IN A COUP for the Brisbane Motor Show, where many carmakers are expected to make only token appearances, Hyundai Australia has confirmed it will display the upcoming i45 sedan at the event.
With its media launch scheduled for late May and sales expected to begin not long after, the Brisbane Motor Show could prove to be the first opportunity for Australian buyers to get a look at Hyundai's new mid-sized sedan.
First confirmed for an early 2010 launch late last year, the i45 will replace the outgoing Sonata in Hyundai's local line-up. The new model continues to wear a Sonata badge in some overseas markets (also known in some as the i40).
"We are very excited to be launching the all-new i45 mid-sized sedan in Australia in the coming months, Oliver Mann, Hyundai Australia's Marketing Director said.
"Already breaking records in South Korea and receiving awards in the US, i45 is going to make a considerable impact in the competitive Australian mid-sized segment."
Specific pricing and technical details for Australian-delivered models have not been revealed. It is known however that the i45 will be offered with Hyundai's new direct-injected 2.4 litre GDI four-cylinder engine, paired with a six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
As with the current generation Sonata available in Australia, a diesel model may also be offered, likely drawing power from Hyundai's 2.0 litre R-series turbo-diesel.
A turbocharged 2.0 litre engine and a petrol-electric hybrid are due to be unveiled at the upcoming New York Auto Show, however both powertrains will not be heading Australia's way in the short term.
Instead, Hyundai Australia CEO Edward Lee told TMR that the company will be concentrating on making the GDI model successful before exploring other powertrain options.