Hyundai plans hot models

Hyundai is planning an i30 hot hatch
14 Feb, 2012 11:47am Luke Madden

Hot i30 hatchback and sporty version of i40 could be on the way, says European boss

Hot versions of regular Hyundai models are on the way, Auto Express has learned. Talking to Auto Express at the launch of the new Ford Focus rival, the i30, Hyundai Europe chief operations officer Allan Rushforth said that there were plans for a 'GTI' style version. 

"We realise, just as you guys do, that we need to inject some life into our cars," Rushforth said. "We are looking at, and have looked at, introducing sportier models with things like stiffer suspension into the i30 and i40 segments." 

"The dual-clutch gearbox in the Veloster was us dipping our toe in the water, but we do have a dual clutch strategy and it will be rolled out into other models so watch this space." 

Hyundai already has already revealed a 198bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine option for the Veloster – and such an engine is expected to be available in an upcoming three-door 'GTI' version of the i30. It'll be a while away, though, as the standard three-door won't be revealed until later this year. 

Hyundai is also toying with the idea of giving the Ford Mondeo-rivalling i40 a stiffer suspension set-up and a bodykit and calling it a Sport model. 

Sister company Kia is also developing a hot hatch version of its cee'd. Insiders told Auto Express that the 1.6-litre turbo engine has already produced 240bhp in testing – and the upcoming new three-door pro_cee'd would get a slightly detuned version. The pro_cee'd debuts at the Paris Motor Show in September.  

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Kia's new RWD Saloon sounds like a real blast fun to drive car is the sort of car that will lift Europe out of its current economic downturn that will end the constant Greek bailouts constant AAA rating downgrades of the good countries & get folk interested in buying cars again.

If Hyundai and Kia can do this for their smaller cars I think they are onto a winner, popularity and sales would be attracted to Supermini / City class cars rather than Ford Focus sized versions.
So I would like to see a 200-240bhp i20, and a 150bhp Kia Picanto.