We first broke the news that Hyundai is developing a compact SUV to take on the likes of the successful Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster, as part of its new model offensive, in our 14th anniversary issue in September 2013.
Now, we’ve got further details on the carmaker’s plans. Due in 2015, this compact SUV will be built on a unique platform (codenamed GC) and tailor-made for the Indian market – just like the Eon.
Additionally, it is also likely to carry an Indian name, a first for Hyundai.
The new SUV is likely to have a seven-seat configuration but packaging constraints may limit Hyundai to making it a five-seater instead. It is likely to be powered by the Verna’s 1.6-litre diesel engine but Hyundai may develop a new 1.5-litre diesel engine to avoid the Rs. 15,000 tax applicable on engines larger than 1.5-litre.
In terms of styling, it is expected to be toned down and more practical rather than sport an aggressive design. Also, this offering is not likely to be a sub four-metre one. Hyundai is looking to price this new car competitively at under Rs. 10 lakh.
With this new compact SUV, the manufacturer will gain entry into a sizeable market of about 11,000 units a month that is currently dominated by the Ford EcoSport which sells around 4,400 units per month.