Hyundai dots the 'i'

  • 13-Oct-2008 04:09 EDT

The all-new i20 is lower, longer, and wider than the Getz it replaces.

Hyundai Motor Co. unveiled an all-new B-segment car at the Paris Motor Show in early October. Designed at Hyundai’s European headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, for European customers, the i20 replaces the Getz and offers more of everything, according to the company: enhanced interior functionality; higher levels of luxury, convenience, and safety equipment; engaging handling from an all-new chassis and suspension; a lineup of seven gasoline and turbodiesel engines; and a choice of manual or automatic transmission.

The i20 goes on sale later this year. Initially available as a five-door model, a sportier three-door i20 version will debut in January.

Lower, longer, and wider than the Getz, the five-door i20 rides on an extended 2525-mm (99.4-in) wheelbase, providing a relatively large amount of interior room, according to Hyundai. Among standard features are an MP3 audio system with integrated data display screen, a multifunction steering wheel, and tire-pressure monitoring. Extensive use of advanced noise-reduction materials, particularly in the diesel-powered models, results in a relatively quiet interior, says the company.

Much of the ride and handling development work was undertaken on European roads, including hot-weather testing in Spain, cold-weather testing in Sweden, and high-speed testing in Germany. The i20 has a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion-beam rear suspension. A new rack-and-pinion steering setup has been tuned to deliver quick and accurate responses.

The seven Euro-4-compliant engines have been extensively revised to deliver greater performance, enhanced fuel efficiency, and lower emissions. The Euro 4-compliant gasoline lineup is comprised of a 1.2-L unit generating 78 PS (57 kW) at 6000 rpm and 118 N·m (87 lb·ft) at 4000 rpm; a 1.4-L unit generating 100 PS (74 kW) at 5500 rpm and 137 N·m (101 lb·ft) at 4200 rpm; and a 1.6-L unit generating 126 PS (93 kW) at 6300 rpm and 157 N·m (116 lb·ft) at 4200 rpm. All gasoline engines are available with five-speed manual transmissions (and with the option of four-speed automatic gearboxes on the 1.4-L and 1.6-L units). The new 1.2-L all-alloy engine emits just 124 g/km of CO2 and consumes fuel at a 5.2 L/100 km rate on the combined cycle.

There are four turbodiesel engines, each featuring common-rail direct injection. The 1.6-L and 1.4-L units each come in two versions. One of the 1.6-L units generates 115 PS (85 kW) at 4000 rpm and the other generates 128 PS (94 kW) at 4000 rpm. Both units deliver 260 N·m (192 lb·ft) from 1900 to 2750 rpm. The 1.4-L units generate either 75 PS (55 kW) at 4000 rpm or 90 PS (66 kW) at 4000 rpm. Both deliver 220 N·m (162 lb·ft) between 1750 and 2350 rpm. The 115-PS 1.6-L variant is said to return a class-leading CO2 figure of 115 g/km and 4.3 L/100 km on the combined cycle. Both 1.4-L models come with five-speed manual transmissions, while the flagship 1.6 is mated to a six-speed manual drivetrain.

Hyundai also unveiled the i20 Blue, for which the 1.4-L diesel engine sees improvements of 15% in both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption compared with the base i20. Efficiency is improved via minimized driveline friction and high-performance, low-friction engine oil. Also optimized for low emissions and high efficiency is the engine’s electronic software, which manages timing, injection pressure, and idle speed. A Bosch integrated starter-generator system also is employed.

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