It appears a new Hyundai i30 hot-hatch is in the works, with our spy photographers spotting a prototype sporty hatch at the company's home base in Europe.
The car spotted in Germany is fitted with the Kia Pro_cee'd GT's 18-inch alloy wheels, but its what's underneath the car that is most intriguing. It is believed the spied i30 sits upon a reworked sports suspension setup with independent rear springs and struts that is seen in the Kia hot-hatch in place of the torsion beam layout found under most i30s.
Giving away further changes are a pair of twin exhaust pipes at the back end, which are believed to be joined up to a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. That powerplant isn't used in the i30 range anywhere right now, but it is seen in the aforementioned Kia and the H brand's own Veloster SR Turbo. The most powerful i30 on sale is the i30 SR, which has a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine producing 129kW/209Nm.
There's no word yet on power outputs, but some reports suggest the model may carry over the same 150kW/265Nm tune that is already available. However, Hyundai Australia has shown what is possible with that particular engine, with its Veloster-Raptor prototype pushing out 195kW of power and 318Nm of torque.
Another possibility could be that this is a prototype for one of Hyundai's new N Performance models, and it could possibly be introduced as part of a facelifted i30 range which may debut at the 2014 Paris motor show.
However, Hyundai Australia denied any knowledge of the sporty i30, and declined to comment on the possibility of such a car being sold here, were one to be made available.
Stay tuned for more on this mysterious Hyundai i30 as it comes to hand.