Who says the Elantra can’t look good with the right mods?

SEMA is creeping up on us almost as fast as winter, and manufacturers are starting to preview some pretty awesome concepts ahead of their official debut. Today we’re here to talk about the Hyundai Road Racer Elantra Concept that was put together through a partnership between Hyundai and ARK. The Elantra is far from anything that resembles a tuner car, but ARK has somehow managed to turn this little family hauling sedan into a decent looking tuner. Of course, it wasn’t easy, but ARK added things like a custom turbo kit, new downpipe and exhaust system, full coil-over suspension, a wide body kit, a nice set of wheels, and a full vinyl wrap, among other things, to create the wildest looking Elantra that you’ll probably ever see.

Kevin Bentley, the developer of the ARK Elantra Concept, said, “ARK Performance knows the Hyundai brand almost as well as our own. We strive to leverage the superb product development of Hyundai engineers, building upon their expertise while offering something really special to enthusiasts. The ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept offers the specific model enhancements that our customers have come to expect from ARK.”

Hyundai’s aren’t exactly known to be something enthusiasts look for at car shows or underground meets. Has ARK proven that even a car like the Hyundai Elantra is worthy of at least a little street credit? Let’s take a closer look and find out for ourselves.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Road Racer Elantra Concept By ARK.

Exterior

Despite the fact that this is the wildest looking Elantra any of us will ever lay eyes on, there isn’t really a whole lot that went into making the exterior look as cool as it does. ARK took the time to add on a Solus wide-body kit that includes sides skirts, two-piece wide fender flares, and a new fascia in the front and rear. While there is a lot going on up front, you can still make out the Elantra DNA; it has just been mutated a bit. The grille, or the area where a grille would be, actually takes the shape of a stock grille that was turned upside down. In other words, the upper outside edges are long while the lower outside edges are short – the exact opposite of Hyundai’s original design. A large center louver crosses the grille area at its midpoint but, outside of that, there is no mesh to speak of. The overall look of the front fascia takes on a look that is similar to the stock model, including the layout of the original body lines and those vertically mounted LED fog lights. The extra width of the bumper allows for a large air intake on each corner. There is also an APR performance front splitter to help add a little downforce up front. The hood takes on the same shape, but now has a large, split vent in the center.

2016 Hyundai Road Racer Elantra Concept By ARK Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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2017 Hyundai Elantra
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The overall look of the front fascia takes on a look that is similar to the stock model, including the layout of the original body lines and those vertically mounted LED fog lights.

The side profile of the ARK Elantra isn’t quite as intimidating as the front, but it has its strong focal points. To start off, there are those two-piece fender flares that meet up with the fascias and the side skirts. They give the Elantra a sportier look, but also serve the purpose of making things even. See, without those fender flares, the wheels would stick out from the sides of the vehicle by a couple of inches, making the car look excessively awkward. The only thing I don’t like about them is the fact that they are two pieces as opposed to one single piece. This leaves a seam right in the middle that keeps catching my eye and sets my OCD into turbo mode. It would also look a lot cleaner if the panels were blended with the rest of the car, giving everything a flush, finished look.

For now, Hyundai has only released the one rendering, so we don’t get to see what the rear looks like. It does roll on a nice set of lightweight forged wheels, and the finish is actually a full vinyl wrap, so there’s that. So, this is the sportiest and most aggressive looking Elantra ever, and believe it or not, it probably wouldn’t be that difficult to make your 2017 model look similar. Chances are, however, that body kit will probably have to be custom made, and that could get pretty expensive by the time everything is said and done.

Interior

2016 Hyundai Road Racer Elantra Concept By ARK High Resolution Interior
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Considering this concept was designed to draw attention at this year’s SEMA show, it should come as no surprise that Hyundai and ARK have kept the interior a pretty big secret. We do know that the interior has “custom diamond-stitched interior” and a custom sport steering wheel by ARK. Outside of that Hyundai and ARK have remained mute on the situation. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect too much more than what has already been mentioned here. I suspect ARK has probably done just about every fabric surface inside with new material and diamond stitching. There could be a new infotainment display with custom software or something like that. Otherwise, the cabin will probably be quite similar to the cabin in the standard Elantra. Hopefully, ARK at least added in some ambient mood lighting.

