Sedan version of Hyundai’s new i40 to be unveiled at Barcelona Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 8, 2011

A sedan version of Hyundai’s new i40 will be revealed at the Barcelona auto show on May 12. The i40 is expected to enter Europe's upper-medium, or mid-sized, segment, where it will go up against cars like the Volkswagen Passat, Ford Mondeo and Opel/Vauxhall Insignia.

Before the debut of the sedan, the station wagon version had premiered at the Geneva auto show last March. The i40 sedan was designed and engineered at the Hyundai's European r&d headquarters in Ruesselsheim, Germany, where the wagon had its origins too.

According to Allan Rushforth, Hyundai Motor Europe’s senior vice president, they wanted to debut the i40 sedan in Barcelona since Spain has a very strong sedan market. In fact, it dominates nearly 40% of the mid-sized segment.

In a statement, Thomas Buerkle, Hyundai Motor Europe's design chief, said that for the i40 to get a distinct look, they used “very strong, fluid lines from front to rear.”

Hyundai said that the company sought to move away from the usual three-box sedan and build a car that’s consistent with the sporty nature of the i40 wagon. He said that the i40sedan was given a “striking coupe-like silhouette” by designing a low, elongated roof line.

The Hyundai i40 sedan embodies the next step of the brand’s distinct ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language. This style is easy to distinguish with its flowing lines that took its inspiration from nature. The lines merge to make a dynamic exterior, and was presented on the ix-onic concept car at the 2009 Motor Show in Geneva. From the time it was launched, 'fluidic sculpture’ has been the design that inspired the new Hyundai models, including the award-winning Veloster, ix20 and ix35.

“Premium wing” and “modern flow” are the i40’s design concept key words that evolve from the principles of fluidic sculpture’. Hyundai designers wanted to give emphasis to the creation of fluidic volume with a modernized touch and a sophisticated wing-like design.

Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre Chief Designer Thomas Bürkle commented that the company has designed the front to the rear with very strong fluid lines, giving the i40 a distinctive look. They wanted to depart from the usual 3-box sedan and produce a car in line with the i40 wagon’s sporty nature. Bürkle added that they sculpted a low, lengthened roof line to give the i40 sedan an eye-catching coupe-like silhouette.

The i40 sedan profits from attractive styling as well as maintains high levels of comfort in the interior with best-in-class dimensions: the front head, shoulder and leg room measures 1,025mm, 1,455mm and 1,170mm respectively while the wheelbase measures 2.77 m.

This spectacular spaciousness vows to deliver the ultimate in comfort to passengers spending a long time in the i40. It boasts of the highest level of comfort among the D-segment vehicles.

Bürkle concluded that though the i40’s exterior stands out because of its fluidic form as well as unique appearance, the interior is designed to provide comfort and practicality to both driver and passengers in a high-quality package.

Powertrains

The Hyundai i40 sedan will come in a choice of 4 Euro-V-conforming engines: two petrol plus two diesel units. These units deliver power ranging from 115 ps to 177 ps with torque expanded across a wide range of engine speed, allowing the i40 to be fun to drive on the motorway or around town. This will also be available in manual and automatic transmissions. Since this is a segment wherein diesel models make up more than 75% of total sales in Europe, the company is expecting the 1.7-liter diesel unit with 136 ps to be the most saleable among fleet and private buyers. All in all, Hyundai is anticipating a 65/35% distribution between sales in diesel and gasoline-equipped i40.

The brand’s latest 4-cylinder 2-liter GDI engine known as “Nu” is introduced in the i40. It supplies more torque to enhance driving pleasure, improve fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions as well as outstanding NVH features like the multi-point fuel injected engine.

Powered by gasoline direct injection (GDI), the 1,999 cc unit produces 177 ps plus 213 Nm of torque, making sure that performance and fuel economy are well-balanced in the i40. A Hyundai i40 sedan that has this engine plus a 6-speed manual transmission can accelerate to 100 kph in a matter of 9.7 seconds, have a fuel economy of 6.8 l/100 km (combined cycle) and accomplish a CO2 rate of only 159 g/km.

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