The hatchback will be the first of Hyundai's cars in India to get automatic transmission, and will also feature rear AC vents and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
Although the Santro brand was discontinued in 2014, Hyundai has decided the car needs to come back. And come back it will on October 23 in a new avatar and bearing its old name -- Hyundai Santro. This will be the first all-new model from the Korean car maker in over a year.
The Hyundai Santro will take on rivals like the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R and Maruti Suzuki Celerio, with the base variant likely to be priced starting Rs 4 lakh. Pre-bookings for the car will start on October 11 for a sum of Rs 11,100 for the first 50,000 customers. The price of the car will rise after that.
Hyundai chose the name Santro for the car, earlier codenamed AH2, after an overwhelming 66.6 percent of the 5 lakh respondents voted for it in a naming competition. The company spent $100 million in developing the hatchback.
"The all-new Santro is wider, bigger, spacious but slightly shorter than the older Santro. The car uses the same platform of Grand i10 and the existing 1.1 litre engine but tuned up for better performance," said YK Koo, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Hyundai Motor India.
The new Santro will come with a 1.1-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine producing a peak power of 69 PS. Mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, the car will also get an automatic transmission option with the AMT gearbox. The car will also be available in CNG-petrol variants.
The hatchback will be the first of Hyundai's cars in India to get automatic transmission. The AMT is also the first to be developed by an original equipment manufacturer in-house. Both Maruti and Tata also offer it but both their AMTs are sourced from a supplier. Hyundai hopes that at least 30 percent of Santro buyers will chose the AMT version.
Claiming a fuel efficiency of 20.3 km/litre, Hyundai says the car has been tested for 7,750 km at speeds of 150 km/hr. The car has also been driven in temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius and as low as -10 degrees Celsius, and at elevations of 2,084 meters.
In terms of features, the Santro will sport a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The car will also be the first in the segment to sport rear AC vents.
ABS and airbags will come standard across all variants. Reverse parking sensors are made available on all trims while the top-end variants also receive a rear parking camera.
Hyundai says that the new petrol engine is compliant with Bharat Stage VI emission norms. With the norms slated to come into effect from April, 2020, the Santro will also be Hyundai's first car that is BS-VI compatible. Moreover, it will be made only in India and will be exported to other markets similar to India.
The rural and semi-rural markets will be major sources of buyers for the Santro, with Hyundai officials hoping that buyers from this segmentwill make up 50-60 percent of the total sales of the car.Hyundai hopes to sell 8,000-10,000 units of the car in the domestic market every month and export an additional 2,500 units a month. The market in which the Santro is competing is 30,000-units-a-month market, with the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R alone accounting for half of that.