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Geneva show: Hyundai reveals i40 wagon in full flesh

Bold stroke: Hyundai’s i40 wagon is the Korean company’s first D-segment vehicle fully designed and engineered in Europe.

Hyundai takes the wraps off sleek new i40 mid-size wagon ahead of Geneva world debut

18 Feb 2011

HYUNDAI has taken the wraps off its all-new i40 medium-sized wagon ahead of its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 1 and its expected Australian launch later this year.

Remaining true to the computer-generated images issued in December, the i40 wagon has emerged as a sleek and heavily sculpted model that Hyundai describes as the first-ever D-segment car the company has developed specifically for the European market.

That should not stop it from coming here. Although Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) was this week still to confirm the i40’s local introduction, HMCA management have long desired to have a wagon variant to sell alongside the closely related YF-series i45 sedan, which went on sale here last May.

Marketing director Oliver Mann reinforced this position in South Korea late last year, telling GoAuto that the i40 “will offer us a wagon to complement the i45 sedan”.

That all but rules out the sedan variant of the i40 that will also emerge later this year, but the wagon will bolster Hyundai’s standing in Australia’s competitive medium-sized segment and, the manufacturer says, will feature “a package of powertrains, equipment and technology tailored for European tastes”.

1 center imageLeft: Hyundai i40 interior shot and teaser sketches released earlier in the year.

As expected, this will include a 1.7-litre turbo-diesel engine, codenamed UII and now confirmed to emit just 113 grams per kilometre of CO2 – claimed to be a best-in-class figure “that also demonstrates the advances the company is making towards global leadership in eco-technology”.

Full details of the new diesel engine are still to be issued, but the 1.7-litre was first revealed as part of a hybrid powertrain with the i40-previewing i-flow concept, employing two-stage turbocharging and joining with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The 1.7 will reportedly be available in two states of tune, and offered alongside a 1.6-litre petrol engine from its launch mid-year in Europe. Bigger petrol and diesel engines, both displacing 2.0 litres, are expected to follow soon after.

Hyundai is also claiming class-leading levels of standard equipment for the i40 wagon, pointing to heated and reclining front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and an active demist system that automatically detects and clears mist on the windscreen.

The i40 was designed and engineered at Hyundai’s R&D centre in Russelsheim, Germany, and is another step in moving the brand more upmarket under a new slogan to be launched at the Geneva show: ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities.’The car’s styling draws from the company’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design ethos, with signature elements such as a hexagonal grille.

Bold triangular shapes are used with the front foglamps and jewel-like headlights (complete with swoopy daytime running lights), the roofline is heavily curved toward the back end, the window line is narrow and also tapers off at the cargo area, and strong ‘character’ lines run along the flanks to connect the front and rear.

As seen with the i40 interior image released earlier this month, Hyundai’s designers have also aimed for an upmarket and hi-tech feel to the cabin, the latter evidenced by blue backlighting, a stop/start button and a flowing silver slice of trim that splits the dashboard into two distinct sections.

Senior vice-president and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, Allan Rushforth, said: “Offering more for less has always been a fundamental principle at Hyundai, and now we are advancing this with our new brand direction under the ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities’ slogan.

“The i40 is a perfect example of how we are offering the best and making it accessible to everyone. From stunning design and specification, to industry-leading technology and aftersales care – the i40 sets itself apart from its competitors.”

In Europe, the i40 will come standard with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty with full roadside assistance and a level of servicing (described as ‘health checks’) thrown in.

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