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Tony O'Kane | Sep 4, 2008

Hyundai has revealed its newest i-series compact car, the i20, which will make its global debut next month at the Paris Motor Show and go on sale in the European market either later this year, or early next year.

Designed to compete with Toyota's Yaris, the Honda Fit and the Ford Fiesta, the i20 will also form the replacement for Hyundai's Getz in many world markets and will straddle the gap between the Corolla-sized i30 and the Lilliputian i10 microcar.

The i20 will also be joined at Paris by the i-blue concept version of the i20 (below), which will demonstrate Hyundai's rather old-tech, yet pragmatic approach to reducing fuel consumption.

Hyun_i20_i-blue Fitted with a 67kW 1.4-litre diesel engine and an efficient six-speed manual, the i-blue concept also features a full-length flat underbody, lower ride height and revised front and rear body shape - all of which are designed to minimise aerodynamic drag. Special low rolling resistance tyres are also fitted, and the sump of the diesel is filled with low viscosity oil to reduce mechanical friction.

The end result is a car that is able to make the most of its available power, instead of wasting it on pushing an ungainly shape through the air or losing it in an inefficient drivetrain. The i-blue is just a concept for now, but given the relatively uncomplicated nature of its modifications, don't be surprised if you begin to see some of the same principles being applied to future cars from the Korean manufacturer.

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