The next-generation Hyundai Elantra has been spotted in Malaysia, being evaluated by the Road Transport Department (JPJ). These shots were taken on the MEX highway and Lebuhraya Sultan Iskandar in KL by reader Aaron Ong. We can take it to mean that the sixth-gen Elantra is coming soon (by Q2 is our guess) to replace the long-serving MD.
There’s more to it, though. These shots are of the Elantra Sport, which can be identified by the ‘Sport’ badge and the more aggressive rear bumper. The Elantra Sport (Avante Sport in South Korea) backs up its name and racy looks with a more potent engine – a 1.6 litre Gamma T-GDi turbocharged engine that puts out 204 hp and 265 Nm in its home market.
There, the blown motor is paired to either a six speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, but the DCT will be the only one that makes it here.
The introduction of an Elantra Turbo is interesting but not completely unexpected, as Hyundai-Sime Darby Motors has previously confirmed that a Tucson powered by the same 1.6 T-GDi engine is coming soon (along with a diesel option). The Veloster, launched here in April 2015, uses a variation of this powertrain with 186 PS and 265 Nm.
However, it’s highly unlikely that the blown motor will be the only engine option for Malaysia – expect a naturally aspirated 2.0 MPi Nu engine Elantra with a six-speed torque converter automatic and a standard (non-Sport) package as well.
If so, the Elantra AD is set to join the Honda Civic FC in offering C-segment buyers a choice of NA or turbo engines, with the latter positioned as the range topper. Performance benefits aside, T-GDi + DCT would make this Korean entry a rather unique proposition in the segment. What do you think?
GALLERY: Hyundai Avante Sport, Korean market
GALLERY: Hyundai Elantra Sport, US market