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Hyundai to debut i40 wagon at Geneva

Sneak peek: Hyundai’s European-biased i40 gets a more glamorous interior than its i45 sibling.

Hyundai teases with i40 interior shot ahead of its world debut at Geneva

Hyundai logo8 Feb 2011

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

HYUNDAI’S European-designed and engineered i40 will make its world debut at the Geneva show next month.

No official photos of the car’s exterior have been released, but the South Korean manufacturer has supplied an interior shot, revealing a ritzier cockpit than the closely-related i45 sedan that is on sale in Australia.

The high-tech looking, blue-backlit dashboard’s most striking feature is a swooping ribbon of silver decoration that incorporates the engine start/stop button and continues along the door panel.

The cabin has several textures and surface finishes, from dark silver switchgear to gloss piano black on the centre console in what Hyundai calls the “sculpted shapes and thoughtful layout of the high-quality interior”.

Official renderings of the i40 wagon, which is Hyundai’s first D-segment car to be specifically developed for the European market, were released in December.

As GoAuto has reported, the i40 will be initially released in Europe as a wagon, which is under evaluation for Australian release as a Mazda6 competitor but is as yet without a confirmed launch date. A sedan, ruled out for Australia due to the presence of the i45, is due to follow six months later.

1 center imageTop and middle: Hyundai Veloster. Bottom: Hyundai Curb.

Hyundai claims the i40 will “move the company towards a ‘modern premium’ positioning that will bring high-end features and vehicle quality to Hyundai customers at accessible prices”.

The new Veloster coupe, which was unveiled at Detroit last month and is confirmed for a late-2011 Australian release, will also be at Geneva for its European debut.

An overdue replacement for the Tiburon and featuring an asymmetrical design with only the passenger side getting a rear door, the Veloster is expected to land here badged i15.

Also carrying over from Detroit to be seen for the first time in Europe is the Curb concept, a Californian-designed compact crossover intended to show where Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language could lead for its next generation of products.

Continuing its theme from previous motor shows, Hyundai will also be showcasing its progress with eco-friendly technology, with the i10-based BlueOn EV and fuel cell-powered ix35 FCEV on display.

Hyundai Australia sold 6413 vehicles in January, up 3.3 per cent on last year and coming within three sales of usurping Ford for fourth place. Total sales for 2010 were 80,038 – up 45.5 per cent compared with 2009.

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