Here is an interesting bit of rumormill fodder that will get your brains churning a bit; Hyundai’s new Elantra Sport will be more than just a trim level with some performance lip service. According to a report from Left Lane News, the Sport badge may actually have some true performance behind it this time around.
If you really want to split hairs, the previous Elantra Sport did have a more potent 2.0-liter engine and a sport-tuned suspension, but it wasn’t anywhere near true performer. This new model, however, is rumored to actually do battle with the likes of the Civic Si and the Jetta GLI.
According to the report, the 2017 Elantra Sport could roll in with a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that piles up as many as 200 ponies under its hood. This engine will mate to a six-speed manual transmission as standard or an optional dual-clutch transmission.
Now, while this powertrain statistically aligns with the outgoing Civic Si, we all know that power numbers and actual performance are often two very different things. We also that Hyundai’s DCT is not the sportiest of the bunch, as the Korean automaker released it specifically for its fuel-sipping models. The transmission and any extra heft that this Sport trim carries around can take it from an Si competitor to a middle-of-the-road sedan in a hurry.
What’s more, the Civic Si is entering a brand-new generation that will see it earn a far more powerful engine than before. In fact, initial reports claim it will borrow a detuned version of the Type R’s 2.0-liter turbo engine that pumps out 230 horsepower. Given the lightening the standard Civic underwent, I also think it is safe to assume the new Si will shed at least a few pounds.
This new trim also leads to the possibility of a warm-hatch version of the Elantra Sport that will give buyers a cheaper and more manageable (less fun) alternative to the Focus ST.
This all seems to align with the fact that the Sport trim level remains under wraps for now, as Hyundai tries to build suspense for it. Despite its mind tricks, I just don’t think the Elantra Sport, given it is what the reports are claiming, will make much noise in the performance compact realm.
Unfortunately, we have to wait a while to see what the new Elantra Sport has to offer, as it will hit the auto show floor at SEMA, which kicks off on November 1st. Stay tuned for more details.