Toyota’s stepping up its B-segment MPV game at this year’s Paris Motor Show, but it won’t be without competition. Hyundai will unveil a competitor — the 2011 ix20 — at the same show venue.
It’s hard to glean precise details from the artistic teaser sketch released by the automaker, but it’s obvious the company’s fluidic sculpture design ethos is prominently on display. The mini-minivan appears to be quite curvaceous, with a front fascia that bears significant resemblance to that used on the new Tucson (or ix35, as it’s known in Europe). Those swoopy lines continue down the sides of the ix20, as designers seem to have blessed the ix20 with large, flared wheel wells, a dramatically curved windshield, and a subtly-sloped roofline. Snazzy indeed, and the curvaceous form may be enough to rival the likes of the stylish next-generation Opel Meriva.
Hyundai’s presently mum on the technical details, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the new ix20 rides upon a modified version of the B-segment platform used in the European i20 hatchback. If so, expect the small MPV to be powered by either a 1.4-liter gasoline or diesel I-4.
Although the ix20 will launch in time to battle Toyota’s new Verso-S in Europe, we’re doubtful the little crossover will come our way. Hyundai U.S. spokesman Dan Bedore tells us there are currently no plans to bring the ix20 to the North American market.