Hyundai recently revealed the new i20 three-door which boasts a new body style that will broaden its appeal to the fastest-growing sector of the car market in Europe.
Positioned between the i10 and i30 models, the i20 three-door shares many of its styling features with the five-door. In fact the front and rear remain unchanged, but the distinctive crease lines that run along each side are enhanced by the longer front doors and the sporty, upswept shape of the rear-side window.
Built on the same 2.525mm wheelbase and weighing 10 kilograms less than the i20 five-door, the new model offers an equally well proportioned exterior and spacious interior that will comfortably accommodate adult passengers in the front and rear seats.
The larger front doors create a wide entry aperture, and Hyundai’s quick-release memory seats with walk-in functionality provide easy access to and from the rear. The system enables the front-seat backrests to be tipped and the whole seat to slide forwards. This simple-to-use system returns the front seat to the originally selected position without the need for readjustment.
Safety is always at the forefront for Hyundai and the i20 has an extensive list of active and passive equipment. These includes multiple airbags on all models – front, side and curtain – as standard, plus active head-restraints.
Hyundai expects i20 buyers will make the 1.2-litre petrol engine – dubbed ‘Kappa’ – the best-selling power plant in the range. The new, all-alloy unit combines miserly fuel consumption with low CO2 emissions to produce a compelling package with exceptionally low running costs.
Kappa is the latest example of the company’s expertise in developing lightweight, low-NVH, super-efficient engines. With a displacement of just 1,248cc, Kappa unit develops an 78 bhp and a class-leading torque figure of 119Nm, endowing the i20 with responsive acceleration and excellent driveability.
The three-door i20 should be available shortly.
Earlier this month Hyundai revealed its nnovative plug-in hybrid concept car at the Seoul Motor Show. The “Blue-Will” has exceptionally advanced technology crammed inside its striking bodyshell.
Recycled PET soft drink bottles were used to make the material for the headlamp bezels while use has also been made of bio-plastics: PLA for the interior while PA11 was specified for the engine cover. These materials are made from plants extract rather than fossil fuels and are bio-degradable.
The Blue-Will concept is powered by an all-aluminium petrol direct injected 1.6-litre engine which is coupled with a continuously variable transmission and a 100kw electric motor which is at the heart of Hyundai’s parallel hybrid drive architecture.
Electric power, stored by a lithium ion polymer battery pack, is neatly bundled with the fuel tank under the rear seat to maximise luggage space.
Hyundai will be the first automaker in the world to apply lithium ion polymer in a mass production vehicle when the Elantra LPI Hybrid goes on sale in Korea in July this year.
A further expression of the concept’s design flexibility is found on the panoramic roof. The glass area integrates dye-sensitized solar cells which can generate power for the batteries from the sun without impeding visibility.
The Hyundai ix-onic concept
Another sensational Hyundai concept car was one of the highlight of Hyundai’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show. The ix-onic, which made its world premier last month, introduced a whole new look for Hyundai’s compact SUVs and is packed with technology which the Korean carmaker says is more fuel efficient than some superminis.
Designed to be assertive but not aggressive, the ix-onic (pronounced “ik-sonnik” ) combines dynamic styling with an environmentally-friendly power train and thoughtful everyday utility. It creates a vehicle that will change the way consumers think about compact crossover vehicles.
Hyundai’s design team in Germany created the concept with European consumers in mind. With an overall length of 4,400mm, the 1,850mm-wide and 1,650mm-high ix-onic has an imposing stance and road presence but takes up little more space on the road than a C-segment hatchback. We will see more of this as it evolves towards a production model.