First pictures of Hyundai's new city car have been released today; the new i10 follows the i30 as the second new Hyundai model to be introduced under the brand’s new naming philosophy. However, Autocar has been given a sneak peak at the firm's product plan for the next two years, and it makes for interesting reading.
The next steps: i40 and i20
After i10 comes the i40 family saloon (a heavy facelift of the current Sonata) which arrives in April.After that we’ll see the new i20 supermini, which replaces the Getz later in 2008. The car will appear in production form at the Paris motor show in the autumn, before hitting showrooms a couple of months later, and like the i30, it will be designed and developed in Europe.
A new Hyundai Coupe: i40c?
A decision concerning the future of the new, rear-driven Tiburon coupe, currently under development for the US market, has yet to be taken. As Autocar understands it, there is considerable will to bring the new Coupe to the UK as a proper right-hand driver, powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and badged ‘i40c’; if that plan gets the go-ahead, it could happen as early as next year, but according to our source, ‘the business case has yet to be made.’ The alternative is to develop a cheaper, more direct replacement for the front-driven coupe, taking its stylistic lead from the Veloster concept, but that car couldn’t arrive until 2009 at the earliest.
MPVs and SUVs: i30v, i30x, i50x
We won’t see another large MPV, a gap formerly filled by the Trajet, from Hyundai, as the firm doesn’t believe that there’s enough demand to support a decision to import the Entourage model from the US. However, there’s a strong chance that a smaller MPV could turn up, looking a lot like the i-Blue concept we saw at Frankfurt: “picture it as a seven-seater ‘Picasso’ version of the i30, probably called the ‘i30v’, and you won’t be far wide of the mark,” said our source.In relation to the firm’s trio of SUVs, both the Tucson and Santa Fe will receive major facelifts and new names in the next 18 months; according to a Hyundai UK insider, the Tucson will be renamed the i30x and the Santa Fe the i50x. There will be no replacement for the Terracan, the largest 4x4 in Hyundai’s UK range; although it has been succeeded by the Veracruz 4x4 in the US, “it wouldn’t be worth the cost of converting the car for right-hand drive for such small sales volumes,” a source advised.
... and finally, an executive saloon: i60?
Beyond all of that lies the distant prospect of a UK version of Hyundai’s V8-powered executive saloon, inspired by the Genesis concept that was shown at the New York motor show earlier this year, and rumoured to be entering production in the US in late 2008, and coming to Europe in 2009. According to our Hyundai source, this car could well be sold in the UK as Hyundai’s flagship product, a V8-powered, sub-£30,000 middle-sized executive saloon badged ‘i60’. “There are a lot of us here that want to make that happen,” said our company spokesperson, “it’d be great for our brand, and a great sign of confidence for the future. We’ll have to wait to find out if the numbers add up.”