This is the newest version of the Hyundai i30, the Korean brand’s C-segment hatchback. As you may have guessed from the black tarpaulin and lumpy disguise, this third-generation model is so new that it hasn’t been fully revealed yet.

Even so, Hyundai was keen for us to try the brand new platform and equally new 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine. While a manual gearbox will be available, this example was fitted with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that can be found on the existing i30.

Regardless of engine, all models get a fully independent multi-link rear axle that trumps the likes of the Vauxhall Astra and the more lowly versions of the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon. Hyundai is rightly proud of this fact and suggests it should allow for a good balance between comfort and handling, although Hyundai's accompanying slideshow talked a lot about improving agility and nothing about improving comfort.

The suspension is bolted to a monocoque that contains more high-strength steel than before in order to improve rigidity for safety and handling benefits. There’s also the promise of improved quality inside at a price point that should still prove to be competitive against mainstream rivals.

2017 Hyundai i30 1.4 Turbo prototype review | Autocar