Hyundai Eon launched in India

11 long years after its launch, 5 years after it became India's largest selling car, 1 year since it became the largest selling nameplate in the world, Maruti-Suzuki's Alto finally has a competitor that it needs to worry about. Unsurprisingly, it is Hyundai Motor India, the same company which successfully ended Maruti-Suzuki's stronghold in India in the B segment 13 years back, which is at it again, this time in the A segment. The all-new Eon, Hyundai's smallest and cheapest car yet globally, made its world premiere in India on Oct-13-2011 amidst soaring expectations.

The Eon was designed and developed at Hyundai's Namyang R&D Center in Korea with a lot of inputs from the Indian R&D center in Hyderabad. The Eon follows the company's famous 'Fluidic Sculpture' design philosophy with swooping headlamps, hexagonal grille, lots of character lines in the profile and upswept rear windows. From the front, the Eon looks so similar to the i10, Verna and other new Hyundai models across the globe. The profile looks a wee bit over-designed with a lot of curves while the car looks terrific from the rear with huge comma shaped taillamps lending a touch of character. Overall, the Eon is beautifully designed and makes the Alto look very old.

The Eon is powered by a 3 cylinder, 0.8 liter iRDE engine that churns out 56 PS of maximum power and 76.5 Nm of maximum torque. Hyundai claims that the ARAI approved fuel efficiency figure for the Eon is 21.1 kmpl. The car is being offered in six colors with six variants priced between 2.69 Lacs INR and 3.71 Lacs INR. The base D-Lite variant is just a bare-bones automobile with not even AC and power steering being offered while the top-end Sportz variant comes loaed with tilt steering, driver airbag, central locking and audio system with USB and iPod connectivity, many of them segment-firsts, apart from the regular features like AC, power steering and front power windows.

While the Hyundai Eon has all the right ingredients to become a big success, the only factor is its price, that is slightly more expensive than the Alto. Though it looks every bit worth the extra money that it asks, the customers in this segment of the market are extremely price sensitive. Will they find the Eon attractive enough to overcome the premium that they need to shell out to own one or will they continue to patronize the Alto owing to its cheaper price and better service network? The answer remains to be seen.

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