The Veloster Turbo wasn’t the only new Hyundai to grace the JPJ carpark, as we now have pictures of two more unannounced models there. Could the Hyundai i40 Sedan and Tourer be due for a Malaysian debut soon?
There are a few possibilities here. Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors (HSDM) could be looking to add the i40 Sedan and Tourer into its current lineup, positioned alongside, or perhaps slightly above the current D-segment Sonata. There is precedent here, as HMSB sold the last-gen i30 together with the similarly-sized Elantra a couple of years ago.
On the other hand, there’s also a chance that the i40 is here to replace the Sonata completely, like it has in the Australian market. Hyundai Australia cited “limitations to global supply” of the Sonata as the cause of its decision earlier this year. In light of newer rivals, the Sonata’s local sales have plummeted since the promising early spike, and HSDM could be looking to rectify that issue.
The i40 is marginally smaller than the Sonata (its length and wheelbase shorter by 50 mm and 25 mm respectively), though both are considered to be in the same market segment. Put simply, the Sonata is Hyundai’s answer to the US-market Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, while the i40 is predominantly marketed in Europe against the Volkswagen Passat, Toyota Avensis and Honda Accord Euro.
Looks wise, the i40 follows a more recent interpretation of Hyundai’s “Fluidic Sculpture” design language, and fits perfectly in line with the rest of the brand’s model range. It features the familiar recessed hexagonal grille sported by the i10, Elantra, Veloster and Tucson, which outdates the Sonata’s standalone design.
Both the i40 Sedan and Tourer pictured here wear a ‘2.0’ badge. Considering that HSDM has been reluctant to bring in Hyundai’s naturally-aspirated GDI engine due to fuel incompatibility issues, we’re inclined to believe that the same 162 PS/194 Nm Nu 2.0 litre motor found in the Sonata resides in the new i40 models.
Nothing here is confirmed yet though, and we will have to wait for an official announcement by HSDM to know the fate of the Hyundai i40 Sedan, i40 Tourer and by extension, the Sonata too. What would be your ideal choice – out with the Sonata, in with i40, or is there room for both of them to thrive here in Malaysia?
Hyundai i40 Sedan
Hyundai i40 Tourer