There’s a video clip on YouTube titled ‘Winterkorn and the Hyundai’ where the head honcho of Volkswagen AG, Dr. Martin Winterkorn was seen scrutinizing the new Hyundai i30 at the car’s world debut at the Frankfurt Motorshow last September. Well, if the chairman of Volkswagen, one of the world’s biggest carmaker takes interest in a competitor’s car then that car must have really impressed him then.
The new second gen i30 is yet to be launched here in Singapore and we’ve not driven or experienced it yet so I can’t tell you how good it actually is. But having recently tested the meant-for-Europe new i40 wagon, I could understand why Herr Winterkorn was so impressed by a new Hyundai model like the i30.
The i40 is not exactly just an estate version of he i45 saloon as it is a smaller car than the latter but it does utilizes the latter’s platform and drivetrain. In Europe, the i40 is available in both saloon and wagon body styles but its somewhat close resemblance in looks and size to the i45 means that only the estate model is currently offered here.
Just like the recent Elantra and i45, the i40 wagon strongly embodies Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design ethos for its exterior styling. The i40’s styling details are a mix of the i45’s (the curvaceous roof line) and the Elantra (the nose). With a sportier snout and sleeker profile than the i45 and on 18-inch wheels, the i40 wagon certainly looks prettier and more athletic looking than the larger saloon model. The i40’s more compact dimensions (50mm shorter overall, 20mm narrower, 25mm shorter wheelbase), smarter looking front grille and somewhat less complex surfaces give it a purposeful stance as well.