45 mpg Hyundai i-20 Three-Door To Make Geneva Debut

February 19, 2009

We told you yesterday that Hyundai's set to roll out the concept form of its Tucson replacement, the HED-6 ix-onic, in Geneva. Today we learn that a spunky little three-door hatch, the i-20, will be joining in Geneva, itself the bite-size version of the i-20 five-door that was launched last year at the Paris Mondial de l'Automobile.

2010 Hyundai i-20 3-door

2010 Hyundai i-20 3-door

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Hyundai claim that this new iteration of the i-20, a car slated only for European markets (but perhaps one day a replacement for our mediocre Accent?), is intended for choosy young professionals without children who value quality, "high specifications," and affordable motoring. In other words, Hyundai is aiming squarely at Honda. The i-20 three-door will now be the lowest-priced member of the i-20 family.

Efficiency is said to be the i-20's strong suit, its base 1.2-liter gasoline four (one of seven engines total) returning 54 mpg on the European cycle (45 mpg U.S.) and delivering 78 hp to the front wheels. Hyundai expect that this engine, which features innovative design aimed at returning class-leading lows in the NVH department, will have the highest take-rate for the i-20 three-door. A diesel will also be offered, in 1.4-liter, 75 hp tune, and sipping fuel at a rate of 64 mpg European cycle, 53 mpg U.S. It goes without saying that Hyundai has pursued ultra-low CO2 emissions from all engines in the i-20 lineup.

Both five- and three-door i-20s will be built on the same 99.4-inch wheelbase and are said to follow the small on the outside, large on the inside design ethos. Following the Hyundai/Kia value equation, all models feature four speakers and a CD/MP3 player. Standard safety equipment includes six airbags (front, side and curtain), active head-restraints, front seatbelt pretensioners, the latest-generation anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control, and Electronic Brake force- Distribution.

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