Kia Tusker SUV rivalling Hyundai Creta is expected to be powered by new 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines
Kia Motors are going to be one of the two newer entrants into the Indian market next year and the company has been laying down the foundation with groundwork and investment firmly in place. The Korean brand has reportedly signed LOI (Letter Of Intent) with nearly 50 dealers already before expanding the network chain to 100 by July next year.
The report further claims that some Mercedes-Benz and BMW dealers have opted out to join the Kia network. Since making local debut at the 2018 Auto Expo in February, the company has been active throughout the year by conducting road shows and events focussing to help reach out the intent of the brand to potential customers and dealers.
The Seoul-headquartered brand conducted a poll online to name its first product for India. Having showcased its entire range of cars from Picanto to the Stinger GT at the motoring exhibition, the India-specific SP concept reflected the brand’s high ambitions and the production compact SUV will rival the Hyundai Creta directly despite sharing plenty in components.
With Tusker and Trazor receiving majority of votes on the fan poll, the compact SUV is expected to be priced in the Rs. 8.5 lakh to Rs. 14 lakh (ex-showroom) range. It will also take on the upcoming Tata Harrier and MG SUV, as well as entry-level variants of Mahindra XUV500 and Jeep Compass targetting a big piece of the flourishing space.
The Kia Tusker is built on the updated Creta platform and expected to use newly developed 1.5-litre petrol and diesel powertrains with manual and automatic transmission options. The SUV is said to comply with new safety and emission regulations, and will offer several safety technologies as standard fitment.
The engines will find their way to Hyundai vehicles eventually and perhaps a hybrid motor is in the pipeline. It will be manufactured at Kia’s recently inaugurated Anantapur plant in Andhra Pradesh that sees investment of over Rs. 13,000 crore to enable maximum annual production capacity of three lakhs with 11,000 direct and indirect jobs.