By TERRY MARTIN
ON TRACK for 80,000-plus sales in Australia this year, Hyundai today launched arguably its most important new vehicle – the Indian-built i20 – which will eventually take over from the Getz as one of its biggest-selling models.
Pricing the i20 from a competitive $14,990 (plus on-road costs) for the three-door opener, Hyundai Motor Co Australia has, as expected, positioned the light-sized car upstream of the $13,990 Getz, providing for a smooth run-out of the latter in the coming months and room for the smaller sub-light i10 – a second Indian-sourced model for the South Korean brand that is expected to be launched here early next year.
Just as the i30 small car has overtaken the still-strong-selling Getz over the past 12-18 months as the company’s number-one model in Australia, the i20 is crucial to HMCA’s quest to become one of the top-three car companies in Australia, with the fastest-growing mainstream brand having targeted a market share of around 10 per cent by 2012.
After another record month in June, in which it sold more than 8000 cars to take fourth position from Mazda to sit behind market leaders Toyota, Holden and Ford, Hyundai has recorded more than 42,000 sales for the first six months of 2010 to be 41.5 per cent ahead of the same period in 2009 – a year in which it defied the economic downturn to lift sales 39 per cent on the previous year when the market overall fell more than seven per cent.
This year’s first-half result is Hyundai’s best, and represents an eight per cent share of the new-vehicle market – just 0.1 per cent behind Mazda, 1.3 per cent shy of Ford, and 1.4 per cent more than where Hyundai was at the same point last year.
As GoAuto has documented, recently released new-generation models in the ix35 compact SUV and i45 medium sedan will, with the i20, fuel further growth, along with more all-new models due to be launched in 2011 – i10, the redesigned Accent ( ‘i15’) and Elantra (‘i35’), and the Accent-sized Veloster (aka the ‘i25 Coupe’).
This is to say little about various new model derivatives, such as wagons, diesels and petrol-electric hybrids – or a mini SUV, medium and large coupes, an all-new large sedan and, further down the track, even a one-tonne utility.
But for now our focus is trained on the i20, which as anticipated has arrived in Australia in three-door and five-door body styles, with a 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine powering both versions at the entry level (now known as Active) and a 1.6-litre available in mid-series (Elite, from $18,490) and high-series (Premium, from $21,490) five-door model variants.
A five-speed manual is standard across the range, with a four-speed ‘HiVec’ automatic transmission adding $2000. The five-door version of the Active adds $1000 onto the RRP, starting at $15,990, while metallic/mica paint is a further $320.
As we have reported, HMCA has also received Australian Design Rule certification for a diesel i20: a 66kW/220Nm 1.4-litre turbo-diesel.
However, as expected, diesel i20 variants – which also include an 85kW/260Nm 1.6-litre CRDi in Europe – have not materialised at launch and are likely to only join the line-up at a later stage on the basis of customer demand.
Of particular interest with the i20 is the level of standard equipment, and whether the car has arrived with a features list that improves markedly upon the retiring Getz, production of which ends in South Korea in October.
In short, the answer is yes, but side and curtain airbags are still unavailable on baseline (Active) variants – even as an option to match rival entry models such as the Mazda2 – which forces safety-conscious customers to either forgo these features or move to the Elite or Premium grade where they are fitted standard.
Otherwise, the safety list across the range runs to dual front airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners (with load limiters), seatbelt reminders and height-adjustable head restraints for all five occupants, electronic stability and traction control, and four-wheel disc brakes (256/262mm diameter front/rear) with ABS, EBD and brake assist.
There is no sign of cruise control but, other than that, no real shortage of comfort and convenience items across the range, with most boxes ticked.
Consider the standard inclusion of air-conditioning, remote central locking, an alarm, electric windows, electric mirrors (five-door only), MP3/WMA/CD stereo (with USB/iPod connectivity and auxiliary input jack), tilt/reach-adjustable steering, height-adjustable driver’s seat, a cooling function in the glove compartment, metallic paint on the dash stack, and 15-inch wheels on 185/60-section tyres – including a full-size spare.
Moving to Elite adds front foglights, two extra speakers (to six), a trip computer, leather-clad steering wheel (with remote audio controls), leather-wrapped gearshift, alloy wheels (replacing steel wheels on Active) and extra storage facilities, such as a bag hook and luggage net.
