Hyundai’s new-gen i20 hatchback was spied testing on Indian roads well ahead of its global debut
South Korean automaker Hyundai released the official first images of its upcoming i20 hatchback (or ‘supermini’ in European terms) in February. The car was supposed to make its physical debut at 2020 Geneva International Motor Show in March but as you may have heard, the prestigious automotive event was cancelled due to a potential COVID-19 scare. The organisers made the right choice as countries across the world are currently fighting against the pandemic with all their resources.
COVID-19 has spread its damage beyond the health of mankind and brought several industries to a near standstill. Automobiles are one of them. India is inching towards its fifth stage of lockdown protocols and in the meantime, businesses (including automotive facilities such as plants, dealerships, service outlets, etc.) in green and orange COVID-19 zones have opened under controlled conditions. Hyundai Motor India has also restarted its operations and we expect the brand to launch the next-gen i20 in the near future.
Over the months, the 2020MY Hyundai i20 was spotted on multiple occasions around the globe (especially South Korea) in both heavily camouflaged test mule and production-spec avatars. In fact, it was spied on Indian roads well before its global intro. Hence, one can understand how Hyundai prioritises our market.
Here is another undisguised market-ready 2020MY Hyundai i20 from abroad; this time in Sleek Silver. At least in its European format, the car comes in four new colour choices: Intense Blue, Aurora Gray, Aqua Turquoise and Brass. The remaining shades include Polar White, Phantom Black, Dragon Red, Tomato Red, Slate Blue and of course, Sleek Silver.
For the very first time, the Hyundai i20 is receiving an ‘N’ treatment as well. Powered by a 1.6-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder motor, the 2020MY Hyundai i20 N packs 201bhp and 260Nm of torque — making it the most powerful factory-spec i20 ever made.
On the other hand, the regular India-spec Hyundai i20 would be offered in three powertrains, (possibly in the Venue’s configuration): 82bhp/113Nm 1.2-litre NA petrol, 118bhp/173Nm 1.0-litre turbo petrol and 99bhp/240Nm 1.5-litre diesel. A 6-speed manual transmission comes as standard while the turbo petrol variant comes with a 7-speed DCT too.
With sharp styling characteristics, segment-first features and better practicality, the 2020 Hyundai i20 could be a strong rival to the Tata Altroz, Volkswagen Polo, Maruti Suzuki Baleno and Honda Jazz. It remains unknown whether Hyundai Motor India would ditch the ‘Elite’ tag.