New-Generation-i20-Rendering_FrontHyundai has ratcheted up anticipation for its new i20 by releasing some promising-looking design sketches of the Paris Motor Show 2014 debutant.

The new five-door supermini aims to finally fix what’s long been Hyundai’s weakest link: given the sheer size of the supermini sector in Europe – it accounts for more than one in three new cars sales in the UK alone – the brand’s lack of competitiveness here with the current i20 has been costly.

Enter, then, what at first glance appears to be a transformation for the dumpy supermini. With a big and bold grille, strong and squat shoulderline plus neatly hidden C-pillars and some sporty-look tail lights, the rendering of the new i20 certainly promises plenty.

On this evidence, it could go from one of the gawkiest cars in the sector to one of the sportiest; with suggested detailing like some cool LED running lights in the lower bumper, and styling blades on the lower doors to complement the diffuser-style rear bumper, the prospect of a Hyundai to take on the all-conquering Ford Fiesta could soon be upon us.

That is, if the production reality is as impressive. While promising, this is still only a design sketch (one done under Hyundai’s ‘Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’ philosophy). Hyundai’s designed the whole car at its Russelsheim EU design centre, the same division that did the i40, which is encouraging… but the proof that it really is a big step on will come just ahead of the Paris Motor Show, probably some time next month.

You’ve created the anticipation, Hyundai. Now, please don’t disappoint us…