Hyundai too plans to join the new crossover segment by offering a beefed up Elite i20 with higher ground clearance, rough black body cladding and new alloy wheels to differentiate the model from the regular hatch version.

Hyundai Elite i20 Cross Spy Shot
The Elite i20 Cross will carry over engine options from the regular i20

Guess who decided to join the bandwagon! Apparently Hyundai India too is interested in the newly found hatchback-SUV crossover segment as a roughed-up version of the Elite i20 was spotted on test near Chennai. The new generation Elite i20 hatchback has been comprehensively redesigned and engineered at the company’s facility in Germany and was launched in August in the country, while the European version made its public debut at the Paris Motor Show that concluded earlier this month. Definitely something we weren’t expecting, an i20 Crossover might not be a bad idea to begin with.

As seen in the spy shots, the Hyundai Elite i20 Cross had a beefed up profile with considerably higher ground clearance, silver finished roof rails, black body claddings on the sides and wheel arches as well as new alloy wheels. We also expect the front and rear bumper to be revised for a more distinguished look compared to the regular hatchback version. In terms of engine options, the i20 Cross will borrow the existing powertrain including the 1.2-litre petrol producing 83 PS and 115 Nm of torque, paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Diesel power on the other hand comes from the 1.4-litre CRDi engine producing 90 PS and 220 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Considering the segment involves minimum development investment, while offering maximum profits, the Elite i20 Cross could be a smart addition to Hyundai’s India portfolio. The Cross version could most likely be positioned on top of the i20 lineup and will come packed with all the bells and whistles. The automaker could also offer some Cross specific tech on-board, while a firmed up suspension set-up to tackle rough roads will be highly appreciated. Do not expect full blown off-roading skills though, as is the case with most models in this segment.

Certainly, Toyota’s surprise hit the Etios Cross has given way to a lot of new possibilities in the segment as the i20 will have to compete against the Volkswagen Cross Polo, Fiat Avventura and the Ford EcoSport in the same range. Even though Hyundai will be bringing the ix25 compact SUV next year that competes against the Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano, the Elite i20 Cross will help fill up the void left in the sub 4-metre compact SUV space. With the launch expected in 2015, we will keep you updated with more details on the new crossover.

Hyundai Elitei20 Cross Spy Shot Rear
Changes include revised bumpers, raised ground clearance, roof rails, alloy wheels

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