Hyundai India started this year with the launch of the new-gen Grand i10 followed by its sedan derivative, the facelifted Xcent. Both these offerings enjoy a strong popularity in their respective segments. The South Korean automobile manufacturer will continue this momentum with the next slew of launches scheduled to happen this year and beyond. Most importantly, Hyundai's India Quality Centre will play a strong role in the development of these upcoming models.
The Hyundai India Quality Centre, built with an approximate budget of Rs 30 crore, was inaugurated earlier this year. It is one of the five global quality centres for Hyundai Motor Company. The key responsibility for this centre is to study the different market conditions in India and other Asia Pacific regions and accordingly develop new cars for both these markets. Additionally, the centre will also work towards product quality improvement.
At the inauguration of INQC facility, Y K Koo, MD and CEO, HMIL said, "With the opening of India Quality Center (INQC), Hyundai Motor further aims to reinforce its commitment to unmatched quality with focus on Zero Defect' vehicles." Further, the company also stated that the the center will monitor different aspects that including vehicle durability, unexpected safety issues, system and vehicles benchmarking. The centre will be equipped with world-class diagnostic R&D tools for examination of vehicle communication and complete engine diagnosis. The center also studies new cars from their pilot stage till it is launched in the market.
Coming to the upcoming models, wherein the INQC will play an instrumental role.
1) New-generation small car:
Last year, we reported about Hyundai planning to relaunch its most successful offering, the Santro, in India. While the previous offering was called Santro, we aren't sure if Hyundai would continue with the same model name and encash on its popularity or go with a totally new image to attract the first time car buyer. The hatch will get a brand new design that will share its cues with the Grand. Even in terms of powertrain, it is said that new-gen hatch might get the 3-cylinder 998cc direct-injection motor, based on the Kappa 1.0-litre MPI engine, with a single-scroll turbocharger. The launch is expected to happen sometime in 2018 wherein the prices will range between Rs 4-5 lakh. More details on the new-generation Hyundai small car here.
2) 2018 Hyundai Elite i20 facelift
Hyundai has already begun testing the facelifted version of the Elite i20. Camouflaged test mules have been spotted at different parts of the country. Though not clear from the images, we believe the updated hatch gets new bumpers along with the the revised hexagonal grille. The headlight design and the bonnet too are expected to get a minor revision. Additionally, the alloy wheel design too has been changed with the ones that look like that from the Xcent. The interior too is expected to feature changes to make it more premium than before. Since it is a facelift, the new i20 will retain the current powertrain options. We expect Hyundai to launch the Elite i20 facelift by end of this year. Get more details on the 2018 Hyundai Elite i20 facelift here.
3) Compact SUV
Hyundai has already previewed its offering in the sub-4m space, the Carlino concept at the 2016 Auto Expo. The design theme showed a sharper-looking SUV distinct from Hyundai's current line-up yet retains the hexagonal grille as one of the brand's traits. The Carlino looks butch with its angular wheel wells, trapezoidal character lines over the wheel arches and the boxy air dams. While Hyundai did not let out any information on the platform, it is said that this compact SUV will share its underpinnings with that of the Elite i20. We believe the production version of this SUV will debut in 2018 and will compete with the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Ford EcoSport. Read more about the Hyundai compact SUV here.