Hyundai is aware not everyone wants crossovers and SUVs, which is why it remains committed to selling good ol' cars. Speaking with Autocar at the launch of the new Kona, the automaker's European chief Michael Cole confirmed plans for next-gen i10, i20, and i30 models. While some of the other mainstream automakers are gradually abandoning subcompact and compact cars, the South Korean brand wants to cater to those interested in small hatchbacks:
"We're strategising now about what comes beneath [the] Kona long-term. For now, [the] i10, i20, and i30 are all still in our plan, even for the next generation. We don't want to lose any customers. I don't want to walk away from any customer group. So we have to think about those i10, i20, i30 customers."
Hyundai i30 N Drive-N Limited Edition
Inevitably, these models will have to be electrified to some extent to meet increasingly stricter emissions regulations. Sooner or later, must turn all of them into EVs to live up to its promise of selling only zero-emission cars in Europe by 2035. That's still 12 years away, so plenty of time to give the i10, i20, and i30 next-gen models.
Lest we forget there will also be another Elantra, complete with a petrol-fuelled N version. The disclosure was made at the end of last year by Executive Technical Advisor Albert Biermann. He went on to say the Elantra N's hot hatch equivalent, the i30 N, will likely cease to exist in European markets because of tougher emissions laws.
As for another Kona N, we recently learned a next-gen model would have to morph into an EV but its existence depends on the success of the forthcoming Ioniq 5 N.
Although Hyundai intends to stick to small cars for the time being, the future looks brink for conventionally powered models on the Old Continent. Euro 7 regulations arriving later this decade will add thousands of euros to a vehicle's asking price, making it too expensive for the segment. Consequently, more and more automakers are likely to drop their small ICE cars or turn them into EVs.
Sporty cars like the i20 N and VW Polo GTI are the most vulnerable due to their high emissions. Case in point, the order books for the pint-sized up! GTI have already been closed.