At this week’s local launch of the all-new 2012 Accent range, Hyundai Australia confirmed that it is already working on the next round of improvements for its new light car.
Expected to join the Accent range before the end of the year are diesel and direct-injection petrol powertrains, along with cruise control for higher spec models.
The diesel will be the same 94kW/265Nm 1.6 litre turbodiesel that’s offered in overseas markets, and is expected to be offered in both hatch and sedan bodystyles.
Backed up by either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, it’s highly likely that both transmissions will be offered locally too.
High demand for the diesel in India is the biggest constraint on supply, and may delay the local introduction of the diesel Accent.
When it does eventually arrive, the diesel Accent will be the first Korean light car to offer a diesel powertrain.
Details of the upcoming direct-injection (GDi in Hyundai parlance) petrol engine are sketchy, but it is likely to be based on the Veloster’s 102kW/166Nm 1.6 litre GDi inline four and utilise that car’s six-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
At this stage it’s not clear whether the direct-injection engine will entirely replace the current port-injected 1.6 litre Gamma engine.
No specific timeline has been given, but the GDi powerplant is expected to arrive before the end of 2011. Strong global demand for the Accent may interfere with that timing though, and an early 2012 arrival date is also possible.
Indeed, high demand for the Accent is already causing headaches for Hyundai Australia. According to CEO Edward Lee, supply is currently constrained to about 500 cars per month - roughly half as many cars as the company believes it could sell.
- TMR Review Editor