Hyundai’s fresh new i20 ready to tackle SA’s small hatchback segment
Hyundai Automotive South Africa is enhancing its model line-up for 2012 by unveiling the new i20 hatchback that was first displayed to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year.
The popular supermini has been revised and refreshed both inside and out, and is intended to appeal to a new, younger group of car buyers. The new Hyundai i20 is introduced to South Africa in three derivatives: The i20 Fluid with a new six-speed manual gearbox; an i20 Glide with the new six-speed manual gearbox; and the i20 Fluid automatic with a four-speed automatic transmission. All three derivatives are equipped with Hyundai’s 73 kW 1,4-litre petrol engine.
Building on the success of the original i20 five-door hatchback, the new model progresses the development of Hyundai’s passenger vehicle range, which continues to benefit from recent advances in powertrain and design.
Outwardly, the new i20 takes its design cues from Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language, including the hexagonal grille common to all new Hyundai models. A sculpted body shape with bold lines invokes the appearance of constant motion, while halogen headlamps with a complete new design give a sense of luxury and technological sophistication.
The new i20 has slightly increased length and the cabin benefits from upgraded materials and high-tech specification that represent a significant improvement over the original.
As with all other passenger models from Hyundai Automotive South Africa, the new i20 comes standard with a five-year/150 000 km warranty and 5 years roadside assistance. Part of the standard i20 package is also a 3 years/60 000 km service plan and 5 years/160 000 km perforation warranty – delivering a motoring package with outstanding value to buyers in this popular segment of the local market. Service intervals are 15 000 km apart.
“The i20 has been very popular with South African buyers since it came to market in 2009, thanks to its combination of efficiency, quality, practicality and value. With its sharper styling influenced by fluidic sculpture, the new i20 will appeal to an even broader range of buyers, including younger consumers,” says Stanley Anderson, marketing director of Hyundai Automotive SA.
Evolution into fluidic design
Re-designed at the Hyundai Motor Europe headquarters in Germany, the 4-metre-long new i20 has been styled using Hyundai’s signature design language, “fluidic sculpture”.
The front-end has been updated to feature a design element common to all new Hyundai models – the hexagonal-shaped grille. New headlights have been added to give the new i20 a contemporary look. The hood, fender, front bumper – which incorporates redesigned fog lights – and wheel design have been updated, to bring this new model visually in line with the rest of the i-range.
At the rear, Hyundai’s designers have modernised the car with a makeover that includes an updated bumper design, integrating a rear parking assist system as standard equipment. The rear lamps have also been restyled to ensure that design harmony is optimised all around the car.
The redesigned bumpers at the fore and rear of the new i20 have added 55 mm to the length (30 mm at the front and 25 mm at the rear), taking the overall length to 3 995 mm. The overall width, height and wheelbase remain the same as the outgoing model, maintaining its dynamic proportions.
Enhanced materials and generous space
Inside, the new i20 has been redesigned to provide drivers and passengers with an enhanced level of interior comfort and roominess. Furthermore, the centre fascia has been thoroughly reworked to incorporate more sophisticated switchgear. Stylish black, high-gloss inserts on the dashboard now benefit from a quality soft-touch finish.
The new i20’s interior benefits not only from material upgrades, it also provides outstanding levels of roominess front and rear for a B-segment car – just like the original vehicle. Headroom in the front is a generous 1 005 mm and 970 mm in the rear. There is also 1 350 mm of shoulder room in the front and 1 340 in the rear, while legroom is generous, providing 1 074 mm in the front and 845 mm in the rear. The cargo bay has a capacity of 295 litres (with the seats upright).
