2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Preview
- Based on Europe’s Hyundai i30 model
- 5-door hatchback with up to 55.1 cu. ft. of cargo space
- GT and turbocharged GT Sport trim levels
- Larger, more powerful, with improved ride and handling
- Impressive roster of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance systems
- Next-generation infotainment system with Alexa-enhanced Blue Link subscription services
- On sale in summer of 2017
IntroductionA new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is on the way, arriving in the U.S. during the summer of 2017. Completely redesigned and based, as it was before, on the Hyundai i30 hatch sold in Europe, the new car is available in GT and GT Sport trim levels.
Exterior FeaturesLower, wider, and longer than the car it replaces, the 2018 Elantra GT was styled in Europe and boasts a coefficient of drag measuring 0.30 cd. The standard GT sits on 17-in. aluminum wheels, while the GT Sport is equipped with 18-in. aluminum wheels.
Vertical LED running lights are standard, tucked into a deeply sculpted fascia decorated with a bold, textured grille. There is plenty of visual weight over the Elantra GT’s front wheels, but Hyundai deftly masks overhang by pulling the headlights back into the fenders and by carving out large orifices in which the running lights reside.
Tiny quarter windows and a thick rear roof pillar emphasize the car’s decided leaning forward, but this imparts aggressiveness rather than imbalance. Swollen haunches and deep side sculpturing add a sense of substance, while around back the tidy and expressive styling lifts cues from the Tucson crossover SUV.
Interior FeaturesHyundai says the new 2018 Elantra GT is so big inside that it expects the EPA to officially classify it as a large car. As a 5-door hatchback, it is designed to carry plenty of cargo, too. Hyundai claims there is almost 25 cu. ft. of space behind the rear seat, and 55.1 cu. ft. of space with the rear seat folded down.
Optional FeaturesFront-seat occupants face a sculptural dashboard with instrumentation and primary controls located in logical places. The car’s new infotainment system sits prominently atop the dashboard, mounted in “floating” fashion above the center air vents where it is easy to see and use.Among the optional features that Hyundai has announced, the new Elantra GT is offered with dual-zone automatic climate control, LED headlights, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, and an Infinity premium sound system with Clari-Fi music-restoration technology.
Under the HoodChoose the standard Elantra GT for a 162-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a 6-speed automatic transmission optional.
The Elantra GT Sport has a turbocharged, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine making 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque, the latter spread across a wider portion of the rev range for more thrilling acceleration. The GT Sport comes with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic manual transmission.
More than half of the new Elantra GT’s vehicle architecture is composed of high-strength steel. Stronger, stiffer, and lighter, this new structure boasts a 22% increase in rigidity, Hyundai says, which helps to improve safety, ride, and handling.
To maximize the benefits associated with the new structure, Hyundai says it ran hundreds of laps on Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschleife to engineer and tune the ride, handling, and durability of the mechanical components. As a result, the company claims that the suspension delivers a “taut yet comfortable ride quality, with handling that minimizes body roll while maximizing impact absorption.”
Upgrade to the Elantra GT Sport in order to swap the standard torsion-beam rear suspension for a more sophisticated multi-link arrangement. The GT Sport also comes with larger front and rear brakes, as well as standard 18-in. aluminum wheels.
SafetyHyundai is providing a long list of driver-assistance and collision-avoidance technologies for the new 2018 Elantra GT.
Available systems include adaptive cruise control with full stop and start capability, forward-collision warning system with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights, and an Attention Assist system designed to recognize when a driver might be drowsy.
TechnologyAdditionally, Hyundai’s Blue Link subscription service technology provides an automatic collision-notification system and SOS emergency calling system, along with safe teen driving settings related to vehicle speed, curfew time, and geographic boundary limits.The new Elantra GT is equipped with a standard next-generation infotainment system with an 8-in. touch-screen display flanked by primary menu buttons and radio knobs.
This new system is claimed to be more responsive to inputs. Additionally, traffic and incident data no longer requires a subscription, the navigation system benefits from a new bird’s-eye viewing angle, and radio station presets are combined across AM, FM, and satellite channels. Smartphone projection is standard, too, providing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. Wireless smartphone charging is an option.
Remote engine start is a paid Blue Link feature, and is popular during the winter, according to Hyundai. For 2018, this upgrade is enhanced to activate the rear window defroster and the heated side mirrors.
Blue Link also boasts a new “skill for Amazon Alexa.” This integration allows an Elantra GT owner to ask an Amazon Echo or Dot to activate the car’s remote starting function. For example, the owner might say: “Alexa, tell Blue Link to start my car at 80 degrees.” Alexa will ask for the Blue Link PIN, and once that’s provided, the car will start.
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