Indian publication Rushlane has snagged photos of Hyundai's latest car, a small SUV-esque crossover called the Hyundai i20 Active, which is due to be revealed and launched internationally in March 2015.
Built on the new-generation Hyundai i20 platform and featuring raised suspension and plastic-clad flared wheel arches, the i20 Active is expected to compete against the likes of Volkswagen's CrossPolo and Fiat Panda Cross in international markets — neither of which are offered for sale in Australia.
The i20 Active is expected to sit around 30mm higher than the standard i20 and will only be produced in front-wheel drive form, which is strange given its posture and design.
Under the bonnet, the i20 Active will feature 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, mated to five- and six-speed manual gearboxes respectively.
It's entirely possible that the i20 Active will not make it to Australia, at least for the short term, given the supply issue on the new-generation i20 on which it is based.
While there is enough stock from Hyundai's Indian factory to supply Australia with the current (now superseded in Europe) i20 until the end of 2015, the fate of Hyundai Australia's 2016-model i20 supply is still up in the air due to the increased cost of importing the model from its new production base in Turkey.
CarAdvice spoke with Hyundai Australia public relations general manager, Bill Thomas, regarding the i20 late last year.
“We’ll see the existing car through 2015 being Indian sourced, they will still build it for us,” Thomas said.
“It gives us time to work out the price equation on the new car, and it’s difficult because we have to source the car from Turkey.
“The [new-generation] car that will be built in India, isn’t the car we’re after. It has some different specifications on it that aren’t suitable for us, so we don’t have the option of taking it from there.
“It’s a lot more beneficial price-wise to take it from India, obviously, the economics make more sense, however the option is not available to us.”
The i20 Active is built in India and it is likely that it will suffer from the same specification issues the i20 faces. This could force Hyundai to look at sourcing the vehicle from its Turkish operation, potentially.
We have contacted Hyundai Australia for comment regarding the i20 Active and the possibility of it making its way to Australia and will provide an update as soon as it is received.
Click on the Photos tab to see the rest of the Hyundai i20 Active gallery.