The standard equipment and features level of the new i20 has been lifted substantially versus the outgoing model that it replaces, and it still comes at a most competitive price in its segment:
|Outgoing Hyundai i20||New Hyundai i20|
|Transmission||5-speed manual||6-speed manual|
|Reae park assist||No||Yes|
|Side & curtain airbags||No||Yes (in GLS derivative)|
|Remote Bluetooth phone/sound control on steering wheel||No||Yes|
|Safety belts||Lap belt middle rear passenger||3-point inertia reel safety belts for all passengers|
|Price:||i20 1.4 GL man. – R161 900
i20 1.4 GL auto – R171 900
i20 1.6 GLS man. – R171 900
|i20 1.4 Fluid man. – R164 900
i20 1.4 GL Fluid auto – R174 900
i20 1.4 Glide man. – R176 900
Refined, efficient engine and transmission
The 4-cylinder, 1,4-litre petrol engine in the new i20 has been chosen to deliver lively performance, while retaining good fuel economy. It delivers 73 kW at 5 500 r/min. and 136 Nm maximum torque at 4 200 r/min.
In order to extract the best balance of performance, emissions and fuel economy from the 1,4-litre Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) engine, Hyundai’s engineers have been matching it with carefully chosen ratios in a new six-speed manual transmission, or the option of a four-speed automatic.
The manual transmission has been refined to provide a more precise gearshift for maximum ease and feel. Gear ratios have been optimised to ensure that the engines they are mated to operate at their most efficient speed for the longest period of time.
Comfort and compliance built into the chassis
In keeping with its dynamic re-styling, the new i20 rides on a revised platform that delivers an agile driving experience combined with remarkable refinement.
Much of the car’s ride and handling development work was undertaken on European roads, developing the benchmark set by the original model. As a result, Hyundai’s ride and handling engineers have been able to fine tune the new i20’s front MacPherson strut and rear coupled torsion beam axle suspension to deliver taut and alert driving dynamics, attributes that are appreciated by buyers in this segment in South Africa. Thanks to these chassis developments, the ne Hyundai i20 yields a fun-to-drive, dynamic ride as well as real world predictability.
The electrically assisted rack and pinion steering has a new setup and has also been retuned to deliver quick and accurate responses resulting in excellent urban agility.
Enhanced NVH offers comfortable environment
Through computer simulation and practical testing, NVH (noise vibration harshness) levels of the new i20 have been drastically reduced over its predecessor. Road transmitted vibration, wind resonance, intake, exhaust and engine noise have all been reduced to deliver a ride quality that fits Hyundai’s modern premium brand aspirations.
The new i20 has been developed to deliver comfort to all occupants, and by applying structural reinforcements in the dashboard panel, steering column mounting and cowl cross member, reduction in road vibrations has been achieved.
Further vibration enhancements are made thanks to a 3-point inertia engine and transmission support, not only strengthening the structure, but also minimising parts and reducing weight.
The extensive use of advanced noise reduction materials throughout the development process has resulted in exceptionally high levels of refinement, giving the new i20 a cosseting cabin ambience.
Simplifying the exhaust system by removing the centre muffler has reduced weight and offers a dramatic decrease in exhaust booming noise.
Class-leading safety features
Designed to be among the safest cars in its class, the new i20 debuts with high levels of active and passive safety equipment.
In the event of a collision, protection is offered by the extensive use of high-tensile steel in the robust body shell structure, while front airbags – and side and curtain airbags in the GLS derivative – optimise occupant protection. The new i20 is also equipped with two 3-point inertia reel safety belts in front with pretensioners, and three 3-point inertia reel safety belts for rear occupants.
|Type / capacity||‘Gamma’ / 1 396 cc|
|Power / torque||73 kW @ 5 500 r/min. / 136 Nm @ 4 200 r/min|
|Suspension & Damping|
|Front||MacPherson struts with gas shock absorbers|
|Rear||Coupled torsion beam axle with gas shock absorbers|
|Type||Electric power assisted rack and pinion|
|Turning circle||10,4 m|
|Front||256 mm ventilated discs, ABS|
|Rear||262 mm solid discs, ABS|
|Overall length||3 995|
|Overall width||1 710 (excluding door mirrors)|
|Overall height||1 490|
|Overhang||815 / 655 (front / rear)|
|Track||1 503 / 1 501|
Head room (mm)
Leg room (mm)
Shoulder room (mm)
Hip room (mm)
|Luggage hold||295 litres (rear seats upright)|