2011 Geneva Motor Show: 2011 Hyundai i40 is ready to take on D-segment

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 2, 2011

The all-new, Europe-specific D-segment model from Hyundai -- the i40 – made its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. Hyundai’s R&D headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Germany, designed and engineered the i40 to comply with the tough demands of European retail and fleet buyers. At the show, the i40 is in tourer form.

Hyundai hopes that with i40, it is able to make premium quality accessible to everyone, in line with its ‘modern premium’ philosophy. Several features on the i40 are not yet offered on some rival cars, including heated, folding rear seats; an auto-defog system that automatically detects and clears mist on the windscreen; and a heated steering wheel.

In addition, the i40 is indicative of Hyundai’s commitment to global leadership in eco-friendly technology, as its 1.7-litre ‘U-II’ diesel engine emits just 113 g/km of CO2 – a best-in-class figure. The ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre petrol engine also debuted. It offers higher torque for enhanced driveability. It also delivers improved fuel economy, reduced emissions, and it gave greater refinement and durability compared to the outgoing 2.0-litre unit.

Offered as standard on the i40 is the industry-leading Five Year Triple Care assurance package that features a five-year unlimited-mileage warranty, five years’ roadside assistance and five years of vehicle health checks.

Hyundai’s booth also shows the new Veloster, its groundbreaking all-new three-door coupe that makes its European debut. The Veloster has a unique 1+2 door configuration, which includes a rear door on the passenger side for greater usability, allowing safe and easy access to the spacious interior without sacrificing the style and aesthetics of the coupe form.

The 'fluidic sculpture' symbolizes the next phase in the brand’s unique design language -- a detail seen in the Hyundai i40 sedan. This design DNA can be recognized easily through the flowing lines that have clearly been inspired by nature and combined in order to have a dynamic exterior.

It was during the 2009 Geneva Motor Show that this design DNA was first introduced with the Hyundai ix-onic concept car. Since then, it has served as the inspiration for every new Hyundai model that has come out. These include the Veloster, ix20, and award-winning ix35. For the Hyundai i40 sedan, the main key words used for the design concept are 'premium wing' and 'modern flow', which came from this fluidic sculpture philosophy.

The reason for this is that designers at Hyundai wanted to stress on making a fluidic volume but having a modern touch with a sophisticated wing-like detail. Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre Chief Designer Thomas Bürkle commented that the brand made sure the i40 had a unique appearance by utilizing strong fluid lines from the front portion up to the rear. Bürkle added that the brand did not want to go with the standard three-box sedan but instead made a car that was in line with the i40 wagon’s sporty nature.

With the elongated and low roof line, this resulted in the Hyundai i40 sedan having that coupe-like silhouette, he continued. Having an attractive style is not the only advantage that the Hyundai i40 sedan offers. Its dimensions ensure that the interior has high-levels of comfort.

Dimensions are clearly the best-in-class with the front hear measuring 1,025 mm, the shoulder at 1,455 mm, and leg at 1,170 mm. Wheelbase meanwhile measures 2.77 meters. As a result of this spaciousness, occupants continue to experience a very comfortable ride for a D-segment even under long periods.

Bürkle shared that with the unique appearance and fluidic form, the exterior manages to stand out. He added that the interior meanwhile has been designed in order to give comfort and practicality to the driver while offering a high-quality package for its passengers.

Press Release

Hyundai i40

Hyundai has unveiled the latest version of the D-segment i40 at the 2011 Barcelona Motor Show. The debut of the Hyundai i40 sedan follows the global reveal of the i40 wagon at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011.

The Hyundai i40 sedan boasts a purely European identity having been designed and engineered at the European R&D headquarters of Hyundai in Rüsselsheim, Germany. The car is the latest model to be unveiled under the company's new brand slogan - 'New Thinking. New Possibilities.'

The 4.74-metre long Hyundai i40 sedan will go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2011, supported by Hyundai's industry-best, fully transparent Five Year Triple Care customer assurance. This package has been attracting European consumers to the brand through its combination of a five-year unlimited warranty, five years of roadside assistance and five years of vehicle health checks.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, "The reveal of the sedan represents the next step of the i40's introduction to the European market, following the very positive reception for the i40 wagon. The Hyundai i40 sedan shares the same qualities found in the wagon, including outstanding levels of fuel-efficiency, comfort, and quality, and broadens the appeal of the i40 to buyers in the D-segment.

"We have ambitious but achievable targets for the i40 range, expecting to sell 60,000 units in a full year and building on the momentum Hyundai has gained in Europe in recent years. The launch of i40 will help us reach 3% market share by the end of 2011," Allan Rushforth concluded.

Design Inspiration

The Hyundai i40 sedan represents the next evolution of Hyundai's unique design language, 'fluidic sculpture'.

The 'fluidic sculpture' design DNA is recognizable by flowing lines inspired by nature which combine to create a dynamic exterior, and was introduced on the Hyundai ix-onic concept car at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. Since this debut, 'fluidic sculpture' has been the design inspiration behind all new Hyundai models, such as the award-winning ix35, ix20 and Veloster.

