The South Korean market often gives us a preview of what’s coming soon from Hyundai and Kia in the US, usually with only the model name differing. That’s what we thought when we saw the new Avante Sport being shown there, and Hyundai Motor America spokesman Jim Trainor confirms that it’s basically what we should expect from the upcoming Elantra Sport. Hyundai previously confirmed the quicker sedan will arrive in the US by the end of the year.
The Avante Sport uses the Veloster Turbo’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, making the same 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque as it does in the funky hatch-coupe. Expect a choice between a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and a six-speed manual to go with it. The sporty compact upgrades to a multi-link rear suspension, replacing the standard Elantra/Avante torsion-beam setup. South Korean customers can choose an optional Extreme package that includes upgraded stabilizer bars, different springs and shocks, and a rear spoiler. We’re hoping the suspension upgrades will be standard on the Elantra Sport.
Hyundai made some subtle visual tweaks to signal the Sport model’s extra performance. Lower side sills, larger openings in the front fascia, and a rear diffuser with dual exhaust tips poking out get the speedy message across. Inside, the front seats get larger bolsters and there’s a unique flat-bottom steering wheel. Carbon-fiber-esque trim completes the sporty look.
Currently, the only Elantra available in the US uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder running on the Atkinson cycle that makes 147 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. An Eco trim will join the lineup this spring with a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder and seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. With the Sport, Hyundai will have a family of models to appeal to a large portion of buyers in the segment.