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by Tim Beissmann

The impending launch of the Hyundai i30 Tourer may open the door for Hyundai Australia to expand its small car range further with the recently revealed sporty three-door variant.

The sleek-looking i30 three-door hatch, unveiled at last month’s Paris motor show, is produced at Hyundai’s Nosovice plant in the Czech Republic – the same plant that will export the i30 Tourer to Australia from the first quarter of next year.

While the new-generation Hyundai i30 Tourer was originally on the backburner for our market, Hyundai Australia marketing director Oliver Mann explained a combination of increased capacity at the factory and favourable exchange rates meant sourcing vehicles from the European plant now made financial sense.

When asked whether the introduction of the wagon variant improved the three-door’s chances of a local launch, Mann said: “[The i30 three-door] is built alongside the wagon… I guess it opens up opportunities, yes.”

“We’ll have the chance to consider that vehicle I guess on the basis of all sorts of doors being opened: shipping line, exchange rates, the business case itself and the ability of the factory to supply [vehicles].”

While Mann admitted Hyundai Australia would look at the i30 three-door at some point, he said it was not an “urgent priority” at this stage.

Mann confirmed the new i30 Tourer would be offered with both the 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine and the 94kW/260Nm 1.6-litre diesel of the five-door hatchback.

Although he would not be drawn on specific pricing, he suggested the $1500 premium charged for the old wagon was a good guide to how the new model would be positioned.

Hyundai Australia is confident the new i30 Tourer can attain the same 20 per cent share of total i30 sales as the old i30cw wagon.