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by Tim Beissmann

Hyundai has released an interior image of the 2011 Hyundai i40 wagon ahead of its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March.

The i40 is the first mid-sized Hyundai vehicle to be specifically designed for the European market.

The interior appears to draw some inspiration from the new Grandeur and i45 models, but it is also a very individual look that is easily distinguished from the larger two.

The overall ambience is open and uncluttered, and the flowing satin chrome feature line that divides the centre console gives the interior an active appearance.

The combination of leather seats, soft-touch dark plastics, piano black surfaces, chrome highlights, and blue-themed lighting and technology features puts the i40’s cabin in the same league as other stylish, modern and upmarket medium-sized competitors.

The Hyundai i40 has been designed and engineered at Hyundai’s European research and development headquarters in Germany.

It will go on sale in Europe from June, with a sedan variant to follow later in the year, finally replacing the ageing boxy Sonata.

Engine options are believed to include two petrol engines: a 1.6-litre with 103kW and a 2.0-litre with 132kW, as well as two tunes of a 1.7-litre diesel engine: 85kW and 100kW.

As the vehicle was designed specifically for the European market, it is unlikely to be sold locally, at least in the short term. Hyundai Australia’s Ben Hershman confirmed last week the i40 was not one of the vehicles on the brand’s list to join the local line-up in 2011.




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