Befitting of the era, Hyundai took to YouTube to reveal its all-new 2021 Hyundai Elantra this evening. The redesign compact sedan is aiming to seize on the fact that many entrants into the segment are gone and is betting that not all young people want a crossover.
If there’s one thing consistent out of Hyundai these days its the company’s willingness to take design risks. Wearing what Hyundai calls a “Parametric Dynamics” design theme, this Elantra looks nothing like any of its competitors. There’s a very bold front clip that borrows some inspiration from the 2020 Sonata design, but things get even more interesting with sheetmetal stamped in a way that almost looks like crystal.
“Like the first generation, the seventh-generation Elantra/Avante has a bold character,” said Hyundai design chief Luc Donckerwolke.
“The fresh esthetic was completed through unconventional lines and a face that broke a taboo in automotive design. The new Elantra is highlighted by its stance that looks like geometric crystals and divided body surfaces to get a strong emotional response from the customers,” Donckerwolke added.
It comes as little surprise that this extravagant exterior design required engineering to grow the footprint of this compact sedan. This Elantra is two inches longer (one-inch of which is in the wheelbase), one inch wider and–aiding in its coupe-like appearance–one inch shorter, vertically speaking.
While the exterior design is likely an attempt to lure younger buyers, the 2021 Elantra’s interior is intended to seal the deal. Hyundai is ensuring technology is at the core of this interior, with optional dual 10.25″ LCD panels that are oddly reminiscent of those found in many Mercedes-Benz products. One of the screens serves as the gauge cluster display while the other is controlling the infotainment system.
The dual-screens act as a centerpiece to an interior that looks modern and has a bit of a cockpit feel that one would find in a sports sedan.
Speaking of technology, all 2021 Elantra’s will come standard with forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, lane centering, automatic high beams, a driver attention warning system and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines. Buyers willing to fork over the extra cash can add blind spot collision avoidance, smart cruise control, and highway driving assistant.
At launch the 2021 Elantra will arrive with two powertrain options. The base car will come with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque that will funnel through an improved version of Hyundai’s CVT automatic.
The more interesting powertrain option will be a new hybrid model. This car will be powered by a 1.6-liter inline-four that works in tandem with a 1.32-kWh battery pack and 32-kW electric motor to generate a combined 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid will have a dual-clutch six-speed automatic transmission.
Hyundai says to expect best-in-class fuel economy in the Elantra Hybrid, though the company has offered no official numbers just yet. The EPA rating is rumored to be above 50 mpg.
Elantra Hybrid models will also be fitted with independent rear suspension, adding to the car’s appeal over the gas version, which will have a twisted-beam rear.
For now the 2021 Hyundai Elantra is slated to arrive this fall, but that timeline could change depending on external factors around the global economy and COVID-19.