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Hyundai’s Accent to gain sporty spice

Warm: Hyundai will release hatch and sedan versions of the newly released Accent light car next year powered by a 103kW/167Nm 1.6-litre petrol engine.

Direct-injection petrol will join turbo-diesel as Hyundai puts on posher Accents

10 Aug 2011

HOT on the heels of the CRDi turbo-diesel, Hyundai will roll out “warm” hatch and sedan versions of the newly released RB Accent light car next year.

Known internally as the Accent SR, although this nomenclature may not translate to the final production iteration, the go-faster models will become the RB range flagship, boasting at its heart Hyundai’s new 1.6-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol GDI engine that will debut on the Veloster coupe late this year.

A variation of the 1.6-litre twin-cam 16-valve aluminium Gamma unit, it delivers about 103kW of power at 6300rpm and 167Nm of torque at 4850rpm. That’s a leap from 91kW and 156Nm respectively over the existing MPI Gamma unit found in regular RB Accents.

Other advancements include a move to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions from the outmoded five-speed manual and four-speed automatic gearboxes offered on the Accent MPI models.

According to one Hyundai insider, the Accent SR will also gain a lowered stance and a “sportier” suspension tune to keep pace with the performance. A body kit has also been developed, we hear, that will give the most driver-orientated Hyundai light car ever offered in Australia a bit more visual verve.

1 center imageLeft: Newly released Hyundai Accent. Below: Ford Fiesta Zetec.

The Accent SR is a response to the unexpected success Ford has enjoyed with the Fiesta Zetec. Since the current-shape WS arrived in early 2009, it has accounted for up to 40 per cent of all volume, while its boxier WQ predecessor struggled with just five per cent.

Already available as the main engine choice in North American-bound RB Accents, the GDI package reportedly was described by one senior US Hyundai executive as capable of “kicking Fiesta’s butt”.

Final details of the Accent SR have yet to be divulged, but expect to see it in Hyundai’s Australian dealerships before the middle of 2012.

It will probably replace the newly released Accent Premium as the RB series range-topper.

Meanwhile, the company is also hoping to steal some of the Fiesta’s TDCi diesel thunder with keen pricing for the Accent turbo-diesel.

Not only will it go one better than the Ford by offering an automatic option alongside the standard manual transmission, but the upcoming CRDi due in the last quarter of this year will probably kick off from under $19,000 – a significant saving over the $21,490 Fiesta LX TDCi.

Ford revealed that it has also been caught out by strong customer demand for its littlest diesel, with supply out of Thailand struggling to keep up.

“We sell every Fiesta TDCi we can get,” says Ford Australia sales, marketing and service boss Beth Donovan.

The Accent CRDi employs a 1.6-litre DOHC four-cylinder common-rail variable-geometry turbo-diesel engine producing 94kW at 4000rpm and 265Nm from 1900 to 2750rpm.

A variation of this engine will also be seen in the next-generation i30 slated for release in the latter half of 2012.

Though details are scant, we hear that the hatch and SW Sportswagon again will be developed at Hyundai’s Russelsheim design and engineering facility in Germany, and will brandish a bigger and roomier body than the existing model to put some space between it and the new Accent/upcoming i20 Mk2.

Among other advancements, expect the next i30 to feature a multi-link rear suspension system.

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