Over the past few years, Hyundai has been working hastily behind the scenes in preparation for launching its new sub-brand performance, N. The division’s first offer, dubbed the i30 N, has finally launched this fall in Europe. Unfortunately, this is not for US – Americans have to wait until next year to get their first taste of N. Until then, Hyundai Elantra GT8 2018 seen here might just be the next best thing.
New to the 2018 model year, the Hyundai Elantra GT joins the emerging compact hatchback segment and is given an alternative crossover navigation that is more fun to drive. To support it, Hyundai has created a standard six-speed manual gearbox for all models and adds Elantra GT Sport, a variant that is above the Elantra GT standard with a turbocharged engine and a unique suspension setup. Like most Hyundais, the Elantra GT is packed with many tech features to keep you connected on the road.
The development of the Elantra GT took place mainly in Europe under the supervision of Albert Biermann, head of vehicle testing and development of high performance at Hyundai and formerly the boss of the BMW M division. Both models had a body built of 53 percent steel, nearly twice that of 27 car outgoing. There are also 367 feet of structural adhesive used throughout the car, which along with the use of hot stamping that extends throughout the body, has improved the stiffness of his body. Compared to the standard GT Elantra, the GT Sport gets a completely independent suspension around it with a multilink setup at the rear instead of the base torque beam of the car. Front and rear springs each rose 12 percent and 22 percent, while silencers and steering systems have also retreated for sporty driving. There is also a 15mm stabilizer bar in GT Sport to help improve handling.
Like the Elantra GT hatchback coming out, this new model is basically identical to the Hyundai i30 European market. That means it’s not a hatchback version of Elantra’s U.S. sedan market, and instead it’s driving a different architecture; The connection is similar to VW Golf and Jetta. The Elantra GT steering wheel is two inches shorter than the Elantra sedan, for example, which puts Hyundai right in between the Golf and Civic grip.
Hyundai invited reporters to San Diego, California, to drive the 201ant GT Elantra and GT Sport where we took him to the winding roads, freeways, and city streets. For the first half of the route, we rode the Elantra GT base with 2.0-liter I-4 162 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque paired with six-speed automatic and made it surprising. Automatic six-speed shift smoothly and hold the gears longer in Sport mode; However, there is no paddle shifter so you have to shift manually through the shifter gear. The handling is surprisingly agile with a minimal body roll even when pushed hard despite the rear torque suspension of the beam on the base car. There is more compliance to the standard Elantra GT because it drives 17-inch alloy wheels with more side walls, providing slightly better ride comfort than GT Sport. The steering is well-weighted and precise, but lags a bit behind the Honda Civic and Mazda3 in terms of feedback and nuance.
In the second half of the drive, we jumped into a manual transmission that features the Elantra GT Sport and feels comfortable to drive. The shifter was smooth and easy to work on, but the throw was a bit long. The clutch has an easy-to-find engagement point. The optional automatic seven-speed automatic dual-clutch, which we sampled after lunch, is a nice, smooth, responsive unit regardless of whether you let it onto its own device or manually shifts through a paddle shifter. With low speed, dual-clutch gearbox feels smoother and do not trip over as many eco-tuned units found in other Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The 2016-hp 1.6-liter turbo-four presents plenty of torque with 195 lb-ft available from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm, making it easier to pass slower traffic, climb the class, or accelerate the speed of the highway, thanks to its wide torque. curved.
Even without a limited slip differential, the Elantra GT Sport puts its power down well, making it easy to go quickly. The steering is more precise and direct compared to the standard car, thanks to a more aggressive song. More sporty suspension calibration with multilink setup to revive the Elantra GT Sport handling with superior body control and stability through corners with minimal impact on ride comfort. The move to GT Sport adds standard 18 inch alloy wheels wrapped in tires throughout the high performance 225/40 / R18 seasons and large 12-inch and 11.2-inch rear brake rotors for the front and rear.
The 2018 cabin Elantra GT is a great place to sit with comfortable, supportive front seats, spacious rear seats with nearly flat floors, and excellent viewing distance, thanks to a more upright profile. Although the cabin is mostly quiet, can be noisy on the surface of less groomed, especially in GT Sport with low profile tires. There are also many storage cubbies for small items and a large payload area with 24.9 cubic feet behind the 60/40 folding back seat and underwater storage area. Fold the back seat down, and you have a cargo capacity of 55.1 cubic feet, which is one of the largest in this segment and a stunning 0.2 cubic foot with 55.3 cubic feet of Subaru Impreza. The quality of the material is excellent with a soft touch of plastic on the dashboard and the area where your arm will fall. There are some cheap plastics, but fortunately most are far from the touch point.
Like all modern Hyundais, the multimedia system is easy to use and does not require you to take the owner’s manual to find out what it does. The voice commands are easy to understand, and the new 8.0 inch touch screen quickly responds to your input. Other features available include panoramic sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, full LED lights, and Infinity premium audio system from Harman Industries. A full security suite includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane guarding and blind warning, all of which are part of Sport Tech’s GT Sport package.
The EPA fuel rating for the Elantra GT is slightly lower than the sedan, with a 2.0-liter I-4 base rated on the highway / road 24/32 mpg with automatic mpg and 23/31 with manual. Choose a 1.6 liter turbo-four with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and you get 26/32 mpg, which means the most powerful is also the most efficient. If you take the manual, however, this becomes the most inefficient model at 22/29 mpg.
Based on the same platform as the i30 N, the third generation Hyundai Elantra GT does not have the car’s red meat mechanic, but still has enough punches to entertain. Base Elantra GTs start at $ 19,350 (plus $ 885 bargains) and receive six naturally aspirated four-liter inline with 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. If you enjoy driving more than the average bear, however, you definitely want to splurge for the 1.6 liter Sportboat model seen here. The model not only $ 23,250 has more power – horse and 195 pound – feet – is available lower on the tachometer, with peak torque reaching 1,500 rpm.
Of course, the numbers are not complete enough with the recent compact sporting power, but enough juice to talk with the new Honda Civic Si, Nissan Sentra NISMO, and the GTI Volkswagen base. It’s also powerful enough to have fun.