Korean firms plans its own micro city car
30 January 2009

Hyundai has made plans to produce a Toyota iQ rival that could be on sale by next year.

The project became clear after Hyundai’s R&D department was instructed to accelerate development of a ‘green baby’.

A European Hyundai source suggested that Hyundai’s car would differ from the iQ by being funkier and perhaps more basic and functional. “It would be sort of modular and minimalist in a Citroën 2CV kind of way,” he said.

One approach under consideration involves offering a single drivetrain and trim level, a tactic used on the original Renault Twingo, but with customising packs for the cabin and paintwork.

Hyundai’s determination to maintain a full portfolio extends to rivals for Ford’s Fusion (based on the i20) and C-Max (based on the i30 platform).

The larger of the Hyundai duo, heralded by last year’s i-mode concept, should arrive in the middle of next year, with its smaller counterpart due around 12 months later.

Insiders say that the junior MPVs could be badged i20m and i30m, and that the larger car will incorporate a 126bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine.

Hugh Hunston

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