A performance version of the Hyundai i40 is under consideration alongside a new Hyundai i30 hot hatch, a senior company executive has confirmed. Allan Rushforth, Hyundai Europe’s chief operations officer, said at the launch of the all-new i30 that Hyundai had to act on its rapid expansion in Europe with models that extended beyond its budget roots.

“A Hyundai GTI? That’s not just a C-segment question [i30], but a D-segment [i40] one as well,” said Rushforth. “We have talked about such cars and are considering versions not only with more performance, but dynamic improvements to ride and handling, too.”

Read our full Hyundai i40 road test

Such cars were necessary for Hyundai “if we are to expand on being a good value, reliable and low CO2 brand”, according to Rushforth, adding “we have to do something with products that bring our company to life”.

Hyundai recently confirmed that it would launch a performance ‘Turbo’ version of its new Veloster coupe in Europe this summer. The car will bring turbocharging to its modern 1.6-litre four-cylinder ‘Gamma’ direct-injection petrol engine for the first time, and Rushforth said the firm was open to more turbocharging in the future.

“We recognise the attributes in bringing down emissions and improving low-end performance with turbo engines,” said Rushforth. “We are working on this technology; watch this space.

“When you consider the whole life costs, clearly we have to keep an eye on high-revving, high stress [normally aspirated] petrol engines.”

Rushforth indicated the firm would look to expand its turbocharged offerings from 2013, when the firm is also expected to undertake a wider roll-out of the dual-clutch transmission technology it has recently launched in the Veloster.

“The Veloster is the first step for our dual-clutch technology,” he said. “It’s a starting point for us and we’ll look at how we can adapt it across the range.”

Mark Tisshaw

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