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First look: Hyundai previews its Geneva wares

Sketchy details: Hyundai will unveil the HED-6 concept SUV at Geneva.

Korean giant reveals next-generation SUV, idle-stop technology and a three-door i20

10 Feb 2009

HYUNDAI has revealed the first sketch of an all-new compact SUV concept that was designed at the company’s European design headquarters at Rüsselsheim in Germany, and will make its global public debut at the Geneva motor show on March 3.

Some UK websites have reported that Hyundai’s so-called HED-6 concept previews the imminent replacement for the company’s Tucson small SUV, which will be known as the Hyundai ix35 when it debuts in production guise at the Frankfurt motor show in September before going on sale globally in 2010.

However, Hyundai Motor Company Australia’s (HMCA) senior manager of product communications and public relations Ben Hershman is not so sure.

“I cannot tell you if HED-6 is related to the Tucson’s replacement because I don’t know and we have not been advised as such,” he said. “At this stage my instinct is that the HED-6 is a longer-term concept around the SUV format which Hyundai Motor Europe (HME) is gauging for public and media feedback.” Officially, Hyundai says the HED-6 concept, which features LED daytime running lights and a 1.6-litre GDi turbo-diesel engine, “gives a clear indication of the direction Hyundai will take with its next generation of Hyundai SUVs”.

“The HED-6 brings an entirely new look to Hyundai’s SUV line-up,” said HME vice-president Allan Rushforth. “It fuses a robust exterior with a fresh and elegant interior, making for an eye-catching package, while its latest-generation powertrain highlights Hyundai’s clean-technology expertise.” At Geneva, the HED-6 concept will wear a hexagonal grille, swept-back headlights, a three-dimensional sculpted rear window made from Lexan “high-performance” plastic, 21-inch mirror-polished alloy wheels and specially-developed “Ice Blue” exterior paint.

Also revealed by Hyundai yesterday in Europe ahead of its Geneva debut was the first application of the Korean maker’s idle-stop (stop-start) technology in the i30 “blue”, which is also expected to join the left-hand-drive-only Genesis Coupe, i30cw wagon and i10 blue on display at the Melbourne motor show from February 27.

“We would suspect that HMCA will have access to the i30 blue and, although it is not yet confirmed to be launched here, we are talking closely with Korea about it,” revealed Mr Hershman.

The more environmentally-friendly i30 variant is the first Hyundai to don Hyundai’s “blue” sub-branding name and features the first production application of the company’s ISG (Idle Stop and Go) technology, which automatically switches the car’s engine off when stationary.

By employing an advanced starter motor connected to the ECU, when applied to Hyundai’s 1.6-litre petrol engine is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by seven per cent on the official combined cycle, as well as reducing CO2 emissions from 152g/km for the regular i30 1.6 to 142g/km.

The i30 blue will be available in both five-door hatch and wagon body styles in Europe, where 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines will also be offered with stop-start technology. Hyundai says ISG will be progressively fitted across its model range.

Next month’s Geneva show will also host the debut of the three-door i20, which has already been revealed in five-door guise. HMCA has already confirmed the i20 will be made available in Australia alongside the current Getz light-sized hatch, but is yet to reveal which bodystyle(s) will be sold here.

“We have already announced we will take the i20, which will replace the Getz in Europe, as a larger and more sophisticated alternative to the Getz,” said Mr Hershman.

“The Getz will remain an entry-price car to meet market needs in the current automotive market climate, while at the same time the i20 will rival more upmarket Japanese vehicles.” The less expensive i20 three-door will join the i20 five-door in Europe from the second quarter of 2009.

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