Korean car maker Hyundai launched its third SUV model for India, the Tucson for a starting price of Rs 18.99 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. The SUV range of India's second largest car maker is set to grow further with the launch of another SUV in 2019.
"We aim to launch an entry level SUV in the first half of 2019. It will be below Creta. So, we will have four SUVs in our product range," Hyundai Motor India Ltd MD & CEO YK Koo told reporters in Delhi on the sidelines of Tucson launch.
The sub 4-metre SUV will go up against Maruti Suzuki's popular Vitara Brezza compact SUV under Rs 10 lakh category. Hyundai showcased the HND-14 Carlino concept at Auto Expo 2016, and it has been considered as the base for the compact SUV. Reports say the production version will sport a design in line with the i30 hatchback and the compact SUV will also take design cues from the just launched Tucson.
Hyundai's new SUV is expected to be based on the stretched i10 platform and the vehicle will share many parts of i20 and the Creta. The production-spec will be Hyundai's first project from its Indian R&D centre in Hyderabad. Apart from borrowing the engine of the i20, the compact SUV is also expected to come with 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine. This engine likely to develop 118bhp and that will make the SUV slightly performance biased. The three-cylinder unit is already employed in international spec i20 models. Hyundai believes a strong mid-range torque of the turbo will be essential for the compact SUV.
The company has already said that it plans to introduce its first Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)-equipped car in 2018, indicating that the 1.0-litre engine might be coupled with AMT transmission.
With the arrival of entry-level SUV, Hyundai's Indian SUV portfolio will be expanded to four models others being, Creta, Tucson and Santa Fe. Apart from Vitara Brezza, Hyundai compact SUV will go up against the Ford EcoSport and Mahindra TUV300.