Published: Fri, February 10, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

Chicago 2017: All-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT unveiled

Chicago 2017: All-new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT unveiled

The 2018 Elantra GT leads with a signature Hyundai grille and standard vertical LED daytime running lights; full LED headlights are available.

Like the latest Elantra sedan, the GT will hit dealers with a more relaxed powertrain, as well as a sportier variant (but alas, no Eco version). It will go on sale this summer, with prices to be announced closer to launch. That means it's not a hatchback version of the USA -market Elantra sedan, and instead it rides on a different architecture; the relationship is similar to that between the VW Golf and Jetta.

"The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year", Scott Margason, Hyundai's director of product planning, said in a statement. It even beats the Volkswagen Golf's impressive expanse in the back.

No matter the trim level, the Elantra GT's interior looks upscale and sensibly laid out, with a dashboard design noticeably different from the sedan's. Hyundai says the new model is 22 percent more rigid and weighs 61 pounds less in the body-in-white form.

In size, the 2018 model's wheelbase remains the same, but the new version is about a half-inch lower in height and about an inch-and-a-half longer. With the 60/40 split rear seats folded, the Elantra provides 55 cubic feet of space, beating out both of those rivals (the Honda provides 46, while the Golf has 53).

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As with the exterior, designers have given the interior a less busy, more conservative look. The new 8.0-inch screen, replacing the previous 7.0-inch unit, supports the model's new navigation system with maps and traffic data.

For those cars equipped with Hyundai's Blue Link telematics service, the automaker has added the ability to turn the Elantra GT's rear defroster and heated side mirrors with the service's remote-start app.

Inside, the Elantra GT boasts leather seats, alloy pedals, dual-zone climate control, and convenience features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wireless phone charging, and Bluetooth phone and audio. It also can be activated with voice commands via Amazon Alexa devices.

The Elantra GT will be powered by a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 162 horsepower. It's offered with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. The Elantra GT Sport further ups the handling quotient thanks to its independent multilink suspension, which replaces the base GT's torsion beam rear setup. Things get more interesting in the Elantra GT Sport, which packs the Elantra Sport sedan's turbocharged 1.6-liter four making 201 horses and 195 lb-ft of torque. We'll be eager to get our hands on one to see if it lives up to its hot hatch promise.

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