Showing posts with label Hyundai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hyundai. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Hyundai teams up with Brabus for sportier i20

Hyundai i20 Sport Edition

After a 2008 introduction, the Hyundai i20 is back at the Paris Motor Show but this time it's got a bit of an attitude. Hyundai has teamed up with Brabus to create the i20 Sport Edition. So far the only details released involve the appearance changes. The front skirt and wheel arches take on an angrier appearance while Yokohama rubber gets wrapped around a set of 17-inch Brabus alloy wheels. The black mesh looks good next to the black bezel around the headlights, as well as the added LED daytime running strips.

While the outside sports that subtly-cool hot-hatch look, the inside looks it was "designed" by the Great Pumpkin after a night spent throwing one too many back. Though the orange-black paint scheme is a little much, the sporty Recaro seats, leather-lined surfaces and seven-inch touchscreen are welcome additions.

We're still waiting to hear what is powering the Hyundai i20 Sport Edition, but with Brabus involved we can only hope for the best. The car will enter production during the first half of 2011, and it will be released as a limited-edition model, available in both three and five-door versions

Saturday, 8 October 2011

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The auto show transition seemed to happen in a flash. One year, automakers were jockeying for dealer traffic with high horsepower, rear-wheel-drive retro rides, and the next year, each one of them ushered in a hybrid or electric vehicle. The paradigm shift was a welcome sight for car buyers wanting to shrink their carbon footprint and save money on fuel, but the majority of those products were years from production. Fast-forward to 2011, and the variety of fuel efficient transportation on offer in the industry has improved quite a bit, including this sleekly styled mid-size offering from Hyundai.

The Sonata Hybrid may have taken longer than expected to hit the market, but its lithium-polymer battery pack and host of fuel-saving features have given Hyundai 35 miles per gallon city and 40 mpg highway fuel economy numbers to flash before consumers. And the Sonata Hybrid isn't battling the competition on fuel economy alone. It also features attractive styling that sharply differentiates it from non-hybrid Sonata models, while also carrying an MSRP thousands of dollars less than the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid.

We spent a week with a modestly equipped Sonata Hybrid, but rather than going light on the pedal to gather up as many Eco points as possible, we drove it like we would any mid-sized sedan to see if it could hang with the daily drudgery of suburban life.

Our Hyper Silver Metallic tester carried a very reasonable price tag of $25,930 (plus $720 shipping), and Hyundai kept that MSRP low by adding only floor mats ($100) and an iPod cable ($35) to the options list. Fortunately, the Sonata Hybrid already comes equipped with a boatload of standard features, including a six-speaker sound system with USB and auxiliary inputs, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, automatic climate control, headlights with LED accents and a 4.2-inch LCD trip computer/hybrid technology display.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid side view2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid front view2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid rear view

"Hybrid" and "low MSRP" generally don't go hand-in-hand, but the $25,795 base price of the Sonata only strengthens its case. This Hyundai also proves that hybrids don't have to be stodgy pods to achieve mpg bliss. The same Fluidic Design that's been a hit with the Sonata Hybrid's gas-only sibling looks just as good with a 30-kilowatt electric motor under the hood. And Hyundai hasn't simply slap on some Blue Motion badging to differentiate its hybrid offering from the hot-selling standard Sonata.

The biggest adjustment comes in the form of a gaping grille that looks like a whale shark on a plankton feeding frenzy. Further aero improvements come in the form of tweaked bodyside moldings and a more sharply truncated rear end with unique 'atom' element taillamps. In total, exterior engineering adjustments result in a drag coefficient that drops from .28 to an outstanding .25, the same number achieved by the benchmark Toyota Prius.

