Update: Hyundai has sent the pre-facelift i30 diesel to ARAI for testing. The compact hatchback was spied undergoing road testing by ARAI recently. Image gallery at the end of the story updated with new spy shots.
21 November 2018 -
It's clear from the lack of any sort of camouflage that Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) is not evaluating the i30 for a local market launch. The company is using the imported hatchback for testing parts.
For the uninitiated, the '1.6D' badge on the tailgate could suggest that the car is powered by the 1.6-litre U CRDi turbo-diesel motor that is available in three power-tunes: 95 PS, 110 PS, and 136 PS. To the contrary, the company seems to be testing its 1.5-litre turbo-diesel engine in the third-gen i30. The new motor will be compliant with BSVI emission norms and is set to make its local debut in the Maruti Vitara Brezza-rivalling Styx (QXi) next year. The engine will output a maximum power of 115 hp along with a peak torque of 250 Nm.
The new oil-burner would next make it to the Hyundai Verna facelift, followed by the next-gen Creta and the third-gen i20. The same motor will be seen on the production-spec Kia SP in mid-2019, and the Kia mini SUV that follows in 2020.
Hyundai has evaluated i30 for India and had showcased it at the Auto Expo 2016. It is a no-go for the Indian market as the hatchback's price estimate is what India likes to pay for a premium SUV like the Hyundai Creta.
Traditionally, Indian car buyers have shied away from expensive large hatchbacks from non-luxury car brands, and there have been non-performers in that category as well, like the BMW 1 Series. Large hatchbacks have remained a niche segment in India, with the most affordable being the Mercedes A-Class with a sticker price of INR 29.9 lakh (ex-showroom price, New Delhi).
[Image Source: rushlane.com]