Hyundai continues testing the D Segment i45 (Sonata in other markets) around Chennai. The latest pictures sent in by our reader Vasanth alias Killen Vassy is helpful in proving that.
What amazes us is Hyundai testing the white mule with no camouflage. They haven't duct-taped the GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) badge either. The i45 was used on the "New Thinking - New Possibilities" TV ad campaign and that could be a reason why they don't believe in secrecy.
The i45's segment is also seeing a change in fuel preference. Many people are opting for diesel. VW Group's Superb and Passat sales are mostly bought in diesel, the latter is not even offered with a petrol engine. The Toyota Camry continues to be bought by NRI's who are in love with it.
Many IAB readers like Sarun have spotted the i45 testing on the highway Chennai-Bangalore highway say it looks like a magnified Verna with an increase in loudness in design expression. The i45's graceful design will be the i45's standout highlight but missing a diesel engine and being imported mean it may only assume the role of brand shaper.
The kind of car the i45/i40/Sonata is and what it has done to Hyundai's brand image in America and Europe, it will be a shame if it scripts a tale similar to the Suzuki Kizashi here. The lack of a diesel engine and lofty sticker price could put it in the Kizashi's basket.
Can we expect Hyundai to launch the i45 at the Auto Expo in Delhi next January?