New Hyundai i20 Will Get 1-Liter Turbo Engine in 2015, We Check It Out in Paris

Kappa 1-liter T-GDI engine (in the middle) 1 photo
Photo: original image by autoevolution
Along with the new i20 supermini, Korean carmaker Hyundai also has a brand new engine to show at the Paris Motor Show today. It's called the Kappa 1.0 T-GDI, their first downsized small turbocharged petrol engine ever.
Arriving on the next-gen i20 starting in 2015, the Kappa 1-liter is crucial if Hyundai is to challenge segment leaders from Ford, Opel and Volkswagen. The Ford Fiesta has had great success with its 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which accounts for more than half the sales and has won the Engine of the Year Award numerous times.

Let's look at the facts

The Kappa 1.0-liter T-GDI has been developed at Hyundai’s European Technical Centre in Rüsselsheim, Germany. Initial specs state that it produces 120 PS, which is right up there with the best in the class. As a reminder, the 1.2 TSI from VW makes either 90 or 110 PS, the Fiesta's EcoBoost has 100 or 125 PS and the Opel Astra's 1.0 SIDI packs 90 or 115 PS.

Perhaps more important than the torque is the 172 Nm of torque. Why? Because most these downsized 3-cylinder engines don't have that much of it and this affects performance. The one notable exception is the 1.2 TSI, which is a 4-cylinder and not that small to begin with. On paper at least, the 1.0 T-GDI from Hyundai is a lot more gutsy than the Renault Clio's 135 Nm 0.9 TCe unit.

Have the facts confused you? Sorry, we have more!

The 1-liter engine is a 3-cylinder and features more advanced technology than previous Hyundai engines. The 1-liter T-GDI comes with "an electronically-controlled waste-gate to optimize flow and improve low-end torque and throttle response."

Like the EcoBoost and other engines of this kind, Kia has created a split-cooling system that heats up the block first to ensure efficiency. The exhaust manifold in also integrated into the cylinder head, while the GDI system uses a 6-hole direct fuel injector.

For our American friends and readers who are unfamiliar with the i20, this is a classed as a supermini over in Europe, meaning it falls within the same class as the Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio. The old i20 was based on the same platform as the Accent, your basic cheap sedan.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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