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Chicago show: Hyundai Elantra goes two-door

Out in the open: The new coupe version of the Hyundai Elantra small car makes its public debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

Hyundai reveals Elantra Coupe but Korea’s two-door Civic fighter won’t come here

Hyundai logo9 Feb 2012

By MARTON PETTENDY

HYUNDAI this week revealed its new Elantra Coupe, which will join the new i30 hatch-based Elantra GT and existing Elantra sedan in the Korean brand’s quest for North American small car market leadership.

For now, Hyundai says the Elantra two-door will not be sold here, where the all-new Veloster coupe was also launched this week as Australia’s first sporting Hyundai model since the Tiburon coupe.

“There are no plans to introduce the Hyundai Elantra Coupe into the Australian market,” confirmed Hyundai Motor Company Australia spokesman Ben Hershman.

Revealed at the Chicago motor show, the Elantra Coupe will be a direct US rival for Honda’s Civic Coupe, which is not sold here, as well as sister brand Kia’s two-door Cerato Koup, which is priced from $23,690 here.

Designed at Hyundai's North American Design Center in Irvine, California and featuring a drag co-efficient of 0.28Cd, it bears more visual similarities with the sleek Elantra four-door than the redesigned i30 five-door, which will be released here within months.

1 center imageIn fact, although the new coupe is slightly longer than the Elantra sedan, all other dimensions are identical, meaning it is also about 10mm longer than the Civic Coupe and some 75mm longer in the wheelbase, leading Hyundai to claim it offers the most interior space in its class.

In the US, the 2013 Elantra Coupe will be powered by the same ‘Nu’ D-CVVT 1.8-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the new Elantra GT (i30), matched with the same six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.

It will therefore offer slightly more power than the 1.8-litre Civic Coupe, while narrowly matching the Honda for fuel consumption as an auto and, according to Hyundai, being 11 per cent more efficient in manual guise (5.7L/100km highway). However, the Kia Koup’s 2.0-litre engine offers more performance.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but two specifications will be available in the US – entry-level GS and top-shelf SE, both with a more sporting bent than their equivalent Elantra sedan variants and both with the option of three extra unique paint colours.

In addition to the standard GS equipment list, the SE offers 17-inch instead of 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler, sportier suspension tune, aluminium-faced pedals, a 360-Watt sound system and the option of satellite-navigation and a rear-view camera via a seven-inch touch screen.

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