Thursday 25 September 2008

Hyundai i10 wanted down under (AU)

As yet the i20 is not even confirmed for Australia, though Hyundai Motor Australia has done well with the i30 and is pushing hard for the smallest of the Euro-focused cars, the i10.

“We'd like it come to Australia, however it's yet to be confirmed,” Hyundai Australia spokesman Ben Hershman says. “But it won't replace the Getz. We see it as a larger and more sophisticated car, so if it comes it will most likely be a premium model, which will be at a price point above the Getz.”

Hershman says the competition in the i20's sights will be the Japanese hatches, specifically the Mazda2 and Honda Jazz and the Toyota Yaris.

The i20's styling echoes the larger i30, though it has a few more creases, with a chrome-finished grille and strong character lines leading back from the teardrop headlights.

“We would do our best to have a choice of which engines would arrive in the i20, but we're not sure at this point which way we're going to go,” he says.

“Depending on the strategy we follow we may have one or two engines. We haven't decided on whether we would have petrol or diesel. But clearly we are delighted with how i30 diesel is going.”

The i20 will be produced initially only in Hyundai's Chennai plant in India, which builds the i30, Getz and the i10 for Europe.

It has had its production capacity increased from 250,000 to 400,000 cars to satisfy demand.

“We've done some preliminary studies on shipping from India and it's all very feasible,” Hershman says.

“We want to make sure that if we do this, we want all the pieces of the puzzle to work.”

In similar news, the i20 and i30 may reach U.S shores within a few years. Hyundai said that the i10 is far too small for U.S roads. Since the Elantra Touring is based on the i30 estate, it makes sense to consider the i30 hatchback.

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