Korea eyes Europe

Hyundai aims to build on Down Un­der suc­cess with sleek i30. By John Carey

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS -

THE hatch­back spear­head­ing Hyundai’s re­lent­less rise on the sales charts will look much sharper by the mid­dle of next year. Korea’s big­gest car brand re­vealed its new i30 in Frank­furt this week, six months be­fore it ar­rives in show­rooms.

De­signed in Ger­many, the i30 has Euro­pean good looks.

Hyundai has a firm grip on third place in Aus­tralia this year, be­hind Toy­ota and Mazda. The i30 is eas­ily the brand’s most pop­u­lar car, sell­ing at more than twice the rate of its sec­ond best seller in Aus­tralia, the Tuc­son medium-size SUV.

In the first half of 2016 the i30 was a reg­u­lar at the top of monthly sales tal­lies, though this was thanks to bar­gain drive-away deals since ended.

The cur­rent i30’s ob­vi­ously Asian look hasn’t stood in the way of ac­cep­tance by Aus­tralians but this isn’t the case ev­ery­where.

With the model un­veiled in Frank­furt, Hyundai is aim­ing for Down Un­der-style sales suc­cess in Europe.

“The new gen­er­a­tion i30 is the most im­por­tant car for Hyundai in Europe, sup­port­ing our ob­jec­tive to be­come No.1 Asian au­to­mo­tive brand,” says Hyundai Mo­tor Europe chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Thomas Schmid.

A Hyundai fac­tory in the Czech Repub­lic will man­u­fac­ture the i30 for sale in neigh­bour­ing na­tions. Those bound for show­rooms in Aus­tralia will be made, as be­fore, in Korea.

Styling will be the same but there will be ma­jor dif­fer­ences un­der the skin. In Aus­tralia, the new model will have mostly big­ger en­gines and, in some ex­am­ples, a cheaper rear sus­pen­sion set-up.

With the lo­cal launch of the i30 still months away, Hyundai Aus­tralia isn’t di­vulging ev­ery de­tail of tech­ni­cal spec­i­fi­ca­tion but has made some of the big de­ci­sions.

The new base model will ditch the cur­rent car’s 1.8-litre en­gine in favour of a more pow­er­ful 2.0-litre non-turbo four-cylin­der.

It will have a sim­ple, semi­in­de­pen­dent tor­sion-beam rear sus­pen­sion, which will help keep the price low.

All ver­sions of the i30 in Europe will have a more ex­pen­sive — and prob­a­bly smoother rid­ing — in­de­pen­dent multi-link set-up.

The semi-sporty SR grade, to con­tinue with the next i30, will come equipped with Eurostyle rear sus­pen­sion, while Hyundai’s new 1.6-litre turbo four will take the place of the cur­rent 2.0.

Ex­pect the smaller en­gine to de­liver more power. But not too much more; Hyundai needs to leave room for its first truly hot hatch, the i30 N se­ries be­ing de­vel­oped by its new per­for­mance car di­vi­sion.

In the SR, the auto op­tion will be a seven-speed dou­ble­clutch, re­plac­ing the cur­rent con­ven­tional six-speed.

An up­dated ver­sion of Hyundai’s 1.6-litre turbo diesel four will con­tinue in the new i30, teamed as be­fore with a seven-speed dual-clutch trans­mis­sion.

Hyundai Aus­tralia says the new i30 will have sus­pen­sion and steer­ing spe­cially tuned for our road con­di­tions, thanks to out­back de­vel­op­ment test­ing that be­gan in Jan­uary.

In all mar­kets around the world the i30 will be the car that in­tro­duces Hyundai’s next gen­er­a­tion of mul­ti­me­dia tech. In Aus­tralia, as in Europe, it will in­cor­po­rate sat­nav, Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto.

The i30 is also likely to fea­ture Euro­pean-level ad­vanced safety fea­tures, at least in the up­per model grades.

Au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing is the most im­por­tant item on the menu here. This tech­nol­ogy uses sen­sors to scan the road ahead, au­to­mat­i­cally slam­ming on the brakes to avoid, or lessen the sever­ity of, an im­pact.

Other tech­nolo­gies that can be built into the i30 in­clude radar-based ac­tive cruise con­trol, driver fa­tigue mon­i­tor­ing, blind spot de­tec­tor and rear cross-traf­fic alert.

The big ques­tion is how much of this tech­nol­ogy will be avail­able on cheaper mod­els.

In the past Hyundai has kept hi-tech safety items for top-ofthe-range mod­els but, with ri­vals in­creas­ingly fit­ting the tech as stan­dard or an af­ford­able op­tion, it may be time for a re­think.

Hyundai hasn’t ne­glected pas­sive safety. The new i30’s body fea­tures a higher per­cent­age of ad­vanced steel for added stiff­ness and im­pact ab­sorp­tion. And, at least in Europe, seven airbags will be stan­dard across the range.

Prices? Yet to be fixed, but don’t ex­pect any star­tling rises. “We will tar­get a com­pet­i­tive price-to-value ra­tio on all trim lev­els,” is the of­fi­cial Hyundai Aus­tralia line.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.