CHICAGO -- Hyundai plans a fresh assault on the hot-hatch market early this summer with two variants of the redesigned fourth-generation Elantra GT hatchback.
The compact five-door, new from the wheels up, debuted at the Chicago Auto Show and is a dead ringer for the Hyundai i30, which was shown last year at the Paris auto show and is to launch in Europe this spring.
The 2018 Elantra GT comes with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder rated at 162 hp, while the GT Sport gets an optional 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder rated at 201 hp. The GT will be available with six-speed automatic or six-speed manual; the GT Sport gets the six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters.
The 2017 Elantra GT offers just one powertrain, a 173-hp, 2.0-liter nonturbo four-cylinder combined with a six-speed transmission.
Scott Margason, Hyundai's director of product planning, said the Elantra GT's 55.1 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down gives the car crossoverlike utility.
"Many buyers are looking for utility in their vehicles. CUVs are great, but there's another option. Compact hatchbacks offer the utility of a CUV, but with sedanlike driving characteristics," he said.
In addition to the powertrain upgrades, Hyundai has made a suite of electronic safety features optional, including lane-keeping assist and emergency brake assist. BlueLink, a connectivity feature, adds some new twists for the brand. For instance, a driver can control the rear defroster and mirror heaters remotely. Those features will find their way to other Hyundai vehicles, said Michael Evanoff, a Hyundai product planning manager.
Margason said Elantra GT prices would be announced closer to launch. The 2017 car started at $18,800 with a manual transmission and $19,800 with an automatic; both prices include shipping.