2009 Hyundai i20

While its sister division will be busy launching the 2010 Kia Soul, Hyundai will focus its presence at the 2008 Paris motor show on this: the all-new 2009 Hyundai i20.

The subcompact five-door, which rides on an all-new platform, serves as a replacement for the aging Getz hatchback. Hyundai claims the car was designed for European tastes, which helps explain some cues shared with the larger i30 (aka Elantra Touring).

Although the car's specifications are still under wraps, we'd bet there's a diesel engine in the i20's future - especially since a diesel-powered i20 "i-blue" concept will also be displayed in Paris. The oil-burning show car uses an all-new 1.4-liter turbodiesel I-4 coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. The i20 i-blue also uses shorter springs, underbody panels, front fascia tweaks, and low rolling resistance tires to help squeeze out fuel economy.

As Hyundai says, the i20 was designed with Europe in mind - not the U.S. Still, between this new hatch and the lower-end i10, we'd think the larger, more sophisticated i20 could do well as a Fit-fighter here in the States.

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