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LA show: Hyundai Elantra shapes up

Hollywood starlet: Hyundai’s new-generation Elantra small sedan is set make its public debut at this year’s Los Angeles motor show.

Hyundai Elantra gets secret Australian shakedown ahead of Los Angeles show reveal

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Hyundai logo19 Aug 2015

By RON HAMMERTON

HERE’S a peek at Hyundai’s all-new sixth-generation Elantra small sedan that is expected to be publicly rolled out at the Los Angeles motor show in November ahead of its Australian showroom debut in the first half of 2016.

While this image is a mere rendering, GoAuto can reveal that at least one in-the-metal real thing, in the form of a pre-production Elantra test mule, is already secretly pounding roads outside Sydney as engineers perform chassis localisation tuning program for Australia.

The new platform under the Elantra is also expected to provide the basis for the car’s hatchback sibling, the i30, and probably, the next Kia Cerato, when they roll around for an update in a couple of years.

All these cars are expected to get a larger proportion of high-strength steel to cut weight while improving dynamics and safety.

So far, only this sketch and a short media release about the styling of the 2016 Elantra have been emitted from Hyundai headquarters in Seoul where the company claims the styling has received the thumbs up from potential customers in design clinics.

Hyundai Motor Company president and chief design officer Peter Schreyer said the design placed Elantra in a class of its own.

“The subtle and innovative appearance enhancements reflect Hyundai's vision for design,” he said. “Furthermore, this car indicates a move from traditional to modern styling by communicating the new model's comfort, fashion and sporty feel."The evolutionary design brings the Elantra into line with the latest family styling cues, including the now hexagonal grille, slim headlight clusters and strong side character lines seen on a number of the latest Hyundai sedan including the Sonata and Genesis.

One of the prime markets for Elantra is the United States where the model is up there with Sonata among Hyundai’s best sellers. However, the Elantra range in that market includes the five-door hatchback known in Australia as the i30.

Hyundai is yet to announce where the Elantra will make its public show debut, but the importance of Elantra in North America makes Los Angeles a logical choice.

In Australia, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) has confirmed the Elantra will go on sale here in 2016, most likely in the first half.

So far this year, HMCA has sold 4782 Elantras – down 6.4 per cent – compared with 18,551 i30s (up 2.3 per cent). Counted as one model, the Hyundai small car siblings have earned 23,333 sales – just behind the market-leading Toyota Corolla (25,323) and ahead of the former champ, the Mazda3 (23,252).

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