Hyundai i30 has been spied on test once again, but this time it is on test by ARAI
The Hyundai i30 premium hatchback has already been spotted on test in India on a few occasions. It was assumed that the prototype vehicle is currently being used to test out a sub-system or a powertrain to be used in one of Hyundai’s future Indian portfolio.
A set of new spyshots of the Hyundai i30 reveal that the hatchback is currently being tested by ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India). This strongly suggests that vehicle is currently undergoing homologation process to be launched in the country.
It is to be noted that Hyundai India has made no announcements regarding the introduction of i30. The South Korean automaker is gearing up to introduce the recently unveiled 2020 i20 hatchback in the country. The larger i30, if launched, would have no direct rivals in India.
With an estimated price range of INR 10-12 lakh (ex-showroom), the Hyundai i30 premium hatchback will be in the same ballpark as the new Creta. Considering that the prospective customers in this price segment are heavily inclined towards crossovers, we don’t see a strong potential for the i30 despite offering a well rounded package.
In Europe, the Hyundai i30 competes with the likes of VW Golf, Peugeot 308, Skoda Scala, etc, and has managed to shoulder-to-shoulder with its rivals. Automakers have traditionally steered clear of pricey hatchback segment in India. So, it would be interesting to see how the i30 will do here, that too with conventional powertrain.
The prototype that is being tested by ARAI wears the 1.6D badge thereby leaving us with no doubts about the power unit. The four-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit is available in two states of tune – 115 hp and 136 hp. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual unit or a 7-speed dual-clutch unit. In Europe, the hatchback is also available with 1.4-liter naturally aspirated petrol and 1.0-liter turbocharged petrol engines.
If the plan to launch a pricey hatchback which is longer than 4m sounds like an odd decision, then going with a diesel engine in BS6 era is odder. So, until Hyundai India makes any official announcement or drops heavy hints, the implications of these spyshots should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Hyundai India’s primary focus post the lockdown would be to maximize the potential of newly introduced Creta crossover and Verna sedan before introducing the eagerly awaited i20 hatchback. Any other new product introduction is likely take a back seat as of now.