Hyundai has unveiled its newest challenger in the MPV category – the Hyundai ix20 – at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. This new B-segment MPV from the South Korean carmaker is the latest member of the "i" range of vehicles. Featuring distinct looks and style as well as superb drivability and remarkable comfort, the Hyundai ix20 is set to challenge the growing B-segment of the MPV market.
While the overall MPV segment in Europe has been in declining by 34 percent since 2005, it was a different story for the B-segment, which grew from 23.3 percent to 29.2 percent over the same period.
The Hyundai ix20 is Hyundai's second for-Europe vehicle that features the carmaker's new 'fluidic sculpture' form language. This MPV -- designed and developed at the carmaker's R&D center in Russelsheim, Germany – is an amalgamation of three key qualities: refinement, dynamism, and confidence.
These qualities are all highlighted by Hyundai's new signature hexagonal front grille, which has become a key graphic attribute of its new European family 'look'. Hyundai's new hexagonal front grille has been designed to bestow a friendly face to the Hyundai ix20. Hyundai also implemented the fluidic design into the cabin of the MPV, complemented by some neat styling elements.
Its cabin allows for outstanding comfort by offering extra legroom and headroom as well as for convenience with ample room for cargo and higher equipment specs. With a length of 4.1 meters, the Hyundai ix20 has a long wheelbase (2.615mm), which is not typical of vehicles in its class.
The vehicle also features a 1.600mm high roofline. In fact, the B-segment ix20 boasts of a cabin space that is roomier than most vehicles in its segment, offering an interior that is as spacious as many larger C-segment vehicles.
Customers can choose from any of the four Euro V-compliant engines with outputs ranging from 77 PS to 125 PS -- two petrol and two diesel powerplants – and are mated to either a manual or automatic transmission.
All of these engines – except the 1.6 powerplant mated to an automatic transmission -- will be available in Blue Drive form, which features a number of technologies like Integrated Stop & Go (ISG) technology, an alternator management system (AMS) and low rolling-resistance tires. Hyundai ix20 Blue Drive versions emit just 114 grams of carbon dioxide/km (1.4-liter U2 diesel engine), underscoring the carmaker's intentions to become one of the leaders in the area of long-term environmental sustainability.
Safety and protection for the occupants of the Hyundai ix20 have been taken cared of by the latest active and passive safety technologies. The active safety features include ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESP (Electronic Stability Program) and Hillstart Assist Control that prevents roll-back when the vehicle is starting on an incline.
These features come as standard on the ix20 in several countries. Hyundai expects the ix20 to carry on its outstanding safety record and become the first B-segment MPV to earn 5-Star ratings under Euro NCAP's impact assessment.
The Hyundai ix20 features the South Korean carmaker's Five Year Triple Care package, which includes five years of unlimited-mileage warranty, roadside assistance, and free vehicle health checks. Allan Rushforth, Vice President of Hyundai Motor Europe, described the Hyundai ix20 as a modern mini-MPV that has its own personality while providing owners with a good balance of dynamic style and functionality.
Rushforth added that the Hyundai is a vehicle that does not only suit the lifestyle of young European families but also appeals to their sense of adventure. He remarked that Hyundai is targeting to sell around 55,000 units of the Hyundai ix20 annually.
He noted that while the MPV segment has been having a hard time recently, Hyundai is confident that the ix20 will help the carmaker raise its overall sales volume and market share in Europe. He added that even C-segment MPV owners will be attracted to the Hyundai ix20.
According to Rushforth, the ix20 is an integral part of Hyundai's overall business strategy, as it is expected to help boost the carmaker's sales before the end of 2010, thereby allowing the company to stay close to achieving its market share target of 2.75 percent this year.
Rushforth's confidence comes from his belief that Hyundai ix20 would be able to answer the expectations of European customers on the Hyundai brand, including dynamic design, versatility, efficient engines, and superior safety.
He announced that Hyundai ix20 is the first of Hyundai's intensive model launches, with 12 new models and derivatives bound for introduction in the next few years. Hyundai is assembling the Hyundai ix20 at its Nošovice manufacturing site in Czech Republic.