This is our first look at the replacement for one of Australia’s best-selling cars before its mid-2017 Australian debut.
Hyundai has kicked off the process of drip-feeding the details of its new third-generation i30, which is due to be unveiled in all its glory at the Paris Motor Show in October.
It’s an important car for the Korean company, as the buyer profile of small, inexpensive cars continues to undergo a seismic shift under the onslaught of the rise of the small SUV, ride sharing, short-term rental and increased urbanisation.
Built atop a version the same skeletal platform that underpins the new Elantra sedan, the three shadowy images of the i30 show a hatchback that’s lower and wider than the current car, which has topped the sales charts several times this year on the back of aggressive pricing from Hyundai Australia.
Blistered guards and narrow-section taillights accentuate a wider stance, while Hyundai’s signature wide-mouthed grille is bracketed by wraparound headlights that look very similar to those found on the Elantra.
The car’s glasshouse – the part of the cabin that rises above the door line – also appears to be lower and its beltline higher, giving the i30 a more purposeful stance.
We do know that the new i30 is set to spin off Hyundai’s first genuinely hot hatch. Known as the i30 N.
No further details about the car were made available, but the new 112kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine fitted to the Elantra, and mated to six-speed auto and manual gearboxes, is a likely starter in the drivetrain department.
Chassis-wise, a MacPherson strut front end and torsion beam rear is also likely, and it’s a certainty that the i30 will undergo significant ride and handling tuning for Australian conditions before it’s released.
Hyundai Australia is one of only a few companies who actually tests and retunes its products for local conditions and tastes.
A Hyundai Australia spokesperson told CarsGuide.com.au that the company expected to see the new i30 hit local showrooms in the middle of 2017, but could not confirm any more details about the car.
“It’s still some way off for us,” said the spokesperson. “We’ll know more after it’s revealed in October.”
We do know that the new i30 is set to spin off Hyundai’s first genuinely hot hatch. Known as the i30 N and also expected to debut in Paris, it will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with VW Golf GTI-rivalling power, a manual gearbox and tricky front diff.
An auto version is expected to follow in 2018.
What features would you like to see in a new Hyundai i30? Tell us what you think in the comments below.