Hyundai has given a surprise at the year end by launching a car, the all new i20 sub-compact, that was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in the first week of October 2008. The car will make its Indian debut at the end of 2008. The -i- fixture on the latest Hyundai cars is more than just a nomenclature, for in these cars, lies the true spirit of i-gen, or youth of today. Just like the name suggests, it is all about being alive, playful, youthful and fun spirited. India has already witnessed to one such car with the -i- prefix, namely the i10, which has lived up to its individualistic spirited approach. The next car which takes the prefix forward is the much awaited sub-compact i20, which is more than just a significant addition to the new generation of Hyundai vehicles.
Designed at Hyundai’s European Design Centre in Russelsheim, Germany, the i20 can best be described as individual-chic. The lustrous 5-door hatch, which incidentally replaces the Getz model globally, rides on a longer wheelbase than its predecessor, which immediately translates to the fact that the efficient new i20 is expected to have a more spacious interior construction. The car also features Hyundai’s typical design motifs, namely, a bold chrome-topped grille flanked by piercing teardrop headlamps at the front and striking stacked rear light clusters. Adding to the element of design attitude are the rather robust modern lines that emphasize a hint of sportiness in this sub-compact hatch.
Interior levels are said to be class leading and will come with a generous amount of standard equipment.
Fitting in with Hyundai’s theme of producing global vehicles, the i20 has been designed and engineered to meet European standards. It’s a new platform that boasts of better driving dynamics – something we’ll get to know soon enough. Incidentally the i20, like its smaller sibling, the i10, will be manufactured at Hyundai Motor India’s manufacturing facility in Chennai, which aligns with HMIL’s plans of making India their small car manufacturing hub.
To be launched around the same time as rival Maruti Suzuki’s A-Star, the i20, though not in direct competition, is ready to battle it out.
Though the launch is at time when auto market is in recession globally, those who really need a car badly will buy it. But the sell figures estimated by the company may be under pressure. A2 segment is sure going to heat things up.