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Kia SP2i (Hyundai Creta rival) launching ahead of schedule

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Kia Motors India confirms that its first manufacturing facility, situated at Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, will be ready in early 2019. Soon, after that, the company should introduce the Kia SP Concept-based SUV (SP2i) as their first model for the Indian car market.

Until October, the company had maintained that the new model would be launched in the second half of 2019, but the latest official confirmation is in line with a previous report that talked of advancement in the rollout of the Kia SP2i. Another report from earlier this month cites Manohar Bhat, Head of Marketing & Sales, Kia Motors as saying that the trial production of the new SUV would start in early 2019.

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A spy video from Korea has revealed a high similarity between the designs of the Kia SP2i and the SP Concept that was displayed at the Auto Expo 2018. That said, the greenhouse of the production version won’t be as sleek, and the front-end will carry a toned-down iteration of the concept’s ‘Tiger’ nose. Furthermore, another video, which surfaced in November 2018, reveals that the local road testing of the production-spec vehicle has commenced.

The new model will be powered by turbocharged petrol and diesel engines that will displace 1.5-litre and 1.0-litre, respectively. While the former will output 115 hp, the latter will produce 118 hp. Both the motors will be manufactured locally.

The Kia SP2i will share its platform with the next-gen Hyundai Creta. The architecture will be capable of supporting a seven-seater, and hence, Kia Motors India could come up with a three-row version in case it enjoys a high demand for its first launch.

Following the new SUV, the manufacturer will reportedly introduce a model in the sub-4 metre SUV segment in 2020. The second Kia SUV will share its platform with the Hyundai QXi. It will compete with the Maruti Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport and the Tata Nexon, and is debuting at the Auto Expo 2020.