The Hyundai i30 and Accent hatchbacks are moving closer to having performance-oriented SR versions released locally.
The Australian division of Hyundai is making a particularly strong push to get both vehicles out of development and into production.
What makes it all the more intriguing is that Australia is looking to be the first market to get both vehicles, assuming of course that Hyundai decides to move ahead. The Australian market will then be used to test the waters ahead of a global release.
Nothing has been set in stone yet, but it is believed that both cars could arrive on the scene during the third quarter of 2013.
That would make it almost a year from when they both made their debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney.
Hyundai has already made it known that they would like to branch out into the performance car market. The feeling is that such a move is critical to their improving brand reputation.
While neither of this pair can truly be classified as high-performance, the hatchbacks are definitely a step in that direction, with both expected to compete with the likes of the Mazda3 SP25.
Both SR models, the Accent and i30 hatchback, would be similar to the concepts on display at Sydney, with the same mechanicals, but also with some changes made to the body.
It was Hyundai Motor Co. Australia who played a pivotal role in the creation of both models. The planning division of the company carefully selected a number of components from the Korean automaker and used them to build prototypes of both cars.
HMCA product planning manager Scott Nargar feels that the Australian public has an almost insatiable appetite for performance versions of mainstream vehicles.
A perfect example of that can be found in the fact that the SP25 and Volkswagen GTI have a larger percentage of sales in the Australian market than anywhere else in the world.
Nargar went on to say that he feels that if Hyundai don’t have a car in that segment, they are basically losing customers. He said that if they can’t find what they want from Hyundai, they will simply go elsewhere.
i30, Accent SR engine specs
The i30 SR show car had a 2.0L GDI petrol engine delivering 130kW and 213Nm, which is quite a step up from the regular 110kW/178Nm 1.8-litre engine.
The Accent SR had a tuned version of the 1.6L with 103kW (up from 91kW) and 167Nm (up from 156Nm) which, like the i30 SR, was driven through a 6-speed manual transmission.
It is believed that both engines are ready to go, with supply taken care of and a few minor adjustments just to be made. Those include the addition of daytime running lights and a rear diffuser.
The show cars had a number of other differences, such as retuned steering, alloy wheels, and treatments on the grille.
The interiors of each were decked out in a rather sporty red and black, with the Accent also coming with automatic climate-control air-conditioning and a five-inch touchscreen.
Mr. Nargar revealed that all of the feedback received at the Sydney show has now been passed on to the HMC headquarters in South Korea. He said that information has also been provided to the design center in Germany and the production factory in the Czech Republic.
He said that such tenacity was typically Australian, and that they simply don’t like to take no for an answer. He went on to say that what he is trying to do is get all the components they need for the Accent SR and i30 SR at a price that would allow them to set a global precedent.
He also said that while there was no research and design center in Australia, there was a dedicated group of talented engineers that are really passionate about what they do.
He added that their goal was to push the boundaries using the best specifications and running gear to create a car like the SR that will help drive the brand forward. [Source: GoAuto]