Hyundai will market coupe as part of Elantra family
LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Hyundai, after adding the Elantra Coupe this month, will market the Elantra sedan, coupe and GT hatchback as a family of vehicles.
The GT also goes on sale this month as a replacement for the Elantra Touring wagon.
"As you saw us do with Sonata where we had a family spot that included the Sonata, Sonata Turbo and Sonata hybrid, it's going to be pretty similar with Elantra," said John Krafcik, CEO of Hyundai Motor America, at a press event here.
In January, the Elantra sedan was named 2012 North American Car of the Year by a panel of journalists at the Detroit auto show. Advertising for the three versions will feature the award, Krafcik said.
The Elantra Coupe will compete with the Honda Civic coupe and Kia Forte Koup for younger buyers looking for a sporty small car.
The coupe's platform, 1.8-liter engine and six-speed automatic and manual transmissions were borrowed from the sedan. For a sportier ride, Hyundai stiffened the coupe by swapping out the sedan's torsion beam suspension for a V-beam rear suspension with a stabilizer bar. The coupe's steering was made more responsive.
Hyundai expects the European driving dynamics of the Elantra GT to appeal to young couples.
The GT originally was developed for Europe, where it's sold as the i30. In the United States, the GT will compete with the Mazda3, Ford Focus and Toyota Matrix five-door hatchbacks.
The GT's platform and powertrain are shared with the Elantra sedan, but the hatchback's wheelbase is two inches shorter. Like the coupe, the GT uses a V-beam rear suspension with a stabilizer bar.
The GT's electric power steering system lets drivers choose between normal, sport and comfort steering modes.
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