Hyundai has revealed a sub-i10 model with which the firm hopes to break Maruti-Suzuki’s stranglehold on the Indian market – and it could find it’s way to South Africa…

Sitting on an all-new platform and measuring a shade under 3,5 metres in length with a 2,37-metre wheelbase, the Eon sits is just over 200 mm shorter than a Mini Cooper. Featuring the company’s now-signature fluidic styling, the Eon is Hyundai’s attempt to wrestle control of the Indian compact car market from Maruti-Suzuki and its Alto - at present, Suzuki’s stake in the market stands at 43 per cent while Hyundai comprises 20 per cent.

The cabin features a symmetric facia layout and is equipped with items such as electric windows, central locking, driver’s airbag, a tilt-adjustable steering column and what Hyundai calls its “fabulous” entertainment system, complete with iPod/USB compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity and air conditioning – depending on the specification.

Power is provided by an 814 cc, three-cylinder petrol unit coupled with a five-speed manual gearbox. This unit develops 41 kW and 75 N.m of torque and should return around 4,7 litres/100 km on the combined cycle.

The Eon is being produced by Hyundai’s Indian subsidiary, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL), which plans to manufacture 150 000 units per annum. According to HMIL managing director and CEO, H W Park, the export plans regarding the Eon have identified South America and South Africa as possible markets.

Hyundai Automotive South Africa (Pty) Ltd has also confirmed that the Eon is currently under consideration for our market and could find a place in the local line-up as a replacement for the soon-to-be-discontinued Atoz – we will keep an eye on discussions as they unfold.