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The Korean car manufacturer and the country’s second largest car maker, Hyundai Motors has showcased its own concept of an MUV/MPV, the Hexa Space at the 2012 Auto Expo held in Delhi. The Hexa Space MUV concept had the world debut at the Auto Expo and going by the exterior looks of the vehicle, it looks stunning. The design concept reflects the new Hyundai’s Fluidic sculpture design and the essence of Hyundai’s “New Thinking, New Possibilities”. Code-named HND-7, the Fluidic design is very prominently visible with its bold character lines on the side panels. The vehicle features eight slim, hexagonally shaped seats that fit together like puzzle pieces, maximizing internal space while minimizing vehicle width.

The Hexa Space concept is powered by Hyundai’s 1.2-litre, turbocharged Kappa GDi engine which is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. In terms of dimensions, the Hexa Space measures 4300 mm in length, 1820 mm in width and 1647 mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 275 0mm and rides on 19-inch tires. Though many details about the vehicles are still not available, yet what we know is that the interior of the vehicle boasts of loads of features like a touch-screen center console, a push-button shifter and a cluster ionizer air purifier. The rear doors lift out and slide back, creating wide-open entry on each side. Obviously most features will vanish as the Hexa Space goes from concept to production.

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There is no doubt that Hyundai wants to become the number one car manufacturer in India. The company is more successful at selling bigger cars than Maruti Suzuki, which is the current market leader. Currently Hyundai has found success in the A segment with the Eon/Santro, B/B+ segment with the i10/i20, C-segment with the Verna and the SUV segment with the Santa Fe. The Korean automaker plans to unleash an all out attack in every other segment including the D-segment, where it has already announced the new Sonata. The growing MPV segment is where every manufacturer has their eyes set and Hyundai wants a chunk of the pie too. Currently the Toyota Innova has enjoyed monopoly, since its launch in 2005. Things are all set to change now as Maruti Suzuki starts selling the Ertiga, GM brings in the Chevrolet SAIC MPV and Nissan launch the Evalia.

Where does Hyundai fit in between this? The company does plan to manufacture the Hexa Space and the Auto Expo unveiling was done to gauge customer response to the product. Hyundai has alot of advantage when it comes to producing new vehicles at a cost as the company uses the powertrains in other vehicles already, giving them the economies of scale. The Hexa Space will almost certainly run on diesel power, which in most likely hood would be the 1.6-litre diesel unit found in the Verna. With a expected price of around Rs. 10-12 lakhs, the Hexa Space has what it takes to take the challenge to the Toyota Innova. The MPV market all of a sudden starts to look like the most lucrative segment in the Indian automobile space!

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