A Hotter Hyundai: Turbocharged Elantra Sport Will Deliver Much-Needed Muscle
Hyundai just revealed its Korean-market Avante Sport, but it’s also a preview of what North American customers can expect in their Elantra lineup.
The Avante is what people in Seoul call an Elantra, and the new performance model puts the automaker in a better position to fend off competition from the likes of Honda, Volkswagen and Mazda.
The redesigned 2017 Elantra Limited we tested had improved styling and a better ride, but was lacking in power. The Sport model’s Korean specifications shows 204 horsepower from a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter four-cylinder, as well as a multi-link rear suspension.
Transmission choices for the Avante Sport are a six-speed manual and seven-speed dual clutch automatic.
Basically, it looks like the upcoming Sport model will be an Elantra that ditched its torsion beam rear suspension and adopted the powertrain of the Veloster Turbo, give or take a few horses (the Veloster has 201 hp and 195 pounds-feet of torque).
The model’s Korean counterpart has a flat-bottomed steering wheel, paddle shifters for the DCT and a dual-tone leather interior. 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 225/40 R18 tires come standard, with quad exhaust pipes and a more aggressive front fascia (with horizontal LED running lights) giving the model some standalone recognition.
The base Elantra’s 147 hp 2.0-liter has less power than a 2.0-liter Civic and would run and hide from its competitor’s 174 hp Si version, so a muscle injection for the popular compact is a business necessity for Hyundai.
[Images: Hyundai Motor Company]
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