Hyundai set out to make its Elantra hotter, and it’s happy to report that the sedan’s output now tops 200 horsepower in newly unveiled Sport form.
The 2017 Elantra Sport brings a third engine choice to the model lineupÂ â€” a turbocharged 1.6-liter direct-injection four-cylinder making “more than” 200 horsepower and 190 pounds-feet of torque, according to the automaker.
The same turbo engine makes 201 hp and 195 lb-ft in the Veloster Turbo, so don’t be surprised to see those numbers match when the full specifications list is released.
Hyundai touts the Sport model’s independent multi-link rear suspension, which is supposed to give the meaner Elantra better driving dynamics. All 2017 models benefit from newly stiffened architecture, but the Sport adds the power and driving engagement the SE, Limited and Eco lack.
Transmission choices are a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. The regular slushbox doesn’t make an appearance.
Exterior design changes include a blacked-out grille and a redesigned front bumper with LED foglights now aligned horizontally. In the rear, the lower bumper is molded more aggressively and twin tailpipes make an appearance on the starboard side. Red stitching and a flat-bottomed steering wheel add sporty visual indicators to the interior.
Hyundai hasn’t released pricing, but it should undercut the upper trims of its competitors, assuming value is still a goal of the Korean automaker.
With the Sport, Hyundai sheds some of its “sensible compact car” image, though it will have competition when it goes on sale in the third quarter of this year. The 2017 Honda Civic Si is expected to pack a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that will surely beat the Elantra Sport’s power rating by a significant margin.[Images: Hyundai Motor America]