The new Hyundai i20 will be making its global debut at the upcoming Paris International Motor Show.
Designed at the manufacturer's European Design Centre in Russelsheim, Germany for a largely European buyer, most of i20's ride and handling development was conducted on European roads.
Also, in keeping with the standards set by i10 (recently launched in SA) and i30, the newcomer will have the new chrome-tipped family grille and teardrop headlamps and vertically stacked tail lamp clusters.
i20 is built on an entirely new platform and has a longer wheelbase than the current Getz. Its interior is bigger, too and will, according to Hyundai, be stocked with equipment.
"Getz continues in SA"
However, at the recent media launch of the i10 city car, local Hyundai executives stated that in South Africa i20 "is not a Getz replacement".
The popular hatchback will continue as a more cost-effective alternative when i20 launches here in the first half of 2009.
Meanwhile, back at the Paris show, another vehicle sharing the i20's showstand is an i-blue concept derived from the new five-door hatchback.
The i-blue concept incorporates a number of modifications to improve the i20's environmental credentials.
Full-length under floor covers, a 15mm reduction on ground clearance, changes to the car's front and rear aerodynamics, low rolling resistance tyres and low friction engine oil combine to provide a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
It is fitted with Hyundai's new 1.4 CRDi engine mated with a six-speed manual gearbox.