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Hyundai lifts its game with new Elantra

Enviro-friendly: A sketch of the Hyundai SUV destined for Geneva.

Europe beckons with Euro styling formula for new entrant Elantra, SUV

20 Feb 2007

HYUNDAI will unveil its new mid-size next-generation Elantra hatch and a crossover-SUV at next month’s Geneva motor show.

Using advanced materials from its co-operation partner GE Plastics, Hyundai’s European designers aimed to develop an SUV that was both environmentally friendly and pedestrian crash friendly.

The mid-size hatch, which shares its platform architecture with the Kia C’eed, is codenamed FD and first aired as the Arnejs concept at last year’s Paris motor show.

The car is due to go on sale in Europe in June and although Hyundai Australia spokesman could not talk about specifications, he confirmed the car would go on sale here late this year.

With the launch of FD, Hyundai will also introduce a new alphanumerical naming strategy for all its products going forward.

In the past, product names have been chosen to express the values inherent in, or associated with, each model.

1 center image Left: Arnejs concept.

However, Hyundai now wants to take a more holistic approach to its vehicle nomenclature.

The new nomenclature will display a clearer technology-orientation and be closely linked to Hyundai’s brand promise of "quality, self-assurance, and inspiring", according to the company.

Although few details are known of the new Elantra, it clearly takes its design cues from some of the modern Euro hatches like the VW Golf and Holden Astra.

Hyundai is said to be aiming to position the Elantra above the C’eed with a more upmarket dashboard with better-quality plastics. Equipment levels are likely to be slightly more generous.

In Europe, the Elantra is expected to be powered by a range of 1.4-litre, 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines and 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre turbo-diesels.

Apart from a hatch, Hyundai is also expected to offer a wagon version next year.

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