Hyundai recently unveiled the seventh-generation Elantra sedan. The all-new Honda Civic rival gains a hybrid powertrain for the first time and will go on sale in international markets like South Korea and the USA by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The new Hyundai Elantra is still a long time away from an India launch and is unlikely to go on sale before mid-2021. Till then, let’s see what can be expected from Hyundai’s new-generation midsize sedan.
It will look striking
The new Elantra carries Hyundai’s latest ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language, but with a twist. Labelled 'Parametric Dynamics’, the main element of this styling theme is the convergence of three surface lines at a single point; this is most evident on the new Elantra’s doors.
Up front, the Elantra’s LED headlights merge into the large, cascading grille to form a single unit, while prominent creases on the bonnet lend the sedan a decidedly aggressive look. The silhouette is no longer of a conventional three-box sedan but more akin to a four-door coupé, with the roof gently flowing into the tail section. At the rear, the new Elantra gets T-shaped LED tail lights linked by an LED light bar that runs across the boot lid. When lit up at night, this rear-light arrangement forms the 'flying H logo'.
It will be roomier than before
The 2021 Elantra is based on Hyundai’s new K3 platform, which the carmaker claims brings in weight savings vis-a-vis the outgoing model. When compared to the model currently on sale in India, the new car is 56mm longer, 51mm lower and 26mm wider, with a 20mm increase in wheelbase.
The increase in length and width should translate into more interior space for all passengers. Also, Hyundai claims that despite the drop in height, the new Elantra has the same amount of headroom as the outgoing model, while offering more leg- and shoulder-room for rear-seat passengers.
It will have a feature-rich interior
The new Elantra’s interior will get a completely new dashboard design and a four-spoke steering wheel, as seen on the new Hyundai Creta. Top-spec Elantras will feature twin 10.25-inch screens – one for the instrument cluster and one for the infotainment system – merged into a single unit. As seen on the upcoming new-gen i20, the Elantra will feature slim AC vents too, spanning the width of the dash.
In terms of equipment, expect the new India-spec Elantra to be loaded to the gills with features. Key among these will be Hyundai's Blue Link connected-car technology, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, an electric sunroof, ventilated seats, 64-colour ambient lighting, a 'Digital Key' smartphone app (to unlock and start the car) and wireless smartphone charging. Apart from airbags, ABS and ESC, standard safety kit for India could also include a driver attention warning system and forward collision avoidance assist.
There might be some interesting engines
For this seventh generation Hyundai has decided to carry forward the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from its predecessor. However, this engine is now paired with a CVT-automatic gearbox instead of the older torque converter unit.
For India, Hyundai could offer a 1.5-litre diesel engine as an option, if there’s sufficient demand for it. The new Elantra is also likely to be offered with the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine from the new Creta SUV. This version could be badged as the sporty ‘Turbo’ variant, as seen on newer Hyundai models like the Grand i10 Nios, Aura, Venue, Verna and Creta.
Internationally, Hyundai will also offer a hybrid powertrain with the new Elantra – a first for the model. This powertrain pairs a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol engine with a 32kW electric motor (powered by a 1.32kWh lithium-ion battery) for a combined output of 139hp and 264Nm of torque, and is mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. However, it remains to be seen if this powertrain makes it to India.
By the time the new Elantra makes it to our market, the next-gen Skoda Octavia would be on sale and there is the possibility MG would bring in the RC6 sedan too. The Elantra's traditional rival, the Honda Civic will be on sale too.
The Hyundai Elantra was already a compelling package in the midsize sedan segment. This new seventh-gen model promises to be a few rungs up on the desirability quotient.