Approximately 9 months ago, we caught our first glimpse of the all new Hyundai Avante. What got us petrol-heads a little bit excited was the fact that it would feature a 1.6-litre direct injection engine reportedly chucking out close to 140bhp and 187NM. Pretty impressive figures for a 1.6-litre engine of this era (late 2000s).
But now it would appear that we have been somewhat premature in jumping to the conclusion that we would be able to lay our greasy paws on this engine in Singapore. What we are going to get, in all likelihood, is simply an updated variant of the engine found in the current Avante.
Now, this is disappointing news for me, as I had previously blogged that the new Avante with its direct injection engine was one of the few affordable cars I was looking forward to driving. But this decision probably makes the most financial sense for Komoco Motors.
Just like how Borneo Motors initially launched the Altis without the better Dual VVT-i engine did not stop the Altis from scaling our local bestseller chart; the lack of a more powerful engine in the new Avante is unlikely to be the deal breaker for potential buyers of the Avante.
It is going to be stuff like the tech features and most importantly price. After all, I dare say that 90% of Avante buyers simply want an economical, fuss-free commuting tool with a few bells and whistles. For the new Avante to succeed, it just has to be a better value proposition to its nearest competitor, the Kia Forte. Oh, that and a lower Cat A COE.
So as much as we mourn the fact that the line up of bread and butter cars in Singapore is sleep inducing; we the car buyers of Singapore simply have to shoulder a large proportion of the blame. Not that most of us would care. And since we don't, why would the car dealers? They would just keep introducing basic spec-ed variants with just enough to convince Singaporeans to sign on the dotted line.
So it looks like my hopes for an exciting bread and butter car will remain an elusive dream for the upcoming years. Bah.