Mike Stevens | Apr 2, 2009

Thanks to the way the International Date Line works, this news comes to us a day late. But for you Brits, Yanks and European-ites its right on time. Better late than never though, hey?

Hyundai has utilized the first day of the fourth month of the year (I’m not saying it – I refuse to jinx myself) to announce a new 'specialist' version of its i10 econo-hatch.

The first of the coach-built i10 models is slated for delivery to a German customer who resides in Italy. Hyundai wouldn’t reveal the name of the client, but it is believed the i10 will replace a pearl-white Mercedes ML, built in a similar style.

Hyundai has identified a trend amongst the world’s global leaders against the usual limousines and four wheel drive vehicles. Swanning about in a big, expensive and thirsty car during these times of economic hardship sends the wrong message, you see.

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Hyundai hopes to attract particular high-profile clients

The i10 features a range of specialised features. In the rear, a single electrically adjustable seat replaces the standard rear bench. Inside, leather seating surfaces are replaced by a tapestry made by Indian monks in the city of Utta Bullacs, which Hyundai’s trimmers have dubbed ‘holy sheet’.

Befitting the cars VIP status the rear body section incorporates composite armour, including Armour Protected Roof Integrated Lining. A material which was originally developed for off-shore powerboat racing in Switzerland.

Ground-breaking new technology has also added a green slant to the protective offerings. Part of the i10’s armour is made from the string part of runner beans which makes it stronger and lighter than Kevlar when woven into matting and encased in tree sap. The panels of Weave Bean add just 25 grams to the cars weight.

The head of Hyundai’s special vehicle division, Paul Legg described the i10 as “the perfect car for any ruler wanting to draw a line under excessive spending". Other examples of modified i10s won’t be far behind either.

The penultimate version is a pink 32-foot i10 stretch limo being built for Ben Datroof, lead singer of top-selling Dutch boy band Pork Pie. The band's manager Mick Etayk said, "The Hyundai will be particularly appropriate transport for Pork Pie. There are five boys in the band, so they'll have ten eyes in an i10!"

As with the rest of the Hyundai range, the unique i10’s are covered by a five year warranty which is fully transferable to a new owner in the event of a general election, military coup or eviction from a reality TV program.

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