Hyundai has released the first official images of its new i30 just weeks before it goes head to head with two of the biggest beasts in the hatchback segment.
The revamped i30, which will be officially launched at next month’s Geneva Motor Show, features a host of design upgrades.
Reports say a range of cabin improvements will also be unveiled for the family car in coming weeks.
Although technically a mid-life facelift, the sharp new looks are designed to give the car an edge to compete with big-selling cars in this class like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, which have recently received big tech and design upgrades.
The changes teased this week give the car a sleeker, sharper feel more in tune with current European car styling than the existing i30 (also pictured).
These include a host of design upgrades including redesigned bumpers and new LED headlamps, bringing a stronger, sharper look and more visual appeal.
The teaser shots feature sporty N Line spec, but Hyundai says they will apply across the range.
Some of the most significant new design features are a redesigned front bumper and changes to the headlamps.
A new grille featuring an updated mesh pattern is also revealed, exposing the wider look and stronger, more planted stance of the new model on the tarmac.
New LED headlamps and V-shaped integrated Daytime Running Lights also help with a better external design impact.
The Korean manufacturer also gave details of other changes, which you can expect to see in further teaser and publicity images in the run-up to Geneva.
These changes include a new rear bumper, rear lights and alloy wheel designs in 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch styles.
Cabin enhancements on the way include a new digital instrument cluster and a larger 10.25-inch display among other upgrades.
Whilst there’s no word on tech, connectivity and driver assist features, it would probably be a safe bet that these will be unveiled in due course, too.
Volkswagen, Ford, Toyota, Renault and others that compete in this fiercely contested segment have recently unveiled a huge range of semi-autonomous features that include things like cars being able to communicate with other cars and with street infrastructure to predict and avoid traffic jams and road accidents.
As it’s a mid-life facelift and not an all-new model, it’s unclear if there will be any new engines, although Hyundai does have electrified powertrains so these can’t be ruled out.
In this week’s announcement Hyundai also revealed it will launch an N Line version of its popular i30 Wagon (estate), meaning the company’s sporty trim level will be available on all i30 body types for the first time.
The i30 is currently in its third generation since 2016. It first appeared in 2007, and the second generation came along in 2012.
There are a variety of models, all now five-door, including the hatchback, estate and a fastback, which takes the regular hatchback version and adds a lowered rear roof and other features for a coupe-like feel.
The i30 is a critical car for Hyundai, in a big-selling segment. The range currently starts at £17,355, with N Line models starting from £20,220.
There’s unlikely to be much change to prices when the new model’s UK spec is officially unveiled later in the Spring.