Hyundai used the 2010 Beijing Motor Show to lift the curtain on its restyled Verna, a compact sedan designed for China but one that will be making its appearance here next spring as the successor to the current Hyundai Accent. While Hyundai execs were not ready to share specifics on the various changes we'll see on the sedan/hatch versions that make it to our shores, they did admit that the basic visual and mechanical formula of the China-spec Verna also will carry over here.
Like other new Hyundai models, the Verna embraces the latest in "fluidic sculpture" styling cues that add a more upscale appearance to its sheetmetal, a look suitable complemented by high-profile wraparound front/rear lighting elements. That more sophisticated flavor extends to its restyled interior, which boasts even richer-looking materials and displays greater attention to functional detailing and ergonomics. Beyond merely looking good, Hyundai says the Verna/Accent also uses a greater percentage of high-strength steel in its basic unit body to create a more rigid structure that better protects passengers and forms a more stable foundation for the suspension. A wheelbase stretch from the current 98.4 inch span to 101.2 inches also promises to yield more people space in the car's better-isolated cabin and ups trunk capacity in the sedan from 12.4 cu ft to a 16.0 spec. Expect similar levels of dimensional enhancements on our three-door Accent hatchback.
In China, the Verna sedan will be sold with 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines, although the latter is likely to be the sole motivator we get when the new Accent turns up here in the first quarter of 2011 as either a 2011 or 2012 model.