Sunday, 21 August 2011

Hyundai i45 - testing goes on in Chennai

Hyundai continues testing the D Segment i45 (Sonata in other markets) around Chennai. What amazes us is Hyundai testing the white mule with no camouflage. They haven’t duct-taped the GDi (Gasoline Direct Injection) badge either. The i45 was used on the “New Thinking – New Possibilities” TV ad campaign and that could be a reason why they don’t believe in secrecy.
Hyundai i45 rearHyundai i45 rear testing
The i45′s segment is also seeing a change in fuel preference. Many people are opting for diesel. VW Group’s Superb and Passat sales are mostly bought in diesel, the latter is not even offered with a petrol engine. The Toyota Camry continues to be bought by NRI’s who are in love with it.

Test mule spotters say it looks like a magnified Verna with an increase in loudness in design expression. The i45′s graceful design will be the i45′s standout highlight but missing a diesel engine and being imported mean it may only assume the role of brand shaper.

The kind of car the i45/i40/Sonata is and what it has done to Hyundai’s brand image in America and Europe, it will be a shame if it scripts a tale similar to the Suzuki Kizashi here. The lack of a diesel engine and lofty sticker price could put it in the Kizashi’s basket.
Can we expect Hyundai to launch the i45 at the Auto Expo in Delhi next January?

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