Disclaimer - Contents of this article are purely speculative and corresponding actual developments are cases of coincidence.
With diesel engines taking over every segment, Hyundai won't be watching from the sidelines. General Motors was quick to bring in the diesel edition of the Beat giving them a head start in the A-Segment hatchback race. With a well planned pricing strategy and great fuel economy, it gave them better volumes.
Maruti Suzuki has reportedly said that they are waiting for the 1-liter diesel engine derived from the Punto's Multi-jet. The tiny oil-burner is a great partner for the Wagon R and other recipients could be the Zen Estilo and the next generation mini car to challenge the Eon.
The message is clear - Diesel is the way forward and no manufacturer can overlook it. Marketing the savings of a petrol engine for the sparsely used mini car isn't on their agenda anymore as rival companies have turned their focus on developing a micro-diesel to be future-ready. No one wants to be left out in this race. Consumers are demanding for diesel engine irrespective of the vehicle size or monthly running. Its better to offer the choice than to believe that demand will not rise.
Which brings us to the next generation i10. Talking to IndianAutosBlog late last year, Hyundai India boss Mr HW Park said a diesel engined i10 would take about two years to reach completion. Hyundai has said time and again that dropping a diesel engine into the current i10 is not an option. The company is investing in a diesel engine plant and the first engines could roll out in the next couple of years.
The logical conclusion then is the diesel i10 is part of the i10 successor model line likely to hit the market in 2013. An educated guess a three-cylinder CRDI producing about 60bhp under the hood. An engine of this size has fantastic fuel efficiency, returning close to 25kmpl. Hyundai also talks about a 1.1-liter CRDI engine producing 75PS/156Nm on its website for the current i10. This is another option to contend with. They however have no production plans for this engine right now.
Hyundai has the option of building a successor to the age-old Accent on the same platform. The Accent has toiled long and hard and numbers are exceptional for a petrol car. The Etios, Manza and Swift Dzire are mopping up the numbers and it is surprising that Hyundai's been a silent spectator. A sub-4 meter sedan along the lines of the Fluidic Verna is our suggestion for a reply.
Shoeb R Kalania draws inspiration from the new generation Hyundais like the i30 that was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this year in his rendering. The stance has turned from up-right to a more relaxed and slopey one. Hyundai has to develop the car within strict limits as to not cannibalize into the i20.
Upon the BA's introduction, Hyundai has to take the tough call on whether to retire the i10 or run it alongside.