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Hyundai lifts shroud on new Lantra

Squared-off: The new Hyundai Lantra features more hard-edged styling than the current model.

Hyundai has provided the first glimpse of its new Lantra sedan

Hyundai logo7 Jun 2000

By GAUTAM SHARMA

HYUNDAI has pulled the wraps off its all-new Lantra at the relatively inconspicuous Turin motor show.

It is believed Hyundai chose the Turin show as the venue for the Lantra's unveiling to maximise the newcomer's worldwide media exposure.

The only other debutant of real significance at the show is the Alfa Romeo 147.

Predictably, the new Lantra shares a few styling cues with its smaller Accent sibling, which features more hard-edged lines than the outgoing Excel.

The revised Lantra has been squared-off to some degree with the twin-nostril grille of the present model making way for a rectangular item.

The slanty headlights of the current model have also been ditched in favour of large "New Edge" style lamps.

Twin round driving lights are incorporated in the front bumper assembly and the car's overall profile appears reminiscent of the Giugiaro-styled Daewoo Leganza.

The revamped Lantra will be launched here in September, which means it will go head-to-head with the likes of the new Nissan Pulsar, also due around the same time.

Entry level pricing is expected to remain below $20,000. As with the current model, lower-spec models will come with a 1.8-litre engine while the more expensive variants will use a 2.0-litre unit.

But one major change is the deletion of the relatively popular Sportswagon in favour of a five-door hatchback variant.

The current Lantra continues to be a strong performer for Hyundai, notching up 3992 sales until the end of May, compared with 3483 for the same period last year.

The launch of the new model could lift Lantra sales to more than 1000 units per month.

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