We dig the fact that the Sonata Hybrid looks quite a bit different than its sibling, and the Bill Nye taillights are something to behold. Heck, even the Blue Motion badging looks cool. For our money, there is one hybrid-only touch that just has to go: the standard 16-inch alloys. We're not sure what Hyundai's designers were going for here (at least beyond aero supremacy), but they ended up with a set of wheels that draws Blade-Runner-meets-Salad-Shooter comparisons. Luckily, Hyundai offers optional 17-inch wheels that look remarkably classier than the ones seen here. Unfortunately, the upsized wheels can only be had as part of the Premium Package, which will set buyers back another $5,000.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid headlight2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid grille2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid wheel2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid taillight

Nasty wheels aside, the Sonata Hybrid is a looker, and the interior isn't hard on the eyes, either. Hyundai has decided to carry over the same interior from the standard Sonata, save for some Blue Motion badging and the aforementioned 4.2-inch display. That means hybrid buyers get the same spacious cabin flush with attractive curves and soft-touch materials on the dash, doors and center console. Seats are comfortable and appropriately bolstered as well, and the driver's seat is power-adjustable. Another big plus comes in the form of a standard USB port and Bluetooth connectivity that quickly and easily syncs to a Bluetooth-enabled phone. And the 4.2-inch LED screen? It's bright, with easy-to-read graphics and various ways to dissect your driving habits. The Eco bars aren't nearly as interesting as the fanciful tree leaves adorning the display of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, but a driver's eyes should be focused on the road anyway.

The Sonata Hybrid's interior scores big with overall refinement and standard tech, but we observed a few chinks in its armor. The biggest issues are the rubbery steering wheel and shift knob, which makes an otherwise impressive cabin feel like a trip to the Walmart clearance rack. Adding leather to these items the driver touches most again requires the $5,000 Premium Package. Sure, the Ford Fusion Hybrid starts at $28,600 ($2,670 more than the Sonata), but it at least comes standard with a leather steering wheel and shift knob, plus a bunch of standard features that can only be had with Hyundai's Premium package.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid interior2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid front seats2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid eco gauge2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid start button

The Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 166 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 154 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 revs. Like other hybrids on the market, the Sonata Hybrid's 2.4-liter engine runs on the more efficient Atkinson cycle, which closes the intake valve late to provide a shorter compression stroke than traditional Otto cycle engines. But unlike many other hybrids that use an electric continuously variable transmission, Hyundai has opted to mate its powertrain to a more conventional six-speed automatic transmission. You'll hear no arguments here, as the transmission did its job well with a smooth operation and reassuring gear selections during our test.

Additionally, Hyundai didn't go with the cheaper, yet tried-and-tested nickel-metal hydride battery pack. Its engineers decided to start with a clean slate, diving feet-first into newer lithium polymer cells for power storage. The end game is a 1.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack that weighs only 96 pounds. The Blue Motion's electric motor isn't as powerful as those found under the hood of the 2012 Camry Hybrid (141 hp) and Fusion Hybrid (106 hp), but the 30 kilowatt motor still manages to generate 40 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. Combined horsepower figures are 206 hp for the Sonata Hybrid, 200 hp for the Camry Hybrid and 191 for the Fusion Hybrid.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid engine

Numbers and specs can be fun, but real-world driving is where the Hankook Optimo rubber meets the road. And while the Sonata Hybrid's driving dynamics aren't particularly aggressive, this Sonata's hybrid system is. If you take your foot off the gas at most any speed, the engine turns off in a pinch and the regenerative braking system begins to charge the lithium battery. When the go pedal is handled with care and the speed kept under 70 mph, the electric motor and battery can move the car by themselves, thanks in part to an engine clutch that manages the gas engine and electric motor separately. Even better, the throttle doesn't have to be babied like many other hybrids do, giving the driver more time to enjoy gas-free motoring.

In the past, we'd practice a great deal of restraint when driving a hybrid, because trying to achieve the best possible fuel economy can actually be fun. But for us, the novelty of driving a hybrid in this way goes away after a week – just when the fuel economy game starts to become a bore. For that reason, we took pains to experience the Sonata Hybrid as we would any other mid-size sedan.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid badge2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid battery pack

As a regular four-door, the Sonata Hybrid is plenty easy to live with. Power is strong off the line when needed, and the integrated starter generator goes about the job of switching the engine on and off without any major drama. The system isn't as smooth as the one under the hood of the Fusion Hybrid, but the tradeoff is that the Blue Drive system appears to be more aggressive when cutting off the power whenever it isn't needed.

