Auto Expo 2018: EXCLUSIVE SPY SHOTS: Hyundai Santro retains tall-boy shape, goes on sale Diwali 2018
These exclusive spy shots appear to be of the new Hyundai Santro, caught cold weather testing somewhere in Europe. The shots reveal that the extremely important Hyundai hatchback will revert to that mildly tall-boy-ish stance that the original Santro became synonymous with. We say mild because the i10, the car that replaced that Santro, in effect, toned down the slightly gawky, but extremely efficient silhouette. The original Santro was launched in 1998, most famously by Bollywood sweetheart and perpetual Hyundai brand Ambassaor, Shah Rukh Khan. The car went on to become extremely popular and in time, was replaced by the i10. Today, the Hyundais Eon and Grand i10 take care of the business end of the Korean carmaker's Indian hatch line-up but the reignition of the mighty Santro represents a massive opportunity for India's second largest car brand.
The date for the Santro launch is now well-known. Hyundai started out by suggesting that it would happen within the 2018 calendar year. But in a recent interview where the company's chief YK Koo revealed plans to become India's first maker of locally assembled electric SUVs in 2019, Koo also revealed that Hyundai intended to have the car on sale before Diwali. Diwali falls on November 7 this year.
The original Santro was the entry-level car in the line-up but the market has changed. The new entry-point for Hyundai is the Hyundai Eon and the Tata Nano is tipped as a car that changed the idea of an entry-hatchback completely despite its commercial fortunes. The other Hyundai hatch at the volume end is the Grand i10. The new Santro is likely to be set between the two cars, which stays more or less true to the old car's ethos while slipping into the segmentation that we see in the market today neatly. That also implies a price that falls between Rs 4 lakh - 6 lakh.
We are given to understand that the 2019 Hyundai Santro will feature new 1.2-litre engines, both petrol and diesel. No other specification is known at this time and this will become clearer as the launch nears.
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Team OD | 14 Feb 2019
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