The wraps have finally fully come off the new Hyundai Atos – which was partially revealed wearing the Santro badge in India earlier in October 2018 – with the budget hatchback scheduled to arrive in South Africa in the first quarter of 2019.
As we’ve already reported, the new Atos – which will be positioned below the Grand i10 in the Korean brand’s local line-up – measures 3 610 mm long, 1 645 mm wide and 1 560 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2 400 mm. It looks set to ride on either 13-inch steel wheels shod in 155/80 tyres or 14-inch steelies wrapped in 165/70 rubber (depending on spec).
Inside, the electric window switches are sited centrally (near the gear-lever), while the air-conditioning vents take on a propeller design. Interestingly, dedicated vents for the rear passengers are also included.
The luggage compartment measures 235 litres (and the fuel tank holds 35 litres), according to Hyundai, while a new 7,0-inch touchscreen infotainment system will be offered in the Indian-spec model (local specifications have, of course, yet to be revealed). This multimedia system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, boasts voice control and includes a reversing camera.
Safety features on the Indian-spec model include ABS with EBD, dual airbags (for the flagship version, anyway), rear parking sensors and a speed-sensing automatic door locking function. Riding on Hyundai’s K1 platform, the brand claims the new Atos features a “strong body structure” (we’re guessing Global NCAP will put that to the test in the near future).
Power comes from a naturally aspirated 1,1-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offering 51 kW at 5 500 r/min and 99 N.m at 4 500 r/min, and facilitating a top speed of 150 km/h. Transmission options will include a five-speed manual and an automated manual gearbox with the same number of cogs (although it's not yet clear whether the latter will be offered in SA).
In September 2018, Stanley Anderson, Hyundai Automotive SA’s director of sales and operations, confirmed the Atos nameplate would make a comeback to local shores, saying the brand was aiming to bring in the new model during the first quarter of 2019 “for under R150 000”. It would thus find itself competing against the likes of the Renault Kwid, (facelifted) Datsun Go and Suzuki Celerio.