The all-new Elantra – Hyundai’s medium luxury sedan that has arrived in South Africa with its exciting and eye-catching “fluidic sculpture” styling and with driving dynamics to match – is set to ruffle more than a few feathers in its market segment.
It is the sedan that is more than well-equipped to elevate the Hyundai brand to the Next Level: To compete as a modern premium vehicle that offers luxury, quality and an exciting motoring package at an accessible price.
The “fluidic sculpture” design language that has first been adopted by Hyundai for the very popular ix35 SUV and the attractive Sonata sedan, has now been applied to the Elantra – one of the Korean car manufacturer’s bread-and-butter models. The new Elantra has already played an important role in the United States to increase Hyundai’s ranking in the JD Power APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) study from the 28th position in 2010 to the 15th spot in the 2011 results.
The fifth generation Elantra is making its entry into the medium luxury segment after worldwide sales of six million of its predecessors since the first launch of this model in 1990.
The styling, power output, fuel-efficiency, comfort and safety features of the fifth generation Elantra have all been upgraded. Projecting a sportier and even more progressive image than its predecessor, this all-new compact sedan will continue its successful tradition of offering class-leading performance and fuel efficiency, thanks to its advanced technology and powertrain.
Hyundai began developing the new Elantra in 2008 under the codename MD. The project took 33 months and about $277 million based on today’s currency exchange rates to go from concept to customer.
‘Wind Craft’ design language
Having its roots in Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy that aims to reflect sophistication and dynamic lines into the shape of vehicles, Hyundai applied a specific design concept called “Wind Craft” to the new Elantra, evoking a piece of sculpture literally crafted from by wind.
By lowering the roofline, creating muscular wheel arches and adding sharply creased character lines that flow from the A-pillar along the hood and into the front bumper, Hyundai Motor’s Elantra design team gave the compact sedan a powerful and assertive stance. The distinctive hexagonal grille clearly establishes the new Elantra’s identity as a Hyundai family member. Swept-back headlamps complete the elegant exterior.
The refined look continues inside. In particular, the silver garnish that starts from the crash pad and leads to the console features a windblown shape that exudes an overall refined and dynamic image. High-gloss black and metallic colours used in the cabin add a futuristic, high-tech look to the interior of the new Elantra.
With its lower roofline and low rear deck lid, the new Elantra produces a slicker and sportier profile with a drag coefficient (Cd) of just 0,28, reducing wind resistance and improving fuel economy.
A kicked-up trunk lid and carefully sculpted rear lamps allow smoother airflow. A centre floor deflector and flush surfaces on the bottom of the car minimize air turbulence, as well.
The Elantra rides on a 2 700 mm wheelbase, which is 50 mm longer than the previous model. Its overall length of 4 530 mm exceeds its predecessor by 25 mm, but the 1 775 mm track width is the same as before.
The height has been lowered by 35mm to 1 445 mm, but without affecting headroom. Interior cabin space has been enlarged by 18 litres.
The new Elantra enters the compact luxury segment in South Africa with a choice of two remarkably advanced petrol engines: The all-new Nu 1,8 litre MPI D-CVVT and the upgraded Gamma 1,6 litre MPI D-CVVT.
Both are mated to a six-speed manual transmission – and in the 1.8 Nu engine’s case also to an automatic six-speed – which deliver impressive more power while consuming less fuel and producing lower emissions than the powertrains they replace. The two new engines used in the Elantra are:
An all-new 1.8 Nu MPI D-CVVT engine: The all-new 1.8-liter Nu Multipoint Fuel Injected (MPI) four-cylinder engine delivers 110 kW maximum power at 6 500 r/min. and peak torque of 178 Nm at 4 700 r/min. when pushed to the limit.
The Nu engine, which replaces the 2,0 litre Beta engine used in the previous Elantra, is smaller in size, it weighs 33,6 kg less and it helps achieve an 18% improvement in highway fuel economy compared to its predecessor.
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. (Read more about the engine in a separate press release).
The improved Gamma 1.6 MPI D-CVVT engine: The all-aluminium body structure of the 1,6 litre Gamma MPI four-cylinder engine makes this a light-weight unit equipped with D-CVVT to boost power output to a maximum of 96 kW at 6 300 r/min. and peak torque of 157 Nm at 4 850 r/min. (Read more about the new Gamma 1,6 litre engine in a separate media release.)
The Gamma features 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 to mid-sized passenger cars. The new transmission consists of three planet gears, two clutches and three brakes, making it smaller, more compact and lighter than any other six-speed auto transmissions 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
Driver’s convenience and safety
The new Elantra will delight and surprise with a raft of advanced features not found on other compacts. They include safety escort headlamps that remain turned on for 30 seconds after the driver leaves the car, an auto defogging system, and rear parking assistance sensors on the 1.8 GLS versions.
Further, the new Elantra strengthens its safety features. It features a six-airbag system that includes curtain airbags in the 1.8 GLS derivatives, ultra-high tensile steel used to reinforce safety-critical areas of the car’s body structure such as a stronger centre member underneath the dashboard, added protection for the driver’s knees in case of an accident and hot-stamping technology used to maximise body rigidity of the side structures. Overall a 37% increase in body stiffness has been achieved.
The Hyundai Motor Company launched the new Elantra in Korea in 2010, selling nearly
77 000 units in its first year. The new compact sedan has been launched in several overseas markets in 2011, and Hyundai expects to sell 400 000 units annually in overseas markets from 2012.