Hyundai’s latest model in the updated Elantra lineup made its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. The all-new Elantra GT offers sportier looks with added versatility. “The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year,” said Scott Margason, director of product planning at Hyundai Motor America. “More space and features inside. More aggression and European flair outside. And more options under the hood. I’m particularly excited to showcase the GT Sport, a true hot hatch,” Margason added.
An all-new Elantra sedan debuted in 2016 for the 2017 model year; however, the GT remained on the earlier platform. This 2018 Elantra GT steps up to the sedan, not only in terms of styling but with a new structure beneath its shiny skin. The new GT is based on the new generation of i30 that is designed for and sold in the European market.
With the new platform, the Elantra GT is stiffer, stronger and lighter than the previous generation. Hyundai says the new GT is 22 percent stiffer than before, largely because half the structure is now advanced high-strength steel — nearly double the outgoing generation. This rigidity should provide a more solid ride with noticeable improvements in handling and agility. In fact, Hyundai developed the GT on the famed Nürburgring track in Germany, tuning the suspension to provide a taut but comfortable ride.
From the outside, the most noticeable change for this latest Elantra is the signature hexagonal grille, which brings the GT in line with the rest of the Hyundai family; however, the GT’s grille looks a bit sportier. In addition to the hatchback bodystyle, the GT carves its own niche in the Elantra lineup with a lower, wider, more aggressive stance.
Two different versions of the Elantra GT will be available: GT and GT Sport. The GT gets power from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine putting out 162 horsepower, while the GT Sport upgrades to a 1.6-liter turbocharged powerplant that produces 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose between a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox or a 6-speed manual transmission.
Elantra GT can be well equipped with features such as leather trim, alloy pedals, dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless smartphone charging. Hyundai’s next-generation AVN 5.0 infotainment system with an upgraded processor and 8-inch touchscreen display is also available.
Hyundai maximizes the Elantra GT’s interior space to provide the highest level of comfort and utility. According to the Korean automaker, the GT offers more cargo space than most of its hatchback competitors — more than 55 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded flat.
The Elantra GT can be equipped with the latest high-tech safety features including Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop when necessary.
The 2018 Elantra GT will join the Hyundai lineup later in 2017. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.