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Hyundai i20 Coupe a no-show for Australia

Not here: Hyundai’s Turkish-built i20 Coupe will stay planted in Europe as Hyundai Australia sticks with its venerable-but-successful first-generation five-door i20 from India.

Three-door Hyundai i20 faces uphill battle for Australia as old model battles on


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11 Dec 2014

THE tyranny of distance and diminishing Aussie dollar are set to skittle any chance of Hyundai’s new three-door i20 Coupe making it to Australia where it will slide into the too-hard-basket with the Turkish-built i20 five-door hatch and wagon.

Launched in Britain overnight, the cute Europe-only hatch has been added to the range alongside the new second-generation i20 five-door hatchback revealed at the recent Paris motor show and built at Hyundai’s Turkish plant.

None of these cars are expected in Australia where Hyundai dealers will forge on with the cheaper first-generation Indian-built i20 that remains the best-selling light car in Australia.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) public relations general manager Bill Thomas told GoAuto that the cost of shipping cars from Turkey and exchange-rate issues with the Euro made it unlikely that any of the European-spec i20 models would go on sale in Australia.

“We are doing well with the current i20 from India and plan to continue on with that,” he said.

While the Indian plant is adding the second-generation i20 to its production list, it is building the first-generation model in parallel for Australia, at least to the end of 2015.

The new i20 Coupe – looking like a three-door hatch – gets a choice of diesel and petrol engines, including, for the first time at Hyundai, an all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol engine due in the middle of next year.

Hyundai designers have applied an entirely new roof to the coupe, with re-designed A-, B- and C-pillars, flared wheel arches, unique rear bumper and roof-mounted spoiler. Wheels are 17-inch alloys.

Like the five-door variant, the coupe gets Hyundai’s latest hexagonal family grille.

The most powerful engine is a 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder that pushes out 74Kw of power and 134Nm of torque.

No power or torque figure have yet been given for the three-cylinder unit.

In Australia, the current i20 is number one in its segment, achieving 14,061 sales in the 11 months to the end of November and outselling Mazda’s Mazda2 (12,016) and Toyota’s Yaris (11,668).

Despite its age, i20 sales are up 9.3 per cent this year in a segment down 5.3 per cent.

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