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Hyundai debuts new models in Toronto, Chicago

New Accent makes world debut at CIAS; Elantra GT debuts in Chicago

Published: February 9, 2017, 9:30 PM
Updated: February 12, 2017, 4:05 AM

2018 Hyundai Accent teaser

Hyundai has chosen February North American auto shows to introduce its new core models to the world, with the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto set to unveil the 2018 Accent sub-compact Feb. 16, a scant week after the Chicago Auto Show saw the unveiling the all-new Elantra GT compact hatchback.

2018 Hyundai Accent teaser

Hyundai Auto Canada released teasers of the new Accent, showing a car that has many of the cues of its bigger siblings, with composite taillights and headlights and a large upright hexagonal grille. The headlights have a daytime running LED surround.

Not much can be garnered from the two images, though there is discernible crease running along the side, just above the door handles. The sweeping roofline seems to go right to the trailing edge of the trunk, suggesting a fastback design that could be a hatchback configuration, though likely isn’t, which would suggest a smallish trunk opening. We’ll have to wait a week for more details.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

The Elantra GT, on the other hand, has already been unveiled in Chicago and it actually isn’t a world debut for the car as it was previously introduced as the Hyundai i30 in Paris last fall. The Elantra GT moniker on this car is new, though, so that counts.

“The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year,” said Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “More space and features inside. More aggression and European flair outside. And more options under the hood.”

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT

The new model is lower, wider and longer than the current car, and wears the new more aggressive look of recent Hyundais. Under skin, the structure is 53% high-strength steel to also make it stiffer, stronger and lighter than the current GT. There is a difference between Elantra GTs, though, with the GT Sport getting a fully independent multi-link suspension in place of the regular GT’s rear torsion beam. It also boosts wheel size to 18 inches from the standard 17.

Power is available from a choice of engines — the current 2.0-litre 4-cylinder the company says makes 162 hp (which is down 11 from the 173 the current model is reported to make) and the 201-hp 1.6-litre turbo “four” from the Elantra Sport sedan. You can go with a 6-speed manual transmission or opt for a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT interior

The interior has 707 litres of cargo space with the rear seats in use, and features a standard 8-inch centre display in the instrument panel (compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) as part of the debut of Hyundai’s new infotainment system AVN 5.0. Available wireless smartphone charging is also on tap.

One key addition takes place away from the car on the Blue Link mobile app, in which the remote start will now also spark up the rear window and side mirror defrosters (in addition to the climate control previously included with the app). The feature will debut on the Elantra GT this summer and then spread to other Hyundai models for 2018 model year.

And, the vehicle can also be started by voice command through the Alexa mobile app (when it is paired to Hyundai Blue Link).