Hyundai has taken the wraps off the 7th generation Elantra at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood. For the first time ever, a hybrid powertrain has been added to the Elantra lineup, which we’ll talk about in a bit.
Starting with the design, the new Elantra sports the latest iteration of the ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ design language with the front grille reminiscent of the one on the Le Fil Rouge concept. While the Le Fil Rouge is all about simple and elegant lines, the Elantra is quite the opposite.
The image above showcases the new Elantra’s sharp lines and creases, which Hyundai calls “Parametric-jewel body surfaces”. The rear-end too has a similar, sharp character, enhanced by a flying H-shaped taillight signature.
The best angle to appreciate the new Elantra’s fastback styling is from the rear three quarters. The wheel sizes range from 15- to 17-inches and match the ‘Parametric Dynamics’ theme.
Built on a new ‘K3’ platform, the new Elantra is slightly longer and wider too. Compared with the outgoing model, the 2021 Elantra gains 2.2-inches in overall length and 0.8-inch in its wheelbase, and the overall width is up by an inch. The overall height dropped by 0.8 inch, and the front cowl point was moved back almost 2 inches.
These minor changes dramatically changed the shape of the car but had limited impact on cabin space, Hyundai said. In fact, most key interior dimensions are up.
As with the exterior, the cabin of the new Elantra too has a lot of German feel to it. According to Hyundai, it has an aircraft-cockpit-like driver-oriented layout.
A sleek roofline typically compromises headroom, but at 40.6-inches of front headroom and 37.3-inches of rear headroom, the 2021 Elantra has more front headroom and the same amount of rear headroom as its predecessor, Hyundai said. The 38.0-inches of rear legroom is claimed to be the best-in-class.
Feature highlights include an optional 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and 10.25-inch infotainment system (8.0-inch standard), wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto connectivity, customizable 64-color mood lighting, and HD Radio.
Options list also includes Blue Link Connected Car System with 3 years of complimentary Blue Link services, Qi wireless charging, and an 8-speaker Bose premium sound system. Hyundai is also offering an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key.
Standard safety and driver assistance technologies (SmartSense) include Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (FCA) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Lane Following Assist (LFA), High Beam Assist (HBA), Driver Attention Warning (DAW), and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.
Optional SmartSense features include Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist (BCA) with Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Smart Cruise Control (SCC), Highway Driving Assist (HDA), Safe Exit Warning (SEW), and Reverse Parking Collision Avoidance Assist (PCA).
As for the business end of the story, the Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited trims are powered by a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine that produces 147 hp at 6,200 rpm and 132 lb-ft (179 Nm) of torque at 4,500 rpm, paired with a CVT (branded as Intelligent Variable Transmission or IVT for short).
It uses a wide-ratio pulley system, which provides a broader ratio of operation compared with its competitors. This allows for improved fuel economy at higher gear ratios and improved performance at lower ratios. A new Shift Control Strategy used by the IVT improves linearity between driver inputs, vehicle behavior and acceleration. Shift response closely replicates automatic transmission step shifts.
The IVT’s chain belt is claimed to increase fuel efficiency by an additional 1.2% compared with conventional belt systems.
The Elantra Hybrid is a combination of a 1.6-litre Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine and a 32 kW (43 hp) electric motor. A 1.32 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is positioned under the rear seats. The total system output is 139 hp and up to 195 lb-ft (264 Nm) of torque. The engine is paired with a 6-speed DCT. The Hybrid model offers an electric only driving mode too.
As for the suspension, Hyundai says that the 2021 Elantra has a tune that feels taut yet comfortable and minimizes unwanted body roll while maximizing wheel impact absorption. The Elantra Hybrid models offer a fully independent multilink setup in the rear and standard 16-inch alloy wheels.