The Hyundai Elantra has gotten more buzz recently than it ever has, and the reason is its upcoming Sport trim level. Unlike so many other models where “Sport” is just a name tossed on the rear end, Hyundai actually made this model mechanically superior to the other three trims: SE, Eco, and Limited.
The first major change is to the powertrain. Here, Hyundai installed its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that cranks out “more than” horsepower. This gives the Elantra Sport at least 53 more horsepower and 58 extra pound-feet of torque relative to the 2.0-liter-powered Elantra. Pairing with this potent four-banger is a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed dual-clutch transmission.
As we all know, power isn’t everything. Hyundai also tweaked the suspension a bit by installing a multi-link independent suspension in the rear to help keep the rubber planted to the tarmac in the corners.
Visually, the Sport trim differs from the rest of the 2017 Elantra lineup with its new, blacked-out grille with “turbo” logo, updated front apron with new faux air inlets on the outer edges, rocker extensions, a new rear bumper, and a rear diffuser. Inside, the Sport trim gets sport seats with contrast stitching and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Until we see how the market shakes out in 2017, specifically the Honda Civic Si, it is hard to tell just how successful this model will be.
Hyundai expects to have the 2017 Elantra Sport in showrooms by the fourth quarter of 2016, so stay tuned for additional details.