Hyundai Eon has been launched in India. The wraps are off the much-awaited entry-level small car from Hyundai India. Hyundai Eon, is the South Korean car maker’s challenge to Maruti’s Alto, the current bestseller in the segment in India.
Hyundai said Eon was conceived, designed and produced exclusively for the Indian market. It will enter the Indian roads at a starting price of Rs 2.69 lakh to Rs 3.71 lakh ex-showroom Delhi. Eon sports Hyundai’s new ‘Fluidic’ design philosophy.
Although Hyundai Eon is positioned against Maruti Suzuki Alto, the car promises a lot more than what the latter offers. “There is no car that is comparable with Eon. Yes, it is an entry-level car but with no compromise. It is a very spacious car with a large boot - something that you get only in bigger cars. And most importantly it doesn’t compromise on style,” said Arvind Saxena, Hyundai India sales & marketing director.
Alto is sold at Rs 2.32 lakh (base variant ex-showroom price Delhi). While Alto may be the nearest rival to Eon, the company said the comparison is not really oranges to oranges as Eon comes with a number of high-end features. With an 814 cc engine, Eon promises a mileage of 21.1 km. Eon compares with Alto in length (3.5 metre), but is wider and taller by 75 mm and 40 mm, respectively. The engine gives a power of 54 bhp and a maximum torque of 4000rpm.
Asked if it would not cannibalise its successful and only slightly higher priced Santro (Santro base price is Rs 2.80 lakh in Delhi), Saxena said, “The Eon will expand our market share by cannibalising into our competitors’ products. Santro is positioned very differently from the Eon. We have no plans of withdrawing the Santro when it is doing so well.”
Eon appears to score over its rivals with features that one sees only in bigger cars, like keyless entry, driver air bags, front power windows, fog lamps, central locking, two-tone interiors. “Eon is targeted at the first time buyer who is young, who has just started earning. It is also targeted at the young family that is looking for its first car,” Saxena added.
The Eon project director YH Song said that the car, the smallest ever produced by the company, was in the making for the past four years. The sporty design and the functional interiors of the final product were the result of a series of interactions the company’s global R&D officials have had with National Institute of Design, Indian auto journalists, renowned Indian auto designer Dilip Chhabria and a number of other designers.