Over at Hyundai's booth, the new i30 hatchback was being debuted. The previous generation i30 reached U.S. shores as the Elantra's wagon variant, so it's quite possible that this new model will eventually be rebadged as an Elantra Touring.
However, the i30's short length may be too close in size to the U.S. market's Hyundai Accent, so perhaps the longer i40 will cross the pond to fill the Elantra Touring slot. It certainly looks the part. Which one we get will depend on whether Hyundai bets on a wagon or hatchback for the U.S. market.
Kia debuted the Rio three-door hatchback at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show. The five-door variant debuted at the Detroit auto show and will see North American sales, so there is the slightest possibility that this smaller variant could also see your local showroom.
The smaller 1.25 liter gasoline engine outputs 83 horsepower and 89 pound feet of torque while returning 49 mpg. That level of efficiency is promising, but those power levels won't fly on North American highways.
More realistic is the 1.4 MPI gasoline engine with its 107 horsepower and 101 pound feet of torque. Those sort of numbers will pit the Rio head to head with the Mazda Mazda2 (a hatchback that I personally like, despite its low level of tech). Expect the EPA's fuel economy numbers to sit somewhere below the EU's 46 mpg rating.
My interest was piqued by the 1.1 liter EcoDynamics model with its small displacement diesel engine that outputs only 89 horsepower, but makes up for it with a respectable 125 pound feet of torque and an impressive 73.5 European mpg rating (about 61 U.S. mpg equivalent).