Hyundai unveils the all-new sixth-gen Elantra

Hyundai, South Korea's largest car manufacturer, unveiled the all-new Elantra (badged Avante in Korea) earlier this week. The Elantra is not only Hyundai's best-selling model but also a regular fixture in the list of world's best-selling cars. Now we don't have to tell you this mid-size sedan plays a key role in Hyundai's growth prospects.

Though the Elantra nameplate has been around for more than 25 years with more than 10 million units sold, it is the current fifth-generation model that brought in success, fame and accolades. The sixth-generation model unveiled this week aims to build on that. Wearing what's arguably the finest form of Hyundai's 'Fluidic Sculpture' design philosophy, the current Elantra is a class act. It was always going to be difficult sketching a replacement for such a beautiful car. But Hyundai's designers, with Peter Schreyer at the helm, appear to have done some impressive work.

As we saw with the Genesis and Sonata, the wild cuts and creases that were synonymous with the 'Fluidic Sculpture' design language are being refined in Version 2.0. The Elantra gets the same treatment and, as a result, looks a whole lot sleeker and simpler. Hyundai's corporate hexagonal grille occupies prominent real estate up front, this time a whole lot bolder with a thick outline and chunkier horizontal slats. Matching the grille's shape and profile are boomerang-shaped enclosures that house circular chrome-ringed fog lights. The silhouette is still coupe-like but loses its curves for a couple of prominent character lines. Sleeker wrap-around taillights extend well into the boot lid and feature i20-esque triple LED-lookalike elements. The bold rear bumper adds to the appeal.

The Elantra in red has its chrome elements blackened and looks particularly sporty and impressive!

The interiors are totally transformed with the swoopy and curvy cabin making way for an angular layout complete with a plethora of buttons. Soft-touch materials have apparently been applied with the whole dashboard tilted 6.9 degrees towards the driver for a cockpit-like ambience. For an improved music experience for the occupants, the new Elantra features a premium quality Harman audio system. Safety has taken a front seat with a full suite of technologies including Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), High Beam Assist (HBA), Blind Spot Detection (BSD) and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA). Additional convenience features in the new Elantra include Integrated Memory Seat (IMS) for the driver and a hands-free Smart Trunk feature.

While the power-train options for the rest of the global markets is still a wild guess, the South Korean home market has three engines - a 1.6-liter diesel and two petrols with displacements of 1.6 liters and 2.0 liters. Paired with these engines are 6-speed manual and automatic transmissions while the diesel also gets an exclusive 7-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). 

Expected to go on sale in its home market this year followed by a launch in global markets next year, the all-new Elantra looks set for bigger things within the Hyundai family. As for us Indians, let's hope Hyundai follows the trend it set with its small cars and launch the new Elantra at around the same time as other important global markets.

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