After dominating the compact SUV segment with the Creta, Hyundai is now working towards entering the sub-compact/sub-4m SUV space with an SUV based on the Carlino concept, which is set to be launched in 2019. The Carlino concept made its global premiere at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. The production-spec model (codenamed: HND 14) will see the light of day in the first-half of 2019. It will go up against the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Tata Nexon and Mahindra’s upcoming sub-4 metre SUV, codenamed the S201. The production-spec sub-4m SUV is expected to be powered by Hyundai’s 1.0-litre T-GDi petrol engine, which is a downsized turbo motor with direct injection. Meanwhile, Ford will also reintroduce the 1.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine on the EcoSport in May 2018.
Being a sub-4m offering, it is fairly easy to assume that the Carlino-based SUV will also share its powertrain options with the refreshed Elite i20. So, the 1.4-litre diesel (with a 6-speed manual) along with the 1.2-litre petrol (with a 5-speed manual) engines should join the list alongside the 1.0-litre turbo petrol. The upcoming SUV powered by the turbo petrol motor should be offered with Hyundai’s 7-speed dual-clutch auto, a combo that Hyundai recently introduced with the Euro-spec i20 facelift. So, why a 7-speed DCT and not a CVT that the Elite i20 will soon get?
Before we answer that, it is worth noting that sub-4m SUVs that are designed from the ground up get petrol engines that are more powerful than conventional premium hatchbacks. To put things into perspective, both the Nexon and the EcoSport, the only two petrol powered sub-4m SUVs, feature engines that produce well over 100PS. That’s because these sub-compact SUVs are heavier when compared to premium hatchbacks and a naturally aspirated (NA) petrol engine with a capacity not greater than 1.2-litre to avail the government’s excise benefits would feel sluggish in them.
While Hyundai could offer the 1.2-litre NA engine for the entry-level variants to keep the SUV’s prices competitive, the automatic version should offer the 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with 7-speed DCT instead of 1.2-litre NA with CVT. That would make it compete with the most expensive and popular sub-4m SUV, the EcoSport equipped with the 1.5-litre petrol automatic, which is priced at Rs 11.35 lakh (ex-showroom). Hyundai is known for packing its cars with loads of equipment and is likely to offer more goodies with the turbo petrol version, just like what Ford is set to do with the upcoming EcoSport S variant, which will come with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol motor.
In the Euro-spec i20, Hyundai’s 1.0-litre turbo petrol motor is available in two states of tune – 100PS and 120PS – while the torque output is identical at 172Nm. The 120PS version is mated to a 6-speed manual whereas the 100PS version is offered with either a 7-speed DCT or 5-speed manual. The Ecoboost motor on the EcoSport S, for instance, is expected to produce 125PS and 170Nm and be mated to a 6-speed manual.
The 7-speed DCT should also give the Hyundai SUV the upper hand as none of the sub-4m SUVs in the marker offer the same right now. The refreshed EcoSport powered by the 1.5-litre petrol is the only model here that offers a conventional 6-speed AT with paddle shifters. Tata recently launched the Nexon AMT with both the petrol and diesel engine options.
Although Hyundai is a bit late to the sub-4 metre SUV party, a powerful 1.4-litre diesel, an entry-level 1.2-litre petrol along with a sportier 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine with the option of a dual clutch gearbox could help the manufacturer gain ground in a cut-throat segment.
Source: Car Dekho
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