The design concept key words for the Hyundai i40 sedan are 'modern flow' and 'premium wing,' all evolving from the fluidic sculpture philosophy. Hyundai designers wanted to emphasize on creating fluidic volume with a modern touch as well as a sophisticated wing-like detail.

"We have used very strong, fluid lines from front to rear to give i40 a distinctive appearance," commented Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre. "We wanted to move away from the typical three-box sedan and create a car that was in keeping with the sporty nature of the i40 wagon. By sculpting a low, elongated roof line, we've given the Hyundai i40 sedan a striking coupe-like silhouette," Thomas Bürkle added.

The Hyundai i40 sedan not only benefits from attractive styling, but also retains high levels of interior comfort, with a wheelbase measuring 2.77 meters and delivering best-in-class dimensions for front head (1,025mm), shoulder (1,455mm), and leg (1,170mm) room. This impressive roominess promises to give all occupants spending long periods of the time in i40 the most comfortable D-segment ride available.

"While the exterior of Hyundai i40 sedan stands out for its fluidic form and distinctive appearance, the interior has been shaped to deliver practicality and comfort to the driver and passengers in a high-quality package," Thomas Bürkle concluded.


The all-new i40 will be available with a choice of four Euro V-compliant engines: two petrol and two diesel. These units cover a power spread of 115 ps to 177 ps, with torque delivery extended across a wide engine-speed range, making the i40 an enjoyable car to drive around town or on the motorway. Manual and automatic transmissions will also be offered.

In a segment where diesel models represent over 75% of total sales in Europe, Hyundai is anticipating that the 1.7-litre diesel unit developing 136 ps will be the most popular engine among both private and fleet buyers. Overall, Hyundai is expecting a 65/35% spread between diesel and gasoline-powered i40 sales.

Hyundai's all new four-cylinder 2-litre GDI engine, called 'Nu', makes its debut in the i40. It delivers higher torque for enhanced driving pleasure, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions and excellent NVH characteristics - similar to the multi-point fuel injected engine.

Equipped with GDI (gasoline direct injection) this 1,999 cc unit generates 177 ps and 213 Nm of torque, ensuring that the i40 brings a good balance between performance and fuel economy. An Hyundai i40 sedan with this engine and a six-speed manual gearbox will accelerate to 100 kph in just 9.7 seconds, record fuel economy figures of 6.8 l/100 km (combined cycle) and achieve a CO2 rating of just 159 g/km.

Eco credentials

In terms of environmental performance, the all-new i40 will feature the latest technologies developed under Hyundai's Blue Drive™ eco-program, including Integrated Stop & Go (ISG), low rolling-resistance tyres and an alternator management system (AMS).

When combined with the 1.7-litre diesel engine developing 115 ps, the inclusion of Blue Drive technology results in the i40 achieving CO2 emissions and fuel economy figures of 113 g/km and 4.3 l/100km, respectively, making the i40 the most environmentally-friendly model in its segment.

Hyundai has continuously highlighted its commitment to lead the way along the road to long-term environmental sustainability for the auto industry, and i40 furthers the company's commitment to delivering models with class-leading eco-performance.

Reduced NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness)

A new acoustic package was developed for Hyundai's diesel powered i40. NVH performance, especially the exterior drive-by noise, is dramatically improved by using experimental methods such as Reciprocal Holography (to visualize noise reduction levels at certain frequency) and ADNA (Advanced Diagnostic Network Algorithm) to rank noise sources in the order of their identified transfer paths.

The NVH package aims to provide a quieter and more comfortable driving environment for diesel vehicles. The new acoustic package in i40 utilizes materials such as air permeable carpet, sound absorbing layers for engine-room encapsulation, and textile wheel-arch liners to absorb noise sources from engine, road, and muffler, providing a 20% improvement in interior noise levels and a reduction in outside engine noise when idling (compared to an i40 without these features).

High-tech features

By offering an extensive standard specification with numerous high-tech features, the high level of equipment in the i40 promises to be one of its key attractions to potential buyers.

High-tech features include smart-parking assist and lane-keeping assist systems, as well as connectivity items like Bluetooth® with voice recognition and full map navigation with rear view camera. In terms of comfort and convenience, the i40 will be available with an electric parking brake, front air ventilation seats, heated and reclining rear seats, as well as new features for the segment like auto-defog system, and a heated steering wheel.

Advanced lighting innovations, such as standard day-time running lights with Xenon headlamps (optional) or a TFT(Thin Film Transistor) LCD supervision instrument cluster, will further strengthen the i40's position as the lead model in Hyundai's line-up and the European D-segment.


The Hyundai i40 uses the latest active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants. Active safety features, fitted as standard in several countries, include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), ABS (anti-lock braking system), Hill Start Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline), VSM (Vehicle Stability Management), Brake Assist System and Emergency Stop Signal.

In terms of passive safety, every i40 on the road in Europe will be fitted with up to nine airbags - front, side and curtain, with driver knee airbag available as standard on all models. Hyundai anticipates the i40 to continue the company's excellent safety record and attain the maximum 5-star result under Euro NCAP's impact assessment.

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