Will be positioned below Creta; may get i20’s 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo-petrol engine.
Codenamed as Hyundai QXi, the Carlino sub-4 metre SUV concept was previewed at the 2016 Auto Expo early this year. It is reported that the production model of this car will roll out of the assembly-line in two years time, probably by early 2019. Although the concept was conceived at the company’s Namyang design center in Korea, the production-spec model will bear more than 60 percent of R & D inputs from Hyundai’s team based in India.
The production-spec Carlino is expected to be an India-specific model, locally assembled in Hyundai’s existing Chennai-plant, along with exports to other markets in the region. Once ready, the car will be positioned below the Creta, catering to the sub-compact SUV segment. It will take on likes of Tata Nexon, new Ford EcoSport, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, and Mahindra TUV300. By the time the Carlino enters the market in 2019, Volkswagen’s Polo-based compact crossover and Jeep’s sub-compact SUV are likely to be ready as well.
Design wise, the Carlino-based tiny SUV is likely to retain the concept’s urban-centric silhouette and proportions, with its futuristic-looking styling elements toned-down to render a more-pragmatic impression. It is expected to share a lot of mechanical components and interior elements from the i20 range. Hyundai may offer fancy infotainment connectivity features with this car, thereby making it a value-loaded model to woo buyers in the segment.
It is also reported that the Carlino will debut the 1.0-liter T-GDI Kappa petrol engine – a 998 cc MPI unit (used in Hyundai Eon) with added single-scroll turbocharger and enhanced mapping for optimum performance. It is already offered in Euro-spec i20 range in two power tunes – 100 PS and 120 PS, with 171.6 Nm of max torque. The 1.4-litre U2 CRDi turbo-diesel engine is also expected to be in the list, along with 6-speed manual and 5-speed AMT transmission options.
But two years is a lot of time, and Hyundai is yet to open-up on the details and specifications of the production-spec Carlino sub-compact SUV.
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