Kia’s first product for India based on the SP Concept will debut in the coming months and is expected to have several segment-first features
At the ongoing Seoul Motor Show in South Korea, Kia has taken the centre stage by unveiling the close-to-production version of the SP Concept that debut at the 2018 Auto Expo in India nearly thirteen months ago. The compact SUV will go on sale by the middle of this year and it is headed to Australia towards the end of 2019 among other overseas markets.
Kia targets big volume sale with the compact SUV and is another new global product lined up for arrival with high expectations. The sister brand of Hyundai calls the prototype displayed at the show floor in Seoul as SP2 Signature Concept and it is a conventional take on the SP Concept with notable exterior differences and we are pretty sure those ORVMs won’t make their way into production.
It does not have roof integrated light bar while the alloy wheels are indeed different from what was showcased in Greater Noida. The near-production concept signifies the yet-to-be-named smallest SUV within the range and it will be positioned below the Sportage in developed markets like Australia where 80,000 unit sales per year are targetted.
Kia is debuting in India with this compact SUV and thus the reliance on it is very high for garnering volumes. The pre-production model wrapped in heavy camouflaged was already shown to the media. It will take on the likes of Hyundai Creta, Tata Harrier, Nissan Kicks and entry-level variants of Jeep Compass and upcoming MG Hector.
Expect the price range to hover around Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 16 lakh (ex-showroom). What is currently known as the SP2i for India will come fitted with signature Tiger Nose grille, parted headlamp cluster, definitive creases, rear-end with horizontal LED tail lamps, a well-proportioned glass house, raked windshield, busy bumpers up front and rear, and so on.
The SP2i will feature segment-first equipment to have a competitive advantage over rivals. The features list will comprise of a large touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity sitting in the middle, wireless charging provision, onboard Wi-Fi, fully-digital instrument cluster derived from the concept, HUD in top-end models, around view 360 camera, reversing camera with dynamic guidelines.
The high-spec variants are likely to come with a range of driver assistance and safety features. As for the powertrain, the Kia SP2i will be sold in a choice of 1.5-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines that will likely be updated to meet BSVI standards ahead of the April 2020 deadline.
A six-speed manual and an automatic transmission with paddle shifters are expected to be on the cards as well. It could get a sporty avatar later in its lifespan using a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 140 horsepower.