Wednesday, March 5, 2014

HYUNDAI NEW COMPACT SEDAN XCENT HIT INDIAN ROADS

   


   The world of C-segment compact sedans was taken by storm this year when Honda launched the Amaze. It finally looked like there would be a worthy competitor for the mighty Swift Dzire. However, it has been more than six months since the CS was launched but has not been able to make any inroads into the Dzire’s sales number. Now, it looks like Hyundai wants to try its hand at this competition and will bring a new Grand i10 based compact sedan to the Indian market next year. Reports have already emerged that the prototypes arte ready for testing and are likely to soon be seen on the roads in obviously camouflaged guise.
  
    The car is expected to follow the standard compact sedan formula as has been the case with its rivals and will be a Grandi10 with a boot slapped on after the C-Pillar. While the Dzire cannot hide the fact that it Swift with a boot on, the Amaze has been able to do a better job thanks to the fact that Honda has designed the car from the ground up to be a compact sedan.
    The Hyundai Grand i10 based sedan is expected to share much of its external appearance with the hatchback which means that there will be a similar fascia but with minor alterations like a larger grille or different design for the bumpers to separate both vehicles. On the side profile, we expect that Hyundai will continue to retain the same overall shape but will have the roofline flow into the boot section rather sharply rake into the back. While such a move will make the car look graceful and complete it is likely that it will reduce the available amount of headroom for the passengers in the back seats. The Grand i10 stands at 3.76 meters, so it looks like the Korean automaker has another 24 centimeters to add boot space at the back without losing out on the requirements to fit into the sub four metre vehicle category. In standard practice, they are expected to push the back seats into the current boot area of the hatchback and then add on the boot. We expect full foldable rear seats in a bid to boost the storage capacity for the upcoming sedan.
The back is expected to be a little high up and will have a slightly high loading lip in a bid to give the car a slightly higher stance. The rear end is expected to have the same design for the tail lamps and indicators. The number plate holder will move the bumper to the lid of the boot.The Hyundai Grand i10 based sedan is expected to have exactly the same interiors as the hatchback and will also have the same feature list. This means beige and black interior trim and what seem to be high quality plastics for the stalks, switches and buttons. Features such as the rear AC vents, internal hard drive, rear parking sensors and height adjustment for the driver’s seat are all likely to be offered for the Grand i10 based sedan. The top spec petrol and diesel variants are likely to get heated rear glass, arm rest for the rear passengers.
The Grand i10 based sedan will get the 1.4-litre diesel unit from the i20 premium hatchback that produces 89bhp and 219Nm of torque while the petrol unit is expected to be the 1.2-litre Kappa ngine that produces 81bhp and 114Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed AT (petrol only). It is expected to be available in all five variants that the Grand i10 is currently available in. There is also a possibility that if the Grand i10 hatchback gets a diesel AT variant, the sedan too will be offered with this option.

Price, competition and when can we expect to see it on the road
We expect that Hyundai will price the Grand i10 based sedan in the range of Rs 5.1 lakh to Rs 7.7 lakh. In this price range, it competes with the Honda Amaze, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Chevrolet Sail, Fiat Linea Classic, Ford Classic and the Toyota Etios. It is expected to bridge the gap between the Verna and the i20. The Grand i10 based sedan is likely to be unveiled at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and will be launched for the Indian market a few months later.


   Hyundai is all set to launch the Xcent compact sedan in India on the 12th of March 2014. The Xcent is based on the Grand i10 hatchback platform and has an identical front profile as that of the hatchback’s with the same headlights, grille and front bumper. The side profile is similar to that of the Grand i10 as well, right up to the C-pillar which then gives way to a boot. Around the back, the Hyundai Xcent compact sedan has a very sharply contoured rear end that gets large tail lamps that look ungainly at best. The rear bumper has straight lines and curves that lend a visual break along with a faux air diffuser and reflectors.
Inside,
     The Hyundai Xcent compact sedan will be well equipped like its hatchback sibling by sporting features such as climate control, rear parking sensors, rear view camera, cooled glovebox, keyless start/stop, rear air vents, rear centre armrest, electric folding mirrors, lots of cubby holes and storage spaces, dual tone interiors and a double-din stereo with Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB of internal storage space and steering mounted controls.
These features will no doubt make the Hyundai Xcent the most well equipped compact sedan in the country and knowing Hyundai, the car will come with a range of variants to choose from that will be placed at various price points.
Engine options for the Hyundai Xcent will include the 1.2 litre Kappa2 four cylinder petrol engine from the i20 and Grand i10 developing 84PS of power @ 6,000 rpm and 114Nm of torque 4,000 rpm. The diesel engine is the 1.1 litre three cylinder engine from the Grand 10 developing 71PS of power @ 4,000 rpm and 160Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 2,750 rpm.
   The Hyundai Xcent will take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire and Honda Amaze. The Amaze being a compact sedan and having the option of a diesel engine is the highest selling Honda in the country while the Swift DZire is currently the third highest selling car in India. As you can now understand, the Xcent has tremendous potential in the market and can do wonders for Hyundai. Its all down to pricing then for Hyundai, we expect Hyundai to price the new Xcent in the range of Rs. 5.10 lakh to Rs. 7.7 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)





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