Hyundai are at it again - after an attempt at a breakthrough like the Creta, Hyundai India now want to carve a place for themselvesin the growing people carrier segment. They made their intent clear at the 2014 Auto Expo where we saw the Hexa Space concept. Hyundai have shown similar concepts in the past, but this one is headed for production and India is one of its primary markets. See our spied shot below for a closer look at what Hyundai have in mind.
Hyundai Hexa Space concept - spy shot
Hyundai India VP, Rakesh Shrivastava, did confirm in his interview with us (Look out for this month's issue of OVERDRIVE for the complete interview) that the carmaker wants to have a presence in every booming passenger car segment in India.
Based on what we know of Hyundai's production spec people-carrier, we've drawn out a rendition of what the MPV, that is currently codenamed IP, could look like. The Hyundai IP will be cut from the same fabric as the i20 twins and the Creta and will therefore wear a similar angular design theme. From the spy shots, it looks like the face will get a long-browed headlight design and a subtle three-slat chrome embellished grille similar to the one seen on the Creta. Also borrowed from the Creta compact SUV will be the wheelbase, but with a slightly longer body for that MPV-esque third row of seats. The test mules were spotted with 16-inchers taken straight off the i20. It's expected to be sprung on MacPherson struts with coil springs at the front and a torsion beam axle with coil springs at the rear. A ground clearance between 190 and 200mm is likely in the IP. Subtler character lines but prominent wheel-arches are another trait to look out for.
A massive glasshouse coupled with rear windows significantly larger than its hatchback and SUV origins are another striking feature. A quarter-glass extension over the C-pillar will act as a window for the third row and at the front, another quarter glass will bisect the A-pillar to aid corner visibility for the front row. Expect the tail lights to follow a boomerang shape as seen on the Hexa Space concept.
We expect the cabin layout to be more in line with the Creta than the i20. The blues and browns will be replaced by a more conventional black and beige colour combination, lending an airy feel to the cabin. Do not pin your hopes on seeing the concept's eight-seater honeycomb arrangement for the seats though. The Hyundai IP is more likely to get the conventional seven seat configuration.
The IP too could come with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel options. And if Hyundai decides to include a petrol as well, then the 1.4-litre VTVT too. An automatic on the 1.6 CRDi diesel variant is also a possibility. The IP could benefit from the Creta and i20's long feature list and we hope to see the six airbags making it to the people carrier.
We expect to the see the IP in its final production trim by early to mid 2016. Hyundai has already made the necessary changes to its plant to accommodate the new platform that underpins the Creta and the IP. With other ASEAN regions like Indonesia and Malaysia being strong MPV markets, the IP could be exported from India as well. Expect the pricing for the MPV to be in the Rs8-13 lakh range which makes it a natural rival to the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, the Honda Mobilio, theRenault Lodgy and the upcoming Chevrolet Spin.