NEWS FROM THE 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe launch today is that the successor to the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV, the ix35, will arrive in the first quarter of 2010, spearheading a wave of new models for the Korean brand.
The i20 hatch has also been confirmed for an early 2010 launch, while the successor to the Sonata (currently codenamed YF) will hit showrooms before midyear.
New information surrounding the i10 ultra-mini was also revealed to TMR at the Santa Fe launch, as was news that a brand new five-door model built on the YF platform will surface in the near future.
Speaking with TMR today, a source at Hyundai confirmed that the local ix35 will be offered with the 2.0 litre version of the R-series diesel (leaving the larger 2.2 litre engine to the Santa Fe), combined with an all-wheel-drive layout.
The 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine will be offered in all-wheel-drive form, while a 2.0 litre petrol version will be available in a front-wheel-drive layout.
Both manual and automatic gearboxes will be offered, with the six-speed manual and newly-developed six-speed tiptronic auto from the Santa Fe tipped for the ix35.
2010 Hyundai i20
Overseas, the i20 is powered by a choice of seven petrol and diesel engines, all four-cylinder units and ranging in power from a 1.3 litre 55kW petrol engine to a 95kW 1.6 litre diesel.
A source within Hyundai confirmed to TMR that a diesel i20 will not be offered in Australia due to the lack of an automatic transmission option on diesel models. The unavailability of cruise control on diesel i20's is also seen as a potential handicap.
As such, a 1.4 litre petrol engine is the likely powertrain choice for the local market.
Although it will become Hyundai's newest compact car when it launches here in the first quarter of 2010, it won't immediately replace the Getz in the automaker's local line-up.
The Getz will instead soldier on as Hyundai's budget model, while the i20 will adopt a more 'premium' posture and be priced from around $16,000, stretching into the low $20,000 bracket.
2010 Hyundai i10
Our source at Hyundai confirmed today that the ultra-small i10 is no longer under immediate consideration for the Australian market, but it remains a genuine option if newer sub-compact entrants from Chinese and Indian manufacturers make a move on that segment.
If needed, our source said, Hyundai could possibly offer the i10 in Australia for less than $10,000.
2010 Hyundai 'YF' Sonata Successor
Perhaps the biggest news from the Santa Fe event today (other than the Santa Fe itself) is that the all-new 2010 Hyundai Sonata is "highly likely" to arrive in Australia within the first half of next year, although Hyundai is still firming up exact dates.
Hyundai also confirmed that the new sedan will not use the Sonata name, instead adopting a new alphanumeric designation. However, our source could neither confirm nor deny that the European-market 'i40' name would be used for Australian-delivered cars.
Unveiled to Korean press in September, the Sonata successor is expected to be powered by the same 2.4 litre Theta II petrol engine driving the current model and the new 2010 Sorento SUV.
As with the current model, a diesel version is likely, powered by either the 2.0 or 2.2 litre version of the new R-series diesel.
Along with news of the Sonata's successor, our source at Hyundai confirmed that a new five-door vehicle based on the YF platform is in development.
Codenamed VF, technical details and launch timing for the car are unknown, but possible five-door formats include a wagon or shorter sportwagon (ala the i30cw) version of the YF sedan.
An all-new crossover SUV to sit between the Santa Fe and the smaller ix35 also remains a distinct possibility, as does a "lifestyle" quasi-wagon in the same vein as the BMW 5 Series GT.