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Hyundai i30 three-door hatch only in Europe – for now

Five-door i30 Estate is the basis for Elantra GT in North America... so just maybe?

Published: September 25, 2012, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:59 PM

Hyundai i30 Three-Door - Rear

Hyundai says its new i30 three-door hatchback, which makes its public debut at the Paris auto show this week, is designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe, for Europe.

That being the case, why should we care? Because the initially Euro-specific i30 Estate (wagon) is now sold as the Elantra GT in North America.

And because Hyundai issued a press release in the U.S. on the i30 three-door's introduction at the Paris show. Now why would they do that for a Euro-only car?

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Reading the tea-leaves, one might conclude that the i30 three-door could also find its way to North America as a further addition to the Elantra model line-up.

That's not a prediction. But neither is the idea preposterous.

Hyundai does offer an Elantra coupe here that caters to one portion of the stylish two-door market. But a hot hatch appeals to a another type of buyer. So why not cover all the bases?

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The i30 three-door's styling speaks for itself. Yet another interpretation of Hyundai's 'fluidic sculpture' design language, it features a sharply-raked beltline, more angular glasshouse silhouette and longer front doors that give it a dynamic profile.

Front and rear styling details, along with exclusive 16-inch alloy wheels, give it a fresh but unmistakably Hyundai look.

In Europe, it is offered with a choice of six engines, including a 1.6-litre diesel, together with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

Don't expect the diesel here if it does come to North America. But wouldn't a 2.0-litre turbo add some heat to the hot hatch market?