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Hyundai Accent SR here inside three months

Coming next: Hyundai's 'SR' range of models will grow to three when the Accent version hits showrooms by November.

Circa-$21k, 103kW Hyundai Accent SR warm hatch here by year’s end

19 Aug 2013

HYUNDAI Australia has confirmed its Accent SR sports hatch concept, previewed at the Australian International Motor Show exactly 10 months ago, will see the light of day and hit local showrooms by November.

The news comes at the local launch of the larger i30 SR, which hits Australian lots this week from $27,990 plus on-road costs. The Accent and i30 SR pair made their joint world premieres at last year’s AIMS, and both have had significant local input.

Accent SR pricing and specifications are being withheld until local launch, but the car is expected to stay true to the concept version that spawned it. As with the i30, Australia will likely be the first country in the world to offer an SR version of the car.

“I’m delighted to advise that this car too is moving rapidly towards the production phase, and should be available in Australia within three months,” said HMCA director of marketing Oliver Mann.

What is clear is that the Accent SR, to be priced around $21k, will be a rival not for outright hot hatches such as the Fiesta ST and Polo GTI, but more a competitor for warmed-up tiddlers such as the Kia Rio SLi and Suzuki Swift Sport.

This is in line with Hyundai’s mission to launch a sequence of warmed-up, rather than overtly hot, small hatches. A third tier of model, likely a genuine turbocharged hatch in line with the 150kW/265Nm Veloster SR, is on the radar but still some time away from production.

The concept version was, like the i30 SR, based on the mid-level Elite specification and sported retuned engine, steering and suspension. HMCA’s Australian tuning department has worked on the springs and dampers of the Accent, as with the i30.

Power from the 1.6-litre GDi petrol engine - shared with the regular Veloster - rose 13 per cent (from 91kW to 103kW) and torque was boosted by seven per cent (from 156Nm to 167Nm). Not massive numbers, but more than the 100kW/160Nm Swift Sport.

The concept’s drive was sent through the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, and the car was distinguished by 16-inch alloy wheels, projector beam headlights and a larger rear spoiler.

As with the i30, expect sporty red and black inserts, while the concept also featured automatic climate-control and a five-inch touchscreen for the multimedia audio system.

“There were two questions to be answered before the i30 project could be green-lighted,” said Mr Mann at this week’s i30 SR launch. “From a technical perspective, had Hyundai come of age to make sure the cars were fun to drive? “And from a brand perspective, would Hyundai be able to attract customers to buy these cars? “The second question was answered when the HMCA concepts were displayed at AIMS 2012, and buyer feedback was strong enough to convince us the project was worth pursuing.”

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