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While performance and racing are two things that may not come to mind when you think Hyundai, this stereotype is exactly what the Korean company is trying to rid themselves of. The Veloster turbo is the first performance geared vehicle Hyundai is trying push in Europe, and now they are considering adding turbocharged power to the i40, known as the Sonata (2011 Sonata Turbo shown above) here in the U.S.
Allan Rushforth, a senior company executive at Hyundai said “A Hyundai GTI? That’s not just a C-segment question [i30], but a D-segment [i40] one as well,” and continued on to say, “We have talked about such cars and are considering versions not only with more performance, but dynamic improvements to ride and handling, too.”
Already having a dual-clutch setup in the Veloster, it seems likely that Hyundai will carry out its plan to create the performance geared i40 as the main components needed are already in place in the companies current line-up. The i40 will likely come with the same 2.0L 4-cylinder engine as the Sonata Turbo, which makes 274-hp and 269 ft-lbs of torque.
The real question is whether or not the European market will be receptive to full size turbo charged Hyundai.
The Euro NCAP (European New Car Assessment Program) has just released its latest crash test results of 10 2011 models, and nine vehicles take top spots by earning five star ratings.
Coming out on top are the Audi A6, the BMW X3, the Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Orlando, the Citroën DS5, the Hyundai i40, the Opel Ampera, the VW Golf Cabriolet and Jetta. Coming in with four stars is the Kia Picanto, which does not come with standard Electronic Stability Control.
In the plug-in and electric category, the Opel/Vauxhall Ampera earned top marks, and for child occupant protection, the Hyundai i40 and VW Jetta and Golf Cabriolet scored 86 percent. The Chevrolet Aveo and Chevrolet Orlando came out with good whiplash and adult occupant protection scores.
However, the Opel Ampera, Audi A6 and Citroën DS5 just met Euro NCAP’s 2011 pedestrian requirements for a five star rating. More stringent five star requirements will be put into place in 2012.
For can view all the test result scores on Euro NCAP’s website.
The long rumored Hyundai Sonata station wagon exists, and it bowed at the Geneva Auto Show, dubbed the Hyundai i40 Tourer, in keeping with the brand’s European nomenclature.
Although Hyundai PR bigwigs have denied that the i40 will come to America, we think that rising gas prices may provide an impetus for this kind of vehicle, rather than an SUV. The i40 Tourer was designed at Hyundai’s German R&D facility, and it shows in the high-quality interior, compact 1.7L diesel engine and distinct styling. While a choice of powertrains is available, Hyundai is pushing their 1.7L diesel hard, an engine that is much more aligned with European rather than North American tastes. Expect this car to do battle with the Euro-market Volkswagen Passat wagon when it goes on sale this year.
Gallery: Hyundai i40 Tourer
Hyundai revealed the first photos of their i40 Tourer, a European market station wagon that stands a good chance of coming to our shores as a Sonata wagon.
European media were given a preview of the vehicle, and initial reports are crammed with the usual nauseating marketing fluff, but we do know that with the rear seats up, there’s roughly 20 cubic feet of cargo space, increasing to 60.7 with the seats folded down. Available features include Bluetooth, a navigation system, lane-departure warning, 9 airbags and heated rear seats. A stop-start system is also available.
Hyundai‘s previous generation Sonata is still on sale in European markets, and with a new alphanumeric naming convention being established, the next Sonata will apparently be known as the i40 when it makes its European debut at the 2011 Geneva auto show.
So far, the i40w station wagon has been the only variant previewed so far. We wouldn’t be surprised if this car, designed with Europe in mind, made it here as the Sonata wagon, a long-rumored product. We’re not sure if the Sonata sedan will be sold as the European i40 – while the car has the chops to go up against class leaders like the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat, its North American size may be an issue in Europe, where space comes at a premium.
Hyundai’s range of diesel engines, expected to be offered on the i40, will also likely not make it over here.
[Source: Hyundai Blog]
Five new models expected in next two years
Hyundai is planning to release five new models between now and 2012, according to a company info obtained by Autoweek.nl. Three of the five models are expected to make their way to North America.
The first model is the next generation Tucson, which will be based on the ix-ONIC concept that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show last March. It is expected to use a new turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and make 140hp. We captured a few spy photos (like the one above) of the new Tucson testing in California.
After the Tucson, will come two MPV versions of the i20 and i30, for sale in Europe and Asia.
In 2011, Hyundai is then expected to reveal the new Sonata (also known as the i40 in some markets). As well as a sedan, Hyundai is reportedly readying a wagon version of the car.
The final product will emerge at the end of 2011 and will be the “replacement” for the Tiburon. In fact, it won’t be much like a Tiburon at all and will actually be considerably smaller. Based on the Veloster concept, the car will feature a unique layout with two passenger doors but just one driver’s door and will be a hatchback. Power will come from either a 140hp turbocharged 1.6-lite four-cylinder or a 172hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
[Source: AutoWeek.nl via WorldCarFans]