Start Worrying, VW Up: The New Hyundai i10 Is Coming

It's time for Volkswagen to start worrying. For the last few years, it's ruled the roost in the city car market with the Up - and its SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo cousins.

That may not last much longer - Hyundai has just unveiled its new i10, and there's every chance it could be a class-leader, if past form is anything to go on.

Intel executive David House once suggested that computer chip performance doubles every eighteen months - buy a top-end computer now, and in a year and a half you'll be wrestling with a distinctly midfield box of circuits.

There's no similar analogy for the automotive world, but if there was it'd probably come from Hyundai and Kia. Each new model the companies churn out seems exponentially better than the model that preceded it, and in the space of a decade it's led to their cars jumping from also-rans to real class contenders.

Hyundai's current i10 is already a well-rated car, with low running costs, a spacious interior and a large warranty - as well as being a doddle to drive. It should be high up any current city car buyer's list.

New Hyundai i10 side

And this is a car launched back in 2007. Given another six years of computer chip-like progress, the larger, more spacious, more stylish and more refined New Generation i10 could be a force to be reckoned with.

It's a stylish little effort for a start. Longer by 80 mm, wider by 65 mm and lower by 50 mm it's sleeker than before, adopting some of Hyundai's more recent design cues for a less apologetic appearance than before. Hyundai also promises more leg room and a 10% bigger boot - now up to 252 litres with the seats in place.

A longer wheelbase and improved suspension should contribute to better handling than before, as well as noise levels competitive with cars from the class above.

Equipment levels will be high too - a heated leather steering wheel and cruise control with speed limiter will be available on some models, while stability control and curtain airbags are standard. There are no images yet, but Hyundai says the interior will be higher-quality than ever before.

The new i10 will enter production in September, built alongside the larger i20 at the company's Turkish plant.

Priced from: Not yet announced
Available from: Not yet announced - debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show

New Hyundai i10 rear


Hyundai does have plenty of ground to cover with the latest i10, as the VW Up and its ilk really have upped the supermini game. Only a fool would bet against the Korean marque though, and if the car's improvements are as grand as Hyundai suggests - while retaining the current car's value and ease of use - we may be looking at a new class champion. It may even question the need for Hyundai's own i20...

For more information check out our full summary of the current Hyundai i10 alongside reviews, stats, photos and video. Or if you still want a Up! take a look at our deals here.

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