Hyundai’s presence in Europe is were it was here about 10 years ago, um, nowhere. Back then, Hyundai was kind of made fun of, like you couldn’t afford a Honda, so you bought a Hyundai. But Hyundai is no bit player. In fact, overall, they make fantastic cars. It’s hard to imagine I’d be saying that 10 years ago (I wouldn’t), but the point still stands.
Hyundai wants a piece of the ritzy European market. Its first entry is in the "supermini" class. It’s called the i20 and it has its sights set on the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Opel Corsa. The i20 will replace their current offering, the Getz. Hyundai was stingy with details, but noted that the five-door has a "longer wheelbase than the existing Getz and is both bigger inside and more dynamic in appearance."
The new i20 was designed at Hyundai’s European Design Center in Russelsheim, Germany. "The i20 was designed and engineered to meet European tastes and needs," said Kun Hee Ahn, Hyundai Motor Europe president, in a statement. "It was built on an entirely new platform, and much of the ride and handling development took place on European roads."
While there are no plans to bring the i20 to the U.S., it is still always an option. If the car is found to be popular, Hyundai could de-content it slightly and pit up against cars like the Honda Fit here in the states. Still, Hyundai needs this car to fair well in the Euro market first.