There is no doubt that the Hyundai Eon is the most well-thought-out small car in India. When it was launched three years ago it had so many class-leading features that this little wonder, literally, was eons ahead of the competition. But then such features came at a price, and in a price-sensitive segment, not everyone went ahead and bought the Eon. At the same time, while few found fault with the car’s design, there were some customers who did wish the Eon had a more powerful engine option. In fact, a powerful engine option was needed for the car to come full circle—and finally it has, with Hyundai planting the 1.0-litre Kappa engine into the Eon.
The Eon is the smallest Hyundai car that is made on the company’s now-famous fluidic sculpture design philosophy. In fact, the exterior design is so practical that it is a good thing Hyundai has not changed it until now. The 1.0-litre Eon—which is available only in the Magna+ variant—differentiates itself from the 0.8-litre model only by way of an exterior badging. On the inside, it comes fully-loaded with a factory-fitted audio system that goes well with the multi-layered dashboard. A nice feature is the gear-shift indicator, which prompts you to shift to the right gear at the right speed, helping you achieve optimal gear usage for maximum fuel efficiency. Another functional feature is a low-fuel warning indicator. Additionally, there are plenty of usable cubbyholes, decent (but not class-leading) space, top-notch plastic quality and comfortable seats. It doesn’t get a tachometer, though. Overall, the Eon’s cabin still remains one of the most practical in its class, and looks like it belongs to a more expensive car.
The new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Kappa engine produces a peak power of 68 bhp and a peak torque of 9.6 kgm, both numbers significantly higher than the 0.8-litre Eon’s 55 bhp and 7.6 kgm. This engine is equipped with Dual VTVT, DOHC and lightweight cylinder block, thus delivering a company-claimed mileage of 20.3 kmpl (the 0.8-litre Eon delivers 21.1 kmpl).
Planting a 1.0-litre engine into a light-weight car can produce very good results as far as acceleration is concerned. In the case of the Eon, it is apparent as soon as you fire the engine. First, you don’t feel many vibrations on the gear lever or the steering wheel, or even on the clutch pedal. Then, when you slot into the first gear