The EPA tells us that Sonata Hybrid owners can expect fuel economy numbers of 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg in the city. Our experience with the hybrid Hyundai wasn't quite in the range of those numbers, as we managed 33.5 mpg in mixed driving, which falls below the EPA combined rating of 37 mpg. We weren't all that impressed with those results, and we're thinking that most diesel-powered mid-size entries would eclipse a combined score of 33.5 mpg. In fact, our Jetta TDI long-term fleet vehicle routinely averages more than 40 mpg. And although the Fusion Hybrid costs a bit more and relies on older nickel-metal tech, it still delivers better fuel economy numbers of 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. The new 2012 Camry Hybrid promises even better fuel economy, with an estimated 39 mpg highway and 43 mpg city. Just as troubling, in our experience, the standard 2.4-liter gas-only Sonata actually tends to return fuel economy figures above its 24/35 EPA numbers, particularly on the highway, so we have to wonder if the standard Sonata isn't the better overall bet when it comes to return-on-investment.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid rear 3/4 view

While we were less than impressed with the Sonata Hybrid's fuel thrift, we were pleased with its overall driving dynamics. At 3,578 pounds, the Sonata Hybrid is still light on its feet, with a structurally rigid chassis that doesn't flex at the slightest change of direction. Power delivery is smooth and predictable, with an estimated 0-60 mph time of about nine seconds. The steering is predictably free of hydraulics, yet Hyundai has chosen to dial in a bit more artificial heft than we expected or really want.

The Sonata Hybrid Blue Motion is a solid first foray into the world of mixed propulsion motoring for Hyundai. Would we have liked to see better fuel economy numbers? Absolutely. But there is still something to be said about a hybrid that can deliver good looks, solid fuel economy and a driving experience that isn't fun-free. Not every vehicle in this segment can make such a claim, and none can come within $1,000 of this Hyundai's $25,750 price of entry... at least until the 2012 Camry Hybrid goes on sale starting at $25,900.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

2011 Hyundai Equus Ultimate

Our 2011 Hyundai Equus long-termer continues to pile on the miles in the effortless fashion that one expects of a premium sedan. August's main outing was a weeklong stint in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, about 800 miles from Detroit. All-in, the trip accounted for over 2,000 miles, during which the Equus stretched its legs as a capable freeway cruiser and even was pressed into undignified service as a surfboard transport (see above). In case you're wondering, no, an eight-foot rental longboard won't fit in a luxury sedan (not in this or any other we can think of), so you'll be forced to do the shish-ka-windows-and-empty-side-road-creep with the hazard lights on if you don't have any alternatives.

With the exception of a modest bit of track time at Hyundai's Seoul proving grounds in a few prototypes, this was your author's first experience with the Equus. As one might expect, it acquits itself better over-the-road than on the track, delivering a comfortable ride and plush confines in which to while away the miles.

What was surprising for this driver was how much attention our Equus garnered – it's rather innocuously styled, after all. But we hadn't been driving further than our first rest stop when a couple of attractive twenty-something ladies stopped to ask about our car as we got out in the parking lot. "What is it?!" they gushed. "Believe it or not, it's a Hyundai," we answered. Puzzled looks. "Wait... really? Well... it's still really nice, though!" We laughed a little inside and moved on, but their reaction was telling – "It's still really nice, though!" is both a credit to what a pleasant surprise the Equus is for Hyundai, as well as a subtly backhanded ding at the company's "off the radar" standing among many consumers. The same rest area yielded a discussion with a very enthusiastic Genesis sedan owner, and subsequent conversations were held at stoplights with frantic arm-waving Toyota Avalon drivers and more random people in parking lots, including a BMW E60 5 Series owner fed up with his ownership experience. We have to admit, we viewed the Equus as something of a generic knockoff design-wise, but our conversations suggest that the general buying public doesn't feel the same way (or doesn't care).

