By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com / Photos Hyundai Motor America
Hyundai Motor America debuts the allnew 2018 Elantra GT, the Elantra GT adds a more aggressive stance, interior volume to its clean European style and driving dynamics. Elantra GT is based on the newgeneration i30 model designed for European market.
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 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.
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 with the rear seats folded, the GT offers massive amounts of space for cargo.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The new Elantra GT brings more to the North American shores for the 2018 model year, a 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.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $24,350.00 for the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport, the one I drove included the Sport Tech Package, $3,850.00 (Panoramic Sunroof, 8-inch AM/FM/HD/Navigation System, Blue Link Connect Services 3-years standard, Blue Link Remote Start, Blue Link Multimedia Map , Ventilated Front Seats, Infinity Premium Audio, Wireless Charging Pad, Smart Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, High Bean Assist, Driver Attention Assist, Auto-dimming Rearview Mirror with Blue Link & Power Driver’s Seat with Lumbar Adjust), and Carpeted Floor Mats $125.00, and it came at $29,210.00 including inland freight and handling $885.00. The EPA fuel economy estimates 26 MPG City and 32 MPG Highway with the 1.6L Turbo GDI 4 Cylinder engine and the Seven-speed Dual-Clutch transmission with Paddle Shifters.