Kez Casey | Feb 4, 2016

Hyundai has unveiled its Carlino small SUV as part of proceedings at this year's Delhi Auto Expo.

At this stage, the Carlino is officially a “design study” according to Hyundai, but the bluff SUV points to the next-generation compact soft-roader for the Indian market.

Sharing its underpinnings with the Hyundai i20, the Carlino points to a low-cost SUV for emerging markets, where it would potentially face off against the likes of the Ford EcoSport.

While Hyundai already offers the Creta SUV in India (and other markets), its 4270mm length makes it something of a giant compared to the compact Carlino, which stops the tape at less than four metres.

Despite its small size, the Carlino concept packs in interchangeable audio, visual, and navigation units, with a plug-and-play set up that allows for quick and easy customisation.

There’s also a wireless rear view camera, push-button start, power folding mirrors, hill start control, and six airbags. While that might not seem too spectacular to Australian customers, keep in mind the starting price for a production version would be roughly half of what we’d expect to pay for a small SUV on these shores.

At this stage though Hyundai hasn’t made any rumblings on price, nor specifications, nor a production future for the Carlino. The latter however seems incredibly likely, although it would be closer to the end of the decade before a showroom-ready Carlion surfaced.

If it does make the move to production, don’t expect to see the Carlino offered outside of so called developing markets, like India.

Some of the more fanciful features, like the LED-intensive lighting, clamshell doors, and monster alloy wheels are also likely to be scrapped in the move to production.

MORE: Hyundai News and Reviews

Images: Indian Autos Blog

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