All New Santro: Everything we know so far about Hyundai’s next-gen car

Korean auto major on Tuesday showcased a next-gen Santro, which was the company’s first product in India way back in 1998. The ‘tall boy’ was Hyundai’s most popular product name in India. The name of the new car, which will be officially launched in New Delhi on October 23, is ‘All New Santro’.

Here are the key takeaways:

— 66.6 per cent of five million voted for the name

— Six key pillars for New Santro include style, tall boy design, comfortable and premium cabin, new age technology, customer-centric safety

— Company claims mileage of 20.3 kmpl (MT/AMT)

The original Santro was launched on September 23, 1998. Two years later, set up its base in India with an investment of $614 million, which was the biggest investment to have been made by any Multinational company in the Indian automotive sector till then.

The company had invested in Sriperumbudur near Chennai, Hyundai’s largest plant outside of Korea then.

Santro, being Hyundai’s first product in India, was important for the automaker as its future in the country depended on it. Hyundai is now the second largest carmaker in India in the passenger car segment and is one of the leading exporters of cars from India.

The company roped in Shah Rukh Khan, who had just started on his journey to stardom with films like Dilwale Dulhaniya and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai as brand ambassador for the car, which was nicknamed ‘tall boy’ then.

Meanwhile, though the Santro faced stiff competition in the marketplace from the likes of the Maruti Zen and Tata Indica, its refinement, peppy engine, unusual tall boy design, well-finished and put together interiors and the friendly and helpful sales and service staff, helped the script its success story. Significantly, was almost simultaneously launched worldwide and Indian customers got the same product as the rest of the world. The then management said it showed that Hyundai cared for Indian consumers and treated them on par with the world and the car went on to become one of India’s most successful hatchbacks. The car was discontinued in December 2014.

Hyundai's All New Santro

Hyundai’s All New Santro

The car is now making a comeback in a completely new avatar, with new fashion and modern technology.

The new Santro, which will be placed between the Hyundai’s entry-level hatchback Eon and Grand i10, will take on Maruti Suzuki’s Celerio, Wagon R and Tata’s Tiago. Industry sources said the new Santro is being sold as Hyundai Atos in the international market. The new Santro will be the tallest in the segment, hence offering more headroom and better visibility for the driver.

Hyundai has been focussing on feature and quality and the upcoming Santro hatchback will be no different. Some of the Santro’s features will help it go one up on hatchback rivals, say experts.

The new Santro will be packed with new safety features like ABS (anti-lock braking system), EBD (electronic brake distribution), dual front airbags, and rear parking sensors as standard across all variants and will also feature child seat ISOFIX mounts as standard as well. The other key feature would be the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which normally comes on higher variants.

It will also be the first Hyundai to be equipped with an automated manual gearbox. An updated version of Hyundai’s 1.1-litre Epsilon petrol engine will come with a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT, both of which are claimed to have a fuel efficiency figure of 20.1 kmpl.

The new Santro will definitely have an edge over the competition with such features on board, say experts.

Before the launch of the product, the company had started creating hype and enthusiasm as part of its marketing strategy through a unique way of settling on a name for it, conducting an online poll asking fans and prospective buyers what to name it.

Talking about the Santro’s price tag in comparison to its rivals, Hyundai is expected to continue its trend of pegging its models at a slight premium.

Tata Tiago is priced between Rs 340,000 and Rs 522,000 for the petrol-manual variants, while the petrol-AMT options cost between Rs 504,000 and Rs 563,000. On the other hand, manual versions of Maruti Suzuki Celerio carry a price tag between Rs 421,000 and Rs 528,000, while the AMT-equipped models are priced between Rs 498,000 and Rs 540,000.

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