The first official sketch of the all-new Hyundai i30 has been released ahead of its appearance in Frankfurt. No mechanical specs of any kind accompanied this early look at the hatchback variant of the company's popular C-segment offering, however, Hyundai did speak extensively about how its transition to "fluidic sculpture" design language will help raise the i30's profile in that ultra-competitive arena.
Marketed in America as the Elantra, the i30 is Hyundai's best-selling model in Europe. Designed and engineered at the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany, this next-gen incarnation embodies a measured evolution of the automaker's distinctive visual form highlighted by a unique interpretation of the now-signature hexagonal grille, jewel-like lighting elements and its edgy integration of boldly redrawn proportions with dynamic character lines that add a more aggressive and confident character.
Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, is understandably optimistic, noting, "We expect this next-generation i30 to play a significant role in developing our brand image in Europe and strengthen the vehicle's position here. Since 2007, the name 'i30' has become synonymous with 'quality', 'reliability' and 'low emissions' in Europe, and we hope that, amongst others, the term 'emotional appeal and style' will be added to the list with the introduction of this dynamic new model. No formal word yet from Hyundai's U.S. arm, but one insider has told KBB.com that we can expect to see some form of the new i30 appear on streets here sometime early next spring, almost certainly as a 2013 model. Whether its introduction also will mark the end of Elantra nomenclature in America remains to be seen.