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by Brett Davis

Hyundai Europe is reportedly working on a sporty hot hatch version of the popular Hyundai i30. The model is set to be based on a new three-door variant being planned for the 2013 model.

The new model is tipped to feature a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing around 150kW. It will be similar, if not identical, to the unit powering the upcoming Hyundai Veloster Turbo.

There is no official announcement from Hyundai yet, but Hyundai Europe boss Allan Rushforth has confirmed to Autocar that the company is discussing plans. It is understood the model would be developed primarily for the European market.

Potential upgrades over the normal Hyundai i30 include a sporty new exterior with an aggressive bodykit, and other distinctive styling cues throughout the interior, as well as uprated brakes and suspension.

A sporty i30 could potentially help Hyundai provide even stronger competition for one of its main rivals, the Volkswagen Golf, and the popular Golf GTI.

Reports say the i30 hot hatch could join the European line-up sometime in 2013. The 2012 Hyundai i30 facelift will go on sale in Australia around the middle of next year.