Is Hyundai's new i40 the rumored Sonata wagon?

Hyundai has released the first pics of their new i40 that will become the company's flagship in Europe. The front end of the i40 bears a striking resemblance to the new Elantra, but the company states that the i40 is a D-segment vehicle which in US-speak means mid-size, therefore Sonata (although the Elantra is considered mid-size by the EPA due to its large interior volume). The rear view is very Sonata-esque and the roofline is the latest expression of Hyundai's fluidic design language. It's a good-looking estate (European for stationwagon) and would (could?) make a nice addition to Hyundai's US line-up. Heck the i40 or Sonata Estate could get folks buying stationwagons again. If you like what you see, let Hyundai know. PS: I still think it's an Elantra or some kind of combination of the two, but what do I know?

Source: Hyundai - Brief press release after the jump.

Press Release:

Hyundai has revealed the first pictures of the new i40, ahead of its world premiere at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The debut of i40 comes as Hyundai launches its new brand slogan ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities.’ The i40 reflects the spirit of change at Hyundai, and represents the company’s bold new concept of ‘modern premium’ – the philosophy that premium quality and characteristics should be accessible to everyone.

The i40 is the company’s first D-segment vehicle to be developed specifically for the European market, with a package of powertrains, equipment and technology tailored for European tastes. It will be shown in Geneva in wagon form, and this will be the first i40 bodystyle to be introduced to Europe, with a sedan to follow later this year.

Designed and engineered at Hyundai’s R&D headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, the i40 is the latest Hyundai model to have a purely European identity. Taking styling cues from Hyundai’s ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language, it maintains signature features such as the hexagonal grille. The grille is flanked by two jewel-like headlamps, for a contemporary, confident look that is accentuated by the characterful lines that connect the front and rear of the vehicle, adding to the i40’s eye-catching, sophisticated style.

In line with Hyundai’s commitment to make premium products and features available to everyone, the i40 has a class-leading level of standard equipment. Among the specification are three segment ‘firsts’: heated and reclining front and rear seats; a heated steering wheel; and an active de-mist system that automatically detects and clears mist on the windscreen.

The ‘modern premium’ concept is also evident in the efficient powertrain choices available to i40 buyers. Running Hyundai’s 1,7-liter diesel engine, codenamed ‘UII’, the i40 emits just 113 g/km of CO2 emissions – a best-in-class figure that also demonstrates the advances the company is making towards global leadership in eco-technology.

Hyundai’s unrivalled customer care package, Five Year Triple Care, will come as standard on i40. The industry-leading package offers total peace of mind, with a five-year unlimited-mileage warranty, five years’ roadside assistance and five years of vehicle health checks.

Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, commented, “Offering more for less has always been a fundamental principle at Hyundai, and now we are advancing this with our new brand direction under the ‘New Thinking. New Possibilities.’ slogan. The i40 is a perfect example of how we are offering the best and making it accessible to everyone. From stunning design and specification, to industry-leading technology and aftersales care – the i40 sets itself apart from its competitors.”

The i40 will be joined on stage by Hyundai’s ground-breaking new 1+2 door Veloster coupe, set for launch in Europe during the second quarter of 2011. The Curb concept will also be shown, highlighting the latest telematics technology from Hyundai in an ‘urban-ready’ design. Both cars received their world premieres at the North America International Auto Show last month, and will be making their European debuts in Geneva.