Hyundai is launching its second-generation i30 compact car after five years rather than after seven years which is usual for a product renewal.
The Korean brand aims to make sure the i30 remains competitive in Europe's second-largest segment after subcompacts.
The i30 is Hyundai's best-seller in Europe but the car's European sales fell nearly 12 percent last year to 101,328 units, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics.
With the new seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf, Europe's top-selling car for the last four years, due to launch this year, Hyundai decided to take action.
"The i30 is our most important car in terms of volume and brand positioning. We felt like it is time to offer a fresh contender in this segment," said Oliver Gutt, Hyundai Germany's head of product management.
Gutt said the i30, on average, would be priced about 8 percent below competitors in the segment, which includes the Golf, Ford Focus, Opel/Vauxhall Astra, Citroen C4 and Peugeot 308.
Hyundai Europe Chief Operating Officer Allan Rushforth said the i30 offers an enhanced design, better performance, more features and lower emissions.
"The new i30 will maintain Hyundai's sales growth in this most hotly contested segment of the European market," Rushford told Automotive News Europe. "It is designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe, for Europe."