Having to face the more established players in the midsize segment such as the VW Passat and Skoda Superb, it would be an understatement to say i40 has had a challenging life cycle. It’s about to be extended as although the full camo attire might suggest it’s an all-new car, in reality we’re dealing with a second facelift Hyundai is preparing for its Insignia rival, which you can actually see behind the prototype. It’s not a coincidence as we’re pretty sure the South Koreans were benchmark testing the i40 against the rival from Rüsselsheim.
Some would ask how could we possibly know it’s a facelift rather than the next-generation car. The dead giveaway would have to be the greenhouse, which is identical to that of the current i40. Not only that, but the shape of the mirrors seems to be virtually the same while the headlights look familiar, yet more reasons to believe the current i40 will soldier on for a few more years.
Behind all that camouflage applied onto the front fascia (where we’re also seeing an extra LED light bar used during the testing phase) hides Hyundai’s new corporate “Cascading Grille” seen for the first time on the i30. Some other mild cosmetic tweaks are on the agenda, but nothing to write home about.
When it will eventually debut, the i40 sedan and wagon (CW / Tourer) will have to face not only the models we’ve mentioned in the beginning, but also its brother from another mother, the much newer Kia Optima. No word on engines just yet, but it’s safe to say the 1.7-liter turbodiesel will remain the bread and butter of the sales.
Expect to see the facelifted i40 in both body styles to receive its premiere as early as the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March or even sooner if Hyundai will be kind enough to release images beforehand.