Hyundai has just peeled back the covers off their latest-generation Elantra or i30 Sedan as it’s known in other markets. When it hits dealerships, it will be competing against the likes Toyota’s Corolla, Honda’s Civic and Mazda’s 3, which should make things interesting.
Right off the bat, in terms of looks, this new Elantra is light years ahead in terms of design. It looks thoroughly modern and fresh and is the first of its family to adopt the bold “Parametric Dynamics” design language. You can see this from the wide cascading grille and sharp headlight design.
From the side, the Elantra’s rear quarter does hint at being a four-door coupe as is the trend these days with saloon cars. The bit in the middle, however, caught this writer’s eye.
“The fresh aesthetic was completed through unconventional lines and a face that broke a taboo in automotive design. The i30 Sedan is highlighted by its stance that looks like geometric crystals and divided body surfaces to get a strong emotional response from the customers” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer, Hyundai Motor Group.
The rear-end has a coupe-esque design which goes along the mildly-slopping roofline. Further, it sports the wide H-Tail Lamp, which the company says looks like a Hyundai flying H logo and spans the width of the rear end. The back bumper is littered with sharp, angular lines which gives it a rather masculine demeanour.
The interior on the other hand isn’t as polarising as the exterior. The cockpit looks like it does take a cue or two from its luxury division, Genesis. For example, the four-spoke steering wheel and climate control vents which stretches the width of the dashboard is reminiscent of the recently revealed second-generation Genesis G80, sans the luxury and minimalism.
Note-worthy in the interior of i30/ Elantra is the 10.25-inch displays which make up the main display and instrument cluster. However, reports indicate that the display might be optional. It is possible that in standard guise, the i30 will receive analogue instrument gauges and an 8.0-inch main display.
In terms of performance, the North American launch model was debuted with a choice of petrol and hybrid powertrains. The petrol engine offered is a 2.0L MPI Atkinson-cycle mill that generates 109kW of power at 6,200 rpm and 179Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. The engine is mated to what the brand calls an IVT or CVT as it's more commonly known to the rest of us. However, the Korean marque says they’ve put much effort into making the transmission as linear as possible, while trying to replicate the drive of a torque converter box.
The electrified option on the roster combines a 1.6-litre GDI Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with a permanent-magnet electric motor that’s capable of delivering a total system output of 103kW and 264Nm of torque. The 32kW electric motor is fed by a 1.32kWh lithium-ion-polymer battery pack. The hybrid powertrain is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
We look forward to seeing what specifications will be equipped on this rather handsome motor when it lands on our shores. The i30/ Elantra is slated to arrive in Australia sometime in the second half of 2020.