We do have some nits to pick with our big white whale, however. Others have mentioned this, but it's worth pointing out again – the adjustable lumbar support seems to be in perpetual state of overinflation. No matter how much we tinker with the air bladder controls, it just feels too prominent on our lower backs. It's so uncomfortable that it's led to both your author and Editor-In-Chief Neff to ponder drastic, pin-shaped countermeasures. We wouldn't, of course, but it's still bothersome. The best solution for long-distance comfort seems to be extending the bottom cushion a bit longer than we normally might, as this somehow alleviates the stress.

Otherwise, the interior offers plenty of amenities and creature comforts, though the controls, finishes and design aesthetic lack the same sort of aura of refinement as rivals. Overall, our Equus Ultimate succeeds at feeling like a great value, but stops short of feeling like a great full-size luxury sedan. That's partially due to the interior and partially due to the 4.6-liter Tau V8. Its 385 horsepower and 333 pound-feet of torque certainly aren't anything to sneeze at, but this is 4,600-pound mass of Korean real estate, and it simply feels adequate. Other media outlets have tested the Equus and found 0-60 times in the mid-to-high six-second range, so it's certainly not slow, but the ECU and transmission tuning makes both off-the-line acceleration and highway passing feel more leisurely than we'd expect. More chutzpah isn't far off, thankfully – the 2012 model is widely expected to adopt the 5.0-liter V8 and eight-speed automatic gearbox recently introduced in the updated Genesis sedan.

Despite sustained higher speeds, traversing Pennsylvania's Alleghany mountains, negotiating a dead-stop traffic jam and a lot of pottering along in beach traffic, we averaged a solid 21 miles per gallon, smack in the middle of the 18/22 city/highway mix the EPA predicts. During that stint, we saw sustained freeway running with indicated mpgs in the mid-to-upper 20s without even trying, suggesting that it's likely quite easy to beat the Equus' official fuel economy estimates if you take it easier than we did.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited

The journey has been arduous and fraught with disappointment, but it appears we've finally reached our destination. Welcome to The Golden Age of Compact Motoring. Gone are the days of mostly cheap and poorly executed C-segment entries. Ye Olde "It's the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and everybody else" mindset is finally history, too. All of a sudden, new car buyers can choose from a bumper crop of smart new motors, including the all-new Civic, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, the 2012 Ford Focus, the larger and more affordable 2011 Volkswagen Jetta and the always entertaining Mazda3. And that's not all – there's also a new wildcard in the compact segment, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra.

While entries like the Cruze and Focus have garnered lots of attention, the Elantra has quietly established itself as a worthy alternative in this suddenly competitive segment. The redesigned Hyundai caught our attention with its expressive styling, an improved cabin and 40 miles per gallon highway rating. It sounds like a winning game plan to us, but does this revitalized Hyundai live up to its impressive stat sheet? We spent a week with an Elantra Limited to find out for ourselves.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited front view2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited rear view

The 2011 Elantra utilizes the same "Fluidic Sculpture" design language of its larger Sonata sibling, with a sleek profile that includes a coupe-like roofline and pronounced crease that spans the side body panels. Up front, the vehicle features a pair of large, stylized headlights and a rounded lower fascia opening framed up by a pair of well-placed fog lamps. The rear looks equally attractive, with an almost hatch-like profile and a pair of taillights that are every bit as imposing as the peepers up front. A range-topping Limited example like our tester is rounded out with 17-inch aluminum wheels mated to Continental P215/45R17 tires.

