CHANDAN B MALLIK, Kolkata: The seventh generation Elantra for global markets was given a starry reception at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood on Mar 17. As one of the core models of Hyundai Motors, the Elantra (Avante in domestic market) has been in production since 1990. Internally coded as the CN7, the incoming model was extensively teased by the carmaker on social media right up to its formal global debut.
For the incoming Elantra, Hyundai has focused extensively on what it describes as new “parametric dynamics” design language, and more importantly a return to a longer and wider sports sedan style.
As a result of this updated strategy, the “fluidic sculpture” design concept that dominated across the Hyundai portfolio since 2011 is now gone. The ‘in thing’ besides design and dimensions is technology applications by Hyundai with the introduction of conventional internal combustion powered models and for the first time a hybrid model.
The new Elantra is mechanically based on the new K3 platform which has allowed several engineering related improvements besides enabling new dimensions and safety parameters — it gains 2.2 inches in overall length and 0.8 inch in its wheelbase. While overall width is increased by an inch, the overall height also dropped by 0.8 inch.
In profile, designers have attempted to make it look like a four-door coupe which happens to be a dramatic departure from previous iterations. Apart from deliberate change in stance, the sheet metal has also received great attention wherein sharper character lines have been infused to define its design DNA.
Up front, there’s a new face for the C-segment offering. It appears quite dominating with its cascade design chrome grille that continues right up the slim headlamps. A splitter has been added to the lower valance for a sporty look. As with the current trends, the headlamps are fused with LED DRLs.
The rear end of the car has upmarket styling and features a thin light bar that runs across the boot lid. Even with a lower roofline, Hyundai interior designers have smartly repackaged the car with premium features without compromising the headroom in the car by lowering the seats!
Features that are usually reserved for premium cars dual 10.3-inch displays, high end audio systems, connectivity (CarPlay and Android Auto) comes as standard besides the usual array of convenience features. The cluster has different views: utility, driver assistance and navigation. The optional infotainment system displays a wide variety of useful information across its split touchscreen.
Since the Elantra is a global model, the powertrain options will vary from market to market. For instance, the Asian and domestic market model cars will comes with 1.6-litre MPi petrol engine producing 123 PS and 153.96 Nm of torque and a 1.6-litre LPi petrol-LPG engine developing 120 PS and 152.00 Nm of torque. In the US, a 2.0-litre MPi petrol will offer 147 hp and 178.97 Nm of torque. Transmission set-up common to all engines is an improvised CVT with realistic (simulated) gear shift points.
The hybrid versions get an 1.6-litre inline four-cylinder engine paired with a 32 kW electric motor, putting out a combined 139hp and 264 Nm of torque. Power in this variant is channeled to wheels via 6-speed dual-clutch transmissionDCT.