Hyundai’s mainstay i30 sedan will be available as a hybrid from early next year as part of the model’s refresh.

The i30 hybrid will arrive in the first quarter of 2024 with the entry-level version priced at $33,000 plus on-road costs. Two more hybrid versions, the Elite and Premium, will follow in the second quarter.

It is the first time Hyundai has offered a hybrid in the i30. The drivetrain — which uses a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine and electric motor — is a derivative of that used in the Ioniq and also will next year be available in the Tucson.

The hybrid powertrain combines the petrol engine with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission and a 32kW electric motor powered by a 1.32kWh battery.

Regenerative braking allows the hybrid system to recover some of the kinetic energy that is lost to heat the friction brakes in a conventional vehicle, and using that energy to recharge the high-voltage battery.

The electric motor, with its instant torque, is claimed to be the perfect companion to the petrol engine, which produces its peak torque (265Nm) at higher speeds. The result of the engine/motor pairing is a strong, smooth and broad torque curve.

From rest and at low speeds, the hybrid operates in EV mode, using battery power alone.

During acceleration, the petrol engine starts automatically, with the electric motor contributing power as needed, for fuel-efficient operation.

While cruising at higher speeds, only the engine is used, with the car capable of switching to EV mode while coasting to conserve fuel.

When decelerating or driving downhill, the hybrid system shuts off the petrol engine and uses the electric motor to capture kinetic energy, which is converted into electrical energy to recharge the battery.

When the car is stationary, both the electric motor and engine are stopped.

Hyundai said the package has strong performance and claims a fuel consumption average of 3.9 litres/100km and down to 2.8 L/100km on the urban cycle.

It brings to three power units available in the i30 sedan range for 2024. Hyundai will offer the model with an upgraded 2.0-litre petrol engine, the hybrid and the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for the N Line versions.

Prices start at $29,000 plus on-road costs for the 2.0-litre version with continuously variable transmission.

The hybrid is the star of the 2024 i30 sedan range that features refreshed styling and updated features.

All get an increase in features with standard equipment, including LED headlights and daytime running lights, front and rear parking distance warning system (previously rear only), a more advanced forward collision-avoidance assist system, and an intelligent speed-limit assist (ISLA) system.

The entry version also gets 16-inch alloy wheels and premium, patterned black-cloth seats.

The more upmarket i30 sedan Elite brings the convenience, safety and security of Bluelink-connected car services, an electro-chromatic interior mirror and an LED rear positioning light.

On top of that, the flagship Premium adds parking collision warning, Bose premium audio and new-to-the-model tech in the form of a blind-spot view monitor and surround-view monitor and projection-type LED headlights, LED tail lights and a heated steering wheel.

The N Line and N Line Premium variants are available only with the 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The N Line variants are distinguished by an aggressive exterior treatment, 18-inch alloy wheels and black leather seats with red highlights.

Upgrades to the 2.0-litre engine for 2024 include dual continuously variable valve timing, a two-stage variable intake system and the efficiency of an Atkinson combustion cycle.

This engine is mated to Hyundai’s new ‘SmartStream Intelligent Variable Transmission’, which is a continuously variable transmission that has been tuned to mimic a conventional automatic transmission. It has eight ‘virtual’ gears and a sequential manual mode to deliver a familiar driving experience.

Hyundai said that the improvements made to both the engine and transmission bring improved efficiency and a more refined drive.

Externally, the 2024 i30 is identified by its wide, split horizontal grille treatment with a black parametric pattern complemented by a chrome highlight connecting the headlights.

The car’s fastback-style rear treatment culminates in a sculpted boot lid shaped like a spoiler, with a piano black trim panel directly below the rear windscreen created the effect of an elongated, coupe-like glasshouse.

The restyled lower bumper is deeper and sportier and features a diffuser-like design.

The 2024 i30 Sedan will be available in a selection of nine exterior colours, including three new colours.

Inside it has a wrap-around dashboard and centre console paired with large digital displays and a full-length horizontal air vent.

Highlights of the cabin include a revised wireless charging pad designed to accommodate larger mobile phones, addition of front and rear USB-C outlets, a customisable, multifunction button on the steering wheel and a newly designed, segmented 4.2-inch digital instrument cluster on the entry i30 trim for a cleaner, more modern appearance.

The sedan’s 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen (Elite, Premium and N Line Premium trims) now features Bluelink-connected car services, which enables app-based features, including calendar sync, remote services, find my car, remote vehicle check and more.

Hyundai said Bluelink and the accompanying connected car services are commentary for the first five years of new vehicle ownership and are transferrable to subsequent owners within this five-year period.

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