Fun in Frankfurt: the New Hyundai i20 driving experience

- Europe’s motoring media flew into Frankfurt to experience the updated Hyundai i20 for the first time. They also got to demonstrate their competitive driving skills behind the wheel of the i20 R5.

Frankfurt was the perfect location for journalists to see the New Hyundai i20, and not just because it is home to both Hyundai Motor Europe and the Frankfurt Motor Show – one of the biggest in the world – every two years. It also has the ideal mix of urban, suburban and scenic roads on which to sample the New i20’s enhanced driving dynamics.

Picking their cars up at Frankfurt Airport, the reporters immediately got a feel of how much more direct, more agile and more fun-to-drive the New i20 is, due to its improved on-centre steering response that gives quicker feedback from the road. With the damping ability of the chassis and wheels enhanced to reduce impact on passengers, they also got to sample its smoother driving experience – even on bumpier sections of road.

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A European best-seller

The update of the i20 has huge significance for Hyundai in Europe, as Andreas-Christoph Hofmann, Vice President Marketing & Product, explained. In this market, it is the brand’s second biggest selling car behind the Tucson SUV.

Since the launch of the second generation in 2014, the i20 has continuously increased sales volume year by year. 2017 was the first year in which Hyundai sold more than 100,000 units of the i20 in one single year in Europe. And by the end of May 2018, more than 760,000 units had been sold since the model’s first generation.

Follow your brain

After the first test drive, the journalists assembled at a contemporary location on the outskirts of Frankfurt for an important press conference. If was here that they were given more details of the i20’s update, as well as the reasoning behind its novel ‘Follow you brain’ slogan.

As Hoffman explained, while design remains carbuyers’ number one purchasing decision, the overall package and new technology presented in the New i20 is outstanding for the B-segment in which it sits, making it a very attractive proposition. So instead of simply following your heart, instead Hyundai believes that when it comes to buying the car, customers should follow their brain.

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Connected and caring

That new technology includes a 7-inch colour display offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing customers to display smartphone content – such as music streaming and navigation apps – on the car’s screen. Furthermore, the New i20 is available with an updated 7-inch colour navigation system that seamlessly integrates all media and connectivity features and supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as Live Services.

Hyundai has also introduced its enhanced SmartSense active safety package to the i20, including the Lane Keeping Assist and the Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist features to prevent accidents in city and inter-urban traffic. Hyundai’s Driver Attention Warning monitors driving patterns in order to detect reckless or fatigued driving, while the High Beam Assist automatically switches from high-beam to low-beam in case of oncoming traffic.

Fun-to-drive

After the press conference, members of the media drove their New i20s on to the ADAC Gründau driving safety centre near Frankfurt, where they got to feel its true fun-to-drive performance in Hyundai’s ‘Fastest Brain Challenge’. This saw them attempt to drive around a narrow-track course in the fastest time possible, with a live leader board displaying the current hottest laps and increasing the sense of competition.

If that wasn’t enough, journalists then had the chance to take it to the next level in Hyundai Motorsport’s i20 R5, designed for Europe’s toughest rally courses. They were driven by professional rally driver Juri Huttunen, who gave them a full-throttle demonstration of what this incredible car is capable of. A thrilling end to an action-packed day of fun and learning – all thanks to the New Hyundai i20.