Hyundai Reveals Sixth-Generation Elantra in South Korea With Atkinson, Diesel Engines
Hyundai’s compact model, the Elantra, will arrive with the brand’s newly adopted trapezoidal grille, new engines and a number of enhancements to improve perceived quality.
The automaker, who looked at the Dodge Dart and said, “Yeah, that looks good but needs more grille,” revealed the sixth-generation Elantra on Wednesday in South Korea.
While the visible changes are likely to garner the most interest from consumers, the Elantra may be set to receive a new 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine in America. In Korea, the engine produces 146 horsepower and 132 pounds feet of torque mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. U.S. specs have not yet been released.
Also new for Elantra is a 134-horsepower, 1.6-liter VGT diesel engine and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, though don’t hold your breath that the combo will find its way it to the States.
A 1.6-liter GDI engine will continue on in markets outside the U.S. with some revisions. There’s no word on whether the Elantra will be offered again with the 1.8-liter four cylinder in the U.S.
While compact cars are rarely thought of as premium offerings — especially those from Hyundai that sell more on value and content than they do on style and high-quality appointments, the next-generation Elantra will offer improved NVH characteristics through the use of more sound-deadening material, thicker glass and re-engineered windshield wiper blades that “are carefully positioned to dramatically reduce road and wind noise in the cabin,” said the automaker. If the outside world is still too loud, an optional eight-speaker Harman audio system will surely drown it out.
It’s not just NVH, but also ride and handling that gets engineers’ attention this time around. Improvements to the electric power steering system and suspension, specifically the rear shock absorber and spring positioning, are meant to make the car more engaging while improving ride comfort.
Overall, the Elantra does grow slightly. The sixth-generation car will be 20 mm longer and 25 mm wider than its predecessor. That growth translates to a “spacious interior comparable with that of the segment above,” Hyundai said in its release. The Elantra also utilizes 32-percent more high-strength steel, now making up 53 percent of the total steel content.
While the new compact is more stylish, Hyundai won’t be abandoning its value and feature propositions just yet. Integrated Memory Seat (IMS) — because that needs an acronym — for the driver will make an appearance. So does a suite of safety and convenience equipment including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Elantra will also carry more initialisms than any other car per dollar*.
* probably not true
Hyundai’s Smart Trunk, as seen on the Genesis, Santa Fe, Sonata and Tucson, will also make an appearance on the Elantra for the first time.
The Elantra nameplate has been on sale for over 25 years and sold over 10 million units, said the automaker in the release. According to GoodCarBadCar, 222,023 Elantras were sold in the U.S. in 2014.
How the new conservatively styled Elantra will stack up against the visually bonkers tenth-generation Civic will have to wait ’til next year.
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