The new model, which will be branded as the Elantra Sport, will take direct aim at performance compacts like the Honda Civic Si and Volkswagen Jetta GLI. The Elantra Sport will launch later this year as a 2017 model. Hyundai has not released any images of the Elantra Sport.
The Sport package will include a 1.6L turbocharged engine developing 200 horsepower, an independent rear suspension and a standard six-speed manual transmission. Hyundai will also offer the Elantra Sport with a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.
Hyundai could eventually launch a Sport version of the Elantra hatchback, but the company will first evaluate how the sedan variant performs in the marketplace. Despite sharing a name, the Elantra sedan and Elantra hatchback actually ride on different platforms, so expanding the Sport treatment would entail more than just a copy-paste job. However, an Elantra Sport hatchback would make an interesting, albeit under-powered, alternative to the Ford Focus ST.
Look for the 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport to make its debut later this year at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.