Hyundai had shared the first photos of its all-new i40 ahead of the car's world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show on March 1. Revealed here in station wagon form, the estate is the first i40 body style to be introduced to Europe, with a four-door sedan model to follow later this year. The i40 essentially replaces the older generation Sonata in Europe eyeing the highly competitive D-segment with rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, Peugeot 508, Mazda6 and Volkswagen Passat.
Designed and engineered at Hyundai’s R&D headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, Hyundai says the i40 is the company's "first D-segment vehicle to be developed specifically for the European market, with a package of powertrains, equipment and technology tailored for European tastes."
The exterior styling of the i40 is much closer to that of the North American Elantra than it is to the latest Sonata, and encompasses design cues from Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language. The flowing roofline and accentuated profile line help to visually lighten the design of the estate model.
Inside, the i40 gets a sculpted dashboard with a prominent screen display mounted high up and flanked by a pair of small air vents, underneath which nestle a bank of push buttons for ventilation and minor controls.
Hyundai says the i40 will come with a high level of standard equipment, including three segment ‘firsts’: heated and reclining front and rear seats; a heated steering wheel; and an active de-mist system that automatically detects and clears mist on the windscreen.
The mid-size model will be offered with a variety of modern powertrains including Hyundai's new 1.7-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel engine that emits just 113 g/km of CO2 emissions. The Korean automaker did not release any other details on the engine lineup, but it is believed that the Veloster's 1.6-liter gasoline engine and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol with direct injection and an output of around 170-horsepower, will also be on offer.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, “Offering more for less has always been a fundamental principle at Hyundai, and now we are advancing this with our new brand direction under the ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities.’ slogan. The i40 is a perfect example of how we are offering the best and making it accessible to everyone. From stunning design and specification, to industry-leading technology and aftersales care – the i40 sets itself apart from its competitors.”
Along with the i40, Hyundai's Geneva motor show stand will also host the European specification Veloster Coupe and the Curb small crossover concept.