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Geneva show: Hyundai previews i40 mid-sizer

Go with the i-flow: Like the Honda Accord, Hyundai may plan a two-pronged Sonata model strategy.

Hyundai releases the first sketch of its all-new Euro-oriented mid-size sedan

15 Feb 2010

HYUNDAI has issued the first sketch of concept that is expected to morph into an all-new rival for the Ford Mondeo in Europe – and possibly Australia.

The sleek ‘i-flow’ concept, which will make its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 2, previews the VF-series mid-size sedan, which is based on the same platform as this year’s new YF-series replacement for the Sonata and is expected to be labelled the i40.

Already released successfully in Korea, the YF Sonata will go on sale in Australia by mid-year under a new name, while Hyundai will investigate the viability of adding the sportier sedan to its Australian range.

Apart from confirming that the i-flow “previews the look of its new D-segment (mid-size) saloon” and that the concept, designed at the company’s European design headquarters at Rüsselsheim in Germany, incorporates lightweight materials developed by chemical company BASF, Hyundai has revealed little about the i-flow.

However, former Hyundai Motor Company Australia sales and marketing director Kevin McCann has previously revealed the Korean maker would embark on a two-pronged mid-size model strategy, with the Euro-oriented VF set to bring R-Series diesel power while the US-directed YF, which will also be produced in North America this year, will be manufactured with 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrol engines.

“The global strategy is that the YF will essentially be built for the North American and Asian markets and will therefore only have petrol engines,” Mr McCann told GoAuto in late October.

“The VF, which is a car that will come about 12 months later on the same platform, is intended for European markets and that will have a diesel alternative.

“We’re definitely taking the YF and the jury is out on the VF. We’ll make the decision based on what it is, when we know more about it, probably after the next round of product meetings, which happen on a twice-a-year basis.”

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