From the outside, the Elantra couldn't look more different than its milquetoast predecessor, but we're just as impressed with what Hyundai designers have done to transform a formerly bland and nondescript cabin. Climbing into the Elantra is no longer like a trip to Accountant World, where the rides are forgettable and the imagination nonexistent. In place of drab scenery and ho-hum materials, Hyundai designers have added plenty of aesthetic flair, with interesting instrument panel lines that draw the eye towards a well laid-out center stack. Dash materials are cushy and nice to touch, while the leather-wrapped steering wheel falls easily to hand. Admittedly, the leather covering the seats isn't of the highest quality, but these chairs are very comfortable and surprisingly well bolstered. We can live with less than luxury-level leather, especially when considering our loaded tester's reasonable MSRP of $22,110. Besides, the Elantra Limited comes standard with heated seats for front and rear passengers, so our leather-backed bums will be grateful when the weather turns cold.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited interior2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited front seats2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited rear seats2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited trunk

$22,110 is a very competitive price for a top trim compact these days – a bit less expensive than a comparably equipped Focus ($23,680 for SEL model with moonroof and navigation) or Civic ($25,754 for EX-L model equipped with 17-inch wheels).

Ergonomics in the cabin have been well thought-out, with everything available to the driver without the need to reach very far. We especially liked the HVAC controls – it's nice to heat or cool the cabin without having to take your eyes off the road to hunt for the right button or setting. The Elantra also deserves kudos for a quiet interior that makes holding conversations with rear seat occupants easy. These are the sorts of touches that make a compact sedan feel less like an econobox and more like a luxury rig.

The Elantra Limited we tested also featured Hyundai's optional Technology Package, which stickers for $2,100. The Elantra Limited already comes equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and USB and auxiliary ports for a smartphone or MP3 player, but the Tech Package adds a seven-inch LCD touch screen with navigation, rear-view camera, 360-watt sound system and push button start. That's a lot of kit for a reasonable package price, and we found the technology intuitive to use and easy to understand.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited audio system2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited start button

While we generally have few complaints concerning the Elantra's interior, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention the discount switchgear all around. If you park, say, a Focus next to the Elantra Limited and scrutinize the switchgear and power window controls, the Focus clearly features superior equipment. We'd also like a few more inches of legroom for rear seat passengers, as 33.1 inches is less than nearly every major competitor. Finally, we were also a bit turned off by the oddly placed black accents on the doors. They didn't match the gray tone of the dashboard and were hard on the elbows.

Rear legroom was probably the biggest issue we had with the Elantra's cabin, but we remain more interested in what happens from directly behind the steering wheel. The story begins with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque. Buyers have a choice of a six-speed manual (GLS model only) or the six-speed automatic transmission that comes standard when specifying the Limited trim. The 1.8-liter and automatic combo performs well together, with smooth shifts and plenty of power to spin the front wheels of this 2,877-pound sedan.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited engine

If you're thinking that nearly 2,900 pounds is a bit heavy for a compact car, we don't disagree, but the Elantra is actually one of the leaner entries in its class. The good news is that the base $14,995 GLS model is over 200 pounds lighter. And besides, even with the extra tonnage, the Elantra Limited still feels peppy off the line, with an estimated 0-60 time under nine seconds. The figure certainly isn't land-speed record material, but it's more than fine for an inexpensive runabout, and the quiet cabin makes it all seem less harried.

Some compacts have developed a reputation for offering a sporty ride and handling, but while the Elantra certainly looks the part, this Hyundai is in practice more of a comfy cruiser than an expert corner carver. The front suspension consists of MacPherson struts with coil springs, while the rear hardware is comprised of a torsion axle with gas-filled, hydraulic monotube shocks. Sportier rides tend to feature a multi-link setup out back, but going the torsion beam route lets Hyundai keep prices down and still supply a compliant ride.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited headlight2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited wheel2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited taillight2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited badge

The Elantra does feel tight enough, though, with little body roll and plenty of grip. While we can live with its less-than-sporty chassis, we can't as easily dismiss its brake or steering feel (or lack thereof). In the case of the latter, we've sampled plenty of electronically controlled setups, but the Elantra's helm seems to lack an actual connection to the road. The wheel does have a bit of heft to it, but the weighting feels artificial.

