Hyundai recently showcased the Elite i20 petrol automatic at the Indonesia Motor Show 2016. Following this, there were speculations that the automatic i20 will also be launched in India soon. A source has now confirmed that Hyundai is indeed looking to bring the i20 auto to our shores soon, probably as early as in the first week of September 2016. It may be noted that the Hyundai Elite i20 automatic showcased in Indonesia was made at the company’s Sriperumbudur facility in India.
The Hyundai Elite i20 auto will have the 1.4-litre Gamma engine which also did duties in the older i20 and now is being used in the Verna in a slightly higher state of tune. The i20’s engine will make 100PS/130Nm compared to the Verna’s 107PS/135Nm. Paired to the i20’s engine is a 4-speed torque convertor. The Hyundai Elite i20’s competitors in the meanwhile use a CVT. Expect the new i20 automatic to be priced almost at par with the diesel engine. This is because it loses out on the excise duty benefits to sub-4m petrol vehicles with a 1.2l or lesser capacity engine. There will be atleast two variants for the auto lineup including one in the top Asta trim.
When launched in 2014, the Hyundai Elite i20 was an instant success in India. It still plays a tug of war with the Maruti Suzuki Baleno every month on the sales chart. Hyundai claims to have so far sold more than a lakh i20s in the country. The car is also exported from here. Hyundai also updated the car with projector headlamps, DRLs and features like cooled glovebox and a touchscreen infotainment system.
While all its rivals like the Volkswagen Polo, Honda Jazz and Baleno had an automatic option, the i20 was the only one to not have it. This is if we discount the almost-dead Tata Bolt from the equation. Studies in the recent past have showcased how sale of automatics have gone up in the country after the AMT revolution led by the Maruti Celerio. The Elite i20 auto looks like it wants to cash in on this boom. It will be interesting to note if Hyundai will also equip the Active model with this bigger engine and auto transmission.