NEW YORK - Hyundai Motor America stages the unveiling today of its all-new Elantra compact car at the New York auto show.

The ’07 Elantra is the final model to debut under Hyundai’s plan to launch seven new vehicles in 24 months, which began with the Tucson small cross/utility vehicle in fall 2004.

“With Hyundai’s assertive new design direction, the all-new Elantra delivers more interior space than an Acura TL and a level of ride and handling refinement that’s both agile and comfortable,” John Krafcik, vice president-product development and strategic planning, says.

The Elantra comes standard with six airbags, antilock brakes and front-seat active head restraints, the auto maker says.

Hyundai says the car’s styling is similar to the aerodynamic theme found on the new ’07 Santa Fe CUV, calling it “assertive, refined and confident.”

The Elantra has a chrome-tipped grille and projector-type headlights, while its sides are clean, with body-color door handles and mirrors, the auto maker says.

The model has increased in size, growing 2.2 ins. (5.6 cm) taller and 2 ins. (5.1 cm) wider, leading to a midsize classification by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Elantra now has 112.1 cu.-ft. (3.2 cu.-m) of interior volume, 3% more than the outgoing model and more space than the ’06 Honda Civic, ’06 Toyota Corolla and ’06 Acura TL, Hyundai says. Trunk space is 14.2 cu.-ft. (0.4 cu.-m), 18% larger than the Civic and 5% more than the Corolla.

Hyundai says the Elantra has a “more agile driving feeling than key competitors,” employing a rack-and-pinion power steering system that is motor-driven and detects engine speed.

The new Elantra will go on sale in the U.S. this fall.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com