Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), which had the world premiere for its all-new premium Elite i20 hatchback today in New Delhi, has registered more petrol pre-bookings compared to diesel. Of the 4,600 pre-launch bookings received so far, 2,600 are for the petrol trim and 2,000 for the diesel edition.
The 89bhp 1.4-litre U2 CRDi diesel and the 81bhp 1.2-litre Kappa2 petrol engines mated to a five-speed manual transmission have been retained from the i20. Both petrol and diesel engines are available in four trim levels – Era, Magna, Sportz and Asta. The introductory price (ex-showroom Delhi) for the entry Era petrol model starts at Rs 489,900 with the top-end model priced at Rs 646,900. The Diesel Era starts at Rs 609,900 with the top-end variant carrying a sticker price of Rs 766,900.
According to the company, the Elite i20 has been put through extensive testing and tuning as per Indian conditions to improve ride characteristics leading to an enhanced driving performance.
In terms of equipment, there's automatic headlamps, auto folding wing mirrors, rear parking sensors, rearview camera and auto climate control, among other features, on the higher-spec models. Hyundai, however, has provided lots of equipment even on mid-spec variants. On the safety front, the Sportz trim gets a driver airbag and ABS although a front passenger airbag is only available on the top Asta trim.
The new Elite i20 gets fresh exterior styling based on the carmaker’s Fluidic Sculpture 2 theme, on the same lines as the Grand i10 and the Xcent sedan. On the inside, the dashboard comes in a two-tone theme and the centre console is large and well laid out. The Elite i20 gets a longer wheelbase, which translates into more spacious interiors. The Elite i20 takes on the likes of the recently launched Volkswagen Polo facelift, Fiat Punto Evo and the Maruti Suzuki Swift in the premium hatchback segment.
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Rakesh Srivastava, senior VP (sales and marketing), HMIL, Hyundai is looking at sales of 6,000 units a month for its i20 replacement, of which petrol and diesel will contribute equally. At present, the existing i20 sells around 3,800 units every month. With a host of more premium features, the carmaker is aiming at higher sales numbers for the new model. Srivastava said that the automatic version of the hatchback is available in the petrol Elite i20 but the company is yet to reveal its price.
Speaking at the launch, B S Seo, MD and CEO, HMIL, said: “The Elite i20 is a world-class product designed, developed and engineered to excellence to deliver value beyond expectations. It features a youthful, sporty exterior and premium interior which are an expression of evolved design language –Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. The Elite i20 will be a trendsetter model reflecting Hyundai’s modern premium brand direction and will fuel Hyundai’s growth in India.” He added that Hyundai has a strong export strategy for the Elite i20 which will also contribute sizeably to the domestic market.
Exports are slated to kick off soon, according to Srivastava who said the focus markets for a start would be Latin America, Asia, Middle East and Australia.
Casey Hyun, creative design manager of Hyundai Motor Company, who was part of the design team for the Eon, spoke about how the new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 had been evolved from the former Fluidic Sculpture 1.0 of 2009 which sported a hexagonal and wing-shaped front grille. The new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 will be used across the car range from the Elite i20 to the larger Genesis model.
Photograph (L-R): Hyundai Motor India’s Rakesh Srivastava and B S Seo at the launch in New Delhi.