Hyundai plans to muscle in on Mondeo

PD-P16-Hyundai-iFlowHyundai is preparing to make a serious return to the private hire segment with the launch of an all-new model, the i40. The Ford Mondeo rival will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this month – and the new saloon and estate will be based closely on the shape of the i-flow concept car [pictured].

The Hyundai i40 estate will be launched first in June 2011, while the saloon will follow six months later. The i40 is part of a complete model revamp that aims to make the Korean marque a more attractive choice for small business buyers and company car drivers.

"To become one of the major car makers in Europe, you need to have a good fleet proposition.," said Oliver Lajara, deputy general manager of Hyundai's European fleet & remarketing department. “We will bring 10 new models and derivatives to the European market including a new large business saloon and estate.”

The new Hyundai i40 estate is likely to appeal to private hire operators thanks to the ample amount of legroom for all passengers – rear passengers in particular enjoying spacious accommodation. The car's boot, which will feature auto closing at the push of the button, is square sided, flat bottomed and capacious.

The new i40 continues the 'fluidic sculpture' styling that was first introduced on the ix35 SUV off-roader and will feature when new Hyundai models are introduced. Other features include high quality interior fit, finish and materials, and dramatic LED lighting both front and rear.

There will be two 1.7-litre high-output diesel engine choices at launch, developing 115bhp and 136bhp. The smaller powered version will have staggeringly low CO2 emissions of just 113g/km, which  would mean a benefit in kind company car tax rating of 13% for the tax year 2011/12.

Ralph Morton


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