It’s been some time since the hot selling Hyundai i20 made its first appearance in India. Having completed three years in the Indian, as well as the International market, the car is due for a mid-life makeover, and Hyundai has given us ample proof of the fact that it’s on the job, by presenting the test mules of the car to the auto media. The 2013 model of the popular car has been doing test rounds in India for some time and is due for a launch soon. In the meantime, the Korean carmaker has officially revealed the new version of the car to the world at the Geneva Motor Show. Here’s all you need to know about the car.
Is the new i20 just a facelift?
We thought so initially, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. With the 2013 i20, Hyundai has also announced an all new 1.1 liter three cylinder U-II diesel engine with 75 PS and 180Nm. Boasting exceptional fuel efficiency and very low CO2 emissions, this engine features breakthrough technology for the Korean car giant. No word from Hyundai yet, but don’t be surprised if the new engine finds a home under the bonnet of the new i20 in India as well. Apart from this, the 1.4 liter diesel will also be upgraded. The car’s redesigned front and rear bumpers have increased the size of the car marginally, and the new i20 measures 4 meters in length. The overall width, height and wheelbase remain the same though.
That’s cool. What cosmetic changes have they made?
The new i20 adopts the ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language, including the hexagonal grille common to all new Hyundai models, although not as pronounced as on other models. The exterior now looks sleeker and sportier with the sculpted surfaces. The i20 also has new LED headlamps with daytime running lights. The hood, fender, front bumper – which incorporates fog lights – and wheel design have been updated.
On the inside, the quality of materials has been improved. According to Hyundai, the high-tech specification of the interior now represents a significant improvement over its predecessor. At the rear, Hyundai’s designers have updated the bumper design and integrated a rear parking assist system. Rear lamps have also been restyled.
Where will it be made?
Like all other small Hyundai cars, the i20 will be manufactured in India for domestic as well as exports markets, the most important of which being Europe. The new car will be manufactured in Hyundai’s Turkey plant as well.
What’s new on the inside?
Inside, Hyundai have worked on enhancing the feeling of comfort and roominess. The seat trims have been redesigned, with a grey cloth option offered for the first time. Furthermore, the centre fascia has been reworked and now features all black, high-gloss inserts on the dashboard.
The materials used within the cabin have been upgraded. International model will also feature a smart key and engine start / stop button, one-touch triple-blink turn indicators, automatic lights, rain-sensing wipers and a rear-view camera display, displayed on the rear-view mirror. Not all of these features will make it to the Indian version though.
Apart from the new features, Hyundai claims that they have reduced the NVH on the new car substantially. Road transmitted vibration, wind resonance, intake, exhaust and engine noise have all been apparently reduced. Also, a new exhaust system has reduced weight and offers reduction in exhaust boom.
What about the engines and transmissions?
We have already told you about the new 1.1 liter diesel engine. The 1.4 liter diesel will also be upgraded and will now produce 90PS. Petrol engines will be available in the form of a 1.2 liter 85PS unit, and a 1.4 liter mill with range topping 100PS of power.
Depending on the engines, Hyundai will mate them to a five or six speed manual transmission. There will also be the option of a four speed automatic. The 1.2-litre petrol engine will be mated with a 5-speed manual transmission while the 1.4-litre unit will be paired with a a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Both 1.1 and 1.4 liter diesels will have a six speed transmission for enhanced efficiency. Some variants may also feature a stop/start system.
Have they done something to the suspension as well?
According to Hyundai, the new i20 rides on a revised platform which delivers better dynamics. We are sure that the essential running gear will remain the same though. I20’s front MacPherson strut and rear torsion beam suspension have been fine tuned to deliver tauter driving dynamics to suit the European market. The electrically assisted rack and pinion steering has a new setup and has also been retuned to deliver quick and accurate responses resulting in excellent urban agility. If the blokes at Hyundai are to be believed, the new car will be more fun to drive.
Engine capacity and fuel options: Petrol 1.2.liter Kappa VVT petrol/ 1.4 liter petrol Diesel: 1.1 liter / 1.4 liter CRDi diesel
Transmission: 5-speed manual / 4-speed automatic/ 6-speed manual
Power: 80 HP/ 100 HP/ 90 BHP / 75bhp
Expected launch date: 16th April 2012
Expected price: Rs 4.5 to 7.5 lakh
Integrated Audio System
Stop / Start system
Push button start
Steering controls for Audio system
Anti lock Brake System