Just-announced, all-new version of Hyundai’s best-seller in Singapore packs lots of features from the German luxury playbook
– New Third-Gen Platform
– No confirmed drivetrain details yet, hybrid model available internationally
– ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language, four-door coupe styling
– Interior with dual 10.25-inch display screens
– Wireless smartphone integration, advanced voice recognition
– Active safety features as standard
Hollywood, USA –
Hyundai has just taken the covers off the new seventh-gen Hyundai Elantra.
There’s currently no confirmed information on when the car will arrive in Singapore – where it’s known as the Avante – nor what engines or model variants we can expect.
With the COVID situation making things very touch-n-go, the new Avante could be here in late 2020 or early 2021 by our reckoning, although South Korea has not shut down production unlike Europe and the USA.
But there is a considerable amount we do know thanks to Hyundai’s detailed release, and it’s clear the new car steals a lot of features from German luxury cars.
The photos show the official production model for the USA, which given Hyundai’s track record means that the version Singapore gets will look almost identical. Unlike Japanese carmakers up until recently, Hyundai and Kia’s cars are almost always global models.
The looks are eye-catching to say the least. Hyundai says this is the second iteration of a new design language – Sensuous Sportiness – after the new Sonata (above). The latter isn’t sold in Singapore due to the East Asian large sedan market totally cratering in recent times.
The design theme is Parametric Dynamics, which summarised means a lot of angles and three lines coming together to form a point – the most obvious being on the car’s flanks/ front doors. It’s a breath of fresh air and not just exciting, but also unique, so kudos to Hyundai’s design team (now headed by ex-VW Group Audi/Lamborghini designer Luc Donckerwolke since 2015).
The front grille has jewel-like design motifs and isn’t quite diamond-shaped anymore, but it does lend the front a very wide, dynamic appearance, though it’s the rear that takes the dramatic trophy here: It has a full-width light bar sitting in an angular recess, something the Audi A7 tried first with good results.
The new car is longer, lower, and wider and sits on the Third-Generation Compact-Sized K3 platform (Hyundai’s term), which means a lower centre of gravity, more strength, less weight, and the newest tech features.
As you can see from the chart below, the car’s grown considerably, but there’s more interior space as the wheelbase has grown and the overhangs have shrunk. Hyundai says it now has best-in-class rear legroom too, and boot space is 402-litres.
There are no confirmed details on the engine/transmission choices yet. In the US for the current Elantra, there is a 128hp 1.4-litre turbo inline four (similar to the one found in the Hyundai i30 locally) and a 147hp 2.0-litre non-turbo.
We can safely rule out the 2.0, since Elantra/Avante buyers here have never gone for large engines. In the US, there is also a 200hp 1.6-litre turbo Sport variant, which could possibly be offered there in N-Line trim. N is Hyundai’s performance brand – we tested its i30 N hot hatch last year and were very impressed by it.
We’d guess that the local variants will be powered by the same 1.6-litre non-turbo the Avante has had for what seems like decades now, possibly with a six-speed auto.
Much more likely for Singapore is the newly-announced hybrid variant. It has the same drivetrain as the current Ioniq Hybrid – which is already sold here, one barrier down – which means a 1.6-litre Atkinson cycle engine with a 32kW motor and a 1.32kWh lithium ion battery under the rear seats.
US power output is 139hp, but as we’ve seen in the latest Ioniq Hybrid, we could have a Category A COE eligible one with 129hp. Hyundai says the Elantra Hybrid will do at least 50mpg (4.7L/100km)
Inside, another thing the Avante has nabbed from luxury cars is the glass cockpit. The new car has dual 10.25-inch screens both under one piece of glass – just like a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or E-Class. This is optional, as is wireless charging, and a premium Bose sound system.
The standard infotainment is an 8.0-inch touchscreen system. As usual, no confirmation on which one Singapore is getting or at what price. Just like the current model, and the Kia Cerato, the infotainment can play nice with your Apple or Android smartphone, but it goes one step further with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – currently in Singapore, as far as we know, only Audi offers wireless smartphone integration for Apple phones.
Hyundai also says the new Elantra has advanced voice recognition thanks to ‘Speech-to-Meaning and Deep Meaning Understanding technologies’ can understand people better. It also says that using your voice you can control the air conditioning in very discrete steps – temperature, fan speed, AC on off, direction).
Active safety systems will be standard in the USA, and there’s no reason not to expect the same for Singapore, especially since the Toyota Corolla Altis has pushed the envelope forward here. The systems include Forward Collision Avoidance Assist (autonomous front braking), lane keeping and lane following, high beam assist, and driver attention monitoring. Advanced features like adaptive cruise control will be optional.