EVW Exclusive: Second-gen Hyundai Creta spotted without camouflage [Update]

Update – Our avid follower Aasim Shah has shared images of a grey pre-production 2020 Hyundai Creta testing near the Hyundai factory in Sriperumbudur. The Creta will be launched on 17 March and is taking the fight to the door of the Kia Seltos.

After unveiling the exterior of the Indian spec SUV at the Auto Expo 2020, Hyundai is gearing up to the launch of its next-generation Creta in March to reclaim the No.1 SUV title from the Kia Seltos that incredibly has cracked a very tough market in its release year.

The new Creta has been spotted testing under heavy camouflage in Tamil Nadu since last year. Today EVW can bring you images of the ‘launch-ready’ vehicle on the final pre-launch tests with zilch camouflage in Chennai, courtesy EVW reader Harshavardhana. Earlier in the day, the car was also seen by EVW reader Vignesh Sha undergoing tests with its camo on.

A strangely designed Hyundai? – Here’s why

Given this is the first time (or the among the earliest) the vehicle has been spotted in the real world, you can gauge its road presence and the effect of the new look. The rear, specifically the hockey stick-like light signatures with the islet has received a mixed response though largely the belief is that the expressive design would keep the Creta fresh and distinct in the crowding C-segment SUV market that will take in a dozen entries from new and existing players within 3 years. This is one design EVW feels people will grow to love and that does not take anything away from the fact that the Creta is a restyled Chinese Hyundai ix25 with a different level of features.

Possible competitor set for the Hyundai Creta in 2023

We spoke to Minchul Koo, VP of Design at Hyundai Motor Company at the Auto Expo, and when asked about the regional changes to the Creta’s design, he said:

When we started this design project (new Creta), this was globally a ‘one design.’ But as you see, in India you have different tastes and cultures to China. Our new design philosophy is we think every customer and country has different spirit and needs. So we have to adapt as we can, say the face, the bumpers – we change it as the needs change – but the global base is the one design. We study the different aesthetic points of India – the art, the culture, how the contemporary and traditional art is different, we take in many things and try to reflect these together on the car.

The new Hyundai Creta takes a very different design approach as compared to the first generation. It is styled with split LED headlamps and daytime running lights, LED tail lamps, 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and more. Though the interiors weren’t shown at the Expo, a big AVN touchscreen system in the centre console with all the necessary connectivity options is confirmed.

Apart from the looks, the Creta will also be bringing in new 1.5-litre BS6 compliant petrol and diesel engines that are servicing the Seltos.

Hyundai plots an affordable electric car with its ‘Smart EV’ project in 2022

Though there is no intention to properly electrify the Creta, Hyundai India is planning a pure-electric car for the masses that will be launched in 2022. Expected to be priced under Rs 10 lakh, the first affordable EV from Hyundai, we speculate, is an electric crossover. The concept version will be presented in early 2022 at the next Auto Expo.

Hyundai will be investing $200 million on the new EV platform for the car under the Smart EV project. The dedicated electric architecture will be shared between Hyundai and Kia for several electric models across various body shapes, it is reported. India will be made the manufacturing hub for the EVs from which low-cost models will be exported to other emerging countries. The Smart EV has no connection with Hyundai’s investment in Arrival Ltd or Canoo.