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Geneva 2012: Small Hyundai i20 Receives A Small Facelift

Jason Udywriter

It seems Hyundai's bringing something other than the i-oniq concept and i30/ Elantra Wagon to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The automaker's also using the Swiss auto show to show off the latest iteration of the subcompact i20 model.

Hyundai's i20, which originally debuted at the 2008 Paris show, has never been offered in North America, but the small hatchback has long been a staple of the company's European lineup. This latest model isn't exactly "all-new" as press materials proclaim, and nor should it be: at four years old, the  Hyundai i20 is roughly in the middle of its lifespan, and due for a mild refresh.

From what we can see, the latest Hyundai i20's makeover is largely centered on the front fascia. While the previous model resembled the last Elantra Touring model, the i20's new nose is patterned off that of the slightly-larger Accent. Hyundai's signature hexagonal-shaped grille helps shape the front bumper, but its upper section is actually V-shaped, and spans the distance between the headlamps.

Press materials claim the new Hyundai i20 is about 2 inches longer than the previous model; even so, it's still a bit smaller than the B-segment Accent sold in our market. The Hyundai i20 is 157.3 inches long, and rides on a 99.4-inch wheelbase. The North American Hyundai Accent, in comparison, is about 162 inches long and rides on a 101.2-inch wheelbase.

The Hyundai i20 will be offered with a choice of small diesel engines: a 1.1-liter three-cylinder and a 1.4-liter engine. Both engines are classified as "U-II" and produce less than 100 g/km of CO2. The automaker claims that the 74-horsepower 1.1-liter diesel engine is the lowest-polluting powertrain in the world when it's combined with Hyundai's Blue Drive technologies. Hyundai claims the three-cylinder diesel emits only 84 g/km of CO2. The 99-horsepower 1.4-liter diesel engine isn't far behind; Blue Drive technologies help it achieve just 96 g/km of CO2 emissions. The engines were designed at Hyundai's Diesel Centre of Excellence in Rüsselsheim, Germany.

For more on the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, including videos, the latest photos, and more, click here to visit our 2012 Geneva Motor Show homepage.

Source: Hyundai

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