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Dubai show: Hyundai’s new Elantra gets an early airing

Out and about: For the first time, Hyundai’s Elantra small sedan is expected to get a sporty version, powered by the Veloster’s 150kW turbo engine.

Hyundai Elantra shown at Dubai, stealing a little of Los Angeles’ thunder

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Hyundai logo11 Nov 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

HYUNDAI’S all-new Elantra small sedan was supposed to make its motor show debut at next week’s Los Angeles motor show, but there was no mistaking its presence on the Hyundai stand at Dubai’s own auto exhibition today.

Built on Hyundai’s new small-car architecture that will also underpin the next generation of its hatchback sibling, the i30, the bigger, more spacious and sleeker car is expected to arrive in Australia about February.

In place of the old 110kW/178Nm Gamma 1.8-litre, normally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine will be a new 2.0-litre MPi Atkinson unit from Hyundai Group’s Nu engine family, punching out similar power and torque but with greater efficiency.

In even better news, a sporty version of Elantra will be added to the range later in 2016, powered by a 150kW/265Nm turbo 1.6-litre petrol engine lifted from Veloster sports coupe.

That version is likely to get a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the cooking model will make do with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.

More details of the Australian specification will be made available when Hyundai pulls the wraps off the American version on November 17.

Called Avante in Korea, the sixth-generation Elantra is already on sale in its home market where it was shown to journalists at Hyundai’s research and development centre in September.

At 20mm longer and 25mm wider, the new Elantra is more spacious than the outgoing model, with Hyundai claiming the small car has interior dimensions equivalent to a car one size larger.

With an aerodynamic rating of 0.27Cd, the Elantra is said to be both quieter and more fuel-efficient.

As well, the body is much stronger, thanks to greater use of high-strength steel, which also contributes to gains in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) suppression – a major focus of Elantra’s development team.

In many sedan-centric markets, the Elantra is Hyundai’s top-seller, ahead of the i30. In Australia, however, it trails its hatchback twin by a significant margin.

This year, Elantra has achieved a relatively modest 7074 sales to the end of October, compared to the i30 that has managed 27,808.

Between them, however, they rival Toyota’s top-selling Corolla as the number one vehicle in the land.

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