Hyundai is set to shake up the MPV market this autumn with the new, modern and dynamic ix20, unveiled at the 2010 Paris Motor Show by the company’s Vice Chairman, Euisun Chung.
The car combines unique looks and great drivability with key MPV attributes to form an unprecedented package, promising to be the benchmark for future B-segment offerings.
The ix20 is the latest Hyundai model to join the company’s hugely popular ‘i-range’ line-up of vehicles offering European consumers unparalleled levels of quality, style, and comfort. The all-new B-segment MPV is also the latest Hyundai model to come with the company’s groundbreaking Five Year Triple Care package, which includes a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty; five years of roadside assistance; and five years of free vehicle health checks.
“The ix20 is a modern mini-MPV which has its own personality, offering the right balance of dynamic style and functionality,” said Allan Rushforth, Vice President of Hyundai Motor Europe. “With ix20 we are giving young European families a vehicle that not only suits their lifestyle, but also appeals to their sense of adventure.”
Overall, the MPV segment in Europe has experienced a downturn in fortunes during recent years, with sales declining by 34% since 2005. The B-segment of the MPV market however, has increased its share from 23,3% to 29,2% over the same period.
“We are optimistic about the future of our new B-segment MPV and have set an ambitious but achievable sales target of 55,000 units annually for the ix20,” continued Mr. Rushforth. “The MPV segment has been experiencing a tough time of late, but we are confident that the launch of the ix20 will help to increase Hyundai’s overall sales volume and market share in Europe. Taking into account the current trend for European motorists to downsize, we expect many C-segment MPV owners will be tempted by the ix20.”
Production of the ix20 is under way at Hyundai’s newest European plant in Nošovice, Czech Republic. The 4.1 metre-long car features an unusually long wheelbase for its class (2.615mm) and a 1.600mm high roofline. These dimensions, as well as developments in the field of interior packaging, ensure that the ix20 offers cabin space typical of many larger C-segment vehicles.
Designed and developed at Hyundai’s R&D centre in Russelsheim, the ix20 is the second European car to adopt Hyundai’s new ‘fluidic sculpture’ form language. This concept brings together three key qualities in a pleasing design: refinement, dynamism, and confidence.
These qualities are accentuated in the ix20 package by a design feature that has become unmistakably Hyundai: the hexagonal front grille, a key visual element of the brand’s new European family ‘look’. This grille is designed to give the MPV a ‘friendly’ face, inviting potential buyers to explore the car further.
The fluidic design theme continues inside, with neat styling touches reflecting the dynamic flow of the exterior. Hyundai’s European designers have also sculpted the interior space to provide extra legroom and headroom for superior comfort, while accommodating ample luggage and raising equipment specifications.
The all-new ix20 will be available with a choice of four Euro V-compliant engines: two petrol and two diesel, covering a power spread from 77ps to 125ps. Manual and automatic transmissions will also be offered. Every engine in the ix20 range (except 1.6 with automatic transmission) will also be available in Blue DriveTM form, which includes Integrated Stop & Go (ISG) technology, low rolling-resistance tyres and an alternator management system (AMS). Blue DriveTM versions of the ix20 give class-leading CO2 emissions levels from just 114 g/km (1,4-litre U2 diesel engine), highlighting Hyundai’s desire to lead the way on the road to long-term environmental sustainability.
The modern ix20 uses the latest active and passive safety technologies to ensure maximum protection for its occupants. Active safety features, fitted as standard in several countries, include ESP (Electronic Stability Program), ABS (anti-lock braking system) and Hillstart Assist Control (to prevent roll-back when starting on an incline). Hyundai anticipates the ix20 will continue the company’s excellent safety record and become the first B-segment MPV to attain the maximum 5-Star result under Euro NCAP’s impact assessment.
“The ix20 is an integral part of Hyundai’s overall business strategy,” added Rushforth. “Its launch will help to increase our sales performance before the end of the year, keeping us on target for our 2010 market share goal of 2.75%.”
“With its dynamic design, economical powertrains, unique versatility, and uncompromising safety, the ix20 builds upon what European consumers have come to expect from the Hyundai brand. The arrival of ix20 kicks off our intensive model launch period, and it is sure to set a high standard for our future models. In the next couple of years Hyundai will introduce another 12 new models and derivatives,” he concluded.
SPORTS KIT DEVELOPED WITH BRABUS BRINGS ADDED STYLE TO THE I20
One of the most successful models in Hyundai’s European line-up, the i20 returns to Paris this year, having made its global debut at the 2008 edition of the show. A facelift earlier in the year kept the model fresh, and now the i20 has an even more dynamic profile.
Enhancing the energetic character of the i20, Hyundai’s European R&D Center in Russelsheim, Germany, has developed the i20 Sport Edition, in cooperation with German high-performance aftermarket tuning company, Car Research and Development (CRD).
Bringing further excitement to the Hyundai range, the bespoke kit adds a wide assortment of styling enhancements to the i20 supermini’s interior and exterior, bringing a sporty and sophisticated image to the vehicle and adding a luxurious touch by applying high-quality materials to the interior.
Accentuating the i20’s already dynamic image, the Sport Edition adds body-coloured front skirt and wheelarch flares to the exterior, while a glossy radiator grille mesh insert, black bezel headlights and daytime running lights are also introduced. The car’s sporty appearance is completed with the inclusion of a glossy B-pillar, smoked windows, dark red tinted rear lights and 17-inch Brabus alloy wheels with Yokohama tyres
Inside, a luxurious dimension is added to the sporty theme. Orange leather Recaro seats, a black leather gearshift cover with orange-colored seams, a chrome gear shift knob, a leather-wrapped center console, leather-covered door panels, and a 7-inch touch screen navigation all bring added verve to the driving experience.
The i20 Sport Edition will go into limited production during the first half of 2011, when Hyundai will announce details of the model’s engine and transmission specifications. The car will be available in either three- or five-door guise, manufactured at Hyundai’s Indian and Turkish plants, respectively.