While there are plenty of new and renewed competitors in this segment, none can boast an EPA rating of 40 miles per gallon across their entire model range. Hyundai is hanging its hat on the fact that competitors must resort to special high-fuel economy models or diesel power to net the big 4-0 on the highway, and they've been positively champing at the bit to remind you that whether you purchase a manual or automatic, every Elantra boasts 29 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway. That's impressive, but when the rubber met the road, we were only able to average about 31 mpg during our week of mixed driving with the car. That's still rock-solid, but a bit below the EPA's combined estimate of 33 mpg.

2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited rear 3/4 view

To be clear, if you're the type of driver that prioritizes a sporty feel and sharp handling, there are more appropriate places to spend your money in this segment. Hyundai has taken a calculated bet aimed squarely at the fat part of the compact car buying bell curve, prioritizing fuel economy, styling, technology and an attractive price tag over backroad thrills. The Korean automaker may have neglected the enthusiast niche here, but it only takes a passing glance to know that Hyundai is serious about the compact sedan segment. While we're still hoping for an inexpensive drive with a bit more flavor, the new Elantra's off-to-the-races sales figures suggest that Hyundai is definitely on to something.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

SEMA 2010: Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is a tuner favorite at SEMA. GogoGear showed off its racing Genesis Coupe, while ARK Performance has created a performance Genesis Coupe more appropriate for cruising the Vegas Strip. There's even a bit of overlap between the two, as GogoGear's entry uses a carbon fiber bodykit, headers, shocks and coilovers from ARK Performance. Getting the rest of the coupe ready for kerbs are the upgraded V6 churning out 380 horsepower, carbon fiber roof, 18-inch Konig Kilogram lightweight wheels and a Racepak IQ3 data logger dash.

ARK Performance went street with a carbon grille, hood and rear diffuser, with ARK SFX bumpers, skirts and fenders. Stoptech brakes scrub the speed, and Alpine, Apple and Infinity provide the audiovisual buffet in the cabin. JsDesigns can be thanked for the little guy on the hood, and his rear is warmed by the heat of a supercharged 3.8-liter, 585-hp engine with 330 pound-feet and dual headers and downpipes.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Honda Accord and Toyota Camry

Engine: V6-equipped 2.0 and 2.4-liter engine

Mileage: 36 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway

Other Info: Sonata is a sedan that has always shown up with the kind of styling, efficiency and price this low which make consumers to scurry for their checkbook.

All new 2011 Sonata can also be driven in all electric mode. Hyundai says that the Sonata Hybrid can cruise on all-electric at speed of up to 62 mph, and company's engineer indicated that the car might do even better. Hyundai did this by converting its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to the Atkinson Cycle and added a 40-horsepower electric motor, which is good for a combined 206 horsepower and 193 pound-feet of torque, but the main thing is the car's battery pack.

Instead of cull out the cheaper nickel-metal hydride cells, Hyundai's choice was costlier lithium-polymer cells with a total of 72 cells into the pack, which weighs a relatively 96 pounds.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Paris 2010: Hyundai teams up with Brabus for sportier i20

Hyundai i20 Sport Edition

After a 2008 introduction, the Hyundai i20 is back at the Paris Motor Show but this time it's got a bit of an attitude. Hyundai has teamed up with Brabus to create the i20 Sport Edition. So far the only details released involve the appearance changes. The front skirt and wheel arches take on an angrier appearance while Yokohama rubber gets wrapped around a set of 17-inch Brabus alloy wheels. The black mesh looks good next to the black bezel around the headlights, as well as the added LED daytime running strips.

While the outside sports that subtly-cool hot-hatch look, the inside looks it was "designed" by the Great Pumpkin after a night spent throwing one too many back. Though the orange-black paint scheme is a little much, the sporty Recaro seats, leather-lined surfaces and seven-inch touchscreen are welcome additions.

We're still waiting to hear what is powering the Hyundai i20 Sport Edition, but with Brabus involved we can only hope for the best. The car will enter production during the first half of 2011, and it will be released as a limited-edition model, available in both three and five-door versions