The Hyundai i20 Cross will be positioned between the current i20 and the Verna in Hyundai’s portfolio while the upcoming ix25 SUV will be positioned above the Verna in the Korean’s automaker’s growing line-up.
A new segment of pseudo crossovers is emerging in India and the trend was started by Skoda when it launched the now discontinued Fabia Scout. In spite of the Fabia itself being a huge failure in the sub-continent, Skoda’s parents Volkswagen didn’t hesitate to bring the Cross Polo to the country, sales of the German hatchback being not at all overwhelming. In spite of all that, Toyota launched the Etios Cross which does well to mask the ugly and bland design of the ‘made for emerging market’ vehicle.
The next car to join the bandwagon was the Fiat Avventura which is more truthful to the concept of a pseudo crossover and isn’t merely a hatchback with more muscular body panels. Seeing this new segment evolve, Hyundai too plans to launch a cross version of the Elite i20 hatchback and for the time being, we shall call it the i20 Cross. Set to be launched in the first half of 2015, the said vehicle was spotted multiple times on test already.
We went ahead and rendered the vehicle and it does look good, with an all-round black body cladding, faux scuff plates, aluminium roof rails and a more muscular bumper. Expect an increase in ground clearance as well. The new i20 draws inspiration from Hyundai’s Fluidic V2.0 philosophy which is somehow more suited to UVs, thus the i20 Cross looks more purposeful than the hatchback.
The Hyundai i20 Cross will draw power from the same set of engines (1.2-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel) and although it will grow in width and height, the length will remain the same, ducking under the 4-metre mark for excise duty benefits. In typical Hyundai fashion, the car will get a plethora of features and maybe Hyundai could equip it with things which went missing from the last generation model like side airbags, rear disc brakes and a sunroof.
Expected to be priced at a premium of Rs. 50,000/- over the Elite hatchback, the upcoming i20 Cross is sure to find buyers. Seeing the success or at least a moderate demand for such a body style, Maruti Suzuki too plans to launch a rugged version of one of its hatchbacks, we are betting it to be the Swift.