Hyundai is poised to take its first steps into the compact crossover market with the Korean marque rolling out an all-new more rugged version its i20 hatchback at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Hyundai i20 Active looks set to take on the likes of the well-established Fiat Panda Trekking in a front-wheel drive soft-roader show-down.
Although essentially underpinned by the functional and economical five door i20 hatch, half of the i20 Active’s parts are in fact unique. The most discernible difference is the Active’s higher ground clearance and subsequently elevated driving position as a result of Hyundai raising the i20’s standard suspension by 20mm. The exterior styling has been suitably beefed-up, with a pair of brawny bumpers added to the front and rear, black side skirts and cladding along the lower portion of the doors and wheel arches plus integrated skid plates. Circular front and rear fog lamps and a modest rear spoiler also set the i20 Active apart from its standard five-door sibling. On the top, a pair of silver roof rails adds a touch of practicality to the i20 Active mixture.
Hyundai chiefs have confirmed that European-spec i20 Active models will receive a choice of three engines including a 1.4 litre unit in either petrol or diesel guise. UK buyers will be limited to the 1.0-litre T-GDI turbo petrol that underpins the rest of the new i20 range. It’s available with either 99 or 118bhp and is mated to a 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox respectively. No matter what power option you plump for, both formats top the torque scale at 127 lb/ft.
The interior of the Active will be mostly familiar to existing i20 drivers but does receive some light alterations in the form of a set of metal pedals and the extra option of Tangerine Orange interior upholstery and trim.