Hyundai whet our appetite last week with a single rendering of Europe’s i40 sedan. Now, the car has been fully revealed at the 2011 Barcelona Motor Show. After fully unveiling the car, we can see more clearly the differences between Hyundai’s Euro-exclusive midsize sedan and our own Sonata.
As expected, the front of the car looks much like that of the i40 wagon that bowed in Geneva this year—which also happens to look a lot like the U.S.-market Elantra. From the side profile,the i40's relation to the larger Sonata is readily apparent. Both cars share the same platform, but as we reported last week, the i40 sedan is shorter than the Sonata lengthwise, measuring 186.6 inches versus the Sonata’s 189.8 inches. This difference is mostly due to shorter front and rear overhangs.
“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 tourer,” said Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre. “By sculpting a low, elongated roof line, we’ve given the i40 saloon a striking coupe-like silhouette.”
As we predicted last week, most of the engine options available on the i40 wagon carry over to the sedan. A 1.6-liter gasoline I-4 engine producing 133 hp and 121 lb-ft of torque serves as the base powerplant, while a non-turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter direct-injection I-4 found in the U.S.-spec Sonata, producing 174 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque, is the top gas engine for the i40. Two 1.7-liter diesel I-4 engines are offered, with one making 113 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, and the other making 134 hp and 240 lb-ft. Both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmissions will be offered across the lineup.
Now that the i40 sedan has been fully revealed, we can stop speculating on how the Euro-focused midsize Hyundai will differ from the Sonata -- but we can fuel the debate on which car is the most attractive. Is the Sonata still the one to beat, or does seeing Hyundai’s newest sedan make you want to move to the other side of the pond?