TURBO-PETROL ENGINES HAVE been powering expensive cars for a long time, but now carmakers are democratising them and as a result, they are infiltrating into the affordable end of the car market. But thinking of fun to drive turbo-petrol hatchbacks, the only car that comes to mind is the Volkswagen Polo. Fiat offered the Abarth Punto a while ago, but the brand’s India operations are now shut. Maruti Suzuki pulled the plug on the Baleno RS owing to poor demand and what we’re left with is only the Polo with its brilliant 1-litre TSI engine. Before you chance on bombarding us with explosive reactions for not mentioning a Ford, let me clear that the Figo with the 1.5-litre diesel is also an exciting car to drive, but again, it isn’t offered with a turbo-petrol engine so that is out of the equation here.
However, there’s another brand apart from Volkswagen to enter the warm hatch territory and that is Hyundai with the Grand i10 Nios Turbo. It employs the same 998cc, directinjection turbo-petrol engine from the Venue Turbo, albeit in a lower state of tune. The powerplant produces a shade under 100 horses at 6000rpm and puts out 172Nm of torque between 1500-4000rpm. Hyundai is offering the Nios Turbo only in the Sportz variant that sits right below the range-topping Asta, and it costs ₹7.7 lakh, ex-showroom, making it one of the most affordable turbo-petrol cars in the country. Over the regular Nios in the identical Sportz trim, the Turbo demands a premium of ₹1 lakh, roughly. Before diving into its performance, let’s look at how the Nios Turbo differentiates itself aesthetically.
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