The new Grand i10 Nios is offered with a host of segment-first features and has worked on optimising the design on the inside as well as the exterior to offer a fresh perspective for the Indian consumer
Surviving in a dynamic automotive market like India is an incredible challenge in itself. 23 years back, Hyundai took on that challenge and since then has been the only manufacturer to ever pose a real threat to market leader Maruti Suzuki. Hyundai is now driving a fresh onslaught for the Indian market with its recently-launched compact hatch – the Grand i10 Nios. Leveraging its global technology engineering strength, the company has made a bold commitment to the Indian market by continuing its commitment to diesel-powered models even after BS VI norms kick in. Auto Tech Review finds out more on the engineering of the Grand i10 Nios and its prowess to take on the competition.
At present, Hyundai Motor India has rolled out the Grand i10 Nios with a BS VI-compliant 1.2 l petrol-powered Kappa engine and its BS IV-compliant 1.2 l CRDi diesel mill. Auto Tech Review has learned that Hyundai has plans to continue selling the 1.2 l diesel post the implementation of BS VI norms in April 2020. Further, the launch of the BS VI-compliant diesel model will come in before the April mandate, with officials hinting at an impending announcement around February or March 2020. Another interesting addition made to the Grand i10 Nios is the company’s electronically actuated Automated Manual Transmission (eAMT) that was first introduced on the new Santro. Let’s take a closer look at the technology and engineering behind the upcoming BS VI diesel motor and the AMT offered on the new Grand i10 Nios.
EMISSION COMPLIANCE & BEYOND APRIL 2020
The basic idea to optimise engines has been the same as before and when moving from BS IV to BS VI compliance it is dependent on the aftertreatment system for petrol engines. For the diesel-powered engines it is more about the approach, wherein engineers try to significantly reduce the particulate matter (PM) and reduce the NOx as well. To reduce these emissions the current configuration of the BS IV engine itself is not capable of achieving the requirments, stipulating the use of additional components to conform to BS VI norms. To optimise the emissions Hyundai has adopted a two-pronged approach, they first optimised the emissions from the existing motor to reduce PM and NOx emissions. Further, the company implemented an aftertreatment system focussed on reducing PM and NOx emissions.
The technologies that can be used to reduce NOx emissions are a multi-layer type EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) cooler with bypass, model-based EGR rate & boost control and a Lean NOx Trap (LNT) catalyst, while for PM reduction the company may leverage a spray divided type optimised combustion chamber, high pressure injector (up to 2,000 bar) with eight holes and DPF & regeneration control. Aftertreatment systems such as a DPF (diesel particulate filter) and LNT (Lean NOx Trap) can be implemented instead of DOC (diesel oxidation catalyst), which is lighter than the LNT but has different NOx reduction characteristics. Using these aftertreatment systems Hyundai can achieve BS VI on its diesel engines for India.
While companies are finding exceedingly difficult in managing BS VI diesel engines for their portfolio, Hyundai has been leveraging its strength and technical knowhow developed with Euro 6 compliant engines to drive it in the Indian market. For BS VI diesel engines, cost is a critical factor and for companies that are not manufacturing these engines, cost optimisation is difficult and hence these OEMs are opting out of diesel engines for small cars. Hyundai considers diesel important for the Indian market and even in European markets such as Germany and France, the company has estimated that diesel will continue to survive 10 years from now. In India, with auto OEM Maruti Suzuki announcing its withdrawal from the diesel space, the newly-launched Grand i10 Nios can capitalise on the vacant spot left by diesel-powered models such as the Swift and Ignis once the BS VI norms kick in.
While BS VI has been the first step, the future will see RDE (Real Driving Emission) control that will call for stronger aftertreatment such as SCR (selective catalyst reduction). However, these technologies will be more costly. Hyundai has also introduced a turbocharged GDI engine on the Venue and is evaluating this technology for the Nios. The selection of turbochargers for GDI engines is critical as it reduces the knocking behaviour of the engine. For India at the moment, MPI engines will continue as far as petrol powertrains are concerned.
TUNING THE TWO PEDAL TECHNOLOGY
Tier I and metro cities in the country have witnessed a wider acceptance of the two-pedal technology across segments. For the compact hatchback market, Maruti Suzuki can be credited with driving the acceptance of AMTs in India. However, Hyundai is not far behind with its own rendition of the AMT system featuring electronic motor actuation versus the hydraulic motor actuation on the units used by Maruti Suzuki. This system originally debuted on the Hyundai Santro that was launched last year, and is now being offered on the diesel and petrol-powered models of the new Grand i10 Nios. It is reportedly lighter and has a quicker response than hydraulic systems being used by competitors in the market.
While the AMT unit on the Grand i10 Nios shares synergies with the one used on the Santro, there are a few engineering differences to optimise it further. The reinforced clutch size on the AMT in the Nios is different and in particular, the diesel variant has a larger capacity dry clutch application with high temperature durability. The TCU remains the same as the unit on the Santro. Hyundai has stated that it worked on the control logic of this unit to improve the shift shock and jerks associated with the AMT technology. To improve fuel consumption on the Nios, the company has tested a lighter shift schedule. Engineers have optimised the lower throttle position to improve fuel consumption, while the upper throttle position has been optimised to improve drivability by tweaking the shift schedule.
The new Grand i10 Nios is being offered with a host of segment-first features such as a wireless mobile charging and a driver rear view monitor that optimise the convenience offered on this hatch. The company has also worked on optimising the design on the inside as well as the exterior to offer a fresh perspective for the Indian consumer. The interiors have moved on from the beige themes towards a pale colour scheme and design similarities that link it to Hyundai’s design language, yet serve up an individual identity. Hyundai’s designers were also given specific targets such as the Coefficient of Drag (0.347) and have even worked on the roof angle, spoiler length, separation point to optimise performance. On the NVH front, engine, road and wind noise isolation have been optimised. With the BS VI-compliant petrol engine, upcoming BS VI diesel and Hyundai’s cost-effective eAMT solution, the company is geared up to dominate competition.
TEXT: Joshua David Luther
PHOTO: Hyundai Motor India
Auto Tech Review also got to sample the new Grand i10 Nios with the BS IV-compliant 1.2 l U2 CRDi diesel engine mated to the AMT transmission. The engine delivers a smooth performance at a lower throttle position and was punchy when pushed hard. Hyundai has claimed a fuel efficiency of 26.2 km/l for the diesel engine. With the diesel engine mated to the AMT, the Grand i10 Nios offers driving convenience in congested traffic; however, on highways at a higher throttle position, the inconvenient shift shock became evident. However, this is a drawback associated with AMT systems across the market, and Hyundai has done a commendable job on reducing the effects of lag in the system.