By on February 14, 2012

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.

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8 Comments on “Hyundai’s Future: Krafcik Covets Crossovers, Rushforth Wants Hot Hatches For Europe...”

  • avatar

    1.6 turbo in the Elantra coupe, either 274hp turbo in the GT. Please and thank you.

    • 0 avatar

      1.6 turbo GT hatchback for sure, 1.6T sedan maybe. But something tells me the coupe will never be more than a base-engine poseur; a Korean Monte Carlo.

      274hp will never happen in the current-gen Elantra. It simply doesn’t have the bones of a Mazdaspeed3, which is scary enough @ 263hp.

      • 0 avatar

        “274hp will never happen in the current-gen Elantra. It simply doesn’t have the bones of a Mazdaspeed3, which is scary enough @ 263hp.”

        – I can dream can’t I? I love the Mazdaspeed3 (in principle, never driven one). More cars like it can only be a good thing.

    • 0 avatar

      Nothing wrong with dreaming :) Just sayin’ that with the Elantra’s 500 lb lighter curb weight and jiggly rear end, the 1.6T would probably provide all the excitement the chassis can handle.

  • avatar

    The Veloster’s 1.6T in the Elantra GT/hatch would get my attention. The base Veloster came thisclose to getting my dollars, but fell just short of practical space for my two small kids. A little more passenger and cargo space, combined with a little more oomph, and Hyundai would successfully sell me the sporty Civic-sized hatch that Honda won’t.

    • 0 avatar
      word is bond

      What did you end up buying? Or are you still holding out?

      • 0 avatar

        I stumbled on a great deal on a used 2008 Mazda5, manual shift, with Mazda warranty to 100K miles. Bought it in December and have been quite happy. Also considered a new Fit, base Veloster, and new Prius.

        This leaves me and my wife with 2 family cars (hers is an Outback wagon) and nothing small/sporty, but I’ve found the Mazda is fun enough for the daily commute and REALLY useful for my kids (<10 yrs old) and their friends/bikes/etc.

        My wife and I agreed that if the little van didn't make me happy, I didn't have to wait years before dumping it. So far I'm enjoying the hell out of it. Between the manual tranny and the 50-series tires on 17" wheels, it's plenty of fun for daily commuting and family trips.

  • avatar

    Reportedly, Hyundai will drop the Veracruz for a LWB/3-row version of the new SF and Hyundai’s luxury lineup will get a proper luxury CUV (tho no indication what size or format it will be).

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