Hyundai might not offer one at all to keep the cost low. The cabin will also come with some modern fundamentals and could probably contain a touchscreen infotainment in the top-end model.

The new small car from Hyundai will be a whole departure from its spiritual predecessor, the Santro. The USP of the Santro – its tall-boy design – will be swapped for a more modern one. Excepting the height, the small car is likely to have better dimensions, which should translate into a more spacious cabin. The car is probable to be powered by an 800-cc or a 1.0-litre petrol engine or might offer a mixture of both, just like the Kwid and the Alto. The car is also likely to feature an indigenously-built programmed manual transmission (AMT). Coming to price, the all-new Santro will be the capacity churner for Hyundai India and this will be priced quite aggressively. We expect the new Hyundai Santro to come with a preliminary starting price of Rs.3.5 lakh. Moreover, with the administration’s mandate to have ABS on all new models launching after April 1, 2018, the imminent small car from Hyundai will have it as standard too. When launched, the hatchback will competing the Renault Kwid, Tata Tiago, Maruti Celerio and the Maruti Wagon R.