Hyundai Carlino Spotted?

The ‘tiny’ SUV spotted testing in the Californian desert could well be the compact SUV promised back in 2016

Hyundai Carlino Spied

Remember the compact SUV concept by Hyundai at the 2016 Auto Expo? The bright and beefy looking vehicle called the Carlino? Back then Hyundai had said that it plans to bring the Carlino in under the Creta to compete with the likes of the EcoSport. The South Korean carmaker had also said that it will be 2-3 years before we see the production model, which would put the debut year as 2019. Well, it is 2018 and it seems the Carlino is a lot closer to production than we would believe.

Hyundai Carlino Spied

A small compact SUV was recently spotted doing rounds of the Californian Desert in Death Valley - a popular spot for manufacturers for conducting summer testing as temperatures here frequently soar past 50 deg. The car in question was being tested with the Kia Soul, which itself is quite compact, but this test mule was smaller still. It has the quintessential Hyundai grille and though the front fascia looks strikingly similar to the Kona, the size and overall boxy profile suggest that it isn’t a crossover but an SUV. So the time seems right for the camouflaged Carlino SUV images to emerge as the car is slated to debut in 2019.

Hyundai Carlino Spied

We already know which engines will be powering Hyundai’s new compact SUV. Back in 2017, the manufacturer had said that the Carlino will be powered by a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol making 100PS or 120PS of max power and 171Nm of torque. It is the same engine that also powers the i20 internationally. The engine could be mated to either a 5-speed manual for the 100PS tune or a 6-speed manual for the 120PS tune. The diesel on the other hand will be shared with the Elite i20. The 1.4-litre unit makes 90PS of max power and 220Nm of peak torque and comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox. In addition, since Hyundai has confirmed the AMT for the Santro, it could be made available with the Carlino petrol as well.

Hyundai Carlino Spied

When the car does arrive in 2019, it will have its work cut out as the market has changed considerably since the concept showcase. The compact SUV segment has grown by leaps and bounds. With competitors like Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport in the market and with the Tata Nexon doing decent business too, the little Hyundai will have to offer a package that not many can forego, not to mention aggressively priced. But then again, Hyundai has been known to play its cars just right and we’re sure it’s already taken everything into consideration.

Photos Courtesy: Motor1.com

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