The Premium grade swaps black cloth trim for part-leather seats (black with red piping) and a leather-covered driver’s seat armrest, and adds climate-control air-con, front maplights, and 16-inch alloys on 195/50 rubber.
While GoAuto will publish its drive assessment online from tomorrow afternoon, the design, engineering and packaging work that has gone into the German-designed i20 look, in total, to be a considerable improvement over the Getz.
For starters, European NCAP testing has provided it with a maximum five-star safety rating (with side and curtain airbags fitted), which makes it among the best performers in its class. The Getz managed four stars when fitted with optional side airbags.
It is also built from an all-new platform, riding on a longer 2525mm wheelbase (up 70mm) and offering small increases in length (up 115mm to 3940mm) and width (up 45mm to 1710mm), while overall height falls 5mm to 1490mm. The front/rear wheel track measures 1500/1503mm.
Maximum luggage volume for both body styles is 295 litres with the 60/40 split-fold rear seat portions up, extending to around 1060 litres with them folded.
Kerb weight ranges from 1117kg for the 1.4 manual to 1565kg for the 1.6-litre manual/auto.
Power comes from Hyundai’s new ‘Gamma’ 16-valve twin-cam four-cylinder petrol engine family.
The 1.4-litre version produces 73.5kW at 5500rpm and 136Nm at 4200rpm, which is a fair improvement over the 70kW/125Nm 1.4 in the Getz S.
Overseas data shows that the five-speed manual version of the 1.4 i20 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 11.6 seconds when running on premium unleaded (not mandatory on Australian versions), with the four-speed automatic reaching 100 clicks in 12.9 seconds.
Combined-cycle fuel economy on the ADR 81/02 benchmark is 6.0L/100km for the manual, while the auto consumes more at 6.4L/100km. (Getz: 6.1 man/6.9 auto.) CO2 emissions are likewise slightly better with the new engine, down to 142g/km for the manual and 152 for the auto. (Getz: 145 man/165 auto.)
The 1.6, meanwhile, produces 91kW at 6300rpm and 156Nm at 4200rpm, which is powerful enough to see the 0-100km/h time fall below 10 seconds with the manual – to 9.5 – while the automatic requires 11.4 seconds.
Again, the i20’s new high-series engine out-muscles the current 78kW/144Nm 1.6-litre offered in the Getz SX and has a greener tinge, too, offering 6.1L/100km mileage (auto: 6.5) and 144g/km in CO2 emissions (auto: 155) compared to the Getz’s auto/manual 6.2/7.0L and 148/167g.
Specific chassis tuning was done for Australia, but the suspension hardware is standard small-car fare and similar to the Getz with MacPherson struts up front and a torsion beam axle at the rear (although now with gas shock absorbers both front and rear).
The steering is electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion, tuned for sharper responses than in the Getz. Turns lock to lock have reduced to 2.8, but the turning circle has increased slightly to 10.4m.
Accessories available include front and rear parking sensors, and a direct-connect lead for an iPod.
Did you know?
To date the European-developed and focussed, as well as Indian-built, i20 has not been sold in Hyundai’s home market of South Korea, and nor is it destined for the United States.
By IAN PORTER
HYUNDAI’S new light-car entrant, the i20, has been priced at a starting point of $14,990 for the three-door hatch, a solid $2000 above the strong-selling Hyundai Getz.
While that looks like it might be good news for Hyundai’s competitors, they should look again.
The i20 is not the replacement for the long-standing Getz; it is the first prong of a two-pronged attack on the light-car sector and, as such, should be considered the up-market Hyundai light car.
The bad news for the competition is that Hyundai plans to run the Getz until the first quarter of next year before releasing another small car – either the i10 or the Verna – to compete in what Hyundai politely terms the “transactional” market, where it’s the lowest price that wins the sale.
Hyundai might be working hard on polishing its image and raising public perceptions, but it is not about to abandon the low-margin, high-volume sector just yet.
The i20 looks a bit like a fish out of water in the Hyundai range after the release of the i30 small car range, the ix35 compact SUV and the i45 sedan, which all carry the distinctive “fluidic sculpture” styling that Hyundai has adopted.
