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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai has released the full details of the facelifted 2011 Hyundai i10 for the UK market, but Hyundai Australia still remains undecided about whether it will introduce the super-light hatchback to its local line-up.

Hyundai Australia’s Ben Hershman said no decision had been made on a replacement for the ageing but still enormously popular Getz, which will be phased out later this year.

He said Hyundai Australia was still investigating the i10 and its position on the Indian-made hatch had not changed.

“We’ve been looking at it for around 18 months,” Mr Hershman said. “We’re still looking at it and discussing it with the factory.”

“It won’t come until we’ve crossed all the ‘T’s and dotted all the ‘I’s and made a solid business case for it.”

He said there was still “plenty” of Getz stock destined for Australia in 2011.

The well-established Getz has remained Hyundai’s core seller in the light car category, outselling the recently launched i20 at a rate of almost 4:1 in December 2010 (1577 vs 421).

Despite the i20’s modest sales start, Mr Hershman said Hyundai had proved before that there was room for two light hatchbacks in the local range, and said it was keeping an open mind about an i10/i20 combination post-Getz.

Also under consideration is Hyundai’s RB vehicle (known as the Accent in some markets). Mr Hershman admitted the light four-door sedan was also being looked at as a replacement for the Getz.

Despite all the speculation, Mr Hershman reiterated that the only two Hyundai vehicles confirmed for Australia in 2011 were the MD (Elantra) small sedan, which will arrive sometime after the first quarter, and the Veloster sports coupe, due later in the year.

There is still no firm decision on what the MD will be called – whether it will adopt the Elantra nameplate or introduce another ‘ixx’ moniker, most likely i25.

If it is introduced to Australia, the i10 will become one of the most fuel efficient and lowest-emissions vehicles on the market.

The new Blue model is powered by the all-new 1.0-litre three-cylinder Kappa engine, which returns combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.2 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of just 99g/km.

The upgraded 1.25-litre engine is 33 percent more efficient than the unit it replaces, packing 63kW, using 4.6 litres/100km and emitting 108g/km CO2.

The new model adopts the brand’s global fluidic sculpture design language, giving the tiny hatch a much more confident and purposeful appearance.

In the UK, four models lines are available (Blue, Classic, Active and Style), and all feature air-conditioning, iPod connectivity, six-speaker stereo, four airbags and electric windows.

The Hyundai i10 is built on the same platform and shares the same basic mechanical equipment as the Kia Picanto, which is also under consideration for Australia, but understood to be closer to a launch.

The 2011 Hyundai i10 range will go on sale in the UK on March 1.




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