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Hyundai Elantra SR turbo headed to Aus

Turbo boost: The just-launched Elantra (left) will get a sporty lift in the shape of the yet-to-be-revealed SR turbo later this year.

Sportier Hyundai Elantra gets the green light, arriving in the second half

26 Feb 2016

HYUNDAI will inject some spice into its sixth-generation Elantra small car range later this year, with the arrival of a turbocharged SR version locked in for Australia.

Touching down in the second half of 2016, the Elantra will mark the fourth SR variant in the Hyundai range, following the Veloster Turbo with which it shares an engine, and the warmed-over naturally aspirated i30 and Accent SR.

Powering the Elantra SR will be the 150kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder GDi turbocharged petrol engine that is also found under the bonnet of the blown Veloster and Kia's recently departed Pro_cee'd GT, matched with a six-speed manual gearbox or optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but it will almost certainly come at a premium over the just-launched range-topping Elite that is priced at $26,490 plus on-roads, and will become the flagship now that the Premium spec has been dropped for the sixth-gen model.

It could line-up in price against the Veloster SR Turbo which ranges from $29,990 to $32,490, depending on the transmission choice.

Hyundai has not released images of the sporty Elantra, but announced that it will get a full bodykit with larger alloy wheels than the regular variants. The base Active has 16-inch hoops while the Elite uses 17-inch alloys.

The SR will also feature coloured interior highlights, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and sport seats and although precise specification is a while off, Hyundai said the SR could include more advanced safety technology that the Active and Elite miss out on.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) assistant manager product planning Jonathan Lam said that the SR would have an independent rear suspension and a bespoke sports suspension tune “to deliver a truly engaging driving experience”.

“The significant cosmetic changes ensure that the Elantra SR will look as fast as it goes,” he said at the media launch of the Elantra in Tasmania.

HMCA senior product planning manager Andrew Tuitahi said younger families are the target market with the Elantra SR.

“It is a mixture,” he told GoAuto. “Some of those middle families are still quite young and they see a lot of flexibility with the boot. It is easier to put a pram into the boot of a sedan rather than hatch.

“There is probably opportunity there to appeal to mums and dads who would like something a little sporty. I think the SR could play that role.” Mt Tuitahi said there were not many sporty small sedans on the market in Australia, adding that something like the Elantra SR could appeal to a younger buyer.

“The conventional Elantra 2.0-litre MPi sedan would appeal strongly to the market that we see now. That slightly sporty market appealing to younger buyers is probably a segment that doesn’t exist too strongly.

“We have got SRi-V in the Cruze and SP25 in the Mazda3 sedan but the sales mix is still quite strong towards the hatch. We are hoping the 1.6 (SR) turbo might do a good job of that.”

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