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 |  Sep 13 2011, 12:33 PM

Korean automaker Hyundai; continues to push vehicles catered to local market needs in an effort to spur regional growth and it’s new Euro-centric i30, introduced at this year’s Frankfurt show is no exception.

The i30 will be produced as a five-door hatchback at the firm’s Nošovice; Czech Republic assembly plant , with European sales expected to begin sometime early next year.

With emissions reduction currently the big thing in Europe, Hyundai says the new i30 delivers less than 100 grams of C02 per km, thanks to its upgraded 1.6-liter turbo diesel four-cylinder engine.

Slotting in below the new i40, Hyundai hopes that this second gen i30 will help bolster sales of the brand in Europe. The original version, when launched back in 2007, sold more than 360,000 copies Europe-wide during its production run and with the C-segment poised to swell by some 7 percent in Europe in the next three years to some 2.4 million vehicles sales per annum, Hyundai appears to have timed the launch of it’s second generation i30 rather well. The car will face some tough competition tough, going up against the Ford Focus, Opel Astra and top-selling VW Golf.

Given that Ford is now offering North American buyers an essentially European flavored Focus, it will be interesting to see how the proposed 2013  Elantra Touring (kissin’ cousin to the new i30); will fare in our market (the previous version bombed). That said, with consumers on our side of the Atlantic appearing to embrace hatchbacks more keenly than before, there’s every chance it could do considerably better this time around.

Gallery: Hyundai i30

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 |  Sep 07 2011, 1:15 PM

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Hyundai has just released a selection of photos of its new i30 hatchback model in Europe with a bold design similar to what we might expect from Mazda. Set to be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the i30 hatch might never make its way to North America, but it’s wagon counterpart (sold here as the Elantra Touring) will. That being said, this is a near-reveal of that car, which is expected to hit out shores next year as a 2013 model year car.

The bold front-end design of the new i30 hatch follows the Fluidic Sculpture design language that has been seen in the new i40 series (Europe’s Sonata), featuring wrap-around headlights, a large hexagonal front grille and prominent front fenders. On the inside, the i30 resembles the likes of Hyundai’s Veloster with a refined center console and a deep-set gauge cluster.

When it does arrive in the U.S. look for power to come from a 148-hp 1.8-liter with an impressive 40-mpg rating.

GALLERY: Hyundai i30 Hatchback

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