Hyundai i40 to debut in Barcelona

Hyundai i40 Concept – Click above for high-res image

Hyundai has released a glimpse of its upcoming i40 sedan ahead of the sedan's May 12 debut at the Barcelona Motor Show. The i40 represents the latest Hyundai to be released under the company's new "New thinking. New possibilities" ad slogan, along with its "fluidic sculpture" design language. According to Hyundai, the design brief uses shapes found in nature to make vehicles with a distinct flowing shape. To our eyes, we see a subtle evolution of the styling that made the Elantra so popular, and there's a little Lexus IS thrown in there for good measure.

When it debuts, Hyundai says the i40 concept will lead the D-segment for front head, shoulder and leg room, but until its debut next week, powerplant and production details are kept under lock and key.
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* Design inspired by Hyundai's unique form language, 'fluidic sculpture'
* Latest version of landmark i40 to be revealed at Barcelona Motor Show
* Hyundai press conference at 12:20 (CET), May 12th, Hall 8

Hyundai has released the first rendering of its new i40 saloon, ahead of the world premiere at the 2011 Barcelona Motor Show on May 12th.

This debut follows the global reveal of the i40 estate at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year. The i40 saloon will be the latest model to be unveiled under the company's new brand slogan – 'New Thinking. New Possibilities.'

The i40 saloon boasts a purely European identity having been designed and engineered at the European R&D headquarters of Hyundai in Rüsselsheim, Germany, and represents the next evolution of the company's unique form language, 'fluidic sculpture'.

The 'fluidic sculpture' design DNA utilises flowing lines inspired by nature 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 and ix20.

"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 saloon and create a car that was in keeping with the sporty nature of the i40 estate. By sculpting a low, elongated roof line, we've given the i40 saloon a striking coupe-like silhouette," he added.

The i40 saloon not only benefits from attractive styling, but also retains high levels of interior comfort, with a wheelbase measuring 2.77 metres and delivering best-in-class dimensions for front head (1025mm), shoulder (1455mm), and leg (1170mm) room.

"While the exterior of i40 saloon 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.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, "The launch of the saloon represents the next step of the i40's introduction to the European market, following the very positive reception for the i40 estate. The i40 saloon shares the same qualities found in the estate, including a dynamic design element, and broadens the appeal of the i40 to buyers in the D-segment.

"The saloon market in Spain is very strong, claiming almost 40% of the D-Segment, so the Barcelona Motor Show was the logical choice for a reveal of such importance. We couldn't be more delighted to be holding the world premiere of the i40 saloon in Barcelona, a vibrant European city steeped in culture and creativity," he concluded.

The world premiere of the all-new i40 saloon at the Hyundai stand will take place in Hall 8 at the Montjuïc Exhibition Centre at 12:20 (CET) on Thursday 12th May 2011.

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