Now that the Hyundai Elantra has been redesigned, it’s time to work on the variations and the first one to come to fruition is the new Elantra Sport, coming for 2017.
Now followers of past Elantras will recall wagon, coupe and hatchback versions but for coming year, Hyundai is sticking to the subtly elegant sedan bodystyle and making changes under the skin (although the skin gets a few tweaks too).
There haven’t been a lot of specifications released, but there are a couple things we do know. First of all, the new model is a direct copy of the Korean domestic market Avante Sport (Elantra is the world name of the car, except in Korea where it is Avante).
First and foremost is the use of the Veloster’s 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injected 4-cylinder engine, which here makes 200 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered to the front wheels by either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic (with paddle shifters).
That’s kind of interesting because in the current Veloster Turbo, it makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft. Does that mean Hyundai want to keep the Veloster sportier (however marginally)? Or is there going to be a pull-back in engine specs for 2017?
Regardless, the new Elantra Sport was created in response to new models from Honda (Civic Turbo — 174 hp and 162 lb-ft), Dodge (Dart Aero — 160 and 148, respectively), Chevrolet (Cruze — 153, 177) and Volkswagen (Jetta GLI — 210,207).
Equally important to the sportiness of the Sport is handling, and the car benefits in that respect with the fitment of an independent multi-link rear suspension, exclusive to the Sport.
Inside, the cockpit gets traditional racing appointments — flat-bottom steering wheel, and sport seats with “go-faster” red-stitching.
“Elantra Sport demonstrates our commitment to providing drivers with compelling vehicle choices that align with their interests,” said Ken Maisonville, National Manager of Product Strategy, Hyundai Auto Canada. “This is a vehicle that reflects our own passion for cars and driving, expressing it with sharp looks, proven in-car technology, upgraded power, and fun, sporty handling.”
The Elantra Sport will be available toward the end of 2016, with prices yet to be set.