One year after debuting the next-generation Elantra sedan, Hyundai unwraps the hatchback variant of its compact car today at the 2017 Chicago auto show.

Like the sedan, the Elantra hatch, officially known as the Elantra GT and on sale this summer, is wider and longer than its predecessor. It also is heavily influenced by Hyundai’s European-market i30 hatch on which it is based. With the ’18 Elantra GT, the automaker promises European style and driving dynamics akin to the i30’s.

Hyundai adds a new trim level to the GT’s lineup, the GT Sport, which ups the car’s power and handling and makes it “a true hot hatch,” says Scott Margason, director-product planning for Hyundai Motor America.

While the standard Elantra GT carries over the previous generation’s 162-hp 2.0L gasoline direct-injected 4-cyl., buyers of the Elantra GT Sport get Hyundai’s 1.6L turbocharged DI four from the ’17 Elantra sedan’s Sport grade. The engine makes 201 hp and 195 lb.-ft. (264 Nm) of torque in the 5-door and can be paired to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT.

Hyundai credits the hatch’s “taut yet comfortable” ride and handling to the car’s stronger, stiffer structure. The new Elantra GT has 53% advanced high-strength steel, almost double its predecessor, plus 367 ft. (112 m) of structural adhesive. The Elantra GT Sport further ups the handling quotient thanks to its independent multilink suspension, which replaces the base GT’s torsion beam rear setup. The GT Sport also has larger front and rear brake rotors and larger wheels. In photos, the GT Sport’s interior is shown with red accents, including stitching and piping, on largely black surfaces.

Cargo volume is said to have grown to 25 cu.-ft. (0.7 cu.-m), up from 23 cu.-ft. (0.7 cu.-m) in the ’17 Elantra GT. With rear seats folded down, Hyundai says the hatch’s cargo volume is 55.1 cu.-ft. (1.6 cu.-m), 4.6%-25.5% more than that of select competitors, including the Volkswagen Golf, Chevy Cruze, Mazda3, Honda Civic 5-door and Ford Focus.

The new ’17 Subaru Impreza hatch exceeds the Elantra GT’s seat-down volume, however.

All ’18 Elantra GTs come standard with LED daytime running lights and an 8-in. (20-cm) display audio screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Available features include dual-zone climate control, leather seats and wireless smartphone charging.

For those cars equipped with Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics service, the automaker has added the ability to turn the Elantra GT’s rear defroster and heated side mirrors with the service’s remote-start app. Also, those with a Blue Link account linked to an Amazon Alexa-enabled device can ask Alexa to start their car and set a specific interior temperature.

The enhancements made to the app will migrate to other Hyundai models.

Also likely to proliferate throughout Hyundai’s U.S. lineup is the Elantra GT’s next-generation infotainment system, which has an upgraded processor, a new bird’s-eye map view and the ability to combine presets for AM, FM and SiriusXM on a single screen.

With the launch of the ’18 GT, Hyundai hopes at least 15% of all Elantras sold in a calendar year will be hatches. That matches Honda’s targeted hatch mix of 15% for the new Civic 5-door, but is below Subaru’s target of a 60% mix for the Impreza hatch.

In 2016, Hyundai sold 208,319 Elantras in the U.S., a decrease of 13.8% from 2015, WardsAuto data shows.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com