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Hyundai i20 breaks cover ahead of Paris debut

autos Updated: Aug 13, 2014 14:43 IST
New Generation Hyundai i20


The new car has a satisfyingly European look about it and Hyundai is doing everything it can to make the i20 a valid alternative to the likes of the Ford Fiesta or VW Polo.

Both cars are formidable acts to follow, even for more established European auto-makers. But Hyundai has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

The first is the new car's strong lines and well-formed visual personality, both of which are the result of setting up a design studio in Europe to ensure that cars meet European consumers' driving expectations.

And the second and potentially more crucial trick is that Hyundai has managed to keep the car's proportions relatively small -- its wheelbase is just 2570 mm -- but thanks to clever packaging has managed to find 1892 mm of front and rear passenger legroom.

That's best in class, meaning that, theoretically at least, it will be possible to seat five adults. Luggage space has also been optimized, and the i20 boasts the biggest boot currently on the market too -- some 320 liters. Not bad at all.

However, the quality of fittings and trim levels used to finish the cabin will be what seals the deal. And, Hyundai isn't yet prepared to open the i20's doors and give us a peek inside. That won't happen until October at the Paris Motor Show.

What we do know is that the cabin will benefit from a panoramic tilt-or-slide glass sunroof -- great for boosting light and comfort levels for the driver and occupants -- and that driver aids will include an integrated rear-view camera.

Likewise, Hyundai is yet to confirm what exactly will be powering the car when it makes its debut. However, considering the cars it is challenging -- the Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio and Peugeot 208 -- expect a sprightly turbo-charged petrol engine to be one of the options.

The public world premiere of the New Generation i20 will take place during Hyundai's press conference at the 2014 Paris Motor Show at 16:00 CET on October 2.