expands its ’13 Elantra compact-car lineup, debuting 2-door and 5-door models today at the 2012 Chicago auto show.
Both are powered by the all-aluminum 1.8L in-line 4-cyl. engine featured in the Elantra sedan, on sale since last year in the U.S. where it ranked second among’s best-selling models. Each Elantra variant has a different demographic target, with the new coupe aimed squarely at young women. The 5-door ’13 Elantra GT – Hyundai has dropped the “Touring” badge attached to the previous 5-door model – is seen appealing largely to men.
Hyundai claims the Elantra 2-door has more interior volume than either the ’12Civic coupe or sister-brand Kia’s Forte Koup. The auto maker also estimates it tops the Civic in maximum horsepower, 148 to 140.
The Koup, with 156 hp from its 2.0L I-4, tops both. However, its specific output of 78.0 hp/L underperforms the Elantra’s 82.2 hp/L.
As with the Elantra sedan, Hyundai says the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimated highway fuel-economy rating is 40 mpg (5.9 L/100 km), when equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The coupe boasts a MacPherson strut front suspension and rear torsion-beam suspension, as does the sedan, but Hyundai recalibrated torsion-beam rigidity, damper tuning and steering-knuckle design for sportier handling.
The coupe’s SE trim gets a suspension that is optimized for its 17-in. low-profile tires.
The car’s seats have more bolstering than those in the sedan, to afford greater comfort in aggressive driving situations.
All Elantra coupes come standard with heated seats.
The SE cars also feature aluminum pedals as well as optional touchscreen navigation and a 360-watt audio system with an external amplifier.
Hyundai offers the Elantra coupe in three colors unique to the model: Monaco White, Black Noir Pearl and Volcanic Red.
The auto maker touts the Elantra GT as the lightest of the U.S.-market hatchback set that includes the Mazda3,Focus and Golf. With a 6-speed automatic transmission, it weighs 2,784 lbs. (1,263 kg), 150-222 lbs. (68-101 kg) less than those competitors, the auto maker claims.
Hyundai credits high-strength steel for the advantage. Some 36% of the Elantra GT is made up of high-tensile steel, with 21% being ultra-high-tensile strength. The Elantra GT’s body also is 37% stiffer than that of the outgoing Elantra Touring.
Compared with the sedan and coupe, the new Elantra 5-door, based on Hyundai’s i30 European-market hatchback, sees a dip in maximum fuel economy. Its rating of 39 mpg (6.0 L/100 km) is tied with the ’12 Mazda3 as tops in the segment.
The car’s 82.2 hp/L specific output also is No.1, but its 148-hp maximum is well below the top-rated Golf’s 170 hp, which the VW achieves with a 2.5L I-4.
The Elantra GT’s cargo volume is higher than that of the most competitors, including in addition to theJuke cross/utility vehicle, Hyundai says.
Higher rear spring rates, a stiffer twist beam and Sachs dampers on the GT’s suspension afford driving dynamics that are both sporty and comfortable, the auto maker adds.
New to the Elantra GT is driver-selectable steering, which adjusts on-center buildup feel and power-assistance levels via three modes: comfort (city driving), normal (mixed driving) and sport (highway/curved road driving), Hyundai says.
The GT has standard heated front seats, a cooled glove box and an available rear-view camera, which Hyundai says is hidden behind the car’s rear-hatch badge “and only appears when needed.”
Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system is standard on the GT, as is an Elantra-first driver’s-side knee airbag.
The ’13 Elantra coupe is due at U.S. Hyundai dealers this spring, while the GT arrives this summer.
Dealers delivered 186,361 sold Elantras in 2011, compared with 225,961 Sonata midsize cars, according to WardsAuto data.