The Pakistani Auto Industry maybe turbulent as of this moment, but things seemed quite promising at the beginning of this year, with a few additions in the lineups of the pre-existing automakers, and the introduction of a couple of new brands as well. One of those new brands, that is set to make its return to the Pakistani Market, is Hyundai.
In its previous stint in Pakistan, Hyundai had two cars in its lineup, i.e. the Santro hatchback and the Shehzore pickup truck. After some time though, the Korean automaker had to pack its bags and leave the country after its partner, Dewan Farooque Motors went bankrupt in 2004.
In 2017, Hyundai came back in partnership with Nishat Group, and this time, the company aims to target the upper segment of Pakistani motorists. The company plans to do so with the launch of the Hyundai Tucson and the Hyundai Elantra in the Pakistani market.
The Elantra is a midsize sedan that is intended to compete with the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, whereas the Tucson looks to target the midsize crossover SUV market consisting of the Toyota Fortuner and Hyundai’s own cousin from Korea, the Kia Sportage.
The Elantra displayed at the 2020 Pakistan Auto Show had a 1.6 liter, DOHC, 4 cylinder, 16 Valve, gasoline-powered engine that was mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The engine, as per Hyundai, is capable of making about 126 horsepower and about 154 newton/meters of torque.
The car has some other advanced features such as Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, 6 Airbags, Cruise Control Parking Sensors With Backup Camera, Smart Touchscreen Infotainment, Ventilated front Seat, wireless phone charging, Automatic Climate control, 10-way adjustable power seats, an Infinity Premium 8 Speaker Sound System among a few other features.
Although it has not yet been confirmed by official sources, but as far as speculations go, the price of the car is likely to be between Rs. 2.9 million and Rs. 3.7 million.
What Hyundai will not tell you, is that the Tucson is basically a Kia Sportage under the skin. The car has a similar 2.0 liter, 4 cylinders, 16 valve engine with variable valve timing technology that is capable of putting out 155 horsepower and 190 newton/meters of torque.
The car is to be offered in 4 variants, 2 of which are going to be offered with a Front Wheel Drive drivetrain with a 5-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the other variants shall feature an HTRAC All-Wheel Drive drivetrain with the same transmission options.
The Tucson shall also have features such as Parking Assist, Backup Camera, Downhill and Hill-start Brake Assist, Electronic Parking Brake, Electronic Stability Control & Vehicle Stability Management, 6 Airbags, Power Tailgate, Supervision Instrument Cluster, Hyundai Auto Link, Wireless Phone Charger, Dual Zone FATC with Cluster Ionizer, ORVM Electric folding with heated function, Rear AC Vents, 10-way power adjusted driver seat, Reclinable rear seats among other features.
Although no official price figures have been revealed as of yet, but if sources are to believed, then the price of the Hyundai Tuscon shall be between Rs. 4.8 million and Rs. 5.5 million based on whichever trim level that you opt for.
Granted that the Pakistani automotive industry can most definitely benefit from some variety and competition, there is a dark secret that Hyundai seems to be keeping from the unaware motorists. And that secret is that the aforementioned cars that are set to debut in Pakistan are a Generation old facelift versions, which implies that they have been retired in the international market.
Both the 3rd gen Tucson and the 6th gen Elantra made their debut in the international market in 2015, and are about to be replaced with the 4th Gen Tucson and the 7th Gen Elantra soon.
Other markets have already seen the debut of the all-new, Elantra. The car features an all-new 2.0 liter naturally aspirated engine that makes 147 horsepower and 179 Newton Meters of torque, that can be mated to a Hyundai’s version of CVT gearbox that they like to call the Intelligent Variable Transmission (IVT).
The car can also be had with a new 1.6 liter hybrid engine that makes 139 horsepower and 264 Newton Meters of torque, and can be mated to a six-speed DCT gearbox, allowing for rapid shifts. The car is also equipped with a 32 kW permanent-magnet electric motor that is powered by a 1.32 kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery, all of which gives the car an extra oomph.
The 4th gen Tucson is currently in the works, and is rumored to arrive in mid to late 2021 as a 2022 model. The car, as per reports, will be offered with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that makes 161 horsepower and a 2.4-liter inline-4 with 181 horsepower. There are also rumors of an N-performance version in the works that would make 340 horsepower and will feature firmer suspension and fatter tires for better grip and handling.
The point here is that Pakistanis will once again be sold older cars with a price-tag that is equivalent to the brand new car and without enough specs and features. We’ve most noticeably seen Honda and Suzuki apply this tactic, whereby they’ve been selling us the 5th gen City and the 2nd Gen Swift respectively, both of which, are a couple of generations out-dated as compared to the international market.
Our automotive market is undoubtedly not advanced enough, but the automakers ought to come forward and change that trend instead of encouraging it. Still, we can only hope that the competition in the market picks up soon with the launch these new cars, so as the automakers can see Pakistan as a market worth investing in.