Hyundai today released teaser images of its European-market 2017 i30 hatchback ahead of an official September reveal, giving us our first look at what we can expect from the next North American five-door Elantra GT.
The current Elantra GT is a near carbon copy of the outgoing i30, whose engineering favoured European tastes for tauter ride and handling characteristics, traits that set the car apart from the ho-hum Elantra sedan at the GT’s 2013 introduction. Since then, the Elantra sedan (new for 2017) has been endowed with a more satisfying driving feel, so we have high hopes the new i30 will bring a little more European flavour to Hyundai’s lineup.
Hyundai’s photos show a variation on the Elantra sedan’s front end, with a similar six-sided grille and vertical LED daytime running lights. Out back, the new i30 looks lower and wider, with bodywork and taillights that bring to mind the Volkswagen GTI, and take the Hyundai badge out of that detail photo of the front end and there’s even a passing resemblance to the Infiniti QX30 compact. We’d bet Hyundai would be just fine with both of those comparisons.
According to Hyundai Canada’s Chad Heard, “… not everything you’ll hear about the all-new i30 between now and the Paris Motor Show will be applicable, (but) it does give you an indication of what to expect when the formal announcement regarding the North American market Elantra GT happens at a later date.”
One question that remains is whether a high-performance N variant will make it to North America. This turbocharged hot hatch has been confirmed for Europe, but not yet here. We see its addition in Canada and the U.S. as an easy win with the turbocharged 1.6L turbo mill found in other Hyundai and Kia models and a six-speed stick. This also seems like a logical possibility given Hyundai has green-lighted an Elantra Sport sedan, which will use that powertrain when it arrives here next year.
The new i30 is slated for a global reveal on September 7, about a month before it will also appear at the Paris auto show.
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