Designed in the Russelsheim design studio in Germany before those models were penned, the i20 looks more rounded, especially in the front and back views, which are neat enough but a tad on the bland side.
The side styling is more interesting, with convex and concave sculpting reminiscent of some BMWs but, overall, the i20 does not stand out in the crowd, at least not when compared with the Ford Fiesta or Mazda2.
As is the norm with Hyundai, the i20 stands out when the spec sheet is scrutinised and the price taken into account.
As a fully-equipped up-market model, the i20 does a credible job.
The formula looks the same as the Getz on paper: choice of three-door and five-door bodies, 1.4- and 1.6-litre petrol engines and manual and automatic gearboxes. But that’s where the similarity ends.
The engines are from the new Gamma range and are more powerful, more economical and smoother, although they have to make do with multi-point fuel injection rather than direct injection as seen on the i45 Theta II engine.
The 1.4-litre engine is available only in the Active base model and comes with manual or automatic gearboxes. As a three-door manual, the Active costs $14,990. The automatic adds $2000 and the five-door body an extra $1000.
The best option in the Active is the manual transmission, as it is well suited to the game little 73.5kW engine, which is not overly endowed with torque.
The auto makes 1.4-litre Active a bit of a snail around town, while the manual is reasonably lively without being a tyre burner.
Indeed, the new manual gearbox is a highlight of the i20. The change is light and feels well-oiled and positive, with the driver able to make quick gear changes with a single finger, so easy is the action. It makes cog-swapping a pleasure.
The 91kW Gamma in the Elite and Premium models offers a noticeable lift in power, spinning sweetly to more than 6000rpm to make its 91kW.
But, while this is a 24 per cent rise in power, torque is only up 15 per cent from the 1.4 litre to 156Nm, and the driver is left wanting a bit more mid-range torque during highway passing.
A diesel would be a welcome on the spec sheet but, while Hyundai chief executive Edward Lee agrees diesel is an important and growing market segment, he says Hyundai Australia just doesn’t need the extra complication – and possibly customer confusion – that adding a diesel option to the i20 would bring.
The interior is where the i20 really gains on the Getz.
Hyundai has worked hard on those parts of the interior that the driver – and passengers – touch regularly.
The front seats are well designed, offering good lateral support with proper bolsters down the side of the back rest and good cushioning on the bench and backrest. Hyundai is proud of its new seat mechanism, which offers height adjustment as well as seat back rake.
The only problem is that the height adjustment does not go down far enough, at least for the manual model, as the front lip of the seat bench remains too high, forcing the driver to move the seat forward for ease of clutch actuation.
This leaves the driver a little closer to the dashboard than desirable and eliminates the benefit of the telescopic steering column, which ends up pushed back as far as it can go. It is also adjustable for rake.
The back seat is nothing to write home about. Access in the five-door is fine, but the bench and the backrest are flat and hard, and if you have Scandinavian friends, they’ll be fine.
The payoff is that the rear seats do lie flat when folded forward, although they are still 5cm proud of the back floor, forming a step.
Those who do ride in the back seat will be pleasantly surprised by the amount of headroom, a nice change in these days of fastback sedans.
The premium comes with leather/cloth seats, a fairly rare option in this class. But look out for ripples in the leather – surprising, given the i20 has been in production for more than a year in India.
The Elite and Premium models have a leather-covered steering wheel , which adds to the good-feel ambience. These wheels have audio controls in the spokes.
The manual and automatic shift knobs both have chrome top on a smooth black plastic gearknob and feel good in the palm of your hand.
The accelerator pedal is light but the ample travel makes control easy while the brake pedal is easy to modulate and offers progressive operation of the brakes. The clutch pedal in the manual model is well weighted and easy to use.
The stalks controlling the lights and wipers work with a satisfying click, adding to the well-made feel in the cabin.
On the road, the i20 inspires confidence with its direct steering and a lack of slack in the straight ahead position. The electrically powered steering has a strong self-centring function built in, but, at slow speeds, this can encourage a sort of “twang” effect when the wheel is twirled fast, promoting a sort of rubbery feel.
This only occurs at slow speeds and never interferes with the steering feel on the move.
The steering lacks feedback through the electric power assistance, but the directness of inputs does inspire confidence when cornering and the chassis does the same, with the suspension offering a taut ride while suppressing most road irregularities.
