It looks snazzy, and it even comes with a hot performance option

Sure, crossovers are still the hot-ticket body style, but if you’re looking for practicality in a more car-like package, the tried-and-true compact hatchback formula isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Case in point – the hugely updated new Elantra from Hyundai. It’s called the Elantra GT, and it was just introduced for the 2018 model year at the Chicago Auto Show. Essentially an Americanized version of the i30 Euro hatch, the Elantra GT will be offered in two trim levels, including the base model, and the hot-to-trot GT Sport. Both get refined styling cues, tons of cabin space for people and things, and a solid lineup of tech features, while the faster GT Sport throws in bigger wheels, independent rear suspension, and 200 horses under the hood.

Outside, you’ll find a body that’s now longer and wider than before, and it sits closer to the ground. LEDs were used for the daytime running lights, while additional LEDs can be had for the high beams and low beams.

Moving inside, the Elantra GT offers nearly 25 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear bench, while up to five passengers get 96.5 cubic feet of passenger room. There’s a standard 8.0-inch display screen, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. There’s also Amazon Alexa integration for remote start and heating features.

Options include dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charger, leather upholstery, and alloy pedals. Safety and convenience tech incudes available adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and lane keep assist.

Under the skin, Hyundai used additional high-strength steel, making the new Elantra GT 22 percent more rigid and 60 pounds lighter. There are two engine options, both four-cylinders, starting with a 2.0-liter producing 162 horsepower, or alternatively, a turbo 1.6-liter making 201 horsepower. It should also handle decently, given Hyundai developed the car’s suspension at the Nurburgring.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT will go on sale this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date, but we expect it to slot in under the $20,000 mark.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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As the vast majority of makes out there rush to stuff even more entries into the bloated crossover segment, it’s nice to see Hyundai break from the pack with this fresh hatch. Hyundai in general has been doing pretty well for itself lately – sales are up, and it’s now doing the whole premium brand thing with the mid-size Genesis luxury sedan.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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Now, with the Elantra GT Sport, driving enthusiasts should also have a reason to smile.

Now, with the Elantra GT Sport, driving enthusiasts should also have a reason to smile. While the base model Elantra GT mates a 2.0-liter with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, the more interesting option is the Elantra GT Sport, which routes 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 1.6-liter through either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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The Sport model enhances the Elantra’s capability in the bends as well, replacing the base model’s rear torsion beam suspension with an independent multilink set-up. Complementing the new suspension are 18-inch alloy wheels (the base model gets 17-inchers), plus larger front and rear brakes.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Drivetrain
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Throw in the extra tech stuff in the cabin, and it’s a nice bit of kit, especially if it’s competitively priced. Should the Golf GTI start sweating? Maybe.

Drivetrain Specifications

Hyundai Elantra GT Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
Engine 2.0-liter four-cylinder 1.-liter Turbo four-cylinder
Horsepower 162 HP @ 6,200 RPM 201 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 150lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM 195 LB-FT @ 1,500-4,500 RPM
Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
Curb Weight 2,901-2,989 Lbs 3,014-3,102 Lbs

Press Release

Hyundai Motor America debuts the all-new 2018 Elantra GT at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show. Lower, wider, and longer, the all-new Elantra GT adds a more aggressive stance and interior volume to its clean European style and driving dynamics. When the new hatchback arrives this summer, shoppers can choose between two models, the efficient, smooth running GT, or the more powerful and fun-to-drive GT Sport. Elantra GT is based on the new-generation i30 model designed for the European market.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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“The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year,” said Scott Margason, director, product planning, Hyundai Motor America. “More space and features inside. More aggression and European flair outside. And more options under the hood. I’m particularly excited to showcase the GT Sport, a true hot hatch.”

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2018 ELANTRA GT

Lower, wider, more aggressive stance
European styling
Nearly 25 cubic feet of behind rear seat storage
Standard vertical LED daytime running lights
Standard eight-inch display audio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration
Available dual-zone climate control
Available high and low beam LED headlights
Available wireless smartphone charging
Amazon Alexa Blue Link remote starting
Blue Link heated features

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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STRONG STRUCTURE AND STRIKING FIGURE
With clean proportions, flowing character lines, and an attention grabbing new cascading grille design, the new GT imbues class and sophistication. It’s posture; lower, wider, and longer; shows the GT means business. The GT lands where European style meets American can-do attitude and ability. And it’s not merely skin deep, over half the structure (53-percent) comprises of advanced high-strength steel, nearly double the outgoing generation. And it’s bonded together with just over 367 feet of structural adhesive. This combines to make the Elantra GT, stiffer, stronger, and lighter. It’s 22-percent more rigid than the last GT to be specific. And the body-in-white weighs 61 pounds less. That combines with a slippery 0.30 coefficient of drag making the GT feel solid, efficient and smooth.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Interior
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CAPACIOUS CABIN
While the outside dimensions effectively match that of most compact hatchbacks, clever ergonomics and packaging make room inside for five and so much more. In fact, with 96.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and nearly 25 cubic feet of cargo volume, we expect the EPA to classify the Elantra GT as a large car, rarified territory for this class. And with the rear seats folded, the GT offers massive amounts of space for cargo.

