While the striking exterior and interior design of the new Elantra is the first attraction, it is the driving experience, engine and drivetrain refinement and the significantly improved road handling due to better steering response and suspension settings that complete this excellent new automotive package from Hyundai.
The two new engines under the sleek and aerodynamic bonnet of the Elantra are quieter, smoother and more refined. It tells the story of the enormous strides that Hyundai is making in powertrain engineering.
The new Elantra comes with a choice of two all-new and remarkably advanced engines and transmissions that deliver more power, but consumes less fuel and produce fewer emissions than the powertrains they replace.
The all-new 1.8 Nu MPI engine
The all-new 1.8-liter Nu Multipoint Fuel-Injected (MPI) four-cylinder engine is capable of up to 110 kW at 6 500 r/min. while producing 178 Nm peak torque at 4 700 r/min. when pushed to the limit.
The Nu engine was developed to replace the 2 litre Beta used in the previous Elantra. The Nu engine is smaller in size – it weighs 33,6 kg less and helps achieve an overall improvement of 18% in highway fuel economy compared with its predecessor.
The Nu engine has an aluminium block with a cast iron cylinder liner, cylinder head and crank. This unique configuration results in a block that is 30% lighter than an iron block – shedding 33,6 kg off the entire engine weight – while still providing comparable strength.
The 1,8 litre Nu also offers Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (D-CVVT) camshafts and hydraulic engine mounts for optimum power, efficiency and refinement. Using D-CVVT on both camshafts has several advantages when compared with using CVVT just on the intake camshaft.
Those include a 2% improvement in performance (increased volumetric efficiency), 2% improvement in fuel economy (reduced pumping loss) and a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions.
In the valve train, roller swing arms and Hydraulic Lash Adjusters (HLA) reduce valve driven friction to improve fuel economy by 1% compared with direct valve driving. The Nu engine also features a maintenance-free silent timing chain system to enhance durability and to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
A plastic two-stage Variable Induction System (VIS) enables switching between long and short intake manifolds, resulting in increased performance across the board. These innovations result in a 4% improvement in performance, a 15% reduction in cost and 30% reduction in weight, when compared with aluminium.
Another tool Hyundai engineers have incorporated into the new Elantra is an electronic throttle control. This throttle control replaces the conventional cable and mechanical linkage found in the previous generation Elantra with fast-responding electronics. This system accurately controls air intake and engine torque, improving drivability, response and fuel economy.
Hyundai’s first application of a dual pipe heat exchanger in the air-conditioning system is another innovation in the new Elantra. Double-pipe heat exchanging improves cabin cooling, while minimizing the capacity of the compressor that in turn reduces fuel consumption. An external controlled variable compressor, as opposed to an internal variable compressor, is also used to improve fuel efficiency.
The Nu four-cylinder engine also has an offset crankshaft design that reduces friction between the piston and cylinder wall for a 1% improvement in fuel economy.
The Gamma 1.6 MPI D-CVVT engine
Lightweight thanks to its all-aluminium structure, the upgraded 1,6 litre Gamma MPI four-cylinder engine is equipped with D-CVVT to boost power output of 96 kW at 6 300 r/min. and allow lower exhaust emissions while delivering class-leading fuel economy. Peak torque delivery is 157 Nm at 4 850 r/min.
The Gamma has a Mechanical Lash Adjuster (MLA) that improves fuel efficiency and overall rigidity while its lower inertial mass helps reduce friction and noisy valve clatter. The intake/exhaust manifold system improves engine performance with the application of a novel structural design, reducing chronic problems and enhancing durability.
Hyundai’s commitment to making the Elantra highly fuel-efficient continues with a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control or a standard six-speed manual transmission.
Developed and manufactured entirely in-house, the all-new six-speed automatic transmission is the world’s first to be designed for engine applications in small mid-sized passenger cars.
The new automatic transmission consists of three planet gears, two clutches and three brakes, which makes it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed auto transmission on the market today. Hyundai is one of only three global car manufacturers with its own unique six-speed automatic transmission layout.
|Average fuel consumption of Elantra engines|
|1.8 Nu MPI||1.6 Gamma MPI D-CVVT|
|6-speed manual||6-speed auto||6-speed manual|
|6,5 litres/100 km(15,4 km/litre)||7,1 litres/100 km(14,1 km/litre)||6,1 litres/100 km(16,4 km/litre)|
Ride & handling
The suspension and steering components of the Elantra has been upgraded significantly and they are anchored to a chassis of outstanding rigidity and strength that permits more precise tuning of the final ride and handling settings.
The Motor Drive Power Steering (MDPS) has been chosen to eliminate the use of hydraulics of a conventional power steering system. One of the benefits is that the steering can deliver varying degrees of power assistance and adapt itself to driving situations, such as city driving and parking in tight spots, or faster driving through sweeping curves on the open road where accurate feedback from the wheels to the steering wheel is critical. The other benefit of the MDPS is that it helps save fuel.
Levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) have also been lowered substantially on the new Elantra, inter alia by more sound-deadening foam in key body cavities that counters resonance of sound waves, increased stiffness of the dashboard panel and optimizing the tuning of the size and angle of the bushes in the suspension linkages.
The Elantra employs a MacPherson strut front suspension with a six-point reinforcement of the cross member that improves rigidity and handling characteristics. The coupled torsion beam axle rear suspension is simple in design and functioning, but light in weight and effective to deliver a smooth, comfortable ride and excellent stability. The diameters of the bushes of the rear suspension have been enlarged by 6 mm to improve handling and lower NVH.
A more refined ride with a well-weighted and accurate steering response, linked with outstanding suspension articulation and road compliancy forms part of the modern premium package of the new Elantra – a car that is set to become a benchmark in its segment.