Since the current 40 mpg Elantra Sedan has been on sale in North America for a little over a year. Hyundai has decide that this year’s Chicago Auto Show would be the ideal setting to breathe some new life into the name plate, which they have with the introduction of the 2013 Elantra Coupe and the 2013 Elantra GT.
We couldn’t agree more with the timing of the launch as over the past 4-5 months the Elantra has begun to take a back seat to other name plates from Hyundai most the Accent and the Veloster. Both of those cars are smaller than the Elantra however they do share the same fuel efficient engine and power trains allowing them to also achieve 40 mpg or 5.8 L/100km. Curiously neither of the two new models are able to achieve these numbers falling one mpg short with their highway efficiency rated at 39 mpg and 6 L/100km.
Let’s start with the similarities of the two new Elantra Models, Both the Coupe and GT will feature the 1.8-liter inline 4 cylinder, continuously variable valve timing, dual over head cam, 16 valve engine (try saying that 3 times fast) that output 148 hp and 131 lb-ft of torque. The engine power is delivered to the front wheels through either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic transmission, and will accelerate the car from a standstill to 100 km/h in 9 seconds flat. The Coupe and GT will also use the same braking, steering and suspension systems that are found in the sedan. They will also have the same cabin layout as the sedan and will include most of the Elantra’s class leading extra add-ons that are included in the base price and in the case of the GT will include some new feature like a chilled glove box.
After taking a step back and comparing the two new models with the present sedan model we find that most of their components are shared which will help Hyundai keep the manufacturing cost down and almost ensures that these models will be competitively priced in the segment. As of yet no pricing figures have been officially been announced which is not surprising at a new car launch and we would believe that the same trim levels will carry over from the sedan.
We have to believe Hyundai has produced the Coupe model to appeal to younger buys who are looking for a car that unlike the Veloster can easily accommodate 4 people with ease. They also are able to once again take aim at their Japanese rivals who would be the Honda Civic and Scion tC who have seen lower than expected sales in the segment due to lower fuel numbers and uninspired design. As this Korean vs. Japanese rivalry heats up we can help but hope that the Elantra will also develop a model to compete with the Civic Si and we could see the new turbo 1.6-liter engine, which will debut in the 2013 Veloster, under the hood of this top of the line Elantra.
On the other side of the Elantra scale we find the new practical and family friendly GT, who is set to target a completely different type car buyer. The GT offers significantly more passenger and cargo capacity than those it stacks up next to like the Volkswagen Golf, Mazda 3 and Toyota Matrix. Space behind the rear seat is a substantial 23 cu-ft, with a total of 51 cu-ft when you fold the seats flat. We don’t particularly care for the car new front fascia as it just looks off and the tall roof line back to the hatch back door could be a little more angular for our liking. Maybe these are features that people with young families are looking for but I know that I would subject my wife and two small children who are both under the age of 5 to have to look at this beast in our garage day after day. I care for them too much to subject them to that kind of cruel and unusual punishment.
Exterior styling aside we understand who these cars have been designed for and we think that Hyundai’s wave of brand excitement and positive press will only continue with the introduction of the 2013 Elantra Coupe and the 2013 Elantra GT. We are looking forward to seeing these to car in person however seriously doubt that they will be at the Toronto International Auto Show which is set to open its doors to the public on the 17th of February . Who knows though as Hyundai has really been upping their game lately and they may make our Toronto show by appearing with these two new Elantra models