20100925

Hyundai launches the i10 Face-Lift in India

Being at the top is a tough act, more so in automotive industry, as rivals would be waiting to leapfrog you, once they find you napping. That explains why Maruti-Suzuki, the undisputed numero uno in Indian passenger car industry, unveiled face-lifted versions of most of it's best sellers in the past few months. When they are doing so, can you expect the second largest auto manufacturer in India, to be calm? Nope, and they have responded with this - The all-new next-gen Hyundai i10.

Whatever Hyundai likes to call it, it actually is a mild face-lift of Hyundai's bread and butter model, the i10. Launched in 2007, the i10 has been a runaway success for Hyundai, both in India and in many export markets, notably Europe. It not only became a favorite of the masses, but also with the critics and garnered an entire gamut of awards including the 2008 ICOTY award. So, when such a car is being face lifted, it is sure to hit headlines.

As far as the design is concerned, the front sports Hyundai's now-familiar corporate hexagonal grille with a chrome lip housing the slanted 'H' logo. This, combined with the honey-comb mesh grille, makes the car look aggressive and sporty. Those who preferred the cute looks of the present car may not like it though. The profile has some subtle yet significant changes like new badging, turn signals incorporated in rear-view mirrors in all Kappa versions and body colored side molding. The rear is virtually unchanged except for the protruding taillights and bumper with sharp reflectors on either sides. Overall, the redesign has made the car look more mature and upmarket.

Hyundai seems to have tweaked the engines too with smart alternators and pistons with a special coating aimed at increasing the fuel efficiency. Remarkably, variable valve timing technology (VTVT) has been introduced, which is a segment-first. Features like reverse parking sensors, power and heated mirrors, digital fuel gauge, gear shift indicator, steering mounted audio controls and blue-tooth functionality apart from the existing features like ABS and Dual Airbags makes the i10 a fully loaded car. Also, the availability of two engine options (iRDE2 & Kappa2) and manual and automatic transmission variants make the i10 range quite formidable.

On the whole, the face-lifted i10 is all set to regain its tag of second largest selling car in India, which it lost in the past couple of months, until the competition springs some surprises.

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