Hyundai has unveiled its third-generation Hyundai i30 ahead of the five-door hatchback’s world debut at the Paris motor show at the end of this month and the start of UK sales early next year. The i30 will become a family of cars, topped by a long-awaited, high-performance N hot hatchback and also including saloon and estate models. The new i30’s new look is part of Hyundai’s effort to make its cars more stylish and desirable as its growth in Europe continues. The company says the number one reason for purchasing the previous i30 was its design, and Peter Schreyer, the man behind Kia’s revitalisation, now oversees Hyundai’s designs as well as it seeks to give its cars greater visual appeal.
The car, which has been developed in Europe, is built on an overhauled version of the current platform. It uses MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link suspension as standard at the rear, with ‘performance-orientated’ dampers. The steering has been quickened and directness has been increased by a claimed 10%, while the brakes have also been beefed up. Axel Honisch, general manager of Hyundai Technical Centre Europe, said: “It’s a good balance between ride and handling. The ride comfort was at a good level from before. We aim to increase the dynamism, gain some more agility and make it more fun to drive.”
The new i30’s body consists of 53% advanced high-strength steel, which is manufactured by Hyundai itself and double the amount of the material used in the previous model. As a result, the body-in-white is 28kg lighter than that of its predecessor and rigidity has increased by 22%. The new i30 is 4340mm long, 1795mm wide and 1455mm high, with a wheelbase of 2650mm. This means it’s marginally longer and wider than the current model but also lower, while the wheelbase remains the same. It weighs 1316kg in its lightest form; that’s slightly more than the 1306kg of the current i30 despite the lighter body, although equipment levels have increased.
Hyundai is offering the i30 with three petrol engines and one diesel from launch, including a new 138bhp, 178lb ft turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. Also in the petrol range is an entry-level 99bhp naturally aspirated 1.4 petrol unit and a 118bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre triple. The diesels are all 1.6-litre units with 94bhp, 108bhp or 131bhp, with C02emissions as low as 89g/km. Transmissions include a standard six-speed manual unit and an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which is offered with the two most potent diesels and the turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. Later next year comes the performance N version, with a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing more than 260bhp and a top speed of around 155mph. This model is understood to be called RN30, as indicated by a trademark application made by Hyundai last month.
Hyundai has equipped the i30’s interior with reduced switchgear and an optional 8.0in ‘floating’ touchscreen atop the centre console (a 5.0 in screen is standard) to control infotainment and other functions. The new car is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone integration, there is a wireless charging mat for smartphones and the TomTom-sourced satellite navigation system comes with a seven-year subscription to TomTom Live, which offers real-time traffic updates, among other functions.
Interior space is claimed to be class-leading, with roominess further enhanced by an optional panoramic sunroof which can tilt or slide open. Boot space is claimed to be 395 litres, rising to a maximum of 1301 litres with the rear seats folded. The new i30 is due to reach the UK in the first quarter of next year. Prices have yet to be announced, but expect a small increase over the £15,295 of the current base model.