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Old 11-19-2012, 01:15 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 317270
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: PA
15 WRX
and a Sienna

Default Hyundai i40 Wagon for North America?

Eh, probably not.


It’s no secret that Hyundai has been making big strides in the U.S.; the Korean automaker just hit 500,000 annual sales here for the first time, and also made its first-ever appearance on the Car and Driver 10Best list. But Hyundai is also making a push for mainstream success in Europe, where it still is shedding some budget-car baggage. The Golf-rivaling i30 has been a hit on the Continent, and Hyundai is preparing to go head-to-head with mid-size cars like the Ford Mondeo, the VW Passat, and the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia (sold in the U.S. as the Buick Regal) with the i40. That car, rendered here, is set to debut at the Geneva auto show.

Although the i40 shares its basic architecture with the U.S.-market Sonata, it’s not merely a carbon copy of our car. Just as Volkswagen bifurcated the Passat line into European and American versions, Hyundai explains that the i40 has been styled and had its chassis tweaked for the European market. That said, we see a lot of Sonata hybrid in the nose. The i40 will launch with the five-door wagon, or cw, seen here, which will be followed by a four-door sedan (wagons are the body style of choice for cars in this segment in Europe). The i40 cw will offer a 1.7-liter turbo-diesel four with either 113 or 134 hp, a 138-hp 1.6-liter gas engine, or a less-powerful version of the direct-injected 2.0-liter four we have in the U.S.-market Sonata.
This is where the i40/Sonata product plans get confusing. While, for obvious reasons, we won’t get the four-door i40 here, it is possible that Hyundai will offer the i40 wagon in the U.S. as a companion to our Sonata sedan. There’s precedent for this type of move, as Hyundai offered the last-gen Elantra sedan alongside the Elantra Touring, a European model that’s sold as the i30 cw elsewhere. An Americanized i40 cw likely would see the same powertrains as the Sonata. Got all that?

If it were our choice, we’d definitely vote to see this sleek hauler in the States. The recent influx of wagons (see the Acura TSX and Cadillac CTS) could make a case for such an offering, assuming they fare well in the marketplace. We should know more about the i40′s chances closer to the car’s Geneva debut in March.

Last edited by fredzy; 11-19-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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