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Paris show: Hyundai unlocks new i30

Familiar look: The tail end of the new-generation Hyundai i30 is reminiscent of its larger Tucson SUV stablemate.

New tech, premium interior and evolutionary design for Hyundai’s new-gen i30


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8 Sep 2016

HYUNDAI has whipped the covers off its third-generation i30 hatch overnight ahead of its Paris motor show debut, revealing an evolutionary design, new and updated powertrains, and a host of new technologies for its top-selling model.

The new i30 – revealed in European guise – will start to roll into Australian Hyundai dealerships in the second quarter of next year, replacing the second-gen model that has been one of the company’s most successful, and its best seller locally each year since 2009.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) public relations general manager Bill Thomas told GoAuto that while the company was hoping for continued strong sales for the new i30, it was aware that buyers are looking at many segments when they purchase a new car.

“We’ll certainly be setting ourselves some very challenging targets for the car,” he said. “But we have to be realistic about which segments customers are shopping in and what the future holds for all segments. With the rise of SUVs of all shapes and sizes, and a decline in small cars, it’s important to make sure our product range is strong across the board.

“We are very confident that this car will be a class leader in all sorts of ways, and value for money will be a key factor, definitely.”

While the Australian-spec version will continue to be sourced from South Korea, the new i30 was designed, developed and tested in Europe – with damper tuning development conducted in Australia by Hyundai’s local tuning arm.

Hyundai Motor Group president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer said in a statement that the new i30 ushers in a new look for the Hyundai brand.

“Our designers are driven by passion and enthusiasm bringing pride and joy to Hyundai owners,” he said. “You see and feel this new spirit in the next generation i30 – it is a proud statement.

“With the next generation i30 we are introducing our newly developed front grille: we call it the Cascading Grille. It will become the new identity of Hyundai.”

The new design gives the i30 a more premium, European look than the existing model, and it even has hints of the Peugeot 308.

While the new look is an evolution of the second-gen model, it features fewer bulges and creases and offers up a sharper, simpler design, which could ensure it appeals to a wider customer base.

According to Hyundai, the downward tapering look of the Cascading Grille was inspired by “the flow of molten steel” and it features chrome-plated dots for a premium look.

At the front, the i30 also features new LED daytime running lights, as well as three projector style LED headlights.

A character line runs the length of the i30 from the headlights to the new LED tail-lights and continues at the rear between the lights that are reminiscent of the Tucson SUV.

The i30 has a drag coefficient of 0.30 and Hyundai says aerodynamics were enhanced through the use of an Active Air Flap behind the front grille, Air Curtains on each side of the front bumper aiding air flow, and a rear spoiler.

The European model will be offered with 15-inch steel wheels or 16- and 17-inch alloys, and buyers will have a choice of 12 exterior colours.

Massive changes have been made in the cabin, with Hyundai introducing a high-end European look to the interior that features high quality materials and the use of chrome surrounds.

A stylish new three-spoke steering wheel replaces the dated-looking four-spoke tiller of the current model.

Sitting atop the centre stack is an optional 8.0-inch touchscreen that incorporates navigation, media and other connectivity features, while a 5.0-inch capacitive touch LCD screen with a reversing camera is offered in lower spec variants.

Bluetooth will be standard but higher-spec models will have access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A wireless inductive charging pad will also be available as well as a USB port.

Hyundai is claiming segment-leading “roominess” for the i30’s cabin, while there is 395 litres of cargo space that increases to 1301 litres with the seats folded flat. There is also a two-stage luggage board and a ski hatch in the rear centre seat.

Cloth and leather seats will be offered with black or two-tone combinations and the front seats will feature heating and cooling functions depending on the variant.

At 4340mm long, 1795mm wide, 1455mm high and a 2650mm wheelbase, the new version is 40mm longer and 15mm wider and higher than the outgoing model but has the exact same wheelbase.

European spec i30s will be offered with a suite of new powertrains including a new 1.4-litre four-cylinder GDI turbocharged petrol unit in two states of tune – 73kW/134Nm or 103kW/242Nm.

This engine is matched with a six-speed manual gearbox or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and weight has been reduced by 14kg, aiding fuel efficiency.

A new 88kW/171Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine has also been announced and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual.

Australian-spec models are unlikely to be available with these new engines as they are offered in European-sourced, rather than South Korean models.

Instead, the Australian i30 will use the carry over 124kW/201Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit from the SR in entry variants, paired with the six-speed manual or torque-converter auto.

A 1.6-litre turbo-petrol unit – likely the 150kW/265Nm unit from the Veloster SR Turbo – matched with the seven-speed dual-clutch will power the new-gen SR.

Despite the low take-up of diesel powertrains in the i30 range in Australia – about five per cent of overall i30 volume – Hyundai will continue to offer the 100kW/300Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine.

The i30 has been development tested on the famed Nurburgring circuit, as well as Sweden and Spain for winter and hot weather testing.

Hyundai says the i30 will offer “a dynamic ride without compromising comfort with good body control”, adding that steering is 10 per cent more direct than the current model.

The new chassis has been “completely reworked” for a more dynamic and compliant driving experience and improved ride comfort, aided by the multi-link rear suspension with a dual lower arm and performance oriented shock absorbers for all variants.

Hyundai says it has almost doubled the quantity of Advanced High Strength Steel in the i30 to 53 per cent, while reducing the weight of the body-in-white by 28kg and increasing rigidity by 22 per cent compared to the outgoing model, ensuring a lighter body and improved safety.

The i30 will be offered with a whole suite of new advanced active safety features – depending on the variant – that includes Autonomous Emergency Braking with Front Collision Warning System, Smart Cruise Control, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Assist System, Speed Limit Information Function, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Alert.

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