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Geneva show: Hyundai wields new i30 wagon

Room for more: Hyundai has unveiled a wagon version of the new i30 ahead of its debut at the Geneva show next month.

Wagon version of Hyundai’s upcoming new i30 hatchback revealed ahead of Geneva debut

Hyundai logo24 Feb 2012

HYUNDAI has revealed a sleek wagon version of the all-new i30 hatchback that will replace the Korean brand’s top-selling model in Australia within months.

While the redesigned i30 hatch will go on sale here before mid-year, the next-generation i30 wagon is likely to follow it into Australian showrooms a few months later, although Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) is yet to confirm its local release.

Hyundai’s current i30cw is priced from $22,090 with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, commanding a $2500 price premium over the entry-level i30 1.6 hatch (from $19,590) and just $1500 more than the equivalent i30 2.0 SX manual hatch (from $20,590).

Last year it played a small but valuable role in achieving a total of almost 29,000 sales of the i30, which accounted 12.4 per cent of Australia’s biggest single vehicle segment, in which it was beaten only by Australia’s most popular vehicle bar none, the Mazda3 (41,429 sales, 17.8 per cent), along with Toyota’s Corolla (36,087, 15.5%) and Holden’s Cruze (33,784, 14.5%).

However, combined sales of the i30 and closely related Elantra sedan totalled 33,443, putting Hyundai’s presence in the small car segment almost on par with Holden’s, although the Australian-designed Cruze hatch joined the sedan only late last year.

1 center imageLeft: Hyundai i30 wagon and hatchback.

GM recently announced it would also use next month’s Geneva motor show to debut its all-new Cruze wagon, which was designed in Port Melbourne alongside the hatch and will go on sale here early next year, with local production possible beyond that.

The Cruze wagon will join the new i30cw in an almost non-existent small wagon segment Down Under, where Volkswagen’s Golf wagon (from $26,990) and Peugeot’s 308 Touring (from $34,490) are the only other entrants.

Hyundai says the new i30 wagon was designed and engineered – and will be manufactured – in Europe, for Europe. As before, the i30 hatch and wagon were styled in parallel at Hyundai’s European design studio in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

Once again, it will share its chassis and powertrains (including both petrol and diesel engines) with the i30 hatch, which also donates its sleek new styling, led by classy new i40-style headlights flanking a hexagonal grille and a prominent side shoulder line that hugs muscular front wheel-arches before rising steeply upwards to the rear.

To this, the i30 wagon adds a smooth rear-end design incorporating new horizontal tail-lights to replace the i30’s D-pillar-mounted clusters and an uncluttered tailgate that features a sporty upper spoiler and opens to reveal a bumper-level loading lip, plus a load more space.

The new i30 cargo-carrier is 185mm longer than its hatch sibling at 4485mm overall, as well as 10mm longer than the original i30cw. At 528 litres, its cargo capacity is 150 litres more than the hatchback’s (378 litres), extending more than three-fold to some 1624 litres with the rear seats folded.

Hyundai says that makes its new i30 wagon one of the most accommodating vehicles in the European C-segment, in which it delivers best-in-class luggage space.

Australia’s new i30 engine line-up is yet to be confirmed, but the European powertrain line-up will bring the same three more powerful and efficient petrol and diesel engines as seen in Europe’s hatch range.

The local i30 wagon should therefore come with either Hyundai’s new direct-injection 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine (in this case producing 99kW and 164Nm instead of the 103kW/166Nm outputs of the new Veloster and Kia Rio) or the company’s older 1.6 petrol four (88kW/156Nm).

Similarly, diesel power should come in the form of either an 81/kW/260Nm 1.6-litre oil-burner or Hyundai’s new 94kW/260Nm turbo-diesel, with new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions replacing the current i30’s four-speed auto and five-speed manual.

“The new-generation i30 has been widely praised for its style, quality and value,” said Hyundai Motor Europe senior vice-president and chief operating officer Allan Rushforth.

“Our new wagon offers all of those attributes plus even greater load-carrying capacity. We expect it to appeal strongly to those looking for stylish and flexible practicality, especially active families.” The new i30 wagon will make its world debut at Geneva alongside the futuristic ‘i-oniq’ concept, a sleek coupe-like show car first revealed in December, when Hyundai said it will preview a new direction for its current ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language.

Fresh from staging the local release of the all-new Veloster coupe, which will be joined by a flagship Turbo variant later this year, HMCA will launch the all-new i40 sedan here before the redesigned i30 arrives by mid-year, while a replacement for the mid-size Santa Fe SUV is also expected here this year.

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