Hyundai's Australian arm has announced a new special-edition 2WD ix35 model sourced from Europe. While giving a boost to local stocks, its arrival into this market will also help alleviate over-capacity problems at Hyundai's Czech Republic plant.
The 2013 ix35 SE is the first Australian-delivered Hyundai to be sourced from Europe, and is available in just one specification.
Priced at $29,990 (plus on-roads), the SE is powered by Hyundai's 122kW/197Nm 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission driving through the front wheels.
The SE enters the range between the $28,990 2WD Active and the $32,590 2WD Elite, adding up-specced features and a few styling tricks not yet available locally with local models.
Setting the SE apart from its stablemates is a revised front bumper, featuring a new fog lamp bezel with chrome trim and in-set lights.
The ix35 SE also picks up projector headlights with dusk sensors, along with power-folding side mirrors, 17-inch alloy wheels, solar control glass (tinted at the rear doors).
In the cabin, there's leather/leatherette combo trim to the seats, steering wheel and gear shift knob. The front and rear seats are heated, and the glove box is cooled.
A five-inch touchscreen display is featured, offering Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio streaming, six speakers, and aux/USB/iPod connectivity.
Safety features include six airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Downhill Brake Control (DBC), Hill Start Assist Control (HAC), and Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
The ix35 SE is available in Creamy White, Sleek Silver, Steel Grey and Phantom Black. Black is the only interior option.
This won't be the last European 'special edition model' heading this way.
The damp squib that is the Eurozone economy is creating all sorts of problems for carmakers with growing inventories of unsold stock and plant over-capacity. (Europe has seen five consecutive years of decline in new car sales; as many as 30 of the 98 assembly plants there are now operating below 70 percent capacity.)
With persistently buoyant new car sales here, Hyundai, among others, are looking for opportunities in any 'white space' in the market that they can find.