GREAT POWERTRAIN OPTIONS
For 2018, choose between two inline-four-cylinder engines in the Elantra GT. The efficient yet robust, direct injection 2.0-liter makes an estimated 162 peak horsepower. It mates to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. Opt for the GT Sport and get the 1.6-liter turbo engine found in the Elantra Sport and enjoy an estimated 201 peak horsepower along with a broad band torque peak of 195 pound feet. The six-speed manual is available here too, or an athletic, seven-speed dual-clutch gear box.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Drivetrain
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RIDE AND HANDLING
Taking advantage of the stiff and strong new structure, Hyundai tested and developed the Elantra GT on the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany. Running hundreds of laps, the engineers tested for ride, handling, and durability. This resulted in a suspension tune that feels taut yet comfortable, minimizing unwanted body roll yet maximizing wheel impact absorption. Opt for the GT Sport and the rear torsion beam suspension is switched for a fully-independent multilink setup, standard 18” alloy wheels and larger front and rear brake rotors for even more fun when the going gets twisty. All-in-all, whether it’s a spirited drive through a canyon road, or carrying your mountain bike to the trailhead up the canyon, the Elantra GT is ready.

ILLUSTRIOUS INSIDES
Aside from great available appointments inside the Elantra GT, like leather seats, alloy pedals, and dual-zone climate control, Hyundai added several new items to keep you comfortable and safe. The Elantra GT is available with conveniences like Infinity Premium Audio with Clari-Fi™, Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™, and wireless smartphone charging. That’s on top of great standard features such as 8-inch display audio and 17-inch alloy wheels. For safety, the GT is available with several systems usually found in expensive luxury vehicles, such as Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Attention Assist, High-Beam Assist, and Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert.

Vastly improved structure, Nürburgring refined driving-dynamics, and top-notch features in the new Elantra GT redefine what it means to be a “compact” hatchback.

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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ENHANCED HYUNDAI BLUE LINK REMOTE START AND THE BLUE LINK® SKILL FOR AMAZON ALEXA
Hyundai Blue Link customers have performed more than 25 million remote starts since its debut in 2011. Although remote start is a great feature for hot weather, most take place in cold climates during January, February and March. In fact, Blue Link Remote Start with Climate Control is three times more popular in the winter. With this in mind, Hyundai engineers have enhanced the Remote Start with Climate Control feature to include control of the rear defroster and heated side mirrors into the Blue Link mobile app. These new enhancements debut with the launch of the 2018 Elantra GT and will be available on other models in the future.

For the ultimate level of convenience when it comes to remote starting a car on a bitterly cold winter morning, Hyundai has its new Blue Link skill for Amazon Alexa. The skill works by a customer simply asking an Alexa-enabled device, like an Amazon Echo or Dot, to start their car. The interaction actually sounds like this “Alexa, tell Blue Link to start my car at 80 degrees.” To send commands to Hyundai vehicles via Alexa, users must enable the Blue Link skill in their Alexa app available on: iOS, Android and Fire devices; and then link their existing Blue Link account within the Alexa app. Voice commands will only be sent to Hyundai vehicles after Alexa prompts owners for their Blue Link Personal Identification Number (PIN).

Hyundai Brings i30 From Across The Pond, Calls It Elantra GT High Resolution Exterior
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NEXT GENERATION INFOTAINMENT: AUDIO/VIDEO/NAVIGATION (AVN) 5.0 WITH HD TRAFFIC
The 2018 Elantra GT also debuts Hyundai next generation AVN 5.0 infotainment system. This system features an upgraded processor for greater responsiveness, as well as an eight-inch screen vs. the seven-inch screen in last generation Elantra GT. Using presets with AVN 5.0 is a snap because AM, FM and SiriusXM channels are now combined on one screen. A bird’s eye view has also been added to Navigation maps and drivers can now get traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription via HD Radio.

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