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Paris show: Hyundai’s bob-tailed i30 revealed

Less is more: The three-door Hyundai i30 is not on the forward-model plans for Australia, where the five-door i30 is it.

Euro-styled three-door Hyundai i30 set for Paris reveal, but off the agenda for Oz

17 Sep 2012

HYUNDAI has revealed a third member of its new i30 small car family, but don’t get your hopes up just yet – the spunky German-designed, Czech-made three-door is only for Europe.

Hyundai Australia marketing director Oliver Mann said the local branch will stick with its South Korean-built five-door i30 hatch in this market, targeting the largest small-car sales segment.

Australia will also miss out on the previously revealed i30 wagon that is also made only for Europe in the Czech Republic, where the Hyundai factory is flat-out building European supply.

The high popularity of three-door small cars in Europe makes the new i30 model a key release there, and it will get a high-profile debut at the Paris motor show next week.

The three-door i30 would seem a candidate for the rumoured Hyundai hot hatch, perhaps equipped with the Veloster Turbo’s 155kW 1.6-litre turbocharged engine.

Hyundai says the three-door i30 in Europe will come with a choice of four engines with five power outputs, but it has disclosed details of only one of those engines – a frugal 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel.

1 center imageLeft: Kia Pro_Cee'd.

European reports suggest Hyundai’s sister company Kia is preparing a 149kW turbo version of its i30-based three-door Pro_Cee’d small car, which is also on the Paris debut list.

Like the i30 three-door, Pro_Cee’d is off the agenda for Australia where Kia is sticking with the Cerato and related Koup as its small-car entrants.

The new i30 variant carries the same ‘fluid sculpture’ design language of the five-door, but with a sloping roof line and rear-hatch spoiler.

Apart from the obvious deletion of two doors, the three-door is distinguished from other i30s by longer front doors, a black-finished mesh grille above the central black bar, flanked by sportier round fog lamps connected to LED daytime running light strips.

The lower front bumper has been reshaped for a sportier effect, while the rear hatch and bumper have been re-sculpted.

Bigger rear foglamp clusters in the redesigned bumper help give a more horizontal look, accentuated by a black insert at the bottom, in the form of a mock diffuser.

Hyundai Motor Europe senior vice president and chief operating officer Allan Rushforth said the new-generation i30 three-door had been conceived solely for Europe, where the i30 had been a major sales driver for Hyundai.

The Hyundai i30 three-door gets a Europe-tuned chassis, along with a multi-mode steering assistance system called Flex-Steer, allowing drivers to select a level of steering assistance to their taste or driving conditions.

The second-generation i30 was launched in Australia in May, but sales are down seven per cent year to date, no doubt due to the demise of the previously popular wagon variant.

The i30 is running fourth in the 2012 small car sales race, behind the Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Holden Cruze.

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