All-new Hyundai Elantra caught testing near Chennai

None of the Hyundai models that have been launched in India in the last few years have managed to escape our prying eyes before launch. As if to keep that tradition alive, here comes the all-new Elantra sedan snapped testing near Sriperumbudur on the Chennai-Bangalore National Highway. Though there are a few spy-shots of the Elantra doing rounds in the internet, these could be the closest and clearest shots yet of the upcoming premium mid-size sedan that would be competing with the likes of Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla, Volkswagen Jetta, Skoda Laura and Honda Civic. Apart from the lack of spy-shots though, we have been regularly posting about the all-new Elantra in our blog ever since it debuted at the 2010 Busan Motor Show and made our jaws drop. Most of you might even remember that the Elantra recently won the 2012 North American Car of the Year title and almost beat Toyota Corolla to become the world's largest selling car in 2011.

With so many credentials under its belt, it's a pity that the Elantra has took so long to come, depriving us Indians of another worthy choice in the premium mid-size segment. Better late than never, we say. Hyundai displayed the all-new Elantra at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi and also confirmed that the car would be launched in India before the end of this year. For the records, 2012 is already turning out to be an important year in Hyundai India's history as the company has already launched the new Sonata and i20 Facelift this year and the all-new Elantra would increase the number of launches to three. After the Verna, Eon and Sonata, the Elantra would be the fourth Hyundai model to be launched with the aggressive and striking 'Fluidic Design' philosophy that has captivated the Indian car-buying public and media, us included. Just look at the car and you will understand that we aren't exaggerating one bit. The car looks stunning. Period.

Though the term 'fluidic' has become wildly popular in India since the launch of Verna last year, we strongly feel that the Elantra is the best model to come out of Hyundai wearing the 'fluidic sculpture' design theme. The intricately-detailed headlamp clusters combined with the hexagonal family grille creates a familiar face that is not so different from the Verna. Chunky wheel arches and the sculpted creases in the hood and profile that merges beautifully into the front and rear bumpers respectively, creates a 'flowing' impression that is hard to beat. The curvy taillight clusters, steeply upswept windowline and a coupe-like, tapering roofline completes the strong detailing that the Elantra is bestowed with. We do have a couple of gripes though. The lower portion of the rear bumper where the reflectors are placed could have been painted black to give a diffuser-like appearance and the exhaust pipes could have been chrome-tipped and left visible like in Verna, both of which would have made the car all the more sportier.

Though this generation of Elantra does not come with a diesel engine globally, considering the market situations, Hyundai might plonk in the 1.6-liter CRDi engine from the Verna into the Indian Elantra. This would perfectly complement the 1.8-liter petrol engine that is expected to do duty under the hood. Just like every other Hyundai model on sale, we expect the Elantra to also be loaded to the hilt with all sorts of features, easily making it the segment benchmark for comfort and safety. Again, just like other Hyundais, ride would be plush and handling won't be as sporty as some of it's competitors. Overall, we will finally have a premium midsize car that can compete on looks against the still-futuristic Honda Civic and the classy Volkswagen Jetta, on power against the 'diesel rocket' Chevrolet Cruze and on frugality with the diesel-powered Toyota Corolla and Skoda Laura. Add to that Hyundai's wide dealership network and good after-sales support, the Elantra is all set to become a smash hit.

Ladies and Gentlemen, get ready to be flooded by the 'fluidic' Elantra!

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