There is no hint of body roll in corners and no noticeable understeer. The i20 is a tidy handler.
Hyundai engineers have focussed on noise, vibration and harshness and the interior is a good place to be on any road surface.
The 16-inch alloys and low profile tyres on the Premium model may add a fraction more road noise, but it never becomes intrusive or unbearable.
The front springs on the i20 have been stiffened and the dampers softened to make allowance for rougher Australian road conditions compared with Europe, which was the target market for the i20.
There is one curious aspect to the NVH efforts, however. Whenever the i20 is turned in to a corner at more than, say, 50km/h, the driver is suddenly able to hear the tyres working harder on the road. They can’t be heard when the car is travelling in a straight line.
It’s not tyre scrub, simply the sound of the tyres working on the asphalt, possibly coming through the vent system. And it’s not loud. You can only hear it because the cabin is otherwise well insulated, and you probably wouldn’t hear it with the radio on.
Despite the unquestioned advances achieved by the engineers in chassis and engine refinement, Hyundai has betrayed its new approach to premium quality in one aspect of the i20.
The Active model will only be available with two airbags from Monday (July 19), when the i20 goes on sale, until September. This means the Active will only come with a four-star ANCAP rating, until side (thorax) and curtain airbags are added to the standard Active spec.
The Elite and Premium models both come with six airbags and a five-star ANCAP rating.
Hyundai marketing director Oliver Mann said that, while past experience had shown people were not prepared to pay for safety items such as airbags, Hyundai Australia had wanted to make six bags and five-star ANCAP crash safety standard across the i20 range.
"This was not initially possible on the Active models due to a factory constraint," he said at the i20 launch.
"We have been working with the parent company on this issue, and six airbags will become standard on Active models from July production. They will be in the showrooms from September 1."
The bad news is Mr Mann also confirmed prices would be adjusted to take account of the extra cost, pushing the entry level price of the Active above the $14,990 in force now. He could not say how much the adjustment would be.
"Unfortunately, the slender margins within the light car category mean it will be a necessary cost to pass on."
Building on the success of the recently launched Hyundai i20 five-door, the Geneva Motor Show is host to the world premiere of the new three-door i20 derivative. The chic and versatile i20, which replaced the Getz, made its debut at the 2008 Paris Mondial de l’Automobile and is playing an important role in expanding the popularity of the Hyundai brand in Europe.
With the introduction of a new three-door model, Hyundai will broaden the i20′s appeal to the fastest-growing automotive customer base in Europe. Targeted at young professionals without children, seeking excellent quality, high specifications and affordable motoring, the three-door model offers a new, lower price entry point for the i20 line-up. When it goes on sale in the second quarter of 2009, the i20 three-door will become the best-value variant in the i20 range.
Furthermore, i20 three-door boasts seven Euro IV-compliant petrol and diesel engines offering remarkable fuel efficiency and low CO2 emissions. Notably, the 1.2-litre, 78 PS ‘Kappa’ petrol engine uses just 5.2l/100km on the combined cycle and has a CO2 rating of 124g/km. Adding to Hyundai’s class-leading value package is the 75 PS 1.4-litre diesel engine, with a CO2 rating of 116g/km and consumption of 4.4l/100km on the combined cycle. Customers will also benefit from Hyundai’s unlimited mileage three-year warranty.
Positioned between the successful i10 and i30 models, the i20 continues the distinctive visual characteristics of the Hyundai i-range, comprising the bold chrome-finished grille, flanked by piercing teardrop headlamps and complimented by prominent rear light clusters. Sharing many of its styling features with the five-door i20, the front and rear of the three-door model remain unchanged. The distinctive crease lines that run along the side are enhanced by the longer front doors and sporty, upswept shape of the rear-side window. To suit all tastes, the i20 is available in 10 solid and metallic exterior colours.
Built on the same 2,525mm wheelbase and weighing 10-kilograms less than the i20 five-door, the three-door offers an equally well proportioned exterior and spacious interior that will effortlessly accommodate adult passengers in the front and rear seats. The larger front doors create a wide entry aperture, and Hyundai’s quick-release memory seats with walk-in functionality provide easy access to and from the rear seats. The system enables the front-seat backrests to be tipped and the whole seat to slide forwards. This simple-to-use system returns the front seat to the originally selected position without the need for readjustment.
