The sporty new Hyundai i30 three-door hatch has been unveiled in Europe ahead of its international debut at the 2012 Paris motor show later this month.
The three-door variant becomes the third body style in the second-generation Hyundai i30 range, joining the five-door hatch and the larger i30 Tourer wagon - although like the wagon, the three door isn't headed our way, at least in the foreseeable future.
Hyundai Australia director of marketing Oliver Mann told CarAdvice there are "currently no plans to bring the three-door i30 to Australia".
Like the wagon, the i30 three-door is only being produced at the company's Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic. Hyundai Australia sources the five-door i30 hatch from South Korea.
The i30 three-door brings its own distinctive styling to the table, sporting a more heavily raked beltline and tapered roofline that combine to create a window-line similar to that of the uniquely styled Veloster ‘three-door coupe’.
The front bumper is lower to the ground to create a sportier stance, while the black grille and foglight clusters feature a circular mesh pattern. LED daytime running lights add extra appeal to the three-door’s more purposeful front-end.
Longer doors and unique 16-inch alloy wheels contribute to the more dynamic side profile, while horizontal lower reflectors in the rear bumper create the impression of a wider rear-end stance.
Hyundai Europe senior vice president and chief operating officer Allan Rushforth says the i30 three-door is intended to strengthen the brand’s presence in the ultra-competitive small-car segment.
“Its sporty looks − offering a fresh interpretation of [Hyundai’s] fluidic sculpture [design language] − will generate greater brand awareness and enhance consumer perceptions of Hyundai in Europe,” Rushforth said.
The Hyundai i30 three-door matches the five-door under the bonnet, with European models to be offered with a full range of four engines and five power outputs.
The three-door also mirrors the five-door’s ride and handling dynamics, with an identical suspension set-up and the integration of the selectable ‘Flex Steer’ system, which allows the driver to switch between three steering weight settings.
Earlier this year, the Hyundai Australia admitted it was looking closely at adding a sportier variant to its i30 range with a more powerful engine, suspension tweaks and more emotional styling.