Hyundai targets Civic, Forte buyers with Elantra coupe
Photo credit: HYUNDAI
- 2012 European Automakers: Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Volkswagen
- 2012 Chrysler-Fiat Future Product
- 2012 Japanese Automakers: Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Suzuki
- 2012 Ford Product Plans
- 2012 Korean and Chinese Automakers Future Product
- 2012 European Automakers: Aston Martin, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Mini, Rolls-Royce, Smart, Volvo
- 2012 Japanese Automakers Product Plans: Acura, Honda, Lexus, Scion, Toyota
- 2012 GM Product Plans
Hyundai is extending its Elantra line with a sporty coupe variant and a practical five-door hatch. The cars are being revealed on Wednesday at the Chicago auto show.
The Elantra two-door will fight coupes such as the Honda Civic and the Kia Forte Koup and promises 40 mpg on the highway from a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Hyundai is packaging slinky styling and a roomy interior in hopes of capturing young buyers, a common theme for automakers at recent auto shows.
Though it will be hawked as a fun-to-drive option, the front-wheel-drive Elantra coupe will be marketed to a slightly different audience than the more enthusiast-oriented, rear-drive Genesis Coupe.
Hyundai is also adding a five-door model, the GT, to replace the Elantra Touring model and fight the Ford Focus, the Mazda 3 and the Volkswagen Golf. The five-door offers the same powertrain choices as the coupe and gets 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. The compact hatch is shorter than the coupe.
The Elantra GT also has up to 51 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the rear with the seats folded down. A version of the car, the i30, was revealed for other markets last year in Europe.
Hyundai is banking on incremental products such as the Elantra GT and Coupe to drive the brand's sales gains in 2012.
High demand is taxing Hyundai's factories, making it unlikely dealers will see increased availability of high-volume products like the Sonata and Elantra.
Photo credit: HYUNDAI
The launch of new, smaller-volume vehicles like the new Elantra variants, the redesigned Azera, Santa Fe, and the Veloster Turbo due out later this year, are expected to drive Hyundai's gains in 2012.
The Elantra coupe will produce as much as 148 hp and 131-lb-ft of torque. It will get up to 29 mpg in the city with the manual and 40 mpg in highway driving. Fuel economy is 28/39 mpg city/highway with the automatic.
The base version checks in at a reasonably lithe 2,687 pounds. The styling continues Hyundai's fluidic sculpture theme with a flowing beltline, prominent headlights and slightly flared wheels.
The coupe and GT continue the momentum started by their sedan sibling, which won North American Car of the Year honors in January.
"It has really surpassed our expectations," Hyundai Motor America CEO John Krafcik said.
Ryan Beene contributed to this report