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South Korean carmaker Hyundai is working on a low-cost version of the Santro hatchback to take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Alto, claims a new report by Autocar India. The new entry-level hatchback from Hyundai, claims the report, will be stripped of many of the features found on the Santro to help keep the costs down as the Korean carmaker looks to target the entry level car buyer once again.
The report claims that new car will be the new base variant of the new generation Santro for the India market and will sit under the current entry-spec D-Lite model. The current D-Lite variant of the Santro is already quite stripped out and misses out on air-conditioning, despite costing Rs 3.90 lakh (ex-showroom). The new low-cost variant of the Hyundai Santro is expected to cut down on even more features to help it compete with the newly updated Maruti Suzuki Alto which starts at Rs 2.94 lakh.
The changes and cuts not come in the form of lowered safety standards as was the case before for cheaper cars in India. With new safety norms making features like anti-lock brakes with EBD, ISOFIX mounts and airbags mandatory on all cars and the new rules forcing new vehicles to pass stringent crash tests.
However, the new low-cost Santro is expected to trim down all of the excesses of the current state. This may result in some cosmetic changes to the car including switching over to a single colour interior theme instead of the current dual tone beige and black scheme found on the regular Santro. Hyundai could also cut down on ther parts of the car's styling, both inside and out (smaller wheels come to mind) to help bring down the costs the new variant of the Santro.
The low cost version of the Hyundai Santro, however is expected to retain the cascade design grille and the overal look of the car is not expected to change. Another aspect of the car that could get tweaked is the 1.1-litre engine, which could end up being offered in a lower state of tune considering the Alto's 796cc engine only makes 48bhp compared to the Santro's 68bhp output.