Hyundai has unveiled a fresh mid-sized range to fill the void between its small i35/Elantra and the upper-mid-sized i45 sedan. The i40 range is to i45 what the Honda Accord Euro is to the regular Accord – a slightly smaller, sportier sedan (and in the Hyundai’s case, also a wagon) designed primarily for the European market.

Styled and engineered in Hyundai’s European R&D headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, the 4.74-metre i40 is 80mm shorter than its i45 sibling, yet its wheelbase is only 25mm adrift. Both cars share Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design philosophy.

Two petrol and two diesel powertrains will be available. The i40 will debut Hyundai’s fresh ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder petrol engine, which boasts a currently class-leading 130kW and 213Nm. Hyundai claims 0-100km/h in 9.7 seconds for the six-speed manual, and 6.8L/100km combined.

A 1.7-litre turbo-diesel will also be available (a must for oiler-loving Europeans), producing 100kW. Teamed with Hyundai’s Blue Drive eco-program including stop-start tech, low rolling resistance tyres and an alternator management system, the diesel is rated at just 4.3L/100km.

No word yet on whether Hyundai Oz will squeeze the i40 into its local range, but the two-prong mid-sizer strategy certainly works for Honda…