Having shown off the hatchback at Geneva in March, Korean car giant Hyundai has revealed the next weapon in its new European-manufactured vehicle arsenal – the i30 estate/wagon.

The image was released less than a week after work began on the automaker’s new Czech Republic car factory. The new i30 family of C-segment cars – essentially Hyundai’s version of affiliate Kia’s Slovakian-built Ceed – will eventually be produced at the plant.

Hyundai UK managing director Tony Whitehorn said: “The C-segment is the critical segment to be competitive in. It caters for all needs; families, singles, couples, and company car drivers, with a full mix of hatchback, sports, coupe, cabriolet, mini-mpv and even cross-over models.

“Hyundai realises that to compete, we must be in a position to offer a mix of such models to cater for a variety of customer needs.”

Like its five-door hatchback sibling, the i30 estate/wagon was styled at the automaker’s European design centre in Russelsheim, Frankfurt, to meet European market requirements.

Design touches include projection headlamps, a USB port for connecting portable music players, a smart folding key system for convenient access to the vehicle, a built-in roof rack for maximum cargo-carrying utility and repeater lamps built into the side view mirror housings.

Compared to the hatchback, the estate is longer by 230mm, taller by 50mm and has a longer wheelbase (up 90mm) significantly enhancing its load carrying capacity and practicality. From launch, it will be offered with 1.6 litre 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

After a Frankfurt debut, the new model is expected on sale here in the UK and Europe early in 2008. The hatchback version is in UK showrooms this summer.