Hyundai Motor Co.'s new upper-medium car, the i40, is set to drive the South Korean brand's image more upscale in Europe. In March 2011, the i40 will debut at the Geneva auto show and will go on sale shortly afterward, competing against cars like the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo, and Europe's upper-medium segment leader, the Volkswagen Passat.
Hyundai said i40's dynamic design, quality, performance and technical features are aimed at helping to change European consumer perception of the brand to a “more aspirational position.”
Hyundai Motor Europe's vice president, Allan Rushforth, said his group has bold ambitions for Hyundai in Europe, and the new i40 will provide the momentum it needs to achieve its goals in 2011 and beyond.
He expects the new i40's quality to continue the development of the brand's image in Europe and to attract new customers to the Hyundai brand. Hyundai says the i40 is the company's first D-segment model to be developed particularly for the European market.
Designed at Hyundai's European R&D center in Ruesselsheim, near Frankfurt, Germany, the i40 shares its underpinnings with the Sonata sold in Korea and the United States.
The i40's styling follows the brand's new "fluidic sculpture" design language that features a hexagonal front grille and rakish lines aimed at giving the i40 a dynamic, sporty appearance by connecting the front, side and rear profiles. [via autonews - sub. required]