All three trim levels – Classic, Comfort and Style – offered on the five-door will be available on the i20 three-door as well. They combine generous standard equipment and safety features that surpass the competition. Matching the five-door variant, the three-door model features high-end kit such as climate control, multi-function steering wheel, keyless entry and electrically-operated windows and side mirrors. The modern radio/CD system is MP3-compatible and has four powerful speakers; the rear two speakers are repositioned in the three-door model to the interior rear quarter panels.
Safety is always at the forefront for Hyundai and the i20 has an extensive list of active and passive equipment. This includes six airbags – front, side and curtain – as standard, active head-restraints, front seatbelt pretensioners, the latest-generation anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control, and Electronic Brake force- Distribution.
Kappa engine shines in i20
Hyundai expects i20 buyers will make the 1.2-litre petrol engine – dubbed ‘Kappa’ – the best-selling power plant in the range. The new, all-alloy unit is the result of a 48-month development project, and combines miserly fuel consumption with low CO2 emissions to produce a compelling package with reduced running costs, compared to rival products.
Kappa is the latest example of the company’s expertise in developing lightweight, low-NVH, super-efficient engines, and follows the ‘Tau’ 4.6-litre V8, which was named one of the 10 best engines of 2009 by automotive publisher Ward’s.
With a displacement of just 1,248cc, the 16-valve, DOHC Kappa unit develops an impressive 78 PS at 6,000rpm and a class-leading torque figure of 119Nm at 4,000rpm, endowing i20 with responsive acceleration and excellent driveability. The engine’s specific torque figure also puts it well ahead of the competition.
Vehicle performance and efficiency are aided by the fact that Kappa’s dry weight is just 82.4kg – lighter than any other petrol engine of similar capacity. In addition, a number of steps have been taken to reduce friction and improve refinement, including the application of an innovative offset crankshaft. Just as impressive is the minimal level of noise at idle which, combined with the high-quality NVH rating achieved by Kappa in i20, further demonstrates Hyundai’s engineering know-how.
Read more: http://indianautosblog.com/2009/03/geneva-2009-hyundai-i20-3-door#ixzz1Ta6OkdMM
Type: 1.396-litre DOHC 16-valve four-cylinder petrol
Location: Front, transverse
Bore x stroke: 77.0 x 74.99mm
Compression ratio: 10.5:1
Power: 73.5kW @ 5500rpm
Torque: 136Nm @ 4200rpm
Fuel type: 91 RON ULP
Ave fuel cons: 6.0L/100km
CO2 emissions: 142g/km
Optional four-speed automatic
Front: Independent by MacPherson struts, coil springs
Rear: Coupled torsion beam axle
Type: Hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion
Turning circle: 10.4 metres
Track, front: 1500mm
Track, rear: 1503mm
Kerb weight: 1117kg
Braked towing capacity: 1000kg
Unbraked towing capacity: 450kg
Fuel capacity: 45 litres
Twin front airbags
Twin front-side airbags
Twin side curtain airbags
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
Electronic stability/traction control (ESP)
Day/night rear-view mirror
Warning lights (seatbelt, door ajar, check engine)
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Front seatbelt load-limiters
Height adjustable front seatbelts
Five three-point seatbelts
Five height-adjustable head restraints
Active front head restraints
Isofix child seat anchors
Remote central locking
Deadlock security system
Body coloured mirrors with integrated repeater
MP3/WMA/CD player with AM/FM tuner
In-dash CD stacker
Four speakers including tweeters
USB audio input
Auxiliary audio input jack
Rear roof-mounted aerial
Four-function steering wheel audio controls
Height adjustable driver's seat
Sunvisor with vanity mirror
Tilt and reach-adjustable steering wheel
One-touch turn signal
External temperature display
Rear heated glass
Delayed fade-out interior lights
Dual front cupholders
Map pockets in doors
Full-sized spare wheel
225/55 R18 tyres
The all-new Hyundai i20 is the epitome of the modern luxury compact. Sharp and stylish on the outside, spacious and versatile inside, it combines comfort, safety and reliability in a package that is most alluring.
Available Colours(Click Here)
collected in : http://www.goauto.com.au