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hyundaiSEOUL: South Korea's Hyundai Motor on Thursday unveiled a revamped and fuel-efficient version of its i30 compact car to better compete with European models such as Volkswagen's Golf.

Hyundai said it aims to sell 215,000 units of the i30 hatchback next year, including 25,000 at home and 190,000 abroad, as part of its push to secure a bigger share of the premium sub-compact car market.

The revamped i30 will hit Europe in January next year, Australia and the Middle East in March and the United States in May.

With its dynamic design and innovative functions, the new i30 will become a premium hatchback, company president Kim Choong-Ho told reporters, describing its domestic competition as the Golf and Peugeot's 308.

He said about 50 percent of the i30 hatchbacks would be sold in Europe.

The new i30 comes with 1.6-litre gasoline and diesel engines and six-speed automatic transmission. It features improved safety including seven airbags.

It is priced from 18.45 million won ($16,200) to 22.05 million won at home, depending on accessories and engine type.

Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors together form the world's fifth-largest carmaker by sales.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2011

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