Hyundai i40 gets boot


WAG­ONS are more of­ten than not de­vel­oped from the sedan model.

But Hyundai’s new i40 sedan hits the world stage next week al­most three months af­ter the Korean com­pany de­buted its i40 es­tate (wagon).

Hyundai Mo­tor Com­pany Aus­tralia prod­uct com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Ben Her­sh­man ex­plains that the Euro­pean mar­ket dic­tated the about-face.

‘‘In Europe the wagon rep­re­sents a very strong per­cent­age of sales in the D seg­ment, so Hyundai de­cided to en­gi­neer the wagon vari­ant first,’’ he says. AUS­TRALIAN Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento SUVs are not af­fected by a US prod­uct re­call. About 6169 Santa Fe mod­els and 12,690 Sorento mod­els have been re­called in the US for an align­ment is­sue with the drive­shaft that could lead to early fail­ure of the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The i40 wagon de­buted at the Geneva Mo­tor Show in March and Her­sh­man says it will ar­rive in Aus­tralia later this year.

The mid-sized i40 sedan ver­sion will de­but at the Barcelona Mo­tor Show next week, but there is no con­fir­ma­tion it will come to Aus­tralia. Mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Oliver Mann says they are still re­view­ing the busi­ness case for the i40 sedan. ‘‘We are hop­ing to make a de­ci­sion on the sedan later in the year,’’ he says.

The i40 has been de­signed and en­gi­neered at Hyundai’s re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­tre in Rus­selsheim, Ger­many.

The draw­ings re­leased by Hyundai show a hand­some ve­hi­cle with heav­ily creased ac­cent lines that swoop along the sides for a dra­matic ef­fect.

Hyundai refers to the de­sign DNA as ‘‘flu­idic sculp­ture’’ which was in­tro­duced on the ix-onic con­cept car at the 2009 Geneva Mo­tor Show.

Chief de­signer Thomas Burkle says they wanted to move away from the three­box saloon de­sign.

‘‘By sculpt­ing a low, elon­gated roof line, we’ve given the i40 saloon a strik­ing coupe-like sil­hou­ette,’’ he says. The mid-sized car has a 2.77m wheel­base and Burkle says the in­te­rior has been shaped ‘‘ to de­liver prac­ti­cal­ity and com­fort to the driver and pas­sen­gers in a high-qual­ity pack­age’’.

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