Hyundai begins testing Aura sedan for capabilities in Indian conditions
Hyundai Motor India is gearing up for its next big launch in the country and expects to take the battle in the compact sedan segment right to the doorstep of rivals. The company is betting big on Aura - the next generation Xcent - to stamp its dominance in a segment that also features the highly-popular Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Honda Amaze, Ford Aspire and the Volkswagen Ameo.
The Korean carmarker recently announced that it had begun testing the Aura for its strengths and capabilities on Indian roads and conditions from its plant Sriperumbudur. The flag off for the test vehicle was on Thursday (November 14) and will see Aura traveling from peninsular India, the deserts, to the Himalayas and along the eastern coastlines. "The great drive across India is aimed to make this sedan an outperformer and appropriate for the diverse Indian conditions fulfilling every customer’s needs," the company said in a statement.
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The name Aura itself seeks to create a vibrancy of positivity, as per the company. As such, the car may be specifically targeted towards a young audience with small families and looking to graduate from their smaller vehicles. Aura is expected to come with big design changes over the Xcent and get LED DRLs, chrome insets, 15-inch alloys among other visual highlights.
On the inside, the car may borrow from the Grand i10 NIOS and have an eight-inch infotainment screen, automatic climate control, rear AC vents, leather-wrapped steering wheels and even wireless charging.
Reports suggest that Aura may get the same 1.2-litre petrol motor that does the rounds on the i10 NIOS and it is certain that this would be complaint with BS6 norms set to kick in from April of 2020. Clarity about the diesel engine, if the option is presented at all, is missing.
The battle in the compact sedan segment has been quite intense and even though the Dzire has led by quite a bit, Honda upped its game with the updated Amaze and VW bringing in the Ameo at a competitive price point. Xcent may have been looking a tad jaded in recent months and the Aura upgrade could blow much-needed life into it.