Hyundai’s New i30 is America’s New Elantra GT

Posted on Sep 11 2016 - 5:43am by Lisa Chan

Hyundai pulled the wraps off of the European-designed i30 hatchback ahead of the Paris Motor Show, and the automaker confirmed that it will appear in the United States next spring under the Elantra GT name.


The exaggerated curves and swoops from the previous model were discarded in favor of straighter, subtler lines. According to Hyundai, the i30 represents the future of the brand’s design, and the “Cascading Grille” will be its signature. On the inside, the i30 features a wide dashboard that is slightly less driver-oriented than the Elantra sedan. Hyundai also uses a touchscreen set out from the dash, which is popular yet polarizing with consumers.

In addition to being styled in Europe, other parts of the the i30 were also developed and tested over there, and the car even spent some time at the Nurburgring. The chassis is 22-percent stiffer and steering that is 10-percent more direct, Hyundai says. The car also features a McPherson strut front suspension and multi-link independent rear suspension. Europeans will get a variety of engine choices, but only one of them is likely to come here: a turbocharged 1.4-liter gas four-cylinder that makes about 140 horsepower. The other engines are smaller and less powerful gas engines and variations on a 1.6-liter diesel. It’s also possible that it could get the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine in the Elantra, or the turbo 1.6-liter engine in the Veloster Turbo and other Hyundais.

Hyundai also announced the i30 would spawn a few variants. It didn’t give any specifics on body styles aside from saying the i30 would have a “family of unique products.” The i30 will be the first Hyundai with an N version. For those out of the loop, N is the performance brand Hyundai has been preparing to launch. The company also said the i30 N would arrive in 2017. Hyundai only confirmed with us that the standard i30 would be coming to America, but it would make sense for Hyundai to bring the hot version as well, even if it comes a little later than in Europe and/or South Korea. We certainly wouldn’t turn it down, especially if it sounds like the current prototype.