Drivetrain

Lately, we’ve seen a lot of lazy concepts that are either nothing more than a stock model with some cladding and custom paint schemes or a model that all look and no go. Well, ARK didn’t do that with this Elantra (thankfully, I might add.) To start off, the cars gets a new ARK DT-P coil-over system that effectively lowers the body of the car by what looks like two inches or so. The front and rear got performance sway bars and links to help limit body roll. The front axles get an ARK “big brake kit,” whatever that means, while there is also a front tower bar that will pretty much eliminate any body twist that gets past those new sway bars. Those forged lightweight wheels are wrapped in Nitto NT05 summer tires.

2016 Hyundai Road Racer Elantra Concept By ARK High Resolution Drivetrain
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Pop the hood, and you’ll find a custom-made ARK turbo kit with a Xcargot XT26 turbocharger to go with an ARK down pipe that is mated to a Grip full exhaust system.

ARK didn’t stop there, though. Pop the hood, and you’ll find a custom-made ARK turbo kit with a Xcargot XT26 turbocharger to go with an ARK down pipe that is mated to a Grip full exhaust system. Rounding the drivetrain package off is a Turbosmart blow-off valve and wastegate so that will make this the first Elantra ever to whistle in between shifts. Neither ARK or Hyundai has released any performance information as of yet, so we really have no idea what this Elantra is pushing. But, a correctly set up turbocharger can boost engine output by up to 50 percent or so, and with the stock Elantra pushing 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque, this Elantra could be pushing as much as 260 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque.
Xcargot’s homepage wasn’t very helpful either, only stating that the turbo can be used on 1.6-liter to 2.5-liter engines with 200 to 300 horsepower. It is a single scroll unit. Hopefully, we’ll see more information in this department once the car makes its debut.

Conclusion

One could sit here all day and ponder why Hyundai and ARK went so far as to rice out and modify the Elantra of all vehicles. The way I look at it, it’s a way to show that even a car as family oriented and somewhat mundane as the Elantra can actually be modified enough to find itself a nice comfortable home in the “cool” category. At the end of the day, however, the Elantra will never be able to compete with other tuners out there – at least not without a lot of work, anyway. Considering the range-topping model tops out at 147 horsepower, even a pair of turbos and some minor engine modification will only push the Elantra to maybe 300 ponies on a good day. Not that it’s horrible, but I’ve seen more than a few modified Honda Civics and Volkswagen Golfs with 500 horsepower or more. For a Hyundai, this model is pretty damn cool. But, as far as potential goes, I’m still not signing off on it. But, who knows? Maybe the ARK Elantra will really impress when the sheet officially comes off in a couple of weeks. Until then, we’ll just have to hold our breath and hope for the best.

  • Leave it
    • * Still underpowered for a real tuner
    • * Most parts are custom made
    • * Would be expensive to recreate on a road-going model

Press Release

Images of the XT 26 Turbocharger and the Dyno sheet courtesy of Xcargot

Hyundai Motor America and ARK Performance have partnered again for the SEMA show, creating the ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept. The ARK Elantra Concept takes the practical yet sporty lines of the Elantra sedan and infuses it with an alternate persona, with integrated flares, bulging forged racing wheels and custom new front and rear fascia designs for an aggressive yet fully-integrated appearance.

“ARK Performance knows the Hyundai brand almost as well as our own,” said Kevin Bentley, developer of the ARK Elantra Concept. “We strive to leverage the superb product development of Hyundai engineers, building upon their expertise while offering something really special to enthusiasts. The ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept offers the specific model enhancements that our customers have come to expect from ARK.”

Key modifications to the ARK Road Racer Elantra Concept include:

Powertrain

Custom ARK turbo kit using Xcargot XT26 turbocharger
ARK downpipe and GRiP exhaust system
Turbosmart blow-off valve and wastegate

Suspension

ARK DT-P coil-over system
ARK front strut tower bar
ARK front and rear performance anti-roll bars
ARK front big brake kit
Nitto Tire NT05 summer tires

Exterior

ARK Solus wide body kit
ARK lightweight forged wheels
Fiere Customs full vinyl wrap
APR Performance front splitter

Interior

Custom diamond-stitched interior
Custom sport steering wheel by ARK

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Press release
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