Volkswagen GTI Fighter? Hyundai Planning a More Performance Oriented i40 Hatchback

By Trevor Dorchies | February 15, 2012
Korean auto maker Hyundai has shown the automotive world that neither Mother Nature nor an economic crisis can slow it down, as sales have been at record levels over the past year and a half. To keep up with vehicle demands in larger markets like the United States and Europe, Hyundai has decided it will produce a performance version of the Europe-only i40 sedan and i30 hatchback to take on the likes of Volkswagen's GTI. The aforementioned vehicles are currently sold in the United States as the Sonata and the soon-to-be-released Elantra GT, respectively. Just how is Hyundai going to keep up with the likes of the GTI? By adding turbochargers of course. Hyundai has recently said it will be tossing in a turbocharger in the performance version of the new Elantra-based Veloster coupe later this summer. The turbocharged Veloster will drum up motivation from an advanced 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. Using turbochargers is something Hyundai is currently exploring heavily and will continue to do so in the future. Adding the more powerful engine to the i30 (or Elantra GT) would be a slam dunk, and give the Volkswagen GTI some serious competition. “A Hyundai GTI? That’s not just a C-segment question [i30], but a D-segment [i40] one as well,” said Allan Rushforth, Hyundai Europe's CEO in an interview with Autocar. “We have talked about such cars and are considering versions not only with more performance, but dynamic improvements to ride and handling, too.”
“We recognize the attributes in bringing down emissions and improving low-end performance with turbo engines,” said Rushforth to Autocar. “We are working on this technology; watch this space." Source: Autocar