Speaking at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai’s John Krafcik told Fox News that more crossovers, particularly the three-row kind, are going to be a feature of Hyundai’s product lineup in the near future. But in the land of the manual, diesel station wagon, Hyundai’s European head has some exciting plans involving turbochargers, small cars and dual-clutch gearboxes.
Speaking to Autocar, Hyundai’s European COO Alan Rushforth was quite candid about the need for some spicy variants in the Hyundai lineup.
“We realise, just as you guys do, that we need to inject some life into our cars,” Rushforth said. “We are looking at, and have looked at, introducing sportier models with things like stiffer suspension into the i30 and i40 [the Elantra GT and Sonata in our market] segments.”
Rushforth also noted that the Veloster was only the start of Hyundai’s dual-clutch gearbox program. Autocar hinted that the i30 could get that gearbox along with the Veloster’s 1.6L turbocharged engine. We’ll be spending the next few days with Hyundai at the launch of the Genesis Coupe and Azera, and we’ll be sure to pester them for a vague answer regarding future product plans.
The good news is that the Santa Fe and i30 are sold both in North America and world markets. Unlike a lot of desirable product, the hot version of the i30 stands a good chance of coming over here, while the next Santa Fe (which, in diesel trim, seemed quite popular in France during the 2010 Paris Auto Show) will be designed with that market in mind as well. The next Santa Fe is set to bow at the New York Auto Show in April, though it hasn’t said what will happen to the slow-selling Veracruz.