Not only have Hyundai and Kia been busy making their lineups more complete, reliable, and desirable, but they have also been working on introducing higher-performance models, like the Genesis Coupe and Genesis R-Spec . One model that some of us have been wondering if Hyundai would ever give the high-performance treatment to is the Elantra GT , which is known as the i30 in other markets.
Well, the Elantra GT may not be getting the high-performance nod, but it looks as if it is in the cards for its i30 brother, as reports are emerging that Hyundai will release a high-performance i30 dubbed the RS i30 at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. We anticipate this new model to feature the same 200-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine found in the Veloster Turbo and compete with the likes of the Volkswagen GTI and Renault Megane RS .
From the reports, we expect to see a slightly lower body, more aggressive styling, sport seats with contrasting stitching, and sporty accents throughout the interior. We will also likely see improvements to the braking system, like larger diameter rotors, to help bring this more powerful 5-door hatch to a stop.
Given the slow-for-a-performance-hatchback 6.9-second sprint to 60 mph that the Veloster Turbo gives us, don’t expect the significantly heavier i30 to be anything more than a 7.3- to 7.5-second car to 60 mph. The only way the RS i30 will impress us is if Hyundai completely revises the 1.6-liter engine to pump out more ponies and dip its 0-to-60 number to under 7 seconds, but we don’t see that happening.
There is no information on whether the i30 will actually make it to production nor if its drivetrain will make it into the Elantra GT. We’ll keep an eye out for more leaks to come down the wire.