Hyundai is adding two new variants of its Elantra model, in response to high demand for the product. At the Chicago Auto Show, the company unveiled Elantra’s latest variants – a two-door sporty coupe and a shorter five-door hatch. Hyundai is positioning the two-door variant against other coupes like the Honda Civic and the Kia Forte Koup.
The front-wheel-drive Elantra Coupe is expected to produce a mileage of 40 mpg on the highway from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine.
Hyundai gave the Elantra a slinky styling as well as a roomy interior to attract young buyers. Hyundai plans to market the Elantra coupe as a fun-to-drive option to a slightly different audience than the enthusiast-oriented, Genesis Coupe.
The five-door hatch version meanwhile, dubbed the GT, is targeted to replace the Elantra Touring model and is positioned against the Ford Focus, the Mazda 3 and the Volkswagen Golf.
Elantra GT carries the same powertrain choices as the coupe, and boasts of a mileage of 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The GT offers up to 51 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the rear, with the seats folded down.
Hyundai unveiled last year a version of the GT, the i30, to target other markets in Europe. Hyundai hopes to further increase its Elantra sales this year with the introduction of the GT and Coupe versions.
The new Elantra Coupé’s visually distinct and smoothly flowing design is a testament of Hyundai’s renowned “Fluidic Sculpture” design principle at work. A perfect balance of fine linear protrusions and indentations provide the distinct and gracefully fluid design character of the Elantra Coupé, mimicking the action of wind as it comes in contact with solid surfaces.
Elantra Coupé uses the famous Hyundai hexagonal front grille, and together with sleek- looking headlights, provide an agile, mean and lean countenance for the car. Further enhancing the Elantra Coupé’s appealing façade are its fog lights and optional repeater lamps.
The Coupé’s profile radiates an aerodynamic, swept-back and sophisticated silhouette, accentuated by masterfully sculpted and perfectly proportioned flowing surfaces. The SE model variant boasts of stylish and athletic five-spoke 17-inch wheels with dark-colored spoke accents. Furthermore, the steeply angled A and C Pillars result in a substantially sloped greenhouse, in consonance with the car’s aerodynamically wedged silhouette.
A distinct linear protrusion accent, located just below the car’s belt line, starts from the front door and zips towards the car’s rear where it intersects with the edge of the tail lights, further enhancing the Elantra Coupé’s swift-looking profile. The wheel arches have also been flared out to give the car a wide, stable and agile stance together with its subtly shaped rocker panels.
Elantra Coupé’s rear features an all-black diffuser valance which creates a pleasant, complementing contrast with the car’s twin chrome-tipped tail pipes. Moreover, a built-in lip spoiler design is integrated in the SE variant’s trunk lid to further improve the car’s aerodynamics and aesthetics.
Aside from having an aesthetically appealing exterior, the Elantra Coupé‘s exterior design is also functional which allows the car to boast of an impressively low 0.28 Cd drag coefficient, resulting in low cabin noise and excellent fuel efficiency. The Elantra Coupé’s design was conceptualized and developed at the Hyundai North American Design Center in Irvine, California.
The Elantra Coupé and the Elantra Sedan share the same 148 horsepower (estimated), 131 lb-ft torque, 1.8-liter Nu four-cylinder engine, while a slightly less powerful 145 horsepower (estimated) 130 lb-ft torque engine powers the Elantra Coupé PZEV. It is interesting to note that the Elantra’s high power density 4-cylinder generates six percent more horsepower than the similar-sized Civic Coupe 1.8-liter engine. And because of Hyundai’s clean engine technology, a majority of Elantra Coupés sold in Oregon, California and in various Northeastern states are certified as Partial Zero Emission Vehicles (PZEV) by the EPA.
Moreover, compared to other hybrid vehicles, the PZEV Elantra Coupé ranks as one of the cleanest hybrid electric vehicles of today through the use of a simpler but equally efficient and dependable hybrid technology, aside from costing less than its competitors. Considered as Hyundai’s contribution to a cleaner environment, the PZEV Elantra helps the car company comply with, if not exceed the prescribed environmental requirements of the “green” states. The PZEV Leandra is sold as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle or ULEV in the “non-green” states.