Hyundai India VP, Rakesh Shrivastava, said in his interview with us (Look out for this month’s issue of OVERDRIVE for the complete interview) that the carmaker wants to have a presence in every booming passenger car segment in India. This includes the MPV category and at the 2014 Auto Expo, Hyundai India made its intentions clear with the first insight into that direction being the Hexa Space concept. Hyundai has shown similar concepts in the past, but this one is headed for production and India is one of its primary markets.
What you see here is our impression of what Hyundai’s production spec people-carrier could look like. Codenamed ‘IP’, it will be cut from the same fabric as the i20 twins and the Creta and will therefore wear a similar angular design theme. From the spy shots, it looks like the face will get a long-browed headlight design and a subtle three-slat chrome embellished grille similar to the one seen on the Creta. The IP is likely to use the same wheelbase as the compact SUV, with a slightly longer body to accommodate the third row of seats. The test mule uses the 16-inch wheels from the i20. Suspension will comprise MacPherson struts with coil springs at the front and a torsion beam axle with coil springs at the rear. We expect the ground clearance to be in the range of 190-200mm. Compared to the i20 and Creta, the IP will feature more pronounced wheel arches, but subtler character lines. The glasshouse seems to be generously sized and the rear windows seem significantly larger than the hatchback and SUV siblings. A quarter-glass extension over the C-pillar will act as a window for the third row and at the front, another quarter glass will bisect the A-pillar to aid corner visibility for the front row. At the back, expect the lights to follow a boomerang shape as seen on the Hexa Space concept.
The cabin could have a familiar layout too. We expect it to be largely similar to the Creta rather than the i20 and the blues and browns to be swapped for a more conventional black and beige colour combination, giving the cabin an airy feel. It’s most likely to do away with the concept’s eight seater honeycomb arrangement for the seats and settle for the more conventional seven seats instead.
The IP too could come with 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre diesel options. And if Hyundai decides to include a petrol as well, then the 1.4-litre VTVT too. An automatic on the 1.6 CRDi diesel variant is also a possibility. The IP could benefit from the Creta and i20’s long feature list and we hope to see the six airbags making it to the people carrier.
We expect to the see the IP in its final production trim by early to mid 2016. Hyundai has already made the necessary changes to its plant to accommodate the new platform that underpins the Creta and the IP. With other ASEAN regions like Indonesia and Malaysia being strong MPV markets, the IP could be exported from India as well. Expect the pricing for the MPV to be in the Rs 8 to 13 lakh range which makes it a natural rival to the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, the Honda Mobilio, the Renault Lodgy and the upcoming Chevrolet Spin.