The wraps have come off the new Ford Focus-rivalling Hyundai i30 at the Frankfurt motor show.
The new i30’s appearance is much more distinctive than its four-year-old predecessor’s, featuring front end styling inspired by Hyundai’s new Ford Mondeo-sized i40 saloon and estate models.
The i30 sports a large hexagonal front grille, angular headlamps and distinctive LED daytime running lights. The windscreen is sharply raked and the glasshouse narrows towards the rear for a more sporting stance than the current i30’s.
At the rear, the tail-lamps wrap around to the sides in a similar style to those of the new Ford Focus. The side surfacing features a distinctive character line that runs upwards from the front to the rear wheel arches. Design chief Thomas Bürkle says the overall design gives the car a stronger personality than its predecessor.
The interior is also very reminiscent of the i30’s larger brethren and has significantly more space than the outgoing model. The boot will also be ten per cent larger at 378 litres.
Six engines – three petrols and three diesels – are likely to be available when the i30 goes on sale in the UK in the first quarter of 2012. Power outputs are expected to range from 89 to 133bhp, but the most significant variant will be the i30 Blue, which will have an updated version of Hyundai’s 1.6-litre diesel engine along with sub-100g/km emissions and 126bhp. New six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are also likely.
Like the i40, the new i30 will feature premium, upmarket materials inside. Dual-zone climate control and a panoramic sunroof are expected to be available on mid-spec models.
The i30 will be available as a five-door from launch but there is the possibility of a three-door variant later in the model’s lifetime. In addition to lower running costs, Hyundai is also anticipating lower insurance costs as a result of the newcomer’s extensive safety features.
The company has eschewed the idea of a performance flagship, instead favouring clean engines with low emissions.