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AIMS: Hyundai to get SR-iously sporty

Hot hatched: The next car likely to get the SR treatment – after the Veloster – is the new i30 hatchback.

Details on Hyundai’s SR performance sub-brand expected to emerge at AIMS this week

Hyundai logo16 Oct 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

HYUNDAI is expected to announce the expansion of its SR-badged performance car portfolio beyond the Veloster Turbo at this week’s Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.

The company confirmed to GoAuto two months ago that a number of SR-badged passenger cars were under evaluation ahead of a potential release in 2013, and that an announcement was likely to be made in Sydney.

Hyundai is playing its cards close to its chest, but is expected to premiere several of the cars in concept form, led by a sporty i30 hot hatch designed to give the brand an answer to the popular Mazda3 SP25.

It is possible the first SR model to be revealed in Sydney will be a global model produced in Korea featuring a more powerful engine and a number of locally specified suspension, steering, braking and wheel/tyre components, and with durability and suitability testing conducted in Australia.

Alternately, the concept/s could be local initiatives largely developed by Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) at the company’s extensive local facilities, where it calibrated Australian-specific chassis and suspension tuning for the Veloster Turbo, i30, i40 and Santa Fe.

Whichever is the case, any future SR models will have more in common with the hottest Veloster – launched in August as a toe in the performance-car waters and featuring a punchy turbo engine – than the previous-generation i30 SR special edition, which was essentially stock but with cosmetic tweaks.

HMCA senior product planning manager Scott Williams said in August that future SRs will “have the sausage with the sizzle”.

Potential powertrains for the i30 SR include the Veloster SR’s 150kW/265Nm 1.6-litre turbocharged engine or, perhaps more likely, the 2.0-litre GDi petrol unit from the i40.

The company added that any SR model to enter production would need significant, bespoke suspension tuning and a more aggressive styling package.

Hyundai will, of course, also display the rest of its growing local line-up at the Sydney show, including recent releases such as the new-generation Santa Fe and i30 hatch, Veloster SR Turbo and i40 sedan.

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