Hyundai Australia has announced it will offer a hotted-up SR version of its brand new Elantra sedan from around August this year.
Unlike the 129kW normally aspirated i30 SR, the Hyundai Elantra SR will sport the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine used in the Veloster SR Turbo and European Hyundai i30 Turbo, punching out a stronger 150kW of power and 265Nm, sending torque to the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch or six-speed manual gearbox.
Hyundai Australia’s talented Sydney-based suspension tuning team, with diagnostic help from British suspension guru, former World Rally Championship engineer David Potter, are also finalising a bespoke chassis tune, with unique suspension/damper/strut/bushing configurations.
Pictured: Elantra Elite.
Perhaps most importantly, the Elantra SR will also pick up an independent rear suspension system in place of the regular model’s rear torsion bar setup. If tuned right, an independent setup improves road-holding, ergo dynamism in corners. You might also expect a different, quicker, steering ratio.
Outside, the Elantra SR will get 18-inch wheels (the tyres to be used are unclear) and a bodykit, while inside you’ll get sports seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Expect the regular specification to otherwise mirror the Elantra Elite, meaning a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay will be among the standard equipment.
Given our experiences with the 112kW/192Nm regular Elantra this week along some of Tasmania’s targa roads — we found this humble sedan to be twice the handler it really needs to be, thanks to Hyundai Australia’s efforts led by Andrew Tuitahi and HeeLoong Wong, and Potter — the Elantra SR should be quite the little sports sedan.
Pictured: i30 SR.
Expect a 0-100km/h time for the Elantra SR of about 7.0 seconds, based on its power-to-weight ratio. Given the Elantra Elite tops out at $26,490, a starting price for the SR of around $30,000 before on-road costs seems about right.
On a side note, you might be wondering why the i30 SR persists with the atmo 129kW 2.0-litre engine, when hot hatches are where the real sales are. The answer is that a new-generation i30 will arrive in Australia by the middle of next year, so it seems Hyundai Australia will hold out for the 150kW version until then, at least locally.
Nevertheless, given the average Elantra buyer is from an older demographic, it will be interesting to gauge buyer response. The Elantra SR is shaping as a brand-building exercise as much as anything else.
What do you think? Would you look at a circa-$30K hot sedan like the Elantra SR? A big boot, good cabin space, the promise of sharp dynamics… Let us know below.